The NCAA Sends a Message: Every major college football program had better be doing some level of internal review this morning. The NCAA made it pretty clear with its sanctions imposed on Penn State's football program that there is a greater context within which these programs must operate. I'm not that interested in the specifics of the sanctions. The real point here is that these several men put the preservation of the image of the university above the well-being of the victims of sexual abuse. And above that, the university facilities themselves were used to perpetuate these atrocities. A few scholarships? Four bowl games? These guys are lucky they're not sharing a jail cell with Jerry Sandusky.
I am a two degree graduate of Virginia Tech and a season ticket holder at the University of Arkansas, so I am quite familiar with big-time college football. As important as these programs are to the universities, we cannot lose perspective of where they fit within the broader social and academic context. The excesses of the current college football system have helped to create and sustain the pressure to succeed at the FBS level. I am totally against the salaries for coaches in what are supposed to be non-profit endeavors. It is difficult for me to consider an organization as a non-profit when it pays it's coaches in the millions of dollars a year. What I hope is that going forward, the NCAA has taken control of the sport and can somehow reign in the excesses that have corrupted college football. In addition, I hope that the NCAA takes the athletes out of their crosshairs and focuses more on the administrations and coaching staffs. Winning at all costs is a misguided notion and does nothing to serve society as a whole.
Adam Scott Lets One Slip Away: What is it about The Open Championship that creates such incredible meltdowns? Is there a rule that prohibits leaders to take an iron off the tee? Is there some R&A official sitting in the clubhouse with a remote control that moves bunkers directly into the path of the ball? Adam Scott stepped onto the tee of the 15th hole with a 4 shot lead. He suddenly turned into Jean Vandvelde and found a way to bogey the final four holes in a variety of ways. And just to turn the knife a little more, Ernie Els, an almost forgotten former champion, hung tight and managed to birdie his closing hole. Needing a par to force a playoff, Scott looked like he was already defeated as he stepped to the 18th tee. What will be lost in Scott's collapse is the incredible final round that Els put together. Prior to his 68, only one other player in the last 24 groups had even managed to break par. What had been a very balky putting stroke in the last several years suddenly tightened up and allowed Els to scramble his way to victory. And what of Tiger? Well, triple bogeys have a way of taking players out of contention. However, even with a sloppy 7 after leaving a ball in a bunker and then missing a 5 footer for double bogey, Woods was still in the hunt. But on this day, only Els was immune from the big numbers and inconsistent play as Royal Lytham finally played the way a links course generally plays in this championship. Congratulations to Ernie on his fourth major championship!