"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Friday, April 1, 2016

FRIDAY THOUGHTS: FINAL FOUR VENUE, U.S. WOMEN SOCCER EQUALITY, NBA PLAYOFS LOOMING, BIG TEN TRANSFER TRAVESTY

Waterskiing Behind an Aircraft Carrier: I can certainly understand the financial motivation by the NCAA to hold its highest profile event in a venue designed for a different sport, but staging basketball's Final Four in a football stadium is just a lousy idea. I was at NRG Stadium in 2011, the last time the championship was held in Houston. The basketball was atrocious, with the players' inability to adapt to the cavernous facility. In order to have all 70,000+ seats available, the NCAA has elected not to place the court at one end of the field and use the end zone as sideline seats for basketball. I attended the South Region games in the Georgia Dome in 2006 and the stadium was basically cut in half. The quality of play was more like what you would expect in a large arena. Does the revenue difference between 40,000 and 70,000 seats really justify the terrible basketball that it creates? I don't think so and the NCAA should rethink the ridiculous practice of playing basketball games in football stadiums. What's next, playing lacrosse games on a golf course?

Why Not Have Equality?: I applaud the five members of the Women's National Soccer Team for filing a claim with the EEOC to get pay equity with their male counterparts. According to reports, the women generate over $16 million in profit for the US Soccer Federation, while the men lose $2 million, yet the players on the men's team make up to ten times per game what the women get. This practice is preposterous on a number of levels, but more importantly, it's illegal. Based on the similarity in the schedules and qualifying processes for both World Cups, it's absurd that the women are so blatantly taken advantage of. In addition, and this is a FIFA issue, the men don't have to play on artificial surfaces, while the women are not afforded the same consideration. Like the corruption scandal that is currently unfolding in FIFA, this issue needs to be addressed. It's not unlike the situation in college athletics, where everyone seems to get their's except the so-called student athletes. As a former HR Director, I can say with confidence the U.S. Soccer Federation is clearly in the wrong, both philosophically and legally. They should get ahead of this by proposing immediate changes, but we all know they probably won't, because it just makes too much sense to everyone but them.

Big Ten Transfer Rule, Big Time Hypocrisy: Talk about doing the wrong thing, how about Michigan's former stance that Spike Albrecht, a player whose scholarship has been revoked by the university and who has already received his degree, can't transfer to a Big Ten school or any school on Michigan's schedule for the next two and receive a scholarship without sitting out a year, which would exhaust his eligibility.  NCAA rules don't prohibit the move, with players who have graduated being allowed to transfer and play immediately. Plenty of players have taken advantage of the rule. What makes this situation even more egregious is that Albrecht can't stay and play at Michigan because coach  John Beilein gave away his scholarship. After a firestorm of criticism, primarily from Yahoo's Pat Forde and ESPN Radio's Mike Greenberg, Beilein has changed course and lifted the restrictions. Maybe good for him, but it's ridiculous that this absurd situation occurred in the first place. Beilein is free to go wherever and whenever he pleases to another coaching job, and make millions in the process. The kids he recruits however, are stuck. Is that fair? Absolutely not. And trying to justify the practice by saying they all know the rules when they get into it is simply a very poor excuse.

NBA Playoffs, Some Surprises on the Horizon: A Cleveland Cavalier team that was decimated by injuries came within two games of winning the NBA championship last season, but all I'm hearing is that Golden State and San Antonio will apparently settle it all in the Western Conference finals, leaving the championship series as something of a coronation. But if you're the Clippers, the Thunder, or even the Jazz, I'm thinking you don't believe the competition ends with the final regular season game. I maintain that even though the Warriors are enjoying arguably the greatest regular season in history, their post-season run might be a little rougher. The Cavaliers might end up arriving at the Finals healthy and rested, and a healthy and rested Lebron James, as he has shown in the past, can put a team on his back and will them to victory. Am I discounting Toronto? Not really, but I don't see them taking four games from the Cavaliers, especially if Cleveland holds onto home court advantage. I'm just saying this thing isn't over yet. As well as the Warriors are playing, they don't necessarily remind me of the Chicago Bulls of the 90's, considered the best team in recent memory.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first two, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel" and "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and SmashwordsTune into www.WPFLRADIO.com at 8:40 am EST every Friday for my Beyond the Commentary segment on "Lou in the Morning" with Lou Vickery and Jonathan McMath.