Let's get to it. From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...
Wow. Yahoo! Sports dropped a nuclear bomb on the University of Miami football program. The overwhelming report done mainly by Charles Robinson alleges more than 70 players received improper benefits from Nevin Shapiro from 2002-2010.
Here are the highlights:
— Shapiro started talking about his relationship with the Hurricanes football and basketball programs after he plead guilty to running a $900-plus million Ponzi scheme. Shapiro, who tried to contact a lot of former Miami athletes when he needed financial help but was rebuffed, is serving a 20-year prison sentence.
— Shapiro's nickname to at least one Miami player was "Lil Luke," in reference to former renowned rogue booster and rapper Luke Campbell from the 1980s heyday of "The U."
— The list of players is a who's-who of recent Miami players. Seriously. If you can think of a player who played at Miami in the last decade, he's more than likely on the list.
— The allegations — cash payments, gifts, improper benefits, association with sports agents, even arranged prostitution — are serious, and Shapiro says that Miami coaches and representatives knew what he was doing.
— No fewer than nine current Miami players were named in the Yahoo! Sports report.
It's some "Oh my world," stuff. Seriously.
In fact, the claims are so egregious and so overwhelming — even for Miami, the poster-boy program of over-the-topness and flash — that if they hold true, well, anything's possible. And we've said for years, that the money is too great for any program to get an SMU-type of "death" penalty where they shut the program down for a few years, but if Shapiro's claims prove true, this could elicit a "death" penalty.
Braves stay late, get win
Another last-at-bat win for the Atlanta Braves, who got a two-out RBI single in the 11th inning from Martin Prado to beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1.
Three big things from Tuesday's dramatic win:
— First, the Braves extended their lead in the wildcard race to six games. If the Braves can sweep the final two games of this four-game series with the Giants, it will go a long way to securing October baseball in Atlanta. Atlanta leads the NL with 22 wins in their last at-bat.
— Second, this team's pitching is outrageous. From top-to-bottom, this is the best staff in baseball. Yes, the Phillies have the big three of Halladay-Lee-Hamels, and that has allowed the them to run clear of the rest of the NL. But these Braves are cruising along with their two best starters — Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens — on the DL for the last couple of weeks. Among the replacements was last night's starter Randall Delgado, who allowed one hit in six stellar innings.
— Third this Atlanta bullpen — which pitched five scoreless innings Tuesday — has been outstanding. In fact, the light's out firm of Venters & Kimbrell currently have the two longest scoreless streaks in baseball. Venters has pitched 19 scoreless consecutive innings (he has not allowed a run since June 29, gang); Kimbrell has pitched more than 27 consecutive scoreless innings (he has not allowed a run since June 11).
Wow. Combine the back-end-of-the-bullpen dominance and the Braves' ability to win in their last at-bat means for the last six weeks, the Braves have played nine-inning games and their opponents are playing seven innings.
That's a winning formula.
Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Rod Beck pumps his fist after earning a save following the final out with bases loaded against the Toronto Blue Jays, Thursday July 26, 2001, at Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-3. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Our man EC checked in late Tuesday night with his usual MMA update, some Jim Thome logic and an interesting fashion question.
While we normally wait until Friday to answer mail, we're going to offer a rare midweek Q&A.
EC asked: which leads me to my question...which I will leave for the group and check back later tomorrow to see what developed if anything... Brian Wilson's Beard, Pedro Martinez's Chilli Bowl-jheri Curl and Rod Beck's Mullet-Mustache Combo... which Fashion statement are you(you being defined as whoever you wants to be) most likely to adorn???
For the 5-at-10, the answer is easy if for no other reason than possibility. We have to go with the Rod Beck Mullet-Mustache combo. There's no way we could grow the Brian Wilson chin sweater — we shave like once a week as it is and after about 10 days it gets so itchy that we can't tolerate it. As for Pedro's awesome Jheri Curl — and it's the best in baseball history and enters the discussion of some of the great 1980s NBA Jheri Curls — our hair is entirely too thick to pull that off.
So there you go.
What say you gang?
This and that
— While Miami's alleged scandal is the talk of college football this morning, there is trouble brewing in Oregon, where the questions about the traffic stops of two star players have turned into a Cheech-and-Chong routine.
— Plus, apparently Danny Sheridan today is going to reveal the "bag man" that paid Cam Newton to go to Auburn. He's supposed to reveal the name on Paul Finebaum's radio show. Could be interesting; could be irrelevant. We'll see.
— With the latest recruit — four-star defensive back LaDarrell McNeil — the Vols now have 15 commitments from the class of 2012. It doesn't seem all that long ago that the Vols Nation was doing a lot of hand-wringing about the lack of numbers in this class. Derek Dooley and Co. have made some serious strides this summer.
— We had a great time on SportTalk on Tuesday, even though Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) was obviously possessed by demons when he predicted that Penn State would beat Alabama this season. So it goes.
The Mrs. 5-at-10 brought up an interesting point last night at Casa de la 5-at-10.
She thinks it's time to change the name of the "7-UP Stinks Studios" and she has a fair case.
It has been a long while and 7-UP may have paid it's penance for its misdeeds of the early summer.
So, what's next? Who deserves praise or ridicule for the next few weeks with the honor/insult of being the namesake of our studio?
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...