published Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

5 at 10: Atlanta Hawks, Tiger Woods and the NCAA looking to get tough on their own rules

We're still looking for mailbag questions. Let's get to it.

From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...

NCAA president wants to get tough

NCAA president Mark Emmert told reporters Tuesday that he wants to tighten down the NCAA rules and toughen up against those that break the rules.

Well, Mr. Emmert, do you need directions to Columbus, Ohio, and THE campus of THE Ohio State University.

Emmert wants the NCAA to get tough. In other news, the 5-at-10 hopes to win the lottery in the near future.

Anyhoo, at the very least Emmert sounded the part Tuesday.

"We need to make sure our penalty structure and enforcement process imposes a thoughtful level of concern, and that the cost of violating the rules costs more than not violating them,"Emmert told the AP Tuesday.

True enough. The questions are about impact not intent; it's less about why and more about how.

Emmert talked about broadening the categories of NCAA violations, even saying that there could be as many as five types of violations rather than the current major and secondary violations. That's a start.

Emmert has committed more resourses to enforcement. That's another positive step, but many more will need to be made in the enforcement direction.

Emmert said the solution is not to pay players, accurately noting that the pay model that works in pro sports would not work in college athletics.

There is no clean solution, of course, but Emmert's direction seems earnest. And his previous quote — about making the cost of violating the rules more than not violating them — is 100 percent spot on. If a booster commits a violation, suspend them or ban them depending on the violation. If a coach committs a violation, suspended them or fire them and punish the coach rather than the school. If there's a recruiting violation by school, coach or booster while chasing a certain player, that player then can't go to that school. Until those that break the rules are penalized — the actual people that break the rules rather than the institutions that employ them or take their money — the rules will continue to be hollow to those that already ignore them.

Does the NCAA have the muscle to do that? It's hard to know, but it will need a lot of muscle and support the first time it tries to lay down the law to one of college sports' power players.

In fact, as long as the circus that is THE Ohio State University continues to go full speed right down to the dancing bears and the small car filled with clowns, it's hard to believe the NCAA has the power to clean up this mess.

We'll see this summer when UT and THE Ohio State University come before the NCAA infractions committee. Emmert's words let us know that the NCAA's mouth is working. Let's see if they have any teeth.

  • photo
    Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, left, shouts in front of guard Derrick Rose after scoring during the third quarter in Game 5 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, in Chicago. The Bulls won 95-83, and lead the series 3-2. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Rose by any other name

The Chicago Derrick Roses seized control of their series with the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, with namesake star and league MVP Derrick Rose scoring 33 points. More importantly, Rose had just one turnover and nine assists — and its could have been 15 if his Derrick Rose teammates could have hit a few more shots.

Rose played 42 minutes as the Derrick Roses grabbed a 3-2 lead in the series and moved to within one win from returning to the conference finals for the first time since the team was known as the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan was on the roster.

In truth, Luol Deng was a fine sidekick for Rose, who seems to be able to get to the rim whenever he needs to get to the rim. Game 6 will be in Atlanta on Thursday, and how Rose responds in a decisive game on the road will be telling about his ascent as one of the game's best players. When guys make the leap to superstar, they show they have the ability to finish off teams, even on the road.

Side note: Looking at the box score must be painful for Johnny Hawks Fan if for no other reason than Marvin Williams' stat line. Williams, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft, played nine minutes off the bench. Yes, Williams was selected before Deron Williams and Chris Paul. He's a first-team All-Sam Bowie selection, there's no doubt.

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) follows through on a three-run homer in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals Tuesday, May 10, 2011, in Atlanta. Washington won 7-6. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Defenseless against mistakes

The Braves made three errors that led to three unearned runs early in Tuesday's 7-6 loss to Washington. Not to be outdone, an unearned run after an error on Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins ended ace Roy Halladay's string of 13 consecutive wins against the NL East in a 2-1 loss to the Marlins and stud righty Josh Johnson.

There are two lessons from the above statement — one that all baseball fans are familiar with and another that is all-too-familiar for Johnny Braves Fan.

First, extra outs mean extra-painful losses. It's just that simple.

Second, it seems like every year there is a below-average team that gives the Braves fits. And more times than not it's the Washington Nationals, who also used to give the Braves fits in their former life as the Montreal Expos. Granted, they are improved this year, but more times than not if the Expos/Nationals finish the season with a .500 record, they would have something like a .700 winning percentage against the Braves. And three-error games will make sure that streak continues.

That said, the 5-at-10 loved, Loved, LOVED the way hard-luck losing pitcher Tim Hudson took the blame for the loss. It was the mark of a team leader. Well played, sir.

  • photo
    In a photo taken with a fisheye lens, Tiger Woods tees off at the sixth hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Wednesday, April 7, 2010. The tournament begins Thursday, April, 8. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Tiger says he's ready

Stop if you've heard this one before, but Tiger Woods says he's feeling better. OK, great.

His injured knee is feeling good, he says, and his injured Achlles' is also improved. Alright, excellent.

Uh, how's the putter, there big guy?

Woods said that his practice Tuesday was his first since the Masters in early April because of the injuries. Seriously, the hand-wringing from the yahoo media folks like the 5-at-10 needs to go away until the injuries are healed and Woods is playing more than every few weeks and then entering the big tournaments. That's a great way of life, granted, but it's hardly the approach to win golf tournaments, no matter how many swing coaches and swing changes and swing sets and swing nuts and the movie "Swingers" DVDs you go through.

Not that long Woods was golf's epicenter and arguably the biggest sports star on the planet, even if that feels like a lifetime ago.

Woods is in the longest winless streak of his career, and injuries — some self-inflicted, mind you — have played a big part in it. Until he gets healthy, we may never see the old Tiger Woods again — and we may never see the truly dominant Tiger of old ever again, even if he does get healthy.

Now, of course, if he wins the Players this weekend (and if he does, can we call it The Playas... Hey?), yahoo media folks like the 5-at-10 and fans will say all Woods needed was a break from the game to clear his head. So it goes.

  • photo
    Andrew Bynum launches elbow at Dallas Mavericks' Jose Juan Barea in the closing minutes of Game 4. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

This and that

— L.A. Lakers center for the moment Andrew Bynum will miss the first five games next season for his flagrant foul on J.J. Barea on Sunday. Whenever that season will be and where Bynum will be playing whenever that season starts is anyone's guess.

— Ohio State won the NCAA men's volleyball championship. New cars for everyone.

— From Gene Henley's story on the SE Whitfield High soccer player who faces deportation to the advance on Ringgold's postseason baseball season to college news to Mark Wiedmer's column on the Porky's Open golf tournament that continues to raise money for UTC athletics, the TFP sports section was stuffed with local stuff today. Just wanted to send out a "job well done" to our staff, which is filled with people who work extremely hard and with passion and make the job of that goofy Sports Editor a lot more fun and manageable.

— The Big Orange caravan heads into town today, and we'll have that complete covered online and in print.

Until tomorrow.

about Jay Greeson...

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 ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Eustice_Chase said...

Who else is hoping that when Tiger Woods "talks" to Bubba Watson he asks Bubba to show him his Green Jacket collection???

As for The Chicago Derrick Roses...well it looks like they punched their ticket to play in the Conference Finals...83% of Game 5 Winners move on to win the series...Anybody hoping that the Atlanta Hawks are part of the 17% that lost game 5 and won the series??? yeah me either...

Does any other major league pitcher pitch 9 innings for an L ?? or is that just Halladay...what a stud...a man among men...what an ace...what a dude...I thought for sure he was going to punch Jimmy Rollins right in the face ( with his gloved hand of course)and thank him for the Defense

May 11, 2011 at 10:44 a.m.
eljefe said...

Went to the Phillies/Marlins game last night. Two things struck me: First, Halladay is a machine. Homeplate umpire had a strike zone that fit Johnson more than Halladay. Rollins error, passed ball to advance a runner, lack of any real offense and even walking the pitcher did not affect him. He never seems rattled. There were multiple times his team let him down last night. How many runners did they leave on base? Personally, I am glad he is not wearing pinstripes.

Second, Johnson throws hard! Even though we had pretty good seats for the game and we were close to the action, (I will avoid my tangent about how South Florida Sports Fans are disloyal and worthless) the pop from the catcher's glove when Johnson unleashed his fastball was impressive. Of course, my favorite comment from the night was, Marlins Fan: "Johnson is a beast. When are we going to trade him to the Red Sox?"

May 11, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

Watching Tiger answer questions about Bubba yesterday made the 5-at-10 think about Stephen Ames, who said something along the lines of Tiger was beatable back when we all knew Tiger was unbeatable. Woods and Ames meet in a match-play event and Tiger drops him 9-and-8, which means of the 10 holes they played, Tiger won nine of them and clinched the match. Tiger could hit Bubba with any number of, "What size is your Green Jacket?" or "What are you going to serve at the champions dinner at the John Deere?" type of heckles.

We want the Hawks to win Thursday because we love Game 7 drama (and to see how Derrick Rose and the Chicago Derrick Roses handle the pressure), but a Eastern Conference final of Atlanta-Miami does not sound as good as a Chicago-Miami matchup.

Eljefe —

Welcome back my good man.

Halladay is a machine (and he's a Sheenanator, too). He has a Maddux-type of mental approach to pitching and he has better stuff — and yes, we realize how scary good that compliment makes him.

It's a surprise that Halladay is not in either NYC or Boston, and it will be a huge, Huge, HUGE shock that the next time Josh Johnson's contract comes up, if he's not headed to the AL East.

You bring up a good point about how hard Johnson brings it. Dude throws aspirin tablets. And when guys that throw that hard, it makes a different sound hmmmming through the air and when it hits the mit. Can remember watching Goose Goosage warm-up in the bullpen at old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and thinking he was throwing a handful of bees, his pitches were buzzing so much.

— 5-at-10

May 11, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I love me some Game 7s....and if I am not mistaken didnt Chicago take the season series from the Heat? Not sure if that even matters with the way Miami's Big 3 is playing....Josh Johnson wont be in South Florida for long...the kid throws Gas! and throws a breaking ball for strikes....not good for the opposition....and Tim Hudson is a class act taking the heat for his team...true Veteran...if Carlos Boozer was to face Josh Smith in a "No-DQ Street Fight" Inside the Squared Circle...who is your money on?

May 11, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

Great question about CBoozer and Josh Smith. Now admittedly, we're no where close to Jumpin' Joe Rogan, here's our view:

Boozer went to Duke (soft); Smith went to the NBA out of high school — Edge: Smith

Boozer is cut up and plastered with tats; Smith is cut up and plastered with tats: Edge: Even

Boozer's middle name is Austin; Smith's nickname is J-Smooth: Edge: Smith

Boozer lied to a blind man and left Cleveland as a free agent for Utah; Smith left his high school to play for Oak Hill Academy as a senior: Edge: Smith

Boozer has a better understanding of the game; Smith is arguably one of the league's 10 best pure athletes. Edge: Smith

In the octagon, give me Smith and we don;t think it's that close, really. Did you see the way Boozer delivered the cheap shot, then after Smith pushed him he paused as if to say, "Hey, Derrick Rose, come over here and hold me back before a start to look I'm going to fight."

Great question.

— 5-at-10

May 11, 2011 at 12:16 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Tiger, may have seen his best days. Time will tell. NCAA changes, a joke, they will likely find mitigating reasons to go easy on THEOHIOSTATEUNIVERSITY then throw the book at Tennessee and Slippery Rock for their alleged infractions. What's that, what did Slippery Rock do? The basketball coach looked in the direction of the town where a potential recruit lived as the bus went by on the interstate. Oh wait, those rules aren't yet in place. Ehh, get 'em anyway and that will show the Big Boys how tough the NCAA is. FINALLY, Bynum's penalty--five count 'em 5 games next nebulous season of no play for an obviously ridiculous foul by a loser in more ways than on the score board. BIGGEST JOKE OF ALL!

May 11, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Great breakdown my friend..well played...Loul Deng is the hero here...saving Boozer from an "Oak Hill Beatdown" by way of Atlanta GA

May 11, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Livn(Large) —

We thought Tiger was going to go on a nuclear rampage after getting beyond the personal issues, but it looks like you're right and his best days may be in the rearview.

And great call about the NCAA — it reminds us of the time Jerry Tarkanian saying, "The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky they gave Cleveland State two more years of probation."

Bynum's a punk and he could easily have gotten more, but Chuck Barkley said last night that five games will cost Bynum $700,000.

EC —

Josh Smith was about to throw down an old-fashioned, Four Horseman pounding. Let me hear ya, Powder Springs, G.A.

— 5-at-10

May 11, 2011 at 1:34 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

$700,000 fine isnt anything to shake a fist at..that is some serious do-ray-me.... and speaking of large amounts of straight cash about Sugar Shane...getting some 20 large for dancing around on Saturday night....boxing really needs to look into a "red card system" very similar to what Pride FC used in Japan (MMA)...if a fighter is warned 2 times for not engaging in the fight..then 10% was automatically deducted from their purse...if a 3rd time it happened...they were DQ'd and recieving 0 compensation.... you can imagine if Suagr was told he was gonna lose 10% of his purse but still had 100% of the expenses...hes gonna give it a better shot and entertain the folks in attendance and at home....I'm just saying....

May 11, 2011 at 2 p.m.
Emilyjose said...

Woods says he is able to be patient because this is not his first drought. Although this one has lasted longer, if it were his first it would be absolutely brutal

May 12, 2011 at 6:20 a.m.
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