published Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

5-at-10: NCAA on life support, Twitter as motivation, Mocs must win and father-son Rushmore

Gang, we apologize on the front end — we got wordy today. So it goes.

Enjoy and remember the Friday mailbag and if you want to chat about any of these topics, give us a holler on Press Row from 1-3 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 FM.

From the "Talks too much" studios, like Kris wrote, "I fumbled in my closet through, my clothes and found my cleanest dirty shirt."

The death march starts for the NCAA

The NCAA has offered back scholarships to Penn State, dialing down the harsh sanctions from the Sandusky debacle from a few years ago.

Whether you agree with that — it seems reasonable enough — or don't agree with that — why pick Penn State as the outlier and the beneficiary of a second chance, is Bruce Pearl or THE Ohio State or Miami (which still not been sanctioned officially) not worthy for sins far less egregious — it signifies the beginning of the end of the NCAA.

Think back even five years, and would the overbearing, Big Brother tactics of the NCAA ever be reviewed and softened? Heck no. The NCAA ruled with a slow but powerful right hand.

But in those last five years, the NCAA's grip has weakened exponentially. There is no longer the fear of the NCAA coming to town; now it's viewed less like an investigation and more like an infestation of gnats.

And the power programs which are already looking for a reason to take their TV deals and go elsewhere are itching for a reason or a standard or an opportunity to say, "Hey, the next rogue booster like Nevin Shapiro could be at our school," and simply break away.

There may be nothing the NCAA can do about it in the grand scheme of things, but it certainly appears the once-all-powerful NCAA is relegated to the role of the heart-broken teenager who vows to change and promises to quit hanging out with his buddies and will vow to watch Grey's Anatomy and even will try to like it as long Susie Hotpants will still go out with him.

NCAA president Mark Emmert has said the organization expects major changes later this year. Duh. There is the Penn State reduction and the Miami foot-dragging (which was predicated by the Miami toe-stubbing by the NCAA, which is a whole other deal entirely). There is general angst and irritation that reaches almost to hatred for most of college sports fans everywhere toward the NCAA.

The NCAA wants it to be 1985 again. Heck, most college fans would embrace a 1985 nostalgia about college sports, too. But Alex P. Keaton and Cliff Huxtable are not walking through that door.

Nope, that door has forever been changed. The locks were picked by Cam Newton and Auburn, which vowed to lawyer up and fight to the very end. The frame was destroyed from inside when the NCAA could not close the deal on Miami, despite being handed a filing cabinet of intel from YahooSports ace Dan Wetzel. The wood was eroded by the haphazard and inconsistent rulings delivered on a variety of cases across the nation.

And in truth, even if the NCAA had handled its business like Microsoft, its days were numbered if for no other reason than the power players in college sports — the big-boy football schools — do not like to share. They do not want to let the smaller schools fight for the scraps from their table, and they certainly do not see any reason to share with an NCAA that is serving little purpose and has the popularity rating of Congress. They view it as buying a plate for the mosquitoes at the picnic.

So, even if it had been aces instead of deuces, the NCAA was on borrowed time. That's how it goes sometimes, and this likely started when SEC commissioner Roy Kramer negotiated the TV deal for the SEC championship game two decades ago and the league realized that splitting that revenue 13 ways was way better than dividing it across all of college sports, like the money from the NCAA basketball tournament is dispersed.

Quite simply, the power conferences are openly saying, "Hey, NCAA, it's not us it's you," but this was coming no matter what.

The NCAA just made it easy.


Hey Mr. Big Shot, chill on the Twitter

It seems like once a week now that some major sports star has to respond to being dissed or says he's motivated by criticism.

OK, great.

But if that's the case — like Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers QB who couldn't play dead in a Western the last two weeks who said he is motivated by the criticism on the Twitter — what happens when you start playing better and everyone's kissing your tuckus again? Does that mean you won't be motivated?

Just curious.

  • photo
    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is shown during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Something tells us that if Jordan had been around during the Twitter age, he would not get into a social media discourse with say Dominique like Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade have. #I'mbetterthanyou.


(Side note: You know who would have been awesome on the Twitter back in the day? Charles Barkley. And Pops Stargell. And the Fridge, and he would not be embarrassed by spelling mistakes in today's social media alphabet soup. Who's your top old-school, "wish they had the Twitter back then" Rushmore? Wilt would have set some hair on fire, too.)

With each of these knuckleheads and awkward faux feuds, it really magnifies how LeBron handles his BID-ness, you know?


College football

We can't go a full day without talking college football, and it's been a while since we have discussed the Mocs. So let's go there for a moment.

We concur with TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer's view that the Mocs have another chance to rally their fans. Beating Georgia Southern — or Waffle House University as Jomo called them Tuesday (Sorry Spy) — still carries an 18-wheeler of panache around these parts.

And after that season-opener and the bungled handling of the injured/suspended situation, that the Mocs have the chance for a mulligan is a testament to the talent on this team and in large part to the starvation for a winner that has engulfed the Mocs fan base.

We also concur with UTC football ace Johnny Frierson that the Mocs need a fast start in Statesboro.

Fast start or not, second chance to 17th chance, UTC and Russ Huesman need this one for a myriad of reasons. Chief among them is to prove they can cut the mustard in a big game against a team of similar skills.

This is not horse shoes or Upward basketball. Close does not count and playing hard is not enough.

It's time to win a game like this.


This and that

  • photo
    Robin Thicke, left, and Miley Cyrus perform "Blurred Lines" at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

— Dude, the pop song of the summer was certainly "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. (Side note: Having the real-life son of the dad from "Growing Pains" singing the risque summer anthem was a bit strange. It would almost be like if Hannah Montana grew up and did a stripper dance in front of the nation... Wait one second.) Anyway, some enterprising Braves fan got together with Javy Lopez and borrowed the beat and theme of "Blurred Lines" to make "Baselines". It's pretty clever and worth your time here.

— Falcons face an almost must-win game Sunday night against the Patriots. Scary times, Johnny Falcons Fan.

— Major props to Blakesly Warren, the Baylor senior golfer who wrapped up her second consecutive state golf title. Well-played indeed.

— The Hokie Stone helmets that Virginia Tech plans to wear Thursday night against Georgia Tech are interesting. The look is a bit odd, but the sentimental ties and changing the look for something that means something to the program is pretty cool.


Today's question

OK, you watched the Book of Manning. We caught parts of it. The most interesting parts were the recruiting backlash about Peyton picking UT.

That said, We're trying to think of a better father-son combo than Archie and Peyton Manning. In fact, in the world of father-son sports combos, Archie and Peyton definitely have a spot on the Rushmore and Archie and Eli may have one too.

Father-son combos in sports Rushmore? Archie-Peyton. Bobby-Barry Bonds. Bobby and Brett Hull. The Griffeys maybe. A cross-sport contender with Ken Norton Sr. and Jr.

Who else you got?

And remember the mailbag for crying out loud.

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.
JonathanMCook said...

Ten Ring-

I know you're more busy nowadays which leaves little for replies on the 5&10 site. However, to answer your question from last night, thumbs up on Sleepy Hollow. Although there were some technical stuff in episode 2 that had a cause for pause (the finding of the secret underground tunnel where the PD station was hooked up with the records department across the street and the tunnel supposedly left "untouched" for 200+ years). No "steel" ladders were not around back then ^^()

Anyway, that + the Blacklist on NBC has pretty much booked my Monday Nights until further notice. Hopefully for a while.

Let's talk Weeds

Wiedmer's column this morning was nice. And unlike years past where the Mocs had received countless thrashing after thrashing in the house that Erk built (aka The Marsh), I don't have a doubt in my mind that UTC will return with a well-earned win. However, here is where I stop being cheerleader and segway to Devil's Advocate.

Even if UTC returns 3-1 and even if the game is a proven victory (i.e. a slowdown of the triple option + two touchdown win), it's not, I repeat NOT going to generate a "Saturdays in Fargo" type-atmosphere for Western Carolina next home game. Mainly because it's Western Carolina AND whose Tennessee playing that Saturday?

Here's some hints: Frierson, B-52s, south of the Tennessee River, mascot is a ninth generation decedent, anyone? anyone? Bueller?

I admire Huesman's "I don't give a...." regarding public opinion over the needs of the program but at the same time it kinda reads a cold-shoulder attitude directed at the same people we're TRYING to have return. (Just a random thought).

However, IF the Mocs have a healthy victory against both Georgia Southern and Western to move them to 4-1, there shouldn't be ANY reason not to have 18,000 or more in attendence against Furman on the 12th. My reason for this being again the 4-1 record with one of the wins against the Eagles, the fact that it's Homecoming, Tennessee's bye week is on the 12th AND Alabama is playing Kentucky.

Then again, I was hoping for a better turnout for UT-Martin during "hype-gate" because it was a Thursday Night game and guess what? People still don't give a... So I have no real answers. Just speculation.

This and That:

Saw Miley "by default" on YouTube in the Mike Will (who?) video "23". Good thing MJ is still alive. Otherwise, he would be doing rollovers in his grave regarding this supposed "nod" to his legacy. Note to Miley: Just pull the lever (no pun intended) and sign-on to do "Pirates 3". You're pretty much knocking on the front door at Vivid Entertainment with this video alone.

September 25, 2013 at 10:08 a.m.
jgreeson said...


Golf clap. Very well played.

And we watched The Blacklist. We're in on that one. James Spader knows what he's doing.

September 25, 2013 at 10:14 a.m.
jomo11 said...

I dont think the Mocs- Waffle House U ( Georgia Southern ) is a must win. That is BSC mentality, The Mocs can still lose to GSU and beat Wofford and make the playoffs. Remember GSU is not eligible for playoffs, SoCon championship, etc. GSU rarely losses at home to SoCon foes. Maybe for "media perception" it is a must win, but in the overall playoff scheme of things its not

September 25, 2013 at 10:27 a.m.
chas9 said...

Didn't Steve Martin play Nevin the Jerk in a movie?

What? No report on Sweet Pea taking out a Raven on the stripper bus? Gotta be a way for Jaybo to channel some conversation on that magic bus.

When Big Blue fans welcome The Gators to Commonwealth Stadium, I'd guess Joker will get more cheers than heckles. The game itself will hinge on third down conversions. Flo-Rida's best in the nation at denying them and UK's #117 in achieving them, going zip for 13 tries against Louisville.

Have you noticed that The Terps (4-0) are moving fast up the charts? Fear the turtle! Speaking of charts, cbssports is out with its ranking of all 126 FBS schools, from #1 Alabama to #126 Gawga State. When #126 challenges #1 next week, will 100 points be enough to get you to take the dog? You may want to have a look at The 126 List and argue with some rankings of SEC teams, though Jay will like that they have AU at #26.

We noted that in basketball news Blue Ribbon picks The Spartans to finish first and UK second this season. Now it's announced that Athlon has Kentucky and Louisville one and two. Could be a big game December 28. They pick the Lady Cats #8. We now return you to your regularly scheduled football talk.

And on Sport Talk yesterday a caller wanted to know who UT can get to replace Butch Jones. Question for Friday's bag: Are callers to sports talk radio shows getting more stupider?

September 25, 2013 at 10:40 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...


Agreed on Blacklist. Spader is like Hannabel Lector minus the cannabelism. He's a villian I can actually get behind more or less.

Well-played on the NCAA. Not trying to turn this into a "love-fest" with each other but your commentary parellels with my opinion of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Once respectable; now a blanky-blank joke!

September 25, 2013 at 10:43 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...


Agreed but I think it has more to do with a moral victory then anything. Lord knows I remember all those 65-7 final scores down at Statesboro (the game is the same weekend as AWA which I helped staff [1999-2003] so it was the one game a year I never paid attention too) + the Mocs have beaten the Eagles at the Marsh so it's not completely impossible.


The answer is yes. Though not as bad in the Dallas media market but that's only because they rarely take phone calls so there's no "Swollen Tongue" or "Dr. Lock" or any other "regulars" per say. That being said, I think the last time I listened to Sporttalk online was the Monday after suspension-gate and some idiot called in before Russ's weekly 6:20 PM review of all things Mocs accusing Weeds of being a "hack writer", a failed "stand-up comic", and some other off-the-wall stuff.

September 25, 2013 at 11:02 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...


Forgot to mention. You need to check out "Carl's Stone Cold Lock of the Century....of the Week" on YouTube. Even if you're not a ATHF fan, if you like seeing a parody of what I have dubbed 95% of the callers from 4-7 back home, nobody does it better the Carl.

September 25, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Jomo —

Not saying it's a must-win for a playoff spot.

Am saying at some point Huesman and the Mocs have to win a fight against a comparable foe with something on the line.

Right now, what is Coach Huesman's biggest win?


Like the Lector comparison. Each of those cats are smarter than everyone else, and everyone knows it — including the viewers — which is fun.

And if you add an 'e' to moral victory, it would ring true. Forget moral victories — the Mocs have proven they can compete, and that was the first step for Russ and Co., and it was a huge one considering where the program was five years ago.

No, this would be a morale victory, and the Mocs are starving for it.

September 25, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay- True (sorry about the spelling BTW)

September 25, 2013 at 11:17 a.m.
jgreeson said...


No, you did not mis-spell it. The moral victory is the normal and familiar term. The adding of the 'e' just popped in our head to make it about the morale of the program.

Dude, you've read around these parts long enough to know there's no points deducted for spelling. Heck, if that's the case, Spy would have been banned years ago.

September 25, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

Maybe fans will be cheering Joker on Saturday in Commonwealth when he returns. But I doubt it. Everyone I talk to that's going to the game has had this game circled so they could heckle Joker. Every week, they're watching Florida, just so that when the announcers say, "Florida's receiver didn't run a great route," they say, "Yeah? What did you expect?" Maybe I know an unusually rude part of the fan base. I know there are some who appreciate Joker. But I'm not sure if there are as many as you think there are, 9er. Personally, I would cheer him. I really respect Joker for the way he tried to run the program and for the way he brought young men along. He just wasn't a head coach.

September 25, 2013 at 11:28 a.m.
chas9 said...

Stuckey--I'm just guessing from a distance. Thanks for the on-the-scene report.

JMC--Thanks for the youtube tip. I'll check it out.

Jay--Thanks for the extended metaphorical language, especially the door part. Homer would be proud of you.

September 25, 2013 at 12:01 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Any time we can make Homer Jay Simpson proud, it's a good day.

Speaking of The Simpson, Tuesday would have been Phil Hartman's 65th birthday. Stink.

Stuck —

Could see that, but am in the same boat as you and would cheer for Phillips.

Sadly, he's fourth among Jokers, behind Heath Ledger's version, Jack Nicholson's version and Steve Miller's title character. Phillips edged Cesar Romero's Joker by a funny nose.

September 25, 2013 at 12:08 p.m.
chas9 said...

Dad Del Curry and son Stephen.

Harry Caray and all his progeny.

Shirley and John Majors.

Red and Bobby Etter.

Calvin and Grant Hill.

Muhammad and Laila Ali.

September 25, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Reggie Jackson would have been a Twitter beast. The straw that stirs the Twitter. So too would have Broadway Joe. Between drinks and attempts to make out with Suzy Kolber (cheap shot but why not).

I don't get the Waffle House University reference. We only have one WH in Statesboro.

Even though GSU can't win the conference title, wins against the Eagles still count in the conference race. And this a GSU team that was down 30-14 going into the fourth quarter against Wofford. They're beatable.

September 25, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, playing Hawks Ridge tomorrow before taking in Brick Helmeted Va Tech vs throwback Georgia Tech.

September 25, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Paul Oliver of Harrison High School and later the San Diego Chargers takes his own life at 29. How unfathomably sad.

September 25, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.
Walden said...

Pete and Ralph Potter

September 25, 2013 at 2:37 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Leo Tolstoy. Marcel Proust. Jay Greeson. Some folks can get by with being a bit "wordy."

Mark Emmert is a busy man. Closing the barn door when the horse is two counties over and rearranging the deck chairs on The Titanic will take a lot out of a man. Help, I'm running out of analogies.

9er asked if callers to sports talk radio shows are getting stupider. Not only stupider, but far more emotional as well. Talk of sports is following the same path that political discourse is taking in America. The loudest among us are those who don't know their ass from third base, but that will not stop them from yelling their asinine opinions from the highest mountaintops. Rabid Chuck from Pig's Knuckle, you're on...

JMC worked in a shout out to Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Good call JMC. Carl's beloved G-Men are not doing well, but his sweet car "2 Wicked" is as boss as ever. Of course Carl always gets the Pina Colada spray so the hookers he picks up know he has class. Yeah, Too-night!

September 25, 2013 at 3:10 p.m.
chas9 said...

GD--Impressive post. I've always known dawgs are smart. Might need to annotate your posts for Blue Oval and B-i-B, though.

September 25, 2013 at 4:04 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

What does 'annotate' mean? Do I resemble that remark? I'll hang up and listen...


September 25, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Thank you, 9er, thank you. I'll be here all week. I will forward your message concerning my noggin full o' knowledge to my ex-wife in Sandy Springs. She thinks I'm full of it and a bit crazy as well. It's nice to finally have my genius fully understood.

Me be smart...Hooray!

September 25, 2013 at 4:38 p.m.
jgreeson said...

GD —

We all fit in here because no place else would have us.

Giddy up.

And we thought Chuck from Pig's Knuckle had the rabies cleared up. So it goes.

Spy —

Saw the Oliver thing. So sad.

Enjoy the Ridge. Have heard great things.

9er — Nice list.

September 25, 2013 at 4:42 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Jay, Huesman beat Georgia Southern in 2010 season , the same year Georgia Southern won 10 games and went to the semi finals of the playoffs

September 25, 2013 at 9:16 p.m.
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