Here we go.
Tressel's vessel on way out of town
The 5-at-10 wrote six weeks ago that Jim Tressel, Ohio State's football coach at this moment, was every bit as bad as since-dismissed UT hoops coach Bruce Pearl in the eyes of the NCAA. Now it appears he may be worse. Heck, he may be even worse than Lane Kiffin in the NCAA's view. Read that again and take a deep breath.
It's plain and simple gang, the NCAA embraces the old-school NASCAR, wink-wink, nod-nod world of if you ain't stretching the rules, you ain't trying hard enough. That's not Tressel's problem.
The cliche "rules are made to be broken," is as true as ever in the eyes of NCAA. No, where the NCAA gets their pants in a bunch is when people lie. It's not rocket science for crying out loud. Report secondary violations, say you didn't know it was a secondary violation, take your three weeks off the recruiting trail slap on the clipboard and move on. And if the boys from the NCAA office in Indy stop by, spill the beans. If they ask if you jaywalk or if you tweak your taxes or if you had a party at your Knoxville mansion and some recruits were there or if you knew about your players selling their OSU-issued gear for cash and tattoos, tell them. Offer it up, take your medicine and live to coach another day.
That's the modern day playbook, and Tressel violated about every part of it, as our TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer wrote here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/apr/26/wiedmer-ncaa-sees-serious-sins-vessel/.
Truthfully (that word choice is ironic here, huh?), it's hard to see Tressel surviving this now. He's already suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season, and that's from OSU. The Big Ten nor the NCAA has weighed in yet. Plus, the notice of allegations sent to Tressel and the Buckeyes on Monday used some of those big-boy-trouble phrases like "potential major violations" and "failed to deport himself ... [with] honor and integrity," and could even lead to the dreaded "lack of institutional control."
And why? Because Tressel lied, plain and simple.
The NCAA knows every major college program in the country is going to push the envelope, and truthfully, they don't appear to have a problem with it. Otherwise, how do you explain a billion-dollar operation having roughly 44 enforcement officers for the thousands of NCAA college athletic programs and the tens of thousands of student-athletes in sports led by coaches making hundreds of millions of dollars? Yep, 44 enforcement officers - at least that's the number NCAA president Mark Emmert shared with PBS recently. FOURTY-FOUR.
And exactly zero of them like to be lied to.
Sidenote: It would be pretty downright HIGH-larious if THE Ohio State University had to forfeit THE Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas and remained with THE doughnut against THE SEC in bowl games.
The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.
Today, we're going to try to move quickly. Here are three potential trades that the 5-at-10 would love to see in the next 72-or-so hours (and remember, because of the labor unrest - the judge on Monday ordered the NFL owners to allow the players to go back to work, but the owners have appealed - trades are going to be tricky business since it would mainly include draft picks right now):
First: The Oakland Raiders put together a package - and it would take a lot - to get into the top 6 and get Patrick Peterson. What, Pretend Al Davis is on the phone? OK, let's go there:
Pretend Al: "You're such a dumb a.....
5-at-10: "HEY, Pretend Al, this is a family-oriented-Intertube-web-based-sports column. We won't be using that kind of language."
Pretend Al: "Fine. Sissy. Just wanted to check in and make sure you got my picks and that you're not telling people that we're going to try to trade up to get Patrick Peterson."
5-at-10: "Uh, no, Pretend Al, no way would we do that. No way."
Pretend Al: "You know what you should write about?"
5-at-10: "Uh, no sir. What?."
Pretend Al: "Sweatsuits. They're boss. And Ditka. DITKA, son, he's bad a....."
5-at-10: "Whoa, we lost Pretend Al. So it goes."
For the Raiders to make that play - and land the draft's best player - they would have to get in front of San Francisco, which covets Peterson at No. 7. So if the Raiders can get No. 6 from Cleveland, the 49ers would be sellers, which leads us to...
Second: Indy does whatever it takes to get No. 7 and take Julio Jones. Yes, the Colts need a lineman. Yes, Peyton Manning is a UT alum and Jones went to Alabama, and in most instances that's oil-and-water.
But c'mon, give Manning a legit weapon on the perimeter. This needs to happen. And Holy XBox Season Stats, what is the over-under for passing yards for a Colts team with Manning, Wayne, Gonzalez, Clark if you add Jones? It's at least 5,000 and 6,000 is not out of the question.
Third: This one is not as specific, but there are more options to ponder. We talked about this on SportTalk last night, and Dr. B (he's a doctor after all) made a key point about teams drafting more for need and how teams can't afford to miss on picks this year more than most with the labor unrest (which means no one has signed free agents yet). It also means that after the Packers make the 32nd pick of the first round on Thursday night, the Panthers will be fielding a lot of calls for that first pick in the second round. Depending on which first-round talent slips late be it because of position need or what, the Panthers could have a lot of offers come Friday afternoon.
More draft tidbits
The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this. (And this close to the draft, we just can't fit it all into one entry). So it goes.
First off, TFP ace Stephen Hargis has caught up with some the local guys who have current and past draft hopes/memories and we'll run those stories in the next couple of days. Good stuff.
Second, here are two tips for the PATCO Speedline (as suggested by Chas9) Draft Challenge.
- For those still waiting to send their picks, here's what Carolina GM Marty Hurney told Darin Gantt on Fox Sports 730 AM in Charlotte: "This is a quarterback league. Look at the order of the draft. The ones who have 'em are picking low, and the ones who don't are picking high." Remember, there are a lot of folks going to do a lot of NFL folks doing a lot story-telling (Hey, maybe we've found Jim Tressel's next career) in the next few days, but that sounds like a guy that's going to take a QB.
- For the Steelers' first-round pick, it appears the areas of need are the offensive line and cornerback (Ike Taylor is going to be a free agent when ever the NFL gets back to work, and he'll have a lot of suitors).
Couple of SEC draft notes:
- If Mark Ingram falls to the New England Patriots late in round one, he'll be a 10-year Pro Bowler and when he is inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, he'll talk about how much motivation he got from the other teams skipping him. Don't get the 5-at-10 wrong, running backs are often interchangeable and spending a mid-range to high-first-round pick on a running back is risky. That said, Ingram was a stud at Alabama, and he will be a stud in the NFL.
- All this belly-aching about Nick Fairley is getting a little bit out of control. Some reports have him dropping to No. 30. Puh-lease. If Nick Fairley drops to No. 30, then he will become the biggest draft steal since Tom Brady. That said, it appears the Titans will have a chance at Fairley at No. 8, and remember the Titans hired Tracy Rocker, who was Fairley's position coach at Auburn last fall. And if Rocker and the Titans pass on Fairley, maybe he could fall a long way. But to 30? Can't see that happening.
- One of the new scouting measuring sticks is Speed Score, which according to footballoutsiders.com is "A method for projecting the NFL success of a rookie running back which combines a player's weight with his 40-yard dash time from the NFL scouting combine, thus accounting for the fact that a larger back is more likely to be a good NFL player than a small back with the same speed. Speed Scores generally range from 80 to 120, with 100 as the average." Well, this year, there was a new record set for Speed Score. Auburn's Mario Fannin clocked a 4.31 40-yard dash and weighed in at 231 pounds. His SS was 125.5, edging the previous mark of 123.5 set by Brandon Jacobs. By comparison, Titans star Chris Johnson had a 121.9 in 2008. Calm down Pretend Al Davis and step away from the phone, Fannin will be there into third day, because while Fannin's speed is eye-catching his fumble troubles were eye-burning.
Sidenote: We'll update the entries for the PATCO Speedline (as suggested by Chas9) Draft Challenge in the comments later this morning.
Sweet Elvis Sightings and the Peabody Ducks, how 'bout the Memphis Grizz, huh?
Yes, that was a Darrell Arthur sighting during Monday's inspired beatdown of the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs. Yes, that was Mike Conley looking like a young Tony Parker and making the current Tony Parker look like an old Tony Parker. Yes, that was Marc Gasol (Pau's brother) officially stepping out of any consideration for a spot on the All-Chuck Cunningham team (for those siblings such as Ozzie Canseco or Frank Stallone or Jim Hanks that dabble in the family business and are less than forgettable).
Seriously, the 5-at-10 is into these NBA playoffs. There may as well be a Magic or Larry sighting or one of those super-entertaining old Mavericks teams with Aguirre or Ro Blackmon or the Hawks and 'Nique. This is good stuff. The NBA is back. The NBA, it's fantastic.
Oh yeah, this is today after all. The NBA, it's where labor struggles happen in June. Alas.
This and that
- The Braves went deep into the West Coast night, losing 5-3 to San Diego in 13 innings Monday. Sidenote: Last night, Rhea County High School alum Cory Gearrin made his big-league debut with the Braves, pitching two perfect innings. Well done.
- Junior college basketball player God's Gift Achiuwa is planning on making his college decision soon. He is deciding between Cincinnati, St. John's and Washington. There's not much else to add, except his name is GOD'S GIFT. Seriously? Maybe we need to have some sort of nurse-sign-off program in the delivery room.
Nurse: Do you have a name picked?
Mother: Yes: We thought about God's Gift.
Nurse: What else you got?
Mother: We'd like to go with Shamalamading-dong. We love that song.
Nurse: Ummmmm. No. What about Nick?
Mother: What? No. Either Shamalamading-dong or maybe shoobydoobydoo?
Nurse: Nick it is.
- Just when we thought the NBA was turning the corner comes this. Apparently on Friday, a fan at the Lakers-Hornets game in New Orleans completed the halftime loop of a lay-up, a free throw, a 3-pointer and a half-court shot. Made them all in the 7-Up sponsored contest. Place goes nuts, and he's won some great prize, right? Maybe $25,000 or a trip somewhere like Game 5 in L.A. or something cool, right? Uh, no. He won a year's supply of 7-Up. Wait it gets worse. In the fine print, a "year's supply" is determined to be two 12-packs a month for the next 12 months. At roughly $7 per 12-pack, that half-court shot - in addition to the lay-up, free throw and 3-pointer - was worth around $168 worth of second-rate soda. That stinks - it's official, the 5-at-10 is boycotting 7-Up.