5-at-10: NCAA faces issues, Uggla getting eye surgery, happy left-handers day

5-at-10: NCAA faces issues, Uggla getting eye surgery, happy left-handers day

August 14th, 2013 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Finish the drill gang. Finish the drill.

From the "Talks too much" studios, we're not a G, just a regular sailor - we're not straight out of Compton, we're straight out the trailer.

In this file photo, Mark A. Emmert speaks during a news conference after being announced as the president elect of the NCAA in Indianapolis in April 2010.

In this file photo, Mark A. Emmert speaks...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Another level of hypocrisy for the NCAA

The NCAA has issues. Big ones.

Among the swirling thoughts in NCAA president Mark Emmert's melon before he closes his eyes at night are:

• The looming college playoff that could lead the power conferences to break away;

• The continual unrest among coaches and ADs about the minutia in the rule book while disasters such as the Miami investigation drag on and on;

• The ever-sinking public opinion that puts Emmert and Co. somewhere between IRS auditors and newspaper reporters on the popularity scale;

• Lingering lawsuits that range from the core-changing claims of Ed O'Bannon to the still nasty fall out from Penn State;

• College football's biggest star is staring down the barrel of an investigation that could greatly alter the college football season.

• Millie and Jimmy are getting married and no one knows what to get them for a wedding present.

Basically, Emmert and the NCAA are dealing with a lot of stuff.

Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel throws during football practice in College Station, Texas.

Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Now in regard to Johnny Manziel, aka Johnny Football/Hangover/Merchandise/Paycheck - or as ace columnist Mark Wiedmer mentioned in his column on Johnny Numbskull here, the Money Badger (he signs what he wants) - Emmert and Co. are facing the real possibility of a monster double standard that could be viewed as racism that would be eye-popping and eye-gouging, even for the NCAA.

Names like AJ Green and Terrelle Pryor have been mentioned for similar incidents, and their suspensions ranged from four games to life. Here's another one: Dez Bryant, who suspended for the final 10 games of his college career for lying to the NCAA about having lunch with Deion Sanders. Yes, having lunch with Prime Time was worth a pre-emptive 10 games for Bryant.

And signing a reported 4,400 autographs for an alleged large sum of coin what will be the deal for ? Well, we'll see how they handle this. The closer we get to the season, the closer we get to the belief that Johnny Paycheck will not get on the field this season.


As Weeds hinted in today's column, if Johnny Paycheck skates, there will be a not-so-silent "race" angle to this double standard.

Still, for all the negative thoughts Emmert fights through with a swig of Jack Daniels or Metamucil or Smooth Move or whatever his nighttime tonic is, the "how could we possibly be more hypocritical" hardly seems possible.

Maybe there are degrees of hypocrisy, like shades or hues. Or maybe there is a true, cut-to-the-bone hypocrisy that permeates all other characteristics.




Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

We have spent a ton of the summer discussing Alex Rodriguez and the PED outrage from the Biogenesis investigation.

Oh the horror. Oh the humanity.

Oh the "bury the head in the sand" mentality of the other major sports.

Case in point: Let's say there was an aging former super star that returned early from a major surgery on a knee or a shoulder or even an Achilles' and was ready to play way before anyone expected.

Let's say that guy is a football player coming back from, say, a knee ligament tear - and dude goes off for a near record total of yards?

Or let's say that guy is a former All-NBA shooting guard, who at 34 years old has played 17 years and more than 44,000 minutes in more than 1,200 NBA games, is so far ahead of Achilles' surgery that he could be back for the opener?

In those cases, we talk about work ethic and commitment. If either of those cats were MLBers, the first thought would be steroids.

We balk at baseball's commitment to end PEDs, but at least they are trying. If you think the NBA and the NFL do not have players taking PEDs, well, we'd like to sell you some stock in the 5-at-10, which we may try to take public any time, and the opportunity to be on the ground floor is certainly special.

Why the double standard? Is it because of the long-standing place baseball has in our culture? Is it because baseball is actually trying, compared to those other leagues?

Or maybe more amazingly, is it because Jose Canseco blew the whistle and blew the lid off the steroid culture?

Is it possible that Jose Canseco is not unlike Col. Nathan R. Jessup?

Can't you see a buzzed-cut Canseco looking Bud Selig dead in the eye and spinning:

"You weep for baseball and curse PEDs. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that all this mess and betrayal, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you saves lives. You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall."


That explains it

Colorado Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez, right, is tagged out by Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, left, as he attempts to steal second base in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Atlanta.

Colorado Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez, right, is tagged out...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Dan Uggla has become a popular topic around these parts.

Dude has underwhelmed since joining the Atlanta Braves a few years ago.

He has plummeted to near the bottom of everyday hitters in baseball in regard to average in his almost three years with the Braves. He has 1,511 at bats in a Braves uniform and has 327 hits. That's a less-than-decent .216 average with 470 strike outs in 427 games with Atlanta.

He was put on the DL Tuesday - no Spy, he was not put there for catching the "Stinky" but that's a fine guess.

Nope, Uggla is on the 15-day DL to have vision corrective surgery.

Gang, we don't know much, but we do know that not being able to see the ball will prevent you from hitting the ball which will lead to averaging more than a strikeout a game.

OK. Good-bye Danny Struggla. Get well Danny Uggla. Come back and we'll have a new slate.

And seriously, if Danny Uggla returns - like the old Danny Uggla that was a .260-plus hitter with plus-right-handed-power - these Braves made a big-time playoff addition without giving up anything.


This and that

UTC coach Russ Huesman watches a scrimmage at Finley Stadium.

UTC coach Russ Huesman watches a scrimmage at...

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

- UTC football coach Russ Huesman will join David Paschall and the TFP sports editor on Press Row today around 1 p.m. You can listen along on 105.1 FM here locally or online at espnchattanooga.com. Got any questions for the Mocs head coach? We're going to try to get him to predict how many games the Mocs will win. He won't fall for it, but we're still going to try.

- The mayor of San Diego has been barred from Hooters after he has been accused by close to a dozen women of sexual harassment. Yep, mayor Bob Filner is addressed in a sign outside a San Diego Hooters that says he will not be served in the establishment because, "we believe women should be treated with respect." Gang, you want to know if you're the Michael Jordan of sexual harassment? Getting barred from the Hooters is a pretty good start. Did they elect Ron Burgandy as mayor out there? You stay classy San Diego.

- Alabama suspended linebacker Trey DePriest. That is all.


LeBron James

LeBron James

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Today's question

Today is national left-handers day. Where's the cake?

And looking at some of the all-time greats, considering roughly 10 percent of the population is left-handed, there are some all-time great athletes who are lefties.

LeBron James writes left-handed, but plays mainly right-handed so he's out.

But across the sports landscape, there are some all-time elite left-handers.

Pele is left-handed - and ambi-footed. Bill Russell is left handed - and finished his NBA career with more rings than total fingers. Wayne Gretzky is left-handed.

Here's a two-part lefty question? What's your all-time lefty Rushmore across all sports? Second, what's your all-time baseball lefty Rushmore? The all-time Rushmore may be easier, considering baseball's left-handed hitters include Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial and Barry Bonds to name but six. And that's not counting pitchers such as Koufax or Spahn or Carlton or Mathewson.

And a shout-out to the Pops 5-at-10, our favorite left-hander.