5-at-10: NCAA loses, steroids are everywhere, fun college hoops and sports' biggest underachievers

5-at-10: NCAA loses, steroids are everywhere, fun college hoops and sports' biggest underachievers

January 30th, 2013 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Gang, we'll have our Super Bowl picks Thursday in an extra-special Fab 4 plus 1 (which is a lot like an extra-special Blossom, only not so much).

From the "Talks too much" studios, we can neither confirm or deny that we've been using Writing Enhancers like coffee and such. Prove it.

College questions

A federal court judge ruled Tuesday that NCAA athletes can continue their suit to go after TV money. Not just money paid for the rebroadcast of games or the money negotiated on licensing fees in video games or jerseys, but the money schools have turned into the lifeblood of big-time college athletics - the multi-comma totals of TV deals that generate billions (yes, billions with a 'b').

If the athletes get to share in the TV money, college sports as we know them will end. Period. The numbers have already been extrapolated and stretched to the point that the big-boy schools already are not willing to share with other institutions that number in the dozens. To share with athletes in men's basketball and football that would total in the tens of thousands - and that's assuming colleges and athletic programs are not forced to back pay the hundreds of thousands of athletes from previous years - could kill the college sports model.

Whether you think college athletes deserve to get paid or not, know this: If they win the right to get paid - especially back-pay to generations of athletes - the schools that are already operating on eight-figure budgets but still having to borrow from the university to break even on annual budgets are going to face serious questions about how they proceed and if they proceed.

This is not to say the SEC will not play football. But how will the UTCs and the Georgia Southerns and even the schools like MTSU and the mid-majors survive this?

Plus, the NCAA will be bankrupted, and while many can attest that it has been morally for years, for the college sports governing body to be on lean finances is not good. Whether you loathe or like the NCAA, it's presence or a presence of a governing body that can at least attempt to police the super powers and create the appearance of level playing fields is a must. And if it's not a body picked by the participating schools, Heaven help us if the government gets involved.

Sweet buckets, our head hurts and it's only 9:15 in the morning. Cue up the Eric Church and get the beer on ice, it's going to be a long one.

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PEDs

What's next? Seriously, what's going to be next? Jennifer Lawrence accepting the Academy Award and getting grilled on performance enhancing drugs?

Ray Lewis was asked about using PEDs at the Super Mess that is Super Bowl Media Day.

Alex Rodriguez is part of a group of players rumored to have used out of a Miami-based clinic.

We clicked over to "The Morning Drive" show on the Golf Channel, and the crew was discussing some article in SI in which Vijay Singh talks about using PEDs.

This is so tiring. Here are the solutions:

A) Allow PEDs.

B) Draw a line in the sand, starting with the beginning of the next season in each sport. If you fail a test - no excuses, no, "I didn't know this cough syrup had Whale Sperm and Super Muscle Maxer," no pass Go, no collect $200 - you are suspended a year. Period. You fail the next test, bye.

To think these guys who make seven- and eight-figure salaries with their bodies do not know what they are putting in their bodies is silly. They know. And they know they can run the risk of getting away with it.

Either we're going to care about PEDs or we're not. Right now it's a tiresome circle of rumors and whispers and which guy used steroids or that guy only used crushed deer antler powder.

We're not sure whether any of those three current, future or potential Hall of Famers above used or didn't use. We're not sure we care anymore either.

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College hoops

Marshall Henderson

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Fun night of college hoops, and like we said Tuesday morning, a big part of that is the energy that Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson brings to the party.

Henderson was off the mark in the Rebels' home loss to Kentucky that reminded us of several things:

• Kentucky is still Kentucky, which means when motivated that is a roster as deep and talented as almost any in college hoops. The Cats' 87-74 win at No. 16 Ole Miss was complete and impressive. Neither team shot the ball particularly well, including Henderson, who was 5-of-19 from the field, which is the type of game in which these Wildcats will always excel.

• Nerlens Noel blocked 12 shots - yes 12 shots, which is a good week for most teams - to set a new UK record. Any time you set a basketball record at UK, you're doing work. Plus, Noel moves into our Rushmore of best high-top fades with Kid from Kid n' Play, Bobby Brown and Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. Dude, Faders gonna fade.

• To cap off the euphoria of Kentucky fans everywhere, super-Cats fan Ashley Judd reportedly is now back on the market after her marriage to Dario Franchetti.

Kentucky's defensive effort was more than enough to derail the fun ride that the Marshall Express has taken SEC basketball on in recent weeks. The boisterous and supremely confident Henderson has drawn praise for his excitement and passion and criticism for his antics. Whatever.

It looks like the Henderson vibe is spreading too. As we discussed on Twitter (@jgreesontfp) last night, did anyone else notice Vandy's Josh Henderson hold his follow-through after making a free throw in the Commodores' 58-57 loss at Tennessee? Yep, it was a the text-book pose with the right wrist cocked.

Heck, Marshall Henderson popping his jersey. Josh Henderson posing on free throws. What's next Florence Henderson telling Alice to taste it after making a mean meatloaf? Ma! MEATLOAF!

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This and that

- Hey, you know the 5-at-10 tries to stay away from the political fray. But if politicians talk sports, it's OK just for a drive-by, right? So President Obama said if he had a son, he isn't sure he would let his son play football. OK. But we're sure he would let his son pay for health care for the others that play.

- Burt Reynolds, who will be 77 in two weeks, is in intensive care from the flu and dehydration. Here's what we know: A) Reynolds is on every short list of the best athletes among actors. Dude played football at FSU. B) There have been a select few who were at the apex of their profession like Reynolds was in late 1970s. C) He also has one of the great "Wow, what would have happened if" decisions in movie history. Reynolds was offered Jack Nicholson's part in Terms of Endearment in the early 1980s. Reynolds turned it down to do Stroker Ace. Nicholson won an Academy Award in the role; Reynolds got to make out with Loni Anderson.

Ridgeland High School's Vonn Bell has the ball.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

- How crazy has the recruiting of Vonn Bell become? On ESPN.com, they peg where they think the top uncommitted prospects will pick next week. They have the word "Alabama" next to Bell's name with the Power T Tennessee logo. Everyone's confused at this point. Side note: We believe it's as close to 50-50 as it's been in a long time, and the fact that Tennessee's even in the mix is a credit to Coach Butch Jones and Co.

- Speaking of doing recruiting work, what Ole Miss is doing is mind-bending. The Rebel Black Bears may finish with a top-five class. Read that again.

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Today's question

In the Super Bowl hype machine that is more sickening by the year - yes someone in a wrestling mask asked Ray Lewis what he would do if an opposing player broke into the Ravens' locker room and passed gas - Randy Moss threw out an interesting statement.

Moss said he believes he's the greatest wide receiver ever to play.

The numbers are overwhelmingly against him of course - Jerry Rice owns so many receiving records that UPS should hire him (That's logisitics) -but Moss is top three in receiving yards and TDs. He also was the first of the big-bodied guys who could also really run.

He's changed the game and you could make an argument that he merits a spot on the all-time team opposite Rice. That's a pretty stout resume.

But here's the question, as good as all that sounds, did Moss underachieve? Seriously, be it from injury or injustice or indifference, considering his physical gifts did he fail to reach his potential since only Moss thinks he's the best wide receiver ever? We think Moss underachieved a little, how about you?

Which brings us to who is your Rushmore of guys that had all-time physical gifts and did not deliver all-time results? (Side note: We do not think Moss is on that list since he is a top-five receiver of all-time.) We'll take David Thompson, Jeff George, Michelle Wie and Ralph Sampson in a quick flip.