5 at 10: Terrelle Pryor, Tiger Woods and LeBron James vanishing act

5 at 10: Terrelle Pryor, Tiger Woods and LeBron James vanishing act

June 8th, 2011 by Jay Greeson in Sports

Holy Enough Sports News to fill a week's worth of newspapers, that was a crazy Tuesday. We talked about it being a slow sports time, well, maybe we meant next week.

Here's how busy it is: the Braves get two hits, win 1-0 because Tommy Hanson has good stuff and a lot of guts and pull within 3 of the Phillies, and they're in the "This and That."

From the 7-UP Stinks Studios, here we go...

University of Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, right, announces his resignation along side Chancellor Jimmy Cheek Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at Neyland Stadium. His departure comes in the wake of an NCAA investigation into alleged wrongdoing by UT athletics. Hamilton, who succeeded Doug Dickey as men's athletic director on July 1, 2003, will receive a $1.335 million buyout over the next 36 months.

Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Times Free Press.

Hamilton's out

What to make of Mike Hamilton's resignation Tuesday? That Hamilton is on the way out is not surprising; the timing -- the week of UT's trip to NCAA court -- is curious at best.

We had wall-to-wall coverage in today's TFP, and our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer has a good look at who might be some of UT's targets to replace Hamilton.

At this point it seems appropriate to look back on the last three years of UT sports.

Wow, it was a crazy ride no doubt, but what were the highlights?

In fact, the biggest moments -- the basketball team coming within a basket of the Final Four and the improbable losses at Alabama and LSU -- were near-misses. And that may be the best way to describe Hamilton's tenure -- a near-miss.

He raised a lot of money, he made two hires that looked to be home runs but became hold-your-breath-because-anything-is-possible lightening rods and other than a couple of minor sports (especially tennis), the product of the field and courts in Knoxville have either taken a step back or stagnated.

A near-miss sounds about right.

So it goes.

Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) and Dwyane Wade (3) walk off the court after Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday, June 7, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks won the game 86-83 to tie the series at 2-2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

LeBron is absent

Wow, how bad did the 5-at-10 miss on expecting LeBron James to be in "Terminator" mode? James took 11 shots -- and just one field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter -- and scored eight, Eight, EIGHT points.

Hey, the 5-at-10 has been in LeBron James' corner from the start, but he looked passively disinterested in last night's 86-83 loss to Dallas. And that's inexcusable.

This was not a game that Miami needed LeBron to carry them; if James makes two or three plays the Heat would be up 3-1 this morning.

Without overstating it, Game 5 will be huge for each team and could be the game that forever shapes LeBron's legacy.

Sidenote: James did not touch the ball on almost half of Miami's 20 fourth-quarter possessions. That's mind-numbing. Wow.

Sidenote, part II: Pick any upper-level star of the last 20-or-so years, and would any of them be that invisible in a game of this magnitude? Hard to figure, indeed.

In this Sept. 25, 2010 file photo, Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor, left, and coach Jim Tressel talk during a time out against Eastern Michigan in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

Pryor is gone

Terrelle Pryor has said he will not return to Columbus. Wow, that surprises exactly no one.

Plus, ESPN's Outside the Lines reported Tuesday that a former friend of Pryor said the former Ohio State quarterback was paid between $20,000 and $40,000 by a Columbus businessman for signing stuff.

Couple or three quick things here:

-- There will never be another SMU-level "death penalty" handed down by the NCAA. The TV money is too great to close the doors of a program. That said, THE Ohio State University appears to mired in a lot of controversy.

-- Pryor was an all-world recruit and the top-ranked senior in the country. He eventually picked Ohio State a long while after signing day -- not unlike Bryce Brown did with the Vols. New 5-at-10 theory: Be very careful with high school recruits that extend the recruiting period into weeks after signing day.

-- Pryor does not have much of a chance at being an NFL quarterback -- his skills and throwing motion are nowhere near NFL-ready. He is athletic enough to possibly make a team as a receiver/tight end, but that's no certainty. Who here believes there is more than a little trouble on the horizon for Pryor? Here's hoping that Pryor put a big chunk of those illicit funds into savings or gets to keep some of those cars. We're not sayin' anything, we're just sayin.'

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2010 file photo, Tiger Woods views a video of his tee shot, made by his swing coach Sean Foley, on the sixth tee during the Pro-Am round of the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Foley says he has skin as thick as an alligator, which comes in handy for any swing coach going to work for Woods. Seven months into the process, opinions range from Woods making progress to having the worst swing in golf. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Tiger is on the shelf

Tiger Woods was one of those guys that transcended sports and garnered attention from those that may not have known the difference between birdies and bridesmaids.

Now, after pulling out of the U.S. Open, Woods has yet again left us longing for the not-so-distant memories of every major golf tournament winner having to answer for Tiger.

Oh, it was not that long ago that the question about every major was, "who you got, Tiger or the field?" Now, sadly, the only choice we have is the field.

Three years ago Woods won the Open, playing 90 holes on a shredded knee, and that memory continues to haunt us.

Woods is still battling the effects of those injuries, and we have to wonder if that will be the last great memory of a former great. So it goes.

Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) breaks his bat as he bats in the eighth inning of baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Atlanta. The Braves won 4-3. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

This and that

-- We mentioned the Braves earlier, but here are two more stats for you: Uggla went hitless again last night, and he's down below .170; the Braves are now 23-7 when scoring first.

-- The NFL owners and players held another secret meeting Tuesday. Something tells the 5-at-10 that each side is starting to feel the pressure, and the calendar is starting dwindle.

-- Did you see that hit in the Stanley Cup final (no 's' mind you) that cost each guy the rest of the series? Big-time collision.

-- Couple of house-keeping notes: First, we need a couple more questions, because we're going to split the mailbag into two parts this week. Second, the 5-at-10 is headed to Florida next week.