Keeping Cinderella from Balling

Sixty-eight teams from 32 college basketball conferences were invited to the “Big Dance” (the NCAA College Basketball Tournament) this past March. In spite of Covid-19, it was a typical “March Madness”, with a big part of the madness being the lopsided tallies of teams representing each conference.

Leading all conferences in number of participants was the Big Ten with nine teams in the tourney. The Big 12 and ACC were next with seven, followed by the SEC with six, the Pac-12 with 5 and the Big East with 4. More than half of the tourney teams (38) were from these six conferences. The remaining 26 conferences had a meager 30 teams in the tourney — a measly 1.15 teams per conference.

Let me repeat that fact: Six conferences fielded 38 teams (50% of their 76 teams) in the tourney. The remaining 26 conferences sent 30 teams (11% of their 276 teams) to the Big Dance. Figuratively speaking, there is a wicked stepmother working hard to keep Cinderella from balling.

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A Perennial Perversion of Fair Play

Controversy characterized last week’s NCAA track championships. A large contingent of athletes, administrators and fans were outraged by rules imposed on the participating teams by the NCAA’s College Track Championship committee. Athletes from half of the participating conferences were given sizable and insurmountable head starts in each and every event, guaranteeing top finishes and coveted championship hardware for the favored conferences.

Preposterous, isn’t it? Fake news, for sure. No one would stand for it. Yet a similar scenario unfolds each and every Division 1 (“FBS”) college football season with the so-called “College Football Playoff.”

Truly preposterous is the fact that it all happens with the blessing of the NCAA, which is ostensibly “committed to providing a fair, inclusive and fulfilling environment for student-athletes and fans.”

Here’s how the scheme works:

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How a curmudgeonly old reporter exposed the FIFA scandal that toppled Sepp Blatter

Below I’ve excerpted and linked to a fantastic article about Andrew Jennings, the investigative reporter that exposed the rampant corruption in FIFA.

It is an absolute crying shame that the vast majority of reporters are NOT like Jennings. Instead, most are unethical, cowardly suck-up shills for the rich and powerful. They won’t hold the politicians, celebrities or tycoons accountable because they are afraid they’ll lose access to them, or that they’ll burn a bridge to a possible next job.

Excerpted from an article by Micheal E. Miller, published June 3, 2015 in The Washington Post
Jennings is an advocate of slow, methodical journalism. For half a century, the 71-year-old investigative reporter has been digging into complex, time-consuming stories about organized crime. In the 1980s, it was bad cops, the Thai heroin trade and the Italian mob. In the ’90s, he turned to sports, exposing corruption with the International Olympic Committee.

For the past 15 years, Jennings has focused on the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), international soccer’s governing body. As other journalists were ball watching — reporting scorelines or writing player profiles — Jennings was digging into the dirty deals underpinning the world’s most popular game….

Now, after decades of threats, suspicions about tapped phones and intermittent paychecks, Jennings is being vindicated with every twist and turn in the FIFA scandal….

“I’m a document hound. If I’ve got your documents, I know all about you,” [Jennings] said. “This journalism business is easy, you know. You just find some disgraceful, disgustingly corrupt people and you work on it! You have to. That’s what we do. The rest of the media gets far too cozy with them. It’s wrong. Your mother told you what was wrong. You know what’s wrong. Our job is to investigate, acquire evidence.”….

Read more at The Washington Post

What Silver Should Do About Sterling

Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was allegedly recorded making racist comments during a private conversation with his “girlfriend”. Now, just about everybody is calling for Sterling’s head, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is under tremendous pressure to severely punish Sterling. What should Silver do to Sterling?

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Money Money Manziel

Johnny Manziel played brilliantly in the second half of Texas A&M’s opener against Rice. He is a very talented football player.

But he shouldn’t have been out there.

The NCAA investigated Manziel’s autograph signing, supposedly found no evidence of Manziel taking money for signing autographs, and barely slapped him on the wrist with a 1/2 game suspension for failing to prevent others from making money from his likeness.

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Honesty is the Best Policy

Lately America has been inundated with lies and liars. Not that lying is a recent or an American phenomenon. Lies have been corrupting mankind since the father of all lies deceived Eve. But it almost seems like lies and deception now are the rule, not the exception. At least when it comes to public figures, politicians and star athletes.

Lance Armstrong. Tiger Woods. Al Gore. Barack Obama. Michael Moore. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. NY Representative Anthony Weiner. Bill Clinton. And the most recent public figure caught lying: Notre Dame football star Manti T’eo.

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