Monday, September 27, 2010

NCAA turns a Blind EYE

The NCAA is punishing schools like USC, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and investigating numerous others for "improper benefits" received by athletes. There are rules that must be followed by student athletes and the schools that they attend. The NCAA has recently suspended players, put schools on probation, restricted scholarships, and banned teams from bowl games for violations regarding agents. Schools that are accused of wrong doing are cited for having "lack of institutional control", but the NCAA's definition of "lack of institutional control" baffles me. I think Bryant Gumbel said it best on Real Sports (full article):

"I’m no legal expert, not by a long shot, but I do believe that driving drunk, robbing a convenience store, and hitting your girlfriend are all worse offenses than dealing with an agent.  Most people would agree with that I think, except, it seems, the folks in charge of college football.
How else to explain the fact that the USC Trojans are currently on NCAA probation while the Florida Gators are not, even though Florida’s program has seen 27 different players arrested during the short tenure of Coach Urban Meyer.  That’s right, by NCAA standards, 27 arrests merit not so much as an official reprimand.  But dealing with a prospective agent prematurely, as former Trojan Reggie Bush did, gets your program punished for four years.
"It’s not just about USC.  NCAA investigations are ongoing at the Universities of Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina for the same kind of premature conversation with agents that Bush had.  And it’s not just about Florida.  Players at Pittsburgh, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Southern Mississippi, UCLA and elsewhere have also been arrested this year.  But all of those programs are, by NCAA standards, in full compliance."

I do not think that Universities should be allowed to run freely just because no players are being arrested. I do think it is a BIG problem when you are paying so much attention to a couple hundred dollars here and there when there are much bigger problems. How do u ignore so many players being arrested at one place? If anything is a "lack of institutional control" 27 players arrested is. College kids are not going to be perfect but the NCAA needs to step in and do something effective, not just putting a bandaid on a gash. Some of the fault does fall on the universities shoulders, but the schools have so much money at risk with their programs winning that they cannot always be trusted to do the right thing to insure "institutional control".

College athletes need to make better choices and not do anything they know to be against the rules, or will jeopardize their eligibility and embarrass the program. But the reality is, teenagers with little money and a lot of needs are not always going to and shouldn't be expected to always make good decisions when tempted with money and gifts by agents. Sometimes adults don't even make good decisions when faced with temptation to receive money or "extra benefits" so how can you expect college kids to?  If you want players to stop taking gifts from agents, punish the agents. If agents are heavily punished by the NFLPA for giving student athletes "extra benefits" I guarantee you will see this problem virtually eliminated.

This is not a Florida Gators bash session. I'm just wagging my finger at the NCAA. They sometimes draw a hard line on things that don't seem to be a big deal, but turn around and ignore glaring problems staring them right in the face.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WEEK 3: Winners & Top 5 Fantasy

Two weeks in a row I have been your one stop shop for picks and fantasy football heros. So far my record is 27-5. Very impressive start, but this week will be one of the toughest this season. The Steelers are having QB problems and are playing a young, hot Bucs team. The Dolphins Wildcat does well against the J-E-T-S. The Saints don't have their biggest wildcard to ground the Falcons. The Texans are 2-0 but are they poised enough to take over the state of Texas? Only a student of the game and a person with a keen eye for trends and forecasting the games could see these things happening. Good thing you got me. I wont let u down. If you need fantasy football help earlier in the week hit me up on my twitter.

Titans v Giants- Chris Johnson gets back on track to get to the 2500 yards that he won't get to this season. He should win the rushing title again this year with about 1871 yards. Fantasy owners: Vince Young will finish this game. TITANS

Cowboys v Texans- It's hard to even think about the Cowboys 0-3 after all the preseason hype but this is a make or break game for both teams. The Texans must show they are or real and are ready to take the next step to being an elite team. The Cowboys on the other hand must win if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs. This should be a close one. TEXANS

Steelers v Buccaneers- The Steelers are on major league "Upset Alert" right now. With no Dixon, no Big Ben, 1/2 Leftwich, the Steelers turn to Charlie Batch. Batch is a quality backup, but he gets hurt every time he plays. With an iffy QB situation and a much improved Bucs team at home, this could be the perfect storm. BUCCANEERS

Falcons v Saints- Can the Saints offense find a way to get kick started and win without Reggie "The President" Bush? Yes, only because they are playing at home. SAINTS

Raiders v Cardinals- The Commitment to Excellence is not quite excellent but they will win. Fantasy owners: Jason Campbell will be back, maybe not this game but he will be back and play well. RAIDERS

Jets v Dolphins- The Jets couldn't stop the wildcat last year. What makes you think they will stop it this year? Nothing. DOLPHINS

Monday Night Football

Packers v Bears - This game features two of the leagues best young gun slingers and should prove to be a Big Time shootout. PACKERS


QBs: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick

RBs: Frank Gore, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice

WRs: Randy Moss, Steve Smith (NYG), Santana Moss, Steve Breaston, Terrell Owens

TEs: Heath Miller, Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, Brent Celek

Def: Cincinnati, Baltimore, San Diego, 49ers

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 2: NFL Winners/ Losers

If you followed my Twitter Sunday then you know I gave everyone my picks for the NFL games and fantasy football players to watch. The smart thing to do is check with me every week to make sure you are on top of your game. I took a lot of heat for a few of my picks, but as you should expect, I was right (13-16. That's 81% but who's counting)! People told me I needed to be committed for picking the Colts, Cowboys, Broncos, and Falcons to lose. Arian Foster, Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Hakim Nicks were all starters on my fantasy teams last week. He who laughs last laughs hardest! Enough of my resume, here are my Week 2 picks and fantasy studs:

Ravens vs Bengals- I hate to say it but the Bengals will start the season 0-2. They will rebound later in the season but the Ravens have one of best Defenses and Offenses in the league. RAVENS

Bears vs Cowboys- Dallas will rebound this week. Chicago had trouble scoring against Detroit. Don't expect much better against the Cowboys. COWBOYS

Eagles vs Lions- No Matthew Stafford. No win. The Lions D will be hard pressed to lay a finger on Vick. EAGLES

Dolphins vs Vikings- Expect a big rebound by the Vikings on the back of Adrian Peterson. He may get the 40-50 carries he wants. VIKINGS

Patriots vs Jets- Randy Moss will build a mansion on Revis island and have a BIG game. The Jets offense can't score enough to beat the Pats. PATRIOTS

Giants vs Colts- Colts get back on track and Peyton Manning continues his assault on the NFL record book. COLTS

Other Winners: Falcons, Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders, Texans, Chargers, Packers, Saints, Buccaneers, Steelers (My heart will not allow me to pick against the Ducks, go Dennis Dixon!)

QB: Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Shaub, Drew Brees

RB: Adrian Peterson, DeAngelo Williams, Jamaal Charles, Reggie Bush, Ray Rice

WR: Eddie Royal, Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings, Randy Moss, Brandon Marshall, Miles Austin

TE: Antonio Gates, Jermichael Finley, Vishante Shiancoe, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis

Def: Eagles, Cowboys, Patriots, Raiders, Packers

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Guess Who's Back? #84

The slate is clean. I control my own destiny. It's time to start over and start fresh. This is a new beginning to my football career so I'm taking it back to my roots. I changed my number from 87 to my high school number 84. They say "It's only a number!", but after 6 years of being number 87 I feel attached to it. Email accounts, phone numbers, my signature, nicknames, and everything else has been attached to a number. I have jerseys hanging on the wall, and countless pictures with me rocking the 87. It's only been 3 weeks but I miss it already. Changing numbers is kinda like giving Linus from the Peanuts comic strip a new blanket. It would be hard for him until he found out his new blanket was more comfortable than the old one. That is how I felt. The first day I put the 84 on it felt funny but then I looked in the mirror and thought, "Oh yeah, this 8-4 looks good on me". LOL. All the memories of my high school glory came flooding back and I liked it.

Just the thought of playing for Sylmar High in my navy blue 84 makes me smile. I remember the smell of the fresh cut grass, the band playing, and the Friday Night Lights! Every football player will tell you that high school was the most fun they ever had playing football. I can hear the Sylmar High School fight song in my head as I write. The game was still innocent then and you played solely for the love of the game, dreams of winning a championship, and hopes that your picture would be in the Saturday morning paper. I was dedicated to playing well and earning a scholarship to play in college but that was the least of my concerns. Every Saturday when I woke up, my first move was to check out the sports section of the LA Times and the Daily News. If I didn't make the paper I was HIGHLY upset and next Friday somebody was in trouble!

I'm back in the number I started with and I will make it back where I want to be - in the NFL, and being considered one of the best. When I close my eyes I see my team winning a Super Bowl and me being the first TE Super Bowl MVP. I still dream and visualize being the best. If you don't dream it, you will never achieve it. I love this game, but the innocence of playing football is long behind me. Professional football is a business and not for the faint of heart. Now football is about being the best player I can be, winning a championship, and supporting my family. My passion and love for the game never left, but finally all the fun in football is back. I have been blessed to live my dream of being a professional athlete and I will never take that for granted. I have my 84 back and I'm in love with football all over again!


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