AN IRREVERENT LOOK AT ALL THINGS SAID, CONSIDERED, TWEETED, POSTED, PHOTOGRAPHED, PLAYED AND OTHERWISE GONE AMUCK IN COLLEGE SPORTS
People in power continue to numb my skull. Consider this post-game exchange from Stanford Coach David Shaw after Saturday night's 49-7 win over Oregon. Shaw would not discuss the physical condition of star running back Bryce Love, who sat out most of the second half.
The NFL requires its teams to supply injury reports during the week--probable, questionable, doubtful, out--for a very good reason. It wants to level the field on gamblers making the lines in Las Vegas. This, to me, is a very good policy. College sports remain the most vulnerable to point shaving scandals, in part, because coaches hide behind federal "HIPAA' laws protecting players. Of course, we all know coaches mostly obfuscate to protect themselves. Reporters who ask questions about injured players in college are treated like pariah. The exception to this rule in college is Alabama's Nick Saban, who takes the NFL approach and provides accurate injury updates on his teams. What a concept.
This policy has cost Saban dearly as he has only won four national championships at Alabama since 2008. His stance on injuries is likely to blame for last year's last-second loss to Clemson in the title game, right?
How is it Saban can talk about injuries but Shaw can't? Is he coaching another sport? Does "HIPAA" not apply in Alabama?
Now, if you want to talk rabbits, well, then David Shaw is your man.
One of the highlights of Stanford's win was a jackrabbit getting loose on the field. Here is Shaw's response to that:
It's a good thing the rabbit was eventually captured, and unharmed, on the Oregon sideline. Had it pulled a hamstring, well, Shaw could have refused to provide an injury update citing the Bugs Bunny Privacy Protection Act (BBPPA) of 1996.
Coach on a Stick
Two weeks ago, after a home loss to Troy, many LSU fans wanted to skewer Ed Orgeron. Powerful people in Baton Rouge were even looking into the details of Coach O's outrageous buyout clause. Many concluded Orgeron was over his head and that his team was not well-coached. After Troy, however, LSU has bounced back with wins over Florida and Auburn. Coach O lives to coach another week, specifically this week, when he returns to Mississippi, the site of his first biggest head coaching failure. Orgeron went 10-25 in Oxford before being relieved of duties under the school's "coach-and-release" program.
Orgeron returns this week a puffed up man whose team should bull-rush an Ole Miss program in a state of collapse. Coach O had some fun this week recalling his fondest memories about Oxford.
They weren't about football. Here's the transcript quote via ASAP
It was good to see Orgeron rally late under pressure acknowledge Raising Cane's, the official chicken-finger sponsor of LSU football.
Now that's solid press-conference game management.
If the Shoe Fits...Sue it?
News item: Ex-Louisville hoops Coach Rick Pitino suing shoe company Adidas for emotional distress and damaging his reputation.
Reaction: You know things are bad when Louisville football Coach Bobby Petrino comes off as the most reputable man on campus. The main problem I've had with Pitino is not believing a word he's said in the last 10 years, if not longer. Pitino filed his lawsuit on Tuesday after Louisville officially fired the Hall of Fame coach and Adidas dropped him from the company. Pitino claims the shoe outfit "outrageously conspired" to funnel money to a recruit. And Louisville believed its head coach must have known a teeny-weeny something about that. "That could not be further from the truth." Frankly, I can't think of anybody further from the truth these days than Pitino, who fired back with a "tort of outrage" finding against Adidas claiming his national reputation has been damaged with unfavorable coverage on social media.
Note to Rick: that ship has long since sailed: Pitino's reputation was damaged years ago when he was outed in a saucy, extramarital affair. It was further damaged when news came to light that recruits to his powerhouse programs were receiving sexual favors in a escort operation being run in the players' dormitory. Pitino is a smart man who knows enough about basketball to be elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame while still on active duty. Yet, he knows none of the seedy things happening on his watch?
Pitino claims to have passed a lie-detector but continues to fail the stink test. His denials remind me of one my favorite "Get Smart" episodes in which Maxwell Smart is forced to testify before Congress.
We'll find out more Wednesday night when Pitino sits down with ESPN's Jay Bilas for an exclusive interview. I can't wait to hear Pitino's side of things. You know, all the things he doesn't know. Pitino, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, was personally receiving 98% of the $160 million Adidas was giving to the school to wear its apparel. Or maybe that's a lie, too. If true, though, he'll be able to pay some of his legal fees in his suit against Adidas with money he's received from Adidas.
One other thing that Pitino has in comment with Maxwell Smart? Both were "86."