Robert Refsnyder crossed the plate with the winning run, and a half-inning later the 2011-12 college sports season came to an end. (Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE)
But PAWWWWWL, Arizona Ain't in the ESS EEE CEE: After a 5-1 win in the first game, a dramatic game two took place between Arizona and South Carolina in the College World Series championship series. Tied at 1 heading into the ninth inning, Arizona's seemingly-unstoppable bats finally found their groove, striking for a three-run ninth to capture the NCAA baseball championship. The win ended the Gamecocks' two-year reign atop the sport, and broke a three-year run of SEC champions as well (LSU won in 2009).
Hey, Why Don't We Trivialize It?: Before the ink even dried on the documents consigning Jerry Sandusky to his righteous fate, the rumblings started: "So, what's the NCAA going to do to Penn State now?" Let's get this one straight right now: NOTHING.
Let's set aside the fact that while Baylor was indeed completely reamed in the wake of the Patrick Dennehy murder, Baylor's punishment had nothing to do WITH the murder, but rather the fact thatwas paying walk-on tuitions. Let's set aside the fact that Sandusky's crimes had nothing whatsoever to do with the things the NCAA is in place to enforce. Let's set aside the fact that all of this would be beyond the NCAA's statute of limitations anyway, except perhaps the continuing cover-up of Sandusky's misdeeds.
Set it all aside, because none of it matters; what's really important here is that anyone whose reaction to this is to start trying to punish a football program which is itself 14 years removed from direct involvement in any of the crimes has a serious problem with their life priorities. This isn't about sports; it's about a sicko whose life work happened to be in sports. Demanding NCAA punishment of Penn State, to paraphrase and expand upon something Spencer Hall said several months ago, is like demanding that your homeowner's association initiate eviction proceedings against the Smiths because their son committed a triple homicide. It's taking a tragedy of epic proportion and using it to tear down a school to elevate your own in comparison, ultimately.
Let Us Educate Our Young Men, and Hold Hands Too: Ivan Maisel reports on some letters which have been unearthed at the Paul W. Bryant Museum regarding the 40-year gap when Alabama didn't play Auburn. Really, there are two choice quotes from these letters. The first one is a comment about how they should try and avoid having the Alabama-Auburn game be the focal event of the entire year. And then there's this absolutely hilarious bit:
"In the interest of fairness and good sportsmanship, it would seem highly desirable to cherish the growing spirit of good will on the part of Auburn for the University, and on the part of the University for Auburn in the hope that all friends of both institutions will desire each to win every game it plays and that the student-bodies may invariably ‘pull’ for each other."
Yeah. Alabama and Auburn cheering one another on. May as well put my cat in my macaw's cage and expect them to snuggle.
Diablerie: John Infante talks about some changes the NCAA will have to make to legislatively authorize the upcoming playoff -- changes which may result in the possibility of an NIT-style "playoff" alongside the "real" one. ... HarperCollins is releasing two books by Eric LeGrand -- an adult and a young reader's version of his memoir. You're going to buy both, aren't you? ... I hate this, because a certain "sports business" reporter broke it, but Anthony Davis has filed paperwork to trademark his unibrow. ... Mizzou will be expanding Memorial Stadium, because 70K just won't cut it in the ESS EEE CEE. (All this while the university is facing protests over budget cuts elsewhere...) ...