Cheating

Why Does Larry Brown Still Have a Coaching Job?

Larry Brown has a problem.

In order for him to succeed in the ranks of college basketball, he has to look the other way while the people working for him cheat. And that's just how it is for him and for way too many coaches. They have to cheat in order to keep marginally educated young men academically eligible to play. This has been going on since college basketball became competitive and it will continue well into the future because that's the nature of this phony arrangement between big time programs and athletically gifted young men who have no interest in school.

Is Larry Brown any worse than any of the other coaches who have left programs in disarray? No, but he's had a great deal of success and he's a big name. If you were to purge college basketball of Brown, you'd have to throw out two or three dozen other coaches before you even started to get to the bottom of the cheating.

So start there. Throw Brown out and then go after everyone else and clean house. No? Well, then we're done here, aren't we?

Bad Management and Jim Boeheim


Nobody is calling Jim Boeheim a crook or anything like that. He's a terrible manager of people in terms of maintaining ethical standards in an academic environment. He has operated like an absentee landlord, according to the NCAA, and at the level of big time college basketball, that's almost like being a crook, but not really.

Boeheim has plausible deniability--everyone who did things that were unethical in order to provide him the players that he needed to win did so under his relaxed management style. This means that he can threaten an appeal and stay where he's at and accountability will fall on others. That's a great scam if you can pull it off.

Bud Selig Has a Terrible Legacy


If you're a billionaire who owns a baseball team, everything you will read below is absolutely true:
Bud Selig is the greatest commissioner in baseball’s history. I and some others first claimed that about a year ago, and I see no reason to change that assessment. The executive summary of the Case for Bud, keeping in mind that his job has been to serve baseball as a sport and the owners as a favored constituency, not to make the general citizenry happy:
  • Since the 1994-95 strike, he has reigned over two decades of labor peace, with multiple collective bargaining agreements being ratified without a work stoppage;
  • Baseball’s attendance has skyrocketed, with teams averaging over 2.5 million tickets sold a year, whereas when he took over half the teams didn’t even draw two million;
  • Tremendous revenue growth. Baseball is now a nearly $10 billion a year industry. Revenues were just over a billion a year when he took over. More significantly to the owners, the value of franchises — the appreciation of which is how these guys make serious money — have gone through the roof;
  • A near complete turnover of the ballpark inventory in the game. With a couple of exceptions, every team that has wanted a new ballpark has gotten one and damn few of them have had to pay for most or, in a lot of cases, any of these palaces;
  • The successful adoption and exploitation of online media and online platforms which is unmatched in professional sports. Indeed, MLB Advanced Media serves as the digital platform for many other sports and entertainment outlets;
  • Innovations like the wild card, interleague play and expanded playoffs which, while distressing to baseball purists, have helped drive those revenue and ticket sales increases and — maybe more significantly — shook baseball out of the mindset that nothing can be changed in the game without an act of God and the ghost of Honus Wagner appearing to 18 of the 30 owners in a vision on the top of a mountain; and
  • The taming — relatively speaking — of the performance enhancing drug scourge that peaked in baseball in the 1990s and early 2000s.
If you are a fan of baseball, congratulations for surviving the Bud Selig era. The game has abandoned many fans, especially anyone who considers themselves an actual fan of how the game was intended to be played.

Miami Marlins fans still don't show up to watch their team play. That's an accomplishment?

The game has robbed the public blind. The building of publicly-funded ballparks all over the country has come at the expense of local governments. They now have less money for education and infrastructure. Congratulations, baseball owners. You have looted the public treasury in order to make your franchise more valuable. Threats of contraction were concocted in order to throw up monuments to folly. No one who thinks rationally could conclude that having a city build your ballpark for you so you can watch the value of your franchise balloon up is an achievement. You didn't build that has never been more apt.

Instant replay? Really? That's an "achievement?" That's a cop-out.

Bud Selig has managed to move the Milwaukee Brewers from the American League to the National League while moving the Houston Astros into the American League. The fact that Selig used to own the Brewers is irrelevant--baseball has been improved by these shenanigans, don't you see?

And steroids are consigned to the history of the game. You can see that in the fact that nobody hits that many home runs anymore. All that has been confirmed is this fact--cheating was far more rampant than previously understood. Congrats, baseball. Your record book should come with asterisks on the front.

Baseball is now a game played in front of white middle-class Americans by Hispanic players. You have to be fairly wealthy to see more than a few games in one season. And the diversity of the game has been all but eliminated.

Hail Bud.

Deflated Balls in New England


Oh, come on:
WTHR's Bob Kravitz is reporting the NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots illegally deflated footballs during the team's AFC Championship game against the Colts Sunday night.
Enough about the sanctity of the sport. If the NFL can't run a game where the game balls are under some sort of fair and neutral control, of course the home team is going to deflate the balls and get some sort of advantage.

The NCAA Quietly Forgets What Happened At Penn State


There is absolutely no reason to "restore" 112 wins for the Penn State Football Program, other than to prove that all that matters is winning in college sports and not, ahem, all of the sexual abuse carried out against children.

Someone somewhere must really hate Bobby Bowden. They took away twelve of his games because an academically ineligible player played in those games. They took away 112 of Joe Pa's wins because he tolerated the sexual abuse of children in his facilities by not wanting to know about that sex stuff or whatever.

The NCAA knows what's worse, and shut up, that's why.

Penn State's football program is synonymous with blind allegiance, willful disregard of the law, and Jerry Sandusky having his way with young boys in the shower. Why would the NCAA make a move like this? Oh, money, you say?

Well, that's exactly it. Penn State is betting that, with the restored wins and the scholarships it can now offer prospective players a chance to play for a school that allowed the old ball coach to dictate to everyone how things were going to be and who was going to get away with sexually abusing minors. Joe Pa has that much power, even after his death? Really?

I would think that we would have waited at least a generation before trying to cover up what happened and forget all of that child sexual abuse carried out on Penn State property by a Penn State employee. I guess not.

Don't Forget About Ol' Roy


Of course they're firing all the crooks and the dishonest people...
UNC has dismissed an academic counselor and is attempting to fire a professor involved in the school's academic fraud scandal, in which athletes and other students were able to take fake classes with the knowledge of faculty members. The school has also accepted the resignation of another faculty member, according to the Associated Press.
School Chancellor Carol Folt said that efforts to terminate philosophy professor Jeanette Boxill began Oct. 22, the same day that former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein released his report into the scandal.
"[Boxill was named] in light of the extraordinary circumstances underlying the longstanding and intolerable academic irregularities described in the Wainstein Report, as well as her role as the chair of the faculty council during a period of time covered by the report," said Folt.
You have to hand it to the University of North Carolina. Instead of firing the athletic director or Roy Williams or anybody responsible for telling the athletes to go take fake classes and fake tests, they're going to fire the academic faculty and hope the NCAA doesn't dig any deeper.

Because, well, you know:
Wainstein's report found that the fake classes, offered from 1993 to 2011, enabled 3,100 athletes and other UNC students to earn artificially high grades. The classes were limited to the African studies department, but the report revealed that multiple individuals at UNC were aware of them and did nothing to stop the offerings.
I sure hope some of those "multiple individuals" are held accountable for their actions, but I'm not holding my breath.