Morning Five: 10.07.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on October 7th, 2010
- Has anyone else noticed that the little countdown clock above is down to seven days and change until Midnight Madness hits? Yeah, thought so. One of the problems with MM (inasmuch as there can be a problem with something so completely awesome) is that many of the events around the country have become, well, rather boring. The Maryland blog Testudo Times took the Terps’ 2009 version to task for lacking any forethought or originality whatsoever, and have offered a list of improvements that many other schools should also consider utilizing next week. The best idea we know of, though, isn’t on there — which is to lose all the 7 pm “family-friendly” start times in favor of actually holding the events at 12:00 midnight. Back in the mid-90s, ESPN would start with several eastern schools at the witching hour and move west hour-by-hour showing highlights from each event across the country, much as the news channels do on New Year’s Eve. It was fantastic, especially if you attended one of the early ones then got to go home and watch the rest. The crowds were raucous and it was compelling viewing for every college basketball fan across the nation. Nowadays… less so (but still awesome).
- In an effort to consistently apply game rules across the 32 different conferences and 347 teams in college basketball, the NCAA has established an LLC to put all of the officials under one platform. The mission of the new corporation will be “to increase the pool of officials; standardize messaging; more consistently apply playing rules, points of emphasis and mechanics; and remove “entry barriers” to those who are interested in becoming basketball officials.” Hey, if it means that a Big Ten slugfest is called the same way as a Pac-10 roadrace, we’re all for it.
- Get ‘er Dunn? On Tuesday news broke that Baylor star LaceDarius Dunn had been indefinitely suspended due to a domestic violence incident in August involving his girlfriend for which he was also arrested by Waco police. Yesterday, said girlfriend Lacharlesla Edwards went on the record stating that what occurred (a punch) was actually an accident and that she has no interest in pressing charges or cooperating with police on the matter. The local DA will still have the discretion to pursue the charges if he thinks he has the evidence to do so — it’s simply tough luck for Dunn that he doesn’t live in Ingham County, Michigan.
- Speaking of our favorite District Attorney in the Wolverine State, the Michigan Messenger continues to come correct with its cage-rattling about sexual assault allegations involving two players on the Michigan State basketball team. After last week’s police report was released by the paper, the DA publicly provided transcripts of interviews with one of the alleged assailants and the victim to justify its decision to not bring charges against the two. The Messenger responded by showing the documents to three experts in the field of criminal law — “a former Ingham County prosecutor, a defense attorney and a nationally recognized expert in sexual assault investigation and prosecution.” Interestingly, the prosecutor said he would hesitate to bring the case, while the other two experts had trouble understanding why, at a minimum, further investigation would not be warranted. Great stuff.
- Amen and pass the ammo we say in response to Gary Parrish’s article yesterday that explains just how tired he is of all the offseason negativity that goes on in the game today. We don’t really believe that there’s any more bad behavior than there ever was, but it seems as if two things have happened in recent years to make it seem worse. First, the media has changed, for better or worse. Through no small part of people and sites like us here at RTC, there’s always another story or angle to dig up and talk about — trust us, we know, as this very feature thrives and depends on that very precept. That endless chase for stories forces everyone, including the so-called mainstream media of which Parrish is a part, to up their games and talk about the next piece of news, no matter how relatively trivial (social networking makes this even more real-time in nature). Second, the NCAA has gotten more serious about enforcement, and that means that high school players are increasingly being scrutinized for their associations with agents and other unsavories both before and after their enrollment as a freshman player; and, schools are finding that they need to run a much tighter ship because the days of only a few NCAA gumshoes covering the entire nation are gone. Ten years ago a story like LaceDarius Dunn’s probably wouldn’t have gotten much run outside of Texas and the various Big 12 outlets; nowadays it’s a major story on every national site covering college basketball. The landscape has most definitely changed.