Posted by jstevrtc on June 28th, 2011
- Coaches whose teams participated in the First Four in Dayton last March were repeatedly asked if they felt like they were part of “the real NCAA Tournament.” Our favorite answer came from VCU’s Shaka Smart, who noted that the backdrop behind him in the interview area was bedecked with NCAA logos and there was a big one in the middle of the court. Then his team went out and obliterated any future need for anyone to ask that question. We enjoyed the First Four — not just for the games, but because we also got to meet USC’s Song Girls (thank you, God), say hello to Kyle Whelliston and Bally, and groove with the bands from VCU (“You don’t wanna go to waaaaaar!…”) and Alabama State, the latter of which absolutely brought the house down and should have sold CDs at the door. Dayton has earned the right to keep this event. It belongs there. For the next couple of years, at least, it looks like the NCAA agrees. Don’t start no stuff, won’t be no stuff.
- What would you say to making just a shade over $5.4 million for each of the next eight years? Counting endorsements and incentives, that’s what Kentucky will be direct-depositing, on average, into John Calipari’s bank account from now until 2019 after a little re-working and extending of his contract. The Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Clay points out that, despite the big dollar amounts and talk of seasons in the distant future, all of this isn’t as meaningful as it sounds, since (like most big-time coaches) Calipari can leave any time he wants with little to no penalty. And we agree with Mr. Clay’s assertion that if Calipari leaves for the NBA someday, it will be for one reason and one reason only, and it has nothing to do with money.
- It’s been a tough couple of years for former Oklahoma State head coach Sean Sutton, to say the least, but now he’s officially back into coaching. Sutton has fought a lengthy battle with an addiction to prescription painkillers and was arrested in February of 2010 for attempted possession of controlled substances after leaving a rehab program. His brother Scott, the head coach at Oral Roberts, brought Sean aboard as an unpaid advisor last season, but obviously those volunteering days are over with Sean’s promotion to lead assistant. We hope it’s safe to assume that his ascent at ORU indicates that he’s doing well and staying clean. Glad to hear it.
- This Ed O’Bannon “likenesses lawsuit” still has a little life, yet, though it’s not clear how much. Yesterday, a cease-and-desist letter was sent by O’Bannon’s attorney (who also represents other previous athletes who’ve joined up) to ESPN, CBS, and other major media entities alerting them to the fact that they have no right to use the names, images, or likenesses of former college athletes without asking. Like any threat, a cease-and-desist letter is only as powerful as the punishment that could follow if the recipient doesn’t comply, which in this case is…well, nothing, right now. But if someone with power decides in the future that these guys have a point and the law then changes, O’Bannon’s representatives can now at least say, “Yeah, you were warned.”
- You may have heard that Jeff Goodman is now the FNG over in CBS Sports’ college basketball wing, which means that 1) he’s getting hazed like a freshman pledge by Seth Davis and Gary Parrish, and 2) Parrish got the first pick in the mock draft for 2012 that the two gentlemen posted yesterday. Seniority and all that, you know. Interesting picks and enjoyable comments reside therein, especially for a couple of rabid fanbases whose schools — we’re not going to tell you who they are, but they’re more loaded than Christina Hendricks — produced six of the first ten picks in the thing.