Posted by nvr1983 on July 19th, 2013
- There were a couple of significant moves in the Ed O’Bannon case over the past two days. The bigger move was the announcement of the six players (all football) who were added as plaintiffs in the case. We obviously do not follow football as closely as we follow basketball, but none of the names jump out at us so we are not sure how much traction this will get with the general public. Still it is a significant move and we hope that the NCAA will treat the players fairly and not target them for investigations into their eligibility. The other move in the case was the NCAA’s decision to cut ties with EA Sports has sparked a lot of debate about how the NCAA is using this to position itself against additional lawsuits if it should lose the Ed O’Bannon case. The decision means that NCAA Football 2014 will be the last game for the time being that will feature the NCAA’s logo and name. It does not mean that EA Sports games will not feature select schools as many schools work with Collegiate Licensing Company, a separate entity that manages the trademarks of the schools. What that means is that you may not notice a significant difference in the game aside from the name and the absence of the NCAA’s logo as Collegiate Licensing Company still can license out the names/logos of schools as well as the likenesses of the various players for those schools.
- If Auburn fans expected their program to start to turn around with the improved recruiting they have experienced under Tony Barbee they may have to wait as one of the keys in utilizing those recruits is keeping them around. Yesterday, the school announced that it had kicked Shaq Johnson off the team after he was arrested for marijuana possession. Johnson’s departure means that the school has lost both of its top incoming freshman from last season as Jordan Price announced his decision to transfer back in April. While Johnson’s production last season (5.3 points and 3 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game) might not seem like much, but Auburn fans could have expected those numbers to continue to climb over the next three seasons and for a team that has been stuck at the bottom of the SEC recently the loss is certainly not insignificant. We know that basketball is a distant second (or third depending on whether you count spring football as a separate sport), but we wonder how long Tony Barbee can endure more losing seasons at the school and keep his job.
- The World University Games may have ended with a disappointment for Doug McDermott as the team finished ninth, but that will not be his last national team experience for the summer as McDermott was invited to the US National Team Mini-Camp. McDermott joins Marcus Smart as the only college player at the mini-camp and will be part of a group of 30 players, who might not be our “A” team (no LeBron, Wade, etc), but does feature several prominent players including Kyrie Irving. McDermott will also get a chance to show his skills against several solid NBA players. The mini-camp will be closed to the general public, but we will be interested to hear about how McDermott and Smart perform and how it translates into their performance next season.
- It must be nice living in a world where you can get a $50,000 raise, but is just a few percentage point increase in your salary. Such is the case of Cuonzo Martin, who received a $50,000 raise bringing his annual compensation to $1.35 million (a little over a 3.8% raise). Martin took over the Tennessee program in the wake of Bruce Pearl’s firing amid NCAA violations so his two trips to the NIT in two years should not be seen as a total disaster, but we still have a hard time trying to figure out why he needed a pay raise based on his performance so far. The Volunteers are expected to be near the top of the SEC so perhaps Martin can prove that he is worth the extra money this season.
- A little over two years ago we discussed a medical study analyzing sudden cardiac death in Division I athletes. The vast majority of sports fans are only aware of a few very public cases like that of Hank Gathers, but we are sure many of you can remember other cases of players of varying ability dying suddenly during practices or games. That is part of what makes the story of Silas Green so remarkable. Green was at an AAU tournament when he collapsed necessitating the staff there to use a defibrillator to return Green’s heart to a normal rhythm. We do not have many details outside of what Green’s father has released–cardiac tests were negative and that it was believed to be due to hypokalemia–but the take home point (outside of Green’s life being saved) is the advances in preparation by the staff given the surprisingly high rate of sudden cardiac death in basketball players.