In College We Trust

By now, many of you have either seen or heard about HBO’s Real Sports report on Auburn’s ‘alleged’ pay for play scandal. While it is ultimately a he-said/she-said type of scenario, it is continuing to shed light on the dirty BIG secret in big-time college sports.

MONEY.

Money makes the college sports-world go round. It has become a big business. Obviously we’re not talking the fencing team here. We’re talking the two juggernauts, football & basketball. It’s more like the one HUGE sport (football) and it’s semi-big little brother (men’s basketball. These two sports, with the multi-million dollar tv packages and merchandising fees, make the NCAA one very profitable enterprise.

Where does that leave the players? They see their images or their jerseys being sold on tv, internet, local and national stores and there is no percentage of the sales given to them. They are the ‘property’, if you will, of the school. The college scholarship is the contract and they do whatever the college tells them to. Or, at least that’s what it appears to be right?

From what I’ve read and heard, the former Auburn players received money and ‘other’ benefits either during recruiting trips or while attending their school of choice. According to NCAA guidelines, these are violations of the rules of conduct for athletes in their respective institutions. Somehow, I don’t think it says in the rules that it’s okay to go to a school if they offer women to you for sex. Prostitution anyone? ((Side note: what those women were thinking is beyond me. But, that’s a story for a different day.))

There are some in the media who are just frankly tired of scandal and negativity in sports. Nothing surprises them anymore. And, quite frankly, they are tired of ‘fans’ who are surprised. Their opinion is that by now, fans should just be used to it. Fans should get over it and realize that things will never be ‘polly-anna-ish’ like when we were kids. ((Side note #2: this particular subject really riles me up so I’m going to quit now. But I will blog about this another day.))

Given how much money is involved in collegiate sports, what is the solution? To be honest, I’m not sure. There are good arguments on both sides of the aisle when it comes to athletes and pay. I do believe more needs to be done. Collegiate sports has changed so much in the last 20-30 years that the arguments against paying athletes, I believe, are no longer valid. This ain’t your daddy’s college sports anymore. College sports is ALL BUSINESS; warts and all. And we still send our kids there. Strange isn’t it.

** So much to think about & say but I’ll end it here for now. More to come later. **

TWITTER FOLLOWER UPDATES

Missouri State account: @CuonzoLMartin 1812 followers

Tennessee account: @CuonzoMartin 3999 followers

Slight increase in both since last night. Not sure why the Missouri State one increases unless they are “confused” Tennessee fans??

Shaka Smart @coachsmartvcu :    5715 followers

Brad Stevens @BUCoachStevens :    10367 followers

A jump of almost 400 for Coach Smart since last night. Only a jump of 130 for Coach Stevens but he still leads in the overall number of followers.

Can’t wait to check the count tomorrow.

CadChica Sports

Basketball Madness/Baseball Sadness

Three days & counting. In just three more days, the Final Four begins. Butler, VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University), Connecticut (UConn) and Kentucky begin their final quest to become the NCAA Men’s champion for 2011.

I am really hoping that the last few games live up to the tournament up to this point. We have had some amazing games, fantastic finishes and of course, in my case, heartbreaking endings (Arizona-UConn: ‘missed it by that much’). While you would expect that we will see great basketball this weekend, the question is, can they be what we want? Nobody knows for sure at this point but, all signs are pointing in that direction. That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t give the Twitter Coaching updates today. So here we go:

Shaka Smart @coachsmartvcu :    5393 followers

Brad Stevens @BUCoachStevens :    10237 followers

(Forgot this one yesterday. Comparing new Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin’s 2 Twitter accounts)

Missouri State account: @CuonzoLMartin 1799 followers

Tennessee account: @CuonzoMartin 3913 followers

I’ll to try keep following this over the next week. It will be interesting to see how much the followers jump after Saturday’s game between Butler & VCU. Will the winner of that game see a huge jump in followers????? We will see.

MY OH MY: The immortal words of legendary Seattle Mariners broadcaster, Dave Niehaus. Those words will never be uttered by him again. As many already know, Dave passed away last year of heart failure.

Being the college basketball fan that I am, I haven’t given much attention to baseball. I thought it was strictly because of basketball. Then I thought it was because baseball is so dog-gone long that you don’t really need to pay attention until the end of May or June right before the all star game; if for no other reasons that to see how far your team is out of it (excluding Yankee & Red Sox fans) or to find the latest rumors of which players on your team the aforementioned teams will be coming after. This year, with the Mariners, maybe by the end of April, we’ll begin to hear the rumors of the vultures circling (who am I kidding, we’ve been hearing it since the end of last season…not that there’s anyone other than Felix Hernandez).

But I read an article on ESPN today that made me realize how sad this baseball season is going to be without Dave’s voice. Musician Duff McKagan, who is from Seattle, really strikes a chord (pardon the pun) with his article about Dave. Speaking for many Mariners fans not only in Seattle but througout the entire Northwest. Dave’s voice was a constant for baseball fans from March-October. Like all great baseball broadcasters, he painted a picture with his voice describing every play to make you feel like you were right there in the ballpark. His was a voice that made you feel like everything was going to be alright. Things were okay as long as you could hear Dave’s voice on the Mariners broadcast. In this chaotic, crazy world we live in, sometimes we need those calm, reassuring voices in our lives to bring peace to the turmoil. Yes, even in baseball.

But this year will be different. No more ‘break out the rye bread & mustard grandma, it’s grand salami time’. No. Things will not be the same. I’m not sure how much I will pay attention this year. I know they still have Rick Rizzs, Dave Sims, Mike Blowers, et al. But they aren’t Dave and they would never try to be. His shoes are too big go fill, his microphone too much an extension of that voice. Mariners games won’t be the same. Then again, it’s like life. Life is never the same from year to year. Why should baseball be any different? 

CadChica Sports 

The Day in Tworts

According to my calendar, Spring has sprung. It is also track season here. Early track season. And early track season means, be prepared for really, crappy weather. Like today for instance.

At 3:30, my oldest son’s track meet began. At approximately 8:45, I arrived home. During that wonderful, lovely 5+ hour time frame, I sat in rain, hail, wind and sun. Thankfully, there was no snow. Being that it’s March in the Inland Northwest however, that would not have surprised me. Praise the Lord it did not!!

Given that I sat outside for 5+ hours without access to my laptop, my Twitter-Time today was somewhat limited. I was able to check it periodically throughout the day but given the elements I was in this afternoon, it just wasn’t happening. Nevertheless, here are some observations on the day in Tworts.

Baseball season is 2 days away. @MLB asked:

“What’s your favorite opening day memory?”

My reply: I don’t have one. By the time the season is done, I forget what happened on opening day.

As the Coaching Carousel Turns continues from @goodmanonfox

 Louisiana Tech hired Ole Miss assistant Mike White today, sources told FOXSports.com. White is son of Duke AD Kevin White.

and this:

Memphis coach Josh Pastner has inked a new five-year deal to stay with the Tigers. Sources told FOXSports.com Oklahoma never called him.

But my favorite tweet today came from @garyparrish

Can’t wait to see who breaks the Painter news today on Twitter. My guess: A radio station in New Mexico

 As of this posting, we are still waiting. Should hear more tomorrow if Matt Painter from Purdue is going to take the Missouri job.

Lots more went on today that at 10:30 at night I don’t have time to comment or get into. Suffice to say John Junker, the Fiesta Bowl and Evan Longoria’s stolen AK-47 were in there somewhere. However, keeping with the theme from yesterday’s posting, here are some numbers from today. Tracking on Twitter at 7am & comparing to tonight at 10:30 pm PST.  

Coach Brad Stevens from Butler: This morning , he had 9851 followers. Tonight he has 10,089.

Coach Shaka Smart from VCU: This morning, he had 4282 followers. Tonight he has 4716.

 Interesing stuff to say the least. Twitter is continuing to change the sports landscape. Not only in terms of media but the “all access” ability of sports figures and fans, recruiting, etc. Knowledge is power. And Twitter is leading the way.

CadChica Sports

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Post Madness Tworts

So the Final 4 has been set. Alas, it was a sad time for me this weekend. My Arizona Wildcats did not win their Elite 8 matchup with UConn  losing 65-63. A last second three-pointer by senior Jamel Horne hit the rim but it wasn’t to be (read more here). With a full day to recover from the loss, The Arizona Daily Star offers some perspective to Arizona’s season here.

So we have until Saturday to talk about the games that were and the games to come. And of course, we will also talk about what seems like a never-ending soap opera of As the Coaching Carousel Turns. It’s become an annual ritual. I know it’s not just in the NCAA men’s basketball programs but in all sports, NFL, NBA, MLB, you name it. It happens. But here is my Tworts tidbit for today:

The University of Tennesse hired Cuonzo Martin as their new basketball coach to replace Bruce Pearl. Cuonzo Martin sent his first tweet out today as Tennessee coach @CuonzoMartin. One tweet is all he has done but here are his stats so far:

1 Tweet     72 Following    3596 Followers    34 Listed

Compare that to his previous account as head coach at Missouri State @CuonzoLMartin  and here is what you come up with:

 159 Tweets    14 Following    1713 Followers    88 Listed

I’m no math genius here but in the span of a few hours he has doubled the amount of followers he had by leaving Missouri State (Missouri Valley Conference) and going to Tennessee (Southeastern Conference). Yes, it’s because he moved to a bigger conference but still, that’s just within a 5 hour time frame. His first tweet today under @CuonzoMartin was only 5 hours ago. I’m not sure when he created this new account but chances are, it was just today. Those SEC fans can be rabid about their sports, even if it’s not football. No, he’s no Charlie Sheen in the Twitter Universe but who is?

Correction: make that 3597 followers. I just decided to follow him.

CadChica Sports

Hello world!

TWORTS

There is a hidden world out there. Okay, maybe not so hidden but I see a world that is growing exponentially. What is this world? It’s  Twitter and it is a gold-mine in the world of sports media.

Sports blogs are a dime a dozen these days. If you go to ESPN or FoxSports or any other number of sports websites, there are blogs everywhere. Even your local news stations probably have a sports section with sports anchor blogs. Twitter has become an instant blog for the sports media. Depending on WHO you follow, you can get instant updates and insight from national sports media on the Superbowl or your local college sports journalist regarding March Madness. Yes, you can read what they have to say on their “blog” or hear them on the television but in the “instant” gratification society we live in, Twitter is like our microwave sports fix.

I am on Twitter every day. It is like my caffeine. I follow about 500 people (so far), not all of them sports mind you but they are predominantly sports. Ranging from @douggottliebshow & @notthefakesvp from ESPN to @TLKREM2 & @700espn from here in Spokane, I can get so many different viewpoints on the same thing. Not only can you get insight but up to the minute scores. Can’t be there for the game? Check Twitter. Doing a honey do list this weekend? Check Twitter. Twitter is the be all end all for sports fanatics like me. Oh wait, I’m just a fan.

Or maybe I’m a  Twort-a-holic? A Tworts Reporter?? I just made up a whole bunch of new words.  I like “Tworts”.

And so that begins my sports blogging life. Twitter-style. Or should I say “Tworts”-style.

CadChicaSports

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