The University of Miami confirmed this morning that a note scratched out on a newspaper in which Donald Trump recently scolded UM President Donna Shalala for not hiring Mike Leach as the school’s football coach in 2007 is authentic.
“In a letter sent this week to UM President Donna Shalala, Trump refers to Texas Tech’s upset victory of No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday and reminds Shalala that he strongly recommended that (Mike) Leach be given the Hurricanes’ job.”
Trump wrote in the letter, “You are my friend, but you should have listened to me. If you did, your team would be fighting for the National Championship.”
Shalala’s response: “I got the letter and I laughed.”
Leach was eventually granted an interview for the job at that time but was passed over. Shalala, along with Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee instead went with Shannon. Current school AD Kirby Hocutt is heading up the search for a coach this time around, with input from Shalala.
The PALM BEACH POST reported today that Leach, who was fired by Texas Tech in 2009, is once again interested in the job.
“It’s a great job and I think it would be a great fit,” Leach said. “We’d have an exciting brand of football. We’ll fill the seats and we’ll win games and we’ll win ACC championships.”
In the past 24 hours, it has been widely reported that Jon Gruden has met with Hocutt about taking the job.
A talent agency source with knowledge of the Miami search and Gruden’s situation told me today that Gruden will likely not take the Miami job, though his next job will be as a college - not NFL - coach. Read more…
This week on a very special What You Won’t Watch, Fitness dominatrix Denise Austin — who has become a regular here — convinces you to stretch in ways you never thought possible. Also, horribly putrid college football, constructing a Donald Trump combover, and “CBS Early Show” hosts annoy the nine-year-old kid who made that amazing hockey goal. Read more…
Yesterday, AdamJ mentioned that Vegas is bracing for the effect swine flu could have on college football betting lines this year, with casinos planning to hold out on releasing lines for as long as possible to make sure teams aren’t affected. Adam also rightly points out that a swine flu outbreak in and of itself isn’t any different than a bout with food poisoning or any other bug that might be going around on a team. But those types of ailments are usually few and far between. The difference with the swine flu is that it’s not really a matter of “if” it’s going to happen to your team, but “when.” And that should be unsettling to any fan whose team is a national title contender this year.
(Anyone picking Arkansas in the SEC West this year?)
In an odd way, you might say that these two teams are among those with an advantage over their competition this year. Teams that get it out of the way now aren’t going to have to deal with it later in the season, when the stakes are higher and tired, weary bodies may react more negatively to the virus itself. With the amount of, um, interpersonal contact involved in a college football game, it seems likely that H1N1 will make the rounds throughout the sport this year. And a poorly-timed outbreak could leave a team significantly weakened on a game day.
(Good luck getting girls to make out with you at parties this year, college dudes)
Plus, schools and the NCAA I assume will have to work together to come up with some sort of protocol for using players who are suspected or confirmed to have the virus. If they feel up to it, will they be allowed to play, knowing that they could spread it to their teammates and opponents?
Let’s put it this way: Troy travels to Gainesville to play Florida a week before the Gators host Tennessee. What if half of Troy’s team comes down with the virus (that isn’t so far-fetched: see Duke) in the days before that game. Do the Gators want anything to do with that team, knowing that they have Lane Kiffin coming to town the following week? Would non-infected teams have grounds for refusing to play an infected team? (I understand that’s unlikely, but it’s at least a thought, right?)
(It’s all fun and games now, Tebow, until those Crocs and that baby give you debilitating diarrhea)
I’m not trying to overstate the effects of H1N1. I understand that in most healthy people, like college athletes, the symptoms are relatively mild. But if 50 or more guys on a football team are going through it at roughly the same time, there will certainly be a difference in how they play on game day. In college football, one bad week can ruin a national title run. You figure that some highly-ranked team is going to get unlucky enough to have this get to them at precisely the wrong time.
Man, has it been a good couple of weeks to be covering college sports in Kentucky. Even the guy who doesn’t even coach there anymore is getting in on the act. Of course, I’m talking about Billy Gillispie’s DUI, which we did mention yesterday.
The officers asked Gillispie for his proof of insurance, and he said it was in his golf bag in the trunk.
Well, sure. I mean, who doesn’t keep their car insurance card in their golf bag?
“During the exit, he used the door for balance and was confused on how to open the trunk”
He’s driving a Mercedes, so there’s like a 100% chance that opening the trunk involves pushing the button on the car key that looks like a trunk.
“I asked Billy if he had had anything to drink tonight. He stated no he had been golfing all day.”
He was arrested at 2:47 a.m. Now, unless he has some of those special golf balls that light up, he had most certainly been done golfing for, oh, somewhere in the neighborhood of seven hours. Not only is that enough time to get hammered, but he could’ve slept with some random lady at a restaurant and paid for her abortion and still had an hour left over.
The report said Gillispie, who was driving, had red eyes, slurred speech and a “strong fruity smell coming from his person (possibly wine).”
What, Billy couldn’t have been slamming appletinis?
(”I’m more of a Midori sour guy”)
• Michael Vick made his preseason debut last night. Here’s a story about it. If you want to know anything more about it, just tune into the 24/7 coverage on ESPN today. Hey, at least they stopped talking about Favre for a day.
• Speaking of Brett Favre, instead of the inevitable “retirement” press conference that’s coming at the end of the season, ESPN should just air this clip of Pat Cashman from the late, great sketch comedy show “Almost Live”:
If there were questions about Semenya’s gender, they should have been asked and answered before she raced. If she was female enough to enter the race, she should be female enough to win it. She didn’t get any less feminine in the 1:55.45 it took her to win. Her gender never would have been questioned had she finished seventh, because she wasn’t too ugly to enter the race. She was just too ugly to win it.
• Former NHL coach Jacques Demers, who was illiterate for most of his adult life, has been appointed to the Canadian Senate. He’ll be traveling the country hosting town hall meetings about tuque reform.
Just when you thought that your memories of the Denver Gold and the Pittsburgh Maulers must be resulting from some Tijuana-induced drug flashback, the news hit: The USFL is back! But unlike the UFL, with its fancy “press conferences” and “letting people know they exist,” the USFL just kind of quietly put up a web site, and if you happen to stumble upon it, great. Welcome aboard!
(Steve Young, during his glory days with the L.A. Express)
I didn’t hear of this until Tom Hoffarth of the LA DAILY NEWS reported it in his blog — odd, since Los Angeles doesn’t seem to have a team in this new USFL World Order — and linked to their new web site. According to Hoffarth, Tom Ramsey, the former UCLA and Los Angeles Express quarterback, is among a San Diego-based group running the new league. Read more…
Only four hours into the first day of the Trump National Golf Club-Bedminster junior tournament, the unthinkable happened. Someone boosted The Donald’s precious No. 13 golf cart. Gone in 60 seconds. But who was the thief? (My money’s on Herschel Walker).
(”OK, I’ll just hop in my golf cart and be right th … hey!”)
OK, rest easy, America; Trump’s golf cart has been returned. And aside from three missing rims and the words “honky lips” scrawled on the side, it’s in pretty fine shape. But the same cannot be said for its owner, sadly. Trump is steaming mad over this bald effrontery. Be assured, heads will roll. Read more…
I haven’t watched a single episode of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice”, and I’m okay with that. I’m fully aware that if I don’t watch the episode I’ll never learn what it takes to be really successful in business or how to have an awesome combover, but it’s a risk I’m just willing to take.
Of course I don’t have to watch the show to know that Dennis Rodman was recently fired by Donald Trump. Personally, it’s a shock to find out that someone as stable as The Worm doesn’t have what it takes to impress Trump, but hey, it’s not the first bad decision the man has made. Still, even though it was probably pretty disappointing for Rodman to get the axe, his wife and other close friends were thrilled. Now that he’s off the show, they could finally stage that intervention to get Dennis to go to rehab. Too bad he’s refused to go because it might interfere with his chance to attend the reunion show taping.