Last month four Air Force pilots were reprimanded and punished after they flew T-38 fighter jets too low over Kinnick Stadium before the Iowa-Ohio State football game November 11, 2010.
On March 23, 2011, B.A. Morelli of the HawkCentral.com reported:
According to the investigation, the highest elevation of the stadium is at the northwest corner of the press box, which is 160 feet above ground level. Cedar Rapids Approach Control verified that the aircraft cleared the scoreboard, which is 118 feet above ground level by 58 feet and were 16 feet above the press box, which put them at 176 feet above ground level. That is well below the minimum 1,000 foot standard.
An Air Force press release reprimanding the pilots noted they were “flying over a congested area below 1,000 feet above ground level above the highest obstacle within 2,000 feet of the aircraft on Nov. 20, 2010.”
If you thought 176 feet was about as low as a fighter jet could go over a major football stadium located in the heart of a congested residential area, you haven’t seen the Navy F-18 fly-by that preceded the Navy-TCU game at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium on Sept. 30, 2000.
In a previous post in this space, I noted Washington A.D. Scott Woodward needlessly taking several swipes on Seattle radio at the Univ. of Oregon last Saturday in Eugene. Among other things, Woodward said he thought the Oregon school was an “embarrassment” because of misplaced priorities.
(When A.D.’s attack: The Sequel)
We learned from Woodward that some things are better off left unsaid, and that athletic directors sometimes can’t resist seeking attention despite the oft-perilous consequences.
Bruce Fleming is a current English professor at the United States Naval Academy who has taught at Annapolis for 23 years. This week he authored a provocative NEW YORK TIMES op-ed titled, “The Academies’ March Toward Mediocrity.”
In the piece, Fleming cites Division I football as a prime reason for an alleged downfall of the service academies, noting, “the academy’s former pursuit of excellence seems to have been pushed aside by the all-consuming desire to beat Notre Dame at football.”
While Fleming doesn’t cite Division I athletics as the only reason for the “academies’ march toward mediocrity,“he gives specific examples as to why high profile sports is impugning the mission of those institutions. Read more…
Everybody’s been bagging on the Big Ten this offseason, what with the conference’s dismal 1-6 record in bowl games last season. And if the first games of the first weekend this year are any indication, expect the criticism to continue.
First, Iowa - the only Big Ten school to win its bowl game last year - opened up with in-state I-AA opponent Northern Iowa. And the 22nd-ranked Hawkeyes needed not one, but two blocked field goals to survive an embarrassing near-plucking by the Panthers.
Eric Kettani is an impressive football player. He finished his career at the Naval Academy with a 125-yard rushing performance in a rout of Army and he scored a touchdown in the Senior Bowl. In fact, Kettani has played so well that he’s earned himself some serious attention from NFL scouts, who want to see him compete at the NFL Combine and, potentially, as a fullback in the NFL. There’s just one problem: The military won’t let him go.
According to a story in the BALTIMORE SUN, Kettani was told that he won’t be allowed to compete in the NFL until after he fulfills his five-year military obligation, a pledge all students at Navy or Army make when the accept their free, government-funded elite education.
There’s nothing like a good prank to fire up a rivalry. Unless the rivalry has turned into a one-sided mess. Case in point: UCLA students getting the jump on Rivalry Week by painting Tommy Trojan powder blue in mid-November, only to see the Trojans get their revenge by thumping the hapless Bruins 28-7 on Saturday to clinch another Rose Bowl berth.
But when it comes to students outdoing the efforts of their football team in taking a stand against their rivals, the winners have to be the Army cadets. Yes, even with their camouflage uniforms, the Army football team was trounced by Navy 34-0, their seventh straight loss to their bitter rivals. But WTOP-TV says their cadets pulled off the type of stunt that it is at once awe-inspiring and worrying: using a military helicopter to dump thousands of pieces of “propaganda” on the Naval Academy campus.
And of course they documented it on video, which is after the jump: