8:30 PM The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle notes that the Rochester Red Wings were the last American baseball team to play in Cuba before the U.S. embargo began in 1960. The July 25 game against the Havana Sugar Kings ended in a 3-3 tie after fans began firing weapons to celebrate Fidel Castro's revolution.
In light of the revelations intertwining the Penn State football program and the repeated sexual abuse of children, the response of the school’s administration the past week has been to do only what was required when at the point of the national news media’s bayonet.
Though Saturday’s game between Penn State and Nebraska at Beaver Stadium proved that valuing football over children will eventually always win out in State College.
So it should come as no surprise that humanity’s only ally inside the macabre Beaver Stadium scene came from the visitors sideline.
Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini can win 10 National Championships for the Cornhuskers but it will never top his emotional defense of children during his postgame remarks. Remarks that included Pelini saying - on three different occasions - that recent events rendered football meaningless and that Saturday’s game should’ve never been played.
Here are excerpts from Pelini’s comments to the media:
I will be honest with you going into the game, I didn’t think the game should have been played, for a lot of different reasons.
I look at my job as a football coach as to educate and to prepare the kids that come into the program for the rest of their life. That’s what we are; we are a university system.
I thought that this game gave us an opportunity to show that the situation going on is bigger than football. It is bigger than the football game that was just played. It is bigger than the young men that played in the game that would have missed it, had they called it off.
It’s about education and putting things into perspective what the situation is all about. Hopefully, the fact that both teams sat up and prayed together put that in perspective a little bit.
It’s about what doing what’s right in society. It’s about doing what’s right and wrong. Trust me, when I tell you, I don’t know the specifics of the situation and I am not judging anybody. But the fact is young kids were hurt and that’s a crime in itself.
It is a lot bigger than football, the NCAA, the Big Ten and anything else. I think that at least, that’s why I think going in the game shouldn’t have been played.
But with it being played, kneeling down and praying with both teams coming together was the right thing to do and hopefully that in of itself made a statement.
I just think it is about the young kids. I got a 12-year old boy. It’s about educating the young kids. I think there were a lot of young kids, all week, with all the things going on and watching ESPN that were really confused for a lot of different reasons.
There is a lot out there that people do not know and a lot of speculation. It’s not about the adults, football or anything else. It’s about education to the youth. I think that gets lost in whole situation. Whatever comes out of it, hopefully a lot of people learned from it and nothing like that ever happens again.
There were times when I felt like here I am telling my team to ignore what’s going on because we have a game to play. But, my main job is to educate and to talk to them about it and put focus on what we know, so these young adults learn from the situation. I think it is a pretty complicated situation for a lot of reasons.
I will be honest with you, earlier in the week, I thought there is no way that we are going to play in this football game.
How did we get to a place where Bo Pelini is desperately needed to remind us that our children are more important than a football game?
The answer lies in State College, Pennsylvania, where a Nebraska football coach’s words should be bronzed and never forgotten.
This week while visiting Omaha, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany responded to the academic misfortune recently visited upon newly-admitted Big Ten member Nebraska.
On April 29, Nebraska Chancellor and former Chair of the NCAA Board of Directors Harvey Perlman noted in a letter to the public that the Association of American Universities (AAU) had voted to discontinue Nebraska’s membership in that organization.
Last June, Nebraska was admitted to the Big Ten by unanimous vote of Big Ten Presidents and Delany, with the vote being taken while Big Ten school Presidents attended an AAU conference in Washington, DC. Less than 24 hours after that vote from the AAU’s bi-annual meetings, NU Chancellor Perlman was asked by CHICAGO TRIBUNE reporter Chris Hines what role AAU membership played in Nebraska being invited to join the conference: Read more…
Newton’s father had previously admitted to the NCAA to soliciting funds from Mississippi State in exchange for his son signing with the school to play football. Though NCAA reported it didn’t find evidence that Cecil Newton ever received funds following such solicitation.
(Taylor Martinez (r) with father Casey Martinez and Toby Gerharttwo months ago)
Today Baxter Holmes of the LOS ANGELES TIMES reported that the father of star Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, Casey Martinez, received a licensing deal from Nebraska for his fledgling apparel brand 13 months before his son signed to play football at the school.
Casey Martinez had a deal with Nebraska nearly a year before his football-playing son, Taylor, did.
In June 2007, records show, Nebraska became the first of four universities to sign contracts with Corn Fed. The others were Iowa State (April 2008), Iowa (June 2008) and Northern Iowa (February 2009), though the deal with Northern Iowa has since been canceled.
So what did the NCAA have to say about Taylor Martinez’s father, who before his son signed with the Huskers to play football essentially launched a brand of clothing with the Nebraska University deal? Read more…
(They BCS is not a “they” or an “it”; It’s a “him”)
Answer: For the benefit of one person and his small constituency.One person is pulling the strings, along with a collection of mostly unwitting accomplices.To find that person, we have to identify who we indisputably know is not responsible for the BCS.1) NCAA President Mark Emmert: On Nov. 7, 2008, 16 months before he took office as new NCAA President, then-Univ. of Washington President Mark Emmert told the SEATTLE TIMES, “I happen to be one that thinks it’s inevitable we’ll have a [college football] playoff.”One week after watching his own organization, led by NCAA office colleague Greg Shaheen, reportedly internally initiate the expansion of the NCAA basketball tournament to 68 - and possibly 96 - teams in the future, new NCAA President Emmert said of the NCAA’s role in a future college football playoff system:
“It’s not particularly relevant what I want as an individual in this one (NCAA football playoff). The NCAA knows how to run championships, if they (BCS) want us to be involved being helpful then I stand ready to do it.“
So though the NCAA initiated the expansion of March Madness, NCAA President Emmert said his organization would have no role in initiating any changes in major college football’s postseason.2) ESPN (Disney): ESPN prints money not because of original programming, but because it has a death grip on broadcast rights to so many premium play-by-play properties - like major college football. (And the BCS.)The ability to exclusively broadcast the best and biggest games allows ESPN to charge cable operators - and viewers - by far the largest fees of any cable channel to carry its programming. Take away the games, and you take away ESPN’s leverage to charge cable operators those exorbitant fees, which are nearly the sole source of ESPN’s hefty profit margins.To lose the ability to air college football games would strike at the core of ESPN’s business model. So in order to hold onto plum college football broadcast rights, ESPN does as it’s told.The next comment an official representative of ESPN’s business side makes in public about the validity of the BCS will be the first - and last.3) SEC Commissioner Mike Slive: The strongest public proponent of a playoff, and ditching the BCS, is also the man who presides over the BCS conference with the best collection of college football teams - by far.During the decade of the ’00s, SEC teams went 48-31 in bowl games while Big Ten teams went 28-41. In BCS bowl games during that 10-year span, the Big Ten went 6-11 while the SEC went 12-3. (SEC teams were 6-0 in BCS Championship Game.)Despite the SEC’s lopsided on-field advantage over the Big Ten, from 2000-2009 the conference actually received less at-large BCS bowl invitations than the Big Ten - which is why in 2008 SEC Commissioner Slive pushed harder than any other BCS conference commissioner for a limited playoff option but was reportedly blocked by the Big Ten.And why in 2006 Slive said of his term serving as “BCS Coordinator”: “These are my two years in the penalty box.”That same year, final entry to the BCS Championship game came down to the SEC’s 12-1 Florida Gators and the Big Ten’s 11-1 Michigan Wolverines. SEC Commissioner and BCS Coordinator Slive said at the time:
“I think any team that wins our league with one loss should have the chance to play for the national championship.”
When asked what his reaction would be if Michigan won out because of BCS computers and polling, the acknowledged leading public proponent of the BCS, Slive, said at the time, “I’d be disappointed.”So the man most responsible for representing the BCS to the public in 2006 said that had Michigan been awarded the BCS title game spot over Florida, he would’ve disagreed with the conclusion of the very system he was charged to support.To recap where we are so far:The NCAA President, the world’s largest and most influential sports television network and the man who oversees the top football conference in college football, the SEC Commissioner, have no power to remove or modify the BCS. 4) Chairman of NCAA Board of Directors and former Chair of the BCS Governance Oversight Committee Harvey Perlman: As current Chairman of the NCAA’s Board of Directors, many would argue that Perlman is the most powerful man in college athletics. But the NCAA Board of Directors is the final deciding mechanism on all things NCAA except the BCS.While Chairman of the BCS Governance Oversight Committee in 2009, Perlman appeared before the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights:
During his appearance, Senator Orrin Hatch asked Perlman: “Is it fair to pick teams when you do not even go and see–when the criteria does not require you to even go and see a game? And let us use the Mountain West Conference as a perfect illustration.”Perlman: “I appreciate that it may seem unfair and it may, in fact, be unfair.”When Perlman said that, “in fact,” the BCS “may be unfair,” he occupied the highest position that the BCS could provide.5) NCAA championships and business strategies guru Greg Shaheen: Shaheen is the man I first exposed early this year as the NCAA’s architect of the expansion of March Madness to 96 teams.An expansion that happened for one reason and one reason only: Increased revenue to cover the brutal shortfalls that result from staging nearly 100 NCAA championship events every year. (But not including the BCS.)Shaheen, who recently got a promotion from new NCAA President Emmert, said of the reported hundreds of millions of dollars a college football playoff could add to the NCAA and its member school coffers, “If I had the authority, I’d address that.”6) Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee: As president of the school with the largest athletic budget in the country, overlord of one of the highest-profile college football programs in the nation and probably the most vocal supporter of the BCS in the past decade, one would assume Gee exerts considerable influence in BCS matters.Remember Gee recently telling the ASSOCIATED PRESS that TCU and Boise State - despite BCS-enabled spots in the national championship race - did not face a difficult enough schedule to play in the national championship game?
“Well, I don’t know enough about the X’s and O’s of college football. I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it’s like murderer’s row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day. “So I think until a university runs through that gantlet that there’s some reason to believe that they not be the best teams to [be] in the big ballgame.”
Since Gee made his comments, have you heard any representative of the BCS come out in support of the Ohio State President?The only people who supported Gee’s contradictory stance on the BCS are the attorneys trying to use the BCS to get the NCAA’s anti-trust exemption removed.For someone long known as a leading proponent of the BCS, Gee’s criticism is rather ironic considering he sold the same BCS in 2007 to the CINCINNATI POST as inclusive to all schools:
“The rich would get richer and all the others would be excluded. Now, I happen to be at a school that’s at the top of the heap, but I recognize that this would be wrong. It would be against the university values system.“You would have to pry a national championship (tournament) from my cold, dead fingers. My view is a simple one. Any notion of a college football playoff system is absolute nonsense.”
“I’m sure we’re headed for change, playoffs one day I’m certain will be part of the package. Within five years we will be positioned for a playoff of sorts.”
With the nonexistent public support Gee received from colleagues after his statements about Boise State and TCU, who now has the more relevant opinion about the future of the BCS, Gee or Tressel?To recap, here are the people who are not responsible for the BCS:1) The NCAA President2) The Chairman of the NCAA Board of Directors3) The 2009-10 former Chairman of the BCS Governance Oversight Commitee (Top BCS Position)4) The NCAA employee most responsible for initiating and carrying out the recent expansion of the NCAA basketball tournament - and the accompanying television rights negotiation5) BCS game broadcaster ESPN: the world’s most powerful sports television network6) The man who oversees the top BCS college football conference in America, the SEC Commissioner7) The University President presiding over the largest school athletic budget in the country and prominent BCS college football programs in the nation You and me.My god. Who then does that leave?Who is still out there who benefits enough to want to do everything in his power to keep the BCS alive?THIS: Read more…
Last Sunday I reported on a controversy involving a video shot by a Texas A&M sports website reporter after the Aggies-Nebraska game at Kyle Field on Saturday.
(Coverup always worse than the crime)
The video, shot by TexAgs.com co-Owner Brandon Jones, seemed to show that Nebraska assistant coach Carl Pelini may have instigated an altercation with Jones that included Pelini trying to grab the reporter’s camera.
Despite Jones insisting that was the case, Carl Pelini did not address the matter with the media himself after the game, instead letting brother Bo, the head coach of the Huskers, explain what happen during a press conference in Lincoln on Monday.
Before Bo spoke, this was the only video known of the confrontation:
With the video available of the confrontation still somewhat inconclusive, Bo said yesterday:
“There was a player in a group of people trying to get out of it, and Carl saw it and went over to try and pull the player into the locker room. I guess it happened on the way to the locker room, and as he did so apparently he went through the camera to get it, and if something happened to the camera, I know Carl regrets that it happened.
“That’s what happened and I talked to the player that was involved too.”
After Bo Pelini’s remarks, TexAgs.com posted additional screen shots from different, HD video that clearly showed Carl Pelini grabbing Jones’ camera on the field after the game. Read more…
The co-Owner of a Texas A&M sports website, TexAgs.com, posted video on the site late Saturday that he claimed was shot just before Nebraska assistant coach Carl Pelinidamaged his camera while on the field after the Nebraska-A&M game at Kyle Field last night.
Brandon Jones shot and posted the video, which initially included the accompanying description on TexAgs.com:
At the conclusion of the game, I ran out onto the field with my video camera to capture the post celebrations of the players and coaches. When I reached approximately mid field (near the east hash marks), I came upon Carl Pelini verbally lashing a gentlemen on the field.
I directed my camera toward the commotion and captured the Nebraska coach as he began to walk away. As Carl turned, his eye caught my camera and the fact that I might have captured some of the exchange. What happened next was truly bazaar.
From about 10 feet away, he charged straight for me and for the camera that I was holding. By the time he reached me, I already had my camera by side. He grabbed the camera and I battled to maintain possession of it. Unable to gain possession of it, he broke the eye piece off in several pieces and threw them into the surrounding crowd. He then stormed off. The surrounding crowd helped me recover the pieces of my camera.
Also, there is no audio because, like an idiot, I forgot to put the shotgun mic back on the camera after coming down from the photo deck with 3 minutes remaining. As a result, I got zero audio.
Brandon Jones, a camera man and co-owner of TexAgs.com, spotted Carl yelling at someone as he walked off the field. Jones started filming Carl. Carl saw the camera about 10 feet away, approached Jones and grabbed the camera.
“There’s this awkward moment where we’re eye-to-eye with each other,” Jones told me. “And I say, ‘What are you doing?’”
Carl broke off the eye piece of the camera, threw it on the ground and “stormed off the field,” Jones said.
You can see some of the confrontation at TexAgs.com. Carl Pelini was unavailable for comment.
ESPN Reporter David Ubben was also at the game and reported a different version of what happened: Read more…
Four months agoJustin Rogers gave a verbal commitment to Tommy Tuberville to play football at Texas Tech. Rogers is originally from Birmingham and as a high school senior in 2007 was reportedly recruited by Alabama and Auburn - while Tuberville was still head coach of the Tigers.
(See update below on the current status of Rogers at Texas Tech)
In an early 2008 recruiting coup for then-rookie Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, Rogers decided to eschew Tuberville’s Auburn, along with Alabama and sign with the Huskers.
Doug Segrest of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS reported the news of Rogers’ signing in Feb. 2008:
Vestavia Hills running back Justin Rogers is Nebraska bound.
“Justin’s going to Nebraska,” said Ken Rogers, the prospect’s father, Tuesday night. “We just told Coach (Bo) Pelini he’s coming.”
Rogers, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound running back, rushed for 5,322 yards and scored 59 touchdowns as a standout for Buddy Anderson with the Rebels.
Rogers visited Nebraska two weeks, taking along prep teammate Mason Wald, a Vestavia teammate. The 6-foot, 190-pound Wald originally committed to Samford but was offered by Nebraska after the official visit.
“Ken Rogers” is the “Kenny Rogers” who was recently accused of soliciting money from Mississippi State on behalf of Cam Newton’s father Cecil. Rogers has subsequently admitted that father Newton asked for up to $180,000 for his son to sign a letter of intent with the school.
Kenny Rogers was also reportedly in charge of his son’s college football recruiting process. A process that saw his son, a highly-touted running back at Vestavia Hills High School in Birmingham, ignore Alabama and Auburn in order to join a Nebraska program that was in ashes in 2008 thanks to the disastrous tenure of Bill Callahan.
That year Kenny Rogers also reportedly orchestrated Nebraska’s signing of his son’s Vestavia High School teammate Mason Wald. Despite having only an offer from Samford in hand, suddenly Wald was on his way to Lincoln with Justin Rogers.
Vestavia Hills safety Mason Wald’s storybook offseason is officially gold. Wald, who once seemed headed across town to Division I-AA Samford, will instead join high school teammate Justin Rogers as a Nebraska Cornhusker.
“Mason Wald just accepted a full ride with Nebraska,” said Ken Rogers, Justin’s father. “He and Justin are going to sign (letter of intent) together at 2:30 p.m.
Ah, but because of a snafu, Wald won’t actually sign until Thursday.
“I talked to Coach Pelini and he was thrilled. He told me, `We can’t wait to get those Alabama boys to Nebraska,’ ” the elder Rogers said.
Justin Rogers, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound running back, rushed for 5,322 yards and scored 59 touchdowns as a standout for Buddy Anderson with the Rebels. He was recruited as an athlete by Nebraska, and could wind up playing in the defensive secondary.
Wald is 6-foot, 190 pounds and could play safety or outside linebacker for the Cornhuskers.
Last Saturday during the Missouri-Nebraska game in Lincoln, Huskers safety Courtney Osborne, following a 15-yard sprint, unleashed a spectacular helmet-to-helmet hit on Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Despite Referee Randy Christal staring directly at the collision, and being expressly charged with protecting the quarterback, no call was made on the play.
Though he’s seeking “a review” of the play by the Big 12 office, Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel was remarkably restrained about the hit when talking to reporters this week. Read more…
Mike DeArmond is the longtime Missouri football and basketball beat reporter for the KANSAS CITY STAR. He’s also an alumnus of Mizzou, class of ‘72.
Saturday DeArmond appeared on a Kansas City TV pregame show for the Missouri-Nebraska football game to give his opinion on something that can be a sore subject for more Kansas Citians than you know.
That is, dealing with local Nebraska football fans, Kansas Jayhawks hoops fans and St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans. During his TV appearance, DeArmond originally was asked what he thought of Nebraska football fans, whom he proceeded to lump together with KU and Cardinal fans:
“There are Cardinal baseball fans, there are Kansas basketball fans and there are Nebraska football fans. They were all born of the same parents. They’re all inbred, separated a birth because they’re all just impossible to handle. Read more…