Jeff Eisenberg of the Yahoo Sports college hoops blog The Dagger had an amusing piece today about USC finally jettisoning fake basketball playerRomeo Miller from the squad.
(Actually, all the clarity we needed)
Tim Floyd gave Miller a scholarship two seasons ago only because he was childhood friends with hot prospect DeMar Derozan - who signed with the Trojans as part of a package deal. Floyd is now long gone and new coach Kevin O’Neill somehow no longer has use for an undersized, slow-footed guard who averaged eight points per game in high school.
Eisenberg described Miller’s departure from USC thusly:
In a decision sure to disappoint opposing hecklers far more than USC basketball fans, Percy Miller is packing up his trademark aviator shades and oversized jewelry and leaving the Trojans program.
Forgot shirtless Twitter photo.
It’s no great mystery what really happened here. Miller was cut.
Eisenberg, to his credit, diplomatically described Lil’ Romeo’s demise as “leaving” the program. Though Miller, via his Twitter account today, for some reason wanted Eisenberg to set the record straight on exactly why he “left” the program. Read more…
The NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE reports that’s what Tim Floyd claims USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett said to him after news of Floyd’s alleged $1,000 payment to Rodney Guillory (to ensure O.J. Mayo’s USC commit) hit the media in May.
(Mike Garrett: modicum of professionalism while under fire)
USC announced self-imposed sanctions for its basketball program today because of what the school called, “NCAA rules violations related to O.J. Mayo.” From USC release:
(USC AD Mike Garrett, Tim Floyd, OJ Mayo)
The self-imposed sanctions for the men’s basketball program include a one-year ban on post-season competition following the 2009-2010 regular season, including the Pac-10 Conference basketball tournament; a reduction of one scholarship for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years; a reduction by one of the number of coaches permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting activities during the summer of 2010, and a reduction in the total number of recruiting days by twenty days (from 130 to 110) for the 2010-2011 academic year.
In addition, because of Mayo’s involvement with Rodney Guillory, whom under NCAA rules became a USC booster due to his role in Mayo’s recruitment, USC will vacate all wins during the 2007-2008 regular season, which was when Mayo competed while ineligible. USC will also return to the NCAA the money it received through the Pac-10 Conference for its participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.
Makes you wonder just exactly what Tim Floyd & Co. did during the recruitment and subsequent stay of O.J. Mayo. Also makes clear that whatever happened, it was likely pretty damn serious as these sanctions could end up being only the beginning.
Reporter Lance Pugmire of the LOS ANGELES TIMES on May 13, 2009:
That associate, Louis Johnson, says Floyd met Rodney Guillory outside a stretch of Beverly Hills cafes on Valentine’s Day in 2007, giving him at least $1,000 cash in an envelope — which Johnson has since reported to investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, IRS and the NCAA.
It’s come to this for Tim Floyd: Out of coaching, Herm’s Perm and SBNation tells us that Floyd was recently seen hanging out at a crappy (Morongo) casino foodcourt on a lonely stretch of highway hours outside of Los Angeles. And then this happened:
There’s got to be an explanation for this. Perhaps he was there by design, getting primed for a cameo as Ron Artest’s personal coach?
In case you hadn’t noticed, and after these many years it’s okay if you hadn’t, Chris Chelios has been around forever. For-eh-vur. The 47-year-old has literally spent a majority of his life as a player in the NHL, breaking into the league with Montreal during the 1983-84 season. Yeah, back when “Jump” was the hot new sound from Van Halen. That’s how long dude’s been around.
(Of course he stuck around this long because of hard work. What did you expect? Prayer?)
And while injuries and the unrelenting assault of time on an aging man’s body have kept Chelios from the legendary Gordie Howe’s all-time record in games played and other marks of longetivity, Chelios is still a colossal freak of nature. Look no further than at (it bears repeating) the age of 47, Chelios is finally being released by the Detroit Red Wings. As the DETROIT NEWS reports, though, he still might not be done:
General manager Ken Holland met with Chelios Monday afternoon and, as expected, gave him the news Chelios will not be re-signed.
“It was kind of understood last summer, after Cheli signed, that the 2008-09 season would be the last one for Cheli as a Red Wing,” said Holland, noting the need for the Wings to bring in younger players. “He wants to play another season and I believe he can still play.”
Perhaps Chelios has a year or two left in him as a swan song in Chicago, or maybe he wants to see if he can hit 50 in an NHL uniform, a stunning accomplishment that really has zero bearing on the world at large. Don’t get us wrong, most guys don’t make it to 30 in the league, much less tack two more entire decades on the odometer, but at no point is Chelios ever going to be a catalyst for great things anymore.
Which is fine, of course. Guys stick around in professional athletics for a few years too many on a regular basis, and few (if any) have earned the privilege as much as Chelios. It’s just that at this point, the list of teams who might pick him up are those who really don’t even need the help to begin with.
Speaking of Chris Chelios (WARNING: this segue makes no sense), let’s talk about women fighting each other. You might remember last week where Cris “Cyborg” Santoschoked out a reporter who foolishly questioned her ability to finish a submission move against a fighter, y’know, like how real men do. Well, being that Santos is going to fight SbB favorite Gina Caranoin Carano’s post-EliteXC return to the Octagon, one display of lady-on-gentleman brutality can’t go unreturned before the fight, right? Right:
Nighty nighty, talker man. The question isn’t where are you, as Santos’ victim asked when he came back to Earth, but what are you: that would be lucky as hell, lucky that someone strong enough to turn the lights out with such ease also possesses the capacity for mercy, which is pretty much the only thing that has saved your brain’s regular functions.
If ladychoking is the next salvo fired in the War on Equality, then so be it, because strong women are clearly capable of winning that fight against weak men. And sure, a man can still probably choke out a woman, but anyone willing to make that case, even hypothetically, probably isn’t someone worth your time in conversation. Avoid accordingly.
(The SongGirls aren’t really hired, per se, so that doesn’t count. The white-haired guy in the middle does, though.)
Turns out, as the LOS ANGELES TIMES points out, he doesn’t exactly have a track record of success to fall back on, despite his boasts. So while Carroll’s hire is to Garrett as the Emancipation Proclamation is to Abraham Lincoln (seriously, Abe, what else did you accomplish, other than monopolizing the top hat?*), the rest of the resume seems to be, ahem, lacking. The worst hire, in retrospect, seems to be Floyd, who may have crippled the Trojans’ basketball program for years to come in order to secure one year of service from O.J. Mayo. And let’s hope that mistake doesn’t happen again…
So above all else, Garrett’s resume suggests that success is but a random decision away, a call to be made by livestock choosing to address one of several piles of food, each festooned with a different logo. Blew it on that up-and-coming coach from Southwestern State back in 2003? Hey, what can you do; Ernie the Carnivorous Pheasant clearly indicated he was due by way of which chum pile he devoured, and in any case, we saved the $12 million a barely-competent would have demanded over those same six years.
OPPOSITE DAY: The worst GM in at least the last 30 years, Steve Phillips, is allowed to make assertions about baseball that go routinely unchallenged. This is like giving Karl Rove his own political column… oh wait.
A word to Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido: there are many, many opportunities for somebody to make self-deprecating jokes to the press. A recent DUI arrest and your mugshot, for example would probably not be the best opportunity to do so. Just something to keep in mind going forw–well, I see we’re too late.
Tony Hawk got to visit the White House, then skateboard through it. And you know what? You can do the exact same thing if you spend 20 years getting famous for being better at one thing than anyone else in the world, and no, we’re not talking about what you do three times a day whenever the wife’s not around. In that case, practice makes pervert. Now pull up your pants and keep reading.
LeBron James‘ youth basketball camp has moved from his hometown of Akron to the UCSD, for some reason, and now costs up to $650 per child, says San Diego’s 10 NEWS. We’re sure there’s a good reason and it in no way exists to make an insanely rich man richer. That would just be untoward, now wouldn’t it? As a matter of fact, we’re planning on sending Brooks in undercover as a child to see what… oh damn it, we just blew his cover. Abort, Brooks! Abort!!! This is not a drill!
If Jose Reyes‘ hamstring injury wasn’t bad enough, it turns out he was just rear-ended by an ambulance. No, we mean the car he was in was hit from behind by an emergency vehicle, not… dude, gross.
*We’re addressing him in the first person because we have it on good authority that Abe Lincoln and other dead Presidents read SbB with astonishing regularity in the afterworld. Heaven has great wi-fi. Which seems appropriate, if you think about it; how good could heaven really be if the wireless sucked?
Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only June, but the folks in New York can’t be pleased that the Yankees dropped to 0-7 against the Red Sox this year with a 6-5 loss at Fenway last night. To put it in perspective, the last time this happened the Yankees weren’t even the Yankees. It was 1912, and the New York Highlanders (and here I thought there could only be one Highlander) were the ones who couldn’t buy a win against the Sox.
(This is about the only Red Sox spanking Yankee fans wouldn’t mind)
Even more worrisome for New York is the continued debacle that is Chien-Ming Wang. After giving up four runs in 2 2/3 innings, Wang now has a 21.61 ERA in five starts this year — the highest ERA through five starts for a pitcher in the freaking history of baseball. Joe Girardi seems exasperated as to what to do with Wang. They’ve already done the DL thing, and NEW YORK TIMES notes that he was hitting 95 on the gun last night, so it would be hard to argue that he’s hurt again.
Mark Teixeira clearly isn’t the problem for the Yankees, as he went 4-for-5 with his league-leading 19th home run. But that doesn’t matter, since A-Rod is signaling to Tex where the catcher is setting up when he’s in the on-deck circle. What, you think that’s crazy talk that only some loose-cannon “analyst” who also thinks that George Clooney is “over there solving that thing” could come up with? Well, OK, you’d be right. AWFUL ANNOUNCING says Rick Sutcliffe has gotten into some hot water with the Yankee duo after accusing them of the pitch tipping on an ESPN broadcast with absolutely no evidence to back it up.
In any case, Boston has reclaimed a one-game lead in the AL East, which is remarkable considering they’ve gotten nothing out of David Ortiz, Daisuke Matsuzaka has been mostly a mess in his few starts, Josh Beckett just recently got his act together, they still don’t really have a shortstop, and this guy is milling around Fenway:
Floyd’s resignation comes in the wake of most of his team declaring that they wouldn’t be coming back anyway, for various reasons. Marcus Johnson jumped through all of the hoops to earn a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility, then suddenly decided to stay in the NBA draft, where he’s not expected to be picked. Daniel Hackett is even blowing off his senior season to also not get picked by an NBA team. Think they know something we don’t (yet) about where this program is heading, even with Floyd’s departure?
• HALOS HEAVEN has a huge break in the Nick Adenhart case, as toxicology reports show that Courtney Stewart, the 20-year-old driver of the car Adenhart was riding in, had a BAC of .016 at the time of her death. That’s twice the legal limit for an adult, and infinity times the limit for a 20-year-old (actually, California generously allows an underager to blow up to a .01 without consequence). ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY’s Nick Schou is the one who obtained the toxicology reports, against the wishes of the DA’s office.
While it still doesn’t come close to excusing Andrew Gallo’s choice to drive drunk, and it doesn’t change the fact that Gallo is the one who ran a red light to cause the crash, it certainly is now reasonable for Gallo’s lawyer to argue that Stewart’s impairment could’ve played just as large a role in the accident as his client did. TMZ also reports that Stewart tested positive for an “illegal substance.” Still a horrible tragedy all around, but this definitely calls Adenhart’s judgment into question, as it looks like he chose to get into a car with an underage drunk (and possibly high) driver. What if Stewart had been sober? Would she have been able to see Gallo running the light and stop in time? We’ll never know.
• Everyone’s been talking about Zack Greinke all year, but Justin Verlander might be the best pitcher in the AL Central. He cruised to a complete-game victory over the White Sox last night to move to 7-0 in his last nine starts.
The JACKSON (MS) CLARION-LEDGER obtained a copy of Floyd’s one-paragraph resignation letter to USC athletic director Mike Garrett. If you’re wondering why a newspaper in Mississippi is breaking the news about a coach in California, Floyd is a Hattiesburg native. No worries about shenanigans here… sort of: Read more…
But shouldn’t more people be questioning the latest allegations, when the motives of the source — to say nothing of the facts themselves — are more than a little dodgy? One of Mayo’s USC teammates has some serious questions.