Lil’ Romeo Clarifies: He Didn’t Quit, He Just Sucks

Jeff Eisenberg of the Yahoo Sports college hoops blog The Dagger had an amusing piece today about USC finally jettisoning fake basketball player Romeo Miller from the squad.

Romeo Miller Wants Blog Correction About His Demise From USC Basketball Team

(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…

AD to Floyd: ‘You need to get your ass back to LA’

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 Tim Floyd OJ Mayo

(Mike Garrett: modicum of professionalism while under fire)

USC has since self-imposed significant sanctions on its basketball program because of NCAA violations the school claims happened on Floyd’s watch.  Floyd though now says he did nothing wrong and that he left because of Garrett’s decided lack of interpersonal skills.

What’s more entertaining, Garrett’s delightfully consistent buffoonry or Floyd’s blanket denial after the school he was coaching punished itself?!

Good times.

Read more…

USC Hoops: Postseason Ban, Scholarship Redux

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:

Mike Garrett Tim Floyd OJ Mayo

(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:

USC basketball Coach Tim Floyd delivered cash to the man who steered O.J. Mayo to the university, according to a former associate of the player and the middleman.

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.

No wonder Floyd was seen at casino after his departure from the school.

Read more…

Floyd’s Catfight Video: Tipoff Scott To Be Fired?

Byron Scott was fired yesterday as coach of the New Orleans Hornets, replaced by someone named Jeff Bower, a guy with no previous head coaching experience at any level.

Tim Floyd Casino Fight

More interesting is Bower’s top assistant hire: Tim Floyd.

You remember Floyd was caught in the middle of a catfight in a crappy SoCal casino out on I-10 two weeks ago, and at the time, we were all wondering what the hell he was doing out there.

Now we know the real reason, perhaps. Read more…

Video: Coach Tim Floyd Breaks Up Casino Catfight

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:

Tim Floyd Casino Fight

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?

What’s worse for Tim Floyd:

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Video after the jump. Read more…

Speed Read: End Of The Road For Chris Chelios?

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.

Chris Chelios Weightlifting
(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” Santos choked 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 Carano in 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.

Last, speaking of choking, let’s talk about USC. In the wake of Tim Floyd’s shame-splattered resignation and allegations of selective rule enforcement in the case of Reggie Bush, former Heisman hero and current athletic director Mike Garrett demands to be judged by his record and his legacy. For example, he hired Pete Carroll. Also, he hired, um… uh…

Pete Carroll USC Song Girls
(The Song Girls 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…

Who’s the next big star from O.J. Mayo’s family?

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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.

Some extra links to consider while you keep the horse off the launchpad…

  • J.R. Smith and Eddy Curry were apparently webcasting online as they were pulled over for the all-too-common D.W.B., as INSIDE HOOPS reports. No charges were filed and no video seems to exist, which is precisely why you’re reading about it here and not blaring at the top of a morning post. [UPDATE: Smith’s unequivocally calling bullfeathers on the story, though it seems so oddly specific we’re not sure why they would make any of that up.]
  • 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.
  • Joakim Noah will join Mickael Pietrus and Jean-Shaquille L’Oneal (we made up the last one, of course, but not the first two) on the French national team for upcoming international play. Vince Carter was seem chuckling, sizing up Noah’s dimensions, and dialing his time machine back to 2000. It’s been a while since he abused a giant Frenchman, you see, and these desires just never seem to go away after you indulge them once.

  • 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.
  • No, University of Illinois, Ron Santo was not trying to get into med school (not as anything but a discount-level test dummy; get some toes, then we can talk full price).
  • Bet you don’t know who just beat out Jason Jennings for the franchise lead for most victories. Did you guess Aaron Cook? Well, you probably cheated.
  • Some eight-grader does a flip and throws the basketball in a hoop from almost a full court. This is actually less related to competitive basketball than dunk contests, which we didn’t even think was possible.

(What’s next, trying to shoot it out of a cannon into a hoop? What does this have to do with actual basketball? God, we’re old.)

*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?

Week In Review: No Steroids in MLB, Why Watch?

• Major League Baseball without steroids is like porn without the silicone.

Monster Implants In Porn Like Steroids In Baseball

Just don’t blog about the subject with Raul Ibanez.

Rodney Harrison doesn’t like how the NFL has become “soft and pansy“.

• A Fox News morning show lambasts MTV for Bruno’s ass-ault on Eminem - then does a segment with a Fox reporter doing basically the same thing to a lingerie football player.

Tim Floyd takes off from the Trojans. What, and leave the Song Girls?

• Soon-to-be newlyweds Kendra Wilkinson & Eagles WR Hank Baskett are expecting a baby. On the other side of the spectrum, Barry Bonds’ wife demands a divorce.

Read more…

Speed Read: Sox Spank Yanks Again At Fenway

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.

Red Sox spank Yankees

(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.

Chien-Ming Wang

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:

Red Sox Fans

Tim Floyd was pushed off a cliff by USC resigned from his position as head coach of USC yesterday in the wake of the O.J. Mayo scandal, and ESPN’s Andy Katz put together a column that lists all of the questions that are now left to be answered in the wake of this move. Katz theorizes, among other things, that Floyd might be USC’s sacrificial lamb in the NCAA’s investigation against the school’s football and basketball programs.

Tim Floyd and OJ Mayo

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?

So now what for the Trojans? Would Jamie Dixon, who grew up in So Cal, be up for rebuilding the program? What about Randy Bennett of Saint Mary’s? Rick Pitino? OK, now we’re just getting silly. Which means that Bobby Knight makes all sorts of sense.

Now, here are some things to read while Tom Brady waits to get rescued after flipping his kayak over:

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.

Courtney Stewart tox report

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.

• D.C. SPORTS BOG exposes what is either an unholy union between the Redskins and that LOL cats site, or somebody hacked the ‘Skins website and put a kitty’s picture in place of Jason Campbell (and really, you have the ability to hack into an NFL team’s site and that’s what you do?):

Redskins website cat

• Elsewhere in D.C., we found out last night exactly how many Nats fans would wait through a rain delay to see if their team could come back from a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the 9th inning — less than 100. That’s how many folks were on hand after a two hour delay to see their team rally to tie the game, only to lose it in the 12th. This despite converting the popular 4-3-6-4-6 double play in that inning.

• 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.

• Boy, who could’ve ever predicted that Jameer Nelson might not play that well in the Finals after not having played a game since before the All-Star break?

• If things keep going the way they are, according the WASHINGTON POST, the entire LPGA Tour will soon be available for you to hire for your bachelor party.

Play Golf Designs

We know that Joe Montana’s kid has committed to play football at Washington, but current Huskies QB Jake Locker had some big news of his own today — he was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round of the MLB draft. If Locker signs a baseball contract, he’ll still be eligible to play football for UW but will lose his scholarship.

Marcin Gortat has a sweet ride to go with that Jordan tattoo.

Marcin Gortat car

Brett Favre is apparently in trouble for not showing up to organized team activities for a team he doesn’t even play for. Favre’s non-coach, Brad Childress, says he set no deadline for Favre to accept the team’s non-offer to play for them. For now, the Vikings are now going to feign disinterest in having Favre around but will eventually pass him a note asking him if he’d want to go to training camp with them.

• Funny how everyone is so bent out of shape about Stephen Strasburg asking for $25 million or more to pitch for the Nationals, but nobody bats an eye when fifth-overall pick Mark Sanchez gets $28 million in guaranteed money from the Jets. But think of all the nice stuff Mark can buy for girlfriend Hilary Rhoda:

Hilary Rhoda

Knowing now that the underage driver of Nick Adenhart’s car had been drinking, does that change your view of the accident?

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BREAKING: Tim Floyd Resigns From Southern Cal

It has been one seriously disastrous offseason for the USC Trojans. Instead of building off a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tourney, the program had to deal with accusations that head coach Tim Floyd personally paid money to O.J. Mayo’s handler and numerous (not-so-coincidental) defections and decommitments. It appears the writing was on the wall for Floyd, who has apparently just resigned.

Tim Floyd USC Basketball
(”Bye, everyone!”)

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…

Reason To Be Skeptical Of New USC Allegations?

When news broke this week that Tim Floyd personally handed money over to O.J. Mayo’s handler to help seal the deal to make him a Trojan, no one really batted an eye. Because, after all, it’s USC. Any hints of shady business are just taken as gospel.

O.J. Mayo and Tim Floyd

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.

Read more…