*A Little More Black and White
The curious case of OU's former assistant recruiting coordinator David White seems a little less cloudy today following an Associated Press report on a third-party audit of the school's athletic department.
The information obtained by the AP included details of 50 "secondary violations" of NCAA rules. Of particular note for football fans are "31 impermissible recruiting phone calls by an assistant recruiting coordinator who is no longer employed by the football team."
When last we heard from White, he had supposedly left Norman for a coaching job at Yale, of all places. The timing of the move in March struck plenty of Sooner fans as odd, coming off a successful recruiting haul in February.
The recruiting coordinator in question is unnamed, but it doesn't seem hard to put two and two together here.
*Even More NCAA Fun
If all the OU basketball team's offseason shenanigans keep up, Jeff Capel may soon find out that the quickest way to get run of Norman is to mess with Sooner football.
Aside from generating humiliating headlines, the embarrassing implosion by Capel's collection of prima donnas and malcontents has managed to draw the attention of the amateurism police.
At this point, it appears unlikely that the Tiny Gallon saga will land more than men's hoops in hot water. However, should the current investigation turn up serious misdeeds that lead to a dreaded lack of institutional control verdict from the Association, the long arm of the law could touch OU football. Then, Capel could find himself on a slow boat back to the Colonial Athletic Conference.
(Of course, he also could end up back in the ACC. Even competing with Duke and North Carolina, I think Clemson is a pretty good job.)
*Masterly Business Model
Business Week covers Tiger Woods' return to the Masters and, in the process, offers a compelling look into the famed tournament's business model. Or lack thereof.
(Same BW issue with this well-done analysis by Roben Farzad of the complexities of Goldman Sachs' culpability in the financial crisis.)
While Augusta National's haughty reputation is legendary, I had no idea about the lengths the club goes to in order to protect the Masters' supposed sanctity. I definitely love the idea of $1.50 sandwiches and a beer for $2.75.
I still despise almost everything the Keepers of the Green Jacket stand for. But their collective desire to preserve their tournament while leaving so much dough on the table is pretty astonishing.
(And another thing about Tiger: Count me among the contingent who think the new Nike ad is pretty crass. In one breath, Woods is asking everyone to leave his family alone throughout this ordeal. In the next, he's exploiting his family -- his dead dad who can't speak for himself, no less -- to rehabilitate his image and get paid. Sorry, can't have it both ways.)
*The Most Worthless Stat in the History of Stats
The big news out of Jimmy Clausen's pro day was that he completed all but two passes in his scripted throwing session.
The numbers from the workouts of Clausen, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford sound awfully impressive. Yet, completion percentage in a scripted throwing session has to be the most meaningless stat ever, right?
If a quarterback puts every throw on the money, but his slick-fingered wide receivers drop the passes, is that a bad thing? On the flip side, what if he's throwing to Jerry Rice?
I'm guilty of hyping up these numbers. They're something tangible to measure the prospects' performances by.
The reality is that these choreographed workouts are completely sterilized. The stats don't tell us anything.
The throwing sessions are all about how a quarterback "looks." In that sense, they do still have value. But it's art, not science.
*Speaking of Worthless Draft Analysis...
Trent Dilfer's recent criticism of Sam Bradford's pro potential raises some major red flags about the motivations of analysts.
Dilfer can trumpet his objectivity until he's blue in the face. That doesn't eliminate the very obvious conflict of interest in Dilfer commenting on draft prospects. If Dilfer and ESPN had disclosed his connection to Colt McCoy and Athletes First in the first place, the Super Bowl winner's take would have at least a shred of credibility.
Better yet, as Mike Florio suggests, just use a different agency.
*A Few Recommendations
- Saw the new Sherlock Holmes flick last night. I liked it more than most of the critics seemed to. Guy Ritchie made for an interesting choice as director, and many of the same gimmicks present in his showcase films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch can be found here. I thought it worked.
- I'm excited to jump into Michael Lewis' exploration of the Wall Street meltdown, The Big Short. Currently, however, I'm in the middle of The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright's chronicle of al-Qaeda's genesis and Osama bin Laden's ascent as the world's most-wanted man. I've never read a better-reported book.
- Judging just by his name, Theodore Dalrymple of New English Review sounds like a total chauncey. He writes like it, too. I think he really nails the biggest problems with the typical debate that ensues in the world of Web 2.0, though. Personally, I'm all for people speaking their minds and encourage readers to comment frequently here. On the other hand, the immediacy of blogs and Twitter fosters so much ill-considered, knee-jerk feedback. My advice: Say what you want, but stop and think for a second before you hit submit.
- Is it wrong for me to be ambivalent about spring? Sure, the weather's great. But my allergies go nuts, so I can't sleep at night. College football seems so far away. The stifling heat of summer is right around the corner. College basketball season is over. Just depressing.