Monthly Archives: October 2013

NCAA: Does the punishment fit the crime?

Last week, the NCAA passed down sanctions on University of Miami for their illegal recruiting activity. Nevin Shapiro initially gained access to the athletic department as a donor and eventually befriended coaches and administrators. He hosted parties for student-athletes and recruits at his home, on his yacht, at local bowling alleys and in strip clubs. The NCAA concluded that his actions provided improper benefits to these athletes, including paying for meals, hotels for acquaintances, meals for family members, and buying clothes and Christmas gifts for children of some student-athletes.

As a result of these actions, the University of Miami’s athletic program is on probation for three years. They lost nine football scholarships and three basketball scholarships  over the next three years. The basketball coach was suspended for five games and former assistant coaches in both football and basketball received two year show cause penalties. Finally, any staff member who sends inappropriate texts to a potential recruit will be fined for their actions.

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So is this fair? Many people feel that these sanctions are way too lenient, especially in comparison with the penalties passed down upon Penn State a few years ago. Players actually participated in these activities, reaping the benefits of these illegal recruiting techniques. With Penn State, however, the players had nothing to do with the actions of Jerry Sandusky yet found themselves in a program completely destroyed by the sanctions, which were made before a thorough investigation was completed.

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“I didn’t even know who Sandusky was,” said former Penn State player who ended up transferring elsewhere. “I never met this man yet felt the impact of his individual actions. It is really unfortunate that such a reputable program suffered for actions by a sick man. Entire traditions were lost as a result of the horrible decisions of a retired coach.”

Penn State’s original sanctions included about $60 million in fines, 13 years of vacated wins under legendary coach Joe Paterno, the loss of scholarship money and a bowl ban. Just recently, the sanctions were reduced, granting Penn State the ability to gradually restore scholarships as a result of their compliant behavior and extreme efforts. Penn State went on to donate $59.7 million to 26 victims of Jerry Sandusky.

“There is no doubt folks will have a difference of opinion on whether the penalties were too severe or too light,” Banowsky said on a conference call. “We don’t put cases against each other based on the unique nature of each case. In this case, we felt the institution’s self-imposed penalties were significant and unprecedented. The level of cooperation in the case was commendable. Those were factors that weighed into the committee’s thinking.”

It is unquestionable that the actions of both of these schools needed to be addressed and reprimanded. What they did was wrong and completely unacceptable. The question becomes, who is the NCAA trying to punish? Student-athletes should not be punished for the actions of those running their programs. If involved, then it’s fair game but if the athletes did not take part in the controversy, why should they bear the brunt of it?

What do you think about this situation? Do you think these sanctions are fair?

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Sriracha and Garlic Chicken Wings

wings finalWhat’s better than buffalo wings, friends and football on a Sunday afternoon? The answer is: Sriracha and Garlic Chicken wings. This recipe is AMAZING and a great alternative to the buffalo wings we all know and love on game day. Let me know what you think!

Sriracha and Garlic Chicken Wings

Adapted from Leanne bakes

Ingredients:

Chicken wings, we used Tyson Chicken Wings for ease
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Sriracha
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons sesame oil
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Directions:

Begin by marinating the wings. Combine the garlic, Sriracha, ketchup, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil into a blended.
Pour marinade over wings in a ziplock bag. Shake the marinade over the chicken wings evenly. Let them sit in the fridge for a few hours. For the most flavor, I would suggest letting the wings soak overnight in the marinade.
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Once you are ready to cook them, preheat the over to 375. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. I did about 28 but anywhere within that range should do the trick. I suggest covering the tray with tin foil….makes for an easier clean-up!
Once the wings are a golden brown, let them cool then dig in! Enjoy 🙂
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Fall Classic without the Yanks

This postseason has been especially painful for me this year. No Yankees. (And if someone just awoke from a 10 year nap, yes, you heard correctly: no Yankees.) I’ve come to grips with what happened this 2013 season with Yankees but have not accepted the fact that Boston is in the World Series. Each of their come from behind wins brought tears to my eyes – and they weren’t happy ones. I was pulling for Donny Baseball (Don Mattingly), my Dad’s favorite player, and the Dodgers but they couldn’t hang on with the seasoned Cardinals.

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So what’s the deal? Cards and the Sox have all the makings to be a classic World Series matchup. The bearded freaks from Boston look really good right now. Their bats have slowed, but their pitching has not wavered at all. They’ve had quite a few magical comebacks. They won every which way possible against Detroit and look to do the same against St. Louis. Can they keep it going through 4  more wins?

St. Louis has gotten hot at just the right time- winning 15 of their last 17 regular season games to earn the right to play October baseball. Young closer, Trevor Rosenthal, earned his first save just a few weeks ago and hasn’t lost a gain since. Can he carry the Cardinals to a win in the fall classic?

The World Series marks the start of a fresh seven game series. That’s a long time. Everything up to now has been wiped clean and both teams looks to start better than before. Game 1 went to Boston by a landslide, but I can’t see the Cardinals going down without a fight. Let’s go St. Louis!

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NFC Quarterback Woes

The NFC East is undoubtedly the weakest conference in the NFL. It’s unheard of that had the Giants won on Thursday, they could have been one game out of first place with a 1-5 record. One thing is for sure, it certainly isn’t the year of the QB in this conference…

1. Robert Griffin III (RGIII): Sophomore Slump

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Personally, I think he came back too early. Coming off extensive knee surgery, the Redskins QB missed training camp and pre-season, with his first live rep taking place Week 1 against the Eagles. He seems to be step behind this year. Last year, through 4 games, he had 41 rushing attempts with 234 yards compared to this year with 18 attempts and 72 yards rushing. In Week 6 alone last year, he had 136 yards rushing. Either everyone has caught on to his style or RGIII lost a few steps.

2. Tony Romo: Choke

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Tony Romo. As a Cowboys fan, I have mixed feelings about Romo. His numbers are always amazing, but where’s the playoff magic? Romo chokes…that’s his M.O. Take last week against the Broncos. Romo had the game of his life, breaking the Cowboys franchise record of passing yards with 506. He had the highest rating in the NFL last week but his unbelievable performance is completely overshadowed by his interception to Danny Trevathan with two minutes left in the tied game. The Broncos ended up winning the game with a field goal.

3. Michael Vick: Out?

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Michael Vick’s start is questionable this week due to his early exit in last week’s game as a result of a hamstring injury. Is Vick past his prime or is Chip Kelly’s offense prematurely aging him?  I guess we’ll see on Sunday.

4. Eli Manning: Still not Peyton

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I have to be honest, my heart is breaking for Eli. He certainly isn’t completely responsible for the Giants’ disastrous  0-6 start but 15 interceptions, come on bud…you’re better than that. He looks so unsure of himself as he drives down the field. Granted, his O-line is doing nothing to help the situation and he is fighting pressure from all angles. The defense hasn’t shown up much this year either, giving up an NFL-high 182 points. Peyton however, is having quite a season. Will he match his brother in championships this year?

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MJ or King James?

MJ has spoken. In a recent interview promoting his NBA 2K14 video game release, Michael Jordan listed a few current NBA players he would have liked to played, including Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Kobe and Lebron James, claiming he wouldn’t lose. Controversy sparked with the mentioned of a win against LeBron.

Really Michael? Let your reputation do the talking. You proved yourself, showed us your best – which has yet to be matched. So let LeBron play and enjoy the quality of basketball he’s gracing us with. LBJ’s response is below.

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I personally think that they are both talented in their own right. The debate will go on forever.  What do you think? Is MJ about to be dethroned by the King?

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This Day in Sports

“Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it! It’s a homerun! A three-run homer by Bucky Dent!” 

I may not have been alive for this game but Bill White’s voice is forever engrained in my head as the legendary hit by Bucky Dent has been replayed over and over again as one of the greatest baseball moments of all time. Dent, who hit only 4 homeruns that year, lofted one out of Fenway to lead the Yanks to win the 1978 one-game playoff against their historic rivals, the Boston Red Sox.  This homer over the Green Monster led the Yanks to the postseason and an eventual World Championship. Dent may not have had the best bat in the lineup but he will forever be remembered for his hit on October 2, 1978.

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You’re fired!

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As Week 5 of the college football season came to an end, so did the jobs of two big time coaches. Both Lane Kiffin of USC and Paul Pasqualoni of UConn were fired after another devastating loss by these two storybook teams.

Many argue that these two coaches were never good for the job. Kiffin was hired as a 34 year old coach who never led a team to a winning season, failing both the University of Tennessee as well as the Oakland Raiders. His status as the son of renowned defense coordinator Monte Kiffin gave him the brownie points he needed for USC to give him a chance. Many people were appalled that the school handed a National Championship program over to a young guy known for his losing records.  While he did face several unfortunate sanctions due to improper gifts given to Reggie Bush before his tenure began, he still failed to coach ranked recruiting classes to winning seasons like the Trojans are used to. He was fired just hours after the 62-41 loss against Arizona State last Saturday, leaving the Trojans with a 3-2 record.

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Paul Pasqualoni, along with Associate Head Coach George DeLeone, was also fired immediately after the Week 5 loss to Buffalo which left the Huskies with a 0-4 start.  The Huskies are not ready to give up on their season and look forward to pushing ahead with more success. It’s argued that Pasqualoni’s method is too antiquated for the changing game of football. While he has a history of success in college football as former head coach of Syracuse, his methods are not translating into wins anymore, leading the Huskies to a 10-18 record during his tenure. A running game that used to top the nation is now last in the country with only 45.8 yards rushing per game.

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So its a new beginning for the gridiron gangs of USC and UConn. Only time will tell what the second half of the season will bring for these struggling powerhouses.

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