Monday, August 31, 2009

Competency Hearing Set For Mark Becker

((HT: KCRG-TV/Cedar Rapids))

A state court judge has determined that there is probable cause for a mental competency hearing for a man charged with killing an Iowa high school football coach.

The Monday decision by Butler County District Court Judge Stephen Carroll means a hearing set for Tuesday in Mason City will be canceled. That hearing would have considered whether there was enough evidence that a mental competency hearing was necessary.

Mark D. Becker faces first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas. Prosecution and defense attorneys each had psychological evaluations of Becker conducted last week.

Becker's mental competency hearing will be Sept. 10 in Mason City. His trial is set for Sept. 15 in Butler County.

What's Catalan For "Two More Years...?"

((HT: Yahoo!Sports/Wojnarowski))

Ricky Rubio – the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA draft – has agreed to a six-year contract with Regal FC Barcelona that doesn’t allow for an escape to the NBA until 2011. Kahn made several trips to Spain to try to get Rubio’s previous team, DKV Joventut, to lower his $8 million buyout price, but couldn’t get it done.

The Timberwolves will retain Rubio’s rights, and will now hand the team’s point guard duties to rookie Jonny Flynn. Kahn drafted Flynn one pick behind Rubio.

Rubio, 18, apparently won’t play for the T’wolves until the 2011-12 season, and that’s devastating for the franchise’s new regime, which hoped to tout Rubio as one of its fresh-faced stars. Minnesota was able to legally pay only $500,000 toward the buyout, and the relative constraints of the Twin Cities’ market made the accumulation of endorsement deals difficult to close the gap on the buyout figure. Rubio would’ve made nearly $3.3 million in the NBA this season as the fifth pick in the draft.

Rubio and his family were never enamored with Minnesota, and along with agent Dan Fegan, longed for a big-city franchise to market Rubio’s wares. Now, there’s a chance that Minnesota eventually will have to trade Rubio’s rights – perhaps to the New York Knicks, a preferred destination – when it’s time for the point guard to leave Europe in 2011.

Here's what David Kahn and the Timberwolves were banking on:
((HT: ESPN/SportItalia/NBA TV))

Labonte Out Of The 96 For Seven Races

And he's not the least bit happy about it...

((HT: CBSSports))

Former NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte won't race this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his best track, because of sponsorship issues at Yates Racing.

The team had seven races to sell this season for the No. 96 Ford, and the sponsorship it secured wanted Erik Darnell in the car. The 26-year-old will make his Sprint Cup Series debut at Atlanta, where Labonte has six career victories.

"This is not about Bobby; it's about making sure we have funding for these races," Yates co-owner Max Jones said Monday. "If it was about Bobby, I would have just put Erik in the car for the rest of the year. That was hard to convey to Bobby.

"But we have this opportunity to get Erik some races, and that's the business part of this sport. It's challenging."

Academy Sports & Outdoors will sponsor Darnell for three races, at Atlanta, Talladega and Texas. Northern Tool + Equipment, his current sponsor in the Truck Series, will be on the car at New Hampshire and Kansas.

Sponsorship for the other two races Darnell is slated to run was not announced.

Jones said Labonte did not take the decision well.

"I wouldn't have either if I was him,"
Jones said. "He's a class act, he's a professional. I had to explain my side, why I was doing it, and he wasn't happy about it. But he understood, and I respect that."

Labonte, the 2000 series champion, left Petty Enterprises last season because he was unsure of its long-term stability. He put together a late deal with Hall of Fame Racing, the team owned by San Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad and president Tom Garfinkel.

Garfinkel and Moorad were able to land a sponsorship deal with, one of the only new companies to enter NASCAR since last fall's economic collapse, and then partnered with Yates Racing for equipment and technical support. The deal is a one-year deal and covered only 29 of the 36 races.

Jones worked hard to fill the car, but ultimately was able to sell the potential in Darnell over the history of Labonte.

Labonte, who is 45, is in the midst of his sixth winless season. He's 30th in the standings with one top-10 finish this season. Teammate Paul Menard is 32nd in the points with no top-10 finishes. He has full sponsorship from his family's Midwest-based hardware chain.

The team also fielded a car for Travis Kvapil for four races but stopped when no sponsorship was found.

Labonte will return to the car at Richmond, Dover, Fontana, Charlotte and Martinsville.

"This is a move that will be beneficial to Yates Racing surviving this difficult economic time,"
he said in a statement. "Of course, I'm disappointed that the sponsorship environment is so challenging right now, but I intend to make the most out of the remaining races that I'm behind the wheel."

Yates Racing is the sister team to powerhouse Roush Fenway Racing, and Jones said he doesn't expect Hall of Fame to be back under the umbrella in 2010. So he has had to approach future planning with a long-range view, which could include Darnell.

Stuck in the RFR development program because sponsorship issues and lack of available seats have slowed his progression, Jones said Darnell has earned this opportunity. He finished fourth in last year's Truck series, where he has two career wins.

He's raced in just 10 of 25 Nationwide Series races this season, but has five top-10 finishes.

Jones worked at Roush Fenway when Darnell won a seat in its development program.

"He deserves this opportunity. He's a really talented race car driver," Jones said. "It's taken a lot of guys a long time to move up because of the funding issues, and the opportunities aren't there anymore. Five or six or eight years ago, you could jump from Trucks to Cup.

"Then everything came to a screeching halt a few years ago."

Although Labonte has not been ruled out for a Yates ride in 2010, Jones said Darnell is in the mix, as is current Roush driver Jamie McMurray.

McMurray is in the final year of his contract with RFR, which must cut down from five to four cars at the end of this season. The organization would like to keep McMurray by moving him to the Yates side of the team but lacks the funding to offer him a contract.

"We still have that opportunity out there to keep Jamie, but we have to find something and right now he's exploring his options," Jones said. "We'd love him to be here. We'd love to be a three- or four-car team, but you have to find someone to pay for it."

All this story does is give us an excuse to show one of the funnier four-letter commercials with Labonte when he had the tools to win...

What's The NHLPA Worth...? A Penny, For Now...

((HT: TSN))

Ian Penny ((pictured, thanks Bruce Bennett/Getty)) has been unanimously named as Interim Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players' Association.

He had previously held the role of General Counsel for the union.

Sources tell TSN Penny is not interested in the position on a fulltime basis and only took the title in order to give the NHLPA a point person during the coming days.

The move came after the 30 player representatives voted to fire Paul Kelly early on Monday morning at their meetings in Chicago.

NHLPA Ombudsman Buzz Hargrove told the TEAM 1040 radio station in Vancouver that the union didn't have faith that Kelly was the right man to lead them in their next contract negotiations with the NHL in 2011.

"They didn't want to wait until it was too late," Hargrove said. "If we waited until next year, you're almost on the doorstep of the opening of negotiations and they didn't want then to be caught with someone they didn't really think was able to unify and pull the group together and get them all working together. 'Trust and confidence' were the words they used and I think that's used appropriately."

Penny has worked as staff counsel with the NHLPA since 2000, and was promoted to his present position in 2007. The report states that Kelly had been at odds with Penny as well as with other key members of the NHLPA.

When asked if the NHLPA had any leads with regards to filling the Executive Director job, Hargrove said that there were no candidates.

"There's no names in the hopper at this point," Hargrove told the TEAM. "I talked to almost all the players before they left at noon today and no one had a suggestion. They really are saying that we need to do a search and we have to reach out outside of the organization, unless somebody surfaces that we haven't yet identified."

Judge Throws Out 1500 Pages Of Evidence In Stinson Trial

((HT: Louisville Courier-Journal/Riley))

Judge Susan Schultz Gibson ruled Monday that medical records, statements, training records of Stinson and personnel files of him and other PRP coaches turned over to the defense since Wednesday “came too late” and can not be used in Stinson’s trial, where jury selection begins Tuesday.

However, if any of the recently filed evidence is relevant to Stinson’s defense, his attorneys can present it and prosecutors then would be allowed to rebut that testimony with information in the newly filed documents.

Gibson also ruled that any other evidence that comes in while the trial is going on —prosecutors said they are still interviewing witnesses — will not be allowed.

Earlier Monday, Gibson ruled that prosecutors violated court procedure by failing to provide information from their March meeting with a medical expert to defense attorneys ((Dr. William Smock is pictured, thanks Louisville Courier-Journal/Mike Heyman)).

But Gibson declined to dismiss either the wanton endangerment or reckless homicide charge against Stinson, as defense attorneys had requested.

“I don't think a drastic sanction is warranted in this case,” said Gibson, who did not issue any penalties against the prosecution.

Fox 41's Bennett Haeberle is outside the courthouse with details on jury selection ((HT: Fox 41/Louisville))

Willie Williams: The End of The Road...???

((HT: Charles Robinson/Yahoo!Sports))

It looks like any chance that former Union College/Miami/Louisville/West LA CC/Glenville State LB Willie Williams had to get a pro career going got flushed down the toilet by an arrest last week in the suburbs of OSG HQ.

"Williams was arrested on the evening of Aug. 27 and charged with burglary and reckless driving by the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Police department. The arrest came after an acquaintance of Williams, Karen Postma, reported that her family’s Suwanee, home been robbed. Police subsequently identified Williams as a potential suspect.

According to an arrest report obtained by Yahoo! Sports, Williams was found with items from the home in both the trunk of his car and inside his Duluth hotel room. The penalty for burglary carries a sentence of 1-20 years on the first conviction, while reckless driving can carry a maximum sentence of one year. Both penalties vary based on prior criminal record.

Williams is in the Gwinnett County Detention Center where Williams is being held without bond as he awaits trial. The latest problems arose as Williams was trying to catch on with the UFL, after failing to be selected in the NFL draft.

Williams was working out with other UFL hopefuls at Competitive Edge Sports in Duluth as recently as this month. That is where Williams met Postma’s nephew. According to the police report, Williams had previously been invited inside the Postma home by the nephew, and was allegedly on hand when the home’s security system was deactivated with a code.

A source close to the investigation said both Williams and Postma’s nephew worked out for UFL teams on Aug. 22. Members of the Postma family declined to comment when reached by Yahoo! Sports, but a source close to the investigation said the family was on hand for Williams’ recent UFL workout, and had talked and encouraged Williams at the event. Two days later on Aug. 24, the Postma home was burglarized.

According to the police report, the family had departed the residence for the day, leaving the home’s garage door open. The home could be entered through a garage door via a security code. The home showed no signs of forced entry, and beyond the items that were missing, the scene was largely undisturbed.

“The jewelry armoire was cleaned out completely,” the source close to the investigation said. “[The burglar] took the drawers and dumped them in a bag. It was nice of [the burglar] to just leave the drawers on the bed. It was like one of the most cordial robberies I’ve ever heard of. It wasn’t like someone tore up the cushions or anything like that. Maybe he had a shred of respect for [the family]. I don’t know.”

Police identified Williams at his hotel and according to the report, pursued him at a high rate of speed after he left the area in a car. Williams stopped at an area mobile home park, where officers arrested him and asked to search the trunk of the car. Williams consented to the search of the car, and some stolen items were found in the trunk. Police then executed a search warrant on Williams’ hotel room and found other missing property. The report indicated that stolen items from the home included video gaming systems, one home computer, one laptop computer, four iPods, a cell phone, cash, jewelry and other assorted items."

OSG HQ had documented Williams last step in the collegiate journey.
Here's what we said at the time...

He's listed at 6-4, 220, but doesn't look the part. But, in the Mid-South Conference Williams is ridiculously dominant. He averages close to a dozen tackles a game, at least one of those per loss on average, and gets a sack per game as well. Safe to say the game plan with Shorter's option/veer offense was to block down, double team, and shade as far away from the middle of the field as possible. And the Hawks did a great job of that.

The only time he was mentioned was when the Hawks ran up the middle- which was only done to set up stud running back AJ Cooley ((and anyone else)) hitting the edge. And the Hawks got a signature win by avoidance therapy.


I asked AJ about what is was like going against Williams and that defense and he thought their approach was pretty sound- treat him just like everyone else. They did... and Williams looked just like every other guy wearing the number 13 on a football field.

Lesson learned... it will be interesting to see if Williams is the same way going through a town like Barbourville, Kentucky.

Add the "pokey" to that address listing now...
Smart...but seemingly appropriate for his track record...

Bruschi- "No Goals Left On The Table"

((HT: NECN))

After 13 years, a stroke, and then an inspiring return to the New England Patriots, linebacker Tedy Bruschi is retiring.

On Monday morning at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Bruschi spoke about being fortunate to have many moments in his career that he will never forget.

The 36-year old Bruschi played on all three of New England's Super-Bowl winning teams and took time to thank Coach Bill Belichick, owner Bob Kraft, his teammates and fans.

An emotional Coach Belichick spoke about how "he always did the right thing" and "he found a way to compete and win."
"He was the perfect player" said Belichick during the press conference.

Owner Robert Kraft talked about how much Tedy meant to the young players and his impact over 5 New England Super Bowls.

Bruschi was in his 14th training camp this summer and knew he had a battle ahead of him with the Patriots other talented linebackers.

The linebacker thanked his wife Heidi for being with him through the highs and lows and fans for helping him through the tough times.

Tedy talked about how he wanted this day to be a day of celebration and that he had accomplished all his goals during his 13 years in the NFL.

Bruschi was very emotional talking about his relationship with Coach Belichick, "he taught me how to win."

Here's some of Bruschi's presser, thanks again to our friends at NECN

NHL, Maple Leafs Disagree On Relocation Veto Power

((HT: GlobeSports/Naylor))

In a letter dated Nov. 29, 2006 – filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Arizona by Balsillie's lawyers last Friday – the Toronto franchise states it does not share the NHL's interpretation of its constitution.

“The Toronto Maple Leafs do not agree that a relocation of another club into their home territory would be subject to a majority vote [of the league board],” said the letter to league commissioner Gary Bettman. “They continue to believe that a unanimous vote would be required before a team could relocate into their home territory.”

The letter was in response to a decision made at an NHL board of governors' meeting in September of 2006 to tell the Canadian Competition Bureau that approval for franchise relocation was determined by a majority vote. The Leafs did not attend the portion of the meeting where that was decided, and later voiced their objections.

“The statement in the minutes that none of the [NHL] board members objected to the statement about relocation into home territories does not represent the Toronto Maple Leafs' position,” the letter said. “The Maple Leafs … reserve all rights to take whatever actions are necessary to protect their exclusive rights to their home territory.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league stands by its position – even if the league's most prominent and wealthiest franchise does not.

“It doesn't really matter how one of 30 teams may interpret league rules,” Daly said. “It's the league's interpretation that matters. And the league has interpreted its rules to require only a majority vote in these circumstances since at least 1993. The league's interpretation has been enforced and communicated to the clubs consistently since Gary Bettman was elected commissioner.”

On Wednesday, Balsillie is expected to argue that the NHL's opposition to his participating in the auction for the Coyotes is to protect the Leafs' stated right to keep NHL competition out of their territory. The hearing is to determine whether Balsillie's $212.5-million (U.S.) bid will be allowed at the auction on Sept. 10, despite his being denied approval as a potential owner by the NHL this summer.
The Leafs' 2006 letter makes clear the NHL's public position on relocation runs contrary to the wishes of the Toronto franchise and its owner, Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. And it suggests if the NHL was to deny the Leafs access to their veto, the league could expect a significant legal fight over the issue.

Gee, just what we figured... more legal battles should things not go one party's way or another...
What is it we say about the idea of the "ruler...?"

Remember, now that the National Hockey League has stated in its public filings that they may not be able to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in the desert, those of us at OSG HQ think they're eyeing the Hamilton area as well. Trying to set the idea in motion of a team at Copps Coliseum ((pictured, thanks CP file))- regardless of the owner Balsillie, the league, or the league's designee.

If The Bettman has to take on MLSE to get it done, apparently, he is resigned to that fate.

Kelly Out As NHLPA Head

((HT: GlobeSports/Wharnsby))

Paul Kelly ((pictured, thanks Adrian Wyld/CP)) has been fired as the NHLPA's executive director following more than 10 hours of meetings in Chicago that began Sunday and carried into the early hours of Monday. The decision to relieve Kelly of his duties less than two years into his leadership of the association was made by the 30 NHL team representatives who make up the NHLPA's executive board.

“Following the Executive Board’s review of the overall operation of the NHLPA, it was decided that Paul Kelly should no longer continue to serve as Executive Director'', said a news release put out the association Monday morning. "We appreciate Mr. Kelly’s service to our Association."

NHLPA staff members Glenn Healy, the director of player affairs, Pat Flatley, the assistant director of player affairs and general counsel Ian Penny attended the proceedings. A source stated that both Healy and Flatley were pro-Kelly, while Penny wanted to see a change at the top.

Not long after Kelly was informed of his dismissal, Flatley resigned from the NHLPA.
According to one report Monday, interim ombudsman Buzz Hargrove said he has no interest in replacing Kelly as the association's executive director.

There also have been charges made from the pro-Kelly camp that former ombudsman Eric Lindros continued to play a behind-the-scenes role in the attempted coup.

Rich-Rod: We Know The Rules, We Go By The Rules


Coach Rodriguez ((pictured, thanks Andre J Jackson/Detroit Free Press)) opened his weekly news conference — scheduled for each Monday during the season — by saying he would talk about the Free Press report in which numerous current and former players said U-M consistently far exceeded NCAA limits on practice time and other football-related activities. Rodriguez talked for 15 minutes on topic, stopping several times when he appeared to choke up.
When he finished, he said, “That was longer than I wanted to take.” Then he asked for questions about Saturday’s opener against Western Michigan.

Michigan announced Sunday that it had launched an investigation into the allegations. The Big Ten and the NCAA have been alerted.

“We know the rules,” Rodriguez said. “We go by the rules.”

He appeared to choke up for the first time while making this statement: "The thing that bothered me the most about the things that were recently written or said or maybe some things in the last 18 months was the perception sometimes that was out there that we did not care as much for our players’, students’ welfare. That is disheartening.” Then he paused and appeared to tear up. “To say that is misleading, inaccurate and goes against everything I have ever believed in coaching."

Here's Part 1 of the Presser, thanks to our friends at WXYZ-TV/ABC7 Detroit

KC Chiefs To Chan Gailey, You're Dismissed

This morning when the Kansas City Chiefs took to the practice field Chan Gailey was no where to be seen. That's because Gailey was "relieved of his duties" as the Chiefs offensive coordinator Monday.

Haley also said that making himself offensive coordinator while still finding his way as a head coach was the most difficult decision he's faced. He was offensive coordinator the past two years at Arizona.

"I think the world of Chan as a coach, have the greatest amount of respect for him as a coach, as a person," said Haley. "But ultimately, the fate of this team, the accountability, falls to me."

The Chiefs are 0-3 in the preseason and have scored only two offensive touchdowns. The injury to Cassel on Saturday raises even more questions about how ready the Chiefs -- who were 2-14 last year -- will be for their season opener.

"After going through three preseason games and a lot of OTAs and a lot of practices in training camp, it became more apparent to me that I had to be more involved," Haley said.

No word on QB Matt Cassel's injury as of yet...

((Photo Courtesy: DAVID EULITT/The Kansas City Star))

Here's how the story broke on NBC41/NBCActionNews this morning...

Code Red For Louisville Football?

The college head coach with the hottest backside heading into the 2009 season would appear to be Steve Kragthrope at Louisville. In his first two seasons the Cards have folded with an 11-13 record during coach Kragthrope's watch.

The term "make or break season" has been associated with Kragthrope entering the 2009 season but the Louisville head coach told the Louisville Courier-Journal recently that every year he feels is a make or break season, even back when Kragthrope was an assistant coach.

The Louisville fans are very restless. They were been spoiled by the high level of success Bobby Petrino had during his brief tenure in horse country. Petrino had the Cardinal football program in the national mix but since he left for the NFL ( and then bolted for Arkansas) Louisville hasn't even been relavent in the Big East Conference.

Kragthrope did acknowledge to the Louisville Curier-Journal that Louisville hasn't had the wins during his era saying, "....“we have not won games, and the fans want to see us win games”

While Kragthrope is feeling the heat from the fans but he's not feeling it from the administration. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich stands behind his man.

“I don't like to ever be patient. I am impatient, but I also know the job at hand,” Jurich told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “I know what we have to get done. I know we can't just do this overnight.”

Even with his bosses support the death watch seems to have begun on Kragthrope's job. Last week in his blog for the, Tony Barnhart suggested to keep an eye on the Louisville program. Here's what Barnhart wrote in the

After a posting on my recent meeting with Phillip Fulmer, the former Tennessee coach, several peopled asked where he could potentially land if he gets back into coaching. Fulmer made it clear that he wants to go somewhere that has made a commitment to compete for conference championships. I would suggest that you keep an eye on Louisville, where Steve Kragthorpe has really been struggling (11-23) since he took over for Bobby Petrino. The Cardinals have a chance to get off to a rocky start with road games to Kentucky and Utah followed by a home game with Pittsburgh in the first five weeks. If Kragthorpe doesn’t show some improvement early, don’t be surprised if Fulmer gets a call. Would he take it? I don’t know. But he could certainly win that league in 2-3 years.

So the Phil Fulmer to Louisville rumor will be circulating all year should Louisville have a poor start out of the blocks. Just know that Steve Kragthrope is Tom Jurich's guy and will give every opportunity for Kragthrope to succeed but hopes winning is in the cards for 2009.

Photo Courtesy: David Lee Hartlage /The Louisville Courier-Journal

OSG College Football 2009 Predictions: Southeastern Conference

SEC East

Florida (13-1 in 2008, 7-1 in the Conference)

Defending Champions: Perhaps the biggest battle this team will fight this year is all the talk of “Repeat Champions”. Yeah, most of the team is back…on both sides of the ball and yeah…Tim Tebow may be the best “College” Quarterback of all time and yeah…Chris Rainey is still there and so is Brandon Spikes and Carlos Dunlap and Major Wright.

Few Questions: The only real significant change was at Offensive Coordinator; Dan Mullen is gone to Mississippi State. With so many guys back, they shouldn’t miss a beat. If Tebow gets hurt, is John Brantley ready to run the Offense? Supposedly Coach Meyer is going to incorporate some Pro Style sets in his offense to help Tebow’s draft status.

OSG’s Outlook:

Phil- They obviously are the team to beat. The only thing that could slow them down is themselves. Really, if Tebow got hurt, they might struggle, but the defense is strong enough to make up for it. As much as it kills me to say this…they will repeat, in the SEC and the BCS.

Wilkie- Florida will win the SEC East, the SEC Championship and the BCS Title. They are that great.

Nelson- What Phil said… this is easy so far…

Georgia- (10-3 in 2008, 6-2 in the conference)

No Pressure- The pressure is off, the expectations are low…that seems to be when Coach Mark Richt is at his best. They should be a better “Team” then they were last year. Though QB Joe Cox doesn’t have experience, he knows the system inside and out. The O-Line will be very, very good; they are young, big and strong. The defense should be better with the return of DT Jeff Owens; they are very deep on the line.

Lots of Questions- Who is going to step up and run the ball? They love RB Carlton Thomas, but he is 5-7. RB Richard Samuel seems to have won the RB job…for now. Can they cover anyone? The secondary struggled at times last year and loses CB Asher Allen and S CJ Byrd. S Rashad Jones is back, but CB Prince Miller is going to have to step up and be “The” cover corner.

OSG’s Outlook-

Phil- After Florida, they are the next best team in the East. There is a “Ton” of talent here. They will be a very tough out for Florida. The schedule is going to make it tough to win 10, but they will. That will get them a trip to Orlando or Tampa in January.

Wilkie- Georgia was supposed to be the “it” team in the SEC last season but that didn’t work out. Even though Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno are cashing NFL paychecks now that doesn’t mean a drop off for the Bulldogs. As brother Phil said, there is a ton of talent suiting up for the Dogs and this year there is no external pressure to win a national title. Georgia opens with a tough one at Stillwater, OK against Oklahoma State but if the Bulldogs win there and the defense performs better than expected then let the hype begin for the Florida game. Plus it wouldn’t surprise me if Georgia got the SEC’s 2nd BCS berth… but that’s a big if.

Nelson- I think it’ll be a New Year’s bowl despite Willy Martinez and the defense. There will be a wake-up call in Stillwater opening weekend, and the offense is going to have to carry the water for the first few games. It’s usually the other way around…

Tennessee- (5-7 in 2008, 3-5 in the conference)

What’ll ya have? – Nobody really knows what to expect here. Jonathan Crompton is going to start at QB, but he started last year and did…nothing. RB Montario Hardesty gives them a solid running back and there are some freshmen ready to jump in. There isn’t much else on offense. S Eric Berry may be the best “Football” player in the SEC. There is nothing he can’t do. Don’t be surprised to see him on offense this year too. LB Rico McCoy is the only other defender of note. Lane Kiffin’s dad has a lot of work to do.

Smoke and Mirrors- Give Kiffin credit, he has taken a lot of the attention off of a team that probably will not be very good. He needs them to be left alone, to grow and handle the immense pressure that being in Knoxville brings. He will have to take advantage of his experienced coaching staff to make up for a team that needs a lot of players.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- They have a long road ahead. It is just a matter of whether the notoriously impatient fan base will wait for it. The coaching staff is in place for them to be successful. There aren’t a lot of players though. They will take their lumps again this year. If they have a winning record, Kiffin should be considered Coach of the Year.

Wilkie- If Lane Kiffin can coach just a little bit then the Vols should win 8 games this year. By the way, I would pay to watch Eric Berry play, he is something special.

Nelson- The word “painful” comes to mind for Kiffy-kins this year. I, personally, like the number and the over in the Florida game this year.

South Carolina (7-6 in 2008, 4-4 in the Conference)

Starts with the “D”- Last year, this was one of the best Defense’s in the NCAA. This year, they will need some help. Yes, LB Eric Norwood is back and that makes them dangerous. However, there aren’t a whole lot of returnees. Clifton Geathers was being counted on, but he is in a bit of trouble right now.

The Evil Genius- Maybe Steve Spurrier isn’t as brilliant as everyone makes him out to be. This team has never been very consistent on offense since he has been here. QB Stephen Garcia has the potential to be pretty good, but will need to step things up quite a bit.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- These guys are always, decent, never great. There is nothing to indicate that will change this year. Norwood is a stud and a future NFL Star. There just isn’t much else here. As always they will win 6 or 7 games and play in a minor bowl game.

Wilkie – Another mediocre season in Gamecock land in 2009 and bowl game but one down the SEC totem pole.

Nelson- What Phil said… again…

Kentucky- (7-6 in 2008, 2-6 in the conference)

Surprise, Surprise- One of 2008’s biggest surprises/revelations was QB/WR/Athlete Randall Cobb. Cobb helped the Wildcats to one of their best seasons in recent memory. Until injured, did what was needed to make them competitive. He may line up at WR to start the year, but unless Brian Hartline does more than what he has, look for Cobb to end up under Center before it is all over.

CB Trevard Lindley is the man on Defense, though they have some work to do on that side of the ball

More Consistency- That has always been the biggest issue here. This year, they have some work to replace several Defensive Linemen. The O-Line lost 2 starters as well. They don’t have the power or depth to run with the big boys each Saturday, but they can jump up and bite people.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- Each year under Rich Brooks they have gotten better. They won’t be mistaken for Florida, but they have become a solid program. We like Cobb a lot. They will fight it out with South Carolina, Tennessee and Vandy for 3rd in the East and will be in a bowl.

Wilkie- I’ve got to stand up and applaud Rich Brooks for the job he’s done with Kentucky. The Wildcats have become a solid football program and not just something to do in Lexington until they tip off the hoop season at Rupp Arena. This season Florida, Alabama and Tennessee must come to Commonwealth Stadium and at least one from the trio will be upset by UK. Kentucky will be a major pain in the backside but just doesn’t have the horses to win the SEC East this year but the Wildcats will go to a bowl game.

Nelson- I still like, either, a Music City or an Independence appearance here. They may as well rename the Nashville bowl the “Rich Brooks Invitational.”

Vanderbilt- (7-6 in 2008, 4-4 in the Conference)

Encore- Last year was their 1st bowl game since 1982. Bobby Johnson flat out is a good coach. With LB Patrick Benoist, Chris Marve and John Stokes all with an extra year of experience, this should be the strength of the team. They are solid all-around on Defense. This group should be very, very good.

Stepping Up- The big question is “Who is going to step up on offense”? Nobody is sure. QB Mackenzie Adams has shown flashes of brilliance, but wasn’t good enough to get the Bowl Game start. Alex Washington is a potential breakout star…if someone can get him the ball.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- Yes, Bobby Johnson is a magician. The Defense here is legit however. The Offense…not so much. Because of the “D” they will be competitive, but unless Adams plays well all year, I just don’t see them repeating last years Bowl effort.

Wilkie- The defense is as good as advertised but the offense must produce for Vanderbilt to go to back to back bowl games. If the Commodores can get in ugly slug fests then Vandy has a chance to win 6 and go bowling. That’s the ‘Dores only shot.

Nelson- “The new defense is here! The new defense is here!” But they won’t be able to help the offense. I’m thinking just under .500 and missing out on a bowl game.

East Champs-

Phil- Florida
Wilkie - Florida
Nelson- You’re kidding…??? Right…???

SEC West

Alabama- (12-2 in 2008, 8-0 in the Conference)

Chchch..changes- There will be a lot of new faces on this years Tide Offensive team. Gone are John Parker Wilson, Glen Coffee and Andre Smith. Greg McElroy steps in at Quarterback and Mark Ingram takes full time Running Back Duty. WR Julio Jones is back for his second year and should take pressure off of McElroy. The big Question is who will protect him. Two new O-Line starters will be the gauge as to how well they will be on Offense.

Still Strong- Despite losing S Rashad Johnson, pretty much the rest of last years outstanding Defense returns. DT Terrance (Mt.) Cody is back, a little slimmer (relatively) and LB Rolando McClain is there as well. There is a lot of experience in the Secondary as well

OSG’s Take-

Phil- They will be good, but probably not as good as last year. Jones and Ingram will be great on Offense, but their success hinges on McElroy. The Defense remains stout and they will carry this team early on. They will compete for the West title and be in a good bowl game, but not a BCS game this year…be patient Tide faithful, you are a year away from being scary.

Wilkie – Alabama is loaded with talent and depth plus plenty motivated after the way the 2008 season ended. The Crimson Tide should win the SEC West and challenge Florida for the SEC crown in Atlanta.

Nelson- If the season opener is a win against Va Tech, then look out. If it’s a loss, I’m thinking it a lower New Year’s Bowl. Still a successful year in Tuscaloosa… next year, however…

Auburn- (5-7 in 2008, 2-6 in the Conference)

Curiosity- This is an interesting team. They have to find an identity this year, they really didn’t have one last year. They were a pretty good defensive team, but the offense was horrible. New starting QB Chris Todd needs to step up and take over the “O” for them to be competitive. RB Ben Tate and WR/PR Mario Fannin are back and are very good but they will only be as good as their Quarterback. Where are the other QB's...? Kodi Burns and Neil Caudle...? Catching passes and standing on the sidelines...

Step Up- There are plenty of guys on the other side of the ball who will need to step up as well. DE Antonio Coleman is back, but LB Trey Blackmon is now in the CFL. There are a few holes to fill; the question is can Coordinator Ted Roof find guys to fill them.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- This is a program on the downswing. I don’t think that Gene Chizik is the answer either. They need to figure out who they are quickly or they will be run over in this conference. There are some athletes here, if they figure it out on Offense, they may see .500 and a bowl game, but right now, I’m not seeing it.

Wilkie- If Auburn gets any kind of offense then Gene Chizik’s first year on the Plains won’t be all that bad. If not they don’t have a chance in the SEC. Of course if the Tigers beat Alabama at Jordan – Hare in November then all is well with the Chizik, even at below .500.

Nelson- If they figure out who they are, the home schedule will get them to .500. If they still are stumbling on offense, there’s real problems on the Plains and Jay Jacobs better watch his back for hiring The Chizik.

Arkansas- (5-7 in 2008, 2-6 in the Conference)

Momentum- These guys finished strongly last season. Big things are expected from QB Ryan Mallet. RB Michael Smith ran for over 1,000 yards last year and All-Star TE D.J. Williams is back too. They have to fill 2 holes on the Offensive Line, but that should not be a huge issue.

Figure it Out- They need some kids to figure out how to be SEC Football players on Defense. They were very young and very vulnerable last year. This year, most of those kids return and Coach Petrino really doesn’t know what to expect. Any improvement over last season will help this team…a lot.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- Love him or hate him, Bobby Petrino can coach some football. This is one of the scarier teams in the SEC. They may not stop a lot of people, but they certainly will be able to score with them. Look for them to step up a bit with a winning record and a bowl game.

Wilkie- Common sense tells me to lay off since I’m very biased and in total disclosure have been a passionate Razorback fans since birth. Here’s what I will say, the offense should be solid, Ryan Mallet might be the best passer Arkansas has seen since Joe Ferguson in the early 1970’s. Mallet has plenty of receivers to throw to (D.J. Williams, Joe Adams, etc) and Michael Smith will be the star of the show running the ball. The defense though needs to step up and get after it. My heart tells me the Hogs should contend for the SEC West title but my head sees 8 wins but a bowl game.

Nelson- I think Robert will jump and surprise people this year, but not enough to get him to the upper floor of the hotel just yet. I also think there will be just as many toe-stubs than there are surprises… Maybe they go to Shreveport if Kentucky doesn’t…

LSU- (8-5 in 2008, 3-5 in the Conference)

Rebuilt- You could classify 2008 as a rebuilding year for Les Miles. That is scary, because this is going to be a very good team. QB Jordan Jefferson showed some flashes of brilliance at the end of last season, he should be better this year. RB Charles Scott is a beast and WR Brandon LaFell is back too. The defense is stout with the entire secondary from last year returning.

Many Questions- Is Jefferson the man? Who will step up on the Defensive Line? Can the team stay healthy? If the answer to all of these is “Yes”, then look out.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- Les Miles may be one of my favorite coaches in the SEC. He’s got a really good team here too. The ingredients are in place for Miles to cook up something good here. Expect them to win the West and the Title game with Florida will be the best game of 2009.

WilkieLSU has got the goods, speed, athleticism and loaded with 4 and 5 star recruits. The Tigers are simply a damn fine football team. LSU draws Florida in Death Valley October 10th, that game is circled on my calendar. Should LSU win it then they should be Atlanta bound. The hardcore Tiger fans probably have reservations to Pasadena already booked too.

Nelson- Phil just like Lesmiles for his humor that was on display at SEC Media Daze. He’s always got a damn fine football team, but I think they’ll only go as far as Jefferson takes them. Upper-level bowl…
Have a great day!

Ole Miss- (9-4 in 2008, 5-3 in the Conference)

High Expectations- Meet this year’s trendy conference pick. QB Jevean Snead is a very good QB and has a few weapons, namely RB Dexter McCluster and WR Shay Hodge. The only “O” Line loss was T Michael Oher, the rest of that group returns. Offensively they should be very good.

Replacement Parts- A couple of guys left, but many more stayed. DE Greg Hardy is back and may be the best DE in the SEC. S Kendrick Lewis returns too. There are several new players on Defense who will need to step up for this unit to keep them in games. They won’t be flashy, but they don’t have to be.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- They should be a very good team. Not great, but very good. They have some weapons, but I don’t think they are as deep as LSU or Alabama. Snead is a good leader and will put up big numbers this year. They should be very similar to last season. Contender, but not a title winner.

Wilkie – I can’t help to think that Ole Miss has been set up for a big letdown this season. The Rebels are the trendy pick with a great QB in Jevon Snead with a good group of skill players (McCluster, Hodge) and a defense that has some star power (Greg Hardy). Houston Nutt is one of the best of getting max effort from his players. The schedule sets up nice to but I just can’t see the Rebels defeating LSU or Alabama even with both playing Ole Miss in Oxford this season. Both the Tigers and the Tide are just too deep in talent. Ole Miss could get 10 wins though which I’m afraid will be below expectations on the Grove.

Nelson- Once again, a team that will only go as far as their QB will take them. Considering it’s Snead, it should be very far. Contending for the West title, if not the bid for the title game in Atlanta…

Mississippi State- (4-8 in 2008, 2-6 in the Conference)

Who are you? Who who who who? - Dan Mullen will have his hands full in his 1st Head Coaching gig. This team will struggle; they don’t have the talent to be a top-tier SEC team. QB Tyson Lee is decent and WR Brandon McCrae isn’t bad either. Perhaps the best player RB Anthony Dixon had a bit of an off the field issue to deal with here recently. The defense wasn’t bad last year, but most of them graduated.

Good Luck and Good Night- LB K.J Wright is the best returning defender. The rest of this group is a “Big” question mark. Somebody will need to step up on the Line if they are going to have any chance.

OSG’s Take-

Phil- Whoa. This is a tough situation for anyone, never mind a rookie Head Coach. Sylvester Croom had made some progress, but this Miss. State is a tough place to win…for anyone. There is some talent on the Offense, but unless Dixon gets his issues resolved, it will be a long year for them too. Bottom of the Conference.

Wilkie – A long year in Stark-vegas Maroon fans

Nelson- They don’t call it “Stark ville” for nothin’… yikes…

West Champion-

Phil- LSU
Wilkie- Alabama
Jon- LSU

SEC Champ-

Phil- LSU (in a shocker)
Wilkie- Florida (Phil’s got onions though)
Jon- Phil’s nuts… Florida

Best Offensive Player-

Phil- Tebow, if he stays healthy.
Wilkie- Tebow
Jon- The Tebow…

Best Defensive Player-

Phil- Eric Berry, Tennessee
Wilkie- Eric Berry
Jon- The pride of Westlake High, Eric Berry…

KCRG-TV Team Coverage: Aplington-Parkersburg vs. Dike-New Hartford

For the first time in 34 years, Ed Thomas was not on the sideline for A-P Falcons

It was an emotional night for the town, and the coverage was wall-to-wall...
As it should have been...

Todd Duffee Wants To Eat

Welcome to the fastest knockout in MMA history...
From UFC 102 this past weekend in Portland, Todd Duffee knocks the crap out of Tim Hague- in a sport-record 7 seconds...

Duffee, when asked, thought it was six...

The knockout was a UFC record surpassing the previous mark of eight seconds set by James Irvin over Houston Alexander at Ultimate Fight Night 13 and Don Fyre over Thomas Ramirez at UFC 8.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stinson Trial Starts Today In Louisville

Andrew Wolfson of the Louisville Courier-Journal interviewed nine separate legal experts about the trial of former Pleasure Ridge Park High head football coach Jason Stinson ((pictured, thanks Louisville Courier-Journal file)). Collectively, they feel it will be a tough sell to convict Stinson of reckless homicide and wanton endangerment in the death of PRP football player Max Gilpin.

If medical experts can't agree on what killed Gilpin, it will be difficult for the jury to convict Stinson of the charges.

Some of the experts Wolfson interviewed addressed the idea that Stinson ignored an “unjustifiable risk of death” — a required element of reckless homicide. No other student died performing the same activities Gilpin did, so the statistical risk is minimal at best.

Convicting Stinson on the wanton endangerment charge may be even tougher "because it requires proof that he knew about the risks to Max's health and consciously disregarded them."

It's the "Screw Ya'll I'm Coaching The Team My Way" approach... even if I know there's a physical issue with Max Gilpin...

The prosecution will bring in one of the leading authorities on heat illness, UConn's Dr. Doug Casa, to testify about the environment of the practice. The defense seems to be having its case seen through the eyes of fellow coaches and matching experts.

Bennett Haeberle was at a candlelight vigil the night before the Stinson trial starts
((HT: Fox41/WDRB-TV Louisville))

Here's where all the Courier-Journal's materials are on the trial to date...

Bruschi To Retire Monday

((HT: CBSSports))

Tedy Bruschi is retiring after a 13-year career marked by an inspiring return to the New England Patriots as a starting linebacker eight months after a stroke.

A person familiar with his decision tells the Associated Press that the 36-year-old Bruschi will announce his retirement at a news conference Monday morning. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. The team declined comment Sunday night.

Bruschi played on all three Super Bowl-winning Patriots teams. The last championship game was on Feb. 6, 2005, against the Philadelphia Eagles. Ten days later he was hospitalized after experiencing numbness in his left arm and left leg and blurry vision and was diagnosed with a mild stroke.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe has an "important player announcement" occurring at 10:45

Here's a piece that ran on ESPN about how Bruschi threw himself in the film room to make sure he was always at the right place at the right time...

Michigan To Launch "Full Investigation" Of Player Allegations

Things are getting interesting in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Late Sunday night University of Michigan athletic director Bill Martin said the institution would launch a "full investigation" responding to the Detroit Free Press report that Brother Phil posted earlier.

Here's Bill Martin's statement released by the University of Michigan:

"We are committed to following both the letter and the intent of the NCAA rules and we take any allegations of violations seriously."

"We believe we have been compliant with NCAA rules but nonetheless we have launched a full investigation of the allegations in today's newspaper."

"We have already reached out to both the Big Ten and the NCAA and we will have more to say on this as soon as we have completed our assessment."
Photo Courtesy: Julian H. Gonzalez/Detriot Free Press

Bengals Agree To Terms With Andre Smith

((HT: Cincinnati Enquirer/Reedy))

It is a four-year deal worth $26 million with $21 million guaranteed. The Bengals have an option after the 2010 season that would push the deal $42 million over six years with the maximum worth $50 million.

The team and Smith’s agent, Alvin Keels, met throughout the weekend at Paul Brown Stadium, with the deal being announced a half hour before practice. Smith ((pictured, thanks Cincinnati Enquirer file)) arrived in Cincinnati Sunday morning and was waiting in the locker room as the deal was being completed.

“We’re excited to have Andre with us now,” coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. “He has a lot of work to do, but he knows the challenge ahead of him to make an impact on our team as soon as possible. Our vision of him is simply as a physically dominating player on our offensive line, and we know that this guy wants to be very, very good.”

Smith was on the practice field for the first time since the last minicamp session on June 20. During the first 30 minutes, which were open to the media, Smith did do some line work with the second unit.

“Andre is a very powerful man,”
said offensive line coach Paul Alexander. “He can knock ’em back better than anyone who was in the draft, and that’s why we took him. And it was a very good year for offensive linemen.”

Here's one of the reasons the Bengals took Smith...
Skip forward to the :40 mark... and hide your eyes...
((HT: Tide Sports Video))

Is Green New Set-Up Guy For Sawks...???

This classifies in the "Something You May Have Missed" Category...
From the White Sox 9-5 win over the Red Sox back on the 28th...

((HT: Boston Globe/Kilgore))

A confluence of other relievers’ unavailability made shortstop Nick Green the choice. In the third inning, as the White Sox battered Tazawa, manager Terry Francona found Green in the dugout and told him he may have to pitch.

Green and Rocco Baldelli escaped to the batting cage in the tunnel between the dugout and clubhouse. Green threw him three different fastballs, but Baldelli forbade curveballs. “I didn’t have a cup on,’’ Baldelli said.

Green tried a cutter in the impromptu warm-up.

“It didn’t cut,’’ Baldelli said. “I said, ‘Don’t do that.’ ’’

In his career, Green had played every infield and outfield spot. After this season, he wants to pursue catching in an effort to extend his career - what team couldn’t use a fielder who could also serve as an emergency catcher?

Here's your postgame with Green, thanks to our friends at NECN

Michigan May Be In Trouble

University of Michigan Football Coach Rich Rodriguez may have some 'splainin to do to the NCAA. According to a story that appeared yesterday in the Detroit Free-Press, he is alleged to have violated some NCAA rules in regards to practice time and voluntary workouts. As we all know, that is a no-no.

Here is the original story from the Detroit Free-Press.
((Rich Rodriguez photo//Courtesy: Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press))

We don't know if the allegations are true or not, but if they are it would not be a shock. Without casting aspersions towards Rodriguez, we think he would not be the first coach to put an undertone towards these issues. We will imply that there are probably numerous football coaches who do what they need to do to get there guys there and get "100%" participation. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Aplington-Parkersburg Highlights From Opening Night


Aplington-Parkersburg Wins In '09 Debut

((HT: Cedar Rapids Gazette))
A red wave of Aplington-Parkersburg fans applauded in unison last night as their Falcons jogged off the field at halftime.

Nestled among the nearly 4,000 fans who packed Ed Thomas Field ((pictured, thanks the Gazette again)) were about a dozen sporting similar red T-shirts that read “Becker.”

On a night when the community paid one last round of respects to legendary coach Ed Thomas, the irony lies with Aplington-Parkersburg senior Scott Becker. His brother, 24-year-old Mark Becker, is accused of fatally shooting Thomas in front of 20 students June 24 at the school’s weight facility. Yet Scott, a two-way starter, received one of the loudest ovations from the home crowd.

Now in death, Thomas continues to connect the community, including the Beckers. Joan Becker wore the “Becker” red shirt and a pin with Scott’s photo. She stood and cheered as the Falcons intercepted five first-half passes. Watching the game was therapy for her family and a community still coping with Thomas’ death.

“It’s a huge relief for us to have this night here, because it’s what our community and our family needed to just move on,” Joan Becker said. “It’s what Ed would want the whole community to do, and the whole team to do. It’s a relief for the team, too, to get out there and play football and get to work.”

The Thomas and Becker families share the same church (First Congregational) and a love of football. Dave Becker — father of Mark and Scott — played for Thomas, as did Mark. The families also share the incident but are tied together in faith and forgiveness. Anything less would crush the Becker family, Joan said.

“We’ve just had nothing but tremendous support from our families, our church, the Thomas family and the community,” Joan Becker said. “It’s what’s allows us to keep going each day. We just couldn’t do without it.”

Fans wrapped the fences around Ed Thomas Field, also called “The Sacred Acre,” and cheered wildly from opening introductions through the long television timeouts.
As electric as last night was, today brings another reminder for the community.

Thomas is still gone, the team will play again next Friday and Mark Becker faces first-degree murder charges. But A-P’s 30-14 victory provided a much-needed salve to a community still blistered by Thomas’ death. It’s also healing the Becker family.

“We’re coping one day at a time with God’s grace, helping us through each day at a time,” Joan Becker said
((HT: KCRG-TV/Kellett))
Claire Kellett talked to Ed Thomas' widow, Jan, who spoke publicly for the first time since his murder...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Could H1N1 Bring Down The Mount...???

That's the scuttlebutt in Alabama, anyway...
Cody can't fill out his 7XL shirt since he (gasp) hasn't eaten in two days...
Surely, you can't be serious...
Yes, Nick Saban...???

Alabama coach Nick Saban on flu, Hokies, more

Yes, he's serious... and don't call him Shirley...

Marshall Plan: Suspended Through Pre-Season


Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall, openly unhappy with the Denver Broncos, was suspended by the team Friday for unspecified "detrimental" conduct.
Coach Josh McDaniels said the suspension will last through Sept. 5. Marshall has asked for a new contract or trade and has acknowledged he hasn't learned new coach Josh McDaniels' playbook.
He was held out of last Sunday's preseason game at Seattle. During Wednesday's warmups, Marshall walked while the rest of the team ran. He punted a ball away instead of handing it to a ball boy and swatted a pass thrown to him.
His actions were caught on video and broadcast by KMGH-TV. Marshall told ESPN on Thursday night he wasn't trying to force a trade through insubordination but that frustration got the best of him.

The receiver apparently was held out of practice Thursday as punishment for the churlish display, but McDaniels wouldn't discuss it afterward.
"I'm not going into it," the coach said. "If they're not ready or able, they're not out here."
Marshall's agent, Kennard McGuire, didn't immediately return a phone call Friday. McGuire was out of the country until Monday.
Here's the actions in demand right now, thanks to our friends at KMGH-TV Denver and the Youtube... Lionel Bienvenu is your anchor...

And "Bienvenu" means "Hello..."

Some Music For Your Weekend

Has it really been since 1990...???
In honor of one of the greatest guitarists of the era...
A little SRV...

The only thing missing now is an entrance from the Hulkster and the rest of the NWO...
Choppin' it down with the edge of his hand...

Kelly Out As NHLPA Head...???

((HT: TSN/Dreger))

NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly, who has been on the job less than two years, is facing intense scrutiny according to union sources and his status may be challenged when the Players' Association's 30-member executive committee convenes Sunday and Monday in Chicago at a regularly scheduled meeting.
Sources tell TSN that NHLPA interim ombudsman, Buzz Hargrove is expected to make a presentation to the committee identifying concerns within the association about Kelly's leadership. No details have emerged about the nature of the concerns.
Sources say it's possible the executive committee could vote to have Kelly removed and, in accordance with the NHLPA constitution, could do so without consent from the full membership of NHL players.
Sources say a divide in leadership intensified in June at the summer meetings in Las Vegas when Hargrove, advisory board head Ron Pink and the advisory board addressed the membership privately and emerged with the executive committee's consent on a 5 year contract extension for the general counsel of the NHLPA, Ian Penny, without Kelly's consultation. A union source said that exclusion violated the PA's constitution.
According to article 6, section 2, subsection 3 of the players associations constitution, Kelly was required to be consulted by the 30 member executive board when Penny's contract was extended.
The article reads:
"The executive director shall consult with the executive board regarding the appointment and terms and conditions of employment of the general counsel of the association."
Another source says Kelly was consulted in the Penny negotiation.
It's believed Pink, a Halifax labour lawyer applied for the executive director job before Kelly was hired and sources say he would have strong interest in the job if Kelly is ousted.
While this weekend could erupt into a showdown between Kelly's supporters and those challenging his leadership, there is also a chance Hargrove and those who support him will be shot down by the committee and Paul Kelly and those close to him will get through the weekend unscathed.
Requests to interview Hargrove and Kelly were declined by the NHLPA.
Kelly succeeded Ted Saskin as executive director in October, 2007 after Saskin was let go amid allegations he had been monitoring players confidential emails.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Kane's Plead Guilty

Chicago Blackhawks Forward Patrick Kane and his cousin James, plead guilty today to charges of disorderly conduct. If you will remember, the Kane's tried to skip out on a Buffalo cabbie over roughly 20 cents. Well, that is now going to cost them $125 in court fees and a written apology to the cabbie.

The story from the Buffalo News here .

After the hearing, Patrick Kane apologized to his fans, teammates, his family and anyone else within earshot. Kane will be representing the U.S in the upcoming Winter Olympics in early 2010.

The lesson here is simple. Don't be stupid for the sake of being stupid. Somehow, someway it always comes back and bites you in the Ass.

Judge Approves Vick Bankruptcy Plan

((HT: WAVY-TV/Newport News, Norfolk))

The judge approved Vick's $20M bankruptcy plan and suggested Vick assign his accountant, Ira Speigel, as his financial advisor.

On the stand, Vick confirmed the salaries he'll be receiving from the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick has reportedly signed a one-year, $1.6 million contract with the Eagles, who hold a $5.2 million option for a second season.

According to court papers, creditors have approved Vick's plan to pay them back. And though Vick will be making $1.6 million dollars in his first year with the Eagles, he'll only live on $300 thousand dollars -- the rest will pay back his creditors.

His accountant, Ira Speigel set up a plan and has spoken to Vick about the need to live within his new budget.

Here's coverage from our friends at WAVY-TV

UCF Staff Didn't Know About Plancher's Condition

((HT: Orlando Sentinel/Limon))

UCF football officials supervising Ereck Plancher ((pictured, thanks UCF SID)) the day he died did not know he tested positive for sickle cell trait, according to depositions and statements made in court.

Attorneys representing Plancher's family in a wrongful-death lawsuit contend no one at his final workout — including the sole athletic trainer present — was aware of Plancher's potentially lethal condition. Sickle cell trait was cited by the medical examiner as a contributing factor in Plancher's death.

The sworn statements of two assistant coaches contradict the school's long-held stance that all staff members were aware of the football player's medical history and monitored him closely during every workout.

Then OC Tim Salem and Wide Receivers Coach David Kelly testified on July 31 that they didn't know about Ereck Plancher's previous condition.

From Salem's deposition:

Q. Do you remember how you found out that he [Plancher] had sickle cell trait?
A. I think it was through the news. Well, I want to say it was the newspaper. I remember reading the release that UCF had that all the coaches knew, you know, Ereck Plancher had sickle cell. I'm like, [expletive], I didn't know.

Q. Did you ever talk to any of the other coaches about whether they had known?
A. Yeah, because as soon as I read that newspaper, I called one of our other coaches immediately and said did you know that so-and-so had sickle cell, because I sure as [expletive] didn't.

Q. Who did you call?
A. [UCF wide-receivers coach] David Kelly.

Q. What did he say?
A. He didn't know either.
Plancher lawyer Jeffrey Murphey said in open court that UCF trainer Robert Jackson, in a deposition, claimed he did not know Plancher had sickle cell trait. Jackson was the only trainer present at the time of the collapse. However, head trainer Mary Vander Heiden was aware of Plancher's condition- a claim UCF's lawyers admitted.

So, the head trainer knew, but the coaches and other trainers did not...?
A training staff would not alert coaches about a possibly fatal condition...???

And this also flies in the face of what UCF AD Keith Tribble said on July 18, 2008:

"Our staff advised Ereck of his sickle cell trait and monitored his physical condition at every practice and workout."

Define the word "staff" Mister Tribble...
We call "shenanigans" in bold-face type... again...

OSG College Football 2009 Predictions: Big 12 Conference

South Division

Oklahoma Sooners
2008 Record: 12-2 Overall, 7-1 in the Big 12 Conference
Lost To Florida 24-14 in the BCS Championship Game

What to Like About Oklahoma:

Sam Bradford: Bradford is perhaps the best of the quarterbacks in the league full of really good QB’s. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner could be taking snaps right now for the New York Jets right now and cashing big checks with lots of zeros but instead is going for an Archie Griffin, back to back Heisman’s. Bradford is that good.

Dominant Front 7: If you plan on running against the Sooner front 7, may God be with you. The front 4 could play in the NFL right now. They are rocks against the run a can get to the quarterback. Gerald McCoy is the real deal and is fun to watch. LB Ryan Reynolds needs to keep his knee healthy and if he can stay off of crutches, the linebacking corps is as good as it gets.

Running Backs: OU has had great running backs since the days of the leather helmets. In 2009 they have a pair, Chris Brown gained over a thousand yards last year while DeMarco Murray has superstar talent written all over him. Murray just has to stay healthy. Together Brown and Murray form one of if not the best running back combos in the nation.

What Not To Like About Oklahoma:

Offensive Line: The Sooners must replace 4 starters on the O-Line. The only returning starter is a really, really good one, 6-5, 318 pound senior OT Trent Williams. Plus OU is replacing 4 NFL caliber earth movers with 4 potential NFL caliber earth movers. Can this group keep Sam Bradford standing upright?

OSG’ Take:

Wilkie: OU will be awesome this year plus the Sooners will be motivated to get back in the BCS Championship Game and make up for the loss last year ( Florida rematch anyone?) Whatever happens OU needs to win a BCS bowl no matter what to avoid getting the Ohio State label.

Phil: This is a potential BCS Championship team if some things go right. There is plenty of talent here to win and win a lot. The only question is the O-Line, and that will be answered very quickly. If not BCS, they will be a Top 4 team and potential conference champ.

Nelson: This is an easy one- “What Wilkie Said.”

Texas Longhorns
2008 Record: 12-1 Overall, 7-1 in The Big 12 Conference
Defeated Ohio State 24-21 in The Fiesta Bowl

Things to Like About Texas:

Colt McCoy: If Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and McCoy sat in a circle playing “Spin The Heisman” this year it might point to dude from Texas (By the way, what a great name for a Texas QB, Colt McCoy). McCoy’s numbers last year were great and his 78% completion percentage was off the charts but what’s scary is that McCoy might be even better this season. Rest assured the “Eyes of Texas” are upon you Colt McCoy.

Receivers: Jordan Shipley is back for a 6th season but the rest of the corps, Malcolm Williams, DeSean Hales, and Dan Buckner, are young and very talented. If one or two or all three step up, and they will get plenty of opportunities to catch balls from McCoy, Texas could make plans for Pasadena.

Things to Not Like About Texas:

Running Backs: Texas likes a running back by committee which is fine but no one on the roster are Earl Campbell imposters. A year ago the Texas RB’s as a group only averaged 4.4 yards per carry. There really isn’t a workhorse back in the bunch.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Texas got royally screwed last year beating Oklahoma yet OU getting the nod to play in the Big 12 Championship Game (The Red River Shootout should be great this year). With that said the Horns can’t blow their wad in Dallas against the Sooners because Texas has road games at Missouri then at Oklahoma State which could be a landmine. One thing is for sure this Texas team is united to right that wrong plus it helps when you have a great QB in Colt McCoy. It’s Pasadena or bust for the ‘Horns.

Phil: Wilkie, you worry me with the veiled “Spin the Bottle” reference and the “Blow their Wad” line. You are right though, they got screwed last year. Again, a potential championship team here, but I think there isn’t the depth of the past few years. A BCS team for sure, but I don’t believe they are the title contenders everyone else thinks they are.

Nelson: : I like this. Wilkie said “Blow their wad.” Two for two…

Oklahoma State Cowboys:
2008 Record: 9-4 Overall, 5-3, In the Big 12 Conference
Lost To Oregon 42-31 in The Holiday Bowl

Things to Like About Oklahoma State:

Balanced and Efficient Offense: The Pokes finished 6th in the country in total offense last year and should be in the top 5 this year. OSU has some outstanding skill players from QB Zac Robinson to RB Kendall Hunter to WR Dez Bryant and the 2nd team isn’t bad either. This offense will be fun to watch.

Offensive Line: Simply a great group. At 6-6, 305 pounds Russell Okung is a mountain of a man and leads this group. Another reason why the Pokes offense will light it up.

Things to Not Like About Oklahoma State:

Lack Of Pass Rush: Something new defensive coordinator Bill Young must solve. None of OSU’s D-lineman scares an opposing QB.

Secondary: Inconsistent a year ago. With the QB’s they will be facing this group better make some plays.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: The Cowboys are gunning for a big year. The folks in Stillwater expect double digit wins, a South Division title, and Big 12 Championship and a BCS bowl. Pretty ambitious but the Pokes have the talent to pull it off. OSU gets Texas at Boone Pickens Stadium but Oklahoma in Norman and head coach Mike Gundy has never beaten the Sooners in the Bedlam series as an OSU QB or head coach, that’s 0-8.

Phil: They have some lofty goals and yeah, this may be their best team in a long time. But they are screwed because of the conference they are in. They aren’t better than Oklahoma or Texas, though they are close. Without a defense, they have no chance, plus the schedule ain’t easy. They will be a tough out, 9-3 or 10-2 and a good bowl game.

Nelson: Early upset alert- Georgia crossing the Mississippi for the first time ever. There’s a good chance to lose to Oklahoma State. It’s also an early start to UGA DC Willy Martinez’s death march to the unemployment line. That should put Oke State on the radar for the rest of the planet, and it’s all up from there. Third in the division, but a fun year for the Gundys

Texas Tech Red Raiders
2008 Record: 11-2 Overall, 7-1 in the Big 12 Conference
Lost To Ole Miss 34-47 in the Cotton Bowl

Things to Like About Texas Tech:

Linebackers: Yes it’s Texas Tech and we are talking defense but the Red Raider linebackers are pretty good. The trio of Brian Duncan who is the star of the “D”, Marlon Williams, and Bront Bird have a tremendous upside and will be the rock of the Texas Tech defense.

New Parts to The System: As good as Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree were let’s face it, they were cogs in the Texas Tech offensive machine. Though they have moved on the Red Raiders will just change personnel. Junior Taylor Potts takes over at QB and after a few years knows the system plus he has a better arm the Harrell. The receivers will catch a ton of balls. The RB’s, Baron Batch, Harrison Jeffers, and Aaron Crawford are outstanding. Texas Tech will score a bunch of points this year

Things to Not Like About Texas Tech:

Defensive Line: They are not very good against the run and don’t have a consistent pass rusher. Red Raider fans are glad the linebackers are decent.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Mike Leach is a mad scientist when it comes to offense. Leach has added some fresh new elements for his offense in 2009. The Red Raiders will be fun to watch again but they will come no where near their win total last year. 7-8 wins and a decent bowl for Texas Tech.

Phil: A curiosity is the only way to describe them. Yeah, Mike Leach became America’s sweetheart, but he had some pretty talented guys on last year’s team. They also got a couple of breaks and snuck up on people. That won’t happen this year. They will be a decent team and win more than they lose, but they aren’t better than Texas or either Oklahoma school.

Nelson: Whoever the “System” QB is for the Red Raiders, the numbers and the personnel will be there. I think Tech is a year away from really being annoying in the 12. They’ll be annoying enough in the 12 this year, though. Tech won’t be able to stop people and score an equal amount of points. A pre-New Year’s Bowl for you…

Baylor Bears
2008 Record: 4-8 Overall, 2-6 in the Big 12 Conference

Things to Like About Baylor:

Robert Griffin: Griffin is probably the most exciting player in college football. He’s a dangerous runner who won the 400 meters hurdles at the Big 12 Track and Field Championship. This year Griffin will get to throw more. He’s the face of the Baylor Bears and could return BU back to being relavent again.

Things to Not Like About Baylor:

Special Teams: Baylor has been awful here. There’s improvement but it’s a sore spot.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Art Briles is to the Big 12 what Jim Grobe is to the ACC, brilliant coaches at difficult private schools who get the right players for their programs. For the first time since the Bears were in the Southwest Conference they have speed and skill. This program is almost back to being relevant again and should reach 7 wins a make a bowl for the first time since 1994. It’s just too bad Baylor is in the Big 12 South because any other league with the exception of the SEC the Bears might be the story of the year. And you bet I’m going to be tuning in to watch Robert Griffin work his magic.

Phil: A decent team, which is something you haven’t always been able to say about Baylor. I agree with Wilkie, they’d be better in another conference. They will be OK here, and have a shot at a Bowl Game, but they will need more than Robert Griffin in order for that to happen.

Nelson: Robert Griffin will be must-watch TV for the next few seasons. Must-watch will not translate into “must-win,” though. The early part of the season will be great, but the last half will be brutal.

Texas A&M Aggies
2008 Record: 4-8 Overall, 2-6 in the Big 12 Conference

Things to Like About Texas A&M:

Jeff Fuller: at 6-4, 209 pounds Fuller is a big target plus has a great set of hands. Even at that size he has speed to gain the attention of NFL scouts. Could 2009 be a big year for Mr. Fuller.

Things to Not Like About Texas A&M:

The Lines: Both the offensive line and defensive lines were awful last year. The good news is that there is some talent there but both have to improve for the Aggies to have any chance at .500

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Texas A&M baffles me. They have all the money in the world and in my mind the best atmosphere in college football but they have been mediocre at best the last few years and then the bottom fell out last year. It won’t be this year but someday the Aggies will matter again. 5 wins the max on the Brazos.

Phil: They are still reeling from some bad coaching hires the past couple of years and some bad recruiting. They should be better than what they are, but they aren’t. They don’t have the guns to carry into battle in this conference and won’t make .500 either.

Nelson: The first three games give them a false sense of security- New Mexico, Utah State, and UAB. Then, it all falls down from there- maybe 5 wins unless they steal one on the road from someone. Unimpressive…

Big 12 South Division Champion:

Wilkie: Oklahoma

Phil: Oklahoma

Nelson: Boomer Sooner - Oklahoma

North Division

Nebraska Cornhuskers
2008 Record: 9-4 Overall, 5-3 in The Big 12 Conference
Defeated Clemson 26-21 in The Gator Bowl

Things to Like About Nebraska:

Defense: The front four is as good as it gets. DT Ndamukong Suh is the star and will be in the NFL someday. Suh lead the Huskers in 2008 in tackles (76), tackles for loss (19) and sacks (7.5). Suh even had 2 interceptions returning both for scores. Suh is 6-4, 300 pounds and will command attention. Also watch out for red shirt freshman Baker Steinkuhler (another Steinkuhler wearing the stenciled “N”).

Alex Henery: If Henery attempts a field goal from 49 yards and in ring it up, he’s that automatic. He was 17-18 inside 50 yards a year ago.

Things Not To Like About Nebraska:

Receivers: There’s no go to guy in the group. Nebraska has some big, fast receivers but not one who will scare you.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Bo Pellini is bringing the Nebraska way back to Lincoln. They won’t be on the elite level this year but the Huskers are good enough to win the Big 12 North. Nebraska does have road games at Missouri, at Colorado and at Kansas so it won’t be easy.

Phil: They seem to have finally recovered from the Bill Callahan era. Bo Pellini was a great hire, he was better than I thought he would be. They are a program on the upswing and though they aren’t an “Elite” team, they are headed in that direction. Solid team, solid year and a bowl game on the horizon.

Nelson: The road schedule is a bit of a killer, but I’m looking at 8 wins and a shot at the title. The 12 North continues to unimpress

Missouri Tigers
2008 Record: 10-4 Overall, 5-3 in the Big 12 Conference
Defeated Northwestern 30-23 in the Alamo Bowl

Things to Like About Missouri:

Young Players Hungry Too: Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman, Jeremy Maclin and the rest who put Mizzou on the national stage have moved on. Gary Pinkel and his staff have done a good job recruiting some great talent to replace the stars that have left Columbia. The underclassmen want to prove themselves and keep Mizzou at the top of the Big 12 North.

Offense: Even though Mizzou lost superstars on that side of the ball the cupboard is far from bare. Derrick Washington gained over a thousand yards in 2008 and had a great spring. The key will be new QB Blaine Gabbert. At 6-5, 235 pounds and a cannon of an arm Gabbert has more NFL upside than Chase Daniel ever had. Gabbert will be the focal point of the Mizzou offense so it’s his time to shine.

Things to Not Like About Missouri:

Secondary: Last year the Mizzou secondary had only 3 interceptions as a group. Only one starter returns and there is speed and athleticism there. But if you can’t make big plays what good is that.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: This year we will know if Mizzou will have staying power in the Big 12. I’m willing to bet the Tigers do. Gary Pinkel’s staff has done a great job with recruiting and there is talent to replace the talent that moved on. Mizzou’s got the goods to win the Big 12 North.

Phil: There are a lot of people to replace on this team. There is more than enough here to do it. Pinkel is a good coach and will get the most out of them, I just don’t know if they are good enough to win the North. Definitely a Bowl team and a contender.

Nelson: I could see 7 wins here and a shot at the title in the North, but this is a team that will probably lose to Nevada on the road, too. Meh

Kansas Jayhawks
2008 Record: 8-5 Overall, 4-4 in the Big 12 Conference
Defeated Minnesota 42-21 in the Bowl

Things to Like About Kansas:

Todd Reesing: He may not impress you with his physical skills but Reesing has done nothing but win and is the heart and soul of the Jayhawks. If Reesing stays healthy KU will be fine.

Pass Rush: Kansas will get after the quarterback. Maxwell Onyegbule and Jake Laptad are speed rushers and both have the potential to put up big sack numbers.

Things Not To Like About Kansas:

Schedule: Not only do you have there rivals in the Big 12 North but Kansas also gets Texas and Oklahoma from the South. Talk about bad timing.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: I expect a huge year from Todd Reesing, he’s that good. If the Jayhawks get a big year from Reesing and the defense plays up to there potential than 10 wins could happen in Lawrence. I just don’t see KU winning the North though.

Phil: Tough, tough schedule. Reesing may be the best QB not named McCoy or Bradford in the conference. The Mangino has a good squad and with a few breaks, could be playing for the conference championship.

Nelson: Another stellar early schedule for the Manginos- Northern Colorado, UTEP, Duke, Southern Miss, Iowa State. But after that, it’s all uphill in conference play. They’ll be bowl-eligible, but I think there are others in the division that are better- even with Reesing, who will be celebrating his 38th birthday with KU in November.

Colorado Buffaloes
2008 Record: 5-7, 2-6 in the Big 12 Conference

Things to Like About Colorado:

Running Backs: Darrell Scott was a prized recruit for the Buffs, 2009 he needs to play like one. Scott had a rough freshman year but he has superstar written all over him and should have a big year. The rest of the running backs are really good, Rodney Stewart, Demetrius Sumler, and Brian Lockridge form perhaps the best running back foursomes in the Big 12.

Linebackers: They are solid. At 6-0, 260 pounds senior Marcus Burton is the star of the group. Burton has had injury and academic issues during his Buff career but is ready to be the man this year after a disappointing 2008 season.

Things Not To Like About Colorado:

Receivers: Had Josh Smith stayed instead of pursuing a career in music then this wouldn’t be the case. When your receiving corps doesn’t have speed you have an issue and Colorado has that. Possession receivers can only go so far.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Head coach Dan Hawkins is demanding 10 wins from Colorado this year. Well coach Hawkins, this isn’t intramurals, this is college football, this is the Big 12 brother and while the league is going to be awesome, the Buffaloes might get roamed. 10 wins, in your dreams, just get into a bowl and call it a winning season.

Phil: They haven’t done much since Dan Hawkins arrived. They aren’t awful anymore, but they aren’t an elite team either. There is some talent here, particularly at RB, but they will need more than that. No, they won’t win 10, 7 maybe and a December Bowl Game is more likely.

Nelson: : I could see nine wins if he gets past State in the “Folsom Rivalry” to start the season. All the crucial games are in Boulder. As long as he gets out of the first 5 at 3-2 surviving both Morgantown and Austin, that’s where they’ll be.

Kansas State Wildcats
2008 Record: 5-7 Overall, 2-6 in the Big 12 Conference

Things to Like About Kansas State:

Receivers: They are fast and can go get it. The question is do they have a quarterback to get the ball to them. (See Below). Brandon Banks is a clear #1 receiver who is a game breaker plus has all the tools. Banks can be a home run threat or get open to move the chains. The rest of the corps is solid as well.

Things Not To Like About Kansas State:

Quarterback: Who’s going to start? Carson Coffman backed-up Josh Freeman last year and can throw but lacks experience. Coffman is battling with South Florida transfer Grant Gregory during fall camp. Gregory is in his 6th year of eligibility and has experience. Remember Bill Snyder likes QB’s that are very mobile and gain 1,000 yards and throw when needed and JUCO transfer Daniel Thomas fits that mold and might see some time.

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: In Manhattan, KS they call it the family reunion with Bill Snyder back running the show. That alone might get K-State over .500 but with road games at UCLA, at Texas Tech, at Oklahoma and at Nebraska matching Ron Prince’s win total from last season might be all the Wildcats can accomplish.

Phil: Another team that thinks it is more than it is. Bringing back Snyder was a sentimental thing, he’s a decent coach, but…decent won’t cut it here. The schedule is awfully tough and mostly on the road, .500 is a reach, but…you never know.

Nelson: : Kansas and Missouri are back-to-back in Manhattan late in the year. This could figure out where The Family goes for Christmas- home or to a bowl. I’m thinking 6-6 and something close by for good measure as a 13th game.

Iowa State Cyclones
2008 Record: 2-10 Overall, 0-8 in the Big 12 Conference

Things to Like About Iowa State:

Defensive Coordinator Wally Burnham: Iowa State’s defense was 112th in the country last year with a front four that was awful. Burnham comes to Ames wanting the front 7 to be more aggressive so ISU’s talented secondary doesn’t get worn down and bombed on. If they generate a pass rush and with talent like Rashawn Parker, Christopher Lyle and Austin Alburtis taking in what Burnham is teaching this should get better throughout the year.

Things Not To Like About Iowa State:

Offensive Line: It’s a veteran unit that hasn’t played together much because of injuries. With a new coaching staff in place and new assignments this will be a work in progress.

Wilkie: Another long year for Cyclone football fans. Give Paul Rhodes some time and Iowa State football might matter again but this year, 4 wins the max.

Phil: Yawn. Someone has to take this role. They won’t be a serious contender for anything, but they won’t be a pushover either. They are building and in time will be a contender, but not this season….No Bowl for You!

Nelson: Next….

Big 12 North Division Champion:

Wilkie: Missouri
Phil: Kansas
Nelson: Nebraska

Big 12 Champion:

Wilkie: Oklahoma
Phil: Oklahoma
Nelson: Boomer Sooner - Oklahoma

Best Offensive Player In The Big 12:

Wilkie: Colt McCoy – Texas & Sam Bradford - Oklahoma
Phil- Sam Bradford - Oklahoma
Nelson: Sam Bradford - Oklahoma

Best Defensive Player In The Big 12:

Wilkie: Sean Witherspoon – Missouri
Phil- Ndamukon Suh- Nebraska
Nelson: Gerald McCoy- Oklahoma