Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Night Beer: How About a "Baylor" for Miami

In the wake of Yahoo's stunning expose of Miami's nightmare of illicit benefits to 72 players, it seems that the only question that remains is whether the NCAA will impose the death penalty on Miami. Ever since SMU football was shut down for a year in the 80's, it's been assumed that the NCAA would never impose that penalty again because it was so severe. I haven't completely read Charles Robinson's report in it's entirety yet, so I won't draw a conclusion on the degree of Miami's guilt yet...but I will suggest that a full shutdown of the Miami program might not be necessary. Look at Baylor basketball:  after the Dave Bliss scandal (one player murdering another while other players received cash and drugs), Baylor didn't get the death penalty. Instead, they were forced to give up scholarships and not play any non-conference games in a season.

There are numerous ways to penalize a football program:  take away scholarships, home games, or television appearances. Maybe a combination of it all. You don't necessarily have to completely shut it down. Of course, this is something Nebraska needs to keep an eye on because the Hurricanes are on the schedule in 2014 and 2015. Will Miami still even be able to play in those seasons?  If they are still allowed to play, they very well could be penalized so severely that Miami-Ohio could be a much stronger team. That's not what Nebraska signed up for as a non-conference foe.

UNO announced today that they'll hold "Homecoming" prior to the October 1st exhibition hockey game against British Columbia. I've got mixed thoughts on this.  On one hand, it helps keep the tradition going without football, and it might improve attendance at a traditionally poorly attended exhibition game.  But let's not forget what's happening simultaneously with that exhibition game:  Nebraska's first Big Ten football game against Wisconsin. So let's not kid ourselves: only a few UNO die-hards will be attending the hockey game that night, even with "homecoming".  If UNO really wanted to do homecoming right, I'd suggest doing it Thanksgiving weekend, perhaps on Sunday afternoon with the St. Cloud State series.

When I heard the reports of two separate disasters at outdoor concerts this week (one at the Indiana State Fair and the other in Belgium), I was reminded of the stupid "Ameritragedy" gag that a few bored media members organized after a storm caused a delay in the College World Series.  I remember the complaints "it was just wind"... well, this week we saw what could happen when high winds hit an outdoor event. Was it an overreaction to the June storm, which turned out to not be quite as strong as originally thought? Yes, but a necessary overreaction.  I bet the organizers of the Indiana State Fair wish they had overreacted last Saturday night.

Remember last month when Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe declared that "no more than one live football game will be televised on any institutional network and no high school content will be televised on a branded member's network"?  Well, Texas and ESPN are ignoring Beebe, declaring once again that the Longhorn Network will televise a second game anyway, according to Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman. Oh, and "highlights" of high school games as well. Why stop there? Why not just announce that DeLoss Dodds is now the de-facto Big XII Commissioner or move Beebe into the Texas athletic department offices. Meanwhile, now it appears that LHN will try to televise the Bovines' game against either Kansas or Kansas State. If it's K-State, the game would appear on KSU's new online network as well.

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