Week in Review May 4-8

We’re trying something new here at the Hangover – a look back at the week that was in sports. Or, at least sports related things. We’re going to attempt to post these on Fridays, preferably after the workday is over and no one is looking at their computer for at least 72 hours.  We’re pretty savvy when it comes to maximizing readership. Anyway, this week, the featured guest is the NCAA Committee on Infractions, who came for two of the biggest names in college basketball.   

Hey Louisville…it’s the NCAA…again. Call us back please! 

On Monday, University of Louisville received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA.  Granted, this isn’t really news as Louisville receives these every couple of weeks. And, just to clarify, this isn’t from the incident where the coaches were hiring strippers for recruits and their parents. That one took away their 2013 National Championship. This one stems from when Brian Bowen magically committed to Louisville to play basketball at the last minute after never even taking a visit to campus. Of course, Adidas had paid the Bowen family $100,000 and it was a complete shock to the head coach at the time, the beacon of moral authority, Rick Pitino. 

So, now, the school, the basketball program and the students who compete for them stand to face fairly severe penalties. However, this is where things get tricky. None of the students who play on the basketball team, or the coaches who coach the basketball team were involved in any way. So, it doesn’t seem particularly fair for them to suffer punishment. However, the school and its leadership allowed a head coach to run their program who repeatedly and blatantly ignored and broke NCAA rules. Now, one may argue that the rules are bad, or unjust, but this isn’t Nam, Walter. There are rules. So, the school should have to suffer a consequence, and our opinion is that it should be a financial consequence.  Put some guard rails (I love that new term – I don’t know if I’m using it right) that ensures the school maintains its scholarship funding, but maybe some of the potentially frivolous expenditures go away. Or, maybe they have to make a donation to University of Kentucky.  

Now, Pitino was exiled but coaching in Greece, but thankfully, he returned to coach at Iona. We’re sure this wonderful catholic college rooted in religious tradition, with accountability as a core value won’t have any issue with Pitino receiving a show cause penalty. Ok, realistically, he’ll get suspended for some games but that’s still probably not the way you want to kick off the Pitino era. And you want to know what’s sad? When Iona wins its conference and Pitino is matched up with Louisville in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament, no one at Iona is going to care about the fact that Pitino may have hired strippers for players, may have paid some players under the table cash or cheated on his wife with an administrative assistant in the back room of a Carrabba’s.  

Don Shula, RIP 

The great Don Shula passed away on Monday, and frankly, he doesn’t get discussed as often as he should in the conversation of greatest NFL coach of all time.  We suppose maybe people just don’t have that conversation as Belichick may have put the title out of reach, but we found Shula’s resume to be pretty incredible.  First, he has more NFL wins than any coach. Ever. He won two Super Bowls and holds that pesky little record of being the only coach to lead a team to an undefeated season.  He’s best known for his time with the Dolphins, but he also was the head coach of the Baltimore Colts. You probably have heard about Joe Namath’s guarantee in Super Bowl III, but you probably didn’t realize the coach of the Colts was Don Shula. And that’s what is most impressive – his longevity. In an era when coaches get fired for farting in the general direction of their owner after a slow start to the first half of a game, he coached the Dolphins for 25 years.  He also coached against George Halas, who was born in 1895. That is not a typo, and that’s one incredible career. A toast of champagne to you, Coach Shula. RIP. 

Live Golf! 

To help raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts, Rory McIlory and Dustin Johnson will take on Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolfe in a Skins game on May 17th. There are several cool things about this, the first being that, unlike “The Match” with Tiger, Phil, Manning and Brady, there is a date, time and place for this match. So, you know, it’s actually going to happen. They will be playing at Seminole Golf Club, and it will be most of us common folk’s only opportunity to ever actually see Seminole, which is an extremely exclusive club in Florida. So, it’ll be like we’re all Danny Noonan and there’s nothing Judge Smails can do about it.  If we were betting on this event, we’d take the underdog duo of Fowler-Wolfe, who have nothing to lose and everything to gain in taking down two of the top ranked players in the world. 

Hey Kansas, it’s the NCAA…your bill is due! 

In the ongoing saga of Kansas’ attempt to save Bill Self, the NCAA responded to Kansas’ response to the NCAA’s notice of allegations, and basically said…yeah, this was all really bad and we’re going to make you pay. Technically, they allege 5 Level 1 violations against the basketball program stemming from Adidas making payments to players that ultimately came to Kansas.  There are some intriguing holes in the NCAA’s argument – namely that Adidas is a booster of the university and that the basketball coach would know what an outside, global company was spending its money on.  However, Bill Self absolutely knew what was going on, and he didn’t appear to care. It will be fascinating to watch this play out. For some reason though, Self’s actions since this whole thing started don’t help his cause for promoting a culture of compliance. Something about Snoop Dogg, in a Kansas uniform, with pole dancers and firing cash out of a gun into a crowd of recruits at a University sponsored event doesn’t seem to mesh with, you know, being concerned that Adidas is paying players to come to Kansas. Ultimately, Self is going to get some form of suspension, and it will be fascinating to see how long it is, and when the punishment gets handed down. 

NFL releases schedule…how is this a thing? 

All credit to the NFL, who have brainwashed fans into caring about their schedule release. If this was just something they did this year to provide some hope and excitement and something to talk about, we could let it slide.  But this has become an annual thing that they actual televise.  And, if people actually watch it, well we just feel sorry for you.  One of our favorite past times is watching people react to the release and complain or celebrate about their “draw” for the season.  Well, first of all, if you were such a big fan, you would already know who you were playing. They’ve been using the same system for determining opponents for years. Second, any NFL hype artist will brag about how much parity there is, and how you never know who will be good from year to year. So, if that’s the case, how can you brag that you have an easy schedule…in May? We’re so annoyed. But, hey, Skins to the Super Bowl!  

What to Watch This Weekend 

UFC 249 – If you like to watch people beat each other up, here’s your chance. In more advanced countries, people get arrested for this type of thing, but here you can pay money to watch it! The fight card is headlined by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. We might be wrong about this, but pretty sure Tony Ferguson is 1980s 3rd basemen for the White Sox and Gaethje is a left back for Manchester United.  

Korean Baseball – You’ll have to get up early, or stay up late, but you won’t want to miss the LG Twins vs. The NC Dinos at 4am on Saturday.  

The Last Dance – Episodes 7 & 8 air Sunday night.  This has become appointment television and there are only 4 episodes left. And by appointment television, we mean record it and watch during the week because we’re too old to stay up until 11pm on Sunday night. Or any night, for that matter.  

Happy Social Distancing! 

Published by workhangover

I'm a blog, mostly about sports. Come for the gripping analysis, stay for the witty jokes.

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