Friday, May 30, 2008

DickRod Mediation

Tummysticks and Option went on vacation for the week. If one of them weren't already married I would have wondered about them sharing a bed, a bar of hotel soap and multiple fruity rum drinks with two straws. I would have wondered or been really jealous. I am not sure. Anyway... just this one shitty post this week since I actually had to work. Sorry sports/rambling/crap fans. I stole the story below from Yahoo. It is an AP line anyway. As an attorney myself, I don't suggest holding your breath on this mediation. Especially with the Garrison situation, which would look like a tasty possibility for a scapegoat at trial if I were DickRod's counsel. WVU fumbles... at least enjoy the pictorial. Gracias Collegehumor.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP)—West Virginia University’s $4 million lawsuit against ex-football coach Rich Rodriguez is headed for mediation, with the goal of resolving the dispute by Aug. 1.

But WVU attorney Jeff Wakefield says Judge Robert Stone’s order is standard, and he thinks it’s unlikely mediation will help.

Wakefield says the university remains firm in its position that Rodriguez owes $4 million under the contract in place when he resigned in December to take Michigan’s head coaching job.

If mediation doesn’t end the dispute, Stone will hear motions on Nov. 10.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Round of Reubens

Or maybe we should think about renaming this since West Virginia is the third-fattest state in the country. However, the good news is that the overall number of overweight fifth-graders went up this year because the morbidly obese numbers have been reduced. Most of the obese worked themselves down to overweight while a few went the other way and moved to "shut-in." Manufacturers of youth sweat pants are already concerned and thought to be considering countering with pie.

The men's baseball season has ended for WVU with a 12-5 loss to South Florida in the Big East Tournament. The Mountaineers finished 35-21 on the season. Tyler Kuhn set a school record with 101 hits this season and Freshman Jed Gyorko batted over .400.

Haven't heard about the Garrison-Bresch stuff for a while? Well, WVU lost three faculty members this week and two explicitly blamed the scandal while a third said it was definitely in their mind when considering leaving. First up Dr. Aina Puce and her million dollars in federal grant for research:

"I have decided to leave the university because I believe that the university leadership has caused a loss of academic integrity and I don't feel I would really like to stay here and be a part of that."
Next up is Dr. Steve Zdatny the chair of History and winner of teaching awards from the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences and WVU Foundation:
But the truth is that, without the events of the last year, I might not even have applied for another job," Dr. Zdatny says. "As it is, despite the many wonderful colleagues and students I leave behind, I am glad to be going. And I think it's fair to say that a lot of them wish they were leaving too."
And finally hello to, and then say goodbye to Brian Gerber an assistant professor in the Division of Public Administration of the School of Applied Social Sciences:
"I like it here," Dr. Gerber says. "I like WVU. It offered me a great opportunity to grow as a scholar. But one of the factors I had to consider [in my decision] was the leadership of the university. The Garrison situation sets a negative climate. His actions have called into question the integrity of the university."
But don't worry students the current plan is to have Lang and Sears take on some extra classes since they are back to teaching. And I hear the grading in their classes is really easy.

Basketball news today starts with Joe Alexander. The Gazette goes over different rotations next year with or without Joe, but doesn't include Joe Flowers in the rotation for either which is weird. On Alexander, Huggy had this to say:
"If you would have asked me two days ago, I would have said he's definitely going. But I've had conversations with him and he could come back. I don't think there's a great chance [he'll return to WVU], but he could."
Next up for Alexander is a pre-draft camp in Orlando that starts next week. The last date to remove your name is the 16th of June. Should Joe stay in the draft it looks like he'll have some undergraduate and international company. There are currently 63 undergraduate players and 21 international players that have declared for the NBA Draft. So not counting seniors there are 84 potential draft picks fighting for 60 draft slots and 30 guaranteed contracts. Some players are getting some bad advice and are going to end up Dingled. Finally, the schedule is already shaping up for basketball next year in the non-conference:
WVU is set to play at Mississippi and Duquesne, against Marshall in Charleston and four games in the Las Vegas Invitational. The Mountaineers will play two preliminary games at home and advance to Las Vegas win or lose for games Nov. 28-29. In Las Vegas, WVU plays Iowa and then either Kansas State or Kentucky.
Only six games remain to be scheduled so the final schedule could be done soon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Joe may really go

When Joe Alexander put his name into the mix for the NBA draft it appeared as a move that would be similar to Kevin Pittsnoggle a couple years earlier. Go to some workouts and find out you need another year of work (or more for KP). That may not be happening now as Alexander is one of the fastest risers on the draft board according to everyone that writes about these sort of things. Of course it helps when you can take a couple of steps and head-butt the rim in front of every scout in the NBA after a couple of hours of workouts. First up is ESPN's Chad Ford ($$ normally but free preview) talking all things Alexander in his preview of the best small forwards available and concluding:

Since the tournament ended, his legend has kept growing. For the past couple of weeks, reports out of Abunassar's gym have said that Alexander's athleticism was off the charts. He was an untapped treasure who was getting better and better by the day. By the time I hit Vegas, I had four different GMs call me to tell me he was going to be a lottery pick.
and he concludes with this:

An informal poll of a few GMs I spoke with had (Giorgi) Gallinari (of Italy) first and then a split between Alexander and (Donte') Greene (Syracuse) as the second small forward off the board. Look for teams like the Blazers at 13, the Suns at 15 and the Raptors at 17 to take a long look at Alexander.
Giorgi is described as the anti-Joe which means he is maxed on ability, but has played his whole life. See the big man get up below to further drive home the point. The Abrunassar that is mentioned in the first quote is Joe Abunassar a trainer that works with many of the NBA players in the offseason and before they begin their careers. Draft Express caught up with Abunassar at the NBA workouts in Las Vegas. Abunassar, along with all the rest of the trainers, were glowing about Alexander.
Alexander came into his morning workout with a great reputation, as everyone we spoke with that had been working with him over the past week could not stop raving about how well he had been responding to them thus far. “A fierce worker,” Joe Abunassar told us. “He’s an animal in the weight room,” strength trainer Tony Falce told us. “He’s worked non-stop for every minute since the second he got here.” One after one, each of the trainers filtered over to our direction to share a story about their favorite pupil.
The workouts have worked well for Joe:
“Right now he’s probably somewhere in the early 20’s on most teams boards, but he’s going to be one of the fastest risers in this draft,“ the executive predicted.
If Alexander is guaranteed to be around 20 or above that means guaranteed money (2nd round NBA contracts aren't guaranteed) and a year quicker to free agency and potential really big money down the road. All that may mean that Joe has suited up in the Gold and Blue for the last time (unless he is drafted by Golden State or the Pacers).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ebanks picks WVU

Devin Ebanks, the 11th ranked high school senior and 2nd ranked small forward according to, has signed with West Virginia. Bob Huggins now has his first official recruiting class at WVU. Last year Huggins came on board late and cut all ties with previous recruits at Kansas State. His recruiting consisted of convincing John Flowers to stay on board. Ebanks will join Kevin Jones and Roscoe Davis as top 150 players joining WVU next year and guard Darryl Bryant will round out the recruiting class. Interestingly, three of the four recruits come from New York which is an area Pitt has dominated lately. The Big East is going to be loaded next year and it looks like it won't be letting up any time soon.

"He said he expects me to be the Big East rookie of the year,'' Ebanks said. "That's a lot on my shoulders, but I like the expectations.''

Even if Ebanks is good enough to be considered at that level, he will no doubt have some competition. Despite his lofty rankings, he is only the third-highest-rated recruit entering the Big East next season, behind 6-10 forward Greg Monroe of Georgetown (No. 8 on the list) and 6-9 forward Samardo Samuels of Louisville (No. 9). Connecticut also has the No. 13 and 14 players on the rivals list (forward Ater Majok and guard Kemba Walker) and Louisville has the No. 18 player (Forward Terrence Jennings).
Players lost for next year are Darris Nichols, Ted Talkington, and Jamie Smalligan. The fourth scholarship opened up when Jacob Green transferred during the season. Returning contributors for next year are Mazulla and Ruoff at the guards, Butler, Cam Thoroughman, Smith, and Flowers at the Forward spots. In addition Joe Alexander could return and Jonnie West will probably get more time if he can get on the Ruoff lifting program.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Round of Reubens

Sorry to all, been very busy this week with work and life. Mike Casazza has been picking up the slack for eveyone with WVU athletics. First he reports on the injury front that Isdaner and Dent are ahead of schedule, Reed Williams is coming along, but Frank Carduff is done and will retire while Brantwon Browser will miss the upcoming year and redshirt due to an ACL tear. Also Damon McDaniel, he of interest but no offers, may end up at WVU afterall, but without a scholarship for at least a year if he can't get a hardship waiver. Also Gwaltney will officially be allowed to walk on, but he is ineligible for the upcoming year so he would be practice squad while he works on his grades. Nothing can go wrong there. Casazza also reports that Huggins has a clause that keeps him on "mean" money for the Big East for his career which means he should be able to afford a helmet. The mean is the average salary and is subject to outliers such as Rick Patino making a huge bonus. In order to eliminate those outliers one typically uses the median salary instead, which WVU failed to do here and may cost them lots of money if Patino sticks around long enough.

Meanwhile, how is the state doing if you're on the outside looking in? Well, Garrison received a second no-confidence vote and this time from over 600 faculty for the Bresch degree (third no-confidence overall), the Rodriguez suit stumbles on with both sides continuing to saying the other is a liar, this time Rodriguez claimed that Joe Manchin and BOG members pressured him into signing a claim that BOG member Steve Farmer called a lie, Spike Maynard lost in his re-election bid for the Supreme Court which recycles the Massey story, and speaking of Massey the case which started the Massey news stories continues on as Harman Mining is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court over judge recusal, or lack thereof. Speaking of elections, the primaries gave the nation a chance to look at the state of West Virginia:

At least Pacman and Henry haven't been arrest this week. Yet.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Early Awards

Pat White has made the pre-season Playboy All-America team as teh one and only quarterback.

It is the third straight year West Virginia has had a Playboy All-America selection. Running back Steve Slaton was selected last year and center Dan Mozes in 2006. That same year, linebacker Jay Henry was named a Playboy's Academic All-American.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound White is WVU's seventh Playboy All-America team selection (eight including Henry's academic recognition).
Mike Dent has been named to the Rimington watch list which one would assume was based on non-USF play last year.
In all, 42 players are on the Rimington Award watch list. The list includes two of last year's finalists as well as 2007 winner Jonathan Luigs of Arkansas.
Steve Slaton is making his way through his first mini-camp in the NFL. So far he has impressed with his speed and quickness, but has had problems holding on to the football.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Round of Reubens

Both the Charleston Gazette and the Daily Mail have details of Ed Pastilong being deposed by RRod's lawyers. Apparently Rodriguez has a non-sports fan lawyer. He thought Bobby Knight was the Texas A&M football coach and that Bob Huggins had also recently left WVU. All 205 pages can be found here. Speaking of public documents available for viewing, the Bob Huggins contract can be found here.

The 2008 Fred Scahaus Captain's Award was given to Owen Schmitt, Darris Nichols, and Women's soccer captain Ashley Banks. Usually there is one female and one male winner, but Schmitt and Nichols split the male voting this year.

Three teams at WVU are losing scholarships due to APR scores which is the eligibility and retention of student-athletes over a four-year period. The three teams are wrestling, men's soccer, and women's rowing. Women's rowing lost the most, a full scholarship, so if you see someone spinning in circles on the Mon. you know which girl lost her teammate.

Finally, to make you feel old, it is the 15th anniversary of the release of True Romance. Maxim spent 5 minutes away from recycling jokes and being a poor man's playboy to get all of the main characters from the movie together to review the making, writing, directing, and producing of a movie that grossed all of $11 million in theatres with a cast of Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Gary Oldman, Tom Sizemore, and cameos by Val Kilmer and Sam Jackson. Not to mention it was written by Tarantino.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Top 5 College Football Coaches-Kige Ramsey Style

God help us all! We are powerless in the presence of Kige Ramsey! He, the master of the dramatic pause. The master pronunciator! The fashion plate! And don't forget the keen intellect. By the way, who's Bo Schembekelker?

God I hate the off season!

It's a Podcast

The new College Football Weekly podcast is up for your listening pleasure. Please feel free to hear me mumble things I think I think, how DickRod & Co. are changing things in Michigan, and the state of elite programs around the country that we don't really care about until we upset them in a bowl game. Seriously, as always this is another fine podcast worth your listening.

In other news covered in the Round of Reubens below: Joe Manchin, Mike Garrison, I want you two to quit fucking around with my school! M'kay?

Round of Reubens

Lots on the plate today...

First Seattle is embracing the Bill Brasky-like mythology surrounding Owen Schmitt. Included in the stories related is one "well-known" story about Owen making the Wall at Mario's Fishbowl.

Perhaps the most well-known was when Schmitt ate a beer coaster in 10 seconds to earn a spot on the Hall of Fame wall at Mario's Fishbowl in Morgantown. There were also the 11 facemasks he broke during his college playing days.
OS has seen the Wall and has fostered some thoughts about knocking it down.

WVU-Marshall is currently not scheduled for national television. The date of the game was moved to accomodate the WVU-Auburn game which led some to believe that the Marshall game would also be televised.
That includes Gov. Joe Manchin, who was visibly surprised when informed the game hasn't been scheduled for national television.

"Really?" said a puzzled Manchin. "I thought for sure it was."
But there is a chance if the game were to be moved to FRIDAY night. But not to worry as WVU has previously stated they would never play a home game on a Friday since it is the night for high school football around the state, right?
Don't be surprised if Manchin lobbies for that to happen.

"I will get involved," vowed Manchin.
I think you and your daughter have done more than enough for WVU forever Joe.

The last time WVU was on television for football (with Joe mugging for the camera behind the bench the whole game) was the Fiesta Bowl. I'm sure most people remember that game and how great it was for the program. Except financially.
The Big East awarded WVU $2,425,600 for its Fiesta Bowl expense allowance to Glendale, Ariz., and for being the conference's BCS bowl representative.
In total, the university spent $3,495,872.59, resulting in a loss of $1,070,272.59.
Of course the main reason was unsold seats. WVU failed to sell 8174 of the allotment at $135 a seat for a loss of over a million dollars. Ken Kendrick was supposed to pick up the difference to make up for his pro-RR comments, but I'm not sure if the check has cleared yet. Well there were some other factors as well, namely the band and food:
At this year's Fiesta Bowl, WVU had to purchase adequate space for its band members and equipment. The travel expenses to send the band and cheerleaders on two planes was $565,152.29, more than $200,000 above what it cost to send the team and coaches to the bowl.

The football team took one larger and one smaller plane, while some players flew to and from their homes. The band flew on two larger planes.

"We have to pay for every seat the band uses," Parsons said. "Not just for the tuba player, but we have to have one for tuba as well."
And for the food:
Bowls assign teams to specific locations, and WVU was put up in the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. The meals ($773,723.08 total for everyone representing WVU on the trip) often times took place in the team hotel. The most expensive meal was New Year's Day team dinner of $15,848.05 for 132 people, or a little more than $120 per plate.

"There's no doubt it was costly," Parsons said.

The dinner, which included just players and coaches, was the traditional spread the WVU football team ate before every game last season. It took place at the team hotel, as New Year's Day also fell the night before WVU's 48-28 win over Oklahoma.

"It worked," Parsons said.

The magical meal included lasagna, carved roast beef, chicken cordon bleu and mashed potatoes, among other things. "I am sure there's more to it," Parsons said. "It's a heavy meal, and the trainers made sure to have it."
Finally, the faculty is meeting today to discuss Heathergate and whether to vote no-confidence for the administration. A great review on the story can be found here. But, it appears as though the scandal can be linked to anything in the university. For instance, WVU signs Bob Huggins to a lifetime contract. The contract is announced by Ed Pastilong. Unfortunately, it may be the first Pastilong has heard of it as well.
The WVU athletic staff had no knowledge of the "lifetime" contract talks until WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong finally was informed about it 24 hours before the dog-and-pony show to announce it.

That's wrong and sad -- but it seems kind of typical of the way things are done these days on the WVU campus. As for the political spinning, when did the capital move from Charleston to Morgantown?

If anyone were paying close attention to the Friday news conference, you couldn't have found two people describing the supposedly same process differently than Pastilong and Huggins.

That's because only one of them really was part of the process. It's not like the athletic department would have balked at sweetening Huggins' deal, either.

WVU President Mike Garrison and his Board of Governors and Stewart Hall cronies were desperate for some good news. That's fine, but was it necessary to do an end around on the people to whom Huggins is supposed to answer?
Hmm. Coach now with the ability to go around Pastilong and straight to Garrison. Nothing could go wrong here could it? Maybe Joe Manchin can step in.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Round of Reubens

Let's start with some good news. WVU has landed a commitment from a 6'10" power forward for 2009. Keith Dewitt has committed and can sign in November with WVU. He'll be a freshman in 2009. According to Dewitt he signed with WVU over offers from Nebraska, Missouri, Cincinnati, and LaSalle. Dewitt is the first pledge for the '09 class with Noah Cottrill leading the '10 class. The '08 class has three commits currently with forwards Roscoe Davis and Kevin Jones joining guard Darryl Bryant. There is still one remaining scholarship for the current class that is being held for top 10 player Devin Ebanks. Ebanks was released from his Indiana pledge after the Hoosiers fired Calvin Sampson and is between WVU, Texas, Rutgers, and Memphis.

In football news the BCS isn't going anywhere anytime soon as a proposed playoff by SEC commissioner Mike Slive didn't even get to a vote. The only support came from the ACC with Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese sounding like a true man of genius saying:

if the proposed plus-one model for determining college football's national champion "looked like a playoff, smelled like a playoff and felt like a playoff," it probably was a playoff.
He followed that up by comparing the plus-one method to the NCAA tournament that started with 24 teams and has grown to 65 and then cemented his opinion with this:
"There's a particular coach in my league who wants to invite every team in the country," Tranghese said, referring to Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim, who is advocating a 128-team NCAA tournament field after his Orange were snubbed in each of the past two seasons.
The next shot at even broaching the subject will be in 2014 if Fox picks up the BCS contract.

At WVU the Heather Bresch controversy is in full swing. First Lang and Sears stepped down. Then it inevitably was released that since they were tenured they would keep teaching. So Lang will make $199,627 as a professor which is 82 percent of his before salary for teaching 9 months which is 75% of the time. So he got a raise. Plus both Sears and Lang get 6 months to "readjust" to teaching. So they got a 6 month paid vacation. Sears will earn $159,862 for 9 months which is 80% for 75% of the work. Meanwhile the scandal has alumni working to make a change in the presidency and the only way they can directly cause change is to withhold donations. They are doing this now. Of course to this outcry the Board, which Garrison put in place to put him in place, still backs Garrison. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sued WVU for lack of FOIA compliance and can't be happy about the results.
The university can provide no records of phone calls Mr. Garrison made during the critical five-day period when WVU decided to award the governor's daughter a degree she did not earn.

The university does not have landline records for Mr. Garrison, assistant general counsel Shea Browning said. According to Mr. Browning, records of local landline calls are maintained for only 30 days and no long-distance calls were made using the identification number assigned to Mr. Garrison by the university.

The university's cell phone provider has been unable to produce a copy of Mr. Garrison's cellular records, Mr. Browning said.
So WVU is saying that there are no phone records available for the 5 days in question including cell phone because cell phone companies lose records all the time.

Finally, in an election year someone is courting an under represented group for votes: Nazis. Tony Zirkle is running for Congress and is getting the message of the effect of porn and prostitution on young, white women and girls out anywhere possible including a birthday party for Hitler which included a cake with a photo of Hitler and the words "Seig Heil." Probably not even an ice cream cake. Zirkle is all about his message though:
"If the Black Panthers or the Jewish Zionists want me to speak about these issues, I'll do it."
Yes, two groups that really want to talk about how porn is hurting young white women. BTW, more about the Zirkle message is available here including "The Great Porn Jihand War Tax: Prolific Porn Mule Serial Woman-Womb Slaughterers."

You Just Knew This Was Coming

Hat Tip: Senor Viego