Sports by guys who like sports

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bomar and Quinn are gone, yet there is still something fishy going on in Norman

February 2006 – OU’s compliance department supposedly begins an investigation into players and Big Red.

March 3, 2006 – David Boren receives a Email charging that players are being paid while doing no work at Big Red. “OU expanded the investigation after receiving the Email on March 3rd. Interestingly the Email to Boren was addressed to David Price, the NCAA VP for enforcement thus leaving OU no option but to “expand” their investigation.

April 6, 2006 - The Big Red payroll clerk makes a written statement.

June 21, 2006 - The Big Red payroll clerk reiterates her statement in a interview conducted.

Late July, 2006 – OU confirms the rules violations in a report to the NCAA.

August 2, 2006 – Bomar and Quinn are dismissed from the team.

According to the OU Compliance Department, Bomar and Quinn confessed that they knew they were breaking the rules. Just exactly when did they confess to this? Exactly when were they confronted?

The reason that date is so important is because that is the date where there would be clear and unavoidable evidence that rules had been violated. They were confronted with allegations and confessed. End of story. Game over.

So when did this occur?

On August 2nd when Bob Stoops dismissed the two players and had his Press Conference, he claims that it was not a hard decision to dismiss the players and more than implies that his decision was immediately obvious once he knew they knowingly broke the rules. The obvious spin is that both OU and Stoops took the ethical high road in this matter… so did they really?
Are we supposed to believe that OU’s Compliance Department began investigating allegations about their starting QB and a starting OL specifically (after they were named in a March 3rd Email) and yet didn’t bother telling Stoops?

OR

Are we supposed to believe that with all these allegations and evidence, that OU and Stoops didn’t confront Bomar and Quinn until the first of August?
Again, just when were Bomar and Quinn confronted? Just when did they confess to OU’s Compliance Department?

If it was immediately obvious to OU that they had to do the right thing and dismiss these players once they confirmed the rules violations (their confession), then minimally David Boren and the OU Compliance Department allowed all the 1st team practice reps these players took during Spring Camp and through the Summer Work Outs to be wasted on two players they were going to dismiss.

Paul Thompson didn’t take his first practice snap as a QB this year until after OU’s August 2nd announcement.

Stoops and OU spun the notion that they had taken some kind of ethical high ground and yet someone at OU went to the extent of allowing 1st team practice repetitions to be wasted on two players that would eventually be dismissed from their team.

I’m sorry but it doesn’t wash.

I don’t buy that OU’s Compliance Department launched an investigation into and uncovered evidence against Bob Stoops starting QB and a starting OL without bothering to mention it to him for 5 months.

So was it really immediately evident to Stoops what he must do once he found out?

Let me suggest alternative scenario.

The reason that Bomar and Quinn continued to get all the 1st team practice snaps through the Spring and Summer was because Stoops and OU were desperately trying to see if the whole thing could be covered up. There is no way they wouldn’t have tried to get Paul Thompson QB snaps in the off-season if they immediately knew they were going to dismiss Bomar. They were trying to keep him and trying to cover it all up.

When looking at OU’s own timeline, there’s only two possibilities:

1. Stoops told the truth in the Aug 2nd Press Conference, immediately confronted Bomar and Quinn, and immediately did the right thing and dismissed the two. This means David Boren and the OU Compliance Department kept all of this from Stoops until late late July or early August. It also means that Boren allowed Stoops to waste all his off-season practices on two players they were going to bust.

2. Despite what the Compliance Departments investigation had uncovered, the reason Bomar and Quinn continued to get all the 1st team practice reps through the Spring and Summer was because it was Stoops and OU’s intent to play them this Fall despite the rules violations. They spent the Spring and Summer trying to cover it up.

Something is definitely fishy here. It just doesn’t add up.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

You make the call

You make the call
Is it good baseball strategy or a weak attempt to win?
by Rick Reilly

This actually happened. Your job is to decide whether it should have.
In a nine- and 10-year-old PONY league championship game in Bountiful, Utah, the Yankees lead the Red Sox by one run. The Sox are up in the bottom of the last inning, two outs, a runner on third. At the plate is the Sox' best hitter, a kid named Jordan. On deck is the Sox' worst hitter, a kid named Romney. He's a scrawny cancer survivor who has to take human growth hormone and has a shunt in his brain.
So, you're the coach: Do you intentionally walk the star hitter so you can face the kid who can barely swing?
Wait! Before you answer.... This is a league where everybody gets to bat, there's a four-runs-per-inning max, and no stealing until the ball crosses the plate. On the other hand, the stands are packed and it is the title game.
So ... do you pitch to the star or do you lay it all on the kid who's been through hell already?
Yanks coach Bob Farley decided to walk the star.
Parents booed. The umpire, Mike Wright, thought to himself, Low-ball move. In the stands, Romney's eight-year-old sister cried. "They're picking on Romney!" she said. Romney struck out. The Yanks celebrated. The Sox moaned. The two coaching staffs nearly brawled.
And Romney? He sobbed himself to sleep that night.
"It made me sick," says Romney's dad, Marlo Oaks. "It's going after the weakest chick in the flock."
Farley and his assistant coach, Shaun Farr, who recommended the walk, say they didn't know Romney was a cancer survivor. "And even if I had," insists Farr, "I'd have done the same thing. It's just good baseball strategy."
Romney's mom, Elaine, thinks Farr knew. "Romney's cancer was in the paper when he met with President Bush," she says. That was thanks to the Make-A-Wish people. "And [Farr] coached Romney in basketball. I tell all his coaches about his condition."
She has to. Because of his radiation treatments, Romney's body may not produce enough of a stress-responding hormone if he is seriously injured, so he has to quickly get a cortisone shot or it could be life-threatening. That's why he wears a helmet even in centerfield. Farr didn't notice?
The sports editor for the local Davis Clipper, Ben De Voe, ripped the Yankees' decision. "Hopefully these coaches enjoy the trophy on their mantle," De Voe wrote, "right next to their dunce caps."
Well, that turned Bountiful into Rancorful. The town was split -- with some people calling for De Voe's firing and describing Farr and Farley as "great men," while others called the coaches "pathetic human beings." They "should be tarred and feathered," one man wrote to De Voe. Blogs and letters pages howled. A state house candidate called it "shameful."
What the Yankees' coaches did was within the rules. But is it right to put winning over compassion? For that matter, does a kid who yearns to be treated like everybody else want compassion?
"What about the boy who is dyslexic -- should he get special treatment?" Blaine and Kris Smith wrote to the Clipper. "The boy who wears glasses -- should he never be struck out? ... NO! They should all play by the rules of the game."
The Yankees' coaches insisted that the Sox coach would've done the same thing. "Not only wouldn't I have," says Sox coach Keith Gulbransen, "I didn't. When their best hitter came up, I pitched to him. I especially wouldn't have done it to Romney."
Farr thinks the Sox coach is a hypocrite. He points out that all coaches put their worst fielder in rightfield and try to steal on the weakest catchers. "Isn't that strategy?" he asks. "Isn't that trying to win? Do we let the kid feel like he's a winner by having the whole league play easy on him? This isn't the Special Olympics. He's not retarded."
Me? I think what the Yanks did stinks. Strategy is fine against major leaguers, but not against a little kid with a tube in his head. Just good baseball strategy? This isn't the pros. This is: Everybody bats, one-hour games. That means it's about fun. Period.
What the Yankees' coaches did was make it about them, not the kids. It became their medal to pin on their pecs and show off at their barbecues. And if a fragile kid got stomped on the way, well, that's baseball. We see it all over the country -- the overcaffeinated coach who watches too much SportsCenter and needs to win far more than the kids, who will forget about it two Dove bars later.
By the way, the next morning, Romney woke up and decided to do something about what happened to him.
"I'm going to work on my batting," he told his dad. "Then maybe someday I'll be the one they walk."

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What do you guys think?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rohnde article about Bomar and Quinn

By John Rohde
Turns out the Oklahoma football team has a quality punter after all. Bob Stoops punted Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn off the team Wednesday.
And if state law permits, Stoops no doubt would like to punt a conniving, jock-sniffing OU booster across state lines as well.
Quarterback and the offensive line - two positions where the Sooners could ill-afford to take a hit - just got blind-sided.
Bomar and Quinn got precisely what they deserved.
So don’t blame Stoops, don’t blame athletic director Joe Castiglione and don’t blame school president David Boren. Instead, you should thank them.
If you want to blame somebody for the Sooners’ latest tango with trouble, blame Bomar, Quinn and a bumpkin booster.
And to a certain extent, blame Kelvin Sampson.
Sooner athletics remain squarely in the crosshairs of the NCAA following its recent investigation into the men’s basketball program. Wounds remain fresh for OU’s compliance department.
The NCAA sniffed out Sampson’s oversized phone bills and didn’t like what it smelled.
The Sampson case officially is closed, but the stench still lingers.
Sampson revived the school’s renegade reputation when he and his staff combined to make 577 impermissible phone calls in a four-year span.
And because sports fans love to hold grudges, that unmistakable aroma of nationwide discontent toward the Sooners is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The NCAA major infraction rap sheet has six cases against OU - Jan. 11, 1956; Jan. 11, 1960; Sept. 20, 1973; Nov. 11, 1980; Dec. 19, 1988; and May 25, 2006.
In an effort to prevent a seventh entry, Bomar and Quinn wisely got booted.
In the Sampson case, OU acted swiftly with self-imposed sanctions. As a result, the school managed to escape the NCAA’s dreaded “lack of institutional control” tag, which is the insult of all insults.
What Castiglione and Co. did in the Sampson case was a pre-emptive strike (men’s and women’s gymnastics also were implicated).
What Castiglione and Co. did Wednesday with Bomar and Quinn was preventative maintenance.
If there is a problem, get rid of it. Be it player, coach or booster. And that’s precisely what OU did.
Had the Sampson investigation not occurred, would Bomar and Quinn still have been kicked off the football team? Presumably yes.
But since the Sampson investigation did occur, the answer unequivocally became yes.
There is no wiggle room these days in the OU compliance office, which incidentally received high praise from NCAA officials for its internal handling of the Sampson affair.
Until Sampson’s stumble, the school had gone 18 years without a major violation.
Now thanks to Bomar and Quinn, the NCAA no doubt will soon pay a visit, if it hasn’t already.
Don’t hold your breath for Bomar’s return. He’s gone. Permanently. As he should be. Ditto for Quinn.
The mere thought of possibly reinstating either player would turn up the stink meter full-blast.
With his partying, drinking and ill-gotten gains, Bomar is beginning to resemble Pigpen from Peanuts.
A dirty cloud surrounds him. Bomar won’t be welcome at any NCAA institution - unless it’s an incredibly stupid one.
Therefore, NAIA ball awaits Bomar and Quinn.
In ruining their own reputations, Bomar and Quinn have sabotaged everyone else associated with OU.
Those who remain true to the Sooners will now bear the brunt of jokes, snickers and innuendo.
Sadly, this has been going on for 50 years.
Despite Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer having an NCAA rap sheet, OU fans’ reverence remained unwavering.
The same no doubt will hold true for Stoops.
The final stop on the annual Sooner Caravan will be held at 6:30 tonight in the National Cowboy and Western History Museum.
The standing ovation Stoops was going to receive anyway will last a little bit longer and sound a little bit louder.
Stoops has earned that standing O.
It was a helluva punt.