Sports Agenda For Wednesday (10/23/13)

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15. Miami Dolphins (3-3)
Miami Dolphins

Top Stories:
If you’re wondering why there was no agenda yesterday, it’s because I began working on the UM story around 9 a.m. and stopped around 3 p.m. Besides that story, the Dolphins have entered full-fledged desperation mode thanks to the signing of Bryant McKinnie; Mizzou preps for a battle with the Ol’ Ball Coach; and my thoughts on the UM fiasco all in today’s agenda.

Quote of the Day:
“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden

UM/NCAA:
UM got a slap on the wrist from the NCAA on Tuesday and every UM fan should be damn happy about it.
But, here’s what’s bothered me about it: the attitude by UM fans almost like they are holier than the NCAA and such.
So let’s look at everything that happened here for a second.
UM broke the rules, big time.
They committed untold rules violations, had a rogue booster paying players and coaches, blackmailing players and coaches, and the athletic department knew it and let it go on.
UM has all but admitted this to anyone who would listen.
The NCAA, don’t worry I’ll get to them in a minute, butchered this investigation and prosecution worse than anyone I’ve seen since the LAPD and Marcia Clark.
Had the NCAA followed rules and been able to keep most of their evidence against the U, make no mistake, things would have been much worse.
Now, good for UM for falling on the proverbial sword and lessening the potential sanctions, but that’s all they could do was throw themselves on the mercy of the court.
When you’re caught red-handed, that’s about all you can do.
Look, UM got off easy due to multiple circumstances playing in their favor…but don’t act all high and mighty because the corrupt system let you off easy…yes, I’m talking to UM fans here.
The entire ordeal is a black eye on UM, the NCAA, and college sports in general.
There’s so many issues in this case that deal with so much of college athletics it’s tough to get a handle on everything, but I’ll give it a whirl.
The NCAA is under fire because of the botched investigation, and also because of the overall rules process/enforcement.
But there’s a bigger issue going on here of whether or not players should be paid to play.
It’s the ultimate Catch-22 for football fans, players, and college administrators.
On one hand, the players are generating billions of dollars for the schools and are seeing no return on their heavy investment in the programs.
On the other hand, the players are getting access to first-class facilities, medical staffs, coaching, and free first-class education at some of the top institutions in the country.
For example, if you got a full athletic scholarship to UM, you’ll pay on average $39,980 for tuition and other expenses. Multiply that times four years of school and you get $160,000.
If you figure that a football team will hand out roughly 85 scholarships per year, that’s $13,953,200 a year on just the football team.
Not bad right?
Considering just the television deals in most major conferences bring in around $20 million per school, you’re already making a profit. Ka-Ching!
Now, I know we’re not factoring in travel costs and other costs, but without any gate value or anything else, just tuition and television dollars, the school comes out ahead by roughly $6 million.
So the question for most players is, when do I get mine?
The answer should be, you get it in the form of an education.
But let’s be honest, no one in America believes in that anymore, which is a sad state of affairs for this country.
The players deserve something else, don’t get me wrong, they should be able to work and make money or receive some sort of extra stipend or payment because they provide so much to the school.
And yes, if they’re star players and the school is selling their jersey, like all school’s do, then they should get a cut of that too.
The NCAA however is fully against any of that and its rules are set up to stop any student from getting ahead, making any extra money, etc.
That’s where boosters and the problematic elements come in to tempt the players with things. And we get a situation like UM and Nevin Shapiro.
This is the dilemma facing college athletics today, how do the “non-profit” institutions justify billions of dollars in cash coming to the schools on the backs of the players and the players not receive any cut of that revenue.
There is no easy answer, but until something is done to address this vast discrepancy, the Nevin Shapiro’s of the world will continue to pounce and poor athletes who have never had access to the big life will continue to take advantage of people like him.

Nevin Shapiro:
One final note on Shapiro here.
This is a fitting final chapter on the saga he unleashed.
He wanted infamy and to remembered for bringing down The U.
Don’t let his words fool you, that was his ultimate goal from Day 1.
He portrayed himself as some white knight riding to the rescue of big time college athletics.
What was he really?
A petty, spiteful, bitter, shell of a man who tried to do everything the wrong way and when it all came crashing down on him still had a hard time understanding he was all alone in the web of deceit he created.
Now he’ll have plenty of time to deal with it in prison.
And now, we can finally rid ourselves of the name Nevin Shapiro.
Good riddance.

Miami Dolphins:
The Dolphins traded for Bryant McKinnie on Monday and it’s the biggest sign general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin have hit desperation mode.
Here’s why I say that.
Ireland could have signed McKinnie in the offseason and not lost any draft pick or any compensation.
He could have traded for a star left tackle in Branden Albert or signed former UM star Eric Winston to help fortify the line.
He did none of that and now it’s blown up in his face big time.
It doesn’t matter if you have Calvin Johnson, Jerry Rice, and Paul Warfield on the outside, if your quarterback doesn’t have time to find them, it won’t help.
The Fins now have given up a draft pick to get McKinnie who, if he was a horse, would likely be turned into glue by now.
He’s old, in NFL years, has slow feet, and is usually about a biscuit away from being 400 pounds.
Oh, and he parties a lot and can’t stay in trouble off the field…and now he’s coming back to Miami where he can live the wild life.
Remember last year, Chad Johnson’s legal troubles and how Joe Philbin was lauded for cutting him despite the need for wide receiver help?
Here’s Joe Philbin this year on a three-game losing streak on McKinnie and his questionable off-the-field activities.
“I don’t mandate what people do outside the building. I enjoy my free time when I have free time. We expect him to be a professional, just like we’d expect anyone.”
Translation – yknow that stuff about high-character players, if you’re good enough, we’ll look over it.
Hey, the Fins need tight end help, I hear Aaron Hernandez is a free agent!
I kid.
But seriously, if you honestly think McKinnie is the answer to the Dolphins’ problems….you’re a delusional Dolphins fan.
5-6 years ago, he was a BIG answer. Now, well, I’ll have to see him play like he did in the four game playoff run last year with the Ravens to believe that he can help in any way.
Honestly, I’m already looking at the draft and free agency to see what offensive linemen will be available.
If I’m Stephen Ross…I’m looking to see what new general manager will be available as well.

SEC East Update:
Well, after dispensing of Georgia and Florida in consecutive weeks, my beloved Missouri Tigers can start 8-0 for the first time since 1960 with a win over the Ol’ Ball Coach Steve Spurrier.
Couldn’t we have drawn Kentucky instead?
Here’s what’s at stake for mighty Mizzou in CoMo this weekend.
A trip to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta, Georgia.
Oh and a legitimate shot of running the tables and finishing the regular season 12-0…yes, I know they have Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M left, but the way Mizzou is playing those are all winnable games.
Now, South Carolina will be starting a backup quarterback in Dylan Thompson…but he’s got plenty of game experience and has won before.
Plus, as Mizzou proved last week, starting a backup quarterback isn’t always a guaranteed loss.
Mizzou is still without it’s top offensive weapon, quarterback James Franklin.
Oh, and the Tigers will possibly be without top defensive player, cornerback E.J. Gaines.
If Gaines plays and is 100 percent, that’s a huge plus.
If Mizzou wins, they have punched their ticket to Atlanta to play, most likely, Alabama……OUCH!
But first things first, get past the Ol’ Ball Coach on Saturday night.
Forecast for Saturday night? Clear and 40 degrees.
So if you hear a loud yell from Miami on Saturday night, don’t worry, it’s just me either celebrating a win or cursing Spurrier.

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