Strange Finds

For those of you who are so old school you still have your old Nintendo cartridges and controllers, but don’t work any more, I have good news. Apparently you can turn them into a mp3 player and speaker combo:

Of course, most people might not know how to do this. But don’t worry, the instructions can be found by CLICKING HERE.

If that isn’t strange enough for you, then take a look at this steam punk watch.

Are NCAA Investigations Still Relevant?

The NCAA employs 25 investigators. Do you know how many of them work as full-time NCAA investigators? The answer is THREE. That’s right, they only employ 3 full-time investigators with 22 part timers to police every school in the NCAA. Miles Brand’s great bastion of college athletics is behind the times in a big way.

Armen Keteyian of HOFMag.com enlightens us:

So the fact that Michael Michaels, an investor in New Era, was reportedly attempting to steer [Reggie] Bush to a San Diego agent by the name of David Caravantes, is straight from the Casablanca school of news. So is the fact reporters broke the story and not the NCAA. Because in the Real World, the NCAA, for all its talk of insuring a “means of accountability” and “integrity and fair play among its members,” is so outgunned in these matters it’s not even funny. Or maybe it is. You know how many full-time investigators the gumshoes from Indianapolis have to police issues involving renegade agents? Three. As in One, Two…That’s not enough to cover the MAC let alone the Pac-10.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve known the heads of Enforcement for years, from David Berst to David Price, and they try. But how much can a total of 25 investigators, mostly lawyers and ex-jocks, really do when it comes to more than 325 Division I programs and the personal lives of thousands of student-athletes and their families? The system is so sophisticated now, so discreet, the corruption so enveloping, as to be opaque. The only way news like L’affaire Bush ever surfaces now is when estranged business associates (Ornstein) or losers (Michaels and New Era) seek retribution or revenge, and intrepid reporters like Charles Robinson and Jason Cole are given the time and resources needed to investigate such allegations and connect the dots.

So how can the NCAA justify focusing on schools like Alabama and Oklahoma while there are many different opportunities possibly being missed? Well, they probably can’t behind closed doors. But, in my opinion, there is a possible answer no one seems to be discussing. The NCAA wants to rule by setting examples, hoping to shock everyone into submission.

Take the Albert Means situation. Had there not been a secret witness dressed in bright butterscotch orange, Alabama may have skated on to freedom (not counting Spurrier’s letter that is). But, once they were provided with what they deemed reasonable evidence and testimony, the allegations were too egregious to ignore.

Let’s face it, we did deserve to be caught after trying to pull off such a huge bribe. But, my biggest beef has always been what I see as the cherry picking of provable cases by the NCAA. If they feel that they cannot prove it from an initial glimpse, or don’t receive enough evidence, then they will honestly just hope for it to disappear, ala Bush and Michael Michaels. The same could be said about the Oklahoma situation as well.

They spent the many years after SMU covering their eyes and ears, pretending that they have done enough after forcing the only death penalty to date; look at them now. They’ve fallen so far behind they may never recover, so they simply pick and choose in order to appear that they are actually making a real difference. This way they can give those who wish to see the rules being enforced a bone every once in a while in order to calm the masses.

This could very well be the biggest period of cheating college athletics has ever witnessed. Just pray that we never have to be an example ever again.

So please leave a response and tell me if you think the NCAA and their investigation methods are still relevant and effective.

Coffee & Saban

Coach Saban made an appearance this morning on the Fox 6 morning show with Rick Karle and Paul Finebaum. The segments were taped at Karle’s house, where Saban not only got to coach Mr. Finebaum, but also got to experience some freshly cooked breakfast food.

It was really good to see Saban cracking jokes in a relaxed environment. I think this helps to show that while Saban may be an intense man on the sideline, he is a pretty nice guy away from football.

For the opening interview, CLICK HERE.

The second segment is Coach Saban teaching Paul Finebaum how to cover a receiver in Karle’s yard. Saban gets to show off some of his coaching, which I’m sure just sent the TideSports.com message board into hysteria. Even though I appreciate Mr. Finebaum being a good sport, I don’t think he’ll ever be the first player picked in a game of backyard football anytime soon: Saban coaching Finebaum

After the football, the crew headed into the house where they were treated to some fresh breakfast. Coach Saban jokingly gave us a hint about what he may wear on the sidelines in a few weeks. All I can say is Lord help us all if he ever actually wore that: Breakfast time

Monday Morning

I hope everyone has had a good weekend. So far, there isn’t much to discuss that hasn’t already been analyzed, so this post will have a little bit of everything I noticed or did over the weekend.

CFN.Scout.com seems to think that the only team to beat LSU in the 2007 will be Alabama (check the right side). Yet, when they decide to point out the key game of the year for the Bayou Bengals, they point towards the Auburn game. Interesting….

Alabama not only got a huge commitment from Tyler Love, but they also landed Melvin Ray, which seems to be a bit of a shock for most. Hopefully we’ll go 3 for 3 in a few days when Star Jackson announces where he’ll be playing next Fall. Rivals.com has Jackson listed as the #2 Dual-Threat QB in the country. It’s down to Alabama, Auburn, and West Virginia. (darn you Richie Rod!)

Doug Segrest goes over the Best and Worst of SEC spring football. It’s nothing ground breaking, but a fairly pleasant read.

Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn were both inducted into the baseball HOF Sunday. Congrats to two of the best representatives of the game.

The Simpsons Movie earned close to $72 million this past weekend. I did see The Simpsons Movie and I really liked it. I think most of you will enjoy it as well. For now, here is the only connection I can make with Alabama, football, and The Simpsons.

High School Props

I know a true fan doesn’t cheer for any other SEC West team on a consistent basis. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t pull for one specific player or two, namely a guy who grew up with me in the mean suburbs surrounding Hillcrest High.

Titus Brown (DE Miss. State) has been getting some love from the press recently. I always pull for the guy, except for when he plays Alabama of course. Here is a good story talking about Titus and his career in SEC football.

Ok, back to cheering for Bama.

Bonds and Taxes

So there is some scuttlebutt about Barry Bonds and taxes. No, he’s not going to count possible steroids on his Form 1040; I’m talking about the 756th home run ball he hits that breaks Hank Aaron’s record.

snoopy.jpg

There is a debate going on about the person that catches Barry’s ball and what he/she might have to pay in taxes. From the Wall Street Journal:

As Barry Bonds closes in on Hank Aaron’s home-run record, a fun tax-law question looms: If you’re the lucky fan who catches the record-breaking home run ball, what are the tax consequences?

“Everyone’s sure they know the right answer, but there’s very little agreement” on what it is, tax lawyer Phillip Mann of Miller & Chevalier tells the WSJ’s Tom Herman in this article. Here are the choices:

1. The fan who catches the historic ball shouldn’t owe tax until he or she sells it. This is the common sense view, though as Herman points out common sense sometimes doesn’t comport with the tax code.
2. It’s taxable income to the fan the instant that person catches the ball because it’s “accession to wealth.” This view logically stems from cases saying that someone who finds a “treasure trove” owes tax on it right away.

There’s a host of related questions raised by Herman about the ball, which is expected to be worth in the half-million dollar range. Will the IRS require the fan to pay tax immediately, based upon the ball’s estimated fair-market value; or only after the fan sells the ball? Will the fan have to pay tax based on regular federal income-tax rates, or if the fan waits a year to sell the ball, would any profit qualify as a long-term capital gain? And if it qualifies as a long-term capital gain, what would the fan’s cost be for tax purposes?

The IRS refuses to comment on the matter. Herman asked IRS chief counsel and baseball fanatic Don Korb, who responded, “Please, whatever you do, don’t ask me that question.”

So, the IRS Chief Counsel really doesn’t know what to do. The IRS should probably just stick with the statement they made about Mark McGwire’s & Sammy Sosa’s 1998 HR Debry (at least when it comes to the gift tax):
Read the rest of this entry »

SEC Media Days Voters Speak

From TideSports.com 

SEC Champion – LSU (54), Florida (7), Arkansas (5), Auburn (4), Alabama (3), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (2), Georgia (2).

Eastern Division (First Place votes in parenthesis)
1. Florida (41) 131
2. Tennessee (16) 201
3. Georgia (12) 225
4. South Carolina (11) 272
5. Kentucky 389
6. Vanderbilt 462

Western Division (First Place votes in parenthesis)
1. LSU (63) 110
2. Auburn (5) 205
3. Arkansas (5) 237
4. Alabama (7) 256
5. Ole Miss 430
6. Mississippi State 442

All-SEC (Alabama players only):

First Team Offense

OL Andre Smith Alabama 6-4 348 So. Birmingham, Ala.

Second Team Offense

C Antoine Caldwell Alabama 6-4 288 Jr. Montgomery, Ala.

First Team Defense

DB Simeon Castille Alabama 6-1 189 Sr. Birmingham, Ala.

Second Team Defense

DL Wallace Gilberry Alabama 6-4 264 Sr. Bay Minette, Ala.

LB Prince Hall Alabama 5-11 255 So. Moreno Valley, Calif.