On December 2, Richard Davenport of the Arkansas recruiting site ARPreps.com reported on the recruitment of junior college prospect Aaron Douglas by the University of Arkansas football program.
In attempting to persuade Douglas to transfer to Arkansas, head coach Bobby Petrino oversaw the purchase of billboard space along a desolate stretch of Interstate 8 just north of the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona. (1,400 miles from Fayetteville.)
Not coincidentally, Douglas was attending Arizona Western junior college in Yuma at the time. From Davenport’s post: Read more…
Three years ago Zimmer served on the Falcons staff blindsided by the departure of then-Atlanta head coach Bobby Petrino. With three games left in what turned out to be a 4-12 season, Petrino resigned without notice to take the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.
Eagle-eyed SEC football fans probably noticed that Joe Adams was not one of the Arkansas wideouts who wrought utter havoc on the Auburn secondary this weekend. Small matter, really, considering the 44-23 final score in Arkansas’ favor, but what was the deal?
(Adams, seen here “beasting.” We just learned that word like yesterday, because we are very white.)
Fortunately, Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino said that Adams’ condition was “just something we had to deal with all week long,” which sounds like boring old coachspeak until Petrino mentions that Adams suffed “a mild stroke,” which, wow. Then it turns out that the team thinks he suffered it two days before he stopped practicing, at which point our brains become so blown that we, in turn, have a massive stroke. Which would be kind of ironic, really.
The meltdown of the American newspaper industry is in full effect. The past six weeks have seen the closures of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain News, marking two of the largest newspaper closures in recent memory. And yesterday came news that might be a sign of disaster for one of the nation’s leading newspapers: the SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES reports that roughly 120 employees of the San Francisco Chronicle have accepted voluntary buyouts as the paper struggles to avoid sale or shutdown.
According to a list from the SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA PRESS CLUB, those leaving the paper include NFL writer Nancy Gay, college sports writer Jake Curtis, deputy sports editor Larry Yant and a host of other writers, editors and photographers. This should be taken as a giant red flag if these people are getting out now, especially someone as respected as Gay; trust me, people just don’t leave NFL reporting positions at major newspapers unless something is going terribly, horribly wrong.
But even the voluntary exits might not be enough - parent company Hearst Corporation (which also owns the now-online only Post-Intelligencer) has said that it needed to cut “at least” 150 jobs to avoid a shutdown or sale, with the paper currently bleeding money at a rate of $1 million a week. And with the chances of a corporation wanting to buy a failing newspaper next to zero in this climate, it seems as though the only two options are to slash the staff to ribbons or close shop.
As bad as the first option sounds, the alternative is even more daunting. Especially when you consider that the San Jose Mercury News recently announced that it was essentially abandoning the San Francisco market by stopping all weekday deliveries to the city. Which leaves a very real possibility that the nation’s 12th-largest metropolitan area could be without a major daily newspaper (the San Francisco Examiner, currently having been reduced to a free handout resembling The Pennysaver, doesn’t count).
It seems like Mark Cuban might be prescient when he blogged about the slow death of the newspaper sports section; let’s hope that his idea of teams and leagues banding together to provide beat reporters to cover the same teams and leagues doesn’t pan out, but if the San Francisco Chronicle can fold, is any idea that outlandish?
And don’t think that it will just stop with the Chronicle: the paper was only sixth in TIME’s recent list of “The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America”. Ahead of it on the list are papers such as the Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Miami Herald. That’s a lot of major sports teams that are suddenly going to be underserviced by local media, if at all.
Also possibly endangered: the continued success of the USC men’s basketball program. After making the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season for the first time in school history, the Trojans might be going back to square one as ESPN has word that an Arizona radio station is reporting that Tim Floydhas agreed to become the Arizona Wildcats’ new head coach, with an announcement as early as today.
Which is all very interesting, since Floyd rejected an overture by LSU last year, saying that USC was “his last job.” Then there’s the matter of the “impassioned speech” he gave at the team banquet Wednesday night, imploring players such as Taj Gibson and DeMar DeRozan to not jump to the NBA and come back next season to help the Trojans make a run at a national title. And then he got on a plane the next morning to interview for the Arizona job. That’s venturing into Bobby Petrino level of sleaziness.
Finally, a busy night of World Cup soccer qualifying has also brought us two people to add to the endangered list. The first is Argentine legend Diego Maradona, whose own near-death experiences with drugs and weight made him frequently endangered in the past. But this time, it’s not his life that’s in danger but his managing career, after his Argentina squad was demolished 6-1 by lowly Bolivia.
How embarrassing is this? It’s the first time they’ve given up six goals in a game since the World Cup…in 1958. Bolivia is 50 places behind Argentina in the FIFA world rankings, and their hat trick hero was Joaquin Botero, who plays for a second-division team in Mexico. This is Chaminade beating Virginia type stuff, where you glance at the box score over and over to make sure you didn’t read it wrong, before convincing yourself it’s just a typo.
And speaking of Mexico…if I were embattled manager Sven-Goren Eriksson, I wouldn’t even bother making the team flight back from Honduras, where his team suffered a humiliating 3-1 defeat, unless he wants his severed head to be placed on a pike outside of Atzeca Stadium as a warning to future managers.
The win allowed Honduras to leapfrog Mexico into the third and final guaranteed CONCACAF berth in the 2010 World Cup. Although there’s a lot of games left in both North & Central American and South American qualifying, there’s a chance that Argentina and Mexico could wind up facing each other in a two-game playoff, with the winner getting a World Cup spot and the loser staying home.
Other sports stories you might have missed last night as you were going to the hospital ER in Texas again…and again…and again…
It’s not just American athletes who get into trouble at strip bars late at night: THE MIRROR has word that Sunderland and French international striker Djibril Cissé has been arrested after allegedly grabbing a woman by the throat at a late-night strip club. You might remember him for having the distinction of suffering horrific, Theisman-like leg breaks not once but twice in his career, which you can watch here and here. (Warning: not for the faint of heart.)
Give Sen. John McCain credit for doing something right: the DALLAS MORNING-NEWS says that the former Presidential candidate is lobbying for a posthumous pardon of old-timey boxing champ Jack Johnson for trumped up, racially-biased charges. It still won’t make me forget that McCain voted against Martin Luther King Day, but it’s a start.
A word of warning: don’t take a quick paycheck to record canned introductions to videos for a company you know nothing about. Greg Gumbel failed to heed this advice, and he wound up as the spokesperson for a time-share, which ONLINE SPORTS GUYS says has lead to a lawsuit. Here’s one video in question:
SI.COM says that the Hockey Hall of Fame has changed its rules, opening the door for the first female player to be voted in. Someone in Canada, Don Cherry is burning his plaid Depends adult diapers in protest.
Hey look, another lacrosse team has been forced to suspend their season because of alleged misconduct. But the story of the Curry College team is far different than Duke, according to the BOSTON HERALD. Team members allegedly hazed new players at a party, although even the freshmen “victims” seem to think it was no big deal. Remind me to bring a lawyer if I ever go to a college lacrosse party.
WSLS-TV says that Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer prepared for the upcoming season by doing some NASCAR racing. He didn’t do so hot, but his goiter was signed to a developmental deal with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Somehow former Cleveland Browns QB Bernie Kosar is being dragged into the Rod Blagojevich mess. RUMORS AND RANTS reports that Kosar was on some sort of fundraising “hit list” put together by the then-Illinois Governor with the Steve Garvey haircut just before he was arrested.
In a player survey, 80 percent of NFL players were polled as to which coaches they’d most, and least, want to play for. It’s actually a fascinating look at how players balance their desire to win with their desire to play for a nice guy, two things that are often mutually incompatible. And Bill Belichick, probably the best illustration of that, got some interesting responses.
The last two Super Bowl winners ended up at opposite ends of the list. Tony Dungy, unsurprisingly, was named the most desirable head coach - his father-figure-like manner, and on-the-field success made him a clear number one. Hardass Tom Coughlin was the coach players least wanted to play for. The poll was conducted during last season, before the Giants’ championship, so those 53 players with rings are probably pretty glad they sucked it up. Plaxico Burress could not be reached for comment.
And what about Belichick, an a**hole who always wins?
You would think that an all-SEC linebacker could outrun the police - unless Darren McFadden is moonlighting as a cop, the LB should have the edge in athleticism. But you can never count out being really high as the great equalizer. Just ask former Arkansas LB Freddie Fairchild.
According to THE SLOPHOUSE, Fairchild ran from the cops on Sunday morning after cops saw a group of men on the street and “smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the crowd of people.” Fairchild allegedly ran from the cops but was done in by a vicious chop block thrown by a row of bushes.
FALCONS GO FISHING; BLANK HOPES TO REEL IN BIG TUNA: The Atlanta Falcons are going after Bill Parcells. And if he won’t be their coach, he can at least help them find one:
ESPN reports that the Falcons have offered Parcells the position of vice president of football operations with the NFL club. The job would allow the ex-sideline stalwart to select the team’s new coach and reorganize personnel.When contacted by phone on Tuesday, Parcells answered, “I’ve got nothing to say,” before hanging up. However, sources say that the Big Tuna is seriously considering the offer, and he may even make a decision by today.
The possible hiring of Parcells could mean the end of the road for general manager Rich McKay. But Falcons owner Arthur Blank reportedly wants to maintain McKay as president of the franchise.
The zany situation in Hotlanta is enough to drive a man crazy - or worse, drive a man to Arkansas.