Dick Vitale Curbstomps NCAA Prez Into Response

In an interview with SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s Seth Davis this week, new NCAA President Mark Emmert couldn’t have been more forceful in supporting his organization’s decision to rule Kentucky basketball recruit Enes Kanter permanently ineligible to play basketball at UK.

Dick Vitale curbstomps NCAA president into response

Emmert to Davis:

“The vast majority of people in collegiate basketball knew that this was an issue with Enes Kanter. Kentucky knew it. Everybody who talked with him knew it. So I’m amazed that people are shocked by the fact that he is ineligible.”

If you have followed the NCAA over the years, you recognize the stunning, nearly unprecedented candor being displayed by a sitting NCAA President over a particular enforcement ruling.  So with that in mind, it’s no surprise that Emmert’s candor was most likely far from a coincidence.

On November 23, 2009, Todd Dybas of the SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER reported that Kanter had verbally committed to the University of Washington. In a long post extolling the virtues of Kanter’s on-court game by Dybas, there was no mention of the possibility that Kanter may have been facing NCAA eligibility questions. And if there were, obviously Washington, UCLA and USC were not overly concerned, as all three schools were in the running for Kanter’s basketball services at the time. (Kentucky later entered the picture, obviously.)

Kanter eventually de-committed from Washington a year later, which led Huskies Coach Lorenzo Romar to say at the time:

“You develop relationship with kids, and in your mind you have a vision with how it’s going to work with them in this program and how you’re going to help this kid develop and how they’re going to help you. Then, when that changes, it’s disappointing.

“When you’re recruiting someone and they’ve never committed to you and they go elsewhere, then that’s a part of what we do. But if someone does say, ‘I’m picking you, I’m coming with you and we’re getting ready to do this together from here on out,’ and then if they were to change their mind, it’s very disappointing.”

So Romar was indisputably still on Kanter’s trail up until the Turkish recruit’s decision to de-commit from Washington.

Now back to Mark Emmert’s statement about Kanter to Seth Davis this week:

“The vast majority of people in collegiate basketball knew that this was an issue with Enes Kanter. Kentucky knew it. Everybody who talked with him knew it. So I’m amazed that people are shocked by the fact that he is ineligible.”

Who exactly was the President of the University of Washington when the Huskies received their verbal commitment from Kanter? (And subsequently Kanter’s “very disappointing” de-commit?)

Mark Emmert.

But even with that intersection of what some may view as mere coincidence, why was Emmert so heated in defending his NCAA’s decision to render Kanter’s ineligible?

Enter Dick Vitale. Read more…

UW AD Forced Into More Apologies For UO Insults

Monday morning I posted audio of University of Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward calling the University of Oregon an “embarrassment” on a Saturday pregame radio show for the Huskies-Ducks football game in Eugene.

Scott Woodward Washington Athletic Director

(Woodward: Ordered to make personal apologies by UW school president)

Hours later Woodward issued a half-hearted apology in which he said he was sorry if he insulted anyone with his comments. Apparently I wasn’t the only person who found Woodward’s so-called apology almost as appalling as his original, ill-advised remarks.

Bob Condotta of the SEATTLE TIMES reports, “a day after issuing an apology for comments about academics at the University of Oregon, Washington athletic director Scott Woodward was ordered by UW interim president Phyllis Wise to take it a step further.”

Wise and the University of Washington released a letter to the public in which she ordered him to “personally apologize to the president and athletic director at the University of Oregon for the remarks he made before the Oregon-Washington football game Saturday in Eugene.

Read more…

AD Gives Lame “Apology” For Oregon Comments

Ken Goe of the PORTLAND OREGONIAN reports, “Washington athletic Scott Woodward issued a statement Monday in which he apologized for and clarified remarks he made in a radio interview prior to the Oregon-Washington football game on Saturday.”

Scott Woodward Washington Athletic Director

As I reported early Monday, Woodward said, among other uncomplimentary things, the Univ. of Oregon was an “embarrassment” after he was asked by KJR-AM host Dave Mahler about Oregon’s facilities and athletic success.

Woodward’s statement:

“I apologize if my comments were found as critical or insulting to fans and alumni of the University of Oregon, and I hope to offer some  clarity about my true feelings on the situation. I have a great respect for the University of Oregon both as an institution and an athletic program.

“As a life-long advocate for public funding in higher education, I have seen firsthand the effects of public funding on many institutions, including the University of Washington. My remarks were intended as a commentary on the powerful impact that a state can have on an institution’s academic standing.

“The University of Oregon is a great example of the struggles which can accompany a university when state funding decreases, but UO is certainly not the only institution suffering.”

After reading Woodward’s hedged “apology” let me also provide a clarification.

The only thing Woodward had to apologize for was the insulting and patronizing way he described the Univ. of Oregon. The substance of his remarks Saturday - as it relates to an apology - is completely irrelevant.

Here’s key phrase in Woodward’s “apology”:if my comments were found as critical or insulting.”

To express genuine regret, Woodward’s apology should’ve read: “I apologize for the insulting manner in which I described the Univ. of Oregon Saturday.”

There’s no gray area to how Woodward described the Univ. of Oregon. His method of criticism of Oregon, whether valid in its substance or not, was asinine. Clearly, from his quasi apology, that fact is completely lost on him.

For Washington’s sake, let’s hope he figures that out before he meets with Nike about a re-up.

Now for an interesting question: Why did it take until midday Monday for Woodward to apologize? Read more…

Washington AD Audio: Oregon Is ‘Embarrassment’

Before the Huskies took on the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on Saturday in Eugene, Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward appeared on the University of Washington football pregame radio show.

Scott Woodward Washington Athletic Director

While speaking to hosts Dave “Softy” Mahler and Hugh Millen - and a statewide radio audience via KJR-AM in Seattle - Woodward called Oregon an “embarrassment” after Mahler asked him about the school’s athletic facilities and football success.

Along with the audio of his remarks, I’ve transcribed of some of Woodward’s comments below:

Mahler to Woodward: “What do you make of this place? When you come down here, you see the new baseball field, you see the brand new turf, you see the atmosphere. And don’t know if motivation is the word but obviously this is kind of where Washington wants to be, ranked #1 in the country and have all eyes on them.

Woodward: “Sure, it’s not really where we want to be Softy (Mahler’s nickname), because it’s an embarrassment what their academic institution is, and what’s happened to them as far as their state funding has gone. In my mind it’s a wonderful athletic facility but they’ve watched it at the expense of the university go really down. 

The athletic facility is impressive. The fans at Oregon should get down on their hands and knees at night to Phil Knight and pray to him because this is an incredible facility he’s built.Read more…

2009: Willingham Paid More Than Weis By N.D.

Brian Hamilton of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE has a breakdown today of the 2009 Notre Dame paycheck of Charlie Weis.

Tyrone Willingham Charlie Weis

Weis earned $649,090 from Notre Dame, including base salary, bonuses, “other” income, deferred income and non-taxable benefits. But the table for “compensation from unrelated organizations” offers insight into the areas of true windfall.

After going through additional payments to Weis from outside soucres, Hamilton noted:

And ex-football coach Ty Willingham remained on the university payroll, so to speak, for yet one more year, earning $650,000 from Notre Dame — $910 more than Weis was paid, officially, by the school.

Willingham, who was fired by Notre Dame five years ago, was also fired by the University of Washington two years ago.

So could that mean that Willingham is also still getting paid by Washington? (Oh hell nah.)

Read more…

SbB’s Salute To Best Picture Winner Hurt Locker

Shot sheet writers for ESPN SportsCenter:

Don’t even think about it.

AD: “Sure” Pac 10, Big 10 Has Contacted Texas

Percy Allen of the SEATTLE TIMES is the first to get a Big 10 or Pac 10 athletic director to go on the record about the prospect of adding Texas and Texas A&M to their league.

Texas Cheerleaders at the Rose Bowl

(Horns ready to go long? To L.A. that is.)

Washington AD Scott Woodward recently assured Allen that both conferences have been in contact with the Texas schools. Read more…

Video Of Derrick Roland’s Gruesome Leg Injury

ESPN’s Andy Katz is up early to give us the latest on Texas A&M senior guard Derrick Roland, who suffered compound fractures of his tibia and fibula in his lower right leg last night in a game at Washington in Seattle.

Derrick Roland Leg Injury Video

Roland underwent surgery Harborview Medical Center to have a rod placed in the leg, (Aggies Coach Marc) Turgeon said early Wednesday.

“It went well and he is doing well,” Turgeon said in a text message. “Tough kid.”

Roland is gone for the season.

Derrick Roland Leg Injury Video

The injury is not only devastating for Roland, but the Aggies, as he was the team’s second-leading scorer and team leader:

Fellow senior Donald Sloan, Roland’s good friend and former Dallas Seagoville High teammate, was visibly upset when he saw Roland’s injury.

“Derrick was the heart and soul of this team,” Turgeon said. “Everyone is devastated. Our guys had their eyes swollen in the last five minutes of the game. They were crying during the game. They never came out of it.”

Video of the injury after the jump. Obviously not suggested for the faint of heart.

Read more…

That Sick-Kick-Pick-Six? Yeah, Um, Not So Much

You might recall yesterday’s post about the ridiculous go-ahead touchdown Washington scored on Arizona after a Nick Foles pass deflected off of WR Delashaun Dean’s cleats and into the grasp of Huskies LB Mason Foster. Hell of a way to lose a game, right?

Delashaun Dean Mason Foster Incomplete Pass Spikes

Hell of a way, indeed. That’s a closeup screencap - or actually somebody just taking a picture of their television from 9 inches away, it would appear - of the ball evidently touching the ground as it hits Dean’s shoe. So, you’re likely wondering, why wasn’t the play reviewed? Turns out, it was.

Read more…

What You Missed: UW Wins On Sick-Kick-Pick-Six

Unbelievable finish to the Arizona-Washington game late last night.

Mason Foster's Interception Return Against Arizona Sick-Kick-Pick

UW wins on a late-4th quarter kick-pick-six from Arizona’s Delashaun Dean to Mason Foster.

What a suck season so far for the Stoops bros.

Video after the jump.

Read more…