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Bevo's Daily Roundup - March 12, 2010

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Rick Barnes talks about the win over Iowa State.

Congratulations to Damion James.

This morning, Texas forward Damion James was announced as one of five players to be named to the All-America second team by Sporting News magazine. James was also tabbed the District VII Player of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Dr. Saturday looks at Texas' QB Garrett Gilbert.

One of the excuses made for Gilbert's struggles in Pasadena -- and a valid one, if you saw the game -- is that the offensive line had an uncharacteristically poor night, missing numerous blocks and putting the offense in deep holes due to penalties. That may well be, but it's a problem that's unlikely to get magically solved in 2010: Linemen Chris Hall, Charlie Tanner, and Adam Ulatoski are graduating, meaning the Longhorn front will go from one of the Big 12's most experienced to one of its biggest question marks in the span of a single offseason. If the line can't get stabilized this summer -- particularly at the left-tackle position, which at this point looks to be filled either by one of Mack Brown's '09 recruits or by converting RT Kyle Hix -- then Gilbert will spend much of 2010 looking less like the field general who gained confidence in the second half of the title game and more like the true freshman who spent most of his time looking helpless in the first.

Chris Whaley is making the most of spring practice.

At Tuesday's open practice, Whaley's powerful hits to would-be tacklers caught the eyes of the Texas coaches, who are looking to establish a more dominant running game to help take some pressure off Garrett Gilbert.

"Chris [Whaley] is doing a good job," Mack Brown said. "We're trying to play him and Cody [Johnson] at tailback and a little at the H-back. We'd like to see what both of them have this spring at tailback. Chris had some good runs. All of our backs are in better shape right now because we're giving them a better chance with downhill runs. We just have to see how Chris progresses."

That one-year reprieve really didn't help much.

The money quote most drudge back up is Texas athletic director complaining, after the rule passed in January, that Texas is being "singled out" by the rule and put at a "direct disadvantage" to the rest of the country.

Ignoring the obvious direct advantage in recruiting that comes with just being the University of Texas, does anyone want to disagree?

The one-year grace period is hardly a generous gesture by a governing body that has a reputation for being anything but. It doesn’t change a rule that does, in fact, single out Texas and Maryland. When Texas locked Muschamp down, doing so didn't come with any negatives. Now it does, over a year after he scribbled his name on the contract.

Austin was one of two three Big 12 cities to make Forbes' Top College Towns. The other one? College Station.

Coming in at No. 5 was Bryan/College Station. The tradition and history of Texas A&M make the quiet town of College Station a destination for many. The Aggies were ranked No. 13 in the 2008-09 Learfield Director's Cup -- boosted by three national championships (men's golf and men's and women's track-and-field).

Austin came in at No. 6 on the list. The University of Texas at Austin boasts national champion football and baseball programs as well as an emerging basketball program -- their Director's Cup ranking is also No. 6.

(Ed. Note: learned hand wants full disclosure. Norman is the other, but does anyone really care?)

Former Longhorns Doug English and Jerry Gray made the ballot cut for nomination to the College Football Hall of Fame.

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The Big 12 is accepting proposals.

The Big 12 is accepting request for proposals (RFP) until late April for its three biggest conference championships.

The selection process for football, basketball and baseball sites will take place during the Big 12 spring meetings, held the first week of June in Kansas City, Mo.

Big 12 assistant commissioner Bob Burda said future championship sites will be evaluated at that time and an announcement could be made as early as June 4.

Maybe it isn't all about us.

Oklahoma State has the Big 12's player of the year, James Anderson, and the Cowboys gave Kansas its only in-league loss. Maybe Texas's fall is less about the Longhorns suddenly stinking and more about the quality and depth of the Big 12.

Big 12 officials will get more supervision.

Longhorns coach Rick Barnes predicted that Big 12 officiating would improve next season when Curtis Shaw takes over as the league's supervisor of officials.

Shaw, a former Big 12 referee, will replace the retiring Dale Kelley.

"We've gone through a tough year with the officiating," Barnes said. "But with Curtis Shaw coming in, I don't see that there is any doubt our officiating situation will be a model program. The league's gonna take a huge step forward. He's gonna teach guys. I'll bet there are young guys in our league who have not gotten any feedback. That's been my complaint forever."

Baylor coach Scott Drew is not popular.

For example, Drew mailed a flier to recruits that showed a picture of him standing between former Texas Tech coach Bob Knight and former Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie with a caption that read: "Which of these Big 12 coaches has signed a McDonald's All-American?"

A big, red X was stamped across Knight and another across Gillispie. That tactic, along with other negative recruiting mailers throughout the years, has infuriated some conference coaches.

Drew apologized for the flier, but only after Knight cornered him in a bathroom during Big 12 Conference meetings and told him the coaching profession doesn't operate that way. Drew hasn't surrendered his aggressive approach, a recruiting style that one source familiar with the conference deemed "the most negative recruiting in the country."

Dennis Dodd attempts to explain some of Drew's bad behavior.

Oh, and that Clifton/John Wall thing. Wall didn't come to Baylor, so what's the fuss?

"The irony was everyone was upset," Drew said. "Why would they be upset? We didn't get John Wall. If you hire a guy just to get a player, that would be a detriment more than anything else."

It's time, then, for the accusers to do something more than carp about Drew. If the haters have an NCAA violation, bring it. If not, shut up.

All this ill will and all you've got is negative recruiting?

Spring Football

There is a new offense in Stillwater.

The storm clouds that delayed the opening of Oklahoma State's spring practice on Monday rolled out as Dana Holgorsen's offense rolled in on Tuesday. With it came a new-look Cowboy offensive attack that had everyone in Stillwater trying to adjust.

"It was different. I’m not exactly sure what I did, or what I accomplished out there, but I’m learning," said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy.

The Pokes have a new quarterback.

On Tuesday, as the 2010 Cowboys opened spring practice, the program made its official transition to a new quarterback — 26-year-old Brandon Weeden, a fourth-year junior whose college football career was preceded by a five-year run in professional baseball.

"I was very, very excited to get out there and practice," Weeden said. "It was fun to get out there and take some snaps and throw some routes."

Weeden no longer is a walk-on. He has been given a scholarship. Among the benefits are meals at the program's training table.

"I can finally go up there and eat the good food every night," he said.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is excited about Blaine Gabbert.

Asked about Gabbert after Tuesday's spring practice, Gary Pinkel didn't hold back on how good the junior-to-be can become. "The thing he has to do is practice like he wants to be the best quarterback in the country," Pinkel said. "That’s the bar he’s looking for, to be the best quarterback in the country.

"And he has the ability to do that."

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Boise State says thank you, Bill Hancock.

According to BCS executive director Bill Hancock, Congress is just way too busy to worry about his organization.

The head of college football's Bowl Championship Series says Congress "has more important things to do" than look into his group's revenue distribution.

That said, BCS executive director Bill Hancock will respond to a question-filled letter sent to him by two U.S. Senators.

Hancock says in a telephone interview Wednesday that "the BCS is fair" and "we welcome the opportunity to tell our story."

Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Max Baucus want BCS financial information.

Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., sent a letter to BCS executive director Bill Hancock attacking — and seeking more information about — BCS revenue sharing, TV contracts, computer rankings and even whether money that should go to colleges is instead being spent to lobby Congress.

Besides that letter, Hatch also issued a press release saying, "It's clear that the BCS is fundamentally unfair and harmful to schools, students, college football fans and consumers throughout the country."

You are all mistaken. The NCAA tournament is not about the money. It is all about the student-athlete.

Bogusz said there were "scattered avails" throughout the tournament. Like the Olympics, the sales effort continues throughout the event, which lasts three weeks. There are still ads available for the coverage of the games between the final four teams and the championship telecast, "but the inventory is tight," said Bogusz.

The total revenue take for last year's tournament was estimated to be $410 million, down about 5 percent. Bogusz wouldn't confirm exact figures, but said this year's total is expected be up by "high-single digits," on a percentage basis, with price increases in the mid-single-digit range.

Bogusz said that selling the tournament this year has been helped by the fact that the worst of the recession is over, coupled with a recent ratings surge for big event TV. Both the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics had sharply higher audiences this year, he noted. "I'm glad I'm selling sports," he said.

Really, all this is for the kids.

Some schools actually care about the student in student-athlete.

Cal announced significant changes to its 2010 football schedule Wednesday, most notably moving the Big Game against Stanford from Dec. 4 to Nov. 20. That means that for the third straight year Cal's regular season will not end with the rivalry game. Cal will close the season at home against Washington on Nov. 27. Stanford concludes its season the same day at home against Oregon State.

The Big Game was switched so it wouldn't conflict with Stanford's final exams.

A class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA could be the end of the amateur athlete.

Today, Ed O'Bannon gets some company in a lawsuit that may conceivably lead to the end of amateurism in big-time college football and basketball.

O'Bannon was a basketball star at UCLA in the 1990s, but for the last few months he's been a lead plaintiff in a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA. The suit claims that the NCAA should have paid he and his fellow big-time athletes for the use of their likenesses in video games.

College football assistant coaches' salaries continue to increase.

Dutch Baughman, executive director of the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association, says coordinators' salaries are rising in a fashion that is without precedent in college athletics.

These salaries are reaching "a very much higher level very much more quickly than I've seen in other positions," said Baughman, whose organization has tracked salaries of football coaches, men's basketball coaches and athletics directors for 15 years.

The conference that just can't. The Mid-American Conference has not won an NCAA championship since 1965.

Former San Diego State football player Nick Sandford is suing former SDSU coach Chuck Long.

Former San Diego State football player Nick Sandford has accused former head coach Chuck Long and others at the university of a "cover up" and negligent supervision related to their handling of his alleged beating at the hands of a teammate in November 2008.

The allegations come in a suit filed by Sandford against Long, the California State University system and offensive lineman Lance Louis. The suit alleges Louis "snuck up" on Sandford from behind in a team meeting room, then struck and kicked Sandford, causing a concussion, a ruptured eardrum and facial injuries. The suit seeks unspecified damages from the defendants.

Gotta love the interwebs. There is video.

The moral of this story? Don't get caught on tape.

After a 20-13 victory over Baylor on Nov. 28, 2009, Leach is seen criticizing his players and ripping into them for thinking a close loss to Texas was acceptable.

"There's a couple of you guys that your current living situation is going to change," Leach says. "We've got several of you, particularly on offense, all you do is pull mediocrity out of one another. Well, you're going to live somewhere else. Last time I checked, we're paying the [expletive] bills."

Mike Leach doesn't play fair.

Texas Tech's legal team is calling foul on former football coach Mike Leach's attempts to obtain records from a local school district about his successor's children.

Earlier this week, the former coach's lawyers asked the Frenship Independent School District to release enrollment documentation and other types of records regarding the children of Tommy Tuberville, whom Tech hired in January to replace Leach.

Notre Dame is reconsidering independence.

Calling the state of college sports the most unstable he has seen in 29 years, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Tuesday that the Irish were considering giving up their football independence.

"I believe we’re at a point right now where the changes could be relatively small or they could be seismic," Swarbrick said. "The landscape could look completely different. What I have to do along with Father Jenkins is try and figure out where those pieces are falling and how the landscape is changing."

Are the Irish serious or just testing the waters:

A trial balloon on many different levels, but none more important than three key areas:

1. Let the Big Ten (and any other conference) know that ND is available for the right price.

2. Let staunch, old-school subway alums comprehend that, yes, the days of the Irish standing alone could soon be over (and to gauge the reaction of deep pocket boosters).

3. And — most important — send a subtle message to NBC: If you want us (and us alone), it's going to cost a ton.

Swarbrick is a sharp guy who realizes that, at the moment, ND is in a position of negotiating power. There's no telling how the Big Ten could tweak its current television package to take care of the Irish (revenue sharing, weekly national television guarantees, addition of a third ND-only broadcast partner such as NBC). And there's little doubt that Notre Dame in the Big Ten would be a significant event in the college football world that could trigger mass expansion and contraction.

Something you can always count on after the NFL combine. Wonderlic scores have been leaked.

An NFL source leaked him the scores of the draft's highest profile quarterbacks:

  • Sam Bradford - 36
  • Colt McCoy - 25
  • Jimmy Clausen - 23
  • Tim Tebow - 22

A Jerry Jones-owned company Blue Star Oil and Gas and its exploration manager, Lonnie Williams, are being sued for fraud. Lonnie Williams is a part of Texas football history:

Williams is notorious among football fans in Texas — but not because of his connection to Jones. Texas Longhorns fans know him for his alleged role in "The Spy Game," an infamous Texas-Oklahoma college football game in 1976. Before the game, Texas coach Darrell Royal accused Williams of spying for the Sooners by sneaking into a Longhorns practice before the 1972 game.

Williams has not spoken publicly about the spy accusations. But former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer confirmed the incident in his autobiography, before later denying it to reporters.

And finally...

This is just a great story. Be grateful for what you have and do something nice for someone today.