It is not a good time to be a referee. Or at least a bad referee. We have seen bad calls happen at at least the same rate as usual, but league’s are doing something about it. First, the SEC announced this week that they have suspended the crew that made the bone-headed mystery calls against Arkansas in the Florida game. Now, MLB has changed their policy for selecting the World Series umpire crew. Typically they include at least one ump making his World Series debut so that they can add to the total of experienced World Series umps in the league. The large number of very poor calls in the playoffs so far, though, has forced them to get nervous about the situation and attempt to ensure the best refereeing they can get. To do that they are reportedly going to establish a crew made up mostly of crew chiefs, and entirely of veteran, experienced umpires. That won’t mean that there won’t be problems, but it is nice to see the league take things seriously and try to do something about it – at least until they can get a workable instant replay system in place.
Word came out today that Kentucky super-frosh John Wall is facing eligibility questions that are being investigated by the NCAA. It turns out that his AAU coach was a certified international agent. That means that Wall could be construed as having had unacceptable contact with an agent – especially because Wall would naturally have received monetary favor from the coach as he traveled. I’m sure this won’t turn into much – a short suspension at most, and more likely just a repayment by Wall, but it’s interesting to consider the impact that this could have on Kentucky if anything serious were to happen.
An incredibly stupid story coming out of Central Florida. Michael Jordan’s son Marcus is a freshman guard at the team. UCF is an Adidas school. You can see where this is going. Jordan refuses to where anything other than his dad’s shoes, and that jeopardizes the Adidas contract worth $3 million. What I want to know is why in the world Jordan would have put himself in this situation in the first place. He had to know what the issue was, so this is just dumb. I suppose it would be a story if this guy was his father, but he’s a backup at Central Florida, so he’s hardly worth this kind of drama.What a great way for a young player to make an impression with his new school.
The DA in Napa has decided not to press charges against Oakland coach Tom Cable for allegedly beating the hell out of a former assistant coach at training camp. That makes me kind of sad – I was hoping that the Raiders would set a record for total amount of chaos this year, and having the head coach hauled out of a practice in handcuffs would give them a big edge in accomplishing that.