The Buckeye basketball teams backs are against the wall. A big time football player is rumored to be contemplating sitting out a season to his protect draft status and financial future. It’s Wednesday night, let’s rumble!
Hoops getting interesting
As you’re reading this, or maybe after you read this or a little before you read this, the Buckeye basketball team will be on the court facing the Minnesota Golden Gophers at The Schottenstein Center. This is a huge week for the Buckeyes after being slapped in the face with a backhand in Wisconsin on Sunday to the tune of a 71-49 beat-down.
At 18-7 the Buckeyes see their backs against the wall but home turf on their side as they face a must win situation against the Gophers. This would set up a huge showdown/rematch, again at home, against Michigan State. Win both games and watch the swagger return to set up the final push before the tournaments begin. A split has to be what the Buckeyes consider a worst case scenario as losing both would be catastrophic.
Michigan State took on the Indiana Hoosiers last night in a #1 vs #4 matchup. In a tight game that was actually pretty exciting to watch, it was the Hoosiers holding on to win 72-68 and keep their #1 ranking at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. Sparty will now come to Columbus facing the possibility of a two game losing streak and certainly a little grumpy. Tom Izzo will have his team ready for what should be a war at 4pm on Sunday. (CBS tv)
Tom Serenson of the Charlotte Observer wrote in a column on February 10th that South Carolina defensive end Jedeveon Clowney (a native of Rock Hill, SC which is practically a Charlotte suburb) should sit out the 2013 football season as a precaution to ensure he does not get injured and jeopardize all the financial rewards that will come his way should the majority of experts be correct and Clowney is to be the number one overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft next spring.
Meanwhile, Michael Silver (NFL columnist for Yahoo! Sports) suggests in an article on February 13th that rather than sitting Clowney should challenge in a court of law the NFL’s “three year” rule that stipulates a player cannot enter the NFL draft until the date has reached three years after his high school graduation. This is something that we as Buckeye fans know a little bit about, considering that one of our most gifted running backs in the last twenty or so years, Maurice Clarrett, attempted this same challenge back in 2004.
What most forget is that Clarett actually won his case in court. The “three year” rule was deemed to be not in the best interest of all parties involved, the players and the owners/league itself. It wasn’t until it was appealed by the NFL that the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the decision and made Clarrett ineligible to enter the draft.
Filing a suit in court against the NFL would likely be of little use for Clowney. Not solely because the Clarett ruling was overturned, but because in 2006 the NFL wisely added the “three year” rule to its collective bargaining agreement. Clarett won his initial case because the court found that the rule technically had not been agreed upon by major both parties that make up the NFL: The Players Union and the owners/NFL officials. By including it in the CBA it is now agreed upon by all parties, combined with the court ruling it becomes essentially inarguable.
So, what should Clowney do? The risks involved make a compelling argument to sit. Let’s not forget, though, that NCAA athletes can take out insurance policies that carry a maximum pay out of five million dollars if a player should sustain a career ending injury. But what they don’t cover is if a player’s career is not ended, which is likely the case as most injuries aren’t career ending. The player inevitably gives it another go after healing and rehabbing. And that can end up being the reason a player misses out on the big payday. In today’s NFL, it’s the second contract that is when a player begins to see (by NFL standards) real money. So we see a guy who is able to play but is nowhere near the player he could have been prior to his injury and therefore misses out on the large second contract. By playing at all his insurance policy is null and void. Certainly the misfortunes of South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore come to mind and are a real live in-person example for Clowney of how horribly wrong things can go.
Despite the case made to sit, I just can’t advocate doing it. He took a scholarship from South Carolina to be a football player in exchange for a free education. I think he should fulfill that commitment. And it’s not like Clowney doesn’t have parts of his game he can work on. Regardless of how intimidating he is, he is far from perfect.
To his credit Clowney has remained quiet on the issue. So to be fair, we have no idea what he is thinking on the subject. We do know that is mother Josenna told Sports Illustrated “I talked to him this week, and he wants to play, I don’t think he has it in him to sit out. He loves to play football. I know I want him to play.”
It certainly raises the question: Should there be an exception to the “three year” rule? While 99.99% of NCAA players aren’t ready for the brutal pounding of an NFL season, on occasion there may very well be one. Clowney may very well be one of those extremely rare exceptions. He certainly has the body for it at nearly 6’ 6” and over 250lbs.
With that being said, Clowney looked average against TTUN in the Outback Bowl being held relatively in check by Taylor Lewan. But, as we witnessed when he literally popped Vincent Smith’s helmet clean off his head and sent it flying about 7 yards behind him, Clowney has that rare ability to make a play seemingly anytime he really wants to.
Personally I hope he plays at South Carolina. I love college football and I love seeing great college football players. Clowney has the potential to break the offensive stranglehold on the Heisman trophy.
Last dance with Joe Pa
Thank you to all the Penn State fans that hit up this website and read last week’s WNR! It is amazing how stories can change to fit the scenario for the hero. In the last week I’ve heard how Joe Paterno was “too old to remember what happened ten years ago” yet clearly sharp enough to coach. How “everyone outside PSU looked at him like a God, we saw him as just Joe” but they raised a statue in his honor and cried when it was taken down.
I’ve been told to look up the meaning of the word “hindsight” because that’s what Joe was talking about when he said he wished he had done more. Well I hope so, because if he didn’t feel that way in hindsight you’d have to clearly deduct that he didn’t care about the victims. Even I’m not cynical enough to think that.
And my favorite: Joe didn’t understand what Mike McQueary was telling him he witnessed in the showers, he just couldn’t imagine it. Ok…
The truth is out there and we will hear it when the trials begin. For these dedicated Joe Paterno supporters I truly hope that something comes out of these hearings that in some way makes everyone say “wow, Joe was lied to” or some variation of that that can in some small way exonerate him. However I have strong doubts that will happen and that Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are all going to rightly be given prison sentences.
The long awaited statue of Woody Hayes was finally erected in front of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday, February 13th, a day before what would have been his 100th birthday.
I still can’t get over how loaded the Buckeyes are in the backfield for this season. Carlos Hyde will carry the mail and be pushed by Rod Smith. Keeping Smith sharp will be Bri’onte Dunn, Warren Ball and incoming freshman Ezekial Elliot and Dontre Wilson. Oh, and Jordan Hall will be returning with a medical redshirt for 2012. I’m sure we’ll see a few redshirts handed out, but the talent and potential in the backfield is exciting!
Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is taking four online classes in sports management this semester at Texas A&M. Along with photos of him holding stacks of hundred dollar bills and his pricy courtside seats at NBA games, shouldn’t this throw up a red flag for somebody (anybody!) to take a closer look?
Since Erin Andrews works for FOX now, I kinda wanna see her on a NASCAR telecast wearing one of those fire suits.
There are heavy rumors flying around about North Carolina being the next to join the Big Ten. This isn’t the first time their name has been floated out there. Along with the Tar Heels being mentioned are again the Virginia Cavaliers and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Stay tuned.
We are under two weeks from the opening of spring football! I’ll be paying close attention to reports from various sources on the condition of the linebackers as a unit and the progress throwing being made by Braxton Miller. For the Buckeyes to win it all in 2013, like we all hope they are capable of doing, Miller will have to become as deadly with his arm as he is with his legs.
Wrap it up
This is a hugely pivotal week for the Buckeye hoops team. A win over MSU on Sunday will go a long way for confidence and seeding. Until next week, Go Bucks!
Metallica track of the week
How about a world premier? Let’s go back to 2009’s “Fan Can 6” Met Club exclusive bluray for the world premiere of Suicide and Redemption, Metallica’s instrumental masterpiece off of the album Death Magnetic!