Tonight Butler takes on Duke for the national championship. It is always good to see a so called mid major team in the final four and in the championship game. There are a lot of people in power out there who would love to exclude the mid major teams and make the tournament the exclusive province of the BCS schools. The reason for that type of thinking is simply money and greed.
Every time a mid major knocks off a BCS school in the tournament it is a victory for the underdog and the little guy. Since most of us out there fall into that category it explains our fascination with the Cinderella teams each season. When a team like Butler breaks through it shows that anything is still possible with hard work and supreme effort. The opportunity to watch a small school knock off a giant is what makes the NCAA Tournament special.
Another special moment happened in the semi final when West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler's season came to a painful end as he was writhing on the floor after suffering a serious knee injury. WVU Coach Bob Huggins came out on the floor to cradle and console his star player. Surprisingly enough there are some out there who were critical of Huggins show of compassion for one of his players.
I am not one of them. Huggins and huggable have never appeared in the same sentence before but after almost thirty years of coaching perhaps we all saw what his current and former players have seen in him now and in the past. You can't continue to recruit great teams if you don't care about your players. I think it is prettty obvious that Bob cares about his kids. That is always good to see.
The Huskies continue to mix things up this spring in attempt to give all the players on the roster a good long look before the 2010 starting line up is etched in stone. A good example of that is that battle at CB where Quinton Richardson and Vonzell McDowell have temporarily reclaimed there starting jobs. I am pretty sure that will change by fall but it is good to see as many kids as possible getting reps with the mumber one's.
The career of RB Brandon Yakaboski continues to hang by a string. Coach Sark said the team is close to making a decision on his future. Sark was blunt in saying that that they didn't want to put the kid in a position where he had to have knee replacement at thirty. Expect an announcement before the end of spring drills that he has ben given a medical scholarship.
Last week the big news at DE was the appearance of Clarence Trent who moved over from the basketball team to compete for playing time at the depleted position. This week it is the appearance of Peter Follmer who is giving it a shot after a few years as a hammer thrower on the track team.
Early reports are pretty high on Follmer simply because he has the right size not to mention incredible strength. Both athletes have major work ahead of them if they want to make an impact this fall. Both are superior athletes who are filling some valuable space this spring but the learning curve in learning a new sport at this stage of their athletic careers is pretty high.
The heat is turned up very high in Eugene
The win at all costs football program at the University of Oregon is getting a lot of media scrutiny this week. Up on the docket next is a press conference featuring former AD Mike Bellotti who will explain Tuesday why he is getting a 2.3 million dollar going away present from the athletic department.
Even the very partisan Register Guard is calling for a culture change at the school.
Was Bellotti pushed out and paid off?
As we have been saying for the past year and a half...there are some very serious cracks in the foundation of the Oregon athletic department and football team that began appearing during the final year of Bill Moos's tenure at the school. Those cracked turned into chasm's this past spring.
Oregon is till the odds on favorite to win the Pac 10 football championship next fall but the damage that is bubbling to the forefront right now may just be the tip of an iceberg which could bring the program down not to mention the current administration of the school.