Before we get to the suspension talk, two quick matters of business:
1) Take the NCAA Official's Exam! It's quick and easy! (NOTE: both lies.) Dennis Dodd did (46%), then SMQ did (55%), then I did (55% again). It's long, so carve out a good hunk of time, but you can always save your progress if you feel like doing more with your lunch hour than figuring out when the clock starts on a forward fumble out of bounds on 3rd down when there's a chop block behind the play. Yeah. Seriously, though, as footballdorkery goes, you're hard-pressed to top this. Scores go down below in the comments, and we'll be here to laugh at discuss results with you along the way.
2) Your soundtrack for the week is courtesy of the inimitable Girl Talk, whose new CD Feed The Animals can be legally downloaded for any amount of money, even $0.00. It's like In Rainbows, except you can dance to it. And you will be dancing to it by the end of the 1st track.
Okay, let's talk suspensions. No, nobody's in trouble (that we know of). [So that was an intentionally misleading headline.--ed.] [Maybe.--OPS] [Great, thanks for making me show up for no reason.--ed.] [But it's your freaking job!--OPS] [Whatever. I'm going back to the beach.--ed.] Anyway, we're talking about the upcoming release of NCAA Football 2009, the finest video game franchise that doesn't involve plumbers on mushrooms or shooting policemen in the face.
Not for now, anyway. And we'd like to change that.
You see, during season and dynasty gameplay, your players are susceptible to disciplinary problems that require suspensions lasting anywhere from a quarter to a season. Go too far under the recommended suspension, and the NCAA takes away scholarships or something. It's a neat feature, until your star tailback "sleeps through a film session" and you're supposed to take him out for 3 weeks.
The real problem, though, is the nature of the offenses. They're all about team rules and only team rules. Guys are skipping class or cheating on tests or yapping at their position coach or whatever. Nobody ever gets arrested! Call us products of the Iowa system, but in the name of EA's quest for hyperrealism, it's imperative that they start getting some guys in real trouble.
Now, obviously you don't want your 13-year old asking, "Mom, what's 'aggravated sexual assault with a meat tenderizer' mean?", but come on, can't someone commit wire fraud or something? Surely your cornerback can key his professor's car. And don't act like there's one kid in America who doesn't know what "grand theft auto" means anymore. It's time for the real world. On that note, we'd like to propose a few suspensions for EA, and guys, we'll just talk royalties later.
Your offensive coordinator says he was recently robbed at knifepoint by DE #93*. Normally this is "no big deal," but his daughter's now in the hospital with a perforated stomach and you haven't sprung for staff health insurance since 2001.
Suspend: 2 quarters
You got a call on your cell phone last night, and OLB #55 is in Tijuana without his pants--or his passport. OLB #55 isn't talking, but his probation clearly prohibits leaving the country.
Suspend: 2 games
QB #19 went to a local tavern and drank enough alcohol to kill a Clydesdale. While stumbling home, he punched and actually did kill a Clydesdale. While in jail, he missed a mandatory tutoring session.
Suspend: One game
A regional scout for a popular recruiting website has gone missing, and authorities are asking you about statements made by LG #62, who was upset that he was dropped to three stars after injuring his ankle during his senior year of high school. While you agree that scouting websites are complete and total bullshit, LG #62 did track in bloody footprints when he came to practice last week.
Suspend: No internet for a week
WR #80 has contributed money to the Democratic National Committee.
FS #12 committed grand theft pachyderm after stealing an African elephant from the local zoo and walking it down your town's main streets. The property damage from errant elephant waste is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
DT #66 was arrested for placing a mixture of cane sugar, flour, and finely crushed table salt into small baggies and marketing them as "woozies" or "flapsmackers." Authorities are investigating UrbanDictionary.com to figure out if DT #66 is pretending to sell drugs or simply wears his IQ on his jersey.
Suspend: Scholarship to business school
*NOTE: The numbers and positions were picked at random. In no way are we suggesting that certain current members of the Iowa football team are more likely to, say, break into the public golf course at 2 AM and use a stolen street light as a driver. But if they're looking for a sweet Wednesday night activity, well, there you go.