Caring is Creepy Makes its Triumphant Return. In the last 24 hours, Iowa picked up its first two commitments of the 2011 football class, and both the impending need at receiver and the presence of Soup Campbell come shining through. Massachusetts wideout Marcus Grant (6'3", 190 lb., Lawrence Academy (Groton, MA)) and Texas receiver JaCorey Shepherd (5'11", 170, Horn HS (Mesquite, TX)) both committed yesterday. Neither Grant nor Shepherd has been evaluated by the recruitniks yet, but their offer sheets are in line; Grant had offers from UConn and Syracuse with interest from most of the eastern seaboard, while Shepherd had received interest from Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. These could be the first two of a big class of receivers, as both players cited the coaching staff's stated need for wideouts who can play early as a deciding factor. Expect at least two more receivers in the class.
Caring is Creepy, Hoops Edition. Buried in a Reading, PA article on incoming Siena guard Trenity Burdine (who contacted McCaffery after Franzia had taken the Iowa position and was "urge[d] to maintain his commitment to Siena") is news of who is likely Aaron Fuller's replacement:
Melsahn Basabe, another Siena recruit, was released from his commitment to the school, then announced intentions to play at Iowa.
Um, so, hello Melsahn Basabe? His Siena decommitment was reported last week, but until now we hadn't heard that he specifically intended to come to Iowa, or that he had signed. Basabe is a solid commitment (if he is, in fact, a commitment): 6'8", 215 lbs., 3* Scout, N/R Rivals, offers from St. John's, Seton Hall, Providence, and half the Patriot League. Internet scuttlebutt is he received interest from Boston College, Texas, and Indiana since he went rogue. All indications are he would be a good get for McCaffery, especially given the sudden dearth of talent in the post.
Just another reminder that the NCAA is capricious and arbitrary, in case you needed one: Iowa ladyballer Theairra Taylor will not, in fact, receive a medical redshirt after tearing her ACL earlier this season. She played in 10 of 34, or 29.4%, of the Hawkeyes' games this season. Medical redshirt cutoff is 30%. But SURPRISE some games aren't really games or something! From Bohnenkamp, and emphasis ours:
NCAA rules state that to qualify for a medical hardship, student-athletes can only participate in 30 percent of games played, with the maxiumum total being 30 games. Iowa played 34 games, but the last four didn’t count toward Taylor getting an extra year of eligibility. The freshman played in 10 games, or 33 percent, so wasn’t eligible to receive a medical hardship redshirt.
Yep. Just plain didn't count. Leave it to the NCAA to look at a 20-14 record and see 30 games played.
Also, mind you, there was an Iowa football player who recently got a medical redshirt year after playing in four of 12 games before being hurt. It may have been Lee Gray, but we're not certain. Anyway, four games out of 12 is 33%, and the player still got another year. The NCAA's reasoning? They just rounded down from 33 to 30. Yep.
At the very least, Taylor will be a sophomore next season, so it's not as if her college career is suddenly over or anything like that. Still, you can hardly fault Lisa Bluder for being surprised that Taylor didn't get another season; if the NCAA's rules are so arcane that even its head coaches don't get them right, then perhaps the problem doesn't lie with the coaches.
Adam Rittenberg has a GRRR UNEMBEDDABLE interview with Kirk Ferentz over at ESPN. Nothing truly notable, except at 0:50, he praises someone named Julian Vanderberg. Slip of the tongue... or HEINOUS MUTANT CLONING EXPERIMENT???
FIGHT CHAMPION GOPHER MOPED FELONY BEST TRY: There's nothing we can possibly add to this story about Minnesota linebacker Gary Tinsley. Well, except for riotous laughter.
If you've ever wanted to get RichRod's opinion on international terrorism and eating his own players, my friend, today is your lucky day.
And finally, if you haven't seen the sublime MacGyver/Lebowski mashup (terrorist stick tap to commenter Buddy Light), well, you have now: