It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It is BHGP's regular news roundup. Send all tips to any of the email addresses at the bottom of the page. Send all riot prevention tips to the city of Vancouver; they need a little help on that front.
Hello, world. Not many incoming basketball recruits get a press conference when they arrive on campus -- but not many come to Iowa City with a past as unique as Anthony Hubbard's, either. You can't exactly bring in a 26-year old JUCO transfer who spent four years in prison for armed robbery and expect him to get treated like just another one of the boys. So in an unusually proactive move for the Iowa athletic department, the Franimal and Bloodpunch opted to get ahead of the story and get the discussion of Hubbard's past out of the way as soon as possible. They also revealed a few interesting details about his recruitment, including how clued-in McCaffery kept Barta and UI President Sally Mason during the process, as well as what might have sealed the deal:
He was sought initially by up to 50 schools and picked Iowa over Big Ten competitors Nebraska and Penn State in part because of McCaffery — and his wife’s apple dessert — and the fan support he witnessed when Iowa upset No. 6 Purdue in March.
Score one for Marg McCaffery (and the delightful gustatory pleasures of apple cobbler, of course). But delicious desserts aside, every detail that's available certainly makes it appears that The Anthony Hubbard Story has the potential to be a truly inspiring tale of redemption and second chances. He made a terrible mistake nine years ago, but he paid for his crime and did his time; every indication is that he used that experience as a powerful learning experience and that he's been dedicated to turning his life around since then.
Given the bad publicity that has hung around Iowa athletics in recent years (hello, Pierre Pierce; hola, Cedric Everson and Abe Satterfield; bonjour, Rhabdogate; guten tag, Sports Illustrated!), it would have been easy for Barta and Mason to decide that Hubbard represented too much of a potential risk for further public embarrassment and veto McCaffery's plan to pursue Hubbard. Instead, they came down on the side of giving him a second chance, which seems appropriate. Colleges and universities are a place for fresh starts and new beginnings -- and those fresh starts aren't limited to 18- and 19-year old freshmen straight out of high school. Hubbard's past can't be entirely ignored or forgotten, but it shouldn't define him, either -- it's hard to imagine an Iowa recruit who's been more thoroughly vetted than him, and if McCaffery, his staff, Barta, and Mason are all satisfied with that process, there's no reason for us to wish him anything but the best of luck at Iowa.
Bring us your MACrificial lambs. Our blog buddies at Linebacker-U have produced a comprehensive breakdown of the track record of Big Ten teams taking on their friendly neighborhood MAC brethern, which makes for an interesting read. Iowa's overall record of 19-2 is fifth best in the league, behind Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Wisconsin. Their lone blemishes are those two unsightly losses to Western Michigan (in 2000 and 2007), although their 0-2 mark against WMU is one of just seven losing records a Big Ten team has against a MAC squad. (The worst? Northwestern's 3-6 record against Miami (OH).) Iowa also ranks in the bottom half of the league in terms of games scheduled against MAC opposition: only Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio State have played fewer games against MAC teams than Iowa.
Return of the formerly deposed king. After a year out of basketball, Todd Lickliter is returning to the sidelines in 2011-2012. That he's doing at a school (Miami (OH)) in a smaller conference (the MAC) is no surprise; that he's doing it as an assistant coach is a slight surprise. It wasn't that long ago that he was National Coach of the Year, after all. Then again, anytime you have a chance to work under Abe Vigoda, that's an opportunity you just can't miss. Best of luck to Lickliter.
Trapped like a rat in a cage. Penn State has apparently released their 2011-2012 wrestling schedule, which is news to us because it contains confirmation that Iowa's making a second consecutive trip to Penn State's bandbox of an arena, ostensibly because Nebraska's addition to the conference mucks up the established scheduling formulas. Of course, we all know that the real reason is because the Delanybot 9000 is a total dick that hates Iowa, but whatcha gonna do? Iowa beat Penn State at their place last year on their way to yet another Big Ten dual meet title, so it's not as though they'll be trying to reinvent the wheel when they invade the rinky-dink Rec Center again this winter.
Sample o' th' times. We want so badly to despise just Northwestern and everything associated with it, but our blog amigos at Sippin' on Purple make it so damn hard when they write interesting, amusing, and thoughtful articles like this one:
Think about the fact fact that Pete Rock probably listened to hundreds of hours of music before hitting that 3-5 second snippet. Think about the determination of somebody listening to their sixth straight hour of white 60's folk-rock sax music, waiting for something relevant sounding. Then hearing that snippet, thinking, "hey, this would make a great song!" It boggles my mind that somebody can instantaneously recognize the potential for something so deeply embedded in a free peace-and-love weed-oriented sax solo made by a bunch of dirty hippies as something that could be used for an almost polar opposite purpose.
If you have any interest at all in hip-hop or the art of sampling, the rest of that link is well worth a read. (Frankly, it's well worth a read even if you no interest in those topics, but you may not get as much out of it.)
* Doc Saturday renews his plea to ditch "Legends" and "Leaders" in favor of "West" and "East," geographical irregularities be damned; frankly, he makes a good deal of sense.
* Caring is creepy news is all quiet on the football front, but it's full-speed ahead for Lisa Bluder and the women's cagers, who landed 6'4" post player Nicole Smith for the class of 2012.
* When God tells you to leave Ames, well, what choice do you have?
* Boise State fans draw the ire of SEC fans, get verbally bitchslapped; this ain't the WAC, brother.