Now that Floyd is safely back in the confines of Iowa City, we can breathe just a tad easier before the real hate week starts. Some interesting stories out and about in the college sports world this week. And by the end of this column, you will remember why you hate the NCAA... just not as much as you hate Purdue.
LOVE IT: It wasn’t a huge change, but I was very relieved to see that the Hawkeyes were at least willing to shuffle the OL this past Saturday. Clearly, something was off about the entire group and I’m not sure anyone can point to one thing in particular. I don’t think it’s fair to put all the OL’s struggles on Cole Croston, even though he’s had a tough month. You could also point to something like the loss of Austin Blythe, which may have been more devastating than we originally thought. Now you have a true sophomore out there trying to make all the correct calls for the rest of the line. Or you could point to the RB’s struggling in blitz pick up. Regardless, Iowa was able to escape the Twin Cities with a reshuffled OL that, while not great, was better. Now it will get another week to gel during the visit to OMHR.
LEAVE IT: Speaking of the Godless Water Boilers, Purdon’t became the laughing stock of college football this week. No, not because Darrell Hazell has only landed them 11 total wins in a little over 3 1⁄2 seasons. No it was something much more hilarious:
Nvr a good start 2 a Monday, main line broke over the wknd w booster pump running. A turf managers worst nightmare. pic.twitter.com/RIKUVqwuOm— Purdue Sports Turf (@PUSportsTurf) October 3, 2016
That folks, is a gigantic sink hole that opened in the endzone at Ross-Ade Stadium last week. That could be a problem when you have a home game on the horizon. Haven’t heard much about it since then, but fortunately the Boilers host our Hawkeyes this weekend. Since neither team will likely spend much time in the endzone, the Purdue grounds staff will have plenty of time to make it ready for their next home game.
LOVE IT: I love, love, love that the NCAA has at least proposed an early signing period for football. The proposal permits three total signing periods; one in June, one in December, and the usual one in February. Generally, I would hesitate to let kids enter in binding contracts before they start their senior year of high school. But outside of about a dozen blue blood programs, schools need to be able to allocate their recruiting resources in a way that doesn’t require them to keep re-recruiting a committed player to fight off the big dogs. Schools must be able to manage their scholarship situation in a way that makes sense for both the player and school. This also would protect players from getting dumped at the last minute by a school who has chosen to basically de-commit from them, which would thereby make a school be more selective in its scholarship offers.
Urban doesn’t like the idea for the reason I indicated above. Let’s be realistic. Everyone knows that those dozen or so schools I mention benefit the most from having one signing day. And Iowa has been guilty of swooping in at the last minute as well (hello, Desmond King). But I think making the kids more accountable will slow the vast amount of early commitments and make kids take their sweet time, as they should anyway in my opinion.
It’s a tough topic with no clear answer (like paying college athletes), but I think it is an idea that needs to be explored.
LEAVE IT: And as soon as I applaud the NCAA, it’s time to tear them down with a vengeance (you might want to grab something to throw). Let me introduce you to the story of Isaiah Brock.
Brock is a 6-8 Army veteran whose job was extracting dead bodies from the field and helping transport them back home. During his time overseas, he caught the eye of a few college basketball coaches during an event put on by Troops First Foundation. Oakland University basketball coach, Greg Kampe, thought enough of his skills that he offered Brock a chance to play D1 basketball. Brock completed some online courses while on active duty and during this past summer for Oakland, doing well in all of them.
However, in determining his eligibility, the NCAA only concentrated on his high school transcripts. Brock graduated high school in 2011 with grades that would not allow him to pass eligibility standards today. Nevermind the fact that the transcripts are five years old, he has taken online college courses, passed those classes with ease, and not to mention has undoubtedly grown up resulting from the things he’s seen. But in the eyes of the NCAA, he is no more than a HS senior with lousy grades.
Oakland is appealing, but this is the NCAA we are talking about here. I would be surprised to see them do the right thing.
Enjoy the week, folks. The real hate week is here.