Dean't List (cont.)
College football proponents say it's not about the money. They say the sport's amateur status makes it more genuine than the NFL, where players are on the field for the paycheck instead of the love of the game. But if that's the case, why are all these college football coaches making headlines with their bonuses and contract extensions? Utah coach Kyle Whittingham signed a five-year contract extension worth $6 million. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops earned $3 million on January 1st for staying 10 years in Norman. And Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy received a $400K bonus for guiding the Cowboys to a bowl game, which they lost to Oregon 42-31. Can a sport really be labeled "amateur" if the head coach brings in millions of dollars?
Texas Tech basketball players are visual learners, which means they acquire information better when it's associated with images. During Thursday's game between Texas Tech and Stephen F. Austin, TTU coach Pat Knight couldn't understand why his players kept missing layups. According to some reports, the Red Raiders missed 15 close-range shots. Knight yelled and screamed at his players but the message just wasn't getting through. So he took a new approach, inviting a kid from the stands into the team's huddle. Knight asked the boy whether he could make a layup. The boy responded that he could. "He's 12 and he can hit layups, so why can't you when you're 18 to 21?" Knight then asked his players. The Red Raiders responded by finally making their easy shots and beating the Lumberjacks 69-55.
Who needs an education when you can play professional football? The average NFL career is about three seasons. The median NFL salary is roughly $770,000. Take out taxes, do the math and your average pro football player earns about $1.3 million for his career. It doesn't take a college degree to manage a million bucks, but it sure helps. So, here's hoping the following players, who have declared early for the NFL Draft, return someday for their degrees: Iowa running back Shonn Greene; Rutgers wide receiver Kenny Brit; Auburn defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks; Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith; LSU defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois; Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman; South Carolina cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and linebacker Eric Norwood; Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis; and Connecticut running back Donald Brown.
This is the sad story of former Arkansas running back Mark Pierce. Pierce was a high school standout who showed flashes of brilliance as a fullback in Fayetteville from 2001-2003. But his father died during his freshman year and Pierce turned to the bottle. After numerous disciplinary problems at Arkansas, the fullback left early for a short-lived NFL career. Last Monday, Pierce made the headlines again. He got drunk and stole his mother's SUV, which he crashed head-on into a passing van, killing the driver. Instead of helping the man he had just killed, Pierce used his breakaway speed and fled the scene. Fort Worth police caught up with the former running back an hour later. He's since been charged with suspicion of intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid.
Auburn men's and women's head swimming and diving coach, Richard Quick, has been a champion his entire life. During his student days, Quick was an All-Southwest Conference swimmer at Southern Methodist University. He then went on to become one of the most well respected coaches in the NCAA, guiding Stanford to seven NCAA titles and Texas to five. The twelve team titles are the most in the history of Division I coaching and earned Quick the honor of coaching the U.S. team in the 1988, 1996 and 2000 Olympics. But cancer heeds neither stature nor accomplishment, and Quick has been diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous brain tumor. While the 65-year-old legend seeks treatment, Brett Hawke will take over the men's program and Dorsey Tierney-Walker will coach the women's team. The Dean's List would like to wish coach a Quick recovery.
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun missed the second half of the Huskies' 80-49 victory over Rutgers because of a case of shingles and a cold, which he caught while the team was in Seattle to play Gonzaga. Have you ever had shingles? I haven't, but I've got a friend who once had it and he described the pain as unbearable, electric-like jabs, similar to the pain Calhoun must have felt when the Huskies lost their first game of the season to Georgetown, 74-63.
Inauguration Day plans? Dirty bird specials? Send all comments to Jacob.Osterhout@gmail.com.
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