Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Southern Miss revokes scholarships over racist chants

That didn't take long. The that I'm referring to is the University of Southern Mississippi administration taking away the scholarships of those who participated in the "Where's Your Green Card?" chant directed at Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez.

The five members of the pep band lost their scholarships, were removed from the band, and ordered to complete a two-hour cultural sensitivity training course this week.

USM issued an apology last week to Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez after he was the target of chants of "Where's your green card?" during the Wildcats' 70-64 second-round victory in the NCAA tournament. Rodriguez had 13 points and four assists in the game. 

"The students have been forthcoming, cooperative, contrite and sincerely remorseful. They acted rashly and inappropriately, and now see the gravity of their words and actions," Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul said in a statement. "This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them."

Rodriguez has taken all of this in stride and to his credit hasn't made much of a stir about it.

Rodriguez said last week he accepted the apology because "there's ignorant people and I know that's not how they want to represent their university.

Besides, Rodriguez is from Puerto Rico which is a U.S. commonwealth and don't need green cards to come over to the great 48. Next time they might want to get their facts straight.

Zeigler leaving Central Michigan

Trey Zeigler and Ray McCallum Jr. were decorated, four star recruits coming out of high school. Both decdied against high major offers to play for their fathers at Central Michigan (Ernie Zeigler) and Detroit (Ray McCallum Sr.) respectively.

Zeigler reportedly will be leaving Central Michigan after his dad was fired from his head coaching position.

 Central Michigan star Trey Zeigler, whose father, Ernie, was fired as CMU's head coach last week, has been granted his release from school, according to collegebasketballtalk.com, and will transfer.

Zeigler will visit Duke this weekend, and also has heard from UCLA, Pittsburgh, Michigan and Michigan State, according to a tweet from All Eyes on U Hoops, which covers Midwest basketball recruiting. The Recruit Scoop tweeted that Zeigler will choose from MSU, Duke, UCLA and Detroit Mercy. 

I think he might wind up with UCLA as they were one of his finalists coming out of high school. With Michigan State signing Gary Harris in next year's class and Michigan's class full I don't think he'll land at either one of those schools. I don't know about situations elsewhere, but the darkhorse in this derby would be Detroit, as McCallum and Zeigler are reportedly pretty good friends.

Berkman feels Selig extorted the Astros

Lance Berkman may find himself in a meeting with the commissioner for some rather opinionated statements he had regarding the sale and impending move of the Houston Astros to the American League.

Berkman was a long time Astro and still a popular figure in the Houston area, even though he plays for the division rival St. Louis Cardinals. He didn't bite his tongue on his feelings about how Bud Selig handled the sale of the Astros and says he would tell him if he was given the chance.

"I hate it. I feel like, basically, the commissioner extorted Jim Crane into moving the Astros," Berkman said of Houston's new owner during a conversation with two reporters.   

"If he (Selig) called me, I would tell him," Berkman said. 

Berkman also said he would have no problem telling Selig he extorted the Astros.

"Yeah, because I think that's exactly what it was: "We're going to hold the sale of the team up until you guys agree to switch'," Berkman said. "And it just so happens that the Astros were being sold right at the optimal time for that to happen."

Furthermore Berkman doesn't like the Astros' move to American League and doesn't care for their style of baseball. He says it makes no sense for the Astros to go to the American League and if anyone should go it should be the Milwaukee Brewers.

"It makes a heck of a lot more sense for the Brewers to go back to the American League from a historical standpoint," Berkman said. "Maybe not geographically, but it makes limited sense for the Astros to move from a geographic standpoint because they have the Rangers but then most of their away games are going to be starting at 9:30 p.m. Houston time.

"I just think when you have a franchise that has 50 years as a National League entity, and then you switch over to the American League, I just don't like it. I'm not in favor of it. I don't like the AL style of baseball to begin with. That plus the history element of it makes it ... I don't like it." 

I do agree that Milwaukee should make the switch back to the American League since they have a team built for that style of play. But from a competitive standpoint, I don't think the Brewers can win consistently with the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Angels and Rangers around.