Sunday, March 25, 2012

VCU, George Mason, and Butler thinking of joining the Atlantic 10

In the latest news of conference realignment, Butler, George Mason, and VCU are having discussions about joining the Atlantic 10 for the 2013-2014 school year.

For this to happen the schools would need to get permission from their respective school boards and would have to negotiate some kind of exit fee from their conference.

The three schools would help replace schools that are leaving the A-10. Temple is headed to the Big East and sources told that Charlotte has received an “informal invitation” to the Sun Belt. The 49ers are starting up a football program in 2013 at the FCS level, but couldn't make a move to the FBS until 2015.

Creighton's names has also been thrown around, but the Atlantic 10 isn't a geographical fit for the school but there have been some strange alignments before and it wouldn't shock me if a invite were given to the Blue Jays that they would say no.

Butler, VCU, and George Mason reside in one bid basketball leagues right now, although the quality of play in the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) has improved in recent years. If the three schools mentioned join the Atlantic 10 the league would improve greatly.

I'm not predicting future Final Four berths for the conference, but with Xavier, St. Louis, and Dayton already there it would make the Atlantic 10 more competitive.

Dodgers' Ethier buying uniforms for Phoenix high school team

Positive sports stories hardly ever make news. No one ever reports the good that professional athletes do on their own time. Except for the televised charity work.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Andre Ethier, has done a big favor for a Phoenix area high school. Ethier's buying new uniforms for the baseball team at Camelback High School. Ethier attended St. Mary’s High in Phoenix.

“I’ve been pretty excited and choked up about this,” Camelback Coach Todd Goertzen said.

Camelback reached the state finals in 1985, but the baseball program declined as the surrounding neighborhood changed. Most of the players are sons of Mexican immigrants who didn’t play baseball before high school because of the high cost of equipment. Many players come from single-parent households. Until recently, the team had one bat for the entire team.

The Spartans have won one game in each of the last two seasons; they are winless this season and lost one of their games by a 38-0 margin.

I can imagine being excited for new uniforms, especially being supplied by a major league player. A local product in this case making for a classic hometown hero story.

New Balance, which recently signed Ethier to an endorsement deal, will provide the team with shoes.

Hopefully Ethier's contributions will spark a new interest in the baseball program at Camelback.

Oswalt to the Angels?

Just when you thought Roy Oswalt would be a mid-season addition, here comes news that he could be had by the start of the regular season.

ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted that the Los Angeles Angels are the front runners to land Oswalt.

 Bowden added that the Boston Red Sox “remain in the picture” while the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals are fading. 

I still think Oswalt will take his time making a decision rather than being a late pickup in spring training. I still think he's taking a Brett Favre like approach in his decision. Maybe he just wants to make sure he's in peak condition before stepping on the mound.

FOX might look to hire Sean Payton

Even though New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is suspended for this year, it won't stop others looking to employ him.

A report in the New York Times says that the FOX network is exploring the option of hiring Payton. Het a guy has to make a living right?  

Payton will lose at least $6 million in salary from the Saints and could seek work elsewhere, perhaps in television. On Friday, representatives for ESPN, NBC and CBS indicated that they had no plans to hire him. But Fox Sports, which carries N.F.C. games during the season, is open to the possibility. “Our feeling about Sean is that he’s bright, articulate and obviously contemporary,” said Lou D’Ermilio, Fox’s senior vice president for communications. “Any network with N.F.L. rights would have to consider it.”

The league responded in a statement: “He is suspended from the N.F.L. for the season. His involvement in any non-N.F.L. employment or business matters is not our decision.”

Even though I do think the Saints should've been punished, it was a bit harsh. But maybe if Payton or Gregg Williams would've told (commissioner) Roger Goodell the truth they might've got off with a lighter penalty. But who knows. They were only doing what most in their position probably would've done and that is cover their ass.


Suh puts in a good word for incoming Nebraska basketball coach

The Nebraska Cornhuskers ended their search for a basketball coach when they hired Tim Miles from Colorado State. Miles led the Rams to their first NCAA tournament since 1998 and would've been considered a favorite for the Mountain West title next season.

Miles will now head up a rebuilding job in Lincoln. Athletic director Tom Osborne was impressed by the way Miles has built programs at his previous stops. But it helps when you have former players of the football program  helping you get the job.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh reportedly was one of three Nebraska supporters that recommended Miles for the job.

Miles said he and Suh have a mutual friend who put them contact this week.

Osborne joked (we think) that he wasn't about to ignore the Detroit Lions defensive tackle's recommendation.

"When Ndamukong calls, I always listen. And if I don't listen," Osborne told the Omaha World Herald, "he'll break my neck."

I guess when you donate $2.6 million back to your alma mater, that your opinions on who gets hired around there matters.