Friday, April 27, 2007

IS MR. SNYDER COURTING VICK?

Washington Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder is said to be considering trading all of his team’s draft choices in 2007, 2008 and 2009 for beleaguered Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick. Vick, fresh off missing a date with the U.S. Congress on Tuesday is now in the dog house (pun intended) over the arrest of his cousin. “I traded for Jeff George,” said Snyder, “so what do you expect? Michael just needs a hug and $263 million more dollars to help insulate him from trouble. Trouble, mind you, that follows him around through no fault of his own…according to his agent and publicist."

Vick was scheduled to lobby on Capitol Hill, hoping to persuade lawmakers to increase funding for after-school programs. But he missed a connecting flight in Atlanta and failed to show for his Tuesday morning appearance. Vick’s publicist says it wasn’t his fault, but Air Tran, which has endorsement deal with Vick, said his original plane was late, but that he was booked on a second flight and no showed.

Vick's mother, Brenda Boddie, accepted an award from the Afterschool Alliance on her son's behalf. Speaking of that crazy Boddie family…


Police conducting a drug investigation raided a Virginia house owned by Vick and found some 60 dogs, some injured and emaciated. Police also found items associated with dog fighting.Vick's relative, Davon Boddie, 26, who was arrested outside a nightclub by Hampton police April 20 on charges of distribution of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute, lives in the house. (Hey, Mike, you can get your weed from your cuz and then you wont’ have to go to Florida to get it!)

Vick owns the property, but doesn't live there and wasn't present when a search warrant was executed.

ACC FOOTBALL PLAYERS SMOKE WEED

With recent acknowledgements by two top NFL draft prospects that they have indeed smoked marijuana, Snoop Dog is angling for John Swofford job as ACC Commissioner. Recently, projected first round picks Calvin Johnson and Gaines Adams both admitted to tokin’ a doobie or two. Shocking, we know.

Bow, wow, wow, yippy-O, yippy-A, bow-wow, yippy-O, yippy-A!

The ACC is not expected to dominate this year’s NFL draft, as it has in recent years. However, the conference will have a significant presence at the event — and in the first round.

Here are some details on the league's most likely first-round picks. All of the players listed, roughly in order of their projections (which vary greatly in some cases), are expected to be selected in the first three rounds, and all are considered possibilities — or, in two cases, certainties — for the first round.

1. Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, Georgia Tech: Regardless of his recent, well-publicized admission that he has used marijuana, this kid is almost too good to be true. The ACC player of the year last fall as a junior, he turned pro early because he’s projected as the No. 1 player in the draft by some NFL teams. Somehow, he’s extremely talented and productive but extremely humble at the same time. The Tech coaches raved about his character, work ethic and team-first attitude. (MARIJUANA: _X_Yes, __ No.)

2. Gaines Adams, defensive end, Clemson: Talk about a great story. Six years ago, he was a skinny wide receiver for an obscure high school in South Carolina that played eight-man football. After a year at prep school, he had an outstanding four-year career with the Tigers, capped by the ACC defensive player of the year award last fall. Now a 6-5, 250-pound defensive end with 4.64 speed, Adams tied a Clemson record (held by Michael Dean Perry) with 28 career sacks and became known for making game-changing plays at crucial moments. Oops, guess what? He also recently admitted that he used marijuana. (MARIJUANA: _ X_Yes, __ No.)

Other probable ACC first-rounders: Miami linebacker Jon Beason (MARIJUANA: _XXX _Yes, ___ No.), Florida State linebacker Lawrence Timmons (MARIJUANA: _X _Yes, ___ No.), Miami tight end Greg Olsen (MARIJUANA: _XXX _Yes, ___ No.).

Other possible ACC first-rounders: Miami safety Brandon “The Helmet Swinger” Meriweather (MARIJUANA: _XXX _Yes, __ No.), N.C. State defensive tackle Tank Tyler (MARIJUANA: _X _Yes, __ No.). Note: If Beason, Olsen and/or Meriweather are picked in the first round, it will give the Hurricanes an amazing 13 straight years with at least one first-round selection.

Other first-day possibilities: Florida State linebacker Buster Davis (MARIJUANA: _X _Yes, __ No.), Maryland cornerback Josh Wilson (MARIJUANA: _X _Yes, __ No.), Miami defensive lineman Baraka Atkins (MARIJUANA: _XXX _Yes, __ No.), Wake Forest safety Josh Gattis (MARIJUANA: _Maybe _Yes, __ No.), Virginia Tech linebacker/safety Aaron Rouse (MARIJUANA: _X _Yes, __ No.), Boston College offensive tackle James Marten (MARIJUANA: _X _Yes, __ No.), Clemson linebacker Anthony Waters (MARIJUANA: _X _Yes, __ No.), Wake Forest linebacker Jon Abbate (MARIJUANA: _Maybe _Yes, __ No.), Boston College guard Josh Beekman (MARIJUANA: _X _Yes, __ No.).

This year's NFL draft will be held April 28-29 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The first three rounds will be held Saturday, and the final four rounds Sunday.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

SERIOUSLY, the Skins should draft either this big gigantic really fast kid from Louisville or this big gigantic really fast kid from Clemson. Or if he's available, they should take the really big gigantic really really fast kid from Michigan. But, knowing the Skins, they may well trade all their picks for Chicago's All-Pro linebacker Lance Briggs.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

WAH-HOO KNEW? Really, who knew NBA "prospect" Jason Cain was the inspiration for our favorite Christmas ornament? We're just giddy!

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

HOKIE softball squad back underway with way more media coverage than ever.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

HOKIE baseball squad back in action with much more media than usual.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

UVA SENIOR DECLARES FOR NBA DRAFT

Virginia senior Jason Cain has declared for this year’s NBA draft. Cain, a 6’10”, 225 lbs. forward from John Bartram High School in Philadelphia, finished his career with the Wahoos averaging 5.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Cain was ranked 13th in the ACC in rebounding last year. For his career, Cain was 2 for 15 from behind the three point line.

Unfortunately, Cain never realized that he should have gone to Maryland as teams from the Free State allowed the lanky forward the greatest opportunities. He hung his career high 22 points on Maryland Eastern Shore and his career best in rebounds against Loyola of Baltimore. Cain, often labeled as soft, had six double figure rebound games during the 2006-07 season, four against ACC opponents, and 15 in his career.

But it was big games where Cain really shined. Against quality opponents, Cain, defying the long-held tradition of the underachieving Wahoo big man, rose to incredible heights against the major basketball powerhouses. In a game against Puerto Rico-Mayaquez, Cain rung up zero points. Not to be out done, the Philadelphia native put up 2 points against Virginia Tech, N.C. State, American University and Stanford.

Earlier in the year Cain made news when it was rumored that he and N.C. State forward Ben McCauley were “involved” after the two planned to attend the musical CATS together. “It was all just a big misunderstanding (McCauley is 6’9”, 235lbs),” said Cain. “We actually went to see MAMA MIA.”

“Hey, moron, you’re a senior,” said Cav junior guard Sean Singletary who also declared for the draft earlier this week.

“Yeah? Well at least I have some tattoos, and ain’t nobody ballin’ in the NBA without some ink, besides I can’t wait to get the hell out of here.” said Cain. TRANSLATION: “I can’t wait to get the hell out of here.”

ANOTHER YELLOW JACKET HEADED TO NBA?

Georgia Tech freshman point guard Javaris Crittenton will enter the NBA draft, following the lead of classmate Thaddeus Young a day earlier. Crittenton does not plan to hire an agent. Like Young, he has until June 18 to withdraw from the June 28 draft and retain his college eligibility.

"I enjoy Georgia Tech, the environment here and all the fans, and I appreciate all the support I've gotten though high school and my freshman year, both from the Tech community and the people in Atlanta," Crittenton said Wednesday. "But I feel I need to enter my name right now in order to get the best possible information from people in the NBA." TRANSLATION: “I can’t wait to get the hell out of here.”

Crittenton matched Young for the team scoring lead, averaging 14.4 points. The 6-foot-5 guard ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 5.7 assists a game. Crittenton helped lead Georgia Tech to a 20-12 record. The Yellow Jackets lost to UNLV in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

CLEMSON'S MAYS ENTERS DRAFT

Clemson forward James Mays made himself eligible for the NBA draft but did not hire an agent, leaving open the possibility of a return to the Tigers for his senior season. Mays, 6-foot-9, averaged 12.2 points and 6.4 rebounds last season. He missed the second half of his sophomore season because he was academically ineligible.

"I feel this is an opportunity for me to explore my options," Mays said Wednesday. "This will give me a chance to evaluate where I stand as a player." TRANSLATION: “I can’t wait to get the hell out of here.”

Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said he knew Mays was leaning toward the June 28 draft.


“I'll help him get as much information as possible," Purnell said. "Certainly, it should be something he should strongly consider if he's going to be a first-round selection." TRANSLATION: “I can’t wait to get him the hell out of here.”

PICTURE OF THE DAY

SOLIDARITY. Duke lacrosse players wear warm-up jerseys with the numbers of David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, who were at the center of last season's rape accusations.
(Sun photo by Doug Kapustin)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

BIRDS EYE VIEW? Fans watch the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 from a hill next to Phoenix International Raceway on April 21, 2007 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

TONY STEWART says NASCAR is like wrestling since officials use late yellow flags to create contrived results. Hmmm. I'm sure that isn't what Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet, were thinking during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

HOW MUCH EXACLTY IS "A LOT?"

So when we say “Show me the money…” just how much cash are we talking about. First-round selections for the NBA draft are guaranteed two years on their contract - down from three in 2006. If, for example, Brandan Wright were selected in the lottery, the first 14 picks, his contract would be worth no less than $1,376,900 in his first year.

If Wright is selected with the third overall draft pick, which is where many in addition to UNC Coach Roy Williams feel he is likely to be taken, he would make $3,121,500 in his first year and $3,355,600 in his second.

Who doesn’t walk for $6.4 million guaranteed?

JOHN PAUL JONES AND SEAN SINGLETARY GETTING DIVORCED?

Virginia guard Sean Singletary will declare for the NBA draft but is not planning to hire an agent, leaving open the possibility of a return for his senior season. The 6-foot junior, an all-Atlantic Coast Conference player, maintained repeatedly this season he would be back for his senior year. TRANSLATION: Lying sack of s***. A co-captain the last two seasons, Singletary averaged 19 points, 4.7 assists and 4.6 rebounds this season. He also made 87.2 percent of his free throws.

"I want to continue to consider all of my options and learn as much as I can about the process," he said in a statement released by the school. TRANSLATION: "I can't wait to get the hell out of here!"

There is a Sunday deadline for applying for early entry to the June 28 draft. Players who don't hire an agent can withdraw their names until June 18 and return to school.

"I understand Sean's interest in learning more about the process and feel this step will enable him to gather a great deal of information," Virginia coach Dave Leitao said. TRANSLATION: "He's a lying sack of s***."

"Finally, some good news," said Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg

Virginia finished 21-11, shared the ACC regular-season title with North Carolina and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001, advancing to the second round.

VMI'S D-I SCORING LEADER GOING PRO

Division I scoring leader Reggie Williams plans to skip his senior season at Virginia Military Institute and enter the NBA draft.

Williams, a 6-foot-5 forward who averaged 28.1 points, said Tuesday he will not hire an agent. He will have until June 18 to withdraw his name if he hopes to return to the Keydets. The NBA draft is June 28 in New York.

"I felt that I had a successful season and I would like to explore my options at the next level," said Williams, adding he intends to return to VMI to get his degree. TRANSLATION: "I can't wait to get the hell out of here!"

Williams set Big South Conference and VMI records for points this season. He had four games of 40 or more points and 15 games of 30 or more points. Williams is third in VMI history with 1,861 points.

Also Georgia Tech forward Thaddeus Young has entered his name in the NBA draft, yet could return for his sophomore season because he hasn't hired an agent.

Coach Paul Hewitt said Tuesday that Young submitted his name to learn more about his status from NBA personnel.

"I'm enjoying my experience at Georgia Tech, both with the basketball program and in school," Young said in a statement released by the school. "Right now, my focus is in finishing out this semester and then gathering more information from the NBA people." TRANSLATION: "I can't wait to get the hell out of here!"

Young tied for the team lead in scoring, averaging 14.4 points. He and freshman point guard Javaris Crittenton helped the Yellow Jackets to a 20-12 record and a berth in the NCAA tournament. They were knocked out in the first round by UNLV.

Hewitt said Young and his family did not want to elaborate on the decision because the 6-foot-8 forward is concentrating on final exams, which begin Monday. Afterward, he plans to discuss his situation.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

VIRGINIA native Allen Iverson shows the Hokies some love.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

MLB HOKIE - Los Angeles Angels pitcher Joe Saunders is a graduate of Virginia Tech and he donned a Hokies hat in his first start after the tragedy.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

NASCAR driver Ward Burton's Nextel Cup Series car revealed the feelings of his Morgan-McClure Motorsports team, which is based in Virginia.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

HOKIE ON TOUR -Virginia Tech graduate Johnson Wagner during the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

A CHAMP CAR official commemorates the Virginia Tech shootings with a helmet sticker prior to the start of the ChampCar Grand Prix of Houston at Reliant Park April 22, 2007. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WRIGHT GOING PRO (DAMN!)

Brandan Wright enjoyed playing for Roy Williams and knew North Carolina could contend for a national championship next season. He just couldn't pass on the chance to take care of his family by entering the NBA draft while Roy Williams scored some points with future “one and done” recruits by endorsing his decision.

"I was definitely torn in my decision," the freshman said Monday during a news conference. "There are so many positives and negatives in me entering the draft. But I feel like the positives outweigh the negatives."

Wright becomes the 15th player to leave the program early for the NBA draft, joining notable names like James Worthy, Michael Jordan, Jerry Stackhouse and Vince Carter. But unlike two years ago -- when the Tar Heels lost four underclassmen after winning the national championship -- North Carolina is losing just one.

How to fill the gap left by Wright – Here’s what they are saying at AOL ACC Fanhouse.

DEON THOMPSON: Thompson will most likely step into the starting role next to Hansbrough. Thompson showed flashes of a player who could have a nice career in Chapel Hill. Now he'll get starter's minutes and a platform to vault himself into the national spotlight.
ALEX STEPHENSON: Thompson was an offensive force off the bench last year. Stephenson was the defensive guy. Stephenson was known in high school as a premiere rebounder which should get him some good minutes this year. He's pretty handy around the basket but didn't show that he make his own play to get a shot off.
TY LAWSON: With no Wright or the graduating Reyshawn Terry, Lawson will be asked to score a bit more.
WILLIAM GRAVES: People forget that Graves was part of that outstanding freshman recruiting class. However, Graves elected to redshirt last year despite being a guy that could've been in the rotation. UNC brings no one in this year, so Graves will be able to fill in down low.
SENIOR CLASS OF 2008: With Wright officially gone, the Tar Heels know that they have a front line opening in the 2008-2009 season [especially if Hansbrough leaves next year]. Just as Wright came in for a one and done, so could kids like Greg Monroe, Ed Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu, Samardo Samuels or Drew Gordon who'd love to come in and play right away in Chapel Hill.

OK, we actually learned something. We didn’t know about secret weapon red shirt Graves lurking in the shadows. That Roy Williams, he’s clever.

JUSTICE FOR THE COACH?

For starters, our gig is funny not editorial comment. Subsequently, we have kept the comments on the Duke lacrosse scandal at a bare minimum. However, recently we read SI’s No Justice For The Coach by Rick Reilly and that got us thinking (which is always a bit dangerous).

No need to review the sordid details, save to say the Duke lacrosse team suffered a serious lapse in good judgment. However, very quickly this turned into a classic case of “guilty until proven innocent,” and that should be what offends most Americans about the whole ordeal.

Immediately after the arrest the media, a portion of the Duke community and a good chunk of the civilized world turned on the Duke lacrosse team. Unfortunately, so did Duke President Richard Brodhead and Duke A.D. Joe Alleva. Students, teachers and enraged citizens stood outside the lacrosse player’s house banging pots and pans and chanting “Castrate.” In retrospect, it’s easy to label that a bit “over the top.” Yes?

Are there issues with student athletes, double standards, cliques, race, and entitlement on Duke and other college campuses? Of course, there are. Colleges are little Petri dishes that remarkably mirror society as a whole. Are there solutions to these problems? Most certainly there are, but it will take smarter folks than us to figure it out. This we do know. Randomly charging three college students with a felony, and pursuing the charges in spite of evidence to the contrary, is not a viable solution or even a reasonable/sensible direction to take.

Like the members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, the three Duke lacrosse player’s lives are forever changed. There is no fixing that, and that’s a shame. There is talk about the players suing Duke if only for their legal fees, but that doesn’t make sense either. Nobody at Duke made them hire the strippers or have the party. They walked into that one on their own. Having said that, we would advocate suing the bee Jesus out of Brodhead and Alleva, but not by the players – by the coach.

Mike Pressler had been at Duke for 16 years developing a good program. Yes, some of his players had gotten in trouble for such heinous crimes as disorderly conduct and public urinating. Makes us wonder how many public urinating college students grow up to be full grown felons? Probably not that many, but what do we know? Were there behavior issues? Yes, again just like all the others in the Petri dishes all over the country. Could the leash have been shorter? It looks that way, but after the rape allegations, Duke officials went dove hunting with a bazooka. You want overreaction? We give you overreaction.

Pressler was just coming off a great season (2005 NCAA Coach of the Year) and his squad was highly ranked yet again. His overall record was 153-82, and his graduation rate over 16 years was 100%. Not a misprint – 100%. No matter, soon he would be receiving death threats at such a pace he felt compelled to send his children away for safety’s sake.

Here’s where things really went wrong. While Mike Nifong was running around pouring gasoline on the already raging fire, Duke officials decided to throw Pressler under the bus. Before any forensic evidence was revealed, A.D. Joe Alleva called Pressler and told him he was firing him. According to Reilly, Pressler suggested that they wait saying “The DNA is coming back any day. Wait for the truth.” In fact, the DNA would comeback shortly thereafter and there was none from any Duke lacrosse player. It’s possible the accused three committed a nearly impossible “sterile rape,” but it’s not likely. Most forensic evidence experts immediately questioned Nifong’s motives and the credibility of the allegations.

Not so Duke. They canned Pressler and cancelled the season. Alleva told Pressler (again according to Reilly), “It’s not about the truth anymore, it’s about faculty, the NAACP and the special interest groups.”

You know what that is? One word: pathetic. There isn’t much loyalty in sports, and evidently a decreasing amount in life. Duke, a school with a $4.5 billion endowment, is one of the few that could withstand such a storm. Duke, like Northwestern, the Ivy League schools, Cal Berkley, Stanford and a few others are typically noted for their overall prestige and quality before the conversation turns to sports. If they were a football factory or a basketball power only, they may have been able to justify their total lack of courage and commitment. But, Duke was one of the few schools who didn’t have to turn and run, and yet that his exactly what they did. All they had to do was suspend the coach, the players, the team and let the legal process work.

Perhaps all Alleva and Brodhead really needed to do was stand up and say, “Our people are innocent until proven guilty. Throw all the rocks at us you want. Rush to judgment all you want, this institution is going to honor a basic principle of democracy." How hard is that? Evidently, too hard.

But, they didn’t, and Mike Pressler lost his job, his house and everything he had worked for over the past 16 years. He now coaches at Division 2 Bryant University, while somebody named John Danowski coaches his Blue Devils. Pressler cried when he heard the words “innocent,” but surely these remarks must have generated some anger.

"… In this case, with the weight of the state behind him, the Durham district attorney pushed forward unchecked. There were many points in the case where caution would have served justice better than bravado. And in the rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see clearly. Regardless of the reasons this case was pushed forward, the result was wrong." -- North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, April 11, 2007.

So that begs the question Reilly asked: “When does this fine man who did absolutely nothing wrong get his apology? Where are the mea culpas from Nifong? From Alleva? From Duke president Richard Brodhead? When is Mike Pressler’s day?”

Those are damn good questions. Surely Duke owes Pressler an apology if not a big bag of money.

Here’s another good question: What did Mike Pressler do? He didn’t offend anybody like Imus and he most certainly didn’t go crazy and murder 32 innocent people even though he suffered real indignations well beyond the imagined ones of one deranged Virginia Tech student. So, what did he do?

He took his new Bradley University lacrosse team out and throttled Franklin Pierce 28-7. By all accounts, he didn’t whine about it either.

Which begs a final question: How exactly do Alleva and Brodhead sleep at night or look in a mirror?

PICTURE OF THE DAY

DEVASTATED BY THE NEWS that Brandan Wright was leaving his "North Carolina family," His Airness was so distraught he was forced to take to a bar in Cabo San Lucas where he could mourn appropriately this disturbing loss.

Oh, the humanity.

(Photo courtesy of one our our favorites! www.Deadspin.com)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NOT EXACTLY THRILLED...is UNC guard Bobby Frasor upon hearing that his teamate Brandan Wright is leaving for the NBA.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

HEY LOOK, BOBBY FRASOR AND SNOOP GOT THEIR FINGERS MIXED UP...Snoop Dog who caught some heat during the Imus flap over his use of words like "ho" suffered another credibility hit recently when he showed up with the giant foam #1 finger at a HOCKEY game. What no Knicks? No Lakers? Oops.

Monday, April 23, 2007

PICTURE OF THE DAY

THE YELLOW MILE? Lakers fan and actor Michael Clark Duncan watches as the Phoenix Suns host the Los Angeles Lakers in Game One of the NBA Playoffs. Yo Michael, you're a grown up, you can't dress like this...Seriously...you can't.


(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

WHAT IS THE WHITE GUY NEXT TO JAY-Z THINKING? (Besides Wow!) Model Jessica White, fashion designer Kimora Lee, model Tyra Banks, recording artists Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z watch the action between the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets on April 16, 2007 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) 001JayZ

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

HEY LOOK, CRAZY PEOPLE! Moto GP riders take a curve during the Moto GP race at Istanbul's circuit, 22 April 2007. Were we to take up motorcycle racing this is exactly where we'd do it because Instanbul is so famous for their emergency health care...Yeah, right.

(MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images)

HEY, THERE'S NO "H" IN DUKE!

JUST TO PROVE we are very close to getting back to normal, we have to make fun of Duke -- just a little. Former Duke star Tommy Amaker (by all accounts a first class guy, so we will go easy on him) has been named the new head coach at Harvard. Does Harvard even have a basketball team? Really?

(AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

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