Friday, September 28, 2012

Former Terp Dead At 33

(Baltimore Sun Photo)
From the Washington Post:

Sad news for the Terrapins family. Earl Badu, a former walk-on to the men’s basketball team in the late 1990s and early 2000s, has died of an apparent suicide. He was 33.

Badu’s body was found by Baltimore County police Thursday morning, though the time of his death is uncertain. Police say Badu jumped to his death from the Interstate 95 overpass onto Interstate 695 on the eastern side of Baltimore County.

Ling Li, who performed the autopsy for the Maryland chief medical examiner’s office, said Badu died of “multiple injuries.”

Badu, whose popularity frequently elicited late-game chants of his name during blowouts, was a member of the 2002 national championship team. In 18 career games, he had four points. Badu lived in Bethesda.

BADU (FAR LEFT) (Michael Williamson/Washington Post)
He entered a tryout on the encouragement of Juan Dixon, a good friend and former high school rival.

“It’s hard to believe,” Badu told The Post at the 2002 Final Four in Atlanta. “Anybody who plays basketball dreams of getting to the Division I level. Then to be at the elite level, where the University of Maryland now is. And then to this.”

More from the Baltimore Sun, click here. 

Saturday ACC Football

N.C. STATE @ MIAMI (-3), Miami, Fla., 12:00 PM,  TV: ESPNU (XM 191 SIRIUS 136)

Middle Tennessee @ GEORGIA TECH (-28), Atlanta, Ga., 12:00 PM, TV: RSN (XM 190 SIRIUS 112)

DUKE @ WAKE FOREST (-3), Winston-Salem, N.C., 12:30 PM, TV: ACC Network (XM 192 SIRIUS 135)

Louisiana Tech (-3.5) @ VIRGINIA, Charlottesville, Va., 3:30 PM, TV: ESPN3 (XM 199 SIRIUS 113)

#17 CLEMSON (-9.5) @ BOSTON COLLEGE, Chestnut Hill, Mass., 3:30 PM, TV: ESPN2 (XM 194 SIRIUS 132)

VIRGINIA TECH (-6.5) @ Cincinnati, FedEx Field, Landover, Md., 3:30 PM, TV: ESPNU (XM 190 SIRIUS 112)

Idaho @ NORTH CAROLINA (-23.5), Chapel Hill, N.C., 3:30 PM, TV: RSN (XM 196 SIRIUS 138)

#4 FLORIDA STATE (-15.5) @ USF, Tampa, Fla., 6:00 PM, TV: ESPN (XM 191 SIRIUS 136)

Nat’s Magic Number: 3

MORSE (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Our Washington Nationals (formerly your Montreal Expos) (95-61) defeated the Philadelphia Phillie (78-78) 7-3 last night.  Rookie phenom Bryce Harper hit his 21st home run and Michael Morse added two more (one that went 451 feet) while Gio Gonzalez got his 21st win (the first in MLB).

The stupid Braves beat the stupid(er) Marlins.

Clemson’s Watkins Out (Again)

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

All-America receiver Sammy Watkins won't play against Boston College because of an abdominal virus.

Tigers coach Dabo Swinney announced Watkins status after practice Thursday. The team is scheduled to leave for Boston on Friday.
The absence of Watkins means the 17th-ranked Tigers (3-1, 0-1 ACC) will be without two main players in their wide receiver rotation. On Tuesday, Clemson lost backup Martavis Bryant to a groin injury the sophomore suffered while working out at the team's strength facility.

Watkins will miss his third game of the season after sitting out Clemson's first two contests because of a suspension for an offseason drug arrest.

Swinney said Watkins had taken himself out at the end of practices on Tuesday and Wednesday because he didn't feel well.

On Thursday, Watkins "was worse and after going to the doctor it was determined that he needed to stay here this weekend," Swinney said.

ACC Football Links

AL GOLDEN (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
By Heather Dinich/ ACC Blog

Boston College should get a boost from the return of injured receiver Bobby Swigert

The salaries for Clemson's assistants have skyrocketed

Saturday's game against Wake Forest will be Duke's biggest since 1994

Georgia Tech will be looking for its pass rush against Middle Tennessee

Quintin Payton has solidified his spot as Mike Glennon's go-to receiver

UNC's defense has some work to do

The Cavaliers' receivers also need to step up

Miami coach Al Golden says if you win it, they will come

EJ Manuel and B.J. Daniels will highlight Saturday's game between South Florida and FSU.

Things That Make You Go...

(Shamshahrin Shamsudin/EPA)
The Daily: Have you ever wanted to see Malaysia? Have you ever wanted to see Malaysia from 1,380 feet up?

These base jumpers have the best view in town, leaping off the Kuala Lumpur Tower yesterday as part the KL Tower Base Jump event. Some 95 professional base jumpers from 18 countries are taking part in the five-day event that began in 1999, when three brave jumpers launched the yearly leaps.

Night jumps are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow. 
(Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images)

The event’s motto: Fear is not an option.

Good News For “Seminoles”

In the ongoing battle over team names, the Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) have allowed the University of North Dakota to keep thousands of logos depicting an American Indian warrior.

According to the Associated Press, the agreement comes in a decades-old controversy that has included lawsuits, legislation, NCAA threats and a statewide vote about whether the school's Fighting Sioux nickname and Indian-head logo were insensitive to local tribes.

The state Board of Higher Education had ordered the school this summer to drop the nickname and moniker to abide by a 2007 agreement with the NCAA. But that plan called for all Sioux logos to be removed from the two arenas, which have thousands of the logos -- including on brass medallions on chairs and a 10-foot sketch in the hockey arena's granite floor.

The new plan allows that imagery to stay, though six signs that say "Home of the Fighting Sioux" must be removed so the school will be in NCAA compliance and able to host post-season sporting events. The logo also won't be replaced when it wears out in carpeting.

UND’s hockey arena is named after alumnus and former goaltender Ralph Engelstad, a property developer and casino owner who donated $100 million to finance the 400,000-square-foot arena. Before his death in 2002, he'd told state higher education board he would withdraw his support if the nickname were changed. The arena opened in October 2001, and the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, named for his wife, opened in 2004.

The debate over the Fighting Sioux nickname heated up in 2005, when the NCAA listed 19 schools with American Indian nicknames, logos and mascots it deemed to be "hostile and abusive."

The NCAA allowed some schools to keep such nicknames provided they received tribal support (which would be the case with Florida State). But in the University of North Dakota's case, the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe endorsed using the nickname and logo, but The Standing Rock Sioux's tribal council didn't. 

The university sued the NCAA, which eventually led to the settlement agreement.

Video Of The Day

Of course, South Park got in on the action...

Pictures Of The Day

Runners pull up after finishing The Cambridge News Excellent Horseracing Coverage Nursery Handicap Stakes at Newmarket racecourse on September 27, 2012 in Newmarket, England.
(Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Michael Schumacher of Germany and Mercedes GP crashes into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore. (Robert Canfone/Getty Images)
Kurt Suzuki #24 of the Washington Nationals walks teammate Gio Gonzalez #47 back to the mound in the first inning during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 27, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Game officials take the field before the start of the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 27, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

UNC Sports Officially Doomed

At least the ones that really matter…

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, University of North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp, who is giving up his position at the school, the university will institute higher academic standards for student-athletes and have more administrative oversight in the wake of the recent scandals.

“Academics are going to have to come first,” Thorp said. “And it’s clear that they haven’t to the extent that they should.”

An auditing firm is conducting a review of North Carolina’s practices with regards to its student-athletes.

Thorp promised that the actions to be taken after the review is completed will be “ground-breaking.”


Here are a few tidbits of note:
  • Among the biggest changes would be tougher admission standards, including limits on instances where athletes are granted exceptions to normal UNC-Chapel Hill standards in order to be admitted.
  • In the past five years, 53 football players have been admitted to UNC-Chapel Hill under that process, according to university records.
  • The university could not immediately say Wednesday how many basketball players were also admissions exceptions, citing rules that prevent revealing a player’s identity. Admissions officials said providing the number of basketball exceptions could reveal player identities because each year’s class size of basketball recruits is relatively small.
As we know, Virginia has been utilizing this same strategy for years and has been handsomely rewarded with basketball and football mediocrity. 

Wahoos Back Where They Belong

(Baltimore Sun file photo)
Many years ago (rotary phones), Playboy magazine published a poll of the biggest party schools in the good old U.S. of A.  But, like Ralph Sampson and George Welsh, that was back in the day…

Over the years, The University (as they so affectionately refer to themselves) slipped as upstart schools seemed to suddenly be drinking more, winning more, and according to Playboy, having more sex.

Thankfully, all is well in our universe, as UVA has risen back to the top of Playboy’s annual ranking.

Not surprisingly the adult entertainment company reached its decision by looking at students' sex lives as well as university nightlife combined with the overall quality of their sports programs.

On its website Playboy said: "Raise a glass to UVA [University of Virginia], whose students know a thing or two about raising glasses and everything important to this list. The Cavaliers placed an uninspiring 16th in sports but more than made up for it in nightlife and sex, finishing number three and number two, respectively. According to our math, two plus three equals one."

The University of Southern California came in second in the list with the University of Florida claiming the third place spot.

The winners who are named in the special October College edition of Playboy were chosen by the magazine's editors, based on feedback from readers, students, alumni and campus representatives.

They also looked at factors like male-female ratios on campus, academics, athletic records and proximity to recreational hot spots.

However, according to NBC News, while students may have been delighted with the result, officials at the 200-year-old Virginia university were not so pleased.

A spokesman for the college said: “We are demanding a recount. It’s far more important for the university to be known for our academic achievements in teaching and research.”

All of that said, one might wonder which school came in last: State University of New York College of Environmental Science of Forestry (Mighty Oaks, 2,200 students, Syracuse, NY)

    2. Southern California (Mascot named after a condom)
    3. University of Florida (Mascot named after a weird dance)
    4. University of Texas (Longhorn...Long? Horn? Get it?)
    5. University of Wisconsin (Hmmm...well, it's really cold, so...)
    6. University of Georgia (R.E.M. still has an impact)
    7. Vanderbilt (Nashville! October 3rd, ABC)
    8. Tulane (It's in New Orleans for crying out loud)
    9. Texas Christian (Horny Horned Frogs)
   10. Ohio State (Beating Michigan at everything)

NFL Referee Debacle Explained

Here is Refgate 101:

The NFL wanted to convert the ref’s pension fund to a 401K just like all the rest of corporate America.  That said, if corporate America is vilified as a bunch of greedy bastards, the owners that make up the NFL are seen as the top 1% of the 1% of the greediest of all bastards.

In addition, the NFL wanted to add officials which would generally lower salaries (since refs would work fewer games) while offering a small pay raise to assuage any hurt feelings or wallets.

There were a few other issues, but, seriously, who really cares?
The owners, the league office and Roger Goodell managed to make the Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) look downright benevolent (and truly wise) with the whole mess, and only after it blew up in their faces game after game did they come back to the table and resolve the situation.

In the end, the NFL will continue to fund the refs’ pension for five more years before it converts to a 501K plan.  The NFL backed down on a plan to have three additional crews of seven officials hired and paid out of the total compensation package. The new hires are paid out of the NFL coffers and not out of the current officials' take. As for the compensation package, officials will average $149,000 a year in 2012, $173,000 in 2013 and $205,000 in 2019. Which doesn't suck.

The NFL won the right to add officials slowly over the coming years and to add “full time” officials at some point.

Now you know.

(Jeff Parker/Florida Today – Ft. Meyer News & Press)

Williams’ Tumor Benign

The University of North Carolina said Roy Williams' surgically removed kidney tumor was not cancerous, though he will have a biopsy to ensure a second kidney tumor is also benign.
(Nick Latham/Getty Images)
In a news release Tuesday afternoon, the school said tests have determined the tumor removed last week from Williams' right kidney was an oncocytoma, which is a benign growth often indistinguishable from kidney cancer on X-rays that doesn't spread like a cancerous tumor would.

Williams also has a tumor on his left kidney, but according to the school, doctors say there is ''a good chance'' that growth is the same as the one removed Sept. 19. Doctors plan to biopsy that tumor next week and won't have to perform a second surgery if the tumor is also an oncocytoma.

In a statement, Williams thanked the medical staff who treated him and said he was ''overwhelmed'' by the messages of support he had received since the surgery.

''I've just been blown away by the calls, cards, prayers and well-wishes from people all around the world in and out of the basketball community,'' Williams said. ''My family and I are thankful to all that have expressed your concerns.''

America: It’s A Great Country

For so many reasons...

News is the NFL and their locked-out refs have reached a tentative agreement and will be back to work tonight... 

Nat’s Magic Number: 4

Our Washington Nationals (formerly your Montreal Expos) (94-61) defeated the Philadelphia Phillie (78-77) 8-4 last night.  Rookie phenom Bryce Harper hit his 20th home run and closer Tyler Clippard tried to screw it up...
(Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Here, Philadelphia fans boo former Phillie Jayson Werth - because they can. 

The two teams play again tonight. 

ACC Football Links

(Lon Horwedel/Icon SMI)
By Heather Dinich and Andrea Adelson/

Duke receiver Conner Vernon could become the ACC's new career leader in receptions this weekend.

The Wake Forest defense will get yet another look on Saturday from a different offense.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson says he is an optimist.

Kyle Fuller's return to the lineup can't be undervalued for Virginia Tech.

Hokies linebacker Tariq Edwards isn't ready to return yet.

Brent Venables says there is still plenty of time for Clemson's D to improve.

Miami and N.C. State haven't played since 2008.

The Canes' receivers are picking up the slack by committee.

(Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated)
North Carolina's in good shape -- in the second half.

Shadrach Thornton gave N.C. State the spark it has been missing in the running game.

Virginia linebacker D.J. Hill is getting used to filling in for LaRoy Reynolds.

Boston College got extra time to prepare for Clemson.

Inexperience looks to be a bigger factor than talent level in Clemson's offensive line woes.

Duke's defense has improved, thanks to its line.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher says it's time to put the foot on the gas.

Paul Johnson's approach is hurting Georgia Tech, says Mark Bradley in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Maryland running back Brandon Ross had a mixed bag in his collegiate debut.

(Chris Szagola/Cal Sport Media)
Redshirt freshman Matt Goudis is competing for the starting punter job at Miami while Dalton Botts recovers from a sprained ankle.

Yahoo! Sports goes behind the scenes at North Carolina last week during game preparations for East Carolina.

N.C. State will have running back Tony Creecy available against Miami.

Virginia is expecting more out of Michael Rocco.

Pictures Of The Day

Justin Timberlake (L) and Bill Murray (R) wait with Sean Lehman on the first tee during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)
Golfers Lee Trevino (L) and Corey Pavin walk together during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club on September 25, 2012. (David Cannon/Getty Images North America)
Hollywood star Bill Murray watches a tee shot during the 2012 Ryder Cup Captains & Celebrity Scramble at Medinah Country Golf Club. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quote Of The Day

"Like I say, that's for show dogs. If you want to parade him around and do all that, I'd rather have a hunting dog. When I let him out that truck, he's ready to go. I think that's what he is and I think he understands that. He's mature enough to understand that."
(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
So said Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher on  Monday stating that the Heisman Trophy is a popularity contest for "show dogs" with the winner now usually the best player on which team voters feel is the best.

Fisher, who is adamant about trying to shield his players from outside distractions, bristled briefly when asked about quarterback EJ Manuel's chances of winning the award…

We want to know what happened to the periods in EJ’s initials?  They must be hanging out with the dots that have long been missing in many places from NC State.

ACC Players Of The Week

MANUEL (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
OFFENSIVE BACK – EJ Manuel, Florida State, Senior, QB, 6-5, 240, Virginia Beach, Va. Manuel passed for a career-high 380 yards (27-35-0) and two touchdowns, while adding 102 rushing yards on 11 carries in the 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson. He is the first Seminole quarterback since Charlie Ward in 1992 to pass for more than 300 yards and rush for more than 100 yards. Manuel led the Seminoles back from a 14-point, second half deficit, completing 12 of 17 second half attempts for 199 yards and a pair of scores. The Seminoles erased a 28-14 deficit by outscoring Clemson 28-3, a streak that included TD passes of nine yards to Rashad Green and 29 yards to Rodney Smith. Manuel was named National Offensive Player of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. His performance was also notable because he moved to the No. 1 spot in ACC career history in completion percentage (67.2) and passing efficiency (151.41).

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Menelik Watson, Florida State, Junior, OL, 6-6, 320, Manchester, Great Britain. Making just his second career start at the Division I level, Watson was a force from his right tackle position for the Seminoles. Florida State amassed 667 yards of total offense – 287 rushing and 380 passing – against the Tigers. Watson was often at the point of attack on a day when the Seminoles pounded out five rushing touchdowns, pushing their ACC-leading total to 20 on the year. It was Florida State’s most productive effort in an ACC game since compiling more than 700 yards against Clemson in 2000. Watson graded out at 82 percent with just one missed assignment in 78 snaps.

DORSETT #4 (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
RECEIVER – Phillip Dorsett, Miami, Sophomore, WR, 5-9, 187, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Dorsett tallied career highs with nine receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown in Miami’s 42-36 come-from-behind overtime win at Georgia Tech. His first catch of the game came on a career-long 65-yard TD reception in the first quarter, and his 184 receiving yards are the seventh-most in a single game in school history. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native also added a 41-yard reception in the second quarter.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Zach Thompson, Wake Forest, Junior, DE, 6-5, 255, Ashburn, Va. Thompson, a 6-5, 255-pound redshirt junior defensive end from Ashburn, Va., recorded a career-high 12 tackles and tied for the team high as Wake Forest downed Army, 49-37. Thompson had seven solo stops and five assists versus the Black Knights.

LINEBACKER – Eddie Johnson, Miami, Freshman, LB, 6-1, 238, Atlanta, Ga. The Atlanta native had a career-high nine tackles (six solo) and assisted on a tackle-for-loss in front of his hometown crowd during Miami’s 42-36 overtime road win at Georgia Tech. The biggest tackle came on 4th-and-1 on Miami’s 2-yard line in overtime as Johnson stopped Yellow Jacket quarterback Tevin Washington for no gain, giving the ball to Miami that led to the eventual game-winning overtime drive.

JOYNER (Phil Sears/AP Photo)
DEFENSIVE BACK – Jabari Price, North Carolina, Junior, CB, 6-0, 195, Pompano Beach, Fla. Price posted eight tackles (five solo, three assists), had a 13-yard sack, and broke up a pass in Carolina's 27-6 victory over East Carolina. Price's sack was the first of his career and it forced ECU to punt. The Tar Heels accumulated seven sacks on the day, the most since 2000 vs. Wake Forest. Price was part of a defensive effort that limited the Pirates to 233 total yards.

SPECIALIST – Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State, Junior, DB, 5-8, 195, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Joyner was responsible for perhaps the biggest momentum changing play of the 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson when he raced 90 yards with a third quarter kickoff return in response to the Tigers taking a 31-21 lead with 7:32 remaining in the quarter. Joyner, who finished with 185 kickoff return yards on five attempts, was brought down at the Clemson 10-yard line. Two plays later, EJ Manuel completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene as the Seminoles reeled off 28 unanswered points. In addition to his return work, Joyner was also instrumental on defense, contributing three tackles.

DIGGS (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
ROOKIE – Stefon Diggs, Maryland, Freshman, WR, 6-1, 185, Gaithersburg, Md. Diggs made the most of his three touches on offense, turning three receptions into 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Maryland’s 31-21 loss to No. 8 West Virginia. The freshman had a 42-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter on a highlight-reel play in which he raced down the sideline and dove into the end zone from four yards out. In the fourth quarter, he had a 56-yard touchdown catch. Diggs also added 63 kickoff return yards and 25 punt return yards to total 201 all-purpose yards, his second straight game with 200-plus. 

Nats’ Magic Number: 5

Our Washington Nationals (formerly your Montreal Expos) (93-60) defeated the Milwaukee Brewers (79-74) 10-4 yesterday at Nats Stadium.
(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
 Here, winning pitcher Jordan Zimmermann  throws a pitch.

The Nats play the Phillies tonight and manager Davey Johnson is once again stirring the pot saying he will sit his starters when, and if, they clinch the NL East.

ACC Mulling Over Old Dominion?

 Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke has just added himself to the NCAA record book, and in doing so the fledgling Old Dominion football squad has caught the eye of the ACC Expansion Committee.
(Steve Earley/VA Pilot/AP Photo)
"Although it was recently reported that the conference, which is now the best conference on planet earth, has no further expansion plans, we have to consider all programs in our geographic area, which is pretty much the whole country,” ACC Commish John Swofford allegedly said to somebody who told somebody else who told somebody else who’s sister told a T.A.H. mole source.

So, what caught the ACC’s football eye?

On Saturday, Heinicke threw for 730 yards in a 64-61 win against New Hampshire to break David Klingler's Division-I record for passing yards in a single game. The record stood for 22 years.

"I have a hard time fathoming what he's doing on the football field," coach Bobby Wilder said of Heinicke after the game.

Heinicke completed 55 of 79 passes and threw for five touchdowns and no interceptions as he rallied the Monarch from a 54-38 defincit through three quarters. He set Old Dominion records for completions (55), attempts (79), and passing yards (730).

The Monarchs suspended football in 1941 and restarted play in 2009.  Old Dominion began play as an independent FCS team (formerly I-AA) and joined the Colonial Athletic Associaiton in 2011. 
In the first three years of competition after its rebirth, Old Dominion compiled a 26-7 record and earned a berth in the 2011 FCS playoffs, hosting, and defeating, crosstown rival Norfolk State before losing 55-48 to Georgia State earning a 10th spot in the final FCS poll.

Currenlty, Old Dominion is 4-0 and ranked 4th in the FCS poll.  In 2013, the Monarchs are slated to join Conference USA.

“Once we confirmed that the 64-61 final wasn’t a basketball score, we had to give the Monarchs serious consideration simply because 730 yards is 730 yards,” allegedly said Swofford.

*Items in italics may not be true. 

ACC Football Links

By  Heather Dinich |

Can Georgia Tech stay upbeat despite its long-shot chances at an ACC title?

Clemson's run defense has been a house of horrors.

In the ACC, it's FSU and everybody else.

The Noles made the grade this week. UVa? Not so much.

Kenny Tate's season debut for the Terps was an important comeback for the team.

A UNC kicker has been suspended indefinitely after he was arrested and charged with felony assault.

Miami freshman Malcolm Lewis, a starting wide receiver, suffered a season-ending injury in the win over Georgia Tech.

Despite the loss to TCU, UVa coach Mike London is still encouraged.

If Duke is going to maintain one streak, it's going to have to break another.

Gio Bernard's return to the lineup has been therapeutic.

Game Of The Week Photos

  All photos by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images.

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