The NCAA created a monster when it awarded its prestigious Heisman Trophy – deservingly so, too – to Johnny Manziel after just his freshman season. Oh, Johnny Manziel isn’t a monster to any- and everyone. Just Mark Emmert and the rest of the NCAA bunch. In fact, he’s not a monster to anyone else. The rest of us, we’re all cheering him on.
Three conference championships and a cloud of dust marked the end of Bret Bielema’s tenure as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Gone to Arkansas and the glamor of the SEC, he left a bittersweet taste in the mouths of the Badger faithful, a fan base that loved much of what he produced in the win column despite routinely calling for his dismissal as head coach.
Two of college football’s most renowned offensive minds are teaming up, and it could make for an explosive combination. Famed former Hawaii and NFL coach June Jones, who’s been the head coach at Southern Methodist University since 2008, has brought the legendary Hal Mumme in as offensive coordinator for this season.
The endless years of NCAA realignment discussion seem to have died down for the moment, and the SEC has come out on top. That’s not surprising. The conference has been the dominant NCAA football power for most of the last decade, winning the last seven BCS championships, and that success arguably carried over to the realignment realm, where they didn’t lose anyone and added two impressive schools in Texas A&M and Missouri. Considering how disastrously realignment went for many, that’s not bad at all.
The news came out late last week that an elite athlete can’t participate in his sport for a year. That’s hardly uncommon: heck, it even happened more than once last week alone, but things tend to get weirder and more unusual when you’re talking about college sports, though, and that’s what makes the case of Everett Golson stand out. It all begs the question of what role academics ought to play in the NCAA.