April 12, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• Somebody get that kid's parents a rent-free house. Hey everybody, check out Southern Cal freshman Dillon Baxter:
Wait, wait — actually, that's former Trojan star Reggie Bush on one of his most famous runs in 2005, in a game against Fresno State in which he set a Pac-10 record with 513 all-purpose yards and essentially locked up the Heisman. Although new USC coach Lane Kiffin, Bush's offensive coordinator in '05 and explicit endorser of Baxter as the next "Next Reggie Bush," still doesn't see much of a difference after Baxter stole the show during Saturday's scrimmage with 94 yards on nine carries, 50 of those on a dazzling touchdown run that Kiffin didn't hesitate to describe as like "Reggie versus Fresno." Maybe more impressive, considering Baxter's crazy run came against mostly walk-ons in the secondary: Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley hooked up with senior Ronald Johnson for two touchdowns, including a 70-yarder, and would have had an even better afternoon if not for a few dropped passes. [Orange County Register]
• Green out. Alabama safety Robby Green, a regular contributor (and sometime-starter) on last year's dominant Tide defense, has been declared ineligible for the 2010 season for undisclosed reasons, costing 'Bama yet another likely starter in an already attrition-racked secondary. The only remotely experienced player remaining in the back four is All-SEC safety Mark Barron, who's also the only full-time starter back on the entire D. [Associated Press]
• Dropping the hammer on sickle-cell. The NCAA is expected to vote this week on a proposal to make sickle-cell testing mandatory at all member schools in hopes of preventing further deaths during training. At least eight of 21 college players who have died in workouts over the last 10 years were known to carry the sickle-cell trait, a genetic disorder — found about eight times as often in blacks as in whites — which can disrupt blood flow. Somewhat surprisingly, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America is ambivalent on the idea of testing, according to Dr. William Roberts, who told the New York Times he'd rather see a concerted effort to change the workouts: "There's not any data that shows that screening can save lives. A lot of the kids who have died, they've known they have sickle-cell trait and they still run them to death. It should just be a change in the training program to protect everyone and not just the kids with sickle." [New York Times, via Ghetto Testimonial]
• Badgers, unswoosh'd. The University of Wisconsin-Madison will cut all ties with Nike in protest of the apparel giant's ongoing "labor issues with factories in Honduras," where 1,800 workers have argued they haven't received more than $2 million in severance pay, among other charges of sweatshop tactics. Nike isn't the Badgers' major outfitter — that title already belongs to adidas — but does sell licensed apparel (hats, T-shirts, etc.) that brought the school $49,000 last year. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
• Today's hypothetical conference expansion scenario ... Based on nothing in particular except his finger in the air, the Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman constructs a series of imaginary dominoes that ends with Miami and Florida State joining the SEC — along with Texas and Texas A&M on the Western slope — to create an unrivaled 16-team juggernaut that would likely put the ACC and Big 12 out of business as major football conferences and put even the 16-team Big Ten to shame. The cash-soaked Southern behemoth would then secede from the Union and dig in for a long war of attrition when Obama threatens its social and economic model by suggesting players get a cut of the profits. [Miami Herald]
• Sexy Kiffin juggernaut, mobilize! Esquire, finally, has opened the voting on the second round of its "Sexiest Woman Alive" bracket, where USC coach Lane Kiffin looks to follow his first-round trouncing of top-seeded Natalie Gulbis with a much taller upset over NASCAR pioneer/GoDaddy.com spokesbabe Danica Patrick. It is your patriotic duty to vote early and often for Lane, whose legs alone hold the power to crash 100,000 horrified browsers. [Esquire.com]
Quickly ... Minnesota linebacker Sam Maresh was held out of Saturday's scrimmage after being cited for underage drinking for the second time in two weeks. ... Ohio State kickers struggled on long field goals during the Buckeyes' semi-annual "kick scrimmage." ... USC quarterback Mitch Mustain empathizes with former teammate Aaron Corp's decision to transfer to I-AA Richmond, but that didn't help Corp's rough afternoon in the Spiders' spring game. ... The Red River Shootout isn't going anywhere. ... A handful of Mexican coaches are getting some spread offense tips from Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen. ... Georgia still has no idea who its starting quarterback is going to be. ... And Woody Hayes still thinks you're soft.