September 16, 2011
Making the morning rounds.
• But what will we actively restrict from being redistributed among the players who generated it now? The Temple-of-Doom-style ball that began rolling when six Ohio State players were accused of trading memorabilia for tattoos and other benefits last December has cost the Buckeyes their head coach and their starting quarterback, but its also hitting them in another, more ironic spot: Memorabilia sales. According to local retailers, OSU jerseys sales to date are less than half what they usually are at this time of year, a dip they attribute both to the residue of the scandal and (even more so) to the sudden lack of star players on the roster.
"We're hoping it will work itself out pretty soon. I think everybody is waiting around for the next big thing," one store manager told the Columbus Dispatch. "Is it [freshman quarterback] Braxton Miller? But that number, No. 5, isn't available right now from Nike, so it isn't one of the options." Said another store owner: "We had ordered 500, 600 jerseys with No. 2 [for Terrelle Pryor] in December. Thank God, Nike didn't hold us to that and we were able to convert those, some to 7 and some to 1." [Columbus Dispatch]
On the same note, ticket prices to Saturday's Ohio State-Miami tilt in Miami have fallen by more than 34 percent on the secondary market since Aug. 20, four days after Yahoo! Sports' sprawling exposé on the largess of former 'Cane booster turned convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro put Miami in the NCAA's crosshairs. According to Chris Matcovich, Director of Data & Communications for TiqIQ — a secondary ticket aggregator that compares prices across the market — an OSU-Miami ticket that was going for over $200 on the major ticket sites before the Shapiro scandal broke is now going for about $132.
"In normal circumstances a game with two storied programs like this would draw top dollar," Matcovich wrote in an e-mail. "But obviously due suspensions and lack of big name appeal fans have decided to keep their money in their wallets."
• Won't someone please think of the children? Baylor University president and retro political lightning rod Ken Starr was reportedly back in his old stomping grounds this week, lobbying more than two dozen members of Congress — mostly from Texas — for help saving the Big 12 from imminent doom. Not because Baylor stands to lose it seat at the table if it's untethered from Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, of course — we're only thinking of the kids: According to a lobbyist who spoke to Politico, Starr is "really trying to convey that you have to have the student athletes' interests at heart first before chasing after the biggest contractual agreements" with television networks. [Politico, via Blutarsky]
• Two talented Terps taken to task. Maryland receivers Ronnie Tyler and Quintin McCree, senior starters who combined for 13 catches in the Terps' Labor Day win over Miami, have both been indefinitely suspended from the team with no immediate time table for return. Coach Randy Edsall was mum on the reason for the suspension, but Tyler was hit Thursday with second-degree assault charge in Prince George's County, Md., that lists a police officer as the complainant. [Baltimore Sun]
• Yes, we were wrong, but you were wrong for pointing out we were wrong. Cal coach Jeff Tedford has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 for criticizing officials after the Bears' 36-33 overtime win at Colorado, specifically over a personal foul penalty against defensive end Trevor Guyton that extended an eventual Colorado touchdown drive after a third-down stop. Tedford said earlier this week he'd spoken to Pac-12 officiating head Tony Corrente, who conceded that the call was wrong because the whistle hadn't blown when Guyton tackled Buffalo running back Rodney Stewart. "The one on Guyton was a terrible call," Tedford said. "The guy was never down. They blew the whistle right when he hit him. They blew that one." [Associated Press, Contra Costa Times]
• Ayles' ails. Miami tight end Blake Ayles, a former USC transfer, is out for the season due to a concussion he suffered early in training camp. Ayles signed with USC in 2008 as one of the most hyped incoming recruits in the nation at any position, but has yet to set foot on the field at Miami and may be forced to seek a medical redshirt in order to return in 2012. [Miami Herald]
Quickly… Penn State is sticking with two quarterbacks against Temple. … Even with no state flag on its helmets, West Virginia is beating Maryland for Baltimore recruits. … Auburn's athletic has more respect for the NCAA than he did a year ago. … Former South Carolina players are still upset about a 27-year-old loss to Navy. … An Oklahoma Seminole calls Florida State's pregame ritual "a minstrel show." … And Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett informs Georgia fans "you ain't getting no better" than Mark Richt.