Spring is the silly season in college sports. With football and basketball finished, the media vacuum tends to be filled by misadventures, missteps and misguided rhetoric that becomes a bigger deal in a slower news cycle.
Spring 2013 has been sillier than normal. Starting the moment the 60-year-old coach of the national champion basketball team stepped into a tattoo parlor, it's been an extended romp through the absurd.
To help you keep track of it all, I've devised a quiz.
1. Which group has Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee not recently offended?
A. Damn Catholics, especially those with ties to Notre Dame.
B. Illiterate Southerners, especially those with ties to the Southeastern Conference.
Academically deficient Kentuckians, especially those with ties to the universities of Kentucky and Louisville.
D. College administrators in the Big Ten, ACC and Big 12, especially those who strenuously tried to hide the inner workings of realignment.
E. Women and minorities.
Answer: E. But there still is plenty of time to cover those bases and hit for the offensive cycle.
2. Name the speaker: "There is no videotape, trust me."
A. Mitt Romney, regarding the "47 percent" statement.
B. Bob Knight, regarding his massage of Neil Reed's neck.
C. Julie Hermann, regarding a certain wedding she cannot remember.
D. Mike Rice, regarding his practice-session motivational techniques.
E. Abraham Zapruder.
Answer: C. That was Hermann's response when asked about videotape from the 1994 wedding of former Tennessee assistant volleyball coach Ginger Hineline. It was part of the selective amnesia that has garnered Hermann far more attention (virtually all of it negative) than at any previous point in her life.
3. Which of the following best describes the New York media's overall coverage of Rutgers athletics?
A. Just a notch below the pro sports teams in the New York area.
B. They follow the Scarlet Knights home and away.
C. Columnists couldn't find Piscataway without GPS.
D. "If you can't say something nice about someone, say it about Rutgers."
Answer: D. Though it must be said that the Scarlet Knights are remarkably adept at providing the cannon fodder.
4. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany's biggest current headache is …
A. Gordon Gee's big mouth.
B. Rutgers' big mess.
C. The continuing parade of lawsuits stemming from Penn State's Freeh Report.
D. The fact that his league doesn't win titles in sports people watch.
E. All of the above.
Answer: E. Why stop at just one headache when you can have a four-part migraine?
5. Which athletic director described his or her school president as "mentally ill"?
A. Julie Hermann of (maybe) Rutgers
B. Tim Pernetti of (formerly) Rutgers
C. Gene Smith of Ohio State
D. Steve Cobb of Alaska Anchorage
E. Howard Burleigh of Minnesota State
Answer: D. That was the 13-year athletic director's assessment of president Patrick Gamble last week upon being fired. Cobb attributed the firing to pressure from a lobbyist and "a few local scoundrels." Presumed to be among the scoundrels are the Alaska State Hockey Association and a group of former Alaska Anchorage hockey players, who publicly criticized Cobb in April.
6. Whom did Rick Pitino describe as "a pompous ass"?
A. Gordon Gee.
B. John Calipari.
C. Jim Calhoun.
D. His tattoo artist.
E. Anyone who had anything to do with the breakup of the Big East.
Answer: A. As a Catholic who works at Louisville and previously was part of the SEC, Pitino has to rank among the top 1 percent of those Gee offended.
7. The decision by Rutgers senior vice president and general counsel John J. Farmer to call Hermann's detractors "Facebook gossipers and misguided boosters of the former athletic director" is …
A. Sound strategy, because enough is enough.
B. An attempt to change the narrative, because the critics have had a field day without significant response from those being criticized.
C. Pretty brassy, because Farmer got the job when the previous general counsel got whacked after the Mike Rice debacle.
D. Confusing, because Rutgers might be better suited trying to let this thing die down.
E. Not even a little bit surprising, because Rutgers is Rutgers.
8. Bret Bielema is …
A. The football coach at Arkansas.
B. The former football coach at Wisconsin.
C. A thug, according to former boss Barry Alvarez, via the loose lips of Gordon Gee.
D. A Twitter assassin who took a pointed shot at Florida State assistant coach Tim Brewster after previously owning Brewster in the Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry.
E. All of the above.
Answer: E. College football's most intriguing old face in a new place is hardly tiptoeing into the gig in Fayetteville, and clearly left behind some bruised feelings in the Big Ten.
9. Portland basketball coach Eric Reveno tweeted "#stopinsanity" last week in response to …
A. The incessant Rutgers coverage.
B. The incessant Gordon Gee talk.
C. The West Coast Conference school that had a women's golfer break NCAA rules by washing her car with university water and a university-owned hose.
D. The inability of college basketball officials to master the block-charge call.
Answer: C. Reveno did not name the school, but the offending golfer had to re-pay $20 for her high crime.
10. Les Miles rappelled down the side of a Baton Rouge building last week because …
A. It was there.
B. The grass at the bottom was delicious.
C. It was for a good cause.
D. It was a threat to Mike Slive that he would take his own life if the SEC moves to a nine-game league schedule.
E. He had a great want and a desire to accomplish this because the interest was mutual in regards to mutual interest.
Answer: C. Though, really, any and all may apply.
0-5 correct: Quit watching baseball and pay attention.
6-7 correct: You know a dumb statement when you see one.
8-9 correct: Silly season savant.
10 correct: You spend too much time on Twitter.
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