Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Big Ten mailblog
You really need a law degree to understand anything issued by the NCAA. I do not have one.
Fortunately, your e-mails are a bit easier to decipher. Let's get on with it.
KJ from Ann Arbor writes: Told you so. They found evidence of multiple major infractions and clearly did not have institutional control over the program yet the NCAA has not levied that much deserved and much needed charge against a prominent institution...again. Another sad day for college athletics.
Adam Rittenberg: While several of the allegations can be termed as major, nowhere in the NCAA's report is there a statement about the loss of institutional control. As incoming Michigan AD David Brandon said at the news conference, "there was no charge of loss of institutional control, none whatsoever." Sorry to disappoint you. It will be interesting to see how hard the NCAA comes down on Michigan, but to expect postseason probation or anything like that for these allegations is certainly pushing it. Michigan made some mistakes and needs to be more careful on both ends (coaches and compliance), but this isn't paying players or academic fraud.
Thomas from Chicago writes: Adam,I'm disappointed in your "instant-analysis" headline and article regarding the UM football press conference. I genuinely appreciate your work, but I fear that in your haste to "post something," you abdicated your role in analyzing and reporting the actual facts. It's hard not to draw the conclusion that your article was chasing "comments" and "clicks" rather than attempting to honestly discern the facts underlying the story. I watched the press conference and learned that the Free Press' allegations that the program was flouting "countable hours" rules may have, at worst, exceeded such limits by somewhere between 20 minutes and one hour. I realize my summary isn't precise - I'm a lawyer who watched the press conference and then hastily read a few reports about it before turning back to work. I'm not a journalist whose role involves analyzing and reporting with some level of precision.As a side note, it really is disappointing how low the level of sports journalism has gotten on the WWN. Again, I usually consider you alone on the top half, but this article? Very knee-jerk.
Adam Rittenberg: Thomas, this was an extremely well-written note. Unfortunately, your reading skills don't match your writing ability as the story you reference was written by the Associated Press, not me. Here's my take on the Michigan situation, which I think you'll find a bit more to your liking.
Jimmy from Chicago writes: Adam..As far as the ranking of attendance in the big ten, can we please see those numbers as a percentage of maximum capacity? We all know Northwestern has its challenges but I would be curious to see how the big ten teams did with these numbers and see if that shakes up the rankings any.Thank you for the great blog.
Adam Rittenberg: Jimmy, I'm glad you brought this up. Here's how the schools finished in the national rankings in capacity filled:
Ohio State: 7th (102.87 percent capacity)
Michigan: 8th (102.57 percent)
Minnesota: 11th (101.61 percent)
Penn State: 21st (99.74 percent)
Wisconsin: 21st (99.74 percent)
Michigan State: 23rd (99.65 percent)
Iowa: 24th (99.47 percent)
Illinois: 33rd (94.71 percent)
Indiana: 57th (84.98 percent)
Purdue: 64th (80.73 percent)
Northwestern: 107th (51.33 percent)
Still pretty bad news for Northwestern, while Minnesota certainly is seeing the benefits of its new stadium.
Alex from State College, Pa., writes: Adam,Loved the Penn State game day traditions blog post. As President of Paternoville, I certainly know how special a fall Saturday in Happy Valley is. If one were to take a stroll over to Paternoville, you'd find the most passionate and knowledgeable fans the Big Eleven has to offer. I would love to invite you to spend a night in Paternoville next fall. If ESPN analyst Rob Stone could survive as he did this past season, anyone in my opinion can.
Adam Rittenberg: Alex, thanks for the note. I'll have to run this by the bosses, but it's a great suggestion. Hope you don't mind snoring.
Jan from Milwaukee writes: What is going on with the three kids from Wisconsin who are suspended? Does anyone know what they are being charged with? That is to say if it is a legal matter.
Adam Rittenberg: Jan, police have yet to file any charges against the players, but Wisconsin is conducting an internal investigation into an incident that led to the suspensions. University police tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the school isn't requesting any police involvement, and no reports/complaints have been filed. There are a lot of rumors out there about the incident, but until charges are filed -- if they're filed at all -- we won't know much more.