It wasn’t a rumor. Dunnivan bails on his recruits and his school for the Magic. And if he negotiated Lanier’s departure from UVa while he was walking out the door, he’s just entered the Nick Saban pantheon.
The Good Ol' Blog Archive for May, 2007
… who needs rival coaches on the recruiting trail? Is Billy Dunnivan heading to the Magic?
This obvious question for us — what does this mean for Rob Lanier? Any chance he comes back to UVa if Billy D does leave Florida? I’d hope Leitao would invite him back in a hurry. Continuity is key in the early stage of a head coach’s tenure, especially given the number of young players on tap.
Unknowingly responding to my recent shock, Mickey Plyler heaps on the monumental (that direct link is acting up, so here’s his blog). Not only was this the first time a conference started chatting about college football playoffs, it was the first time (he believes) that a “major college president [has] come out as a proponent of the playoff system.” The visionary: Florida president Bernie Machen. The school that’s living high off the current broken system wants to usher in a more competitively fair era — the Gators just got a bump in the class category in my book.
Also, Plyler thinks the playoffs are going to happen because the money is too good. But since progress takes forever in the NCAA, here’s how he sees forever playing out:
My guess is that we will start with the ‘Plus One” format which is essentially a four-team playoff. Remember the NCAA basketball tournament went from 16 teams to 32 teams to 48 teams to 64 teams to today’s number of 65. Four teams in football will eventually yield to eight and possibly 16 one day.
Target date: 2060.
As we get closer to Friday, the news and previews are building for our NCAA baseball regional.
Here’s a preview of our first opponent, Patriot League champs Lafayette. Their strength — “putting pressure on opponents on the bases” through steals. Sound familiar?
… Virginia earned an undesirable Regional field, getting Big East surprise Rutgers and defending national champion Oregon State. While the Beavers and Scarlet Knights could provide a stiff test for the Cavaliers, they should be in good shape with sophomore right-hander Jacob Thompson and two-way star Sean Doolittle leading the charge. Thompson has tallied impressive numbers this spring, while Doolittle can hurt you on the mound and at the plate. In addition, the Cavaliers have a productive lineup with Brandon Guyer and David Adams as the headliners. It’s officially Virginia’s time to shine.
… and here’s their outlook:
… The Cavaliers shouldn’t have an issue in the first game against Lafayette. The Leopards have faced just four top-100 teams this season and went 1-3 in those games. Playing Lafayette in the first game likely gives the Cavaliers the ability to throw staff ace Jacob Thompson in game two against the winner of Rutgers and Oregon State. The stage is set nicely for the Cavaliers, but this Regional is anything but easy … Oregon State has experience and knows what it takes to compete at a high level. As the week progresses, don’t underestimate that factor – especially with a well-coached team like the Beavers. The pitching staff and its ability to go deep in the game will determine the Beavers’ fate … Rutgers finished the season on a hot streak and showed consistency during the regular season. While Todd Frazier is the offensive leader, Steve Healing is the guy the Knights rely on to start the weekend on the right foot.
And speaking of throwing the staff ace at someone other than Lafayette, sounds like Doolittle is starting the first game, according to this thread debating the decision on the baseball board.* A risky move, but probably a smart move to save your best pitcher for the toughest competition. Even if Lafayette puts their best guy on the mound, Doolittle is still a pretty damn good pitcher himself.
I guess we’ll see — though by agreeing with O’Connor’s decision, I just made it tougher for me to be a Saturday Morning Manager should it all backfire. So, to cover my bases, I’ll throw out one of those generic mindset questions about looking ahead even though baseball playoffs are all about managing your starters with an eye on future games: But is O’Connor and the team looking past Lafayette by worrying about the match-ups in the second game?
Perfect. That ridiculous question gives me just enough wiggle room to complain if need be.
*message board link that will expire
“Everybody in the lacrosse world was embarrassed by what happened. But it almost feels now as if nobody’s really paying for this thing.” — Dom Starsia on the NCAA decision to grant Duke’s lacrosse team seniors an extra year of eligibility.
Marc Iavaroni finally gets made. He gets the lucky job of coaching up the worst team in the league — the Memphis Grizzlies.
… some good and some not-so-good at his first pre-draft camp game.
They love our “perfect college” (setting aside the fact that were “not a true sports school, despite its mostly great sports” and the “best college basketball arena anywhere.”) A fun read, though, right before reunion weekend.
Oh, and amen to the last line.
The NCAA has granted Duke’s request for an extra year of eligibility for its men’s lacrosse players following rape allegations that led to the cancellation of much of last season.
The decision affects 33 players who were not seniors during the 2006 season, and it grants them a fifth year of eligibility regardless of whether they play at Duke or another school….
“These individuals were involved in an unusual circumstance that we believe warrants providing them the opportunity to complete their four years of competition,” said Jennifer Strawley, NCAA director of student-athlete reinstatement and membership services.
Duke played just eight games last year before the university canceled what was left of the season as police investigated allegations a woman was sexually assaulted at a team party. Three players were later indicted, but the accusations were eventually debunked by North Carolina’s top prosecutor, who called the trio “innocent” victims of a “tragic rush to accuse.”
My first reaction was pure annoyance about this decision. I figured that Duke deep-sixed the season, at least in large part, because the team participated in inappropriate behavior. Underage drinking, partying with strippers — you know, the stuff you did in college, sport. So, I figured that the false allegation that ruined the lives of now ex-Dukies were irrelevant to both the remaining players and much of the reasons behind the cancellation.
But, when I went looking for reasons to back those allegations up, I found out that I was wrong.