The following story is likely fatuous and inane, but still funny. It’s been making the rounds on the Internet, so I’m sharing this creative take on the latest shocking athletics scandal with my Sideline Slants readers.
• AP — Butler’s run in the NCAA National Championship Game may be tarnished after reports surfaced today that all 13 players on the roster are being given good educations in an effort to help them find good jobs after they leave the school.
“It’s important to remember that right now these are only allegations—allegations that we are looking into,” said NCAA president James Isch. “But, obviously, if true, this would be very disappointing. The NCAA has certain expectations and standards. It’s not fair for players at one school to be given good educations while athletes at other member schools receive basic, remedial instruction that is worth essentially nothing.”
According to documents seized from the school’s registrar’s office, Butler players have received an education worth $38,616 per year, totaling more than $150,000 over a four-year career. Compare that to a player at a school like Kentucky, where tuition is set at $4,051—but with an actual value far below that.
“I don’t want to say too much until these reports are confirmed,” said Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari, “but we’re talking about almost $140,000 difference in education per player—and that’s even if my players stayed four years or graduated, which many of them do not.
“Then these Butler players are reportedly stepping into good jobs after graduation while my kids, if they don’t make the NBA, have absolutely no job prospects or life skills. It’s far from a balanced playing field. They are buying the best players by giving them a high-priced education.”
In addition to the allegations that they were given an expensive education, many Butler players have been spotted around campus holding books, studying and engaging in interesting conversations. Others have been seen with people who are known to not be tutors.
Butler point guard and Kentucky native Ronald Nored, who is reportedly a secondary-education major, denied allegations that the Bulldog program is cheating.
“The discourse on this matter is fatuous and inane,” he said, implicating the program further.
• Did you know that on opening day, April 5, the Kansas City Royals did not have one player in their starting lineup who played the same position on opening day last year?
• There won’t be many games in Kansas City this season where 40,000 fans will be in attendance, but at least the opening-day crowd got a laugh when David DeJesus made an ungainly slide into second. According to a story on ESPN.com, he did a belly flop short of the base and sort of bounced to the bag, unaware that Detroit catcher Gerald Laird hadn’t even made a throw.
• While away on a business trip, I had the opportunity of going to a game at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. It’s a beautiful ballpark that also has a below-average team. On this particular night, the Orioles made two base-running blunders that contributed to a loss to Tampa Bay.
With a crowd of only 9,000-plus on a beautiful April night, it was easy to hear the comments of fans nearby. After one blunder, one fan yelled something to another group of fans along the lines of, “If you had season tickets, you’d be used to this by now.”
On another occasion, after a Tampa Bay home run, fans in the right-field bleachers implored the fan with the baseball to throw it back on the field. The fan finally did so, which caused another response by a fan seated near me in the upper deck.
The fan made a valid point: If you get a baseball at a Major League game; even if it’s a home run by an opponent, keep the ball. The only reason fans want you to throw it back is because they didn’t catch the ball.