Monday, July 6, 2009

Bits and Bytes: Waiting For The Sun edition

Not sure how much longer I'll be able to play off the one Jayhawks song I know...

Pardon my absence the last few weeks. I just figured I wouldn’t return to posting until the sun returned from behind the clouds.

Seriously, sorry for the protracted hiatus and very sorry I didn’t have something on the OOC up earlier. I intended to post a Bits and Bytes last Sunday night, but the hotel my wife and I were staying at had wireless Internet straight out of 1998. Then I spent a couple days in Connecticut and boom, it was almost July 4.

I’ve also been busy at my Red Sox blog, especially now that my book is out (cue trumpets). If you like the Red Sox and/or you like me—and even if you don’t!— please consider buying yourself a copy or 500 so that I can put off getting a Real Job a little while longer. Seriously, I think it turned out pretty well, so if you’re interested in the Red Sox and the media, check out the book as well as the blog and let me know what you think.

That’s enough self-promotion for today. Here’s some other Bits and Bytes that have piled up:

—On the list of lame clich├ęs, marveling at how fast time is flying ranks just below talking about the weather. So now I’ve done both! Hooray for me! Hard to believe, but as of this morning we are officially less than two months away from the football opener. And as of late this week, we’ll be more than halfway through the basketball off-season. Whoohoo.

—My good friend Tommy the KU Grad has been checking the blog lately and talking all sorts of trash. What a bully. Dude is 15 months removed from watching his team win a national championship—its first one in 20 years, he suffered so much—and he’s flexing his muscles by picking on innocent Hofstra fans like us who never ever said anything mean about the Jayhawks, nuh-uh, not once.

I gotta give him credit, though, for reading the blog enough to actually identify three Hofstra players other than Speedy Claxton! Look forward to much more banter between Tommy and I over the next 130 days (again, not that I’m excited, or anything).

—Tommy should be careful how much he chirps, because the Jayhawks already look vulnerable thanks to a spate of dysfunction and dissension! That’s the New York spin on the news that Xavier and C.J. Henry, the hotly hyped brothers who chose to leave Memphis for Kansas once John Calipari bolted to Kentucky with NCAA investigators bearing down on Memphis, almost left Kansas after a Kansas City Star story in which they were portrayed—in their own words—as having no interest in academics and looking at college as a one-and-done situation.

A basketball factory like Kansas may have student-athletes who aren’t at all into the first part of the equation? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you! Self has apparently mended fences—though, reading between the lines in the first link in the above graph, it sounds like he has no use for Carl Henry, the father of Xavier and C.J. and a former KU star himself. And quite frankly, it’s hard to blame him, given how Carl Henry seems to be doing a bang-up job of essaying the controlling, overbearing stage dad.

But hey, as a Hofstra alum, I encourage Carl Henry to bug the hell out of Self between now and Nov. 13! Maybe he’ll pull his kids out of school and a bunch of the Jayhawks’ other All-American candidates will follow and Self will have to send out the student manager to fill out a starting five! This is just the beginning of the crumbling Jayhawks empire, Tommy!!

—Speaking of controversial recruits, Lance Stephenson finally landed somewhere: Cincinnati. The Bearcats signing recruits with more baggage than Samsonite? Did Bob Huggins go back there when nobody was looking? Seriously, I can’t think of a bigger red flag than St. John’s—which is in screaming need of a local star to raise its fortunes and national profile—passing on the chance to sign Stephenson at a discount (pun possibly intended).

The Daily News wrote about Stephenson’s meandering journey two weeks ago Sunday. At the end of the lengthy feature, former Adidas guru Sonny Vaccaro implores Stephenson to go somewhere, even a local school off the big-time D-I path. “Manhattan, Seton Hall, Hofstra,” Vaccaro said. I picture Hofstra officials cringing at that line and wondering how politely and pointedly they can tell Vaccaro to mind his own business.

—Hofstra’s future conference affiliation is touched on directly and indirectly in this interesting story from The Providence Journal about the future of athletics at the University of Rhode Island. URI’s outgoing president, Robert Carothers, says he expects the Colonial to eventually add Charlotte, that Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz “…wants to get out of the Colonial altogether” and join the A-10, which is a move Carothers would support. Carothers also expressed hope that a travel-friendly all-sports Yankee Conference could be formed.

Of course, Carothers’ opinion is now as valuable as the rest of ours, but it’s interesting that the idea of blowing up the D-I landscape isn’t unique to bloggers like me. Also notable is that URI AD Thorr Bjorn wonders what will happen to the northern-based CAA football schools once Old Dominion and Georgia State join the league and expand it to 14 members.

Asked if the northern schools might form their own league, Bjorn said “…as of right now, we have no immediate plans to change,” which sure sounds like it’s being pondered for a few years down the road. Stay tuned.

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1 comment:

Tommy said...

I can assure you the KU empire will not crumble any time soon. How do I know this? Because if there's any sign of that happening, Bill Self might do what Larry Brown (buy recruit Vincent Askew a flight home), John Calipari (Brown assistant) or Roy Williams (enabler) would have done.

In fact, I once witnessed some KU basketball shadiness in spring 1998, in my Greek and Roman Mythology class.

I always sat next to my friend in a class of about 500 people in a huge theater. When the professor passed out tests, it was done with Scantrons, bubble sheets. You fill in your six-digit KU ID on the form and take the test. We did this, like always.

A KU player we noticed that was in our course, he did that, too. But then he did something different than the other 499 students in the room -- he passed the Scantron form and the test questions to what I presume was a tutor sitting to his right, picked up his gear and walked out of the room. He never came back. That guy, though, sat there and took the test.

Maybe I saw it wrong. Maybe I saw only a part of what happened and something else I didn't would've made sense of this. But that's what I saw, and we never were able to come to any other conclusions.

Raef LaFrentz was a cheater.

Anyway, that's my story for now. Less than four months until you can hear the Rock Chalk chant in all its glory!