NCAA

Unsportsmanlike conduct? What about those raging coaches?

Unsportsmanlike conduct? What about those raging coaches?

The cameras Monday night at the College Football Championship Game were constantly drawn to the head coaches of the teams. Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban were certainly an attraction, for sure -- especially when a call went against them.

We watched them both screaming at officials with very animated, ferocious and even threatening displeasure. It was stuff you'd never see on the sidelines of a college basketball game or on the field of a college baseball game without some sort of punishment or ejection. Why football? Why are football officials so reluctant to throw a flag on a coach who is so obviously showing them up, impugning their integrity or just plain using them as an emotional punching bag?

I have no idea. But with all the lip service the NCAA pays to "student-athletes" and all the lessons they learn from college football, that's not exactly the behavior you'd wish to be projected by high-profile people in a leadership position. I was embarrassed for those guys in stripes, having to stand there and take that guff without any penalty.

But I will say that the astute observer I was watching the game with had the line of the night on Clemson's last drive. It was when an Alabama lineman was caught doing something illegal to a Clemson player.

"Unsportsmanlike conduct..." the referee began.

To which my friend added, "... it couldn't be worse than what we've seen the coaches doing."

And I agree. On college football's biggest stage, you don't need to showcase a couple of psycho adults blowing up on the sidelines without any punishment. And in the days of young players being penalized for merely celebrating their success, I would suggest that misbehavior by their coaches should be severely punished.

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.18 - Rueben Mayes

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.18 - Rueben Mayes

Rueben Mayes was an absolute monster on the gridiron and is one of the best running backs in the history of the Pac-12 conference. Mayes was the first running back in Washington State history to have back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons and set a then NCAA record when he rushed for 357 yards in a single game against the Oregon Ducks in 1984. Mayes was a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year and his 3,519 career rushing yards is still a Washington State record. 

Mayes was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 1986 NFL Draft, where he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1986 and made two Pro Bowl appearances.

In 2008 he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. 

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.20 - Mario Bailey

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.20 - Mario Bailey

Mario Baily was one of the smallest men on the football field but he always managed to have the biggest impact. The 5’6”, 162lb Bailey lit up opposing defenses with ease and was a key part of the Huskies run to a national title in 1991.

In that championship season, his final with the Huskies, Bailey hauled in 62 catches for 1,037 yards and 17 touchdowns, was a Consensus All-American, and Pac-10 Player of the Year.

When Bailey left UW he was the program’s all-time leader in receiving yards (2,093) and receiving touchdown (26), and second in receptions (131).

UW has had great receivers in the years since - Reggie Williams (2001-2003), Jermaine Kearse (2008-2011), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (2011-2013), and Dante Pettis (2014-2017) just to name a few – but it took a decade before any UW receiver put up numbers that rivaled Bailey’s. Bailey will always be the gold standard at UW.

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.21 - Mike Utley

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.21 - Mike Utley

Mike Utley was truly a force to be reckoned with while at Washington State. In 1988 he anchored the WSU offensive line that helped lead the Cougars to a 9-3 record and a victory in the Aloha Bowl.  It was the first time the Cougars had won nine or more games since 1930, and it was the first bowl victory since they beat the Bruins 14-0 in the 1916 Rose Bowl. 

Utley was a Consensus First-Team All-American in 1988, a two-time All-Pac-10 Conference First Team selection, and in 2016 was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Utley was selected by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 1989 NFL Draft, but his promising NFL career was cut short just three seasons later. In 1991 Utley fractured his sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae and was paralyzed from the chest down. In an image that fans remember to this day, Utley mustered the strength to give the fans a thumbs up as he was carted off the field.

Utley had now regained the use of his upper body but remains paralyzed from the waist down. The thumbs up he flashed to the crowd has gone on to become a sign of inspiration and is the official logo of the Mike Utley Foundation.

For more information on the Mike Utley Foundation and to help find a cure for paralysis visit MikeUtley.org

 

New NCAA rule helps "elite" prospects, but does it really?

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USA Today

New NCAA rule helps "elite" prospects, but does it really?

It was announced yesterday that moving forward the NCAA will now allow “elite” college prospects to sign with agents and give them the ability to return to college if they are not selected in the NBA Draft. At first glance, the new rules is a victory for student-athletes, but is it really?

As multiple media personalities have pointed out, this moves seems more like a PR stunt than a step in the right direction. The NCAA is all about amateurism, and it wants to protect that at all costs.

Let's outline some of the key points of this new rule:

 

  • This rule does not apply to all college basketball players. It only applies to those deemed “elite.” The job of deciding who is elite and who isn’t falls on the back of USA Basketball. The interesting part here is that it appears that USA Basketball didn’t agree to, nor does it want this responsibility. According to an article by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, “USA Basketball doesn't have the infrastructure or interest in accepting the role of evaluating the nation's top prospects… USA Basketball prefers that the NBA make those decisions”
  • The problem here is that it also appears the neither the NBA or the NBPA has agreed to this new rule. The NCAA more or less went over the heads of the NBA, burdening them and USA Basketball with tasks they had not formally agreed to. While discussions have been had, there was never a general consensus moving forward with regards to a rule change.
  • Of the few this rule will impact, even fewer will actually take advantage of it. Many players who go undrafted will try to land with teams overseas, teams in the G-League, or land a roster spot in the NBA Summer League. Few, if any, will actually return to college. As Wojnarowski pointed out on Twitter, if you are undrafted now odds are you will undrafted a year from now as well. Why prolong becoming a professional? 

In short, the rule seems nice on the outside but in the end it falls short of having any real substance to it. If the outcome with the rule is the same as the outcome without it (go undrafted, play overseas for example) what does the rule really change? Perhaps it changes the public perception of the NCAA. A pat on the back of sorts; a “look what we did for our athletes” moment. Until the NBA/NBPA and USA Basketball are on board, and until you allow this rule to help all athletes, not just the elite ones, you haven’t done anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.23 - Jason Hanson

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.23 - Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson is not only one of the greatest kickers in the history of the Pac-12, he is easily one of the greatest kickers to ever play in the NFL. Hanson walked-on at Washington State in 1988, won the starting kicker job and was named a Freshman All-American. 

In his four years at WSU, Hanson connected on 96.5% of this extra point attempts (139-144), and 65.6 of his field goal attempts (63-96). His success earned him a second-round selection in the 1992 NFL Draft, 56th overall by the Detroit Lions.

Hanson would go on to have a very successful 21-year career in the NFL, all of them played with the Detroit Lions.

Hanson was named to the 1992 NFL All-Rookie Team and was twice a Pro Bowler (1997 and 1999). Hanson’s name is all over the NFL Record books where he is:

  • Sixth all-time in games played (327)
  • Seventh all-time in extra points made (665)
  • Fourth all-time in points scored (2150)
  • Fourth all-time in field goals made (495)
  • His 21-seasons with one team is the most ever in the NFL

Hanson announced his retirement from the NFL in 2013 and was inducted into the Detroit Lions Ring of Honor later the same year.

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.24 - Jason Gesser

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.24 - Jason Gesser

Marcus Mariota isn’t the only quarterback from St.Louis High School in Hawaii to take the Pacific Northwest by storm. Over a decade before Mariota ever stepped foot on Oregon’s campus, a quarterback by the name of Jason Gesser was lighting the Pac-12 on fire. Gesser, who led St.Louis High School to multiple state championships in the late 90’s, was a star on The Palouse.

Gesser took over as the starting quarterback at Washington State, and with him the Cougars found success. In 2001 and 2002 Gesser led the Cougars to back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in program history, culminating in a trip to the 2003 Rose Bowl. The Cougars lost the Rose Bowl to the Oklahoma Sooners, but it was still one of the greatest seasons in program history. The Cougars went 10-3 that year behind the 3,408 yards passing and 28 touchdowns of Gesser, and were at one point ranked No.3 in the nation. To his day, that is the highest ranking the Cougars have ever achieved. 

In the years since Gesser left WSU, the Cougars have won 10-games just once (2003) and have yet to return to the Rose Bowl. 

The Wazzu legend ended his career in Pullman having passed for 8,830 yards, 70 touchdowns, and in 2002 was named Pac-10 Offensive Player of Year.

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.26 - Ahmad Rashad

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.26 - Ahmad Rashad

All month we are counting down the Top 31 players from NW colleges to play college football. Make sure you check out the Giveaway Page for your chance to enter and win prizes! 

Today he goes by Ahmad Rashad, but you may remember him from his time in Eugene when he was known as Bobby Moore. Rashad was one of the greatest dual-threat athletes in the history of Oregon football, playing and setting school records at both running back and wide receiver. When Rashad left campus he held 14 school records, was a two-time All-American, and was the only player to lead the conference in scoring from two different positions.

After a successful career with the Ducks Rashad was drafted fourth overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1972 NFL Draft, and while he had some success with the Cardinals it was a different team where he made his mark.

In 1976 Rashad joined the Minnesota Vikings, where he would remain until his playing days ended in 1982. While with Minnesota Rashad was a four-time Pro-Bowler (1978-1981), a second-team All-Pro in 1979, and twice surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark (1979, 1980). In his time in the NFL Rashad had 495 catches for  6,831 yards and  44 touchdowns. 

In 2017 Rashad was inducted into the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2007), and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 1987). 

 

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.27 - Cooper Kupp

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USA Today

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.27 - Cooper Kupp

All month we are counting down the Top 31 players from NW colleges to play college football. Make sure you check out the Giveaway Page for your chance to enter and win prizes! 

 

Cooper Kupp is perhaps the greatest athlete to ever lace them up for Eastern Washington. Kupp burst on the scene in 2013 hauling 93 receptions for 1,691 yards and 21 touchdowns, including a 119-yard, two touchdown performance in EWU’s upset victory over Oregon State. A few seasons later he put up 206-yards and three touchdowns when the Eagles upset Washington State.

Kupp left EWU with career stats of  6,464 yards receiving and 73 touchdowns on 428 receptions.

Kupp was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the third round of last year's NFL Draft and put up 869 yards and five touchdowns his rookie season.

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.28 - Stephen Paea

31 Greatest NCAAF Players in PNW history: No.28 - Stephen Paea

All month we are counting down the Top 31 players from NW colleges to play college football. Make sure you check out the Giveaway Page for your chance to enter and win prizes! 

 

Who would have ever thought that a young man born in Auckland, New Zealand would one day end up in Corvallis, Oregon and become one of the greatest defensive players to ever wear the Orange and Black? That’s exactly what Stephen Paea did.

Paea landed in Corvallis in 2008 and made an instant impact. Paea recorded at least 40 tackles in each of his three seasons and ended his career at OSU with 14.0 sacks, 29.5 tackles for loss, and nine forced fumbles. He was also named an All-American in 2010 and was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year that same season.

Paea was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft and would play for the Bears, Redskins, Browns, and Cowboys before announcing his retirement in 2017.

Paea ended his NFL career with 129 total tackles (76 solo) and 14.0 sacks.