Fixing The BCS

October 28, 2012

As some (or most) of you know, I took a class in my Sophomore year at the U of O called “Information Gathering.” That was the formal name. What it was (the class no longer exists) referred to as by students and faculty alike was “Info Hell.” An intensive research paper, 100+ pages, with extremely annotated bibliography entries. I lost sleep. I lost weight. It was Hell. However, besides the academic experience, I did take away one BIG thing from this class.

I know how to fix the BCS.

University Presidents, I’m waiting for a phone call…
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Penn State (NCAA Sanction Reaction)

July 23, 2012

Serious question. What is the point of vacating wins? Not just for Penn State, but in general. It really is pointless in my eyes.

For the PSU scandal, how does vacating wins help the victims and their families? You’re taking away wins from a man who died just so that he isn’t the all time wins leader in NCAA Division-1. Whoop-de-freakin-doo. That doesn’t change anything. As I said in my previous post, the wins still happened. As did the cover-up.

Pete Rose bet on baseball. Illegal. The games he managed still count. Mark McGwire took steroids, then (while not accused) committed obstruction of justice by refusing to speak on the matter to Congress. Illegal. All the games he played in still count. Tim Donaghy bet on NBA games and even effected the outcome of some. Illegal. All those games still count. Michael Vick was running a dog fighting ring out of his house while he was playing for the Falcons. Illegal. Went to jail. All games still count.

Joe Paterno and his cronies in the Penn State Athletic Department committed obstruction of justice. Illegal. All victories to be vacated.

The NCAA is the only organization which takes away things that happened. There’s no way to avoid it. The USC-Oklahoma National Championship game? IT HAPPENED! USC won. The 2006 Orange Bowl? IT HAPPENED! Penn State won!

Now, imagine you were a player for PSU in that 2006 Orange Bowl or the 2005 National Championship. Imagine that you didn’t even play. You were a bench warmer. The game is over. Your team wins. You are rewarded with a nice little piece of jewelry for your finger which reads “Champion.” You get that for the rest of your life. No one asks you how many minutes you played. The only thing that matters is that you were on a championship team. That is, until you find out that someone did something bad and the NCAA is going to pretend your victory didn’t happen. Your ring means nothing because in the age of instant media where anything can be looked up in seconds, it shows that the winner of the 2005 National Championship was [vacated] and the winner of the 2006 Orange Bowl was [vacated]. And worst of all, as a player, you didn’t even know what was happening to make your victory go away. Do you think any of the players on that 2006 team knew anything of what was going on? It’s called a cover up for a reason.

How is that fair? The players worked their asses of to win a game. They won. Not Paterno. Now they have their championship taken away. The players were innocent. The coaching staff is gone. The Athletic Director and University President were fired and face jail. Sandusky is in jail. Paterno is dead. This scandal isn’t about college athletics. It is about human lives. The NCAA has no right to be the ones administering punishment. Let the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and the legal system take care of that. By continuing to punish people who had nothing to do with the scandal you continue to think about the scandal and fail to try and move on.

I’ve been told not every sanction is about the victims. This time, it is. The NCAA put down harsh sanctions because they thought it would help the victims and their families feel better. What will make them feel better is when everyone involved is behind bars. The NCAA just told the families, “You remember that game in 1999 vs. Purdue that Penn State won. Well, we took that way from them. Sorry about everything. Feel better?”

So answer me this. What is the point of vacating wins? How does it help/solve problems, not only in this situation, but throughout collegiate athletics? If you were a family member of a victim, would you be relieved that a Penn State game in September of 2002 vs. Louisiana Tech didn’t count as a win anymore?


“Study Ties Oregon Successes To Students Slacking” Response

December 20, 2011

There was an article published by the AP today which stated the following:
 In a new paper, the economists at the University of Oregon chart the grade point averages of students there alongside the fortunes of the football team between 1999 and 2007. Their findings could give ammo to critics of big-time college sports.

Their conclusion: When the Ducks were winning, students celebrated more and grades suffered. And that doesn’t bode well for upcoming report cards — the Ducks are 11-2 this season, Pac-12 champions for the third straight year, and headed to the Rose Bowl.

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Leadership

February 15, 2010

Your entire life, you always hear leadership talk. You can do this, you can do that. Some is inspirational (“Somewhere in the world right there is someone your age that will one day change the world. Why not you? You can do whatever you want to!” -Rick Horwitch). Some not so much (“Study hard, play hard, but no throwing chairs!” -Steve Wilkos).

Tonight I got the opportunity to listen to 3 amazing speakers at the University of Oregon Presidential Leadership Symposium. Starting with President Richard Lariviere, the speakers all urged the 200 to be the best we could. Then, Ana Maria Merico began her speech. She started by having everyone close their eyes and envision a 21 year old immigrant, not speaking English, pregnant, with $400 total dollars. She came to America from Argentina and sought greatness. People told her she couldn’t do it, she asked why. Her message rings true with the quote from my dad above. You can do whatever you want! Just don’t let anything get in the way!

Finally, Rev. Jesse Jackson took the stage. Starting slow and quiet, as he has thousands of times before, he slowly grew into a heated, fast paced, passionate, loud speech. His message? Champions play through pain. “You must bloody up the uniform some times! Champions play through pain!” He spoke of Dr. King’s famous speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Yet he said that while the famous message of having a dream was what was taken away from the speech, that it was not the message delivered. “Dr. King looked to the statue and said ‘Mr. Lincoln, you gave the proclamation, but did not grant emancipation!'” He gave a timeline of change, starting in 1948 and ending on a November night in a Chicago park. How did we, as a country, go from WWII African-American veterans not having the same rights as White veterans, to having an African-American President? Students. We have the power. We are the most powerful demographic. We need to “Democratize Democracy!” Make Democracy a Democracy. We all need to have our voices heard!

“When Rosa Parks sat down on that bus, she broke the law. The driver needed to save his job. The police were called.” There is a difference between moral right and legal obligation. Which do we go by? Which do we choose? The US Government allows the free speech that the Pacifica Forum is participating in on this campus right now, but that does not make it right. Moral right, legal obligation.

He then continued on about students. He asked who in the crowd was on some sort of aid at the University. When a few hands went up he corrected everyone. “Surprise, you all are! This is a government funded facility. You are all being aided by the government. You are all on some sort of aid!” He told a story of a man who had a MediCare card in one pocket, a Social Security in the other, driving down a major US highway. “The man said to me ‘I do not want the government aiding and funding my actions.’ Then how are you going to survive?”

Finally, he turned his speech to the welfare of the students. “You can get a car with 0% interest. You can get a bank [account] with 0% interest. But when you take out a student loan, after you graduate, you’re in debt. You get married into debt, and your first mortgage is payed by an IOU. We must get rid of interest on student loans. We must allow our students to graduate and be free!”

The final thing he said to the crowd was during a Q&A session. He was asked if people should be Color Blind. His response, “Do not deny who you are. We are all black, white, yellow, red, brown. Do not be color blind, be color tolerant. Be aware. Thank you. God bless you. I love you Eugene!” And he walked off the stage.

What did I take from this? Everything. Do what you want. Why? Why not?! Do what is morally right, not necessarily legally mandated. We, the students, can make a difference. “Democratize Democracy!” Don’t let things get in the way. Achieve greatness. “You can do whatever you want to!”


WBC: “Nee-Pon!!! Nee-Pon!!!”

March 24, 2009

The World Baseball Classic has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny. Some believe that it is not played at the right time of year, and should be played midway through the season. Others say it shouldn’t happen at all. People say this since Team USA has, in both incarnations of the Classic, been ill-prepared and has failed to reach the finals. But we are ill-prepared because we, the American people and the players, do not care. 

 

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Investors? Possibly YOU!

January 29, 2009
The George W. Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages and accepting donations.

The Library will include:

1. The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.

2. The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won’t be able to remember anything.

3. The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don’t even have to show up.

4. The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don’t let you in.

5. The Guantãnamo Bay Room, where they don’t let you out.

6. The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find.

7. The National Debt Room, which is huge and has no ceiling.

8. The Tax Cut Room, with entry only to the wealthy.

9. The Economy Room, which is in the toilet.

10. The Iraq War Room. (After you complete your first visit, they make you
go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth visit.)

11. The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete with
shooting gallery.

12. The Environmental Conservation Room, still empty.

13. The Supreme Court Gift Shop, where you can buy an election.

14. The Airport Men’s Room, where you can meet some of your favorite
Republican Senators.

15. The Decider Room, complete with dart board, magic 8-ball, Ouija Board,
dice, coins and straws.

Note: The library will feature an electron microscope to help you locate and
view the President’s accomplishments.

The library will also include many famous Quotes by George W. Bush:

1. ‘The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.’

2. ‘If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.’

3. ‘Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and
child.’

4. ‘No senior citizen should ever have to choose between prescription drugs
and medicine.’

5. ‘I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and
democracy – but that could change.’

6. “One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that
one word is ‘to be prepared’.”

7. ‘Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.’

8. ‘I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in
the future.’

9. ‘The future will be better tomorrow.’

10. ‘We’re going to have the best educated American people in the world..’

11. ‘One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some
fantastic pictures.’ (during an education photo-op)

12. ‘Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having
it.’

13. ‘We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.’

14. ‘It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities
in our air and water that are doing it.’

15. ‘I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made.’