Wednesday
March 20
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#1668



so you wanna win your bracket, huh?


You've come to the right place if you're in dire need of bracket help at the office.

We're going to make you a winner.

But we'll be using a secret formula* in order to do it. The secret formula* will be written on a piece of paper, placed in an envelope, sealed, and given to David Rosenfeld, #DMD's outstanding twice-weekly contributor. David can open it up at the end of the tournament to reveal what made up the secret formula*.

You ready to win?

OK, here goes:

Rule #1 -- Study the #1 seeds carefully.

Coack K and the Duke Blue Devils are the overall #1 seed, but what does #DMD's secret formula* suggest they'll do over the next three weeks?

Two of the #1 seeds don't have the pedigree to win. They just don't. Virginia's not winning the national title and neither is Gonzaga. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Or something like that. That leaves Duke and North Carolina to reach the Final Four out of the #1 seeds.

Ready? Here's what the secret formula* tells us: Take North Carolina* to be one of your Final Four entries.

Rule #2 -- Pick a semi-longshot.

You know someone that sorta-kinda doesn't belong is going to make the Final Four. It happens just about every year. Let's just do the last eight years, shall we? 2018 (Loyola-Chicago, 11 seed), 2017 (South Carolina, 7), 2016 (Syracuse, 10), 2015 (Michigan State, 7), 2014 (Connecticut, 7), 2013 (Wichita State, 9), 2011 (VCU, 11).

Sure, some of those programs have storied traditions, but the fact remains they were mid-to-high seeds in those given years. So look at teams with successful traditions in the 7-11 range. Who are they? Well, four jump right out. Louisville, Cincinnati (both 7's), Syracuse (8) and Florida (10). Someone you're not expecting to make it is going to make the Final Four. And the secret formula* says it will be Cincinnati*.

Rule #3 -- Focus on the #2's and #3's

In 7 of the last 10 years, either a #2 or #3 seed has reached the Final Four. One of the eight in that category is likely going to make it this year. Let's weed through and find the most likely one. The 2's are Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee and Kentucky. The 3's are LSU, Texas Tech, Houston and Purdue. Because we've taken North Carolina and Cincinnati to reach the Final Four, the right side of the bracket is eliminated, as far as 2's and 3's go. So, now, it's easy.

On the left side, the 2's are Michigan State and Michigan and the 3's are LSU and Texas Tech. The secret formula* favors...the Big Ten. And much to no one's surprise, Michigan State* and Michigan* both get the nod and head to the Final Four.

In the Final Four --

Michigan State* does it again, beating the Wolverines to reach the championship game where they will face........Roy Williams and North Carolina*, who coast past Cincinnati in their Final Four match-up.

And the winner of the whole thing is --

How do you bet against Tom Izzo, especially when the odds will be stacked against him throughout the tournament? Answer: You don't. The Spartans* rally late to nip the Tar Heels, 77-73, and win the NCAA title.

Thursday upset special -- New Mexico State beats Auburn, 81-79.

Friday upset special -- Oregon beats Wisconsin. 70-64.

Maryland -- Beats Beltmont, 77-74 OT. Then loses to LSU, 74-59.

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drew vs. george pga tour contest


When Rafael Cabrera-Bello started last Thursday's opening round of The Players with two straight birdies, George could have heard me laughing out loud all the way down there in North Carolina.

George got the last laugh.

Cabrera-Bello stunk it up, finishing next-to-last over 36 holes and missing the cut. George went with the G.O.A.T. and Tiger rewarded him with a decent finish and 50 points.

Can Beau Hossler recapture some of his college golf magic and win his first PGA Tour event this week in Tampa Bay?

I'm thinking of a funny cliche and can't come up with one, but something about blind squirrels and acorns probably fits at this point. I hate to say what happened last week was "luck" on George's part, but it was close.

Even though the field at this week's tournament is very strong, I'll stick with my original pick, Beau Hossler. Yes, his form hasn't been great of late. And he's never won on the PGA Tour. Sure, it's a little risky, but what fun is beating George with Dustin Johnson or Jon Rahm when I can beat him with someone named Beau Hossler?

George is countering with Jason Kokrak, after his initial selection -- Justin Rose -- didn't enter The Valspar. Jason Kokrak will make a bunch of pars on Thursday and Friday and then spend Saturday and Sunday doing the same thing George and I will do...watching the tournament on television.

And speaking of George -- you remember him, the guy we haven't heard from in a few weeks -- here's his assessment of where things currently stand:

The only way to survive an early onslaught from a powerful adversary is to cover up, keep the damage to as little as possible, and wait for attack to falter. If you can survive [as we have here], the contest then begins anew on a fundamentally different footing. The adversary is physically winded and tired from the expending the energy, and psychologically drained from the failed effort to end the contest early.

We picked up 50 points last week when the attempted coup de grace sailed feet [not inches!] from the chin of its target, and we continue on the comeback trail to inevitable ultimate victory with this week’s selection of Canadian Jason Kokrak, who will make mincemeat of DF’s selection, Beau Hossler.

Californians never do well in Florida.


tournament/championship drew's picks points earned
this week/
running total
points earned
this week/
running total
george's picks
Tournament of Champions Jon Rahm (T8) 25 / 25 9 / 9 Brooks Koepka (24)
Sony Open Gary Woodland (MDF) 1 / 26 0 / 9 Brian Harman (CUT)
Desert Classic Scott Piercy (T56) 17 / 43 0 / 9 Sam Saunders (CUT)
Farmers Insurance Open Billy Horschel (8) 69 / 112 64 / 73 Tony Finau (T13)
Phoenix Open Rickie Fowler (1) 72 + 15 / 199 0 / 73 Daniel Berger (CUT)
Pebble Beach Pro-Am Graeme McDowell (T18) 52 / 251 0 / 73 Jimmy Walker (CUT)
Genesis Open Kevin Na (T33) 43 / 294 61 / 134 Xander Schauffele (T15)
Puerto Rico Open Denny McCarthy (WEH3) 0 / 294 9 / 143 Peter Uihlein (T66)
WGC - Mexico Championship Dustin Johnson (1) 71 + 15 / 380 63 / 206 Justin Thomas (T9)
Honda Classic Sergio Garcia (T9) 74 / 454 0 / 206 Emiliano Grillo (MC)
Arnold Palmer Invitational Rory McIlroy (T6) 64 / 518 24 / 230 Bryson DeChambeau (T46)
Players Championship Rafa Cabrera-Bello (MC) 0 / 518 50 / 280 Tiger Woods (T30)
Valspar Championship Beau Hossler Jason Kokrak
WGC- Match Play Jon Rahm K. Barnrat
Corales Puntacana Championship Chris Kirk Denny McCarthy
Texas Open Ryan Palmer Joaquin Niemann
The Masters Bryson DeChambeau Xander Schauffele
(Chg. # 1, from Spieth)
RBC Heritage
Zurich Classic
Wells Fargo Championship
Byron Nelson Classic
PGA Championship
Charles Schwab Challenge
Memorial Tournament
Canadian Open
U.S. Open
Travelers Championship
Rocket Mortgage Classic
3M Open
John Deere Classic
Barbasol Championship
British Open
WGC Invitational
Wyndham Championship
Northern Trust Open
BMW Championship
Tour Championship
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play #dmd's march madness contest


For those who have been around here for a while, you know we do things a little different every March.

If you're a newcomer to #DMD and this is your first go-round with us, I hope you appreciate the uniqueness of our contest.

Below are ten questions to answer. Yes, I only listed eight of them yesterday. We added two easy ones today to give us ten overall.

Please make note of the entry form and how we do this. It's very important that you list your answers exactly as you'll see below. If you don't do that, we won't count your entry.

First, here are the ten questions. The sample entry and the e-mail to enter are at the bottom.

1. How many total points will be scored in the sixteen games that will be played on Thursday, March 21? (Points -- If you come within 1 to 49 of the actual total, you receive 15 points. If you come within 50 to 95 points of the actual total, you receive 10 points. If you come within 96 to 149 points of the actual total, you receive 5 points. Anything outside of 150 or beyond gets you no points.)

2. How many games in this year's NCAA tournament will go to overtime? Over-under 3.5? (5 points for the right answer)

3. Which number one seed will lose first? Duke, North Carolina, Virginia or Gonzaga? (10 points for the right answer.)

4. Will Bruno Fernando score over or under 16.5 points in Maryland's first game on Thursday? Over/under 16.5? (10 points for the right answer)

5. Pick two teams seeded 1 through 8 who will not win two games. (10 points for each correct team)

6. Will any 16 seed lose to a 1 seed by single digits or less? (5 points for the right answer)

7. At any point in Maryland's first game on Thursday, will the Terps lead by 9.5 points or more? (10 points for the right answer).

8. Will any 11 seed or higher win two games and advance to the Sweet Sixteen? Yes or No? (5 points for the right answer. 10 additional points if you pick the team that does it.)

9. Pick your Final Four. (10 points for each correct team.)

10. Pick your NCAA champion and total points scored between both teams in the Final game. (10 points for the correct champion, total points used for tiebreaking purposes).

Here's the way you need to e-mail your entry.

Your name:

1. 2112

2. Over 3.5

3. Gonzaga

4. Over 16.5

5. Maryland and Virginia Tech

6. No

7. No

8. Yes. Murray State

9. Duke, Michigan, Kentucky, Villanova

10. Duke, 147 points

E-mail your entry to: dmdscore@gmail.com

First place: $200 gift card to Glory Days Grill

Second place: $150 gift card to Glory Days Grill

Third place: $100 gift card to Glory Days Grill

Fourth place: $50 gift card to Glory Days Grill

Fifth place: Two tickets to a 2019 Orioles home game

All entries must be in 12 noon on Thursday, March 21. Only one entry per-person. Multiple entries will result in disqualification.

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#dmd comments


Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE..BANNA BOAT NOT YELLOW BOAT...SORRY

Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE CATONSVILLE....YELLOW BOAT REST. In Boynton Beach have several boats there that go out every day. 2 great rest. One in BOCA at 4400 Federal Hwy called POSITANO...great Italian restaurant. Got to call. EARLY!!!! Same with COPENHAGEN Rest...3441 Woolbright and you better call NOW. Two of our favorites.

Bob     March 20
From last March but still gives the general idea of the tax burdens placed on professional athletes, this deals with the "Jock tax" which includes away games where they are subject to state taxes where they play. Each player gets a credit in the home state since they are already subject to that States Income tax, the exceptions are Texas and Florida which do not levy a state tax.



www.bna.com/baseballs-highestpaid-players-n57982090595/

uber man     March 20
Arithmetic Man: glad you're not Trout's chauffer. He lives in New Jersey.

arithmetic man     March 20
Herman, glad your not my accountant. Max tax rate in CA is 12.3% not 50%.

HERMAN     March 20
@Delray

Headed to the Keys next week, we'll do something in April.

I'm a fan of Luna Rosa, in your neighborhood. We can do that.

@MFC

You can't go wrong at Tramonti's.

mike from catonsville     March 20
@Delray, please post a list I'm here till Saturday. Plus any good fishing charter captains, we'd like to do some in shore fishing.

Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE CATONSVILLE...Next time in town I'LL let you know some great places to eat. Hope the weather is better while you are here. HERMAN...Nice place in PALM BEACH. 240 ,CAFE DIA FLORA.. How bout in next 2 weeks?

Steve of Pimlico     March 20
I have to confess that I have never filled out an NCAA bracket in my life.

On another note ,when the Preakness leaves Baltimore,I will revert to my original handle Steve of Sandtown as I was known as on NST when Spiro Swammi Drew and Glenn were on the radio.

Brien Jackson     March 20
@Herman



I mean I guess I should expect it, but imagine complaining about the tax rates affecting people in an industry that relies on MASSIVE amounts of government subsidies to sustain it's operating model.

mike from catonsville     March 20
@Delray Rick, was in your town last night, really nice beach community. We had dinner at Olio, would rank it good not great but hard to complain when on vacation. Hopefully the rain gets out of here (Boynton Beach) and we can enjoy some outside activities.

HERMAN     March 20
The real winner in the Mike Trout deal is the State of California, who will take just over 50% in taxes. $ 215 Million and they don't even have to bat.

I know you don't feel sorry that Mr. Trout will have to make do with some 195 million after tipping out his agent, but there is something obscene about California eating 215 million of a man's paycheck.

There aren't any fans clamoring to see California play baseball.

John L.     March 19
@Professor, You mean you miss PGA/MONK. They're one and the same.

Josh     March 19
@Professor



I had to lol at that one! The comments section is just fine. More importantly, the content on this site is high quality, and, continues to improve!

George     March 19
@Professor -- Drew didn't ban anyone. He couldn't -- it's not technically possible. Perhaps PGAV and the Monk, like old soldiers, just faded away.

professor kool     March 19
I miss PGAV and MONK, the comments section has suffered ever since those guys were banned

Tom J     March 19
@ Delray Rick, Jones number won't be retired by the Orioles. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and truly GREAT Orioles as it should be. Jones was a really good player and a really GOOD Oriole, not great.......

HERMAN     March 19
People here are conflating two completely different scandals. Scholarships for athletes and the cheating / payoff scandal, or keeping athletes eligible in bogus courses, is all one big dumpster fire.

That people cheated for admission using Title IX is part of a completely different multi-layered problem.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, has put out the wrong read on the elites cheating to enter college problem. They keep talking about the rich using their "privilege" to scam their way in.

Excuse me. But if they were so rich and privileged, uh, how come they still had to cheat? Wasn't it enough they were rich, famous, popular, and connected?

We are told they have every advantage.

But they had to cheat. And not always because "junior" was an idiot. Because the college entry system is the one system that doesn't favor them.

Title IX was merely a convenient weak point of exploitation.

A top flight football coach needs every scholarship to compete. But when forced to place scholarship dollars into women's programs equal to the men's, loopholes abound. Everyone is watching Michigan's football performance. No one cares a whit how they did in woman's crew this past weekend.

The fact that they used the sports loophole to cheat had nothing to do with sports. And everything to do with Title IX.

Division I athletics and scholarships, at the highest level, is totally and nakedly corrupt.

But don't mix in this new scandal. That speaks to an entirely different world of corruption.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@The Long Arm



I'm going to suggest that if you now theorize that *I* am underselling corruption in the NCAA you've probably lost the thread completely.



And I have no idea how you get from this to sham classes to keep basketball/football players eligible.

The Long Arm     March 19
Brien

I know the story, you don't understand LOTS and lots.



You seem to want to fit a narrative that is Pollyanna and simplistic. This is a deep, deep scandal with lots of tentacles.



Everyone is getting cheated.



If you want to really dig deep and understand. I suggest you read "Cheated" by Prof. Jay Smith of UNC.

The read is quite revealing and deeply disturbing.

It was so truthful Jay received DEATH THREATS[real] from UNC maniacs when he suggested strongly for the school to renounce and give up National Championships in Basketball.



It is comical that you have been so naïve about this. And blaming it on a couple of rogue coaches who were greedy.



Just wait for parts 2,3 and 4. Tons of universities are sweating bullets.



Just like being charged 25 dollars for an aspirin in a hospital. You are not paying 60k/year for the education.....that pays for many other nefarious payments to a vast number of people who have nothing to do with education.



Just like Dean Wormer figured out a way to raid the student fund for a payoff to Carmine DePasto to have a parade in his town....this is what it mainly about.



A good place for you to start is that book I recommend. It is co-authored by Mary Willingham...who was at the center of what they were doing in terms of the scam classes and the role of tutors.



But the real scandal in these payoffs for admission is much deeper.



You really should do the research if you want to write a powerful piece....and always remember....ROGUE ACTORS are never the reason for corruption. NEVER.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@Long Arm



"IT AIN'T rare. It ain't rougue's...the universities KNOW all about it. "



What? The universities didn't admit the students, which is why their parents bribed coaches to get them into the school. If the universities knew about it....why not just admit the kids in the first place?



Your broader points may be sound, but I don't think you understand the details of this story much at all.

Davey     March 19
Thanks, David Rosenfeld for the explanation on the 11 seeds.

The Long Arm     March 19
Brien

This is what I deal with...funding of scholarships. Many non-rev coaches moan and complain about the lack of a fully funded program. YOU do not understand some of the "money" in College sports.

These non athletes scam recruits usually don't take a scholarship away from a more deserving student.....because there was no money for it in the first place. GOING forward there might be as these crazed, corrupt and deserve to be in jail might have been complicit in shoring up a program with a fully funded program.

IT AIN'T rare. It ain't rougue's...the universities KNOW all about it.

The corruption is very deep.

Schools have to comply with Title 9...but they are under no obligation to fully fund 12.8 lacrosse scholarships...or crew or whatever.

There are lots of things at play here. It is huge and goes beyond...but is tied to athletics where lots of money can be stashed and messed with.

Work in that space...just don't wiki it and think you have a handle on it.



Carmine DePasta actions are at work.

Delray Rick     March 19
#10. A true all time ORIOLE. Number Wil be retired.

Chris in Bel Air     March 19
True, Jonesy doesn't owe Baltimore anything. I have not even thought about it until your article. However, for someone who is both statistically and in public stature, one of the all-time B'more sports greats, it would have been a nice gesture for him to acknowledge his time here with a thank you. Required? No. Nice thing to do. Yes.

TimD in Timonium     March 19
Correction, @DF, there's been a name change. It's now the "injured list."



"The league will make the change out of concern that the term "disabled" for injured players falsely conflates disabilities with injuries and an inability to participate in sports. "



Just wanted to set the record straight. And keep DMD PC-friendly.

unitastoberry     March 19
The 3 batter rule is a joke. Leave the game alone. The dh is bad enough.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@Long Arm



I think there's some confusion here: The students involved in the scandal are not athlete's at all. The coaches were bribed to list them as team members so they could get admitted, but they never actually participated with the team in any way.

The truth     March 18
@long arm I just read the latest #letter from your boy, you are right, more of his poorly written tripe where everything is all about him. The rants have become more profane, but they remain grammatically incorrect and barely coherent. Embarrassing, and yet another reminder that Drew is way better off no longer being affiliated with that maniac

The long arm     March 18
@Brien

A guy calling it a few rogue coaches.... haven't we learned that this is what all institutions do? It is SOP....from everyone.

Don't sleep on some fundamentals

1. Many D1 programs do not have the money to "fully fund" every athletic scholarship that they are allowed. This scandal is way more complicated and far reaching...and funding of scholarships is partially the reason for this....and I am in this space.

2. Bear Bryant came to mind about the tractor story from David....Bear was amazed that a rival got caught cheating..."I tell my boys to tell their parents they be sure and park that tractor far away and behind the barn."

3. Was at a NCAA meeting years ago. A speaker/coach at one of the service academies was telling ON a rival coach. He recruited this kid, got him through the admission process...a short amount of time before he reported he told the coach " I need 40 grand". When this coach told him that "we don't, won't,can't do that stuff".....he lost the kid to a conference rival. It was huge news, everyone knew the kid and the school that forked over the 40k.

4. There is no solution other than just playing by the rules....end of story. Lots of harsh punishments including death penalty sentence's.



Deter

David Rosenfeld     March 18
Brien...for sure, it's very tangential. I just thought it was interesting how athletics got wrapped into it.

Speaking of admission slots, I honestly think Yale is better than Maryland. If they end up playing in the second round, watch out.

Brien Jackson     March 18
A couple of points on the admissions scandal:



1. It's only tangentially related to college sports, really. A handful of coaches in non-revenue sports took bribes to list non-athletes as team members so they could get it to the school. It's not a systemic cheating issue.



2. It also really shows what a sham the Adidas cases are, if for no other reason than the scope. In this case EVERYONE is getting rolled up: Parents, school officials, middlemen, standardized test administrators. The only reason the kids themselves aren't being charged is that prosecutors claim they don't have enough evidence that the students knew about the bribes. Now compare that to the Adidas cases where prosecutors won't go after the players/families who took the money and certainly aren't interested in investigating what the involvement of head coaches/athletic directors or senior corporate officials at Adidas might be.

Blue Tee Golfer     March 18
Interesting McIlroy article today. Seems like you're pretty high on him.

Idiot Caller     March 18
Yeah, add me to the list of people that don't care as much about Maryland sports (football and basketball) since the money grab... er.... move to the Big Ten. Much preferred seeing them play against all the old rivals that I grew up watching.

But now we get to see them play hoops against Nebraska, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa...

Yawn...

David Rosenfeld     March 18
P.S.: they did that both to expand to 68 teams (from 65) and to draw greater interest to the play-in games, since the lowest-ranked at-large teams tend to be from bigger schools/conferences and have larger fanbases.

David Rosenfeld     March 18
Davey,

Since 2011, the tournament expanded to 68 teams and there have been four "play-in" games in Dayton.

Two of the play-in games are between No. 16 seeds, but the other two feature the four lowest-ranked (by the committee) at-large selections. Even though they are the lowest ranked at-large selections, they're not ranked lower than some of the automatic bid qualifiers.

In this case Belmont/Temple are both seeded 11, as are St. John's and Arizona State. So the winner of each game will play a No. 6 seed in the first round.

Garry     March 18
Maybe, it’s just me, but I like Maryland being in the Big 10 instead of the ACC. In the Big 10, at least in basketball, there’s a decent chance to upset some other Big 10 team in the top 25 and end up with a decent winning conference record. In the ACC, playing Duke and North Carolina meant a loss 90% of the time. What fun was that? Most years, you rarely thought you could win the ACC title. By the time Maryland left the ACC, I was happy to say goodbye to Duke, North Carolina, Florida State and rarely seeing the ACC tourney played in Maryland. If you liked to see Maryland lose, in basketball, the ACC was the place to be.

Davey     March 18
Why is the winner of a play-in game playing a No. 6 seed? I thought the play-in game winners were No. 16 seeds.

davey     March 18
Can someone explain why a No. 6 seed is playing the winner of a play-in game? I thought the play-in games were automatically No. 16 seeds.

Terp Fan     March 18
Good call Dale Williams! There are two things I love about Maryland Basketball, the games even though they can be heart breaking sometimes and your articles! Keep up the good work!

eric     March 18
Not to pile on my school and the boring Big 10, but coach K swears the ACC was willing to match any offer and we never gave them the chance. As an alum I hope Turge stays, I've made a lot of money betting against him the last 5 years

HERMAN     March 18
It was heartwarming to see Furyk's reaction after his finish yesterday, a man in the twilight of his main tour career knowing he'd just given his all in an attempt to win a big one. Hard to believe Fluff has been out there since the mid-70's. Those big bags are a haul.

McIlroy has to be the Augusta favorite now, he is on quite a streak. Rahm and Fleetwood disappointed, hope they learned from it, and will use it as motivation to finish the next one.

unitastoberry     March 18
I have not watched one minute of Maryland basketball this year. My guess is your scenario as good as it sounds will not happen. But I hope your right! I miss Gary Lefty and the ACC!

The truth     March 18
Spot on @JEFWEL

Jefwel     March 18
@blue tee: so let me get this straight. If Herman writes a negative comment about Tiger Woods, he is automatically racist in your opinion. How typical of the times we live in. White male has negative opinion of minority, bam, racist. Give me and everyone else a break. Please, pretty please even.

The long arm     March 17
More unintentional comedy from the LF. He wrote a letter to his best buddy, a guy who the LF taught everything about Baltimore sports, a guy that the LF took under his wing, a guy whose journey he has chronicled....Joe Flacco.

It was a doozy...full of all LF talking points..wife cancer,the importance of his work, his life....in fact it was like everything he does....most of it was about him.



I doubt Joe will read it...but if he does...this is what he will say. ...at no point in you rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought Everyone in this room is now dumber from having read it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

It is such a counter point to what Drew wrote...

How those folks could work in those conditions is quite astounding.....as Bond said to Ms. Galore about her boss Goldfinger...."he's quite mad you know". How many times was that said on Hart Rd?

But to outsiders....it is real funny to see a guy who thinks he writes well.....and it is completely nonsensical and pointless.

And like little Ralphie thought about his Theme about what he wanted for Christmas...I am certain that the LF looked at it and said "Oh, that's great"...and the best work of his career. How can everything top what was the best work...until the next thing?...and then the next best work.

Hilarious.

Brien Jackson     March 17
Going the other way though...why do we need objective, critical coverage of "student athletics" at all?

Delray Rick     March 17
BTG...It show you golfers don't know the simple rules. Look at the "Messiah" he did not know where to drop.

Blue Tee Golfer     March 17
Golf Channel asked 24 players on Friday night if they knew the 17th green rule and 21 of the 24 said "no".



Herman's racist anti Tiger rant forgot to mention that. So I thought I would.

HERMAN     March 17
@Delray

Old "Messiah" never got within two strokes of the lead and threw in a quad. Didn't happen. Old "Messiah" didn't brain fart the drop zone either. Where was his caddie on the "third" shot? One of the biggest tournaments of the year and he doesn't realize they can drop the other side of the green?

It was a blessing he dropped back for the audience, he was starting to suck all the air out of the broadcast. All of it.

I've got to say "these guys are good", you can't give them even a semblance of a softer course and receptive greens, they start throwing up mid-60's as if they were at a par three course. And these are extremely tough 7300 yard courses set up to really challenge your game.

What they do each week is truly beyond comprehension.

And the insane part is there are two dozen contenders doing it.


Tuesday
March 19
r logo#DMDfacebook logoIssue
#1667



what's jones owe baltimore? nothing.


I really can't believe we're dancing this dance, but it appears as if we are.

I was strolling through Twitter on Sunday and came across a series of people discussing Adam Jones, the former Orioles centerfielder.

The discourse centered on Jones' departure from Baltimore and specifically singled him out for not saying "thank you", either in the form of an advertisement in the local newspaper or even via Twitter or any other form of social media.

As we saw last week with NFL players who bolted from one team to another, it's become customary for the departing figure to issue a heartfelt "thank you" to the fan base and sporting community.

But Jones didn't do that ten days ago when he finally signed a new deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. And some folks in town are questioning him, albeit in a roundabout sort of way.

Let's make sure this is on the table and in bold ink. Carved into the wood, if you will.

Adam Jones owes Baltimore nothing. He gave more than enough and did more than enough when he was here with the Orioles.

Jones had some rough edges that occasionally reared their head. He was a wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve kind of guy, which is probably one of the reasons why Baltimore sports fans romanticized about him so much in 2018. But if there was ever a guy who represented Baltimore through and through, it was #10.

He showed up here when the team was terrible, toiled with some of the worst teammates a guy could ever ask for, and yet hung around long enough to see it all come together, with three playoff appearances in five seasons.

And when he wasn't playing baseball for the Orioles, he was still hanging around town, showing up at Ravens games, charity events and other civic functions. I'd venture to say no baseball player since Cal Ripken Jr. had more of a following than Jones, and the only two athletes in town more revered than Jones turned out to be Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. That's pretty good company to keep.

Jones didn't quit on the Orioles, remember.

They quit on him.

And even when they tried to ship him out last July, Jones refused to leave, deciding instead to fulfill the end of his run in Baltimore, last place be damned.

In a perfect world, Jones would have finished out his career in Charm City. But I guess a rebuilding organization doesn't need an inspirational on-field leader to help them navigate the murky waters of minor leaguers and 4-A players who are sure to be part of the 2019 edition of Orioles baseball.

So here we are. Adam Jones is in Arizona, the Orioles have moved on, and time, as always, waits for no one. But anyone debating whether Adam Jones needs to "thank" the fans isn't seeing things very clearly. It's actually the other way around.

Baltimore should be eternally grateful to Adam Jones. He more than pulled his weight here.

He helped make the Orioles winners again.

Let's not forget that. And, please, let's not create hostility where there is none.

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from the desk of
brien jackson

BRIEN JACKSON's work at #DMD promises to provide some of Baltimore's best sports insight and commentary, brought to you by SECU, the official credit-union of Drew's Morning Dish. Brien has done sports-media work with ESPN, CBS, and NPR. His contributions to #DMD will focus on the Orioles, the Ravens, and national sports stories.



thoughts on baseball's new rules


Since taking the reigns from Bud Selig, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has been championing a series of new rules designed to increase pace of play and address a multitude of other issues.

His one man crusade has rankled both traditionalists and players for their scope, sometimes radical nature, and Manfred's repeated threats to impose the changes without input from the players' union if need be. But last week it was announced that the league office and the union had come to an agreement on a laundry list of new rules, some small and some very much not so, that will go into effect this year and next.

Here are the new rules and some thoughts on what they mean, in increasing order of magnitude.

Home Run Derby: The winner of the Home Run Derby will get $1 million, which is nice. I loved loved loved the Derby as a kid, but then the whole thing got repetitive, dull, and downright boring. But the recent format changes have made it a lot more fun, and I think they finally hit the right buttons with the current timed rounds setup.

Perhaps a one million dollar winner's check will get baseball's big bombers like Aaron Judge interested in the Home Run Derby again.

Adding the bigger prize pool is designed to help attract the bigger stars to participate, and that's not a bad thing.

Shorter commercial breaks and All-Star game changes: These two shouldn't really bother anyone. Effective this season, local television broadcasts will have innings breaks reduced by 5 seconds, while national television games will have commercials shortened by 25 seconds, both to 2:00 in total.

It's not a big thing but those seconds will add up. On the other hand that probably also means having the networks find more ways to push advertisements during the game itself, especially in the national games where broadcasters are effectively losing an entire 30 second commercial slot.

All-Star game voting: This will get a makeover too, with a new preliminary round of voting leading into one single "election day" where fans will get to pick from the the finalists. Whatever, I couldn't care less. Sounds like kids will love it though, so that's good.

Oh, and extra innings in the All-Star game will all begin with a runner on second base, in case you thought Manfred had given up on that idea.

One trade deadline: The August 31 waivers trade deadline is being eliminated and there will be one single deadline on July 31st. The August deadline was kind of fun, but it was also complex and it was a little bit silly to see, say, Justin Verlander get shipped to Houston in a move that maybe won them the World Series weeks after the trade deadline passed.

That said, I wish they would push the deadline back to August 31st rather than the traditional July date. Thanks to the second wild card and the importance being put on prospects, July 31st is simply too early for teams to be sure they're contenders or not and to be willing to make big moves one way or another. Move it back a month and we'd see a lot more action, especially where bigger stars are concerned.

Mound visits: Now we start getting into tweaking how the game itself is handled on the field. In the only such change that will take effect in 2019, total mound visits for a team will be capped at five in a nine inning game.

Put simply, the idea is to not have coaching visits to the mound grinding the game action to a halt. This was brought down from 6 already, so don't be surprised if it goes down even further in the near future, and if pitching coaches having chats on the mound isn't a thing of the past within a decade.

Disabled List: Beginning in 2020, the minimum time on the disabled list will return to 15 games instead of the 10 games it had recently been reduced to. In addition, the minimum time an optioned pitcher must stay in the minors will increase to 15 games. In essence, the league is tweaking the rules to make it harder for teams to stockpile fringe MLB/AAA relievers and rotate them up and down to keep fresh arms stocked up.

Active Rosters: Again beginning in 2020, the construction of rosters will be quite a bit different considering how little they've changed in decades. For starters: They'll be bigger. The active roster size will increase to 26, with a 25 man minimum roster put in place.

When playing doubleheaders teams will be able to add a 27th man.

Additionally 40 man September rosters will be a thing of the past, replaced by 28 man roster. Carrying 28 men in September will be mandatory, by the way.

I'm definitely happy to see the expanded rosters go away, as in recent years they've made September baseball absolutely brutal as teams in the playoff hunt have absolutely gorged on relief specialists and used pitcher after pitcher in the middle innings.

It's nice to see not-quite-ready prospects gets a chance to come up briefly, but that didn't nearly outweigh what managers like Joe Girardi were doing to the game's watchability with the ability to add an absurd number of pitchers to their bullpen.

Additionally, the league will force teams to officially designate players as pitchers or position players (with some leeway for genuine two-way athletes) and set a cap on the number of pitchers they're allowed to carry on the roster at one time.

That's a pretty radical change really, especially where the DL is concerned (no more having an outfielder go down and carrying a 13th pitcher for two weeks) and really drives home that the big goal in these rule changes is to reduce the number of relief pitchers on a roster and, by extension, the number of pitching changes and relievers used in a game.

Which brings us to the big one:

Pitchers will have to face a minimum of three batters before being removed: Suffice it to say this has been the most controversial rule change, and gets us into tricky waters about how much we want the basic strategy of the game to be tweaked with rule changes from above.

I'm sympathetic to the idea that this is too much, and that managers should get a freer hand to tactically manage their arms, but the fact of the matter is that reliever usage is getting too far out of hand and something needs to be done.

Look, I'm a diehard, hardcore baseball fan and have been since I was about four years old. When I was late in my high school years my younger brother and I would decide to go on a road trip on a lark to watch the Reds play in Chicago, or Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia, or whatever just for the heck of it.

I've gone on road trips to watch two teams that I had no rooting interest in play because I wanted to the se the stadium. And yet, every year I watch less and less baseball because the game is getting less and less watchable.

As I saw one writer put it on Twitter: The science of winning baseball games and the aesthetic of putting on entertaining baseball are increasingly at odds, and entertainment is losing. Bigly. Relievers are a big part of that.

There's too many pitching changes, relievers are too specialized, and everyone throws 98 MPH with one sick breaking pitch. It's a big reason strikeouts are up and the middle innings become an intolerable slog.

I'm not wild about the notion of forcing a minimum number of batters faced per pitcher, but I'm very much willing to give it a shot. Maybe there will be unintended consequences, but maybe those will be for the best.

Perhaps we'll get rid of teams having two LOOGY's and add more platoon outfielders to rosters, or at least relievers who face batters from both sides. Maybe we'll go back to the days where managers tried to squeeze a starter who was "battling" through the seventh inning instead of pulling him after 5.1 innings of two run ball to start rolling through the specialist relievers.

And by extension maybe that will get us back to starters who try changing speeds and pitching for ground balls instead of guys throwing everything 90+ and looking for 10 strikeouts on 103 pitches through those 5.1 innings.

I'm super-skeptical of Manfred on the whole, to say the least, but I find these proposals at least mildly encouraging. I see no reason to complain about minor tweaks that seek to keep the place of play up and, honestly, I think we'll be used to the new rules before we even know it.

If nothing else, it's good that MLB seems to realize there are problems that need to be fixed rather than ignored.

And as the two sides apparently prepare to consider re-opening the CBA for more sweeping changes, it's a good sign that the league and the players were able to come to an agreement here, and good that the league realizes that there's a real and problematic divide between what's good for teams trying to win under the current rules and what's good for fans who want to watch an entertaining product.

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play #dmd's march madness contest


For those who have been around here for a while, you know we do things a little different every March.

If you're a newcomer to #DMD and this is your first go-round with us, I hope you appreciate the uniqueness of our contest.

Below are ten questions to answer. Yes, I only listed eight of them yesterday. We added two easy ones today to give us ten overall.

Please make note of the entry form and how we do this. It's very important that you list your answers exactly as you'll see below. If you don't do that, we won't count your entry.

First, here are the ten questions. The sample entry and the e-mail to enter are at the bottom.

1. How many total points will be scored in the sixteen games that will be played on Thursday, March 21? (Points -- If you come within 1 to 49 of the actual total, you receive 15 points. If you come within 50 to 95 points of the actual total, you receive 10 points. If you come within 96 to 149 points of the actual total, you receive 5 points. Anything outside of 150 or beyond gets you no points.)

2. How many games in this year's NCAA tournament will go to overtime? Over-under 3.5? (5 points for the right answer)

3. Which number one seed will lose first? Duke, North Carolina, Virginia or Gonzaga? (10 points for the right answer.)

4. Will Bruno Fernando score over or under 16.5 points in Maryland's first game on Thursday? Over/under 16.5? (10 points for the right answer)

5. Pick two teams seeded 1 through 8 who will not win two games. (10 points for each correct team)

6. Will any 16 seed lose to a 1 seed by single digits or less? (5 points for the right answer)

7. At any point in Maryland's first game on Thursday, will the Terps lead by 9.5 points or more? (10 points for the right answer).

8. Will any 11 seed or higher win two games and advance to the Sweet Sixteen? Yes or No? (5 points for the right answer. 10 additional points if you pick the team that does it.)

9. Pick your Final Four. (10 points for each correct team.)

10. Pick your NCAA champion and total points scored between both teams in the Final game. (10 points for the correct champion, total points used for tiebreaking purposes).

Here's the way you need to e-mail your entry.

Your name:

1. 2112

2. Over 3.5

3. Gonzaga

4. Over 16.5

5. Maryland and Virginia Tech

6. No

7. No

8. Yes. Murray State

9. Duke, Michigan, Kentucky, Villanova

10. Duke, 147 points

E-mail your entry to: dmdscore@gmail.com

First place: $200 gift card to Glory Days Grill

Second place: $150 gift card to Glory Days Grill

Third place: $100 gift card to Glory Days Grill

Fourth place: $50 gift card to Glory Days Grill

Fifth place: Two tickets to a 2019 Orioles home game

All entries must be in 12 noon on Thursday, March 21. Only one entry per-person. Multiple entries will result in disqualification.

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#dmd comments


Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE..BANNA BOAT NOT YELLOW BOAT...SORRY

Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE CATONSVILLE....YELLOW BOAT REST. In Boynton Beach have several boats there that go out every day. 2 great rest. One in BOCA at 4400 Federal Hwy called POSITANO...great Italian restaurant. Got to call. EARLY!!!! Same with COPENHAGEN Rest...3441 Woolbright and you better call NOW. Two of our favorites.

Bob     March 20
From last March but still gives the general idea of the tax burdens placed on professional athletes, this deals with the "Jock tax" which includes away games where they are subject to state taxes where they play. Each player gets a credit in the home state since they are already subject to that States Income tax, the exceptions are Texas and Florida which do not levy a state tax.



www.bna.com/baseballs-highestpaid-players-n57982090595/

uber man     March 20
Arithmetic Man: glad you're not Trout's chauffer. He lives in New Jersey.

arithmetic man     March 20
Herman, glad your not my accountant. Max tax rate in CA is 12.3% not 50%.

HERMAN     March 20
@Delray

Headed to the Keys next week, we'll do something in April.

I'm a fan of Luna Rosa, in your neighborhood. We can do that.

@MFC

You can't go wrong at Tramonti's.

mike from catonsville     March 20
@Delray, please post a list I'm here till Saturday. Plus any good fishing charter captains, we'd like to do some in shore fishing.

Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE CATONSVILLE...Next time in town I'LL let you know some great places to eat. Hope the weather is better while you are here. HERMAN...Nice place in PALM BEACH. 240 ,CAFE DIA FLORA.. How bout in next 2 weeks?

Steve of Pimlico     March 20
I have to confess that I have never filled out an NCAA bracket in my life.

On another note ,when the Preakness leaves Baltimore,I will revert to my original handle Steve of Sandtown as I was known as on NST when Spiro Swammi Drew and Glenn were on the radio.

Brien Jackson     March 20
@Herman



I mean I guess I should expect it, but imagine complaining about the tax rates affecting people in an industry that relies on MASSIVE amounts of government subsidies to sustain it's operating model.

mike from catonsville     March 20
@Delray Rick, was in your town last night, really nice beach community. We had dinner at Olio, would rank it good not great but hard to complain when on vacation. Hopefully the rain gets out of here (Boynton Beach) and we can enjoy some outside activities.

HERMAN     March 20
The real winner in the Mike Trout deal is the State of California, who will take just over 50% in taxes. $ 215 Million and they don't even have to bat.

I know you don't feel sorry that Mr. Trout will have to make do with some 195 million after tipping out his agent, but there is something obscene about California eating 215 million of a man's paycheck.

There aren't any fans clamoring to see California play baseball.

John L.     March 19
@Professor, You mean you miss PGA/MONK. They're one and the same.

Josh     March 19
@Professor



I had to lol at that one! The comments section is just fine. More importantly, the content on this site is high quality, and, continues to improve!

George     March 19
@Professor -- Drew didn't ban anyone. He couldn't -- it's not technically possible. Perhaps PGAV and the Monk, like old soldiers, just faded away.

professor kool     March 19
I miss PGAV and MONK, the comments section has suffered ever since those guys were banned

Tom J     March 19
@ Delray Rick, Jones number won't be retired by the Orioles. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and truly GREAT Orioles as it should be. Jones was a really good player and a really GOOD Oriole, not great.......

HERMAN     March 19
People here are conflating two completely different scandals. Scholarships for athletes and the cheating / payoff scandal, or keeping athletes eligible in bogus courses, is all one big dumpster fire.

That people cheated for admission using Title IX is part of a completely different multi-layered problem.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, has put out the wrong read on the elites cheating to enter college problem. They keep talking about the rich using their "privilege" to scam their way in.

Excuse me. But if they were so rich and privileged, uh, how come they still had to cheat? Wasn't it enough they were rich, famous, popular, and connected?

We are told they have every advantage.

But they had to cheat. And not always because "junior" was an idiot. Because the college entry system is the one system that doesn't favor them.

Title IX was merely a convenient weak point of exploitation.

A top flight football coach needs every scholarship to compete. But when forced to place scholarship dollars into women's programs equal to the men's, loopholes abound. Everyone is watching Michigan's football performance. No one cares a whit how they did in woman's crew this past weekend.

The fact that they used the sports loophole to cheat had nothing to do with sports. And everything to do with Title IX.

Division I athletics and scholarships, at the highest level, is totally and nakedly corrupt.

But don't mix in this new scandal. That speaks to an entirely different world of corruption.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@The Long Arm



I'm going to suggest that if you now theorize that *I* am underselling corruption in the NCAA you've probably lost the thread completely.



And I have no idea how you get from this to sham classes to keep basketball/football players eligible.

The Long Arm     March 19
Brien

I know the story, you don't understand LOTS and lots.



You seem to want to fit a narrative that is Pollyanna and simplistic. This is a deep, deep scandal with lots of tentacles.



Everyone is getting cheated.



If you want to really dig deep and understand. I suggest you read "Cheated" by Prof. Jay Smith of UNC.

The read is quite revealing and deeply disturbing.

It was so truthful Jay received DEATH THREATS[real] from UNC maniacs when he suggested strongly for the school to renounce and give up National Championships in Basketball.



It is comical that you have been so naïve about this. And blaming it on a couple of rogue coaches who were greedy.



Just wait for parts 2,3 and 4. Tons of universities are sweating bullets.



Just like being charged 25 dollars for an aspirin in a hospital. You are not paying 60k/year for the education.....that pays for many other nefarious payments to a vast number of people who have nothing to do with education.



Just like Dean Wormer figured out a way to raid the student fund for a payoff to Carmine DePasto to have a parade in his town....this is what it mainly about.



A good place for you to start is that book I recommend. It is co-authored by Mary Willingham...who was at the center of what they were doing in terms of the scam classes and the role of tutors.



But the real scandal in these payoffs for admission is much deeper.



You really should do the research if you want to write a powerful piece....and always remember....ROGUE ACTORS are never the reason for corruption. NEVER.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@Long Arm



"IT AIN'T rare. It ain't rougue's...the universities KNOW all about it. "



What? The universities didn't admit the students, which is why their parents bribed coaches to get them into the school. If the universities knew about it....why not just admit the kids in the first place?



Your broader points may be sound, but I don't think you understand the details of this story much at all.

Davey     March 19
Thanks, David Rosenfeld for the explanation on the 11 seeds.

The Long Arm     March 19
Brien

This is what I deal with...funding of scholarships. Many non-rev coaches moan and complain about the lack of a fully funded program. YOU do not understand some of the "money" in College sports.

These non athletes scam recruits usually don't take a scholarship away from a more deserving student.....because there was no money for it in the first place. GOING forward there might be as these crazed, corrupt and deserve to be in jail might have been complicit in shoring up a program with a fully funded program.

IT AIN'T rare. It ain't rougue's...the universities KNOW all about it.

The corruption is very deep.

Schools have to comply with Title 9...but they are under no obligation to fully fund 12.8 lacrosse scholarships...or crew or whatever.

There are lots of things at play here. It is huge and goes beyond...but is tied to athletics where lots of money can be stashed and messed with.

Work in that space...just don't wiki it and think you have a handle on it.



Carmine DePasta actions are at work.

Delray Rick     March 19
#10. A true all time ORIOLE. Number Wil be retired.

Chris in Bel Air     March 19
True, Jonesy doesn't owe Baltimore anything. I have not even thought about it until your article. However, for someone who is both statistically and in public stature, one of the all-time B'more sports greats, it would have been a nice gesture for him to acknowledge his time here with a thank you. Required? No. Nice thing to do. Yes.

TimD in Timonium     March 19
Correction, @DF, there's been a name change. It's now the "injured list."



"The league will make the change out of concern that the term "disabled" for injured players falsely conflates disabilities with injuries and an inability to participate in sports. "



Just wanted to set the record straight. And keep DMD PC-friendly.

unitastoberry     March 19
The 3 batter rule is a joke. Leave the game alone. The dh is bad enough.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@Long Arm



I think there's some confusion here: The students involved in the scandal are not athlete's at all. The coaches were bribed to list them as team members so they could get admitted, but they never actually participated with the team in any way.

The truth     March 18
@long arm I just read the latest #letter from your boy, you are right, more of his poorly written tripe where everything is all about him. The rants have become more profane, but they remain grammatically incorrect and barely coherent. Embarrassing, and yet another reminder that Drew is way better off no longer being affiliated with that maniac

The long arm     March 18
@Brien

A guy calling it a few rogue coaches.... haven't we learned that this is what all institutions do? It is SOP....from everyone.

Don't sleep on some fundamentals

1. Many D1 programs do not have the money to "fully fund" every athletic scholarship that they are allowed. This scandal is way more complicated and far reaching...and funding of scholarships is partially the reason for this....and I am in this space.

2. Bear Bryant came to mind about the tractor story from David....Bear was amazed that a rival got caught cheating..."I tell my boys to tell their parents they be sure and park that tractor far away and behind the barn."

3. Was at a NCAA meeting years ago. A speaker/coach at one of the service academies was telling ON a rival coach. He recruited this kid, got him through the admission process...a short amount of time before he reported he told the coach " I need 40 grand". When this coach told him that "we don't, won't,can't do that stuff".....he lost the kid to a conference rival. It was huge news, everyone knew the kid and the school that forked over the 40k.

4. There is no solution other than just playing by the rules....end of story. Lots of harsh punishments including death penalty sentence's.



Deter

David Rosenfeld     March 18
Brien...for sure, it's very tangential. I just thought it was interesting how athletics got wrapped into it.

Speaking of admission slots, I honestly think Yale is better than Maryland. If they end up playing in the second round, watch out.

Brien Jackson     March 18
A couple of points on the admissions scandal:



1. It's only tangentially related to college sports, really. A handful of coaches in non-revenue sports took bribes to list non-athletes as team members so they could get it to the school. It's not a systemic cheating issue.



2. It also really shows what a sham the Adidas cases are, if for no other reason than the scope. In this case EVERYONE is getting rolled up: Parents, school officials, middlemen, standardized test administrators. The only reason the kids themselves aren't being charged is that prosecutors claim they don't have enough evidence that the students knew about the bribes. Now compare that to the Adidas cases where prosecutors won't go after the players/families who took the money and certainly aren't interested in investigating what the involvement of head coaches/athletic directors or senior corporate officials at Adidas might be.

Blue Tee Golfer     March 18
Interesting McIlroy article today. Seems like you're pretty high on him.

Idiot Caller     March 18
Yeah, add me to the list of people that don't care as much about Maryland sports (football and basketball) since the money grab... er.... move to the Big Ten. Much preferred seeing them play against all the old rivals that I grew up watching.

But now we get to see them play hoops against Nebraska, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa...

Yawn...

David Rosenfeld     March 18
P.S.: they did that both to expand to 68 teams (from 65) and to draw greater interest to the play-in games, since the lowest-ranked at-large teams tend to be from bigger schools/conferences and have larger fanbases.

David Rosenfeld     March 18
Davey,

Since 2011, the tournament expanded to 68 teams and there have been four "play-in" games in Dayton.

Two of the play-in games are between No. 16 seeds, but the other two feature the four lowest-ranked (by the committee) at-large selections. Even though they are the lowest ranked at-large selections, they're not ranked lower than some of the automatic bid qualifiers.

In this case Belmont/Temple are both seeded 11, as are St. John's and Arizona State. So the winner of each game will play a No. 6 seed in the first round.

Garry     March 18
Maybe, it’s just me, but I like Maryland being in the Big 10 instead of the ACC. In the Big 10, at least in basketball, there’s a decent chance to upset some other Big 10 team in the top 25 and end up with a decent winning conference record. In the ACC, playing Duke and North Carolina meant a loss 90% of the time. What fun was that? Most years, you rarely thought you could win the ACC title. By the time Maryland left the ACC, I was happy to say goodbye to Duke, North Carolina, Florida State and rarely seeing the ACC tourney played in Maryland. If you liked to see Maryland lose, in basketball, the ACC was the place to be.

Davey     March 18
Why is the winner of a play-in game playing a No. 6 seed? I thought the play-in game winners were No. 16 seeds.

davey     March 18
Can someone explain why a No. 6 seed is playing the winner of a play-in game? I thought the play-in games were automatically No. 16 seeds.

Terp Fan     March 18
Good call Dale Williams! There are two things I love about Maryland Basketball, the games even though they can be heart breaking sometimes and your articles! Keep up the good work!

eric     March 18
Not to pile on my school and the boring Big 10, but coach K swears the ACC was willing to match any offer and we never gave them the chance. As an alum I hope Turge stays, I've made a lot of money betting against him the last 5 years

HERMAN     March 18
It was heartwarming to see Furyk's reaction after his finish yesterday, a man in the twilight of his main tour career knowing he'd just given his all in an attempt to win a big one. Hard to believe Fluff has been out there since the mid-70's. Those big bags are a haul.

McIlroy has to be the Augusta favorite now, he is on quite a streak. Rahm and Fleetwood disappointed, hope they learned from it, and will use it as motivation to finish the next one.

unitastoberry     March 18
I have not watched one minute of Maryland basketball this year. My guess is your scenario as good as it sounds will not happen. But I hope your right! I miss Gary Lefty and the ACC!

The truth     March 18
Spot on @JEFWEL

Jefwel     March 18
@blue tee: so let me get this straight. If Herman writes a negative comment about Tiger Woods, he is automatically racist in your opinion. How typical of the times we live in. White male has negative opinion of minority, bam, racist. Give me and everyone else a break. Please, pretty please even.

The long arm     March 17
More unintentional comedy from the LF. He wrote a letter to his best buddy, a guy who the LF taught everything about Baltimore sports, a guy that the LF took under his wing, a guy whose journey he has chronicled....Joe Flacco.

It was a doozy...full of all LF talking points..wife cancer,the importance of his work, his life....in fact it was like everything he does....most of it was about him.



I doubt Joe will read it...but if he does...this is what he will say. ...at no point in you rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought Everyone in this room is now dumber from having read it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

It is such a counter point to what Drew wrote...

How those folks could work in those conditions is quite astounding.....as Bond said to Ms. Galore about her boss Goldfinger...."he's quite mad you know". How many times was that said on Hart Rd?

But to outsiders....it is real funny to see a guy who thinks he writes well.....and it is completely nonsensical and pointless.

And like little Ralphie thought about his Theme about what he wanted for Christmas...I am certain that the LF looked at it and said "Oh, that's great"...and the best work of his career. How can everything top what was the best work...until the next thing?...and then the next best work.

Hilarious.

Brien Jackson     March 17
Going the other way though...why do we need objective, critical coverage of "student athletics" at all?

Delray Rick     March 17
BTG...It show you golfers don't know the simple rules. Look at the "Messiah" he did not know where to drop.

Blue Tee Golfer     March 17
Golf Channel asked 24 players on Friday night if they knew the 17th green rule and 21 of the 24 said "no".



Herman's racist anti Tiger rant forgot to mention that. So I thought I would.

HERMAN     March 17
@Delray

Old "Messiah" never got within two strokes of the lead and threw in a quad. Didn't happen. Old "Messiah" didn't brain fart the drop zone either. Where was his caddie on the "third" shot? One of the biggest tournaments of the year and he doesn't realize they can drop the other side of the green?

It was a blessing he dropped back for the audience, he was starting to suck all the air out of the broadcast. All of it.

I've got to say "these guys are good", you can't give them even a semblance of a softer course and receptive greens, they start throwing up mid-60's as if they were at a par three course. And these are extremely tough 7300 yard courses set up to really challenge your game.

What they do each week is truly beyond comprehension.

And the insane part is there are two dozen contenders doing it.


Monday
March 18
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#1666



turgeon's maryland legacy is on the line


It would appear that the University of Maryland is in no position to fire men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon anytime soon. Not with 4 years and roughly $12 million remaining on his contract, that is.

But that doesn't mean Maryland's upcoming NCAA tournament appearance is any less important for the embattled leader of a Terps team that mostly underachieved in the 2018-2019 regular season.

Turgeon's on the hot seat. But it's more about program stability, supporter interest and Maryland's ability to showcase the sport. If the Terps flame out on the opening weekend of this year's tournament, Turgeon's reputation at College Park will be at an all-time low.

Fortunately for him, there's something looming that could repair a lot of the damage that's been done.

That "something" is called the Duke Blue Devils.

There's a lot of ifs here, so hang in there with me a minute. Maryland would have to first beat the winner of the Belmont/Temple play-in game, then win two more games (likely having to face Michigan State along the way) before potentially meeting up with the Blue Devils. Duke, of course, would have to do their part as well, winning three games before getting their crack at the Terps.

But the possibility exists, if ever so slight, that Maryland and Duke could eventually meet on their side of the bracket. And if any coach ever needed a marquee win to get the people off his back, it's Mark Turgeon.

I know you're laughing. And I know what the comments below are going to say. "C'mon Drew, Maryland can't even beat Nebraska in the Big 10 tournament, how on earth are they going to beat Duke?"

I didn't say they were going to beat them. I merely suggested that Turgeon could be presented with the most favorable one-game-saving-grace opportunity of his life if the Terps can somehow string together a few wins over the next ten days.

Let's hope this isn't the Turgeon we see on Thursday afternoon when the Terps play their opening game of the NCAA tournament.

If you want me to shut you up by reminding you that UMBC beat Virginia last March, I can do that. But I won't.

I doubt very seriously that Maryland gets out of the first weekend of action. They'll either lose to the Belmont/Temple winner this Thursday (3:10 pm) or they'll fall on Saturday against either Yale or LSU. That's what my bracket will show, anyway.

But if Turgeon and the Terps could somehow earn themselves a match-up with Duke and beat Zion and Coach K, the head coach will earn a much-needed reprieve from the faithful in the mid-Atlantic. It's a long shot, yes. But it's a shot, nonetheless.

Anything less than two wins for Maryland will almost certainly continue the "Fire Turgeon!" campaign in College Park. Perhaps the biggest knock of all against him has been his team's inability to play better basketball as the season progresses. It's true, you can look it up. Under Mark Turgeon, Maryland never plays well in March. That's not all his fault, mind you, but he's the coach of the team and he's the one making roughly $2.8 million per-season to get them to win. So, in the end, he gets the majority of the blame if things don't go well.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Turgeon's tenure in College Park is that he seemingly has almost zero support from the fan base. You would think a head coach with eight years of equity at one school would have a legion of folks who see past the wins and losses and believe in their heart-of-hearts he's the right guy for the job. That's not the case at Maryland. No one would say a word if Turgeon gets canned tomorrow.

That could just as much about the boring Big 10 as anything else. A lot of things have changed at College Park since the administration opted for the money-grab and bolted from the ACC. Excitement has waned greatly throughout Maryland's five-year run in the Big 10, and that can't all be blamed on Turgeon and the basketball team failing to generate any on-court success of note.

But what's mainly missing in College Park is prestige. And prestige comes from becoming a powerful program, one that consistently hits the Sweet Sixteen and makes more than an occasional foray into the Elite Eight. True, those levels are held in reserve for the likes of North Carolina, Duke, Michigan State, Villanova, Kansas, and so on, but Maryland basketball should be good enough to turn aside the Belmont's and Temple's of the world and then get past a Yale or LSU, too.

If Maryland can't win two games in the tournament this year, that's a telling result. The road to the Sweet Sixteen is typically very bumpy for a 6-seed, but the Terps got a paved path this weekend. And Turgeon probably knows it, deep down.

The school doesn't have $12 million sitting around to hand over to Turgeon, so he's not getting fired anytime soon. My buddy Glenn Clark, much more dialed in down at College Park than I am, reported that on Friday during his show after talking with sources at Maryland. And it's reasonable to assume Clark's right. After overspending on the Cole Field House facility and shelling out a bunch of money to departed football coach D.J. Durkin, Maryland's in no position to hand Mark Turgeon a $12 million going-away present.

But the Terps have one final bullet in the chamber...and it's called Duke.

If Maryland can work their way past their first three opponents, Duke will be sitting there waiting (presumably). And Turgeon could jump-start his rebirth at Maryland by knocking off the overall #1 seed.

Or not...

I'm betting on the "or not", of course, but I also didn't pick UMBC to beat Virginia last March.

It's sports. Wacky stuff happens all the time.

For Mark Turgeon, anything less than a couple of wins at the very least will do nothing but continue the piling on down at College Park. And it will be well deserved.

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"The Keen Eye" of David Rosenfeld

DAVID ROSENFELD is a former sports publicist who still keeps his eye on the game. Looking at the game, the news or the players on an in-depth level is what he likes to do. Follow his work here at #DMD every Monday & Thursday, brought to you by Glory Days Grill.


yesterday, today and tomorrow


This Week’s Subject: Admission Scandals

Yesterday…

It’s been 25 years since the release of Blue Chips, the seminal motion picture on the topic of cheating and breaking the rules in college athletics.

Ok…fine…it was hardly seminal. But at least I give the filmmakers credit for getting actual basketball players for roles in the film, the most famous of whom were Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee (Penny) Hardaway. The basketball scenes are certainly the most realistic of any movie featuring the sport.

There was one great scene in the film, however. Nick Nolte, doing his best Bobby Knight impression as coach of the fictional Western University, admits to wrongdoing in his program’s recruitment of a host of star players. He “outs” the sleazy booster, played by legendary character actor J.T. Walsh, who was responsible for giving the players (and their parents) cars and cash and plenty of other goodies.

As a final salvo, in front of hundreds of people at a postgame press conference, Nolte says “I quit,” and leaves the arena, where we then see him stop at playground to help young kids with their skills. No matter how realistic a movie like Blue Chips was or wasn’t, scandals in college athletics used to be so simple, weren’t they?

Guy wants a car and he’ll come to your school? Fine. Guy wants a job and some extra cash for his mom and he’ll grace you with his presence? No problem. In the movie, a recruit wanted a new tractor for his family’s farm in return for his commitment to old Western U. Sure thing. Quid pro quo.

The “back door” to getting admitted to college can work both ways. Jared Kushner’s father can donate millions of dollars to Harvard just before his son, who would have been a questionable admit on merit, gets admitted. Or, as has happened in both fake and real college athletics situations, coaches and boosters can be the ones giving out the money in order to gain access to the player.

Frankly, there still isn’t a lot of outcry about either of those. It’s always been accepted that both money and “legacy” status can help a student get into a school, and it’s always been assumed that big-time athletic recruits are getting some help in their decision-making, whether it reached Blue Chips level or something a little less obvious.

On some level, whether it involves athletics or not, there’s always been a “pay-to-play” aspect to college admissions. The fact that sometimes the school itself (through coaches and boosters) were the ones doing the paying almost seemed like the price of doing business.


Today…

The middleman in the recently-announced college admission cheating scandal is William Rick Singer, whose goal was to help wealthy families get their kids into elite colleges in the United States. He described his methods not as a back door but as a “side door,” and that’s where athletics entered the equation.

The best part about the side door, of course, is that it seemed to be foolproof in terms of admission. At Division I schools, including the most elite colleges, coaches have admissions “slots” that allow them to recruit students who otherwise wouldn’t earn admission.

Phil Mickelson said he had "no idea" of the scandal involving college admissions, despite using the company for his own children's college preparation.

What Singer figured out, somewhat ingeniously, are three things. One was that he could create a fake profile for a student, turning her into a soccer recruit or rowing recruit by the magic of technology. Two was that the admission offices wouldn’t be checking these profiles with a fine-tooth comb to determine how real they were; they trusted the coaches. Three, and most importantly, human nature and greed meant that there’d be at least some coaches willing to take part in the scheme for the financial windfall they’d receive.

Your grades might mean the front door to Yale isn’t going to open. If a school is ethical at all, the back door might be slammed shut.

The side door, though? Almost a slam dunk. A kid gets to attend the school, not having any idea he or she was admitted under fraudulent circumstances. Nobody from the admission office is going to any soccer games wondering why a player isn’t on the team, and that doesn’t really matter anyway, since even a legitimate player might have simply quit the team.

As for the Yale women’s soccer coach potentially losing out on a student who could actually play for his team, including a star player who might not have otherwise qualified for admission at the school? Well it’s obvious he was willing to give up one or two of those opportunities if the money was good enough.

For sure, there’s a tremendous amount of monetary fraud involved in these situations. And, without being too naïve, in these situations the schools really are being defrauded, as nobody involved besides parents and coaches (and the FBI) knew of the schemes.

When it comes to athletics, however, there’s also plenty of fraud. Every coach recruits differently, and different institutions may allow for different restrictions in the academic prowess of those recruits. Given the same situation, one coach might simply be a better recruiter than another coach. At the very least, however, you’d like to believe that every coach is recruiting in good faith. You know…expending effort on getting actual players.


Tomorrow…

Now that the FBI helped expose this particular scandal, and got some extra publicity from the participation of Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, you begin to wonder what else the Bureau might be investigating when it comes to American universities.

With the recent investigation into college basketball recruiting, and now this, it seems like the Feds have taken an extra-special interest into something that isn’t necessarily worth that interest. We understand that this is what the FBI does; we also think that the FBI should be doing it in the context of something more important in the grand scheme.

FBI or not, the future of “cheating” in college athletics is an interesting topic for debate. There’s the potential for so much sophistication these days, yet the background to it all is really the same as it’s always been.

First of all, there’s always going to be public perception that in the “big time,” or in order to reach that level, rules will continue to be broken with impunity. That was the case in 1994, when somebody decided Blue Chips was a good idea, and it’s still the case 25 years later.

Secondly, the pressure to win for big-time college coaches is greater than it’s ever been. In that way, the pressure to find the players that help a team win is also greater than ever.

And finally, human nature isn’t going to change. Because of pressure, or money, or pride, or the fact that everyone else is doing it, or something else, some coach will always be prone to breaking the rules. And the denials and explanations and moralistic admonitions afterwards will continue to be the same.

The point is…nothing is going to change. It’s a competitive environment, and somebody’s always looking to gain an edge. And hey, if it helps them in the wallet too, that only makes it more enticing to the right (wrong?) person.

Perhaps there will be a time when college athletes, particularly in revenue sports, gain a significantly greater piece of the pie than they do now (close to zero, actually). Maybe someday the schools and the NCAA will work together to blow up “amateurism” as it’s currently defined and create a system that makes more sense while also continuing to make money.

It’s a game, however, both on and off the fields and courts. People don’t trust try to win the game; they also try to figure out ways to turn the game in their favor. I don’t see that changing, no matter if the rules are tweaked or not.

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rory's big win puts him back near the top


There's an undeniable fact about the world of professional golf.

For the last two decades, there has only been one real needle-mover. His name is Tiger Woods.

Any tournament in which he plays is immediately elevated. More people attend it, more people watch it and more media members cover it. It just is what it is. Woods, still to this day, remains golf's most powerful draw. And it's not even close.

Not quite a major, but yesterday's win at The Players returns Rory McIlroy to the top of golf's world pecking order.

But Rory McIlroy started to make a move into "Tiger-land" back in the 2013-2014 years, winning four major titles in a short span and captivating young junior golfers all over the world who wanted to be like Rory.

Then came the famous equipment change to Nike clubs and balls that made McIlroy a rich man, but turned him into a Top 20 player in the world.

Next was a series of personal relationships gone bad that also seemingly impacted McIlroy's play.

Oh, and some guys arrived on the scene named Spieth, Thomas and Koepka. They soared past him on the world rankings.

For a few years, Rory was still Rory, but sure wasn't playing like him.

Make no mistake about it now, friends. Rory McIlroy is back. His win at The Players yesterday stamps that in bold ink. McIlroy is back.

He didn't back his way into winning yesterday. He didn't survive a tough test because others fell apart around him. Instead, he made a sensational birdie at the 15th hole after driving his tee ball into a fairway bunker. From 160 yards out, McIlroy slashed a 7-iron to 15 feet and made the putt to momentarily tie Jim Furyk (yes, Jim Furyk) for the lead. Moments later, a 350 yard drive and 170 yard 8-iron led to a 2-putt birdie on the treacherous 16th hole.

Owning a one-shot lead, all Rory had to do next was navigate one of the most famous holes in American golf, the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass. One tee shot on terra firma was all Rory needed, although it's probably the hardest 135-yard shot a professional golfer can ever face.

McIlroy hit his tee ball to 25-feet, two putted, and headed to the 18th tee with a one-shot lead. But there, he found another moment of truth. The smart play for the leader, as Paul Azinger tried to explain, was the safe 3-wood, laying well back of the water that creeps out into the fairway some 300 yards away. That would leave a second shot of 175 or 180 yards.

Instead, McIlroy pulled out his driver -- much to Azinger's chagrin -- and promptly smashed it 330 yards right in the middle of the fairway. "What water?" McIlroy seemingly said as he strolled off the tee.

A 9-iron to 15 feet and two putts later, McIlroy was the champion of golf's fifth most important tournament. It won't ever be considered a major, but the best field in golf, every year, shows up at The Players. If you win that event, you've beat every great player in the world.

And for McIlroy, the win reminds golf fans everywhere that there's room for another global needle-mover. He'll never be as popular as Woods, of course, but McIlroy is now ready to once again establish himself as the game's premier player and drawing card. And with Tiger in his mid 40's now, it's time someone steps up and assumes the role of golf's international drawing card.

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coming up tomorrow: our march madness bracket contest


We'll have full details on our NCAA bracket contest here tomorrow, but we wanted to give you time to get your eight answers together. It's going to take a little research, hence the reason for our one-day "advance notice" here at #DMD.

How many total points will be scored in the sixteen games that will be played on Thursday, March 21?

How many games in this year's NCAA tournament will go to overtime? Four or more? Less than four?

Which number one seed will lose first? Duke, North Carolina, Virginia or Gonzaga?

Pick two teams seeded 1 through 8 who will not win two games.

Will any 16 seed lose to a 1 seed by single digits or less?

Will any 11 seed or higher win two games and advance to the Sweet Sixteen? (Bonus points for naming the team)

Pick your Final Four.

Pick your NCAA champion and total points scored between both teams in the Final game.

Thanks to our friends at Glory Days Grill for sponsoring our annual #DMD March Madness Bracket Contest!


Sunday
March 17
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#1665



it's really sad when bradley is doing it


Not that this matters, but real quick, without the aid of Google or any other means...where, exactly, is Bradley University?

If you didn't know, don't get down on yourself. I didn't either. Frankly, I thought it was in Nebraska. Then I remembered that's where Creighton is, so I then quickly realized I didn't really know where Bradley is located after all.

It's located in Peoria, Illinois.

Like I said, that question isn't really germane to the topic, but it was thrown out there more to make the point that we're talking about Bradley University here. A school that most people have no idea of its actual location.

In case you missed it last week, a bubbling story out of Bradley finally reached a boiling point. The school's athletic department reduced a newspaper writer's access to the men's basketball team because -- wait until you read these words -- he wasn't "promoting the Bradley brand."

I know, I thought the same thing when I read it. What on earth is "the Bradley brand"?

Anyway, here's what happened in a nutshell. The Bradley athletic department believes the team's beat writer of 29 years, Dave Reynolds, treats the program unfairly. He writes for the Peoria Journal Star, which I can only imagine is the sole source of local news in Peoria. It might not be a big deal to folks, say, in Chicago, but my guess is if you hit a home run in Little League or make a hole-in-one at the Wednesday night's men's league, everyone in town knows about it because your name appears in the newspaper a day or two later.

Because Reynolds apparently wrote articles that slanted towards "the negative", Bradley athletic officials and the head basketball coach, Brian Wardle, finally had enough. They advised sports information folks to "reduce his access" -- whatever that is -- and even bragged about it on Twitter, for some dumb reason.

The tweet from Bradley's basketball program.

I'm not for reducing anyone's media coverage, let's get that straight right away. But I also think it's even more dumb to actually put out a statement that you're doing it on Twitter. If internally the coach tells the SID, "let's freeze out that Journal Star writer for a couple of weeks", that's one thing. Freezing him out and bragging about it? Stupid.

So, that's how it went. The newspaper writer was miffed, for good reason, and approached the sports information kid about the tweet and the obvious decreased access he was receiving. And that's when he got the line-of-all-lines.

"You're not promoting the Bradley brand..."

Reynolds fired back with the obvious and only answer he could give. "It's not my job to promote the Bradley brand." And he would be right, of course.

I remember having a moment of friction with John Harbaugh after a give-and-take at one of his Monday press conferences. He was agitated with the way I worded a question and, in hindsight, I could see his point. I was innocent of intentionally trying to show him up, but on trial I would have copped the Alford plea, because it certainly sounded like I was trying to do it.

When we finally got together to hash things out a week or so later, I told the coach this, in so many words. "If you think, in your heart, that I want the Ravens to lose, you're crazy. Everything in my life is better when the sports teams in town win. Everything. People are in better moods, companies buy more advertising, listeners go to playoff games on bus trips (I didn't personally derive anything from that but the station made money and that helped all of the employees), and, as a "fan" of the team(s), it warms my heart to see you and the Ravens and Orioles do well on the field."

Admittedly, fewer people call in to talk radio when the teams are winning. That's not an opinion, it's a fact. But in no way does a radio station or media entity gain anything in the long run by having a team or teams in their city stink it up, like, say, the Orioles did for 14 years.

So, Harbaugh got it, I think, and our relationship -- despite other occasional flare-ups -- was really strong over the seven years I interacted with him.

The Orioles "pulled a Bradley" on me in 2008 and pulled my season media credential as pushback for my "crusade" (their words) to have them restore the word "BALTIMORE" on their road jersey, but that's not worth getting into today. Who cares, anyway?

But this Bradley fiasco is happening now...as in, 2019. A school, unhappy with the local newspaper's coverage of their basketball team, not only fiddled around with how much access they would give the beat writer, they BRAGGED ABOUT IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA. And all because he wouldn't "promote the Bradley brand".

I think we all know what's coming down the road, right?

At some point in the future, teams will merely publish all of their news themselves. All of their coaches interviews and access will go to their website. All quotes from players, interviews with players and so on will only be accessible through the team's website.

It's coming, friends.

By my count, the Ravens have no fewer than six editorial professionals working for their team website. That's not a criticism, by the way. In fact, I'd tell you right here that if you want the best Ravens "coverage" in town, you should simply spend 30 minutes a day on their website. The content they produce there -- written, audio and video -- is truly outstanding. But, naturally, you're getting their slant on things. And that's how they want it.

As a side note, it was interesting to see a couple of weeks ago that the Ravens website covered the Alex Collins arrest just like a newspaper would. Shortly after his arrest was made public, a story was put up on Ravens.com "announcing" the arrest and giving out the details. Three years ago, the Ravens wouldn't have done that.

The Orioles are streaming 16 spring training games on their website this month, in fact. It's happening right in front of our eyes. Why have the FM station in town carry your games on the air when you can broadcast them on the internet and everyone, everywhere, can hear them? Oh, and you can derive all of the profit from in-game advertising sales, too. That's kind of important, to say the least.

It might not happen in the next five years, but it's going to happen within the next 20, for sure. There will be no more need for newspaper writers (newspapers might be dead by then, anyway) or sports talk hosts or local TV sports anchors to come out to practice or press conferences. You want the information? Just go to the team's website, where they'll give it to you exactly the way they want it given to you.

By the way, cooler -- and smarter -- heads prevailed at Bradley late this week. After reading his athletic departments incredibly stupid tweet and learning of their cowardly position on the beat writer's access, the Bradley school president, Gary Roberts, got smart and issued this statement: “There is certainly no formal policy at Bradley University that allows for barring or limiting access to any member of the media or any media outlet. If that has occurred, it was inconsistent with Bradley’s general attitude toward the media and what I would regard as the implicit policy of the University. Going forward, all employees of Bradley University will be informed that it is Bradley’s policy that all members of the media are to be treated on a non-discriminatory basis when it comes to access to information and people.”

Apology accepted. But we know where this is going. Other schools and teams are sure to follow suit.

It's coming.

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this weekend in
college lacrosse


Contributed by #DMD's college lacrosse analyst
John Pusateri


weekend college lacrosse review

#2 Duke 12 - #5 Towson 10 -- Close battle between two national powers as advertised that in the end was won by the team that committed the least mistakes and punished the other for the mistakes they made. And that's one of the reasons Duke is always in the thick of the national championship year in and year out. The game went back and forth and there was never more than a 3 goal differential. But poor shooting (15 of 35 shots on goal), poor clearing (8 of 14) and a season-high 25 turnovers by the Tigers was just too much to overcome.

If someone told me before the game Towson would have those 3 bad stats in the game, I would have predicted a 15-7 Duke win. And Duke even needed 4 transition goals to get the score that high. Another reason for the loss was being out ground balled by the Blue Devils 31-26, even though they were thoroughly dominated in face-offs as noted below.

That was because, for the most part, goalie Tyler Canto was dialed in, making 16 saves for the game. As for the other Tiger bright spots, Alex Woodall continued to show why was the 1st selection in the MLL draft, winning 19 of 24 faceoffs. Brendan Sunday continues to play big, scoring 4 times and adding an assist to lead the offense. And senior midfielder Timmy Monohan scored twice and added an assist. The Tigers definitely played better, but this loss is a tough one to take.

#18 Johns Hopkins 12 - Delaware 10 -- As expected this was going to be tough game for the Blue Jays as the Blue Hens were down by 3 at half, then went on a 6-1 run in the 2nd half to take a 10-8 lead midway through the 4th. But Hopkins reeled off 4 straight to end the game in exciting fashion. Kyle Marr (3 goals, 2 assists) and Cole Williams (2 goals, 3 assists) led the Blue Jays offense and Kyle Prouty had a nice 17 of 23 outing at the face-off X.

Pat Spencer's 8 points in yesterday's win over Navy made him the all-time leading scorer in Loyala lacrosse history.

#7 Loyola 18 - Navy 5 -- The Greyhounds opened up the game with 9 goals before the Midshipmen knew what hit them. Too much Pat Spencer (4 goals, 4 assists) and Kevin Lindley (5 goals) on the offense and too much Jacob Stover (14 saves) in the goal.

#6 Maryland 17 - Villanova 7 -- Expected the Terps to fair well, but didn't expect them to run the Wildcats out of the gym. Also helps when the other team's goalie can only make 4 saves. Also helps when your own goalie, Danny Dolan saves 13 of 18 shots on goal. Bubba Fairman had a big day for the Maryland offense, with 4 goals and 2 assists along with Jared Bernhardt's 3 goals and 2 assists.

Mount St. Mary's 10 - Bryant 7 -- Close game that was tied 7-7 midway through the 4th quarter before the Mount went on a 3 goal run to close out the game. Mount St. Mary's featured 7 goal scorers and were led by midfielder Luke Frankeny (2 goals, 1 assist) and Joe Bethke (1 goal, 2 assists).

Vermont 12 - UMBC 11 2OT -- Heartbreaking loss for the Retrievers who jumped out to a 7-1 lead early in the 2nd period and appeared to be in great shape for their 2nd victory of the season. But on a day when Catamount basketball team dashed the hopes of the Retriever hoops team of knocking off another #1 team in March Madness by beating them in the Northeast Conference tourney, Vermont lacrosse claws all the way back to tie the game with 2:30 left. Then the Catamounts go on to score the game winner in the 2nd overtime. Ryan Frawley led UMBC with 4 goals and defender Colin Kasner scooped up 5 ground balls and had 4 caused turnovers.

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sunday three liners


UMBC basketball was offensively challenged most of the season, and on Saturday at Vermont, it finally caught up to them. The Retrievers fell at Vermont, 66-49, in a game that was pretty much a blowout from the opening tip. The Retrievers had defeated Vermont twice in the regular season, but you know what they say about beating the same team three straight times.

Jon Rahm is on the cusp of his biggest win ever.

The Capitals completed a tough 3-game road trip against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay with just one win after falling to the Lightning last night, 6-3. Yanni Gourde dashed down the ice to score an empty net goal with one second left in the game to finalize the scoring. I sure hope the Caps remember that bush-league move this Wednesday night in D.C. and again in the playoffs if the two teams wind up facing one another again.

Jon Rahm is the 54-hole leader at The Players with a score of 15-under par, thanks in part to his 8-under round of 64 on Saturday. Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy (-14) are both one shot behind, while a handful of others are all within three or four shots. They're expecting rain and cold temperatures in north Floriday today, so the final round could be very interesting.

The Towson women's basketball team made school history yesterday, as they beat Drexel, 53-49, to win the CAA championship. They're the first Towson women's hoops team to ever advance to the NCAA tournament. The Towson men's team hasn't played in the NCAA tournament since 1991.

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Saturday
March 16
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#1664



this could be a "players" for the ages


There are 36 holes remaining and lots could go wrong, or right, for those on top of the leaderboard at The Players Championship.

But unless something really wacky plays out over the next two days, we're in for a great story on Sunday afternoon when someone hoists the trophy. And, no, it's not Phil Mickelson. He's heading home early after missing his second straight cut. And it's likely not Tiger Woods, either. He's nine shots behind the leaders at the midway point.

Instead, the leaderboard is dominated by guys who would be great -- not good, but great -- storylines if they can hold on and navigate their way around TPC Sawgrass this weekend.

There's always the 17th hole, remember. We'll get to that in a minute, as it already terrorized one former champion.

The two men who share the lead are quite the contrast. Tommy Fleetwood (-12) is an up-and-coming Englishman with a flowing set of locks to match his power-flowing golf swing. Fleetwood has yet to win here in the U.S. but it's only a matter of time. And once he gets that initial victory, watch out. He's going to be around a long time. A win for him would completely stamp his arrival as a top player in the world. He already is one, actually, but you just don't know it. If he wins at TPC Sawgrass, you'll know it.

Is Tommy Fleetwood finally ready to break through with a big win on the PGA Tour?

Rory McIlroy's 7-under round on Friday earned him a share of the midway lead. McIlroy, as you know, is a world-class player who owns four major championships. But he hasn't won of those since 2014. And lately, Rory's been no more for not winning than winning.

Over the last 15 months, he's shared the lead or been the outright leader heading into the final round in 9 of his 30 tournaments. That means, of course, with great player on the last day, there are 9 wins there for the taking. McIlroy didn't win any of those events, including last week's Bay Hill Invitational, where he again stood on top of the leaderboard after 54 holes and failed to close.

McIlroy is going to win again, there's no worry there. But he needs to do it again soon just to get those demons off his back. A victory at The Players would get rid of them, for sure.

Then there's 48 year old Jim Furyk, who hasn't won on TOUR since 2015. He authored an 8-under round of 64 on Friday that moved him to 9-under overall. He was the leader for a while, until Fleetwood and McIlroy posted their second round scores. Furyk has 17 wins overall in his career, including a U.S. Open, but a win at The Players at 48 years of age would be a remarkable feat.

Speaking of remarkable, how big would it be for Ian Poulter to pull into the winner's circle late Sunday afternoon? The weather forecast for the weekend -- cool and wet -- is right up Poulter's alley. The Englishman posted 69-66 and was momentarily tied for the lead until others around him went lower. Poulter is a polarizing figure in golf. Some love him for his passion and fire, others think it's too over the top. One thing for sure. When his putter is working well, he's a tough guy to bring down.

Of all the storylines available this weekend at TPC Sawgrass, this writer thinks a Poulter victory would be the best of them. Without a major victory thus far in his career, a triumph at The Players would be a monumental declaration from the longtime Ryder Cup stalwart.

There are others lurking who could all use a career-changing victory at TPC Sawgrass. American Brian Harman (-9) has long been looking for a "significant" victory to boost his claim of being a top player in the world. Short on stature but long on heart, the changing weather forecast might be right up Harman's alley. He might not win a birdie-fest down there, but he could win a par-fest.

Kevin Mitchell (-8), who just won the Honda a couple of weeks ago, is on a heater that Alan from The Hangover would be proud of. Mitchell has played incredible golf over the last three weeks, finishing T6 last week in Orlando just seven days after making birdie at the last hole to turn away Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler at PGA National. Mitchell went from unheard-of to slightly-heard-of with his win at Arnold's event. A win at The Players would change his life forever.

All of those guys will have to successfully conquer the famed 17th hole at least twice in the next days. If Tiger could have done that -- and had he known the rules better -- he might have a puncher's chance of making some noise this weekend.

Woods was cruising along nicely at 4-under par and was inching towards a spot on the first page of the leaderboard when he arrived at the 17th hole yesterday, his 8th of the morning. Tiger promptly hit his tee-shot into the water, then played his next from the 80-yard drop zone and hit that one in the drink as well. He managed to coax his third attempt onto the putting surface and two-putted for a not-so-cool quadruple bogey 7.

But if Tiger was aware of the rules, he could have easily made a 4 instead. Because Tiger's ball hit the green and then dripped over the yellow penalty line and fell into the pond behind the green, he was entitled to drop the ball where it entered the water. Woods either didn't realize that small sliver of grass was a marked as a penalty area or simply forgot the rule, but by teeing it up, he cost himself 80 yards, a dangerous shot and, ultimately, a whole bunch of strokes.

As it turned out, Tiger scratched his way back to 3-under par, made the cut, and will have an outside chance of playing his way back into the tournament with a great round today. But he could have made 4 there at 17 instead of 7 and he'd be 6-under right now and in much better position for a weekend run.

With or without Woods, though, the tournament is setting up for a spectacular finish. It could be that someone off the first page of the leaderboard (Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Adam Scott, Patrick Reed) makes a weekend charge and comes through on Sunday. Or it could be Fleetwood, looking for that first big win.

Or McIlroy, looking to flick away those bothersome demons who have rested on his shoulders for the better part of a year now. Or it could wind up being the ageless Jim Furyk, in search of one more moment of glory before turning his attention to the 50-and-over Champions Tour.

Or it could be Ian Poulter, the target of many American fans who have never liked his Ryder Cup successes, both in the U.S. and Europe.

There aren't many of these kind of golf tournaments every year. Only the four majors and this one, to be precise. It's always well worth watching, no matter who wins.

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this weekend in
college lacrosse


Contributed by #DMD's college lacrosse analyst
John Pusateri


weekend college lacrosse preview


Game of the Week #1: #5 Towson @ #2 Duke (Saturday 1 pm, Durham NC)

One of the more intriguing games of the weekend features a rematch from last year's see-saw battle in which Towson went down big early, then fought back to take the lead in 4th quarter, only to give up the game on a 3-0 run by Duke and lose 10-8. The players and the rankings are different this time around. And so are the stakes as both would love to have another signature win before going into conference play. Towson would love to rebound after a so-so weekend down in Charlotte where they barely beat Jacksonville and then lost badly to Cornell. But let's see if they have what it takes against the one of the most established programs of the past decade in the Blue Devils.

Devilish Defense: Ever since an early February upset to High Point, the Blue Devils have been in their usual May form and haven't given up more than 9 goals. And its because of a relentless defense that doesn't give up many shots (31 per game) or shots on goal (17.6) and gobbles up loose balls (33.4 per game). Overall, Duke only allows 8.9 goals per game which is outstanding in the current shot clock era. The only weakness on D is goaltending and Tyler Uppgren's less than average 47.9% save percentage. The Tigers have a good chance to score...IF they can get some shots off.

Towson's face-off king, Alex Woodall, will play a huge role in today's game at Duke.

Value the Ball: The Tigers, for as good as their record is, turn the ball over like a team with a losing record, at 19 times per game. Duke is better, but not by much, committing 17 turnovers per game. Of note, the Tigers faced the #2 and #3 leaders in caused turnovers last weekend in Cornell and Jacksonville (over 12 per game) which factored into Towson coughing the ball up 43 times total for both games. Duke is only causing 7.33 turnovers per game, so the Tigers should fare better. But I'm figuring taking care of the ball was an emphasis in practice this week for Coach Nadelen.

Controlling the X: This matchup will be a treat as Alex Woodall, the nations #2 ranked FOGO winning 75.5% of his faceoffs, faces Duke's Brian Smyth who's winning 64.5% of his draws, good for #8 in the country. This will be Alex Woodall's toughest competition of the season. And given the reliance of the extra possessions by both teams, this could be a pivotal battle. And another reason they should never get rid of face-offs.

Final Prediction: Both teams score in bunches (over 13 goals per game). The Tigers should be playing with something to prove and could've been looking ahead to this weekend when they fell to Cornell last Sunday. Did Cornell find a chink in the Tigers defense last weekend in scoring 18 on the normally stout unit? If they did, no doubt Duke's Coach Danowski will also find it. I think Towson performs better in what should be a game that lives up to the top 5 hype. But I see the Blue Devils getting the best of my Tigers, 12-10.

Other Notable Games: Plenty of decent local games this weekend. Several conference openers all of which should be competitive.

Navy @ #9 Loyola (Saturday 1 pm, Baltimore MD) - Great local Patriot League matchup between the Mids and the Greyhounds. But I don't see Navy slowing down Pat Spencer and Kevin Lindley. Look for a high scoring, but comfortable Loyola win.

Delaware @ #18 Johns Hopkins (Saturday 1 pm, Baltimore MD) - Battle of the blue birds that should be closer than most think, with the Blue Hens sporting a 6-1 record and a hot goalie in Matt DeLuca saving at 66%. Hopkins will prevail, but will need to earn it.

UMBC vs Vermont (Saturday 12 pm, Catonsville MD) - The Retrievers face a Catamounts team that has come back to Earth after a stellar season last year in their America East Conference opener. Look for UMBC to right the ship after facing very tough competition for their 2nd win of the season.

Bryant vs Mount St. Marys (Saturday 12 pm, Emmittsburg MD) - In their Northeast Conference opener, the Mount faces a struggling Bulldog team after losing to a surging Johns Hopkins team midweek 4-11. I see Coach Gravante's squad rebounding for their first conference win.

#6 Maryland vs Villanova (Saturday 3 pm, College Park MD) - Which Wildcat team will the Terps get? The one that beat former #1 Yale or the one that just lost to 3-3 Drexel? Probably closer to the former. But that won't keep Maryland for win #7.

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#dmd comments


Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE..BANNA BOAT NOT YELLOW BOAT...SORRY

Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE CATONSVILLE....YELLOW BOAT REST. In Boynton Beach have several boats there that go out every day. 2 great rest. One in BOCA at 4400 Federal Hwy called POSITANO...great Italian restaurant. Got to call. EARLY!!!! Same with COPENHAGEN Rest...3441 Woolbright and you better call NOW. Two of our favorites.

Bob     March 20
From last March but still gives the general idea of the tax burdens placed on professional athletes, this deals with the "Jock tax" which includes away games where they are subject to state taxes where they play. Each player gets a credit in the home state since they are already subject to that States Income tax, the exceptions are Texas and Florida which do not levy a state tax.



www.bna.com/baseballs-highestpaid-players-n57982090595/

uber man     March 20
Arithmetic Man: glad you're not Trout's chauffer. He lives in New Jersey.

arithmetic man     March 20
Herman, glad your not my accountant. Max tax rate in CA is 12.3% not 50%.

HERMAN     March 20
@Delray

Headed to the Keys next week, we'll do something in April.

I'm a fan of Luna Rosa, in your neighborhood. We can do that.

@MFC

You can't go wrong at Tramonti's.

mike from catonsville     March 20
@Delray, please post a list I'm here till Saturday. Plus any good fishing charter captains, we'd like to do some in shore fishing.

Delray Rick     March 20
MIKE CATONSVILLE...Next time in town I'LL let you know some great places to eat. Hope the weather is better while you are here. HERMAN...Nice place in PALM BEACH. 240 ,CAFE DIA FLORA.. How bout in next 2 weeks?

Steve of Pimlico     March 20
I have to confess that I have never filled out an NCAA bracket in my life.

On another note ,when the Preakness leaves Baltimore,I will revert to my original handle Steve of Sandtown as I was known as on NST when Spiro Swammi Drew and Glenn were on the radio.

Brien Jackson     March 20
@Herman



I mean I guess I should expect it, but imagine complaining about the tax rates affecting people in an industry that relies on MASSIVE amounts of government subsidies to sustain it's operating model.

mike from catonsville     March 20
@Delray Rick, was in your town last night, really nice beach community. We had dinner at Olio, would rank it good not great but hard to complain when on vacation. Hopefully the rain gets out of here (Boynton Beach) and we can enjoy some outside activities.

HERMAN     March 20
The real winner in the Mike Trout deal is the State of California, who will take just over 50% in taxes. $ 215 Million and they don't even have to bat.

I know you don't feel sorry that Mr. Trout will have to make do with some 195 million after tipping out his agent, but there is something obscene about California eating 215 million of a man's paycheck.

There aren't any fans clamoring to see California play baseball.

John L.     March 19
@Professor, You mean you miss PGA/MONK. They're one and the same.

Josh     March 19
@Professor



I had to lol at that one! The comments section is just fine. More importantly, the content on this site is high quality, and, continues to improve!

George     March 19
@Professor -- Drew didn't ban anyone. He couldn't -- it's not technically possible. Perhaps PGAV and the Monk, like old soldiers, just faded away.

professor kool     March 19
I miss PGAV and MONK, the comments section has suffered ever since those guys were banned

Tom J     March 19
@ Delray Rick, Jones number won't be retired by the Orioles. That honor is reserved for the HOF'ers and truly GREAT Orioles as it should be. Jones was a really good player and a really GOOD Oriole, not great.......

HERMAN     March 19
People here are conflating two completely different scandals. Scholarships for athletes and the cheating / payoff scandal, or keeping athletes eligible in bogus courses, is all one big dumpster fire.

That people cheated for admission using Title IX is part of a completely different multi-layered problem.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, has put out the wrong read on the elites cheating to enter college problem. They keep talking about the rich using their "privilege" to scam their way in.

Excuse me. But if they were so rich and privileged, uh, how come they still had to cheat? Wasn't it enough they were rich, famous, popular, and connected?

We are told they have every advantage.

But they had to cheat. And not always because "junior" was an idiot. Because the college entry system is the one system that doesn't favor them.

Title IX was merely a convenient weak point of exploitation.

A top flight football coach needs every scholarship to compete. But when forced to place scholarship dollars into women's programs equal to the men's, loopholes abound. Everyone is watching Michigan's football performance. No one cares a whit how they did in woman's crew this past weekend.

The fact that they used the sports loophole to cheat had nothing to do with sports. And everything to do with Title IX.

Division I athletics and scholarships, at the highest level, is totally and nakedly corrupt.

But don't mix in this new scandal. That speaks to an entirely different world of corruption.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@The Long Arm



I'm going to suggest that if you now theorize that *I* am underselling corruption in the NCAA you've probably lost the thread completely.



And I have no idea how you get from this to sham classes to keep basketball/football players eligible.

The Long Arm     March 19
Brien

I know the story, you don't understand LOTS and lots.



You seem to want to fit a narrative that is Pollyanna and simplistic. This is a deep, deep scandal with lots of tentacles.



Everyone is getting cheated.



If you want to really dig deep and understand. I suggest you read "Cheated" by Prof. Jay Smith of UNC.

The read is quite revealing and deeply disturbing.

It was so truthful Jay received DEATH THREATS[real] from UNC maniacs when he suggested strongly for the school to renounce and give up National Championships in Basketball.



It is comical that you have been so naïve about this. And blaming it on a couple of rogue coaches who were greedy.



Just wait for parts 2,3 and 4. Tons of universities are sweating bullets.



Just like being charged 25 dollars for an aspirin in a hospital. You are not paying 60k/year for the education.....that pays for many other nefarious payments to a vast number of people who have nothing to do with education.



Just like Dean Wormer figured out a way to raid the student fund for a payoff to Carmine DePasto to have a parade in his town....this is what it mainly about.



A good place for you to start is that book I recommend. It is co-authored by Mary Willingham...who was at the center of what they were doing in terms of the scam classes and the role of tutors.



But the real scandal in these payoffs for admission is much deeper.



You really should do the research if you want to write a powerful piece....and always remember....ROGUE ACTORS are never the reason for corruption. NEVER.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@Long Arm



"IT AIN'T rare. It ain't rougue's...the universities KNOW all about it. "



What? The universities didn't admit the students, which is why their parents bribed coaches to get them into the school. If the universities knew about it....why not just admit the kids in the first place?



Your broader points may be sound, but I don't think you understand the details of this story much at all.

Davey     March 19
Thanks, David Rosenfeld for the explanation on the 11 seeds.

The Long Arm     March 19
Brien

This is what I deal with...funding of scholarships. Many non-rev coaches moan and complain about the lack of a fully funded program. YOU do not understand some of the "money" in College sports.

These non athletes scam recruits usually don't take a scholarship away from a more deserving student.....because there was no money for it in the first place. GOING forward there might be as these crazed, corrupt and deserve to be in jail might have been complicit in shoring up a program with a fully funded program.

IT AIN'T rare. It ain't rougue's...the universities KNOW all about it.

The corruption is very deep.

Schools have to comply with Title 9...but they are under no obligation to fully fund 12.8 lacrosse scholarships...or crew or whatever.

There are lots of things at play here. It is huge and goes beyond...but is tied to athletics where lots of money can be stashed and messed with.

Work in that space...just don't wiki it and think you have a handle on it.



Carmine DePasta actions are at work.

Delray Rick     March 19
#10. A true all time ORIOLE. Number Wil be retired.

Chris in Bel Air     March 19
True, Jonesy doesn't owe Baltimore anything. I have not even thought about it until your article. However, for someone who is both statistically and in public stature, one of the all-time B'more sports greats, it would have been a nice gesture for him to acknowledge his time here with a thank you. Required? No. Nice thing to do. Yes.

TimD in Timonium     March 19
Correction, @DF, there's been a name change. It's now the "injured list."



"The league will make the change out of concern that the term "disabled" for injured players falsely conflates disabilities with injuries and an inability to participate in sports. "



Just wanted to set the record straight. And keep DMD PC-friendly.

unitastoberry     March 19
The 3 batter rule is a joke. Leave the game alone. The dh is bad enough.

Brien Jackson     March 19
@Long Arm



I think there's some confusion here: The students involved in the scandal are not athlete's at all. The coaches were bribed to list them as team members so they could get admitted, but they never actually participated with the team in any way.

The truth     March 18
@long arm I just read the latest #letter from your boy, you are right, more of his poorly written tripe where everything is all about him. The rants have become more profane, but they remain grammatically incorrect and barely coherent. Embarrassing, and yet another reminder that Drew is way better off no longer being affiliated with that maniac

The long arm     March 18
@Brien

A guy calling it a few rogue coaches.... haven't we learned that this is what all institutions do? It is SOP....from everyone.

Don't sleep on some fundamentals

1. Many D1 programs do not have the money to "fully fund" every athletic scholarship that they are allowed. This scandal is way more complicated and far reaching...and funding of scholarships is partially the reason for this....and I am in this space.

2. Bear Bryant came to mind about the tractor story from David....Bear was amazed that a rival got caught cheating..."I tell my boys to tell their parents they be sure and park that tractor far away and behind the barn."

3. Was at a NCAA meeting years ago. A speaker/coach at one of the service academies was telling ON a rival coach. He recruited this kid, got him through the admission process...a short amount of time before he reported he told the coach " I need 40 grand". When this coach told him that "we don't, won't,can't do that stuff".....he lost the kid to a conference rival. It was huge news, everyone knew the kid and the school that forked over the 40k.

4. There is no solution other than just playing by the rules....end of story. Lots of harsh punishments including death penalty sentence's.



Deter

David Rosenfeld     March 18
Brien...for sure, it's very tangential. I just thought it was interesting how athletics got wrapped into it.

Speaking of admission slots, I honestly think Yale is better than Maryland. If they end up playing in the second round, watch out.

Brien Jackson     March 18
A couple of points on the admissions scandal:



1. It's only tangentially related to college sports, really. A handful of coaches in non-revenue sports took bribes to list non-athletes as team members so they could get it to the school. It's not a systemic cheating issue.



2. It also really shows what a sham the Adidas cases are, if for no other reason than the scope. In this case EVERYONE is getting rolled up: Parents, school officials, middlemen, standardized test administrators. The only reason the kids themselves aren't being charged is that prosecutors claim they don't have enough evidence that the students knew about the bribes. Now compare that to the Adidas cases where prosecutors won't go after the players/families who took the money and certainly aren't interested in investigating what the involvement of head coaches/athletic directors or senior corporate officials at Adidas might be.

Blue Tee Golfer     March 18
Interesting McIlroy article today. Seems like you're pretty high on him.

Idiot Caller     March 18
Yeah, add me to the list of people that don't care as much about Maryland sports (football and basketball) since the money grab... er.... move to the Big Ten. Much preferred seeing them play against all the old rivals that I grew up watching.

But now we get to see them play hoops against Nebraska, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa...

Yawn...

David Rosenfeld     March 18
P.S.: they did that both to expand to 68 teams (from 65) and to draw greater interest to the play-in games, since the lowest-ranked at-large teams tend to be from bigger schools/conferences and have larger fanbases.

David Rosenfeld     March 18
Davey,

Since 2011, the tournament expanded to 68 teams and there have been four "play-in" games in Dayton.

Two of the play-in games are between No. 16 seeds, but the other two feature the four lowest-ranked (by the committee) at-large selections. Even though they are the lowest ranked at-large selections, they're not ranked lower than some of the automatic bid qualifiers.

In this case Belmont/Temple are both seeded 11, as are St. John's and Arizona State. So the winner of each game will play a No. 6 seed in the first round.

Garry     March 18
Maybe, it’s just me, but I like Maryland being in the Big 10 instead of the ACC. In the Big 10, at least in basketball, there’s a decent chance to upset some other Big 10 team in the top 25 and end up with a decent winning conference record. In the ACC, playing Duke and North Carolina meant a loss 90% of the time. What fun was that? Most years, you rarely thought you could win the ACC title. By the time Maryland left the ACC, I was happy to say goodbye to Duke, North Carolina, Florida State and rarely seeing the ACC tourney played in Maryland. If you liked to see Maryland lose, in basketball, the ACC was the place to be.

Davey     March 18
Why is the winner of a play-in game playing a No. 6 seed? I thought the play-in game winners were No. 16 seeds.

davey     March 18
Can someone explain why a No. 6 seed is playing the winner of a play-in game? I thought the play-in games were automatically No. 16 seeds.

Terp Fan     March 18
Good call Dale Williams! There are two things I love about Maryland Basketball, the games even though they can be heart breaking sometimes and your articles! Keep up the good work!

eric     March 18
Not to pile on my school and the boring Big 10, but coach K swears the ACC was willing to match any offer and we never gave them the chance. As an alum I hope Turge stays, I've made a lot of money betting against him the last 5 years

HERMAN     March 18
It was heartwarming to see Furyk's reaction after his finish yesterday, a man in the twilight of his main tour career knowing he'd just given his all in an attempt to win a big one. Hard to believe Fluff has been out there since the mid-70's. Those big bags are a haul.

McIlroy has to be the Augusta favorite now, he is on quite a streak. Rahm and Fleetwood disappointed, hope they learned from it, and will use it as motivation to finish the next one.

unitastoberry     March 18
I have not watched one minute of Maryland basketball this year. My guess is your scenario as good as it sounds will not happen. But I hope your right! I miss Gary Lefty and the ACC!

The truth     March 18
Spot on @JEFWEL

Jefwel     March 18
@blue tee: so let me get this straight. If Herman writes a negative comment about Tiger Woods, he is automatically racist in your opinion. How typical of the times we live in. White male has negative opinion of minority, bam, racist. Give me and everyone else a break. Please, pretty please even.

The long arm     March 17
More unintentional comedy from the LF. He wrote a letter to his best buddy, a guy who the LF taught everything about Baltimore sports, a guy that the LF took under his wing, a guy whose journey he has chronicled....Joe Flacco.

It was a doozy...full of all LF talking points..wife cancer,the importance of his work, his life....in fact it was like everything he does....most of it was about him.



I doubt Joe will read it...but if he does...this is what he will say. ...at no point in you rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought Everyone in this room is now dumber from having read it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

It is such a counter point to what Drew wrote...

How those folks could work in those conditions is quite astounding.....as Bond said to Ms. Galore about her boss Goldfinger...."he's quite mad you know". How many times was that said on Hart Rd?

But to outsiders....it is real funny to see a guy who thinks he writes well.....and it is completely nonsensical and pointless.

And like little Ralphie thought about his Theme about what he wanted for Christmas...I am certain that the LF looked at it and said "Oh, that's great"...and the best work of his career. How can everything top what was the best work...until the next thing?...and then the next best work.

Hilarious.

Brien Jackson     March 17
Going the other way though...why do we need objective, critical coverage of "student athletics" at all?

Delray Rick     March 17
BTG...It show you golfers don't know the simple rules. Look at the "Messiah" he did not know where to drop.

Blue Tee Golfer     March 17
Golf Channel asked 24 players on Friday night if they knew the 17th green rule and 21 of the 24 said "no".



Herman's racist anti Tiger rant forgot to mention that. So I thought I would.

HERMAN     March 17
@Delray

Old "Messiah" never got within two strokes of the lead and threw in a quad. Didn't happen. Old "Messiah" didn't brain fart the drop zone either. Where was his caddie on the "third" shot? One of the biggest tournaments of the year and he doesn't realize they can drop the other side of the green?

It was a blessing he dropped back for the audience, he was starting to suck all the air out of the broadcast. All of it.

I've got to say "these guys are good", you can't give them even a semblance of a softer course and receptive greens, they start throwing up mid-60's as if they were at a par three course. And these are extremely tough 7300 yard courses set up to really challenge your game.

What they do each week is truly beyond comprehension.

And the insane part is there are two dozen contenders doing it.




breakfast bytes

He'll pick up the check...forever: Angels sign Trout to contract extension that will pay him $430 million over 12 seasons.

Caps rack up easy 4-1 win at New Jersey, host conference leading Tampa Bay tonight.

NFL: Former Packers linebacker Clay Matthews inks two-year deal with L.A. Rams.

NCAA hoops: Belmont knocks off Temple, will face Maryland in Jacksonville on Thursday afternoon.



SCOREBOARD
TUESDAY, MARCH 19
CAPITALS
4
AT NEW JERSEY
1
CAPS GOALS: Burakovsky (12), Kuznetsov (19), Connolly (20), Wilson (21)

GOALTENDER: Copley

RECORD/PLACE: 43-23-6 (1st, Metropolitan)

NEXT GAME: March 20 vs. New Jersey



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