Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

July 26, 2012

Good Greif: College teams return to campus

By Ed Greif
Sports editor

CROSSVILLE — College football teams will be reporting to campus next week, but "near death-penalty" sanctions by the NCAA on Penn State has put a damper on the upcoming season.

The NCAA fined PSU $60 million and banned the school from post-season play for for four years, cut the number of football scholarships it can offer and sliced 14 years of wins, which wiped out 111 of late Coach Joe Paterno's victories and stripped him of being the winningest coach in college football history.

One of those vacated wins was a 20-10 victory over Tennessee in the 2007 Outback Bowl.

The late coach's career wins now stands at 298 after the sanctions. Tennessee, or any other team, will get the loss taken away. UT's record for 2006 will remain at 9-4.

With Penn State on NCAA probation and the severity of the sanctions, players may transfer and be eligible immediately. PSU recruits for 2013 and beyond can remain committed or de-committ and go somewhere else.

It is going to take at least a decade or longer before the heralded program will challenge for a national championship again.

The Sandusky case was a criminal matter and was handled through the court system.

Could there more cases like this? Is the NCAA telling its member schools to clean up there houses? The answers to these questions will come in future years.

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The NCAA needs to sit down with the NBA and do something about the one and done situation. There are too many good basketball players leaving school after their freshman year to earn big bucks in the NBA. Many of those younger players don't have the skills on how to manage their money or their lifestyles. They need to remain in college until their junior years to learn those skills.

Some professional athletes are not worth the money they earn. Those contracts are structured in such a way it would take a rocket scientist to figure or good attorney to get the players out of them.

Long-term and guaranteed contracts should be eliminated. Players should only sign one year contracts. Those are negotiated between the players associations and team owners.

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CCHS will be looking for another softball coach for the 2012-'13 school year, as Charlene Page resigned last week. The position is posted on the TSSAA as math certification.

Leonard and Debra Markham will be coaching the CCHS cross country teams in the fall, while Ted McCaslin will be coaching the Jet football team and Wes McNeely is the new CCHS wrestling coach.

John Walker and Neil Capps are the new basketball coaches at SMHS.

The CCHS at Warren County game set Aug. 31 has been moved to Aug. 30, due to the UT-NC State game in Atlanta. This will be one of many games being moved due to the contest. The SMHS at CAK game is still slated for Aug. 31. That is CAK's call.

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Speaking of football, former Chattanooga quarterback B.J. Coleman signed with the Green Bay Packers and will be reporting to camp this weekend. He is one of three quarterbacks on the Packer's roster, along with NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and backup Graham Harrell.

Rodgers'  younger brother, Jordan, and his Vanderbilt teammates will be reporting to pre-season camp in a few days to prepare for their 2012 season under second-year coach James Franklin.

Tennessee Tech coach Watson Brown and his Golden Eagles will be reporting  next week to prepare their Aug. 30 opener against Hampton. The Purple Pride Caravan will be at Walmart Aug. 2 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Go out and support the Golden Eagles. Brown was the Tennessee Sports Writers Association's 2011 Coach of the Year.

Coach Russ Huesman's Mocs are preparing for the Sept. 1 opener at South Florida. After a trip to Jacksonville State, Sept. 8, they will host Glenville State Sept. 13.

Tennessee opens its season Aug. 31 in the Kickoff Classic in Atlanta against North Carolina State. This game is the key to the Vols' third season under Derek Dooley, who needs a good season to silence his critics. To be successful, Tennessee must win six or more games and go to a bowl game.

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Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears periodically. He can be reached at sports@crossville-chronicle.com.