Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Sports Columns

April 10, 2014

Oh Good Greif: Spring in full swing with Masters under way

CROSSVILLE — With "March Madness" over and the Masters golf tournament under way in Augusta, GA, you know spring has sprung.

For the first time since 2004, both the UConn men and women won NCAA championships, as the Huskies defeated Kentucky 60-54 79-58 Monday night and the Huskie women beat Notre Dame Tuesday night.

I hope the next time two teams  from the same school win championships, the two winners will come from somewhere in the Volunteer State — Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Chattanooga, MTSU, etc.

Kentucky went further in the tournament than Florida and Tennessee, but now we must wait to see how many of those young men will be heading into the NBA. At least six Wildcats could use the "one and done" rule, while Tennesse loses five seniors and may be junior Jarnell Stokes, as well

Stokes is going to be the glue that keeps the Vols hopes for a return to the NCAA Tournament alive and Coach Cuonzo Martin's job. The status of Martin's contract extension and potential pay raise has not been announced, but UT Athletic Director Dave Hart needs to do something positive to make the Vol faithful happy.

Former Coach Bruce Pearl, now at Auburn, is going make the remaining 13 SEC teams get better or the Tigers are going to take control of the SEC very quickly.

There was a lot  of "string music" going on at Bridgestone Arena Tuesday night, as UConn went undefeated (40-0) to win its ninth national championship, one better than Pat Summitt's eight at Tennessee. Geno Auriemma needs one more championship to tie legendary UCLA coach John Wooden (10).

UConn loses just two players in Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley, and will be centered around Breanna Stewart for another run at a national title. The seniors finished their careers with a 46-game winning streak and back-to-back national titles.

The other 63 teams who competed in the "Big Dance"  must find a way not to be intimidated with UConn and face the fact they are going to be dominant for at least two more years. The rest of women's basketball are going to have to deal with  Auriemma for years to come.


As this column goes to press, the 2014 Masters golf tournament is under way at Augusta National in Augusta, GA, with 97 of the best players in the world, minus one - Tiger Woods.

My colleague from the Chattanooga Times Free Press pointed out something interesting. Thirty-seven of the 97 golfers in this year's field have played in events in the Chattanooga area.  Those include Woods, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kucher, and Bubba Watson, and I venture to guess many of them have played the's Knoxville Open. Many of the professionals will be returning to Memphis for the FedEx Tournament.

Who is going to put on the green jacket for winning the first major of the year? Will it be one of the above or one of the upcoming stars on tour like Jimmy Walker, Jordan Spieth, Scott Stallings, etc.?

Will the other majors — the U.S. Open, PGA and British Open — and the Players Championsihp — be as good without Woods? We'll see as the season goes on.

There are always a few locals who make the trip to Augusta for the annual tournament.


When the Tennessee Vols open their 2014 season Aug. 31 against Utah State, the longtime voice who uttered these words, "It's football time in Tennessee" and "pay these prices and pay no more," Bobby Denton,  passed away Wednesday.

Bobby was a fixture at the annual Johnny Majors Invitational at Lake Tansi for many years and always introduced the former Vol coach during the weekend activities. He always took time to visit when he was in town.

I hope his passing doesn't take away the enthusiasm Coach Butch Jones and his staff will have Saturday for the Orange and White game. He would not want that any way.

Family members and friends of Denton are establishing a scholarship fund in his name at the University of Tennessee College of Communications and information.

The goal is to fund a scholarship endowment which would support an award each year to a deserving broadcasting student in the college's School of Journalism.

Anyone interested in contributing to the endowment may contact Patrick Powell, director of development for the college at (865) 974-3211 or by email at

(Ed Greif is the Chronicle sports editor and his column appears regularly.)



Text Only
Sports Columns
  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols begin preparations for season opener in eight days

    The start of fall practice is only a mere eight days away. Coach Butch Jones has to be ready to get Team #118 on the field and to start preparations for Utah State.

    July 24, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Even when Tiger Woods finished just a few strokes from last place at the British Open, he was one of the  featured topics in stories coming out of Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Vols focused on Utah

    The SEC media days have come and gone with no real news being generated. A successful media days appearance is usually defined as leaving Hoover, AL without giving a future opponent bulletin board material. Using that criteria, Tennessee left without any major gaffs.

    July 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Good things must come to an end

    The Dr. Pepper Classic, a long-time tradition at McKenzie Arena, affectively-known as the Round House, will seize, as a couple of teams dropped out, leaving the university in a "lurch," according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Tuesday morning. Teams wanted a cash guarantee to play, which couldn't be provided (at this time).

    July 10, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Majors Invitational tees off Sunday at Lake Tansi

    It is the second weekend in July and that means Johnny Majors is at Lake Tansi this weekend to host his annual golf tournament. It is always a treat for the local UT fans to interact with those that have been a part of the Vol football program. They come to the plateau each year to renew old acquaintances and share the stories of gridiron prowess from past years. By the way, the stories sure seem to get better with time.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: 'Dores make history with CWS win

    History was made at the College World Series in Omaha, NE, this week, as the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team won the school's  first national championship in any sport since the Vandy women's bowling team won the 2007 national crown.

    June 26, 2014

  • Rocky Top Beat: Tyndall hire closes the book on Martin era

    The University of Tennessee was able to close the books on the Cuonzo Martin era of Vol basketball earlier this week when they hired Donnie Tyndall to lead their program. Athletic Director Dave Hart, who conducted the search and the hiring on his own, appears to have found the right coach for this team at the right time.

    April 24, 2014

  • ROCKY TOP BEAT: You never know what will happen next with TN sports

    When you cover UT sports, you never know what is going to happen next. The past two weeks were no exception as they were filled with "the good, the bad and the ugly."

    April 17, 2014

  • Oh Good Greif: Spring in full swing with Masters under way

    With "March Madness" over and the Masters golf tournament under way in Augusta, GA, you know spring has sprung.

    April 10, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014