Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 15, 2013

Good Greif: Elementary hoops season coming to a close

By Ed Greif
Sports editor

CROSSVILLE —

There are only three more sessions of Cumberland County elementary varsity basketball action, before the tournament begins Jan. 31 at CCHS for the western division and Feb. 1 at SMHS for the eastern division; however, there is a conflict at SMHS with the Panthers' homecoming game with Scott County. Games are also scheduled for Feb. 2 at both high schools.

The tournament continues the following week.

South Cumberland and Pine View did not play county games in January, setting the same type of bracket as last year, with the top seeds getting a bye all the way to the championship game.

If I remember correctly, in the eastern division, No. 4 played No. 5, with the winner playing No. 3, with that winner playing No. 2 and that winner playing No. 1 for the championship.

In the western division, No. 3 played No. 4 with the winner playing No. 2 with that winner playing No. 1.

That is a good reason for changing to a middle school format; however, it is done to prevent blowout games.

The easiest way is seed teams from one to nine, with No. 8 playing No. 9 at the highest seed with the winner playing No. 1, with No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5. That format was successful for many years.

I cannot publish any standings, as a very large percentage of the scores have not been reported. It is the responsibility of the home school, win or lose, to report scores. It doesn't take scientists, like Sheldon, Howard, Raj and Leonard of "The Big Bang Theory," to copy the pages from the scoreboard and fax them in.

It is time to change the entire elementary varsity program and to go to a modified middle school format; however, for that to happen, the elementary principals and coaches, the high school school coaches, board of education and director of schools are going to have to sit down and work things out.

I realize the BOE has a bigger task ahead of finding a new director of schools.

If elementary football is going to be changed, something has to be done by spring, while a change in basketball could be worked out over the summer months.

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With the Alabama Crimson Tide rolling over the Notre Dame Irish for the national championship last week, the 2012 football season ended. There will be several new coaches roaming the sidelines in 2013, including Butch Jones at Tennessee, and collegiate players, including UT quarterback Tyler Bray, have declared for the NFL draft in late April.

Texas A&M, with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel returning, should give Alabama a run for the Western Division crown. Apparently, LSU is losing a lot of juniors to the NFL draft, while Vanderbilt is losing quarterback Jordan Rogers and Zac Stacy, among others, to the pro ranks.

UTC is having another Legend's Weekend (Feb. 8-9), and I am planning to attend the games on Feb. 9 to join other Lady Moc and Moc legends. I've been to the last two, and it is fun exchanging memories.

It was interesting to read in the Knoxville News Sentinel Tuesday morning what the salary was for the Tennessee football staff. The salary for the new support staff, i.e., strength coaches, recruiting staff, etc., was $551,038, while the retained staff was $873,573 for a total of $1.425 million.

New coach Butch Jones' assistant coaches' salaries were listed at $3,085,000. His contract is expected to be $3 million for a grand total of $7.51 million.

Former UT basketball coach Kevin O'Neil was fired as USC coach on Monday, after his 2012-'13 team got off to a 7-10 overall and 2-2 Pac-12 start. He posted a 48-65 record as head coach of the Trojans and a 219-245 in the collegiate ranks at Arizona State, Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern.

Does that mean the coaching carosel is starting?

Speaking of basketball, UT-Chattanooga is a going be having another Legends Weekend, Feb. 8-9. Both former coaches, players, trainers and managers from both the men and women's teams will be recognized that evening. I am planning to attend the celebration on Saturday. I've attended the last two and it is nice to visit with former teammates.

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Spring is just a couple of months away, which means there will be many fund-raising golf tournaments, softball tournaments and baseball tournaments, etc. If you have scheduled something like that, please submit your information at least a month ahead of time. You may e-mail the information to sports@crossville-chronicle.com or fax to 931-456-7683.

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