Our Daily Dread: Owning up to their actions


All this, and not one mention of the Clippers’ Donald Sterling … amazing.

By Tim Dahlberg
The Associated Press

Roger Goodell was hanging with the common folks last Sunday, enjoying the experience of an NFL game from end zone seats in Tennessee. It was, he would say later, a perfectly fine day to watch football.

No drunks puking in the aisle next to him. No foul-mouthed fans screaming obscenities in his ear.

Just an elderly man prancing about, flipping off Buffalo fans with both middle fingers while celebrating the Titans’ 41-17 victory over the Bills.

Worried about the trash in the stands ruining your game and setting a bad example for your children? Make sure they don’t stray near the owner’s box.

Apparently youthful exuberance got the better of Bud Adams. The calendar may say he’s 86, but Adams seems to take as much pleasure berating his opponents as he did when he and his Houston Oilers won the first American Football League championship nearly a half century ago.


And he knows something about the extended middle finger. A lot of people in Houston gave it to him when he carted his team off to Tennessee, leaving behind a mountain of taxpayer debt at the Astrodome.

Unfortunately for Adams, his in-your-face moment was captured by a fan on video. That led to an obligatory fine from Goodell, and an obligatory apology of sorts by way of a prepared statement.

That’s unusual only because most of the time owners only issue statements when they’re heading out of town with their team in the middle of the night or, as Redskins owner Dan Snyder did recently, explaining why it was a bad idea for fans to bring signs into the stadium calling him an idiot.

Out in Los Angeles, Frank and Jamie McCourt have been issuing all kinds of statements, thinking, perhaps, that fans really do care which one comes out of a divorce owning the Dodgers. They don’t, but they do care about the McCourts spending so much money on lawyers that they won’t have enough to sign free agent John Lackey.

Still, being an owner used to mean never having to explain yourself. If you’ve got enough money to own a team, other people can do it for you.

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While we’ve got the UFL on our unfriend link, whatever happened to that USFL comeback try?


As long as we’re in for drama — that’s what “they” are saying on today’s column (linked here) about the future of the United Football League ever coming to L.A. — here’s the latest posting by the group trying to revive the spring football United States Football League.

Wait’ll 2011.

On the official website (linked here), it says:

REDONDO BEACH, CA – The New United States Football League announces plans to launch a professional spring football league to begin in the Spring of 2011. The league’s goal is to have 10-12 teams in the first year of play with teams throughout the United States.

“We have a strong sense of history and believe that the marketplace has demonstrated the desire to have ‘Spring football’,” said New USFL Founder/President Michael Dwyer. “The USFL had a strong connection with many of its fans and we hope to re-ignite that passion and pick up where the others left off.”

The league will play traditional stadium-played football with most of the rules being based from the original USFL concepts. The league is also in the process of recruiting its staff and securing sponsorships with announcements to follow in the near future.

“Other leagues have proven that the talent is out there,” Dwyer said. “We want to be the Spring destination of the ultimate football fan who can’t wait for the Fall.”

The league will announce cities that will play in 2011 at a later date, but Dwyer said that former USFL locations would receive strong consideration when selecting where franchises will be placed.

Sponsors or potential investors interested in partnering with the New USFL should contact Michael Dwyer at michael_dwyer@newusfl.com.

Will L.A. be included in this discussion? According to someone close to the decision-making process, no. They’re pushing for a San Diego franchise in Southern California because that’s where most of the investors live and the league will be based. A team also in L.A. would provide too much competition right way.

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NCAA data says: Athletes not as dumb as some regular kids … unless they play football, basketball or baseball


By Michael Marot
The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — College athletes are still setting records and dispelling myths — in the classroom.

Just like the late NCAA President Myles Brand believed they could.

The NCAA’s latest graduation numbers show nearly four out of five student-athletes earn their diplomas on time, an all-time high, and federal statistics show athletes are still more likely to graduate on time than other students.

“The misconception is that NCAA student-athletes are not good students,” interim NCAA President Jim Isch said in a conference call Wednesday. “The truth, as Myles reminded people, is that they could perform in the classroom and they outperformed the general student body in almost every measure.”

NCAA statistics show 79 percent of all freshmen entering school in 2002-03 graduated within six years, matching last year’s record high. The four-class average, for students entering college between the fall of 1999 and the fall of 2002, also was 79 percent, a 1 percentage point increase over last year’s record.

The federal numbers are lower, 64 percent for athletes, but still 2 percentage points higher than the general student body that does not have access to all the assistance provided to student-athletes.

Federal statistics do not include the performance of transfer students. So if an athlete enrolls at one school, then transfers to another, neither school receives credit if the athlete graduates.

NCAA officials believe the improving numbers can be attributed to stronger eligibility standards for incoming freshmen and a greater emphasis on academics during Brand’s tenure as president.

“I think everyone understands how much this has changed the culture on campus and I expect that will continue to be the case in the future,” said Walter Harrison, chairman of the committee on academic performance. “I think coaches are clearly more aware of the Academic Progress Rate. They know how it’s calculated, and most importantly they know that they have to do well in the classroom and stay on track to graduate.”

Female athletes outperformed their male counterparts, 88 percent to 72 percent, and the only women’s sport to score lower than 79 percent was bowling (74 percent). Women’s basketball came in at 83 percent under NCAA guidelines and 64 percent on the federal report.

The three biggest men’s sports — football, basketball and baseball — all failed to top 70 percent in the NCAA report.

Continue reading “NCAA data says: Athletes not as dumb as some regular kids … unless they play football, basketball or baseball” »

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Your L.A. NFL Week 11 TV schedule: The AFC West is at stake, and you need to see it


Now, the Chargers-Broncos game has some meaning. Meaning, you’ve got to see it, instead of the Jets-Patroits.

CBS will go with San Diego’s roadie in the Mile High City as opposed to the other game (with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms), and it makes sense if you’re trying to connect with an audience of local interest.

Otherwise, whatever else the NFL has to offer this weekend, we’re not all that interested:


== 5:20 p.m., NFL Network: Miami at Carolina (with Bob Papa and Matt Millen)


== 10 a.m., Channel 2: Indianapolis at Baltimore (with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, instead of Pittsburgh-Kansas City, Buffalo-Jacksonville or Cleveland-Detroit)
== 10 a.m., Channel 11: Washington at Dallas (with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, instead of Seattle-Minnesota, Atlanta-N.Y. Giants, New Orleans-Tampa Bay and San Francisco-Green Bay)
== 1 p.m., Channel 2: San Diego at Denver (with Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts, instead of N.Y. Jets-New England or Cincinnati-Oakland; Fox has Arizona-St. Louis in this window as well)
== 5:20 p.m., Channel 4: Philadelphia at Chicago (with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth)

== 5:30 p.m., ESPN: Tennessee at Houston (with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden)

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Your Week 12 L.A. college football TV choices: USC’s bye week seems appropriate (it allows the coaches to go recruiting), and Alabama’s next opponent seems inappropriate

No. 2 BCS ranked Alabama, which someday soon will play Florida for the right to claim No. 1, at least until the BCS title game, is playing the Chattanooga Mocs this weekend.

Seriously. Roll Tide. It won’t be on any TV set near you Saturday.

This is what it said on the Alabama football official site:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team returned to the practice field Monday afternoon to begin preparation for Saturday’s game with Chattanooga. The team practiced for a little over an hour in shells at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility.

“We always respect our opponents,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said at his weekly press conference on Monday. “These guys have come back in several games because of their ability to throw the ball, especially with the quarterback B.J. Coleman. They have good receivers. They have a good scheme and a good attack on offense. They seem to be a little simpler, playing hard and tough on defense. They do a good job of coaching their special teams. This is a very well-coached team. We always have the proper respect and we need to do a good job in what we do to execute and take care of our own business.”

We got nothing after that.

The rest of the week ahead in college football land — with some favorite (Ohio State-Michigan) meaningless matchups, and two important Pac-10 games (Cal-Stanford, on a channel you still can’t get on DirecTV; Oregon-Arizona, on a channel everyone seems to get) if you’re still following that kind of thing:

== 1 p.m., FSN West: UCLA vs. Arizona State, Rose Bowl (with Barry Tompkins and Petros Papadakis)

== 3 p.m., ESPNU: Buffalo at Miami (Ohio) (with Dari Nowkhah and Tom Luginbill)
== 5 p.m., ESPN2: Central Michigan at Ball State (with Dave Lamont and Trent Dilfer)

== 3 p.m., ESPNU: Tennessee State at Eastern Illinois (with Charlie Neal and Jay Walker)
== 4:30 p.m, ESPN: Colorado at No. 12 Oklahoma State (with Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews)

== 3:30 p.m., ESPNU: Akron at Bowling Green (with Kevin Negandhi and David Jon Berger)
== 6:30 p.m., ESPN2: No. 6 Boise State at Utah State (with Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore)



== 7 to 9 a.m., ESPN: “College GameDay” at Tucson, Arizona — it will mark the first time GameDay has originated from this city and the fifth consecutive week from a school not in the SEC, Big Ten or Big 12 (three from the Mountain West and two Pac-10), the longest streak in the show’s history. With Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard.

== 9 a.m., Channel 7: No. 10 Ohio State at Michigan (with Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Holly Rowe)
== 9 a.m., ESPN: Minnesota at No. 13 Iowa (with Dave Pasch, Bob Griese and Chris Spielman)
== 9 a.m., ESPN2: North Carolina at Boston College (with Pam Ward and Ray Bentley)
== 9 a.m., ESPNU: Duke at No. 20 Miami (with Clay Matvick and David Diaz-Infante)
== 9:30 a.m., FSN West: Oklahoma at Texas Tech (with Joel Meyers, Gary Reasons and Jim Knox)
== 11 a.m., The mtn.: No. 4 TCU at Wyoming (with Dan Gutowsky, Blaine Fowler and Natalie Vickers)
== 11:30 a.m., ESPN Classic: Florida Classic: Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman (from Orlando, with Charlie Neal and Jay Walker)
== 11:30 a.m., Channel 4: UConn at Notre Dame (with Tom Hammond, Pat Haden and no O.J. Simpson)

== 12:30 p.m., Channel 2: No. 8 LSU at Mississippi (with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson)
== 12:30 p.m., CBS College Sports: Air Force at No. 22 BYU (with Tom Hart and Aaron Taylor)
== 12:30 p.m., Channel 7: No. 14 Penn State at Michigan State (with Mike Patrick, Craig James and Heather Cox)
== 12:30 p.m., ESPN: Virginia at No. 23 Clemson (with Bob Wischusen and Brian Griese)
== 12:30 p.m., ESPNU: N.C. State at No. 15 Virginia Tech (with Todd Harris and Charles Arbuckle)
== 12:30 p.m., Big Ten Network: No. 16 Wisconsin at Northwestern (with Wayne Larrivee, Chris Martin and Charissa Thompson)
== 1 p.m., Versus: San Diego State at Utah (with Tim Neverett, Glenn Parker and Lindsay Soto)

== 3 p.m., the Mnt.: Colorado State at New Mexico (with James Bates, Todd Christensen and Keenan McCardell)
== 4 p.m., ESPNU: Vanderbilt at Tennessee (with Eric Collins and Brock Huard)
== 4:30 p.m., Versus: No. 25 Cal at No. 17 Stanford (with Ron Thulin, Kelly Stouffer and Lewis Johnson)
== 4:30 p.m., CBS College Sports: Tulsa at Southern Miss (with Dave Ryan and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila)
== 4:45 p.m., ESPN: Kansas State at Nebraska (with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Erin Andrews)
== 4:45 p.m., ESPN2: Kentucky at Georgia (with Mark Jones and Bob Davie)
== 5 p.m., Channel 7: No. 11 Oregon at Arizona (with Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters)
== 5 p.m., ESPN PPV/ESPN360.com: Kansas at No. 3 Texas (with Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham)

== 7:20 p.m., ESPNU: Nevada at New Mexico State (with Terry Gannon and David Norrie)

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