Happy Opening Day, everyone! The beginning of the baseball season surely means spring is here for good and no more snow, right? RIGHT?
It might be Opening Day in The Show, but the Gophs don't open Big Ten baseball play until Saturday at Target Field. And yes, that's a change from the original schedule, as they were supposed to play a double header against Purdue tomorrow, but because of a more favorable weather forecast they'll play two on Saturday. If you want to check out Target Field and some good baseball, it couldn't be more affordable: $10 for adults, $5 for kids 14 and under and college students get in free with a valid student ID. Tickets are only available game days starting at 9am at the Target Field box office, and it's CASH only. As Randy Moss would say, "straight cash, homey". Word, Randy. Word indeed. More on the Gophs playing at Target Field from the Minnesota Daily.
Oh, also in that same article is news about a late November tournament Gopher basketball will be playing in down in Orlando. In other hoops news, future Gopher Joe Coleman was named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball as he helped lead Hopkins to their third straight AAAA State Championship.
Good story from Marcus Fuller on Gopher Troy Stoudermire, who really seems to have found a home at corner. He's come a long way from the inconsistent receiver he was the past few years, and from midseason of 2010 when he ALMOST transferred out of here when he was told he'd be switching to corner. That was one move Brewster and his staff got right, and to think how much better the defense would have been last year had they made the move last spring instead of mid year. As it is, Stoudermire looks to have the top corner spot locked down, and the battle is on for #2 and nickel corner.
The Strib's Phil Miller has a nugget about how the new offense leaves decisions to the QB. OC Matt Limegrover sounds impressed with not just the physical tools MarQueis has shown, but also about his decision making. The more I read about how much work and prep Q is putting in and how serious he's taking the starting QB job, the more excited I get.
Outside of Gopherland, things have been better for college football.
Jim Tressel held a press conference yesterday but couldn't talk about the pending NCAA investigation about him lying...to NCAA investigators last December. Well, "allegedly" lied. I think Tressel will get whacked by the NCAA, and it'll be interesting to see if Ohio State decides to stand behind their coach on this one. SI.com's Andy Staples agrees, as he looks at past cases of coaches in college sports who have been accused of similar violations as Tressel. Let's just say the Senator might want to brush up the ol' resume. Heck, if it were anyone else but Tressell he'd have been canned already, but a national title and 6 straight conference titles carries a little weight.
HBO's Real Sports ran their story last night about Auburn allegedly offering to pay football players. Also mentioned in the pay for play scheme were Ohio State and Michigan State. Does anyone really doubt this stuff goes on all the time in football and basketball? Andrea Kramer, the longtime reporter who did the story for HBO, found it interesting that no one from Auburn, or any of the schools named, came out to deny the reports, but instead flooded the former players' emails and Facebook pages with nasty remarks about why they were talking about this at all. To me, it just makes this whole idea of "amateurism" in college sports an absolute joke. Big time college football and hoops is NOT about helping these kids get an education, it's about using them to make money.
And yet, putting all those stories to shame on lying, cheating, and scandals is the Fiesta Bowl Fiasco. None of the allegations of massive corruption from the report should come as any surprise, and I suppose neither should the BCS' response that they're thinking of kicking the Fiesta Bowl out of the BCS. Right. Because the Fiesta is certainly the ONLY bowl game that does this crap. Sure they are. As Mr. Staples points out, as does Yahoo! sports' Dan Wetzel, the BCS response SHOULD be to take a hard look at ALL of their bowls and investigate whether this is happening elsewhere. Because we know, and they know, it is, they're not going to because there's too many people in positions of power making too much money to want to end the gravy train that is the college bowl system.