Wednesday, April 11, 2012

04/11 (Petrino) Quickie

Let's not give Arkansas AD Jeff Long too much credit: Bobby Petrino HAD to be fired. This wasn't a moral issue; it was an employment-law issue. It's not that Petrino isn't bigger than the Arkansas football program -- it's that he isn't bigger than the legal bill the school would have racked up had they kept him around after he hired his mistress. That said: Long gets credit for letting his outrage show on TV last night, which -- in a climate of "college sports are so corrupt!" -- gets points for being refreshing. But let's make it clear: This wasn't "Profiles in Courage" as much as "CYA."

Now, did Ozzie Guillen HAVE to be suspended by the Marlins? Yes, and as Joe Sheehan and some others have pointed out, it was entirely about the money -- the damage done to the Marlins' business by Guillen popping off about Castro in a way that seemed even remotely sympathetic, in a town where Castro is Public Enemy No. 1. The team had to worry about its relationship with fans in the area, both in the short- and long-term. I'm all for folks in sports saying whatever they want about politics or society, but that doesn't mean they don't need to be careful about what they say and consider the audience. As has been pointed out elsewhere, if Guillen said the same thing about Castro while managing the White Sox in Chicago, it's much less of a big deal. But in Miami? Ozzie should be suspended for the lack of judgment alone.


*I don't hate the Celtics in twilight nearly as much as I did when they were title contenders -- I will certainly root against them, but I hope last night's Boston win over the Heat is an indicator that they are ready to make their share of the playoffs interesting. If they can push the Bulls to 6 or 7 games in the Eastern Conference semis, that's as much as you can ask of them. (They would be much better off if they were matched up with the Heat in the semis than the Bulls, who are less likely to fold if bullied.)

*Where will the top two prep hoops prospects -- Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad -- say they are going to spend next year in college, when they announce tonight? I'm holding out a smidgen of hope that Noel picks Georgetown, but I think both will pick Kentucky -- as they should. (If Noel does spurn UK, it'll be for Syracuse, not G'town.)

*Bill Parcells isn't going to coach the Saints: That's too bad, because that would have been a lot of fun.

More later -- pop by Quickish all day for great takes on the big stories.

-- D.S.

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