Thursday, June 08, 2006

This is Your Brain on Sports

Just because it's summer break for many universities across the nation doesn't mean that school rivalries are given time off. Sure, there isn't football, basketball, or women's water polo to establish supremacy between two schools, but there is still competition between athletes. In Los Angeles, crosstown rivals UCLA and USC are in the midst of a battle to determine which school's athletes can be the biggest fools.

At USC, they're going the more traditional route. Trojan guard Gabe Pruitt was declared academically ineligible for the fall semester, which equates to the first third of the basketball season. Head coach Tim Floyd announced that he was "very disappointed in Gabe." Coach has every reason to be disappointed, or even shocked. How do you become academically ineligible at the University of Southern California? Was Kenny Mayne his ballroom dancing tutor? I wasn't even aware that they had a grading policy at USC. I always thought that once your checks cleared, you matriculated to the next series of classes.

UCLA student athletes appear to have actually attended classes, however they never learned any critical reasoning. Bruin point guard Jordan Farmar is currently at an NBA predraft camp where he is hoping to solidify a spot in the first round of the draft, lineup a guaranteed contract, and forego his final two years of college. While at the camp, he was asked about the decisions of Florida underclassmen Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer to stay in school despite having an opportunity to be drafted high this June. Farmar responded, "It shows that money isn't everything. They're having fun and enjoying their teammates, and that's what it's all about." Farmar then proceeded to work on his jumpshot so that he could abandon his teammates and get his hands on some money. Sounds to me like it's all about hypocrisy.

Not letting the undergrads have all the fun, UCLA alum (I can't remember if he actually went back and got his degree, but I'm not doing research at 3 am) Tommy Maddox thought he'd take a shot at slapping logic in the face in discussing his immediate future. After auditioning for just about every NFL team and told "thanks, but we'll go w/ the Div III QB instead," reality has begun to set in, and Maddox is realizing that a forced retirement is imminent. Fortunately, Maddox has rationalized a retirement as being good for his family, saying, "my daughter's in junior high now, so she wants to be in one place." So that's nice- Tommy Gun, family man, is making a decision to end his NFL career so that his family can have some stability in their lives. That's very admirable. So what's next for Maddox? Well, it appears that the XFL MVP wants to become a professional golfer. "I'm excited," Maddox said. "It's been good. I played in a couple of events in Texas and almost qualified for the Nelson. I've got a couple of Nationwide Tour [stops] coming up." I'll admit that I'm not a golf afficionado, but I have a suspicion that a "Nationwide Tour" doesn't stay in one place. Something in the name makes me think that it may involve a series of travelling to different places around the country. I hope Maddox at least thinks to send his daughter a postcard.

So it was two very different tactics taken by the student-athletes. USC's Gabe Pruitt was more direct in displaying his lack of intelligence, whereas the Bruin representatives elected to insult everyone else's intelligence. Either way, all participants ended up looking like fools. There were no winners here, but I'm going to give the nod to UCLA. It was a more creative approach, and well, the Bruins have to beat USC at something this year, right?


At Thu Jun 08, 10:16:00 AM PDT , Anonymous jetsgrumbler said...

i don't get the deal with college athletes and staying in school. sure college is fun, but is it worth millions of dollars in lost earnings? was matt leinart's extra year of school worth all the loot he lost. (guessing at 40 mill or so.) if i could have left school for a guaranteed million dollar contract, i would have done it in a heartbeat. if they are worried about whether or not or where they get drafted, all they have to do is not hire an agent and then they can go back to school if draft doesn't work out.

P.S. everything ok over there? by my count, you have now posted 7 straight times without an unessecary yet delightful hot chick pic.

At Fri Jun 09, 12:52:00 AM PDT , Anonymous insomniac said...

I hae no problem w/ guys leaving college early for the payday. I'm sure I'd do the same in their position. I just thought Farmar was being two-faced in his remarks.

At Fri Jun 09, 04:29:00 AM PDT , Anonymous insomniac said...

Two things:

1) hae=antiquated, germanic spelling for "have." Unfortunately, these comments aren't editable, only deletable.

2) Oh and....unnecessary, yet delightful hot chicks coming your way, Grumbler!


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