UNC Delaying Tactics
August 20, 2015
My first thought last week when North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham announced that the school has uncovered additional violations in women’s basketball and men’s soccer was ‘here we go again.’
Then I started reading the rest of the story. It turns out that self reporting some minor violations will actually delay a resolution to UNC’s pending case with the NCAA.
While doing some additional reading, I found many media pundits believing the self reporting is actually a strategy.
The timing basically ensures UNC won’t be punished before National Signing Day for football or the 2016 NCAA Tournament. This means, Roy Williams’ Tar Heels, a possible preseason No. 1, now run almost no risk of being banned from this upcoming season’s postseason. In other words, these newly discovered potential violations could prove helpful to the sports that matter most in Chapel Hill.
Bottom line, it now seems unlikely UNC’s case will conclude before April or May.
Knowing the extended timeline, one has to wonder if UNC is doing everything possible to make sure that the 2015 Men’s Basketball team goes un-penalized. Many feel, due to recent struggles with recruiting, that this may be their last chance for a while to even smell another championship based on their lack of success on the recruiting trail.
I read some local stories in ACC country that feel UNC is attempting to make the women’s basketball team the scapegoat for the many pending violations. That the administration wants to have women’s basketball get a massive penalty, probably the death penalty, to deflect punishment away from men’s basketball and football. Even though it is clear that there were far more violations within the men’s basketball and football programs.
Another story within the story that never seems to go away.
Spieth Almost Won Them All
Twenty-two year old PGA golfer Jordan Spieth has captured the hearts of many golf fans in American. And he has done so with his performances in the four 2015 majors that were completed this past weekend.
Did Jordan Spieth just complete the best major season in history? Many would say yes on the strength of his wins at The Masters and the US Open coupled with a fourth place finish at the British Open and a second place performance last weekend at the PGA.
Personally, I would have to go with Tiger Woods in 2000. Tiger finished fifth in the 2000 Masters and then won the next three majors by a combined 23 strokes.
Woods and Spieth’s seasons are the standard for this topic. But consider that Spieth’s aggregate finish at the majors in 2015 (8th) is the same as Woods’ in 2000. Those two, along with Jack Nicklaus, are the only ones to finish in the top four in every major in a single season.
Tiger Woods in 2000
Spieth supporters will point out that he could not help the fact his 17 under at the PGA in Whistling Straits would have won every PGA Championship ever except for 2000, 2006 and this year. He can’t help the fact Jason Day finished at a number (20 under) no one had ever reached to win a major.
Still, I have to go with Tiger’s three wins vs Spieth’s two victories. Spieth was special this year, Tiger was better in 2000.
Kyle Busch’s Plight
You would think a four-time winner this season would not have to worry about making the Chase. Kyle Busch, the driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, is still trying to rebound from missing 11 races to early season injuries and make the Chase.
He is the only driver with multiple wins who has yet to mathematically clinch a spot in the Chase. Yes, a win does not totally mean you are in the Chase. All race winners have to be in the top 30 of the standings.
Last weekend in Michigan could have harmed Busch’s chances. After a spin in Saturday practice, Busch started his backup No. 18 at the back of the pack in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.
From the back, he rallied to an 11th-place finish, his best result in his last five races at Michigan International Speedway. Busch gained a spot to move to 29th in the Sprint Cup driver standings, 18 points ahead of 30th-place Justin Allgaier and 23 points clear of 31st-place Cole Whitt.
All Busch needs now is to stay out of trouble. And that can be difficult this week as the circuit moves to Bristol. Though the high-speed short track is known for potential pitfalls, Busch has had a great share of Bristol successes with five wins in 20 Sprint Cup starts on the .533-mile oval, tying him for the most among active drivers.