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Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

May 30, 2013

2013 has not been a good year for the Irish of Notre Dame.

It all started with the opening kickoff of the 2013 BCS title game. Alabama seized control early while scoring early and often against the Fighting Irish. That led to more questions of ‘did Notre Dame belong in the title game?’ The questions really came a few weeks later when the Manti Te’o saga became public.

Surely you remember the Te’o story. The All-American boy came across as being embarrassed upon finding out his dead girlfriend never existed in the first place. As it turned out, his relationship, all by phone and internet, was a hoax.

Again, more negative attention in South Bend. Now Notre Dame has lost its starting quarterback.

Yes, Everett Golston is no longer enrolled at the university due to being suspended after multiple academic issues. Reportedly, he was caught cheating a few times. Golston played extremely well last season as a freshman and big things were expected of him again in 2013.

To make matters worse, the school’s number-two quarterback, Gunner Kiel, transferred to Cincinnati upon the end of last season. Ironically, he left due to a desire to not play behind Golston for three more seasons.

It seems like the Notre Dame’s aura is gone. Again.

Troubles Continue At Rutgers

I wrote earlier in these pages of how bad 2013 has been for Notre Dame. It has been even worse for Rutgers.

Less than two weeks after she was introduced as Rutgers’ new AD, Julie Hermann is facing abuse allegations from her former players on the University of Tennessee women’s volleyball team.

Hermann said she understands the amount of attention this has drawn to Rutgers, which is reeling from the firing of basketball coach Mike Rice due to his own abusive behavior toward student-athletes and the resignation of former athletic director Tim Pernetti after he participated in the coverup of Rice’s actions. And don’t forget how Rutgers did not even know that the basketball coach they hired to replace Rice, Eddie Jordan, did not have a college diploma. And Jordan went to Rutgers, a school that requires its head coaches to be college graduates.

Back to Hermann.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported Saturday that Hermann quit as the head women’s volleyball coach at Tennessee 16 years ago after all 15 of her players at the time, in a letter, accused her of calling them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled.”

Julie Hermann

A number of the players spoke of inappropriate physical contact between players and coach.

Hermann, who still denies the allegations, said she was not asked by Rutgers search committee or Parker Executive Search, the search firm, about the allegations. Hermann said only the search firm asked her about a 1997 jury verdict that awarded $150,000 to a former assistant coach who said Hermann fired her because she became pregnant. Hermann says the assistant was fired because she was underperforming, and it had nothing to do with pregnancy.

Hermann, 49, was hired on May 15 and is scheduled to officially start at Rutgers on June 17. She has been quoted as saying that what took place with Rice will never take place again. She speaks of that chapter of the school being over.

Naturally, there have been calls out for the university to let Hermann go before she even starts.

No matter how this plays out, you have to say it is ironic that Rutgers had an abusive coach and they’re bringing in someone who was (allegedly) an abusive coach.

Favre Settles Suit

I hesitate in spending any time in these pages writing about Brett Favre. I know most of us got tired of all the attention he got late in his career. But it has been a long time since Favre was in the news. And this juicy tidbit of news gained little coverage last week.

Favre avoided court by settling a lawsuit filed by two female employees of the New York Jets. The lawsuit alleged that in 2008, while Favre was with the Jets, the quarterback sent inappropriate text messages.

Brett Favre

After one of the women’s husband complained about the alleged texts, the two women claim they lost their part-time jobs with the Jets. The two women sought undisclosed damages.The suit alleged that Favre sent suggestive messages to the women, asking to meet. Favre then allegedly followed up by texting, “I guess I have bad intentions,” the AP wrote.

Favre last played with the Minnesota Vikings in 2010. As much pub as he got, it sure does not seem like it has been three years since he last saw the field.

Bobcats Hire Yet Another Head Coach

So much for making a splash by hiring a high profile coach. Another name unfamiliar to most has been named as the team’s new head coach. Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford has been hired as the new coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Bobcats fired coach Mike Dunlap in April after one season with the team. The Bobcats went 21-61 under Dunlap, finishing with the second-worst record in the NBA, ahead of only the Orlando Magic. Charlotte won just seven games in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, but tripling last season’s victory total and a three-game winning streak to close the season weren’t enough to save Dunlap’s job.

It seemed like Dunlap struggled at times, especially with game management. Time and time again, the Bobcats lost close games. He also struggled with handling professional players. The former college coach would often bench veterans for weeks at a time if they irritated him.

Dunlap replaced Paul Silas, who was fired after the Bobcats went 7-59 in 2011-12, the worst winning percentage in NBA history at .106.

If it seems like I write about Bobcats coaching changes annually, it is true. Continuity is not a strength of this franchise.



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