Thursday, August 20, 2009

Plax's Plea and the Sham of Vacating Games

A couple of news items this morning that I believe deserved my attention. First, I'll start with Plaxico Burress pleading guilty today for gun possession and will get two years of jail time as a result. Now my father and I have seen differences with Burress; he thinks he shouldn't be arrested for shooting himself since he had a registered gun, regardless if it wasn't a New York license. However, I believe he saw the Giants look awful to end last season and is willing to overlook the situation so the Giants would win. I, however, know that the law is the law and he was guilty regardless. But, the fact that Burress had the insane motion that he would avoid jail time after Mayor Bloomberg wouldn't let the gun law be a sham is ridiculously dumb. He should have agreed to the plea deal back in June, instead of stalling.

Day one, Burress and his lawyers should have been doing everything they could to mitigate a jail sentence. He should have pled guilty back in January or February and hope they get six months for quickly cooperating. And if Plax thought that delaying the trial would let him play this season, I'm sure Roger Goodell would of suspended him. Now, Burress is going away for two years and his NFL is probably over. It's a shame really; he was huge playing hurt during the N.Y. Giants Super Bowl run, especially against Green Bay in the NFC Championship abusing Al Harris all day. He signed a contract extension before the 2008 season opener and everything for him went downhill from there. The Giants moved on and hope to replace him this season and fortunately for them, Burress can't go anywhere and burn them for letting him go.

The other story I read today was the NCAA vacating all the wins from the 2007-08 Memphis Final Four season. This marks the first time a school had two Final Four's vacated by the NCAA as the 1985 Memphis Tigers also had their appearance removed. This is also the first time a coach led two teams to a Final Four and the appearance was vacated as former Tigers coach John Calipari had his 1996 Final Four appearance with UMass removed as well. There is an obvious pattern that has formed for Coach Cal as he leaves a school and all the skeletons come out. This time, it was a discrepancy on Derrick Rose's SAT exam as reports are that someone else took the test for him.

Here's where the NCAA gets it wrong, vacating wins doesn't make any impact except insulting our intelligence as college basketball fans. If you want to punish a school, give them probabtion, cut scholarships and/or ban them from postseason/TV. And for a case like Memphis, I would suspend Calipari because he was in charge when the violations occurred and even though he left for Kentuck; he is still bound by NCAA rules. That's the NCAA's problem, they don't deal with problems, they act like they never happened. That's what vacating wins and honors means, to pretend like nothing happened, even though if you put on ESPN Classic or ESPNU, you could find a Fab Five Michigan game and you will see the Kansas-Memphis title game from 2008 again as well. It's time for the NCAA to end it's archaic penalties for rules violations and instead to be more proactive to show coaches and schools they won't tolerate disobeying of their rules.

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