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On Tap Gets All Serious

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In looking through the 'sphere and the papers, lots of stuff caught my attention this afternoon, but three things stood out.  Here's what's ON TAP:

  1. Georgia Tech Mascot Lives Up To Name
  2. PSU Beatdown Gets Starting Safety and Lineman Booted From Team... For The Summer... Sort Of
  3. Jim, Why in God's Name Did You Give Him a Podium?

I Wonder if Eddie Griffin Was Driving? - The news out of Atlanta is not pleasant for the two GT seniors who inadvertently wrecked Georgia Tech mascot, the, um... Rambling Wreck.

The two seniors were transporting the Wreck, a beautifully restored 1930 Model A Sports Coupe, on a trailer for an appearance at a wedding when the Wreck was wrecked. Apparently the truck hit a ditch or something similar and the Wreck fell of the trailer, landing on its side and roof. Thankfully, the brothers driving the truck weren't hurt.

The Georgia/GT sniping has already begun with hilarious results. Paul Westerdawg is offering a bounty for photos of the wrecked Wreck, and Kyle will likely offer a kidney to anyone who produces photos likewise. On the other hand, anyone producing photos of a shit-zu mounting Uga will receive a significant reward from Jeff at the Ramblin Racket.

On a serious note, it sucks that one of the more interesting mascots in college football came close to biting it yesterday. Say what you want, but the Wreck is pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, the insurance does not cover what happened to the car, so anyone wishing to contribute to the repair fund please go to this PayPal link or send an email to wreckalumni@gmail.com. The details on the situation can be found at SBN's excellent Gerogia Tech site, The Ramblin Racket.

PSU Starting Safety and D-Lineman Temporarily Expelled - In a precedent setting punishment, Anthony Scirrotto and Chris Baker, two of the 15 Penn State players involved in an off-camps apartment fracas with a couple fellow students, were expelled from school... for the summer, but will be allowed to take part in preseason practice.

Now Mike over at Black Shoe Diaries and I have a pretty good working relationship. He's covered this whole situation since it hit the papers and I encourage you to visit BSD and form your own conclusions. Mike's well aware I try to limit my criticisms of other school's disciplinary actions, but this particular incident got my gander up.

Michigan's had some experience with athletes behaving badly. This St. Patty's day two Michigan players stomped someone they didn't know. As a result got booted from the team and campus before criminal charges were even assessed (one of them was the starting, and insanely talented TE Carson Butler). They were there. They admitted it. They did the deed. Neither of them had a record. They got the boot anyway.

Everything I've read on this subject indicates the PSU players in question were at the heart of this incident, much like Butler and Richards were at Michigan. Here, the two players either escalated the situation or actually threw some punches. Penn State's disciplinary action in this case is laughable. The players were "expelled" but allowed to rejoin the school and team as soon as pre-season practice begins? There are criminal charges pending here, giving them a two month vacation isn't a punishment. I am not lobbying for a permanent expulsion, mind you, but I am suggesting a sterner punishment than a two month suspension which ends just in time for the season should be leveled.

Mike and I are probably going to have a difference of opinion on this subject. People are free to point to Adrian Arrington's well publicized driving and domestic issues as evidence Michigan is no different, and I'll concede that only to a point. The charges against Arrington were dropped long before his suspension was lifted and his suspension didn't possess an expiration date.

Mike's right, innocent until proven guilty. But the evidence indicates both young men were involved in the fracas. In my opinion, an indefinite suspension is appropriate until the charges against them are dropped or their names are cleared like the other athletes involved in the incident. In an offseason that has seen a disconcerting rise in violence by student athletes across the country and especially in the Big Ten, sterner punishment was warranted.

With all due respect to Mike and the PSU faithful, I think the University really missed the boat on this one. You may now proceed to loathe me.

Jim Carty, Why? - Maize n Brew is a big Jim Carty fan. As a writer and columnist for the Ann Arbor News, Jim is always one of the first to break big news on the Athletic program and is a lucid and insightful writer. However, his decision to give all around jackass John Pollack another column to hang his "don't fix the stadium" hat on was disappointing. While Carty makes an excellent point that the Regents' decision to limit debate an headaches on the stadium renovation issue seems beneath the University, the fact of the matter is nothing is going to stop the University from doing what is in its and its supporters best interest even if a local minority dissents.

Discussion was heard on the stadium issue, and the vote to support it passed, twice. What is most irritating about Pollock's incessant wining is he continually claims the "democratic" process has deserted him and his supporters. To contrary, he's lost twice on the merits and won't accept the outcome. Carty makes a valid point, if the decision is made why not allow Pollock a little extra time to get this off his chest and at least give the appearance of listening?

In my opinion, it's because his voice was heard, over and over again. He has nothing new to contribute and his attempts to meddle in the business of a University of which he is neither an  alum nor student are revolting. He is quote, "a fan." He is not a citizen of state of Michigan, he lives in New York. How this affects him is purely a creation of his own mind and not the responsibility of the Regents to humor. Carty's point is well taken, but at a certain point, (i.e., now), it ceases being about diligently listening to new ideas and becomes about terminating a discussion that's been over for months.