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Monday Happy Hour Isn't Scheduling USC

Headlines Worth Noting Outside the University of Michigan:

Minnesota Signs up for an Ass Whuppin' in Cali: I really can't think of another way to describe this. Minnesota and Southern California just agreed to a home and home in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Details from the Varmint Cong's mouthpiece, The Daily Gopher:

  • 2010 the Trojans come to Minnesota on Sep. 18th
  • 2011 the Gophers head to Southern Cal to open the season on Sep. 3rd

I'll give the Gopher's credit, after watching Ohio State just get dismantled by the Trojans this season they're still willing to say, "Eff that, we'll beat you." You can say what you want about this doing nothing to help the Big Ten's reputation, and that it's a sure loss, yad yada yada. But give Minnesota credit for having the cajones to take on tuff competition. Further, if the Big Ten can't beat teams like USC or won't even schedule them, then no one west of the Mississippi has any room to down play USC's claim to being one of the best teams in football year in year out, or dispute the argument that their conference is better than anyone else's. You get those rights when you play one another, not when you go to great lengths to schedule crappy competition. So Kudos to the Gophers, you noble creatures, for taking on the tough competition everyone should be scheduling.

Do you really have to apologize for beating a team 100-0? A girls high school basketball team pasted one of their district opponents by that score. The result was the school doing the pasting apologizing to the paste-ee. They're even talking about forfeiting the victory.  Boiled Sports is having an aneurysm over this.

I just don't agree with all this apologizing and the ludicrous notion of forfeiting the game to the lousy team. It is what's wrong with athletics right now. These are high school girls -- they're not 8-year-olds. The next level is college. And do you know what happens in college? Sometimes you don't succeed -- and I'm not even talking about basketball. Sometimes you get your ass kicked by a biology midterm. And if you get a zero on it and look pathetic doing so, your professor isn't going to decide that you should actually get 100 because failing you wasn't "honorable."

Adding to the story,  the coach who led the 100-0 pasting was canned today. The school aparrently didn't agree with his take on the events:

"I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel 'embarrassed' or 'ashamed,' " part of the post says. "We played the game as it was meant to be played and would not intentionally run up the score on any opponent. Although a wide-margin victory is never evidence of compassion, my girls played with honor and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy." Grimes also included the quarter-by-quarter scoring on his post: 35, 24, 29, 12.

Part of the reason for this is Dallas Academy, the team that scored zero points is a school for the learning disabled.

Dallas Academy, renowned for its work with students who have learning disabilities, is winless this season and has not won a game in at least four seasons. (emphasis MnB)

This is unfortunate. Sadly, no one wins here. Maybe you call off the dogs. Maybe you let the other team score a bucket or two. Maybe the other school should consider not fielding a team. But there is no right answer to this, only wrong ones.

Penn State's Basketball Team Might Be Legit: Via Black Shoe Diaries. PSU wins again, topping Iowa and moving even closer to an NCAA bid.

John Parker Wilson Named Senior Bowl MVP: Wait. What? Seriously? Seriously.

Dr. Saturday Does Some 'Splainin': NCAA Scholarship & Stipends.

More Fall Out on the MSU/Michigan Hockey Game and Attack on Kampfer

The CCHA Is Investigating the Kampfer Incident: Thanks to the Ann Arbor News. The CCHA expects to release its own ruling on the Conboy/Tropp/Kampfer incident before this weekend's CCHA matchups. As a player and fan, the penalties better be steep. Yost Built has perhaps the best take on this. While Mgo is calling for charges to be filed and pressed, you won't hear that here.

I hate the thought of our legal system becoming any more involved in our daily lives than it already is. And I say that as a practicing attorney. Intent when it comes to injuries in contact sports involves increasingly difficult to separate shades of grey. Unfortunately, this makes it just like the law, and makes it easy to argue eitehr way when it comes to injuries, intent, and punishment. While the circumstances here are certainly obvious, there are thousands of other crippling injuries every year that are not. And, unfortunately, you cannot pick one of the obvious ones for a court case without opening the door to the rest. Intent to injure in just about any contact sport is there. You don't hit someone with the intent of making sure they get up and lead a productive afternoon. Who is to say that any hit on the boards that goes awry didn't have some dibilitating intent? And further, do you want the person(s) making that decision to be wearing a black robe or sitting in a box full of 11 other people, most of whom have never played or watched your sport at the level you watch/play/enjoy?

There is no separating this out. You just can't do it. If one case goes in, what's to stop the rest? What's to stop anyone from filing a criminal complaint over an injury in Pee Wees, Pop Warner, or high school? They were injured, and someone did it, and someone is responsible. This fits in nearly every contact inflicted injury in hockey, football, soccer, etc...  Sure you can point to the specifics of each case. But is this how we want our judicial system used? When you play sports, especially hockey, you take certain risks. They are inherent in the game. Fights, cheap shots, stick work, all happen at an alarming yet constant basis. Whether it's a beer league or D-1 college hockey, this shit happens. And you know it going in. Whether it's right or wrong is irrelevant. It's there, you know that, and you assume that risk going in.

What's the answer? Expell both Conboy and Tropp. Send a message that actions such as these will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Let them face the fact that they flushed the opportunity of a lifetime (a free college education in exchange for playing hockey), because they thought trying to cripple someone was somehow okay. Sports, leagues and colleges must govern themselves, and we must allow them to do that. But the second we allow the courts to be the final arbitter of right and wrong, intentional and unintentional injuries in any sport, we might as well all hang up our skates, deflate the football, and throw out out spikes and lacrosse sticks, because we're delving into shades of grey that only the courts live in. And god knows none of us what our sports governed by the courts. You are free to disagree, but that's my opinion. Varsity Blue has an open letter to MSU that suggests Tropp be tried for battery or worse.

Other UM Headlines of Note:

500! Congrats to Coach Beilein on his 500th win as Michigan downs Northwestern to even its conference record. UM Hoops has all your post game info and links. I'll have to defer to Dylan's outstanding work, for the time being. Also check out the interview with Michigan Commit Darius Morris.