Random evidence of a cluttered mind

NCAA continues to make columnist’s job easier


Hot List

Today: Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball. UM was ranked 25th but should leap much higher this week after upsetting No. 1 Duke. Times Canes have been ranked in season-ending Associated Press Top 25:

Rank Season Coach (record)
10th1959-60Bruce Hale (23-4)
10th1998-99Leonard Hamilton (23-11)
21st2001-02 Perry Clark (24-8)
23rd1999-2000Leonard Hamilton (23-11)

Note: UM made NCAA Tournament all four seasons above and in two other seasons in which it did not end up in Top 25 — in 1997-98 (Hamilton) and 2007-08 (Frank Haith).

What South Florida sports fans are talking about:


UM stuns No. 1 Duke in historic win: Fans stormed the court as UM cheered its first win over a No. 1 team and handed Duke its worst defeat (27 points) in 15 years. “They were men,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “and we were boys.” Might have been the program’s best night ever, but FSU is here Sunday. Down from the clouds and back at it, Canes.


College governing body admits improper conduct in UM probe: The NCAA is investigating its own investigators after their investigation of UM was found tainted by improper conduct that led to wrongly obtained information, muddling the entire case. This is unbelievable. In fact here’s how unbelievable it is: Not even Manti Te’o believes it!


Countdown seven days as 49ers, Ravens arrive in New Orleans: San Francisco arrives Sunday and Baltimore on Monday as the buildup to the game commences. I have begun to hear whispers that this could be Ray Lewis’ final game and that the two coaches, believe it or not, might be related in some way. Will check into that and get back to you.


NBA champions to be honored Monday at White House: This should be a special photo op for the president, who is a huge basketball fan. Whole team will meet Barack Obama — if Chris Andersen gets past security. Secret Service typically has an eye out for guys covered in tattoos who refer to themselves in the third person as “Birdman.”


Big opener, then quick slide for Cats: After a big 5-1 home win to open the season, Florida lost three games in a row by a combined score of 11-2 entering Saturday’s visit by the Flyers. This season after wins, the Panthers’ game MVP wears a red Three Musketeers-style hat in postgame interviews. At least I think I recall it was red. Been awhile.


What a wild, wild week for University of Miami sports.

There was sublime: the men’s basketball team’s stunning upset of No. 1 Duke.

There was somber: the death of longtime former baseball coach Ron Fraser.

There was surprising: James Coley quitting as FSU offensive coordinator to join Al Golden.

And then there was simply surreal: The NCAA’s long investigation of Miami in the Nevin Shapiro case interrupted by admitted improper conduct by the NCAA itself.

Accomplished readers know our Sunday notes column is part week-in-review, part look-ahead, and that we like to needle, tweak and poke fun. So here is a confession:

It’s been too easy lately.

I mean, Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o were like gifts from above. Jeffrey Loria is always ripe and readily available. Jeff Ireland is behind the break-in-case-of-emergency glass just in case.

And now this!

The people investigating UM now investigating themselves!? Too perfect, too easy.

The crux of the NCAA’s investigation of Miami, of course, centers on “a lack of institutional control.”

We may now state unequivocally that was the case and punishment is due.

Yes, clearly, NCAA president Mark Emmert is guilty of a lack of institutional control.

• Baseball heaven got a lot more colorful as Fraser, the UM coaching legend, fiery manager Earl Weaver and Stan “The Man” Musial all passed away around the same time. Weaver was up there arguing and kicking dirt on God’s sandals. Fraser was dreaming up promotional theme nights.

• The ING Miami Marathon And Half Marathon was expecting 25,000 runners Sunday. Runners are very proud of themselves, based on all the 26.2 and 13.1 stickers you see on cars. I always assume those folks bought the stickers online, have never run more than fever and are eating french fries while driving.

Miami and Marlins Park lost out to Cincinnati for the 2015 All-Star Game, thanks to Marlins owner Loria angering baseball with his latest payroll slash. Loria leads the league in destroying momentum and goodwill.

The Pro Bowl, on Sunday in Hawaii, is the kickoff to Super Bowl Week. The Pro Bowl is the all-star game the NFL might discontinue because so many players drop out or don’t care. The Pro Bowl as an appetizer to the Super Bowl is a like a bowl of dog poo as an appetizer to filet mignon.

• Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick filed for a trademark on “Kaepernicking,” that flex of his tattooed biceps he does. Hey, good to know you’re all locked-in focused on the Ravens, Col!

•  Wes Welker’s wife ranted against Ray Lewis on Facebook, alluding to a murder charge and six children by four wives. What a lie! Everybody knows Lewis never married any of those women.

Broward’s Sloane Stephens, 19, upset her idol Serena Williams in the Australian Open. But this weekend’s finals — Victoria Azarenka vs. Li Na on Saturday, Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray on Sunday — only reminds us that American tennis is in need of performance enhancement.

• An Akron, Ohio, newspaper reported LeBron James could return to Cleveland after next season, ESPN.com speculated about a Chris Bosh-for- Dwight Howard trade, and local stories mentioned a possible Dwyane Wade- Erik Spoelstra rift. Otherwise, not much goin’ on with the Heat.

• General manager Ireland said while at the Senior Bowl that the Dolphins would be adding playmakers and game-changers, begging invocation of the phrase “better late than never.”

•  Tim Brown suggested that coach Bill Callahan “sabotaged” the Raiders in their Super Bowl XXXVII loss to Tampa because of his friendship with Bucs coach Jon Gruden. Brown might or might not have been drunk at the time.

• I tell you baseball keeps a stat for everything. I just heard the Braves have set an all-time record for most Uptons in an outfield.

• You know how the cause of an injury is sometimes best kept private? Free agent pitcher Carl Pavano just ruptured his spleen while shoveling snow.

• Gulfstream Park hosted the Eclipse Awards, thoroughbred racing’s Oscars, and Wise Dan won horse of the year over Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another. Never been in favor of drug testing voters, but might make an exception here.

• Mavericks center Chris Kaman said: “We started letting women vote. Now we’re letting homosexuals get married. So why all of a sudden are we taking away the right for people to own guns?” The good news? A player with no endorsement deals need not worry about sponsors dropping him.

• Pro tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said women players are less consistent because they are “more unstable emotionally than us” due to “hormones and all this stuff.” Mr. Tsonga, meet Mr. Kaman.

•  Tony Sparano was hired as an assistant coach by the Raiders. Sorry, Tony.

•  Danica Patrick is dating fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. But for the lack of a NASCAR Sprint Cup series win between them, they’d be sports’ new power couple.

•  Parting thought: The NFL is considering changing its Rooney Rule after not one of the eight new head coaches or seven new general managers recently hired was named Rooney.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

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