Monday, November 03, 2008

Terps in driver's seat

With both Boston College and Florida State going down in defeat Maryland is in first place in the Atlantic division in the ACC and has an inside track to the ACC Championship game. They have a two game lead on Wake Forest (3-2) due to the head to head win over the Deacons and have a one game lead over Florida State (3-2). The November 22nd game against FSU looms large and will probably go a long way to deciding who will win the division.

If Da'Rel Scott cannot play on Thursday due to his shoulder injury the running game is in good hands with freshman Davin Meggett. The steady and productive Meggett gets the star treatment in the Washington Post today. Virginia Tech's defense is not up to the usual Bud Foster level but it is probably the best run defense that the Terps have faced so far this season. It will be interesting to see if Meggett and the offensive line will be able to move the ball on the ground.


Jin Soo Kim has an appeal before the NCAA pending after his clearinghouse application was denied due to some internet coursework he took while recuperating from shoulder surgery in Korea. Apparently these on-line courses were approved by the NCAA but they are not convinced Kim took the courses himself. This is one of those great situations where the student is guilty until he proves himself innocent. Once again the stupidity and hypocrisy of the NCAA is on full display in this matter. This is the same NCAA that allowed players to go to Georgetown and George Washington who had transcipts from a phony diploma mill called Lutheran Christian. The NCAA then went on a quixotic campaign to clean up this problem, only after the media started reporting on these half baked and fictitious prep schools, and the whole thing ended in just the kind of boondoggle you'd expect with academic bureaucrats trying to administer a business with over half a billion dollars in revenue.

If the NCAA denies Kim's appeal it will be the end of his career at Maryland and it is likely he will return to Korea to play for the national team. This would be a big loss for Maryland as Kim has the kinds of offensive skills that you cannot teach. It would help if the administration at Maryland would actually advocate for Kim or hire professionals who do this kind of thing for a living but in what has become the normal provincial fashion the University doesn't have the sense or desire to do the right thing.

You may have missed that North Carolina's Roy Williams and the ACC are advocating that college players be given less time to decide when they are going to enter the NBA draft. This is obviously a transparent attempt by Williams to get a better sense of what his roster is going to be like for the next season and has nothing to do with what is right for the college athlete. Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, as sensible a coach in college basketball today and who has just as much to gripe about in regards to early departures for the NBA as Williams, was very concerned that this rule would make things even more difficult and risky for players who were unsure about their status on draft boards. Hewitt obviously cares more about his player's futures than he does about how difficult the rule makes his job, whereas Williams seems only concerned with how it makes his multimillion dollar salary job more challenging. Mike DeCourcy had a great summary of the proposed rule here.

"This is such a grand, epic mistake. It's based entirely on the coaches' self-interest -- not what is best for the college game, the sport in general or the players who make it all work."

I couldn't agree more.

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