Running off at the typewriter ...
When I asked Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp to compare the NCAA's decision to suspend Johnny Manziel for a half-game with its two-game suspension of former UF star Sharrif Floyd two years ago, all he would say is, "It's very upsetting."
He should have also added, "hypocritical, disgusting and pathetic." The NCAA has morphed into a bad joke in the wake of its so-called Manziel investigation. Johnny Football, the Heisman winner at Texas A&M, reportedly signs thousands of autographs for thousands of dollars and gets suspended for a half-game. Meanwhile, Floyd, who was essentially living on the streets when he was in high school, took some money so he could eat and originally was suspended for an entire season by the NCAA before the penalty was reduced.
Muschamp was livid with Floyd's suspension at the time and said he was "angered, disgusted and extremely disappointed" with the NCAA's decision.
"Sharrif is what is good about college athletics – his life is about survival, struggle, disappointment and adversity," Muschamp said at the time. "I have recruited kids that did not know where they would sleep that night or what they would eat. Growing up, Sharrif was one these kids. … The NCAA stated that he received preferential treatment; there is nothing preferential about his life."
A poor kid takes some money to put food on the table, tells the truth about it and gets penalized while a rich kid reportedly takes thousands of dollars, lies and denies and gets no penalty at all. Sadly, this is what qualifies as NCAA justice.
Short stuff: By the way, maybe the NCAA officials would like to explain why they have spent three years investigating the University of Miami, turning over every stone and even illegally obtaining information in an attempt to nail the Hurricanes, but spent about five minutes looking into charges of rampant rule-breaking by Manziel before clearing him? Could it be because Manziel is a cash cow from the high-and-mighty SEC and a central figure in the biggest TV game of the year – Texas A&M vs. Alabama – whereas Miami's program has become nationally irrelevant? … Texas A&M's traditional Code of Honor: "An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do." Texas A&M's new Code of Dishonor: "An Aggie will lie, cheat or steal and exonerate those who do in order keep Johnny Paycheck eligible for the big game." … It's all but official: Jadeveon Clowney's Heisman campaign lasted about as long as Johnny Football's suspension. …
Mikey likes: Florida over Toledo by 17, FSU over Pitt by 7, Miami over FAU by 35, Georgia over Climpson by 6, Alabama over Virginia Tech by 14, Texas A&M over Ethics and Morality by $15 million in Manziel jersey sales. … How is it that Matt Leinart has been in the NFL for eight seasons, but nobody is willing to take a chance and develop Tim Tebow? The fact is Tebow accomplished more in a half-season as a starter for Denver than Leinart has in eight years as a pro. … I'm not saying NFL owners are filthy rich, but after settling that concussion lawsuit with players for $765 million, they probably asked, "Would you like that in cash?" … According to Rolling Stone magazine, Aaron Hernandez was hooked on angel dust – a drug I haven't heard mentioned since the '70s. I'm just wondering if he did the stuff while listening to Sly and the Family Stone. … Former Magic superstar Tracy McGrady's forgotten career in the NBA can be summed up by the fact that he announced his retirement on ESPN's "First Take" with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. Isn't this sort of like having your wedding at a biker bar with Dirty Dan and Two-Dog Joe as witnesses? … A potential war with Syria supposedly will only last two days – or about the same amount of time the NCAA spent on its Johnny Manziel investigation.
Don't forget, you can click on OrlandoSentinel.com and read the wildly popular Open Mike blog and interactive extravaganza to get my freshest takes on what's happening in the world of sports. Here's a blog on the retirement of former Orlando Magic star Tracy McGrady:
In the wake of Tracy McGrady's retirement announcement earlier this week, let me just say this:
T-Mac was undoubtedly a great talent, but he will also go down as one of the great underachievers in NBA history.
I covered his entire tenure with the Orlando Magic, and he had the talent and explosiveness to become a greater player than Kobe Bryant.
Unfortunately, he didn't have the desire.
Or the supporting cast.
Here's why I say McGrady was one of the NBA's great underachievers: Because he never, ever won a playoff series until this past season — his final one — when he was one of the last players off the bench for the San Antonio Spurs.
In a sport where one player can make a huge difference (see LeBron leading the marginally talented Cleveland Cavaliers to the finals and the best record in the NBA for two years running), T-Mac never elevated his team's to anything other than mediocrity.
Granted, he was one of the unluckiest players in recent memory. He signed with the Magic the same year as Grant Hill, whose bum ankle handicapped the franchise for McGrady's entire tenure. McGrady then left Orlando for Houston, where he joined forces with Yao Ming, whose ankle and foot issues forced him into an early retirement.
McGrady, from most everybody you talk to within the Magic organization during his time in Orlando, never worked hard in the offseason or dedicated himself to being the best he could be.
Will he go down as one of the top three Magic players of all-time behind Dwight and Shaq? Probably -- although Penny Hardaway might argue otherwise.
For a lot of reasons, though, he will go down in history for another reason.
No player I ever saw had more talent but accomplished less.
(Most interesting reader retorts, radio rabble, tangy tweets and message-board mockery of the week):
On NCAA's half-game suspension of Johnny Manziel: "The weather delay in the North Carolina-South Carolina game lasted longer."
"Scam Newton got off so why not Johnny Paycheck? Why do you think the $EC wins championships?"
On the Heisman chances of South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, who appeared gassed in the season-opener and only recorded three tackles: "He wouldn't be able to make it to the stage (where the Heisman is presented) without resting halfway up the steps."
(In celebration of the beginning of high school football season, three of my favorite motivational quotes from high school coaches):
"There's no traffic on the extra mile."
"Teamwork makes the dream work."
"The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary."
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BianchiWrites. Listen to his radio show every weekday from 6 to 9 a.m. on 740 AM.