By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activities Directo
There have been enough sports happenings over the summer to be able to write a bunch of columns on a weekly basis, but a lot of that would be rehashing information. There were a few things that happened over the summer that might be worth mentioning.
The number one thing was that on July 1, the University of Nebraska officially became a member of the Big 10 conference.
I have a couple of brothers who live in Texas and we spent a few days with them and, of course, we heard the “Well if you can’t beat Texas, get out of the conference” comments a few times while we were there.
Texans haven’t really seen the problems within the Big 12 yet, but I would bet that within a few years, the Longhorns will be leading the way out of the Big 12. Texas A&M appeared to be on their way out this summer moving to the SEC, but on Aug. 14, the SEC announced that they would not be expanding at this time. They will expand and it will be sooner than later.
I think you are going to see the power conferences with 16 teams in divisions. Once you get about five or so of those, you are going to have all the “Big Name” schools taken care of and some fairly prominent schools who might have great basketball programs but not strong football programs being left out of the hunt. I think that will hurt their basketball programs.
The next big news items had to be about The U. If you watched any of the 30 for 30 programs on ESPN, and caught the one about the Hurricanes during their big runs under Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickison and others, you no doubt knew that they occasionally fractured an NCAA rule or two. Apparently it never stopped.
Credibility from a current felon might be sometimes questioned, but apparently Nevin Shapiro kept good records, along with pictures and everything.
Shapiro has been convicted and is currently incarcerated for his role in a 930 million dollar Ponzi scheme but appeared to have complete access to the U’s football program and a number of former coaches apparently knew what was happening. So the summer ended like it started with a football scandal, but I think the Miami problems are going to run much deeper than those that hit Ohio State.
Ohio State probably will get some more penalties to deal with, but no one has muttered the “Death Penalty” in reference to the Buckeyes. I don’t think that the NCAA will ever do that again, but the Miami situation might come as close as any that would deserve it.
Again, do I think that some of this stuff happens at every school? Yes, I think it does. I would bet that a couple of bucks have found the pockets of high profile football players in our state. I truly don’t think you can stop it from happening, but regardless of how you feel about the NCAA rules, you need to try and enforce them or get them changed.
The best sports news of the summer happened on Friday, Aug. 12 at 6:30 p.m. when Calen Mark Pritchett got his shooting guard as a brother. Now the future point guard has his brother Kyler Troy Pritchett as 19 1/2 inch, 7 pound 6 ounce partner in the backcourt.
Mom and Dad are doing fine, the boys are getting to know each other, and Grandpa and Grandmother are beaming.