Well, Vanderbilt soccer dropped one last night at Arkansas by a score of 1-0. In spite of outshooting the Razorbacks 15-9, Parker Goins’ goal in the 70th minute was the difference in the match. Vanderbilt returns home to face Florida on Sunday.
Current defensive line coach — and former Vanderbilt and NFL player — Jovan Haye has been named an SEC Legend.
Off the West End
In bad news for the SEC on the shooty hoops side, Georgia Tech got nailed with probation, including a one-year postseason ban. It appears that the Yellow Jackets took a recruit to a strip club during a visit, which is apparently not allowed, and to make matters worse the recruit went to Duke anyway. Also: how is Josh Pastner still employed?
(Also also: remember when we considered it a coup that we swiped Bryce Drew out from under Atlanta’s nose? Really, who would have guessed in April 2016 that Josh Pastner would still be employed and Bryce Drew would not?)
Dennis Dodd says it’s hard to blame Houston for basically punting on the 2019 season.
The NCAA is going to hold off on hitting any more college basketball programs with a Notice of Allegations. It seems they don’t want a logjam of cases this fall, but it also means that a bunch of programs will have clouds of uncertainty hanging over them for a while. (Not that I’m sympathetic or anything.)
Rob Dauster argues that the NCAA’s existential crisis is not the one that Mark Emmert thinks it is. He argues that it’s the slow drip of top talent to the professional ranks — not just the occasional high school player who decides to skip college entirely, but the 87 players who turned pro with eligibility remaining.
I’ll push back on this, because the idea that interest in the NCAA Tournament is heavily predicated on, I guess, a handful of future NBA stars playing a year in college along with lots of second-round-to-undrafted players sticking around all four years has never really been close to the reality of the situation. It’s true that TV ratings are down from their peak in the 1980s and 1990s, but that’s much more just a reflection of society in general being fragmented, with more TV options and less interest in traditional sports in general. Only the Super Bowl, which approximately nobody counterprograms, is immune from this. And yeah, regular season ratings are minimal, though that may just be a reflection of having a lot more games both televised and streaming — as in, big matchups draw fewer eyeballs simply because I can watch the Vanderbilt game on TV where I might not be able to a decade ago.
But really, there’s no existential crisis in college sports — it’s the same as it’s always been, except that now a lot more media members have taken on a crusade against the NCAA. And no, the Power 5 isn’t going to split off over this, because the NCAA has always done whatever the powerhouse programs want it to — and yes, that includes enforcing rules against paying players. (Remember, this is an IRS issue more than anything else — the schools’ tax exemption depends a lot on their sports teams being legally considered extracurricular activities for students.)
Anyway, the interest in college sports has always been about supporting alma mater (or at least the school whose sports teams you’ve latched onto.) I’ll be watching Vanderbilt basketball whether its best player is Darius Garland or Darius Coulibaly. And now I’m sort of trying to imagine what a Vanderbilt team whose best player is Darius Coulibaly would look like.
MLB: Brewers 5, Reds 3 ... Twins 10, Tigers 4 ... Rangers 7, Red Sox 5 ... Dodgers 1, Padres 0 ... Giants 8, Rockies 3 ... Nationals 6, Phillies 3 ... Pirates 9, Cubs 5 ... Marlins 4, Mets 2 ... White Sox 8, Indians 0 ... Angels 4, Astros 3 ... A’s 3, Mariners 1.
NFL: Eagles 34, Packers 27.