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While I can certainly see Ohio State’s point of view, this seems fairly creepy. ““There’s nothing else out there that I’m aware of that is this extreme,” says Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “There’s tons of monitoring of workplace computers. But here, we’re talking about people’s private phones and financial activities. It wouldn’t be acceptable for an employer to monitor an employee’s life to that degree.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, college officials don’t think they’re doing anything unacceptable, let along downright wrong. To the contrary, they seem to believe they’re doing athletes a favor. Benevolently carrying the Bureaucratic Man’s Burden, in fact. Take Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, who toldThe New York Times that football players simply are being taught how to balance checkbooks, draw up budgets and read the fine print of apartment leases. “This is about education,” he told the newspaper. “It’s not about Big Brother. It’s about helping young people become managers of their assets. It’s a financial literacy program.” Oh, sure. There used to be a name for those kinds of programs: Home Ec.But let’s be real. If Ohio State’s banking watchdoggery was truly benign, harmless and designed to teach young people how to keep their fiscal houses in order, then wouldn’t the school be offering the same program to its entire student body? Or mandating it? Wouldn’t chemistry students be asked to share their checking account passwords with their lab instructors?
Heck, wouldn’t students from every walk of campus life be volunteering for such a wonderful service?
Instead, Ohio State’s monitoring is for athletes only. Athletes who are “strongly encouraged” to participate. [Patrick Hruby/Sports On Earth]–
Kazmir is a low risk, high reward signing. Like all the Indians’ signings, really. “Would you believe Scott Kazmir will only be 29 when the new season begins in April? If it seems like he should be much, much older, it’s because the former phenom debuted in 2005 at age 20 and peaked with an all-star appearance in 2008, before arm and mechanical issues threw him all out of whack the following year and sent his career in a downward spiral.
How bad did it get? Well, in his 55 starts since 2008, Kazmir has posted a 19-24 record with an ugly 5.54 ERA. The last of those appearances came on April 3, 2011. He then made five minor league starts before the Los Angeles Angels released him, and he didn’t resurface again until 2012 when he made 14 starts with the famous Sugar Land Skeeters in independent ball.
It just goes to show how quickly it can fall apart for anybody, but especially a young pitcher who lights up the radar gun. Still, he’s young enough to rebound and rebuild if he can stay healthy going foward. Kazmir is hoping that rebuilding started with a strong winter in Puerto Rico where his fastball was reportedly hitting 90-94 on the gun. When Kazmir threw for teams last winter, he was hitting 86-89, so the increase is encouraging.” [Mark Townsend/Big League Stew]
MS: We got contacted indirectly by a couple different publishers who expressed a general interest in it. And we, at one point, were moving towards a contract.
AY: Yeah, it got pretty far.
MS: And we had a lot of discussions about what it would be, and how we would make it work, and we just sort of realized we didn’t think there was a book in it. It just sort of felt like—we didn’t want to just repurpose the blog, that felt pointless. We wanted to like, have a—there was no point to it. There was no point to the blog, so it stands to reason there was no point to the book.
AY: The dream—the first pitches were like, let’s just write a 40,000-page book with like pages this big, and leather-bound, as a joke. But then we started thinking—oh, what would this be? Because I don’t know that you could reproduce that much copyrighted material. And then at one point, didn’t Michael Lewis contact [Mike] and said, “Just make it about all sports?”
MS: Not me, he contacted one of the editors. Which, just knowing that Michael Lewis knew who we were. He was like, “You should make a critique of sports culture,” was his phrase.
DK: Which is sort of what God Save the Fan is, something in that vein.
MS: For the record, I think Michael Lewis should do a critique of sports culture.
AY: He’s the best writer!” [Rob Trump/The Classical]
I’m at the “I’ll believe it when I see it” stage with all the Browns rumors. “Here comes the rumor about McDaniels, and immediately I am upset. While McDaniels would certainly be a great hire as an offensive coordinator, as a Head Coach, I’m not so sure of his ability. While in Denver, McDaniels showed signs of greatness, however, he also showed an extreme lack of discipline from his team, and from the moment he was hired, was clouded in controversy. Between Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, McDaniels had no idea how to handle his superstars and as a result they were both traded. Essentially, while McDaniels could be a great X’s and O’s coach, he doesn’t know how to run an organization and be a leader for his football team. Again, if Haslam can lure him as a coordinator, I would be beyond thrilled, but it wouldn’t happen. As a Head Coach, I’d rather another organization take that gamble.
We then get to the rumor of the quarterback position. As McDaniels has been heavily rumored for the Browns job, Ryan Mallett, his backup quarterback in New England, has been a part of the package. We all remember Ryan Mallett, former Michigan QB who transferred to Arkansas and lost to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. A potentially tremendous pro prospect, Mallet fizzled out of steam and was eventually drafted to be a backup to Tom Brady in the third round of the NFL draft. Mallett has been studying under the tutelage of McDaniels for the past two seasons, and McDaniels would be someone who could develop Mallett into the QB he was originally supposed to be.” [Hayden Grove/More Than A Fan]