Saturday, August 17, 2013

Should The NCAA Pay Collegiate Athletes?

USA TODAY - Troy Taormina | 2013 Aug 07

Should the NCAA and Universities pay collegiate athletes?

Absolutely not.

I truly understand how the NCAA exploits college athletes, but there is no way in the world anybody could implement a system where the a student athlete gets compensated for play. 

Let's just say "college signing day" for a high school prospect, would have a entirely different meaning.

It would be the Wild Wild West if college players could get paid. They would find themselves in a world of trouble and danger -- gambling, extortion, boosters, etc.... It wouldn't be safe for an 18 year old kid, to be running around campus trying to sell his jersey and other team memorabilia. Or copping off a national championship ring for some tattoos.

College is a place for higher learning, where people can obtain a decent education, grow and mature, and put oneself in a viable position to earn income after completing. These student athletes need to remain patient and appreciate the opportunity that's bestowed upon them.

Creating a situation where the student athlete could be compensated could potentially put these young adolescents in extremely unsafe and risky situations. Major universities would be bidding for player services (this still happens, albeit under the table). Parents would also expect compensation as well. 

Remember the Reggie Bush's parent's and Cam Newton Sr. scandals? Those scandals would be the norm, if student athletes could be compensated.

Players would be getting extorted, signing contracts with shady agents and dealers, paid for performance, fixed games... They would be all over the news...

I could see it now the news headlines now,
"Player get's killed after a financial dispute over signing autographs."
Or here's another one:
"South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney involved in a fight after a financial dispute over free tattoos after having a ..."
In fact, collegiate players do get paid --a full scholarship, free room and board, meal plans, training facilities, access to professional coaching and training, and an opportunity to play professional sports. Even if they don't go pro in there respective sports, student athletes they can obtain good jobs after college...

If someone can find a fair way to implement a system where compensation can be awarded, I am willing to listen.  I just don't know how it would work. 

Would major universities be the only one's paying players? Who would get paid and how much? What about other sports, like basketball, soccer, rugby or a litany of sports most universities offer?

Would women student athletes get paid too?

Most of this this heated discussion have stemmed from the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit v.s. NCAA and the recent comments by Jay Bilas towards the NCAA. 

O'Bannon's lawsuit against the NCAA purely boils down to "sour grapes" because his pro career didn't turn out as expected.

Bilas comes off as being a hypocrite himself. I'm pretty confident Bilas benefited greatly from the athletic scholarship he received at Duke University. The opportunity afforded to him allows him to be a major broadcaster on ESPN . 

Take a look at a few of his controversial tweets:

College Athletes are not professional athletes.  Student athletes will put themselves in dangerous situations if college athletics chooses to go down that route. 

I truly understand how the NCAA has profited greatly from college athletics, but it does not mean you should play amateurs. 

Definition of "amateur" -A person who engages in a pursuit, esp. a sport, on an unpaid basis.

Let's not get all caught up in the "Johnny Football" hype. I'll be the first to admit, its a bad rule. However, it's still a rule, and Manziel brazenly broke the rule. I don't want to see suspended or gone for the rest of the season, and honestly neither should the NCAA. 

Manziel will be one of the biggest draws in collegiate football this season. Just give the kid a one game suspension or some type of probation. Let's move on from this and return to enjoy watching college athletics. 

Manziel has had many supporters -- Texas A & M University Chancellor stated in an interview with NBC 5's Chris Can Horne Thursday:

“I also think that there’s something, you know this is just me talking not as chancellor of the system, something is wrong with the system when we can make money off of our football players, the NCAA make money off of our football players and they can’t be treated like Olympic athletes,” 

Current NFL players Dez Bryant and Adrian Peterson have also voiced their support of Manziel.

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Eric N. Ellington 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Brooklyn Nets are Still No Threat to the Miami Heat

USA TODAY-Brad Penner | 2013 Jun 13

There's been much buzz about the new Brooklyn Nets. Or should I say the old Brooklyn Nets.

With the acquisition of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry via the blockbuster trade of the offseason -- that also sent Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks and three first round draft picks to the Boston Celtics

It certainly was a great trade for the Celtics, dumping Garnett's and Pierce's (about $27 million) salary. Boston currently in a rebuilding state could use younger players and clear out some salary cap space. Celtics also hired Brad Stevens, 36, from Butler, which I also think was a great move by Celtics general manager, Danny Ainge.

I think it was a horrible deal for the Nets. This team will lack foot-speed on the perimeter and will struggle defensibly at the G/F positions.

Many think the Nets will challenge the Miami Heat. I certainly don't think so.

We all witnessed how the New York Knicks dismantled down the stretch. After a RED hot start, going 22-6 and leading the Eastern Conference standings early on, the Knicks completely fell apart right when it mattered most -- playoffs.

Kurt Thomas, who was out for the season with a foot, was waived at the end of the season. Rasheed Wallace abruptly retired after he also battled foot problems too. Marcus Camby could never get started and got deactivated before being traded a few days ago. Jason Kidd, new Nets coach, started the season on fire but finished the playoffs with eight straight scoreless games.

The same thing will happen to the Nets. They are over the hill and too oooolllllldddd.

Garnett, 37, and Pierce, 35, will be too old to effectively compete during the 2014 playoffs. We saw flashes of brilliance against the Knicks in the first round this year's playoffs, however father time and Carmelo Anthony were too much to overcome.

I cannot envision these aging veterans successfully completing a non-injured 82 game regular season and then expected to deliver for an anticipated deep playoff run.

It's not going to happen. 

The 2012-2013 Net's team had plenty of hype, an exciting new arena in Brooklyn, however they clearly lacked heart, guts and determination. Garnett and Pierce will be an immediate infusion of those attributes, but do they honestly have enough left in the tank? 

After Avery Johnson was fired, in December, after the team slipped below .500 (Johnson was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for November), the team promoted P.J. Carlesimo, to interim head coach and lead them to a 35-19 record (4th seed). 

However the season ended in extreme disappointment.  As talented as they were, and an near $200 million dollar back-court, they failed to advance pass the Roseless Chicago Bulls.

Little Nate Robinson single-handedly put on a playoff performance for the ages and the Nets were sent hope packing in front of their home fans in a grueling seven game series.

I currently rank this Nets team fifth in the Eastern Conference -- while the Miami Heat lead the way followed by the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and the New York Knicks.

 The Nets projected 2013-2014 starting lineup will likely be:

C Brook Lopez
PF Kevin Garnett
SF Paul Pierce
SG Joe Johnson
PG Deron Williams

This starting lineup does looks great -- on paper.

A team featuring Joe Johnson (who I believe is the most overpaid player in the NBA) and a rookie head coach in Kidd, won't be competing for a NBA championships. I honestly cannot remember the last time a rookie head coach won the NBA title.

And that's a problem, because the Nets, and billionaire owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, desperately want to win now.

Williams, who also has struggled, since joining the Nets as a max contract player, seems uncoachable. Williams also missed the All-Star game for the first time in four years. So will Kidd be the answer?  

Kidd stated in an interview with the New York Daily News,
"He's better than me. I mean, he can shoot," said Kidd, a notorious streaky shooter throughout his career. "He's a guy who can set the table, he can get to the basket, he can score. I don't look at him as me. Again, he's a little bit better than I am."
Hopefully, with Kidd on the sidelines, giving Williams the freedom to call his own plays, he  can return to his Utah days. 

Kidd's an obviously brilliant mind with an insanely high basketball I.Q., but has never coached any level. Never called a timeout. Never made a substitution.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Complete Timeline of Kobe Bryant's Injured Achilles Tendon and Rehabilitation Process

June 21, 2013 -

Kobe Bryant post on his Instagram account a video of him walking on his repaired achilles tendon. These are his first steps without the walking boot. Bryant continues to use social media to keep his fans in the loop. Bryant consulted with former Los Angeles Galaxy MLS star, David Beckham, who also tore his achilles late in his career. You can read this latest article by clicking here:
June 11, 2013 

Kobe Bryant reached a settlement with the New Jersey Auction, so no court time for the injured star. Bryan't parents issued an apology and have expressed since remorse and regret. Only six of his collectible items will be up for sale, as opposed to the 70 items that were reportedly going up for the July auction.

May 19, 2013 - 

Bryant has been very active on his Twitter, Facebook and Instragram accounts and now the NBA has nominated him for a few categories in the second annual Social Media Awards. Read the rest of the story below:

May 17, 2013

In Phil Jackson's upcoming book Eleven Rings: Soul of Success sparked an interesting debate about who's better: Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. I'm a Mamba fan, but no one comes close to MJ. Kobe also tweeted:
You can read the rest of the story at:

May 14, 2013 

Kobe Bryant posted a photo on his Instagram and Twitter account.  It has been month since he successfully underwent surgery to repair his achilles tendon. Pretty graphic huh?


May 6, 2013 - 

Kobe Bryant is now able to apply some pressure on his surgically repaired achilles tendon. Bryant is a tireless worker and will do whatever it takes to get back on the court.  This play was one of my favorites -- Kobe dunked over the entire Nets squad.  The demoralization clearly affected them and the Nets got bounced out of the playoffs by a decimated No-Rose Bulls Team.

May 4, 2013 

Kobe Bryant obviously dissatisfied with his parents behavior tweets:

May 3, 2013 

Kobe Bryant takes his mother to court. You can read the entire story at:

April 28, 2013 

Kobe Bryant emerges from locker room after Dwight Howard is ejected in the 3rd quarter of Game 4 against the San Antonio Spurs.  Howard may have played his last Lakers' game.  Bryant reminded Laker Nation -- you can count on the Black Mamba to be there in end.  He was welcomed by a loud ovation from the Staple Center crowd.

April 23, 2013 

Kobe Bryant has cast removed today.  On his Facebook he says, "I have zero swelling and virtually no pain."


April 22, 2013

Kobe vows not to tweet during game 2 of the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs playoff series.  Bryant's tweets caused quite a media stir during the post-game interviews with head coach Mike D'Antoni.

"Its great to have that commentary, " D'Antoni said rather sarcastically, while he rolled his eyes. Then he proceeded to call Kobe a "fan."

Stephen A. Smith, ESPN First Take Co-Host, called for a public apology from D'Antoni, but none was given.

Bryant apparently took offense to D'Antoni's comments and tweeted "A fan?? lol #microphonetalk," and later made it clear that he did not want to be a distraction for the Lakers. Poor Kobe, #boredmamba.

April 20, 2013

Kobe Bryant treats his teammates with brand new laptops for making the playoffs.

April 14, 2013

Kobe Bryant has successful surgery to repair his right achilles tendon.  Bryant was operated on by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Stephen Lombardo of the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Group, and will be sidelined for at least six to nine months.

ht kobe bryant surgery jt 130414 wblog Kobe Bryant Has Successful Surgery to Repair Achilles Tendon

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kobe Bryant's Nike Shoes Finish 2nd to LeBron James in U.S. sales

File:Kobe Bryant image 1.jpg

Kobe Bryant's Signature Nike shoe, "Kobe 8", finishes 2nd to LeBron James signature shoes which brought in over $300 million dollars in the U.S. alone.

Bryant's immense popularity has transcended into a $50 million dollars business in the shoe sales market. Kobe's signature Nike shoe sells for about $140 retail price, which considerably cheaper than LeBron James' shoe at about $260 retail. Carmelo Anthony's Jordan series finished 3rd while Kevin Durant's Nike shoes finished fourth, repectively.

Kobe even jokedly marketed his foot boot, he's been wearing on the surgically repaired achilles tendon on his instagram account.

Bryant's may be at a slight disadvantage, since his shoe is about half the price of LeBron's and Bryant won't be back on the court for quite some time.  However Bryant, still remains as one of the most popular athletes in the U.S. and many are awaiting his return next season.

Bryant is NBA biggest star in China and although his sales have dipped from last year, he still sells more shoes than Dwight Howard ($5 million), John Wall ($5 million) and Derrick Rose ($25 million) combined.

Bryant has been with Nike since 2003 after leaving Adidas.

The Kobe 8 System shoe is his lightest at 10 ounces and lowest to date. According to House of Hoops, the shoe was designed for quick bursts of energy, sudden changes of direction and 360 degrees of breathabilty. Hmmmm, looks like Kobe may have had an equipment malfunction  -- as his achilles snapped after a quick move to the basket.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston Bomber Wreaks Havoc in Boston; Sporting Events Cancelled and Postponed

The Boston Marathon was dramatically interrupted when two bombs exploded near the finish line.These small, yet powerful bombs detonated nearly twelve seconds apart and left over 170 people injured and claimed three casualties.

The entire city of Boston went in to an unprecedented lockdown.  Streets were vacant and business were closed.  Sporting events were also cancelled and postponed.  The Red Sox and Bruins postponed their games this past Friday.  Tuesday's NBA game between the the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers was cancelled.

Boston College also cancelled the annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring Football game. Mass transportation and public transit stations were immediately shut down, as authorities continued the city-wide manhunt for suspect #1. 

Bostonians were extremely ecstatic once news broke, that the suspect was captured and taken into custody on Friday night.  The suspect was injured during the gun battles and was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - the same hospital were the suspect's older brother was pronounced dead and where 12 victims of this horrific bombing are being treated for injuries.

I am very thankful authorities caught this traitor. The FBI and local law enforcement with help of the American public, resolved this volatile situation very swiftly.

I also observed his friends and acquaintances, constantly, telling the media how good of a kid he was.  However, last year on his twitter account he tweeted: 

The suspect could have his citizenship revoked, which ironically, he acquired on 9/11/12, and might be classified as an enemy combatant so he can face the full extent of the law.

Hopefully, we can all return to some sense of normalcy as the 2013 NBA Playoffs begin. The Boston Celtics will began their postseason against the New York Knicks today at 3pm.

Updated at 2:39 pm on 4/20/2013 - TMZ has released a gruesome picture of the older suspect in Boston Marathon Bombing. Click link below at your own risk:

Trending on Twitter:


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Eric N. Ellington 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Derrick Rose Must Return for the Playoffs

Derrick Rose has been medically cleared to play, but has not played a single minute for the Chicago Bulls since suffering a torn ACL last March. Rose will probably will not play in the postseason either.

The initial recovery time for the injured star was eight to twelve months, however the organization hoped they would get their franchise player much sooner.

Rose risks losing respect from his teammates and from Chicago fans if he ultimately decides to not play this season.

The Bulls have looked really good this season, earning a sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, despite losing the majority of their bench players to free agency and trades.

The new "bench mob" - Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli, and Nazr Mohammed- seemed highly questionable at best.  However, they have played surprisingly well and developed team chemistry rather quickly.

Most were wondering at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, if this year would be a waste, and Rose should not risk returning this season.  Tanking the season seemed like a likely avenue, but coach Tom Thibodeau commanded his squad and the Bulls started winning.

Carlos Boozer, averaging more points and rebounds, than last year, started playing like the former 2-time All-Star and even won Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

Nate Robinson, a player with previous maturity issues, also started playing with more self-control.  Robinson is shooting 40% from the 3PT land and averaging over 13 points a game, his highest since the 2008-2009 season.

Little Nate has been a delight to watch this year,  and his feud with New York Knicks forward, Steve Novak, has been extremely entertaining to say the least.  Little Nate called him a "clown" on twitter after Novak dissed him in this video:

The season is also without controversy- when the trade deadline passed, and the Bulls did not make any moves, Derrick brother, Reggie Rose, voiced his opinion publicly to ESPN Chicago.

"Its frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not to put anything around them, " Reggie Rose said.

Derrick Rose quickly released a statement to diffuse any potential rift between him and the organization.

"I always felt that the Bulls organization's goals have been the same as mine and that is to bring another championship to this city," Derrick Rose said in that statement.

This fluid situation is increasingly awkward,  fans are growing frustrated, especially when they see glimpses of Rose before games working out and shooting jumpers. Many think he is ready to return.

I wonder if Derrick Rose would be playing, if he was not receiving his annual salary.  Rose is currently under contract for over 16 million this season, which is makes him the top paid player on his team. Organizations in the future, may require language in contracts which suggests:

Once a player is cleared medically by team doctors and independent medical staff, player must play. If player decides he or she is not "mentally ready" to play, player will not receive any compensation until player starts playing.

Bulls fans are wondering what this season could have become.  Bulls ended the historic Miami Heat streak at 27 games and then closed out the Knicks 13 game-winning streak as well, while sweeping the season series.

The proclaimed "streak stoppers" are poised for a deep playoff run, but they will need Derrick Rose, the hometown savior, to lead them in to battle and compete for a NBA championship.

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Eric N. Ellington's Favorite Lowlight of the Week: Bubba Watson V.S. 12th Hole

I was raised in Augusta, GA and have always had an appreciation for the Masters Tournament. This Major is the greatest golf tournament in the world.  Bubba Watson, the University of Georgia Alum, had a difficult time at the 12th hole during Saturday's third round.  Watson scored a 10 on the 156-yard Par-3 12th hole.  Ouch!  

Updated by: Eric N. Ellington