The Student Section’s Pick Six

The NBA community was hit hard yesterday with the news of Lamar Odom being found unconscious. While not all that relevant to college sports fans, it is situation worth monitoring because a little empathy, thoughts, and prayers never hurt anyone.

College Football

We are going to lump two Steve Sarkisian stories in our opening dump. The first one is the former USC coach thanking his supporters on Twitter. The second: Kyle Kensing on how he is rooting for Sark to overcome the toughest battle he has ever faced.

About to get a little TSS heavy on you. Bart Doan looks at the Michigan-Michigan State game. It is as though history has swung all the way back to a time when Michigan is Michigan again, and Michigan State is playing the role of that other team in Michigan.

Matt Zemek had a chance to talk to CBS broadcaster Gary Danielson. Some fun insights were shared. There was an interesting anecdote also told. According to Danielson, Lou Holtz once proclaimed the Wisconsin gig as a “dead one,” which seems somewhat comical today. More good stuff inside.

Allen Kenney has a sobering look at Bob Stoops within the confines of Oklahoma. While it may seem unpopular and even weird considering Stoops’ record, the nearing of the end of the road for him might be sooner than anyone realized. To be clear: Kenney isn’t suggesting Stoops would get canned. It is about pressure, and how long one man can take it.

Unfortunately, A.J. Long is retiring due to too many concussions and the issues they are presenting. Some will focus on the story of Syracuse moving on with a player already sidelines for the season with an injury, but the actual issue is Long’s long-term health.

SB Nation looks at five programs in need of a head football coach. The site ranks the gigs, too. Maryland is number three on the list. So, I suppose we can stop the “Maryland is a destination job” talk. There are only five openings in the country in October, with the Terps finishing a mere third out of five.

Extra Point

Dan Wetzel had a terrific post on Lamar Odom yesterday. There is so much more to the story than non-sports writers and sites are telling. As Scott Van Pelt put it perfectly last night, Odom isn’t a reality star or merely someone else’s ex-husband. He was Lamar Odom.

College Basketball

I am a fan of the idea of paying college athletes. Some are not. A discussion can be had about either side smartly. Those are important points to note, because this isn’t how one should go about making an argument against paying them. It is an article about how amateurism is broken, but how paying athletes would kill the broken ideal of it, and other things that are too hard to grasp.

SMU players have come out against the NCAA’s decision to put them on a postseason ban. The athletic director, however, backs the decision to accept the ban. Why? Because it is the players on the current roster who are going to suffer. Not anyone else.

Small murmurs are being reported about the NCAA considering starting college hoops one month early. I haven’t had a chance to let this sink in. Lots of different logistical issues will present itself, but that alone does not make it a horrible idea. We will see, I guess.

I don’t have the words. I don’t. I guess an argument can be had to help support this guy’s theory, but his own “column” doesn’t. It is basically a glorified tweet. But if reading about college basketball being dead without anything other than the statement saying so is your thing, then here.

CBT continues to roll out quality conference previews. Its latest is a Big East Conference preview. As always, this is worth your time.

And One

I don’t care that this is old. I don’t care that this is the second link to a Lamar Odom piece and the third reference to him on a college sports site. The great Lee Jenkins profiled Lamar Odom in 2009 for Sports Illustrated. It is an excellent piece of journalism and a must-read story, as Odom’s life is as tragic as it is enthralling.

About Joseph Nardone

Joseph has covered college basketball both (barely) professionally and otherwise for over five years. A Column of Enchantment for Rush The Court on Thursdays and other basketball stuff for The Student Section on other days.