Friday, June 24, 2011

columns about weather warnings and sirens

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. You can blame the summer. Or me being out of things to talk about. In any case, here's this week's from the St. Clair Times. You're welcome.
False alarms? Would no alarm be a better way?

Like most people in this state, I grew up reading and hearing about the importance of severe weather warnings.

And, like most people, at some point in my life I learned to ignore those warnings.

Just about everybody at this point knows the drill when it comes to severe weather: we all went through tornado warnings in school, where we were forced out into the hallways and crouched down until a teacher told us it was time to go back to class. For some reason, I have a memory of being very young and ordered to take a heavy textbook with me to protect my head; then at some point, I was told my hands would suffice, instead of the book. I’m not sure why this happened and never really thought enough to ask.

In any case, one can only do so many drills and hear so many sirens and receive so many predictions of catastrophic storms before one becomes … well, somewhat complacent.

“OK, here we go again.”

Birmingham meteorologist James Spann understands this phenomenon all too well, which is why he created a minor Internet stir this week with some suggestions for overhauling the weather warning process.

Spann is known by many for his suspenders, his tireless efforts during any severe weather threat — the man actually got death threats in January 2009, when winter weather threatened to preempt Alabama’s national-title tilt with Texas — and for his encyclopedic knowledge of his coverage area (“the tornado is right there by that store … I think it’s Texaco now, but it used to be a antique shop”). He’s also been notable as someone who doubts the science behind climate change and for his willingness to speak to school and church groups, far and wide.

According to Spann, complacency in response to severe storms may have cost some lives during the deadly outbreak on April 27.

“The FAR (false alarm ratio) for many NWS offices when it comes to tornado warnings is in the 80-90 percent category,” Spann wrote on the ABC 33/40 weather blog last week. “I say this is simply not acceptable. Sure, the POD is excellent (probability of detection), but if most of the warnings are bad, then what good is a high POD?”

The most notable of his suggestions: Spann believes it’s time to take down the outdoor warning sirens that most of us associate with emergencies.

“Sirens are not efficient, reach a limited number of people, and can’t be heard in most homes, schools, and businesses,” Spann says. “And, in most counties, the sirens don’t sound only in the warned polygon, they sound county wide. In some cases, this means you are hearing a siren when the actual tornado threat is over 40 miles away.

“Sirens were born during the Cold War with the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s … their time has come and gone. If the sirens are taken down, then you KNOW you won’t hear one next time there is a tornado threat. … Most southerners still have the ‘siren mentality,’ and that no doubt killed people April 27.”

It’s an interesting point. At my house, I’ve heard sirens for storms in three different counties — St. Clair, Jefferson and Shelby — and my first reaction when I heard the warnings April 27 was something like, “Awesome … now I’m awake at 5:30 a.m.”

Then again, I doubt any of us will ever think of severe weather quite the same way again.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

apropos of nothing: A post about high school football

Editor's Note: Sometimes I start thinking too much about a topic and I feel the need to get those thoughts out in print. You may recall that this happened recently in a post about Harry Potter. Apologies in advance.

Since we occasionally fuss on this blog about playoff representation, it seems like the perfect time for me to discuss the state of Alabama's high school playoff representation rules (my alternate personality: No it does not ... no one cares about this but you).

For most of my time as a high school football player, I complained endlessly about the level of unfairness in the state's playoff system.

Back then — yes, wayyy back in the late 1990s, when I had only the vaguest idea about "Lord of the Rings" and couldn't fathom the idea of a "blog" — the AHSAA had its schools divided into 6 classifications (obviously), and those classifications were divided into 3-team and 4-team "areas" — which, by the way, it still does for sports other than football. The difference: in other sports such as baseball and basketball, teams face their area opponents at least twice during the season (and then again in a postseason tournament, usually), creating a larger sample size.

The area system continually irked me and my head coach, Spence McCracken. By nature, it essentially required playoff participants to win one game, or two games, in a 10-game schedule. The microcosm of this: In 1996 and '97, we in Opelika sat home and watched the playoffs (with final records of 6-4 and 8-2, respectively) owing to area losses; meanwhile, Carver-Montgomery made the playoffs owing to one win over Selma. Selma!

So when the AHSAA announced it was creating a region system — that first went into effect in 2000, two years after my senior season (thanks for that, guys) — I heartily approved. Playoff representation is now much more equitable: Instead of only 1 or 2 games on the schedule mattering, truly mattering, the bulk of the schedule is region play. As a result (in theory, anyway) the best teams make the playoffs and the worst teams do not.

Still, 2 very large problems exist.
Problem No. 1: Travel. Here's the problem: Not every school in the state can play "local" region games. Opelika, for example, plays in a region with Enterprise, Dothan and Northview. That's at least one pretty long trip every year (usually two).
They're not the worst off, by any means. Last year the eventual 3A state champs from Leeds (near Birmingham) played region games at Walter Wellborn (Anniston) and at Beulah (near Opelika), and hosted Clay County (below Talladega), Central Coosa (below Sylacauga) and Handley (Randolph Co.). Match some of those teams up against one another, then say, "Y'all figure out the travel on your own" ... it can be pretty difficult logistically (not to mention financially, as the price of traveling, feeding and caring for 45-65 young athletes continues to climb).
Problem No. 2: It makes schedules, like, hard and stuff. A few years ago, Jeff Steers, then the B.B. Comer head coach (now I think he's an assistant at Sylacauaga) made the observation that region play has made life much more difficult for coaches.
"Region play is costing a lot of coaches their jobs," he said.
It's a fair observation. During Steers' two-year tenure at Comer, the Tigers — every team in Talladega County is the "Tigers" — won a grand total of 2 football games, both during his first year. This was for multiple reasons: a) They just weren't all that good; b) They were stuck in a region with a bunch of teams who were really good, and they had to bear the brunt of the beatings.
This is the unending difficulty of region scheduling: If your returning team looks lousy, you can't build your schedule around a bunch of other lousy teams. Auburn High used to be quite adept at this — my senior year, while were being tested vs. Vigor, Prattville and Robert E. Lee, AHS was running a gauntlet that included Lanett, B.T. Washington and Eufaula (note: in the interest of fairness, I should note they also played Vestavia, the eventual state champs, for good measure).
You get the idea, though. With more flexibility, a coach can schedule himself more "winnable" dates; this enables him to finish his season and say, "But we finished 7-3! That's progress!" even if his squad got housed in the games that truly counted.
(Of course, the lack of scheduling flexibility can also be a positive thing. In years past, teams like Hazlewood or Pike County wound up playing a bunch of much larger schools to fill out their schedules, and only because no one else outside their areas would dare schedule them. So maybe this is a bit of a wash.)

I'm not sure other states are doing this much better. The region I covered while working in Dublin, Ga., got a heaping helping of unfairness dumped on it by its state sanctioning body in 2004.
Here's what happened: The GHSA (in Georgia they do without the extra "A"), for reasons that were never fully explained — seriously, we asked like 80 different times — decided to align the region we were in with a whopping 14 teams, with the north end in Dodge County (near Macon) and the south end in Savannah. They did this, they said, for "geographic" reasons. Wait, it gets worse: Every region in the GHSA only got 4 playoff spots, regardless of how many teams comprised them. Wait, it gets worse than that: They didn't bother giving any instructions to the region members about how to choose its 4 playoff reps; the GHSA basically left it up to each region to figure it out.
The end result, after 2 days' worth of meetings that involved a great deal of tooth-gnashing and finger-pointing: The coaches divided the region in 2; teams played their 6 "sub-region" opponents plus a cross-over game vs. the opposing sub-region, plus 2 non-region dates. And they decided to leave Week 10 open for another cross-over, only this week would be reserved for each of the top-4 from each sub-region to play the top-4 from the other sub-region, for the right to make the state playoffs.
You read that right: Because of the GHSA's idiotic region alignment, every team in that region had to play an extra playoff game.
(Incidentally, Dublin High, one of our local squads, actually made it all the way to semi-final round that year. In other words, they won as many playoff games as it would've taken to win state.)

To be honest, I've no idea how other states handle their championships, and I'm sure each circumstance has its own special approach (Texas, for example, is like nothing else anywhere). But I'm open to suggestions.

(Oh, who are we kidding? Nobody's going to read this thing.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday tube: Trent runs a bunch of people over

With 82 laborious days still to endure before football returns to our lives, we at the Party feel compelled to share this video of Trent Richardson 2010 highlights.

It's pretty exciting just to watch him and imagine what could be (note: if you say the "H" word, I will shoot you).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

shameless promotion (2.0): the inevitable "rules" column

This week's column from the St. Clair Times, which reads like it was written by a 75-year-old crank.
Rules are rules, even when we know they’re really not

Every year around this time, the same scenario plays itself out.

It’s the NBA Finals. Superstars for one team or another — think Dr. J, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan or Lebron James — is leading his team toward that championship trophy he’s been playing for since the season started some time two years earlier (seriously, do these seasons ever end?).

There will come a point at which the superstar needs to make something happen to help his team win. And he will inevitably break a rule to make that thing happen. And no one will care.

He might take too many steps. He might reach in and not get called for it. He might (like Jordan famously did in 1998) flagrantly shove someone to create space for the clinching jump shot.

Regardless, it’s almost a certainty there will be no call from the officials. And like a wrestler with a distracting manager, the superstar will walk off carrying the championship gold.

I bring this up because it drives my dad insane. “Those are the rules!” he says every year. “Why do we even have the rules if we’re not going to make people follow them?”

Not that he doesn’t have a point here. Last week, when Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel “resigned” in an effort to escape the NCAA firing squad, there came the inevitable discussion about the NCAA’s rules.

“The rules are arcane and antiquated,” went the chorus. “It’s unfair.”

And the answer is: Of course the rules are bad. Of course they should be changed. Of course the NCAA should be somewhat embarrassed that it continues to propagate and defend this absurd idea of “amateur” sports while it makes a killing for itself and its corporate partners.

It’s a world full of hypocrites. No one denies that.

That’s not the point. The point is that Tressel, a veteran of college football for more than 30 years, knew the rules. And he did not follow them.

In the real world, we are bound by rules that everyone hates, at every turn.

Speed limits, for example. Do I think the limit should be 35 miles per hour through town? No, I’d like to see that changed. But that’s the rule; if I break it, that’s on me.

Look, I realize that disobedience to law is sometimes the only way things change in this world. Once upon a time, the rule of law treated people of color as second-class citizens and kept women from voting or holding jobs. Those kinds of merit-less regulations have no place in a free society anyway.

It’s just that there is no noble social agenda in Ohio State’s refusal to comply with the NCAA, or NBA officials refusing to enforce their own league’s mandates. That’s actually just underhanded opportunism, the actions of organizations basically saying, “Yeah … those rules don’t apply to us.”

And it keeps happening. Every year.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Family Conversations: Part of Your Hot Summer

By now you've figured out the point of this "Family Conversation" thread — my cousin's husband (cousin-in-law?) Jamie, an Auburn fan and graduate, and I trade emails about Auburn football, Alabama football and life in general. One day we may collaborate on some sort of "Sane Fans' Podcast," which will probably be fun and will attract exactly 0 downloads. In any case, if you want to read last week's installment, click here.

will: To me the most remarkable part of the unending Cam Newton saga was the defiance on Auburn's part. Essentially the vibe from Auburn everyone got down the stretch was, "Yeah, we're innocent and you can suck it." It was like watching an NBA player feign amazement when the official blew the whistle and pointed in his direction. "What ... me? What'd I do? Y-you're just biased against me - that's the problem!" I understand being defensive, but the self-righteous indignation frankly got old.
Look, if Auburn skates on this, and it's really over, fine. But let's stop this thing where we throw stones at everyone else while pretending our boys are as pure as the driven snow. Had Cam stayed at Florida, or gone to Mississippi State, we'd all be sitting around wondering how much he was getting paid to do his thing.

Jamie: The reason that I think Aubs had the "everyone can suck it" attitude is because after the original story broke, it was like every 2 bit writer/blogger on the intranets turned into Woodward and Bernstein in an attempt to be the one to put out the next bit of juice. Here is the type stuff they came up with.
It reminds me of when the Vice President of Madison hotels hires the janitor to find out things about Billy's progress in school and he comes back with "Mrs. Lippy's car is green". There was no conspiracy against Auburn or Cam Newton. It was just horrible journalism. What is funny is that the deeper people dug, the less they found. Look, I have 0 doubt that neither Cam or any other athlete at AU are close to being choir boys. The reason I fully believe Auburn did NOTHING wrong as it related to the Newton family is that everyone and their sister wanted to be the one to have the dirt, yet no one could find it. Sports Illustrated ran with a piece on Ohio State that was really not that big of a deal. yet when they investigated Cam and Auburn, they didn't find enough to write about. HBO went after Cam, found nothing, so they had to go another route. (whether the HBO 4 were telling the whole truth I really don't know). The NCAA investigated and the president said "We found nothing". So the pattern: outsiders who make judgments on innuendo say Auburn is guilty. Everyone who has actually investigated can't find anything wrong. Funny how that works out. I don't think we will have to skate because I really and truly believe there is nothing for Auburn to have to skate on. I would say otherwise if I believed it. It's funny, I am tired of talking about it but at the same time, I really like keeping the topic in the forefront because I want to be right there waiting when we are officially cleared. Of course, if I have swung and missed, I will not run and hide then either. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Jamie: Would you be in favor of raising scholarship benefits for collegiate athletes (legally paying players)?

will: I think the model that makes the most sense here is the college baseball model, which allows the athletes to work with the professional clubs and maintain their NCAA eligibility, but also requires them to stay in school at least 3 years. You'd probably see a lot more athletes playing a year or two at JUCO, and you'd still have issues with agents, but at least you'd remove some of the hypocrisy of this absurd "amateur athletics" charade we're all carrying on now.
To me, what we're really missing is a partnership between the NCAA and NFL. The NCAA carries on as though the professional ranks don't exist. We'd all be better off if the two could work together here.

Jamie: Who takes over THE Ohio State University in 2012? Do they go the AU route and hire a Terry Bowden to get them through, or try to go big time from the start?

will: They'd better hope their interim coach doesn't light up the world in '11 — if they go 10-2 or something without Pryor — a real possibility given how weak the conference is and how good they should be defensively — the clamor in Columbus to make Fickell the permanent hire will grow and grow. Long-term, that would be a disaster.
Two other thoughts:
• I know the "What's the best job in America?" question has been done to death in sports media, but Ohio State is arguably the best job in college football, if only because a) you're the biggest and best-known school in a talent-rich state; b) you have a rabid fan base and unlimited operating resources; c) you're in a relatively weak conference, top to bottom. Compare that to, say, Auburn, which is the second-place school in its own state AND has to compete with the rest of the SEC.
• If ever there was a time for poor Michigan State to make a move, this would be it, right? Ohio State is vulnerable; Michigan is at least two years away; they have most everybody back. Of course, since it's MSU, they'll probably go 7-5.

Jamie: What has winning a National Championship done to Gene Chizik's rep? 5-19 coach who rode superman or legit top coach in college football?

will: No matter what happens from here on out, Gene Chizik will always be the coach who won a national title at Auburn. That's his identity from now on; honestly, if he mailed in this year, it would be hard to blame him. I won't even quibble about all the bounces Auburn got in '10 because, frankly, going 14-0 takes luck. Alabama in 2009 doesn't go 14-0 without about a half-dozen breaks. That's just the way it is.
Two thoughts going forward:
• Chizik needs to do something to establish that he is in control of his program. Fair or unfair, the compilation of the Newton scandal, Nick Fairley repeatedly taking cheap shots with no repercussions and the other off-field stuff gives an air that he doesn't have command of his locker room. I'm not necessarily blaming him — don't forget, Jimmy Johns was famously arrested during the first full summer of Saban's tenure — but it has to be something that concerns him.
• In my opinion, Auburn needs to encourage Trooper Taylor to go somewhere else. I'm sure his recruiting prowess is substantial, and we all enjoy watching him jump around on the sidelines like a little kid ... wait, no we don't. And that's one of the ways he can hurt Auburn long-term: his showboating antics are an embarrassment to the program and give programs more motivation to kick them while they're down. Moreover, some of his other off-field actions — specifically, his lawsuit against Auburn city schools over his son's corn rows — are painting AU in a negative light in the community. It's sending the message that the rules don't apply to him or his family. That can't happen.

Jamie: We have discussed this in private and my feelings on the lawsuit deal are known. Regarding his antics, whatever is done within the rules, fine. Fact is Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachary had about 10 catches between them before Troop got there and they both turned into upper level receivers. He can be annoying, especially to opposing fans. I guess he's no different than this guy in that respect.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday links: D-Day Edition

Of course it's cliched — what'd you want, really?

You may have noticed, but it's really hot outside. Consider this your excuse to stay inside a few extra minutes. You're welcome.

— Alabama's baseball team has fought to the death this weekend in Tallahassee; unfortunately, they're currently down to their last few outs in an 8-1 game vs. FSU and have run out of pitchers. The game was postponed until today due to weather.
Assuming the season ends today, the epitaph for this team will read much like the 2010 version: they're not particularly talented, but they kept coming and coming and never quit, only they didn't have the arms to get them through a postseason format. You have to admire them, even while you're secretly cursing Mitch Gaspard for overtaxing his starting rotation.
— The same cannot be said for the softball team, which was 1 win away from the College World Series final in Oklahoma City ... and got ambushed twice by Florida. While it's true there's no shame in finishing 56-10 and in the top 3-4 in the nation, Florida just looked like a much more aggressive team in Sunday's games, and our girls looked like a boxer who'd just been punched in the face and couldn't find his mouthpiece. That's tough to swallow under any circumstances.

— For football things, the most notable story last week was the SEC Presidents' vote to essentially ban oversigning, which was the subject of an endless Twitter debate last week at BSR. For more on the vote, read this Chris Low column. For an explanation of why we should probably start signing more Bigfoots, read Tower of Bammer.
— Speaking of "roster management," word has leaked that Opelika's Corey Grant may be transferring — tough loss there — which (probably) means an expanded role for Dee Hart.

— A few other short things: Andy Staples rates the best jobs in college football; the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives chooses a site for its championship game; and CBS releases its 2011 college football schedule ... kinda.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

shameless promotion (2.0): June 2, 2011

Editor's note: In the ongoing effort of this blog to ... blah blah blah, you know what this. Comment if you have something to say.
Heroes from all over after storms

That the governor’s office issued a proclamation honoring someone or something is not such a huge story.

Government officials — and the governor’s office specifically — issue proclamations about various things all the time. Either they’re honoring someone for winning a medal, or pretending they’re an Auburn fan for an hour, or maybe declaring it Awareness Week for a disease.

So no, a gubernatorial proclamation isn’t all that notable.

But a proclamation honoring the media? That one’s pretty unusual.

It happened, though. Last Monday, at the state Capitol building, Gov. Robert Bentley signed a commendation “thanking members of the Alabama media for extensive coverage before, during, and after the tornado outbreak that recently moved through the state.” Media representatives were invited to come to the signing for photo opportunities.

Was it shameless pandering in an attempt to curry favor with the statewide press? Probably. During his visit to St. Clair County in the aftermath of the tornado, Bentley privately expressed his appreciation for “all the good work you people” in the press did.

In all honesty, it’s often difficult to cover a story like this, one where so much tragedy and heartbreak is occurring right in your own backyard. Take last week’s relief efforts: so much aid pouring in from other parts of the world, people taking initiative and pulling together resources, transportation … everything.

And us? Well, we’re taking their picture and telling their story. It feels like sort of a bad trade-off, really.

Six years ago this September, I recall all of us sitting in the newsroom watching the horrific images on national news following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The overwhelming feeling: helplessness. What could I, a broke sportswriter who was hundreds of miles away, do to help those in need?

This time around has been somewhat different. Still broke, the tragedy happened right in our backyard. And if there was one thing we, the media, can do, we can help get out the word.

Supplies are here. They need donations of this there. And if you want to volunteer, you should call here.

Much of that information came through our local Emergency Management Agency, which has been fanatical about making sure everyone understands the gravity of the situation in St. Clair County and the state.

Is that worthy of commendation? It doesn’t feel like it. We’re not carrying chainsaws or rescuing people from rubble; we’re just out here doing our jobs like we’re supposed to and spreading information.

It’s what we do. We can only hope it’s helpful to someone.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

the return of Family Conversations

With the offseason dragging on like a Yankees-Red Sox game — seriously guys, go pound salt or something — it seems like the perfect time to bring back the ongoing blog gimmickfeature "Family Conversations," wherein I trade emails with cousin's husband (cousin-in-law?) Jamie, then post the results. Note that neither of us really has any inside sources; we're just two ordinary (mostly rational) fans airing our opinions because we can. As always, everyone is welcome to the conversation, either by commenting here or finding us on Twitter.
Also as always, please visit the Red Cross' website and donate, if you haven't done so already, before reading any further. Thanks.
will: Welcome to the long, slow dark of the offseason. I hope those 2010 national champ videos and a steady diet of scandal has kept your brain occupied to this point ... because there's still some time to go.
What I recall about the summer of 2010, for me, was how I secretly wasn't ready for the season to start when it did. I enjoy football — probably as much as anyone else on the planet, really — but there was something in me that just kind of wanted it to be 2009 forever. When the season finally did start, and the team took the field, my first thought was, "Well ... guess we're not the champs anymore." It was still my team; it just wasn't the same team that accomplished all that magic from the year before.

Jamie: What's funny about hanging the NC banner is that in a few months someone else will be crowned the champ and we will begin our quest for the next title. If scandal is what you want then you can find it on any local university corner if you really wanted to. As it relates to Auburn's side of scandal what I find interesting is anyone who says anything to me about Auburn and cheating, they say nothing other than "I know you did it". It would not shock me in the least if the NCAA came out tomorrow and said they found that Auburn, Bama or anyone were paying players. My problem comes when people who didn't investigate any part of out recruitment of *sigh* Cam Newton say they know what happened, while the NCAA investigated and found nothing:

"I said very loud and clear that I think it's absolutely a fundamentally wrong for a father to try to sell the services of his son or daughter to the highest bidder, to a university. We ought never to allow that to happen, but yet, having not anticipated that, we didn't have any rule or structure that said it was a violation of any of our rules. I found that grossly inappropriate that didn't have a structure in which we could say, 'No, you can't do that.'
"There was no evidence that money had changed hands and there was no evidence that Auburn University had anything to do with it. We would up making a decision that felt to many people morally objectionable, but that fit the facts and the circumstances.

One of the main players on the Mississippi State side says Auburn was not involved:

John Bond told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger on Thursday the latest round of accusations that Cam Newton's father sought money for his son to play college football "has nothing to do with Auburn. Absolutely nothing to do with Auburn."

Even Joe Schad says it's over.
(Sorry for that tangent, I will continue to be on the defensive as it relates to that whole deal, unless something else comes to light.)

will: What's your read on the Russell Wilson thing? Is he serious about considering Auburn? And if so, should Auburn be serious about him?
Jamie: According to everything I have heard, there is real mutual interest, and I have no problem with it. The coaches have their hands on the pulse of the program and if they feel that it would not effect team chemistry then I trust their decision. I talked to Eltoro Freeman the other day and he seems excited about the possibility so at least one player is cool with it. The only thing is, he would need to come in very soon in order to learn what he needs to, and he would have to pay a significant portion of his signing bonus ($250,000) for leaving baseball.

will: Is there one thing about the team this fall that concerns you more than anything else?
Jamie: 1) Defensive Tackle - This could get really ugly.
2) QB - Depends. The wildcard here is Malzahn
3) WR - One guy with significant PT returning. Hurts that 2 guys we were counting on thought it was a good idea to commit armed robbery.

will: Finally, what do we make of the eternal debate about oversigning? Is it, as Mark Richt would have us believe, one of the true evils in society that must be exorcised? A slew of baseless accusations from jealous a-holes? Somewhere in the middle?
Jamie: Somewhere in the middle. I doubt that Nick or any other coach who essentially cuts players tells these prospects that they will be evaluated on a yearly basis, and if they are not pulling their weight then they are getting shipped out. At the same time, what does the NCAA expect when they say the scholarships are year to year. This just seems to promote cutting players and is within the rules. If it is a big deal to people just go to 4 year scholarships and be done with it. If a player red shirts and has 5 years then the last year is a renewable scholly. At that point, you have fulfilled your obligation and can pull the scholly or offer it for another year. I personally do not have a problem with it. You are given a scholly for your ability to contribute to the athletic program. You don't see outrage when an academic scholarship is taken away for not making the grades agreed upon when the scholly was given.