Kain Colter and CAPA (College Athletes Players Association) scored a huge victory today, as the National Labor Relations Board ruled in their favor. I'm sure the face of the NCAA, Mark Emmert, has had some better days than today.
Remember when the local media here told us NU's legal team was CRUSHING CAPA's legal team during the hearing?
When they were unfairly smearing Kain Colter?
When they were basically vilifying Colter and mocking his Navy Seals comment?
Without actually taking the time to examine the historical credibility behind his statements?
When they were basically trying to instill the socially regressive and condescending "just shut up and play, jock" misnomer onto Kain Colter...
Northwestern basketball upset Iowa tonight, setting up a date with Tom Izzo and Michigan State in the next round of the Big Ten Tournament. It's difficult to beat the same team three times in a single season, as the very shopworn cliche goes. MSU beat NU by double digits twice this season. However, Iowa beat Northwestern basketball twice, by 26 points each time, and they were still upset by the Wildcats in Indianapolis.
NU is now 3-0 in the state of Indiana. And on day one of the Big Ten Tournament, teams from the state of Illinois represented; while teams from other states that start with the letter "I" were sent packing from the Big Ten Tourney.
Iowa basketball had beaten Northwestern basketball five in a row heading into this one. Now the Hawkeyes have lost seven of their last eight overall; the only win over very hapless Purdue...
Very big news today as we now have a third sports talk radio station, WGN Radio's 87.7 FM The Game, to compete with CBS' WSCR 670 The Score and ESPN MVP AM 1000. The Game is the local sports media story that everyone is talking about just like Kelly Crull, of Comcast SportsNet Chicago is the one sports media personality that everyone is talking about. We'll go into detail on both in this notebook.
We'll also cover the trend of college basketball coaches trashing Twitter and social media, and get thoughts from Northwestern's Chris Collins on the matter. We'll also cover Comcast SportsNet producing a very compelling special on White Sox World Series hero Bobby Jenks and much more...
broadcaster Bill Walton
granted me an exclusive this week. The video of the entire Q&A is linked here.
I asked Walton his thoughts on Northwestern Coach Chris Collins. Today's devastating home loss to Nebrasketball aside, Collins has some made noise in his first year at the helm, guiding them to .500 in the Big Ten, before the loss to Nebraska today.
The thoughts and opinions of Bill Walton on Chris Collins are transcribed below. Hall of Famer and one of the consensus top 50 players in league history, Walton was joined on the interview by his son, former NBA
player Luke Walton
Together, they are the third father-son duo to win NBA championships. Bill Walton, the #1 overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft has won numerous individual accolades as well. He's such a big national icon of the game that even his Twitter
parody account, @NotBillWalton
(156,000 followers) is an internet star in his own right.
The real Bill Walton, The Big Red, is one of the most colorful and controversial commentators in basketball history...
Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald formally announced a 15-man recruiting class today that is among the most highly rated in program history. It's possibly Fitzgerald’s highest rated recruiting class ever-
#38 nationally by ESPN, with a composite player rating of 85.37 according to 247Sports--best in recent memory.
Rivals ranks this Northwestern recruiting class 59th overall, Scout says 50th. The press conference was held at Ditka’s restaurant in the Gold Coast, which was great for everyone involved. Much more convenient, especially given the snow, ice and hazardous travel conditions.
An insanely rough winter it has indeed been, and Northwestern
SID Paul Kennedy got the presser rolling with this weather related joke:
"Thanks for coming in the snow. This would have crippled the entire Southeastern Conference."
Recruiting, perhaps more than any topic in all of sports, is very internet driven. Internet media and the outlets that cover recruiting have a very symbiotic relationship. Throughout the press conference, Pat Fitzgerald constantly remarked about how the internet has changed recruiting...
When it comes to Kain Colter, the Northwestern football team supporting him,
and the College Athletes Players Association
with which they stand, there are not "two sides" to this issue. That's one of the biggest fallacies of journalism- that every story needs "both sides" to be "fair and balanced."
Global warming or "climate change" exists, it's man made and it's destroying the Earth. The science is in on this and it's conclusive. Follow this guy on Twitter for more.
There is no "debate."
Regarding college athletes in the revenue producing sports, they are being exploited for their unpaid labor. Period.
The debate begins with what are we going to do to remedy it? A full ride scholarship for basketball and football players was a fair deal in the 1950s, when:
-College football TV contracts, and the revenue that they produced were a miniscule fraction of what they are today
-Coaches and administrators made a mere pittance compared to the exorbitant salaries they receive today
-Most people didn't even go to college, so a bachelor's degree gave you a tremendous competitive advantage in the labor market
-College football, and March Madness in college basketball were nowhere remotely close to the extremely lucrative national past times that they are today
So as the invisible hand of the "free market" has evolved in the last 65 years, why shouldn't compensation of the labor that provides the very backbone of the industry?
If you have any sense of American capitalism, of the ideals of "pure competition" and "free enterprise," there's only one side you can take in this fight. To be against Kain Colter and the NU football players
is to be completely morally and intellectually bankrupt...
Despite today's setback home loss to Iowa, Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins is playing spoiler to his Big Ten conference rivals. The "spoiler role" is a shopworn sports media cliche, yes I know that.
However, it also truly what the ‘Cats are doing right now. The Wildcats inflicted critical blows to the NCAA Tournament hopes of the Indiana Hoosiers
, (tournament resume/chances
) Illinois Fighting Illini
(don't feel they have a NCAA resume worth writing about right now, hence no link)and Purdue Boilermakers (updated tourney profile
). And that’s all just in the past two weeks.
Here's what the tournament chances and resumes of each of those three traditional B1G powers looks like now: Purdue, Illinois, Indiana. In his debut year of transition, Chris Collins has beaten all three of these programs, who are regular annual attendees to the big dance. As it stands today, the Illini, Hoosiers and Boilermakers are in the same boat as the Wildcats. They all need to either a.) very improbably win about 90% of their remaining games or b.) win the Big Ten Tournament in order qualify for the NCAA Tournament...
Illinois basketball won't be ranked again any time soon. They responded to being nationally ranked by getting DESTROYED at Wisconsin by 25 points, and then failing to play offense for 3/4 of a game that will go down as one of the worst losses in Illinois basketball history. It's certainly the worst loss of the John Groce era, and among the worst of 2010s Illinois basketball.
Conversely, it's the biggest win of the very very brief Chris Collins era at Northwestern. You wouldn't think a team with records and statistics that bad would actually beat a ranked team this year. But hey, this is Illinois basketball. Time to talk CBI and NIT, because 2013-14 Illinois basketball just suffered a tournament resume black eye from which they won't likely recover.
Here's some Illinois basketball fans and journalists and sports pundits reacting to the biggest win Collins has accomplished, and the death knell for the '13-14 Illinois basketball season
I love it when my two press corps get together! Illini basketball vs Northwestern.
It's going down...I'm yelling Timber. You better move, you better dance.
Sorry, couldn't pass that up.
It's just that NU and Illini basketball, and football are the two programs, along with the Chicago Bulls, that I cover regularly. Therefore, the once a year that they play each other is special to me as I "belong" to both press corps. The media room at this one is always a lot of fun for me. I even do a weekly segment on KOZN, 1620 The Zone Omaha, talking about Illinois and Northwestern.
(UPDATE: NU to unveil new publicity-grabbing uniforms for this game)
Sunday night, 6:30 PM at Welsh-Ryan Arena will mark the one time they meet this year in hoops. There might be a round two at the Big Ten Tournament in Indy. If it were up to me, I'd keep them meeting just once a year, and have it at the United Center each time...
I have more respect and admiration for Northwestern football right now than I have previously had at any point in my life. I think even higher of the NU football program, as they finish the season 5-7, as I did when they were 4-0 and ranked #16 in the nation.
Now, I've been very critical of NU this season.
I've been extremely harsh on this team.
Maybe I've been too critical, or undeservedly critical of Pat Fitzgerald and his Northwestern football program at times, but it's only because I believe they're a very solid program that should be treated with the exact same scrutiny as the Ohio States and Michigans of the world. And that 7 game losing streak was....to quote George Michael in "Careless Whisper," "there's no comfort in the truth, pain is all you'll find."
I feel NU should be held to very high standards. And I write this 1,000 word essay just moments after they defeated my beloved Alma Mater, in the Land of Lincoln trophy game, so you know this expression comes from the heart. And to be fair, as harshly critical as I've been of Northwestern football, I've been even harder on my Illini, Illinois football coach Tim Beckman, and especially harsh on Illini Defensive Coordinator Tim Banks.
And to show fairness and balance, I've also written a lot of fawning stuff about Northwestern football in 2013
I've written pulchritudinous pieces that purple propagandists (should) passionately promote.
And perhaps no media member beat the drum to bring ESPN College Gameday to Evanston as loud as I did. And I challenge you to find anyone who covered the Gameday at Northwestern University experience with as much effort and zeal as I did
One topic I never addressed in 2013, positively or negatively, is the tremendous heart and resilient fight of this team. Now's the time...