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Sprints Is Grateful to Get Away from Life's Ending and Talk About Its Beginning // 02.22.10

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What, no House of Spears?
Congratulations to Orson / Spencer on the birth of a happy baby. From what those who have children tell me, you will now sleep in four-hour increments -- when you sleep at all. The Mayor weighs in with advice on fatherhood.

Brown no longer with Florida
Gary Brown has been dismissed. There's a surprise.

"Gary Brown has had a history during his time here of not meeting a set of expectations we have for the student athletes in our football program and therefore he is no longer part of our program," team spokesman Steve McClain said.

Keep in mind these are the standards set during the Urban Meyer Era. That's a mighty high bar Mr. Brown managed to clear.

Speaking of Urban Meyer -- we are told that he is golfing
In case you were really curious about what he's supposedly doing on his "leave of absence."

Apparently, Harvard is on the list
The Big Ten is considering 15 teams for expansion, which could mean that it's considering what the rest of us would call 16 teams, but we'll humor them and call it 15 right now. Texas is seemingly not on the list, and Notre Dame is likely not going anywhere, though reports that Notre Dame is not on the list are not actually supported by the original story.

Alvarez declined to identify schools on the list of 15 candidates but acknowledged he did not see Texas on the list. ...

Alvarez thinks some schools are trying to anticipate possible moves by the Big Ten and the Pacific 10, which also has talked about expanding.

"You saw what happened a handful of years ago with the ACC and the Big East," Alvarez said. "I think there may be a re-alignment, and I think people are out there trying to position themselves, saying: 'When the music stops, we better have a chair.'"

Okay, so let's look at this. There are the usual suspects of Pittsburgh and Missouri. Let's include dark horses Rutgers, West Virginia, Nebraska, Iowa State and Notre Dame (since the Irish aren't specifically ruled out). Syracuse?

My point is that it looks like unless the Big Ten is looking to annex the Big East wholesale, there are other leagues being targeted here. The ACC has Boston College and, if you really want to stretch things beyond all credibility, Virginia Tech. I can't eliminate the SEC as one of the leagues on the hit list -- pure speculation here, but I think Kentucky is probably on the list. It's the only way I can get to 11 BCS candidates, much less 15.

That's not to say Kentucky is going to leave the SEC -- I think they would be insane to do so -- just to say they might be one of the schools that will get a phone call. But who else? Marshall? Miami (Ohio)? Ohio? Directional Michigans? Toronto? Anyone else? The Big Ten has to be considering some off-the-wall choices, or there wouldn't be 15 teams on the list. But who?

Southern Cal and the rest of us now wait
Hopefully, this will end being just the beginning of a wonderful time in Los Angeles for Boy Wonder -- who begins to look more and more like a Southern Cal version of Mike Shula.

It could be anywhere from six to 10 weeks before USC is informed of the outcome of its hearing before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which concluded Saturday. ...

David Price, the NCAA's vice president of enforcement services, said the hearing was "the longest in my 11 years."

I'm beginning to come around to the view that this case might be a referendum on whether the NCAA is powerful enough to really stop anyone from breaking the rules again. Because if all they're going to do is retroactively take away wins, then the potential rewards of doing something wrong far outweigh the risks.

Of course, in the case the Association will argue that Southern Cal didn't actually know what was going on, which might or might not be true. And you can't punish Southern Cal if they didn't know about the alleged inappropriate benefits, whatever result that lack of penalty might have. But the message that will be sent won't be that you better not know about inappropriate benefits, just that you better make sure no one can prove that you do.