Monday, January 10, 2011

Enes Kanter Situation

The saga surrounding prized Turkish recruit Enes Kanter and his eligibility has finally ended. The NCAA ruled on Friday that that Enes Kanter will not be eligible to play in the NCAA.

First lets get you caught up to speed if you are not familiar with the situation. Enes Kanter is from Turkey. There are no high school basketball teams in Turkey so your only opportunity to play is to play in the national program or play for professional teams. During the 08-09 season Kanter was a reserve player for the Fenerbahce Ulker Turkish professional basketball team. He made appearances off of the bench in 9 contests. According to FIBA rules you are not allowed to be a professional player until you are 18, during his time on these teams Kanter was not considered a professional but played along side professionals and recieved money from the club for necessary expenses. After the season Kanter was offered a multi year multi-million dollar professional contract from both Fenerbahce and Olyimpiacos B.C. a team from Greece. Kanter declined both offers to maintain his amateur status. Kanter's father is a doctor and wanted Enes to be educated in the United States.

After that season Kanter moved to the United States to pursue his desire of playing basketball in the United States. He enrolled at the Stoneridge Preparatory School in Simi Valley, California. It was during this time that he made a name for himself in the recruiting world and really exploded after a monster performance at the Nike Hoops Summit.

Now, according to facts Kanter received $33,033 more than his expenses for the 2008-09 season. NCAA rule allows recruits to play for teams with professionals while maintaining their amateur status before college. But the bylaw states that any such benefits cannot exceed actual and necessary expenses, which include meals, transportation and lodging directly tied to practice or competition, coaching and medical insurance. The addititional funds have been reported to be related to educational expenses.

No one is disputing the fact that Enes Kanter played on a professional team, which many stars from Europe have. And the Kanter's recognize that money was paid however have made it clear that they are willing to pay it all back and were unaware that this would make him ineligible to play in the NCAA. The Kanter's have also indicated that they would be willing to sit the entire year and forego the NBA Draft to give Enes the opportunity to play next season at Kentucky. All of these points indicate a strong desire to have their son play College Basketball.

I have tried very hard to look at this without bias, which is tough to do since I am a Kentucky Basketball fan. There is without a doubt that Kanter is ineligble in the letter of the law, but what about the spirit of the law? If you look at it in the spirit of the law the Kanter's tried to do everything they could to keep him eligbile to play the NCAA. They were cooperative and willing to do whatever they could to give him the opportuinty to play. If you compare that to other situations and rulings around the NCAA I do not think these violations are egregious enough to rule that he cannot play in the NCAA. I would rather see them rule to pay the money back, take a number of games suspension and allow him to play college Basketball.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lets take a look back, shall we

Here was NKY Sports World's NFL predictions on September 8th, 2010.

Just a reminder...we strongly advise you to completely ignore our predictions when making your bets. Of course my Super Bowl is still a possibility...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Marvin: The Day After

As I read through Facebook posts and Tweets yesterday during and after the Mike Brown/Marvin Lewis press conference I had to scratch my head. I really don't know what people were expecting out of this press conference? Did you really think that Mike and Marvin would get up there and be candid, giving you all of the details of their conversation, talking about coaching moves and player moves? Giving you soundbites that get excited about? No, they never have and they never will.

Anyone who has followed this team for some time knows that Mike never EVER says anything that would remotely be controversial (at least not on purpose) he is just not a guy who is going to stir the pot. And most NFL coaches, Marvin included, will do the same thing (with the noted exception of Rex Ryan.) A lot of people who follow the NFL call Bill Belichek a genius. Have you ever watched one of his pressers? They are terrible!

What we know today is Marvin Lewis is the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. Mike Brown does not have him by the throat, Marvin could have easily walked into another situation. I really think that Marvin feels he has the tools in place to win. Mike Brown is never going to give up total control of this football team. So if you are hoping that will happen you might as well move on. And who honestly believes that Mike Brown does not care about winning. Even if money is his number one motivator plain and simple he makes more money when they are winning.

Football games are won with players on the field, and we need to improve in a lot of areas to become a true contender. I feel with these moves we will be dumping some locker room cancer's, and I hate to say it my man Ocho will probably be one of them. But those types of moves just might help this team. I have tried to stand up for him his whole career saying he is not a distraction. But we won't know if it is true until he leaves.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Marvin Lewis could be staying in Cincinnati

ESPN is reporting that Marvin Lewis is expected to stay in Cincinnati has the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. As I said yesterday if we didn't hear that Lewis was leaving yesterday it would lead me to believe that a deal was going to be worked out to stay. First, let me say that I am happy to continue to have Marvin Lewis. Consider those who came before Lewis.

1 Paul Brown 1968–1975 55-56-1 .495
2 Bill Johnson 1976–1978 18-15-0 .545
3 Homer Rice 1978–1979 8-19-0 .296
4 Forrest Gregg 1980–1983 32-25-0 .561
5 Sam Wyche 1984–1991 61-66-0 .480
6 Dave Shula 1992–1996 19-52-0 .268
7 Bruce Coslet 1996–2000 21-39-0 .350
8 Dick LeBeau 2000–2002 12-33-0 .267
9 Marvin Lewis 2003–Present 60-67-1 .472

So consider the three coaches that we have had before Marvin Lewis and they have a combined record of 52-124. I think NFL teams need consistency and Marvin has proven to be a capable NFL coach who is highly regarded throughout the league.

But it is still not concrete. Reports indicate the two sides are trying to hammer out some significant changes to the organization which would include more control for Marvin on personnel issues. If Mr. Brown does this, we could finally begin to see real and significant change within this organization.

If Marvin does in fact stay someone will have to fall on the sword so to speak for this 4-12 season. Hopefully that man would be Bob Bratkowski. Brat was a head coaching candidate about 5 years ago but the offense has sputtered in the past few years. Bratkowski pre-dates Marvin in this organization and is known to be one of Mike Brown's guys.

So we are still in a waiting pattern but I would say it is looking more likely that Marvin will continue to be the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Monday, January 3, 2011

NKY College Basketball Rundown

#11 Kentucky Wildcats 11-2

Kentucky is coming off of a huge win against in state rival Louisville Cardinals. Kentucky took over the second half of that game and ran away from them in the end. I really like this team this season. They are a MUCH better shooting team than last year but it really hard to compare the two squads. With Cousins, Patterson, and Orton that was a very strong post presence last year and a lot of emphasis on the post. This year, the guards and more suited for Calipari's dribble drive with spot up shooters on the wings with Knight and Lamb. I think this year's Kentucky team is a better built college team. Not as talented as last year but just better suited to adjust to different situations. Kentucky has a game tonight against Penn and then open up SEC play on Saturday at Georgia.

Cincinnati Bearcats 14-0

Cincinnati has gotten off to their best start since 1998-1999 as one of the only remaining undefeated teams in the country. However, their 14 wins have come against some pretty weak competition in the early going with key wins coming at a down Oklahoma and over Big East opponent Seton Hall. The Bearcats will surely be tested in their Big East schedule and their strength of schedule will improve dramatically as their work their way through the league. But the cupcake may work in the long run for Mick, if he can sneak out 22+ wins he just might find himself in the NCAA tournament. The test starts this week with the Crosstown Shootout and then a road matchup against Villanova.

Xavier Musketeers 8-4

Xavier has had a tough schedule and a tough go of it so far this season. They have had some nice home wins against Wake Forest and Gonzaga but have struggled on the road taking some bad losses to Miami (OH) Old Dominion, and Gonzaga. The Muskies are hurting from injuries of Brad Redford and now freshman Jay Canty. They just had their 30 game home winning streak snapped by the Florida Gators, Florida controlled much of the game until a late Xavier surge fell just short. X has the shootout this week at the Shoe which is always a very emotional game where records do not matter. They will then open up A-10 play against Rhode Island.

Is Marvin Lewis out in Cincinnati?

We should know something today as Marvin is scheduled to meet with Mike Brown today. I would imagine if Marvin is gone we would know shortly after the meeting. If there is no news I would consider that as a sign they may try to work out a deal. Watching Coach Lewis throughout this season he looks unhappy and ready for a change. But I don't know him, don't know Mr. Brown, and really don't know what will happen. We will have to wait and see.

Adam Schefter tweeted this morning that the San Francisco 49ers are showing possible interest in Marvin, and in my opinion that might not be a bad option for him. There is some young talent out there but more importantly you are in an awful division. The opportunity for the playoffs are right at your fingertips seemingly every year. A far stretch from the AFC North.

As I type this Colin Cowherd has come on the radio stating that Eric Mangini is out in Cleveland. And there are more NFL coaches who are on the chopping block. John Fox is already out in Carolina, Tom Cable is on the hot seat, Tony Sparano could be gone in Miami, and there is talk of Jeff Fisher leaving Tennessee.

IF Marvin is no re-signed as the head coach who would you most like to see on the sidelines for the Bengals? There are way too many names to list a group of possible candidates. The two hottest names right now are Gruden and Cowher. I don't think either of them would EVER come to Cincinnati. Why would they? These guys want somewhere they can control and you will never have full control of the Cincinnati Bengals. Mr. Brown gave Marvin more control than any coach he has had before but he still maintained the ultimate decision making as we saw play out with Chris Henry.

My #1 choice by far would be Jeff Fisher, but, he is currently unavailable and again would probably have options and there are more attractive situations out there that he could take. A lot of people will be talking about Mike Zimmer, Zim has certainly had some strong defensive squads and has earned the oppotunity but he is unproven which can be both good and bad.

Either way I think we are in store for some crazy offseason moves from the Bengals. The team that runs out of the tunnel next season will more than likely be very different from the this years team, and hopefully we will have different results!