TWO SATURDAYS ago, a handful of players from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Northwestern wrote the letters “APU” on their wristbands as a stand essentially against the NCAA and its suppression of athletes.
APU stands for “All Players United” and is the brainchild of Ramogi Human, head of the National College Players Association.
“They came up with a way they felt comfortable to show unity,” Huma told USA Today. “This is an effort, this is a call for players of all sports — anyone who supports players’ pursuit of basic protections.”
Unfortunately, the NCPA’s calls for reform are vague at best. The NCPA wants enhanced protection for injured athletes and support for athletes in lawsuits against the NCAA.
My suggestion would be for the NCPA and the APU to start small with one demand that would give greater rights to the athletes across the board. Athletes should be awarded four-year scholarships.
As it stands, athletes are offered one-year scholarships that are renewed at the whim of the head coach. With a four-year ride, athletes who lost favor with a coach or no longer was wanted on a particular team could still remain in school to pursue a degree under scholarship.
For far too long, the athlete has paid the price — a non-renewal of his or her scholarship — for poor decisions made in recruiting by the coach. It is time to return the burden in recruiting to the coach, who then can honestly say a four-year college degree can be attained.
Rename that trophy
TCU and SMU played over the weekend for the Iron Skillet in a rivalry that dates to 1915. The Iron Skillet was established in 1945 as a traveling trophy in the series.
Iowa and Minnesota also renewed a rivalry that began in 1891. They began playing for a bronze pig — the Floyd of Rosedale trophy — in 1935.
Michigan and Minnesota play for the Little Brown Jug, North Carolina-Duke for the Victory Bell, Washington-Washington State for the Apple Cup, Colorado State-Wyoming for the Bronze Boot, Cincinnati-Louisville for the Keg of Nails and Boise State-Fresno State for the Milk Can.
The list goes on and on. Sad, but true, the biggest rivalry in this state between Clemson and South Carolina is played for the Hardee’s Trophy. Seriously. Surely the two teams could at least play for a bronzed palmetto tree, one without any shameless advertising attached to it.
Eight more teams were eliminated in the fifth round of the NCAA football tournament, leaving 27 teams with a chance to play in the BCS Championship Game.
Georgia Tech was eliminated by a loss to Virginia Tech, Minnesota in a loss to Iowa, Wisconsin in a loss to Ohio State, Oklahoma State in a loss to West Virginia, Arizona in a loss to Washington, Colorado in a loss to Oregon State, Central Florida in a loss to South Carolina and Notre Dame in a loss to Oklahoma.
Of the remaining teams in the field, nine are from the SEC.
Among the FCS
There is no way to determine who is the best team among South Carolina’s FCS programs, so we will consult Jeff Sagarin and his weekly computer rating of 252 college teams for USA Today.
Through Saturday’s games, Coastal Carolina (5-0) is 132nd in the country with a 58.59 rating, followed by Wofford (2-2) at 145 with a 55.07 rating, South Carolina State (3-2) at 161 with a 51.84 rating, Charleston Southern (5-0) at 170 with a 50.33 rating, Furman (2-2) at 173 with a 49.60 rating, The Citadel (1-4) at 180 with a 49.50 rating, and Presbyterian (1-4) at 237 with a 51.98 rating.
By comparison, Alabama is the highest rated team in the country at 97.84, Clemson is 12th at 86.23 and South Carolina is 17th at 84.20.
Colorado’s game against Fresno State on Sept. 14 was cancelled because of severe flooding in the Boulder, Colo., area.
In attempt to fill out the schedule, Colorado first offered Hawaii $400,000 to play in Boulder on Oct. 19, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Colorado then upped the ante to $600,000.
Hawaii turned down the offers because Colorado would not cover the cost of a charter flight.
Pull over Lane
Has there ever been a more high-profile coach with as little success as Lane Kiffin, who was fired by Southern California hours after the Trojans lost a 62-41 decision Saturday at Arizona State?
Kiffin compiled a 40-36 record as a head coach in parts of seven seasons with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, and in college at Tennessee and Southern California.
Kiffin’s 2009 Tennessee team finished 7-6 with a Chick-fil-A Bowl loss to Virginia Tech. His only other college postseason appearance was a season ago when Southern California lost to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
In fairness, Kiffin’s 2011 Trojans went 10-2, including a first-place finish in the Pac-12s South Division, but they were ineligible for postseason play.
Stat of the week
Kentucky managed 48 yards rushing in its 24-7 home loss to Florida on Saturday. The Wildcats leading rusher was kicker Joe Mansour, who ran 25 yards for Kentucky’s only score on a fake field goal attempt.