Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hoosiers Hope To Prove Prognasticator Wrong

If you believe Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, it’s going to be another long football season for Indiana.

Rittenberg, who has a good grasp of the Big Ten, recently gave his assessment of how the conference will shape up this fall, and the news wasn’t good for the Hoosiers. He picked them to finish last, just behind Purdue and Minnesota. He had Ohio State, despite the loss of seven starters and the suspension of five key players for the first five games, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor and tailback Dan Herron, to finish first. Big Ten newcomer Nebraska was picked second.

New IU coach Kevin Wilson is pushing a win-now approach that clashes with that last-place prediction. Still, reality is reality, and the Hoosiers are likely to see lots of last-place announcements as preseason publications come out this summer.

They can’t control that, but they can control the accuracy of those predications. If they can win the fourth quarter, if they can make the one or two key plays they couldn’t in recent seasons, they have a chance.

It starts, but certainly doesn’t end, with picking a quarterback. While Dusty Kiel seems to have the edge, we won’t know for sure until mid to late August.


Fred Glass, Indiana’s athletic director, has talked about seeking a new golden age of Hoosier sports with a bunch of programs thriving. While football and basketball aren’t there yet, others are.

Take the men’s golf team. It just received a NCAA tourney bid for the seventh time in the last eight years after winning four tourneys this season. It will host and compete in regional competition at Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville just outside of Indianapolis next week. That’s one of six 54-hole tourneys held throughout the country. The top five teams and the low individual not on those qualifying teams advance to the finals, set for May 31 to June 5 in Stillwater, Okla.

“This is something as a coach you never get tired of,” coach Mike Mayer said in a university release. “It’s a testament to all the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes.”

The 14-team Zionsville field is seeded. The Hoosiers are seeded seventh and ranked 37th overall by Golfweek. Alabama is the top seed with a No. 3 ranking. Iowa is next at No. 11 followed by Iowa (No. 18), Stanford (No. 21), Wake Forest No. 26), Tennessee (No. 33) and IU.

“If we play the way we are capable of playing,” Mayer said, “we have a very good chance of advancing to the NCAA finals.”


So now we know, if we didn’t before, that it is NOT okay to pull a swimmer out of a pool by the hair. At least, it’s not for a swim coach.

For that lesson we can thank Geoff Capell. No, he is not, nor has he ever been, and almost certainly will never be, a swim coach at IU. He was the Roseville (Calif.) High School assistant coach until he decided to yank one of his swimmers, Jennifer McCarroll, out of the pool by her hair after a race. In the controversy that followed, he resigned.

Roseville was competeing in the Sierra Foothill League Championships. It wound up finishing fifth out of six teams, but that’s not what set Capell off. According to FOX 40 News out of Sacramento, Capell was angry at McCarroll and another swimmer for intentionally disqualifying themselves in the race.

Apparently McCarroll’s parents filed a police report saying that pulling the hair was a misdemeanor battery. Roseville police figure to send that report to the county’s district attorney office, where a decision will be made on whether this is worth pursuing.

Back in the day, coaches could go old-school on athletes –- a diplomatic way of saying they got physical -- and nobody said anything. Now, you get charged with a crime.

What would Bob Knight say about that?

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