Blackwell Commentary: Tick...Tick...Tick

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By Mike Blackwell, Inside Texas Editor
Posted Jun 30, 2014
Copyright © 2018

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Charlie Strong at the UT Spring game. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Touching on a handful of topics, while the "Countdown to Football Season" clock ticks ever-so-slowly in my head. The good news? We are 24 hours closer to the start of football season now than we were at this exact moment yesterday. By the time you finish this column - provided, of course, that your finish this column - we'll be even closer. And this is a good thing.

* Full disclosure, though I'm excited about the upcoming football season, I hadn't really thought about it too intensely until the dude from Uruguay bit an opponent on the "pitch" the other day in the World Cup. I watch a little bit of a USA game the other day, but just couldn't maintain my interest. Wake me when the World Cup ends. There are too many things about "futbol" that keep me from jumping in with the millions of others on our planet who appear to be all worked up about this World Cup deal. Primarily, I don't get the clock thing. The clock counts upward, and the ref evidently has the ability to add time to the game. How much time is left in the match? Nobody knows; I think the ref just sort of hollers out "game over!" whenever everything is finished. It's also a sport which evidently allows a serial biter to continue to participate, and the biter and the coach of the biter both sort of chastised the press for even bringing it up after the match the other day. In fact, the perpetrator said his opponent bumped his shoulder into his chest. Dude, is your chest located in your mouth? Geez, just stop biting people.

* Steve Patterson's methods continue to be a topic of conversation on our message boards here. Here's my take: 1. Patterson says, in all the arguments about a possible student-athlete "stipend", that the worth of the scholarship seems to be underappreciated, and I agree with him. It took me more than 20 years to pay off my student debt, and I went to school when getting your degree was much less expensive. A scholarship is extremely valuable - tangibly and intangibly - and that should be better articulated. 2. Patterson says the high salaries for football coaches is a reflection of the market, and I also agree with him on this subject. Football helps fund sports that aren't producing revenue (and there are a lot of those), thus the football coach gets paid depending on his success, which is how it should be. A high-paid and successful coach is good for all of the program's sports, and should be compensated accordingly. 3. Though much of what Patterson has recently said makes sense, I do wish administrators would spend as much time vocalizing about and doing something about cheating in college athletics. Mention "stipend" to a lot of these guys, and they cringe as if they stepped into a patch of poison ivy. Is it too much to ask that they also address cheating, which most people admit exists but few people seem willing to address? I don't think so.

* A recent Inside Texas reader mentioned that Charlie Strong's rule that players must live in dorms might have a detrimental effect on recruiting. I agree with this, though I'm not sure to what degree; I vote that Patterson and Strong make sure we have fancy dorm rooms for the players, who are generally bigger than "normal" students and need more space. Maybe the burnt orange can spend some of the "stipend" money they aren't spending - for now - on dorm upgrades.

* Speculation about Augie Garrido's future has been fairly rampant lately after the Texas baseball team was eliminated from the College World Series. I understand the speculating about his future because of his age, but I have trouble accepting the notion that Patterson should somehow figure out a way for Garrido to leave. If Augie wants to retire, fine, he deserves that option and has nothing left to prove. But run someone off who just coached a team that finished third in the College World Series? No.

* Tick…tick…tick…



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