Two of my daughters graduated high school the other day, so my thoughts are all over the place, and if you walk by me and say hello, I might start crying. Using this notes column as a bit of therapy…humor me…
* When I was at UT from 1980-84, the Longhorns going to Omaha was just sort of understood, like knowing the Tower was going to serenade at the top of the hour. The Longhorns beat John Elway’s Stanford team at Disch-Falk Field in 1981 and 1982, and got the best of Will Clark’s Mississippi State team on the way to a championship in 1983. Seeing Texas earn this year’s berth – and the Longhorns truly earned it by beating a mirror-image Tennessee Tech team – definitely brought back memories. I can remember covering Texas while working at the Daily Texan and always assuming Cliff Gustafson and the crew would figure out a way to win a game in the late innings, and those feelings have returned in the playoffs this season. Also, two things, as it pertains to the UT baseball team: 1, why did teams continue to pitch to Kody Clemens and, 2, I assume my classmate Roger has told his son that all of those shenanigans between third base and home plate after a home run will result in a fastball to the ribs once Kody turns pro.
* One more baseball nugget: what do I need to do in order to join OccupyLF? Good stuff…
* Kudos to Kyler Murray. Yes, kudos. Murray has negotiated a contract with the Oakland A’s to allow him to play football for Oklahoma this fall AND still end up with almost $5 million in baseball money. When I initially saw that he was picked 9th in the major league baseball draft, I figured he would hop on the first train headed west. But he’s traveled a long football road to now become the front runner for the starting quarterback job for the Sooners, so he will be able to pursue two dreams at once. Good for him. And, it’s 2:05 p.m. and OU still sucks.
* Kudos also to the NCAA for their work on a couple of subjects that have needed attention for a very long time. Football players can now play in up to four games without losing eligibility of an entire year, and also they can now transfer without permission from the head coach. Additionally, other schools can get a violation slapped on them if they tamper. Still not clear if players will become eligible to play immediately after transferring, but this is at the very least a step in the right direction. I will probably type the phrase “kudos to the NCAA” again in about 10 years.
* It’s too early in the story’s life to make any assumptions, but hopefully Texas A&M observed from afar the scandal that blew up Baylor’s athletic department and will act accordingly pertaining to their current controversy. The Aggies need to get ahead of the situation by acting now and also quickly and emphatically accept any blame/accountability on their end. Admit anything you did – or didn’t – do, help any victims to the maximum degree and be honest. Please.
* Finally, how cool is it to see Texas basketball player Andrew Jones hanging out with his team again? It’s been announced that Jones enrolled in web-based course work, and a picture has been circulating of Jones, UT coach Shaka Smart and the newly-shorn Dylan Osetkowski. I follow Jones on Twitter, and though I have no personal knowledge of this, it appears he is gaining weight, which is a wonderful sign. If the inspiration of young people is something you love, how cool will it be to see Jones back at the Erwin Center – playing, sitting or just waving to the burnt orange crowd – sometime in the not-so-distant future?
About as cool as watching two of your daughters graduate high school on the same day.