Blackwell Commentary: July thoughts while avoiding heat stroke

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I apologize ahead of time for any asinine opinions written here: compressor is out in my truck and I’m fairly certain my suffering from not having an air conditioner for over a week has affected my ability to communicate with reason and clear thought. So, here’s a few hopefully coherent thoughts:

· Interesting read by former Oklahoma State offensive lineman Russell Okung. Now playing for the San Diego Chargers, Okung lamented about his days as a ‘broke’ college student, sharing similar frustrations that have been previously expressed by Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Basically, Okung and Ehlinger seem to favor a change in the system which would allow student-athletes a chance to at least be given some financial compensation for their efforts which produce massive amounts of money for their schools, coaches, sponsors and television networks. Okung recently testified in favor of the Fair Play for Pay Act in California, which if enacted would allow athletes to be compensated for their names and likenesses. The legislation passed unanimously from the Assembly Higher Education Committee and will now be addressed in California’s Appropriations Committee. Yes, getting their education paid for is a huge benefit; however, they aren’t allowed to work when they are on a team, so it’s well past time for athletes to receive at least a small amount of compensation while the white collar folks sit in the high-dollar suites and wait on their obscene checks to be deposited.

· Good to see success – financial and otherwise – come to former Texas receiver Marquise Goodwin. The Olympian pocketed a cool $1 million by winning the inaugural 40 Yards of Gold event in Florida against some of the fastest players in the National Football League. Goodwin beat Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson in the final race. The San Francisco 49er is easy to root for; I highly recommend the feature done on him last year by ESPN, he’s overcome plenty of hardship with hard work, determination and cup-runneth-over-type athletic ability. Still wish he would’ve had the football in his hands more often while he was on the 40 Acres.

· Heard Justin Wells on the radio talking about Texas basketball recruit Greg Brown, and though I had briefly seen some of his highlights previously on local Austin news stations, I hadn’t seen him extensively, so I checked out some of his video – wow. 6-9, wiry, big-time bounce around the rim, finishes strong. He’s got the Longhorns in his top 10, but he’s also got North Carolina and Kansas in his top 10 as well.

· Earlier this year I predicted an 11-1 season for Texas, and according to a poll on our message board, about 68 percent of the folks who have participated so far have predicted either a 10- or 11-win season for the Longhorns. I’m seriously considering updating my own prediction. Though I’m not completely sure about how many wins the Longhorns will get this season, I feel certain about this: in the Big 12, there is Oklahoma, Texas and Everybody Else.