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Robert Bonnette’s Quick Hits

The Big Ten is real suspect right now

The Big Ten is kicking around the idea of giving scholarship athletes a stipend for the year.  How convenient.  Just when your flagship program (Ohio State) gets in some difficulty and your golden boy coach (Jim Tressel) gets busted for lying and covering up some transgressions by players involving exchanging goods for cash, then you decide that maybe the rules should be changed a little.  Now for all we know, they may have been kicking this around for some time and we just found about it now.  But I’m guessing that seeing their best and brightest get caught up in the sludge has forced them to realize that times are a changin and they’d better find a way to adapt.  Right now college football is ruled by the SEC (five straight BCS titles) and a few other individual programs (like Texas and USC).  All warm weather schools.  Meanwhile, the cold weather powers of old are struggling to stay in the championship picture. 

The last cold weather school to win a title was…..Ohio State, back in 2002.  The championship talent is drifting to the warmer climates already, so anything that might give Big Ten schools some leverage is needed badly.  The prospect of not being broke while you’re on campus could do that.  Remember, not every player is getting the padded handshakes that the stars are receiving.  There are plenty of players who are good, but not that good.  A little money cold make a difference.  So don’t listen to what the Big Ten head honchos are saying. It’s never about the kids but it’s always about the money.

Put away the Tin Foil hats!

The NBA lottery has come and gone, and as always the conspiracy theorists are out in force.  NBA Lottery Truthers abound, and they are every bit as goofy as 9/11 Truthers or Moon Landing Deniers.  The lottery is not fixed, people!  Yes, Cleveland got the first pick the year after they lost Lebron.  But if you wanted to give them a hook up to compensate for Lebron’s departure, why would you do it in a year where the crop isn’t that highly regarded?  Seriously folks, do you really think that Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams is a suitable repayment for Lebron James? 

Come on!  The lottery was not fixed in 1985, or 1993, or 2001, or 2003 for that matter.  If you really think they fix it, then please explain 1997.  Tim Duncan was the runaway first pick and the Boston Celtics, the league’s most storied franchise, had more ping pong balls in the hopper than anyone else between their two lottery picks.  Why would you not put the fix in here?  It would have been easy to cover up because the Celtics had the best chance of winning it anyway.  But instead, the San Antonio Spurs won and so a top 15 all time great player went on to win four titles for a small market team with a small audience.  Duncan leading the Celtics to multiple titles and a few NBA Finals showdowns with Shaq and the Lakers would have been television and box office gold.  Do you really think that if Stern and co. were willing to set Patrick Ewing up in New York that they wouldn’t have put Duncan in Celtic green?

Take the Hint!

Hey Posada, it’s over.  When they drop you to ninth in the order that means you’re done.  Preserve your dignity and shut it down, man.  You had a great career, but it’s time to pull the plug.  Yankee fans don’t want to see you slumming in Kansas City trying to reclaim lost glory.  There’s no shame in getting old and having to retire.  Your boy Jeter isn’t too far behind you.