Monthly Archives: November 2014

I rushed to finish this judgment of our rush to judge a rush to judgment

When historically bad sports-transcending actions transpire in your program, your peer institutions may take note. That's unobjectionable, unless of course the peer institutions call themselves the NCAA.

When historically diabolical sports-transcending actions transpire in your program, your peer institutions may object. That’s unobjectionable — unless of course the peer institutions call themselves the NCAA.

If tomorrow it emerges that a staff member at a blue-chip college basketball program has for decades used his position of power and prominence to secretly carry out terrible criminal actions of unimaginable scope and magnitude, I will have no problem whatsoever with the other revenue-sports-playing universities in the vicinity collectively considering — at the conference or national level — whether some form of censure and redress, subordinate to and cognizant of criminal proceedings, might be appropriate.

Apparently I’m in the minority. Today the conventional wisdom is that those universities rushed to judgment in 2012 when they reacted to Jerry Sandusky’s crimes by fining Penn State, imposing a postseason ban, taking away some football scholarships, and vacating 14 years’ worth of Joe Paterno’s wins. Reasonable people can differ over whether that was the best blend of sanctions, but what’s being asserted now is the far more sweeping claim that any action at all undertaken by the universities was categorically unwarranted. That strikes me as a novel contention, to say the least.  Continue reading

Seven teams account for 25 percent of all tournament wins since 2000

Two coaches, four titles.

Life is good at the top of Division I. (USA Today)

Counting NCAA tournament wins since 2000 is little more than a blinkered exercise in setting arbitrary and subjective quantitative goalposts. Much like a good portion of real life. Let’s do this.

                     NCAA tournament         National
                     wins since 2000     titles since 2000
1.   Kansas                38                    1
2.   Michigan State        36                    1
3.   Duke                  34                    2
     North Carolina        34                    2
5.   Florida               33                    2
6.   Connecticut           32                    3 (4 since 1999!)
     Kentucky              32                    1

After Connecticut and Kentucky there’s a big drop — equivalent to one national championship run — before you get down to plucky underdogs like Arizona, Louisville, Syracuse, and Wisconsin. No other program has won more than 25 games. (Full team list at the bottom of this post. Limber up your scrolling finger.)  Continue reading