1.After reading Pat Forde’s optimistic column coming out of the NCAA Presidential Retreat, it sounds as if substantive change is nigh. The last time the NCAA made these kind of changes, some 20 years ago, brought an era of relative stability. The problem is that the NCAA hasn’t changed many rules since that Dark Age. The biggest question: if the presidents allow schools to increase a grant-in-aid to full cost of attendance, are they willing to live with how that will widen the gap between Haves and Have-Nots?
2.In Gene Bleymaier’s 29 years as Boise State athletic director, the program has grown from I-AA to become a national power in football. He has had a knack for hiring smart young coaches – Houston Nutt, Dirk Koetter, Dan Hawkins and Chris Petersen – and given them the tools to succeed. His marketing prowess can be summarized in two words – blue turf. After the NCAA penalized the school for a rash of mostly sloppy violations, Boise State president Bob Kustra is making a change. There are big loafers to fill.
3.Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, a former athletic director himself, didn’t mention former Vol AD Mike Hamilton by name. He didn’t have to. “It used to be most athletic directors had a background in coaching,” Dooley said. “They understand that world. They’re not driven by the daily public opinion poll. As good as some of those business-model (types) have been for the (bottom line), I think it’s just as destructive...as far as supporting and managing the product, and evaluating the product, which is your coach and your team.”