In all sports except football. Of course. Because the Fighting Irish, for some unfathomable reason, remain a singular, untouchable presence that is hard to imagine even in an out of kilter sport like college pigskin.
The move will come sooner or later, depending on variables including moves by the Catholic 7, Rutgers, Maryland, television networks, Louisville and the outside looking in schools that comprise the Big East, such as it is.
I’ve never, the Gipper and Knute Rockne notwithstanding, understood the deference afforded South Bend. By the BCS muckety mucks. By the Big East. Whomever. Somebody, please, tell me why?
But, today, I read something new, to me anyway, that just about trumps all those other perks.
While Syracuse and Pitt and Louisville and Rutgers and West Virginia, you know the Big East ship jumpers — Am I missing anyone? — all have exit fee responsibilities to the league that have already been paid, or are still owed. (Owed to somebody or other, to be determined after the lawyers get their hands on most of the bounty.)
But, Notre Dame, by contract with the league, owes no exit fee. Zero. Nuttin’, honey.
Riddle me that one, Batman?
What was the Big East thinking when they contracted with Notre Dame? An afterlife in purgatory if they didn’t provide some papal indulgence to the Fighting Irish?
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Now we bid a sad adieu to the Angel Nunez Era at U of L.
The sophomore sharpshooter, as has long been rumored, is announced to be transferring. Destination is currently unknown.
So the innuendo circulating around when Nunez was nowhere to be seen for weeks in the Yum! turned out to be true.
I also believe the official story of “severe concussion” was also true. School SID Kenny Klein, as honorable a guy as there is in college sports, told me to my face that Nunez indeed had a concussion.
So, both explanations turn out to be correct.
Such situations however unmask The Rick at his least likeable. Another recruit with potential who didn’t immediately dazzle the coach means the kid is cast aside.
I just don’t like it.
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On the other hand, I’m disinclined to give Pitino too much grief these days. And it has nothing to do with the progress of this season’s national contenders.
Did you hear his pre-game radio interview before the Memphis State game?
The no nonsense, always focused coach took five minutes to talk compassionately about the Connecticut shootings. More important, he spoke passionately, forcefully, unequivocally and eloquently about the need for gun control. It was stunning really.
My estimation of the man increased exponentially.
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That said, I write this while watching “Around the Horn,” during which, Boston scribe Jackie MacMullan just called on Pitino to explain why he “faxed in his resignation to the Celtics.”
– Seedy K