Yeah, the Pac-10 is now the the Pac-12, and it might forever be known as the conference where the champions of both the South (USC) and the North (Oregon) were ineligible for postseason play.
Here’s what’s Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has to say about the situation in Eugene:
“...the Ducks have made a lot of news lately:
• In the past 18 months, there have been 10 incidents involving football players breaking the law, violating program policies and/or being suspended from, or kicked off, the team (Holland, Masoli, Harris, James, Alonso, etc….)
• President Richard Lariviere admitted the school did not follow acceptable business practices involving former athletic director Mike Bellotti.
• The NCAA is investigating the men’s basketball program for potential extra-benefit violations under former coach Ernie Kent.
• The NCAA has launched an inquiry into the football program’s relationship with Willie Lyles — an inquiry that will no doubt turn into a full-blown investigation any second now.
It’s rare that a school has the NCAA poking around its football and men’s basketball programs at the same time, so congrats on that.’’
Shifting to news about the good guys, Washington tailback Chris Polk has been named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award.
The Maxwell Award has presented to the nation’s top player since 1937.
Polk, a junior from Redlands, Calif., has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.
Last year, he ran for 1,415 yards, second most in Husky history, and enters his junior season sixth on the Huskies’ all-time rushing list.
No one knows yet if the Mariners will be buyers or sellers come trade deadline time, but here are four names recently linked to Seattle as possible bats to bolster a sorry offense.
No. 1 is San Diego left-fielder Ryan Ludwick. He’s 32 and hitting .255 with 9 HR and 45 RBI.
No. 2 is Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. Mlbtraderumors.com reports the Mariners along with the Reds, Indians and Giants have inquired about Reyes, but it now unappears unlikely New York will move him.
No. 3 is Jesus Montero, a top-ranked catcher in the Yankees farm system who hits for average and power. New York is looking for starting pitching and a left-handed reliever. They have two other highly regarded catching prospects, but it is unlikely they would trade Montero for Jason Vargas or Erik Bedard.
No. 4 is Hunter Pence. The blogosphere crazies have the Mariners’ in pursuit of the Houston outfielder and all-star, who is hitting .325 with 10 HR and 57 RBI. They suggested a Pence for Erik Bedard deal.