Talking Points: Letter of discontent




We could spend a fortnight here at Talking Points talking about absurdities in the NCAA rules, but for now we’ll focus on just one.

Eddie Vanderhoes, a highly regarded football recruit for Notre Dame, has decided instead to play for UCLA.

Vanderhoes put out a statement saying that his family situation has changed in recent months and that he wanted to attend a school closer to home. Notre Dame put out a statement saying it had not released Vanderhoes from his letter of intent, which means he will have to sit out the 2013 season and will have only three years of eligibility at UCLA.

”We did not release him from his national letter of intent in order to protect the integrity of that very important program,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.

We can understand the need for letters of intent; without them, the recruiting game would be a morass of chaos. But why are student-athletes still bound to a school even if the coach leaves? It’s hypocritical to talk about integrity until that portion of the rule is altered.


In addition to being credited with creating the phrase “quarterback sack” and perfecting the now-outlawed head slap, Deacon Jones pulled off a pretty impressive trifecta during his playing days. He made guest appearances on “The Odd Couple,” “Bewitched,” and “The Brady Bunch,” proving that there were advantages to being a star athlete in Los Angeles. For more on Jones’ memorable star turn on “The Brady Bunch,” see Morning Briefing, Page B2.


JaMarcus Russell had a 7-18 record and a passer rating of 65.2 during three seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Tim Tebow had an 8-6 record, a playoff win, and a passer rating of 75.3 during two seasons with the Denver Broncos and one with the New York Jets. Russell ate and drank his way out of the NFL; Tebow, as far as we know, has no bad habits. So, guess which one is getting a tryout this week with the Chicago Bears and which one can’t get a look from NFL teams. Sigh.