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April 13, 2012
Richmond High School




Today is the first internet installment of Speaking of Sports, a daily commentary on the games we play and watch with great enthusiasm.  Sports has always been a part of my life and it has supported me and my family for almost 30 years.  So much like those of you reading this, sports is a big part of my life.  So here we go.

Let me start locally with Earlham College.  Why Earlham College?   Does anybody really care that much about the Quakers?  Well not really but perhaps with the many changes they are going through someday they will.  For those of you who don’t know about EC, it’s a NCAA Division III, liberal arts school.  Some refer to Earlham as the Berkeley of the Midwest.  It’s hard to recruit at Earlham.  Just ask many of the coaches who have come and gone.  In fact, ask the current coaches.   Losing athletic programs is the norm not the exception.  Yes there are a few occasions when the cross country teams will be competitive or the tennis teams have a winning record.   I have been in Richmond for 22 years and have witnessed very few winning seasons in the big three, football, basketball or baseball.    So what is going to change?   Well as my grandmother used to say, “show me”.    Earlham has hired a new athletic director and a new football coach in the last two weeks.  Mike Bergum comes from New Castle where their programs have a winning tradition (except football).  The new football coach also has winning in his blood, recently coaching at Marian University in Indianapolis.   The basketball program made new hires last season.  Neither coach had a winning season but showed signs of energy and a different attitude.  The baseball program has already seen a quick turnaround with Steve Sakosits at the helm.  If you don’t believe me, look at the roster and tell me how many players coach Sak has recruited.  He has energy and enthusiasm that a coach needs at Earlham.   It is my understanding the new president is putting a lot of energy in turning the athletic programs around.   I hope so because the previous president watched as Earlham sunk to a new low of losing and did nothing about it.  I only wish the Earlham brass would have done this before their former AD, football and basketball coaches put their heart and soul into the program only to get nothing but lip service.

I was recently asked about two situations regarding Bobby Petrino and Ozzie Guillen.   Both are completely different and must be addressed they way.  Petrino was fired at Arkansas  because he lied to the Arkansas administration about his motorcycle accident and a staff member that was riding with him.  Petrino was fired and he got everything he deserved.  But why should you be surprised by his behavior?  He had a track record of lying and lacked integrity and yet Arkansas hired him.   Some AD’s never learn and coaches like Petrino also never learn.  As for Ozzie Guillen, whatever happened to freedom of speech?   Yes it was a stupid thing to say but if we suspended everyone for stupid comments, we would have a lot of people sitting on the sidelines

How come Indiana was treated like common criminals when Kelvin Sampson was guilty of making phone calls to recruits and yet both the Baylor men’s and women’s programs did the same thing and barely anything was said?  Yea Baylor had self-imposed sanctions but compared to what happened to IU, this was a slap on the wrist.

The Reds have poured a lot of money into Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.  Will it be worth it?

The Richmond baseball team is 5-2 and will take on Centerville Saturday in a scheduled doubleheader.  Richmond beat Lawrence Central Thursday night despite walking 10 Bear hitters.   I haven’t seen too many baseball games where the winning team walks 10 and still wins but the Devils pulled it off.  I wouldn’t do that against the good teams in the NCC.

Have you noticed the NBA regular season is just about over and teams are battling for a playoff spot?  Me neither.  And after witnessing the empty seats around the league neither has anyone else.  I’ll watch again when they quit letting LeBron James take five steps to the basket.

Finally, the NHL playoffs have begun after another 82 game marathon season.   I actually enjoy the NHL playoffs because they players appear to be going all out and not coasting like they do in the regular season.    By the way can anyone tell me who the best team is in the NHL?  Me neither!





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