Many people think that the NCAA stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association. A more appropriate title would be the National Corrupt Athletic Association. Because corruption has permeated this organization for years, dating back to the 60s when Kareem Abdul- Jabbar was still Lew Alcindor at UCLA. If you’re not familiar with the name Sam Gilbert, go google it. To the UCLA players he was known as Papa Sam. A multi-millionaire booster, Gilbert opened up his Bel-Air home to the players, buying them clothes, cars, tickets for shows. Players wanted something, they got it from Gilbert. He even arranged abortions for their girlfriends. He later became a sports agent for some of the players, negotiating a then unheard of $1.4 million dollars deal for Alcindor with the Milwaukee Bucks. What was UCLA’s legendary coach Johm Wooden doing while Gilbert was taking care of his players? Read it and weep folks. Nothing. That’s right, the Wizard of Westwood did nothing. Years later Wooden would say that he may’ve had “tunnel vision” and perhaps “trusted too much”. Perhaps? No. For damn sure is the answer. And so on and so on it went. John Calipari left two schools with violations. UMass and Memphis. While both schools were hit with sanctions, Calipari went on to become the pied piper of Kentucky. Rick Pitino  left Louisville in shame over a sex scandal. Roy Williams’ players at North Carolina were given credit for classes that didn’t exist. Jim Boeheim’s program at Syracuse  has also been hit with several infractions. Calipari, Pitino, Williams, and Boeheim. Four of the biggest names ever in college basketball. All with dirty laundry. But lets be honest here. Corruption in college basketball lays at the feet of many. From school presidents, to athletic directors, to coaches, to shoe companies, to agents, to boosters, to players, and to parents. All of their hands have been dirty in this. But guess what? When March Madness starts nobody will give a shit! It’ll be boola boola as fans of the schools in the tournament work themselves into a frenzy cheering their teams on. Shame on all parties concerned. Everybody needs to look in the mirror. And when they do, guilt will be staring them back in the face. The National Corruption Athletic Association needs to be ripped apart. Immediately.




Eight days ago on Valentine’s Day our hearts were ripped out with seventeen innocent people, fourteen students and three teachers unmercifully gunned down and murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parklands, Florida. Our nation has been traumatized by yet another senseless, hideous act of violence. So here we are once again left to debate. Is it guns? Is it mental illness? Is it not paying attention to what’s going on around us? Who’s to blame? What’s to blame? On and on it goes. I want to be hopeful that this tragedy can perhaps be the last straw. I want to be hopeful that all sides will say enough is enough. I want to be hopeful that we can all listen to one another in healthy discussions and come to a solution that will bring these horrific crimes to an end. Hopeful yes, but still not convinced. Not when I see some moronic assholes accusing these articulate Stoneman Douglas students of being actors. Not convinced when I see some moronic assholes criticizing these Stoneman Douglas students for rehearsing their comments. These kids have buried their classmates. They are filled with rage and emotion. They are most articulate in expressing their feelings. And they’re being criticized for rehearsing what they’re going to say on TV? What Television anchor or reporter doesn’t rehearse their lines before going on air? Disgrace has no bounds. And these accusers have no souls. Were those 17 killed also actors? Were those 17 coffins put into the ground filled with actors? How about those students and relatives of the victims meeting with President Trump yesterday? How about those people who’s lives have been broken and will never be the same? Are they actors too? No. The only actors here are the moronic assholes making these idiotic accusations. They’re frauds. Each and every one of them. They pretend to be human beings. But you can’t be a human being without a soul. Disgrace has no bounds.




Where Were The Parents

As a parent myself, now of two grown daughters, I can’t imagine having to hear the horrifying news that your child has been sexually abused. The thought of it is sickening. Not just for my children, but for anybody’s children. It make’s my skin crawl. And that’s what happens every time I read about the some 150 gymnastics girls who were abused by the animal Larry Nasser. I can’t put the words together what I think should happen to this piece of garbage. But this animal is not alone. He’s got plenty of company including USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee. Where the hell were they when these horrors were taking place? I know that they were plenty visible when these girls were winning their medals for the good old USA. There are plenty of enablers to this non-fiction nightmare. But as much as hate to do it, I have to ask this one question. Where were the parents? I’m not trying to be cruel here. But again, where were the parents? There’s one of these abused girls who was dropped off at animal Nasser’s apartment when she was 12 or 13 years old. He was 30. No chaperone! Where were parents asking questions when their young daughters were being examined alone in a room with Nasser? How did the exams go? What was done to you? What is the doctor like? Were you left alone? WHAT EXACTLY DID HE DO TO YOU? These are all reasonable questions to ask. There’s the story of one girl saying something to her father but he didn’t believe her. The father would later commit suicide. I’m not trying to be cruel here. Again, this is a parent’s worst nightmare. But these questions must be asked and must be answered. Answered so that other parents will not have to suffer the same consequences. Was it about your child being an elite athlete and the possibilities of greater glory? If so, does that mean you don’t ask questions? I’m trying to understand this but I just can’t. I remember years ago when Michael Jackson was accused of improper sexual behavior with a child at his home. I remember saying to one of my colleagues how I couldn’t understand how a parent could leave a child alone at Jackson’s Neverland ranch. My colleague looked at me and said in all seriousness, “but he’s a superstar. He’s a famous celebrity Russ. You wouldn’t allow your girls to go?”. I thought my colleague was nuts. I couldn’t understand that thinking then and still can’t. I think it’s moronic. But I’ve come to find that my colleague wasn’t alone in this moronic thinking. Hard to believe but true. Being in the sports business for 35 years I understand the sacrifices athletes have to make to achieve greater glory. I understand the sacrifices parents have to make to help their children fulfill their dreams. But the bigger question is, what price glory? If it means not asking the right questions, then glory isn’t worth it. First and foremost a kid needs to be a kid. And a parent needs to be a parent. So I’ll ask one more time. Where were the parents? This is not applying guilt. It’s applying education. An education that no parent or child  wants to learn from having to suffer such a horrifying experience firsthand.

Nobody Listens

The following is a post that I sent out on Facebook and Twitter this past Thursday:

“Doesn’t matter who’s side you’re on. DeNiro’s comments Tuesday and Trump’s remark today were flat out despicable”. All they’re doing is widening the huge divide that exists in our country. Disgraceful”.

I believe the comment speaks for itself and doesn’t need explanation. Robert DeNiro at an awards presentation  described the President with F bombs and the President in the Oval Office allegedly described African countries and Haiti as s**tholes. Both remarks are disgusting and reprehensible. Neither one can be defended.  Yet the reaction that followed was equally disturbing to me. It became a discussion of who said what, and what was worse than the other. It became a discussion of measuring the degree of awfulness. This is exactly what’s wrong with our country. Everybody hears but nobody listens. Let me correct myself. Nobody listens except to themselves and their own ideals. You can hate Trump and hate what he stands for. You can love DeNiro and whatever he stands for. And vice-versa. But there is no defending either man’s behavior this past week. None whatsoever. Zero. Both men were an embarrassment to our country. And if you don’t think so, think again.

To Boycott or Not to Boycott

NBA coaches are pissed off at ESPN for doing a story in which LaVar Ball said of Lakers coach Luke Walton, “You can see they’re not playing for Luke no more. Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him”. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, president of the coaches association calls this a disgrace and has threatened to restrict access to ESPN. Former Knicks coach and current NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy says coaches have every reason to boycott ESPN.  His brother Stan Van Gundy concurs. He says ESPN can go to press conferences, but will not be given extra access from his Pistons. This is a serious problem because the NBA and ESPN are business partners. How this works out legally I don’t know.

Let me be upfront about this. Lavar Ball is a loudmouth blowhard. He’s an embarrassment. He’s an attention grabber who doesn’t care one bit how he might be embarrassing his three sons, the most notable being his eldest Lonzo who plays for the Lakers. But while I understand the coaches’ position here, I do not like the idea of  a boycott. Yes, they have every right to be pissed off. LaVar Ball is a nobody wanting to be a somebody. So he does so through his sons. He rants and talks garbage. He’s no expert in basketball. He’s just a a loudmouth parent. The only thing he’s good at is making noise. And that’s why ESPN and the rest of the media go to LaVar Ball for comment. He makes noise. Lots of it. And noise sells. The coaches’ complaints here are valid when they talk about journalistic responsibility. They’re upset that a bum like LaVar Ball is given a platform to talk trash about one of their own, Luke Walton. Their complaint is not that somebody trashed Walton. It’s that a nobody like LaVar Ball trashed him. Ball doesn’t care what he says and everybody knows it. But a coaches boycott is not the way to go here. It sets a bad precedent. It opens up the door for a boycott every time somebody doesn’t like what is said or reported. We can’t have that. But on the flip side is journalistic responsibility. Not just for ESPN but for all media. Why are you doing a story? If it’s just to make noise because noise sells, that sucks. I’ve been in this business for 35 years. And I’m embarrassed to say that making noise in our industry has become the top priority with responsibility taking a back seat. Again, that sucks.

Leaking, Guessing, Speculating And BS!

The hiring of the new head coach of the Giants can’t come soon enough for me. It’s not because of my impatience. It’s simply that all the leaking and guessing and speculating is becoming way too much. How the hell does anybody know who the favorite is, when the Giants don’t even know who the favorite is? I’m talking about GM Dave Gettleman and President & Co-owner John Mara. They don’t know. They’ve gone into this search completely open minded. Yet from the moment Ben McAdoo was fired we’ve heard about one favorite after another. First it was Josh McDaniels. Then it was Jim Schwartz. As of this writing at 4:11 on this snowy afternoon, neither McDaniels or Schwartz have been interviewed yet. Other than Steve Spagnuole yesterday, there’ve been no other interviews. So where does all this favorites business come from? From the agents, that’s where. The thinking is to get their guys names out there and endear themselves to members of the media at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone. It’s the games people play in this business. And it’s misleading to the public. If you like a guy, just say you like the guy. But don’t say he’s a favorite because that’s simply nonsense. Just say it’s your opinion. But this favorites business is all about people trying to show they have inside information. And it’s all nothing but a bunch of BS!

A Giant Step Forward

“My plan is to come in here everyday and kick ass”. Those were the words of Dave Gettleman when he was officially introduced this morning as the new GM of the Giants. It’s what the Giants needed and now they have it. And Giants’ fans should be pleased. Gettleman wasn’t the most popular choice for some people, button of far greater importance he was the right choice. I’ve read and heard complaints that the Giants didn’t interview enough people for the job. But they did infact interview enough. Once they knew Gettleman was there guy, there was no need to look any further. Dave  Gettleman probably knows personal in the NFL as much or more than anybody. He’s a workaholic. He loves what he does. And now he has his dream job. Add all that to the 15 years he previously spent with the Giants organization and you have a damn good combination. Dave Gettleman is also a straight shooter. He won’t tell you what wants to be heard but what needs to be heard. Thats goes for owners, coaches, players, and the fans. The time has come to fix the Giants. And this morning was a Giant step forward. Welcome Dave. Now go kick some ass!

Diddy or Dodo?

So Sean “Diddy” Combs wants to buy the Carolina Panthers. Fine by me. I wish him the best of luck in his endeavors to do so. I really do. But for crying out loud Diddy, stop being a dodo!  Yes, we know that there are no majority African American owners in the NFL. So to become the first would certainly be historic. But so far you’re going about it all the wrong way. Going on Twitter and asking people to retweet your desire is just plain dumb. The Twitter world is not going to get you the Panthers. Beleaguered Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson will have to agree to sell the team to you for somewhere in the area of  two billion and change. And should that happen you would then have to be approved by the other NFL owners.  And they couldn’t care less about your silly tweets about how you’ll have the best music and best halftime show. And quite frankly, music is not uppermost in the minds of Panthers’ fans either. Football is. Winning football is. And by you saying that you’ll immediately sign Colin Kaepernick so that he could be in the running to challenge Cam Newton for the starting quarterback position is insulting to both Newton and the Panthers fans. Colin Kaepernick shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Cam Newton. By doing so you sound like a foolish grandstander. If you truly are sincere in your desire to be an NFL owner, go get the cash and the proper backing to get the job done. But you won’t find it on Twitter. So Diddy, stop being dodo!

Pigs are pigs. Animals will be animals

You’ve no doubt heard the expression that “boys will be boys”. But please don’t use that phrase to describe what is going on with the sexual predators that we read and hear about everyday these days.  These are not boys. They are not men. They are pigs. They are animals. They are abusers. They are abusers of power. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the movies they’ve made or starred in. I don’t care about their journalistic prominence or TV stardom. Pigs are pigs. Animals will be animals. And as men we cannot tolerate it. Not under any circumstances. This is not just a womens’ fight. It’s our fight. We have to be part of the solution to fix it. At the same time women must fix it as well. Many brave women have come forward to get the movement going. And I’m sure that more will follow. But this is where we all need to be careful. Because as history as shown us, every movement has opportunists. People looking to get rich. This movement will be no different. And we cannot allow opportunists spoil  it. It’s up to all parties concerned to make sure that this doesn’t happen. This movement is too important. We have to be good examples for all of our children. Male and female.

A Whole New Ballgame For Derek

While the Yankees and their fans are rejoicing today over their acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, their beloved former captain Derek Jeter is facing more criticism now than he received during his entire playing career. But being an owner is a whole new ballgame for the future hall of famer. On paper the Yanks just pulled off the equivalent of a Brinks truck heist in getting Stanton, the reigning National League MVP. The thought of Stanton and Judge in the same lineup has conjured up memories of Mantle and Maris. Think about that. The M&M boys. Legends of the game. With the acquisition of Stanton the Yankee are IT! Not only the sexiest team in baseball but perhaps in all sports in this country. They are now showtime on the diamond. And they got there by giving up just Starlin Castro and two minor league prospects,  pitcher Jorge Guzman and infielder Jose Devers. Derek Jeter and his people believe they have a plan and are displaying the guts to stick with it. That’s not easy to do. I applaud him for trying. But I do believe he went about this the wrong way. It appears that Derek has taken an almost ruthless approach. From the moment he took over Derek began cleaning house by dumping the man regarded as Mr. Marlin, Jeff Conine. He then whacked three popular assistants in Tony Perez, Andre Dawson, and Jack McKeon. I get it. It’s a new time. It’s a new boss. Derek is the man. But what about the Marlins’ fans? How should they feel now? Optimistic? Why? Because Derek will say so? It doesn’t work that way. The business of sports is unlike any other businesses. Fans don’t care about your expenses, just your product. What you put on the field is what counts. And thanks to Derek, the Yankees’ fans now have showtime while Marlins’  fans don’t know what they have. The only thing they do know is that they’re not happy. It’s a whole new ballgame for Derek. He never had fans unhappy with him before.