Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Grab Bag: All-Star week sucks

I know I harp on this every year, but it needs to be said: All-Star week sucks.  The game, and its attendant fanfare, is pointless, boring, and purposely slotted in a dead period where there's nothing else available to draw my attention.  To each their own, but I generally question the sanity of anyone who 'looks forward' to this non-event.

However, that doesn't mean I want the All-Star game 'fixed,' or any of that nonsense being talked about on sports radio.  Middle aged men can wax poetic all they want about Pete Rose destroying Ray Fosse's career and Ted Williams' walk-off home run, but the All-Star Game has always sucked.  They only remember it fondly because the Mid-Summer Classic was one few games televised before the modern era.  Had other baseball been readily available on television, everyone would remember the All-Star Game as the pointless distraction that it has always been.

I know it'll never happen, but the game needs to be dumped from the schedule. And if that only highlights how unnecessarily long the baseball season is, then why not shorten the season while we're at it?


Today in the bag, I'm talking budget cut announcement, Spencer at the WUG, and 'Dre's first run as a professional.

Click below for the bag...

10% cut announcement ruffles feathers -

On Thursday last week, CU announced - through John Henderson at the Denver Post, no less - that each athletic program was being asked to cut 10% from it's discretionary budget, in hopes that the athletic department could put a dent in it's $7.5 million budgetary shortfall.  The plan from interim athletic director Ceal Barry aims to pinch pennies through little measures, like avoiding the toll road and paying for covered parking while traveling through DIA, and is a request, not a demand.

Why a minor budgetary move within the department had to be aired out to the public is anyone's guess.  I figure the idea was to put on a public face of constraint, to show the good people of Colorado that CU's athletic department isn't blindly throwing away money on luxuries.  The problem is, the message comes off as petty and ill-timed (coming the day that the raises for Linda Lappe and Tad Boyle were announced), and is, essentially, a slap in the face at the previous administration.

If addressing the budgetary shortfall was as easy as simply asking employees to avoid E-470, I'm sure Mike Bohn would've addressed it.  The problem is significantly more systemic, and a result of the football program driving away paying customers.  You want to climb out of the red?  Figure out a way to improve football.  Everything else is just budgetary window dressing.

As frustrating as it is to see another eye-rolling PR flub from CU, however, it's exactly what I would expect from a department under interim management.  It'd be nice if everything could be put on hold until a permanent replacement for the AD chair is found, but that isn't practical.  In the meantime, CU is going to step in some dogshit, just like it did Thursday.

Of course, the realities of interim management didn't stop BuffNation from going off the deep end.  The hashtag #ClubACeal was thrown out, and fan discussions, even at my beloved Allbuffs, veered dangerously close to the line between reasoned, passionate criticism, and sexist/homophobic ranting.  Look, you don't like Ceal as the interim athletic director, that's fine, just don't make it personal.  We should be better than that.

Spencer shines while Team USA struggles at WUG -

CU's Spencer Dinwiddie continues to lead Team USA against all comers at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Unfortunately, the team hasn't fared as well as hoped.

In a surprise twist, the US took painful losses against international rivals Canada and Australia to tumble out of medal contention. The loss to Canada was particularly painful to watch, with familiar CU villains Brady Heslip and Jordan Bachynski staring for our neighbors to the north.
Spencer has been playing great, but couldn't keep Team USA in medal contention.  From: USA Basketball.
After finishing third in their group, the Americans will now have to settle for no better than 9th place.

While the eventual finish will be disappointing, you can't place the blame at Spencer's feet.  He leads the tournament in assists, the team in steals, and has a respectable overall line of 8/3/6 through seven starts.

While his teammates have struggled to live up to the level of competition, coaches and viewers alike have been commenting about how impressive has his play been as the starting point guard.  People are beginning to recognize...

'Dre helps OKC dominate in Orlando -

Andre Roberson quickly jumped into life as a professional basketball player, helping the Oklahoma City Thunder sweep their five games in Orlando to claim the Summer League title.
'Dre has yet to taste defeat as a professional.  From
While 'Dre started out slow, struggling through the opener, he soon found his feet, and finished the week on a tear.  Over his final three games, the former CU defensive standout averaged a solid 6/10, impressing his new fans with his defense and ability to do the little things.

What's obvious from last week is that 'Dre can play at this level.  His scoring ability is still suspect, but his defense and rebounding alone makes him a viable NBA talent.  The big question going forward will be whether or not he can find an offensive role.  That will mean the difference between scrub minutes and regular rotation.

Happy Monday!

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