Originally created 02/10/02

Prep signing day invokes silliness



Even in the thick of basketball season with the over-hyped Winter Olympics thrown in, football always seems to dominate the headlines in these parts.

National Signing Day came and went with seemingly every team touting their incoming class as the finest in history. The most bogus practice in sports is the annual ranking of the recruiting classes. Let's see if in four years Mack Brown has learned how to coach Texas to a national championship.

Alabama is irate that the NCAA hammered the football program with a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 21 scholarships. The Crimson Tide should really be thanking the ethics police for not implementing the so-called death penalty on the Bear's institution.

Kentucky also drew a two-year bowl ban. That should make quite a difference. Please, Mr. NCAA, don't throw us into that brier patch.

If the NCAA really wants to put some teeth in its sanctions, it should make it so a team banned from bowl games cannot receive its share of the conference postseason kitty that year - other than any bare minimum required to maintain non-revenue sports.

Favorite analysis in a recruiting bio on Clemson's Kelvin Grant: "Excellent jumper who can take the ball out of the air." Thank goodness. He wouldn't be much of a wide receiver otherwise.

The quote of Signing Day came from Clemson recruiting coordinator Rick Stockstill. "I don't like verbal commitments. It's not worth the paper it's written on."

In other football recruiting news, Georgia Tech suffered greatly from its coaching change but decided to disprove that adage that there is no "I" in team. I-Perfection Harris, son of Michael and Karen, signed up to play cornerback for the Jackets, making him this year's winner of the God Shammgod Award for the best name in sports. Here's hoping I-Perfection's siblings Earthly and Supreme play sports as well.

In other news not involving jackets, a woman in Burlington, N.C., was arrested for stealing a police car - naked. And you thought the Playboy Playmate version of Fear Factor during the Super Bowl halftime required nerve.

Would somebody please contact all the voters for the college basketball polls and tell them that Virginia - losers of four straight before beating woeful Clemson on Saturday and just 5-5 in the ACC - is NOT a top-10 team and should not be considered such until they actually beat somebody.

My home alarm system triggered the other day. With Olga Korbut under the microscope, has anyone seen Nadia Comaneci?

The NIT acted just in the nick of time by expanding its field to 40 teams. Now maybe North Carolina has some incentive for the stretch run with 105 postseason berths available to any of the 324 Division I teams that can reach .500. College basketball's new initiative is to put a banner in every house.

Here's hoping the bowl system takes notice and expands into new regions. I here the Dakotas are lovely around Christmas.

Judging from the reaction Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gets every time he walks into an enemy arena, the head Devil has inherited Dean Smith's mantle as the most hated coach in college sports. You can bet Dean is seethingly jealous.

Reach Scott Michaux at (706) 823-3219.