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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

By Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey

Ruff's preseason drills for fans on tap

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

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The dog days of August are just around the corner. Thank goodness, because the summer is always the slowest time for a sports department.

This week, East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill will host both his fantasy camp and his women’s clinic.

“Ruff’s Fantasy Camp” is set for Friday. Several of us in the media have been invited to take part, and I’m looking forward to a fun day of Pirate football. Our day will include time in the weight room, the film room and on the field with a scrimmage game.

The eighth annual women's clinic, “Real Women Love Football,” has always been one of the more popular events of July. The ladies get a chance to ask questions about the game and to implement those strategies on the gridiron.

This year, the ladies clinic will also feature a live auction. That auction will include an authentic ECU football, signed by the coaching staff and players. Two game day Murphy Center passes and two sideline passes will also be up for grabs to the highest bidder.

Each lady I have asked about her experience at the clinic says she thoroughly enjoyed the day. Coach McNeill and his staff go from the very basics of football to those who are in their infant stages of learning the game, to the complicated lingo for those who feel that they know the game fairly well.

These are two great events that wrap up the month of July. Players report during the first week of August and then the practices and scrimmages lead us up to the opener on Sept. 1.

It is the best time of the year, and we are certainly getting closer!

NCAA hammers the guilty and the innocent at PSU

All of college athletics was certainly paying attention when the NCAA announced its penalties against Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

It wasn’t the death penalty, but it certainly was close.

While a 60 million dollar fine and loss of scholarships are huge, the fact that any Penn State football player can now transfer and be eligible immediately will simply cripple that program.

Penn State faces four years that the program can’t play in the postseason. That means that any player in the program that stays will not be allowed to ever play in another bowl game or compete for a Big Ten title.

Players and coaches that had nothing to do with Sandusky and the scandal are certainly now being punished.

Joe Paterno’s legacy had already taken a huge hit. His statute was removed on Sunday. Now, he loses all wins from 1998 to 2011. He lost 111 wins and is no longer the winningest coach in Football Bowl Subdivision history.

There is no question that this was a sorry, inexcusable chapter in the history of college athletics. So many children had their innocence stolen by Sandusky, a monster who paraded around as a coach they looked up to.

Unfortunately, many that had nothing at all to do with anything close to this scandal will now pay the price for horrible decisions that date back to 1998.

The NCAA says it has to stop the mentality of “winning at all costs.”

When you think of that phrase, you tend to think about “improper benefits” and “cheating” scandals. Never could any of us ever imagine that the game we love could become tangled into the horrifying mess that happened at Penn State.

Hopefully, there will never be another scandal like this one in college sports.


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Brian Bailey Archives

07/23/2012 08:43 PM


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