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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Danielle does some dancing...Softball skills camp moved to Weds.-Thurs.

WEDNESDAY WITH THE COUPLE:

-BIG EAST commish Danielle Donehew taps around

-UofL Softball Skills camp moved to Weds.-Thurs.

-Pasqualichio at field hockey Junior National camp

-Walz gets a slap on the wrist

They've trained her well. The art of explaining an issue without really providing a concrete or
helpful answer is one of the guidelines to being successful in any administrative situation.
Call it gobbledy-gook, dancing around the issues, much ado about nothing...Danielle Donehew, associate commissioner for BIG EAST women's basketball has been taking classes. 

Here are some classic answers from her on the questions surrounding the return to Hartford for BIG EAST women's hoops. 

Q: How was the decision made?
A: The decision is made by a vote of the conference athletic director's. And we thought Mo, Becky and Asia got together with a few players from the 15 other teams and slugged it out. (Watch out for the Georgetown girls...they trip people.) And, a Gibbs-slap to the back of the head for the 'Captain Obvious' answer.


Q: Is a majority vote the deciding factor in decisions like this?
A: I am not going to get into those things. Those are internal conference conversations. When we make a decision we are all behind it...whether it was unanimous or not.  (So...the final vote is 16-0 regardless of what the count was?
Sounds like voting in Kentucky counties back in the 1930's...when a jug of moonshine or plow mule dropped off on various porches or front yards got county judges re-elected.)

Q: Can dissenting votes block a decision?

Danielle Donehew is
the associate commish
for BIG EAST WBB.
 A: I don't want to get into the specifics of why we move forward or don't move forward. I appreciate your (the media) understanding that when we make a decision we make it as a united group. (In other words, you don't go against the 'family' or you end up taking a ride with Syl or Paulie. Somehow, I have a hard time seeing Tom Jurich or Julie Hermann goose-stepping past the grandstand...)

It gets better...

Q: Were other venues, like the Mohegan Sun Arena discussed?
A: We discussed multiple venues. We came to the decision that the XL Center was where we wanted to be. (And the gang from South Florida and Louisville led the acceptance parade, right?)

Alfred E.Newman, of MAD
magazine fame...
Q: On trying to find a neutral site for those coaches who favor that?
A: Women's basketball tournaments began on college campuses. As the game has progressed, we've seen some move off campus. some move to professional venues and cities that embrace events. But others are still on campuses. It's based on the desire of the membership and what seems to fit best. And in two years, we will conduct another process and make another decision. We have some coaches in our league that are committed to the conference and direction we need to head. Some have their own opinions, which is fine. But the key is to discuss as a family what's best and all come together and support the decision that is made. The XL Center has proven a great host. We've had better attendance than any other conference in the country. It's hard to argue with that truth. Coming back here was a good move for the conference. (And in this family, Connecticut is the stern father of 15 kids who can't talk back.)

One of the happy children in the BIG EAST family.
For example, consider this statement by one of the oldest daughters in Family BIG EAST, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw:

"We would really like to get out of Hartford. A neutral site would be great."

Yep, nothing but solidarity and unity in this family...

It's pretty clear to us that some elements in the BIG EAST would prefer that the fan base in the conference know nothing about the process. And, why should we? After all, all we fans do is attend the games, cheer for the players and bumble along like sheep being led to the shearer's table. We don't need to understand, right?....because this big family has all our best interests in mind and all we need to do is just hand over money, keep our mouths shut and fall in-step with the parade. We would love to hear from the other 15 schools in the BIG EAST besides Connecticut and see how they feel about this "family" concept...but, you see, that isn't necessary...because the family has spoken and it is final. So fans are red-headed step-children? Maybe...

The Walton's? Probably not. The Sopranos? There you go...

The family that plays together stays together, right? No matter how dysfunctional it is...and what game is being played. In this case, it's a rip-roaring game of Family Feud.

Here's a little quiz for your Wednesday morning. Where was the last place (besides Hartford) that the BIG EAST women's tournament was held?


A) Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY
B) Madison Square Garden, N.Y., N.Y.
C) Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, NJ.
D) The Palestra, Philadelphia, PA

C is the correct answer. The RAC...for two straight years..in 2002, 2003. And how many years did host Rutgers win it while there? 

Zero.

This thing isn't about how great the XL Center is. They were holding the tournament in tiny Gampel Pavillion for most of the 1990's and 2000 and 2001. It's a Connecticut love affair.


Our choice for Santa at the BIG EAST
women's basketball Christmas party...
 Nevertheless..it's good to know that UofL women's basketball is part of such a big family. I wonder what they'll get for Christmas? And, which family member will play Santa Claus at the family Christmas party? We're voting for Quentin Hillsman...Syracuse head coach. (see right)

One big, happy family...that lives in sixteen different cities but always manages to return to Hartford and re-unite in the XL Center once a year for a family reunion. Time to change the venue...maybe by 2020? (If there's a BIG EAST around by then...) 

See you at Vito's By The Park in March.

**************************************************************************************************************

The water main break on the University of Louisville campus Monday night has forced the University of Louisville Softball Skills camp to begin Wednesday instead of the originally planned Tuesday start. Same hours, same excellent tutelage. Based on the way things looked on Floyd Street on Monday night, the rowing team could have had a skills camp on campus.

**************************************************************************************************************

The University of Louisville's Dominique Pasqualichio is attending the Junior National Camp at Old Dominion University and Cardinal head coach Justine Sowry is coaching at the camp, which serves as a tryout for the 2012 U21, U19 and U17 junior national squads.

Pasqualichio,  a defender from Plymouth, PA. red shirted as a freshman at UofL last season.

Louisville will have 18 games and one scrimmage this year in field hockey and the season gets underway August 19th. at Iowa. The Cards have nine home games scheduled at Trager Field for the 2011 season.

**************************************************************************************************************

And, in the "it took them this long to decide on this?" category...

Coach can almost clear scorer's
tables with his vertical in addition
to be able to deliver kicks to them.
Louisville head women's basketball coach Jeff Walz has been reprimanded by the NCAA for violating tournament policy during this year's women's basketball championship against Gonzaga.

NCAA officials (google "village idiots" for a description) say that Walz used profane and abusive language toward game officials, people seated at the scorer's table and on the team bench. (Which bench they didn't make clear...) 

He's also accused of kicking the scorer's table during the contest.

(They dropped the charges of plotting to advance to the Great Eight, conduct unbecoming the best coach in college basketball and conspiracy to defeat Gonzaga on their home court in an NCAA game.) 

And, it's disco night at the Waco
Bar and Grill...
They nailed Baylor coach Kim "Monkey" Mulkey with a reprimand also. She wanted to suit up and play in the second half. Seems the NCAA was upset about her remarks concerning the bracketing process for the 2011 Tournament, which had them matching up against Texas A&M for the 4th time during the season.  

The NCAA says that the behavior of both coaches discredits them and tarnishes the championship...so says Marilyn McNeil, who is the chair of Division I women basketball and also vice president and director of athletics at Monmouth University.

The NCAA also withheld both coaches per diem allowance for the tournament. Neither coach will probably have to worry about filing Chapter 11...if it gets too bad for Coach Walz, we can lend him a $20. We've lent considerably more to people we like less and haven't seen a penny of it back. Maybe we should frequent 12 Mile Island more often. Or contact some close family friends...And...just how much is a per diem? And what does per diem have to do with tarnish? Maybe the NCAA should have just made Coach Walz listen to Ozzy Osbourne's Flying High Again on Diary of a Madman CD.

OK, then...

Funny, but neither Gary Blair or Muffet McGraw complained of any tarnish and they were the coaches in the championship game. Somehow, I doubt the viewers watching the NCAA 2011 women's basketball championship game were filled with fear and trepidation...wary that Mulkey might get a hold of a microphone or Walz would pop out of the stands and kick a table while cursing.

Walz is out on the road watching future college stars currently and we didn't want to disturb him with a comment on something so trivial and inane. Cardinals football coach Charlie Strong is impressed with Walz's leg, though...and is considering offering him a walk-on role as the Cards place-kicking specialist.

Mulkey is probably out on the road right now. We're not sure why complaining about having to play the same team four times is "tarnishing." Her hairstyle...now that's worth chipping in for a little extra per diem...just to get her out of Floyd the Barber's chair...


We did talk to William Frawley, though...at Walmart this afternoon (who has no idea who either are) and he commented...

"What they really ought to do is take a look at their own vague, nebulous and ridiculous policies and spend a little time doing that instead of busting up a couple of coaches four months after the fact. For pete's sake...if it took me that long to make a decision in my business...I'd be out of business and selling bottled water on Central Avenue during Derby Week."

We went back and watched parts of the replay of the Gonzaga/Louisville game. (as painful as that was to do).

Yup. Coach was a bit disturbed.. The Cards also came back from a 20 point deficit to cut it to three with three minutes left. Without their leading scorer. Guessing it just might be worth a slap on the wrist...and a bit of tarnish. Hold the relish.
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