Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
We're going to start off with the CCRH show from yesterday. First and foremost, if you didn't hear it, you can check it out:
Of course, we were talking about the one game suspension handed down to Coach Jeff Walz for supposedly aggrieving NCAA officials on the sidelines of the National Semifinal game in Columbus for the terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad officiating on display.
We were all in agreement that Coach Walz can occasionally be...aggressive...in his language, and honestly, the punishment probably fits the crime here pretty well. And when we're playing Upper East Southwest Albuquerque State Community and Technical College of the Ozarks (a name I hope is sufficiently absurdly made up to not bear any resemblance to any real school, and if it somehow does, I assure you I mean no ill will towards it) in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament, I suspect having Walz more-than-sidelined, will not cause CardNation any real heartburn. Coach Norman, the Coaches Sam, Kate Williams, Lamont "Mr. Russell, sir" Russell, and the rest of the UofL WBB staff will surely have everything well in hand.
No, the vitriol here comes from the hypocrisy and unevenness of NCAA punishments, as well as complete lack of trust and respect that the NCAA has engendered towards itself.
The NCAA apparently thinks it's critical to punish a coach for using some salty language, but all but
completely ignores decades of "paper classes". They have already demonstrated a willingness to give in on sexual abuse scandals by rescinding the bulk of the punishments doled out to Penn State in the wake of their sexual abuse scandal, and by all accounts are poised to take very little action against Michigan State in their unfolding scandal. The Auburn softball scandal mysteriously "went away" after Clint Myers resigned as head coach. The NCAA has not pursued it, a travesty in itself.
On a less societally impactful facet of the discussion, but more on point for the punishment in question, the NCAA has built a monumental trust deficit, specifically when it comes to WBB officiating. I've said before, and I'll say it again, WBB officiating (and this is at nearly all levels of WBB, not just NCAA Div 1) is awful. There is no sugar-coating that, it is terrible. As a product, it is, or at least should be, embarrassing to those who have a had in creating it. The NCAA, by completely shielding officials from any formal or public criticism, have utterly and completely destroyed any trust the the public, or school officals and coaches, can have that the obvious and egregious shortcomings are being addressed in any meaningful way.
The NCAA is a diseased organization. It's time for its constituent schools, via their Presidents and Athletic Directors, to stand up and refuse to abide by the hypocrisy and authoritarian-style undermining of the very concepts the NCAA claims to uphold.
Baseball Wins Again
OK, on to more positive things. The idiocy of the ACC pool play format is over, and UofL, with a
minor upset, and a major margin of victory, over Duke advanced to the 4-team single-elimination tournament Semifinals. There they met with Pitt, a team that the Cardinals had played only two weeks ago in the three game series in conference play on Pitt's home field.
Pitt, valiantly, scored two upset wins in their pool to advance despite being the lowest seed in the competition at #12. The Panthers would be no match for the Cardinals, though, with Dan McDonnell's squad advancing with the 5-2 win over Pitt. Devin Mann and Josh Stowers continue to be among the names to mention with heroics at the plate. Mann took one yard, and hit for a triple in his 2-3 appearance, while Stowers was 2-4 with a double to his credit.
Nick Bennett pitched 6 innings of keeping the Panthers off the scoreboard, but allowed 2 before being replaced by Adam Elliot to finish the 7th. Austin Conway kept the Panthers off the board in the 8th and 9th to finish out the game.
UofL will learn its fate for the NCAA tournament at noon tomorrow on ESPNU with the NCAA Baseball Selection Show. There remains a slim chance that UofL could host a regional, and a win today, in addition to the awesomeness of winning the conference championship, would go a long way in convincing the NCAA that this team is peaking at the right time and should be considered for a host berth.
Four more UofL athletes were able to punch their ticket to Eugene, OR with their results in the
NCAA Track&Field Regional competitions.
Makenli Forrest advanced with a 9th place finish in the hammer toss with a distance of 61.62 meters.
Damar Robinson and Jerin Allen finished 3rd and 8th in the high jump to clear their way to the west coast competition. They cleared 2.16m and 2.11m respectively.
Bailey Davis finished 5th overall in the 5k run with a strong kick to earn the trip to Oregon.
Congratulations to these Cardinal athletes on their success so far.
Lastly, lets jump over to the professional athletics ranks for a moment.
In another interesting note for Louisville City FC, they advanced this week in the Open Cup with a 1-0 win at Lynn Stadium over Saint Louis FC. Their next opponent in the Open Cup will be the New England Revolution at Lynn Stadium on June 6th, an MLS team. Of particular note is the re-uniting, in Louisville, on the University of Louisville campus, of Paulo Delpiccolo of Louisville City, and Andrew Farrell of New England. Both were players at UofL some years back. They're also notable as the hosts of the "Shakin' It Up with Salt 'n Peppa" video series (findable on Youtube) in which the two of them challenged various UofL student athletes of the era to competitions usually related to the other student athletes sport. My favorites of the series were the volleyball competition with Katie George and Lola Arslanbeckova, and the soccer goalkeeping competition with Gorgui Djeng.
Louisville City FC currently sits atop the USL rankings (with Cincinnati FC in 2nd) after winning the league last season.