Time for a little housekeeping.....
- The baseball recruiting class is down by one player and then up by one. Nolan Clark, the juco catcher with the bat (as opposed to the one with the glove, which would be Chace Mitchell) signed a contract with the Phillies, which terminates his college eligibility. However, I did miss another juco player when I rolled through the baseball commits: Joel Effertz, a pitcher from the same Wisconsin juco that sent us Cody Winiarski.
Not having Clark means that Mitchell is probably the front-runner for catching duties but will (at least at first) split them with Ryan Levine and/or maybe incoming freshman Nate Irving. Levine and Mitchell are the top two choices, though. It also means that my musings on Clark taking over third base are moot. So that will probably be Stephen Bruno.
Effertz posted a 3.03 ERA with 79 Ks and a 7-4 record at MATC this spring. (For useless comparison's sake, Winiarski had an ERA of 2.39 the year before he came to UVA.) He'll be an incoming sophomore. Having another arm to throw at the weekend starter problem is a fantastic thing. Candidates now include Branden Kline, Kyle Crockett (the two that probably have the biggest lead on the field) as well as Effertz, Scott Silverstein, and Whit Mayberry. Somebody out of that group might well also be the closer, or, for that job, O'Connor may turn to Artie Lewicki.
- Georgia Tech got in some trouble the other day. GT fans are pretty pissed about the whole thing, but if you ask me they got off easy. At first glance, vacating the 2009 ACC championship over a couple of shirts seems harsh. But the NCAA had a long list of nasty words to say about GT's apparent hindrance of the investigation. So a couple hundred dollars' worth of apparel became a major violation that the NCAA takes very seriously.
The thing is, this gives them repeat-violator status: "If Tech commits another major infraction before Nov. 17, 2010, it will be subject to added penalties as a repeat violator." And for supposedly being a huge hindrance to an investigation and being a repeat violator, GT football gets....four more years of probation. It's pretty clear the NCAA thinks vacating games is a serious penalty just shy of chopping off a leg or two.
For anyone hoping to see any of the various programs currently under the NCAA microscope (Auburn, OSU, Oregon, UNC) hammered with the hammer of thunder and justice, this is a disappointing development. Vacating games is nobody's idea of a deterrent. Let me state that a little more clearly: Nobody gives a fuck. Administrators and the NCAA act like the condemned on death row when they have to take down a banner, but they know it's a facade and we know they know. Vacating games is, like, the absolute minimum that can possibly happen. As a penalty for hindering and obstructing an investigation, GT got probation. And since they did this while under the shadow of previous violations, becoming a repeat violator, I think we all know what probation is good for. (I suggest wiping your ass with it.)
Bottom line: If you're hoping UNC is going to be slammed by the NCAA, your hopes just got a lot dimmer. They were ever so angry at GT and gave them probation. We're a few short steps away from being able to say that Mark Emmert's call for toughness is an empty shitpile. We'll see how they deal with UNC. If they can't be nuked to the Stone Age for allowing a coach to run an agency's branch office out of the football facilities - or if the NCAA thinks vacating games is the same thing - then we can officially call Emmert an empty, lying sack.
- The basketball penalties on GT are a little more along the lines of fitting the crime. Those combined with Brian Oliver's transfer to Seton Hall (I read Rutgers at first but apparently, Seton Hall it is) are going to conspire to give GT a long climb back to basketball respectability. GT will be an eminently beatable team this season without Oliver or Iman Shumpert (off to the draft) but even so, one less three-point shooter in the league is a good thing for UVA.
- Danny Hultzen continues to add things to his trophy pile: John Olerud Award for best two-way player in the country, and all-state baseball and academic teams as voted on by the SIDs of Virginia. How he lost out on best baseball player in the state is beyond me being as he was a Golden Spikes finalist and the kid from JMU (Jake Lowery) is not. One can be the best player in the nation but not the state; that is an interesting dynamic.
- Anthony Cooper will make his selection on Wednesday. Or at least, make it public. This is hopefully UVA's race to lose.
- Lastly, I spent yesterday smoothing out the video-production process, and I've got the Cornell game from the lax quarterfinals uploaded too. So check that out on the videos page. Things are a little streamlined now when it comes to making videos, and the quality is better too. I hated all those little lines on the screen that were caused by converting to a different format. Now I can use the format that comes from the special box. I still want my Tivo back, and believe me by football season I'm getting it, but at least I can catch up a little now.
- Administratively, expect full posting and/or video production next week; after that, on Saturday, I go on my summer vacation. That means hiatus the following week. Two or three posting days will be missed, to return to regular programming on Wednesday or Thursday. On the other side of vacation, we'll start to shift to full-time football coverage. Don't you love how the offseason only lasts like a month or so?