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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

He has a day job? So I'm innocently reading this Daily article on the plea bargain Carson Butler and Chris Richards have reached...

The deal requires Butler and Richards plead guilty to assault and battery, Jarrett said.
In return, the counts of aggravated assault, as well as Butler's minor in possession charge, will be dropped, he said.

Butler and Richards must also spend eight to ten hours a week mentoring youth in the juvenile system, complete a year of probation and pay the victim $8,062 in medical expenses.

The victim's family also requested the two men undergo random drug and alcohol testing during their year of probation.
...when a name strikes me as familiar:
When Richards's attorney Nicholas Roumel made a request similar to Simon's earlier that day, Mattson had held to the original bond conditions.
Nicholas Roumel? Where have I heard that name before? Then it hits me.

He's "Counterpunt"! He's Nick RouMel. He spars with with comrade Ken "Sky" Walker, AKA "Punt" in the back of the free programs they hand out before home football games. Until I was twelve I thought he was one of the six coolest people on the planet. And apparently he's a local defense lawyer who just happens to get Chris Richards' case. I wonder if the university keeps him around to defend football players who get in trouble.

Anyway... I was excited. So here I am, communicating my excitement. EXCITEMENT.

Prep school mostly gone. This appears to be major news that's flying as under the radar as anything written about in the New York Times can:
In perhaps its most significant move to deter diploma mills, the N.C.A.A. will limit high school students to one core course that would count toward college eligibility after a student’s four-year high school graduation date.
As per usual when anything happens, some coaches are pissed off:
“If you have a problem with some of the prep schools, shut them down, do what you’ve got to do,” [Memphis coach John] Calipari said. “Why blow the whole thing up with a bazooka? I understand what their concern is, but I know that they’ve never discussed it with any of us.”
And in this case, I see their point. (The silly quotes over text messaging... not so much.) All of a sudden, only kids who barely miss eligibility can look at prep school as a possibility. The Callahan Brights and Anyone Who Plays Basketball At UConn ... er... -s of the world are now going directly to JUCO without passing go. This doesn't benefit anyone as far as I can tell. The athletes have a longer, more obscure road to a major college. The colleges deploy marginally less interesting athletes who are 1.5 standard deviations below the average student instead of 1.6. Etc. While the NCAA is taking a hammer to the diploma mills, this is a nuclear warhead to any prep school, including places like Hargrave Military or Fork Union or Milford (where freshman defensive tackle Marques Slocum went after failing to qualify) that have established reputations. The scorched earth approach here is excessive.

That said, this should be a small net benefit for Michigan. Slocum is the only recruit in recent memory who went the prep school route and actually showed up on campus. The removal of the prep option harms schools that tend to "draft and follow," oversigning academically questionable kids and attempting to get them eligible year after year, sometimes by stashing them in questionable places. This describes Michigan in no way.

The upcoming. Stadium & Main has a look at next year's schedule. At first glance, once we're through the opening home stretch against Oregon, ND, and Penn State there is a major skate section in which the toughest game appears to be home against Purdue before the finishing @ MSU, @ UW, OSU trio.

c:/Windows/WIN32/ping This has been briefly noted on but deserves fuller treatment: holy hell the baseball team is doing their best impression of an aircraft carrier undergoing a cruise missile liquidation scale. The team -- the whole thing -- is hiting .348, which is top five in the country. They've lost one Big Ten game, though the cancellation of their Minnesota series means they haven't played the second best team in the league. Unfortunately, they have a terribly weak schedule and aren't likely to pull a top seed. Rivals has started projecting the field of 64; they have Michigan a two-seed facing #7 (overall) UNC. Minnesota is also a two-seed. No other Big Ten team is in the field.