Bob Bowlsby

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby: ‘Cheating pays’


Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby came out guns blazing on Monday, offering pointed remarks about college athletics’ current model, the effects of the O’Bannon lawsuit and the NCAA’s toothless enforcement standards.

The latter of those topics produced a string of seemingly-frustrated quotes from Bowlsby:

Tell us how you really feel, Bob.

Whatever your thoughts on “cheating” are — that athletes should be paid, etc. — rules are rules, and the NCAA seems pretty bad at enforcing the ones they have (see: the blown Miami case). If Bowlsby isn’t overstating things and the NCAA infractions committee indeed hasn’t met in a year, yikes. That’s pretty bad.

More from Bowlsby’s press conference today:

— Bowlsby said the lawsuits facing college athletics, like the O’Bannon case, could lead to the elimination of some Olympic sports to cover the costs of compensating football and basketball players. That’d be unfair, Bowlsby said, given the work put in by non-football/basketball teams is the same but those programs don’t “have the advantage of an adoring public.”

— Bowlsby, while admitting there’s a challenge in having a 10-team league, said he’s comfortable with not having a conference championship game.

— The 62-year-old Bowlsby also had this to say, which sounds pretty depressing:

And this:

Change is necessary for college athletics, but no one said it’d be easy — or very much fun, if you’re on Bowlsby’s side of things.

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
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Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury