By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Bikes, baseball and Ducks are on the mind

As always, there have been a lot of things in the news lately, though the biggest of local impact was probably the announcement Wednesday of the “sanctions” the University of Oregon football team received for paying $25,000 to a recruiting service. More than anything, it’s a relief that the two-year saga is finally over. Every few months, another round of speculation would fire up around where the NCAA was at in its investigation into the Oregon athletics department and now former coach Chip Kelly.

In the end, the NCAA has once again outdone itself in its absolute nonsensical way that it doles out punishment. Oregon got off about as lightly as you can imagine, and you can read the story at the top of this page for all the details. While a bowl ban would have been considered severe, many thought it could have happened. Any way you slice the decision, it further proves that the NCAA has no rubric for deciding punishment. The two-year bowl ban the University of Southern California received a few years ago plus the heavy-handed scholarship reductions was meant to be a statement for other colleges, but in that case, the real perpetrators were gone (Reggie Bush, Pete Carroll).

The same applies for Oregon’s case, though, at a much lesser level. Chip Kelly is now in Philadelphia, and the show clause he received is a joke. In the period Kelly isn’t allowed to coach at a college without going through a special hiring process, he will make $9 million coaching the Philadelphia Eagles. The former Oregon assistant who also received a show clause ban is also in Philadelphia and will ride out his “ban” working in the NFL.

We can run circles around what crime deserves what punishment in the NCAA, but I’m continually confused by the infractions committee. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the bans issued, and the NCAA cloaks itself vague terms.

Much like in the 1930s, 40s and 50s when the AAU ruled amateur athletics, the NCAA has proved to be a slow-moving, dated organization. College athletics need to be run by an organization that understands what it means to be a student-athlete in the 21st Century, and while I’m personally relieved Oregon was let off easy, I would love to see some sweeping changes to the NCAA.

Baseballs and bikes

  • Joe Paterson’s stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks has been a short-lived one. The former McMinnville baseball player was demoted to Triple A Reno after Aaron Hill returned from the 15-day disabled list. Paterson, who appeared in two games for the Diamonds in his short time in Arizona, will most likely be one of the first call ups from the Minors, but right now he’s on the bubble.

    In two games, Paterson pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed two hits and one run. He also hit three batters.

  • The biggest bike race in the world is set to kick off Saturday with the 100th pedaling of the Tour de France. For the first time in its century of racing, le Tour will visit Corsica, a French-controlled island that’s actually closer to the mainland of Italy.

   Running from June 29 to July 21, the race isn’t very popular in America, especially now that there isn’t a high-profile American who is dominating the competition. Doping as further cut into the already limited appeal of the sport, but there’s something about the 21-stage race that is just plain inspiring.

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