Friday, July 14, 2006

Playaz Ball Tips Off; Beasley to Winchendon?

The Herald News has two stories on the Playaz Ball, which tips off today in several locations across North Jersey. One talks about how Paterson's Rashad Bishop, the 2006 Herald News Player of the Year, and Jerrell and Terrell Williams are on similar paths heading into a fifth year of prep school. Speaking of the Williams twins, Fox Sports reports that Tyrone Nash is leaning toward going to Northfield Mount Hermon to play with Jerrell and Terrell instead of accepting a scholarship to Kentucky.

Another Herald News story profiles Michael Beasley, the Frederick, Md., native who is one of the top players in the Class of 2007. Beasley may be heading to The Winchendon (Mass.) School next year before going off to Kansas State. Even though he committed to K-State, he also says Pittsburgh is in the mix.

The Herald News also reports that North Haledon's Craig Berry got a call from the Packers and will work out with them next week.

Pete Thamel of The New York Times continues his investigative reporting related to academic requirements at prep schools and colleges. Today he reports that an Auburn University sociology professor, Thomas Petee, has been involved in questionable activities by teaching an inordinate amount of directed-reading courses to football players.

Eighteen members of the 2004 Auburn football team, which went undefeated and finished No. 2 in the nation, took a combined 97 hours of the courses during their careers. The offerings, known as directed-reading courses, resemble independent study and include core subjects like statistics, theory and methods, which normally require class instruction.

The professor for those players and many other athletes was Thomas Petee, the sociology department’s highest-ranking member. The star running back Carnell (Cadillac) Williams, now playing in the National Football League, said the only two classes he took during the spring semester of his senior year were one-on-one courses with Professor Petee.


Ben said...

If you actually read Thamel's article, there's just no there there. So Dr. Petee was giving out A's like party favors -- it's embarrassing for Auburn academically, but only 25% of the students in these classes were athletes. So Carnell Williams took two easy classes from Petee -- he had already used up his football eligibility, so what was the motive to cheat?

In short, this is an instance of a sports reporter arrogantly attempting to shoehorn an academic story into his preconceived "athletics scandal" narrative. Yet another blow to the NYT's credibility (is it in negative territory yet?).

And the blowback has already started...

Erik Mann said...

great topic, keep up the great posts, MMA