Sunday, August 01, 2010

My Sunday Feeling

If things go as planned, Jeremiah Masoli, pictured above, will trade in the hideous green and gold of the Oregon Ducks for the red and blue of the Ole Miss Rebels. As has been reported elsewhere, Masoli, who led the Ducks to the Rose Bowl last year needs a place to land after getting kicked off the team after stealing some laptops from a fraternity house and then shortly thereafter getting popped for possession of marijuana during a traffic stop.

Ole Miss, for its part, needs a quarterback after the vastly overrated Javon Snead heeded the advice of idiots and declared himself eligible for the NFL draft. Then his backup transferred. This left the Rebels exceedingly thin at the position in the murderous Southeastern Conference.

But you may ask yourself, " Self, how can Masoli be immediately eligible? Don't transfers have to sit a year?" Normally this would be the case. But if a player gets a degree and wants to go to graduate school and if the school where he was eligible to compete does not have a Masters program that he wants to pursue he may transfer and be eligible immediately. This exception is little known because how many of these "student-athletes" actually get a degree?

Well-stop the presses- Jeremiah Masoli did. And has decided to matriculate at Ole Miss where he can both play football and pursue an advanced degree in-get this-Parks and Recreation. Which amazingly enough is not offered at Oregon.

This has predictably resulted in much hand wringing and gnashing of teeth among those who view this whole scenario as the by-product of the rules getting gamed. You won't hear that from me. This is all perfectly legal under NCAA rules. You don't like it? Change the rules.

Is Houston Nutt taking a risk? Oh hell yes. Although Jeremiah Masoli didn't kill anybody, he did show exceedingly poor judgment and has a history of nickle and damn criminal stuff going back to his juvenile days in California. Who knows if he will chafe under the short leash he will undoubtedly be on? Secondly, Oxford ain't Eugene. Oxford is a pretty cool place but it is not entirely free of rednecks and some of them wear badges. Finally, should life in the Delta cramp his style Memphis is only about an hour away. Just think of all the trouble a punk like Masoli could get in over there just by standing under a streetlamp.

But I say if Houston Dale Nutt can live with the risk then bully for him. To wax indignantly over whether Masoli's sudden presence in the Magnolia State is right or wrong is to indulge in the pristine assumption that Division I athletics is not a business that is connected solely to the higher academic mission of its Member Institutions by geography. Which is ludicrous. As Nutt told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, he was more concerned "about the criticism I might receive if something happens and I don't have a QB to finish the year."

That's the bottom line. Bidness is bidness. You can't fault Hootendale's honesty. Or what passes for it.

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