Perhaps the crisp mountain air he inhaled during his Western vacation cleared his brain of the usual mangled syntax, insipid similes and tortuous logic that typically pollutes his columns. I don't know what the explanation might be. But Wally Hall's "Like It Is" sports column in the Democrat-Gazette has been surprisingly lucid this Summer. Up until today, that is, when he leveled his gaze on the Ole Miss-Jermiah Masoli controversy over in Oxford. You may recall that Masoli was the starting quaterback at Oregon who got himself kicked off the team for rules violations. He recently took advantage of a little known NCAA rule to wind up eligible to play for the Ole Miss Rebels without cooling his jets for a year as most transfers are required to do. You can read about it in last Sunday's post here in these chronicles.
Many people have been critical of Ole Miss and Head Coach Houston Nutt. Most notably Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel who went so far as to call Nutt a dirty coach. Here's the link:http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/stewart_mandel/08/02/masoli-nutt/index.html Judge for yourself. Evidently Wally doesn't think much of the machinations Ole Miss went through to get Masoli on campus either. But in drawing a distinction between how Ole Miss handled the situation and how Arkansas MIGHT have handled it, Wally falls back on an old warhorse: MAKING STUFF UP.
"It is doubtful Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Bobby Petrino and others would have taken Masoli." True. But none of these schools need quarterbacks. And as far as I can tell Wally didn't ask any of these guys what they might have done.
"In fact, there are schools in the SEC and across the nation that need a quarterback but didn't talk to him." There are what? 120 DI schools that play football? I'm sure that there are indeed schools that "didn't talk to him." Which proves what?
"What is almost certain is if Petrino had been interested, Jeff long would have said no. Chancellor Dave Gearhart would have backed that decision." He knows this how?
"US System President B. Alan Sugg wouldn't have had to say no because the buck would have already stopped." See above. As long as we are just making shit up why not fantasize about what the President might have done. Or wouldn't have to do and in any event did not do.
Not content with putting up straw men and knocking them down Wally closes with a completely inapt parable to illustrate why Mississippi's taking Masoli in was wrong: "If your son were grounded from watching TV and went to a friend's house and they knew TV was off-limits and they let him watch it anyway, would you be happy?"
No. But that is because the child is being disobedient while under my supervision and I care about him following my rules as long as he lives in my house. In the Masoli case, Oregon kicked him out of the house for a year. The NCAA's rules allow Masoli to enroll in graduate school elsewhere and play football immediately. The difference between the disobedient child in Wally's analogy and the facts of the Jeremiah Masoli case is that the child is my problem. Masoli is now Ole Miss's problem. He can watch all the TV Ole Miss will let him watch.
I would close by saying that Oregon could probably give a shit. Or that it is "almost certain" that it doesn't.
But that would be making stuff up.