Happy March Madness, everyone. Whether you're cutting classes, playing hooky, getting a vasectomy, or just plan on streaming these first round matchups from your computer at work, I'd like to welcome you to the least productive two days of the sports calendar. As I understand it, there's also some wrestling going on this weekend, but who cares about that, right? Oh, and you still have, like, an hour to join the BSD Pick 'em pool. You can win a magnificent prize, if we manage to rustle one up. More likely, it'll be this souvenir Geary Claxton cup that Eric picked up at the BJC back in 2006.
Go East, Young Man: It seems pretty much inevitable that the Big Ten will be going to an East/West split in its divisions come 2014, when Maryland and Rutgers join the conference, and that means that Penn State will be stuck in what's undeniably the tougher league. With Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State all in the East, along with Rutgers and Maryland and probably Indiana (but also maybe Purdue), the easy wins will be hard to come by. For Nebraska, it's like deja vu all over again--when they joined the Big XII, they were the lone powerhouse in the North while Texas, Oklahoma, A&M, and Oklahoma State all fought it out in the South.
Good bout, Gil. Sweet bout: The Penn State fencing team, the university's strongest powerhouse you've never heard of, is heading to San Antonio in search of its eleventh national championship and third in the past five years. The Nittany Lions enter the tournament ranked first in the men's and sixth among the women's teams, and will be led by 3-time All-American and 2012 Olympian Miles Chamley-Watson. I covered the 2009 Championships when PSU hosted, and it really is a lot more fun than you'd think.
First, they came for the Guido: Onward State is reporting that Jeff Fisher, the Marketing and Promotions Manager for Penn State football and Olympic sports, has been fired. Fisher, the son of longtime broadcaster Fran Fisher, was the Honorary Homecoming Grand Marshal in 2010 and was in charge of pre-game and in-game productions and coordinating the Blue-White Game events.
The NCAA Wheel of Justice Continues to Spin: Hey, look Mark Emmert's picking on someone as pompous as he is! Unfortunately, details are pretty ridiculously murky right now. Apparently, the NCAA has been investigating Syracuse for years? And is looking into, like, everything, from how the university has handled player eligibility to reporting sexual assault to some drug-related violations? I don't have much sympathy for Jim Boeheim, but it seems like the NCAA is just throwing as much shit as they can against the Orange and seeing what sticks. After the UNC and Miami debacles, are we headed for one more?
Quick hitters: Alabama's Athletic Director is stepping down. No word yet on whether they'll tap one of the university's trustees to fill the positition... Michigan's all Big-Ten linebacker Jake Ryan tore his ACL during spring practice. Penn State fans can comiserate... All that recruiting dergulation? Tabled. Good, since the Big Ten was leading the charge against it... The Big Priest will be adding Creighton, Butler and Xavier to its seven Big East refugees, a move finally made official yesterday...Penn State has a women's rugby team? And apparently, they don't suck!