Anything from current events, campaign finance reform, sports (especially baseball), corporate/political/legal ethics, pop culture, confessions of a recovering comic book addict, and probably some overly indulgent discourses about my 3-year old daughter. E-Mail: sardonicviews -at-
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Saturday, April 12, 2003

Take the Rest of the Day Off

I doubt I'll be posting much the rest of the day. I've got yard work to do -- raking dead leaves, and grass; picking up branches and sticks; spraying for ants around the house; and maybe a few things in the garage. On the plus side, I get to have a nice cigar while outside.

The rest of the evening will be spent preparing a nice steak dinner with asparagus and baked yams. A nice bottle of wine between the wife and myself -- a glass for her, the rest for me. Taking care of our daughter. And most importantly celebrating the fact that my beautiful and highly tolerant wife has put up with me for a year.

Happy first anniversery honey. I love you.

Pitt Coach Search, Recap and Reset

Now that Wake Forest coach, Skip Prosser, has decided to stay at Wake (with a new 10 year contract reportedly averaging $1 million per). The decision was apparently a difficult one for Prosser

Those close to Prosser said that the lure of Pittsburgh was great. A native of Pittsburgh, Prosser has often waxed eloquently about his love for his hometown. The strain of the decision weighed heavily on Prosser, so much so that as of Thursday a member of the Wake Forest athletics department said that Prosser was walking around the Deacons' basketball office with a "dazed look" on his face.
Prosser said that there was no one "epiphany" when he decided to stay at Wake Forest but that he arrived at the decision over the course of several days. He did acknowledge the outpouring of support he received at Wake, where more than 300 people signed a petition asking him to stay. He also received more than 500 e-mails urging him to stay with the Deacons.

Even the players at Wake Forest admitted that they didn't know if he would stay or go.

It appears that Pitt was getting edgy about how long it was taking Prosser to decide and pushed for a decision. You can get this from a statement released by Pitt's interim Athletic Director, Marc Boehm

"During the course of the past week, representatives of the University of Pittsburgh and of Wake Forest men's basketball coach Skip Prosser have been involved in discussions regarding the head coaching vacancy at Pitt," Boehm said in the statement. "Though early conversations were promising, earlier today it became clear that it would not be possible for the parties to come to an agreement within an acceptable period of time. Therefore, we will continue to aggressively explore other possibilities."

There are two ways to read that.

1. He wouldn't decide whether to accept the job or not by a certain point; or
2. He wouldn't even commit to a time to come to Pitt to visit the campus and facilities -- that he had never seen.

If it was the latter, then it was probably best that he not take the job. If it was the former, then clearly Pitt got nervous and pushy and Prosser (probably smart for him) decided the job wouldn't be worth it.

Strangely enough, the statement released by Boehm, then seems to contradict his sense of trying to complete the deal quickly, as he attempts to spin away the fact that it was clearly a search focused on one man.

"Contrary to published reports, we have not been conducting a one-person search. Instead, we are intent on exploring appropriate alternatives in developing the best fit for what now is one of the best coaching opportunities in the country.

"We do not intend to be bound by any fixed timelines and will continue with a deliberate process for as long as it takes to find the right person."

So they couldn't come to an agreement with Prosser in "an acceptable period of time," but there is not fixed timeline in finding a coach. Okay, whatever.

Now it's back to speculation as to who they will interview. The same names listed before are again being bandied about the media.

This Prosser fiasco has to be a black eye for Boehm. He's trying to get the full time AD job, and he comes off looking like an incompetent goof who after focusing on just one option couldn't land him. Alternatively, he was playing flack-man for Chancellor Nordenberg, who has been very active in the search for a new coach. If Nordenberg was the one pushing hard for Prosser, then Boehm is just playing the fall guy -- and Boehm may still be screwed.

The screwed up searching can be summed up like this

No matter who turns out to be Pitt's new basketball coach, Pitt's administration really mangled the search. Pitt never formally contacted Memphis' John Calipari or Manhattan's Bobby Gonzalez, two obvious candidates, thus alienating both. Pitt narrowed down very quickly -- and too publicly -- to Wake Forest's Skip Prosser and Ben Howland assistant Jamie Dixon, giving Prosser big-time leverage to pry more cash out of Wake Forest. Now that Prosser has decided to stay at Wake Forest, Pitt will be stuck with a wholly unqualified second choice that just got turned down for the top jobs at Wright State and Illinois State. The stupidity level of all this was incredible. Pitt basketball went from the Sweet 16 to being a laughingstock in just two weeks.

Pitt seems really, really spooked about the idea of a coach leaving after a short time. Admittedly, it's hard to win a National Championship without long-term stability at the position, but I just feel Pitt may be trying to run before it has walked. There is only a small percentage of programs that have coaches who have been at their school a long time and don't appear to be leaving. Stability comes with success. Pitt should be looking for the best candidates, not the least likely to bolt for a more high profile job. If the team does well, rumors and even offers will always be a risk.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Dennis Miller Zingers

On Thursday, April 10, Dennis Miller appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He was there to plug his new HBO special, "Raw Feed" for Saturday at 10 pm. They were talking about the war on Iraq, and Dennis Miller comments. I had taped the segment, so I was able to transcribe some of the comments. (The hardest thing was figuring where the hell to put punctuation when Miller rants. Good grief, but the man barely takes a breath.) They usually put some of the interviews on the site, but it isn't there yet. It should be played again on Monday at 10 am and 5:30 pm, Eastern time.

Regarding the war with Iraq:

That statue went down. It reminded me of a narcoleptic trying to hail a cab.

Tough day to be a pigeon in Iraq. Where you gonna s**t?

All those portraits [of Saddam] look like bad Dirk Diggler portraits.

Our guys are in there, kicking ass, taking hyphenated names.

Did you see the little press-flack for the Iraqi people? ... He didn't even show up for work yesterday. I understand he just signed on as Michael Jackson's publicist.

Listen, we're an understanding people. We've got a long fuse, but at the end of the day, it's connected to a big-ass bomb.

He segued to North Korea:

Because that is the shaky guy, Kim Jong Il. You know he's ruthless. You don't usually get to lead a country when you look that freaky. I mean, he's like the Buddy Holly of the Pan-Pacific Rim. What's with the hair? He's like a Chia-dictator.

You know, I hope when somebody eventually blows that head off they have the good sense to put it in a jar and bring it back home, because I know I'd pay a nickel to see that up close in a tent.

Homeland Security:

Now this profiling thing. You know, when 15 out of 19 people are from one country, and you happen to notice that, that's not profiling. That's minimally observant. Okay? If I'm ever on an airplane and a guy who looks like the shoe bomber gets on and sits down next to me, I'm gonna call the stew over and say, "Excuse me honey, but if this f**ker isn't the harmonica player for the J. Geils Band, I want him off the plane right now! Okay? You know, this had better be Jeff Goldblum on a 3 day meth bender, 'cause I don't trust anybody in Converse black hightops who isn't playing small forward for the '64 Celtics!"

UN, France and Germany:

Who are we gonna depend on to take care of us now? The United Nations? For Godsake, I went down and took the UN tour today. Even the guidebook is spineless!

France? I mean, Jesus, God! France? The French might as well gas up the dinghy and go fishing with Fredo, because they are dead to me! Okay?

And the Germans? Well, you never know if the Germans don't want to sign on because they don't agree with the war, or if it's just not done on a grand enough scale.

Mmmm. Chili

If you've got the time, and inclination, give this a try.

Turkey Chili

28 oz can diced tomatoes drained
1 1/4 -1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium red peppers, sliced
2 Jalepeno peppers, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
15.5 can red beans, drained and rinsed
4 dried chilies
1 1/2 Tbs Chili powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 - 2 tsp unsweetened Cocoa
1 tsp Curry powder
1 1/2 tsp Marjoram, ground
1 Tbs dried chicken bouillon (roughly 4 cubes)
6 cardamom seeds
1 Tbs cumin seeds
1/2 cup Sherry
3/4 cup Water

Microwave the Cardamom and Cumin seeds for 30 seconds, on high. Grind the seeds. Add to mix of chili powder, cinnamon, cocoa, curry, marjoram, and bouillon.

Slice dried chilies lengthwise (remove seeds for milder chili).

Put 1 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil in pot and saute the onion, peppers, jalepenos and garlic over low heat for about 5-7 minutes. Add ground meat and cook until browned, be sure to break up meat.

Mix in spice mix, dried chilies, sherry, water, tomatoes and beans.

Simmer and stir occasionally for the next 2-3 hours (low heat) uncovered.

Allow to cool, cover and refrigerate for at least a day.

Reheat and simmer on low heat for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve with sourdough bread and grated cheddar.

Use spritz of lime juice and/or sour cream to cut the heat.

This is a medium hot chili. To lower the heat, either don't use any jalepeno or use a milder pepper. To raise it, go to a hotter pepper, and/or use more. This is easily adapted to standard beef chili. Just do not use the chicken bouillon.

They May Want to Reconsider

Anytime I think I'm too cynical about things, something comes along to reaffirm my outlook:

A day after U.S. allied forces marched into Iraq, Sony applied for a trademark on the war's catchphrase, "shock and awe," for use as the title of a video game, according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

It was unclear if Sony had any plans to make use of the name. Calls to Sony Computer Entertainment America were not answered Friday.

The application, dated March 21, was first discovered by British publication Media Guardian.

Sony was not the only company hoping to profit from the label. The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has more than a dozen recent applications for uses of the phrase, including for fireworks, lingerie, baby toys, shampoo and consulting services.
... Inc., which makes computer strategy games, had applied for the name "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

A statement on the company's Web site said it had no immediate plans to publish a game under that name, and might never use it, since the name "is a bit corny."

The phrase "shock and awe" was coined, but apparently not trademarked, by military strategist Harlan Ullman in a 1996 publication. He used it to describe a tactic of pressuring the enemy to give up with little fighting.

Still Being Dumb

I mentioned the Baseball Hall of Fame decision to cancel the celebration of the 15th year since the release of Bull Durham, the best baseball movie ever made (even if Tim Robbins never actually looked like he could throw much harder than 40 mph), was a dumb move. I don't really care for Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon's political views, but if I let the political views of entertainers dictate what I watch, read and listen -- my choices would be extremely limited. It's a shame that Hall of Fame president, Dale Petroskey, had to be so stupid. Now Roger Kahn, author of the classic Boys of Summer, and other books has cancelled his August appearance at the HoF.

Petroskey's logic is, to be charitable, lacking. He believed (and still does judging by his comments) that Robbins and Sarandon would use this event as yet another forum to air their own politics. This without actually talking to them. Both claim that they were only looking forward to the event and to talk about baseball and the movie. I actually believe them, on this. They would have hardly found a receptive audience in upstate New York when the people there would only want to hear about the movie and baseball.

One point though. ESPN has been consistent on the air about mentioning that Petroskey was a former Reagan administration official. Petroskey spent two years as a White House assistant press secretary during the Reagan administration. He also spent 11 years working for National Geographic. I think ESPN is being a little unfair about this. The article discussing Kahn's cancellation and the Bull Durham flap never obliquely mentions he is president of the HoF, but then identifies him as a former Reagan official:

The baseball Hall of Fame president insisted Friday he was not politically motivated when he canceled a "Bull Durham'' celebration because of anti-war criticism by co-stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, and said he had only one regret.

"I wish that the reasoning had been better articulated so it could have been better understood,'' Dale Petroskey, a former official in the Reagan administration, said from his office at Cooperstown, N.Y.

That still doesn't excuse Petroskey. He is being a short-sighted idiot, who has to take the blame for making this a political issue.

I really don't see how you can blame Robbins and Sarandon for this. Unless you feel they shouldn't be heard. I disagree with them, but just Fisk them. Don't make them martyrs.

Prosser Pitt Coach Watch

Pitt's full court press on Prosser failed. He's staying at Wake Forest with a new 10 year deal. I'm very bothered by the way Pitt went about this. Pitt has only had two years in the last 9 where it made the NCAA Tournament, and after losing the coach who got them there, they reacted badly. They put so much emphasis on finding a coach with roots to Pittsburgh so they would not need to fear losing him for geographic or alma mater reasons -- it was almost pathological; they only looked at one candidate -- not taking advantage of the Final Four when all the coaches they should have interviewed were right there for at least informal discussions; and they still don't have the AD situation resolved. The only other person they interviewed was the associate coach James Dixon, and even if they hire someone else, it will clearly be a second choice. It takes the wind out of a lot of excitement that had been created about Pitt's basketball team. And of course, their excellent recruiting class is now becoming a question mark.

Keeping His Head in the Sand

The desire to not admit to being wrong about something is powerful. Now that Iraq is freed from Saddam, and the dire predictions of how the Iraqis didn't want us there, that they would back Saddam, quagmire, etc. have been blown away by the events of the week; there are people who can't take any joy or satisfaction in a people's release from tyranny. I will not understand how UN Security Council authorization makes something legitimate or not. One weapons inspector apparently still sees that as the only way the freeing of Iraq could be justified.

"If I was to make a choice, I would say the war in Iraq is illegitimate. Self defence is how the US rationalises the war on terror, but there is no connection between that and the Iraq war," the 64-year-old Canadian said after a long, contemplative pause.

Col Fraser, chief of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission's (Unmovic) regional office in Mosul, northern Iraq, spoke out while on a brief stay in Cyprus after being evacuated from Baghdad just 48 hours before war began.

Col Fraser said legitimacy for war could only be obtained through the UN Security Council, drawing a parallel with the Nato bombing campaign to oust Yugoslav troops from Kosovo four years ago. "Kosovo was illegitimate as well. It was legitimised in arrears with UN resolutions, but there was no UN authority to commence that campaign," said Col Fraser, a career soldier with 40 years of service including a six-month Cyprus peacekeeping stint in 1968 before retiring 25 years later.
Col Fraser is one of a few UN officials who have dared to speak out on their mission. And it is a mission that he maintains could have produced results - possibly even prevented bloodshed - had weapons inspectors been allowed to finish their job. "I think there was a job for Unmovic to do, otherwise I wouldn't be there. It had a purpose and a good chance of success," he said voicing a sense of frustration and bitterness felt by inspectors after being airlifted out of Iraq.

However, his views contrast with some members of the Unmovic team who spoke anonymously to Die Zeit, the German weekly newspaper recently. They blamed the anti-war stance of France, Germany and Russia for making the conflict in Iraq inevitable.

These members of the team said it was only the credible threat of force, backed by a united UN Security Council, which had prompted the Iraqi government into meaningful co-operation. "Germany, France and Russia made the outbreak of war inevitable because of their supposed peace policy," said unnamed members of the team in an interview with Die Zeit. The inspectors argued that prolonging the inspection period, as demanded by France, Germany and Russia, would have been pointless in view of the unwillingness of the Iraqi authorities to co-operate.

I feel sad for Col. Fraser. For him there is no right or wrong. No moral or immoral. There is only legitimate and illegitimate. And only the UNSC can grant that.

Pitt Coach Watch

Well, it looks like Prosser will be making a decision today. It doesn't look good for Pitt, and they seem to be the ones pushing him to decide. Prosser has yet to visit the campus or the facility. He was doing work at the Wake Forest offices yesterday, all the while fans were outside in the pouring rain imploring him to stay.

Prosser gave no indication that he was leaning toward leaving for the job opening in his hometown or staying at Wake Forest, where he has built a strong program in the Atlantic Coast Conference. But a decision, according to several sources, is coming today from the Carnegie native who seems to be torn between the two schools. Pitt officials were said to be growing weary of the wait, and asked for a decision by today.

Prosser met with his players yesterday and discussed the situation. "He told us just to sit tight, and that he'll make an announcement [today]," Wake Forest player Scott Benken said.

One source close to Prosser said he would be surprised if Prosser comes to Pitt.

"I think it's going to be that he stays," the source said. "If he hasn't pulled the trigger by now. ... If it was as far along as people said it was, then he would have already gone back and talked to his AD and done it."
The role of the athletic directors in this search took another turn yesterday. Wellman's name has surfaced for the athletic director's position at Tennessee. Prosser and Wellman have a good relationship. Pitt does not have a full-time athletic director, which could be a stumbling block for a coach who wants to know who he will be working with in the future. Marc Boehm has been serving as interim athletic director at Pitt since Steve Pederson left in December for the athletic director's position at Nebraska.

This whole interim AD thing has become a real fiasco. In another report, the leaning almost seems to be towards Pitt, and the pressure to decide is coming from Wake Forest.

"He loves Pittsburgh and I would love to have him near home," said his mother, Jo Prosser, who lives in St. Clairsville, Ohio, which is 70 miles from Pittsburgh. "I'm sure this is kind of hard on him."

An observer saw Prosser on Thursday on the Wake Forest campus looking like a man who is torn down the middle. Reached by telephone last night, Prosser was mum on the subject.
At a meeting earlier this week, Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman asked Prosser to make a decision about his job status by Saturday, though sources say something could be finalized today. A group of students rallied in front of Prosser's office yesterday pleading for him to stay. Pitt has not set a deadline for Prosser, but would like to complete the process as quickly as possible.

Prosser remains Pitt's primary target, though the school has produced a list of possible successors to Ben Howland, if Prosser chooses to stay at Wake Forest.

But, Pitt has still only interviewed one other candidate, associate coach Dixon. Meanwhile a second Pitt recruit is starting to waver.

Prosser has remained remarkably closed-mouth the entire time about his possible employment status. Something, it seems he picked up while at Xavier, when he was still an assistant under Pete Gillen -- who was hired away to be Virginia's head coach, and Xavier's present coach, Thad Motta would likely be Wake Forest's target if Prosser left. The ACC just keeps picking off Xavier basketball coaches.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Piling On the Left

Everybody's doing it. Here's one from the Cleveland alt-weekly, Scene

It's not just a recent trend spurred by September 11 and the Iraq invasion, as liberals plead. This is a 20-year losing streak on everything from congressional elections to welfare reform to environmental protections to workers' rights. The only difference: It's now turned into a rout.

Human nature dictates that when one is getting pummeled, one find someone to blame, lest one be forced to look inward. Today's villain: the media -- who are, according to one protester's sign, "lying corporate whores."

"Incompetent, pandering whores" might be more accurate. But there's little doubt the media are shifting rightward. Radio consultants urge clients to play patriotic music. Cable stations joust to prove who's more American. Even the liberal bastion of Hollywood is worried about appearing too left. One studio pulled promotions for a new movie starring Nickelodeon's Amanda Bynes. She was wearing an American flag shirt, flashing a peace sign. Couldn't have a child actress making a radical statement like that.

To lefties, this only proves that men with big wallets and thin mustaches are scheming behind the scenes, perpetrating their right-wing tyranny. But they misjudge the nature of the whore. The whore is about business. And right now, it's very good business to ignore the left.

The backdrop of the column is the "Stop Rush Hour Traffic Protest" that hit Cleveland a couple fridays ago. He evaluates like this.

It's Friday afternoon in Public Square, and a young man with homemade orange hair takes the stage. He is surrounded by largely college-age protesters, most with welcoming smiles, some with scarves covering their faces, aping the latest in Gaza Strip dissident fashion.

Ringing the square are refugees from the nearby cubicle farms, kids headed to Tower City, a sprinkling of cops. Orange Hair has himself an audience. But he isn't looking to change minds. He's looking for a fight.

The cops have "turned downtown into a police state," he thunders into a bullhorn. "Are we gonna let these pigs shut us down?"

Never mind that the cops look mildly bored at best. ("I'd just like to go home and have dinner," sighs one, reflecting the sentiments of his colleagues.) Never mind that these are the very people protesters should cultivate -- people who still breed, who still send their sons and daughters to war, who struggle to put them through college on a working stiff's paycheck. They might be inclined to listen when someone says it's not good to get your kid smoked in a land far away. That it might be wiser to spend money on Kent State scholarships than on cruise missiles.

But Orange Hair doesn't understand working stiffs. He does understand that he needs an enemy. The cops are convenient. "We call on the media to report what the police are doing to us here!" he rails on.

Media report: The cops are standing around, looking forward to supper.

It is, of course, the curse of young men to see themselves in romantic terms, their fights gallant, their oppressors mighty. It's so of young women too: One simply rages into the bullhorn. You can't tell what she's saying -- other than she enjoys the word "fucking" a lot. Yet most speakers are less afflicted, and make cases worth hearing out: "Why are little old ladies digging in the garbage for food when we're spending $1.5 million on a bomb?" asks one.

It doesn't matter. Orange Hair has already set the stage. The cubicle farmers and school kids watch with only vague interest, the same way people linger around the cleanup of a fender bender. The chance to nurture new partisans is lost.
But they insisted on blocking streets to "shut this city down." There would be "no business as usual." The idea, presumably, was for the White House to take notice of traffic problems in Cleveland and bring our troops home. For the cubicle farmers trying to flee work, the reality was that some assholes were jamming traffic, and they would be billed for another hour by the day-care center.

By the time the rally returned to Public Square, Orange Hair was screaming once more about the "fucking pigs," who, in full riot gear, had forced protesters from the intersection of Superior and Ontario. It was a stand-off. The growing crowd had to choose between the protesters' raging bullhorn and the working stiffs who just wanted to eat supper.

A truck drove past. The driver gave the protesters the finger. The crowd roared.

That about sums it up.

Happy Blogoversary

To Dave Copeland. Dave's been one of my daily reads almost since the beginning. It's a shame, though, that Dave's new column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review doesn't appear to be online.

Northeast Ohio Iraqis Celebrate

It's not a large group, maybe 300 at most, and spread out in the area. Still, they were thrilled.

They especially thrill to the idea of rebuilding their homeland.

And the prospect of rebuilding a broken society could not be avoided.

Khalid El-Kaissi, who grew up in Iraq before moving to Akron and marrying Besma Rahim, said the Muslim country will be ready for democracy - eventually.

"Capitalism is the answer," he said. "It may take some time, but at least we are heading in the right direction."

Be Our Shill...

Ralph Nader keeps being a grandstanding ass. The latest, through his "League of Fans" group, has targeted LeBron James:

Nader and Shawn McCarthy, director of the Washington-based League of Fans, sent the St. Vincent-St. Mary basketball star a three-page letter yesterday asking him to use his influence to help improve the working conditions of the "sweatshop" employees of the overseas factories that manufacture products sold by Nike, adidas and Reebok.

The letter, which was released to the media before James had an opportunity to read it, also took a swipe at NBA superstar Michael Jordan - James' favorite player - for not demanding Nike to improve the conditions for the workers.

[Emphasis added.]

The letter is right on their home page, but no archive link for the letter. This is complete, shameless crap. It is a publicity stunt, summed up by Bud Shaw.

Even Martha Burk started by writing a private letter to Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson seeking female membership at Augusta. It was Johnson who went public with his insistence that he would not change club policy at the "point of a bayonet."

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader and the Washington-based League of Fans sent James a three-page letter, pointing out the opportunity his marketability and fame gave him to effect change in the working conditions inside third-world factories.

The wording was non-threatening enough, polite even. But the group also sent the letter to media outlets, which tells you all you need to know about its motives. It has more interest in the publicity such a letter brings than educating a high school senior who might not understand where and how his sneakers are produced.
The group justified appealing to James because he is "a smart kid," and thus "we don't believe the issue is above him." What it meant to say is that Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have basically ignored the issue so Nader has decided to lay it at the over-sized feet of a teenager just because he figures to become the top pick in the NBA draft.

I don't buy the rest of the columns contention that it is wrong to target James because he is only a teenager, and shouldn't have to be put in this position. His fame and the coming shoe deal does that. LeBron wants the money and fame, he has to deal with the rest.

Pitt Coach Watch

Prosser or bust is the feeling I have. This is like a low level Roy Williams deciding on Kansas or UNC thing a few years ago (I know it's happening again). When Roy decided to stay at Kansas, there was a sense of desperation and "settling" for Doherty. It appears Pitt is heading down that same path, if Prosser says no. To date, the only other person interviewed was Pitt's associate coach James Dixon. This zeroing in on Prosser is only a smart strategy for Pitt if he takes the job. If not, there is scrambling, second guessing, desperation, and another demoralizing blow to alumni and fans of Pitt, who will once again feel like they (we) are never going to be considered a top sports program. I really think Pitt made a big mistake by not even talking to some other candidates down in New Orleans.

Pitt really wants Skip Prosser. Wake Forest really wants to keep Prosser. No one is sure what Prosser will do.

Pitt has not made a formal offer, apparently, and Prosser has yet to actually visit Pitt and the facilities, something he would be expected to do before agreeing to a contract. Yesterday was his meeting with Wake Forest AD Ron Wellman, who is doing everything he can to keep Prosser.

What did become obvious yesterday, however, was that Wake Forest doesn't want Prosser - the 2003 ACC coach of the year - to leave the program after only two seasons and began making its pitch in earnest. A petition asking Prosser to remain at Wake Forest was attached to the basketball office door and by 4:30 yesterday afternoon had about 300 signatures. Dean Buchan, Wake Forest's assistant athletics director in charge of media relations, said that Prosser had received a stack of e-mails about five inches thick entreating him to stay.

"People have been unbelievably gracious," Prosser said. "I've been touched. I'm humbled by it."

A potentially more noteworthy development is a report, confirmed last night by a source close to the situation, that Wake Forest has plans to offer Prosser a new long-term contract. The source said that Wellman has been working on the contract for several weeks, in hopes of securing Prosser's long-term employment at Wake Forest.
"I will tell you there's 100 percent plurality, if that's the right word, in support for Skip Prosser and his future at Wake Forest," Wellman said. "There isn't anyone who doesn't want Skip to be at Wake Forest."

It appears that he will meet with Pitt today or tomorrow.

Pitt is expected to meet with Prosser, possibly as soon as today, in an attempt to gain an understanding of what he is seeking and what it would take to lure him from the highly regarded ACC to the Big East Conference.

Prosser has made it no secret that he is enamored with the city of Pittsburgh and its sports franchises and, if he decided to return, the timing could be as good as its going to get. Pitt is coming off back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances and completed its first season in the $100 million Petersen Events Center.

The Panthers are also bringing in one of their best recruiting classes in years, while also returning two All-Big East selections from a squad that went 28-5 and won the first Big East Tournament in school history. Prosser would have the opportunity to continue the program's resurgence in his back yard.

At Wake Forest, Prosser returns seven of his top eight players and also welcomes a highly regarded freshman class, which includes the top prep point guard in the nation in Chris Paul, who told the Winston-Salem Journal earlier this week that he expects Prosser to be there next season and beyond.
Robert Morris coach Mark Schmidt, a former assistant to Prosser at Xavier and a close personal friend, sees the latter as one of the top coaches in the country.

"If Pittsburgh should ever get Skip Prosser, they'd hit the lottery," Schmidt said. "In my opinion, there's not a better coach out there. He took a team that people picked to finish sixth or seventh in the ACC and they won it for the first time in 40-some years."

It appears Schmidt is not alone in his outlook on Prosser. Pitt likes him. Wake Forest likes him. Time will tell which school Prosser likes best.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

UPDATE: Still waiting...

Prosser, the Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year, has everything Pitt identified as wanting in a new coach: an excellent career record, success at every school he's coached, a commitment to his players academically and no taint of any NCAA sanctions. He was a high school athlete in Pittsburgh and began his coaching career in nearby Wheeling, W.Va., where he coached a high school team to a state championship.

Pitt has essentially put its search on hold as it waits for Prosser to decide if he wants to visit the campus and the Petersen Events Center, the 12,508-seat on-campus arena Pitt opened this season. The arena is one of the best in college basketball.

But all the reasons that attract Pittsburgh to Prosser are the same reasons why Wake Forest wants to keep Prosser, the former Xavier coach who is 45-18 in two seasons with the Demon Deacons.
Prosser said he was "humbled" by the support, but has declined to say how intrigued he is by Pitt's interest. Family members and friends in the Pittsburgh area said Prosser has given no indication which way he is leaning.
One problem, however, might be Boehm's status. Prosser said he wouldn't consider a job in which he wouldn't have a strong working relationship with the athletic director. Pitt has not interviewed any athletic director candidates since Steve Pederson went to Nebraska in December, but has yet to officially give Boehm the title.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Knowledge is Power

I have a friend. Let's call him "Nat." Nat is an active member of an unnamed political party in a county where there are these three rivers that meet in a confluence. In fact, the county is named after one of the rivers. The major city in this unnamed county is where my alma mater is located.

So Nat sends me this e-mail:

Alright, Blog-Boy. It's time to earn your stipes.

Realizing that even though you are a liberal Republican, you're still a Republican,
I want you to have the opportunity to show some impartiality, as you are embarking on your career as an internet journalist.
Can you find anything out about this Ollie North v. Al Gore exchange, as well as the Mohammed Atta being released only after the evil-wicked-fellatio-receiving Bill Clinton insisted on it story?

For the record, I am not embarking, nor have I expressed the desire to embark on, a career as an internet journalist.
Apparently on his e-mail group, involving a section of this unnamed political group residing in the unnamed county, one of the members received one of those bogus e-mail rumors claiming that Ollie North, in his testimony in 1987 called out Osama bin Laden while arguing with Sen. Gore; and that Mohammad Atta had been in an Israeli prison, but was freed as part of the Oslo Accords at the insistence of the Clinton administration.

I find it really, really sad that no one in this group of politicos have any awareness of Snopes. If they did, they would have easily learned that both stories are complete fabrications, and Nat wouldn't have needed to ask for my help.

But He Didn't Inhale

I guess this makes it easier to be green (via Dave Barry).

I Blame Michael Moore's Oscar Speech For This

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Plans to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the popular baseball movie Bull Durham later this month in Cooperstown, N.Y. were cancelled Wednesday because of anti-war criticisms made by two of the film's co-stars.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum issued a release saying the recent views expressed by Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon "ultimately could put our troops in even more danger."

The event, scheduled for April 26-27, had been planned many months ago, according to Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey.

A copy of the statement followed. Have I ever mentioned that "Bull Durham" ranks in my personal top 10 favorite movies?

ESPN also had a sidebar with comments from Rob Neyer:

This afternoon, I learned that Dale Petroskey won't allow the hallowed Hall to be sullied by the (possible) presence of political dissent.
But you know, what the Hall of Fame is doing isn't even censorship, really. It's a sort of pre-censorship, in which Petroskey and the Hall's trustees are saying, "Tim and Susan, we don't have any idea what you're going to say. We don't even know if you'll say anything, seeing as how this was supposed to be a celebration of a great film, and not a political event. But just in case you were thinking about saying something, we don't want you here."

The funniest thing about Petroskey's simple-minded idiocy -- if you like black humor -- is that Tim Robbins' and Susan Sarandon's views will get more publicity now, than if they'd simply been allowed to show up and talk about a movie.


Of Course I'm Staying. Who Said I Was Leaving?

This is hilarious. John Calipari, who all but begged to be interviewed for the Pitt job, after Pitt showed no significant interest -- not even bothering to meet with him when all parties were in New Orleans for the Final Four -- has now come out with a statement saying he has no interest in leaving Memphis.

"I came to the University of Memphis to rebuild a winning basketball program, and it is my intention to stay here until we get the job done,'' Calipari said in a statement on Wednesday. "I view the task at the University of Memphis as much the same as we did at UMass. I stayed there for the long term.''
"I want Tiger fans to understand I am happy right where I am and there is still much work to be done,'' Calipari said. "We are still on a mission because I firmly believe we can compete for national championships here.''

Way to maintain your dignity, John.

I don't know how interested he actually was in the Pitt job. My feeling was that he was at least hoping for an interview so he could try and get another raise from Memphis.

Problems, but It Isn't a Time for a Revolution

A smart piece by Cathy Young on America and freedom in the present.

Should we be on guard against sacrificing civil liberties to national security? Yes. But despite the panic-mongering, this is still America, and we still have checks and balances.
Some worry that the war on terror, and now the war in Iraq, have made America an inhospitable place for freedom of speech. Again, the concern is not unfounded. Some on the right have come uncomfortably close to equating dissent with treason, suggesting that to criticize the war once the shooting has started is unpatriotic. In one troubling incident, 61-year-old Stephen Downs, who committed the crime of wearing a "Give Peace a Chance" T-shirt in a shopping mall in Albany, N.Y., was arrested for trespassing after he refused a security guard's demand to take off the shirt or leave.

Yet the arrest sparked widespread outrage. Downs had his 15 minutes of fame on talk shows as a free-speech hero—even Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, far from sympathetic to antiwar protests, took his side—and the mall's owners, clearly embarrassed by the publicity, dropped the trespassing charge.

It is also worth noting that antiwar demonstrations have proceeded freely in cities across America, even if some have questioned the protesters' patriotism. While opponents of the war have the right to protest, others have the right to criticize them. The angry fans who trashed the Dixie Chicks' CDs because lead singer Natalie Maines declared that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas" are not Nazi book-burners. The Chicks' albums, by the way, are still selling quite well.


They reported this as a straight story?

[LeBron] James, having watched good friend Carmelo Anthony lead Syracuse to the national championship the night before, suggested that he hasn't eliminated the possibility of going to college instead of jumping directly to the NBA

"If he stays in Syracuse and I go to college, I'll make sure we get Syracuse on our schedule,'' James said Tuesday.
Asked where he might play if he went to college, James said, "Somebody might give me a scholarship, I hope.''

Even though the reporter mentions the Hummer, James drives, he doesn't get the significance.

The financing his mother received to purchase it, was based on his future earnings. Under NCAA rules, he is already ineligible for college competition. I'm guessing James was just having some fun, but the reporter missed the joke.

No F**king Rationalization for This

Israel has to stop this fast.

An extreme right-wing Jewish group called "Revenge of the Infants" claimed responsibility for a mystery blast that ripped through a Palestinian high school in the Jenin-area West Bank village of Jaba'a Wednesday, injuring at least 15 Palestinian teenagers, three of them seriously.

In a statement to reporters, the group said it had planted the bomb in revenge for the murders of Jewish children by Palestinians.

I don't buy the excuses or rationalizations when the Palestinian terrorists do it, it's disgusting. The IDF and security forces have to find these inhumane bastards and put them down.

Pitt Coach Watch

No real news, just rumors and a sense of inevitability that Skip Prosser will bolt from Wake Forest to come to Pitt. Pitt, it turns out, had sought and received permission last Thursday from Wake Forest's AD to interview Prosser. The interview occurred over the weekend in New Orleans. Prosser is back in Winston, NC.

Prosser is meeting today with Wake Forest Athletic Director Ron Wellman for a previously scheduled end-of-the-season meeting, but Wellman also is said to have prepared a contract extension or new contract that he will present in hopes of keeping Prosser as coach.
Wellman is expected to do everything he can to keep Prosser at Wake Forest. Wellman has been known to increase the salaries of his best coaches when other schools make overtures. In December, he ripped up the existing contract of football coach Jim Grobe and rewarded him with a new 10-year deal after Baylor showed interest.

Pitt was prepared to give Howland $1.3 million a year to stay on as coach, but he left for his hometown of Los Angeles and UCLA for less money. Money does not figure to be an issue for Prosser for the same reasons. If Pitt and Wake Forest's offers are similar, Prosser is said to covet a return home to coach the Panthers.

There is some apparent concern that Prosser may not accept the Pitt offer, because of the question of who is the athletic director. Marc Boehm is still the interim AD, and it may be cause for delays if he isn't sure that the guy who hired him will still be in charge.

Prosser's son, is an assistant coach at Wofford College in South Carolina. He seems to think it will be a toss-up.

“I know that he loves Pittsburgh, the city and everything associated with that, too. He has had a great two years at Wake and it makes sense to stay there, but I could see, after thinking about it, where Pitt would make sense too. Really, I don't know one way or the other, but I could see where both places make sense.”

That same article suggests that if Prosser falls through, it would appear that Pitt would go with the returning players choice, associate coach James Dixon (though I note that this same reporter yesterday suggested that Pitt was in disarray about the whole hiring process and that it would likely be drawn out for a month).

This can be filed under the players never want to know/are the last to know. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Wake Forest's top recruit believes Prosser will stay. It made me snicker and snort, because I heard the same thing from Pitt players and recruits up until the day Howland showed up at the UCLA podium.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Doctors With Borders

All three team doctors for the Toronto Blue Jays have resigned. This actually leaves the prospect of the game in Toronto against the Red Sox in doubt for tonight. The doctors, like most Canadian doctors, had their malpractice insurance through The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) is a:

medical mutual defence organization. It is an association of the profession which is operated by physicians for physicians. The CMPA was founded in 1901 by a group of Canadian doctors for their mutual protection against legal actions based on allegations of malpractice or negligence.

The Association was incorporated by an Act of the Parliament of Canada in 1913. For a number of years now, it has had over 50,000 active members representing the vast majority of the medical profession in Canada. The annual membership fees are the basis for a reserve fund which makes it possible for the Association to provide the help members may need.

The problem appears to be that the CMPA would not cover the doctors if lawsuits were filed against them in the United States. Toronto plays half of their games (minus a few interleague games in Montreal) in the US.

In other baseball news...
An Anaheim Angels employee (computer programmer) was found trying to sell his world series ring on eBay.

When teams travel to Puerto Rico to play the Montreal Expos this season, they face a 20% Commonwealth income tax bill.

And finally, Godzilla hit his first home run in pinstripes, a grand slam no less, as the Yankees won again.

Drinking Around the Jake

Today is the delayed by a day home opener for the Cleveland Indians. I love home openers -- on tv. Having never lived further west than Chicago, nor south of the Mason-Dixon line my feelings about attending a baseball game in April has become less enthusiastic as I've gotten older. I don't like being at a baseball game in football weather, so I generally don't consider going to games until the end of April. That's a little off-topic, but I felt like getting that out of my system.

The real issue is getting some drinks before the game. If you are legal, and enjoy a few adult beverages with your baseball, then you probably want to hit a bar for the slightly overpriced drinks before heading in to the ballpark for the severely overpriced beers. Around Jacobs Field many bars have come and gone since the park opened in 1994. It is really staggering to have witnessed 3-5 bars open and close in at least 3 different prime locations around the Jake over this time. These were not cheap places. They were expensive and packed. Yet they all failed. Most of their names have faded from my memory. I can only remember a couple -- Diamondback Brewery, Pete & Dewey's Planet -- at most.

Still, in all this time one bar has survived and thrived, despite not even being included in a list of bars and restaurants around Gateway. Mr. Bill's Tavern, 2130 E. 9th St. The place is a little hole in the wall, a shot-and-a-beer, type bar with reasonable prices. It was there before the Jake, and I expect it to remain. A long narrow space. The bar is to the left and there are a few stools and small tables to the right, along with a jukebox. The kind of place where half the patrons are on a first name basis with the bartenders. Lots of cigarette smoke. Not trendy or elaborate -- just a good bar.

There does finally appear to be some stability coming to the area surrounding the Jake. This is the subject of this article.

Baseball, beer and business. Some in Cleveland's Gateway district would say you can't have one without the others.

As Michael Miller sees it, Jacobs Field and Gund Arena came first. Various bars and get-rich-quick operations followed. Now, nine years into the neighborhood's rebirth, there's a growing realization that proprietors need to offer that little something extra to stay afloat.

"Pardon the pun, but I think people realized they had to step up to the plate with good food and service," he said. "Before it was more get 'em in and get 'em out."
In the past, businesses have closed mainly for personal reasons or because of entrepreneurial naiveté, not because of lack of demand, Yablonsky [executive director of the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Development Corp.] said.

Please, personal reasons and "entrepreneurial naiveté" were not the only reasons for the shear number of failures. Try the staggering leases that were extracted. The building owners got all sorts of tax incentives and givebacks for their properties when Gateway was built, but the businesses that came and went were given no incentives or breaks. The property owners were in a no lose situation, and took advantage of it.

The growing stability is more attributable to the fact that enough businesses have crashed and burned, the property owners have been finding it harder to find more competition for the property, so they can't extract harsh leases. Many of the new bars that have opened in the last few years are actually small or local chains that have much more leverage -- Cooper's Town, Winking Lizard Bar, Panini's, and apparently coming soon House of Blues.

These businesses and Mr. Bill's are ignored in the article, ostensibly about Gateway businesses that are trying to exist year-round. It would seem more interesting to ask how a small little bar with good prices has been successful while all of these other places came and went. Instead, the one bar owner interviewed hasn't even opened yet.

If you are going to the Jake this year, stop by Mr. Bill's and have a couple.

Pitt Coach Watch

It looks like the courtship of Skip Prosser is well underway:

Wake Forest Coach Skip Prosser has emerged as the No. 1 choice of interim athletic director Marc Boehm to replace Ben Howland as men's basketball coach at Pitt.

University officials left New Orleans yesterday, and a source familiar with the search indicated last night that the two parties are very close to an agreement.

The source said there are still some details to work out, but if all goes well, Prosser could be announced as the new coach by the end of the week.

There are no comments coming from Prosser. Actually Pitt Interim AD Marc Boehm has been silent on the matter. The Wake Forest AD is making the standard statements about expecting Prosser to stay.

If no deal with Prosser is worked out, though, Pitt may either quickly settle on Pitt associate coach DIxon -- the players' choice -- since apart from Prosser, he is the only other one that Boehm appears to have met to discuss the job.

Also, it appears Moon native and Memphis coach John Calipari might be off Pitt's list. He did not interview with Boehm and Nordenberg while here this past weekend and seems to be more popular among Pitt boosters than Pitt administrators.

Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson has not been contacted by Pitt officials and Johnson said Saturday that he and Calipari discussed the situation and that he feels comfortable that his coach, who makes in the range of $1.1 million annually, will remain at Memphis.

Another potential candidate, Xavier coach Thad Matta, who led the Musketeers to a 26-6 record and a No. 12 national ranking this season, had not been contacted by Pitt as of yesterday and said Sunday that if he were a candidate, it was news to him.

The choice of adidas representative Sonny Vaccaro, who helped bring Howland to Pitt and also helped lead him to UCLA, is Manhattan coach Bobby Gonzalez. Vaccaro has called Gonzalez his next "Ben Howland" and believes he could maintain a program that Howland led to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances and a 57-11 record the past two years.

A source close to Gonzalez said the coach had not been contacted as of yesterday, giving the impression that the search could go on for some time.

I'm not too obsessed with this.

UPDATE: Late reports are saying that Pitt and Prosser are closing fast on an agreement.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Not a Bug, but a Feature

The sudden moves into Baghdad have had some other affects.

Opec President Abdullah al-Attiyah said he proposed an emergency meeting of the producer group, which controls 40% of world oil exports, on April 24 to discuss reducing output to prevent a post-war fall in prices.

"My main worry is how to deal with the dramatic price drop," said Attiyah, the oil minister for Qatar, after discussions with Opec Secretary-General Alvaro Silva. "The market is full of oil; it's facing a glut, not a shortage."

US light crude oil futures fell 66 cents, or more than 2%, to $US27.96 a barrel, while London Brent crude was off 10 cents at $US24.60 a barrel.

Before Attiyah's statement, Brent had slumped to $US23.40, a four-month low, on news of US raids into Baghdad that raised expectations that the invasion could end soon without significant disruptions to Middle East oil flows.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is concerned that prices, already down 30% from their pre-war peak, could continue dropping unless cartel members rein in supplies raised before the war.


I have to wait until when? For how long?

I'm not saying I want my daughter to start potty training tomorrow, but I didn't know the wife and I have to wait this long.

When parents began intensive toilet training — directing the child to use the toilet more than three times a day — before the child reached 27 months, it took 10 to 16 months and ended, on average, when the child was 35 months old.

Children who began the process from 27 months old to 33 months old were toilet trained, on average, by their 36th month, according to the study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics.

Dogs are so much easier to train, and you can rub their noses in the s**t without being arrested for child abuse.

I Am Sisyphus, Hear Me Whine Impotently

While reading this long on predictable anti-war rhetoric and short on facts piece, I thought of Sisyphus. Then I reached the end of the column and found that apparently the author, Gunter Grass, felt the same way:

Many people find themselves in a state of despair these days, and with good reason. Yet we must not let our voices, our no to war and yes to peace, be silenced. What has happened? The stone that we pushed to the peak is once again at the foot of the mountain. But we must push it back up, even with the knowledge that we can expect it to roll back down again.

Gunter has apparently decided that John LeCarre shouldn't be the only author to pen factless rants on the "Imperial America."

Pitt Coach Watch

A little background before the rumors, reports and innuendo. In December, Pitt's Athletic Director, Steve Pederson, left for his alma mater, Nebraska, for the AD job there. The assistant AD, Mark Boehm, was named interim AD while the school decided on a new AD. To date, the job has not been filled. This hurts in the search for a new coach, since there is no clear person in charge of the Pitt Athletic Department and in the search and interview. It does appear that the Chancellor, Mark Nordenberg, has been very active in the search for a new coach. According to some reports, it appears Nordenberg will remove the interim tag on Boehm.

The other problem with the present search for the coach in relation to an untested AD and a suddenly successful basketball program -- his job and the continued success of the program will be considered riding on the hiring. This makes it more difficult for Boehm to go out and hire a relatively unknown, but successful, mid-major head coach, such as Bobby Gonzalez of Manhattan who has been mentioned. It also makes it damn near impossible for him to hire the Pitt players' choice -- associate head coach, James Dixon. Dixon has no head coaching experience. No one knows how he would handle the full job. As this article suggests (using college football head coaches), Dixon could be as good as Miami head coach Larry Coker succeeding Butch Davis, or fail as miserably as Foge Fazio did following Jackie Sherrill at Pitt in the early 80s.

If they hired a mid-major coach or elevated Dixon and the performance dropped then it was an unnecessary risk that cost the program. Boehm would be one of the fall guys. On the other hand, if you bring in a successful, "name" coach and things don't work out, well who would have really predicted it. It is far less riskier for Boehm's job security.

So, now the coaching rumors. It looks like Pitt is very interested in hiring someone with ties to the Pittsburgh area. I guess the theory is that they are less likely to want to leave where they have ties. The three most prominent names have been John Calipari, Herb Sendek, and Skip Prosser.

The first name that got a lot of attention has been John Calipari, Memphis head coach. By the end of last week, Calipari expressed a good deal of interest in the job, and it seemed mutual. This of course pissed off Memphis when Calipari issued the standard non-denial denials, despite Memphis' AD saying he believes Calipari would stay. I'm not that excited about Calipari. He built UMass to national power in the 90s before a poorly played move to the NBA's NJ Nets. After leaving UMass, though, some NCAA violations were revealed. Calipari appeared clean, but questions have always remained. Now, it appears that Pitt has not been that interested in Calipari.

Herb Sendek, the North Carolina State coach was the next name to be under consideration. There has been legitimate interest, at least by Pitt boosters and alumni.

Sendek has been mentioned as a possible candidate in that he is a Penn Hills, Pa., native who attended Penn Hills High and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon. Sendek's parents still live in the Pittsburgh area.
"It's kind of an unusual situation at the school in that they don't have an [full-time] athletics director now," Fowler said. "I'm not sure who's conducting the search, but some trustees apparently are helping with the initial search, and one asked a friend who knows Herb to contact Herb.

"That doesn't mean Herb's interested in going anywhere. Herb said he didn't tell the person one thing or the other. He just talked with him. It was all unofficial."

Sendek has declined to comment on possible job openings.

It appears, however, that Sendek isn't that interested in Pitt. ("N.C. State's Herb Sendek, who ... is a Pittsburgh native, has made it clear through school officials that he has no intentions of leaving Raleigh.") Much to my relief and the annoyance of many Wolfpack fans who would like to see Swndek gone.

Then there is Skip Prosser, Wake Forest head coach and the ACC coach of the year. Prosser has been at Wake Forest for two years after 7 very successful years at Xavier. Prosser would be a great hire, but it seems that it would be a shock to get him from Wake and the ACC. Wake Forest is poised for continued strong showings and despite its location and competing with North Carolina, NC State and Duke for local recruits (or as my friend Lee describes Wake, "Wake Forest will always be Duke and UNC's little bitch. Coaching hoops at Wake is like coaching football at Michigan State."). So, I've been surprised to learn that there is a sizable amount of interest by Prosser in the Pitt job. This is even being noticed down in Winston, NC.

What may seem unfathomable to some who follow ACC basketball is that Prosser, after just two seasons, would leave Wake Forest. As popular as he has been successful, Prosser, the 2003 ACC Coach of the Year, has seven members of his eight-man rotation back from a team that went 25-6 and finished first in the ACC regular season.
Prosser, it would seem, is not about to leave Wake Forest for just any program. But Pittsburgh, especially for Prosser, is not just any program.

Born in Pittsburgh, Prosser was raised in nearby Carnegie and attended Carnegie High School, which is closed. He has often waxed eloquently about his love for his hometown, about standing in line in the freezing cold for nine hours to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers' playoff game in which Franco Harris made the Immaculate Reception to beat the Oakland Raiders, about seeing the first Pirates game ever played in Three Rivers Stadium, about watching Roberto Clemente of the Pirates lace the 3,000th and last hit of his career.

"It's my hometown," Prosser told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this week. "I have a lifelong love affair with the City of Pittsburgh. It's home."

A further enticement might be the condition of Pittsburgh's basketball program.

Prosser would be my top choice. He would cost Pitt at least $1 million per year. Right now he gets about $700,000 per at Wake.

I don't expect Pitt to wait too long to hire someone. The new hire will probably be announced within 2 weeks. Pitt needs to preserve its recruits, and act before the drama at North Carolina finishes playing out.

UPDATE: Looks like Prosser is the top target, as this article suggests, and makes most of the same points I already made.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Thinking About Sleeping In

I don't think I want to get up tomorrow morning. Not because it's Monday. Not because I still haven't found any freelance work. Not because some idiot record company executive decided putting out a Lisa Marie Presley album out would be a good idea.

No, it is the fact that the Cleveland area can expect rain, sleet and anywhere from 4-8 inches of snow by tomorrow. Tomorrow was to be the Cleveland Indians home opener. They have already postponed it.


Not So Shocking News

A couple weeks ago, Calvin Klein was attending a NY Knicks game, seated courtside. Knicks player, Latrell Sprewell, was getting ready to inbound a pass. Calvin decided to get up and have a conversation with Latrell. He was, not surprisingly, incoherent and was "escorted" away by security. It is now being announced that he is "seeking" treatment for an unspecified drug problem. I guess the only surprise was that it wasn't announced that he was merely getting some rest for "exhaustion."


(Copyright © 2002-2005 Chas Rich All rights Reserved.);
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