COUNTDOWN TO THE SEASON

Del Olaleye: The weekly college football update includes UNC, Ohio State

Urban Meyer -- and his fans -- are in the news. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Not the way to start fall camp

If you’re UNC’s Larry Fedora you had to think the worst was behind you when last season ended. The 2017 season was a disaster. Injuries destroyed the depth across his football team and he finished the season 3-9. When you’re depending on LSU transfer Brandon Harris at QB to start the year things probably aren’t going in the right direction. A new season usually brings new hope. That is until your team is hit with mass suspensions because multiple starters sold exclusive Jordan brand shoes. North Carolina is one of a few football programs to wear the Jumpman logo on their uniforms and the players thought selling Jordan brand shoes wouldn’t be a bad way to make some some extra cash.

Tar Heel fans found about the suspensions this week but Fedora and his assistant coaches had this hanging over their heads since January when the violations were self reported. One the suspensions handed down just so happens to affect the most important position in their program. North Carolina entered fall camp hoping to settle a quarterback battle. That battle has some clarity now that potential starter Chaz Surratt has been suspended for four games for his entrepreneurship.

The NCAA has their rules and until they are changed they must be followed but multiple Tar Heels players will miss a third of the season for essentially selling stuff they own. They were given these things only because they play football so making money off them is considered an impermissible benefit. The NCAA calls these secondary violations. The same way they classify a coach seeing a recruit at the wrong time of year or calling a player during a “dead period.” Coaches get a slap on the wrist for secondary violations. They definitely wouldn’t be forced to miss a fourth of the season. UNC is an ACC opponent so I’m not crying that some of their players won’t be available for their game against Miami. I hope the Canes blow them out. Just  know that if actual paid employees of the North Carolina program did the same thing nothing would come of it.

More on Ohio State and Courtney Smith

It turns out Ohio State never met with Courtney Smith despite her allegations that their former employee and her ex-husband Zach Smith was physically abusive to her. This is according to Ms. Smith’s lawyer, Julia Leveridge.  As their six-person committee attempts to get to the bottom of who knew what and when, that factoid might be something Ohio State needs to answer for.

We’re not done with the Buckeyes

If you didn’t know college football fans are weird and borderline nuts just take a look at any video from the Urban Meyer rally. I guess the petition to save Meyer’s job that has 30,000 signatures wasn’t enough. They all wanted to look other crazies in the face. As simply as it can be put, the people in Columbus wanted to get together to try save the job of alleged enabler of domestic abuse. One person at the rally was the father of former Buckeyes and current Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. It just so happens the younger Elliott has had his own issues in regards to treating women in the correct manner.

We didn’t need Ohio State fans showing up en masse in front of a building to point out the obvious. We all know they value a great football coach over anything else. Urban Meyer left Florida because he couldn’t control the monster he had created. No one talks about that very much because he won multiple titles in Gainesville. The people in Columbus certainly didn’t care about all that after having to deal with a 6-7 season under interim coach Luke Fickell. Fickell was promoted to the position after Jim Tressel resigned following previously being suspended for five games for lying about his players getting free tattoos. There are people that haven’t forgotten about Meyer’s time at the University of Florida. His former players are talking about their time at Florida with Meyer and isn’t at all complimentary. I’m sure Buckeyes fans will blame Brett McMurphy for that too.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome