COUNTDOWN TO FOOTBALL

Del Olaleye: The week's events in college football

Kyler Murray will be a one and done at OU. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Kyler Murray update

Oklahoma’s Murray previously told the world that he would continue to play football for the Sooners despite being a top 10 pick in the MLB Draft. His future franchise has now chimed in and we know the particulars of Murray’s future. The Oakland A’s and Murray have to come an agreement that they will make official on Friday. Under terms of the agreement Murray will play one year of QB at Oklahoma before turning his attention to play baseball professionally full-time. Murray would have one year of eligibility remaining after the 2018 season but it appears the Sooners will have their third starting QB in three seasons when the 2019 season begins.

A recruit finesses the game

Anthony Gordon is my favorite recruit of the current cycle. Much respect. You don’t know who he is and I didn’t know who he was before this week. Hell, only some truly devoted University of Virginia fans might have known who he was until he made a statement on twitter this week. Gordon is a senior to be out of Philadelphia that took to twitter to announce his commitment to the Virginia Cavaliers. The problem? He didn’t have a scholarship offer from UVA. They hadn’t talked to him for months. He didn’t call any coach on the staff to confirm his standing with the team either.

I can see Gordon working here. He’s a lightly recruited guy with at this point one scholarship offer. If he believes he’s more talented than the attention he’s getting would imply, do something to garner that attention. Tell the world who you are. Maybe get that junior film in front of some new eyes. He’s got a full season of games to show that he is deserving of an ACC offer. I have my doubts that offer comes from Virginia though.

Mike Gundy takes to twitter after his boss questions his recruiting methods

Mike Gundy has always had this unsettled relationship with his alma mater. From the outside looking in it doesn’t make much sense. He played QB for Oklahoma State. He was promoted to head coach after Les Miles took the LSU job in 2004 and under Gundy the Cowboys have had unprecedented success. Six double-digit win seasons in Gundy’s 13 seasons at the helm and a Big 12 title in 2011. That hasn’t stopped Gundy and Oklahoma State’s biggest booster T. Boone Pickens from having issues and making them public as well. Gundy’s latest back and forth with a member of the Oklahoma State executive branch involves Athletic Director Mike Holder.

Holder after complimenting Gundy while doing a popular OSU podcast went on to question Gundy’s recruiting. He thinks Gundy and his staff settle and that puts a ceiling on what they can achieve on the field. Oklahoma State has never been a recruiting power but being the second school in the state and watching Oklahoma make two College Football Playoffs in three seasons might have people a little testy. Gundy responded the only way you can in this era. He used twitter to send a message. Whether it was quizzical emojis or pictures of the Cowboys staff in front of a private plane on a recruiting trip, Gundy let it be known that he heard what Athletic Director Holder said. Gundy hasn’t beaten Oklahoma since 2014 and the ongoing losing streak to his in-state rival has prevented the Cowboys from winning a couple of Big 12 titles. Everyone in Stillwater feels a lot better when they beat the Sooners. Coach might want to get on that.

 

 

 

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

Former Astros manager Andrew Jay Hinch is on a short list of candidates to become manager of the Detroit Tigers in 2021.

The question is, after being suspended and later fired for his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, does A.J. Hinch deserve to manage again in baseball?

It's weird to think because so much has happened in 2020, but Hinch was suspended and fired only nine months ago. His banishment, however, ends in a matter of weeks with the final out of the upcoming World Series. At that point, he will be available to manage the Tigers or any other team. There's a possibility that the Mets are interested. Some were hoping it'd be the Astros, but the Astros are committed to manager Dusty Baker for next year. After that … never say never.

Shortly after getting the Astros ax, Hinch went on MLB TV and apologized for his role in the Astros cheating scandal. Although baseball's investigation said the garbage can banging scheme was "with the exception of (Astros coach Alex) Cora, player-driven and player-executed," Hinch took responsibility as manager and didn't challenge his punishment. No players were punished.

"I still feel responsible and will always feel responsible as the man out front," Hinch said. "As the leader, I was in charge of the team. I put out a statement to apologize. But there is something different to doing it on camera and putting a face to an apology, and saying I'm sorry to the league, to baseball, to fans, to players, to the coaches.

"It happened on my watch. I'm not proud of that. I'll never be proud of it. I didn't like it. But I have to own it. And the commissioner's office made very, very clear that the GM and the manager were in position to make sure that nothing like this happened. And we fell short."

In effect, while Hinch didn't authorize or participate in the sign-stealing scandal, he didn't do enough (really anything) to stop it. He is the rare case of being a guilty bystander.

To be clear, Hinch has not been offered the Detroit manager job. However, he has more experience and more wins under his belt than most of the other candidates being considered.

Hinch's reputation is blemished, but his credentials can't be disputed. During his five years as Astros manager, the team never had a losing season, won 100 or more games three times, including a team record 107 wins last year, made the playoffs three times and won a World Series.

Has baseball forgiven Hinch, and does he deserve another chance to manage in the big leagues? This is America, the land of forgiveness and second chances.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

Hinch knew his team was cheating and didn't do enough to stop it. There's no defense for that. But I think he's paid enough of a price to get back in baseball.

Mike Tyson raped a woman, went to jail, and now he's practically America's sweetheart. Hillary forgave Bill. We not only forgave Confederate leaders, we built schools and statues to honor them. Martha Stewart went to jail for insider trading, now she's back on TV baking crumpets. Ozzy Osbourne was arrested for pee'ing on a monument outside the Alamo, there is no more sacred place in Texas, and now he sells out concerts at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Pee-wee Herman, well, let's not say what he was caught doing, but he's planning to tour the U.S. celebrating the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee's Big Adventure movie.

Remember, Hinch was suspended for a year. It could have been worse. Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to ban people for life. Since becoming the commish, Manfred has permanently banished two people: former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa for hacking into the Astros computer database, and former Atlanta Braves general manager, John Coppolella for signing international players illegally.

Manfred also has temporarily banned Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman for shouting inappropriate comments at female reporters last year. Taubman is eligible to apply for reinstatement after this year's World Series. However, if he commits one more violation of baseball rules, he will be banned for life.

Lifetime bans aren't as unusual as you might think. Since baseball's beginnings in the 1800s, dozens of players, managers and team owners have been banned, mostly, like Pete Rose and the Chicago Black Sox, for gambling-related offenses.

A.J. Hinch copped to his crime, suffered the consequences, now it's time for him to manage a baseball team again. It's not like he'd be landing a plum job with Detroit. The Tigers are out of this year's playoff picture. They lost 114 games last season. And were 64-98 the two years prior. Managing the Tigers will be punishment enough.

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