Friday, June 1, 2012.
The trickle-down effect can work both ways. If the Big 12 chooses to expand to a number that matches its name (imagine that), the effect could trickle down to the Big East, where Louisville is champing at the bit to bolt. And to the ACC, where there have been rumblings of restlessness at Florida State and Clemson. But the Big 12 opened its meetings this week in Kansas City proclaiming that it will stay at 10 schools (unless Notre Dame comes callin’). If the Big 12 is status quo, the fact that nothing’s happening trickles down to the Big East, perhaps keeping the conference together as is long enough to get through the new TV negotiations this fall. That would allow Boise State and the other 2013 Big East members to maximize a new deal that a firm hired by the San Diego Union-Tribune says will earn each school about $7.8 million per year.
Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman is betting the Big 12’s supposed moratorium is a “sincere gesture to send a message” that it’s staying put at 10 members. “I believe the 10 schools will let their new association marinate for at least a year and see if they play well together before even considering inviting new members,” writes Bohls. But Notre Dame could change the landscape if college football’s new postseason format isn’t to its liking, forcing the Fighting Irish to seek out a conference. "We would accept that call," Big 12 acting commissioner Chuck Neinas said.
Takeaways from the Boise State spring testing numbers posted by the Statesman’s Chadd Cripe (beyond those stunning 4.28-second times in the 40-yard dash by Dallas Burroughs and Ebo Makinde). There were three fifth-place finishers I found rather intriguing. Hilton Richardson, the former minor league baseball player who just took up football and landed at nickel with the Broncos, ran a 4.37 in the 40. That’s pretty darn fast for that position. For those who think Kirby Moore is just a possession receiver, the junior from Prosser was fifth in the pro agility drill at 3.99 seconds. And in the hang clean, the leaderboard of which is usually reserved for interior linemen, safety Dillon Lukehart placed fifth. The redshirt freshman from Eagle High put up 323 pounds.
The new Bronco Football Complex at the north end of Bronco Stadium got a major boost yesterday with the announcement that former Boise Junior College player Bryant Lemon and his family have donated $1 million to the project. The gift is designated for the new recruiting lounge, to be named the “Bryant Lemon Recruiting Lounge.” Lemon played for legendary BJC coach Lyle Smith in 1953 and 1954. He’s the chairman and CEO of BRYCON Corporation in New Mexico.
Boise State sophomore-to-be Anthony Drmic begins training camp this weekend with the Australian Boomers, the Aussie national squad from which the Australian Olympic team will be chosen for the Summer Games in London. Drmic is among 25 hopefuls competing for 12 spots on the Olympic squad. The Boomers roster reunites Drmic and New Mexico guard Hugh Greenwood, who played together for Australia at the FIBA U19 World Championships last summer. San Antonio Spurs and one-time Idaho Stampede guard Patty Mills is set to join the Boomers when his NBA season ends.
Graham DeLaet had to withdraw from this week’s Memorial Tournament due to a back injury, but according to his Twitter posts, it’s not a setback in his comeback. "Had to WD from Memorial. Tweaked my back on the weekend and won't be ready to go for Thurs,” the former Boise State star tweeted. “Really bummed because I was feeling good physically and feeling good about my game. Good news is it’s not a re-injury. MRI showed no disc issues. Just need a few more days rest." DeLaet, of course, underwent surgery in January of 2011 to treat a herniated disc in his lower back and is playing on a major medical extension this season. He needs to earn $141,265 over his next 11 tournaments to retain his PGA Tour card.
The news is good for former Borah High baseball standout Jon Gaston. The one-time Arizona Wildcat was beset by what was diagnosed as hormonal deficiencies last year, ultimately spurring his release by the Houston Astros organization. Gaston underwent months of testing by an endocrinologist, and with the problems beginning to be addressed he signed a contract to play independent ball for the Fargo Redhawks, where he played six games this spring. But Gaston’s since been picked up by the Chicago White Sox, who assigned him to their Double A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons. He’s gone 2-for-15 in his first five games with the Barons and is batting just .133. Gaston looked destined for big things three years ago when he smacked 35 home runs for Lancaster in the California League.
The Statesman’s Brian Murphy reports it is unlikely Idaho-raised Rousing Sermon will run in the Belmont Stakes a week from tomorrow. Tree Top Ranches horse manager Dan Kiser says Rousing Sermon’s handlers are concerned that one more cross-country flight may take too much out of him ahead of the summer season. Rousing Sermon finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby May 5 despite 40-1 odds.
Idaho Select Basketball’s Summer BAM Jam will have a new location when it hits Downtown Boise the first weekend in August. The 3-on-3 basketball tournament is moving from BoDo to the area between Old Boise and Capitol Park, centered at 6th and Bannock. Organizers say that locale will provide for better parking and access to eight city blocks as the tourney expands again. BAM Jam anticipates hosting nearly 450 teams from around the Northwest this year.
This Day In Sports…June 1, 1994:
Film director and avid New York Knicks fan Spike Lee harasses Indiana Pacers mercilessly from his courtside seat in Madison Square Garden. It was Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on NBC, and the Knicks were leading by 12 points after three quarters with Miller having scored a quiet 14 points. But Miller had had enough and put up 25 fourth quarter points, including five three-pointers, yelling at Lee as he ran by after every bucket. Finally, Miller infamously gave Lee the “choke” sign as the Pacers were about to win, 93-86.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)