560WQAM was the only bidder on this season's radio rights for FIU football. The proposal was opened Thursday afternoon after being postponed from April an again from last week. It's a bid for this season with a school renewal option for two years.
Accepting whatever QAM bid would put FIU on an actual sports radio station. But how often? QAM has University of Miami football and, in any case of overlap, good business says FIU's the one getting lateraled to some sister station. So if UM's season opener, against Boston College 3:30 Sept. 1 runs long, FIU kicks off its season against Duke at 7 p.m. somewhere else.
Central Florida just announced the Sept. 15 game against FIU, UCF's home opener, will kick off at noon. The game will be televised regionally on Comcast Sports Southeast. That kickoff hinders those considering driving up the day of the game and/or those considering actually enjoying Friday night in either Orlando (heh) or South Florida. It also would hinder QAM -- UM plays Bethune-Cookman at noon.
There's potential conflicts on the other three September Saturdays and Oct. 20 (FIU at Troy, 3:30 kick, UM Homecoming against Florida State, kickoff still not set).That's half of FIU's season.
Then again, nobody else bid on the rights and it's getting awfully late in the game to reopen the process for anybody to bid with an eye toward profitability.
FIU's women's tennis team got big ups from the NCAA for having an Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent of all college-affiliated sports teams from 2007-11. Salut to the women of those four academic years: Liset Brito, Priscilla Castillo, Marijana Cutuk, Maria Dolores Pazo, Egle Petrauskaite, Maria Spenceley, Alonya Tsutskova, Maria Jose Vallaciani, Mariana Muci Torres, Magali Holt, Christine Seredni, Giulietta Boha, Lisa Johnson and Rita Maisak.
Now, I'm the last one to frown on academic achievement, especially if it's connected to athletics. Add up the time I've spent railing about the hypocrisy and fraud of college sports as it relates to the classroom and it'll make Law & Order's run look like a miniseries.
Looking over the rosters of the tennis team for the relevant academic years we find (in chronological order) two Americans of eight players, four from players Eastern Europe; two Americans of six players, one player from Eastern Europe; three Americans of eight players, one player from Eastern Europe; three Americans of seven players, two players from Eastern Europe.
So, the FIU team that's nationally recognized for classroom work has a high percentage of players hailing from other countries, a few of which don't even use the same alphabet. And, they're working in a foreign country and culture, an ocean and half a continent away from familial support.
Fist pumps, high fives, low fives, chest bumps, butt bumps and dap for them. But what's that say about the student-athletes (or athlete-students, as the case may be) on FIU's teams that are stocked with a greater portion of Americans?
Before you say it's a factor of tennis being played by those in the upper middle to upper economic classes, which tend to have better educated parents that bring their kids up in better school systems, it's not necessarily that way in other countries. One of the reason Europeans dominate tennis now is it's been a sport of the masses over there for at least a generation.
So, is it a commentary on the time they have to devote to the books, their use of that time or their want-to when it comes to higher education? Or, is it that on larger teams, the roster dips more into the hoi polloi of high school students, thus exposing the weaknesses of our educational system, especially in this state?
DeJuan Wright, now finishing up his degree during the summer sessions, will make the NBA workout rounds, then possibly head to hoop in France if he doesn't catch on over here.