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Rain and the Canes

Hi all. Here's my first scintillating post: It's raining at the U!

I left my house at 6:20 a.m. to get to an early practice in time to interview coaches, and the downpour started at about Hallandale Beach Boulevard. I then got a call from UM saying the morning practice was cancelled.

There's another practice later today, that is, if they can squeeze it around the bad weather. It's not a good time for this type of weather pattern, because classes at UM begin Wednesday and practices will be confined to the afternoon or evening -- just about the time the downpours usually begin.

The Canes (especially the offense and special teams) need the practice.

Later... P.S. Don't forget that Tuesday night at the Orange Bowl is the only open practice of fall camp. Select-a-seat for season tickets is from 6 to 9 p.m. and the practice is from 7 to 9 p.m. Have a great day!



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Wow, some of the 'Canes' fans are merciless. They need Ex-Lax and uninterrupted potty time.

Okay, I will goof off from work for a few minutes and tell you what my instincts say.

There's a new and emerging "culture" at the U emanating from the source: UM President Donna Shalala.

She's a heck of a gal: smart, motivated, plugged-in. Her resume will humble just about everybody else. But she's, well, you know . . .

a GIRL, and we all know how GIRLS feel about football (except Ms. Miller-Degnan, and also my girlfriend and her daughter, sadly misguided, unenlightened ND and Gator fans, respectively).

Shalala's culture at the U will not tolerate activity common to NCAA division one football champions. (How she tolerated working with Clinton for eight years I'll never know.)

Look at some current or recent top-ranked NCAA div. 1 teams. Auburn, Southern Cal, Ohio State and Oklahoma all have players committing NCAA rules infractions bad enough to draw significant penalties. If they don't, shame on the NCAA.

Bust 'em, I say. Hang 'em high. Clean up college sports.

The U has its problem players, too. But they're getting busted for small-time stuff: skipping study hall, chewing gum in class, singing dirty songs, et cetera, et cetera.

So far as I know, the U doesn't have guys falsifying assignments, sexually assaulting girls or sucking up the illegal largess of sports agents and alumni.

My instinct is that Shalala won't tolerate that kind of stuff.

Stoops at OK is a stand-up guy, but anybody can see that the Auburn, Buckeye and Trojan head coaches want to win more than they want to follow the rules.

That used to be the mentality at the U, but under Shalala, that's history. Now the U is primarily about education and personal growth. Winning is important, but it's not, as Lombardi said, "the only thing."

I agree. Lombardi was wrong.

Butch Davis was a rare coach who assembled a championship squad that avoided the rule-breaking that seems to plague other champs. (I'm still waiting to hear about infractions committed by Longhorn players.)
Davis could have risen to the top of college football and made a mistake by leaving. I'm sure he knows that now.

In his place we have Mr. Coker: very intelligent, experienced and motivated. But he does not have that "swagger," and he's not going to teach "swagger" to his players. He'd not that kind of guy, and that's because Dr. Shalala does not want that kind of guy as head coach of her football team.

An aside: "swagger" has got out of control and is now a national problem. College-aged youngsters can't handle "swagger."

The U wrote the book on "swagger," and now all teams either want it or have it, and morally ambiguous head coaches let it grow in their teams because it gives them an edge on the field, though in the long run it's destructive.

The U does not have or want that edge. They ain't got "swagger"; they don't want "swagger." They have to win on skill, technique, effort and, most of all, maturity, and it's just about impossible to get that from a squad of college football players these days. They're all so spoiled by the outright adoration heaped on them, and by and the lure of "swagger."

But that's okay. According to one web site, the average incoming GPA at the U is 4.0. Gifted McStudent athletes who float through our public education system, soaking up praise, doing as they please and waiting for worship and "mo' money," while not growing academically or personally, will succeed and prosper at morally shoddy programs like those at Auburn, Ohio State and Southern Cal.

But--hear this, Mr. hot-shot linebacker Williams--there's no place for them at the U, so just get along to Mossland.

Maybe my instincts are wrong. But I'd say that under Shalala, the U has been ratcheted up a few notches on the character scale. We're going to win, but we're going to do it with our priorities straight.


Lake Worth 'Cane

Oh yeah, one more thing. Hurricanes are kind of all about rain, aren't they?

Practice in the rain, fellas. It's not cold.

Lake Worth 'Cane

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