Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Program, Boosts Sports Budget

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The University of Florida recently announced that it is eliminating its Computer Science department and increasing the budget of its athletics program.

As Forbes’ Steven Salzberg reports:

The University of Florida announced this past week that it was dropping its computer science department, which will allow it to save about $1.7 million…

Meanwhile, the athletic budget for the current year is $99 million, an increase of more than $2 million from last year.  The increase alone would more than offset the savings supposedly gained by cutting computer science.

Gator alumni must be so proud of their alma mater.

Maybe if they don’t win a national championship this year, they’ll eliminate their Business and Law schools, too.


Written by breckfield

April 23, 2012 at 7:35 am

Posted in education, sports, Uncategorized

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Jim Boeheim, aka Mr. Lucky

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I don’t think luck has anything to do with winning games.

So said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, whistling past the graveyard after his team—assisted by the referees—narrowly escaped becoming the first Number 1 seed to ever lose to a Number 16 seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

As Don Markus reports:

It left longtime UNC Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach seething.

“There’s not enough time for cooling off for this one,” he said. “Syracuse is better than Asheville. Tonight we were better than Syracuse. I have all the respect for Jim Boeheim, their team being 31-2. He’s a fantastic coach. They deserve all the recognition they’ve got this year. This (UNC Asheville) was the better team tonight.”

I respect coach Boeheim, but if he truly doesn’t believe that luck is a factor in winning some games—and particularly this game—he’s delusional.

Written by breckfield

March 16, 2012 at 7:48 am

Posted in basketball, sports

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NFL: Saints Players Paid To Injure Opponents

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The NFL has determined that New Orleans Saints players were paid to injure their opponents:

The NFL announced Friday New Orleans Saints defensive players had received extra payment for attempting to intentionally injure opponents… The investigation showed payments were made for interceptions and fumble recoveries, but payments were also made when an opposing player was carried off the field or knocked out of the game.

This is disturbing, even for those of us who feel that the league office has occasionally been overzealous in its desire to prevent unnecessary roughness.

How could Sean Payton and his coaches possibly think that this was acceptable?

Written by breckfield

March 3, 2012 at 7:28 am

Posted in football, sports

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Defense Wins Championships? Not So Fast, My Friend…

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Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim investigate the old football cliche that “defense wins championships” and find that the data does not quite support the legend:

Sifting through the numbers, we found that the answer is again no. In the regular season, playoffs, and championships, underdog teams are no more likely to win if they are good defenders than if they are good scorers…

Bottom line: Defense is no more important than offense. It’s not defense that wins championships. In virtually every sport, you need either a stellar offense or a stellar defense, and having both is even better.

If it’s not true, then why is it such a cliche? Moskowitz and Wertheim have an explanation for that:

If defense is no more critical to winning than offense is, why does everyone from Little League coaches to ESPN analysts extoll its importance? Well, no one needs to talk up the virtues of scoring. No one needs to create incentives for players to score more touchdowns. There’s a reason why fans exhort “De-fense, De-fense!” not “O-ffense, O-ffense!” Offense is fun. Offense is glamorous. Who gets the Nike shoe contracts and the other endorsements — the players who score or the defensive stoppers?

I highly recommend the authors’ book, Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won.

Written by breckfield

January 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

Indians Pitcher Fausto Carmona: The Man Who Never Was

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Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona—or whatever his name is—has some ‘splaining to do

Carmona, the Indians’ opening-day starter last season, was arrested in the Dominican Republic for allegedly using a false identity. Officials in his native country are contesting his real name and birthdate…

…Carmona’s real name is apparently Roberto Hernandez Heredia and he’s 31, three years older than the pitcher claimed.

The Indians are probably not as concerned about the false name as they are about the apparent fact that they have invested millions of dollars in a player who is actually three years older than they thought he was.

Written by breckfield

January 20, 2012 at 8:37 am

Posted in baseball, sports

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Report shows Bobcats might be better off not playing games

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New numbers show the Charlotte Bobcats and four other NBA teams might actually be financially better off by not playing games this season. reported that during the 2009-10 season, the Bobcats were among the teams who lost money.

If the team plays, it would actually cost them more under the current agreement than not having any games.

On Wednesday, league players rejected a 50-50 split agreement offered by the commissioner.

via Report shows Bobcats might be better off not playing games – News Story – WSOC Charlotte.

Written by breckfield

November 10, 2011 at 8:59 am

Posted in business, sports

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Why the Yankees should offer arbitration to Freddy Garcia

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Eric Schultz makes his case for why the Yankees should offer Freddy Garcia salary arbitration:

Based on Freddy Garcia’s recent track record of solid, consistent performance (and a demonstrated ability to survive in the AL East), I would have no problem with the Yankees bringing him back to occupy the #5 spot in the rotation.  Offering arbitration increases the likelihood that he comes back with a reasonable contract.  If he leaves, however, offering arbitration will give the Yankees another high draft pick, which could be a potentially significant asset for Damon Oppenheimer and co. to exploit.

I agree. As Matt Imbrogno says in the comments, Garcia’s resulting salary will be reasonable, so this is a no-brainer.


Written by breckfield

November 6, 2011 at 9:05 am

Posted in baseball, sports

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