Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a past president and member of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
LIKE IT IS:
It hasn’t been all fun and games for some
LITTLE ROCK It was a bad week for California Coach Mike Montgomery and Missouri Coach Frank Haith, and it was a terrible week for the Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius.
In the heat of a game, Montgomery sort of checked one of his players, Allen Crabbe, with both hands as he was coming off the court. Not an actual shove, but one of those “What are you thinking?” exclamations that coaches sometimes make during games.
The player took offense, walked off the court after teammates Richard Solomon and Justin Cobbs intervened, cooled off and then returned. Montgomery put him back in the game, and the Golden Bears came back to beat Southern Cal for their third consecutive victory.
After the game, Crabbesaid everything was fine and that it was being blown out of proportion.
Eventually, Montgomery assumed total blame and said he was wrong, and it seemed like everything was water under the bridge, except the Pacific-12 Conference and Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour publicly reprimanded the 31-year coaching veteran.
Coaches should never touch players in anger, but what Montgomery did wasn’t the shove it is being described as.
Haith should have been on cloud nine after the Missouri Tigers knocked off Florida, giving the Gators only their second SEC loss of the season.
Yet, it was announced Wednesday that Haith has been named in the messy NCAA investigation at Miami, which has led to an NCAA investigator being fired. Haith apparently faces allegations of failure to monitor, and that could carry personal sanctions.
Failure to monitor is not as severe as being hit with a lack of institutional control, but it is a blow to Haith.
As for Pistorius, he has gone from being a known around-the-world athlete who overcame the loss of his feet and ran on prosthetic legs in the 2012 Olympics to being arrested in the shooting deathof his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
One of the latest revelations about the shooting between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. was that a witness who allegedly heard the couple arguing was actually four blocks away.
That doesn’t help the police’s case, but Pistorius’ story has more holes than the back end of a shooting gallery.
He claims he awoke and heard what he thought was an intruder, pulled out his 9mm pistol and fired four shots into a bathroom door that was closed. Steenkamp was hit three times.
OK, when you gotta go, you gotta go, but do burglars actually slip into the bathroom during a robbery?
While arguing about bail, investigators also said Pistorius was wearing his artificial legs when he stood 5 feetfrom the bathroom door and opened fire, and that they found the pistol holster under the bed but on the side where Steenkamp had been sleeping.
Pistorius was the first paralympic athlete to compete in the Olympics, but his story has taken a sad turn and is far from being finished.
John Brown University’s men’s basketball team is having another phenomenal season.
The Golden Eagles won their first Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season championship last week with a double overtime, comefrom-behind victory over Lubbock Christian.
John Brown is 13-1 in league play with two games remaining, and 24-4 overall and ranked No. 4 in the NAIArankings.
Senior guard E.J. Mc-Woods helped the Golden Eagles erase a 12-point halftime deficit against Lubbock Christian and led the scoring with a career-high 25 points. He made 13 of 13 free throws. Coleson Rakestraw added 20 points, and it was his basket that ended a 6-minute, 22-second scoreless drought.
Rakestraw, a senior from Siloam Springs who has a 3.92 grade-point average and is majoring in electrical and computer engineering, followed that up a with more impressive accomplishment. He has been named a first-team academic All-America for a second consecutive year.
Sports, Pages 17 on 02/21/2013