FOCUSED ON, Track & Field, baseball and football
I think on Friday’s I will talk about many things that relate to Oregon, recruiting and the world of college athletics, but not focus solely on football or basketball; get into the non-revenue sports and use this time to kind of do a ‘freeplay’ writing where I get to discuss things outside of football.
One of the things that attracts me to this idea is, it is non-premium. Not very many people subscribe to websites to learn about softball commits, or rtack or just about any other non-revenue sports.
I will do a ‘Beyond Flock Talk’ article a little later giving more thoughts on the topics in my premium article, so that will be coming later.
Track and Field
First of all, Devon Allen returns to Hayward Field this weekend and it should be an electric atmosphere for him to run.
Right now both men’s and women’s teams are like the Alabama of the track recruiting world; they are simply developing into dominant programs. The most stunning aspect of this is that it is not being done solely through the old ‘middle distance’ model. The fact that the women have developed into an elite sprint team is an incredible fact. Cold. Rain. Those things do not typically equate to an elite sprint school.
But that is the value of tradition and success, it doesn’t matter whether the weather is perfect every day, people want to go where they know they will have success. Much like basketball players, though, truly elite level track athletes have been traveling around the country since they were very young competing in elite invitational meets. So leaving home is much easier for them than it is for some of the football players. But I think that those times are coming to football as well.
Below is a really cool video the university put out for the Twilight Meet:
Back under the lights of Historic Hayward Field on Friday for the Oregon Twilight. We're ready, are you?— Oregon Track & Field (@OregonTF) May 3, 2017
Meet info: https://t.co/nnma0voouw pic.twitter.com/208XN5T0Eb
Baseball – Is it time to change coaches?
This is a difficult subject to broach. George Horton literally resurrect something which had been dormant for three decades. I think that the early success of the program under his leadership generated a false hope that the program would quickly elevate to national championship contenders.
But that did not happen.
The Duck baseball team made it to an NCAA Regional in their second year back and a Super Regional in their fourth; excitement and hope began to flow. Despite the inability to break through, the team has still made it to five NCAA Regionals in its first seven seasons. Do I think that there needs to be some progress next season? Absolutely. But is it time to fire Horton? I don’t think so, but I definitely think that the athletic department will be evaluating the program very closely next season to see whether it is time to change directions.
It’s funny, every time a recruit makes a decision people do not expect, the thought is that it must have been something shady. When Brandon McCoy chose UNLV seemingly out of the blue, it was a surprise to many. But I just hate to see fans of the school he passed over to make accusations. Maybe they are true, maybe they are not.
McCoy would have been a very important piece of the pie for the Oregon basketball team next season; but he will be the entire pie, plus the ala mode on top all by himself at UNLV. He will (likely) dominate the competition at a lower tier conference and will be well positioned for going very high in next year’s NBA draft. I really do think this is mostly what his decision was about; which school will get me the best draft stock in one year.
This is why I adamantly oppose the one-and-done rule. I think John Calipari has done a wonderful job maneuvering through this minefield, but I think it does a disservice to the game and the upper echelon talent in basketball. Imagine for a moment if LeBron James had been forced to play one season at Ohio State. What value would that have provided?
I have long touted a solution that I think works best – follow the baseball method. Allow high school players to be drafted; if they do not like their position, let them play in college. But, if they choose college, then they need to stay there for three seasons. This is a win-win for just about everyone except maybe that tweener player who needs two years – not three – to develop into a legitimate NBA prospect. But I still think it is the best solution.
Okay, all for now, back with more thoughts a little later!