File this under the ���too bizarre to be true��� department. Nigerian soccer referees are now officially allowed to take bribes from participating teams���just so long as they don���t let it affect their judgment. For the whole story on msnbc go here.
Apparently stamping out corruption is too difficult a proposition. So Nigerian soccer officials told its assembled refs during a soccer seminar to simply ���take the money��� and still call a good game.
Is this the worst idea in sports since Michael Jordan playing baseball? Or is this just a realistic approach in a country that is known as one of the most corrupt in the world?
It was no big surprise that J.J. Redick was named the national player of the year by The Associated Press today. (Check out the whole story here.) What was surprising was that Adam Morrison of Gonzaga didn���t share the award with him.
Many thought that Redick and Morrison had such similar numbers and both meant so much to their team that they would end up sharing NCAA basketball���s most prestigious individual award.
But many think that Morrison suffered from playing in a ���Mid-Major������meaning his level of competition wasn���t as high as Redick���s in the ACC. But doesn���t George Mason���s brilliant run prove that the conference reputations are largely relevant?
Click here to tell us if you think Morrison should have had a share of the award or if Redick and his 26.8 ppg were more than enough to take the award. Also check out the basketball message boards to see which player other members of the eteamz community thought was more deserving.
'We're #1' has never been yelled louder here in the eteamz office than when we found out the El Dorado Hawks of Placentia, CA had been ranked the #1 Fastpitch Softball team in the country by USA Today. In case you didn't hear that the first time let me repeat that....the El Dorado Hawks, who host their team site on eteamz, is the #1 High School Fastpitch team in the country.
You can check out their site here as well as wish them well on the fastpitch message boards. Also click here to see the entire top 25 list. Keep up the good work girls! You
(A great baseball tip from guest blogger Jon Doyle)
Wood bats can make you a better baseball player. All my athletes use wood bats instead of metal bats exclusively during practice with metal bats being used only during pre-game batting practice and actual game play.
Sure you may break a bat or two, but start off with a $15 or $20 bat found at the local sporting good store and the expense won't be so bad. Using a wood bat develops many wonderful skills for the hitter such as bat speed, power and control. Wood bats automatically teach the hitter important things like how to make contact with the sweet part of the bat, the proper hand path to the ball and a shorter swing. This will all lead to more hits, more home runs and more confidence.
I love to tell my younger players that because they have been such a great kid I am going to "let them use the bats that the pros (insert the kid's favorite player) use." Once you say that they will never want to use metal again! The entire experience will be more enjoyable, memorable and effective.
(Jon Doyle is a former NCAA All-American baseball player who now works as a strength and conditioning specialist. For more baseball tips check out [www.baseballtrainingsecrets.com|http://www.baseballtraining
Girls may dig the long ball���but Little League baseball doesn���t seem to have the same fascination. In an attempt to encourage less home runs and more triples and doubles, organizers for the Little League World Series are pushing back the fences by 20 feet for the Little League World Series in August. Check out the whole story here on Fox Sports.
Though home runs have remained constant���the distance of the fences have not. They were pushed back 5 feet in 1996 and now are being pushed back an additional 20 feet.
Does this imply that little leaguers are stronger than they were just 10 years ago? Or is this just an attempt to make games more exciting? Are players hitting more home runs because of better access to training and hitting education? Or is this a disturbing trend about how little leaguers are physically developing sooner than expected?
Click here to tell us what you think. And don���t forget to check out the baseball message boards to find out what other members of the eteamz community are talking about.
Now we know you all had George Mason in your final four bracket. But for those precious few who didn���t you can take comfort in the fact that of the 4 million people who entered in the ESPN bracket contest only FOUR correctly picked the four teams to reach the final four.
And of the remaining teams the presence of mid-major George Mason in the final four is the biggest surprise. Many have claimed that this is the death knell for the dominance of big college programs and that we are witnessing a new shift in the way the NCAA tournament will play out���with many more mid-majors making appearances in the Final Four.
Click here to tell us if you think George Mason���s storybook ride is indicative of a larger trend or is simply an infrequent occurrence that isn���t likely to be repeated. Also check out our basketball message boards to see what other memb
Indiana's 1976 and 1981 NCAA Championship Teams To Be Honored
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association will honor IU's 1976 and 1981 NCAAchampionship teams on their respective 25th and 30th anniversaries at a breakfast on Friday, March 31, as one of the events surrounding the NCAA'sFinal Four. The 2006 college player of the year and coach of the year will also be named and presented trophies.
Went to the WBC semi-finals this weekend in San Diego. It was totally awesome. I was sad to see the USA get bounced from the tournament early but that���s what happens when you don���t make a clutch two-out basehit. (I���m talking to you Vernon Wells.) Here���s a few things I noticed���.
Political feelings aside Cuba might be the best story of the World Baseball Classic. They play a National League style of baseball involving speed, defense, and moving runners over. And yet���
They have the worst baseball uniforms I���ve ever seen. And I should know���cos I���m a Padres fan and I remember the softball uniforms they wore in the early 80���s.
The Dominican team losing proves that a collection of free-swinging all-stars will always get beat by a team that has a collective idea of what it wants to do at the plate.
Cuban pitcher Pedro Lazo could pitch RIGHT NOW for any Major League team.
Adrian Beltre is still overrated.
This tournament was important to every country EXCEPT for the USA. The coolest part of the games were the fans waving their flags and banging on their large drums. (Yes, drums.)
Korean fans HATE Ichiro.
For six innings the Korea/Japan game was about the most fundamentally sound game of baseball you will ever see. And then Byung Hyun Kim came in to pitch. Click here to give your reaction to the WBC games. Don���t forget to also check out the baseball and softball message boards to see what other members of the eteamz community are talking ab
All you baseball and softball shutterbugs now have a chance to turn those awesome photos of yours into Little League legend. Open to any local league or district volunteer the Little League photo contest is in full effect.
The deadline is July 15 so you have plenty of time to get those action shots together. And winners will have their photos on display in the Little League Museum--as well as included on the Little League website and newsletter. (I think some of the eteamz snapshotz winners have a good chance.)
Go here for the a contest entry form as well as a photo model
In all the craziness that is Barry Bonds and cattle steroids���no joke���it might have been overlooked that during the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday Team USA lost to Canada. Let me repeat that: Team USA LOST to Canada.
This is no slight to our neighbors to the North but this is the biggest upset since the New York Knicks beat���well���anybody. It put Team USA perilously close to getting bounced from the WBC and put that team of MLB All-Stars on notice that they can���t walk their way to the finals.
But does anybody care about the WBC? In Asia and Latin America they got huge crowds but in this country enthusiasm seems rather lukewarm? If Team USA does not make the finals will anybody in this country actually watch the games?
Go here to tell us what you think about Team USA and the WBC. Also check out the baseball and softball message boards to see what other eteamz folks think.
The New Jersey/New York Metro Stars will certainly be the most energetic team on the field.
Reports coming out of the Major League Soccer seem to be that Austrian-based Red Bull���that beverage company largely responsible for the rise in the amount of hyper college students���is on the verge of purchasing the Metro Stars. And in predictable fashion they are planning to rename the team the New York/New Jersey ���Red Bulls.��� Go here to check the entire story on bizjournals.com.
This, of course, is nothing new. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks have been erasing the line between sports and product placement for years. But is there anything wrong with a professional soccer team being named after a drink that is often used to make a cocktail? Is this any different than European soccer teams who have blatant ads on their jerseys? Or is the mascot name a sacred cow that should not be tampered with?
Barry Bonds and steroids--it seems the two have been linked for years. But yesterday an explosive excerpt from the book ���Game of Shadows��� on the Sports Illustrated website provided some pretty strong evidence that Barry Bonds has knowingly taken steroids since 1999.
The real question is not whether Barry Bonds will be admitted to the Hall of Fame. (He probably will���despite these new allegations.) But assuming that Bonds is guilty should his amazing career records���he is currently third on the all-time home run list���be amended or even removed? Should there be an asterix next to Bonds��� records as well as other players of the ���steroid��� era? Or without conclusive evidence should these records remain intact and unblemished?
Click here to leave a comment on this issue. Also check out our softball and baseball message boards to see what other members of the eteamz community are saying.
Also go here to find out the latest info on camps for your favorite sport.
This is another example of how amateur athletics can teach us more about courage and dedication than any professional sport can.
Kristi Yamaoka, a cheerleader for Southern Illinois University, was injured while performing a routine during a game against Bradley on Sunday. She suffered a chipped neck vertebrae as well as a concussion when she lost her balance and fell 15 feet to the floor while landing on her head.
Despite being strapped down to a gurney and unable to move her lower extremities Yamaoka calmed the worried 14,000 in attendance by continuing to cheer with her arms while the school band played the fight song.
The crime of the century has nothing to do with Enron���but instead lies with the injustice done to former Negro Leagues player Buck O���Neill. Last week the Hall of Fame inducted 17 players from the Negro leagues and pre-Negro leagues era yet this list DID NOT include O���Neill���who hit .288 lifetime and was the first black coach in the major leagues. Nobody has done more to promote, celebrate, and keep alive the oral history of the Negro Leagues than Buck O���Neill.
The decision provoked angry reactions from not only hall of famers, like Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron, but also members of congress who threatened to cancel legislation that would have celebrated the inductees. Most surprising is the fact that all of these ballots are kept secret and the identity of the voters remains a mystery. The full article on Yahoo News can be found here.
This story brings up two questions. Should the identity and voting records of secret ballots for things like the hall of fame be revealed to the public? And should the baseball hall of fame take into account more than just statistics���but also factor in one���s overall contribution to a sport?
Mark over at SportzBizBlog has a fascinating article on ���high schools��� that do little more than hand out high school credits for young basketball players trying to get college eligibility. Not only do these ���schools��� rarely have teachers-- and any students other than basketball players-- but they have also formed the National Elite Athletic Association to facilitate shoe company endorsements and television deals which can line many pockets along the way.
Has the AAU phenomenon gone too far in regards to amateur basketball athletes? Should the role of extra-curricular athletic organizations be regulated when it comes to youth athletics? Or should young athletes be afforded the chance to hone their skills in a competitive and structured environment?
The latest eteamz Snapshotz winner: This action photo was taken on February 18th at the Semi-Final game of the Fred Meyer Commissioners' Cup for the Washington State soccer championship for girls GU-11 age group. The girls in blue are the CW Magic soccer team from Camas/Washougal, Washington and the girls in red are the Crossfire Premier 94 soccer team.