Molto Bravo! Smooge to Italy (and gumbo)

Like a lot of players without guaranteed contracts, E'Twaun Moore is heading over to Italy to sharpen his skills. Moore will have the ability to head back to the NBA if the lock-out ends and the Celtics need him, but he won't be the only American over there as NBA free agents and stars alike are both taking a look across the Atlantic.

Leagues in Turkey, Italy and Greece have all put big dough on the table as an enticement for American-based talent...and some are starting to listen. Granted, Moore's contract will not be one of the larger of the guys that end up playing in Europe, but his experience and guaranteed money are pretty tough to turn down.

People in the front office of the NBA don't seem too worried about players glancing at leagues in Europe...we'll see if the league's general arrogance will continue as the fall gets closer and loss of gametime becomes more and more of a possibility.

Awesome Prognostication, Baby!!
J has been trying to do the impossible via Twitter: Corner Dick Vitale into being somewhat accountable about what he spouts off. Vitale's twitter feed (which I'm intentionally not linking) is a stream of consciousness jumble of words that makes sense about as often as Danny Hope utters a negative word.

So when Vitale's pre-season rankings came out, I didn't cared too much, but J took umbrage at the lack of respect Matty's boys have gotten. I have yet to see a well-known national outlet put Purdue any higher than the mid-20s for next season...and Vitale is no different (I think he has Purdue someplace in the 30s).

Honestly, I love the role of underdog for Matty, Hummel, LewJack, Smith and the suits them quite well as they will surely feed on the fact that no one is giving them a chance to make noise in '11/'12.

Here's to the national media viewing Purdue as little more than an also-ran through the new year and providing bulletin boards full of motivational material for this squad. I'm positive I'm not the only person in this state who can't wait until 11/11/11.

NCAA Prepares to Slap Buckeyes Wrist
There's a lesson being sent pretty loudly by the NCAA in the Bucknut case: You can break multiple rules, hide the infractions, deny hiding the infractions and get minimal punishment...if you're in Columbus.

Many thought aOSU might get the USC treatment due to the fact that their coach thumbed his nose at the NCAA...then the President of the flipping university made a joke about the whole thing...But no major harm done in this case, according to the NCAA. The NCAA's hardline against college sports' cash cows lasted ONE case.

The NCAA gave the Buckeyes a vote of confidence because they didn't have the lack of institutional control that was exhibited in Southern California a few years ago...True- the athletic department and the rest of the administration is pulling the strings.

Let's all remember that aOSU slapped itself with self-imposed sanctions that amount to nothing really...and the NCAA is A-OK with that. The self-imposed punishment is an asinine idea that only exists in college sports.

Pretend for a moment that I stole your car, took it for a joyride and wrecked it while driving drunk. No one else was hurt in the incident...and I felt really bad for my behavior (after leaving the scene before the cops could arrive). A week later, I haul myself into the court, write you a check for the damages to the vehicle, express my regret and tell the judge that I've already began my self-imposed 3 week house arrest...everything would be square, right?

Well in the make believe world of the NCAA, it happens time and time again.

Let's all remember the last time aOSU's football program knew nothing about those violations- They pushed two fall guys out on their ears: Clarett and A.D. Geiger. Tressel was found to be squeaky clean (by some), Clarett was labeled a pariah (after the Buckeye faithful had milked him for a national title)...Geiger forced to resign. After taking some booster benefits like Clarett, Troy Smith was suspended for two games. This more-than-ample punishment sent a message to the QB and allowed him later to blossom into the exemplary student athlete that he became, win the Heisman and follow the tutelage of his ethical teacher, Coach Vest.

So now that the real problems at aOSU, Pryor and Tressel, have been weeded out, the Buckeyes can get back to ethically winning conference and national titles. Don't be surprised after this upcoming 8-win season when a truly ethical and good guy like Urban Meyer is announced as Ohio State's next coach.

Quick glance back at the week

Road Trip Poll Results