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Friday, December 16, 2016

The Writer's Life 12/16 - Violets, Gophers, Deacons

Back in the day, late '70's, I played full court basketball every Saturday in the spring and fall at the junior high schoolyard up the street from the old house. I wasn't very good, but it was great exercise. One of the regulars was Joe Nesci, whose love of the game was apparent. He was named head coach of men's basketball at NYU in 1989. Now 60, he's still there. This past week he won his 500th game when the Violets knocked off Brooklyn College 70-67. I don't know if he's ever been tempted to try his luck in the higher divisions. Maybe he prefers coaching true student-athletes. Here's the profile on the school's website: Alma Mater: Brooklyn College '79; Seasons as Head Coach: 29; Career Record: 500-238 (.675); NCAA Championship Appearances: 9 (1992-98; 1994 National Runner-Up, 2012. 2016); ECAC Metro Championships: 1 (2007); UAA Championships: 2 (1993-94): Post-season Appearances: 20 (9 NCAA, 11 ECAC): All-Americans: 1: Coach of the Year Honors: NIT/MBWA (4: 1992-94, 2007), UAA (3: 1993-94, 2012): BCANY (2007). Kudos, goombah.

In other news in college sports: Wake Forest was betrayed by former player, coach and radio analyst Tommy Elrod, who provided game plans to the school's opponents. It was first discovered when equipment staff found detailed information on the sideline as the visiting team's locker room was being set up. An investigation ensued, and Elrod was fired. The only motive suggested is that he was not retained as a member of the Demon Deacons' staff when a new coach was hired in 2014. How unusual if money was not involved... Also in college football, the University of Minnesota recently suspended 10 players. Now the rest of the team is threatening to boycott football activities, including its appearance in the Holiday Bowl vs. Washington St. on 12/27, until/unless the 10 are reinstated. The suspensions reportedly stem from an investigation into sexual assault allegations from September. President Eric Kaler said the decision was based on facts and is reflective of the university’s values. The Golden Gophers were 8-4 in 2016, surprising many experts. Although at least 50-75%, and possibly higher, of the players in major college football are true student-athletes, the fakes and their enablers make the game a farce.

I got a call from an old friend/ex-co-worker this morning. It led to the sale of two of my books, Rising Star and Billionths of a Lifetime. My thanks to Joey K, who now owns all seven of my works. We visited for an hour, reminiscing, passing on information, lamenting the trials of aging. Knowing how big a Yankees fan he is, I brought him a large pictorial on Babe Ruth. It was the least I could do. The look on his face alone made the trip worth it.
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