June 22nd Jump Off

Remember to submit your choices for the Down the Drive Ring of Honor! You can submit up to 3 players who you think should join the Bearcats elite. You have until July 10th to submit your nominees.

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Bearcat News

Cronin cashes in with new contract - Sports - The News Record - University of Cincinnati
Although Mick agreed to the terms of his new contract, he never officially signed it yesterday. Why the delay? He and the university were probably hashing out the wording of the terms of his actual extension beyond 2014. Having him here through 2017 is important for recruiting as it allows him to tell recruits for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 recruits that they can be assured that he will be their coach throughout their college career. There is one caveat to the contract- on March 26, 2014, when his current contract is up, he has the option of extending the contract pending approval by UC's Board of Trustees. College coaches move around all the time but Mick's loyalty to Cincinnati and the job he has done with his team's academics should get the extension approved by both sides.

Big East title chances: Cincinnati - Big East Blog - ESPN
Andrea has finally gotten to Cincinnati in her Big East title chances countdown. One thing she touches that I wanted to elaborate on a bit more was the amount of depth on the team next year. Matt talks about it with regards to recruiting here. While the defense was gashed last season, the starters were forced to take the brunt of the snaps. As the season wore on, the starters were getting banged up easily, were too tired to finish their tackles, and were overall mentally drained. Solid depth next season, especially at D-Line, means the entire team will perform to their expectations over the course of the entire season rather than the first, say, 5 or 6 games.

Darnell Wilks Selected In 2011 Harlem Globetrotters Draft - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
This is just awesome. First of all, I've never heard of a 'Harlem Globbtrotters Draft' and, secondly, the fact that a UC player was selected is amazing. And of all of the seniors last year, you knew without reading the headline that Wilks was the one chose. He's made some nasty dunks in his career like his perfected windmill dunk and was even able to showcase them in the 2011 Dunk Contest in Houston earlier this year. Those Washington Generals better be ready, because plays like this, this, and this are about to happen.

Former Franklin resident survives illness to reach big leagues | The Tennessean | tennessean.com
Very cool story about Tony Campana's fight with Hodgkin's disease and all that he overcame to make it to the big leagues. Tony probably won't club 30 home runs or 100+ RBI's in a season, but he's one of the fastest players in the majors. He can use that to his advantage at the top of the order if he can just get the ball in play and keep his strikeouts low. When he gets on base, he'll be a threat to steal, which will turn all of his walks/singles essentially into doubles. Getting himself into scoring position will be a big asset to any MLB team.

Recruiting

Vincent Miller 2012 Football Recruiting News - ESPN
Vince was the first commitment last night and seemed to come out of left field- Not to say that's a bad thing. Check out his highlights here. He played just about every offensive position outside of O-Line and looked to play in a similar system as Butch Jones's with designed QB draws and read-options with the HB. He also returned kicks and, while he didn't play it in high school, could wind up in the secondary at UC. One of his biggest strengths, it appears, is his shiftiness in spite of his size- He seems to be bigger than his peers but has fluid hips to out juke a tackler. Overall, he's just an athletic kid that UC will be happy to have.

Lawrence Central S Kevin Brown committed to Cincinnati | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Brown announced his commitment last night a mere 30 minutes after Vincent gave his pledge. Brown holds 13 offers including UC and Indiana. His highlight video is here. Unless a stud shows up for this class, he will likely be the last DB taken in the 2012 class as Bruns, Foster, Jones, and Dale are already in the fold. Brown is from a very solid football program in Lawrence Central and, from his highlight reel, is a solid tackler in space, has good range, and overall has great measurables for a safety, which is where I think he will end up at UC.

Around the BEast

Rutgers Stadium to get new name after N.J. tech company pays $6.5 million for naming rights | NJ.com
For Rutgers, this is a solid $650,000/yr deal for their program, especially after all of the bonds they issued to completely make over the football program. I'm a little surprised they didn't get at least $1 million out of it but $650k isn't chump change. In the broader perspective, it's kind of a shame to see stadiums like these go the corporate sponsor route because of the arms race that is going on in college football now-a-days. I don't know about you, but for no amount of money would I want Nippert Stadium be changed to Proctor & Gamble Nippert Stadium. Oh, and the same goes for Louisville. I'm sorry, but you may be swimming in cash, have a great basketball tradition, and a great coach, but 'KFC Yum! Center' is just stupid as hell.

Darius Ashley gets second DUI - Card Chronicle
I just read the first sentence and started cracking up. I mean, if you're going to get a DUI, you might as well go all out and ram the rear-end of a cop car, right? In all seriousness, though, Darius Ashley appears to have a problem and he needs to figure something out soon before he gets kicked off the Louisville football team. He may already have but he is definitely throwing his life away by be careless when he drinks. I mean, we've all probably had a few too many drinks in our time in college, but to do that and get behind the wheel is just stupid and dangerous.

TCU Horned Frogs thrive in Dallas Cowboys market by going small - ESPN
Really good article about TCU and very relevant to Big East expansion discussions. Now that TCU is in the fold, though, people have been suggesting that the Big East extend an invite to Houston, Orlando, ECU, etc. to capture those teams, markets, and fanbases. They cite that since TCU owns the Dallas-Ft. Worth market, the Big East should look at a team in another city. This article pumps the brakes on that idea, citing that TCU claims itself to be in Ft. Worth but not Dallas, two entirely different cities and markets to TCU fans. This has spurned some fans to propose that the Big East invite SMU, Dallas's in-house university to continue the Iron Skillet rivalry and give TCU a travel partner. More importantly, it would give the Big East a foothold in BOTH the Ft. Worth and Dallas markets.

Around the Nation

FBS programs in metropolitan markets look for ways to coexist alongside NFL franchises - ESPN
I mentioned yesterday how beneficial an NFL lockout will be for UC next season if it continues into football season. This will be beneficial to other schools that share cities with NFL teams like South Florida (Buccaneers), Pitt (Steelers), and Washington (Seahawks). There are tons of challenges that these universities face sharing their market with NFL teams that other schools like USC and Ohio State don't have to deal with considering the people in Los Angeles and Columbus (large cities) respectively put money and time into those teams as if they were an NFL franchise. One things that some universities can leverage against their NFL counterparts is that, for the most part, tickets are cheaper, fanbases are more engaged in the game which gives the game a better atmosphere, and there are so many different nuances to college football plays that the NFL lacks.

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