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Class of '66 Old Fart

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  1. Like
    Class of '66 Old Fart reacted to IndyHutch for a article, Analysis: The significance of a 4-0 start   
    The last time Indiana was 4-0 in football, Operation Desert Storm was just beginning as the United States and the UK sent troops to Kuwait.
    Some of the popular films were Home Alone, Ghost, Pretty Woman and The Hunt for Red October.
    A gallon of gas cost $1.34.
    And it had only been three years since Indiana had last won a national championship in basketball.
    The point is being 4-0 is significant for the Hoosiers. And after hanging on to beat Wake Forest 31-24 Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C., Indiana is 4-0 for the first time since 1990.
    And 4-0 is a significant milestone for Indiana football. Now the Hoosiers just have to take care of business from this point on and IU fans will have the opportunity to watch their team play football beyond Dec. 1 for just the third time in more than 20 years.
    Quick quiz: What are the two years since 1994 where Indiana has played football beyond Dec. 1? The answer: 2001 and 2007. The 2007 season was the Insight Bowl. The 2001 season was when the IU-Kentucky game was postponed because of 9-11 and played in the first week of December. That game was also noteworthy because it was Cam Cameron’s final game at IU.
    But I digress.
    For as long as I can remember everyone has always had the same formula for Indiana football. Win your four non-conference games and find a way to win at least two Big Ten games and you’ll go to a bowl game.
    Take a look at IU’s final eight games of the regular season and it appears there are two or three games that IU should be favored in. Rutgers, Maryland and Purdue, you would think any way, would be games that IU could win.
    And there are other games where the Hoosiers should have a chance to pull off an upset.
    But once again, none of it matters at all if Indiana isn’t 4-0 heading into next week’s game against top-ranked Ohio State.
    Saturday, from my birds-eye view from the radio booth at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, I thought Indiana looked particularly impressive for three quarters against Wake Forest. The fourth quarter I felt that the IU defense had a couple of miscues, the IU offense got ultra conservative and Wake Forest made a couple of big plays, none bigger than recovering the onsides kick.
    But I keep going back to one thing that is different about this Indiana football team compared to the other 17 seasons in which I’ve covered the Hoosiers.
    This team finds a way to win instead of finding a way to lose.
    No one is going to pretend that any of the four Indiana wins to date have been a thing of beauty. But no one is also going to argue that in year’s past Indiana would have found a way to lose at least one of these games and maybe more.
    But this Indiana team just keeps winning.
    Jordan Howard continues to be a beast. Nate Sudfeld continues to make enough plays. And the defense has done enough good things. Six sacks and constant pressure Saturday were something we haven’t seen a lot of out of IU for a long time.
    And the Hoosiers just keep winning.
    Now Indiana plays Ohio State Saturday at Memorial Stadium in a great situation for the Hoosiers to be in. Lose and everyone expected you to lose. In fact, I’ll be surprised at how many people will go out on a limb and pick the upset this weekend. But win and the momentum in this football program would be as high as it has been in decades.
    The most important thing I think most Indiana fans are hoping for next Saturday is that the Hoosiers can be competitive. Hang around, have a chance in the second half, and most of all don’t let it be a blowout. If those things happen I think most Indiana fans would be pleased.
    And it wouldn’t hurt if GameDay decided to come to Bloomington either but I’m not holding my breath there.
  2. Like
    Class of '66 Old Fart reacted to IndyHutch for a article, Analysis: Another alcohol related incident with IU basketball? Really?   
    At some point it gets ridiculous.
    But I really thought “at some point” was the last time all of this transpired.
    And yet here we are again with the latest news that Emmitt Holt and Thomas Bryant were cited early Friday for possession of alcohol.
    I get that kids will be kids. I have two sons of my own. One has been out of college for two years and one is a senior in college this year.
    I know that a lot of alcohol is consumed by people under the age of 21 on college campuses and everywhere else for that matter.
    I get all of that. What I don’t get is how Indiana basketball players continue to put themselves into harm’s way. At some point, given all that has transpired in just the last 18 months with the Indiana basketball program, these guys HAVE TO BE SMARTER than this.
    The IU athletic department put out a release around 5:30 p.m. ET Monday saying that they were aware that Holt and Bryant had been cited. They said they were in the process of gathering all the information.
    Here is a definite with this situation: People are going to be quick to point the blame at Tom Crean and the IU staff. They’re going to blame the culture. They’re going to say that not enough is being done to make these guys realize how bad this looks for the program.
    But at some point the buck has to stop with the individuals themselves. At some point, the accountability has to end there.
    You would have thought that the announcement on May 15 that both Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis had been dismissed from the program for “not living up to their responsibilities to the program” would have been all the wakeup call that these guys needed.
    The dismissal came shortly after Davis was cited for possession of marijuana when police came to his dorm room. Mosquera-Perea was not cited but was in the room at the time.
    But obviously dismissal from the team wasn’t enough of a deterrent. And that’s the most frustrating thing here. At some point, you have to ask the question ‘What is enough of a punishment?’
    Probably the most disappoint thing here is to see that Holt is once again involved in an alcohol-related incident, no matter how small or minor some may think this may be.
    It was less than a year ago that Holt was behind the wheel when Davis was struck by Holt’s vehicle on the morning of Nov. 1. Davis suffered a serious head injury that cost him the 2014-15 season. Holt was cited in that incident for illegal consumption of alcohol, a misdemeanor, and for operating under the influence of alcohol under the age of 21. Holt’s blood alcohol number was under the legal limit but since he was under 21 what is legal was a moot point.
    Holt was suspended for four games – the two exhibition games and the first two regular season games.
    And so that’s what makes today’s report even that much more troubling is that it happened again, so soon, to Holt.
    I can’t repeat enough that I understand possession and consumption of alcohol by minors is something that happens daily on college campuses.
    At the same time, these are not your average college students. These are students who are generally already under the microscope any way but in the case of Indiana basketball players it’s as if a high-beamed spotlight follows them around everywhere they go. They have to know that people are watching their every move and yet somehow, someway these things continue to happen.
    Are they being set up somehow by other students? It’s a conspiracy theory but probably one that needs to be considered. Or are they just not careful and allowing themselves to be put in the wrong situation?
    At some point this has to stop.
    At some point it gets ridiculous.
    The reality is “at some point” has long since come and gone.
    What am I missing here?
  3. Like
    Class of '66 Old Fart reacted to IndyHutch for a article, Here we go again   
    Here we go again.
    I may have a different address for the third time in a four-year span, but I’d like to think I’ll still be able to provide you with the high level of Indiana athletics coverage that I have in the past as I begin my new venture today with BtownBanners.
    Frankly, I'm just happy that we're official. I was following the message board thread this week that said a big announcement was coming on Friday and I have to admit the comment inquiring about if the announcement was going to be held at Ruth's Chris brought a smile to my face. To quote Larry the Cable Guy, I don't care who you are ... That's funny.
    But it's official and it's time to hit the ground running. Jason Eadie made me a business partner with the idea that I could bring solid content to this site. As this is my 18th season covering Indiana football and basketball I’m confident that I’m right man for the job.
    My first 15 seasons covering IU were with the Indianapolis Star. The last two years I worked alongside Justin Albers as the site publisher covering IU for the Scout.com site, AllHoosiers.com. In those 17 years, I covered the final two seasons with coach Knight, all six with Mike Davis, the two seasons that became known as the Kelvin Sampson mess and now the last seven with Tom Crean.
    Five times I have been named Indiana’s Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. I’ve written five books and I have two more that will be out this fall, both on IU basketball. Of those seven books, six have been on IU subjects, two on football and four on basketball. I also did the updated version of the Indiana University Basketball Encyclopedia that was originally written by Jason Hiner in 2004.
    That collective body of work has left me confident in one particular claim: I know Indiana football and basketball.
    I think what I bring is perspective. I’ve been on the beat longer than anyone is this market and I have a ton of sources. I used to see that bumper sticker with the rather shallow slogan, “He who dies with the most toys wins.’’ As a journalist, I’ve always believed you could tweak that to read “He who dies with the most sources wins.’’ And my point is I've got lots of IU sources.
    My hope is to be a voice that you’ll want to read on a regular basis. Sure, we’ll give you the nuts and bolts game coverage that everyone else has but I plan to take on more of a columnist role in this position where I give my takes and opinions on the situation at hand. If the story is that Indiana is about to enter a contract where it will play a certain school in an annual rivalry for example, my story will be more focused on why it is or isn’t a good idea.
    If Indiana signs a hotshot recruit, I’ll do my best to put that pickup in the proper perspective. The point is that I plan to have a take and sometimes you’re going to agree with me and sometimes you’re going to think I’m way off base. But that’s the kind of give and take relationship that writers have with their readers and it’s a relationship that I’ve enjoyed in my previous stops and I’m sure that will be the same here.
    I do have one request though and when I’ve said this in the past I’ve had colleagues tell me I was crazy to throw this out there. But feedback is crucial and engagement on your part is equally crucial for a site like this to be successful. I know you guys have a strong message board community and I hope that only gets stronger in the years to come. But I also hope that the content we can provide will give you more things that you want to talk about, or debate or agree or disagree with me on.
    That’s the formula that can take a site like this one to the next level.
    One other thing. If any of you had sights set on contributing content this year just know that's still a possibility. I'll be assembling a group of contributors that I hope to count on regularly on the site. I'm going to want some people for football and at least one for soccer. Obviously I'll want people to contribute for basketball as well as baseball. If you have another sport that you'd like to contribute for IU athletics let me know that, too. I'll be in charge of content which means I'll edit everything before it goes up on the site. That just guarantees that we have a level of professionalism in what we do. But I'm hoping to get several of you on board on the contribution end. If college kids want to use it as an internship that can work, too.
    I’m looking forward to the challenge of being a voice for BtownBanners and to provide the level of coverage that I’ve hopefully provided over the past two decades. I look forward to getting to know many of you better.
    Here we go again.

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