1) It is SATURDAY, APRIL 6. New blogpost coming by late afternoon today, post-golf. 2) R.I.P. Roger Ebert, renowned film critic, dead at 70. 3) Dolphins release framework of preseason schedule. It's Aug. 4 vs. Cowboys in Hall of Fame Game in Canton; Aug. 9-11 at Jaguars; Aug. 16-18 at Texans; Aug. 23-24 vs. Buccaneers; and Aug. 28-29 vs. Saints. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Marlins' fan dilemma poll, Kid Pitino bolts FIU, Herald's 'Heat 25' ballot, Dolphins draft. 5) Join us on Twitter @agregcote.
Click on Griner & The NBA for my most recent column, on why the best player in women's basketball has no shot in NBA and why Mark Cuban's noise about it is a disservice.
'Schulman Surge' continues!: The Herald's massive poll to name the 25 most influential figures in Heat's 25-year existence is underway, and I am encouraging my blog family to rock the vote for otherwise obscure front-office executive Sammy Schulman. Just because! Already, thanks to you, Schulman has surged ahead of the likes of Burnie the Mascot, Bimbo Coles, DJ irie, the Heat Dancers and Antoine Walker. Let's keep the harmless anarchy going! Click HERE, scroll down to vote for Schulman only and tell others to do the same. Power to the people!
RESPONSIBLE? BLAMELESS? WHAT IS SHALALA'S BURDEN IN UM'S NCAA MESS?: I explore this in Thursday's column, which uses as its launch-point the scandal at Rutgers that led to this week's firing of the men's basketball coach. Click on The Buck Stops Where? to read. Penn State's president lost his job over that school's scandal. NCAA president Mark Emmert probably should lose his over the bungling of the UM case. Rutgers' president may yet be fired. But Miami president Donna Shalala (pictured) has received negligible criticism or suggestion of responsibility in the probe that centers on years of wrongdoing by renegade booster Nevin Shapiro. Is that fair? The poll question is specific to Shalala but really delves into the larger issue of how much responsibility college presidents should bear for major problems related to their athletic deprtments. Vote and say why.
UM's risky play with NCAA: Much is being made of UM's official motion to dismiss sent to the NCAA. It was long-expected. What is mostly newsworthy about it , to me, is the risk Miami is taking by focusing its 45-page argument on the NCAA's own "improper acts" during the 2 1/2-year probe in the Nevin Shapiro case. Those improprieties are valid; they happened. But they also are something the NCAA has said did not taint the investigation to a degree it won't go on. The likelihood of this matter being immediately concluded as UM asks is speck-of-sand small. That would be the NCAA admitting to such a botchery of the case that it could bring down president Mark Emmert. Such an admission simply will not happen. Miami's official motion here is more likely to simply anger and tweak the NCAA as it meets in June to mull any further punishments beyond what UM has already self-imposed. I do not blame UM and president Donna Shalala for being aggressive in filing this motion, as long as the very small chance of an actual dismissal was properly considered against the larger risk.
BOSH'S HOME SUSPICIOUSLY BURGLARIZED: Miami Beach police suspect an inside job in Wednesday night's burglary of Heat star Chris Bosh's waterfront mansion that netted thieves some $340,000 in jewelry. Cops are led to that suspicion by the lack of forced entry and the fact traceable items such as Bosh's NBA championship ring were not taken. The crime occured as Bosh and his wife were away celebrating his 29th birthday at a lavish -- and well-advertised -- nearby Moroccan-themed party that featured belly dancers, fire eaters and (not one but) two live camels. Photo from party courtesy atlnightspots.com.
MARLINS SCORE A RUN! MARLINS SCORE A RUN!: [Update: Marlins off the schneid! Beat Mets!] I was holding my breath 'til they did; now I can exhale. The Marlins had never before suffered consecutive shutout losses to begin a season. The previous fewest runs scored over the first two games was 1, in 1996 and 2012. (The fewest scored in the first three games had been 6 in 1994). Game 3 at Washington yesterday found Miami losing again but finally off the scoreless schneid in the top of the 2nd inning on a Justin Ruggiano solo homer. Party! Confetti!
Poll result: Loria animus still strong, but softening slightly: We asked how Marlins fans should feel this season, and it was 62.5 percent for no longer supporting the team because of Jeffrey Loria, vs. 27.9% for still supporting the team despite the owner (with 9.6% undecided). However, in November, the percents were 76.6, 16.4 and 7.0 -- an even stronger anti-Loria/boycott mentality.
KIPER ON DOLPHINS DRAFT: ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, on a conference call this week, asked if he thinks Miami could something "unconventional" with the No. 12 overall pick: "The one unconventional move they made was when they had Matt Ryan [available], they took Jake Long and ended up with Chad Henne in the second round, so they thought they could get the left tackle, then the quarterback, neither of whom are with the team now and Matt Ryan is a franchise quarterback. So that's a move that obviously was critical in this whole equation for the Dolphins. We'll have to see how Tannehill develops. But a D.J. Fluker from Alabama (pictured), who's a right tackle or guard, could be an interesting guy at 12. The guy is as good a run-blocking right tackle as you'll ever find. He would be interesting at 12." [Note: In his latest 2-round mock draft, Kiper has Miami selecting Fluker in first round. His second-round pciks for Miami are Florida State DE Tank Carradine (42nd overall) and Southeastern Louisiana CB Robert Alford (54th)].
DORSEY TOPS UM HALL INDUCTEES: Champion QB Ken Dorsey and teammate Brett Romberg (both 1999-2002) head a list of seven latest UM Sports Hall of Fame inductees who'll be installed in a 45th annual ceremony April 11. Others are Ed Contreras (baseball, 1957-59); Bryan Gilooly (diving, 1994-98); Norm Parson (coach, 1972-2012); Don Soldinger (coach, 1984-88, '95-2006); and Jay Tessmer (baseball, 1994-95). Special congrats to Soldinger, whom I covered during the Jimmy Johnson years. Well deserved, Don.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...