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Friday, November 25, 2011

CRAWFACTS, Edition 15

Crawfacts is news, notes and commentary on various sports items. Always loves your comments and also do not forget for lots of good college basketball info, please go to
each Wednesday and Sunday night.

Pac 12 Football--- After all the media interviews and hype during the summer about how the Pac-12 would improve their football officiating program, I for one see ZERO improvement. I actually was pulling for a big improvement and fix, but I am just not seeing it. Every week there seems to be issues in at least one game in the league and for sure there are way too many calls, rightfully so, that have to be overturned by the replay booth.

I would not be as concerned, but if you recall, we heard all summer long from the Pac-12 office that things would get better. The poor showing on the field this year by Pac-12 officials, also once again is proof that throwing thousands of dollars at program to make it better does not always work. It is people that make things better often, not money. The Pac-12 still does not have the right people in place, both on the field and off.

And I really have to think the Pac-12 coordinator of football officiating has too much on his plate. Tony Corrente is a respected longtime NFL referee, but he is still working every week in the NFL. Instead of being in the city on Saturday the day before he is working an NFL, he should every week, be at a Pac-12 game live, modern technology or not. Everyone likes to see your boss in person on occasion. And do not kid yourself, at least at present, the NFL when it comes to officiating is a priority for Corrente, only natural in the pecking order.

Even if you do not know one thing about officiating, if you watch football you can just tell the difference between the Pac-12 officiating and how much better other leagues' football officials are compared to the Pac-12. Just watch a Big 10 game as an example, I need say no more.

President's Cup---Is it time to do away with this event in golf? Yes. Is it going to happen? No. As an avid fan of golf and more important the business of golf, this event does nothing for me. The Ryder Cup every two years is special, the President's Cup is just another event and also it is a poor attempt to bring the drama of the Ryder Cup too us. Golf fans and sports fans are smarter than that, they do not like over saturation and they love anticipation. If you asked five golf fans, I bet that only about one of them could actually tell you the score of the President's Cup. I guarantee you that all of those people could tell you the score of the Ryder Cup after completion. Trying to copy events in sports never works and the President's Cup does not work for me. If it were not for Tiger Woods playing, no one would have been watching.

NCAA---It was interesting reading the study on the revenue and profitability of the 120 FBS schools through the years 2004-2009. I ams sure that not much has changed with the 2010 figures. Of those schools only two sports were profitable, football and men's basketball. And even worse, in both football and men's basketball, both were at 57 percent of the schools making a profit. That obviously means that 43 percent out of the 120 schools made ZERO profit in any sport.

Out of the 120 schools, only 14 were in the black for their athletic department. Per my calculator that is 12 percent. In case you are wondering, the average cost of running an athletic department for all of the 120 schools was 10.2 million dollars  per year. The literal bottom line here is that it costs a lot of money to run an athletic program and it is obviously very hard to make a profit.

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As always thanks for reading, greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Awful Announcers---Salaries, Salaries, Salaries

Friday edition of Craw's Corner is now here for you. And please do not forget for college basketball news, every Sunday and Wednesday night, you can read Crawford's Court,

Ok here we go. A couple of weeks past I gave you my top five sports announcers. Boy, I had no idea of the emotion that would stir and all the great comments from everyone, including several people who who wrote to myself and told me who the top five announcers were that they turn the channel. (Do we still turn the channel?) Just checking.

So here are my announcers that I turn the channel and let me know for you. Full disclosure, some of these choices are based on where I live, Oregon, so I happened to hear these people more often, but please feel free to give me your local choices as well.

1. Erin Andrews----Sorry guys she does nothing for me as sports reporter. I have never been impressed with her work and never will be. If you break it down to females, there are probably 12 female reporters at ESPN that are better than Andrews. 

2. Mike Parker---As the voice of the Oregon State Beavers, I love listening to Mike on Beaver football and baseball, but when it comes to basketball, it is an instant channel changer for myself. I do not think Mike understands basketball that much and does not paint a good picture of the game on the radio. It is a good example of why a school should not be afraid to use different announcers for different sports.

3. Rick Sutcliffe---As an analyst for ESPN baseball, all I can say is boring, boring, boring. Has a bad habit of saying the same things over and over again, basically has put me to sleep for years, so I do not listen anymore.

4. John Strong---Oh yes had to get a soccer guy in here. Strong is the voice of the Portland Timbers and I do enjoy watching some soccer, but when the Portland Timbers are on, I have to turn the sound down. Sometimes when I listen to Strong, I am not sure if he is even at the same game I am watching on TV, plus he has a horrible habit of getting way too caught up with the officiating.

5. Rebecca Haarlow--Reporter for Fox, NFL network and Big Ten Network. Not much you can say here, except it takes her five minutes to tell what could be said in one minute, if you are allowed to scream when someone comes on TV, she is a perfect example.

 More important, let me know your five top channel turners, as I know you will.

Moms and Dads, you need to raise your sons and even daughters to be a football coach. Did you see the latest stats on the salaries of FBS football coaches at public universities? Maybe you don't even want to look. Mack Brown at Texas leads the group, 5.2 million per year. Couple other examples, Oregon's  Chip Kelly ranks 12th at 2.8 million and just recently released from jail for drunk driving charges, Missouri's Gary Pinkel comes in at 16th, making 2.7 million.

The average salary of an FBS coach is 1.47 million and even more powerful stat, 64 FBS coaches will make over one million this coaching year. The heck with playing, coaching is not all that bad as well.

A great event with take place Saturday, November 19th, when the NAIA national cross country championships will come to Fort Vancouver, in Vancouver, Washington. Great athletes who strictly compete for the love the sport. Great job by Commissioner Dave Haglund, of the Cascade Collegiate Conference bringing this event to the Pacific Northwest, which really is the running mecca of the United States.

Equally important, a great shot in the arm for Vancouver/Portland area economically, as the event has booked 1,800 hotel rooms. And who said sports on any level does not contribute to the economy.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

NBA Economy and Woods' Future Forever

I sure hope you like the new design of Crawscorner, I spent days developing this with some of the top designers in the world, so it better work (just kidding).

Also, I have gone back and forth on what to do with Crawscorner, as I want to keep this blog going, but also during the basketball season need to spend my time covering D-1 basketball for CSNNW, while not shortchanging Crawscorner. So my final decision and this is final, I will write Crawscorner on Monday and Friday, until the college basketball season ends and cover everything in sports except D-1 college basketball, which you will get plenty of on my Wednesday and Sunday night edition of Crawford's Court at

Ok, let's get started with the Monday edition of Crawscorner.

NBA--- Developing as this is written on Monday, it appears there will not be an NBA season this year and what I have not heard anyone say, if this season is cancelled, there will be a good chance that part of the 2012-13 season could be cancelled. Some points that are important here:

1. As much as most people who care about the NBA want to blame the players and there is plenty of blame to go around for everyone, keep in mind that part of the problem here is the owners gave the players a very stupid deal in 1999, which was not economically sound and was certain to not withstand the test of time and now they want to take a lot of deal back, as they probably should, but easier said than done.

2. Speaking of owners, one difference between this negotiation  this time and compared to the 1998-99 labor negotiations is that David Stern does not have control over the owners this time as compared to the past negotiation. Many of this present group of owners have given Stern fits this time around and we have all experienced it in life, when big egos get involved, it can only create nothing but misery.

3. I get a kick out a few college economic professors who are saying that the NBA lockout will have very little impact, if any on the economy. Just glad I never  had any of  them as professors. One very small, small example, but it gives you some idea of what a labor stoppage can do for anyone associated with the stoppage. Official scorers in the NBA average making about $100.00 per game. Each scorer on average probably works a 50 game schedule, when you throw in playoffs and exhibition games, so let's figure they make on average $5.000 per year. Even dividing that in half, considering taxes and possible savings, that is $2,500 in 30 cities that would more than likely go directly back into the economy.

Now before you think I have lost it, the above example is one which shows how the "little people" in this horrible mess lose out. But the bigger picture is that when you multiply this example by thousands, which is an accurate picture, how can this NBA lockout not have a big bearing on the economy. Heck, I didn't even start to think about players and what they might be spending. So yes, this lockout will hurt an already stagnant economy, just no way around it.

(NOTE: Speaking of the "little people", for most of these people this is a second job or a job that helps supplement social security. It is a proven economic fact that most people who work second jobs, spend most of that income and it goes directly back into the economy. Enough said.)

Tiger Woods---In my lifetime I have never seen a bigger fall in sports than Tiger Woods and I am not not talking about the off course stuff (which he was totally wrong) and all the cutbacks in his endorsements. I am talking about Tiger's ability as a golfer. He is not even close to being the same golfer as he once was, which can be somewhat  expected as to what he went through, but not to show any signs of life in his game is disturbing.

I am a Woods fans, always have been, I loved his dedication, work ethic and wanting to bury the competition in a manner never seen before in sports, even greater than Michael Jordan. But in this case it seems that Tiger Woods never will be able to overcome his character flaws..... the fire and game is gone.

With all that said, I think the upcoming President's Cup matches will tell us everything on whether Tiger Woods will ever be back as a golfer. These matches will either destroy his game forever or will give him the confidence to get back to his old self. Woods loves playing for his country, so he will give it his all, he has plenty of friends to be around for several days, which at this time he more than ever needs a support system and he loves match play.

While many may not even care about the President's Cup, being a lover of golf, I will be paying close attention as this lone event could determine the total golf future of Tiger Woods. If he plays great, then he is back, if he lays an egg, we may never see him as a factor in golf again. Not to mention most people did not even think he should have made the team, so he has a golden opportunity to prove many wrong.

These three days, will be the most important three days in the entire history of Tiger Woods' golf career. I hope it turns out great for him and for the betterment of golf. I can forgive most and golf more than ever needs Tiger Woods.

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And as always for college basketball coverage, Crawford's Court,

Monday, November 7, 2011

Craw's Corner: CRAWFACTS

Here we go with another edition of Crawfacts, news, notes, opinions and whatever else you would love to call it. Of course for all the latest college basketball news,  please check in every Wednesday and Sunday at

Congratulations---- Two people I have known for a longtime, should be very proud this week. Greg Barton's son Taylor, who does such a wonderful job with his football camps, is getting married in Hawaii tomorrow. Tough duty, but congrats to the entire Barton family and Taylor great place to have a wonderful day in your life.

Also congrats to the Warkentien family, as the regular season in college basketball gets underway, Kreigh Warkentien will begin her duties as the director of basketball operations for UNLV men's team. It is good to see more women getting involved on the men's side of college basketball coaching/operations. Of course I am sure Kreigh has picked up few tips along the way from her famous father, Mark, longtime NBA executive and at present the director of player personnel for the New York Knicks

Tony LaRussa---- As I have stated before, for the past 15 years, year in and out, Tony LaRussa has been the best manager in baseball. I also do not feel that he will stay retired very long, despite all the talk will stay retired. I say he will be back in baseball soon, he is for sure not going to practice law, so at this point baseball will never leave him. It is also my hope that no one in sports media hires LaRussa. He was at best a boring interview and often very snarly with the media. He had the right to conduct himself the way he wanted, but at the same time don't turn around and give him a job in profession he has pretty much zero respect for.

NBA Lockout---- I have followed the NBA closely for 51 years. I have to say this lockout is getting to me and I have lost respect for everyone. To hear some players say that we are so important we need to be paid what get, is just about too much for this fan of all of basketball. I have never been a person who has worried about what people get paid, but some things I have heard lately are disturbing to say the least. And while I am at it, the owners do not get a hall pass here either, they are ones who gave the players the deal that they now want adjusted and basically shredded. Both owners and players, shame on you. As well, how many people in the world have not taken a 12 percent pay cut in the last three years. Note to players, you make on average 3-5 million per year, a space shuttle astronaut makes on average $71,500 per year. Players, realize what you still have and come to your senses.

Oregon Sports Hall of Fame---- As you prepare for the class of 2012 next fall, do the right thing and after missing a year, please induct all of these famous sports official/referees. Al Lightner, Frank Buckiewicz, Terry Gierke, Vern Marshall, Terry Durham and Dale Scott. These six people should have been in the hall of fame in Oregon, long before this and I might also add should have gone into the hall of fame prior to the two sports officials the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame have  already inducted. That is water under the bridge, but the bridge can always be adjusted, it is never too late. This blog is read nationally, so I put this in today's column, because all six of the people I mentioned are known nationally and sometimes internationally. All represented Oregon with dignity and class and Scott who is still working, does the same. Get off your high horse Sports Hall of Fame and bring your organization into the 2000s. Officiating his a huge part of sports and why deny men and in the future many women, who have done themselves proud and represented the state of Oregon famously.

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And please do not forget the next edition of Crawford Court, will be out, Wednesday night, November 9th.

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Thanks for reading this.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Are These Guys The Greatest Five?

For all the wonderful and great readers, please do not forget that for all the latest college basketball news, please go over and look at my coverage, Crawford's Court, which will come out every Sunday and Wednesday night.

In the meantime, not to worry, I will continue to write Crawscorner, three times per week, on variety of sports subjects. The bottom line here, your readership is greatly appreciated and not ever forgotten. Now for today's topic and I sure hope you will weigh in on this for sure, as it creates lots of thoughts and memories.

Just who are the five greatest sports announcers of all time. Here are my top five and as always I am totally correct. NOT.

1. Vin Scully--No one can even come close to the the great Vin Scully. If you had to pick one guy to do the last sporting event ever held, he would be the person. He has just signed on to his 63rd year of doing Dodgers baseball and on November 29th Scully will turn 84 years old. Most people would just love to be 84, let alone calling major league baseball on a high level. If you listen to Scully doing Dodger games, he sounds like he is 35, he has not missed a beat all these years. It is also important to note, when Scully had time he was terrific doing NFL football games and did an awesome job as the lead announcer for many years on NBC golf. A total gentleman and total credit to sports. Sadly, we never get to hear much from him as he does very few, if any interviews, of which I am sure we could learn lots.

2. Dick Enberg---Smooth as silk, famous for the great line, "Oh My". He has done it all in sports and is still going strong into his 70s. Who can ever forget Dick Enberg, doing UCLA basketball in the 70s, wow what memories. His work on tennis is great nowadays, as has been his skill in calling baseball and football over all these years. I met him once, what a gentleman and I interviewed him once on the radio and one of the top five people I ever interviewed. (For the record, Chi Chi Rodriguez was the best person I have ever interviewed.)

3. Dan Schulman--Perhaps a surprise pick for many, but it was an easy pick for myself. Schulman is the  ''voice" of ESPN. Great on Sunday night baseball and great on NBA/NCAA basketball. Schulman is the Michael Jordan of sports announcers. He makes everyone around him look much better than they are indeed. There are just some people in life that are a "cut above" and Schulman is a perfect example. He might not have the star power of other announcers, but if you listen to him, he is a superstar.

4. Dick Vitale--Think what you want of him, but no one can dispute the fact that Dick Vitale made college basketball on TV. The state of Oregon's own Tom Jernstedt made March madness what it is today and Dick Vitale is solely responsible for the huge popularity of college basketball on TV. When Vitale goes to a college campus, he is bigger than any rock star. I also have to give him credit, the greatest marketing person for anyone is yourself and he is the greatest self promoter in sports. Also, always has time for the "little guy". A lost art.

5. Brent Musburger--- Born in Portland, Oregon, actually wanted to be a professional baseball umpire. Brent continues to excel and once again living proof your life is not over once you are in your 70s. People that have worked with Brent Musburger either from a production side or as an analyst all say the same things, they learn much from him and he is totally a team player. All of this is great, but in my mind he has sustained the test of time, he is still outstanding after all these years of doing his craft.

Let me know your thoughts please, and please follow myself on twitter @wchoops.

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