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Payton pleads case to Goodell, Jayhawks and Wildcats battle for the title

Sean Payton
Photo by Cary Edmondson
Sean Payton
Looks like New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton isn’t quietly accepting his year-long suspension. Payton, along with general manager Mickey Loomis, have filed an appeal for their participation in a three-year bounty system and will fly to New York on Tuesday to give their side of the story. According to the latest ESPN.com article, Payton hopes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will reevaluate his decision to give the harshest punishment in league history. But Payton shouldn’t be too optimistic. Not only did he know about Saints' Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams’ bounty system, but he also lied to league officials when directly questioned. Payton's motivation for appeal seems puzzling as Goodell is unlikely to change his decision. The investigation warranted the tough suspension to send a stern message to the rest of the league of zero tolerance toward injuring opposing players on purpose. Payton should be thanking Goodell his punishment wasn't worse and instead should disappear from the spotlight.

NCAA Men's National Championship

Self and Calipari will butt heads tonight.
Self and Calipari will butt heads tonight.
Tonight's March Madness conclusion between the Kansas Jayhawks and Kentucky Wildcats provides a must-see matchup hoops fans have been dreaming about. Both teams are coached by two of the premier coaches in college basketball, but their reputations couldn't be more different.

Jayhawks head coach Bill Self has transformed his program into a dominant force while avoiding any major NCAA rules violations. Along with winning the 2012 Naismith Men's College Basketball Coach of the Year, he can finish off his great season with his second ever national title. But if you talk to Self he would probably deflect any compliments and attention onto his squad. Kansas was considered an afterthought before the season started but have morphed into one of college basketball’s surprise stories. Its come-from-behind victory over Ohio State should only give it a minor psychological edge. Regardless of the outcome, in the midst of a blatant disrespect of rules and structure in college sports, the Jayhawks have remained one of the last examples of a clean sports program.

The same could not be said for the Jayhawks’ opponent. Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari uses swagger and charisma to keep media and fans glued to every word he says. Calipari has been to two previous Final Fours that were erased because of rules violations. By winning the national title he can finally begin to regain the respect of the basketball community. The Wildcats have the size and skill advantage and are lead by freshman big man Anthony Davis. If the Naismith College Player of the Year can produce another dominant performance in the title game, the Wildcats will be celebrating their first national title since 1998. If Calipari achieves his lifelong dream, hopefully this team will be devoid of any controversy.

 

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SILENT CRUSH/HYDRANT12.3.2014