Sunday, February 18, 2007

the Big Boss Man | by Jay

A minor development in the Zook story. Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel had a piece about Big 10 commish Jim Delany's comments that "that when it comes to procuring football players his league is more ethical and academically minded than the Southeastern Conference". (The original letter from Delany is a hoot.)

But buried in Wetzel's article was this interesting item:

Meanwhile, Big Ten coaches (not Notre Dame) spent the last six months whispering about the recruiting practices of Illinois' Ron Zook.
This directly refutes what Zook & Guenther said last week to reporters. This also refutes Delany's contention to the NYT (in an unsolicited phone call) that it was "blogosphere smoke" that fueled the rumors. Furthermore, it comports with what we mentioned in the Zook rundown below, that UM had sent letters of complaint to Delany about Zook & Illinois.

Meanwhile, Guenther hasn't released the results of his investigation, the one that IL beat writer Mark Tupper breathlessly exclaimed would exonerate Zook and "point a harsh finger at the real culprit", namely Notre Dame. (We're waiting, Ron.)

If Wetzel is correct, then all the ND-bashing by Zook and Guenther of late is nothing more than a smokescreen meant to divert attention from Illinois. And if Delany is sitting on letters from Big 10 schools complaining of Illinois, then he's complicit in the anti-ND campaign as well. Perhaps he's orchestrating it, circling the Big 10 wagons while pointing the finger at a convenient, common enemy.

Some other timely reading on Boss Delany from Yahoo Sports: "Rose Roadblock", by Dan Wetzel; "Playoff Plunderer", by Josh Peter.