Y’all, it may be fleeting, but the NCAA has finally earned a big ol’ thumbs up from me
Who would have thunk it? I question a lot of the decisions the NCAA makes — because as a Mizzou fan, how could you NOT — but they got this right... So right.
So what did they do correctly?
Well, Shams Charania shared this on his Twitter account Thursday morning:
The NCAA will allow student-athletes in all sports to wear social justice statements on their uniforms, including replacing last name with words to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 30, 2020
This is big, and I must say, I LOVE that the NCAA is looking to what pro sports leagues are doing and permitting this. Also, kudos to them for taking it one step further by expanding upon what the student-athletes can have patches for. While the NBA had a pre-determined list of what the players may use in place of their names, and the WBNA as a whole adopted “Say Her Name” for the season, the NCAA is (surprisingly) being more open-ended.
According to the release, student-athletes will be allowed two spots on their uniforms, one on the front and one on the back “to express support and voice their opinions.”
The patch on the front, which most sports already allowed, as authorized by the school or conference, may be a commemorative/memorial patch (names, mascots, nicknames, logos and marks) intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes.
The patch must not exceed 2¼ square inches and must be placed on the front or sleeve of the uniform. While not all team members are required to wear the patch, they must be identical for those who choose to wear them.
So, if I am interpreting this correctly, it sounds like on the front, the patch (if agreed upon to be worn), will be the same among all members of that team.
As for the second location, on the back, the release said:
The second location is on the back of the uniform where the player name is traditionally located and, as authorized by the school or conference, will allow names/words intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes. The names or words may vary by team member.
I LOVE all of this. The patches on the front? Great idea. The chance to really say something on the back of your jersey? Super (expletive redacted) cool. The statements on the back, of course, must be approved by the school or conference, but that doesn’t make this announcement any less awesome.
How does this impact Mizzou athletes, you wonder? Well, we don’t know just yet how they will use this new platform they’ve been given. I would imagine some will utilize this to memorialize family members and close friends who have passed, while others (I hope), will utilize this opportunity to showcase their support and advocacy for similar causes as the NBA players you undoubtedly saw during Thursday evening’s restart. Those included such words/phrases as Education Reform, Freedom, Say Her Name, How Many More, Respect Us, and Enough, as well as countless others.
I am so, so, so, so, so, glad that the NCAA is taking this step, because there’s something just really.... icky... about telling athletes to stick to sports during a time like this.
And I was worried that getting a really late start on the links would leave me with nothing to talk about! I feel like the NCAA delivered this news to me wrapped with a big ol’ black and gold bow with a gift tag reading, “To Karen, You’re Welcome.”
On to the Links! Happiest of Fridays to you all :)
Yesterday at Rock M
- Before the Box Score hosts, Nate the Great & BK, were back with a new and highly enjoyable episode.
- Fearless Leader Sam filled everyone in on the details about the SEC’s plan to cut the non-con games and start the season later.
- Coming up: Josh will have an editorial out later this morning about giving grace to those athletes making the difficult decision to forego this college football season.
- The Athletic ($$): Peter Baugh wrote about how Coach Drink will embrace the new SEC-only schedule.
- Columbia Missourian: Max Baker wrote about Jim Sterk’s discussion of football’s future. The Missourian Staff wrote about the new JUCO lineman addition to the roster— Zeke Powell.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Dave wrote about “Student of History” Curtis Luper, who is leading the experience RB group. He also held his weekly chat!
- Kansas City Star: Souichi covered Sterk’s presser and how the changes to the schedule will provide needed flexibility.
- PowerMizzou/Rivals: Gabe & Mitchell included video and a chat transcript of AD Jim Sterk’s comments from his teleconference. They also chatted about it in a new episode of their Power Mizzou podcast. Mitchell also previewed the wide receivers in his camp preview. Sean Williams covered the edition of Zeke Powell to the roster ($$).
- Local coverage of SEC conference scheduling decision: Adam Cole (Columbia Missourian). Mitchell Forde (PowerMizzou). Dave Matter (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Rilee Stapleton (Trumans Tales/FanSided). Souichi Terada (KC Star).
- Blake Toppmeyer, who USED TO BE A MIZZOU BEAT WRITER, spouted some nonsense on his podcast for the Knoxville News Sentinel about kicking Mizzou out of the SEC. Rude.
- Sam didn’t yet have this information for his post, but here you go— the specifics on buyouts of Mizzou’s “buy games”. I encourage you to check out this whole thread by the Missourian’s Andy Kimball, as it’s got some info on contracts and stuff:
These would be penalties for cancellation for each of MU's noncon "buy game" opponents, according to contracts obtained by the Missourian:— Andy Kimball (@byAndyKimball) July 30, 2020
BYU: $1 million
EMU: $1 million
Louisiana: $1.3 million
- Interesting thoughts from The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel:
Theory: Once fans get a taste of a 10-game conference schedule with few or no buy games, they're never going to want to go back.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 30, 2020
- Cool graphic from Mizzou Football. The graphics department just continues to churn out really top-notch content.
Other Mizzou Sports/ #Mizzoumade Player News
- NBA basketball is back! Torrence had a message for all the guys in the pros.
- Have a night, Jordan Clarkson! Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune, in his game story, called JC (and Mike Conley) integral parts to a new Jazz discovery. So happy for our guy.
- Looks like Coach P’s squad is getting involved in the women’s empowerment challenge that has been taking place on Twitter & Instagram. Love it.
These are some of the best sports stories & tidbits I found regarding some goings-on in sports and the world— Enjoy!
- Nike continues to make the BEST damn commercials. I want to run through a wall.
Nike has released "You Can't Stop Us," the third film in the company's campaign of the same name celebrating athletes of all levels.— Front Office Sports (@frntofficesport) July 30, 2020
The spot, narrated by Megan Rapinoe, features a collective of everyday and elite athletes and debuts to coincide with the NBA's return. pic.twitter.com/5pYfrLMLZh
- Ultra-talented writer (and StL native) Joan Niesen started a newsletter, and it’s really awesome. In this week’s edition, she wrote about where MLB’s health and safety protocols fall short. Do check it out.
- I know I will be checking out the new HBO doc, The Weight of Gold, which premiered Wednesday night and discusses the dark side of America’s most celebrated Olympic athletes. It features the likes of Michael Phelps, Bode Miller, Lolo Jones, and Shaun White, among others.
- St. Louisan, Jayson Tatum, started an initiative with Shaq, called #MyStartingFive, after discovering just how many people didn’t vote in the last election. Basically, they are calling out 5 people on twitter to make sure they are ready to vote. Those 5 people will then call out 5 additional more, and so on. Tatum’s starting five? Aces star A’Ja Wilson, actor Michael B Jordan, Coach K, his Gatorade family, and the Boston Celtics organization. Really great stuff.
- The Undefeated’s news round-up: William C Rhoden wrote a TREMENDOUS piece lamenting the day of the NBA’s return, wondering if they would show up like the WNBA, or would Their talk ring hollow. Marc J Spears wrote about Mike Conley, the Utah Jazz player who’s jersey message he hoped would educate others— “I am a Man.” Brandon Ogbunu wrote how the NBA Bubble is a grand experiment in epidemiology. I highly recommend ALL of them.
- Representative John Lewis — may he rest in piece —penned this essay prior to his death. It was published in the New York Times on the day of his funeral, and it’s really incredible.
- Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote about Tarasenko’s long-awaited return to the ice.
- This gave me chills. I didn’t get to see any of the (re)opening night games because of work (kept an eye/ear on a re-airing of the Lakers game while writing this), but man, this anthem and these players... LOVE TO SEE IT.
- Also thought this was really well done. As someone who used to watch those Wonderful World of Disney specials on the weekends, this was like a familiar little remembrance of my childhood.
- And I’ll leave you with this, sent to me by a friend of mine. As a former teacher, this made me laugh way too much.
government wants to open schools up when there’s kids that cough like this: pic.twitter.com/AWrtklSopz— bossy bottom (@juaan_pp) July 29, 2020
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