Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Trouble in the Sun: ASU Baseball Controversy

If you're bored in lecture and have 10-15 minutes to spare, take some time to read this well-written and balanced article by ESPN's Elizabeth Merrill and Amy K. Nelson.

If you're in a rush, here's the short version: Arizona State has hired an independent firm to conduct an invesitgation to determine whether controversial baseball coach Pat Murphy has broken NCAA rules. The person who turned in him? Former player, coach and good friend Mikel Moreno, who came forward with "allegations of academic fraud, recruiting violations and other improprieties" after Murphy fired him from the coaching staff (the two differ on the reasons behind the termination).

I'm not sure who to believe -- Moreno, the "bitter 32-year-old valet with fading dreams, an ex-employee bent on taking down a man who's been near the top of his profession for almost two decades" or Murphy, the "creep(y)" coach who ran his program "like a cult" and made fun of players' mothers. My hunch is that the answer lies somewhere in the middle -- Murphy probably did commit a few minor infractions that never would have been discovered had Moreno not had an axe to grind.

The simple fact that a college program is under scrutiny for bending the rules is far from newsworthy. But, I thought this article was too intriguing to overlook. Feel free to leave your take on the situation...

And one more thing: Something tells me this would never happen with Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin and the Hawkins Nine.

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