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Bill Walton is Mistaken- Shaq Does Not Owe Anybody Anything

By Mike Duffy
and Andrew Heitner
Sports Columnists

Greetings from Daytona Beach, Florida, oh loyal readers. Since we were unable to attend the Hooters 200 last week, we trekked down to the Sunshine state in order to catch some of the Daytona 500. We were a bit disappointed with Sterling Marlin's win, however, as we had tix to the victory bash at Dale Earnhardt's. Maybe next year chief. We'll be back in March for Bike Week.

Where does Bill Walton get off making the statement that the Shaq "owes it to the [NBA]" to develop an all-around game and learn how to score with something besides the dunk? First of all, the Shaq doesn't owe anybody anything, except maybe some earplugs so they don't have to listen to his rap music. Secondly, the last time we checked, the dunk was the highest percentage shot made. Thirdly, it's hard to argue with somebody with 29.1 points per game, leading the league. And lastly, if someone could play D on him (besides the entire Western Conference All Star team) and stop his moves, maybe he would learn how to shoot the J.

Bill is just another example of a retired cry baby who uses his position on TV (NBA Insiders) to whine. The fact is most fans would rather see Shaq throw one through and leave a "Rawlings" tattoo on somebody's forehead than see him kiss a baby hook off the glass. With the departure of Magic, Larry, and Michael, the NBA needs someone as powerful and intimidating as Shaq to keep young kids interested and to serve as a role model over other NBA flakes such as Christian Laettner. The only people who should be rooting for The Diesel to learn to shoot free throws and Js are those in Orlando, because if he did, Shaq would bring the crown home to Disney World.

Hats off to the fans at the Games in Lillehammer. Although we thought it could not be done, we have found some people who appreciate a good barbecue (and tailgate) more than us. Seems that a couple of fellas used the Olympic torch one night in order to cook up some sausages. Now, however, Norway officials have beefed up security around the flame (no, not Brian Boitano) in an attempt to keep others from doing the same.

Reason number 10,000 that luge is a ridiculous sport: the races are timed down to the thousandth of a second. With the aid of the Cray supercomputer, your humble scribes have calculated that, at an average of 60 mph, each thousandth of a second represents just over 1 inch. Over an entire luge course, there have to be a large number of factors, other than skill, that can make one "luger" loose one inch to another. When the outcome of an event that random, it is not a sport. The IOC should take the advice of Miller Lite and introduce a bowling ball onto the luge track to really add some excitement.

Although we touched upon this last year, we'd again like to say what a crock it is that a coach can pick up and leave a collegiate program and coach any where a University or professional team will let him, but athletes must sit out a year when transferring schools. We mention this because of the defection of Boston College coach Tom "Turn your head and" Coughlin to the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. The alumni and season tickets holders can complain all they want about how they feel betrayed by the Coach, but the people who really got screwed are the high school seniors who just two weeks ago committed to BC because of Coughlin. These 17- and 18-year-old kids made one of the biggest decisions of their lives based on some b.s. churned out by Coughlin about the rise of the BC program, the commitment he had to the school, blah blah blah. Now, Coughlin is gone, but the kids are stuck at BC. The talk that athletes pick a school based on academics, dorm life, and campus setting in addition to the football coach is ridiculous and naive.

The blue chippers pick a school based on the potential to reach the pros, not because they will live in a coed dorm with coed showers (see Stanford). With Coughlin, BC had a coach capable of churning out NFL caliber players. Now that he is gone, it is anyone's guess who the new coach will be and what kind of offensive/defensive schemes he will bring to the Heights. If the recently signed high school stars change their mind and want to go to, say, Florida State, they must sit out two years before playing any ball (unless BC releases them for their commitment, in which case it would be one year). The NCAA needs to set some sort of rules which allow players the mobility to leave a school if a coach leaves or is fired. Kids who picked the school because of factors other than the coach (as they should) will stay, others will go. But to hold the kids to a different standard than the coaches is wrong - unless the NCAA wants to make coaches sit out a year before coaching at another school.

Chalk this one up under the Wild Wild World of Boxing. The reports we have been getting out of Chicago are that heavyweight boxing promoter Dan Duva has offered Michael Jordan (of the Chisox) $15 million to fight the winner of the championship bout between Evander Holyfield and Michael Moorer. Although His Airness is a great athlete, there is no way he wants to stand in a ring and go toe-to-toe with Holyfield. And although Duva may think this is a good publicity stunt (and an easy payday for Evander), think of would happen if MJ won. It would send the heavyweight division scrambling to rebuild its reputation, much like it was forced to do 10 years ago in the pre-Tyson days. What's next for Michael? We hear that the men's figure skating committee, jealous over the amount of pub the women got with Skategate, are trying to get him to don a tutu and perform his magic on ice. Besides Holyfield/Bo Jackson would be a better fight.

Also in the boxing "say it ain't so" category, word out of LA is that 41-year-old Alexis Arguello is lacing up the gloves again, the next in a series of middle-age fighters to comeback from retirement. It is particularly disappointing to see Arguello returning to the ring because he was such a great lightweight champion, a classy guy who often returned to his home in Nicaragua to spread money to the poor. It is hard to forget the sight of Arguello hugging Ray Mancini after handing Boom Boom his first loss and telling the youngster from Youngstown that he would be a great fighter someday. It is also hard to forget the fight that ended his career, a brutal knockout loss to Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor, one of the best fighters of his time. We wish Alexis nothing but the best, and hope he can come out of this with the tremendous dignity that he always possessed still in tact.

You Heard it Here First

With Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Baylor headed for the Big Eight, and SMU, TCU, and Houston headed for the WAC, look for SMU football coach Forrest Gregg to leave the Mustangs and become the head man for Shreveport's new CFL team. UT, A&M, Tech, and BU will join Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in a Southern division of the Big 8, while Nebraska, Colorado, et al, will form the Northern Division. With BYU and possibly Fresno State on the way to the PAC-10, the WAC needs to get the three SWC leftovers in order to preserve the conference.

Race for Futility

Dale Earnhardt: 016

Patrick Ewing: 014

Despite being a six-time Winston Cup Champion, Dale has yet to win at the Dayton 500. Meanwhile, Patrick looked like he was trying out for the Random Hall D league basketball team as he missed all 14 of his field goal attempts in the first half of Tuesday's game with Seattle.

Simson's Top 4

1. Arkansas

2. Michigan

3. Missouri

4. UNC

Let's Argue Fan Top 5

This one comes to us from Shiang Yeh '92:

1. Cincinnati

2. Xavier

3. Dayton

4. Wright State

5. Miami (OH)

Mondongo's Hueso de la Semana

Mondongo spans the globe this week to present his coveted award to: Ivana Shoshatka of Khazakstan. Shoshatka was on the homestretch of the 15k biathalon, a lock for a silver medal when she fell 10 feet from the finish line. The fall cost her over 5 seconds, and dropped her to 4th place, out of medal contention and into Mondongo's hallowed hall.

Where Are They Now?

Former MIT Hoops Stars

Jay Fraser '89, Mike Casagrande '89, Doug Cornwall '89, Craig Poole '86, Sean Casey '89, Steve Bowdoin '88, Mike McElroy '87, Al Romeo '88, Frank "Trae" Shattuck '90, and Arvind Nayarana '92.

Trivia Question of the Week

Who was the last center to lead the NBA in scoring (for the season)? Send answers, comments, and tapes of the Tonya Harding strip tease to sports@the-tech.

Answer to last weeks' question: Larry Bird, Dale Ellis, Craig Hodges, and Mark Price. Kudos to Bernie Chang '97 and Mike McDermott '92 who got it right. They win nothing.

Rumblings From Around the 'Tute

This just in from Javier Villa '94: "Great column, guys. I liked your Harvard-MIT debate, even though I did not understand all of them. Remember to keep an eye out for the APR Dominos Tournament of Champions coming this spring. I will go with whoever Sir Vix likes in the tourney.

From Will Scruggs '92, our man in the Motor City: "Hi guys. Just wanted to pass on my own Motown kudos to the engineers that built the stretcher that Shawn Bradley was carried out on last week. I mean, the guy is 7'6". What renob even thought of building a stretcher that big? Also, I wonder what the Lions are going to do at QB now since that plug, Erik Kramer, has left for the Bears. Well, that's it. Spank you later."