John Clay

The NCAA and the ACC get one right for a change

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks during a candidate forum in Charlotte, N.C. in June. The NCAA and ACC both announced this week it is moving its lucrative championships out of the state because of the controversial HB2 law,which McCrory supports.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks during a candidate forum in Charlotte, N.C. in June. The NCAA and ACC both announced this week it is moving its lucrative championships out of the state because of the controversial HB2 law,which McCrory supports. Associated Press

Random notes:

▪ It’s not often we praise the NCAA, but kudos to Mark Emmert and Co. and kudos to the ACC for pulling their postseason championships and tournaments out of North Carolina because of opposition to the state’s co-called HB2 law, which limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

On Monday, the NCAA announced it was moving championships and tournament games scheduled to take place in North Carolina. On Wednesday, the Atlantic Coast Conference followed suit, announcing it was pulling its football title game and women’s basketball tournament out of the state.

“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount,” said Commissioner John Swofford in a statement issued by the league.

For those who contend the athletic bodies are crossing over into politics, some matters are bigger than sports. The North Carolina law, which requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates not the gender with which they identify, is clearly discriminatory.

In fact, it was Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski who got it right this summer when he told USA Today, “It’s an embarrassing bill. That’s all I’m going to say about it.”

▪ Meanwhile, the NFL did the right thing not fining players, including former UK linebacker Avery Williamson, for wearing cleats with designs that honored the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

▪ Interesting matchup Saturday featuring Kentucky’s previous two offensive coordinators. Shannon Dawson and Southern Miss (2-0) visit Neal Brown and Troy (1-1). Brown was UK’s offensive coordinator under Mark Stoops in 2013 and 2014. When Brown left for Troy, Stoops hired Dawson as UK’s OC in 2015. After Dawson was let go, he caught on with Southern Miss and then beat UK.

▪ I’ll have to see them in person before declaring final judgment, but my first impression of UK’s new basketball uniforms is not a good one. Not sold on the blue-and-white checkerboard design.

▪ Up the road, Louisville’s players will don chrome red Cardinal helmets for Saturday’s game with No. 2 Florida State. New duds for “College GameDay,” I suppose.

▪ The Reds entered Wednesday night’s game with Milwaukee sporting a 30-25 record since the All-Star break. There is hope for next year.

▪ Little surprised that the Bengals game Sunday at Pittsburgh isn’t NBC’s Sunday night game considering it’s the first meeting between the teams since last season’s dramatic Wild Card playoff game. Instead, Green Bay-Minnesota is the Sunday night game. It is the opening of Minnesota’s new U.S. Bank Stadium.

▪ Earlier this week, I posed the question as to whether UK football’s recruiting classes under Stoops may have been overrated. That brought plenty of e-mails and tweets presenting an alternate opinion: that the coaches aren’t developing the recruits.

▪ Didn’t have room for this in that recruiting column: Carson Wentz did not receive a single scholarship offer from an FBS school coming out of high school. Wentz, who ended up at North Dakota State, was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and in his first NFL game led the Eagles to a win on Sunday.

▪ Kentucky’s defense has allowed 200-or-more rushing yards in six of its last eight games. Since 2011, UK is 2-25 when allowing the opponent at least 200 rushing yards. Kentucky is 17-18 over that same time frame when allowing opponents less than 200 yards on the ground.

▪ Meanwhile, Sunday night, Jimmy Garoppolo stepped in at quarterback for the suspended Tom Brady and led the Patriots to a 23-21 win at Arizona. Garoppolo played his college football at Eastern Illinois, another FCS school.

▪ After high-profile first-week defeats, Ole Miss and Oklahoma get second chances Saturday. Ole Miss, which lost to Florida State, plays host to No. 1 Alabama. Oklahoma, which lost to Houston, plays No. 3 Ohio State. It’s mulligan Saturday.

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