The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

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Star QB Ben Roethlisberger is in his third scrape since joining the team as a rookie. First there was the motorcycle accident that cost him a chunk of the preseason and slowed him early in 06. At the time he was not wearing a helmet. Most teams have included in their contracts a prohibition of “dangerous” activities for key players. Those conditions usually include riding motorcycles.

Then last year he was accused of sexual battery by a woman in Las Vegas. The woman was a worker at a casino and reportedly was asked by Roethlisberger to come to his room and fix a TV. She claims that Roethlisberger prevented her from leaving the room and forced her to have sex. The woman in that case did not go to a hospital or immediately inform police of the incident. According to reports, the woman decided against filing a criminal complaint but did file a civil suit against the QB. While Roethlisberger insisted he had done nothing wrong, there was a confidential settlement, presumably including a payment of some sort, with his accuser.

Again this off season, a 20 year old college student has accused Roethlisberger of sexual assault that reportedly occurred in a ladies bathroom in a bar in Milledgeville Georgia. The QB has a home in the area. This time the accuser both reported the alleged attack immediately and got treatment in a local hospital. The police took a report and are investigating. The police have requested a DNA sample from Roethlisberger.

Reportedly, there was video tape coverage of everything that happened or did not happen in the area of the bathroom. However, that tape mysteriously got taped over before it could be viewed by local police despite the fact that the bar security guy told a local TV station that they do not recycle tapes. Another twist to the story is that Roethlisberger was accompanied to the bar by 3 lawmen including 2 off duty Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol officers and a local deputy sheriff that was on duty at the time. It was the latter that took the original complaint from the accuser.

Steelers WR Santonio Holmes has been accused of assault by a Florida woman. She claims that he threw a glass of alcohol in her face on March 7 at the Rain Night Club in Orlando. While Orlando police refused to take a report, she has filed a civil lawsuit. Art Rooney 2 issued the following statement: “We are disappointed to learn about the recent incident involving Santonio Holmes in Florida. While we are continuing to gather the facts, I cannot comment further until we have more information and have spoken to Santonio and his representatives.” Reportedly Holmes offered the woman some money but nothing was paid to her at the time. Now the suit asks for 15K which is not a lot of money given his income.

We don’t have much more information about this incident but the issues that the Steelers are facing point out two things. First, every team in the league is more worried about their players doing something stupid in the off season than getting hurt in the off season OTAs. Of course that does not apply to Mangini allowing a player to run a contact drill without shoulder pads like he did with RB Davis last year.

The Steelers have been known as a high character and tight discipline team. We have not seen this from Pittsburgh before. So why now?

Frankly, it has nothing to do with Pittsburgh. The entire world has very little discipline or good judgment. Just look at the pinheads we send to Washington. A regular part of any sports broadcast could be devoted to the police blotter. Sports, politics, movies and music stars all seem to be lacking judgment. So what is the common factor? Youth.

The combination of a lot of money and a lack of age and experience can be a dangerous. Every pro league has this problem. Not only are very young rich men likely to put themselves in questionable situations but they are targets for anyone looking for a quick buck. As the economy gets worse, players are going to have to realize that more and more non-players are looking for just that kind of opportunity. There are also a gaggle of money hungry ambulance chasing lawyers that will talk accusers into filing a suit.

Players have to show better judgment than to put themselves in a situation where they are alone with women or in a position to be accused of inappropriate behavior. I can not understand why at his age he would be going to a college bar and inviting co-eds under 21 back to a VIP room for free drinks. What part of that seemed like a good idea at the time? If he showed that same kind of decision making on the field, he would be a 3rd string QB.

All pro leagues need to do a better job reminding players not to put themselves into these kind of situations. Unions need to be reminding players as well. DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA and his counterparts in the other player unions need to not only make annual presentations to the rookies but also to the vets. Parents should have taught their kids better as well.

None of us know what happened in any of these cases or who is telling the truth and who is not. Thank God in the US everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But the leagues, teams and the players take PR hits any time something like this happens. Given the future financial struggles of pro sports, no team can afford to lose even a few fans due to accusations of bad behavior.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think and thanks for checking our site out.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: Roethlisberger,NFL,DeMaurice Smith,Holmes,Steelers. lawsuit,Georgia,sexual assult,NFLPA,off season,preseason
  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 27th, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Niblets for March 2010–We're BACK!

Niblets for March 2010–We're BACK!

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Best comment of the month: “The retired NFL players are pawns in the CBA negotiations.”

by Marvin Cobb on Mar 19th, 2010

Well said, Bill. Thank you for speaking up for us old timers, as we continue to find our voice and stand up for ourselves. The Independent Advocates for Retired Players are gathering for the second year in a row in Las Vegas next month to educate and inspire our fellow former players to find our voices and stand up for better pensions and a reformed disability system that takes into account our unique health challenges. Again, thank you for your support.

I really appreciate all the comments we get. Your comments keep me writing this site. Marvin, I can not add anything to what you have said. Too often both the owners and active players seem to forget that it was the Jim Browns and thousands of other players that have made the game what it is today. Had it not been for them, the current guys would not be getting anything close to the money they enjoy.

 

Updates on previous columns:

What does the Williams’ case mean for the NFL’s drug policy?

We should know in 6 weeks the outcome in Minnesota state court. Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson has set an April 2nd deadline for both sides filing their final briefs and said that he would have a decision within 6 weeks of that date. On the line is every professional and college sports drug policy in the country. While this one judge will not be the final arbiter, it will one side the advantage of precedence.

American Needle v. NFL

We are still waiting for the decision of the US Supreme Court on this case. If the NFL loses the entire nature of professional leagues will be changed. We will keep you advised.

Does the NFL need to change the overtime rules?

The rule change was approved 28-4. That sounds very close to the vote on the last Collective Bargaining Agreement (30-2) and look how nicely that turned out.

The retired NFL players are pawns in the CBA negotiations.

Hopefully the new CBA will include more for the retired players. I have outlined DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA’s options on dated March 18th. I outlined the leagues options and what a 2011 season without a CBA might look like in the article dated March 22nd. Check that out.

 

Niblets fresh from the cob:

Cleveland goes 19-0 and wins the 2010 Super Bowl–kind of.

Unfortunately that was not the Cleveland Browns, it was my Sportsims.net Cleveland team in the Elway League. If you are missing fantasy football, try a free league at Sportsims.net. It lets you trade players and draft choices, draft, and play a season a month. It’s great fun and it is absolutely free.

The nature of the 2010 NFL Draft

“It was the best of times and the worst of times.” No, I am not rewriting the great novels of history but this draft is exactly that. There are not a lot of big school top picks or the traditional senior “name brands” that the casual fan will recognize in this draft. Part of that is because there are so many juniors coming out this year. But this draft is the deepest draft I have seen in the last 10 years. Understand that I have been studying the draft since 1960 so I am kind of new at this.

The D prospects are particularly deep with a lot of small school guys that are outstanding prospects. Check out my “under the radar” columns in the NFLDraftDog.com blog area for the guys that I think will be real steals in the later rounds of the draft.

The NFL teams are taking advantage of the uncapped year.

Teams have used this uncapped year to eliminate bad contracts for overpaid players and cut their total salary liability. 12 teams are now under the 2090 minimum salary and more are headed there soon. DeMaurice Smith once said the NFLPA would never agree to a salary cap in the future. He is now preaching the value of a salary cap. That shows us all how much the economic downturn has impacted the teams.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Draft prospects,DeMaurice Smith,NFLPA,Collective Barganing Agreement,NFL Negotiations,2010 NFL DRAFT,Rule changes,CBA,union,Independent Advocates for Retired Players,Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson,American Needle v. NFL,Super Bowl,Sportsims.net,NFLDraftDog.com

The Bengals will go as far as their O takes them.

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Last year, the Bengals D improved as the season went on. The problem was the loss of pro bowl QB Carson Palmer. Palmer is back and from all reports looks as good as ever. That is not good news for the rest of the AFC North and the league.

Without an NFL quality passing game last year, the Bengals relied on their running attack. And after they picked up former 1st round pick HB Cedric Benson. Benson looked much better in a Bengals uniform than he did in the Bears garb and that isn’t easy. If he is really as good as he looked last season, with a passing game to share the load, he could be a major factor for the Bengals this year.

Palmer will have a steal to throw to in ex-Jet Laveranues Coles. Coles has some speed left but his real value is opening up the under routes to free the Chad formerly known as Johnson to catch the deep ball.

The big question on O for the Bengals will be the line. There will be 3 new starters including first round pick RT Andre Smith plus last year RT Andrew Whitworth moves to the left side. The replacements look fair at this point. If they come together, the O will be solid. If not, Palmer will have to rely on his pocket awareness to keep him upright and healthy.

The D improved on stopping the run but like so many other teams, they lack an above average pass rush. There is some indication that the pass rush will be better this year. If Robert Geathers is healthy after his surgery and Tank Johnson keeps his head on straight, the D line should generate more pressure.

The linebackers should be better with the return of OB Keith Rivers and the development of MLB Dhani Jones. Rookie USC LB Rey Maualuga is the wild card. If he gets a chance, he could be a force on first and second down. He will have to figure out how to cover receivers unless he is the designated blitz linebacker on passing situations.

The addition of ex Cowboy SS Roy Williams will help against the run but can get burned covering receivers. That is the reason he is no longer wearing the star on his hat. The corners improved last year and have recovery speed to make up for mistakes in coverage. They also play the run better than most CBs. FS Chris Crocker is physical but struggles at times in coverage.

The Bengals look much better than last year and should easily win more than the 6 games that Las Vegas projects them to get.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Bengals,Coles,Jets,Johnson,Cowboys,Geathers,Williams
  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 16th, 2009
  • Category: College Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on My thoughts on betting the NCAA Tournament—For entertainment purposes only!

My thoughts on betting the NCAA Tournament—For entertainment purposes only!

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Fryingpan Sports

My thoughts on betting the NCAA Tournament—For entertainment purposes only!

By Bill Smith

There are some basic principles for selecting winners in your office pool. The goal for most guys is to at least be able to place higher than the secretary that makes her picks based on the team colors. Here are 10 thoughts to consider before making your picks.

  1. The committee has watched more college basketball this year than I have and I am willing in most cases to honor their ranking. Picking upsets is a road to last place in the pool. When in doubt, pick the higher seeded teams.
  2. If you are going to pick upsets, check out the 8-9 games. The one place you can statistically find upsets in the 8-9 game. The 9 has won more than 55% of those games over the last 20 years.
  3. Don’t worry about top seed teams that lost early in their conference tournament. Somehow, I don’t let North Carolina falling in the first game of their league tournament worry me. A team’s performance in their league tournament statically has very little to do with how they do in the Dance. Syracuse played their hearts out in the Big East tournament and exhausted themselves. Don’t be surprised if they go out on the first weekend.
  4. After the first weekend, beware of the one man team. Great players no longer stay in college 3 or 4 years for the most part. As a result, there are a lot of 1 star teams. Bet bench strength and multiple scorers. History tells us that one man teams get in deep trouble in at least a game or two when that guy, particularly a C or PF, gets into early foul trouble and has to sit. Worse yet, even a big guy can get hurt and miss games. Besides, it is much easier to stop one guy than 3 or 4.
  5. Live by the 3 point shot, die by a cold shooting night. Teams that rely on 3s for a large percentage of their scoring will have a cold night. They traditionally don’t make it to the final four.
  6. Offense comes and goes but Defense is more reliable. Great offensive teams can go cold all in the same game. D is based on effort and is drilled into teams from the first practice of the season by some coaches. D focused teams are much more likely to win games where they shoot poorly than high scoring teams. Louisville is a perfect example of a D focused team.
  7. Bet on the point guard over the center. The tournament is a point guard friendly affair. A great PG gets the ball to the hot shooter and can make up for a bad game by a big shooter.
  8. Listen to the experts. Watch ESPN, and listen to Sporting News and ESPN radio for expert analysis of the field. They are paid to watch and evaluate the field. They see more games in person than the average fan sees on TV all season. Take their advice.
  9. Check out who Vegas thinks will win. Those guys bet their jobs on their picks because if they are wrong, it costs their employer a lot of cash. They know a lot more the we do.
  10. Third time’s the charm. Fill out a bracket and put it away for a day. Then fill out another. Then pick the best picks from both of those two for your “official” bracket. Save all three. Next year, see if your first impressions were better than your over thought picks.

Good luck and if these thoughts make you money, I have a Pay-Pal account and all donations are gratefully accepted.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: NCAA,College Basketball,Syarcuse,Tournament,Big Dance,upset,seeds,Los Vegas,final four,national championship,Louisviiie

Introducing the United Football League

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Fryingpan Sports

Introducing the United Football League

UFL

By Bill Smith

No professional football in Los Angeles? There will be soon—maybe. The United Professional Football league may be coming to a town near you. Right now there are franchises being organized in LA and Los Vegas with other promised soon.

Commissioner Michael Huyghue has NFL experience when he served as the Vice-President for personnel for the Jacksonville. He has been joined by former USFL Oakland Invaders minority partner William Hambrecht, a Wall Street investor. Tim Armstrong, a senior executive at Google is also reportedly involved.

The league plans to play on Thursday and Friday nights in late summer and fall with a championship game in late November. UFLAccess contributor Fran Stuchbury reported that Jim Fassel will be the first coach of the Las Vegas entry into the United Football League. Fassel, the former New York Giants head coach, lends credibility to the new league which is something that any new effort needs.

The league is looking to start small with only 6 franchises in its first season. Among the cities under consideration are Hartford (CT), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Monterrey (Mexico), New York, Orlando, Salt Lake City and San Francisco according to OurSportsCentral.com. The league expects to announce the final list of teams next month.

According to an interview with Commissioner Huyghue on UFLAccess.com the league is expecting to have a television network deal and has lined up investors for the six planned franchises. The current plan is to price tickets at less than half of an NFL one. They are planning on using existing stadiums and Huyghue also said he has identified a pool of 300 players.

I think the UFL would be good for pro football. There are a lot of players that have potential but are not ready for the NFL. With NFL Europe folding there is a need for a developmental league. The USFL proved that football can be successful in smaller markets like Birmingham and Orlando. Where the USFL went wrong was to try to outspend the NFL for top talent. There was insufficient revenue to support that level of salary expense.

It looks like the UFL is starting small which is smart. There is a market. There are players that come from small colleges, Arena Football, or were never able to become eligible for college. The key is local support in paid attendance and a decent national TV contract. If Huyghue can pull those rabbits out of his UFL helmet, he has a chance. I know I will watch if it is on Dish Network.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Technorati Tags: Los Angeles,United Professional Football league,UFL,Huyghue,Commissioner,USFL,Oakland,Invaders,Hambrecht,Jacksonville,Armstrong,Google,UFLAccess,Fassel,Giants,New York,Las Vegas,Hartford,Monterrey,Orlando,Salt Lake City,San Francisco,OurSportsCentral.com,NFL Europe,Birmingham,Dish Network

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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