The Monday Heat Check begins with a cold case that got hot 20 months later. I believe you get the drift.
Georgia Tech: Its defenders insist the punishment doesn’t match the (admittedly small) violation and that the NCAA chose to make an example of Tech. In both cases the defenders are correct, and in both cases they miss the point. The Jackets failed to do what an NCAA member institution is expected to do. There are a lot of silly ways to wind up on four years’ probation, but this might be the silliest. Heat Index: When you have to give back the only outright ACC football championship your program has won in two decades, you might as well change your nickname to the Polar Bears.
Georgia Tech’s legal advisers: Not exactly the Dream Team, eh? Surely there’s someone in Atlanta capable of doing as Ed (The Terminator) Tolley keeps doing for the Georgia Bulldogs, which is to take a ticklish situation and disarm it. Heat Index: Tech’s attorneys were as cold as Tolley, who never loses, is hot. Speaking of whom …
Jim Donnan: Tolley is representing the former Bulldog coach, who seems in need of representation. In the past 10 days Donnan has filed for bankruptcy and been accused of making money off a Ponzi scheme. Not that The Terminator needs my layman’s legal advice, but here are two tips. First, if former SEC ref Al Ford is a member of the jury pool, don’t select him. Second, I would try to ascribe the whole thing to a misunderstanding. “My client simply misheard, your honor,” Tolley could argue. “When someone said, ‘Ponzi scheme,’ Mr. Donnan heard, ‘Tunnel screen,’ and shouted, ‘Oh, I love those! Count me in!’ ” Heat Index: The heat is on the Old Coach, but he has the right man on his side.
Dwight Howard: The Atlanta native told George Henry of the Associated Press he might go play overseas if the NBA lockout lasts, which seems the thing to do. But while everybody else (Deron Williams, Zaza Paculia) seems bound for Turkey, Howard mentioned China as a destination. Heat Index: Getting warmer. Doesn’t Michael Gearon Jr., one of the Hawks’ many owners, have business interests in Asia? Could this be the opening the local NBA franchise has long sought?
Gene Chizik: It was revealed by the New York Times that the Auburn coach availed himself of a presentation at the SEC meetings by NCAA director of enforcement Julie Roe Lach to wonder why the NCAA hadn’t announced the closing of its investigation into the recruitment of Cam Newton, the quarterback from Atlanta. Roe Lach said, according to witnesses: “You’ll know when we’re finished, and we’re not finished.” Heat Index: It’s always a winning strategy to make the NCAA hot under the collar. (See above.)
The Braves: They scored 22 runs last week, which is even more impressive when you consider they only played three games. Are the bats actually heating up? Or is facing the Washington Nationals the reddest of herrings? Heat Index: We’ll know soon enough. The Braves start a four-game set in Denver tonight. If you can’t hit at Coors Field, you can’t hit.
By Mark Bradley