Well, the last 24 hours haven’t exactly been quiet, have they?
Between Creighton’s ho-hum win over another top-25 team, Mark Banker’s surprise dismissal from Nebraska, and Ed Morrow Jr.’s foot injury, there’s been plenty of news for sports fans to chew on.
Let’s dig in.
Creighton hoops wins again
I only say, “ho-hum” because the Jays, for the most part, made it look easy. Creighton raced out to a 20-point halftime lead, and never looked back. Sure, Butler made a run late in the game to make the score respectable, but did the Jays ever feel in danger?
What might be the most impressive about this particular Creighton team is the variety of ways they can beat you. Last night, it was the Maurice Watson show. Khyri Thomas had another solid night. We all know what Justin Patton is capable of. Marcus Foster was relatively quiet, but we’ve seen him take over games nearly on his own.
I said earlier in the week the ceiling for the Jays is a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament, if everything breaks right. A regular season and Big East tournament title might put them into the conversation for a #1 seed, but the non-conference portion of Creighton’s schedule might hold them back when compared to other contenders.
There’s plenty of love about the Jays, and there’s still plenty of work to be done in the Big East. But last night’s win over Butler is another step towards a historic season.
Mark Banker is out…who saw that coming??
I sure didn’t. And I’ve yet to see anyone that covers the team that did.
If there’s one thing I’ll take away from yesterday’s news, its that Mike Riley isn’t satisfied with where his team sits.
Was there some pressure from above to make changes? Perhaps.
Is there an insinuation that Riley feels the heat to win something of note (say, a division title, at least) in the next few seasons, and didn’t think the status quo was going to get it done? Maybe.
Any way you slice it, to fire two longtime assistant coaches, that have followed Riley to multiple stops, in the same offseason in Mark Banker and Bruce Read is a pretty powerful statement.
Ed Morrow Jr.’s injury a tough break for Nebraska hoops
There’s pretty much no way around this one. It’s a devastating loss for the Nebraska team that isn’t exactly blessed with a ton of depth anyway.
Tim Miles suggested on his radio show Wednesday night that Jack McVeigh and Nick Fuller could see more time while Morrow heals up, but neither player can match the combination of offense and defense that Morrow produced.
The defensive impact is what immediately comes to some people’s minds, but Morrow was averaging close to 10 points per game for a Nebraska team that shown inconsistency offensively.
It’s a tough one to figure out, and I don’t really have a good answer just yet.
A quick note on the First Amendment
Look, I don’t consider myself a reporter or a journalist in the classic sense. I don’t do investigative stories often or break much news. However, as a sports (and sometimes otherwise) commentator, I do consider myself part of the working media, which equates to what “press” was intended to encompass in the Constitution.
Obviously, freedom of speech and freedom of the press, as protected by the First Amendment, are important not only to what I do to earn a living, but also to me individually.
One thing I feel is often lost in today’s world, is that freedom of the press doesn’t exist simply for the benefit of the press.
Freedom of the press exists for the benefit of the people.
It’s about the freedom to express different opinions, inform, challenge the status quo, and celebrate the free exchange of ideas among the masses.
Some of the earliest and most important examples of freedom of the press date to the Revolutionary War era, when great American patriots like Thomas Paine published his “Common Sense,” one of the first to openly challenge British rule in what would soon become the United States. Our history is full of examples of the press using that very freedom to challenge the establishment.
Which brings us to today.
Yesterday’s display by president-elect Donald Trump was a slap across the face of the Constitution.
When CNN reporter Jim Acosta attempted to ask a question of Mr. Trump, after repeated attacks on CNN’s journalistic integrity, he was told by the soon-to-be President, "Don't be rude. No, I'm not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”
CNN is not fake news.
You may choose to like the tone of their coverage, or you may not. However, outlets like CNN uphold strict journalistic standards in their work. In this case, they even chose not to publish the details of the intelligence report on Mr. Trump’s activities with Russia, because they could not verify the information.
Perhaps what’s even more troubling yesterday, is that in a room full of media members, no one stepped to Mr. Acosta’s defense. Why would anyone that holds the First Amendment in high regard allow this type of activity?
If the media simply stands by, and allows the president-elect to ostracize any media organization he chooses (especially a legitimate one like CNN), because he doesn’t like what they said about him, then we no longer have free press.
It’s not a political issue. It’s a Constitutional one. And we, as Americans, need to demand better.