Wayne Blackshear: “I do not wear eyeliner”

There is something that Louisville forward Wayne Blackshear would like to clear up. He just has nice eyes. Or so he explains at the 1:56 mark.

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This could be trouble

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World Cup draws record American TV audience

Looks as if this World Cup drew the biggest American soccer audiences in history.

In fact, Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina in the World Cup final drew more than 26 million viewers, making it the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history.

The U.S.-Portugal game remains the most-watched game in ESPN/ABC history, with 18.2 million viewers, followed by 17.9 million viewers for the finals of the Women’s World Cup in 1999 between the U.S. and China. But 9.2 million viewers tuned in on Univision to watch Germany-Argentina this year, taking that total to 26.5 million American viewers for the World Cup final.

The 64 World Cup games shown on ESPN and ABC averaged 4.5 million viewers. Consider that last year, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball averaged 1.9 million viewers per telecast.

Related link: World Cup results

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Mark Emmert earns 46 percent more than predecessor

No wonder NCAA president Mark Emmert does his best to protect the status quo. USA Today reports that Emmert made $1.7 million in 2012, according to the NCAA’s latest tax return on record.

According to College Basketball Talk, that’s 46 percent more than Myles Brand hauled in during his final year on the job. Brand died of pancreatic cancer on September 16, 2009. Senior vice president Jim Isch was named interim president before Emmert was selected.

Emmert’s base salary is $1.26 million, a five percent increase over his base salary in 2011.

USA Today also reports:

Overall, the NCAA paid out nearly $54.3 million in compensation and benefits in fiscal 2012-13, up more than 9% from a year earlier. (While individual compensation data in the federal tax returns of non-profit organizations are for a calendar year, the revenue and expense reporting covers the organization’s fiscal year. The NCAA’s fiscal year ends Aug. 31.)

Related link: The Mark Emmert-John Calipari one-and-done duel

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John Calipari and Drake together again

Drake recently denied he was a bandwagon fan, saying that Kentucky and Toronto Raptors are still at the top of the list. This afternoon, UK coach John Calipari tweeted a picture of the two having dinner.

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Louisville No. 1, UK No. 7 in “Fan Equity” rankings

Emory University has again come out with its “Fan Equity Rankings” for college basketball and again Louisville has placed No. 1.

Kentucky is seventh in the rankings, which are based on “a statistical analysis of self-reported revenue data. We create a statistical model of revenue as a function of team quality (winning percentage, NCAA tournament qualification, etc…) and market potential (conference affiliation, median income, area population, number of students, etc…) and then compare the model’s prediction to the self-reported revenues.”

Here’s the top 10:

Continue reading

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Luol Deng is mistaken for Eric Bledsoe

There were reports last night that former UK guard and current NBA free agent Eric Bledsoe was seen having dinner with Miami Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra.

Turns out, it wasn’t Bledsoe in the blurry picture. It was Luol Deng, who was celebrating his free agent signing with the Heat.


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Spurrier says Saban “greatest recruiter” in history

Those following along this summer might remember that Steve Spurrier, being Steve Spurrier, has taken advantage of the warm weather by throwing a few playful jabs at Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

The SEC Football Media Days are currently happening in Hoover, Ala. Spurrier was a featured speaker this morning. He used the opportunity to explain his comments about the Tide leader.

Michael Casagrande of AL.com reports:

“I think they’ve done extremely well,” Spurrier said. “There’s no question about that. I just made a statement that I think they’ve had five No. 1 recruiting classes out of the last six years, which has got to make him the greatest recruiter in the history of college football.”

“Arguably they’ve got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team. If the recruiting services are correct, and they’re pretty much correct.”

In fact, the Ol’ Ball Coach was setting Saban up, saying that it’s not always the best talent that wins titles, it’s the best team.

Related link: SEC football year-by-year standings since 1992 expansion

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SEC denies Tennessee grad transfer request

New Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall announced today that former Florida Gulf Coast star Eric McKnight has been denied a graduate transfer waiver to play for the Vols.

“We have been informed that Eric McKnight has been denied the graduate transfer waiver by the SEC,” Tyndall said in a statement released by the school. “We pursued this issue through the proper protocol, and I respect the process. Although we are disappointed that Eric will not be joining our program, we are focused on moving forward.”

McKnight was granted a graduate transfer waiver by the NCAA, but the SEC had to sign off on the waiver given that McKnight had some disciplinary issues at FGCU. The SEC denied the waiver.

Tyndall has been scrambling to fill a roster depleted by multiple departures when Cuonzo Martin left to become head coach at California.

Related link: Tyndall’s stubborn nature will serve him well at Tennessee

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Detroit Pistons cut Josh Harrellson, Peyton Siva

The Detroit Pistons have officially waived former Kentucky center Josh Harrellson and former Louisville point guard Peyton Siva.

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