Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday morning coffee

- One of my prized possessions is an NCAA Final Four basketball signed by former UCLA coach John Wooden. I mourned, with the rest of America, Wooden's passing last night. His impact extended far beyond the game of basketball played between the lines of a basketball court. Wooden's "Pyramid of Success" had a huge impact on those he coached and was extended into a lesson for business leaders and others. His books sold because they were full of homilies on life and how to live it effectively. Wooden also taught us how to treasure and love one's spouse. There aren't many people in life who have the impact of a man like John Wooden.

- How would you like to be the head of BP's Corporate Communications department? BP's CEO, Tony Hayward, is a walking oral loose cannon. I'm sure BP's PR folks shudder whenever a microphone is thrust in front of Hayward.

- Fans of the World Cup were dealt a blow yesterday when it was announced that Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba broke his arm in a pre-tournament match versus Japan. But reports surfacing today indicate that Drogba may be able to play--that he didn't break his arm but dislocated an elbow.

- If you're in the mood for a good legal thriller, check out Scott Turow's latest, Innocent.

- It's good to see the Big 12 get one thing right, which is the decision to award the Big 12 Mens Basketball Tournament to Kansas City through 2015, and the Womens Tournament through 2014. Kansas City has a long, distinguished history as a college hoops town; has an infrastructure of dedicated volunteers and support corporations; and offers a classic new venue (Sprint Center) and historical venue (Municipal Auditorium) book-ending an entertainment district, which is the perfect gathering place for fans.

- The Big 12 meetings concluded in Kansas City yesterday and the media reports and statements from University officials have led me to conclude that there is a general unease about the future of the conference. Any hope that these meetings would solve the talk of school defections simply didn't happen. Unfortunately, given timing and other factors, the Big 12's future resides with other conferences and the television rights fees they garner, and payouts they can offer, to current league institutions. Commissioner Dan Beebe has his work cut out for him if he expects to keep this conference intact. And, to do so, he'd better becomes best friends with Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds and UT President William Powers. Whether we who grew up with the Big Eight like it or not, Texas seemingly holds the power on the future make-up of the conference...or whether there even will be a Big 12.

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