Friday, August 19, 2011

The University of Missouri is larger than Frank Haith. It's larger than Mike Alden. Heck, it's larger than Chase Daniel.
The leadership at our university needs to ask themselves honest questions about the future and take the course that is in the best interest for the university and the men's basketball program.
Right, wrong, or indifferent, the allegations against Frank Haith are public. Regardless of the outcome, this will stay with him now. Opposing coaches in the Big 12 and other conferences, when recruiting players, will use this "issue" to actively recruit against the University of Missouri.
If the university proceeds with Haith as their coach, they need to be prepared for the negative impacts this black cloud hanging over the program will have on the players for the 2011-2012 season. Those who say it will have no impact should look at the 2003-2004 squad, a team full of talent that had similar issues hanging.

Frank Haith addresses the media

In the next two years, Missouri has 10 scholarships it must fill. Recruiting might be more important than winning this year because of the dire situation we could find ourselves in for 2012 and 2013. If Haith remains, recruiting is going to be negatively impacted and the University of Missouri will constantly be forced to fight an uphill battle for players.

If Haith is fired, the University runs the risk of a lawsuit if the allegations are false. That being said, the University of Miami knew about the NCAA investigation in March (and probably before that), and did not disclose information regarding said investigation to Missouri. In fact, Ross went as far as to publicly recommend Haith to Mike Alden (If you believe his intentions were benign, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you). It is highly probable that Miami willfully misled Alden and the university in the vetting process. If this is the case, Missouri could have legal grounds for a suit against Miami, seeking damages if in fact Haith sues Missouri.
Or, Frank Haith could resign and the University of Missouri could work on a fair buyout.
Waiting in a bunker is not an option. Waiting 18-24 months will set this program back 5 years due to the recruiting issue. There is no situation where a good outcome will be had for the University of Missouri if they so choose to keep Frank Haith employeed as men's basketball coach.
In the best interest of the university, Mike Alden should strongly urge Frank Haith to resign. If that doesn't happen, they should terminate his employment due to the embarrassment it has already caused (which is written in his contract), and take their chances on a lawsuit later.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Action abounds, but story sinks "Pirates 4"

The fourth installment of the “Pirates” franchise is a mediocre one at best. For a series that started with a bang, one can’t help but wonder if this is the final time we see Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow.

The previous two films were head-scratchers to say the least, and Depp admittingly acknowledging that he was never quite sure what the story was about. The fourth film doesn’t alleviate any of those issues either. While the action and swordplay is again top notch for the action genre, there is little heart and even less story considering there is a sword fight/battle every 5 minutes.
Director Rob Marshall is new to the franchise and regrettably, takes the film down a predictable and clichéd path. In the scant moments where you might try to believe that character development is coming, don’t bother; another sword fight will show up. It’s a tired and worn-out method, akin to many brain-dead summer action movies with little story.
Fans of the series undoubtedly love Depp’s character, what with his slapstick humor and spirit. I’m sure they realize that this movie never tries to take itself that seriously, which is a good thing. Better to poke fun at yourself than try to make a serious action movie and fail miserably in the process.
The action scenes are fun, and Depp does a very good job of selling the sequences. As with the previous films, his character is full of bravado and panache. His antics on camera are a delight to watch, and thankfully he does manage to keep this film entertaining, albeit only at a superficial level

The story is the true downfall of the film however: the race to discover Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth. Geoffrey Rush is back playing Barbossa, this time as a privateer working for the crown. Penélope Cruz is also present as Angelica, though she is now in league with the supernatural power-wielding Blackbeard.

One would think that a race to the fountain of youth might be a grand idea and journey, but the story simply sloshes along, much as if you’re traipsing through the marshes of the Everglades right after it rained. Pointless characters (a minister and a mermaid?), unneeded side stories, and enough plot holes to sink Jack’s ship (why does the bad guy always stop using his main power when he’s about to win?) derail the main story enough to ensure this film’s fate of nothing more than typical summer fodder.
Depp really tries to save this film, but one man cannot save a script and this lackluster material. I can’t imagine he’ll have many kind things to say, in retrospect, about this script either. And for the obligatory post-credit scene, I suppose this won’t be the last time we’ll see this franchise. One has to wonder if Depp will sail off into the sunset and leave this aimless franchise to someone else.