No news good news? - The Explorer: Sports

No news good news?

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Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:04 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

From the media perspective, it’s tough times running a major college athletics program in the Grand Canyon State. There’s bravery to be admired among the athletic brass who keep returning our phone calls.

Sports talk radio alights with cross-country gripes from egotistical coaches who complain about estranged wives and bait fans into staying home — inadvertently convincing their recruits to do the same.

Meltdown-prone football coaches nervously twiddle thumbs, hoping to keep players from serving hard time, while wondering how they can anchor themselves to the sideline next season, lest they incur newly enacted penalties.

And the bubble-wrap phraseology of an “economic slowdown” presses top-heavy athletic programs to lump players into fire-sale packages, sent off to rival schools for not generating enough income — when one coach alone receives a $775,000 raise.

In the athletic office, on the other end of the phone line during business hours, one might feel like a fluorescent-orange Hummer creeping through the alleyways of Nasiriyah.

But when it comes to real trouble, it’s always the quiet ones, popular wisdom warily recites.

A few hundred miles up I-17, Northern Arizona University quietly continues about its business, graduating student-athletes who avoid mug shots, forced transfers or sullen hauls to the NBA draft.

They say mountain air makes you smarter. But were NAU your neighbor, you might wonder what that freezer in the garage held.

Of course, the Northern Third isn’t pumping out much in the way of championships, which is one way to stay out of the news. Methinks that any sane athletic director wouldn’t trade their banners for anonymity by a long shot.

However, if you’re going to have a high-maintenance coach — er, vehicle — it ought to turn some fast laps. Either that, or trade it in. Because there’s no bravery in letting a storied program stall.

The recent success with our collegiate swimming program — and the potential three-peat of a softball championship — does well to outshine the negatives circulating this spring.

It gives reporters something positive to cultivate, before they borrow an axe from the Lumberjacks and start chopping.

Let’s hope that carries into the fall.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HS Schedule

Thursday, September 11

Girls Golf

Marana,  Ironwood Ridge at Nighthawk Invitational

Swimming (4:00)

Marana at Cienega (Clements Center)

Buena at Mountain View (Marana Pool)

Pusch Ridge/Sahuaro at Ironwood Ridge (Oro Valley Aquatic Center)

Salpointe/St. Augustine at Catalina Footholls (@5 p.m. Hillenbrand Aquatic Center)

Girls Volleyball (Freshman @4, JV @5 and Varsity @6 unless otherwise noted)

Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

Scottsdale Christian at Pusch Ridge (JV and Varsity only)

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Cienega at Catalina Foothills

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Poston Butte at Marana

JV Football (6 p.m.)

Catalina Foothills at Cienega

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Ironwood Ridge at CDO

Friday, September 12

Girls Volleyball (All Day)

Marana, Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Golf

Marana,  Ironwood Ridge at Nighthawk Invitational

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO at Cactus Cup Invitational at Arizona National

Cross Country 5 p.m.

CDO, Ironwood Ridge, Marana and Mountain View at Desert Solstice XC Invite

Football (7 p.m.)

Cienega at Catalina Foothills

Canyon Del Oro at Ironwood Ridge

Poston Butte at Marana (Military Night)

Mountain View at Mesquite

Scottsdale Christian at Pusch Ridge

Saturday, September 13

Girls Volleyball (All Day)

Marana, Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells Invitational

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO at Cactus Cup Invitational at Arizona National

Cross Country

Pusch Ridge hosts Twin Trees Invitationa

Catalina Foothills at Ray Wherley Invitational in Prescott, AZ

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