Jan. 31, 2014
Quick Slant is an array of brief insights and occasionally opinionated overviews of collegiate athletics in general and the Vanderbilt Commodores in particular.
Vanderbilt's 31% increase in gross royalties for licensed merchandise during the fourth quarter of 2013 represented the highest quarter ever for our program and was the largest percentage increase among all SEC Collegiate Licensing Company-represented schools. Many of those gifts under the tree were Vanderbilt logoed items.
The upcoming men's basketball game with Tennessee, with its 7:00 p.m. tip, changes the nature of our signing day event. You probably saw where we will now host a Meet the Coaches reception in the Recreation Center's new field house for an hour and then all march over to watch the big basketball game.
Fans that live and die with recruiting scuttle might be interested to know that the Texas Longhorns have lost five football commitments during their transition and Horn partisans are worried they might lose even more this weekend. It is pointed out there that Charlie Strong has been the head coach for only three weeks, which is one week longer than Derek Mason has been our guy.
And while we are on the topic, just how is the word "commitment" defined by our society anymore? Committed used to mean "all in" - as in sickness and health till death us do part. Nowadays commitment apparently means I'm committed until I see something else that tickles my fancy more and then I'll be "committed" to that. High school football phenoms are not the only group that stumbles over this term.
Another Texas tidbit: Golf fans were caught off-guard when former women's golf coach Martha (Freitag) Richards resigned as head women's coach at Texas, effective the end of the season. While in good health now, Martha reports she is a two-time cancer survivor and wants to eliminate stress as much as possible. We wish her well.
Last week we mentioned the big indoor track and field meet we were going to host in our new field house. We said there would be some very fast people and we were right; during the men's 200-meters, for example, we saw the nation's fastest times of the season. Few among us are accustomed to watching high level track and field but you need to put this on your bucket list.