Feb. 23, 2012
Quick Slant is an array of brief insights and occasionally opinionated overviews of collegiate athletics in general and the Vanderbilt Commodores in particular.
DEPARTMENT OF WE TOLD YOU SO: Two weeks ago with the Kentucky basketball on the horizon, Quick Slant cautioned fans to be careful about buying the counterfeit tickets that tend to float around before big games. Our term was "Buyer Beware" and we predicted somebody would show up at the door and be sad to find out his "tickets" were worthless. Well, unfortunately a Big Blue fan was mighty blue after paying $800 for two "tickets" off the street and realizing they were fakes. He wasn't the only one to be burned that night but he might have the saddest story. While he was presenting his fraudulent tickets to no avail, some crook had fled the scene with his stolen cash.
We will do everything we can to warn fans that the only tickets we can guarantee are legit are the ones coming from our own ticket office. That might sound to skeptics like some ploy to get fans buying from us but when the game is sold out, we have no incentive to do that. Fans need to understand that with advances in printer or copier technology, it is probable that the counterfeit tickets will look and feel very real. These sure did the other night, except for the dead bar code. While the odds of getting taken are less at a "routine" game, there are some con artists happy to swindle you on the street corner. Tongue-in-cheek advice: if you must buy from a secondary source, have the seller escort you to the door and hang around until the ticket is certified valid!
Speaking of tickets, we will offer a reminder to fans wanting to purchase 2012 football season tickets at 2011 prices that the deadline to take advantage of the Early Bird Special is February 29. As of March 1, new prices are in order for the rest of the year.
Everybody including the NCAA agrees it would be wonderful to simplify the enormous NCAA Rule Book. Right now there are four committees (our own David Williams in on one) studying ways to do just that. However, figuring out which rules to modify or eliminate is the $64,000 question.
For instance, there is some discussion about the NCAA eliminating some current recruiting restrictions. That runs shivers up the spines of us veterans, who remember crazy stories from the 1960s and early 1970s when eager-beaver coaches might rent a hotel room in a hot shot's hometown for a month and visit the family every day. Yikes! Former Vanderbilt Athletic Director Roy Kramer once said that the reason every page exists in the huge rule book is that somewhere, at some point in time, some coach abused a situation so badly that limits had to be put in place. We need some reform but not a return to the Wild, Wild West. The rich would only get richer; the gap between the haves and the have not's only wider, in any given sport.