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Upton Comes to Raleigh After All; Plus, Is LACC Exchanging Players For Cash?

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-- Over at Baseball Analysts, Matt Jacovina has some fun by playing the what if? game. As in, what if big time baseball prospect Justin Upton had enrolled at NC State rather than entering the MLB draft? Jacovina uses MVP '06 NCAA Baseball to find out. As a freshman, virtual Upton helped the Wolfpack win a virtual ACC title, and in his sophomore year...

NC State was eliminated quickly from the ACC tournament, but lead by Upton's seemingly unstoppable bat, they pummeled the competition in the regionals and super regionals. The College World Series, Justin's biggest stage yet, began with the best game of his career: 6-for-6 with 2 home runs in a 13-7 victory against Rutgers. He put in another fine performance in a blowout against Notre Dame, going 3-for-5 during an 11-0 victory. Unfortunately, the Wolfpack could only split the next two games against the Irish, and were then beat twice by Georgia Tech, ending their underdog run at the title.

It's a fun article. Check it out.

-- CBS Sportsline has posted a must-read from Gregg Doyel today:

An elaborate recruiting operation that has steered more than $100,000 to a Los Angeles business founded by a prominent junior college coach has stunned the NCAA, the NABC and athletics directors at some of the Division I schools involved.

The article continues:

"Oh my Lord," said Mountain State coach Bob Bolen. "Where did all that money go?"

Bolen's question, ultimately, is at the heart of CBS's investigation into a nationwide system that delivers junior college players to Division I schools. Those schools then play each other in paid "guarantee" games, with a tidy profit going to the company that arranged those games -- a company co-founded by Los Angeles City College coach Mike Miller.

D1 Scheduling has been setting up games between schools that get players from LACC, and it keeps most of the fee associated with the scheduling. A typical fee ranges in the $40,000-$60,000 range (for the caliber of matchups discussed in the article, anyway), and under normal circumstances, that fee is paid to a school like Iona to play a road game against, for example, Iowa State.

But instead of taking the full fee, schools like Iona have only been getting a fraction of it. The rest has been going to D1 Scheduling.

Last season, Iowa State paid D1 Scheduling $40,000 for a home game against Tennessee State. D1 Scheduling paid Tennessee State $10,000. Considering the going rate for such games is at least $40,000, why would TSU sacrifice 75 percent to D1 Scheduling? Perhaps because three of its best players -- Wayne Arnold, Clarence Matthews and Kareem Grant -- came from LACC. Tennessee State AD Teresa Phillips didn't respond to multiple interview requests. Pollard said he's uncomfortable with Iowa State's connection.

"We're associated because we're on the other side of the contact, but if I called Tennessee State (for a game) right now, it would cost me $50,000 or $60,000," he said. "What you're indicating here is (some ISU opponents) were taking far less money than I'd thought ... for another reason that's not a good situation. They're taking nearly $50,000 below market. That's a scary thought isn't it? What it sounds like they're getting is an influx of players."

Emphasis mine.

-- Obligatory.