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Thursday Items

-- Some terrible news today--Russell Wilson's dad passed away.  Keep Russell in your thoughts.

-- Colorado is officially a member of the Pac-[number]:

The Pacific-10 Conference announced today that the University of Colorado at Boulder has accepted an invitation to join the Conference as its 11th member, the first new member since July 1, 1978.

"This is an historic moment for the Conference, as the Pac-10 is poised for tremendous growth. The University of Colorado is a great fit for the Conference both academically and athletically and we are incredibly excited to welcome Colorado to the Pac-10," said Commissioner Larry Scott.

"On behalf of The University of Colorado students, faculty, alumni and fans, we are proud to accept this invitation from the Pac-10 and join the most prestigious academic and athletic conference in the nation, " said Philip P. DiStefano, chancellor of CU-Boulder.

The Pac-10 is either going to 12 (Utah) or, more likely, 16 from here.  Nebraska officials are denying reports of a move to the Big Ten, mainly because they've yet to officially  vote on the issue (that is expected to happen tomorrow).  It still remains to be seen what results from the meeting between Texas and Texas A&M honchos this afternoon.  Texas has been trying to preserve the Big XII, and they may not be done yet.  Word came yesterday that A&M has been talking with the SEC, so they could be a wildcard.

-- In addition to Russell Wilson, Jake Buchanan, Alex Sogard, Kyle WIlson, and Dallas Poulk (pdf) were selected in the MLB draft.

-- Johnny Thomas is graduating this summer and appears to be moving on.

-- Joseph Uchebo has been dismissed from his high school team:

Coach Stan Kowalewski of Oak Ridge said this morning that the decision was made yesterday, and that school officials decided later to not invite Uchebo back for the next academic year.

"It's something that has been going on for a while," Kowalewski said. "I can't go into details, but we dismissed him from the basketball team for conduct detrimental to the team."

I'm not sure how this affects his efforts to reclassify into the class of 2011, if at all. 

-- NC State also saw several of its high school recruits taken in the MLB draft, including pitcher Jay Gause:

The 6'3", 230-pounder averages more than 12 strikeouts a game and throws more than 90 mph.

"His most impressive stats for the year is he threw 53 innings and he had 96 strikeouts," WBHS coach Mike Alderson said, who said getting drafted out of high school says a lot about Gause and the school's program. "I'm real happy for him. I've been here 22 years, and it's the first one I've had out of high school that had the opportunity to get drafted."

While his mind his not made up, Gause gave a hint of where he may play next.

"Probably school," he said.

Gause thought he was going to be selected in the 9-15 round range but ended up falling into the 25th round.  Gross negligence may be responsible for that:

When I asked why he dropped in the draft, he traced it to inconsistent velocity.

In consecutive outings, he threw 150 pitches in one game and 117 in the next.

"So my arm was dead tired,'' he said. "So they gave me a two-week break. Scouts thought I was hurt for those two weeks. When I came back, I was throwing 83-84 in the first inning.''

The moron of the week award goes to coach Mike Alderson.  Seems like there are far too many coaches at the prep and college levels who don't understand how dangerous it is to tax a young arm.  Letting a kid throw 150 pitches in high school is just wrong.  And here's a clear case where it's affected a kid's future: Gause may have dropped 15 rounds in the draft as a result of being overworked.  He's lucky he didn't hurt his arm.  Goddamned stupid.