Some great news finally broke on the injury front on Monday afternoon, when head coach Paul Johnson announced that he expects senior quarterback Justin Thomas to be good to go this weekend against Virginia Tech after sustaining an upper body injury during the team’s loss at UNC. The status of starting center Freddie Burden is still very much in the air given that no one seems to know the true extent of his injury, but getting Thomas back at least will be instrumental for Tech. With no disrespect intended towards backup Matthew Jordan, a very capable signal caller in his own right, Tech would have had absolutely no chance of winning this game without Thomas. The outlook is still murky on that front, but Tech’s odds are much better than they could have been.
Yep, what you’ve heard is true: the Hokies are actually good again. Currently ranked No. 18 nationally, Virginia Tech is leading the ACC’s Coastal Division with a 5-1 conference record and is showing no signs of slowing down. First-year head coach Justin Fuente has done an exceptional job of fixing the program left in a bit of a mess by the later years of Frank Beamer, completing what many thought would be a rebuild in what I’d call record time. It only stings more to remember that Fuente made the decision to retain defensive coordinator Bud Foster, a well-documented option killer who was once thought to be the heir to Beamer’s program. A rival getting a more capable head coach while simultaneously retaining an extremely effective coordinator is what we in the losing business call sub-optimal. Tech will have real work to do this week in practice.
Some anti-news broke in the ongoing investigation of sexual assault at Baylor yesterday afternoon, with the NCAA reportedly informing the school that they would not be imposing any Penn State-esque sanctions for the incidents.
The @WSJ reports that the NCAA has informed Baylor it will not sanction the school as it did Penn State for sexual-assault scandal.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) November 8, 2016
This makes no sense. The precedent that the NCAA is setting here is horrible; they’ve essentially taken a neutral stance on a program that openly tolerated sexual assault for a number of years. They bombed their prosecution against Penn State and are now content to let everyone else get away with just about anything. I suppose that sanctioning Baylor would require the redistribution of a lot of money, capital which would otherwise be appropriated to the investigation of more pressing matters like free clothing for athletes. Priorities, and whatnot.