Former Bearcat dies
CINCINNATI – Former University of Cincinnati men’s basketball player Brian Williams died Friday in Columbus, Ohio. He was 59.
Williams was a member of UC’s 1,000-point club (1,066 career points) and averaged 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds during his three-year career with the Bearcats (1975-77). He was a member of the 1976 and 1977 squads that won back-to-back Metro Conference Tournament Championships and made consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
A member of the Ohio Athletic Hall of Fame, Williams was a 1973 graduate of South High School where he helped lead his team to the state tournament as a senior.
Williams was an assistant boys’ basketball coach at Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, Ohio where he has worked for the past 18 years. The girls’ team wore black head bands in his honor at a recent game. The school’s athletics director, David Thompson, called Williams “one of the top five players in Columbus history,” according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Never too early for a mock draft?
Three NFL analysts project a DE for the Bengals one projects an OLB.
Jaguars interview Gruden
A year after declining to interview for several NFL head coaching openings, including the Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will meet with new general manager Dave Caldwell Tuesday in Jacksonville, a league source confirmed.
Reds show 4th largest jump in payroll in MLB
The Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays (52.3 percent), Washington Nationals (38.9 percent), Cincinnati Reds (30.2 percent) and Kansas City Royals (28 percent) round out the five biggest payroll hikes thus far this offseason.
Corner topic: Votto and Frazier under scrutiny
Mark Sheldon, MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- One corner of the 2013 Reds infield holds the cornerstone of the franchise, first baseman Joey Votto. The other side contains third baseman Todd Frazier, who helped hold the infield foundation together when it was showing some cracks last year due to injury.
Field of 68: Kentucky on the bubble
The Sporting News
Look at it this way: According to the RPI numbers, Kentucky has the 64th-ranked non-conference SOS, and has just one win against a top 150 opponent; Quinnipiac, which is just 5-10 this season, has the 66th-ranked NCSOS and two top-150 wins. Obviously, there are other factors at play, but that’s not a good comparison for the defending national champions. Kentucky, which was one of the last teams in the field this week, has plenty of work ahead to feel secure about a tournament bid.
Tommy Tuberville joined me on Sports Talk last night. We discussed:
His first month on the job
Importance of recruiting the area
Reaction to recruiting criticism
If he believes he gave recruits of Butch Jones a timely decision on their status
Big East status, impact on recruiting
Impressions of Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis after Bengals used UC bubble
What happens between now and Feb. 6 Signing Day.
Third Down Conversions
A more shocking name is the guy who finished just above him. You see, while Andy Dalton made the playoffs he didn’t exactly do it by excelling in clutch situations. Indeed, his score (28th) is worryingly low for a franchise quarterback for whom many are wondering if he’s already reached his ceiling.
Cleveland Browns to sell naming rights to stadium
Cleveland Plain Dealer
One of the top deals among stadiums with naming rights is MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets, a 25-year deal worth $400 million.
Others include Reliant Stadium in Houston, 32 years for $300 million; and Washington's FedExField in Landover, Md., 27 years for $205 million. The Pittsburgh Steelers' deal with H.J. Heinz is worth $57 million for 20 years, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Can you believe it's been 10-years?
10-years ago Monday: Bengals hired Marvin Lewis.
January 14, 2003, the Bengals hired Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis. Lewis replaced Dick LeBeau, who was fired after a franchise worst 2-14 season. Lewis had also interviewed with Buffalo, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Cleveland for their head coaching position. He beat out Tom Coughlin and Mike Mularkey for the job in Cincinnati.
Lewis is longest tenured coach in franchise history.
Lewis is the 2nd longest tenured coach in the NFL (Belichick)
Career regular season record with Bengals:
Most wins franchise history.
AP Coach of Year: 2009
Playoff appearances: 4 (franchise record)
Back to back playoffs (1st time since '81-'82), playoffs 3 last 4 years.
10+ wins seasons: 3 (franchise record)
Division titles: 2005, 2009 (1st in 15 years)
Winning seasons: 4
Playoff record: 0-4
Mark Curnutte's story for the Enquirer, 10 years ago Monday
Bengals reduce ticket prices in 20 sections
In 2013, for the second straight year, Bengals season tickets will cost less than the previous year in a significant number of sections of Paul Brown Stadium.
“As an organization we are committed to having a full stadium for every game to give us a competitive advantage,” said Katie Blackburn, Bengals executive vice-president. “We are coming off a good year, we have been to the playoffs two years in a row, and we have five 2012 playoff teams coming to Cincinnati this season. We believe that our 2013 pricing model, in conjunction with the strong home schedule, will be very attractive to fans and will make tickets available at the right prices to help us to reach that goal.”
Sales will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday through the Bengals Ticket Hotline at 513-621-TDTD (8383), or through the “Tickets” tab on the home page of Bengals.com.
Price reductions will be in effect in 20 stadium sections for 2013. A number of sections priced last year at $50 per game for season tickets will be reduced to $40, and many sections priced at $60 last year will be reduced to $50.
“When we reduced some sections to $40 for 2012, the demand was high and they sold out quickly,” said Bengals ticket manager Andrew Brown. “Our fans saw it as a great value for an NFL game, and we will expand the number of those seats. We also think fans will respond very positively to some new opportunities for this year, including seats as low as $50 in the first rows of the upper deck. If you’ve been in those seats before for any stadium event, you know what a great vantage point that is.”
For the first time in four years, some ticket prices will increase for 2013. Sideline seats in the lower bowl will go from $80 to $85.“These are the most sought-after seats in the house, and our analysis of the market shows heightened demand for this area, justifying this first price increase since 2009,” Brown said.
The price for the remaining reserve seats, representing 45 percent of the Paul Brown Stadium seats, will remain unchanged.
The five 2012 playoff teams on the home schedule include Baltimore, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota and New England. The schedule is rounded out with the New York Jets and division rivals Cleveland and Pittsburgh. There will also be two home preseason games, one of those against Indianapolis.
How about some puck, eh?
The Reds have invited to Major League spring training camp 15 non-roster players, including RHP Nick Christiani, LHP Wilkin De La Rosa, RHP Justin Freeman, RHP Drew Hayes, RHP Chad Rogers, C Nevin Ashley, C Tucker Barnhart, C Corky Miller, IF Emmanuel Burriss, IF Cesar Izturis, IF Kristopher Negron, OF Billy Hamilton, OF Ryan LaMarre, OF Denis Phipps and OF Derrick Robinson.
CINCINNATI --- Freshman Semaj Christon (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods/Brewster Acad. [N.H.]) was named Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week for the third time this season after averaging 18.5 ppg. and 4.5 apg. for XU’s wins over Temple on Jan. 10 and George Washington on Jan. 12 to open the Atlantic 10 season last week.
Christon, a preseason A-10 All-Rookie Team selection by the coaches and media, leads Xavier in scoring at 14.1 ppg., which ranks 13th overall and first among freshmen in the Atlantic 10. Christon leads Xavier in assists as well at 4.8 apg., which ranks fourth overall and second among freshmen in the A-10. He leads the team in steals at 1.4 spg. (15th in the A-10).