Reporters have had difficulty getting in touch with Seantrel Henderson and his
father, Sean, ever since Southern California was hit hard with NCAA sanctions, leading many to
believe that the offensive tackle regarded among the top high school prospects in the country is
considering a transfer.
Dispatch reporter had several phone conversations and text exchanges with one or both of
the Hendersons before he signed with USC. Since then, though, he hasn't been able to get so much as
a "no comment" from either one, despite leaving messages almost daily.
Two weeks ago, after Henderson didn't show up for an orientation at USC, new coach Lane Kiffin
and three assistants flew to St. Paul, Minn., to make sure he was still committed. There has still
been no word, and the
St. Paul Pioneer Press reported yesterday that Henderson "is balking at his commitment and
now leaning toward Miami, even though he would have to sit out a transfer season."
Besides USC, the University of Miami and Ohio State were the two schools Henderson was most
interested in before he signed.
With the state of Indiana boasting an impressive 2012 high school basketball class
and college coaches beating a path there, Indiana men's coach Tom Crean took some shots at his
recruiting rivals on Twitter this week.
"Frankly some of the assistants we go against I wouldn't let valet my car," he wrote. "They
either would lose the keys or drive away with it."
And: "In all honesty there are some Head coaches that would be the same way. The ones that wake
up on 3rd base and think they hit a triple kill me."
Crean didn't mention anyone by name, obviously, but it wouldn't be surprising if Ohio State
coach Thad Matta and his staff have gotten under his skin. They are in on at least six top players
in that 2012 class - a lot of other schools are, too - and Matta has done well in Indiana in the
The pressure is on Crean to do well and this 2012 class may be his best chance. He has a 16-46
record in two seasons as he works on the mess left by former coach Kelvin Sampson's NCAA
The Crew's policy of charging Major League Soccer prices for non-MLS games took
another hit Tuesday when only 1,760 showed up for the U.S. Open Cup game against the minor-league
Team officials seemed determined not to let Rochester outbid them for the right to play host to
the game as they had the year before - the Rhinos won that game - but apparently that was to secure
home-field advantage and not make money. Tickets were sold at the same day-of-the-game prices of
$23 to $45, curious since these games never draw well. When the Crew won the Cup in 2002, only
6,054 showed up for the championship game.
Crew general manager Mark McCullers has long defended the full-price policy by saying the team
won't devalue its product. The Crew will have a chance to re-visit this policy Tuesday when the
second division Charleston Battery visits for an Open Cup quarterfinal.
The Baltimore Ravens' signing of veteran quarterback Marc Bulger to back up Joe
Flacco is likely a prelude to a trade or release of former Ohio State standout Troy Smith.
Baltimore could release John Beck, who was third string behind Flacco and Smith last season, but
Smith has been seeking more playing time and had requested a trade to his hometown Cleveland
Browns. Given that, third-string status isn't likely to suit him.
Buffalo has been rumored as a possible destination for Smith, although the Ravens can't expect
more than a sixth-round pick in return. No NFL team showed interest when Smith could have been had
for a fifth-round pick as a restricted free agent.
Cincinnati Reds prospect Aroldis Chapman threw nine pitches over 100 mph in 12/3
innings of relief Tuesday for triple-A Louisville, but he also had two wild pitches, hit two
batters and allowed two hits and four runs in a 40-pitch effort against Durham.
Even before he knew Chapman's pitching line, Reds manager Dusty Baker called Chapman "more name
and reputation than it is actual results," and added that rehabilitating Edinson Volquez is the
pitcher the team is counting on.
Pitcher Jake Westbrook seems to be open to re-signing with the Cleveland Indians.
But with scouts inundating Progressive Field, it wouldn't be surprising if he followed Russell
Branyan - traded Saturday - out the door.
Westbrook stoked the fires a little after he beat Toronto this week, responding to a question by
saying, "I like winning baseball." The Indians, with the second-worst record in the American League
(31-47), seem unlikely to fit that profile for a while.
The nonwaiver trade deadline is July 31, and all Tribe players who are eligible for free agency
at the end of the season - Austin Kearns, Jhonny Peralta, Kerry Wood and Mike Redmond - probably
Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville said on Rivals Radio this week that he
doesn't think the Big 12 is long for this world.
"I don't think this conference will last long because there is too much disparity between all
the teams," Tuberville said. "In the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the
television contract as Florida. Everybody is good with it.
"That doesn't happen in the Big 12. We have some teams that get a little bit more money and have
a little bit more stroke than some of the other teams. And when that happens, you're going to have
teams looking for better avenues to leave and reasons to leave."
Bob Hunter is a sports columnist for The Dispatch.