In this week’s Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” Mark Barroso, challenges Staff Writer Brandon Gould, Correspondent Bryan Bellanca and Correspondent Johnny Sisto to answer questions about whether the Colts should hold onto franchise mainstay Peyton Manning, what team is the best fit for Dwight Howard and whether the drug dealing scandal at TCU will derail their recruiting future.
1. According to SI.com and NFL sources, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has had four neck procedures, not three as previously reported. Should the Colts pay upwards of $28 million to keep Manning for the 2012 season?
BG: Peyton Manning has paid his dues to the city of Indianapolis and should be able to return next season, but paying him $28 million seems to be out of the question. Manning’s injury is such an enigma and no one can determine whether or not he is progressing. Neck injuries are very serious and it’s hard to tell if Manning can come back from it. This makes Manning a boom or bust type of signing, whether he stays with the Colts or moves on to another team. Breaking up is always hard because you think about all the good times, but the Colts also need to keep their future in mind, and it looks like that is going to be with Andrew Luck. Manning had a great run with the Colts, but sometimes in professional sports you need to make a business decision — even if it may seem cold — and move on.
BB: I think even before it was announced that Manning had a fourth procedure, the best thing for the Colts to do was to release Manning instead of paying him the $28 million they owe him. The Colts have already said they will not trade Manning; they will either pay or cut him. With the Colts planning to take Luck with the first pick in April’s draft, who analysts are rating as the highest rated quarterback out of college since Manning was drafted, I do believe that Luck would benefit immensely from sitting for one year behind Manning and learning from the best. But for the Colts to pay $28 million for a quarterback who may not be healthy enough to even play is too big a risk for a team who was the worst in football this past season. I believe the Colts should take that $28 million they would save and apply it to trying to rebuild the team around Andrew Luck so that they can be successful in the future.
JS: It is not practical for the Indianapolis Colts to keep Peyton Manning on the roster. Since they are going to make Andrew Luck their starting quarterback, Manning would be nothing but a burden on their team salary. From a business perspective, Luck is the new story that will put fans in the seats. Having Manning sit on the bench will not sell the team more tickets. Letting him go is best for the team as well as for Manning. For these reasons, you will not see Manning in a Colts jersey next season.
MB: Brandon gets 3 points for pointing out that the Colts’ management should not forget that Manning has provided great service to Indianapolis. Bryan gets 2 points for acknowledging how much Luck could learn from Manning if they were on the same team. Johnny gets 1 point for pointing out the excessive amount of money the Colts would have to pay a quarterback to potentially sit on the bench.
2. The NBA trade deadline is coming up soon and the acquisition of Magic center Dwight Howard is a hot topic. Which NBA team is the best fit for Howard and why?
BG: I honestly think that Dwight Howard would look great with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Howard can score points, but his main function is as a rebounder. That would make his presence underneath the basket ideal for any time that Kevin Durant doesn’t get a shot to fall. However, the price that the Thunder or any other team would have to pay just wouldn’t be worth it. Would the Thunder really risk sending a package that would have to include either Russell Westbrook or James Harden as the headliner? I don’t think so. Howard becomes a free agent after the season and then any team can sign him on the open market. The only reward of getting Howard right now would have to be a championship to justify trading so much to get him and I just don’t see a team that should make that type of move right now.
BB: The best fit for Dwight Howard would have to be the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers already have the best player in the NBA in Kobe Bryant and have the tradable asset in Andrew Bynum. Howard has had his sights set on Los Angeles for a while and has always wanted to play there. The reason this would be such a good fit is if Howard is traded, the Magic plan to unload some contracts with the trade — Turkoglu and Nelson being the most likely candidates. That just so happens to be the two things the Lakers need the most; their point guard and small forward play have really set them back so far this year. This trade would make Howard very happy and give him the chance to compete for a championship year in and year out, and a team led by Kobe and Howard would make them serious contenders to win this year.
JS: Dwight Howard is currently the best center in the NBA, and he has expressed interest in being traded from Orlando numerous times. Ultimately, Howard wants to go to a team where he can win an NBA championship. Any team that can give Dwight that opportunity would be a good fit (I’m sorry to all you Nets fans out there, but I don’t see it happening in this lifetime). This makes the Dallas Mavericks a strong possibility for Howard. However, I believe that the most enticing opportunity that is on the table for Howard is the opportunity to play with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Having Howard in L.A. would be like the days of Shaq and Kobe all over again. It would be a winning combination that would get Howard a ton of media coverage. Finally Howard would be playing in a city that is big enough for a player of his greatness.
MB: Brandon gets 3 points because although being part of the Thunder would put him on a team with the league’s reigning scoring champion, no team (except for Orlando) should trade for Howard only for winning a championship. Bryan gets 2 points for pointing out Howard’s prolonged will to play for the Lakers. Johnny gets 1 point for pointing out that Howard really wants to go to a championship-caliber team and the Lakers could be one of those teams.
3. Four Texas Christian University football players were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly selling marijuana to undercover police officers. How much of an effect does this have on TCU’s recruitment process going forward?
BG: It’s hard to say this, but scandals happen all the time in college football, and after a few years, they go away and it’s like they never happened. This story is still in its early phases, but if recent history tells us anything, then the Horned Frogs shouldn’t worry too much. The University of Southern California got busted for paying players and so did the University of Miami, yet neither has seen a negative effect on their recruiting. TCU has typically had to be creative in their recruiting since they weren’t in a major conference, but now that they’re in the Big 12 they’re going to get better recruits. Gary Patterson runs one of the best defenses in the country year in and year out, and I highly doubt a few college kids getting busted for marijuana is going to stop TCU on the recruiting trail a year from now.
BB: I do not believe that this recent report will have that big of an impact on the recruitment process for TCU going forward. TCU is making their move from the Mountain West Conference to the Big 12 conference this year and that move alone will help them in their recruiting process. While having four football players arrested for selling marijuana is a black mark for the university, I believe that TCU moving to a major conference will more than make up for this black mark. College football coaches are paid for more than just their ability to coach, they’re paid for their ability to recruit as well. Gary Patterson has been extremely successful in recruiting as the head coach at TCU in a mid-major conference, and I believe he will be able to play off that this is not what TCU is about, and therefore I believe TCU will be more successful in their future recruiting endeavors.
JS: The arrests that took place will have a HUGE negative effect on the school’s recruitment process. All high school athletes who consider TCU for their future will be made aware of drug trafficking that has taken place within the athletic program at the school. Additionally, and maybe even more significantly, the parents of these athletes will be aware of these arrests. These high school athletes will potentially have many options when deciding what school they want to play for. Why play football at TCU when there are other high quality football teams that don’t have drug problems? The school’s reputation has taken a hard hit for the time being. Their recruitment will be effected next year and maybe even the year after as well.
MB: Johnny gets 3 points for pointing out that the opinions of parents of high school football players in Texas and elsewhere will be affected. Bryan gets 2 point for acknowledging the taint the arrests puts on TCU and Coach Patterson’s success in recruitment. Brandon gets 1 point for pointing out that their move to the Big 12 Conference can only help their recruitment process.
Brandon wins this week’s AtD, 7-6-5.
“I need to broaden my horizons. For anyone who wants to argue sports, take your best shot @bgouldsby or @tcnjsignal. Come at me bro.” — Brandon