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Friday Buff Bites - Our All Conference Academic Basketball Players, Plus Football Links!

CU Basketball players are also good students! Or breakout freshmen jokester point guards off the bench. Or both!

Colorado_mediumBrooks: Smiling Sharpe Offers Boyle Reason To Believe -

If there's a lone "complaint" James Hardy can register about Shannon Sharpe, it is this: The guy won't (or can't) stop smiling. Hardy is Colorado's strength and conditioning coach for basketball. The epicenter of his world in the Coors Events Center is a second-floor room that last year was converted to a modest weight/fitness center for hoops.

Hardy doesn't demand that the Buffs enter his domain with expressions as blank or as grim as a runway model's. He does expect focus, which Sharpe gives him daily. But "Deuce" also has a grin that a Black & Decker sander couldn't get rid of, and it's usually supplemented with a joke or three.

...His game got better in CU's 58-56 win last weekend against Kansas State. He scored eight points in 21 minutes and submitted what Coach Tad Boyle hopes was a "breakthrough game . . . sometime everybody has (one) in their career. Hopefully it's your freshman year, sometimes it might not be until sophomore year where it's, 'Hey, I can make plays out here.' Shannon did that.

"Guys who come off the bench are thinking, 'I don't want to come in and make a mistake.' But sometimes you have to have the attitude of, 'I'm going in and making something happen.' I don't know if that was his mindset, but he came in and made plays for us when we needed plays to be made."

Colorado_mediumCU Pair Named To Academic All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball Team -

Colorado sophomore Meagan Malcolm-Peck and junior Julie Seabrook were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Conference Women's Basketball Team, the league office announced on Tuesday.

Colorado_mediumCU Buffs grab academic honors - Buffzone

Colorado men's basketball players Trey Eckloff and Levi Knutson were named to the 2011 Academic All-Big 12 first team. Knutson, a senior majoring in finance, earned the first team honor for the third year in a row. Eckloff, a junior also majoring in finance, was named to the same team last year.

Colorado_mediumSpring transforms conference into Pac-12 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN

The Pac-10 doesn't become the Pac-12 officially until July 1, but with the advent of spring practices the reality sets in: It's going to be different this fall.

It's not just about Utah and Colorado joining the "old" Pac-10, which has been stable since adding Arizona and Arizona State in 1978. It's about a massive transformation.

...Divisions change the dynamic. In Pac-10 play, every game mattered. In Pac-12 play, divisional games matter a little more.

So it's really about football this spring, not transformation. Because you know what every coach will tell you when asked for his thoughts on heading into the first year of Pac-12 play? "It's just line 'em up and tell me who to play," Embree said.

Miller also previews every team by division, the North preview is here and the South: hmaw.


Colorado_mediumAttendance and passion in Pac-12 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN

How do you best measure fan passion? Attendance? Or is it more about playing in front of a full house? Well, if it's the latter, that Utah and Colorado are bringing plenty of passion to the Pac-12. Let's look at some numbers. First, attendance. Here's how the Pac-12 ranked. The number to the left is the national ranking. 49. Colorado, 46,864 Still, if one way to assess fan passion is a lack of empty seats on Saturday in a home stadium, both Utah and Colorado rank in the top-half of the new conference. 6. Colorado (87.41)

Colorado_mediumNCAA president Mark Emmert pledges transparency in wake of Cam Newton scandal - ESPN

Emmert also was asked about student athletes being paid, to which he responded, "No, it will not happen -- not while I'm president of the NCAA." "I don't like that idea, I loathe that idea," Emmert said. "I can think of all kinds of compelling reasons why not to do it. I can't think of a compelling reason why to do it. . . . There's a constant discussion that we ought to stop pretending that student-athletes are amateurs, that they're really professionals, that they ought to be paid. "I understand that perspective, but I just profoundly disagree with it."

Colorado_mediumProposed rule changes may give college football an NFL look - ESPN

A batch of new proposals for college football announced Thursday would adopt a 10-second runoff for clock-stopping penalties in the final minute of each half and experimenting with moving the umpire behind the running backs.

Colorado_mediumJoanne Reid Recounts Trip To Europe -

University of Colorado sophomore Joanne Reid recently returned home from a trip to Finland and Estonia as part of the U.S. team that qualified for the World Junior Cross Country Championships. On her way back to the states, she wrote a memoir for Enjoy!

...What you want to hear is what World Juniors is like. Although mostly unknown in the U.S., to Europe Nordic skiing is, shall we say, a big ******* deal.

...mostly I remember noise. Noise because every corner you turn, every hill you top, every stroke you ski there is someone there cheering for you, spurring you on. Italy is screaming "die, die, die", the U.S. is screaming "go, go, go," Germany is screaming "los, los, los," and the sheer number of languages being shouted on that course is staggering.

But no matter how you finish (although we finished quite well), your team is there waiting for you at the end, waiting to tell you that you are amazing and that they think you're awesome and that that darn Italy spent the whole time telling them to "die!" How rude.

It is like electric energy all over the course. In the time between your relay tag and your finish, or your next tag you are part of a living history of skiing. Everything that you ever trained for is evident here, in the excitement of the fans, in the love of your teammates.

If you like fun, or skiing, or both, you should read the rest... Go Buffs!