Rumor & Innuendo

JaMarcus who??? According to a source, holdout Russell, the NFL’s first draft pick, may not be the QB of the Future for the decrepit Oakland Raiders. I’m told if Michael Vick ever gets to play again — other than in “The Longest Yard III” — he’ll be wearing the silver and black of Sunday’s baddest franchise. I’m told swashbuckling Al Davis is absolutely the only owner who would embrace the former Virginia Tech Pit Bull.

Money doesn’t talk, it swears
. Heard this one last week for the first time. Apparently St. X wanted to name a new gym for grad Scott Padgett. Until, that is, the former Wildcat and NBA journeyman told them he wasn’t about to make the $1 million donation the school was asking for the “honor.”

Zebras are reactionaries.
College hoops — and refereeing in general — will suffer another major hit when Hank Nichols retires as NC2A coordinator of officials at the end of the 2007-08 season.

SchnellSpeak of the Week
. Coach Growls Through Pipe remains old-school to the core. After a couple of practice days in shorts, he was salivating when the Fighting Owls kicked it up a notch. “ we put the shoulder pads on so we can get into the thud.” Theoretically the Schnell’s practice philosophy remains pragmatic: “We’ve got to practice at a pace that gives everybody the best opportunity to gain something out of the play.”

Sometimes old-school and pragmatic don’t mix. Disappointed with FAU’s first scrimmage in 100-plus degree heat, Coach grumbled, “I guess because it was our third practice of the day and the sixth day of practice, we didn’t look real crisp on either side of the ball.”

Occasionally old-school gets in the way. “I played every play in the spring game,” sayeth junior John Rizzo, who has more than a bit of Schnell in him. “By the end I didn’t know what to do.”
But the Schnell remains contemporary and compassionate. Speaking of freshman punter Mickey Groody: “I invested $60-$70,000 in him that he’ll be the guy. I think he’ll be OK and I rejoiced when I got the word he was cancer-free.”