Tuesday, July 31, 2012

follow up

This is a follow up to my initial post on this blog, regarding Ersan Ilyasova's contract. As is often the case in the modern media, the initial reports of the contract were incomplete. The initial report was for 45 million over 5 years, which is correct but incomplete. Full details are still not available but recent reports posted on JSonline state that 5 million of the contract is paid in difficult to reach incentives. The 5th year is also not guaranteed. There were some reports that the 4th year of the deal were not guaranteed or was only partially guaranteed, but there was no further reports about this yet. JSonline is reporting the deal is basically 4 years 32 million guaranteed.
If this turns out to be the case I still think this is a bad contract, but not as bad as it looked initially, especially if the 4th year is only partially guaranteed. Even 8 million a year is too much for a role playing starter on a low seed playoff team.
I hope Ersan turns into a much better player than I think he will ever be. If not, the Bucks will be back to contract dumping in a year or 2.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The former future (the present) is amazing from the standpoint of the past

Fifteen years ago—on March 8, 1997—Adam invited me to join him for the Badger basketball team's home finale (their last home finale in the Field House) against #2-ranked Minnesota. The Badgers were on the bubble for the NCAA tournament, and most believed they needed a victory to get into the Big Dance. (In those days, before the Big Ten Tournament, there were no second chances).

It was a thrilling game, or at least that's how I remember it. Ty Calderwood won it for Wisconsin with two free throws in the final seconds. As time ran out, the fans rushed the floor. Matt Lepay's call, apparently, was: "The Badgers are dancing! The Badgers are dancing! In 1997! And the Field House is UP FOR GRABS!!"

We were there, on the floor, even though we had to come down from the upper deck. I got to give David Burkemper a high-five. (It was a special moment.) After 47 years between trips to the Tourney, and then the abomination of Stan Van Gundy's failure to make even the NIT with Rashard Griffith and Michael Finley on the roster, the Badgers were back in the tournament in Dick Bennett's second year.

Who could have imagined, on that day in 1997, how the fates of the Wisconsin and Minnesota basketball programs would turn? Wisconsin went on that year to get whooped by Texas in the First Round, and Minnesota went to the Final Four. But in reality, the tide had already turned. Minnesota's wins that year were wiped from the record books due to the academic fraud scandal that brought down Clem Haskins's program a few years later. And Dick Bennett's five-year plan eventually culminated in the greatest three-week stretch of Wisconsin sporting history (followed immediately by a rather dreary 40-minute stretch), the run to the Final Four in 2000.

I started thinking of that day after looking into the performance of Big Ten teams in the NCAA tournament in this century. Wisconsin has won 20 NCAA-tournament games since 2000. Only eight teams—Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Michigan State, Kentucky, Florida, UCONN, and UCLA—have won more. Wisconsin also has been to six Sweet 16s this century, which is kind of mind-boggling when you say it aloud.

On the other hand, Minnesota has won ... zero tournament games this century. ZERO. And this isn't a technicality of wiped-out records. Minnesota hasn't even had a win wiped away since their run to the Final Four in 1997. That's right—the last time we even thought Minnesota won a tournament game was in 1997, back when David Burkemper's sweat was still coating my unwashed hand. Minnesota is one of only twelve major conference teams with no tourney wins this century.

To put this in perspective, in the 11 years of the Bo Ryan era, Wisconsin has at least one tourney win every year except 2006.

What to make of this? I don't know. I just know I love Bo Ryan.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jordan Kohout and the future of football

I wonder if the situation with Jordan Kohout is one of many cases like it that will lead to the eventual death of football as we know it. The major toll on players bodies sure seems like a lot. When you consider NFL players make millions of dollars it may not seem that bad of a trade off. Sure seems like a bad deal for guys like Jordan who will maybe get some free tuition, and may suffer from lifelong neurological problems. Probably also a bad deal for the kids in high school who get these issues without ever cashing in on a dollar. At least they hopefully get some good tail for being football players, but even that's no guarantee.
I don't really have a problem with it if football goes sissy. Most of what I like about football is bullshitting with my friends about my local team. It doesn't really matter if the rules change, as long as we all still hang out at the bar and talk about it. The DH hasn't ruined baseball, but a more apt analogy may be the NBA.
The NBA is not the same game as it was 30 years ago. There are still jumpshots, layups, and taking charges, but the NBA has changed like other sports as athletes have changed. 30 years ago a 6'10" guy who weighed 240 pounds was a dominating low post center. Now that same size guy jumps over cars to win the dunk competition. Charles Barkley was an all time great power forward at 6'4". The Brooklyn Nets list Deron Williams at 6'3" and 209lbs and he's a point guard. I love the NBA, but I don't love it any more or less now because the game is played at 12' instead of 10'.
My guess is the NFL finds a way to make the game less violent and more like Arena league ball, and no one cares. This will be just a short term solution before the inevitable 2 games of the future emerge.
Football will return to it's violent past as robot football, and for those that want to see blood, MMA will undoubtedly blossom into a real world version of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Running Man.

Montee Ball video

Looks like there's going to be a Heisman campaign:

And why not?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Big Ten realignment

I saw that the Big Ten has decided, at least for now, not to deal with realignment for football in the wake of the Penn State situation. As some may remember the Big Ten divisions were created with competitive balance being the primary goal over regional rivalries, and other factors. The teams were grouped in categories and then split, with Nebraska, Mich, OSU and PSU as the big 4.
Penn State will certainly take a hit for the near term with all of the penalties, but they retain many advantages so this seems prudent. There will certainly be more defections as the season approaches, and kids have some time to look at their options. The scandal itself as well as the bowl and championship game ban will hurt recruiting. The scholarship limits will also hurt the teams competitiveness, but all these will eventually go away. You could argue the damage of the scandal will last long past the sanctions, but I believe even this will fade in short time.
Penn State will return to a perennial contender. They have one of the best recruiting bases of any school in the country, an athletic program committed to football, and money to bring in the best coaches and provide the best facilities.
That said, the next few years will be interesting for some other teams with a tremendous opportunity.
UW will only have to compete with Purdue and Illinois for the Big Ten Championship game and a shot at a 3rd straight Rose Bowl this year (I won't bother to include Indiana). UW also has an opportunity to pull some recruits from Penn State this year and in the future. UW has had an eastern focus on recruiting out of state, and I don't imagine this will hurt that.
OSU should recover this year and be primed for a big run for several years. With new coach Urban Meyer and no major rival in their division they could make a multi year run to the championship. OSU seems likely to also benefit from the recruiting issues at Penn State.
The biggest opportunity may belong to  Pitt, a school with UW ties with new head coach Paul Chryst and several UW assistants he took with him. Pitt may fill some of the recruiting void that PSU will leave.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sanctions For Immorality?

Some are questioning whether the NCAA has the authority to sanction athletic programs for immoral or criminal conduct. For example, ESPN quotes an anonymous "former chair" of the NCAA Committee on Infractions:
This is new. If they're going to deal with situations of this kind that have nothing to do with the games of who plays and so on and rather deal with members of the athletic department who act immorally or criminally then it opens up the door to other cases.
The former chair said as an example the NCAA didn't get involved in the murder of Yeardley Love, a women's lacrosse player at Virginia, by her former boyfriend, a male lacrosse player at Virginia.
This strikes me as an inapt analogy. To make it apt, imagine this. Imagine that the Virginia lacrosse player got away with the murder and was never even a suspect. Except that an assistant coach on the lacrosse team actually witnessed the murder, and reported it to the head coach. The head coach told the university president about it. "Boy," he said, "this is a real tough situation. What's the humane thing to do here?" They agree that they should just take the young man's scholarship away, but not report the evidence to authorities. After all, the lacrosse team is a family, and you don't rat out your family. Actually, the best thing to do, they decide, is to keep the young murderer on the staff as a new assistant coach—you know, to keep a close eye on him.

Unfortunately, over the next few years several young women disappear under mysterious circumstances from the University of Virginia campus. Eventually, fifteen years later, authorities arrest the now-middle-aged former lacrosse player on charges that he killed a dozen young women. And, eventually, it's discovered that the university president and lacrosse coach knew about and covered up at least one of the murders.

I guess reasonable people could disagree about whether the NCAA should get involved in that situation and sanction the lacrosse team or the University of Virginia. (As you know, in my opinion, it all comes down to the $$$.) But that's the analog to the situation at Penn State, and it is not even remotely similar to a murder that happened to feature college athletes as assailant and victim.

Why Stripping Scholarships Makes Sense (And Other Thoughts)

Early reports are that Penn State is facing a multi-year Bowl ban and "crippling" scholarship losses.

Whenever the NCAA metes out this kind of punishment, some complain is that it is unfair because all the wrongdoers are gone, so only the innocent are actually punished. This is essentially true.

But it is also essentially irrelevant. The purpose of these sanctions is to deter other schools from engaging in the wrongful conduct, not to get revenge on the wrongdoers. This is a legitimate reason to impose punishment.

Thinking of it this way also ends any debate about whether Penn State's athletic program is an appropriate target for NCAA punishment. It is, once you understand what the NCAA is really trying to deter.

Paterno and Spanier covered up the Sandusky scandal to increase the competitiveness of the football team. They were hiding the scandal so that their program and the their school didn't take a public relations hit that would hurt recruiting and morale. There may have been other reasons too, but mainly they did it to win football games.

Why would any decent human being—or even just a non-evil human being—sacrifice little children on the altar of winning football games? A review of history reveals only one reason why normal people do such awful things: greed.

It comes down to money. Wins = $$$. Losses = $. Multiple $$ hung in the balance, and apparently the little children were worth only one $, at most, in the Paterno / Spanier cost-benefit analysis.

The NCAA exists, ultimately, so that every big time school gets a fair chance at the $$$$$$$$$$$$ that is college sports. Sure, there is a lot of principled nonsense in the NCAA's charter, and all those non-revenue sports, but they are all a front (loss leaders, really) for the NCAA's true purpose: a mutual covenant about the fair distribution of profits from football and men's basketball.

So what the NCAA is trying to deter are actions that give a particular school an opportunity to win more than its fair share of games—in other words, to take more than its fair share of the profits. That is all the punishment is for. As noted above, the Sandusky cover up surely allowed Penn State to win more than its fair share of games, and therefore to make more than its fair share of the profits.

So, finally, to the matter of appropriate punishments. Bowl game bans are obviously appropriate because Bowl games are cash cows for athletic programs. Even in the Big Ten, which pools all the member-schools' Bowl money, there are huge economic advantages to the schools that actually go to the Bowls. You've got merchandizing; you've got booster events; you've got alumni pride leading to alumni giving; you've got recruiting advantages; etc. In other words, you've got $$$$$. So banning Bowl games hits them where it hurts.

But what about scholarships? Why does taking away free education make sense? Doesn't this just hurt the kids who would have gotten a fine education but now won't? To be sure, it does hurt those kids, but they are collateral damage. Remember: wins = $$$. Fewer scholarships means fewer wins. So fewer scholarships means less $$$. This is why stripping scholarships makes sense.

This is also why the death penalty for Penn State doesn't make sense. Sure, the death penalty would destroy Penn State and serve as a major deterrent for future conduct of this type. But it would also cause the NCAA's member programs to lose millions of dollars because of lost games and reworked television contracts. It would hurt the product. The death penalty is appropriate only for conduct that calls into question to the very integrity of the game—conduct that would make fans question whether the product is real or fake (in other words, whether games are rigged or essentially purchased by the highest bidder). It is hard to imagine the death penalty being imposed for anything less, at least nowadays. And, as bad as the conduct was at Penn State from a moral standpoint, it does not call into question the integrity of the product on the field.

Leaders Division — 2012

The Leaders division of the Big Ten football conference comprises Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue.

Tomorrow at 8 a.m. NCAA President Mark Emmert will be announcing "unprecedented" sanctions against the Penn State football and athletic programs. A post-season ban for at least 2012 seems inevitable.

Ohio State is already ineligible for next year's Big Ten Championship game.

That would leave only Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, and Illinois eligible for the Championship game out of the Leaders division.

In other words, this is setting up to be the most disappointing season in Badger football history, because anything less than a trip to the Championship game would be a massive, massive failure.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jordan Kohout retires, at age 21

Sad news today from the Badger Football beat, as defensive tackle Jordan Kohout has left the roster due to frequent and severe migraines—including two strokes—caused by playing football.

This is another worrying sign that modern-day football may be too violent for human brains to endure. Kohout's comments to Mike Lucas were not encouraging:
Cognizant that there has been an heightened awareness to head injuries in football at all levels, Kohout said, “I’d have a migraine and we’d kind of wonder if it was concussion-related.’’ 
It’s pretty difficult to ignore head contact on the line of scrimmage, he acknowledged. 
“Playing D-tackle, you’re hitting a big dude every single play,’’ Kohout said. “You’re getting your hands on somebody and you’re bringing your head in there a lot of times. 
“It was always something I did to gain extra pop; maybe I shouldn’t have, but that’s just the way I’ve always done it. Extend your hands out and pop with your head; every single play usually.’’ 
I have to believe that the "pop with your head" move is detrimental to a person's long-term health.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

sad times

You know it's a tough time of year when the most exciting thing to blog about is the Buck's summer league opener. I can't bring myself to do it, so instead I'm going to the water park. Football starts soon, right?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"I wanted to put Wisconsin on the map."

-- says Rashard Griffith, in a must-read article for any Badger fan of our generation.


The General scooped me—by one minute.

Rashard Griffith

Just read this neat article about the former Badger.
I still remember that guy cruising around campus in his SUV. That really was a great team with Finley, and Webster.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

8 is enough

I will now reveal the perfect playoff system for NCAA football, and throw in some recommendations for the regular season too. NCAA presidents always listen to fans like me, except when they are looking out for the well being of student athletes that pay their salaries, so I'm sure these recommendations will go into effect post haste.
First, the perfect number of playoff teams is 8. Not 4, not 12, not 16. Although I agree with Bart that the nature of playoffs is to expand, I sure hope they make it 8 and stay there. 8 teams allows for both conference champions and great at large teams to participate. 8 teams means a team has to win 3 games to win the title. A long enough run that even if an 8 seed wins, it would be impossible to say they didn't deserve it after running a 3 game gauntlet. 8 teams means the kids won't be playing football into February. 8 teams means there won't be 3 loss teams in the playoffs, retaining at least some of the value of the regular season.
Let's talk automatic bids. I like the idea of conference champions getting automatic bids. I don't like the idea of a 24th ranked, 5 loss Big East team getting an automatic bid. There also could be a conference that has 2 divisions and one is great and the other sucks, and the sucky division team pulls off an upset in the championship game sending another 4 loss, low ranked team to the playoffs. The solution to this is simple. The 6 power conferences get to pick how their conference chooses it's champion, either by regular season or championship game. However they choose, if their representative is not ranked in the top 10, or maybe 15, they lose the automatic bid.
I can hear people right now saying coaches that vote in the polls will change their votes to get teams in. One, they already do that. Two, the NCAA could come up with some type of RPI like ranking system from the remnants of the BCS to rank the teams.
Some people might like the idea of Cinderella teams making the playoff, just like in Basketball. I don't. Basketball plays 2 games in 3 days, and gets rid of those most of those teams fast. Football does not have that luxury.
So in any given year there will be a max of 6 automatic bids, if the Big East is able to maintain enough quality teams to keep one (I'm not sure they deserve one anymore unless they make some changes like adding Notre Dame for football). In any given year there would likely not be more then 2 conferences without an automatic qualifier. That would leave 2-4 teams to get at large bids. I like the idea of a selection committee to both pick and seed the teams. Teams not in the big 6 conferences would have to finish in the top 3-5 for an automatic bid.
Here's how the new season would go:
Teams have to be done with the regular season by the last weekend in November. Championship games have to be done by the first weekend in December. Selection Sunday is the next day. First round games are played 2 weeks later at the higher seeded team's home field, second round games are played 2 weeks later at a neutral site, and the Championship is played 2 weeks later at a neutral site. The Bowl season would sprinkle games in between the playoffs for fun.
As long as I'm at it, I would also have conferences expand the conference season to 10 games, and only have 2 non-conference games. That recommendation probably has about as much chance of being enacted as the rest of my plan, so why not throw it in.
There you have it. The perfect playoff system. Commence the criticism.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NCAA football playoff exercise

I started the exercise mentioned by Bart in the previous post- looking at what teams would have made the playoffs in the past several years.
2011 was pretty easy. If you just take the 4 best teams regardless of conference. LSU, Alabama, Stanford, Oklahoma State. All were undefeated or had one loss. 3 out of 4 won thier conference championship. The only other one loss team was Boise State at #7. If you went with Bart's idea that only conference Champions can make it, the committee would have had to choose between a 10th ranked UW, or a 11th ranked Virginia tech, in addition to Boise (all rankings BCS).
2010 was a crazy year. Auburn, Oregon and TCU went undefeated. Stanford, Boise, and a triple play of UW, MSU, and OSU from the Big Ten all had one loss. This brings up the weird problem of tie breakers determining who goes to what bowls.
As Badger fans will remember, the first Rose Bowl under Barry Alvarez would have never been except for a weird tie breaker between UW and OSU. Both teams were 6-1-1 that year and tied head to head. The tie breaker came down to what team had not been to the Rose bowl most recently. Perhaps one of the stupidest tie breakers ever, but one that changed the fortunes of a team, and started the legacy of Barry Alvarez.
Apparently I have blocked 2009 out of my memory, because I don't remember this at all. There were 5 undefeated teams going into bowl season. Alabama-Texas, and Cincy, TCU, and Boise in smaller conferences. Florida was the only major conference team with one loss.
Things just get nuts from here.
In 2008 Utah and Boise were undefeated, and Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Alabama, USC, Texas Tech, and Penn State all had one loss.
In 2007 only Hawaii was undefeated, and only #1 OSU, and Kansas had only one loss. LSU, Va Tech, Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri, West Virginia, USC, and Arizona State had 2 losses among major conference teams.
With years like those it seems impossible to create a fair system. I'll post my incredibly brilliant solution to this soon.

Winners only, please

Adam: thank you for letting me be a guest-poster on your esteemed blog. (Though I still think you should have called it "The General Opines.")

My main goal on this blog will be to point out your ridiculous mistakes in real time so that the whole world laughs at you. But since you haven't made any ridiculous mistakes yet (AFAIK), I'm going to have to come up with some original content for my first post. 

Andy Baggot has an interesting article about the "selection committee" that will pick the teams for the four-team playoff that begins in 2014. Baggot thought Badgers AD Barry Alvarez was interested in serving on the committee himself, but now thinks he may have developed cold feet after considering all the unreasonable rancor (a.k.a "the unholy shit-storm") that fans of left-out teams will unleash on members of that committee.

Finishing the season ranked number five in college football is going to be one of the most painful experiences in sports for a few years. But it won't last. What I like about this four-team playoff is that it is just a placeholder for an eight-team playoff and then (probably) a 16-team playoff. In life, only three things are certain: death, taxes, and expanding playoffs.

That said, we will have a four-team playoff for a while, and picking those four teams is going to be extremely controversial. Baggot proposes that the NCAA selection committee should start practicing by running through the scenarios from prior years to pick the top four for those seasons. That's a great idea, and maybe we could have some fun replaying previous years ourselves.

But I have another proposal for the four-team playoff: only conference champions and undefeated independents should be eligible. This takes care of a lot of the possible controversies. It also disposes with one of the objections to the playoff system, which is that it supposedly devalues the regular season. (This objection is nonsense, but widespread.) I recognize that this proposal is a little weird given that just last season the two-team playoff featured two teams from the same division, one of whom obviously was not a conference champion (or even a division champion). But I think we can agree that was an abomination.

Ultimately, a chance at a national title should not be a consolation prize for teams that can't win their own conference—at least not when only four teams are selected for the playoffs.

Monday, July 9, 2012

More on Ilyasova-why this doesn't make sense for the Bucks philosophy.

The contract details of Ilyasovas contract have not been released yet. It could turn out this deal is not as bad as it sounds if there are some non-guaranteed years at the end. I doubt this is the case as the Bucks were not in a great bargaining position since he was an unrestricted free agent. I promised more on the Bucks philosophy and why this deal doesn't make sense, so hear it is.
When John Hammond took over the Bucks he inherited a team full of bad contracts(Michael Redd post knee injury, Dan Gadzuric, Bobby Simmons) , and light on young talent (Andrew Bogut-pre elbow injury) from the Larry Harris era. He has been trading ever since to get rid of bad contracts, except for the step back taken when he resigned John Salmons and traded for Cory Maggette.
That misstep was likely due to some pressure from owner Herb Kohl, who wanted to keep his team in the playoffs after what looked like a breakouts season when Bogut was 3rd team all NBA, and Jennings looked like a budding star. Unfortunately Bogut's horrendous injury never healed and he has yet to return to the player he was, Jennings sophomore season was derailed by injury, Salmons checked out as soon as he cashed in, and Magegtte was just never a good fit. That left Hammond right where he was to start, trading bad contracts.
Other than that one year, Hammond has stuck to his script. The script by the way is the gameplan for small market teams to be competitive.
1) get rid of bad contracts. Teams that can't pay the luxury tax can't afford them.
2) accumulate assets- assets are young players with cheap contracts that have upside, draft picks, and veteran players that are in the last year of their contracts.
3) Accumulate a couple young stars coming into their own, who have yet to get big money contracts that you can build around.
4) Hope to find another team with a quality veteran they are willing to part with for some of your assets.
The Ilyasova contract only fits the script if either a) the Bucks feel he is a budding star and a player they can build around for the future, or b) they feel he is still a trade value asset even with his new contract. I don't buy either one.
Ilyasova is 25. By the time a guy hits 25 there are rarely giant leaps in ability. You pretty much know what you have. In Ilyasova they have a 6'10" stretch power forward. He's decent in the pick and roll on offense, but he won't be taking guys to the hole or backing them down in the post. He has limited ability to score on his own except from offensive rebounds. On defense, he is active, but he's not a great defender and never will be.
I like Ilyasova and I think he has the ability to be a starter/rotational role player on a championship team. He will never be a star, but on this years Bucks team he will be the teams 2nd highest paid player- behind Monta Ellis. That's just too much money for a good but not great player.
2 years from now the Bucks may be thinking that the should have let Ilyasova go the same way they let Charlie Villanueva walk a couple years ago. That worked out pretty well for the Bucks. Hopefully the Bucks aren't so salary cap strapped by this contract that they lose other talent in the next couple years, or worse yet are back to the game of trading bad contracts.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

1st post/Ilyasova just isn't that good

I have decided to start a blog mostly so that I can go back and show myself how smart I was when I was right about something. I suppose I'll keep the posts where I am wrong, but lets face it, there won't be any of those.
I read today that the Bucks have reportedly agreed to terms with power forward Ersan Ilyasova on a 5 year, 45 million dollar contract http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/bucks.html. This was very disappointing. I like Ilyasova, but this contract stinks. I can just see myself calling him Bobby Simmons 6 months from now.
For those of you not familiar with Bobby http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/1022/bobby-simmons. The Bucks signed him just after he had a break out season and won NBA most improved player. He immediately went back to being the player he was for the previous 3 underwhelming seasons, and the Bucks were stuck with yet another bad contract.
Ersan finished 2nd this year in the NBAs most improved player ballot. This is a list that is littered with bad contracts and overpaid role players. It has only existed since the mid 80s, but a quick look at the winners shows what I'm talking about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_Most_Improved_Player_Award. Outside of Kevin Johnson there are a lot of losers on this list. Certainly there are some all-stars, and there are some current players who may be on the verge of stardom- Danny Granger, Kevin Love, and the Bucks own Monta Ellis. However all in all these are overpaid role players who had one good season after a couple of bad ones.
I don't mean to knock these guys great years. A lot of these guys are low 1st round picks, or 2nd rounders that made a career because they worked their butts off and got better. That I respect (current Bucks coach Scott Skiles is also on this list). However, that doesn't mean they aren't/weren't overpaid, even by NBA standards.
This brings me back to Ersan. At 25 years old he is entering the prime of his career which is theoretically the best time to sign a guy long term. That really only applies if a guy is already performing at a high level or still has room to grow, or upside as you so often hear on NBA draft day.
It is my opinion that Ersan does not qualify on either count.
I will make another post on the Bucks organizational strategy of accumulating assets, and why I also think this doesn't fit in with that. More to come in that post about Ersan. Hopefully by then I will have some contract details to see how bad the deal really is.