Tag Archive | "University of Miami"

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My Ray Lewis memories

Posted on 03 January 2013 by Drew Forrester

I’ll always remember where I was the day Ray Lewis told Baltimore he had decided to retire.

I was eight feet to his left, in the practice facility at Owings Mills.

And I knew something was up almost right away.

I first noticed Ma’ake Kemoeatu hovering around in the back of the crowded press corps that was on hand to discuss the upcoming Ravens/Colts playoff game with coach John Harbaugh and his players.

Seconds later, Torrey Smith stood next to Kemo.  Less than a minute later, Terrell Suggs joined them.

I’ve seen lots and lots of Ray Lewis press conferences and never before had players gathered to listen in.

“Ray’s retiring”, I said to myself.  “There’s no other reason why those players would be back there taking this all in.”

My suspicions were right, of course.



I’ve been with WNST Radio for eleven football seasons, going all the way back to the 2002 campaign.

In that time, I’ve seen – literally – hundreds of players (maybe 300?) go through that locker room, both in the old facility in Owings Mills and “The Castle” on 1 Winning Drive.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen Ray Lewis sitting at his locker, but I’d say it’s easily in the hundreds as well.

I’ve only seen him with two books in his hands, ever.

The Bible.

And a Ravens playbook.

I’ve never, not once, seen Ray with a video game.  I’ve never seen him reading a magazine or a newspaper.  There’s no TV set or DVD player in his locker, like a half-dozen or more of the “stars” have in theirs.

Anytime I saw Ray Lewis at the practice facility, he was surrounded by his faith and by football.

Never once did Ray disrupt the media with loud, profane music coming from his locker while his teammates were being interviewed or the media were gathered for a sound bite.

I never saw him accidentally drop his towel and bare his naked body in close proximity to the media who might have been stationed at Ed Dickson’s locker some ten feet away…and then laugh out-loud in a manner more befitting of a fraternity house prank.

The next time I hear Ray Lewis use or shout the “N word” in the locker room will be the first time.

Cornhole?  Not Ray Lewis.  That fifteen minutes could be better spent studying film or the next opponent.

A lot of his teammates were guilty of that behavior I referenced above — and I’ve seen or heard all of that in a decade-plus of covering the team.  But I never heard or saw any of it from No. 52.

When Ray Lewis was on the premises, he was all business.

No shenanigans.  No tom foolerly.  No cutting up.


There are a lot of things about Ray Lewis that I will eternally respect, and his actions in the locker room are among the most memorable for me.

He was the epitome of the word “professional” when he was at work.


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It is Time for the NCAA to Grab the Reins and Control College Football

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It is Time for the NCAA to Grab the Reins and Control College Football

Posted on 21 July 2012 by andrewtomlinson

With new accusations the University of Miami Hurricanes football program broke football recruiting rules it is clear the NCAA has to do one thing over the next year and that is grab hold of their football programs.

It seems like the past year has been one black mark on college football after another. First it was the University of Miami scandal featuring illegal benefits and boosters not following rules. Then, it was Ohio State’s turn with players reportedly trading jerseys and memorabilia for tattoos and other benefits that led to the ousting of now dirty coach Jim Tressel. Following OSU was the breaking of the Penn State Jerry Sandusky scandal and finally we arrive back at The U. It has come full circle in the last year and while some scandals may have been left out, it is clear the NCAA has a problem.

Some people may say every college program violates the rules and it may be true in some fashion. At some point though, the association designed essentially to make sure players actually go to class and get a degree instead of just playing amateur athletics, has to bare down and say enough is enough. There are penalties in place to make sure other institutions take notice and follow the rules instead of continuing to blatantly ignore them. The NCAA is in a precarious position of risking the ability for the sport as a whole to function as extracurricular activity instead of essentially being a non-college athletic sport.

The Jerry Sandusky scandal and the fact Penn State University was reportedly unable to face “the death penalty” because the acts that were committed didn’t break any real NCAA football rules, highlights what is wrong with the current standard. In a world where young adult athletes are fed the fabrication that they get one chance, the NCAA seems to continually give the institutions multiple ones. At some point the powers that be in college football need to stop worrying about how to get the most money out of the bowl system and need to spend more time making sure teams can play in the bowls.

We are entering into yet another season where a major college football team will be ineligible for a bowl, with Ohio State University picking up where USC left off from the Reggie Bush fiasco. If that is what the NCAA views as an acceptable way to punish teams, the I’d hate to see the way they punish their kids for taking their car out for a joy-ride. By NCAA punishment precedent, a joy-ride would probably earn someone a timeout. Southern Methodist University got the death penalty and by all accounts it seems like it scared programs straight for a few years and it is time for the NCAA to scare the new crop of NCAA rule breakers into line.

Penn State, while they didn’t break football regulations, clearly broke many rules when it comes to safely carrying out a football program. They endangered the staff, the university, the NCAA and the players on the team, not to mention the numerous kids Sandusky came into contact with. The football team ran the school and Joe Paterno had more power than the president, if that doesn’t scream “loss of institutional control” nothing does. If the NCAA were to make an example of Penn State and say a new era of discipline has started, you better bet a lot more schools would think twice before they let a booster take a kid out to dinner, let alone overlook United States law.

If the NCAA does not start to assert its authority, we are going to continue to see schools think they are above the law and conferences who seem to not care at all. College football is an endeavor for young adults to partake in outside of earning an education and it is a luxury for a University, not a necessity. Sure, you can argue the kids who are there now shouldn’t be punished for the actions of those before them. Yet, if no one is ever punished no one will ever learn and college football will continue this self-destructive cycle.

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