Vikings drop off dead weight

 

Size is what helped Bryant McKinnie(notes) become a Pro Bowl offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings and the recipient of a 2006 contract extension that was close to $50 million. Size is what caused him to get cut by the team on Tuesday.

McKinnie showed up to Vikings training camp weighing nearly 400 pounds, 65 pounds above last season’s official playing weight. Judd Zugland of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that McKinnie’s girth was the “final straw” with the team. On Monday, the 31-year-old lineman was placed on the non-football injury list. The next day, he was gone.

The Vikings will avoid McKinnie’s $5.4 million cap number for 2011 as a result of the release.

There’s always a fine line in the NFL between acceptably heavy and too heavy. Guys on the line, like McKinnie, have to be big enough to open gaps for running backs and prevent the pass rush but athletic enough to stay on the field for a three-hour game and make it through training camp. Teams want their linemen bigger and bigger, up to a point. Once that tipping point is reached, they’re done with you.

McKinnie’s talent kept him in a Vikings uniform even through myriad off-field issues. He was suspended for four games in 2008 after his involvement in a Miami brawl and was instrumental in the team’s embarrassing Love Boat incident. Last year, McKinnie was booted from the Pro Bowl team.

He insisted to TMZ that the release was of his own doing, an interesting statement on a number of levels, the biggest of which is that Bryant McKinnie talks to TMZ about his football contract.

McKinnie said he’ll be ready for next year with a different team. During his break, he’d be wise to remember that the Vikings just proved the old adage true: Size matters.

Not much to say here. I guess a picture is worth a thousand words. ^

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Teacher/Student Facebooking outlawed in Mizzou

Michelle Anselmo/Fox2Now

A new Missouri law has educators thinking twice about social media relationships and students. Most districts already have policies in place but one local State Senator says they don’t go far enough. The law goes in effect at the end of August but school districts will have until January to comply. By law, teachers won’t be able to privately talk to any student online. There are undoubtedly a lot of gray areas but it also stops what some call “passing the trash” from district to district.

What about it? Have you ever friended a teacher?

Tabor Academy looking for a new headmaster

Jay Stroud, 67, headmaster of Tabor Academy for the past 23 years, announced his retirement, effective next June 30. A search committee has begun hunting for a successor, and Stroud said a new headmaster would be in place by this fall. He is the eighth headmaster in the private prep school’s 135-year history. In a letter to alumni, Stroud said that during his tenure, more than 3,000 students have been in his charge and he pointed to the accomplishments of the school in that time, calling it a “team effort” that included building or renovating entities such as the Fish Center, marine science lab, and math/science center. – Paul Kandarian/Boston Globe 7/31/2011

Tabor…great prep school. Amazing campus on Sippican Harbor. A notable Tabor alumnus is former BU hockey player and current inspiring speaker, Travis Roy.

Judging from this video, the next headmaster at Tabor has some pretty big shoes to fill. Good luck Mr. Stroud.

Adult hoopster who posed as a teen gets sentenced to jail

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A former star athlete who posed as a teenager to play high school basketball in West Texas was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after reaching a plea deal, a prosecutor said.

Guerdwich Montimere, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and three counts of tampering with government records, said Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland.

Officials say the naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti had graduated from high school in Florida, where he also played basketball, years before he moved to Odessa and presented himself as a ninth-grader named Jerry Joseph. Montimere was 21 and 22 when he played one season at Odessa Permian High, the same rabidly competitive school that inspired the book and movie Friday Night Lights about high school football. Montimere helped lead the Panthers to the 2010 state playoffs, but the team had to forfeit after his story unraveled.

Montimere was indicted last year on six felony charges, including sexual assault and tampering with government records. His trial was to begin next week in Odessa, and he had faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the original counts. The indictment accused him of identity theft. The sexual assault counts accused him of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

“Sometimes your best defense is to take the road with the least amount of risk. He could have gotten 20 years,” Montimere’s attorney, Dusty Gallivan, said.

Suspicions were raised about Joseph after coaches from Florida at a post-season amateur basketball tournament in Arkansas said they recognized him as Montimere, a 2007 graduate of a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., high school.

Because he was living with Odessa basketball coach Danny Wright and not a parent or guardian, Montimere had to apply to the University Interscholastic League in Austin to play high school basketball. A waiver was granted and he was the star of the team.

Wright, who still calls Montimere by the name Jerry, said he was livid once he learned Joseph wasn’t who he said he was.

“I was blindsided,” Wright said. “I never saw it coming. I just thought he was a big kid.”

Montimere was named the District 2-5A Newcomer of the Year, an honor that was stripped when his deception was exposed. The Panthers also forfeited their 16 wins, although Wright said the “team would have been good with or without Jerry.”

After the Arkansas tournament, Permian officials had begun receiving anonymous phone calls and emails saying Joseph was really Montimere. Odessa school officials looked into the situation, and Joseph was initially cleared by immigration authorities and allowed to return to the school.

But the investigation continued, and officials eventually confirmed Montimere’s identity. School officials said Montimere confessed after he was confronted with the new evidence.

Who will be the first kid to go back to middle school so they can tear it up? Oh yeah. That already happens at a lot of prep schools. We call it “repeating.”

Puffy Combs’ prep school baller son getting recruited to play big time football

**Warning–clip contains profanity**

By Steve Coogan, USA TODAY

8/1/2011

Sean “Diddy” Combs makes his living in the studio, the board room and on movie sets. His son is moving in the direction of possibly making his living on the football field.

Justin Combs, the son of the world famous rapper/actor/producer/mogul, is a 5-9, 175 pound cornerback for New York’s Iona Prep and he’s being recruited by a group of BCS conference schools, according to Greg Powers of Scout.com.

Combs listed ACC school Virginia, Wyoming, Middle Tennessee State and UAB as schools that already have made offers, according to Powers. Then a Big 10 school jumped into the mix last week.

“I talked to the coach at Illinois, and they told me that they were going to give me an offer,” Combs said. “They seemed very excited. We talked about the academics, the football team, the campus, the life there and stuff like that just so I could know a little bit about it. I am going to go out there and see the campus soon before my season.”

Combs also went to West Virginia’s football camp this past weekend to compete for a scholarship offer there and his coach said he’s been contacted by Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, UCLA, Arizona State and Cincinnati.

The younger Combs said it’s always been a dream of his to play college football and make a name for himself.

“I just want to show my hard work and how it pays off and to show that I deserve that spot and I deserve that scholarship. This why I deserve that scholarship — I am going to show you why.”

He may have the talent and drive to earn that scholarship from a BCS conference institution but is one necessary? Forbes reported “Diddy” earned $35 million between May 2010 and May 2011 and the publication estimates his net worth at $475 million. Should Justin just walk on and save that scholarship for someone who actually needs it?