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Link Gumbo 12/11/12

News and Notes about LSU and the world of college sports.

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After a long break for Finals, LSU basketball returns to the court tonight against Chattanooga. The Tigers will be without PG Anthony Hickey, who was suspended for unspecified violations of university policy (as it's just the end of finals week, I'll let you make your own guess). Coach Jones is optimistic Hickey will return later this season, but until then others will have to step up and fill his role. LSU remains one of the few unbeaten teams in the sport, but that hasn't yet generated a lot of respect for the team in the national circles.

We only really cover LSU Women's basketball when something really good or really bad happens and unfortunately Sunday was a bad day. The Ladies lost in OT at home to Tulane, 66-64, and now have a 3 year losing streak to the Greenies, an unacceptable mark in any sport. The large student crowd on hand was stunned.

LSU Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri got a contract extension last week, which extends his job through the 2017 season.There was no increase in his pay, already by far the highest in the nation for a college coach at $750K, and the extra years, much like they do for football coaches, help him sell stability in the program to recruits. I think it's a good idea, but like every other fan I want to know when we are going to get back to Omaha. Also in College baseball, talks about how the SEC's Thursday Night package has led to a rebirth of the game on TV, both in coverage and ratings.

I'm not saying I believe it, but, SABAN IS TOTALLY GOING TO THE BROWNS.

The coaching changes continue as an old enemy has found his way to WKU. A few high profile assistants are now entering the mix for some of the vacancies across the country, with A&M OC Kliff Kingsbury a leading candidate for Texas Tech and Chad Morris, OC at LSU's bowl opponent Clemson, has been tied to multiple jobs. Clemson has already lost their DB coach Charlie Harbison, who left to take the same job at Auburn. Clemson fans may have helped him pack.

It's been a rough couple of days for the Big East. First, we learn that the Big East may have to settle for a TV contract of about $60 million, well below it's own estimations and far behind what the heavyweights of college sports earn (For example, the P12 is currently pulling down $250 million). The news only gets worse as now the 7 non-football Catholic schools have openly discussed breaking away to form their own conference. Their reasoning is that the league, after the recent high profile defections and the addition of such low caliber programs as Tulane, no longer resembles the Big East that they joined. Without those schools, the Big East would lose a significant portion of it's northeast roots and would end up resembling little more than a Conference USA-type league of far flung mid-to-low level teams. See what happens when you put the Greenies on your team?

It's been another year of decline for college football attendance, with figures down for every conference (except a statistical oddity in the P12). The reasons are the same as they always are: tickets are getting too expensive and fans generally have a better experience watching from home.

Chad Jones (WOOOOO!) is still trying to return to the NFL, and had a try out yesterday with Philadelphia, who may sign him in the coming offseason.