Some random thoughts while wondering where the summer went:
n The clock's ticking on Atlantic Broadband's inability or unwillingness to deliver the Big Ten Network to its customers. Penn State fans endured last season without the network, but it's clear BTN is here to stay and just as clear that it intends to play hard ball: The Nittany Lions' first three games will be televised on BTN with the looming possibility that the first Big Ten road game, a seasonshaper at Illinois, could be, too. It's obvious that the Big Ten Network is important to the local audience, and the longer this standoff continues, the more obvious it's becoming that Atlantic Broadband is failing the local Penn State fan. Comcast made it work last year with its State College customers. Atlantic Broadband should do the same. Its spokesman, David Dane, has said twice recently that a deal is close. So, though, is the season, now just two weeks away.
n How about trading four home shopping networks for BTN?
n The state of Kentucky ought to be real proud of its highest-profile basketball coaches. First there's Louisville coach Rick Pitino, a husband and father of five who admitted in police documents that he was left the keys to a restaurant in order to have sex with a woman other than his wife and has now successfully stained his legacy. Then there's Kentucky's John Calipari, whose Memphis program has been forced to vacate all of its wins from last season because someone took the SATs for star Memphis player Derrick Rose. It's the second time one of Calipari's Final Four teams (UMass was the other in 1996) was stripped of its wins because of cheating. Despite his baggage, Kentucky quickly hired Calipari when it got the chance this past spring.
n Is Brett Favre stable?
n I'm confused: Altoona Area High School takes six months to hire a football coach and two weeks to secretly hire a basketball coach. Superintendent Dennis Murray made a good point about a coach being responsible for team morale, but jabbing Larry Betar off the plank in August - after bringing him back for a second stint three years ago - was not right.
n There's been some criticism aimed at the Mansion Park Summer Basketball League for the loss of its NCAA sanction, which is necessary to include Division I players. And while that is unfortunate, it's worth pointing out that the Hollidaysburg YMCA Women's League hasn't been sanctioned for the last two years. Insurance costs and NCAA red tape help dictate the decision of both leagues to move on without the sanction.
n Neal Huntington is right not to rush Pedro Alvarez.
n One of the better local stories of the summer was Holsinger Plumbing winning the Greater City League championship with contributors like 50-plus stalwarts Joe Holsinger and Joe Piotti.
n Congratulations to Ken Love, whose contributions to the Mirror's weekly golf page are matched by his achievements on the course. Love just captured the Iron Masters club championship, his third.
Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.