Suspension Fatigue

Ohio State has self-reported more NCAA infractions and suspended three more players for the opening game against Akron.  The players are running back Jordan Hall and defensive backs Travis Howard and Corey Brown.  They reported that they received less than $300 in “impermissible benefits” while attending a charitable event earlier this year.  Ohio State has suspended them but seeks their reinstatement for the rest of the year.

There is no confirmed information that I have seen as to what the benefits were — and given that the benefits were conferred at a charitable event you have to wonder.  Was it food?  Free drink?  A leg up in bidding for an unpopular silent auction item?  And how much less than $300 were the benefits, anyway?

I don’t mean to belittle whatever it was the players did, but the fact is that right now Ohio State will be reporting every purported violation, no matter how trivial it may be, to demonstrate to the NCAA that the University is serious about compliance.  Given that reality, I’ve developed “suspension fatigue.”  Until I hear what these players actually did, and learn what possibly obscure rule they allegedly violated, I’m not going to rip them or tear my hair out at this latest apparent transgression.

Can this season please actually get started as soon as possible?

Sowing Earthlife

Those who are intrigued by the possibility of extraterrestrial life may be interested in a study that indicates that Earth itself could have been the source of life on other planets and moons in our solar system.

The study looked at the dispersion of debris from asteroid impacts on the Earth’s surface.  It found that such debris is far more likely to reach Mars, or even Jupiter and Saturn and their moons, than was previously thought.  If such debris contained small life forms, they therefore could have reached other places that are capable of sustaining life.  Of course, any microbes and other organisms on the debris would have to be hardy enough to survive years of travel through space, exposure to radiation, the fall to the surface of another planet, and the different atmospheres and living conditions on those planets — but we know that there are organisms that can survive such conditions, and we also know that life is tenacious and is found in even the most hostile and extreme climates on Earth.

We won’t know, of course, whether this scenario could actually have produced life elsewhere until we find such life and test it.  If we do find such life, however, it will give new meaning to the phrase “Mother Earth.”