Hoosier Morning

Matt Carlino with his father, Mark, before the start of Matt’s freshman season in Arizona. Charlie Leight | Arizona Republic

STARTING FIVE

1. WHO’S TO BLAME?

The story of Matt Carlino should not be played for jokes, I wrote, because it is a far too sad story, one that Matt is not ultimately responsible for.

It’s a mouthful, and the two-year odyssey of Carlino from high school sophomore at Gilbert Highland to junior at South to college freshman without a home is a strange one.

But this is not Carlino’s fault. He’s 18 and lacked the power to execute any of the decisions made since Carlino received a scholarship offer from Lute Olsen and Arizona when he was in the seventh grade.

Think of everything that you wanted during your teenage years, and how, if you were lucky, your parents told you no. That did not happen here.

2. INDIANA BASKETBALL

A source told me that reports of Indiana recruiting Kelvin Amayo had been overblown and IU never offered a scholarship. These things happen; recruits can say a lot of things and it can be very difficult to verify info, since the NCAA restricts so heavily what a college can say about a recruit.

Tom Crean and Bruce Weber were both in Evansville Tuesday to watch Bosse freshman Jaquan Lyle, the Evansville Courier & Press’ Gordon Engelhardt wrote.

Inside the Hall took questions through Twitter and also held a live chat. Check out both.

3. INDIANA FOOTBALL

Kevin Wilson is trying to keep the existing recruiting class together, including both four-star prospects, Dustin wrote.

Wilson is a man driven by his loyalty, creating tough choices early in his career, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s LaMond Pope wrote.

Not necessarily Indiana, but Big Ten: Chris Korman does his thing on the division names with easily the clearest and most rational take I have read so far on the subject.

4. BIG TEN BASKETBALL

Freshman forward Jon Horford had the best game of his young career and Michigan got past North Carolina Central, AnnArbor.com’s Michael Rothstein wrote.

Michigan State sophomore Derrick Nix talked about what had been his problems and why he was left at home when the Spartans went to Maui. His answer: “Women, cars … the stupid stuff,” the Lansing State Journal’s Joe Rexrode wrote.

Ohio State is focused on building its bench, which includes five freshman in various stages of “getting it,” the Columbus Dispatch’s Bob Baptist wrote. With all the academic and legal problems past Minnesota, Gophers’ coach Tubby Smith is much more relaxed and enjoyable, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Myron P. Medcalf wrote.

5. ONE FOR THE ROAD

The Beatles’ “In My Life.”

37 comments

  1. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. I like to think I did a pretty good job and there were still plenty of nights I laid awake wondering if I had done the right thing. Some parents don’t put any effort into it and some try to live their kid’s life for them. Amazingly, most kids survive parenting. But there are plenty of scarred people out there.
    I truly hope Matt is able the seize the bull by the horns and work this all out. He still has time to have a full college basketball career IF that’s what he wants. Let’s don’t all assume it is. Basketball is not the whole world. If he were to even choose not to play that doesn’t mean he’s a failure. It just means he didn’t play basketball.

  2. Chet, out of curiosity did you let your boys(if you have any) play football? I battle many physical conditions today from playing when I was young to senior year in high school. I had too small a frame to play my position in high school and was too small to throw shot, discus, and hammer the one year I did on college. I struggle today with my health. I don’t know how some of these guys do it after college and even pro ball. I lay awake at night and wonder what I will do/say when my son ask me if he can play football. Thanks.

    HT crew, since the new lay out I have had some trouble with posting. I would say about 4 or 5 times I have added the numbers correctly and for whatever reason, my post did not show up. When I try again, it says it is a duplicate comment but it still never shows up. This has happened on at least three computers. Just wanted to let you all know. I kept meaning to tell you this but kept forgetting. Thanks.

  3. The following comment is from JPat, who is apparently having trouble posting on the site. He e-mailed me this. Not sure what the techological issue is there, but I’ll look into it. Anyway, here’s JPat:

    Chet, out of curiosity did you let your boys(if you have any) play football? I
    battle many physical conditions today from playing when I was young to senior
    year in high school. I had too small a frame to play my position in high school
    and was too small to throw shot, discus, and hammer the one year I did on
    college. I struggle today with my health. I don’t know how some of these guys
    do it after college and even pro ball. I lay awake at night and wonder what I
    will do/say when my son ask me if he can play football. Thanks.

  4. No problem JPat. This is apparently an issue elsewhere. Here’s a comment from Mike P., which, by the way, I co-sign.

    Clarion,

    If you have access to the pay-site, I suggest you read Hugh’s article on Carlino. It could possibly be the best article Hugh has wrote while at the HT. The underlined story of the article, if you remove Carlino’s name, his ties to Bloomington and IU is a message that a lot of sports parents need to read, take a look at themselves in the mirror and hopefully will recognize if they are that parent or not.

  5. Ok, now I am confused. Why were my comments being moderated? If you notice, I changed little things around with each post so that they might post. Weird!

  6. So just got the word on that from the web guys. Apparently you guys got flagged as spam. They’re not sure why. They’re trying to keep a closer eye on that so we don’t have any more posts about Gucci bags and such. Hopefully that’s not an issue any further.

  7. I, too, struggle with the question of whether to let my son play football. Of course, he’s only 4 months old, so I have a while to grapple with that decision. But based on how big he is at 4 months old, I could be looking at a potential All-American here.

  8. John and Hugh, the new concussion data is mind blowing! My son is almost 5. The earliest I would let him play football is 10 or 11…it just is not needed before that, just my opinion! In the next 5 years or so we will see more findings on concussions and I will make my decision. I thought it was interesting and my numbers are not 100% correct but I saw on real sports HBO that last year well over 10 high schoolers, think it was 13 but not sure, in Texas suffered injuries on the football field. The one father was so torn up that he will be lucky if he makes it. That is just in Texas guys!

  9. I agree 100% with Chet…Not playing basketball doesn’t make you a failure. Playing basketball and going to Purdue makes you a failure.

  10. I also have a four year old boy, and a three year old girl. I’ve coached and played sports, and my wife as well.
    We are lucky that they got thier mothers talent level. HaHa. I can see that they will want to play regardless, if we want them to or not. I also believe that exposure to high contact and weight training to early is not neccesary. Although it can toughen up a kid, work ethic, etc. My wife and I will not force a certain sport on our kids. We will let the COACH do thier job. And, we won’t be in it for the big bucks. If we can stay out of the social/clique problems and encourage our kids to play hard and smart, earn thier own way, we will feel good.
    If they make it to the college level, on scholarship thats just icing, not everything.

  11. J Pat,

    You will tell him, okay. 🙂

    To me it was never an issue of if I would let Little Mike P. play or not, it was always an issue of does he want to or not. I decided long ago I would never push him to play a sport if he doesn’t want to.

    This year watching him take the beating he did by some of the bigger boys in the league, covered head to toe in bruises was difficult. I took a lot of pride in watching him get up, play after play, refusing to let people help him up (he is prideful) and go right back to his spot.

    He has had a concussion that caused him to miss a few weeks before getting cleared to play. Letting him suit up after that was the single hardest thing I’ve done concerning him. Until he made his first hit and showed me he was fine, I was a nervous wreck.

  12. As for not letting them play till they are 10 or 11, I would make sure you look at your local youth league and see how they determine what level they are on. Mine has played organized football since he was 6, tackle since he was 7, this was his 4th year in pads and 5th year overall.

    The difference in physical maturity between 5th and 6th grade kids can be major, and if Little Mike P hadn’t been playing tackle all these years, understood how to properly hit and take a hit, the chance for injury would have been much, much higher.

    As it was, he was one of only 2 kids on his team that never missed a play in practice or in a game that he was supposed to be on the field. I can only contribute that to the physical and mental toughness he gained from prior years of full contact play.

    Hugh,
    Little Mike P. has found a love for watching hockey, however he describes it as “football on ice with weapons”. That statement in itself is why I wont let him on the ice.

  13. I will be the first to say that we don’t push our kids. I pride myself in that fact! I have them at 4 and 6 years old in dance(girl), both in swimming, tee ball, soccer, basketball, and tennis. We might try golf this summer. I am just trying to show them as many sports as I can and if they choose one or two, great….if not, that is fine and dandy. My daughter did not want to continue dance after two years so we pulled her out. I will tell you all that as a father it has been so rewarding to coach both of my kids the last two years. If you have not done so, go for it. I will do it all year around as a volunteer until about 2nd or 3rd grade and then watch from the sideline.

    Mike P, I started football at 10 years old and never missed a beat. I know the youth football movement is big right now, bigger than ever but I don’t really think that I want my little guy suiting up at 7 or 8…just me. I read so many studies from Stanford and the Mayo Clinic in the mid to late 90’s about kids bones vs muscle mass and tendons and ligaments not being developed enough to take the hits and how they could grow improperly after the abuse not to mention scar tissue. I also remember many studies being done on weight lifting. Heavy or light, I will not allow either of my kids in the weight room until summer before 9th grade. Agility and cardio drills with plyo is plenty! The studies I speak of combined with the mini-hit concussion study at UNC the last 2 years on the football players is enough to keep my kid out of contact football until at least 5th and most likely 6th grade. I can teach him in the back yard proper technique…most likely better than Lynch and Palcic!

  14. Football is a great game. You played or will allow your children to play because it is a great game. As a parent you are responsible for making the critical decision of is the risk worth the reward? Do not be fooled by the argument that the earlier they begin tackle football the better prepared they will be. Flag football is a good way to learn some of the fundamentals, throwing, catching, kicking, running plays, even some blocking,etc.
    The Green Bay quarterback suffered a concussion last Sunday and it was not a violent hit, it was a mistake. He is making a lot of money, so I do not have much sympathy for him. The sympathy comes for guys like Mike Webster, former Steelers center, who had such brain damage that he lost his family and slept in cars.
    Don’t be pressured by peer pressure. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your child’s well-being. Make your decisions based on what you think is best.

  15. Hugh,

    I played hockey for eight years. Gotta tell you — your kid won’t have more fun playing anything else. You get to hit people, score goals, scrap without consequence, and you never get overheated.

    Also, your kid will be tough as nails and widely regarded as a huge badass. Can’t really go wrong.

  16. I know I now have a historians outlook and my young-uns are no longer children but if we could have a do-over my wife and I would let them play the games they wish.

  17. My youngest boy played thru the ninth grade and then decided to concentrate on one sport. His decision, not mine. He played pretty much everything and did pretty well at most. My oldest played football all thru high school. He missed most of his junior year after being speared after a play was whistled dead. The injury required five hours of surgery and he now has two titanium plates in his jaw. Five months after his surgery he was a state finalist in wresting. He earned all state in football and wrestling his senior year. The injury about killed my wife and me. My son said that missing the season was the most motivating thing that ever happened to him. Obviously, I have mixed feelings. I loved watching him play, though.

  18. Four orthopedic surgeries, “no problem, we’ll get you fixed.” Broke my nose twice; “it gives your face character.” All the typical bumps, bruises, strains and sprains; “suck it up.” Two concussions in my senior season; “you’re done playing football, son.”

    If your sons are big, fast and have a strong desire, make sure they play for good coaches that emphasize good technique and take player safety seriously. Weight training and conditioning is now essential year round. Never abdicate your authority about your son to any coach. And always take the most conservative approach to allowing your son to heal after an injury.

    If you have a daughter, don’t let them grow up to be goal keepers in competitive soccer. It can devastate their spines and result in serious chronic back pain. It is arguably as dangerous as your son playing football, and they don’t wear pads. Biggest regret of my life.

  19. J Pat,

    It is a lot different than when we were kids. When I played in the same league there were maybe 3 kids that were over the 150# mark, this year there were 13 kids over 200#. Kids are faster and stronger these days.

    That said, I am not trying to put any peer pressure on you as headaches might try to insinuate, but all I can tell you is my personal experience with my own son and coaching these same kids and what I see. I would never dictate to another parent how they should raise their kid.

    Trust me, I deal with aches and pains everyday, and I would give almost anything to have healthy knees for just one more game.

  20. Mike P, thanks for the words. I did not take it that way and I hope my post did not come off like I know it all about youth football. I remember your posts a year or so ago when you were typing while on pain killers/muscle relaxers. I have been in a similar situation recently, to hell and back with pain. The docs say after the x rays and all that it was sports! It all scares me to death. In the end I think I will let him make his decision. I cannot hide my passion for the game, that is impossible! Have a great snowy day guys! I did our driveway and I say 4 inches in B town!

  21. On a related note, one of my son’s former teammates is among the final 5 contestants on Survivor. His name is Chase. I like Chase but I can’t stand reality shows.

  22. I am the same way, the scar tissue in my ankles, wrist, etc. from playing different sports is scary. However I just can’t see not allowing my son to play a game he loves because of what I went through.

    I was really hard on my body, a lot harder than he is on his. I never contemplated a chiropractor or anything like that, he knows when he needs to go get adjusted and lets us know. I would never do anything outside of sports at his age to prepare for sports. He goes and runs, does shuttle drills and different sprints sometimes with sometimes without runners weights on his ankles and wrist for resistance. Again, these are all his choices, I just drive him to the facilities he uses. As for the ankle and wrist weights, I have spoke with his doctor and our Ortho and they have all agreed that the amount of weight he is using will not have any adverse effects.

    Again, every kid is different, I have coached kids who came to us and couldn’t run 5 yards without tripping on their own two feet, now they are animals who run people over, it is just when their bodies begin to develop.

  23. Chet,

    I have a 14 yr. old nephew who holds a 2nd or 3rd degree black belt in Korean Tae Kwon Do. He stands about 5’1″, 170 lbs.(very thick and strong). This past Spring at 13 he fought in the Junior Olympics at Orlando in the championship fight. The kid he fought was 17 yr. old and stood 6’3″ and was a previous champion. Max won all of his style events and competitions during the tournament but could not overcome the age and size disparity this match offered him. He proudly displays the Silver Medal he earned. Over this past Summer and Fall he has grown 5 inches and is eager to fight a rematch with the big champion in the future.

  24. HC, what a great experience. I hope you have gotten a chance to see him compete. I’d like to see the rematch. It’s a beautiful sport. We engaged in TKD as a family for many years. Everyone, including my wife, reached 2nd degree black belt. We quit competing in tournaments when scholastic sports took over our lives. We also found ourselves paying the school each month for the honor to teach the classes. We competed far and wide for several years. My oldest son would always bump up an age group so that he would not have to compete against his brother, who was 18 months his junior. It was a great experience for everyone and had a remarkable impact on the kids other sports as well as academics.
    As an aside, I couldn’t imagine the kids ever getting in a fight. They developed the confidence and self disciple to walk away.
    I continue to practice but purely to maintain my flexibility, which is important at my age. I managed to stay fairly unscathed as a youth but, due to an active lifestyle and a minimal IQ, I’ve had a litany of injuries/surgeries as an adult. Knees, shoulders, ruptured achilles, you name it. Last April I had to have spinal surgery to relieve pressure (stenosis) on my spinal cord. I was out of rehab a couple weeks and broke my collar bone mountain biking in Moab, UT. I’m growing older but not up. It’s fine now but I’ve acquired yet another lump.

  25. I’ve never believed I was a great parent. I know at times I’ve expected too much because a history of expecting far less out of myself. My way has not been paved in success and I don’t offer a very good road map for the life my child. The only thing I have is the look in her eyes telling me she is capable of great things.

  26. It has been awesome getting everyones take on this subject. Thanks!!!

    Hugh, I was at a shop yesterday and quickly read your story on Carlino. I was all excited telling my wife about it and she played devils adv. Made me mad but she had a point. She asked me if you or a source knew for 100% certain that Mark was pulling the strings on all of this. She made a point that maybe Matt wanted all of this. Just wanted to know your take on this. If my kid happens to be really good at a sport…I will do everything in my power to please him/her and help them succeed.

  27. The day will come…soon, where the football rules will outlaw ANY contact from the top of the shoulders up. If they don’t it is a criminal disregard for the safety of the child.
    Each regular ‘hit’ carries the impact of a car hitting a wall at 20mph and the impact to the child is the equivalent of the driver’s hit against the windshield. At that velocity, the head cracks the windshield.
    I wanted my children to be educated, disciplined, strong, spiritually sound, ethical…but not at the cost of neurological disorders (at best) by the time he is 30 or a semi-invalid at 60. My ego is not worth asking them to fill my need for self-esteem.
    I am proud of them because they are good, loving people.

    Please read your own comments…and if you really love your children…think about what you have said. The truth is between you, God and your kid.

  28. I was listening to ESPN the other day and a guest on one of the shows said that he was a player rep for many years. He went on to say that companies have been bringing new helmet technology to the NFL to evaluate every year he could remember but they are still using basically the same helmets they have been using since 1978 due to licensing issues (i.e. money).
    When I was in high school they were just beginning to use the inflation adjustable helmets but most of the kids still had helmets with canvas webbing in it. It was nuts. Check out the life expectancy of an NFL player. Pretty scary stuff.

  29. Chet,

    I’d like to know who it was. Saying licensing issues are the cause is a bold face lie! NFL players can use any helmet that meets national safety standards. Currently there are 16 commercially available helmets that meet those standards and are available for use in the NFL.

    The helmet that Peyton wears is a Riddell Revolution IQ, the Revo line wasn’t designed until 2002. The HITS (Head Impact Telemetry System) designed by Riddell has been used in the helmets of IU football players.

    A helmet that is growing in popularity with players, the ION 4D from Schutt was developed in 2007.

    Riddell has a new helmet out that uses a Military padding that is designed to prevent concussions caused by the shock wave of a bomb blast. Unfortuantly the helmets don’t pass the players “mirror test” and it is being rejected by the PLAYERS!

    There is still a lot of work left to make helmets safer, but for a players rep to say that the NFL is not allowing for advancement because of licensing is ridiculous!

  30. Good to know. I don’t know why he would offer that up, either, given what you have posted. Thanks. I didn’t catch, or don’t remember, the name. I listen to ESPN in the car so I never hear more than 10 minutes at a time.

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