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Afternoon Rumble: belief in St. John's chances; Sanchez's agent drops truth bombs; more links

Plus Senators cajole the NCAA to address athlete welfare, why fans ignore women's sports and Dez Wells is in a textbook.

John Alber

Rumble tiny iconSt. John's is profiled by Seth Greenberg in a piece called "Why St. John's can win the Big East" (Insider/ $).

Crediting physical and mental maturity, learning how to win and eliminating selfish play and the suspensions that may have taken the rhythm out of the season, Greenberg thinks the Johnnies can be near to the top of the Big East. He mentions the deep backcourt and the good in-conference defense.

No pressure.

Rumble tiny iconJon Rothstein tweets easy preseason trusims:

Faith is encouraging. But last year a coach thought St. John's would WIN the Big East. There is a lot that needs to come together for the Red Storm next season...

But yes, the Johnnies have to be strong in the early part of the season to get an NCAA bid.

Rumble tiny iconOrlando Sanchez' New York City-based agent BJ Bass was a guest on the podcast Knicks @ Nite. He talks about the sales process of playing the angles, meeting the families and finding under-the-radar NBA talent. Interesting stuff, and seemingly honest.

"Most of the kids you know," Bass says, "are already unoffically associated with somebody. Let's call it what it is. There are relationships already in place with coaches and agents."

As far as Orlando Sanchez, Bass tells the hosts where he heard of Sanchez and why he thinks Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher will love his game. He feels that the Knicks genuinely like Sanchez and want to develop the forward.

On the other tracks

Longread of the Day --> Why do fans ignore women's sports? An in-depth look at Boston's striving women's pro teams in soccer and hockey, the marketing and awareness challenges, and finding the right fit of fans and city.

The public power to nudge the profit-driven NCAA -->Three US Senators sent official letters to the presidents of the "Power 5" schools, asking them to address how well they are caring for student-athlete welfare off the field/ court.

Because the five major conferences now have autonomy to create their own rules, "you now possess the authority" to create reform in college sports, the senators wrote to the university presidents.

"As such, we intend to monitor your progress to see whether the very schools and conferences that are often blamed for much of the problems plaguing intercollegiate athletics today effectively utilize the new flexibility you have been granted to implement meaningful reforms to better protect student-athletes," the letter states.

The comments, since the word "Senator" or "Congress" or "government" are used, are expectedly retrograde and filled with non-sensical attacks from the bright lights of the voting public.

You won't get paid, but you'll be immortalized in a textbook! --> Dez Wells, now of Maryland but formerly of Xavier, found himself featured in an anatomy textbook.

His clothes were on, in case you were thinking of asking.