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No news good news?

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Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:04 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

From the media perspective, it’s tough times running a major college athletics program in the Grand Canyon State. There’s bravery to be admired among the athletic brass who keep returning our phone calls.

Sports talk radio alights with cross-country gripes from egotistical coaches who complain about estranged wives and bait fans into staying home — inadvertently convincing their recruits to do the same.

Meltdown-prone football coaches nervously twiddle thumbs, hoping to keep players from serving hard time, while wondering how they can anchor themselves to the sideline next season, lest they incur newly enacted penalties.

And the bubble-wrap phraseology of an “economic slowdown” presses top-heavy athletic programs to lump players into fire-sale packages, sent off to rival schools for not generating enough income — when one coach alone receives a $775,000 raise.

In the athletic office, on the other end of the phone line during business hours, one might feel like a fluorescent-orange Hummer creeping through the alleyways of Nasiriyah.

But when it comes to real trouble, it’s always the quiet ones, popular wisdom warily recites.

A few hundred miles up I-17, Northern Arizona University quietly continues about its business, graduating student-athletes who avoid mug shots, forced transfers or sullen hauls to the NBA draft.

They say mountain air makes you smarter. But were NAU your neighbor, you might wonder what that freezer in the garage held.

Of course, the Northern Third isn’t pumping out much in the way of championships, which is one way to stay out of the news. Methinks that any sane athletic director wouldn’t trade their banners for anonymity by a long shot.

However, if you’re going to have a high-maintenance coach — er, vehicle — it ought to turn some fast laps. Either that, or trade it in. Because there’s no bravery in letting a storied program stall.

The recent success with our collegiate swimming program — and the potential three-peat of a softball championship — does well to outshine the negatives circulating this spring.

It gives reporters something positive to cultivate, before they borrow an axe from the Lumberjacks and start chopping.

Let’s hope that carries into the fall.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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