2014 Sports Year In Review: Who Was Naughty And Who Was Nice

2 of 3

Naughty List:

Aug 5, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; PGA president Ted Bishop speaks during a press conference held during practice for the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Ted Bishop– The former PGA of America president I feel is tops on this list. Before we go into the well publicized incident, we can talk about how he made a mess of the PGA Championship. He was the face of that final round, one which will be remembered for a finish in almost absolute darkness. Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler each had legitimate chance to overtake Rory McIlroy but instead the latter and Bernd Wiesberger were made a part of an unorganized foursome that was created on the 72nd hole so everyone could finish in time. This was purely a money decision as at least $1 million was reported to be saved by not having the round completed on Monday. Instead of promoting talent, which included three of the most recognized players in the game, the PGA of America was influenced by money and perhaps McIlroy instead of the integrity of the event being the final of four majors played in the season.

Bishop’s mistakes continued and actually started with the announcement that Tom Watson would serve as the captain for the US Ryder Cup team. From the beginning this wreaked of desperation as an attempted throw back to 1993, the last time the Americans won a Ryder Cup on foreign soil. Instead of 1993, the Americans should have thrown back to 2008 when the Americans last won a Ryder Cup and were in sync. Watson was inconsistent in his decision making picking Webb Simpson over Bill Haas because of a last minute text but not choosing Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley for the Saturday afternoon pairings after Mickelson texted. Watson also passed on Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed Thursday afternoon when they were the most dominant duo in favor of a tired Mickelson. Watson overused Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker to the point that they played in every session. Just ask Phil Mickelson about the team camaraderie, he essentially said there was not much and threw Watson under the bus all in front of Watson and Bishop. Bishop was asked by reporters following that press conference for an interview but instead stormed out of the room. His throwback was a colossal failure and led to the formation of an American task force which was a long time coming.

Bishop’s last failure was in the aftermath of the Ryder Cup – the reason why his presidency ended prematurely. His comments to Ian Poulter after he sounded off on Nick Faldo’s character was immature and offended women everywhere. He did the deed not once but twice on social media and it took him over an hour to delete the responses. Bishop’s firing was justified.

Believe me, in his tenure as president Bishop did a lot right, but 2014 was a massive step backwards and this laundry list is why he is the top goat of the year, and I’m not talking greatest of all time.

Ray Rice– Talk about throwing your career away. The videos of domestic abuse with his fiance Janay revolutionized the sport and ruined what was a great career that included a Super Bowl ring. Roger Goodell is included in this selection because of his complete ignorance and inconsistency. His admission that he did not see the Rice videos is ridiculous and now he’s trying to recover against a growing amount of skeptics. Rice’s domestic abuse was the first in a series of names that are guilty of domestic abuse and it is a shame. The NFL will rehabilitate its image if it has not done so already but between this and its late reaction to the concussion epidemic are both major strikes.

University of Alabama– This solely has to do with the university’s conduct towards Danisha Simmons. Simmons had graduated from the university but had another year of eligibility remaining. Simmons was denied entry to Alabama’s MBA program and decided to enroll at Seton Hall. Seton Hall was closer to her home and she could take care of her brother who had End-stage renal disease, a disease which affects the kidneys. Alabama Athletic Director Bill Battle and women’s basketball coach Kristy Curry did not support Simmons playing basketball adhering to the NCAA rule of transfers sitting out a year but only at the last moment. Curry seemed upset that Simmons wanted to leave because they could not academically take care of her. Her mother also was under the weather when Simmons wanted to be able to support the family. This become a public matter with outrage coming in many different forms. Alabama finally relented and Simmons is currently second on Seton Hall’s team in scoring averaging just over 16 points a game. Still the real issue is the ignorance of one school because of unfounded bitter feelings.