Vacation week

I'm off from the Press & Sun for a week, and I'm not allowed to blog for them off the clock, so I figured I'd check back in at the real Bearcat Country and catch up a little bit.

First off, a few people have asked whether or not this blog is done for. The answer is no -- I just don't have much time to follow much of the off-season recruiting like some other bloggers do. (And if that's what you're looking for, this is another great opportunity to plug America Least, where Drake's doing a terrific job following recruiting efforts by all nine AE schools.)

Once the season starts up again, I'll be back with preseason predictions, game-by-game analysis, etc.

The big topic surrounding Bearcats basketball, of course, has been the Minja Kovacevic case -- one of the most revolting cases of blown justice I've ever heard of. (Personal, unpaid blog = Strub can let the leash out a little bit here.)

Joseph Cawley needs to lose his job over this. Letting Kovacevic go on bail, and not properly monitoring a man who very nearly killed someone, is absolutely inexcusable for someone entrusted so deeply by the public. He needs to at least be publicly reprimanded for his actions in the case.

I'm sort of surprised that no one has contacted ex-coach Al Walker about this case. I'd be interested in hearing more about what made him think Minja would be a good representative of Binghamton University when he offered him a scholarship. It was obvious from just one look at Kovacevic's Facebook profile -- which has since either been taken down, or made private, or he just de-friended me -- that he was an, as we say, accident waiting to happen.

Another part of the case that's burning me up is the ethnic divisions being drawn in the sand. As I wrote in my professional blog on pressconnects.com (here), the whole thing has nothing to do with Kovacevic's ethnic background. NOTHING. Clear enough? This punk -- pardon my Daily News-ism -- is hiding from justice, then having Mommy and Daddy tell the reporters to blame the U.S. for his troubles.

That's right, Minja. Blame Binghamton University for offering you four free years of education that some of us -- myself included -- will be paying for for the next 20 years. Blame Binghamton for welcoming you with open arms, giving you standing ovations when you pulled off your practice jersey and represented our school and our area.

Let me try and take a "fair and balanced" view of this story for a second. Let's assume Bryan Steinhauer actually did pinch a girl's ass, at 1:30 a.m., at the Studio 54 party at the Rat.

That party is traditionally one of the biggest drunk-fests of the year, without a doubt. I went to the 2007 version of that particular party, and would've been at the '08 version had I not been stuck at work until 1:30 a.m. that night. I don't know Bryan, and don't know his drinking habits, but even if he was off-the-wall, blacked-out drunk, pinching a girl's rear end at the Rat is nothing out of the ordinary. It's almost harder *not* to pinch a girl in the disgustingly, obscenely close quarters of the Rat -- especially at 1:30 a.m., especially at Chrissy's Studio 54 bash, when a couple hundred kids are packed in there like sardines.

A pinch is a pinch. And nobody's saying that Steinhauer did anything more than that, if he was even "guilty" of this mere faux pas. Miladin Kovacevic -- allegedly -- stepped up and battered this kid within an inch of his life.

Assuming that this wasn't just a random act of hatred, I wouldn't be as upset if Kovacevic had simply punched the kid in the face, maybe given him a shiner or something. Heck, maybe Softic and Dzubur were friends with Minja, and there was some disrespect. You throw a left hand, or maybe a shot to the gut, to let him know you're there. One simple punch from Minja would have been, trust me, WAYYYYY more than enough to alert ANY drunken soul that they need to skedaddle.

But Minja felt the need to keep going. It's hard to believe that he did something like this consciously, which leads me to believe he was under the influence of something -- although I can tell you that I never, ever saw the kid with a drink in his hand. He must have not understood his own strength -- that, or he just didn't care about any possible consequences.

I need to get off this topic. It angers me to just think about it.

I wish all the best to Bryan Steinhauer and his family. I only write about this topic because I feel it is such a horrific injustice to Steinhauer.

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