Training Camp at Lehigh? Fugetaboutit Updated

Training Camp at Lehigh? Fugetaboutit Updated

Update: Another article in today's Morning Call would suggest the university will accommodate the Eagles even on short notice. "If there's an ideal time," Sterrett said, "then, yes, we'd like to know
by mid-June if we're going to provide the same quality setup as before.
But is there a drop-dead date we have to know by? No." Still, further delays reduce the prospects of holding camp at Lehigh. The team would likely abandon the idea if it became a headache, and regardless, it needs to conclude before students return. Hat tip to Lehigh Chris.**

One of the Eagles' great traditions could soon become another casualty of the lockout. Lehigh University, which has played host to training camp since 1996, and the Birds' organization will reach a decision on whether they will hold the event on campus or not by mid-June. Camp typically opens later in July.

The sad realization we've come to though is this announcement was probably just a formality. With only one more major court date remaining on June 3, it appears litigation won't resolve any labor issues, and the players and owners have made no defined progress since the lockout began. In fact, they aren't even in mediation right now. Barring a miracle ruling, or a very sudden about-face in negotiations, there is virtually no way this thing is over in time to save camp, at least it's highly unlikely.

And certainly a shame, as training camp at Lehigh has been one thing everybody can agree the franchise has gotten right. Each year, tens of thousands of fans attend the practices, with no price of admission. It's an easy thing to take for granted, but less than half the league still holds camps that are open to public.

You can't blame either side for taking a position on cancelling. It's not something the university just whips together. A lot of work goes into preparing the campus for the influx of visitors. When it's over, they have to tear it all down and get ready for the school year. The Eagles have to be honest with themselves, too. Even if the lockout ends before the date they would have opened camp, is there even enough time to coordinate the trip?

Of course, first it's training camp, then it's the preseason, and finally... games?

Before this thing started, I didn't think there was any way the NFL would risk losing games to a work stoppage. While talking some Birds the other day, I realized now I am starting to believe it's inevitable.

When will something happen? After the appeals court reaches their decision on June 3? July? At the last possible minute in August? And what is "the last possible minute?" Regardless of where it's held, teams need some kind of formal training camp, at least a couple of weeks I would imagine, and maybe a preseason game or two. Hell, they haven't even had free agency yet, or signed rookies. They can't just notarize a deal one day and be playing football the next.

Unless a collective bargaining agreement comes soon after, the official cancellation of training camp will be a very bad day not just for Eagles fans, but perhaps all fans of the sport. These folks are reaching a point of no return soon, and while they probably wouldn't allow the entire season to go under no matter what the cost, even one missed or delayed regular season game is one too many.

>> Lehigh is still holding space for Eagles [Morning Call]
>> Lehigh, Birds agree to decide on camp around mid-June [Daily News]

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.