City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: Is Jim Zorn Running ‘Camp Snoopy’?

Lost in the Stephen Strasburg hub-bub: Jeff Ruland is back in town.

The onetime Bruise Brother was named head coach of the University of the District of Columbia. Ruland gets the UDC job after getting canned as an assistant by new '76ers coach Eddie Jordan.

Ruland played the moody lug to Rick Mahorn's gregarious lug when the two of them lugged up the lane for the Washington Bullets of the 1980s. He and Mahorn were famously dubbed "McFilthy & McNasty" by the greatest play-by-play announcer ever, the Celtics' Johnny Most.

At UDC, Ruland takes over a program that hasn't been good since his earliest days as a Bullet. Given the way college basketball and recruiting have changed in the years since, there's no way that Ruland can bring UDC back to the heights it reached back in the early 1980s. The Firebirds won an NCAA Division II national championship in 1981 with a squad that featured two high NBA draft picks: First-rounder Earl Jones, who went to the L.A. Lakers, and Michael Britt, a second-round pick of the Washington Bullets in 1983. D-II ballplayers don't get drafted anymore.

Mahorn's also a coach, and he's still getting in trouble for shoving people around on the court these days.

Only now, he shoves women.

He's head coach of the Detroit Shock, and last year, when he was an assistant under seminal NBA thug Bill Laimbeer, Mahorn got a little too involved in a bench-clearing brawl between his team and the L.A. Sparks.

Mahorn said he pushed Sparks star Lisa Leslie to the ground while acting as "peacemaker," but he got suspended anyway.

***

Duke basketballer Greg Paulus was just named the starting quarterback at Syracuse.

(AFTER THE JUMP: Adrian Dantley's son bumped for Paulus? How do you sell parking for Redskins games without ever saying "Redskins"? Is taping guys to goal posts still giggly? Does anybody really think Cora Masters Barry is a victim?)

This odd turn of events — Paulus already graduated from Duke and used up his basketball eligibility there, but weird NCAA rules allow one extra season in another sport for folks in grad school — puts one of our own, Cam Dantley, deeper on the bench.

Dantley, who grew up in Silver Spring and went to St. Alban's, is the son of local hero and basketball Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley. Cam Dantley was the Syracuse starting QB last season.

***

If you don't think Dan Snyder plays hardball with the competition, take a look at the web site for the FanZone, which sells parking passes for Redskins games for an independently operated lot located near FedExField.

Nowhere on the site will you find either "FedExField" or "Redskins." Guess they're afraid of Snyder's lawyers.

The FanZone pass for its Redskins lot is $300, which is $50 cheaper than Snyder's cheapest.

***

It's hazing season at Redskins Park. These sort of towel-snapping tales sound charming and funny when you hear retired players or old veterans talking about what happened to them when they were rookies.

But silliness among grown-ups, even grown-ups who play a game for a living, doesn't wear as well when there are photos. Especially two days in a row of the same silliness from the same group of grown-ups.

When Matt Terl wrote a lighthearted piece about the first day of goalpost taping on Dan Snyder's official Redskins blog, a lot of the commenters started railing against the team for fiddling while Rome is burning.

"It seems like coach Zorn is running camp snoopy in VA," wrote one.

There's plenty of visual evidence to back up that charge.

***

Speaking of Camp Snoopy: The eviction saga of Cora Masters Barry goes on.

I hope when all this is done somebody can explain what really goes on at her tennis center.

It's an odd set up she's set up. The facility is owned by the city, but in many ways it's controlled by her, and she's not an employee of the DC government.

I once called the communications office of the Department of Parks and Recreation, while I was doing a story on all the money she stole from DC back when she was a boxing commissioner named Cora Wilds, and asked who in our government she reports to, since she's in control of such a valuable piece of public property and, well, she does have a history of misusing the people's resources. (Nobody old enough to remember her total disregard for laws and regulations as boxing commissioner can take Masters Barry's claims of victimhood seriously here.)

A Parks and Rec spokesman told me he'd get back to me, and two days later, he got back with the answer: "Nobody."

Cora Masters Barry answers to nobody?

"Nobody."

What a city!

***

Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
...