Golden: We’d love to see Ash succeed, but is football worth the risk?


I would love to see David Ash find true happiness in a vocation less risky than on a football field.

But I understand. At 24, the thirst of competition still burns inside him.

The former Texas quarterback has been medically cleared to return to the game after multiple concussions forced him retire after the 2014 season opener. Ash will participate in Texas’ pro timing day on March 28 and I’m told he’ll throw as well as punt for NFL scouts.

For those who don’t know, Ash was one of the nation’s top high school punters at Belton, averaging 45.9 yards on 17 attempts in 2010.

Ash says he isn’t discussing his decision until the 28th, but for now, join me in wishing him well. Punters don’t take nearly as many hits as quarterbacks, but playing football would still put him at risk. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: If he was my son, I’d encourage him to not play this sport anymore, given his history.

He’s a super kid who would be successful in many other fields. I just hope the football field doesn’t do him irreparable harm.

Let’s get Texas and Texas A&M to play a three-game baseball series in 2018, stat. And if the football teams are interested, we’d love to see them back doing business on future Thanksgiving weekends.

These schools are made for one another and one glance at the sellout crowd at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday night reminded us that this rivalry is still a hot one.

I really like the spirit of this Texas baseball team. That 4-3 win was the biggest of David Pierce’s early tenure. More important, it’s a signature win for a program desperate to get back to the postseason.

At 13-6, it’s too early to determine whether Texas will contend for the Big 12 title — the Horns open conference play at home against Texas Tech on Friday — but putting a win over a ranked team can only help this team’s confidence.

Speaking of confidence, senior first baseman Kacy Clemens has leader written all over him. He didn’t mind calling out the Aggies days before the game, then backed it up with a pair of hits, an RBI and a run that came complete with a kick of the Aggie catcher’s helmet. While we can’t condone taunting of that manner, Clemens would be one of the first to remind you that the Aggies flashed the Horns Down in College Station after a walk-off win last year.

“This is more of what you’re going to see, in my opinion,” Clemens told reporters. “We have a lot of potential, we’ve started putting the ball in play a lot, and good things are happening. A lot of our guys are squaring up the ball.”

The Texas women may have peaked after they followed a monstrous 19-game winning streak with a 2-4 finish to the regular season and the Big 12 tournament, but that talk can be tossed aside with a pair wins in the NCAAs this weekend.

Head coach Karen Aston doesn’t really know which one of her teams will show up for Friday’s opener against Central Arkansas, but you can best believe the Sugar Bears (love that name) will come in looking to take away 5-4 Brooke McCarty, who has knocked down only five of her last 19 three-point attempts since the Baylor win on Feb. 6.

Expect McCarty to bounce back like the stud player she is, but the Horns aren’t going anywhere unless freshman Joyner Holmes and junior Ariel Atkins can get points off those McCarty double teams. Holmes also must give a better effort on defense.

The guess here is the Horns will take two this weekend and advance to a second straight Elite Eight.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told us a couple of weeks ago that his team doesn’t chase teams in the standings for seeding purposes, but I’m guessing he would much rather play the Utah Jazz in the conference semifinals than the Houston Rockets, whose four matchups have produced three games decided by two points.

San Antonio dropped a tough one to the Portland Trail Blazers at home Wednesday, but are in much better shape physically and mentally than Golden State, who had a one-game lead over the Spurs atop the Western Conference as of Thursday afternoon.

If the Spurs and Warriors started a best-of-seven series today, I would take the Spurs in six because something is clearly off with the Warriors. The Dubs entered Thursday’s game at Minnesota with a 3-5 record in their last eight games, and two-time reigning MVP Steph Curry is in the middle of one of the worst shooting stretches of his career. Over the last three games, Curry is shooting 37 percent from the field and 26 percent from three-point range, plus he has 15 turnovers.

Add to that, the chemistry is lacking in Oak-town these days, something that’s never a problem in SA.



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