Second Thoughts: At UD Arena, it’s out with the old, in with the new

I did some shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Dayton Mall last week. Saw a guy in the car next to mine get busted. A police officer approached him politely, asked for ID, then said, “I smell weed.” Not sure what the guy said, but it wasn’t, “Hey, I’m here to use this coupon for athletic socks.”

The new UD Arena will be sweet. For $72 million (get out your checkbooks, donors), the arena will be transformed into a state-of-the-art basketball venue that should keep the fickle NCAA happy for decades. (Maybe we’ll even get some more first- and second-round tournament games.) The remodeled arena will offer a spacious concourse, more luxury seats, windows like Hinkle Fieldhouse, video boards galore … and WORKING WIFI! Oh, and lots of millennials.

The artist’s renderings of what the Dayton landmark will look like in a few years are nice, but the fan base apparently is changing. No more old people in sweaters. The Flyer Faithful is transforming into a bunch of hipsters. As an “older” guy who doesn’t surf Pinterest for fashion ideas, I’m hoping the other stuff in those drawings is more representative of what’s in store for the arena!

John Crosby is coming back to UD next season. Oh boy. Crosby asked out of his scholarship to shop around, but he reportedly had a change of heart. My guess is that the market for his services weren’t so hot. New UD coach Anthony Grant had to take him back because of the Flyers’ dearth of point guards. Let’s hope the young man is working on his dribbling skills.

The Cubs and Yankees played an 18-inning game last week. It lasted more than six hours, and they ran out of baseballs. Heaven forbid spoiled big-league pitchers would have to use a baseball that has a speck of dirt on it. I love America’s pastime, but I hate it when the catcher gives a perfectly good ball to the plate umpire to toss aside like a month-old leftover from the back of the refrigerator.

Things I’m sick of: Mayweather vs. McGregor (these guys will be in their 60s before they fight); Dayton Public Schools nonsense (OHSAA points finger at Mark Baker; DPS “looking ahead” and going with … the coaches lied?); tenured professors who avoid the classroom like the plague (isn’t teaching their job?).

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is in line for $20 million in bonuses, according to USA Today Sports. Delany has done a solid job leading the B1G since 1989, but $20M seems excessive considering this is the man who allowed Rutgers and Maryland into the conference. The B1G says the bonuses are “market competitive.” Translated: The Power 5 conferences got together and agreed to overpay their commissioners.

Trending up: Torrey Smith, John Wall, Hamidou Diallo. Smith, a wide receiver for the Eagles, attended a fundraiser last week for a Baltimore animal shelter. At the end of the event, Smith and his wife announced that they would pay the adoption fees for 46 dogs and cats. They also made an additional donation to the shelter. Nice job.

Trending down: Horizon League, James Harden, Steve Harvey. Wright State has had a rough year or two. Now its athletic league is taking a hit. The Missouri Valley Conference is adding Valparaiso as its 10th member. Valpo, which has been one of the Horizon League’s top brands, will take the spot vacated by Wichita State. My pick to replace Valpo is Fort Wayne.

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