Welcome to this week's Dean's List, coming at you live from New York City, where it's so cold my love handles are chafing.
• Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez does not look like Maria Sharapova. In fact, Alvarez bears more of a resemblance to Uncle Fester than the alluring Russian tennis sensation. But the two are now forever linked, thanks to Leonard Taylor Jr., a former Wisconsin defensive back who was recently arrested for stalking and harassing Alvarez and Sharapova. Taylor, who played football for Alvarez at Wisconsin from 1995-1998 and is a diagnosed schizophrenic, left at least 29 phone voicemails threatening to not only kill Alvarez, but also Sharapova. Here's one of Taylor's messages for his old coach: "I hate that (expletive) Maria Sharapova. ... I just want to look at you one (expletive) last time before I pull the (expletive) trigger, Barry." Scary stuff. I wonder if Alvarez reached out to comfort Sharapova. I would have.
• OK, Cornell didn't beat its upstate rival Syracuse last Wednesday, but at least the Big Red kept the game close, which should be considered a victory when the Ivy League plays the Big East. For the 31st straight time, Syracuse beat Cornell, 88-78, despite a 31-point performance from Big Red guard Ryan Wittman. But don't let the 10-point loss fool you. The Big Red were up by 16 in the first half and were actually leading by five at the break. Very impressive for a team that hasn't beaten Syracuse since 1968. Of course, Cornell does maintain at least one bragging right over the Orange. Last season, the Big Red went to the NCAA Tournament while Syracuse performed NIT duty.
• All heroes deserve a white horse and a princess. Someday, I will buy Stephen Field that horse and let him take my sister, who is not technically a princess, but acts like one, to Applebee's for dinner. Field, a University of Miami assistant football coach, was driving back from a recruiting trip at Dolphin Stadium on Saturday afternoon when he saw an overturned car on Interstate 95. Most people, myself included, would've seen the crowd gathered around the flipped car, which was billowing smoke, and kept on driving, believing that one more do-gooder couldn't really help. Not Field, who pulled over and scrambled down a ditch to the smoking car. Inside, he found the driver trapped and disoriented. Ignoring the smoke and the smell of gas, Field used a hammer to smash the car's front window. He extracted the injured driver and carried the man 20 feet to safety. Last question: Do all heroes drive around with hammers in their cars?
• So much for "first time's a charm." In an action-packed weekend of college soccer, previous champions won the title in all three divisions. The North Carolina women's soccer team rallied to beat previously-undefeated Notre Dame, 2-1, and win its 19th NCAA title. In Division II, the Cal State Dominguez Hills men's soccer team shut out Dowling University 3-0 to win its 2nd NCAA title. And Messiah College won both the women's and men's Division III soccer championships. The Falcons have now won six men's and two women's soccer titles. Jim Rome must be excited. He loves soccer.
• Ball State won every game of the regular season, only to drop the ball in the MAC championship game on Friday night. No, really, Ball State dropped the ball. The Cardinals fumbled four times, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and lost to Buffalo 42-24. That's got to sting, especially considering Ball State was in complete control of the game halfway through the third quarter. Up by three and driving near Buffalo's goal line, Ball State looked poised to take a two possession lead, but quarterback Nate Davis fumbled as he dove for the end zone and Buffalo ran it back for a touchdown of its own. Then, on the very next possession, the Cardinals lost the ball again, this time on a bad snap, and Buffalo ran it back for another touchdown. That's a 28-point swing right there. Not even Ball State's most famous alumnus, David Letterman, finds that funny.
• It's well known in certain regions that within a marching band, the French horn section is the craziest. They are the bad boys of band. Need proof? Seven members of the Southern University marching band were arrested for a hazing incident that left two freshmen members of the band seriously injured. What section of the band would be crazy/dumb enough to paddle their new members to the point of organ failure? You guessed it, the French horn section. The freshmen were being initiated into "Mellow Phi Fellow," an unofficial fraternity for French horn players, when the seven seniors got a little carried away with a 2x4, paddling the neophytes until they had to seek medical treatment at a hospital for their injuries. Let this be a lesson to the flutists out there. Don't mess with the French horns or you're going to be walking like John Wayne with hemorrhoids.
• Somewhere out there, Nate Newton is smiling. The former Florida A&M offensive lineman, who was once caught with 213 lbs. of marijuana, now has company on the list of athletes caught with a ridiculous amount of drugs. Texas Tech defensive back De'Shon Sanders was arrested last week and charged with possession with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of cocaine. Now I don't know how much you know about California cornflakes, but 50 grams is a lot. You could fund a nice-sized football program with the the proceeds from such a venture. Fortunately for Texas Tech fans, Sanders didn't keep his stash at his house, which he shares with the nation's best wide receiver, Michael Crabtree.
• You can miss many things in this life -- a long-range jumper, mama's home cooking, your father's fourth wedding -- but you can't miss a court date. Tennessee safety Demetrice Morley learned that the hard way. Thursday morning, Morley was arrested on an outstanding robbery warrant for missing a court date back in September. Ironically, skipping out on court wasn't even the dumbest move Morley made. The only reason the Volunteer safety was in court to begin with was because he and a friend robbed a Florida International University student of $35, which they used to buy food and gas. With such intelligence, it's not surprising Morley failed out of Tennessee back in 2007 before being readmitted this year.
Vinnie Jones bar fight stories? Loose nukes with Dick Lugar? Send all comments to Jacob.Osterhout@gmail.com.