June 23, 2008

Welcome to this week's installment of The Dean's List, where we believe that Adam Jones waited too long to drop the "Pacman" moniker. Isn't that one of those nicknames, like Boo-Boo, Pinky, or Freckles, that should be dropped after middle school (instead of after a strip club shooting)?

• With last night's defeat of UNC, the Fresno State Bulldogs secured a place in the national championship and became the first No. 4 regional seed to ever advance to the College World Series. Clayton Allison pitched brilliantly in the 6-1 win over the Tar Heels, allowing just one run over six innings. The win sets up an all-bulldog title game with the Fresno State Bulldogs taking on the Georgia Bulldogs in a best-of-three championship that'll determined which dog's got more bite in this dog eat dog world.

• For the last month, all the noise out of Bloomington has been about the sorry state of the Hoosiers basketball program -- starters transferring, players flipping out on the coach, sanctions looming. But if you look closely enough, you'll realize that coach Tom Crean has righted the ship. Indiana's already strong recruiting class got stronger Saturday when 6-foot-5 guard Malik Story committed, joining seven other players who have already accepted scholarships to play for Crean in 2008. Sure, the Hoosiers only have two returning players from last season and their names are Taber and Finkelmeier, but Crean is bringing in a ton of talent with the promise of immediate playing time and, assuming the NCAA blames the rogue ex-coach and not the institution, Indiana should be back to form in no time.

• Just as your mom should never be your sex-ed teacher, so your father should never be your football coach. Ask quarterback Clint Brewster, who's transferring out of Minnesota, where his dad took over as the head football coach last season. A red-shirt freshman on a 1-11 team, Brewster never played a down as a Golden Gopher and probably never would have. Minnesota will start a sophomore quarterback next season and has highly touted recruit MarQueis Gray on the way (never go head to head with a guy that's got a capital Q in the middle of his name). By transferring, Clint avoids what was destined to be an awkward situation -- playing third-string quarterback on his own father's team.

• Kansas guard Sherron Collins has a new lawyer and this one is actually going to do his job. Last month, Jessica J. Brown filed a lawsuit claiming that Collins exposed himself and rubbed against her in an elevator. On Monday, a judge granted Brown damages in excess of $75,000, but not because Collins was found guilty. Rather, Collins' former lawyer neglected to file a legal response to the lawsuit within 20 days. Apparently, Collins was unaware that his previous attorney had ended their attorney-client relationship, which doesn't bode well for his communication skills, which in turn, probably doesn't help his defense. So Collins hired a new lawyer in the hopes that this one is going to be better than the last one and prove that he does not molest women in elevators.

• Mom never liked the word "sucks." She thought it was too strong, unless of course we were talking about Duke's football team. Then "sucks" was an appropriate verb. (Proof: a 6-45 record over the last five seasons.) Fortunately for the Blue Devils, their lawyers perform much better than their football squad. The University of Louisville sued Duke for $450,000 after Duke's football team backed out of a four-game contract with three games still remaining. (The Blue Devils lost the first game 40-3. Gee, wonder why they didn't want to play the other three...) Duke argued that the contract called for a monetary penalty only if Louisville could not arrange a game with a "team of similar stature" and, since Duke is the worst team in D-I football, any replacement would do. Last Wednesday, Judge Phillip J. Shepherd agreed, noting that Louisville could not "reasonably dispute" such a persuasive argument. Persuasive indeed.

• Here's one of those sad stories that requires no commentary. Former Binghamton University basketball player Minja Kovacevic, a Serbian native who averaged 1.5 ppg and 2.5 rpg last season for the Bearcats, got into a bar fight with a fellow student and pretty much kicked the poor kid's head in. Now, as his victim lies in a coma, Kovacevic is lounging somewhere in Serbia. After the fight, the 6-foot-9 forward was arrested on felony assault charges and had his passport taken, but when the Serbian Consulate in New York city posted $100,000 cash bail, Kovacevic fled the U.S. for his homeland. Now, Kovacevic has lost his basketball scholarship and, more importantly, a federal warrant has been issued for his arrest.

• Recent flooding in the midwest has caused millions of dollars in property damage, and Indiana's Memorial Stadium didn't escape the deluge unscathed. Last Thursday, workers began to dig up and repair the turf of the 48-year-old stadium after heavy rains washed out the gravel foundation underneath the field and created a sinkhole in the south end zone. Replacing the field could cost as much as one million dollars. That's a lot of money for a team that has only won three bowl games in program history and one since 1991. Now, the Dean's List doesn't know much about engineering, but a million-dollar sinkhole? It better be deep, or at least as deep as the pockets that are funding its repair.

• Need further proof that the NBA's draft rules are ridiculous? Arizona recruit Brandon Jennings, the top-ranked point guard in the nation, is reportedly thinking about balling in Europe next season if he's not academically eligible to play for the Wildcats. Jennings admitted that he'd have likely declared for the draft had the NBA not instituted the controversial (see: asinine) rule that requires players to be 19 years of age and one year removed from high school to compete. So now the nation's hottest young point guard has got one year to kill before going pro and, if he can't pass his standardized tests, he will be lighting out for the old world.

You can e-mail Jacob E. Osterhout at jacob.osterhout@gmail.com.

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