July 21, 2008

Welcome to this week's Dean's List, where we're positive there has never been a sexier IndyCar fight than the one between Danica Patrick and Milka Duno. No, let's take that further. There has never been a sexier fight in any sport than the one between Patrick and Duno. (Except, of course, when Don Zimmer faced off against Pedro Martinez. That Zimmer is dreamy.)

• The worst part about Arizona recruit Brandon Jennings going to play professional basketball in Italy while he waits to be eligible for the NBA Draft is the example it sets for other high school players with sketchy academic records and NBA-caliber dreams. Instead of getting an education, they can just hop across the pond and make money while prepping for the NBA. Some say this is the beginning of the end for college basketball, but will there actually be a mass exodus of young American talent? Probably not. Just look at DeMar DeRozan, who played high school ball in Compton like Jennings and considered spending next year in Europe. DeRozan has been cleared academically by USC officials to enroll at the university and has already joined the Trojans basketball team in workouts. His most recent ACT score combined with his GPA clinched the six-foot-six forward's eligibility. I'm sure Italy is nice in the summer time, but USC, man, there's no better place to be.

• My grandpa hated to be called "Buster." Call him Buster and he'd challenge you to a fight. (I think they called it fisticuffs back then.) But that's what everyone calls Gerald Demp Posey III. They call him Buster. That's his name. And if you've got a name like Buster, chances are you're pretty good at baseball. On Wednesday, Florida State's Buster Posey became the second catcher (and first Buster) ever to win USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top amateur player. Last season at FSU, he was the ACC player of the year and led the NCAA in batting average (.472), on-base percentage (.572) and slugging percentage (.908). Not too shabby. With that kind of follow-through, chances are Buster could have taken my grandpa in a fight.

• A lot of seven-footers in the news last week. Seven-foot center Zisis Sarikopoulos transferred from UAB to Ohio State to replace another seven-foot Greek center, Kosta Koufos, who left the Buckeyes for the NBA Draft after an NIT championship. Fugitive seven-footer Miladin Kovacevic, who used to play for Binghamton before he put a fellow student in a coma and fled to his native Serbia, signed a contract with a team that plays in a regional Serbian league. And (almost) seven-foot forward Robin Benzing, a Michigan recruit who is only seven-feet tall when he stands on his tiptoes, failed to reach NCAA eligibility requirements and will no longer enroll at the university. This could've gone either way -- Honor Roll or Detention -- but all these big men remind me of my favorite seven-footer of all time, André Roussimoff. And when an item invokes the memory of the late, great André the Giant, this item will be Honor Roll material.

• It's been a tough week for Gonzaga forward Austin Daye. The lanky sophomore, who averaged 10.5 ppg and 4.7 rpg as a freshman for the Bulldogs, was playing basketball at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, last week when he took a hard fall. At first, Daye thought he'd injured a hamstring and would be out a few days. But wait. Then an MRI showed he'd actually partially torn his anterior cruciate ligament. He was told he'd need surgery by the end of the week and there'd be a six- to 12-month recovery process. His upcoming season was in doubt. But wait. After a second opinion, doctors at UCLA determined that Daye only has a bone bruise and a minor tear that won't need surgery after all and he'll be ready for the upcoming season. Now how is this kid supposed to keep his head on straight? In three days, he went from having a minor injury to having a season-ending injury to just being kind of injured.

• In some stories, no one wins. David Crady and Daniel Cox, both former Bradley University students, were released from the Peoria County Jail on Wednesday after serving six months for involuntary manslaughter. In August 2007, Crady, Cox and two others, all of whom had been out partying, lit two roman candles under the bedroom door of their friend Sheridan "Danny" Dahlquist, a Bradley soccer player. The fireworks started a fire and Dahlquist subsequently died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Five friends. One night out. Two Roman Candles. One stupid prank. Now there are only four friends. What can you say? Don't take life for granted. In memory of Danny Dahlquist - Go Bradley.

• If you were an NCAA compliance officer, would taking a position at Indiana be the best job in the world or the worst? Judging by Chad Hawley's actions, it's probably a little of both. Almost one month after agreeing to become Indiana's associate athletic director for compliance services, Hawley quit. He would've made over $100,000 and been the most famous compliance officer in America, but all the money and glory in Bloomington wasn't enough to outweigh the prospect of cleaning up Kelvin Sampson's mess. And can you blame the guy? He used to work in compliance for the Ivy League. That makes him about as prepared to deal with a post-Sampson clean-up as Rick Reilly is suited for television.

• "Don't judge." That's what my mom always used to say, which is like when 50 Cent raps, "You shouldn't throw stones if you live in a glass house." That's just amazing, Fifty and my mom never agree on anything! Vanderbilt running back Jermaine Doster probably concurs as well. Doster was arrested early Friday morning after he refused to leave The Honey-Pot Bar in Tampa Bay. The feisty redshirt freshman then kicked out the back windows of the police car in which he was "relaxing". Here's the kicker : According to certain blogs and nightlife Web sites, The Honey-Pot Bar is a gay club. But, before you jump to conclusions, keep this in mind, The Honey-Pot Bar also serves great French fries and has a lovely interior design.

• When you run into a bear in the woods, don't run away. Same goes for eight cops in an alley. Riley Reiff didn't get that memo. The Iowa football recruit was arrested on Saturday morning for public intoxication and interference with official acts. The gaggle of officers approached a drunk and partially disrobed Reiff in an alley but the fleet-footed defensive end bolted and, even in a state of severe inebriation, outran the cops for twenty full minutes. Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz couldn't be reached for comment and while I'm sure he'll publicly admonish his recruit, deep down inside he's got to feel good. A defensive end that can outrun eight cops for 20 minutes while undressing ... imagine what he could do with a helmet on.

• We all know the day after the All-Star Game is the slowest sports day of the year, but we should really extend that to an entire week. As evidence, I present to you two headlines from sports stories last week, both of which have to do with exciting and innovative football jersey designs. Last Monday, the AP released a story on Michigan's new football uniforms. (Get this, "they retain the Wolverines' maize-and-blue color scheme." You don't say...) And then the very next day, "the essential global news network" came out with another story announcing Vanderbilt's latest football jerseys, which will feature a one-inch solid black stripe on the jersey sleeves instead of the former two-color stripe. Truly groundbreaking. Maybe we'll be lucky and get a sock update next week.

Got Issues with the Dean's List? Contact Jacob E. Osterhout at Jacob.Osterhout@gmail.com.

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