Welcome to this week's installment of the Dean's List, where it's been a bad week for role models. Batman beat up his mom and sister, Indiana Jones' son got drunk, flipped his car and had to have extensive hand surgery and political commentator Robert Novak ran over a homeless guy while cruising in his black corvette. What is the world coming to?
• One year ago, while sitting in his office, Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser collapsed and died of "a sudden massive heart attack" at the young age of 56. By all accounts, Prosser was not only a great coach but a positive force in the lives of his current and former players. In 21 years of collegiate coaching, Prosser went 291-146, made 18 post-season appearances, was named the 2003 ACC coach of the year and won regular season titles in three different leagues (MCC, A-10 and the ACC). But his legacy isn't just about winning. Prosser was the rare coach who treated college basketball not as a business, but as a learning experience, both for him and his pupils. He was known to send his teams on summer trips to classic European cities, spout quotes from Nietzsche and Thoreau and even take classes with his players. One year after his death, the well-respected coach has not been forgotten. A campus commemoration on Saturday night in Winston Salem was expected to draw hundreds of people. R.I.P., Skip.
• Have you ever watched an indoor college volleyball game and thought, "You know what would make this more fun? Sand." Yes? Well, you're in luck. The NCAA has voted to add sand volleyball to the list of women's sports being considered for intercollegiate competition. (That's what we like to call the pre-vote vote.) It's about time. Sand volleyball is already an Olympic sport and has it's own professional tour, the AVP, and now the NCAA is finally ready to join the bandwagon. What's more, in its infinite wisdom, the NCAA has decided to call the sport "sand volleyball" instead of "beach volleyball". The Dean's List prefers to have "beach" in the name, since it reminds us of sunburns and jellyfish, but we'll go with sand volleyball if for no other reason than our unilateral support of any sport where the standard uniform is a bikini.
• The shoes will make it, but the players won't. After the State Department issued a travel warning for Nigeria, coach Ron Hunter and the IUPUI basketball team will not carry out their plans to deliver shoes to the poor in the West African nation. Last season, Hunter coached a game barefoot to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet, an organization that delivers shoes to the poor. Hunter raised more than 150,000 pairs of shoes and was planning on personally delivering the kicks in Nigeria when the trip was altered due to specific safety concerns. Supposedly, the State Department intercepted communications that explicitly threatened Coach Hunter's group. So instead of Africa, these bearers of sturdy footwear will head to Peru, which from here on out, will be referred to as the Nigeria of South America.
• What did you do this summer? I'm pretty sure it wasn't as cool as what David Pesek did. The junior quarterback for Colorado School of Mines traveled to Afghanistan for a week to help construct a school at Barek Aub, a refugee camp for over 600 families north of Kabul. Make no mistake, Barek Aub isn't summer camp. Situated in the arid, mountainous region of Northern Afghanistan that's home to both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the camp is surrounded by land mines to protect it from attack. When not saving the world, Pesek, CSM's starting quarterback and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's passing leader, interned at Lockheed Martin, the company that makes fighter jets and spaceships for the U.S. government. Now, how does that make you feel about your summer job as a lifeguard?
• You not say the Ukraine weak. Ra'Sean Dickey will take your little board and smash it! The former Georgia Tech center has opted to forgo his senior season in Atlanta to play in the Ukrainian Super League. The 6-foot-10 big man averaged 8.7 ppg and 5.1 rpg in his three seasons at Georgia Tech before redshirting last year due to acute tendinitis in his right knee. He signed a contract with Budivelnyk Kiev, leaving Coach Paul Hewitt with only nine scholarship players for the upcoming season. The latest victim of the "Brandon Jennings Effect" issued no statement explaining his decision or the apostrophe in his first name.
• By all accounts, Ray Boudreaux Jr. was a fine, upstanding student and citizen before September 2007. He was the starting running back at Tulane, a social science major and a four-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. He also played the trumpet. Then, he went out with his brother to Utopia nightclub on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and, at the end of the night, a fight broke out. Five men were stabbed. One of the victims suffered permanent brain damage. Boudreaux was arrested. He claimed self defense and continued to take classes during his trial despite having his scholarship revoked. But, the jury wasn't convinced that Boudreaux was protecting his brother and convicted him of one count of aggravated battery and three counts of attempted manslaughter. Now the former running back is headed to the clink for 10 years. Boudreaux is book-smart. You think he sees the irony in his fall from grace going down in a bar called Utopia?
• Here's a good way to lose a quarterback competition. First, get arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Then, one month later, get yourself locked up again, this time for speeding, driving on a suspended license and having expired plates. Finally, as the cherry on top, hide all your legal issues from your coach and hope no one finds out. This is what Kentucky quarterback Curtis Pulley did over summer. Before the legal issues, the 6-foot-4 junior was supposed to compete with sophomore Mike Hartline for the starting quarterback job. If being a good quarterback is about making smart decisions, then by elimination theory, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks has already figured out who will start at quarterback.
• You know what stinks, showing up to media day and getting served a subpoena. Hate it when that happens. Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer doesn't like it either. On Thursday, as Coach Fulmer arrived at the SEC Media Day in Birmingham, Alabama, he was served a very public subpoena to testify in a libel and defamation case brought by a former Alabama booster against the NCAA. After initially denying that he'd been served a subpoena, Fulmer admitted the truth but claimed that the incident was nothing more than a publicity stunt that will have no affect on his football coaching abilities. Really? He's currently ordered to give a deposition only two days before the Volunteers' game against Auburn. I'm sure a full day of legal badgering won't be a distraction...
Got issues with the Dean's List? E-mail Jacob E. Osterhout at Jacob.Osterhout@gmail.com.