Welcome to the latest edition of the Dean's List, where we're mourning the passing of Isaac Hayes, Bernie Mac and John Edwards' marriage.
• Generally, I'd consider lucky anyone that has the opportunity to play D-I college football, but Mike Eynon is more than just lucky, he's downright charmed. The Ohio University lineman bought an Ohio Lottery Mega Millions ticket from a gas station in Athens, Ohio. When the 305-pounder checked his numbers he discovered he'd matched five out of the six. (The odds of that happening are one-in-3,904,701.) The payoff: $250,000. But before Eynon could celebrate his good luck he had to make sure his newfound wealth didn't rub the NCAA the wrong way, which it didn't. Apparently, being the most fortuitous person in the world doesn't affect your amateur athletic status.
• One of the great things about being on a college sports team is that it allows student-athletes the opportunity to travel to places that most other people don't get to go, like Cuba. The University of Alabama baseball team will play a three-game exhibition series against the Institute of Superior Physical Education in Havana. As is required when spending dollars in Cuba, the United States Treasury Department has signed off on the trip, as has the NCAA. How awesome is that going to be for the Crimson Tide players? Not many U.S. citizens have a chance to visit Cuba and even fewer get to play baseball there. No word yet on whether the Institute of Superior Physical Education has a mascot but I'm thinking that a big guy with short shorts and a whistle would be appropriate.
• Generally, you wouldn't think of football fans as environmentalists anymore than you'd think of frat boys as feminists. But every now and then you get a beer-guzzling fraternity brother who can't get enough Simone de Beauvoir and you realize that stereotypes are nothing more than oversimplified classifications. So it is with Colorado football, which will soon become the greenest program in the nation. Under "Ralphie's Green Stampede" initiative, Folsom Field will transform itself into the first zero-waste football stadium in sports. The stadium will have no trash cans, just recycling and compost containers, which will take care of 90% of the facilities waste. And all that compost will go to landscaping efforts around campus. There will also be a valet parking service for bicycles at the stadium to encourage fans not to drive. So fresh and so green. Even Gloria Steinem would be proud.
• With academic standards all the rage nowadays, it seems like a lot of former high school athletes are being thrown under the bus in the name of educational integrity. Remember when a former teacher of ex-Kansas forward Darrell Arthur accused school administrators at South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas of changing his math grade to keep him on the basketball court? Well, an investigation of the Dallas Independent School District has found Arthur's grades legitimate. Not that Arthur cares that much, he's already in the NBA. But what about high school players who are just getting to college? Wide receiver Dwight Jones was supposed to play for North Carolina last season but failed to qualify academically. So he spent a year at a military academy before attempting to enroll again at UNC, but he was ruled ineligible for a second time. Finally, Jones decided to attend D-II Valdosta State, where he was set to to play football this season -- until he got a phone call from the Tar Heels saying there had been a mistake. Turns out he was eligible after all. Now, Jones has finally been admitted to UNC. If the rules are this complicated, maybe there needs to be a prep course in academic eligibility.
• How do you think Notre Dame guard Kyle McAlarney feels about quarterback Jimmy Clausen's latest alcohol-related predicament? Is he sympathetic or more like, "Dude, beer? That's nothing. Try getting caught with pot." Back in 2006, McAlarney was pulled over and arrested after cops discovered a small amount of marijuana in his car. The ever-understanding Notre Dame officials thought the misdemeanor marijuana possession charge so egregious, they kicked the starting guard out of school mid-season and didn't allow him to return to South Bend until after the semester ended. McAlarney's back but now Clausen's in hot water with the very same "benevolent" administration. His crime: implied alcohol use. Last week, photos surfaced of the sophomore quarterback and teammates in the presence of plastic cups that at one time might have contained beer. This is, of course, very serious stuff since Clausen does not turn 21 until September 21, and we all know that alcohol is very dangerous when imbibed by a 20-year-old with hair-care issues.
• Here's a good deal. Pay $10,000 and, in return, you'll receive courtside seats to watch you favorite team play basketball without its leading scorer. Any takers? Just one day after Arkansas announced that it will offer 34 courtside seats at Walton Arena to donors who give at least $10k a year, the basketball team kicked off junior guard Patrick Beverley for undisclosed reason. Beverley was the Razorbacks' top returning scorer, averaging 12.1 ppg and 6.6 rpg last season. Without the 6-foot-1 guard, only 13 percent of the team's scoring returns from last season. That means that Stefan Welsh and Michael Washington, who averaged 5.3 and 4.3 ppg respectively last season, will be forced to lead the Arkansas offense. On the good side, the courtside seats will be padded and have armrests with cup holders!
• Last week, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops kicked freshman wide receiver Josh Jarboe off his football team for not living up to certain character expectations. Basically, a video of Jarboe rapping was posted on YouTube and Stoops didn't dig the wide receiver's lyrics, especially since Jarboe was already on probation. Jarboe's dismissal opened up a scholarship for the Sooners and Stoops wasted little time filling it, convincing former LSU offensive lineman Jarvis Jones to transfer to Oklahoma. You might remember Jones. The 6-fot-7, 294-pound behemoth played seven games for the Tigers last season before he was booted by Les Miles for breaking team rules. So, in effect, Stoops has replaced one rule-breaker with another. Wouldn't it be fitting if Jarboe ended up at LSU and Jones posted an obscenity-laced rap on YouTube?
• College basketball is a winter sport but, as is often the case, Syracuse's upcoming season is already determined. Last October, three Syracuse players -- Jonny Flynn, Antonio "Scoop" Jardine and Rick Jackson -- were accused of forcible sexual assault on a fellow student. If convicted they would've certainly faced severe disciplinary action and probably been kicked off the basketball team. Jardine and Jackson could've been replaced, but Flynn, he's that special kind of baller that makes everyone on his team better. Without the lightening-quick point guard, 'Cuse would've been competing with St. Johns for an NIT birth next season. Fortunately for Syracuse basketball fans, a grand jury has decided not to file charges against the three hoopsters, which means the Orange have a shot at improving on last year's .500 Big East record.
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