In 1999, UF was sent to Seattle for their first weekend games in the NCAA Tournament. Also there was Minnesota, as a seven seed facing Gonzaga. The day before the mandatory press conferences each team has to hold at the tournament, the St Paul Pioneer Press blew the lid off the Gophers program by exposing a massive academic scandal. Despite some instant suspensions, Clem Haskins and his players claimed it wouldn't affect them and then went out and lost to the Zags. The scene was on my mind yesterday, as Yahoo Sports nailed the UConn program for cheating in a fantastic piece of work they posted yesterday morning. Like Haskins, Calhoun tried to downplay the whole thing, acting as if it's just some internet craziness. It's not. Dan Wetzel has had my vote for years as the best investigative reporter on college basketball - if you can find a copy of his book Sole Influence you should read it - and he has the Huskies dead to rights. When UConn's run in this tournament is over, we will have seen the last of Jim Calhoun on the UConn sidelines. Purdue may very well finish him up tonight, just like the Zags did to Haskins ten years ago.
The current climate in Washington being what it is, I really thought the college football playoff grandstanding from anyone was done for a while. Silly me. It was announced yesterday afternoon that Orrin Hatch's Judiciary subcommittee will hold hearings on the BCS and that he will offer some sort of legislation to change it. Hatch is a senator from Utah, so he's pandering to the home fans who feel they should have been the national champs last year. Nothing remotely productive will come of this, which should surprise no one.
Normally I'd have zero interest in defending Alex Rodriguez from whatever criticism is coming his way. He's always been a postseason failure and in the past year has added steroid cheater and general all around weird dude to his resume as well. There are limits, though. No one in any legit sport should ever have to take crap about performance enhancing drugs from someone employed as a pro wrestler. John Cena used A-Rod's recent admission to explain he thinks the government should throw steroid users in jail, apparently ignoring the fact they'd have to open a new facility just to house his WWE co-workers. Maybe Cena's always been clean - haven't a clue - but it's been very well documented that PED abuse has been a giant part of that organization's gameplan for years. I know wrestlers sometimes change names and gimmicks. Maybe if Cena needs to make a comeback once the movie career fails he can try being a masked wrestler named "Chutzpah".
Hollywood is apparently going to try making a modern movie version of the Three Stooges. That doesn't sound like a great idea to me under any circumstances, but wait until you hear who they've got in mind for the cast. One person who makes sense is Jim Carrey as Curly - interesting choice for that particular Stooge, but he's a natural for this kind of humor. But Sean Penn as Larry and Benicio Del Toro as Moe - say what? I loved Penn doing comedy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but that was 27 years ago. That's a long time between laughs. As for Del Toro, the closest thing he's done to comedy is a brief appearance in Big Top Pee Wee twenty years ago. Suddenly he'll be a master of slapstick? Okaaaaaay.