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Headlinin’: Aaron Douglas last seen, found dead at house party

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Making the morning rounds.

Just the facts. The Fernandina Beach (Fla.) Police Department issued a press release Thursday night shedding a few cryptic details on the unexplained death of Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas. According to witnesses, Douglas, 21, was en route to Jacksonville after dinner with friends Wednesday night when he was "contacted by two local women" who invited him to a party in Fernandina Beach. He arrived by cab between 11 and 11:30 p.m. and was seen at the same address as late as 2 a.m. Thursday morning. A male resident reportedly found Douglas on the second floor balcony when he and others awoke a few hours later. Emergency responders pronounced him dead at the scene.

Official cause of death has not been determined. There is no specific reference in the release to drugs or alcohol at the party, nor — despite its description of Douglas as "the victim" — of any suspicion of foul play, though neither is ruled out. [Fernandina Beach Police, via SBN]

Hit 'em where they live. A review by the Arizona Senate Ethics Committee has found several state lawmakers may have violated state ethics laws by accepting free tickets from the Fiesta Bowl, whose disgraced ex-CEO has admitted to steering gifts to politicians and other influential figures in pursuit of favorable treatment. (That's on top of the illegal fundraisers and illegal campaign contributions, which is not the sort of thing you so readily admit to.)

An ongoing criminal probe into the bowl's well-chronicled excesses has sent pols at all levels scrambling to reimburse funds and distance themselves from the organization at all costs, but the Arizona Republic specifically fingers two state lawmakers who both received gifts from the bowl and appear to have scratched its back in return: State Senate President Russell Pearce, who was influential in passing a $263,000 subsidy to help run a national championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, and Ben Arredondo, who as a Tempe city councilman helped negotiate a $6.45 million subsidy to move the Insight Bowl (also run by the Fiesta Bowl) from Phoenix to Tempe. [Associated Press, Arizona Republic] {YSP:MORE}

Hate for a good cause. Alabama players and coaches have been lending a hand in the aftermath of the April 27 tornadoes that swept across the South and demolished Tuscaloosa, but here's an idea for how they can really help: Stage a charity scrimmage against Auburn. A Facebook page titled "Auburn & Alabama Football game for the 4/27/11 storm Victims" has gained nearly 4,000 members in less than 48 hours in support of an alumni game to raise money for relief. "There will be no winners and losers in this game just for fun," the page says. "The only winners will be the storm survivors." [, Facebook,]

A quarterback walks into a bar. Based on the late night/early morning action on his Twitter feed, it appears Miami quarterback Jacory Harris — a native Miamian — spent the night getting "throwed" to celebrate his 21st birthdayin Idaho. (He's apparently vacationing there after wrapping up finals earlier this week, to enjoy the natural lava hot springs, aka "Mother Nature's Jacuzzi.") And how do they throw down in Idaho?

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Jacory may walk around campus wearing this, but people in Idaho, they're just weird, man. [@12JHarris12]

Quickly… Former Ohio State running back Ron Springs is dead at the age of 54 after three-and-a-half years in a coma. … Vontaze Burfict gets his first preseason nod as the national Defensive Player of the Year. … Loss of AAU membership won't affect Nebraska's membership in the Big Ten. … Notre Dame announces yet another night game. … Nebraska's first Big Ten games will be under the lights, as well. … Auburn has begun tearing up the turf for renovations of Pat Dye Field. (Let us know if you find any pants in there, fellas.) … The Head Gator poses for Gatorade. … And Twitter's great and all, but most athletes were a lot better off with editors. (Just don't let Jacory Harris read that, please.)

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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