Making the morning rounds.
• Oh wow, have you guys heard about this? Not one but two bastions of Serious Television Journalism are devoting significant airtime this week to probing the eternal question: In the age of multimillion-dollar athletic department surpluses and billion-dollar television contracts, should "amateur" college athletes be paid? First, PBS' always solid series Frontline is leading tonight's hour (check local listings) with a look at the NCAA's amateur model as filtered through the incredibly lucrative basketball tournament; HBO will follow that up on Wednesday night (10 p.m. ET) with a very special roundtable hour devoted entirely to "the state of big-time college sports in America." I just assume Reggie Bush will be watching and laughing, wherever he is. [HBO Real Sports, Frontline]
• Capitalizin' on a Sunday afternoon. There's nothing official, it's just an idea, but … yeah, the Pac-12 is considering airing games on Sundays this fall if the NFL locks out its season. The empty time slots would obviously make for great exposure, but the logistics are a nightmare: Is a firm move from Saturday to Sunday worth the risk when the NFL could break its labor deadlock and be back to sucking up all the Sunday airtime at the drop of a handmade fur felt trilby fedora? For his part, commissioner Larry Scott sounds like he doesn't really think so: "We certainly are monitoring the situation," Scott told Rivals' Tom Dienhart. "We have no plans in place at this time, but you want to be prepared and consider all options. Still, these labor situations have a way of getting done the closer they get to a critical situation." [Rivals]
• It won't help ratings, but LaMichael James will be the breakout critical smash of the fall. In more concrete television news, college football will be coming this season to the cable channel FX, which will take 14 Big 12 and Pac-12 games from the schedule of its considerably less hip colleague, Fox Sports Net. Give me Raylan Givens on play-by-play, Louis CK on color, Mallory Archer on the sideline and the Always Sunny guys in the studio, and you've got yourself a viewer. [Sports Business Journal]
• It wasn't me. An attorney for Dakota Mosley, one of the four Auburn players arrested and charged with multiple felony counts in an alleged armed robbery earlier this month, is seeking more information in order to "differentiate his client's role" in the crime — specifically, by portraying him as the non-violent, non-robbing getaway driver. Attorney Davis Whittelsey says in court papers that Mosley remained in the car throughout the robbery, had no intention of entering the house, and "there will be no evidence to the contrary." [al.com]
• Happy trails. Virginia Tech announced the impending exit of three players Monday, including starting linebacker Lyndell Gibson (right), who started every game last season prior to the Orange Bowl but now plans to transfer at the end of the spring semester. Gibson has three arrests since arriving in Blacksburg in 2008, the last one for allegedly stealing a pair of bicycles along with teammates in March 2009, but none in the two years since most recently for drunk driving on Feb. 5. [Richmond Times Dispatch]
Penn State will also be missing a 2010 starter this fall, defensive end Pete Massaro, who tore the ACL in his left knee during a spring practice session last Friday. Massaro also missed the entire 2009 season with a torn ACL in his right knee. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
• The rich get richer. Former Ohio State wide receiver Duron Carter, 6-foot-5, 210-pound spawn of NFL great Cris Carter, is expected to make an official visit to Alabama this week and could join the Tide in time to see the field this fall. Carter was a top-100 recruit in 2009 and caught 13 passes for the Buckeyes as a true freshman before being exiled to a year in junior college as an academic casualty. [al.com]
Quickly… USC athletic director Pat Haden will be attending Tennessee's NCAA infractions hearing. ... Soil samples from Toomer's Corner show the poison is actually worse than expected. … Safety Marcus Davis, a former transfer from Texas, is leaving Oregon. … Al Golden sees rare signs of life in Miami's backfield. … Jesse Scroggins has "a slight edge" on USC's backup quarterback job. … A (SFW) look back at Playboy's last trip to the Plains. … And Mark Dantonio really, really wants old boss Jim Tressel to know that he had absolutely nothing to do with this headline.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.