• PC thugs strike again. When you've been around as long as Bobby Bowden, you know a thing or two about how the NCAA works. You learn all the tricks. Like how "serious and intentional ... wide-spread academic fraud" is really just code for political incorrectness:
Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said the NCAA's intention to nullify some of his victories because of an academic cheating scandal is ''unfair'' and said that the NCAA "might not like us because we didn't change our name from Seminoles.''
Why, next you thing you know, we'll have to stop calling them "injuns" and let them into our casinos! Unlike its win total in 2006-07, FSU's name is safe (thanks, Seminole tribe), but still, it was no surprise when Bowden became "sick" and was replaced by heir apparent Jimbo Fisher at the booster tour's next stop, in St. Petersburg, lest he accuse Obama of conniving to take their tomahawk stickers away. (More later on the line of succession in Tallahassee.)
• Maybe that's why they withheld the honorary degree. Speaking of Obama, the president deftly handled the flap over his commencement address at Notre Dame on Sunday, but the Arizona Republic accused Barack of fumbling the sacred cow during his commencement speech at Arizona State last Thursday:
With apologies to all whom Obama cited, from Thomas Paine to Colonel "Finger Lickin' Good" Sanders to Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, is there any better example of character over celebrity and substance over appearance than Pat Tillman, the guy who made his name in the very stadium where Obama stood?
Maybe it simply was an oversight that Obama forgot Tillman, although we were told Sunday that Obama was staged inside the Arizona State football locker room before his speech - where there is a photo of Tillman.
And he walked right up and out of Tillman Tunnel to reach the stage.
Obama had a wide-open opportunity to remind us that Tillman could be the best example in our lifetimes of someone who eschewed popularity and personal advancement to devote himself to a bigger purpose. For some reason, the president passed.
• Speaking of commencement ... Diligent fans may remember ex-Wisconsin receiver Marcus Randle El -- brother of Indiana legend/NFL veteran Antwaan Randle El -- from such headlines as "Wisconsin WR Marcus Randle El Arrested, Jailed," "Randle El arrested for battery, suspended" and finally, in November 2007, "Randle El calls it quits" after racking up twice as many arrests, suspensions and injuries in his football career as catches (two). So it's only appropriate, on the heels of a stream of negative headlines, to note that Marcus was one of three ex-Badgers who walked across the stage to receive his degree on Saturday. Kudos to your persistence, sir.
And speaking of Wisconsin, add Bret Bielema to Joe Paterno on the list of coaches for Big Ten expansion:
"It'd be great," Bielema told me. "Everybody would welcome a 12th team in the league and maybe having a championship game."
"There's always been the talk of a 12th team," Bielema said, "and if it was the right team, it would really be something exciting."
Rich Rodriguez said basically the same thing to the Ann Arbor News on Saturday, adding, "Now watch this drive."
Quickly ... Alabama linebacker Prince Hall, perpetually on the outs with Nick Saban, will transfer to Central Washington. ... As a football coach, Mike Bellotti likes sequestering players in a hotel before home games. As an AD, he's not so sure. ... On the NCAA investigation into USC: Yahoo's Jason Cole on the most influential person in O.J. Mayo's life. ... Ex-Arkansas coach and athletic director Frank Broyles warns of "a major crisis" if ticket sales fall in the recession. .. Ohio State quarterback Joe Bauserman is not playing alternative history. ... Appropriately, the Columbus Dispatch is doing its best to stir up Michigan fans, even turning Bo Schembechler's son against Rich Rodriguez. ... Kentucky running back and locker room video auteur Moncell "Turtle" Allen will be eligible for the Wildcats this fall. ... Urban Meyer is not leaving a burgeoning dynasty for a rusted also-ran. Are we clear? ... And Oregon's ultimate frisbee season comes to an end courtesy of that old bugaboo, lack of pants.