Killjoy was here. The Sunday Columbus Dispatch went in-depth on Jim Tressel's tour of American military bases along with other half a dozen other coaches this summer, notable mainly for producing this picture:
Michael Dukakis, eat your heart out. Unless this was part of a Vaudevillian routine on the universal quirks of life in the barracks -- and odds are better than even that Tressel is a regular reader of "Humor in Uniform" -- I can feel approval ratings for "The Senator" dropping from here.
• The 'amateurs' are coming for you. The Sunday Indianapolis Star, on the other hand, took a long look at three ongoing lawsuits that fundamentally threaten the basic assumptions of the NCAA in its efforts to enforce "amateurism" in a colossal commercial industry, a couple of which we've dealt with here before, including both Sam Keller's and Ed O'Bannon's suits against the uncompensated use of player likenesses in the massively popular and lucrative EA Sports video games. But another pending suit with even more far-reaching implications has garnered far less press:
In February, an Ohio judge ruled in favor of then-Oklahoma State University pitcher Andy Oliver, striking down an NCAA rule prohibiting players from having agents, as Oliver did in high school.
The judge said the rule -- and an exception allowing players to consult with agents (but not have them negotiate with a pro team) -- "hinders representation by legal counsel" and is "fraught with ethical dilemmas."
A jury is scheduled to determine damages in the Oliver case in October, and the decision there apparently doesn't strike down the longstanding anti-agent stance the NCAA considers fundamental to its mission of keeping its precious, pure student-athletes from being tainted by the foul lucre produced by their labor. But it would set a precedent for future lawsuits -- Alabama fans are drafting proposals as we speak that cite Andre Smith's agent-related absence in the Sugar Bowl as grounds to invalidate the loss to Utah -- that would open up the vulnerable heart of the NCAA mothership to attack against one of the major organizing principles of the Association's existence.
• Another Gator in stripes, briefly. Florida's defense remains the thing of nightmares in almost any case, as it returns essentially 100 percent of the depth chart from a unit that finished in the top-10 nationally in total and scoring D on last year's championship run. Still, the Gators won't exactly shrug off the pending absence of linebacker Dustin Doe, a sometime starter and major contributor who was suspended after an arrest for driving with a suspended license last week and "will not be with [the team]" when practice starts on Aug. 6, according to Urban Meyer. The arrest was Doe's second criminal traffic offense, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and he faces a felony with a third. Odds are that he'll be able to rejoin the team if he gets his paperwork in order, but coming late to the party will be a definite blow against his chances of reentering the starting lineup over Ryan Stamper.
Michigan is having its own problems with the traffic cops: Likely starting cornerback Boubacar Cissoko was arraigned in June for disorderly conduct during a traffic stop in which he's accused of failing to pull over immediately and directing obscenities at the officer. The Detroit Free Press said that arrest doesn't seem to have threatened Cissoko's status on the team, which is more than we can say of receiver and occasional quarterback Justin Feagin: The sophomore was booted from the Wolverines late last week for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Without getting into much detail, MGoBlog suggests the mysterious offense was fairly serious, but the effect on the team will be minimal.
Dan Mullen's 'perscription': More spellcheck. Given my own record with them, I should be the last guy to call out anyone else on typos (I'm certain there's at least one in this very post, somehwere), but someone should probably bring this to Dan Mullen's attention:
Quickly ... His former coach, Barry Switzer, confirmed the death of former Oklahoma All-American Rick Bryan, victim of a heart attack at age 47. ... Texas will roll out throwback uniforms for its Thanksgiving game at Texas A&M, but tight end Blaine Irby won't be in one: Irby, victim of a gruesome dislocated knee last year against Rice, will miss the entire 2009 season to the same injury. ... Kansas running back Jocques Crawford, who once predicted a 2,000-yard season out of junior college but quickly landed in Mark Mangino's doghouse, is leaving the Jayhawks for more playing time. ... Clemson linebacker Stanley Hunter's career is finished due to epilepsy, but defensive end Ricky Sapp should be "completely recovered" from a torn ACL in time for the Tigers' opener with Middle Tennessee State. ... The Washington Post profiles Capitol Hill's homeless playoff advocate. ... Meanwhile, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe calls out the Mountain West on its attempts to reform the BCS, gets into the communism debate and says the Series' obvious flaws give it "charm." ... An Iowa reporter argues the Big Ten should push for a spot in the Texas Bowl. ... Florida ejected a potential recruit for flashing Miami's 'U' hand sign at a Gator event, but did pick up a commitment from the top-rated running back in Georgia. ... Tommy Tuberville admits he hasn't spoken to his old athletic director or his replacement since leaving Auburn. ... Lou Holtz leads Notre Dame old-timers to victory in Japan. ... USC's quarterback battle is far from over. ... Kirk Ferentz takes a stand against Twitter. ... And I for one hail our new robot overlords.