• Colt Brennan, Man of Vision: The lure of spending an extra year as the most high profile athlete in the history of a hottie-laden campus in the middle of an island paradise while improving his draft stock is nice, yes, but Colt Brennan really came back for his senior season at Hawaii to make a difference. That's why he went to the Honolulu Advertiser last week to wash the program's sad sack facilties in the disinfectant of activist journalism, namely:
• The players continue to work out on Cooke Field's infield, which has been condemned for more than a year.
• The Verizon Room, filled with plush chairs and computers, is locked and unavailable to the football players.
• There is a problem with theft because the locker room doors are left open daily.
• Football players pay $3 to $6 for parking each day to participate in workouts, practices and study sessions at university facilities and are targeted for parking violations - Brennan said his car had been towed twice and he's owed $800 in fines and fees over two years.
• No soap in the locker room showers since last September.
• Too few janitors and an understaffed, underpaid, overworked athletic department.
Hawaii's practice field. Suck it up, pansies.
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• Big Ten Goes Big Time: I am only confused about the details of the upcoming launch of the Big Ten Network, and only interested if it's going to take Ohio State-Penn State off ABC/ESPN instead of just covering retreads like Northwestern-Indiana, i.e. becoming the Midwestern equivalent of Lincoln Financial's weak SEC efforts. But, if I was so inclined, I could order the Big Ten Network on DirecTV this fall and enjoy 35-plus football games, at least 105 men's basketball game and at least 55 women's basketball games as well as Olympic sporting events, coaches' shows and archived games no matter where I happen to live. Which is most definitely not the Midwest, where I in fact have never set foot.
The network is still trying to hammer out a deal to get on the lineups of 30 regional providers, which has no effect on the rest of the country. As for those 35-plus football games? Network president Mark Silverman said, "the network's emergence shouldn't affect Big Ten programming on ESPN or ABC," because "the conference already has a 20-year deal with ABC." So basically everyone outside the states of lndiana and Illinois, and possibly Minnesota, can ignore the existence of the Big Ten Network.
• Arkansas Goes A-Quashin': Lawyas for "top university officials" have shockingly filed motions for dismissal against the very serious lawsuit seeking to obtain cell-phone records, hard drives and other information from both Houston and Danny Nutt and their quarterback-berating cohort, Teresa Prewett via "taxpayer action." Top officials, of course, are accused of neglecting their contractually-mandated duties by failing to investigate Prewett's vicious e-mail to USC-bound Mitch Mustain in December. Via some legal person willing to go on record about this low-rent melodrama: "I think it's likely the case will be thrown out by way of a motion before it gets to the discovery stage...If a taxpayer could always go into court and get the court to order this person to do their job or not do that, the court would be filled with these sorts of things."
Kenneth Starr's going to need access to those text messages, too, Mssr. Nutt.
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• Quickly: Elementary, my dear columnist: Brady Quinn's draft slide = Brodie Croyle competing for Kansas City's starting job. Cecil Hurt connects the dots ... Tommy Tuberville: "We're definitely a run-first, pass-first team." What? A student paper misquote? ... Georgia mum on Stafford's Keg-gate photos ... Clemson and South Carolina have their sights set on Georgia recruits ... Bobby Bowden answers the tough questions from FSU fans ... Post-Spring, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes Florida State and Georgia Tech in the ACC and Florida and LSU in the SEC ... And the odds are clear: USC should win the mythical championship
The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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Dropped, charges against four of the six Penn State players charged two weeks ago with a slew of assault and burglary charges, among others. Charges stuck against safety Anthony Scirrotto (felony burglary, criminal trespass and criminal solicitation, plus three misdemeanors) and defensive tackle Chris Baker (felony assault and criminal trespass, plus two misdemeanors), but prosecutors didn't have enough to pin on Lydell Sargeant, Tyrell Sales or Jerome Hayes, whose charges were dismissed at the hearing Friday, or Justin King, whose charges had already been withdrawn. All present at the apartment but not all brawling, apparently. Baker also had a criminal mischief charge dropped because no witness was able to identify him as the person who poured beer into a laptop computer.
Friday's hearing was at least revealing about the catalyst for the supposed rampage, according to the Centre Daily Times:
And it all started with his girlfriend "hocking a loogie," said Bernd Imle Jr., of State College, the man the football players were targeting when they allegedly forced their way into that apartment.
Imle was walking with two friends when they passed Scirrotto and his girlfriend and she, Imle said, spit.
"All I said was, 'Eww,' " Imle said.
He said he and his friends continued walking toward the Meridian II apartment where the invasion would later occur, and said he heard Scirrotto yelling "I'm on the football team. Who are you?"
"He kept saying it over and over," Imle said. "The whole time he had his phone out and was saying 'I'm going to call the football team.' "
Imle said he then threw a punch that grazed Scirrotto's head, for which he was charged with summary harassment. The girl then approached Imle and tried to hit him, Imle testified, and when he grabbed her arms she kneed him in the groin.
Imle is charged with harrassment for "grazing" an apparently aggressive football player with a punch, but no charges against the girl who proceeded to knee him in the balls? Sexism in the courts! If that's not assault, I don't know what is.
Anyway, it was kinda Keystone Cops from there: not really knowing who they were going after, except that he was wearing a red polo shirt, Scirrotto's posse veered into the wrong apartment complex, then couldn't finagle their way into the right party once they found it. Other players then arrived at the second complex and ran into the wrong building looking for Imle. Prosecutor Steve Sloane: "Do you realize how many opportunities (Scirrotto) had to fail? We're talking commitment here."
Commitment: Determination is often the first chapter in the book of excellence, as JoPa might say. Those kids have a lot of heart, even if they are filled with rage. Baker was "one of the main aggressors," though not specifically identified as the assailant who smashed a beer bottle over someone's head and began wailing on his unconscious body. Witness: "We figured they were football players based on their sheer size. Nobody could stop them."
The good guy: Justin King, all 180 pounds, who apparently attempted to break up the melee and later returned to apologize to a resident of the apartment. Most of the dozen Penn State players subpoenaed earlier in the week, including Deon Butler and Dan Connor, were sent home without testifying.
All part of a wild Friday at the Centre County Courthouse.
Maurice Purify has just had one of those weekends.
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b) Attempt to make peace or perhaps buy him a beer to increase your chances of getting through next week
c) Yell at him, then throw him against a wall and table, hitting his girlfriend in the process and requiring six people to restrain you before refusing to yield to police.
If you said c) yell at him, then throw him against a wall and table, hitting his girlfriend in the process and requiring six people to restrain you before refusing to yield to police, you're right on the money, according to the Omaha Journal-Star, which reported Purify was jailed for assault, trespassing, failure to comply and resisting arrest. He was released on bond Sunday.
Unsolved, six months after the fact, the brutal murder of Miami's Bryan Pata last November. Pata's family, understandably getting little information from the police, has hired its own private investigator, according to the Miami Herald. His brother calls the murder "premeditated" and likely the result of organized crime.