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Friday Hub Is Not Asking For Your Vote, You Handsome Genius, You

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First, mum's the word, dig? Have I mentioned how majestically that shirt complements those big, shimmering eyes of yours?

The Endurox Will Set You Free: Apparently hoping to ward off widespread speculation of Bosworth Era 'roid redux, Oklahoma went full disclosure Thursday with the banned amino acids it reported were unwittingly given to players in  "ready-to-drink supplements" Cytomax and Endurox last fall. My personal policy is to never consume anything whose brand name ends in the letter 'x,' except delicious Crispix, or the candy bar Twix, each of whose effects on the body are quite different from the harnessed nutritional power of orange! amino acids!, though not, in a bureaucratic twist, so different that either is actually a banned substance in itself - it only reaches verbotten status when supplied by the athletic program. And Oklahoma totally did not mean to be supplying it:

California-based CytoSport makes several products under the Cytomax name, including the sports drink that it sent to Oklahoma. The university said it ordered the correct product, but instead received one that contained amino acids.

CytoSport vice president for corporate development Bobbie White said the company changed its formula several months ago to remove amino acids but inadvertently sent Oklahoma the original formula with amino acids.

"We were sending it to our other channels but not to them, and it was inadvertently shipped to OU. When CytoSport was notified of that product error, we immediately replaced Cytomax with the new product, new label that did not contain amino acids," White said.

"Everyone did the right thing. The University of Oklahoma did the right thing when they caught it and stopped it, and CytoSport did the right thing when they brought it back and replaced it."

White said CytoSport removed the amino acid L-glutamine from the drink to make it comply entirely with NCAA guidelines. White said L-glutamine "is not a banned substance by any of the governing bodies other than the NCAA. They're the only ones that don't want those amino acids in products at the athletic level for coaches to give to their students."

White said dozens of colleges and universities use CytoSport products.



Ban it. Ban it. I dare you.
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Dozens of colleges and universities! Engaged in a sordid cycle of manipulation and skating the guard rail of deceit in a no-holds-barred race to win at all costs... Eh. I have too little outrage over the vague, ever-shifting boundaries of "artificial" performance enhancement and too much faith in the veracity of the official, "nothing-to-see-here" line in this case to go there. The substances aren't really even illegal for athletes to ingest, if Oklahoma is right; it's an arbitrary bureaucratic infraction. As I said yesterday, though, Oklahoma's compliance office needs to be a little more, shall we say, proactive. The cumulative effects of the half dozen "secondary" violations the athletic program currently faces could add up to not so minor consequences.

Everything's Coming Up Big Ten Network! The exciting forthcoming cable channel that's struggling to get carriers to buy into the demand for exciting battles between Ohio State and Youngstown State and women's badminton and stuff got a little coup by luring away the conference's former second-in-command, Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg, ex-coordinator of the BCS, who will become "vice president of university planning and development." Weiberg apparently has no such experience with an entertainment network, but he has been a person, in his career, who's been willing to take on some challenges, and he's willing to learn to fulfill a greater ambition:

"I'm really energized by the possibility of being involved in a start-up television venture of this kind," he said. "If you're going to change directions from a career standpoint, you're probably not going to go from this (Big 12) job to running a major television network. You have to enter into a period of learning, and this provides me with that opportunity.

"I've been a person, in my career, who's been willing to take on some challenges."

Getting little-seen amateur sports onto packages in homes that aren't demanding them at untenable prices is, indeed, a challenge. A major network might be interested in the kind of guy who can pull that off.

Meanwhile, in Weiberg's current setup, the Big 12 signed on Thursday to put "select games," including the football championship and men's and women's basketball tournaments, on XM Satellite Radio, completing XM's sweep as official satellite radio provider of all six BCS conferences.

Houston Chronicle has generic Big 12 AD reactions.

Quickly: Hey, why isn't Notre Dame just ho hum about Jimmy Clausen's elbow injury? ... Saban's monster contract in front of the Alabama Board of Trustees: Approved! But what's with no buyout clause? ... Antone Smith: an offseason of high hopes, generic quotes ... Houston rumor mill has Oklahoma State linebacker Donnell Williams on the UH campus ... Hyperbole for "freakish" Nebraska commit Baker Steinkuhler ... Yikes: Steve Slaton is feeling a lot better than he did last year ... Even hurt, Delone Carter is Syracuse's Mr. Inspiration ... Hawaii gets a commit from a 350-pound Uperesa. Imagine that ... Missouri players throw out the first pitch before Royals-Cardinals game. Sounds like a violation ... And college is one thing. But playing receiver in Canada? Syvelle Newton is out.


The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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Pled not guilty, ex-Montana State receiver Ricky Gatewood and his brother, Randy, to drug-trafficking charges in the Bozeman cocaine ring Ricky allegedly took over last year. Young Richard is not on trial here, but "not guilty" seems not very likely to succeed, given what I've read and written about the spree of arrests in Big Sky Country over the last year, which are beginning to gain more attention, but then, I'm no lawyer. Those guys can be wizards - smarmy wizards, no doubt, but slippery ones who'll leave you, honest taxpayer, without your rhetorical pants as the Gatewoods go free. Reasonable doubt is a bitch, but from the testimony already leaking to the press in this case, "reasonable" will have to be stretched to its limit.

Just for fun, I happened across this old press release for MSU's class of 2003, in which now-fired (and potentially litigious) coach Mike Kramer expresses his satisfaction despite the small number of signees:

"We added some big kids, we addressed some needs, but most importantly this is a very high-quality recruiting class," Kramer said of his fourth class as MSU's head football coach. "There are no hidden hopefuls, no maybes, in this class. This isn't the biggest class we've had in terms of numbers, but that allowed us to get strong reads on every single kid we signed in terms of character. There aren't any partial scholarships or any reaches in this class. This is the kind of class, up and down the list, that I envisioned being able to attract to Montana State when I took this job."

One wonders kind of character "read" Kramer picked up from the stunning four members of the class - Gatewood, John Lebrum, Andre Fuller and Eddie Sullivan - now facing charges for assault, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and, in Lebrum's case, murder. Without question, the

Charged, formally, Florida offensive lineman Ronnie Wilson, who fired off an AK-47 round in a parking lot in April. Wilson will face one count of battery and one count of discharging a firearm in public for shooting the gun into the air to scare a man who followed him to his car after a run-in at a club, according to state attorney Bill Cervone, and will apparently avoid the very, very serious aggravated assault and use of firearm in commission of a felony charges recommended by Gainesville police. Florida's 2005 "Stand Your Ground/Shoot First" law (actual title depending on political disposition) saved Wilson the harsher treatment, but Cervone said the lineman still overstepped his rights by actually pulling the trigger instead of just, I don't know, wave it around in the potential assaillant's face. And overstepping the bounds of this law takes some effort:

"[the law authorizes] a person to use force, including deadly force, against an intruder or an attacker in a dwelling, residence or vehicle under specified circumstances; creating a presumption that a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm exists under certain circumstances..."

I don't know how anything about Wilson's opponent, his reputation, physique or likelihood of carrying the weaponry necessary to create a presumption of reasonable fear in a 300-plus-pound football player, but I do know this: Wilson, 19, better not have touched a beer in that establishment. Then we would be talking serious shit.

Eligible, three of the four Penn State players still facing charges from the infamous apartment melee in April. Chris Baker, Lydell Sargent and Jerome Hayes are expelled from the university for the second summer semester and will have to attend counseling and do community service (this doesn't count), but will be back in time for the start of fall practice, as dictated by PSU's Office of Judicial Affairs Thursday. "More than ten" other players somehow related to the brawl were given probation, but will not miss any class or practice time.

Still waiting, however, is Anthony Scirrotto, who essentially initiated the action and faces the most serious felony charges (burglary, criminal trespass and criminal solicitation). The Centre Daily Times' anonymice didn't know the fate of the safety, from which we can guess more serious, game-striking punishment will fall – and that's assuming he's free to play football to begin with.