1. When the Fiesta Bowl invited NCAA president Mark Emmert to attend a panel discussion next week on concussions, Emmert not only accepted, he offered to serve as moderator. Emmert joins NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in being overt in taking head injuries seriously. The panel discussion also provides gravitas to the Fiesta’s resumption of its annual gathering of athletic directors and head football coaches. The former Fiesta Frolic used to be known for a lot of things. Gravitas was never one of them.
2. Typical, isn’t it? Arkansas made the best possible choice in an impossible situation when it hired John L. Smith to serve as caretaker of the Razorbacks for 2012. Smith, a veteran head coach, had spent the last three seasons on Bobby Petrino’s staff in Fayetteville. He knows the players. He knows the staff. The typical part? Weber State, which hired Smith as its head coach in December, becomes just another FCS victim of a big-spending school.
3. The Penn State administration continues to botch its dealings with Joe Paterno, weeks after the legendary coach died. The university contractually owed the Paterno estate $6.7 million, yet tried to negotiate the family into signing a legal release before it would pay the money. To call it ham-handed is an insult to hams everywhere. The university, after embarrassing itself again, paid the money last week.