March 26, 2003
Andrew Firestone:
It's no secret about the new "Bachelor": He's got loot. No word on whether he's crammed onto Butler's bandwagon, though.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

On the day of the McDonald's high school hoops all-star game (tonight on ESPN, starring LeBron James ... heard of him?), here's what I would do if I had lots of money to invest:

Offer the top 15 preps $250K each to skip college (facade anyway) ...

To train with my well-marketed club (coached by, say, Majerus) for a year -- no distractions, like Euros do and colleges don't ... In exchange, I represent them when they go to the NBA. Everybody wins.

March Madness
Butler's bandwagon is nearing max capacity, and everyone wants to play "Hoosiers" on the in-car DVD player.

The Bulldogs' problem: When you get all the hype, you can't play the inspirational "disrespect" card (but overlooked Oklahoma sure can).

NFL Refs
Because they really couldn't find an individual "all-star" ref who didn't screw up in last year's postseason, the NFL decided to let regular-season crews share next year's playoff blame as a group.

Els Out of TPC
Ernie hurt his wrist hitting a punching bag. In related news, Phil Mickelson says he's out, too. Hmmm ...

But seriously: What is a golfer doing working out with a punching bag? (Actually, Els vs. Tiger in a boxing match would set PPV records.)

Burk Watch
However you feel about discrimination at Augusta National, Martha Burk is eroding

1 Cris Carter Syndrome: Tim Hardaway to Pacers
2 Dud alert: Lewis says Palmer still Bengals' choice
3 Admiral-ation: Spurs honor Robinson, beat Bucks
1 Pitino: No interest in UCLA job (we add: yet)
2 Gretzky-bashing in Canada: "U$ Lackey"? Please
3 Michigan drops football! (Wait, that's Michigan TECH)
her own cause by now taking the position that the Masters is an insult to women in the military. (First two words of protest, Martha: Message. Discipline.)

Splinter Nation
The ice-skating leadership splinter group officially launched yesterday. (Yes, rocked your world, I'm sure.)

Three splinter groups we'd like to see: "The 10-Day-Contract Club" (NBA); "Student Sections for Bleacher Peace" (NCAA); "Celebrity Boxers Association."

Harrick Update
What Georgia AD Vince Dooley says: He'll make a decision on Jim Harrick's status by the end of next week.

What Dooley means: I just need a little more time to line up a hot

new coach at the Final Four, so I can seamlessly announce a hiring when I dump Harrick.

Scandal Watch
NASCAR crews might not look like they worry about their weight, but one trainer says up to 80 percent of crewmembers have tried ephedra, USA Today reports today.

Look for p.r.-savvy NASCAR to be out in front when this story blows up today. As with all sports leagues, they should ban it. (If crew teams want to watch their weight, they should start by cutting out the fried food.)

Kansas State:
Yet another No. 3 seed gets bounced from women's tourney -- w/home-court, no less. 11-seed Notre Dame gets women's Sweet 16 to go w/men.
Who will win home-run titles?
VOTE at SportsNation

Today on
P2: The Wacky Bracket
Breaket Breakdown
NBA: Insider

Yashin's 4 goals prove the Isles want to be in the playoffs. Huge game April 1 against the Rangers ...

Familiar refrain for Spurs: Who needs Kidd? Not if Speedy Claxton can produce 12/11/9 ...

Real Madrid doesn't want to "Bend It Like Beckham"; they want to acquire the player outright ...

Prep C's James Lang and Kendrick Perkins shouldn't let bloated McD's stats delude them into going pro. Two words: DeAngelo. Collins ...

Only the Yankees are so loaded that the comp for 5th starter sends a $32M pitcher (Contreras) to the bullpen ...

Happy 41st b-day, John Stockton: With 7.6 apg this season, why retire? ...

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