John Walters, FanHouse: The NCAA, simply by protecting the accused (USC) with closed hearings, demonstrates that it is less concerned with policing big-time athletics than it is with negotiating big-time television contracts.
Ray Melick, Birmingham News: The NCAA's case against USC could determine just how far the governing body is willing to go to define how far a coaches' responsibility for compliance extends.
Michael Lev, Orange County Register: A two-part interview with USC recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, who was asked if he was concerned about the Trojans' NCAA issues. "No, not whatsoever. Having been at USC for seven years, I know the way we operate. There was never, ever a concern about the NCAA because I know that USC does it right." In part two, he declines to comment when asked if he was tampering with Tennessee recruits. "I don’t want to comment on that. Everything’s good."
Cliff Kirkpatrick, Corvallis Gazette-Times: Starting middle linebacker David Pa'aluhi left the Oregon State team to join the military. Pa'aluhi started all 13 games last season as a third-year sophomore. He was second on the team in tackles with 77 and was honorable mention All-Pacific-10 Conference.
Legal Schnauzer: The site reports that Paul W. Bryant Jr., the most prominent financial booster of Alabama's program, has connections to a massive insurance-fraud case that resulted in a 15-year prison sentence for a Pennsylvania man. Thanks to Losers With Socks.
Michael DiRocco, Florida Times-Union: If you want Tim Tebow's autograph, it's going to cost $160.
Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman: Three Boise State coaches have traveled to Austin to meet with Texas coaches. "I've not been happy with our trick plays," Longhorn coach Mack Brown said. "I want to have more fun. Of course, it's hard to have trick plays with the spread offense. Chris Petersen and Boise have done the best job with it. I want us to have more innovations."
FanBlogs: The top 25 teams of the last decade. No. 1 is USC.
Eric Lacy, Detroit News: Chris Rucker, a starting cornerback at Michigan State, was one of three Spartans entering a guilty pleas for their roles in the Nov. 22 fight inside the Rather Hall dormitory. Rucker's attorney said the player has already been reinstated to the team by coach Mark Dantonio.
Adam Jones, Tuscaloosa News: Daniel Moore lost an appeal in his battle with the University of Alabama, which had sued the artist for trademark violations, alleging he painted scenes of Crimson Tide games without permission from the university and reissued previously licensed prints without paying royalties. The university is seeking back pay for more than 20 paintings and wants Moore to license any future paintings. Moore denied violating federal trademark laws protecting visual art and claimed his art is speech protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Greg Auman, St. Petersburg Times: South Florida running back Mike Ford has been dismissed from the team for violating an unspecified team rule. Plus, former North Carolina State receiver Donald Bowens is considering a transfer to South Florida.
Jim Schaefer, Detroit Free Press: Carl Marlinga, a former Macomb County prosecutor and Michigan law school graduate, has joined the legal team suing the school’s Board of Regents for barring the public from its closed meeting to discuss the NCAA investigation of its program.
Bill Haisten, Tulsa World: Oklahoma State offensive tackle Nick Martinez was arrested on a complaint of public intoxication. Martinez had his 21st birthday last week.
Dave Hooker, Knoxville News-Sentinel: Tennessee is tweaking its drug-testing policy. All student-athletes will be subject to a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy as of July 1. Previously, athletes had to fail four tests before being dismissed.
Steve Campbell, Houston Chronicle: Receiver A.J. Dugat and offensive lineman Ari Tatum have been booted off the Houston team for a violation of team policy.
Honolulu Advertiser: Honolulu is about to become a one-newspaper city. The Star-Bulletin, founded in 1856, will buy the Advertiser, founded in 1882.
Follow the Wiz on Twitter and join the Wiz on Facebook. To bypass registrations, go to Bug Me Not. Interested in sponsoring the site, have a tip, complaint or idea? Perhaps you would like to have the Wiz as a guest on your radio show or podcast. Contact: jayzuma (at) gmail.com.