James Carlson, Topeka Capital-Journal: A free loan of an estimated $15,000 in exercise equipment is at the center of the investigation into the alleged blackmail of Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins. William Dent, who was dismissed in 2007 from his job as director of sports medicine at Kansas, acknowledged he was the person threatening his former boss. Dent, who arranged for Perkins to get the free equipment in 2005, said he viewed the transaction as unethical because Mark Glass, whose company provided the equipment to Perkins, was given a basketball ticket upgrade to premium seats by Perkins. Glass denied the claim and Perkins' attorney had no comment.
Bob Lowry, Huntsville Times: A Birmingham man who wants Alabama legislators to give their free Iron Bowl tickets to charity has taken his message to YouTube. In a nine-minute video clip, Jim Metrock, president of Obligation, Inc., said he plans to make the free tickets a campaign issue for incumbent lawmakers and their challengers.
George Schroeder, Eugene Register-Guard: In an effort to bring more visibility to the league, the Pacific 10 Conference plans to have its football coaches go on a barnstorming tour in late July. It will begin in New York, where coaches will meet with major media outlets. The next day the festivities will move to Bristol, Conn., home of ESPN, for more interviews and exposure. The coaches will then fly back to Los Angeles on a charter for the traditional Pac-10 media day.
Brad Rock, Deseret News: Inviting Boise State to join the Mountain West is the smart thing to do, but it won't help the league gain entrance into the Bowl Championship Series. That's going to take an act of Congress.
John Adams, Knoxville News Sentinel: If the Southeastern Conference aspires to super status, then its course is simple: Go after Oklahoma and Texas. With the Sooners and Longhorns in the SEC, the conference would have more elite football programs than any other two conferences combined.
David Paschall, Chattanooga Times Free Press: The SEC meetings begin in Destin, Fla., and although the league has no plans to expand, officials are expected to answer an endless number of questions about the possibilities of adding teams.
Kyle Veazey, Clarion Ledger: SEC officials will consider a possible strengthening of the league's 36-year-old policy against artificial noisemakers, a direct shot at the use of cowbells by Mississippi State fans. The presidents, athletic directors and coaches believe that the bells give Mississippi State an unfair noise advantage.
Clay Travis, FanHouse: Regardless of what the Big Ten does, the SEC should expand to 16 members, then split into four divisions. The winners would advance to the SEC Final Four and compete in a playoff to determine the conference champion.
Ben Cook, Randolph Leader: It would be nice if SEC teams beefed up their nonconference schedules. This fall, SEC teams will play 27 games against non-BCS teams or lower-division teams and only 15 games against BCS opponents.Paul Myerberg, Pre-Snap Read: When Dennis Franchione isn't reading the Wiz, he's perfecting his golf game.
Berry Tramel, Oklahoman: Oklahoma's Bob Stoops thinks the 2010 NFL draft is proof that players should stay in school. Four Sooners who could have turned pro in 2009 went in the first round. "That's life-changing money," Stoops said. "That's taking-care-of-your-family money. Second-round guys are lucky to be taking care of himself."
Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Is the BCS supposed to be fair?
Detroit Free Press: Michigan's Rich Rodriguez: "If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. We have taught our guys to fish. Some of them, last year, you had to bait the hook and pull it in, then skin it out, clean it up themselves. I think most of them can at least bait the hook themselves. And most of them can reel it in. But until we do it on the field, until we have success and win games, there will always be some doubters out there."
Kent Youngblood, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Linebacker Sam Maresh, who had heart surgery to correct a congenital defect in June of 2008, a process that kept him out of football for that season, has left Minnesota because of academic issues.
Paul Myerberg, Pre-Snap Read: How the mighty have fallen. A look at No. 94 Illinois.
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