Sports by Brooks: Auburn booster Milton McGregor, who will stand trial April 4 on charges that he attempted to buy the influence of state politicians, was given clearance by a judge to travel to Glendale, Ariz., to attend the Tigers' Bowl Championship Series title game against Oregon. McGregor is facing 285 years in prison and $4.5 million in fines.
Andrew Gribble, Knoxville News Sentinel: Thirty-six Tennessee athletes were treated as "VIPs" from May to July at a Cumberland Avenue bar that was brought to light after a summer brawl involving numerous football players, according to the athletic department's self-report of a secondary violation to the NCAA. Twenty-six of the athletes are football players. The players were not required to pay cover charges at Bar Knoxville on Thursday nights when other patrons were required to pay $5-$10, depending on their age. PDF file of correspondence between Tennessee and NCAA. Plus, coach Derek Dooley committed a secondary violation with a post on four-star high school tight end Nick O'Leary's Facebook wall.
Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune: Officials expect a crowd of over 50,000 for Thursday's Poinsettia Bowl, smashing the previous record of 39,120 set in 2007.
Mike Brown, Tulsa World: Tulsa has sold only 800 of its allotment of 10,000 tickets to the Hawaii Bowl.
John Branch, New York Times: The missed field goal by Kyle Brotzman in Boise State's loss to Nevada cost the Western Athletic Conference $8 million, according to commissioner Karl Benson.
Stefan Stevenson, Dallas Morning News: Gripping story of Texas Christian assistant Eddie Williamson suffering a heart attack in the first quarter of the Horned Frogs' Nov. 13 game against San Diego State. "I wasn't afraid to die, but I didn't want to."
Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman: Players from Boise State and Utah were involved in an altercation during a welcome reception Sunday evening. The fracas started outside the massage room, where the bowl provided professional massages for players. The bowl staff broke up the scuffle. A bartender sprayed water on the players.
Jeff Rosenfield, St. Petersburg Patch: A poolside dance contest between Louisville and Southern Mississippi players nearly ended in a brawl.
Kevin Bull, Detroit Free Press: Eight billboards proclaiming Michigan State's victory over Rose Bowl-bound Wisconsin have gone up in Michigan. Here's a story behind one of the billboards in Grand Rapids from Greg Johnson of the Grand Rapids Press.
Steve Yanda and Eric Prisbell, Washington Post: Maryland fired Ralph Friedgen, 63, effective at the end of the Terrapins' Dec. 29 appearance in the Military Bowl.
Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog: Personal reflections on Friedgen's departure from Maryland.
Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News: Simply as a coach, Mike Leach is the right choice for Maryland.
Jeff Barker, Baltimore Sun: It says here that Leach-to-Maryland is not decided.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Emails between Texas Tech staff about Leach.
Keith Arnold, Inside The Irish: Integrity is a two-way street when it comes to coverage surrounding the death of St. Mary's freshman Elizabeth Seeberg.
Steve Wieberg and Steve Berkowitz, Campus Rivalry: The number of high-dollar assistant coaches is on the rise.
Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Iowa has 11 losses between the start of the 2008 season and now, but none have been by more than seven points.
Kyle Ringo, Boulder Daily Camera: Former Stanford and Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris won't be part of Jon Embree's staff at Colorado. Harris wanted a multi-year contract and Colorado wasn't able to offer him one because of a state law that limits the number of multi-year deals to six for each state institution.
Bob Condotta, Seattle Times: Washington quarterback Jake Locker is engaged to longtime girlfriend Lauren Greer, a former member of the school's softball team.
Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald: New Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity wants across the board improvement from Mark Richt's Bulldogs in 2011. "Yeah, you want to see improvement on 6-6. I don't think anybody's happy with 6-6 or 7-6. We all want to do better, but I want to see improvement in discipline. I want to see improvement in grades. I want to see improvement in accountability."
Greg Dooley, M Victors: Turning back the clock to 1931, when Michigan's captain was arrested in a rum raid. Also arrested was the sports editor of the Michigan Daily.
M Go Blog: Some possible alternative Big Ten logos.
Joshua Kinder, Manhattan Mercury: Ricky Rahne, the lone holdover from former Kansas State coach Ron Prince's staff, has resigned as the Wildcats' tight end coach, effective immediately.
Dustin Dopirak, Hoosier Scoop: Indiana hired Doug Mallory as defensive coordinator. Credentials: His dad, Bill, was the winningest coach in Hoosier history. Reality: He was defensive coordinator last season at New Mexico, which gave up 44.3 points and 468 yards per game.
Steve Pardo, Detroit News: Dion Sims, a tight end on Michigan State's team, was ordered to serve one year of probation and perform community service for knowingly receiving and concealing laptop computers taken in burglaries from Detroit schools.
Kevin McKenzie, Memphis Commercial Appeal: Memphis quarterback Cannon Smith, who was arrested last week on disorderly conduct and public intoxication charges, has a court date of Jan. 28. Smith is the son of FedEx founder and CEO Frederick Smith.
Associated Press: Former Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf has a deal to write three books. Crayon optional.
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