3. Pathological liar Bruce Pearl says the NCAA made an example out of him when it penalized him so severely for his shenanigans at Tennessee that it will be years before he ever has a shot at another job.
I say: It's about effin time.
There is nothing worse than a coach getting a program in trouble and then moving onto another job -- often a better one. While the program he left behind takes years to recover, he cashes seven-figure paychecks.
Maybe if cheaters know they -- and not just the programs they leave behind -- will be punished severely, they won't be so bold in the first place.
2. And speaking of Tennessee basketball, that's an amazing -- and amazingly sad -- story about Pat Summitt. At 59, for her to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia, it only reinforces the idea that none of us should take health (or life) for granted.
Life ... death ... illness ... none of that stuff cares if you're famous or altruistic or happy or good-looking. Stuff happens to anybody anytime.
Summitt is planning to keep coaching the Vols, and I hope her assistants and players are ready to give her the support she needs. She deserves the right to keep doing the thing she loves, the thing she was put on this earth to do.
1. When Dick Jauron was in his final days as Bears coach, his few supporters argued that because the team didn't quit, he should get to keep his job.
I argued that not quitting is the minimum expected of every athlete, coach and team, be they hockey peewees or 350-pound NFLers. You don't get extra points for doing your job.
So when a team does pull a Sarah Palin, something that happens all too often in sports, it really is an indictment of the coach or manager.
Now, I'm not in Minnesota and I don't see the Twins every day. But I do see the scoreboard and the box scores. And it sure appears that team is mailing it in. Day after day, it's 8-1, 6-1, 7-1, 3-0, whatever. This with a team that includes former MVPs Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in the middle of a lineup that also includes Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome.
I've always respected Ron Gardenhire as a manager. He has done too good a job for too long to get fired after one year like this. But this is pretty damning stuff, and it certainly is something to watch for 2012.
As was the case in Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and everywhere else that got a cool, new ballpark ... the cool, new ballpark draws fans for only so long. The team still has to win.
Or, at the very least, the athletes have to act like they care.