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It was Harrick who once famously tested his student-athletes at Georgia with the following question: How many points does a 3-point field goal account for in a basketball game?

University presidents have no choice but to play along with the game. Successful football and basketball programs are the lifeblood of all too many academically ordinary institutions. A high-profile athletic program turns on the money spigot, increases student applications and results in an avalanche of publicity that no university could afford.

George Mason is still prospering from its Final Four appearance in 2006, its national profile upgraded in a significant way.

That is the dollar-chasing deal, unseemly as it often is.

Everybody wins until the next time, and there is always a next time.

There is always something being uncovered from the college athletic landfill.

This time it is a D in a high school course magically becoming a C. This time it is someone other than the athlete taking his SAT.

And it all will be forgotten soon enough.

So dust off your pompoms. See if you are low on face paint.

Another BCS-marred college football season is nearing.