- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 5, 2001

I'm going to take it one thought at a time today:

What is it with the Fresno State football team?

In case you missed it, the Lisa Leslie-led Sparks claimed the WNBA championship.

The Goodwill Games are right there with the WNBA, too, searching for an audience.

To recap the feel-good story of the summer, Danny Almonte was too old by two years and failed to appear in the required number of games to be eligible for the Little League postseason.

Other than that, Danny Almonte was as pure as they come, which is fairly pure by today's slippery standards.

Peter Greenberg via e-mail writes: "Regarding Michigan State football player Eric Knott, we are misguided in our support of winning over the development of character. All the blame falls on the presidents of the universities. They refuse to take a stand in the face of the enormous economic pressure to field glamorous teams."

Response: Money talks, in other words, and a blue-chip athlete gets to walk in the hallowed halls of a prestigious university.

I thought it was Jerry Tarkanian's job to put Fresno State on the college athletic map.

I also thought David Cone was washed up seven or eight years ago.

I guess all the commotion means Darrell Green is not eternal.

Joe Paterno is limping to the finish line.

The Poolesville High School Indians are spoiling for a fight after their nickname received the death penalty from the Montgomery County Board of Education.

Michael Jordan probably should go with a coin toss: heads he plays and tails he finds a team to go to with coach Doug Collins.

Jason Hildreth via e-mail writes: "I am a Michigan State graduate, and while I don't entirely support the decision of the university to allow Eric Knott to attend school on an athletic scholarship, I do believe that when the facts come out, an apology from the national media will be expected. The prosecutors had no case and knew they would lose. That is why they accepted the plea agreement, and the family of the 13-year-old girl was happy with the outcome. I will be expecting an apology column when the truth is finally told and the facts are out in the open."

Response: It is funny how the facts of the case don't seem so unsettling as long as the 13-year-old girl is not your daughter.

One other thing: All too many athletes receive a considerable amount of leniency in the admissions process, starting with their modest grades and SAT scores. Is it that out of whack to think that a brush with the law is the line that no top university should cross?

Give Danny Almonte and his parents another week in the media. I'm almost sure it will come out that he was taking supplements.

Are you ready for some replacement referees?

Coming soon is the news that there is another side to Barry Bonds.

Andre Agassi has gone from serial tanker to elder statesman in tennis.

Perhaps College Park was not big enough for both Ralph Friedgen and Dick Edell.

John Daly is married again, a winner in golf again and seemingly winning his battle with the sauce.

The spectacular crash of the Red Sox probably is Bill Buckner's fault.

Ryan Leaf is running out of chances.

The Poolesville Indians have one year to live, plenty of time to make public relations mischief.

John Daly is the marrying kind, just not the kind who stays married for very long.

Danny Almonte attended school in the Dominican Republic and played baseball in the Bronx, which is a heck of a commute.

I take the silence to mean that Danny Almonte's father either has stopped giving interviews or is saving his vocal cords for Connie Chung.

The last time Danny Almonte's father spoke, he said the world was wrong and he was right, borrowing a page from Gary Condit's playbook.

Danny Almonte probably had a personal trainer, a private tutor and an entourage that told him he was the man in Spanish.

And finally, a drum roll, please, as Michael Jordan readies to announce his decision after completing his go-fish hand with Ahmad Rashad.

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