- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 10, 2002

Memo to Jeff Jones' American hoopsters: The Sunday Column feels your pain.

If ever a situation cried out for a coin flip, it was the three-way tie in the Ivy League for the men's basketball title (and the right to get hammered in the first round of the NCAA tournament).

Sociologists will note that just days after Nolan Richardson played the race card, Virginia Commonwealth made a 27-year-old black man, Jeff Capel III, the youngest head coach in Division I basketball.

For the record, Mike Krzyzew-ski also was 27 when he got his first college head job. But that was at Army, which has never been to the NCAAs, not at VCU, which went to the tournament five times in six years under J.D. Barnett in the '80s.

The youngest head coach in Big East history, by the way, is another black man, Tommy Amaker, who was 31 when Seton Hall hired him in '97.

Memo to the Wizards' Courtney Alexander: The season starts in October, not March. You might want to mark it on your calendar next year.

If Jalen Rose wore his headband any lower, it would be a blindfold.

Which is probably the idea, considering his recent banishment to the Terri-Bulls.

My favorite fine in all of sports is the one in the NBA for "failure to leave the court in a timely manner."

News item: Elvis Grbac, cut by the Ravens, opts to retire rather than relocate his family again.
Comment: This will come as a surprise to Shannon Sharpe, who was convinced Grbac retired around Week 10 last season.

Interesting that Steve Spurrier would want to sign Dameyune Craig as one of his quarterbacks especially after seeing Craig perform against his Florida team in '96 and '97, when Dameyune was at Auburn.
'96: The Gators beat the Tigers, 51-10. Craig was seven of 28 for 82 yards and an interception and was sacked seven times.
'97: The Gators beat the Tigers again, 24-10. Craig was 18 of 34 for 187 yards and an INT and was sacked nine times.
Totals for the two games: 25 of 62 for 269 yards, with two interceptions and 16 sacks.

Bet the house that the conditional third-round pick the Dolphins owe the Saints next year for Ricky Williams will be upgraded to at least a No. 2 (he needs to rush for 1,200 yards) and possibly a No. 1 (1,500 yards). Why am I so sure? Because Norv Turner is calling the plays in Miami now, and Norv has had seven 1,200-yard seasons from his rushers in the last 10 years: Emmitt Smith in '92 and '93, Terry Allen in '95 and '96, Stephen Davis in '99 and '00 and LaDainian Tomlinson last season.

Web Advisory of the Week: Fans of George Michael will want to check the photos of him posted at https://musicradio.computer.net/avirtual.html. Don't worry, folks, George is fully clothed. The shots are of him as a rockin', rollin' deejay at New York's WABC in 1978.

Neal from Gaithersburg writes: "In your Sunday Column of Feb.24, you wrote: 'Now that Steve Spurrier has signed former Florida wideout Chris Doering, it's probably only a matter of time before he tries to talk ex-Gator Cris Collinsworth out of retirement.'
"A week later, in his column in The Washington Post, Tony Kornheiser wrote: 'It's simply a matter of time until Spurrier tries to work something out with Fox so Cris Collinsworth can participate in the Fox pregame show from FedEx Field via satellite, then change into a Redskin uniform, and be on the field by kickoff.'
"What do you think about that?"
Dear Neal: I'm sure it's "just a coincidence."

Neal from Gaithersburg writes: "In your column of Feb. 28, you wrote: 'Steve Spurrier can put 10 Florida quarterbacks on the payroll for all I care. He can trade for Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews. He can talk John Reaves, the ex-Gator who was his QB in the USFL, into making a comeback. Heck, he can even activate himself if it makes him happy.'
"Three days later, in his column in The Washington Post, Kornheiser wrote: 'Word is Spurrier wants to bring in John Reaves! One source close to Spurrier said, 'We know Reaves is 52 years old. But honestly, when you see him throw, he doesn't look a day over 45.'
"What do you think about THAT?"
Dear Neal: OK, I admit it. Tony Kornheiser and I are actually the same person.

Bizarre, isn't it, that Chris Weller, longtime women's basketball coach at Maryland, retired with 499 victories? Chris is now a member of what I call the 99 Club. Some other sports figures (and entities), past and present, who belong to it:
Don Hutson Packers Hall of Famer caught 99 touchdown passes in his legendary career (1935-45).
Mario Lemieux Scored 199 points in '88-89 (85 goals, 114 assists).
Curtis Martin Rushed for 199 yards for the Patriots in a '97 game against the Jets.
Harry Rice journeyman outfielder who played for the Senators in '31 Finished with a .299 lifetime batting average.
Bret Del Santo Bowled two 299 games in an 887 series in Savannah, Ga., in '90, the highest series ever without a perfect game.
Al Kaline Hit 399 homers in 22 seasons with the Tigers.
Randy Carlyle Racked up 499 assists with the Maple Leafs, Penguins and Winnipeg Jets from '76 to '93.
Artis Gilmore Career NBA field goal percentage: .599.
Gary Clark Former Redskins wideout had 699 receptions when he retired in '95. (I once asked Gary if it drove him crazy to be one catch shy of 700, and he said, "Not really. It bothers my father a lot more than it bothers me.")
Dan Daly Scored 799 on the verbal portion of his SAT in '71. (Just kidding.)
Kyle Macy Suns guard led the NBA in free throw shooting in '82 with an .899 percentage.
Bill Schroeder Had 999 yards receiving (on 65 catches) for Green Bay in '00.
Pebble Beach Golf Links Length of par-72 layout: 6,799 yards.
Charlotte Coliseum Hornets drew 23,799 for Michael Jordan's return in December.
Greg Ostertag Utah Jazz bruiser is slated to receive a salary of $7,799,999 next season.

If you don't think athletes prefer nice, round numbers, consider these career totals:
Ex-Bullet Elvin Hayes played exactly 50,000 minutes in the NBA.
Ex-Cap Dino Ciccarelli scored exactly 1,200 NHL points (608 goals, 592 assists).
Ex-Redskin Mark Moseley booted exactly 300 NFL field goals.

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at the D.C. Boxing Commission's sit-down with Mike Tyson last week.
Commission member: About this parking lot episode in 1987, Mr. Tyson, the one where you were accused of trying to kiss a female employee and striking a male attendant …
Tyson: It could have been worse, sir.
Commission member: What do you mean, "It could have been worse"?
Tyson: Well, I could have struck the female employee and tried to kiss the male attendant.

And finally …
Now it's Paula Jones who's going to fight Tonya Harding. What, Amy Fisher couldn't make the weight?

Then again, maybe Amy's holding out for a bout against Gennifer Flowers or Donna Rice. Stay tuned.

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