- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HE SAID WHAT?

“My comments were not intended to offend anyone at the University of Florida.” - Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin, who accused Florida’s Urban Meyer of cheating at Tennessee’s signing day banquet

TAKE YOUR PICK How much damage to baseball will be done by A-Rod’s steroid scandal?

Minimal - At this point, those who were going to renounce the sport over the issue of performance-enhancing drugs already had found the exit. The knowledge that Alex Rodriguez also juiced, at least to some extent, simply will allow them to stalk away without ever wistfully looking back.

Major - Most of the other key figures in the meltdown are retired or low-profile, but A-Rod is the game’s current stats king. His involvement refreshes the debacle and carries the tar to another generation of players and the angst to another level for fans. As sad as it is to say, A-Rod might as well quit playing because he has become a walking asterisk. His numbers mean nothing, and Cooperstown won’t be calling.

Our take - While we suspect the answer is closer to minimal, those turned off by the drug-abuse scandal were also some of baseball’s most ardent fans. Most were older, and it will be interesting to see how baseball’s new generation of fans responds to the news. Young America was already ditching baseball for soccer, based on pace and playability. Now they learn they can’t trust their heroes. Suffice it to say, the game just fell yet another stride behind football and basketball.

TWT FIVE Active consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in men’s basketball

School Streak Titles during span

1. Arizona 24 1

2. Kansas 19 1

3. Kentucky 17 2

4. Duke 13 1

5. Michigan State 11 1

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