Some recent news items in sports worthy of comment while rooting for both Army and Navy today:
ITEM: Notre Dame hires Brian Kelly.
Not that the Cincinnati coach is going to South Bend.
An Irishman from Boston, Kelly grew up probably fashioning himself on the Notre Dame sidelines and will likely do an excellent job.
But the way he left his unbeaten Bearcats - informing them after the team banquet Thursday after they pretty much knew - is a total embarrassment.
Maybe I'm jaded because at Penn State almost no one, let alone Joe Paterno, ever leaves, especially prior to a Sugar Bowl against Florida that could clinch an undefeated season.
In that regard, all the good work Kelly did in making Cincinnati - which PSU once beat 81-0 (in 1990) - a respected factor on the national scene is tainted in the minds of his players.
This time of the year is so awkward for coaches, which leads to absurd denials and lies, and it's beyond time that the NCAA steps in and does something to improve the integrity of the game.
Here's how: There should be a moratorium on coaching movement until after the season ends. The annual shuffling can then go from Jan. 5 through Feb. 1.
Never mind that some seasons end in late November, particularly at schools shopping for new coaches. Never mind that recruiting is in high gear. Never mind that everything has to be done now.
There is inevitable transition and schools making changes will have to understand that.
Forcing programs to wait until the season ends for all teams would actually do something that was lost long ago in college sports - and that's putting the players first.
ITEM: Playoff talk heats up.
Congress' involvement in a potential college football playoff is gaining traction.
People can justifiably assert that our top government officials should have better things to do - such as making health care more affordable.
At the same time, it's clear that the NCAA and the bowls with vested interests have no desire to stage a true playoff and need a high power to get one done.
Just about any formula would be better than one that gets it right only by accident.
ITEM: Tiger's problems mount.
What began as a traffic accident has mushroomed into the unmasking of the biggest alleged sports role model of our time and turned Tiger Woods into a sex-crazed hound who made a mockery of his marriage.
It will be curious how solid all his sponsors remain - and how all of this will affect his putting by the time he shows up at the 2010 Masters.
ITEM: Heisman Trophy presentation tonight.
My ballot reads: 1) Ndamukong Suh; 2) Toby Gerhart; 3) Tony Pike.
Suh's 7.5 tackles for loss in the Big 12 title game almost singlehandedly kept his team close, and Pike led Cincinnati to perhaps the nation's best offense.
Alabama's Mark Ingram may win it, but the feeling here is he had equal help from quarterback Greg McElroy.
Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or email@example.com.