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Guest Columns

AD leaves big shoes to fill at UCLA

The recent hiring of a new athletic director at UCLA created hardly a ripple outside Southern California. Long-range planning by the new AD could have seismic implications for NCAA member institutions, however. On May 19, Martin Jarmond was entrusted with the herculean responsibility of ...

National view

By Doug Ferguson The Associated Press Now we know what Phil Mickelson is thinking over the most difficult of pitch shots. Mickelson showed nearly six million viewers who made last Sunday’s exhibition in the rain the most-watched golf telecast in cable television history. Next up: ...

NCAA about to open floodgates

The NCAA’s Board of Governors will soon approve guidelines permitting Division I athletes to sign endorsement deals while pursuing higher education on college campuses. Congress will be asked to set federal standards in order to discourage states from making up their own rules. Without ...

Rubbing elbows with NBA royalty

The entire world thought Michael Jordan was going to win Game 5 and the 1998 NBA Finals in Chicago on Friday night, but my friends and I were cautious and booked seats on one of the only Saturday flights from Chicago to Salt Lake City. When we arrived at Midway airport on Saturday morning ...

Snell poster child for spoiled players

I’m not really sure what Twitch is, but I do know this — Blake Snell will wish he was never on it. He said on the social gaming site what a lot of Major League Baseball players are probably thinking. Like him, they’re anxious about risking their health by returning to play and not happy ...

Summer baseball can’t be sacrificed

Baseball isn’t just a diversion, it’s an institution. Baseball teaches you a lot about life, in regards to failure, and handling failure is a life lesson. Young boys developing into young adults have a passion to play, learn and evolve within. Sports does this with the guidance of ...

Sports can eventually help us heal

In the movie “Rudy,” the title character affirms his passionate desire to attend Notre Dame during a modest lunchroom celebration of his 22nd birthday with steel mill co-worker and best friend Pete. After Rudy acknowledges that Pete is the only person who ever took him seriously, Pete ...

‘Last Dance’ stirs great memories

“The Last Dance,” ESPN’s documentary series about the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 season, tonight airs the third and fourth episodes, with six more parts broadcast over the next month. In the 1997-98 NBA Finals, the Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz in six games with Michael Jordan hitting the ...

NFL has used virus precautions … sort of

The United States government has outlined identified basic, relatively easy-to-follow guidelines to minimize the chances of contracting the coronavirus. We need only look to the past history of the NFL for examples (and possible origin) of these behaviors. Social distancing Attendance at ...

‘They will always be the Frankies to me’

As I think back to my fondest memories of sporting events, I always return to those of Saint Francis basketball. Growing up in Hollidaysburg, we lived down the street from a local dentist, Dr. Skip Hughes, who was also a full-time basketball coach at Saint Francis. Before the days of the ...

Sports’ overindulgence an ‘icy hot’ topic

This past Valentine’s Day, the NFL felt obligated to ruin the mood for one of their own, announcing that Baltimore Ravens’ tackle James Hurst will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2020 regular season for violating league policy on performance-enhancing substances. ...

Blackmon, Braxton lead SFU resurgence

As the play-by-play announcer on Saint Francis men’s basketball home games, I have enjoyed courtside seats along with my broadcast partner, Bernie Jubeck, at the Stokes Center and witnessed a renaissance period for Red Flash hoops. After decades of mediocrity, the Flash of the past four ...

Feinstein’s work among personal favorites

My best wishes for everyone to stay safe and healthy. It appears that spectator sports will be suspended for months, but I will continue my Ira on Sports show, and its focus will remain sports, even if no sports will be played. I have had coaches and players from all sports as well as ...

NFL players should weigh options

Here in Arizona, upscale bistros that offer fresh guacamole prepared tableside are all the rage. Savvy restauranteurs know they won’t stay in business long if they select rock hard, unripened avocados from the local grocer as it results in a bland, tasteless product. The same principles ...

Baseball’s sticky situation

By Jay Cohen The Associated Press MESA, Ariz. — Gaylord Perry threw a spitball. Joe Niekro had an emery board and a piece of sandpaper. Whitey Ford used his wedding ring. Pitchers have been tinkering with the ball for years in search of an advantage, skirting and — occasionally — ...

How about order in (Astros) court

Rob Manfred’s actions regarding baseball’s latest scandal mirrored the country’s attempts to quarantine the coronavirus, a pathetic attempt to prevent the spread of his sport’s contagion from infecting spring training games where fans lather themselves in SPF-50 then fork over top ...

Voice of the Fan guest column: Lions adding to basketball history

I read with great interest and enthusiasm Neil Rudel’s Feb. 15 column, “Nittany Lions jumping through high hoops” that focused on the recent, long anticipated resurgence of Penn State men’s basketball. Let’s face facts: For most of the 21st century, Nittany Lion hoop ...

Self-preservation rules college football

By Ralph Russo The Associated Press College football needs to place a moratorium on the use of the words loyalty and commitment. Everybody involved, coaches, administrators and, yes, even players have ceded the right to demand it from others. “I think what we have created is a ...

Powerful messages for women

What a week it was. Sports headlines should have been dominated by preparations for the Super Bowl, but instead, the biggest show on earth was overshadowed by the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a California helicopter crash. In the days that followed, Bryant, ...

Newton-Carolina: Mum’s the word

By Steve Reed The Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While Cam Newton remains optimistic about his chances of playing for the Carolina Panthers next season, the team is remaining mostly silent on the quarterback’s future. “He’s rehabbing, that’s all I can say,” Panthers general ...