It's vacation season. The weather is gorgeous. Time to take a break from the computer, the television and the couch and enjoy the great outdoors. With that in mind, we proceed into the notes without further delay...
This isn't the pros: The mess at Ohio State University, which lead to head coach Jim Tressel's "resignation," has once again fired up those who think college athletes should receive some form of pay for their serivces.
The answer to that question could not be any more simple: no. No way. Not one cent.
Those in favor of paying college athletes do make a somewhat decent case. The universities, they say, make millions of the player's performances through ticket sales, concessions and merchandise. Paying athletes a monthly stipend, they say, might curtail the improper benefits plaguing the NCAA today.
Again, those are reasonable arguments. But they are missing the bigger picture.
The NCAA rules, though archaic, are in place for a number of reasons, none more important than trying to maintain a level of normalcy for the student-athlete. In other words, making sure they are treated the same as the students paying their own way.
When it comes to actual equality among the student body, though, it's fair to say athletes are living large on campus. Most scholarship athletes don't have to try and find the least-offensive item under the heat lamp at the campus cafeteria come dinnertime. No, most big-time student athletes get to eat at the training table where the food is significantly better than most campus dining facilities.
When a regular student needs a tutor or help with a class, they have several options but are by and large on their own when it comes to getting assistance. If a player, though, needs help ... all he or she has to do is swing by the athletic department academic office where they have access to state-of-the-art technology, personal assistance, tutors and study help.
For most students, registering for classes in a pain in the rear. It's no small task to get into the courses which would make the best use of your schedule. Not so for the players, who often get preferential placement. And they don't have to worry about some power-hungry professor docking their grade for missing a class. Their absences, of course, are excused.
So no. College athletes should not get paid. The goal of the NCAA's rulebook is to preserve amateurism and maintain a level of balance among the student body. College athletes already have it pretty good. They, and their coaches, know the rules. Either play by them or meet a similar fate.
At the same time, the NCAA and major universities need to get real. Ohio State wasn't an isolated incident. The Buckeyes were just unlucky enough to get caught red-handed. That kind of behavior is happening at campuses all across America.
Perhaps it's time for the NCAA, university presidents and coaches to sit down and get on the same page for once and for all.
Packers rank atop the NFL: The Packers were the NFL's best team last year on the field, winning the Super Bowl. Now, the team's front office has been ranked first recently by foxsports.com.
FOX graded all 32 NFL teams in six areas: head coach, coaching staff, ownership, fans, quarterback and intangibles. The Packers received 56 points, ahead of New Orleans, Pittsburgh and New England, which had finished first the last two years.
Class act: You couldn't blame IndyCar rookie J.R. Hildebrand if he had been surly Friday during a media session at the Milwaukee Mile. Hildebrand finished second last week in the Indianapolis 500 and would have won the race had he not crashed into the wall on turn four of the final lap.
Since then, the 23-year-old has been calm, cool, collected – and honest.
"The more I look back at it, the more I kinda feel like ... there were definitely some things that if that situation arose again that I would deal with a little differently, but in terms of my general decision-making process there, I don't really think it was really that flawed," Hildebrand said. "If I would have slowed down behind that car going as slow as he was, there's no way I'm gonna win that race."
You've seen veterans blow up in similar situations, hurling vulgarities at reporters and throwing tools around the shop. Hildebrand, meanwhile, has played the part of professional quite well. He may not ever win a race in his career and even if that's the case, he should be remembered not for the crash, but for the way he acted in its aftermath.
Larry King Lounge: Bucks center Andrew Bogut talked with an Australian newspaper last week and says his arm isn't 100 percent yet ... How much do some people love the Stanley Cup Finals? Read this story at Deadspin about a guy who drove 1,000 miles to watch his Canuks play ... Even if you don't like hockey, you will certainly enjoy Mike Emrick's play-by-play. He's one of the best in the business ... It may not have been a popular opinion, but Johnny Bench was right in his assessment of Buster Posey's positioning when he suffered a season-ending injury.