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College teams are okay with sketchy athletes in the name of victory

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So Mazi Smith played and continues to play. There is a national title to win, big bonuses to pocket.

Why, at 6-foot-3, 335 pounds, the Michigan defensive lineman and co-captain had to carry a Glock 19 with three magazines while speeding through a residential neighborhood, didn’t matter. He is a star of the football team led by the prestigious University of Michigan.

Smith’s attorney told WXYZ that the gun was legally registered with Smith, but his client did not have a concealed gun permit when he was arrested by police.

Such stories became a dozen bucks, relegated to a paragraph at the end of sports sections, ignored by television.

The nation’s top football and basketball schools continue to recruit young criminals onto their campuses with the goal of achieving no better college performance than winning games.

Currently, an investigation continues into the fatal pre-dawn shooting last month of a University of New Mexico student, allegedly by 6-foot-8 New Mexico State forward Mike Peake. , who was in Albuquerque to play UNM. The two, according to police, exchanged gunfire.

Mazi Smith
Mazi Smith
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Mazi Smith, right, closes in on Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud during a game on Nov. 26, 2022.
Mazi Smith, right, closes in on Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud during a game on Nov. 26, 2022.
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Peake, from Chicago and now playing for his third college after Georgia and Austin Peay, was allegedly ‘lured’ into a dorm on the UNM campus by students who planned to attack him in revenge for a fight during the football match between the schools in October. . Peake was reportedly shot once by 19-year-old Brandon Travis. Peake reportedly fired back four times with his own gun, killing Travis.

The New Mexico State basketball team, including the coaches, then left town, until their bus was stopped by police.

This story – which once would have been unbelievable, sensational, impossible – didn’t even make a big splash outside of New Mexico.

So I was wondering: maybe it’s time for the big football and basketball colleges to level the parents of incoming freshmen only, warning them of a data-backed likelihood that those who are recruited to play football and basketball are the most likely to commit crimes, the kind that can put their children at risk.

Michigan’s Smith hasn’t missed a game since his arrest Oct. 7. At 6-3, 335, why did he need a Glock with three magazines? To defend against pre-med students?

Parents have no right to wonder why such risks get recruited, stay on the team, stay on campus? It’s none of their business, just keep rolling those checks?

On Thursday, Smith pleaded guilty to a charge of reduced possession of weapons, a misdemeanor.

mike peak
mike peak
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Also on Thursday, ESPN presented its annual College Football Awards show. After several clips of players showboating, instead of playing football — that’s ESPN’s sports meaning and sell — the final scene chosen was of the Michigan player planting the college flag on and in the Ohio State midfielder’s logo after the Wolverines win at Columbus November 26.

ESPN chose to celebrate an inflammatory, unsportsmanlike act that kicks them when they’re down, the kind that leads to fights and debases rivalries into genuine, bloody, illogical hatred.

This season, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh complained bitterly that Penn State and Michigan State players started fights in the tunnel that led to the locker room at Michigan Stadium, ironically dubbed ‘The Big House’. .

After the Michigan State game, Harbaugh insisted that suspensions and arrests be made. Seven MSU “student-athletes” have been suspended and charged with assault.

Yes, Coach Harbaugh is strictly a law and order guy. So Mazi Smith, Glock 19 with three magazines, played and plays for Harbaugh. There’s a national title to be won, millions in “Just win, baby” bonus money for Harbaugh to chase.

Parents and real students? Proceed at your own risk. It’s all twisted, backslid, I know. In the meantime, parents, please postpone.

Fan, ex-Met turned pen pals decades later

In 1969, 12-year-old Bill Parrinello of Elmont, NY, wrote fan letters to his favorite Mets: Cleon Jones, Tom Seaver, Tommy Agee, Bud Harrelson, Ed Charles and reserve outfielder Rod Gaspar, who beaten at bat this championship season. 228.

The only return he received was a signed photo of Gaspar, with a thank you note.

In 2005, Parrinello emailed that memory to the Ultimate Mets database bulletin board.

Rod Gaspar, in 2006
Rod Gaspar, in 2006.
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Last week, Parrinello received an email thanking him for his 2005 salute to Gaspar. It was from Rod Gaspar, now 76 and living in California. For real?

Parrinello was doubtful. He called the number provided by Gaspar. After trading murky details of the 1969 season, he knew it was the same Met he wrote 53 years ago. They had a good conversation, Gaspar happy to be remembered. Pen pals for life.


Sunday lineup: Jets at Bills, 1 p.m. CBS’s Jim Nantz and Tony Romo with the call. This game was reportedly baited and played in prime time on NBC, which has Dolphins-Chargers, but CBS declined.

Good thing. The forecast for Buffalo is freezing temperatures with a good chance of rain and snow, dangerous driving conditions. But as Roger Goodell says, “It’s all about our fans.”

The Jets and Bills face off in a rematch Sunday in Buffalo.
The Jets and Bills face off in a rematch Sunday in Buffalo.
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Eagles at Giants, 1 p.m. on Fox, Joe Davis and (nurse!) Daryl “Moose” Johnston. Vaya con dios.


Men’s college basketball games of the week: would you choose to be young or wise? Young Harris (Ga.) defeated Virginia-Wise, 85-76.

Bellarmine (Ky.) 110, Alice Lloyd (Ky.) 38. In that shameless stomp, Bellarmine made a school-best 23 3-pointers. A starter, playing 31 minutes, took 14 3s. Good for Bellarmine Bullies!

Grinnell’s 111 3-point shots in their 124-67 victory over Emmaus Bible College left the winners very small, the biggest losers among the two Iowa colleges.

How much with the United States to pay for the Cup?

Thus, the 2026 World Cup will be shared between the United States sites. The last thing the American public should expect from this deal is “full transparency” from international soccer masters FIFA.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks to the media during a press conference on the announcement of the host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup during a press conference at 30 Rockefeller Center on June 16, 2022 At New York.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks to the media during a press conference on the announcement of the host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup during a press conference at 30 Rockefeller Center on June 16, 2022 At New York.
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FIFA representatives, like IOC representatives, have a well-deserved reputation for operating in the shadows, if not in obscurity. Money talks, but keep it low, you know?

In other words: there isn’t a smart football fan who believes that FIFA awarded this World Cup to Qatar (Qatar?!) for a better reason or beyond payola sotto voce — moola des mullahs.

What we think makes sense, easy, and both fan and player friendly, seems to elude the NBA. To avoid non-competitive rip-off games by design that stars and newbies are bound to rest in, simply eliminate consecutive games, ending all excuses.


DC reader Mike “The Chef” Soper waits for the World Cup telecast in which a 1-0 lead inspires an announcer to say, “It’s a one-possession game.”


I’m still waiting for the Devils to become the Devils of the last four seasons because no team can improve so much overnight. But it didn’t happen. And under the guidance of career defenseman Lindy Ruff, this team has become superb in passing from the offensive zone, good for the eyes.


Reader Mike Jacobs wonders if $360 million is a lot for the Yankees to spend on a first hitter.


Well, if the Argentina-Netherlands, as we saw on Fox on Friday, didn’t do it for you, football just isn’t your sport.


Have Gun, Will Travel: West Virginia QB JT Daniels has entered the transfer portal looking for his fourth college. He previously played at Georgia and Southern Cal. He may be looking for a school that organizes the day for sixth graders.

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