No organization, not even the omnipresent National Collegiate Athletic Association, should own a man's name. 

According to a report by ESPN's Darren Rovell and Justine Gubar, the NCAA is investigating reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel for reportedly receiving a "five-figure flat fee" in exchange for signing hundreds of autographs on photos and sports memorabilia.

The NCAA frowns upon student-athletes using their celebrity to make money, especially if it was obtained because of one's performance as a student-athlete. A Heisman Trophy winner can become famous for being college football's best player, but the NCAA will not allow him to make any money off that fame without giving up his ability to continue playing college football. 

The NCAA and its member institutions—the primary benefactors of a multi-billion-dollar industry—hold the rules of "amateurism" over every student-athlete, owning the rights to everything about them, including their name, until their eligibility is exhausted. 


Buyers or sellers?

As the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline approaches like a train barreling through a tunnel, teams have very little time to decide whether they are in the market to buy or sell. Or, for some, both.

For teams on the margins of the playoffs, being a buyer or seller has become midseason* lingo for whether or not a team considers itself a contender. Are you in it? Buy. Are you out? Sell. 

Only it's just not that easy anymore.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Hey, baseball fans! Did you know it's Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown? With names like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling on the list of potential inductees for this year's Hall of Fame class, the weekend is certain to be one for the ages.

This year's Hall of Fame class includes...um, well…Hank O'Day and, uh, Jacob Ruppert and…Deacon White. It's a veritable who's who of Hall of Fame inductees, as in "who's getting into the Hall of Fame this year? Who?!"

Instead of spending the weekend reveling in the Hall of Fame speeches and talking about Bonds and Clemens and a host of players who were far and away the greatest of their generation, most baseball fans are ignoring the Hall of Fame entirely to talk more about…A-Rod.

Which got me thinking maybe Rodriguez, with a little help from Clemens, should open up his own Baseball Hall of Fame, where he can be enshrined after he retires, or is retired.


When I heard the news that Major League Baseball had finally suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun for using performance-enhancing drugs, forcing him to sit for the remainder of the 2013 season, my first reaction was, "Huh, that really sucks for the Brewers, I guess."

While some may feel a sense of accomplishment or an overwhelming feeling of karma catching up to a guy who cheated and defiantly lied about it time and again, I felt, "Huh." Apathy. 

My tenor has changed on this over the years. I used to be one of the people who would pound on a table when player needed to be exposed for cheating. "The truth has to come out, dammit."

I've long since resigned myself to the belief that players are always going to look for an edge, and it may be better for everyone if we all just sit back and let them find it.

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Ryan Braun cheated, lied and is paying the price for his baseball misdeeds.

Major League Baseball won its fight with Braun, and according to reports funneling out after the news of Braun's suspension for the remainder of the season, the suspension for Alex Rodriguez could be far worse.

Major League Baseball is sending a message to all its players with these landmark Biogenesis suspensions—which presents the question, why isn't MLB also sending a message to its teams?

If MLB really wants to clean up the game and eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from the league, Bud Selig and his coalition of narcs shouldn't just go after the cheaters. They would be wise to start punishing teams for harboring the cheaters.


Phil Mickelson never expected to win a British Open in his career. Even after he secured the Claret Jug on Sunday with a five-under 66 that he called "probably the best round of my career," Mickelson seemed surprised, in a way, at his own excellence. During the championship ceremony, he said:

Where does the British Open championship put Mickelson on the list of all-time greats? Suddenly, he's a lot closer to the top.

Two days ago, Mickelson was still already one of the greatest golfers of his era, sitting just inside the second cut—if you will—of the best players of all time. Phil had won four major titles and had collected a career's worth of second-place finishes, including six at the U.S. Open, a major he has yet to win. 

When Mickelson finished second in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion after holding the 54-hole lead, he told reporters that all he felt was "heartbreak." No one, not even Mickelson, thought his major championship redemption would have come so soon. 


Phil Mickelson is a sayer of sooths.

After the third round of the 2013 British Open, Mickelson sat down with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi and said he thought the champion would finish at even par, with one over par good enough to get into a playoff. Mickelson said if he could shoot a round in the 60s—he was four back at the time and finished the third round five off the lead—he would put himself in a position to win.

Rinaldi cackled at the absurdity of it all—not only that Mickelson could know the number he would need on Sunday to win the major championship no one—including Phil—ever thought he would win, but also that Mickelson knew the number before a dozen players had even finished their rounds for the day.

It turns out, he was right. Of course he was right.


Early in his second round at the 2013 British Open, Tiger Woods hit, by his standards, a poor approach into one of Muirfield's increasingly treacherous greens. Woods chuckled and flashed a sarcastic, toothsome grin while the ball was in flight before blurting out, "aw, fffff..." as it landed. 

Watching the coverage on television, viewers were unsure how that utterance finished, as ESPN's coverage quickly flashed away from the camera on Woods. The shot certainly was an "aw, fffff" moment for the world's top-ranked player, though it was one of just a few in his even-par round of 71.

At the time he finished his round, Woods was just three back of lead, with half the field still to play its second round of 18 holes at Muirfield. (Update: Woods now trails leader Miguel-Angel Jimenez by just one stroke going into Round 3.) It was a typical major championship grind for Woods, who may finally be showing signs of getting back to what typical, for him, used to be. 

The conditions at Muirfield have been giving the players fits, from the change in wind direction—most players did not have a chance to practice with wind like they saw on Friday—to greens that are much faster than the players traditionally expect from an Open Championship, to rough that can reach up to the players' waists.


In golf, all things are relative. 

If someone put on the early morning coverage of the Open Championship on Thursday and watched only Rory McIlroy, this would have looked like the hardest tournament in years.

With a steady but relatively light wind, McIlroy could not find the fairway all day, hitting just five fairways in his round and repeatedly landing in the wheat-like rough off the tee. He finished at eight-over 79.

McIlroy's Nike shoes must have been loaded with sand, as he was unable to avoid the greenside bunkers on several holes. When he did find the green, McIlroy struggled to find the cup, pulling many putts to the left, missing the hole completely. 


Sepp Blatter loves a good party.

In order for the 2022 World Cup to be the type of party the current FIFA president will want to attend, he has come to the (not) shocking (in any way) realization that Qatarin the summer—may not be the best place to boogie down.

According to ESPNFC.com, Blatter notes, "If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer. You can cool down the stadiums, but you can’t cool down the whole country."

Right now, as I type this story, it is 95 degrees in Doha, Qatar. It "feels like" 113. The past 24 hours of precipitation, per weather.com, is "not applicable."