HOUSTON—Rice’s football program has crowned itself 2009 BCS champion after the team’s opponents and a handful of other schools—including ex-national champion Florida and runner-up Oklahoma—stripped themselves of all wins in that season due to NCAA violations.
Vanderbilt, Texas, and Tulsa—the teams that gave Rice its three losses during the ’08-‘09 season—announced today that their wins from that year would be vacated, giving the Owls a 13-0 record.
LOS ANGELES—A college-football star told reporters today he believes NCAA athletes should be paid. Donning a white team-issued Nike track suit, the 19-year-old opined from the front seat of a Lamborghini while receiving a shoulder massage from a supermodel.
The dark-gray sports car the player used as his podium was “a gift from a friend” he received shortly before enrolling for his freshman season.
“Yeah, we need to be paid,” the electrifying wide receiver said after the team’s morning practice. “Playing football at this level is like a full-time job, not to mention our workload at school,” the general-studies major added.
CLEVELAND—According to sources, the Cavaliers have drawn interest from Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and other legendary NBA players who never won a championship. The team has reportedly been contacted by close to a dozen retired, still title-starved greats.
Other notable ringless players rumored to be in contact with the Cavs include John Stockton, Dominique Wilkins, and 62-year-old George Gervin.
“[The Cavs] have been getting calls pretty much nonstop over the past month,” an anonymous source said. “They’re arguably the most attractive free-agent landing spot in league history right now.”
With last month’s announcement that LeBron James would be returning to Cleveland this season and the team’s impending acquisition of All-Star forward Kevin Love, the Cavaliers have quickly become title contenders. Many NBA stars still pained by their fruitless careers see playing in Cleveland as their last shot at a championship.
“I can tell you with some certainty that Elgin wants to be in Cleveland,” a source close to 1957 first overall draft pick Elgin Baylor said. “LeBron’s baby Cavs would be perfect for giving him reduced minutes on the way to his first title.”
At press time, sources reported Karl Malone was interested in signing with Cleveland, but was insistent on receiving a maximum contract from the team.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Giants quarterback Eli Manning arrived at the team’s training camp today with his sleeping bag, flashlight, and jammies. The two-time Super Bowl winner walked into the Giants’ training facility with his sleepover supplies stuffed in a backpack.
“I can’t wait to see my friends again,” Manning told reporters outside Quest Diagnostics Training Center. “I went fishing, played baseball, rode a roller coaster, and went to the beach this summer. My teammates will think it’s so cool,” the three-time Pro Bowler said.
Manning told reporters he plans on using his sleeping bag as part of a “fort” he will build with training-camp roommate and fellow quarterback Curtis Painter. “And we can use my flashlight for ghost stories,” the 33-year-old father of two added.
Later in the day as Manning emerged from an offensive team meeting, he expressed anticipation at his first training-camp meal. “I hope there are s’mores,” Manning said, carrying a Giants playbook scrawled with doodles.
The quarterback’s excitement was brief, however: after hearing that the NFL’s collective-bargaining agreement would shorten practices, Manning was upset that “bedtime would be too early for [him] to play ghost in the graveyard.”