1. As Tom Farrey’s report on "Outside the Lines" illustrated, NCAA president Mark Emmert’s emphasis on style and message is nothing without a foundation of competence. Emmert ratcheted up the pressure on his employees for change, and the Miami fiasco is the result. In the wake of questions about the Freeh Report, the harsh Penn State penalties meted out with a holier-than-thou flourish by Emmert last summer look like a ready-fire-aim effort. In this, the NCAA’s red-carpet week, the spotlight on Emmert is harsh.
2. That wasn’t hard, was it? The old Big East came up with a new name, American Athletic Conference, that contains geographic meaning (the league covers a lot of ground) and can be reduced to a simple acronym that sounds like the other top leagues. Who knows if the AAC will be a success on the football field? The odds are long. But the league found a good name, which is more than the Big Ten and the ACC can say about its divisions.
3. Chuck Fairbanks, who died Tuesday of cancer at age 79, won big at Oklahoma (52-15-1 from 1967-72) and lost big at Colorado (7-26, 1979-81) and coached in the NFL in between. He got the New England Patriots job after Joe Paterno took it overnight and gave it back the next morning. The coaches who replaced him at Oklahoma and Colorado, Barry Switzer and Bill McCartney, respectively, won four national championships between them.