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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
3-point stance: Everybody has a price

By Ivan Maisel

1. Baseball has a long, historic relationship with July 4. Major and minor league parks across America concluded the national birthday with fireworks. College football used to own New Year’s Day but the leakage of the major bowl games beyond Jan. 1, which first happened with the Miami-Penn State showdown in the Fiesta Bowl 25 seasons ago, has muddied the relationship between the holiday and the sport. It’s an obvious case where the pursuit of money didn’t come without a price.

2. So, it’s looking like Oregon coach Chip Kelly paid $25,000 for a bogus recruiting service as a way to get closer to running backs LaMichael James and Lache Seastrunk. Kelly will say that’s not the case, and there may be enough gray area in the NCAA manual that Kelly can explain that he got taken and that will suffice. But that leaves Kelly and Oregon in the position of looking either slick or naive. Neither is flattering.

3. The more I hear about the progress of LSU senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson during the spring under the tutelage of new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe, the more it looks as if the former Tulsa head coach is in a no-lose situation. If Jefferson falters, he will finish his college career looking like a bust. If Jefferson improves, Kragthorpe will look like a kingmaker.