Feb. 19, 2004
St. John's
With four walk-ons and a handful of scholarship players, the Red Storm -- talking about shuttering the program a week ago -- beat Georgetown.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Gary Barnett gave me the best sports moment of my life as a fan: Northwestern's Rose Bowl run in 1995. Cripes, I even wrote about him for Page 2's "My Hero" package last year. I'm embarrassed by that this morning.

It's not even a "Say it ain't so!" moment, like it is for other fans who become appalled at their one-time heroes. Throughout this scandal, he's revealed nothing but a self-serving, double-dealing side that I realize truly reflects who he is.

But I renounce him now: For the shoddy state of his football program (but it's not as if his time at NU was taint-free)...

For his inexcusable, Hall-of-Fame insensitive and likely job-obliterating comments about former player and alleged rape victim Katie Hnida...

And, only the latest, as he pondered his removal as coach yesterday, a classic non-apology apology over those comments, best left to his own words:

"I sincerely regret that yesterday a portion of my remarks were either misinterpreted or taken out of context, and I apologize for answering that question in a manner where I must have come across as insensitive..."

What?! Barnett certainly isn't worthy of his job anymore, and he sure as hell isn't worthy of anyone's admiration.

Rasheed Trade?
Biggest NBA trade rumor: Rasheed Wallace, who really wants to be in New York, will probably end up in Detroit for the rest of this season (before being given a money/mouth opportunity with the Knicks this summer).

NBA trade deadline: 3 ET

What About AI?
Not on the block (yet): Allen Iverson, but all the conventional wisdom has him being dealt in this summer's mega-trade. So he's staying in Philly for now? Oh, that'll make for a fun spring.

Nets coach Lawrence "Doogie" Frank: Wins 10th in a row
St. Joe's: 23-0 (See Road to Perfection, "Q It Up," right)
Chicago Cubs: From NL's cursed to NL's top contender
Colorado admin: Not just Barnett; it's their fault, too
BoSox's John Henry: Salary cap? Boss right: "Sour grapes"
Ho. Dean as candidate: But what about as vote-broker?
Cards Sign Pujols
If there's a larger lesson for other teams watching the A-Rod deal (or even Maddux's), it's that for the ideal player, money shouldn't be an obstruction.

The Cardinals came to their senses and signed Top 5 superstar Albert Pujols to a 7-yr/$100 million deal. And, hey, if they're hamstrung by the deal in two or three years, they can always pawn him off to the Yankees. (The pathetic part: Can't you see him actually ending up in New York before seven years are up?)

Boss vs. Henry
Bud Selig has stepped in and told George Steinbrenner and John Henry to stop squabbling, but that's a mistake: Two ultra-rich titans in the verbal equivalent of backyard wrestling makes for great entertainment.

The Boss got the last (damning) word: "Unlike the Yankees, [Henry] chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston." Ouch (but kind of true).

Duke Loses ... Again
Time to panic? Nah: No shame in losing to Wake Forest at their place. The L doesn't even drop Duke out of the NCAA Tourney's four top seeds, given the strength of the ACC.

And Duke's remaining schedule is favorable: Maryland, G-Tech and UNC all at home (with an oddly scheduled home game vs. Valpo -- hunh? -- next Thursday).

Wake won't be Duke's last regular-season loss, though: That'll come at Florida State a week from Sunday.

Colorado president
Betsy Hoffman:

Barnett's comments were beyond awful, but at some point (should have been sooner) responsibility lies with CU's top leader.

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