Uh oh. In the Detroit News, Tony Paul reports, “Officials from Western Michigan have contacted Minnesota’s athletic department with concerns football coach P.J. Fleck has had illegal contact with at least one of his former players, a source told The News on Wednesday. The source, in position to know about such conversations, requested anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding such allegations. NCAA regulations prohibit any contact — whether it’s a recruiting pitch or a ‘happy birthday’ text message — between a coach from one school and an enrolled athlete at another school without written approval from the school which is home to the athlete.”
From WMMT-TV in Michigan, there’s this: “Newschannel 3 has learned that Western Michigan University contacted Minnesota with concerns that Fleck had spoken, not just to [Robert] Spillane, who was given his release from the Broncos football program on Monday, but with other current Western Michigan players. Newschannel 3 has also learned that in response, Minnesota checked the phones of Fleck and his coaching staff. Newschannel 3 has reached out to the Gophers Sports Information Director for confirmation of the investigation and what appears to be the beginnings of a self-reported NCAA violations, but have not heard back from the school.”
The wild thing is that someone thought they could. Says Janet Moore in the Strib, “A legislative resolution that calls for the diversion of nearly $1 billion in federal funds from the Southwest light-rail line to Minnesota road and bridge projects is currently barred by law, according to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Republican legislators introduced a measure at the State Capitol last week asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to funnel $929 million intended for the Southwest light-rail line to a ‘block grant that can be used for other transportation projects’ in Minnesota.” They love them block grants, don’t they?
A PiPress story says, “A record number of Minnesotans were issued permits to carry handguns in 2016, a 59 percent increase over the year before. The 71,156 permits issued this past year were the most issued in a year since the state’s firearms permit laws were implemented in 2003, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. There were 44,696 issued in 2015.” I can’t tell you how much safer I feel.
To my knowledge, nothing like this happened at The Galleria. Says Frederick Melo for the PiPress, “Smack Fest, a women’s face-smacking contest, has come back to hit a popular Green Line nightclub where it hurts most — the wallet. Arnellia’s at 1182 W. University Ave. has agreed to give up its liquor license for 10 days in late March. The penalty, negotiated with city officials, stems from a Nov. 4 altercation between two contestants that took place in the bar’s parking lot following the all-female face-smacking contest known as Smack Fest. A woman reported that she was violently assaulted by a fellow competitor and her friends.”
On the Adrian Peterson Watch, Ben Goessling at ESPN writes, “Besides the Raiders, Peterson has already mentioned his initial interest in the New York Giants, Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his list remains fluid. Two sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the Buccaneers are not expected to aggressively pursue Peterson at this point. Though things could always change, the team still has loose plans for Doug Martin, whom the Buccaneers think looks refreshed and healthy after rehab for substance abuse, according to a source. Speaking to reporters at the combine, Giants coach Ben McAdoo said the team would ‘take a look’ at Peterson.”
Approaching a tipping point, I think. Faiza Mahamud of the Strib writes, “The idea of renaming Minneapolis’ most popular lake is bubbling up again after Yale University struck John C. Calhoun’s name from one of its residential colleges. Citing Yale’s decision last month, some Minneapolis Park Board members are renewing a push to scrap the Lake Calhoun name in favor of Bde Maka Ska, the lake’s Dakota name. Calhoun, the 7th vice president of the United States for whom the lake is named, was an advocate of slavery. While the board previously settled on labeling the lake with both names rather than making an official change, the Park Board has a chance to revisit the idea before finalizing the Calhoun-Harriet master plan this spring.”