A GRIP ON SPORTS • UPDATED: 8:05 A.M.
After a long day of travel, we finally have arrived in the city that really never sleeps, ready for sleep. So we're putting together a morning post in the very early morning, with the express purpose of missing the Penn State press conference later today. But there are enough stories out there to know what's going to be said. Read on.
• UPDATE: If you are a college sports fan, I'm sure you are aware what the NCAA did this morning to Penn State football. No postseason for four years. A $60 million fine. Eliminating 40 scholarships. Allowing any player to transfer without penalty. In other words, the imprisonment of the current program for the crimes of many of its former authority figures. We have more on the link.
• It's pretty obvious NCAA President Mark Emmert is going to do to Penn State's athletic program what the school's president did to Joe Paterno's statue Sunday: take it down, rules be damned. Everyone from Yahoo to the Los Angeles Times to the Washington Post has outlined the particulars of what Emmert intends to do. It won't be pretty and, as I've read the NCAA rules, it may not even be legal under the organization's own statutes. But it's going to happen.
• UPDATE: The NCAA penalties are covered by USA Today, the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, along with every major media outlet in America. You can watch Emmert's news conference here if you would like. … Joe Paterno's legacy didn't escape either, nor did his coaching record. Penn State will have to vacate 112 victories from 1998 to 2012, 111 of those coming under Paterno's watch. Paterno was also stripped of the Gerald R. Ford leadership award. Due to the NCAA's actions, Paterno is no longer the winningest Division 1 football coach, dropping from 409 to 298 wins. … What is interesting is the school has agreed to not fight the NCAA's actions, even though, as Emmert admits, they are unprecedented and are outside the bounds of any other action by the organization.
• The more-uplifting story from Sunday was Ernie Els' remarkable, improbable victory in the British Open. Though Els played better than anyone near the leaderboard going into Sunday's final round, his win had as much to do with Adam Scott's collapse – four bogeys on the final four holes – as it did with Els' play. The one thing I would like to point out is Scott wasn't the only guy who collapsed Sunday. You could use that term for the rounds of Tiger Woods (73), Graeme McDowell (75) and Brandt Snedeker (74), who all joined Scott in the-could-have-won-this-major-with-a-decent-round club.
• Washington State: The Pac-12 media day is tomorrow in the LA area. WSU's Mike Leach is one of four coaches who will be making their first appearance at the event. … ESPN.com's Ted Miller has a video outlining Leach's hopes and concerns. … Over at Coug Center, Jeff Nusser asks what it would take for Marquess Wilson or Jeff Tuel to win the Heisman. A miracle maybe?
• Indians: The Indians controlled the game for seven innings Sunday. Then they gave up five runs in the eighth and lost 5-2.
• Mariners: When the M's embarked on their seven-game road trip a week ago, thinking they might win five games before they headed back home was probably out of the question. Especially if you knew they would score four runs combined in the final two games of the trip. But that's all they needed Saturday and Sunday in Tampa Bay. Now, Justin Vargas winning a 2-1 game Saturday wasn't all that unexpected. But Blake Beavan (above), who recently had been recalled from Tacoma, turning the same trick the next day, now that isn't as expected. But it is appreciated. Appreciated by Sunday leadoff hitter Casper Wells, by Cy Young contender Felix Hernandez, by Justin Smoak and the rest of Mariners.
• We're in Las Vegas the next few days – it's surprisingly warm – with some basketball responsibilities, but we'll be posting and keeping you updated on the sports news leading up to the Olympics. Until later …