Today in sports: Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe's conference-crippling reign nears its end, another accusation about the NFL's vast fake injury conspiracy, and the Chinese aren't getting their hands on the Los Angeles Dodgers (probably).
- The Kansas City Star hears from two sources close to the situation that Big 12 Conference commissioner Dan Beebe is "working on his exit package" and is preparing to step down as commissioner, which is expected to be announced later today. It's tempting to characterize Beebe's imminent departure as an ouster, following The Oklahoman's report that the University of Oklahoma would only consider staying in the Big 12 if the conference made "major, major reforms" and brought in an interim commissioner to replace Beebe, who has seen three member school defect to rival conferences in the last 15 months. The Star's sources say Beebe's decision to step down was influenced by the perception among other members that he was "too willing to do the bidding of the University of Texas." That might have been the case at times, but The Star's source says the conference's real problem is regional bias run amok. "Up in your neck of the woods,” explains the Texas-based source, “he is considered a puppet for Texas. Nobody down here thinks that there is anybody in the Big 12 but Texas and Oklahoma. Six hundred miles of difference is an amazing distance. And they both are wrong." Meanwhile, former Big Eight Commissioner Chuck Neinas told the Associated Press he's already been contacted the conference to gauge his interest in serving as interim commissioner. [The Kansas City Star]
- Former New York Giants linebacker Bryan Kehl, now a member of the St. Louis Rams, peeled another layer off the NFL's fake injury onion today, telling a St. Louis sports radio station that Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell coaches his players on how to fake injuries to slow down a high-flying offense. The Giants--specifically safety Deon Grant--have been accused of doing just that during the first quarter of Monday night's win over the Rams, prompting the league to send out a memo yesterday to all 32 teams warning that any team with players found to be faking injuries would be subject to fines, suspensions, and the loss of draft picks. Said Kehl: "Perry Fewell coaches that. He's their DC. He coaches that." [ESPN]
- Embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt did not respond to a new $1.2 billion bid for the club that was set to expire Tuesday, but bid group leader and Los Angeles Marathon founder Bill Burke says he's giving McCourt more time to mull the offer over. McCourt and his estranged wife Jamie deserve the blame they get for running one of baseball's most valuable franchises into the ground, but we doubt even he would feel confident accepting an offer financed by "state-owned investment institutions of the People's Republic of China," even if it is an all-cash transaction. Then there's the chance the offer is just a big hoax. A sports industry analyst tells the Los Angeles Times there are "questions within the sports industry about whether this is a genuine offer." But what part of this seems like a hoax? China certainly has enough money to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it seems like the kind of thing they could do just to show the U.S. a thing or two about a thing or two. More curious is the fact McCourt didn't immediately say yes and offer to box up Chavez Ravine and overnight it to Beijing. [Los Angeles Times]