Today in sports: Yale's football coach submits his resignation after his quarterback's very real pursuit of a Rhodes scholarship brought his own Rhodes fibs to light, David Beckham is going to France, and UCLA's football team again insists on going over the wall.
Yale football coach Tom Williams has submitted his resignation, after it emerged during Yale quarterback Patrick Witt's Do-I-play-against-Harvard-or-go-to-my-final-Rhodes-scholarship-interview? dilemma in the fall that Williams claimed he was a Rhodes candidate on his resume when the school hired him in 2009. When the Rhodes Trust told The New York Times that it had no record of a Tom Williams applying for the scholarship after graduating Stanford in 1992, Yale began an internal investigation. That turned up another half-truth in Williams' official biography on the football team's Web site, in which he claims to have been a member of the San Francisco 49ers taxi squad in 1993. In truth, he never signed a contract with the team, and just attended a three-day minicamp for undrafted college rookies. [ESPN]
"Over the wall" day has been a staple of UCLA's football culture since the 1980 Mirage Bowl, when the team's seniors took the football equivalent of senior cut day and bolted the practice field for a day of freedom. It was a fun and silly back then, but as the program has declined in recent years, fans, coaches, and the media have criticized the tradition, on the grounds that it contributes to a culture of entitlement within the program. They did it again yesterday, even though they have a new coach and had to petition the NCAA to be allowed to play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Junior running back Johnathan Franklin, one of the team's captains, said UCLA's seniors made the decision to ditch and that it "won't be happening again" next year. Last week, players were melting down on Twitter and accusing the school of "Genocide in Westwood" for not delivering the standard bowl season per diem checks to players who skipped out on mandatory workouts the week before. [Los Angeles Times]
None of the Arizona politicians who accepted free game tickets and accommodations at the Fiesta Bowl will be charged with any crimes. The decision by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who took over the investigation after the state attorney general's office bowed out citing a conflict of interest, not to file charges seems to be at odds with the findings of an internal Fiesta Bowl investigation in March into illegal campaign donations by bowl officials that indicated, according to the AP, ""evidence that 31 current or former Arizona politicians received free game tickets or trips, many in apparent conflict with state law that bars receipt of free tickets in most cases." Montgomery said he was convinced any of the politicians accepted the gifts knowing it was an ethical violation to do so. [AP]
Newspapers in France are claiming that David Beckham's move to Paris St. Germain is a done deal, and that he'll make his debut with the club early next month. Beckham has spent almost the last five years playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS, becoming the latest dexterous and handsome international salesman to fail to persuade America to give this whole soccer business a try. [AFP]
The NFL Players Association has sensibly decided to pay union boss DeMaurice Smith his year-end $1 million bonus. If they hadn't, Smith was said to be ready to step down in protest. While the NFLPA's Executive Committee issued a statement praising Smith's leadership, it didn't address the issue of renewing his contract, which is set to expire in March. [Pro Football Talk]