Today in sports: Jeremy Lin is getting his own place, the 49ers are getting rid of their giant artificial hill, and the Big East will get $20 million for letting West Virginia University go free.
New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin spent the first two months of the season sleeping on the couch in his brother's Lower East Side apartment. That's fine for a benchwarmer with a non-guaranteed contract, but now that he's a burgeoning superstar and cultural icon, Lin wants a place of his own, which is not unreasonable. Sources say Lin has his eye on two "high-end" properties -- one is in New York City and belongs to a teammate, while the other is out in Westchester County, near the Knicks practice facility. We're not in the business of giving advice, but we're going to go ahead and give some to Jeremy Lin right now: Do not move to Westchester County. [New York Post]
You know who doesn't know the first thing about Jeremy Lin? Grouchy Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant! "I know who he is," Bryant told reporters last night in Boston, "but I don't really know what's going on too much with him." This felt like a silly tough guy maneuver until we watched the video of the interview, where it's pretty clear Kobe has never heard of Linsanity of Linmania. The Lakers are playing the Knicks Friday night, so he'll find out soon enough. [USA Today]
West Virginia University and the Big East Conference have ironed out a "conditional agreement" that will allow the school to join the Big 12 conference on July 1. In exchange for not making the Moutaineers wait 27 months to make the move, the Big East will receive $20 million, $11 million of which will come from WVU. The Big 12 -- which is to say, Big 12 member schools -- will put up the extra $9 million. [Charleston Daily-Mail]
Oh no: the San Francisco 49ers are leveling Mount Pain, the 2,500 ton fake hill that former coach Mike Singletary commissioned for the team's practice facility back in 2009. Singletary was fired in the middle of the season and replaced by Jim Harbaugh, who didn't use it once last season, not even when he wanted to punish players or make an obvious point about overcoming adversity. Fare thee well, Mount Pain! [The Sacramento Bee via PFT]
Ralph Nader has written an open letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman asking him to outlaw fighting and all blows to the head. To his credit, Nader seems to be aware the league has gotten tough -- maybe too tough -- on head shots under first-year disciplinarian czar Brendan Shanahan, but tells Bettman he can't "seriously make the argument that you're doing all you can to make player safety a priority" until he bans brawling. But wait: fighting down 25% this season. So why is Nader sending this letter to Gary Bettman, instead of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith and Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner? That would make more sense, considering that in December, Browns president Mike Holmgren admitted that the team’s medical staff “did not see” quarterback Colt McCoy take a hellacious helmet-to-helmet hit during a game against Pittsburgh, and sent him back on the field without administering a concussion test. McCoy wound up missing the rest of the season, but the league didn’t discipline the club. The idea a professional training staff could somehow miss seeing their own quarterback getting clobbered is much more alarming, from a longterm safety perspective, than a few hockey fights. [League of Fans via Puck Daddy]
The whispers about how Peyton Manning can't throw a football are getting louder and more detailed, with NFL Network reporter Michael Lombardi, citing conversations with people who have thrown with the Colts quarterback this offseason, says that Manning's having trouble "throwing to his left" and "throwing straight ahead is very difficult" as well. As directions go, those are two big ones. [NFL.com]