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On Adelman's wife, Aldridge, NCAA's Kangaroo Court, late Pac-12 hoop starts and much more


Getting a few things off my plate as we head into another busy sports weekend. ...

• Thoughts and prayers go to Mary Kay Adelman, wife of Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman, who has been hospitalized in Minneapolis after suffering seizures.

Rick Adelman has missed the last nine Timberwolves games as he tends to his wife of 37 years. Mary Kay has improved enough that she is being allowed to return to their Minneapolis home today. Barring complications, the hope is that Adelman can return to the team next week, with the Wolves beginning a six-game homestand on Wednesday.

Rick was an original Trail Blazer player, the team’s first captain and coach of the 1990 and ‘92 teams that reached the NBA Finals. The Adelmans make their permanent home in Portland. Four of their six children reside here (the other two, R.J. and David, work with the Timberwolves).

Mary Kay was always a smiling, welcome face around Memorial Coliseum during Rick’s tenure with the Blazers. Without question, she is the love of her husband’s life. Family takes precedence over job at times like this. I join those who have been blessed to know Mary Kay in wishing her a full recovery.

• The NBA Western Conference coaches got it exactly right with their selection of the reserves for the All-Star Game, including Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge.

Now if the league would give the coaches the right to select the starters, too. That way the Lakers’ Dwight Howard could take the weekend off and a more deserving player could occupy his spot in the West’s starting five.

• There are Kangaroo Courts, and then there is the NCAA.

The body that governs collegiate sport has ordered an investigation of its own investigation of Nevin Shapiro, the Miami booster who is serving a 20-year sentence for securities fraud and made donations to the Hurricanes and bought gifts for many of their football stars.

Seems the NCAA’s enforcement division illegally collaborated with Shapiro’s defense attorney, Maria Elena Perez (coincidentally a 2000 Miami law school graduate), who provided information obtained through subpoena of witnesses. Perez shared depositions with the NCAA and was paid for her services.

The NCAA now admits its investigation is tainted by the two depositions because the information was improperly obtained.

A year and a half after the Shapiro scandal broke, the NCAA has yet to file a notice of allegations — the equivalent of being charged with a crime by the NCAA, which says it will now wait until an external review of the Perez caper is completed.

This surely pushes back the timetable on the body’s investigation of Oregon and the Willie Lyles affair, which is coming up on two full years since we first learned of the story.

One report said last week that resolution of the Ducks’ case will not come until 2014 — and that was before the long-awaited delivery of the Miami notice of allegations was delayed.

NCAA folks operate more deliberately than our state highway crews, it seems.

• It’s amazing that the the Trail Blazers’ 100-80 rout of Indiana Wednesday night was the club’s first 20-point win in almost a year.

The last one was on Feb. 21, the unforgettable 137-97 thrashing of a San Antonio team without a healthy Tim Duncan and Tony Parker (and an injured Manu Ginobili). Coach Gregg Popovich chose to rest his stars that night and got away with nary an NBA reprimand.

It was a little different on Nov. 30, when Popovich was fined $250,000 for sitting Duncan, Parker and Ginobili in a game at Miami televised on TNT. The league evidently pays more attention to what’s going on in South Beach than in the City of Roses.

• Forbes Magazine’s recent valuation of NBA franchises has Portland smack in the middle at 15th with an estimated value of $457 million, a $24-million increase since last year. It’s been a nifty investment for owner Paul Allen, who paid $70 million when he bought the franchise from Larry Weinberg in 1988.

The average team is worth $509 million, a 30-percent increase over last season, primarily because of increased TV revenue and the new collective-bargaining agreement that reduced the players’ share of basketball-related income from 57 to 50 percent.

Forbes’ Fab Five: New York, $1.1 billion; the Los Angeles Lakers, $1 billion; Chicago, $800 million; Boston ,$730 million, and Dallas, $685 million. Major markets rule.

Biggest surprise was Sacramento, No. 11 at $525 million. Forbes didn’t have to estimate this one since the Kings are in the process of being sold for that price to Seattle. Since the Kings are a bottom-five market right now, seems as if Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen might be overpaying by just a tad.

• The flap over Oregon’s interview of a minority candidate for its head football coaching job illustrates how meaningless the “state diversity law” really is.

The law requires the state’s public universities to interview at least one minority candidate for any vacant head-coaching position in any sport. But there is no penalty for failure to comply.

For the law to have any teeth, one of two things must be done. It must either carry a penalty — I’m not sure what that would be — or be changed to require a school to hire a minority candidate for a certain percentage of open jobs.

Neither of those ideas makes sense to me. Neither does the law itself. Quota systems don’t work.

As I’ve written before, in the era in which we live, qualified blacks and minorities are plusses to have in college coaching positions. All things equal, athletic directors will hire candidates of color and don’t need a law to try to force the issue.

• While I have sympathy for the late Junior Seau’s family and many of those NFL players affected by chronic traumatic encephalopathy as a result of violent hits, I’m sorry to see the lawsuit blaming the league.

I feel the same way generally about the legal action filed by more than 3,800 players who want some sort of recompense from the league for the concussions absorbed during their careers.

Pro football is a violent, dangerous game. There is risk involved in participation. The players know that when they sign up and accept a lot of money to play a kid’s game for a living. Nobody is forcing them into a uniform, pads and a helmet.

As we learn more about CTE and concussions, the NFL must do its part to protect the players through rule changes, equipment and medical and training care. We can all agree on that. It would seem as if that is in the process of getting done.

For the Seaus to take it to the courts in an attempt for some “payback” rubs me the wrong way.

I’d rather see the NFL do a better job taking care of its disabled veterans of an earlier era, who have been more often than not been given short shrift by the league in terms of health and medical benefits.

• I know the Pac-12 Networks are paying big bucks to basically run the conference. That still doesn’t make an 8:30 p.m. PT start of a basketball game — such as Oregon State-Washington on Wednesday night — fair to the fans who might have the quaint idea of actually attending the game on a weeknight.

The OSU-UW game ended after 10:30 p.m., getting any Portland-area fans who made the drive to Corvallis home after midnight. No wonder the Beavers and Huskies drew that huge throng of about 4,000.

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