What up, Sport? Baron’s Blunders

Quinn Hull, Sports Editor

Forget Jeremy Lin for a moment. On Monday evening, in the middle of the New York Knicks’ loss to their cross-river rival, the New Jersey Nets, “Linsanity” took a brief pause so that basketball fans could witness the antics of Baron Davis. With 8:37 left in the first half, the Knicks’ reserve point guard temporarily stole Lin’s show by scoring his first points of the season (and his final points of the night) on a three-pointer.

In celebration, Davis backed down-court with his thumb and forefinger clutched together and touched to his lips — a pretty much universally-understood gesture for smoking a joint. One might say that Davis merely followed hitting a basketball “J” (or a ‘jumper,’ for those of you who’ve never heard of sports) by hitting an imaginary version of the drug-related “J” that the rest of us non-shooters have to settle for.

Whatever you want to call it, Davis’s on-court counter-cultural gesture was just one of a few things worth noting in this week’s episode of What up, sport?

On Wednesday, ganja made another guest appearance in the wacky world of sports, when Middle Tennessee State University (that’s a real thing?) football player Preston Bailey was charged with felony possession with intent to sell, a crime that’ll get you up to 60 years behind bars in the state of Dolly Parton. Police said they found scales, baggies, cash and the stash in his apartment, located off-campus.

And how was Bailey bankrolling this little operation?

Said Kyle Williams of the Murfreesboro Police Department: “He admitted he got his start-up money for this illegal drug business by using scholarship money that he received from MTSU as a football player.” Fortunately, as Oberlin neither gives out athletic scholarships (we’re D-III; MTSU, believe it or not, hails from the NCAA’s scholarship-endowing Division I) nor readily allows students to live off-campus, our great institution is unlikely to suffer such a grand embarrassment.

Yet, in spite of the misconduct of players like Bailey, during October of last year the NCAA started seriously considering paying their student-athletes.

The hullabaloo came about when a big batch of malcontent football and basketball playing students from schools such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Arizona sent in a petition imploring the big, bad NCAA to “realize its mission to educate and protect us with integrity.”

The NCAA since has responded with tentative rule changes that would, if enacted, allow schools to pay athletic students $2,000 dollar-a-year stipends in addition to “full” scholarships that already cover tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies. These rule changes wouldn’t affect Oberlin athletics per se, as they’d only pertain to schools with upper-level men’s basketball and football teams (that is, the sports that bring those schools billions of dollars in ticket and TV revenue each year), but one can hope, one day, you’ll see a Yeoman playing for dough.

In any case, $2,000 extra might in the very least allow the NCAA to realize its duty to “educate and protect” by bankrolling a few more weed-growing operations…

Back to Baron Davis. The man responded to accusations that his earlier-mentioned three-point celebration was meant to encourage subliminal marijuana-related hysteria on Tuesday by tweeting this:

“To clear up rumors. I was kissing my hands after I shot the 3 last nite. Kissing the 3 was all I was doing. Stop fishing and hating plz”

Plz, Baron, no one was “hating.” And what do you mean, “fishing?”

According to Urban Dictionary, “fishing” is “just another word for spittin’ game.” And “spittin’ game,” as we all know, is just another euphemism for “hitting” on someone of romantic interest.

Alternatively, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the verb “to fish” means to “catch or try to catch fish, typically by using a net or hook and line.”

Whoops, we’ve got you Mr. Davis, and you can’t get away. You’ll always be caught hitting something.