As usual, a provocative take from the Washington Post's Sally Jenkins -- laying out an agenda of sports reform for President Obama. I would call it hit-or-miss:
(1) Get rid of the BCS. Really? As the No. 1 priority? For a thoughtful sports thinker like Jenkins, this is ludicrous. (She is correct, however, that a simple threat of taking away college tax benefits would be a game-changer.)
(2) Declare freshman ineligible. Hate it. Only if it went hand-in-hand with insisting that the NFL and NBA got rid of their age minimums for draft eligibility. Forcing a pro-worthy player to toil in college for two years -- when they have no actual interest in college beyond its role as a stepping-stone to the pros -- is counter-productive.
(3) Dress more appropriately for golf. A bit prudish, but fair.
(4) Play Candace Parker 1-on-1 at the White House, to generate more support for women's basketball. I like the symbol, but it's pretty empty -- leagues must move the needle themselves.
(5) National Anthem played IN TUNE at all sports events. Fair, but here's a better idea: Ditch the Anthem for "America the Beautiful" or -- as witnessed Sunday -- "This Land Is Your Land."
(6) Save tennis. Eh. This is like saving the banking industry -- the sport did this to themselves.
(7) Final Four back in arenas, not domes. Better idea: 75 percent of tickets must be ear-marked for fans. Even better idea: All major sports championships must earmark more tickets for fans than are given to corporate sponsors, and at reasonable rates.
(8) Equal pay for women's sports. I fully support it, but Jenkins cherry-picks the Pearl-Summitt comparison. When women's sports bring in the revenue of men's, it is a stronger argument. (See women's tennis, where pay inequity is a joke.) For women in the front office? Absolutely. And, while we're at it: More women and minorities in the front office.
(9) Pardon Marion Jones. You've got to be kidding me. I'm sorry that prosecutors haven't done a better job with the other steroid felons, but that doesn't mean Jones should get off. Her betrayal of sports and fans was one of the Top 3 worst of the 20th Century in American sports. She didn't seem particularly remorseful when she was collecting all those medals -- or collecting all those endorsement checks.
(10) Force Dan Snyder to hire a GM. Now THERE you go.
I would add a few others:
-Obliterate AAU and start over.
-Mandate any team relocating to give a substantial cash rebate to fans.
-Develop an unobtrusive test for HGH.
-Legalize sports gambling but tax the hell out of it.
-Name Tim Tebow to lead President's Council on Physical Fitness.
From the serious to the silly, do you have any other items on a sports to-do list for Obama?