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Posted: Monday December 8, 2008 1:23PM; Updated: Monday December 8, 2008 4:16PM

The Dean's List: Perfect no longer

Story Highlights

Perfect Ball State dropped the ball (literally) in the conference title game

Maria Sharapova and Wisconsin's athletic director have the same stalker

Southern University can teach us a thing or two about French horn players

By Jacob E. Osterhout

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Thanks to stalker Leonard Taylor Jr., Maria Sharapova and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will be forever linked.
Thanks to stalker Leonard Taylor Jr., Maria Sharapova and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will be forever linked.
AP

Welcome to this week's Dean's List, coming at you live from New York City, where it's so cold my love handles are chafing.

Honor Roll

• Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez does not look like Maria Sharapova. In fact, Alvarez bears more of a resemblance to Uncle Fester than the alluring Russian tennis sensation. But the two are now forever linked, thanks to Leonard Taylor Jr., a former Wisconsin defensive back who was recently arrested for stalking and harassing Alvarez and Sharapova. Taylor, who played football for Alvarez at Wisconsin from 1995-1998 and is a diagnosed schizophrenic, left at least 29 phone voicemails threatening to not only kill Alvarez, but also Sharapova. Here's one of Taylor's messages for his old coach: "I hate that (expletive) Maria Sharapova. ... I just want to look at you one (expletive) last time before I pull the (expletive) trigger, Barry." Scary stuff. I wonder if Alvarez reached out to comfort Sharapova. I would have.

• OK, Cornell didn't beat its upstate rival Syracuse last Wednesday, but at least the Big Red kept the game close, which should be considered a victory when the Ivy League plays the Big East. For the 31st straight time, Syracuse beat Cornell, 88-78, despite a 31-point performance from Big Red guard Ryan Wittman. But don't let the 10-point loss fool you. The Big Red were up by 16 in the first half and were actually leading by five at the break. Very impressive for a team that hasn't beaten Syracuse since 1968. Of course, Cornell does maintain at least one bragging right over the Orange. Last season, the Big Red went to the NCAA Tournament while Syracuse performed NIT duty.

• All heroes deserve a white horse and a princess. Someday, I will buy Stephen Field that horse and let him take my sister, who is not technically a princess, but acts like one, to Applebee's for dinner. Field, a University of Miami assistant football coach, was driving back from a recruiting trip at Dolphin Stadium on Saturday afternoon when he saw an overturned car on Interstate 95. Most people, myself included, would've seen the crowd gathered around the flipped car, which was billowing smoke, and kept on driving, believing that one more do-gooder couldn't really help. Not Field, who pulled over and scrambled down a ditch to the smoking car. Inside, he found the driver trapped and disoriented. Ignoring the smoke and the smell of gas, Field used a hammer to smash the car's front window. He extracted the injured driver and carried the man 20 feet to safety. Last question: Do all heroes drive around with hammers in their cars?

• So much for "first time's a charm." In an action-packed weekend of college soccer, previous champions won the title in all three divisions. The North Carolina women's soccer team rallied to beat previously-undefeated Notre Dame, 2-1, and win its 19th NCAA title. In Division II, the Cal State Dominguez Hills men's soccer team shut out Dowling University 3-0 to win its 2nd NCAA title. And Messiah College won both the women's and men's Division III soccer championships. The Falcons have now won six men's and two women's soccer titles. Jim Rome must be excited. He loves soccer.

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