For fans of the Big Ten the past month has brought a string of disquieting events that range from the trivial to the tragic.
JUNE 5: Police find Michigan State tailback Little John Flowers shooting dice in a Kalamazoo park, after which he allegedly resists arrest. The day before, Spartans basketball stars Mateen Cleaves and Antonio Smith had pleaded innocent to stealing a 40-ounce bottle of beer from an East Lansing 7-Eleven.
JUNE 7: Chris Foster, a 38-year-old guitar maker, accuses Indiana men's basketball coach Bob Knight of battery after an alleged altercation outside an Ellettsville, Ind., restaurant. Foster claims Knight grabbed him by the throat. After an investigation the Monroe County prosecutor says he finds no evidence to file charges against Knight.
JUNE 18: Two-time All-America guard Rob Murphy flunks out of Ohio State. Says Buckeyes football coach John Cooper, "We're not going to go through the same thing we went through last summer," referring to the fire the school drew for the seemingly easy time it gave the grade-challenged Andy Katzenmoyer.
JUNE 25: As a result of the academic scandal in the Minnesota basketball program, coach Clem Haskins accepts a $1.5 million buyout of his contract.
JUNE 29: For the second time in 18 months Iowa City police arrest backup Iowa quarterback Randy Reiners on an alcohol-related charge after Reiners is found "sleeping or passed out" in a parking lot at 2:26 a.m. He pays a $50 fine and $15 in court costs.
JUNE 30: Ann Arbor police begin an investigation of Michigan offensive linemen Jonathan Goodwin and Maurice Williams and former Wolverines fullback Demetrius Smith in connection with an embezzlement ring at a local Kmart. A search of Goodwin's and Williams's apartment turns up $3,000 worth of allegedly stolen merchandise, including phones, furniture and toilet paper.
JUNE 30: The NCAA places Purdue's men's basketball program on probation for two years for major rules violations involving recruiting, extra benefits and ethical misconduct, and it recommends that the university pay $380,000 in penalties.
JULY 2: Former Northwestern basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong is shot dead while walking with two of his children near his home in Skokie, III. The murder is part of a hate-crime rampage in the Midwest over the weekend; the suspect, who later takes his own life, is a former student at Illinois and Indiana.