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July 18, 2011

Should college athletes be paid? (with poll); plus Bosh's $300K wedding (with photos), singing coaches, sleeping Marlin, T.Y. Hilton, zaftig Serena & more

1aa1hopecover 1aa1twohalfmen [It's LIVE CHAT WEDNESDAY! Doing it 1-2 p.m. today. Click HERE to join us then or to post questions early. Happy to report U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo adorns the cover (left) of the new Sports Illustrated on newsstands today/ Wednesday. At right, the new ad campaign for Two And a Half Men as it moves from Charlie Sheen to Ashton Kutcher. Also, join us at Twitter.com/gregcote. Or, you could just follow Justin Bieber like everybody else].

1aa1pay COLLEGE ATHLETES GETTING ALL THEY DESERVE: Whether to pay college athletes in the revenue sports of football and men's basketball resurfaces as a hot topic, splashed across ESPN.com and debated nationally. I weigh in with this column, online now and in Tuesday's pulp editions. Proponents of pay-for-play see college sports making millions in TV revenue alone and athletes deserving their piece of the pie. I make the two-pronged argument that athletes are being well paid as is, with scholarships and other benefits, and that they don't deserve more because college sports isn't about the individual athlete. When CBS/Turner Sports pay billions in NCAA men's basketball tournament rights, they are paying for the franchise called "March Madness," for conferences and marquee teams, for Cinderella. In the big picture, the college athletes who happen to be wearing the uniforms are incidental. Interchangeable. Then again, I am occasionally wrong. How do you feel? Do big-time college athletes deserve money beyond the value of their scholarships? Why or why not? Vote now.

1aa1boshkiss HEAT CELEBRATE BOSH-TASTIC $300K WEDDING: Heat forward Chris Bosh celebrated his marriage to Adrienne Williams (they'd been legally knotted in April) with a lavish ceremony/party at Miami's Fontainebleau hotel over the weekend. Cost: Almost $300,000, including 100 rooms reserved for guests. My invitation evidently got lost in the mail but that doesn't stop me from passing along these photos of the happy couple kissing near the cake and dancing. Guests included LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra also attended -- but only after getting special 1aa1boshdance clearance from the NBA 1aa1big3wedding because execs and coaches are not supposed to meet or fraternize with players during the lockout. Bosh had spent a recent week-long bachelor party in Las Vegas. Adrienne's bachelorette party was a week-long blowout in the Bahamas that included Kelly Rowland among guests. Meantime, LeBron is back playing in Cleveland. Oy! But relax, it's only in a City League summer tournament to keep in shape during the lockout. LeBron's website posted this video of LBJ just outside Cleveland.

DWYANE WADE: "WHY YOU HACKIN' ME!?": Wade has filed suit in federal court in Texas against someone he says has hacked into his personal email and Twitter accounts. Click here for a 3-minute YouTube video Wade posted. Starts off as nonsense before he addresses the hacking, and the hacker, about midway through. Quic aside: The shirt he's wearing bears his new Nike logo.

TREND? SINGING COACHES!: U.S. women's soccer coach Pia Sundhage, worth celebrating even with 1aa1tonysinging 1aa1pia Sunday's World Cup finals loss to Japan, is a singer. Click here to see and hear her channeling Simon & Garfunkel during a World Cup press conference last week. Click here for a YouTube video of her performing an entire song in Swedish before a live audience. They're rockin' in Goteborg! That's Pia pictured at left (unless it's actually Seahawks coach Pete Carroll). Imagining how fun it would be if Pia instigated a trend that reached America, and suddenly Jack McKeon broke into Sinatra to lament a Marlins loss; if UM's Al Golden announced his quarterback decision in song; or if Dolphins coach Tony Sparano on occasion busted out the unexpected falsetto as his alter ego: Tony, Soprano. I can dream, can't I? (Pictured at right, Sparano croons a play selection).

1aa1mujica EDWARD MUJICA, SLEEPING MARLIN: Marlins are one of the hottest teams in baseball but it wasn't enough to keep reliever Edward Mujica awake over the weekend in Chicago. Cubs broadcasters were letting him have it ("That is embarrassing") on the telecast. Click here for the video of Mujica (as my Dad used to say) checking his eyelids for holes. My message to Marlins players: If your 80-year-old manager is staying awake, you'd damn well better, too!

HILTON4HEISMAN: FIU has launched a Twitter site pumping receiver/returner T.Y. Hilton for the Heisman Trophy. It is Hilton4Heisman, which I am happy to relay in parochial support. Smart publicity avenue for the school and football program. Of course the odds are beyond long for a Sun Belt player. It would take truly spectacular individual stats chased by another bowl season to even get on the national radar, but, in the social-media era, this is the natural start.

1aa1jenny GREG COTE'S WEEKEND: Spent Friday and Saturday on brief family holiday in Tampa/St. Pete, back in time to catch the U.S.-Japan Women's World Cup final on Sunday. Top 5 favorite things about my weekend: 1. Dinner at the fabulously garish Bern's with my wife. Delmonico for two and a delicioso Frias cabernet; 2. Golf with my son and brother at The Vinoy (although my 96 was best forgotten); 3. Red Sox-Rays game; 4. Jenny McCarthy (pictured) in Spandex, checking in Sunday as we were checking out; 5. Breakfast at Munch's.

1aa1eddycurry HEAT WILLING TO WEIGHT WAIT ON CURRY: If the NBA lockout ever ends, the Heat is interested in signing center Eddy Curry (pictured) and defense-oriented forward Shane Battier. Pat Riley has been enamored of Curry for years. I'm not sure why. But supposedly Miami will try to sign the frequently rotund Curry if he sheds about 40 pounds during the lockout. He's 7 feet tall. The bad news? He's 4 feet wide.

ADULT CONTEMPORARY MUSIC: I like to refer to Adult Contemporary Music as "Songs My Wife Likes," 1aa1eltonac 1aa1savagegarden but I'd be disingenuous to say some of the genre isn't appealing. Billboard marks the 50th anniversary of its AC charts this week. Click here for BB's top 100 AC songs and top 50 AC artists of all-time.To save you time, the top-10 artists: 10. Anne Murray, 9. Lionel Richie, 8. Carpenters, 7. Billy Joel, 6. Chicago, 5. Kenny Rogers, 4. Barry Manilow, 3. Barbra Streisand, 2. Neil Diamond, 1. Elton John. (In my iPod: #7-6-5-2-1). Top-10 AC songs: 10. "Lonely No More," Rob Thomas; 9. "Hero," Enrique Iglesias; 8. "Change The World," Eric Clapton; 7. "You Needed Me," Ann Murray; 6. "Hello Dolly!," Louis Armstrong; 5. "Born Free," Roger Williams; 4. "Heaven," Los Lonely Boys; 3. "Drift Away," Uncle Kracker with Dobie Gray; 2. "Lead Me On," Maxine Nightingale; 1. "Truly Madly Deeply," Savage Garden. (In my iPod: #3).

1aa1swms SERENA WILLIAMS UPDATE: Here is the tennis star spotted over the weekend on Miami Beach. Baby got back, as well as front. May I say that? I celebrate the splendor of Serena's zaftig pulchritude. (Yes, I said zaftig pulchritude!) The weird thing is, this bikini is not quite as revealing as what she wore 1aa1rubens to the ESPYs last week. Serena surely would have been the favorite athlete of Rubens (left), the Belgian Baroque artist who famously favored painting women of full figure. 

THE LIST: MOST POPULAR ATHLETES: Results of new Harris Poll on 2011 top-10 most popular male and female athletes:

Rank   Male/Female

1   Derek Jeter / Serena Williams

2   Peyton Manning / Venus Williams

3   Kobe Bryant / Danica Patrick

4   Michael Jordan / Maria Sharapova

5   Tiger Woods / Mia Hamm

6   Tom Brady / Anna Kournikova

7   Albert Pujols / Martina Navratilova

8   Hines Ward / Sue Bird

9   Derrick Rose / Kerri Walsh

10   Aaron Rodgers / Michelle Wie

Notable: Woods fell from 1st to 5th. LeBron James fell from 6th to out of top 10.

Click back. Will be adding more stuff to this latest blogpost...

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