Coach Rewards 14-Year-Old Gymnast With Rum

I’m all for positive reinforcement, but this is taking it a bit too far: NEWSDAY reports that a gymnastics coach in Port Jefferson Station, NY, has been fired and arrested after allegedly rewarding one of his students for nailing a difficult maneuver. Which sounds like a good idea, until you release that the “reward” was a bottle of rum, and the student was a 14-year-old girl.

Drunk baby

(OK, it wasn’t this bad. But seriously?…)

While I understand that encouraging an athlete by giving them booze might work if the athlete in question is, say, Vin Baker or Eddie Griffin, it’s probably not such a great idea if we’re talking about a teenage girl. Which is why Steven Lamensdorf has been arrested and charged with unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors.

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NBA Takes The Money And Runs Hard Liquor Ads

Hey, recessions suck for everybody, but few feel it as hard as those trying to sell advertising. Though it’s bad business policy, advertising budgets are among the first to get slashed when the corporate purse strings start tightening. The NBA knows this, of course, and rather than feel budget pinches of their own, they’ve opened up their licensing to an old friend who feels right at home in a recession: Sweet Mama Booze!

Vin Baker Liquor Ad
(What do you mean, “too soon”?)

According to the SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, for the first time in almost 20 years, the NBA will resume allowing courtside and TV-visible ads for hard liquor companies. This leaves the NFL as the only major sport who still bans the spots, though - ahem - their fans hardly need the encouragement. The NBA’s senior VP of team marketing and business operations, Chris Granger, explains why this deci$ion wa$ perfect for the National Ba$ketball A$$ociation:
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Blog-A-Roni: Benson Needs Breath Tester For Car

• SPORTS ILLUSTRATED gives a toast the judge who has ordered Cedric Benson to install a breathalyzer in his car.

Cedric Benson smiling mugshot

• The KANSAS CITY STAR can’t sleep, knowing that a Missouri basketball player has turned his team’s locker room into his bedroom.

Jose Canseco and Pacman Jones aren’t the only ones suffering a housing crisis, as the MORTGAGE LENDER learns that former NBAer Vin Baker - who’s already lost a restaurant - is having his home foreclosed.

• RUSH & MOLLOY of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS spot Tiger Woods hobbling around Vegas.

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Vin Baker’s CT Seafood Restaurant Goes Belly Up

It turns out that George Brett’s not the only athlete to have his self-named eatery suddently bite the dust.

Vin Baker cook

The HARTFORD COURANT chows down news that Vin Baker’s Connecticut restaurant has been closed down. TD Banknorth, the bank that financed Vinnie’s Saybrook Fish House, says they’re owed almost $1 million in unpaid loans from the former NBA star.

David Collins of the NEW LONDON (CT) DAY believes that Baker’s business going belly-up was brought about by booze. Read more…

Photos of Mike Dunleavy Drunk

DUNLEAVY A DROP IN THAT BOTTLE: These pics of Mike Dunleavy, courtesy Vin Baker’s busiest bookmark, DrunkAthlete, reminds me of Gilbert Arenas’ 60-point performance against the Lakers this season:

Mike Dunleavy Drunk Photos

Shooting without conscience.