ANOTHER SEASON, another black eye. Last summer, a University of Maryland quarterback got in hot water for gambling. This time, it's basketball player Duane Simpkins, who ran up $8,000 in parking fines, then accepted a rule-breaking $2,000 loan to pay part of the debt.
Even worse, he received 17 more tickets after been admonished about the situation, and got another ticket the day after he publicly apologized.
Clearly, UM's athletic department is having trouble imparting a message that character-building must go hand-in-hand with competition. Maybe it's asking too much for a 20-year-old to shoulder being a symbol for his institution, but that burden is inescapable. Athletic Director Debbie Yow must restate that message in stronger terms until her student-athletes grasp it.
THE CHURCH of England has no barrier to divorce for the monarch, its Defender of the Faith. The fundamental objection is to remarriage. Thus, the announcement that Princess Diana has agreed to the divorce sought by Prince Charles is not constitutionally shattering. It does not affect his standing to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The announcement anticipates a continuing royal role for Diana, whose bargaining leverage is as mother to the second-in-line to the throne, Prince William. She will never be queen.
So the soap opera turns to whether the attachment between the middle-aged Charles and the divorced Camilla Parker Bowles will be formalized.
People waiting breathlessly for the British monarchy to fall need breathing lessons. Its collapse is unlikely, even under a Labor government. But the monarchy's erosion in esteem, legitimacy, subsidy and relevance to modern Britain proceeds apace.
LINDSEY FRANK has already written three short books and just won $50,000 in scholarship money. Not bad for an 8-year-old.
The Chatsworth School third-grader from Owings Mills won the Prudential JumpStart sweepstakes. All she did was fill out a card in JumpStart magazine, a publication circulated to students through schools and libraries, and return it to her neighborhood branch in Reisterstown.
The message of the contest -- to inspire youths to get library cards -- may have been lost on the local third-grader, who has had a library card since the tender age of 2. She often uses her library card to check out mystery books and plans on being a writer herself one day.
Lindsey's parents want to put the money away for their two daughters' educations. Lindsey, however, has already spent a small portion of her winnings on a computer, which she intends to use to help her write and then design her books.
The winner of this contest may have been picked at random, but JumpStart, it seems, couldn't have picked a better one.