Normally, nonplayers wait until after the game to come onto the basketball court. But in the same week in which Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban drew a $25,000 fine from the NBA for walking out to confront the Denver Nuggets' J.R. Smith, Cuban was topped by an incident at the Providence-Marquette game Saturday night.
With the teams lined up for a free throw, a man emerged from the stands, strode up to referee Todd Williams and spoke to him briefly before being led off by security staff at Providence's Dunkin' Donuts Center.
(Let Mr. Flip pause for a moment to acknowledge the awesomeness of that arena's name, known also as The Dunk. If you're going to name an arena after food, it has to be a food that isn't good for you. Would you want to see a game at the Cauliflower Center?)
It turns out the visitor on the court was Jonathan Xavier, whose brother, Jeff Xavier, plays for the Friars. Moments earlier, Jeff Xavier had apparently been scraped in the face while driving to the basket. No foul was called, but Providence's Xavier fell to the floor, holding his eye in obvious pain.
A Marquette player was called for a foul on another Friar shortly thereafter, and that's when Jonathan Xavier made his way to the court.
Marquette coach Buzz Williams sounded disturbed by the incident.
"Scary," Williams told The Providence Journal. "I've never seen anything like that. I just wanted to pull my team off the court and get them away from that."
Providence guard Marshon Brooks, on the other hand, wasn't concerned.
"I know him [Jonathan Xavier]," Brooks told the Journal. "I wasn't scared. He thought that his brother got fouled, I guess. He wanted to get an explanation."
Not enough votes
Coach Jon Gruden's surprise firing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers begs for explanation. Here's the one offered by Sports Illustrated's Peter King:
"It didn't help Gruden that, in the words of one NFL source Friday night, 'He was Hillary Clinton there.' In other words, he'd always have a solid core of support, but there would always be a large, polarized part of the public [and ownership, perhaps] who wouldn't be in his corner. And he'd never work to win over the media or the fans who didn't buy his workaholic, everyman shtick."
So what does that make Rod Marinelli? Ron Paul?
What about Arkansas?
CBS golf analyst David Feherty doesn't have to work a PGA Tour event in all 50 states. And that could be a good thing for him.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Feherty discussed many topics, including what he has done in the offseason, during which he made a USO visit to troops overseas.
"I went to both Iraq and Mississippi," Feherty said. "And I can tell you this: I'd rather go back to Iraq than Mississippi."
Compiled from news service and Web reports by Mr. Flip, who would probably fit in better at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.