To Lemons, Education Has a Price

Oklahoma City basketball Coach Abe Lemons said he's tired of hearing people criticize players for dropping out of school to pursue a career in the NBA.

"What's an education?" Lemons said. "It's good for the average guy, but if somebody hands a poor kid $2 million to go around half-naked, bouncing a ball, then he'd better take it.

"Then, if he wants a diploma, he can always buy a college and put his name on it. Like Oral Roberts did."

Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post claims that Yogi Berra, upon receiving a check inscribed "Pay to bearer," said: "How long you known me, and you still can't spell my name?"

Add Berra: Rickey Henderson, the American League base-stealing king, has joined the Yankees this year, and Berra was asked how he would use him.

"He can run anytime he wants," Berra said. "I'm giving him the red light."

Said Orlando Renegades' Coach Lee Corso after Friday night's 28-10 loss to the New Jersey Generals: "Doug Flutie and Herschel Walker just killed us. You don't need any more analysis than that. How many teams have two Heisman Trophy winners in their backfield?"

Actually, there are four teams, including the Generals. The others are the Jacksonville Bulls (Mike Rozier and Archie Griffin), New Orleans Saints (George Rogers and Earl Campbell) and Raiders (Jim Plunkett and Marcus Allen).

Add Renegades: Said quarterback Jerry Golsteyn, who completed 12 of 27 passes for 138 yards: "You want an analysis of our offense? What offense?"

Would-you-believe-it dept.: New England Patriots computer programmer John Hendry, using the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Assn.'s rating system to rank the college football teams, came up with these final rankings for the Boston Globe: (1) Florida, (2) Brigham Young, (3) Boston College, (4) Washington and (5) Cal State Fullerton.

For What It's Worth: Among the scoring leaders in Italy are ex-Lakers C.J. Kupec (23.4), Mark Landsberger (21.9) and Marty Byrnes (20.7). Joe Barry Carroll, who deserted the Golden State Warriors, is averaging 21.5. The leader at 31.6 is ex-Clipper Joe (Jellybean) Bryant.

The first thing Dwight Gooden did when he reported to the New York Mets' camp was show off his new changeup.

"Some changeup," said Mets' batting instructor Bill Robinson. "It goes 95 m.p.h."

How-times-have-changed dept.: Buzzie Bavasi, recalling his days as general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, told Milton Richman of UPI about the time he received a wire from Johnny Podres.

Bavasi: "The wire said, 'Terms acceptable, see you in spring training,' and it was signed Johnny Podres. There was only one thing wrong. I hadn't even sent him a contract yet."

Utah Jazz Coach Frank Layden, on rookie guard John Stockton: "He's a breath of fresh air. You know why players like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are so special? They love to play the game. This isn't a job to them. That's John. He's a competitor. And better yet, he's Irish and his father owns a neighborhood bar."


Ron Martzoff, station manager of WKBW in Buffalo, on why the station doesn't televise USFL games: "We don't usually carry funerals."

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