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FILE - The Argentina football shirt worn by Diego Maradona in the 1986 Mexico World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Argentina and England, is displayed for photographs at Sotheby's auction house, in London, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. The shirt worn by Maradona when he scored the controversial "Hand of God" goal has sold for 7.1 million pounds ($9.3 million), the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of sports memorabilia. Auctioneer Sotheby's sold the shirt in an online auction that closed Wednesday, May 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

Mr. Sankey goes to Washington

With all apologies to the long ago Jimmy Stewart classic movie, Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner (think football not financial institutions) and the Pac-12 commission, some fellow named George, are headed to D.C. today.

They are looking for help from Congress. No, not on their student loans. Sankey and Kliavkoff want our federal government to help regulate the name, image and likeness realm that has exploded in big-time college sports.

So many thoughts about this.

First, this is example 2,348,032,997 of Mark Emmert's total failure as the NCAA president.

This was not a surprise birthday party decision. NIL was a legal ruling a decade in the making, and if Emmert and any of the clowns under his command had an ounce of foresight, regulations and rules could have been structured long before this mushroom cloud of money.

Second, the schools and the conferences looking for federal help are looking out for the schools and the conferences. Period.

They do not care about fairness in college sports or competitive balance or anything else. The schools and the leagues have to realize that sooner rather than later, the companies that are paying seven- and eight-figure deals to be the official shoe or snack cake of Alabama or USC will see they can pay the real stars of those sports fractions of that.

But there needs to be some ground rules on this thing, and sooner rather than later. Because while the protective natures of the leaders of the schools, programs and leagues are understandable, the threat is real. College football already has a real issue with a limited number of teams with true chances at winning it all.

The funding wings of the biggest and richest programs will make that team picture of title hopefuls a bit bigger, but the divide between the cans and the cannots will be even more pronounced.

The other reason that regulations are desperately needed is to protect the athletes from the shark-infested NIL waters. One recent story I read said that agents are getting close to 20% of the brokered NIL deals.

And that's not even touching the lack of awareness these young athletes have about the deals they are agreeing to.

Of course the NIL situation needs addressing. But Mark Emmert should have done it five years ago.Tool bag.  
 

High-dollar shirt

So, Diego Maradona's famous jersey that he was wearing when he scored the infamous 'Hand go God' goal in the World Cup was sold at auction this week.

The jersey netted almost $9.3 million.

Yes, million, as in almost eight figures.

For a shirt.

Of course it's believed to be the record for the most-expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever.

And this is an impossibly difficult question to answer, because real-world value is truly defined but what someone is willing to pay for something. And if, say Auburn grad and Apple CEO Tim Cook really wanted Chris Davis' 'Kick Six' jersey and was committed to pay $10 million for it, so be it.

But, goodness, it's down right staggering to think someone would pay more than $10 million for a jersey, right?

If so, what jersey would be the most valuable?

Playoff realizations

In this postseason, the A in NBA means adios for Dallas and Philly.

After last night's shellackings from top-seeded Phoenix and Miami respectively, there are two clear takeaways.

First, according to the ESPN stats and info crew, the Heat are 16-0 in playoff series in which they lead 2-0. The 76ers are 0-13 in playoff series in which they trail 0-2. The Heat currently lead the Sixers 2-0.So there's that.

The second clear takeaway is there has not been a true superstar in more need of help and a roster remake around than Luka Doncic in Dallas since LeBron's early days in Cleveland when he got to the Finals with three parking lot attendants, two of his Akron buddies and Delonte West.

Luka had 35 of Dallas' 109 points and finished with seven assists and five rebounds. Luka was 13-of-22 from the floor, the rest of the Mavs shot 23-of-57, which is barely 40%.

Hey Mark Cuban, get Luka a sidekick and he will win an NBA title.Or don't and watch him leave down to win one somewhere else.

This and that

— OK, lots to unpack. Let's start here: We have received a few "Better Call Saul" questions for tomorrow's mailbag, so we will discuss the best show on TV Friday. Deal? Deal. If you want to add your 2 cents, fire away now since we are still comment-less.

— Love this idea. Apple TV is bringing Katie Nolan into the booth for Apple's Friday night coverage of MLB. Could it be a failure, since Nolan admittedly was not hired to "know stats." But if you are starting a new branch of coverage of any sport, do you really want another carbon-copied power voice that sounds somewhat like Joe Buck or Al Michaels and another former MLB player who played on five teams in 12 years? You go get 'em Katie Nolan.  

— The images of the weapon — a replica gun with a knife blade attached to it — that Dave Chappelle's attacker was wielding are pretty sinister. Man, will there even be stand-up comedy a decade from now?

— The Georgia High School Association is the latest to prohibit transgender boys and girls from playing high school sports with the gender they identify with rather than the sex listed on their birth certificates.  

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall with an interesting overview of the Vols additions and subtractions and the net results from the transfer portal.

Today's questions

Free for all Thursday folks, and play along at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com until the comments are corrected.

What jersey would you pay the most to have?

Also, remember the mailbag.

So today is May 5 — 5/5 — so let's do a Rushmore of 5.

And be creative.

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