Charges have been dropped against four Penn State football players in connection with an off-campus fight. While the prospect of avoiding jail time is a relief, the exonerated Nittany Lions still hope to avoid a caning from venerable coach Joe Paterno.

Once is enough

The Seattle Mariners will be forced to make three separate trips to Cleveland to make up the series that was snowed out last month. Seattle will protest on the grounds that the commissioner’s office has violated the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Staff infection

Somebody named Colter Bean was the losing pitcher Friday in the Yankees’ 15-11 unraveling against the Mariners. New York will trot out yet another ill-equipped rookie, Matt DeSalvo, for his first major-league start on Monday. Does this mean Dave Eiland and Andy Hawkins aren’t available?

Sic ’em

The Humane Society of America has asked the NFL to ban Michael Vick and any other players linked with dog fighting. And Vick thought it was tough getting airport security off his back.

HE WHO ARGUES LOUDEST, WINS

Low-impact ESPN2 morning show “Cold Pizza” will change its name to “First Take” and emphasize more of the point-counterpoint format featured on, well, every other show on ESPN. If this desperate bid doesn’t draw more viewers, the next step is to hire Rosie O’Donnell.


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