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Arenas the Latest Athlete with Shot at Redemption

Gilbert Arenas, the NBA player who was suspended for most of last season for bringing a handgun into the Washington Wizards' locker room, was traded to the Orlando Magic, providing the troubled star with a fresh start.

According to ESPN, Arenas, a former all-star, had worn out his welcome with the Washington front office with his controversial behavior, but Orlando welcomed him with open arms, making him the most recent athlete to aim for redemption with a new team after outside struggles.

In the most prevalent example of athletic redemption in recent memory, Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who spent 19 months in prison for organizing a dogfighting ring, has played brilliantly this season to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to the verge of a division title.

Vick's journey was detailed in a recent Sports Illustrated cover story.

Whether Arenas will be able to revive his career in a similar manner has yet to be determined, but by taking chances on troubled athletes like Arenas and Vick, teams are proving that, in professional sports, talent trumps trouble nearly every time.

Madoff's Son's Suicide a Cautionary Tale

Mark Madoff, son of convicted fraudulent investor Bernard Madoff, killed himself Saturday in his New York City apartment, exactly two years after his father was arrested.

According to CNN, Mark Madoff had fallen out of touch with his family in recent years, largely believed to be a result of his father's misdeeds.

"Mark was an innocent victim of his father's monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo," said Martin Flumenbaum, Madoff's attorney.

In talking to close friends of Madoff, ABC News revealed that Madoff was afraid of being linked to his father as a permanent disgrace, and he thought his family would be better off without him.

Madoff's suicide is a sad indication of the collateral damage that can be caused by excessive news coverage.

Bernard Madoff's story was so widely covered in the media and around office water coolers that his son was unable to escape the negative shadow left over.

These are the risks of living in the 24-hour news cycle, a world where every news angle is covered, and the lingering effects can be dangerously unpredictable.

New Gopher Football Coach Brings More Yawns than Cheers

Jerry Kill has been named the new coach of the University of Minnesota football team, and the reaction from fans has been lukewarm at best.

Kill, 49, had been the coach at Northern Illinois for three seasons, and he is expected to be introduced at a press conference early this week, according to KSTP.

For Gopher fans expecting a big name to replace Tim Brewster, news of Kill's hiring comes as largely a disappointment.

As ESPN points out, U of M athletic director Joel Maturi sought a "Tubby Smith-like candidate", referring to the championship-winning coach brought in to take over the Gopher basketball program in 2007.

Although Kill has experienced success at every level of coaching, he has never been a coach at a BCS school, and he lacks the name recognition of candidates like Mike Leach and Chris Petersen.

Kill may prove to be a smart hire in time, but by not signing a high profile coach, Maturi has missed out on a chance to rekindle the interest in Gopher football.

For now, only time will tell if Kill can bring the Gophers back to respectability and beyond.

Gopher Basketball Earns Marquee Victory

For the third consecutive season, the University of Minnesota men's basketball team has earned an early season non-conference victory over a highly-ranked opponent.

The Gophers upset eighth-ranked North Carolina 72-67 Friday in the semifinals of the Honda Puerto Rico Tip-Off, an early season tournament, and media outlets are starting to give the Gophers a lot of respect.

Following the win, ESPN called the Gophers a legitimate contender for the Big Ten conference title.

A surprising number of Minnesota fans turned out for the game in San Juan, and the Gophers fed off that energy to produce the upset victory.

The progress made by the Gophers over the past few years says a lot about Tubby Smith's ability as a coach. When he took over in 2007, the team was coming off a season with only 9 wins, but they have steadily improved and have participated in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.

Smith's successes also give hope to the struggling Gopher football program. If Joel Maturi, athletic director at the university, can recruit a big-name coach to take over the program, there is no reason that the Gopher football team cannot duplicate the basketball team's success in a few seasons.

With their victory over North Carolina, the Gophers have given hope struggling programs and to a region looking for a hot team to unite behind during the winter months.

A High Price to Pay for a College Football Star

The NCAA is currently investigating reports that the father of Cameron Newton, quarterback of second-ranked Auburn and a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, demanded money from schools during the recruiting process.

According to ESPN, Cecil Newton told Mississippi State University that it would take a payment of $100,000 to $180,000 for his son to sign with the program. The allegations, if true, would compromise Cameron Newton's eligibility and possibly invalidate Auburn's season.

Whether or not the Newtons solicited money from universities in exchange for Cameron's football ability has yet to be determined, but regardless of the outcome, the NCAA has a huge problem on its hands.

In September, 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush was forced to return his award after it was discovered that he and his family received large gifts from agents during his playing days at the University of Southern California, according to Fox Sports.

Sports Illustrated recently ran a cover story on an agent who paid dozens of college football players over his career.

While Cameron Newton is the most prominent player under allegations at this time, he is certainly not the first. If the NCAA does not step in to end this problem, the college football landscape will start to resemble the NFL.

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