UC Davis, Penn State … the FBI?

The Nation’s sports writer Dave Zirin has unearthed an unexpected and disconcerting connection between embattled UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi and former Penn State University president Graham Spanier: both served on a Federal Bureau of Investigation team that crafted national-security policy on college campuses.

Called the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, Zirin reports that while the group originally was to focus on cyber security and intellectual-property issues, the board has inched its way into matters involving counter-terrorism and public safety on college campuses.

Zirin wrote: “It also expanded federal anti-terrorism task forces to include the dark-helmeted pepper-spray brigades, otherwise known as the campus police.” In other words, a pepper-spray cop is born.

He did not connect with the chancellor for his story, but Zirin nevertheless asks the big question of Katehi: “Was ‘counter-terrorism’ advice given on how to handle her own students?”

Compiled from Snog.

Kings wallet

After a six-month lockout, the NBA will begin an abbreviated 66-game season on Christmas Day. That’s right: 666 and a ho-ho-ho.

The NBA also announced this year’s salary cap, which at $58 million is a click above last year. Unlike the National Football League, however, the NBA’s cap is “soft”; this means owners can spend upward of $70 million before being penalized with what’s called a “luxury tax.”

The Los Angeles Lakers, for instance, spent $90.3 million last year, which means Kobe and Co. paid an additional $21 million in luxury taxes. Kings owners George and Gavin Maloof—whose financial woes are by no means hush-hush—know no such luxury. Last season, their total payroll was a mere $44.8 million, the lowest in the league. And this year, so far, the Kings have a mere $26.6 million on the books, meaning they could potentially spend some serious cheese when free agency begins on December 9.

But will the notoriously tight Maloofs actually spend a dime after years of free-agency dormancy?

Sports Illustrated columnist and former Sacramento Bee Kings beat reporter Sam Amick told SN&R that, because of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, the Maloofs will have to spend tens of millions of dollars in the next couple weeks.

“The minimum payroll is 85 percent of the salary cap,” he said, which means that the Kings will have to have to get their payroll up to $50 million by Christmas Day. That’s a whole lot of holiday spending.

So, who’ll be getting that $26 million in Maloof money?

Amick says they’ll be “pretty motivated” to re-sign guard Marcus Thornton. And then, while center Samuel Dalembert “didn’t have a phenomenal experience in Sacramento” last year, according to Amick, he could end up coming back simply because the team can pay him more than, say, the Miami Heat.

But, no matter who they ink, “the Kings are going to be incredibly interesting to watch the next couple weeks,” Amick says. For sure: SN&R just loves watching millionaires dribble away their millions.

Compiled from Purple Drank.