Cardinals Owners Goof Again

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Just when it looked like the Cardinals had fallen to all-time lows on the playing field and in the draft room, the Arizona team has committed a reprehensible gaffe.

The Cardinals claim that the Arizona State University sports department owes the team $21 million in damages from sponsor signs that helped pay for Sun Devil stadium improvements.

The controversy is a legal mess that will have to be ironed out in the courts.

Are the Cardinals, however, not aware of what a public relations nightmare they might have created by the lawsuit against ASU?

The legal action could be just another one of the blunders that Arizona fans have come to expect from Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell.

Because voters approved a $355 million stadium for the Cards, the team should be celebrating the future and trying to win back the many fans Arizona has lost by its inept performances on the field. But only days after the stadium was approved, it appears as if Cardinal brass is busy trying to derail a university sports program that is already reeling from huge budget cuts.

From my perspective, the Cardinals are much like the school-yard tough-guy who tries to bully lunch money from younger kids.

Around the National Football League, professional teams are going out of their way to help college and university teams survive in the highly competitive sports world. After all, university and college campuses are the grooming grounds for professional football players.

In Arizona, it looks as if the Cardinals are spending their time trying to figure out ways to commandeer ASU's dwindling budget.

If the courts side with the Cardinals and the university has to cough up the $21 million, it will have a devastating effect on ASU. Both jobs and programs will have to be cut.

Jake Plummer was traded, Terrell Suggs wasn't drafted, Pat Tillman is fighting in Iraq and Cardinal owners are suing the university.

I know one Rim country sports scribe and ASU alum who won't give a Cardinal hoot next season.

Go Broncos!

Calling all kids, get your physical!

Payson High and Rim Country Middle School athletes have an opportunity May 7 to have a sports physical exam that will save them money and countless headaches next school year.

For a reduced fee of $10, athletes can have their physicals completed by Drs. Cluff, Michels, Schouten and Coppelli at the Samaritan Health Center located at 708 Coeur D'Alene. The facility is the blue building located north of the Payson Regional Medical Center.

Also on hand to help will be family nurse practitioners Ramona Coppelli and Lynn Vigil. Payson High School nurse Dani Hatch and RCMS nurse Linda Swartwood also will assist. The doctors and nurses are volunteering their time and services.

Physicals for PHS athletes will be given from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. RCMS athletes are slated for 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Payson Unified School District will be on a half-day schedule Wednesday.

Arizona Interscholastic Association and the White Mountain Middle School/Junior High League required that all athletes have an up-to-date physical on file in school offices before youngsters can practice or play.

Hatch calls the physicals "an inexpensive way for athletes to meet the requirements for participation in sports next year."

The bottom line for young athletes is take advantage of the unique opportunity.

Those that wait until the last few days often end up missing valuable preseason practice time.

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