Jesse Ventura has a day job, but it seems he can't stay away from sports.
The former professional wrestler has been a volunteer strength and conditioning coach for the Champlin Park High School football team in Brooklyn Park, Minn., for several years, but this is his first full season coaching since becoming governor.
Dressed in jeans, T-shirt and baseball cap, Ventura could be seen Monday walking among rows of football players doing push-ups.
He said he enjoys keeping in touch with youngsters and watching them develop as athletes.
"Believe me, they don't always enjoy me," Ventura said. "You know there's days when I'm not the most popular guy. I'm also somewhat the disciplinarian. When there needs to be discipline done, that falls on to me also."
Ventura is making at least one concession to his busy schedule as governor. He is cutting back from working with the team from three days to two days a week. But he does promise to attend all games, barring any state business.
Yesterday, University of Minnesota President Mark Yudof went to Ventura for advice on how to handle his school's athletic scandal.
"He's not normally reticent, but he was this time," Yudof said after the meeting. "He just shook his head and said he was glad the university is autonomous."
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss $134 million the university hopes to get from the legislature next session for several new buildings. But the conversation turned to other issues, including the allegations of academic misconduct, Yudof said.
Two law firms have been looking into claims that a tutor wrote research papers and completed take-home tests for more than 20 current and former basketball players. A report on the accusations is expected in October. Self-imposed sanctions could come at the same time.
A drug-use report card for Olympic athletes was among the recommendations offered by an International Olympic Committee reform panel in Geneva. The "health passport" would contain the athletes' drug-test records.
The panel also said the IOC itself should be more accountable by simplifying its financial records to make it easier for the public to understand its sources of income and expenditures.
It also urged the IOC to continue making the Olympics open to all by promoting the use of free television networks, rather than pay TV channels, and by encouraging affordable seating prices at Olympic venues.
"We want the Olympics on free television so that everybody without social barriers can watch," said Thomas Bach, the coordinator of the 23-member Working Group on the Role of the IOC.
The panel said the IOC should improve its communications with athletes and give them a stronger voice. However, despite the wish to encourage universal participation in the games, the number of athletes and coaches should be kept at 10,000 and 5,000, it said.
Job for Bickerstaff
Former Washington Wizards coach Bernie Bickerstaff has been named coach and general manager of the St. Louis Swarm of the International Basketball League.
He replaces Butch Beard, who resigned in August to join the Wizards as an assistant to Bickerstaff's permanent replacement, Gar Heard. Bickerstaff, 55, was fired in April after leading the Wizards to a 13-19 record. . . .
The Wizards announced that 76 of their regular season games will be televised this season. Home Team Sports will carry 55 games, WBDC-50 will carry 20 and WRC-TV will carry one game. The Wizards' season opener at home against Atlanta Nov. 2 will be on HTS at 7 p.m.
The Washington Capitals will air 54 of their games this season, with HTS carrying 44 and WBDC-50 carrying 10. The Capitals' season opener in Florida Oct. 2 will be on HTS at 7:30 p.m. . . .
Houston Comets Coach Van Chancellor was named the WNBA coach of the year for the third straight season.
Chancellor received 18 of 51 votes from a media panel. His two-time defending champion Comets face the New York Liberty in the best-of-three championship series beginning Thursday in New York.
Hokie Out for Season
Virginia Tech reserve free safety Reggie Samuel, a redshirt sophomore, will miss the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, Coach Frank Beamer said. Samuel injured his knee during the team's final preseason scrimmage Thursday. He is to have surgery within the next week.
Glick Heads for Spalding
Mike Glick, who built a successful boys basketball program at Pallotti, was named boys basketball coach at Spalding High in Severn. Before resigning in April, Glick, 33, had a 122-59 record in six seasons at the Laurel school.
Spalding won the Baltimore Catholic League championship last season, finishing 31-5 under former coach Tony Martin. Martin is now an assistant coach at Towson University.
Charismatic Goes Home
After recuperating for three months from his Belmont Stake injuries, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Charismatic is back in Kentucky.
Lane's End Farm in Versaille, Ky., said Charismatic will stand at stud beginning next year at a fee of $35,000 for a live foal.
Charismatic won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness this year before fracturing his left foreleg in the Belmont.
Former Player Dies
Matt Hartl, a fullback who was one of the leaders of the 1995 Northwestern football team that played in the Rose Bowl, has died after a lengthy battle with Hodgkin's disease. He was 23.
More than 2,400 local basketball players are expected when the Hoop-It-Up World Tour visits Redskins Stadium in Landover Sept. 25-26. The 3-on-3 tournament is open to players of all abilities age 8 and over and will feature 70 basketball courts and other skills contests. Entry forms are available from the tournament hotline at 410-729-0500, the Tour Web site at www.hoopitup.com, and area Foot Locker stores.