Montee Ball at Mifflin

Badgers running back Montee Ball was fined $429 Saturday at the Mifflin Street Block Party for a trespassing violation.

Mark Kauzlarich - Daily Cardinal

First impressions, second thoughts and the third degree:

When Lori Berquam made that original video about the notorious Mifflin Street block party, using her status as dean of students to say "Don't go" to University of Wisconsin pupils, she caught a lot of flak that could have been avoided with one tweak to the script.

She should have had some background vocals from UW coaches, who no doubt shared her protective instincts, but not her moxie.

That kind of collaboration may have prevented an unfortunate jolt of embarrassment for Montee Ball, the most celebrated student-athlete in Badgers Nation.

A finalist for the Heisman Trophy after a record-setting junior season for the UW football team, Ball was detained, handcuffed and eventually charged with trespassing during the event Saturday. The ticket, one of almost 500 handed out by Madison Police in a clear attempt to discourage future participation in the infamous rite of spring, will set him back $429.

Ball, one of the most amiable fellows to come our way, was cooperative and no alcohol was involved in his particular saga. But being in the wrong place at the wrong time — prompting people to aim their camera phones at him in cuffs and the Internet Mafia to take cowardly shots from the bushes of anonymity — was his choice and he will have to own it.

It's reasonable to expect that UW football coach Bret Bielema and his campus peers stressed caution to their student-athletes before Mifflin. Given a choice in the matter, coaches would surely prefer players avoid such get-togethers completely, but you can't make ultimatums and then preach trust.

Perhaps Ball could join Berquam for her next Mifflin Street video.

ROGER THAT: No matter how you feel about the intense approach NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has taken to punishing teams, coaches and players for perceived breech of ethics, his intentions are more honorable than those of two of his peers.

In the face of NHL players taking reckless, deplorable liberties with one another, commissioner Gary Bettman wrote off complaints in the postseason as "gamesmanship" by various teams.

In the face of NBA players being besieged by major injuries, commissioner David Stern refused to even consider the effect of a lockout-shortened 66-game season, saying the two are "not related at all — zero."

Bettman came off as clueless because his players clearly crossed a line of respect for one another and the game.

Stern came across as narrow-minded because, while the shortened season may not be the biggest reason for players such as Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose breaking down, it can't be dismissed completely.

Goodell, meanwhile, continued his aggressive push-back on actions that jeopardize the health of the NFL. His handling of Bountygate has angered some, but, unlike Bettman and Stern, his attention to detail has been keen and spot on.

HERBAL REMEDY: Those who believe Bucks owner Herb Kohl should sell the NBA franchise had to pause and rethink that stance last week.

Milwaukee missed the playoffs and goes into next season with vulnerable management — coach Scott Skiles and general manager John Hammond have one year left on their contracts — but Kohl likes what he sees from his brain trust and the potential of his on-court product.

Not only that, Kohl pledged "significant" funds from his personal fortune to build a new arena.

At a time when cities and owners are asking taxpayers to do the heavy lifting for such projects that sense of accountability is worth keeping around.

Contact Andy Baggot at abaggot@madison.com or 608-252-6175.

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