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Monday morning links

1. Russ Roberts has a great interview with author Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Blind Side) at Econtalk. It lasts over an hour, so I recommend you right-click and download, saving it for when you have plenty of time to listen and savor. One of the best moments comes near the end, when Lewis and Roberts discuss the miracle that is Michael Oher, how the NCAA is reflexively (and shamefully) repelled by it, and what the story implies about economics and the polity in general.

2. While the Michael Oher story continues towards a happy ending (3.9 GPA at Ole Miss, likely 1st round draft pick), another miracle may just now be unraveling. Sadly, Joe Drape gives us the details on Barbaro's condition.

Update: Barbaro has been put to sleep. Doctor Dean Richardson and his staff are heroes, but even their amazing efforts were not enough to save the 2006 Derby winner.

3. Anecdotal evidence that salaries are soaring for assistant coaches in college football has been accumulating for some time. Here is long-time ACC observer Dave Glenn: "In 2000, N.C. State got a lot of attention for building one of the first $1 million staffs, and remember that's spread over nine men. Now, what paid nine men six years ago is paying three to five men in 2007." The quote comes from Larry Williams' article on competing offers made to the Clemson staff this off-season. Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips' reaction: "It takes your breath away, doesn't it?"

4. Must-see TV, tonight on PBS: The Power of Choice: The Life and Ideas of Milton Friedman. Here are the local listings. Set your Tivos, and enjoy Milton Friedman Day.

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