Of Tice and Tix

Mike Tice

The denials that Mike Tice scalped tickets since becoming head coach rang hollow Friday as Tice admitted he sold his tickets for a profit last year.

Coach Mike Tice has been learning on the job since he took over as head coach. He's come close to getting things right when it comes to the draft clock. His management of the game clock continues to be a source of pain for Vikings fans, but it's improvement. His use of time outs remains has been questioned, but you can't expect everything.

The latest thing Tice needs schooling on is the understanding of the term "off the record." Tice admitted to ESPN and Sports Illustrated that he sold his six tickets for the Super Bowl this season at a profit, adding later that he wanted his comments off the record. For novices who are unfamiliar with the reporting practice of allowing a source to go off the record, until a source requests that his or her comments not be used they're on the record. Tice finished both interviews after making his confessions before asking that his comments not be used. It doesn't work that way.

Now that he has admitted that he sold tickets while head coach, Tice may become subject to being made an example of by the NFL. Either the league comes down on him or it will have to abolish its scalping rules.

SATURDAY NOTES
* Kelly Campbell had his own brush with the headlines Friday. Campbell, arrested last month on drug possession and weapons charges, was supposed to make his first court appearance Friday. But, it was in the same courtroom in which a gunman went on a shooting spree, killing three people, including the judge handling his case. The courthouse was shut down following the incident and no makeup date has been set.
* Darren Sharper had a productive meeting with the Vikings Friday and is expected to talk contract today. If Sharper is signed, it's likely Corey Chavous will be released.
* Plaxico Burress was scheduled to meet longer with the team, but bolted out Friday night -- presumeably to meet with the Eagles this weekend. The Vikings are said to be offering an incentive-laden one-year deal.
* Brian Russell was again one of the NFL's leaders in its performance pay programs, which rewards players who are starters but make low salaries. Despite having an incentive-laced contract devised to get the Vikings up to the minimum spending needed under the cap that could have paid him as much as $7 million (Everett Lindsay had incentives to $11 million the year before), his base pay was just $320,000. The league awarded him $132,000 in additional pay under the performance program.

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