Alcohol, drugs and sex – these are the problems we expect people to be confronting when they enter rehab. But this Thursday, Buzz Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, checked himself into rehab for a far lesser-known addiction: shopping. His location remains undisclosed.
Bissinger, a former Daily Pennsylvanian Sports and Opinion Editor graduating in 1976, announced his shopping addiction – primarily clothing shopping – in a statement to NBC as well as in an article in GQ. In the article, Bissinger claims that since his addiction started in 2010, he has spent nearly $600,000 on clothes alone.
The candid GQ article reveals that he owns 81 leather jackets, 75 pairs of boots, 41 pairs of leather pants and 115 pairs gloves, among many other things. The 58-year-old, who currently resides in Philadelphia as a columnist for The Daily Beast, chronicled his all-expenses-paid trip as a special guest at a fashion show for Gucci – the brand he has spent most of his clothing budget on.
Bissinger also made sure to confront the notion held by many that shopping addiction is not a true problem, or a lesser addiction. His descriptions of the feelings that came with purchasing clothes mirror those described by drug addicts: “The futile feeding of the bottomless beast and the unavoidable psychological implications, the immediate hit of the new that feels like an orgasm and the inevitable coming-down.”
The fiery and opinionated sports journalist left his short-lived radio program in December amidst reports that his outspoken personality was causing problems at the radio station. In the GQ article, he revealed that some of these problems may have been due to his addiction.
With Penn-Princeton imminent, James Harden of the Houston Rockets stopped by the Palestra earlier today. Penn assistant coach Jason Polykoff posted a photo to his Twitter account earlier today showing Harden posing with the men's basketball team.
"Special visit today from Houston Rocket James Harden. Helping provide some motivation for our @ The Palestra," Polykoff also wrote on Twitter.
Of course, the connection with Harden is Penn assistant coach Scott Pera, who coached and mentored Harden at southern California powerhouse Artesia High School and Arizona State.
USA Swimming's Cullen Jones, Track and Field's Bryan Clay and Paralympic Track and Field's April Holmes are part of the United States Olympic Committee Road Show, which will be making a stop at Penn, according to a Deloitte email.
Fans will be able to hear the stories of the 2008 4 x 200 freestyle relay gold medalist and 2012 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay and 50m individual freestyle silver medalist Jones, 2008 champion in the decathlon, Clay and 2008 100m gold medalist and current bronze medalist at the 2012 games, Holmes.
This is also an opportunity for students to network with Deloitte consultants.
According to Deloitte's website, "by providing strategic insight and professional services, Deloitte helps the USOC ensure that the members of Team USA can direct all of their energy to one goal: performing at their highest level as they represent our country on the world stage."
The Road Show will send a rotating crew of athletes around the country to share their experiences, while also promoting the consulting firm and USOC sponsor.
The Olympians will be at the Palestra Thursday, September 27, from 6-7.
UPDATE (6:37 p.m.) — The Boston Herald is reporting that Harvard basketball co-captain Brandyn Curry is also expected to withdraw from the university today and miss the upcoming basketball season.
8:39 a.m. — News broke early this morning that Harvard basketball captain Kyle Casey is set to withdraw from Harvard this year. He is implicated in a cheating case with about 130 other students from a Government class last semester. A student told The Crimson more than half of the 279-person class played a varsity sport, though not all of them are necessarily being investigated.
While the investigations could take until November, athletes involved have been advised to withdraw from the university for the term or year in order to save eligibility. Multiple sources have told SI.com that Casey is choosing to withdraw, and additionally Brandyn Curry and another unnamed basketball player are involved in the case and under review.
The deadline to withdraw is today, so stay tuned for more updates as we will surely see some recognizable names save themselves a year of eligibility. Those who do not withdraw and are later found to be guilty -- no matter at what point during the season -- will lose a year of eligibility. Wins could be vacated from a team if a player is later deemed ineligible.
At the senior student-athlete banquet Monday night at the Inn at Penn, five seniors were given awards for their time and talents both on off the field.
Zack Rosen (men's hoops) and Paige Madison (track) took home the biggest honors of the night, the Class of 1915 Award and the Association of Alumnae Fathers' Award, respectively. Alek Ferro (men's lacrosse) and Meg Krasne (softball) received the Norman J. Goldring Award for having the highest GPA as male and female varsity athletes. Finally, Grant Wilson (heavyweight rowing) received the George H. Frazier Award for having the highest GPA between the basketball, crew, track, soccer, baseball and football teams.
The Class of 1915 Award, in existence since 1931, is given to a graduating male "who best exemplifies the spirit and tradition of University of Pennsylvania Athletics." The recipient must have at least a 3.0 GPA, and is voted on by men's head coaches and select athletic department administrators. Rosen is the first men's hoops recipient since Steve Danley in 2007.
Track and field captain Madison was given the Fathers' Award for her "contribution to Women's Athletics" and her "outstanding athletic, academic, and leadership qualities." Again, recipients must have a 3.0 GPA and the award is voted on by women's varsity coaches and select athletic department officials. Madison currently holds three Penn records on the track (sprint medley relay, 400-meter hurdles, outdoor 4x100m relay) and has top-10 times in four other individual events and as a part of five relays. She was the first woman in Penn history to go under 1 minute in the 400m hurdles.
While my co-editors Mike Wisniewski and Sushaan Modi are traveling the lovely roads of New England this weekend, I'm holding down the fort in Philadelphia. And though I hate to miss an Ivy roadtrip, I'm happy I can stick around University City to catch the Penn-Harvard game Saturday night on ESPN3. But of course, what's a big game without our friends at the Blarney Stone? The Stone and the Red and Blue Crew have teamed up to present a viewing party for all Saturday night.
Blarney will have tons of great specials, giveaways, prizes "and more!" Not sure what that entails, but it will definitely be a great time. 18 to enter, 21 to drink.
Don't forget to catch Wiz & Sush on the liveblog tonight at 7 at Dartmouth, and follow along Saturday night as well. Join the conversation!