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Original Issue

The Beat

What? USCgolden-boy quarterback Matt Leinart arrested for soliciting a prostitute? Canit be true? Actually, no. Leinart's run-in with police was a prank orchestratedby Punk'd host Ashton Kutcher, whom Leinart befriended last year. (The episodeis expected to air this month or next on MTV.) On March 14 Leinart (below) anda carload of conspiring pals were pulled over in L.A.; Punk'd police officerstold the 2004 Heisman winner to exit the vehicle and began booking him forsolicitation, a crime he hadn't committed. Leinart is clearly ready for life asa professional: His first concern, according to his agent, was dealing with thebad press his arrest might attract.

■ After Marshallfinished its basketball season last month, 6'9" senior center Mark Pattonpondered his future: He's getting married in August and figured he'd thenpursue a hoops career overseas. But Patton didn't know that scouts--fromHollywood, not the NBA--already had their eyes on him. Three weeks agoproducers from the upcoming Matthew McConaughey movie We Are Marshall asked tomeet him, and Patton left the room with his first paying basketball gig: He'llplay Dave Shank, a fictional George Mikan look-alike who is recruited from theThundering Herd basketball team to play wide receiver after the 1970 planecrash that took the lives of 75 members of the football team. Patton spent timelast week shooting basketball scenes, and he'll spend four more weeks shootingfootball action in Atlanta. Says Patton, "I think I'll have a little moneyfor a real good honeymoon."

■ NFL twins Tikiand Ronde Barber were supposed to be guests of honor at a dual 31st birthdayparty at the Pink Elephant bar in Manhattan last week, but Tiki was left tohuff and puff at the four cakes provided by host FHM Magazine on his own.According to Tiki (the younger brother by seven minutes), Ronde decided at thelast minute to spend the day with Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer in England."I didn't even wish him a happy birthday," Tiki joked. "I justtexted him 'Hi.'" A stable of Giants players were there, however, includingMichael Strahan, Amani Toomer and Shaun O'Hara.... On March 30 Anna Bensonfiled for divorce from Orioles pitcher Kris Benson, claiming that theirseven-year marriage was "irretrievably broken." Apparently the unionwas retrievable after all. Five days later Anna's lawyer, Jeffrey Bogart,reported that she was withdrawing the petition after some "soulsearching." Said Bogart, "[Anna] wanted to make every effort to repairher marriage; hopefully Kris feels the same way." ... Screenwriters AdamJay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson (Not Another Teen Movie) have written a scriptspoofing inspirational sports movies and the Rudy Ruettigers and JimmyChitwoods who populate them. The Comeback--sure to be cast with a roster ofunderachieving no-names and has-beens--should hit theaters in 2007.

Rinkside spectators couldn't help but think, Man, that Tanith Belbin must havehad a rough night. Actually, the willowy blonde in question was none other thanU.S. Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, who last week borrowed a wig from thewoman who won the ice dancing silver medal two months ago in Turin. The skaterswere in Fort Myers, Fla., for the Champions on Ice tour.

They Said It
RICKY DAVIS, Timberwolves guard, on playing with a recent groin injury: "Itbothers me. But I'm going to play till it falls off."

Army finished third in the men's and women's NCAA rifle championships.