Venus Williams is pursuing higher education in an unlikely location. The tennis star who grew up in Compton and has lived in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is studying at an Indiana college.

The Indy Channel reports Indiana University East has confirmed Williams is working on a bachelor's degree in business through the school's online degree-completion program.

Venus is part of a growing trend of busy people studying online. In 2010, 6.2 million students were enrolled in online classes, according to Marketdata Enterprises Inc. That translates to 30 percent of all post-secondary education enrollment being done on the Web. By 2015, research predicts 37 percent of all post-secondary enrollments will be taken online.

Earlier this summer, Venus was spied wearing an IU East sweatshirt during play across the pond at Wimbledon.

She sent out a tweet that said "Go red wolves!!!"

School officials say Williams, 31, came to them for their online program. She is apparently interested in visiting the Indiana University East campus.

Williams has a good start on a business career. She is already the chief executive officer of her own interior design firm "V Starr Interiors," and she launched her own fashion line in 2007.

Williams has a net worth of $60 million, making her the second highest earning female athlete in the world behind her sister, Serena.

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Are you the subject of ridicule for your fantasy football addiction? Well, throw off the shackles of that guilt! Fantasy football doesn't waste your time at work, according to research from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

An estimated 27.1 million Americans take part in fantasy sports, with 75 percent, or more than 20 million, playing fantasy football. Challenger analyzed the financial impact of Fantasy Football on employers during the 2010 season and found little or no effect on productivity.

Ranking the level of distraction on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being no problem, nearly 70 percent of employers said 4 or lower (perhaps because bosses themselves have teams). Less than 8 percent of respondents said the level of distraction rated a 7 or 8 and none of the respondents felt fantasy football at work deserved a 9 or 10.

Even better news for fantasy geeks: 46.2 percent of employers don't care if employees spend some of the workday on fantasy football. Less than a quarter of bosses ask employees to limit fantasy football to lunch and other break times.

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"A ban on all fantasy football or sports websites could backfire in the form of reduced morale and loyalty," Challenger concluded. "The result could be far worse than the loss of productivity caused by 10 to 20 minutes of team management each day."

But wait, there's more! Businesses that actually encourage playing fantasy football by organizing a company league are likely to see significant benefits in morale as well as productivity, according to the study.

Despite the positive results of the survey, less than 8 percent of responding companies actually "embrace" fantasy football participation as morale boosting.

But hey, give it time.

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Alex Rodriguez is the subject of a controversial new book in the works.

Richard Ben Cramer, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, has signed a big money deal to author a book about A-Rod's life on and off the field.

The New York Daily News reports the book is tentatively titled "The Importance of Being Alex: A Life With the Yankees." Publisher Twelve has a deal to print the book, which was originally going to be put out by Simon & Schuster.

Don't expect to read juicy nuggets of gossipy dirt on the Bronx Bombers star anytime soon, though. The biography isn't expected to hit book stores until April of 2014 -- the year A-Rod turns 39 years old. The highest paid player in baseball is on pace to reach 700 homers and will soon be part of the 3,000 hit club.

Cramer, a lifelong Yankees fan, has written two sports books in the past. "Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life," was published in 2000 and "Ted Williams: The Seasons of the Kid," hit book shelves way back in 1991.

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While DiMaggio refused to speak with Cramer, Rodriguez has reportedly agreed to be interviewed for the project.

It's expected that A-Rod's dating life with starlets such as Madonna, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz will be the focus of many pages in the book.

The author won his Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1979, earned through his work in the Middle East.

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Pittsburgh's Allegheny River will be lit on fire this weekend -- and unlike in Cleveland, they're bragging about it.

Following the University of Pittsburgh's football game against Buffalo at Heinz Field on Saturday, the Zambelli fireworks company plans to not only light up the sky with fireworks, but also the water.

The football game will feature the debut of Todd Graham as Pitt coach after four seasons leading the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

KDKA reports the river will have flames that vary from a few feet high to a stunning 100 feet. A spokesman for the show said people standing on the shore will be able to feel the heat.

Doug Taylor, an executive with Zambelli's, says they've been unable to find "another event this size that's ever been done."

Cleveland's Cuyahoga River has caught on fire several times -- first in 1936, and most notably in a huge blaze in 1952. But this conflagration at the confluence of the Three Rivers will be no mistake by the lake.

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Chad Ochocino isn't your run-of-the-mill superstar. The newest member of the Patriots said he expects criticism and even enjoys it.

“I like that. You guys have a job to do. You're not my friends, you guys have a job to do and I understand that," Ochocinco told WBZ Boston.

"I want you guys to critique the hell of me, as I can also do to you," he said. "I hold no grudges, but as you fire upon me, believe, I will fire back. ... High profile, flashy, flamboyant players coming in, [you're] supposed to come in a certain way, point blank. There is no room. I understand that. I know you're all going to kill me, especially here. Boston loves their sports. If I’m [expletive] up, you’re going to get me."

Some insiders are claiming that Ocho doesn't understand coach Bill Belichick's complex playback, but he doesn't agree.

"I've heard small little rumblings that I haven't caught on yet," Ochocinco told reporters Tuesday. "I'm doing just fine. I'm not sure why or how it is, but coming from any place where you've been 10 years, to come here and learn the verbiage and learn as much as I have the past three weeks, I've done extremely well. It's been fun, it's been enjoyable."

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Ocho has just two receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown in limited playing time in his first Patriots preseason. Despite poor results on the field, Chad said he doesn't care about what fans think, because he knows he stinks right now.

"I'm just nowhere near where I want to be," he added. "I'm my biggest critic anyway. Regardless of what you write or what you guys see, I'm the first to judge myself. I'm always aiming for perfection. One of those things about being here, in an organization like this that prides itself on perfection and excellence, I'm sort of putting the pressure on myself to be right and be perfect now. Not later. I'm trying to squeeze everything within a shorter time frame. If I can aim to be as perfect as possible, I think I'll get up to speed."

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Brandon Belt won't be taking home National League rookie of the year honors, but he's received something much cooler.

The San Francisco Giants first baseman picked up the nickname "Baby Giraffe" from TV broadcaster Duane Kiper because he thought Belt looked and moved around the field like one.

And now an actual baby giraffe has been named "Brandon" in tribute to the Giants rookie. The giraffe was born at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California on Friday, August 27.

CBS 13 Sacramento reports the 6'2" baby was born to seven-year-old mother Makali and the sire, seven-year old Nyumekye. By the way, the baseball Brandon is listed at 6'5."

Brandon the Giraffe is projected to mature into an animal that is more than 18 feet tall. Brandon the Giant won't be quite as tall.

Expected to add an impact bat to a light-hitting lineup, the Giants rookie has been a big disappointment this season. Belt, the pride of Nacogdoches, Tex. is hitting just .219 with five homers and 12 RBI's in 45 games this season for the World Champs.

It gets better: the two Brandons reportedly will meet for the first time later this week.

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From Iron Mike to Mainstream Mike?

The renaissance of Mike Tyson took another big step forward as the former world heavyweight champion's life in the ring is coming to premium cable television.

HBO has ordered a pilot for a boxing drama project somewhat based on Tyson's early years in the sweet science.

The Hollywood Reporter says Spike Lee has signed on to direct the show and Entourage creator Doug Ellin with his producing partner Jim Lefkowitz have agreed to have a role. Tyson has an executive producer credit on the new show.

"Da Brick," as it's being called will feature parts of Tyson's upbringing. In the past few years the former baddest man on the planet has had a series of Hollywood projects.

"The Hangover" movies had Iron Mike cameo appearances, while Entourage also dished out a small role. Don't forget Animal Planet's "Taking on Tyson," his reality show featuring competitive pigeon racing.

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A front office employee of the San Francisco Giants may be facing a lengthy jail sentence after her arrest on federal embezzlement charges.

KGO-TV in San Francisco reports Robin O'Connor worked as the teams payroll manager for four years, but is facing formal charges of wire fraud and fraud in connection with a computer. She faces a penalty of up to five years in federal prison per count.

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O'Connor, 41, married with two small children is accused of embezzling $1,513,836.28 from the World Champions payroll between June of 2010 and June of this year.

The scheme broke down when O'Connor applied for a loan to buy a house in San Diego. The FBI affidavit says she forged a letter from the Giants' HR manager, explaining huge deposits had been placed into her account.

Despite an $80,000 salary, O'Connor and her husband each had 2011 model-year cars, a BMW sedan and SUV -- with a Giants' employee parking sticker -- and a loaded Ford F-150 truck.

KGO reports the Giants wouldn't say which players' accounts were embezzled.

O'Connor was released on a $500,000 bond. She has surrendered her passport and is scheduled to be arraigned in a month.

The San Francisco Examiner has further details on the story, reporting O'Connor was fired July 6.

Late Tuesday night, the Giants released a statement:

"Last month, the San Francisco Giants discovered evidence of possible embezzlement by our former payroll manager, Robin O’Connor, which resulted in her dismissal. We immediately notified the United States Attorney's office and are working with the federal authorities to ensure that this matter is thoroughly investigated and that any wrongdoing is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Attorney's Office has requested that we refrain from providing additional details at this time to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation."

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A new study might deliver a knockout punch to boxing in America.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says it has more scientific evidence and research to show there's a greater need than ever to keep children and teenagers from fighting in the ring.

Boxing's injury rate has risen 40 percent from 11.4 injuries per 100,000 to 16.4 injuries per 100,000 from the 1990s to the 2000's, reports the Palm Beach Post.

More than 18,000 kids under 19 were registered with USA Boxing as of 2008.

The study says there is no significant research to indicate safety equipment lessons brain injury in boxing and a child's brain actually takes longer to heal from a concussion.

More than 70 percent of injuries in boxing are to the head: 33 percent concussions, 29 percent open wounds, cuts, fractures, and 19 percent to the eyebrow and nose.

Boxing also ranked No. 1 among combat sports that resulted in a trip to the hospital: 4.8 percent for fighting, 3.6 percent in judo and 3.1 percent in karate.

If parents stop kids from entering the boxing ring, the search for the next Mike Tyson might never end.

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Tim Tebow is tumbling quickly from the top of the NFL's retail mountain. The Denver Broncos' iconic quarterback has fallen from No. 1 in NFL jersey sales all the way to 10th.

The Denver Post reports Tebow merchandise has drifted down the sales chart as No. 15 has drifted down the depth chart. The Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida had the top-selling jersey entering his rookie season, but now he's dealing with two kinds of sophomore slump.

Tebow had the eighth most popular jersey in terms of sales on the NFL's merchandise website from April through July. Throw in the month of August, as the Post did, and Tebow's No. 15 jersey was barely in the top 10.

Tebow's still very popular, but it doesn't help that he could end up as the third-string quarterback on a 4-12 Broncos team, behind Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn.

American football fans love buying jerseys from winners, and that explains the new leader. Packers Super Bowl hero Aaron Rodgers is now king of NFL jersey sales. His teammate, linebacker Clay Matthews, is second. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is in third place.

In an era of offensive football, two of the top three selling jerseys are from defensive players. But both of those guys play in cities that love their D -- and enjoyed Super Bowl runs last winter.

The top five also includes Tony Romo and Tom Brady, as of July 31. Michael Vick is sixth and Drew Brees seventh. Peyton Manning is also in the top 10.

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