Bud Grant, a great three-sport athlete at the University of Minnesota and longtime successful football coach of the Vikings and the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, has been named the winner of an Outstanding Achievement Award from his alma mater.

The university's Board of Regents -- upon the recommendation of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, the College of Education and Human Development and the All-University Honors Committee -- did the voting.

The Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or profession, or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership on a community, state, national or international level. It is one of the top awards given to university alumni.

In notifying Grant of the honor, University of Minnesota president Robert Bruininks wrote that "not only were you a tremendous athlete at the University of Minnesota, but you went on to become a legendary coach and an outstanding advocate for family, conservation and the environment. Your contributions to the university, your community and the state of Minnesota and beyond are significant."

Grant played and coached the Blue Bombers for 10 years and the Vikings for 18 years.

"Well, it's an honor to have something like this awarded," Grant said. "When you look at all the number of people who've won this award [1,127], that's certainly an elite group to be a part of and I'm very proud of it."

Among other Gophers athletes who have won this award are former football coach Bernie Bierman (for whom Bud played), Dave Winfield, Flip Saunders, Paul Molitor, Tony Dungy and Lou Nanne, all legendary names in university sports.

Recipients of the award receive a crystal obelisk and have their name engraved on the Alumni Wall of Honor located next to the McNamara Alumni Center.

"To be very honest, I wasn't really aware that this award existed to the extent that it does," Grant said. "But it encompasses all fields of endeavor, also. This isn't just athletics, obviously. A lot of great names are on that wall, and to be a part and have your name engraved on that wall, is something that they can't take away."

Grant will be honored at a dinner where relatives and friends will join to pay tribute to him.

Yes, I am prejudiced. If anyone ever deserved this award, it's my very, very close personal friend. A class act all the way.

Packers not available

It's obvious the Vikings aren't going to make a decision on how to sell the tickets for the Oct. 5 Monday night Packers game until they find out whether Brett Favre is going to be on the team.

Meetings on how to handle the Packers tickets were going on Wednesday amid rumors that Favre will announce his decision by Friday on whether he will play.

There is no doubt that if Favre decided to go with the Vikings, you will have to buy one or two of the pre-season games to get a ticket to the Packers game. There also might be a combination of a Packers ticket and one of the other regular-season games.


Jerry Sichting, an assistant Timberwolves coach for 13 years, has been interviewed by new president of basketball operations David Kahn for the team's coaching opening. "He is a candidate," Kahn said. "I spent the last couple of days kind of thinking about who should make the next round, but I did interview Jerry."

Gophers football coach Tim Brewster got good news Wednesday when outstanding wide receiver Hayo Carpenter, ranked as one of the top junior college football players in the country, arrived in town with the news that he has qualified academically for a scholarship and will be able to play this fall.

The Gophers will host the Big Ten indoor track meet on Feb. 27-28, where they will be a favorite to repeat as champions.

The Vikings expect to be 100 percent healthy when training camp opens, now that offensive linemen Anthony Herrera and Artis Hicks were able to take part in the latest minicamps. ... The Twins have sold more than 50,000 tickets for the final game at the Metrodome on Oct. 4. For that game against Kansas City, the screen in right field will be taken down. The Twins have sold close to 14,000 season tickets for next season.

Seantrel Henderson, the all-around Cretin-Derham Hall athlete who Rivals.com and Scout.com have rated the top 2010 football recruit in the country, continues to play basketball in different tournaments. He recently played in the Nike Peach Jam held in North Augusta, S.C. with the Howard Pulley team. In three games, the 6-8, 335-pound athlete, he had foul trouble in the first game and didn't score. He did score a couple of baskets in the second game and 10 points in the third.

He told USA Today that basketball has always been his first love. "Doing football and basketball is not a problem in the summer. I work out for football in the morning and play basketball in the evening. Playing basketball keeps me in shape for football." Minnesota is one of several schools which have recruited Henderson for both football and basketball.

The 11th recruit to commit to the Gophers for 2010 could be linebacker Dewayne Mitchell of Edna Karr Magnet School in New Orleans, who was all-state in the second-largest class of Louisiana prep football.

Former Edina football coach Kim Nelson said he was hoping Anders Lee, a great all-around athlete for the Hornets, would play football in college, but Lee is focusing only on hockey. He has committed to Notre Dame for the 2010-11 season and will play for Green Bay in the USHL this fall. Nelson said Vince Williams is going to play football at Western Carolina and linebacker Zach Budish is going to play hockey for the Gophers.

Minnetonka football coach Dave Nelson said the Skippers' Beau Allen has been offered scholarships from a lot of schools, including Notre Dame, Stanford, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa. "He's a big kid. Really explosive. Got good feet. He's over 300 pounds, but he runs well. Just a really good football player," Nelson said. How good will Minnetonka be this fall? "We'll see. I think we've got a chance to be OK," Nelson said.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast once a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. • shartman@startribune.com