Call it hush money if you will, but citing two other recent examples of prominent sports figures who were pennywise but pound foolish, the New York Daily News’ T.J. Quinn strongly advises James Dolan to pay Larry Brown the $40 million as soon as possible.

There is a lesson to be learned in 21st Century sport, and it’s being played out on the other side of this newspaper: pay them off. Unless you have a biblical capacity for enduring misery, close your mouth and open the checkbook and be grateful that people can be bought off.

Ask Michael Strahan right now what he would pay not to hear the anti-gay harassment he is certain to get from his teammates ” much less Eagles fans ” in the years to come. And what would it be worth to make accusations that he tried to spy on his sister-in-law with a camera clock go away? Maybe $7 million? That’s the difference in what Jean Strahan is asking and he’s offering in their divorce. She backed off the “accusation” that he’s bisexual, called him a philanderer instead. That may play better with the meathead crowd, but which of her statements are the ones Strahan will be hearing about the rest of his life? Which ones do you think will bother him?

And how about Barry Bonds? How’s that decision not to pay off Kimberly Bell looking now? His ex-mistress wanted $100,000. That’s it. He offered $20,000. From a man who was making $17 million that season alone. For someone making $85,000, it would have been a $500 payoff to prevent a woman you said you loved from telling the feds that you gave her $80,000 cash from memorabilia sales, and that you took lots of steroids long before you met Victor Conte, and knew exactly what they were. For just $100,000, you might have avoided a federal perjury and money laundering investigation. Not to mention the amount of material she provided for the book “Game of Shadows.” Think Wade Boggs wishes things had turned out differently with Margo Adams, the mistress who sued him for breach of contract?