Sunday, May 31, 2009

FSU Takes Fiesta Bowl... No, Wait...

It was a baseball game...
37-6... Much to Brother Marty's chagrin...

((HT: WCTV))

Florida State (45-16) advanced to the Super Regional for the second year in a row and for the ninth time in school history with a 37-6 victory over Ohio State (42-19) Sunday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles set four school records and five NCAA Tournament records in the win over the Buckeyes ((the scoreboard is pictured, thanks

Florida State set school records for runs (37), hits (38), doubles (15) and total bases (66), while the four above mentioned records plus the 51 combined hits by both teams set NCAA Tournament single-game records. The Seminoles also tied a school record for RBI (34) and most combined runs by two teams with 43.

The 15 doubles by the Seminoles also eclipsed the NCAA single-game record of 13 held by three different teams. The previous school record was nine doubles set against Duke back on March 10, 2000. Florida State surpassed the school record with its 10th double of the game when Stephen Cardullo hit a one out double to right center in the third. Cardullo and Stidham each tallied three doubles in the win.

Cardullo finished the game 7-for-9 with five runs and five RBI. He tied the school record for hits and at-bats, while his seven hits were the most in an NCAA Tournament game by any Division I student-athlete. The junior shortstop tallied 12 total bases recording a triple, three doubles and three singles.

Ten Seminoles recorded multiple hits on Sunday, while 11 players finished with an RBI. Every Seminole that registered an official at-bat scored a run. Florida State scored in seven of the nine innings including a season-high 11 runs in the fifth.

Four Seminoles finished the game with four or more RBI including a game-high five by Ohmed Danesh and Cardullo. Jason Stidham and Mike Meschke each drove in four runs. Danesh, Cardullo and Meschke scored five runs a piece, tying a season-high.

Meschke had a perfect day at the plate going 5-for-5 as he was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. After drawing a walk in the first, Meschke recorded five consecutive hits including back-to-back doubles, a single and then a three-run blast and a single both coming in the fifth.

Danesh posted career-highs for at-bats (7), runs scored (5), hits (4) and RBI (5). The junior right fielder connected on his sixth home run of the season in the second, a two-run shot over the fence in right.

Stidham went 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored before leaving the game in the fifth. The junior second baseman finished the tournament hitting .571 with eight hits in 14 at-bats. He tallied three doubles, all coming on Sunday, a triple, one home run and 12 RBI en route to being named Most Outstanding Player of the Tallahassee Regional.

In making his ninth start of the season, James Ramsey tied a career-high with three hits as the freshman left fielder also had a perfect day at the plate going 3-for-3 with a double, two singles and a walk. He scored twice and also tied a career-high with two RBI.

D'Vontrey Richardson and Rafael Lopez each went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Richardson's three RBI tied a career-high as he also picked up a double on his first at-bat of the game.

Tommy Oravetz connected on a two-run home run in the fifth as he blasted his eighth home run of the season just beyond the fence in deep right center. Sherman Johnson scored a career-high two runs, while tying a career-high with two hits. The freshman second baseman recorded a double and a triple in the win.

On the mound, Mike McGee went five innings to move to 6-2 on the year. The sophomore right hander allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits as he walked just one and struck out eight.

Geoff Parker extended his streak of consecutive scoreless innings in relief to 18.0 as he blanked Ohio State in the sixth and seventh innings. Jack Posey and Jimmy Marshall pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively.

Stidham, Stuart Tapley, Cardullo, Tyler Holt, McGee and Sean Gilmartin were all named to the Tallahassee All-Region Team.

Florida State will return to the diamond next week as the Seminoles await the winner of the Norman, Oklahoma Regional. Game times and the site of the Super Regional will be announced Monday, June 1 at 11:00 p.m.

Records Set On Sunday, May 31, 2009 can be found by clicking here...

Andrew Christopher has the highlights of a very long Sunday, thanks to our friends at WCTV-TV...

Red Wings Take Control, Lead Pens 2-0


Stuart, Franzen, and Abdelkader scored in the 3-1 win by the Red Wings to take a 2-nothing stranglehold in the Stanley Cup Finals.

But here's the end of the game where people try to send messages to one another about who really is in charge around here...

If you're more in to the American version, here it is thanks to our friends at NBC

The Longest Game Ever

((HT: KXAN))

Here's how to condense 25 innings into, about, three minutes...
Brian Sanders and our friends at KXAN have the highlights of the most ridiculous game in the "historical" of college baseball...
Austin Wood needs to have his head examined, but I think we'll settle for an MRI on that pitching arm- or what's left of it...
169 pitches in 12-and-a-third of no-hit ball...

Three versions of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" as well...

Ivanovic Out At French As Well

((HT: ATP/French Open))

And so much for the other defending champ...
She loses to a louder Victoria Azarenka...

Nadal Out At French

((HT: Eurosport))

So much for five in a row at Roland Garros...
"Robin Soderling" is the answer to the trivia question...

What Did Charles Just Say...?

((HT: TNT/NBA/The Big Lead))

We have three choices...
Decide for yourself...

Balsillie Looking Forward To Partnership With NHL

((HT: TSN))

During his state of the union prior to the Stanley Cup final, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman explained that the situation with the Phoenix Coyotes was not about personal issues and was instead about following the rules as put forward by the National Hockey League.

"From my standpoint, it's not personal," said Bettman on Saturday. "It's about league rules and it's about doing the right thing in terms of the stability of this game and this league."

Balsillie spokesman Bill Walker says the BlackBerry billionaire is not trying to circumvent the NHL's rules.

"We look forward to submitting our application for relocation," said Balsillie spokesman Bill Walker. "Jim Balsillie has always set out to meet NHL rules and regulations in seeking a franchise and he looks forward to working in partnership with the league and Board of Governors as a potential owner.

"NHL bylaws lay out a three-part criteria that needs to be met: owner, market and arena. We think this bid exceeds all three criteria with a proven business leader as owner, the best unserved hockey market in North American and a state-of-the-art arena renovation. It adds up to an NHL franchise poised to succeed for many years to come,"
added Walker.

Balsillie is expected to officially file an application for relocation with the NHL on Monday.

The NHL, Coyotes majority owner Jerry Moyes and Balsillie are currently involved in bankruptcy court proceedings in Arizona to determine the future of the franchise.

Balsillie has made an offer to purchase the club as long as he can move the team to Hamilton, Ontario.

Bettman "Fighting For Phoenix"

((HT: Arizona Republic/Podell))

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman ((pictured, thanks Arizona Republic)) insists he is merely trying to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, not block Jim Balsillie from buying the team and setting up shop in Ontario.

Bettman sat in a hotel ballroom in the heart of Hockeytown on Saturday and spent much of his time answering questions about the struggling desert-based Coyotes franchise that landed in bankruptcy court against his will.

Just hours before the Detroit Red Wings began defense of their Stanley Cup title in the finals opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bettman spoke of his desire to find a new owner for the Coyotes.

Team owner Jerry Moyes recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a plan that included the proposed sale of the club to Balsillie, who would move it to Hamilton, Ontario.

The NHL - with support from the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA - has asked Judge Redfield Baum to uphold that the league has a right to determine who owns a team and where it plays.

"The issue here is league rules and league processes and procedures," Bettman said. "This is not just an NHL issue. This is not a Canada versus U.S. issue. This is not a Phoenix versus Hamilton issue. And this is certainly not a personal issue."

Mere minutes before Moyes filed for bankruptcy, the NHL was close to selling the team to Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who would keep the team playing in its relatively new arena in Glendale, Ariz. The issue of who controls the Coyotes is also in dispute.

"The team was never in jeopardy," Bettman said. "It was literally 20 minutes away from being fixed in a way that we thought was going to work quite well. It's my view that the Coyotes should not be in bankruptcy."

Keeping with the theme of the finals, Bettman noted that the Penguins were in worse shape than the Coyotes when they filed for bankruptcy in 1999. That situation looked particularly bleak because there was no assurance Pittsburgh would get the new arena the team desperately needed.

With core players Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins are in the finals for the second straight year and look forward to a new arena for the 2010-11 season.

"We didn't walk out on Pittsburgh, we fought to fix their problems," Bettman said. "We're fighting for Phoenix because of our covenant with the team and the fans there."

The Coyotes never have made a profit since moving from Winnipeg in 1996. Court documents say the franchise lost $74 million over the past two years. Moyes says he has a $300 million investment in the team and would recoup only about $100 million in the sale to Balsillie.

The NHL has funded the team since last fall.

"It's about league rules and it's about doing the right thing in terms of the stability of this game and this league," Bettman said.

While saying several times this is not a personal issue against Balsillie, Bettman declined to offer his opinion whether he sees any way the owner of the company that makes the Blackberry would ever be able to acquire an NHL franchise.

"If and when the board is going to consider Mr. Balsillie as an owner, if I am asked my opinion, I will express it. And I'll express it to the Board first before I express it to the world," Bettman said. "If, in the final analysis, the owners conclude that he is somebody that they'd like to have as a partner, then they'll vote him in. And if in the final analysis, they don't think he's suitable to be a partner for whatever reason, they'll conclude to keep him out."

Your Quincy Carter/IFL Update: Week 9

Technically, there is no update since Quincy didn't play...

But the Abilene Ruff Riders ((pictured, thanks Thomas Metthe/Abilene Reporter-News))still played...
((HT: Abilene Reporter-News/Youngblood))

Trailing by five after Corpus Christi scored with 3:27 to play Saturday, quarterback David Bowie and the Abilene Ruff Riders had a shot to send 4,008 fans home with a dramatic win.

But the Riders' comeback bid ended at the Hammerheads 21 yard line on an incomplete pass on fourth and 7, leaving the Ruff Riders with a 27-22 loss at Taylor County Coliseum.

The defeat prevented Abilene from sweeping three games with its Lone Star Division rival and gave the Riders two losses in the division. Second-place El Paso had two losses going into this weekend's action.

After having his third interception wiped out by a Corpus Christi facemask and a 16-yard scramble to the Hammerheads 6 erased by a holding penalty on back-to-back plays, Bowie and the Riders offense faced a 1st-and-20 from their own 16 with less than three minutes remaining, needing a touchdown to take the lead.

Bowie hit running back Carlos Alsup with an underhand toss for eight yards on first down but after a penalty on the Hammerheads, Bowie missed on his last three pass attempts, giving the ball back to Corpus to run out the clock.

"We had penalties, I had two costly turnovers and I had a couple of bad balls that should have been completed," said Bowie, who finished his first start 9-of-22 passing for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns. "As a QB you dream about stuff like this, having the ball in your hands on the final drive with a chance to win the game. But I didn't get it done tonight, and that hurts."

Abilene's offensive struggles proved to be the difference. The Riders were outgained 214-154 and went 0-for-7 on third downs.

Abilene, which was playing without starting quarterback Quincy Carter, converted just two of its nine possessions into touchdowns, picking up its other nine points on Nich Pertuit field goals of 44, 38 and 22 yards.

"You've got to put points on the board to win, and our offense really struggled," Riders coach Gerald Dockery said. "When your defense gives up 27 points, you expect to win in this game. We had chances to gain the momentum, but we could never seem to make the plays we needed offensively."

Despite scoring a season-low 22 points, the Riders had many chances to beat the last-place Hammerheads and actually led for most of the contest.

Thanks to a strong defensive performance, the Riders held a lead for nearly the entire first half until the Hammerheads scored with a second remaining in the second quarter to take a 13-10 lead. And after regaining the lead in the third quarter, Abilene was either ahead or tied until Corpus scored their final touchdown with 3:27 to play.

"I can't say anything bad about the defense," Bowie said. "The defense was on, and the offense didn't capitalize when the defense made stops."

Abilene scored the first points of the game -- the only points of the quarter -- on a 19-yard reception by Fred Howze from Bowie with 15 seconds.

Corpus Christi answered on its second drive of the second quarter with a Austin Willis 20-yard reception, but a missed an extra point left the score 7-6 in favor of Abilene.

The Riders added to their lead with a 44-yard field goal by Pertuit with 3:14 left in the half, but the Hammerheads scored on the final play from scrimmage in the first half when Redford Borel ran it in from one yard out on fourth and goal.

Abilene regained the lead early in the third, when Bowie hooked up with Juan Reese from 11 yards out, making the score 16-13 with 13:35 left in the third quarter.

But that was the Riders' final touchdown of the game. A turnover, 72 yards of penalty yardage and struggles on third downs by Abilene kept Corpus Christi in the game, and the Hammerheads sandwiched a pair of Toric Goins touchdown catches around Pertuit's third field goal to turn a 19-13 deficit into a 27-22 lead.

"It is what it is,"
Dockery said. "We hurt ourselves with turnovers and penalties. We've got to play smarter on offense and take care of the ball. We've got to minimize mistakes."

The loss pushes Abilene down to 5-4 on the season and 5-2 in conference play going into a bye week.

"With this bye week coming up, we're going to correct some of these things we did wrong tonight," Dockery said.

Here's your highlights, thanks to our friends at ARN-TV and 96.1 The Wolf

Sidney Crosby Being Sidney Crosby


A little post-game "jousting" as Eddie Olczyk put it...

Sid The Kid was not happy with how the Red Wings Kirk Maltby chased after him all game long. When the game was over, Crosby decided a little love tap around the ankles would be a good reminder of his displeasure as they get ready for Game 2.

Crosby's head better be on a swivel...

Your Game One Highlights


Doc Emrick, Eddie O, and Pierre McGuire have your rundown...
The key word from Game 1- Chris Osgood...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Locksley Accused of Sexual Harassment

((HT: KRQE-TV/Armijo))

The University of New Mexico's new Head Football Coach Mike Locksley has been targeted in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint for sexual harassment and age discrimination.

Locksley is accused of wrong doing by a long-time football program assistant, Sylvia Lopez, who filed the complaints with the EEOC. Lopez also filed a claim of retaliation against the university.

The details of the complaints against Coach Locksley and the school remain under wraps.

At a Friday news conference, UNM's Vice President of Athletics Paul Krebs said he could only release a little information.

Krebs said the school is taking Lopez's complaints seriously, adding her personnel evaluations showed her to be what he called a "solid" employee.

However, Krebs still stands by the new coach.

“He is an outstanding football coach, he is an outstanding individual,” Krebs said. “And I am really looking forward to what he's able to build here, long term for our football program.”

In a statement to News 13 Locksley said, "I had always treated everybody with respect. That is who I am. Change and transition is always tough on everybody. Out of respect for all involved that is all I am going to say."

Krebs added that he does not expect the complaints to effect the upcoming football season.

Krebs also said the school has launched its own investigation in the case, but he did not release any details about that.

Here's the story from our friends at KRQE and Dave Bohman

Raines Remains Quiet At Memphis


She is the genteel, yet academically driven, woman who historically broke through the "glass ceiling" as the first female President of the University of Memphis. For nearly eight years, Shirley Raines ((pictured, thanks Memphis Commercial Appeal)) has committed to elevating the educational standards at U of M to her highest priority.

In 2005, when her name was mentioned as a possible candidate for the then vacant UT Presidency, Raines told FOX13 News, her decision to stay here was based on "I think it takes a while to build the kinds of accomplishments we want to see for the University."
But, Commercial Appeal columnist, Geoff Caulkins, is among those who note when it comes to providing direction or assuming responsibility for the oft-times troubled U of M Athletic Department, Raines often silently demures to the "good ole boy system."
Caulkins says, "I can't judge what sort of University President Shirley has been. I don't know. I don't think as a sports presence. The athletic department. That she's been particularly effective. Your images of Shirley Raines, for good or ill, or Shirley Raines singing I'm so glad I go to U of M."

On Thursday, President Raines turned down a request from FOX13 News to respond to allegations contained in a previously withheld notification of an NCAA investigation, which contained charges that former Tiger basketball star, Derrick Rose, may have had someone else take his college entrance exam.
Since the official letter came directly to Raines, nearly four months ago.....and the fact she's been requested to appear before an NCAA inquiry board in Indianapolis next week....her failure to directly comment on the allegations is frustrating as the person on the top rung of school's hierarchy.
Caulkins asserts, "She's obviously embarrassed. I would imagine she would have to be by this. And yet, I think the silence is unfortunate. So, you have R.C. (Johnson) not saying much. Shirley saying nothing at all. You have Kentucky issuing press releases saying this is a Memphis problem. But, no one from Memphis is really addressing it."
However, an absence of comment from Raines, other than occasional printed statements over the years, has become a pattern when it comes to problems especially related to decisions on issues arising in the Tiger basketball program.
Under former head coach, John Calipari, the list of troubled players, arrests for assaults, drugs and questions over a perceived lack of disciplinary recourse was never formally addressed by Raines except to say, those were coaches responsibilities. Caulkins says the grim reality for Tiger fans might be that Coach Cal's departure has left a bigger void than Raines or embattled Athletic Director, R.C. Johnson, might want to admit.
Caulkins concludes, "I have this overwhelming sense that for the last five years, everyone has essentially turned the athletic department over to John. And now they're trying to figure out what to do with it."

Here's Les Smith's piece on Raines from our friends at WHBQ-TV

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kyle Burns Junior

((HT: ESPN/NASCAR Media Images))

Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. exchanged sharp volleys Friday about Earnhardt's crew chief change.

"It's never Junior; it's always the crew chief," said Busch, who fired the opening shots when asked about team owner Rick Hendrick's dismissal of Tony Eury Jr. as Earnhardt's crew chief a day earlier.

Busch's salvo was not taken lightly by Earnhardt.

"He's always had a chip on his shoulder for me," Earnhardt said of Busch, "so I expect any time he gets an opportunity to throw a jab in there he's going to do it. That's just his personality."

Earnhardt replaced Busch at Hendrick Motorsports last year, but since then Busch, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, has won 11 Sprint Cup races to Earnhardt's one.

Asked about Eury's replacement, Lance McGrew, with whom Busch worked in the Nationwide Series at Hendrick in 2004, Busch expressed sympathy for McGrew.

"He's got his hands full, I guess, having to deal with what's going on," Busch said. "And if Junior doesn't run well, then he [McGrew] is going to be the 'problem' again."

Said Earnhardt: "That doesn't really surprise me. We're working toward how we can make our deal work, and that has nothing to do with Kyle."

Busch said he understood the move to bolster a driver with Earnhardt's star power but weak performance of late.

"You've got to make the most popular driver in the sport competitive, so you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess," Busch said.

Busch added, "He's the one who brought that crew chief on; he's the one who pulled so hard to bring Eury Jr. in [along with Earnhardt in his move from Dale Earnhardt Inc.].

"It looked like it was working there in the beginning," Busch continued, "and it just hasn't worked since the summer of last year, really. So, whatever makes them better, I guess."

Busch, since being squeezed out in favor of Earnhardt and over salary differences with Hendrick, has vastly out-performed Earnhardt since the beginning of 2008. And Busch has made no secret of his pride in that.

Not only has Busch won 11 races to Earnhardt's one, he is currently sixth in points, well within Chase criteria, while Earnhardt is 19th after 12 races. No driver has ever come from 19th at this point of the season to make the Chase. Greg Biffle made the biggest leap, from 19th to 14th, in 2007.

Here's the sound from Dover, thanks to ESPN.
As a special bonus, Sage Steele gets a quick sound bite from Angelique Chengelis...

Stanley Cup Needs Spell Check

For hockey players, those few seconds of skating with the Lord Stanley's Cup is what they work for their entire career. Just think, their name will be forever etched on the sports most cherished possession. Sometimes the engraver doesn't always get it right and it's kind of hard to change a letter. Here's a great report from the on why spell check might be needed when engraving the Stanley Cup.

So Valtteri Filppula or Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings or Ruslan Fedotenko or Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins be warned. It's not perfect.

Balsillie Unveils Copps Renovation Plan

((HT: The Star/McGran))

Jim Balsillie today released details of a plan to have one of the world's leading architecture firms renovate Hamilton's Copps Coliseum ((pictured, thanks TheSpec)).

The NHL has indicated that Copps is not up to league standards and Balsillie is moving to counter that point.
The BlackBerry billionaire would foot the bill for initial upgrades, estimated at about $30 million, to get the arena ready for a team. But when it comes to a long term overhaul of the city-owned facility, which could cost upwards of $150 million, he'd ask Hamilton to seek government assistance to cover the balance.

Among the features are an atrium-style entrance lobby, a range of luxury boxes, new lounges and restaurants, food and bar amenities and capacity for more than 18,000 spectators.

The Balsillie group says the design fully addresses requirements the NHL has previously communicated for Copps Coliseum.The design is by one of the world's leading sports facility architectural firms, BBB Architects and its subsidiary group, Stadium Consultants International, which is also currently working on renovations at Madison Square Garden (home of the New York Rangers) and Nassau County Coliseum (home of the New York Islanders).

"This would be a jaw-dropper of an attraction for Hamilton," said the City's mayor, Fred Eisenberger in a press release from the group. "What I've seen would make the new Copps Coliseum a magnet for sports fans and concert-goers across Ontario and North America. It would be a tremendous new asset for our city, and a major part of the revitalization of downtown Hamilton."

Meanwhile, the NHL is expected to respond today to calls for an emergency hearing on its timetable for franchise relocation and documents related to Balsillie's previous attempt to buy NHL teams.

With time of the essence, the lawyers for Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes are seeking a hearing by June 3 if the NHL doesn't turn over the documents to give them time to prepare for the June 9 on the issue of relocation.

Moyes' wants find out how the NHL handled previous transfers of the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado, Hartford Whalers to Carolina and Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix.

"This information is relevant and pertinent to the issues to be briefed on June 5," said Tim Danninger, one of Moyes' lawyers, in an email to the league.

The NHL has said it's too late to move the Coyotes to Hamilton in time for next season, but the Moyes lawyers are hoping to build a case – using the NHL's own documents – to prove to judge Redfield Baum that it's never too late.

In an email including in last night's court filings, NHL lawyer Alan Meda called Danninger's request irrelevant: "the issue before the court is whether the Coyotes and/or Mr. Balsillie have the unfettered right to relocate the team to any city without the consent of the NHL (and not) previous efforts of Mr. Balsillie to acquire an NHL team, previous relocation decisions."

Balsillie has said he wants the team in his possession – with the right to move it to Hamilton – by the end of June or he'd withdraw his $212.5 million (U.S.) offer.

For those of you who want to see all of the new, pretty, shiny Copps Coliseum images- go here...
The Hamilton Spectator version of events is in black here...

Facebook Gets Ojinnaka's Face Booked

((HT: AJC/Miles and Morris))

An Atlanta Falcons player was arrested this week, reportedly after a fight with his wife over a Facebook friend.

Offensive tackle Quinn Ojinnaka, 25, was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail at 1:40 a.m. Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery, according to jail records. He was released about four hours later after posting a $2,400 bond.

Ojinnaka ((pictured, thanks was arrested at his home in Suwanee after he fought with his wife and spat at her during an argument over a female friend of his on the social networking Web site, Facebook, according to a police report.
The altercation happened as Ojinnaka was preparing to watch a basketball game Tuesday night, the police report said.

Ojinnaka told police his wife tried to stab him with a pen, and she said he threw her on some stairs before tossing her out of the house, the police report said.

Neither Ojinnaka nor his wife complained of injuries and declined medical assistance, police said.
Ojinnaka, who played college football at Syracuse University, was selected by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL draft.

Mayfield Goes To Court For TRO

((HT: ESPN/David Newton))

Jeremy Mayfield sought a temporary restraining order on Friday in an attempt to lift his suspension and return to his No. 41 Sprint Cup car ((pictured, thanks NASCAR Images)) until his case is settled.

Mayfield and his attorney, Bill Diehl, filed the suit in Mecklenburg County Court on Friday afternoon.

Mayfield's request for an injunction listed seven charges, from breach of character to unjustly preventing Mayfield from participating in any NASCAR function and thus earn a living. Diehl also asked that NASCAR officials stop talking publicly about Mayfield's drug test.

NASCAR's attorneys, led by Paul Hendrick, sought more time to respond to the complaint, saying there was no way for Mayfield to race this weekend.

Hendrick said Mayfield should not be allowed back on the track. "We cannot allow people to drive when we think that he has issues of drug abuse or a positive test," he said.

NASCAR president Mike Helton was in attendance with spokesman Kerry Tharp, as was Mayfield and his wife Shana, who is the owner of Mayfield's racing team while he is suspended.
Mayfield was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR as a driver and owner on May 9 for violating its substance abuse policy. He has contended from the beginning that he did not do anything wrong, that the positive test was the result of combining a prescription drug with Claritin-D, an allergy medication.

Dr. David Black, who runs NASCAR's testing program, has since ruled that out as a possibility.
NASCAR chairman Brian France said the suspension was for a "serious infraction," defining "serious" as the use of a recreational or performance-enhancing drug. Sources have said Mayfield did not test for a performance-enhancing drug.

Mayfield hired Diehl, one of North Carolina's most prominent attorneys, to challenge the findings. Diehl said it was "pretty compelling that we get" the restraining order.

"If [the judge] signs it, it'll lift the suspension," he said.

France said last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway that the governing body has no plans to settle the issue out of court and stands by its policy.

Meanwhile, in Dover, Del., the Sprint Cup team owned by Shana Mayfield withdrew its entry for this weekend's race. Mayfield Motorsports did not bring the No. 41 to Dover International Speedway and attempt to qualify for Sunday's race.

J.J. Yeley was originally on the entry list, but a posting on his Web site said he would not be travelling to Dover. There was no team hauler in the Cup garage Friday.

Coyotes Losing Eight Figures In Coming Weeks

((HT: GlobeSports/Waldie))

The Phoenix Coyotes expect to lose nearly $17-million (all currency U.S.) on operations during the next few weeks while the club’s future is determined by a bankruptcy court in Arizona.
The Coyotes filed a budget in court this week as part of their request for emergency financing to get through the Chapter 11 process.
The budget lists weekly revenue and expenses until July 25 and shows a cumulative shortfall of $16.7-million. The club expects to pull in around $275,000 most weeks, reflecting corporate sponsorships and ticket sales to various events at the arena, which the Coyotes manage, according to the filing. Expenses range from $680,000 to more than $3-million during one week as various bills come due.
One of the largest single expenses involves a payment to Wayne Gretzky ((pictured, thanks GlobeSports file)) , a part owner and the team’s head coach.
The budget filed this week includes a line that reads “revenue sharing – WG comp.” There is one payment under that heading – $625,000 this week. An earlier version of the budget filed in court shortly after the club filed for protection showed a second payment of $650,000 during the last week of June. That payment is not shown on the latest budget.
Gretzky paid $1-million for a 1.5-per-cent stake in the Coyotes and was entitled to receive a 14-per-cent cut of any profits, according to documents filed in court. That was a far better deal than other investors received. For example, another investor, Jim Wikert, also paid $1-million for a 1.5-per-cent share but was entitled to just 1 per cent of profits, the documents showed. And John Breslow who spent $2-million for a 3-per-cent stake, was supposed to receive a 2-per-cent share.
It is unlikely that any of them received profit sharing at all because club executives have said in court filings that the Coyotes never made money since moving from Winnipeg in 1996. The club expected to lose $29.1-million on operations during this fiscal year, which ends on June 30, according to documents filed in court.
The NHL has agreed to finance the club during the bankruptcy-protection process. The NHL has already lent the Coyotes $13.4-million under a line of credit set up in February. The Coyotes will continue to draw on that line of credit, which is unlimited, according to court filings.
Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie was going to provide up to $17-million in so-called “debtor in possession” financing when the Coyotes filed for protection on May 5. But the NHL and another creditor objected because Balsillie’s loan would be given priority over other loans. There were also concerns about Balsillie providing financing while also making a bid to buy the club. All sides reached a deal out of court that left the financing in the hands of the NHL.
Balsillie has offered to pay $212.5-million for the Coyotes and move the club to Hamilton. Under his offer, Gretzky would receive as much as $22.5-million. The league has opposed Balsillie’s bid, saying it violates league rules governing relocation.
The budget filed in court also showed that the club pays about $200,000 a week to cover a loan from MSD Capital LP, which manages money for computer magnate Michael Dell. The Coyotes owe MSD roughly $80-million.
The Coyotes have 50 players under contract, filings show, and they have all been paid for the 2008-09 season. The budget shows four payments labelled “player signing bonus.” Three of the payments are in July and are $357,500, $700,000 and $150,000. One payment is in June, $65,000. It is not clear who the money goes to.

RC And Josh Can't Get Facts Straight


Former Memphis Tiger Derrick Rose appears to be the key player in the NCAA investigation into the Tigers Basketball Program, and it turns out, this isn't the first time Rose's academic transcript has come under scrutiny.

The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that someone with access to Rose's records back at Simeon High School changed a "D" to a "C" on his transcript, and then changed the grade back after his transcript had been sent out to the schools rose was interested in, including the University of Memphis.

There's no telling how that news may influence the NCAA investigation, and whether it could turn out to be good news for the University of Memphis.

Kansas had a similar situation with Darrell Arthur's high school transcript last summer, and walked away clean-- maybe the Tigers will as well.

Also, there are some conflicting statements from Tigers Athletic Director R.C. Johnson and Tigers head coach Josh Pastner.

While Pastner told FOX13 he had no prior knowledge of the NCAA allegations, Johnson stated "we talked some about it."

Regardless of who told who, who told what, and when anything was said, the fate of the Tigers' 2007-2008 record and title could all be determined at the NCAA hearing June 6.

Here's the story from our friends at MyFoxMemphis with Matt Stark and Greg Gaston leading the way...

Here's the entire interviews with RC Johnson and Coach Pastner
In the biz, we call them "raw tape..."

Gaston then followed up his early piece with some talk from high-falootin' booster types...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not So Fast My Friend

We here at OSG HQ send a hearty "Get Well" wish to the 4-Letter words Lee Corso. The coach you see is recovering from a mild stroke. The story from here .

((Lee Corso photo Courtesy: Scott Clarke/ESPN))

The good news is that Corso should be ready to go come football season. I've been lucky enough to interview him several times at the Atlanta Touchdown Club's Kickoff Classic in August and he has always been a pleasure to talk with. One of the most perpetually happy people that you will ever get a chance to meet.

Again, well wishes to you coach and we will be seeing you soon.

By the way, we found some video of the Coach's days as a coach. In the USFL! Watch and enjoy some classic video.

((Courtesy: You Tube))

Glavine Sharp In Triple-A Start

((HT: AJC/Vivlamore))

Tom Glavine ((pictured, thanks Johnny Crawford/AJC)) proclaimed himself nearly ready to return to the major leagues — in word and deed.

Glavine threw five scoreless innings and earned his first minor-league win in 22 years for the Class AAA Gwinnett Braves Thursday in a rehab start against Indianapolis. He gave up six hits, striking out two and walking one. He left the game with a 7-0 lead and the G-Braves went on to win 11-6.

Glavine said he will pitch again Tuesday, either with the Atlanta club or in a final minor league rehab start. That game would come at Class A Rome against Augusta.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m 100 percent thrilled with my location," said Glavine, who has been on the disabled list all season while recovering from shoulder and elbow surgeries last August. “I’m 100 percent thrilled with my stuff but not necessarily with my location. But, hey, I might throw a side session on Saturday or Sunday and say ‘Boom, there it is.’ We’ll play that by ear.”

Glavine said he expected to speak with the Braves about his plans by today.
“I’m going to pitch another [rehab game] Tuesday or I’m going to pitch in the big leagues Tuesday,” Glavine said. “I think part of that will be largely on how I feel about where I am and how I would feel about going in and pitching to a big league lineup right now. The other part is going to be how I feel. So far, I felt good during the course of the game and everything I’ve experienced after I go out there and throw has been pretty consistent.”
Glavine threw 67 pitches Thursday, 41 for strikes. He was consistently in the low-80s on the radar gun, but his fastball occasionally reached 86 mph. In his previous start last Saturday, he gave up three earned runs and five hits in a three innings also for Gwinnett, when he threw 56 pitches, 33 for strikes.
“I did a much better job of pitching than the other night,” Glavine said. “I felt like my location was a lot better.”

Glavine got out of two jams with double plays. In the third inning, he escaped a first-and-third, no-out situation with a foul-out and a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play. In the fifth, Indianapolis put runners at first and second with no outs after a double and a walk. Glavine induced a 5-4-3 double play and then ended his day by fielding a sharp come-backer.
“If I hadn’t got my glove up, it would have hit me in the mouth,” Glavine said.

The 43-year-old lefthander suffered a setback April 12 when he re-aggravated his shoulder swinging the bat in a rehab start for Class AA Mississippi. Thursday he took his first live at-bats since the injury. He had a two-strike sacrifice bunt in the second inning and looked at three straight strikes in the fourth.

“I’m not going to say I’m not concerned about [hitting], but it’s not like I’m going up there afraid to swing the bat,” Glavine said. “I’ve been swinging the bat at the ballpark, taking BP, and I haven’t had any problems… . I know at some point I’m going to have to swing the bat and I fully intend to do it but for right now, I’m more concerned with going out there and getting comfortable, building arm strength and those types of things. I don’t think they care too much about my hitting.”

Glavine was 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 Atlanta starts in 2008 before season-ending surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow and clean out wear-and-tear damage to the shoulder.
He had never been on the DL before last season.

The 305-game winner is working on a one-year, $1-million contract that includes up to $3.5 million in bonuses, including $1 million if he makes the active roster.

The NHL's Version Of The "Number One Salute"


During the second period of last night's Detroit-Chicago game, CBC's PJ Stock did what PJ Stock does... stirs things up a little bit.

Slide through to the 4:55 mark and you'll actually hear PJ get away with using the word "putz" on the air... Gotta love that kind of latitude from your bosses...

Funny moment, and an equally funny PJ...

Driver Indicted in Adenhart Death


A grand jury indicted the man accused of killing Nick Adenhart and two others in a car accident while allegedly under the influence of alcohol last month.

Andrew Gallo, 22, of San Gabriel, was indicted Wednesday on three counts of murder and three other felonies stemming from the April 9 crash.

The charges are the same as those filed by the District Attorney two days after the accident, but prosecutors say the indictment will speed up the case by skipping the preliminary hearing.

Gallo had nearly three times the legal blood-alcohol level when he ran a red light in his minivan and smashed into the car carrying the Los Angeles Angels pitcher and three friends, according to police. Courtney Stewart, 20, was killed, along with Adenhart and Henry Pearson, a 25-year-old Manhattan Beach law student.Another passenger, Jon Wilhite, 24, of Manhattan Beach, was critically injured.

The deadly accident happened just hours after Adenhart made his season debut for the Angels, pitching six scoreless innings.Gallo is being held at the Orange County Jail on $2-million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in court June 8.

He faces 54 years and eight months to life in prison if convicted on all counts.

By the way, you can still get one of these damn things if you go to
And we still get the "Great choice! To purchase your customized jersey, click on "ADD TO CART." response in the margin...

Hicks Would Sell Rangers But Not Stars

((HT: MyFoxDFW))

Tom Hicks is willing to give up control of baseball's Texas Rangers if the right deal comes along but he intends to keep the NHL's Dallas Stars.

Hicks said in late March that he was seeking minority investors to purchase up to 49 percent in each club. About a week later, the holding company that owns the clubs, Hicks Sports Group, defaulted on about $525 million in loans. Hicks said he intentionally made the move to help negotiate with banks.
"With the right partners, I would be willing to sell a controlling interest in the Rangers," Hicks said on Thursday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Not so with the Stars."

His intentions were first reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
That article, by Randy Galloway, is right here...

His key paragraphs:

"What was "adamant" in early spring doesn’t necessarily apply in late May. And for someone in Hicks’ financial circles, things change as much as the ups and downs of a depressed national market. (This will be, promise, my final comment on all things listed under economics).

With, however, Hicks now saying a majority interest in the local baseball team is up for sale, depending on if Hicks is chummy with the potential buyer, then Wednesday’s next ballpark contact was, of course, Nolan Ryan.

As Hicks’ hand-picked, in-charge-of-everything team president, chummy seems to apply here. Plus, it has been speculated many times that Ryan and his longtime business partner, Don Sanders of Houston, would have an interest in buying a majority share of the Rangers. And no interest at all in what was previously being offered — a minority share.

"Knowing nothing about what the details are, and having not been involved in discussions [about being a majority owner], there’s no way I can comment on any of this," Ryan said.

Would it be something he would now explore?

"That’s hard to say," Ryan added, "without having talked to Tom about it."

On the sale of any team, commissioner Bud Selig’s office is involved in determining partners, since it’s a process where all investors have to eventually be checked out and approved by the other owners.

Under those guidelines, Hicks is being advised, and it can be assumed, also being given a list of potential investors by the commissioner’s office. But it’s a hard sell, obviously, when Hicks was offering only a minority interest while maintaining total control."

Hicks bought the Stars in 1996, and the team won the Stanley Cup three years later. In 1998, he purchased the Rangers from George W. Bush's group and Hicks created a stir in December 2000 when the Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez to a $252 million, 10-year contract. Hicks has said he owns 95 percent of both teams.

Two years ago, he combined with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr. to buy the English soccer club Liverpool through a different entity.

Iowa MMA Fighter Paralyzed

((HT: KETV-Omaha))

A 20-year-old man was paralyzed Saturday night in Shenandoah, Iowa, after breaking his neck in a mixed martial arts fight.
Now, Zach Kirk and his family are engaged in another fight, one that will play out in hospital rooms and physical therapy centers as the family hopes for a miraculous recovery.
Doctors have operated on the injured vertebrae in his neck but they don't know if he'll walk again.

"Pretty much I observed my heart being broken, seeing him like that," said Kirk's mother, Diana Kirk.
With two fights under his belt, Kirk's goal was to become a professional fighter in a sport that has, justifiably or not, garnered a brutal reputation. But fighters said the sport is no more dangerous than other contact sports. Kirk agrees, and so does his mother. They don't blame the sport for what happened to him.
"It's a real safe sport," Kirk said. "You just got to watch what you're doing."
His mother said accidents happen "at any time and any place."
Kirk is seen on the left in red shorts. The fight begins and Kirk initiates action with a right jab at his opponent. The two get tangled. Kirk was using a double-leg takedown to slam his opponent on the mat. The opponent went into a defensive position and ended up landing on Kirk's head. His neck breaks.
"You can see as soon as he hit, he was lifeless, just a limp body," said Kirk's trainer, Adam Miller.
The opponent was unaware of Kirk's immobility and kept fighting. The referee realized the situation and intervened. In seven seconds, Kirk's life had changed dramatically.
"I knew I couldn't feel nothing," Kirk said from his hospital bed. "I was just scared -- scared from right there."
The family said Kirk has no medical insurance. Fellow fighters and friends have begun organizing a benefit to help defray costs. For more information, visit
Kirk's mother is hopeful, and she said she's holding out hope for his recovery.
"It's just going to be a long road ahead," Diana Kirk said. "There's going to be a lot of physical therapy to go through, but we'll make it. We'll do it."

The video of the fight, along with an interview with Kirk and his family can be seen by clicking in black ((Thanks, KETV/Carol Kloss))

And here's one of Kirk's two victories from his career ((Thanks, SpartanFightsDotCom))

The Finals are Set!

So now we know who will be facing off for the "Cup of Lord Stanley" (That's Hockey's championship game for those of you hiding under a rock).

Much to nobody's surprise, the Detroit Red Wings took care of business last night, dispatching the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime.

Probably the highlight of the game...and one of the best saves we've ever seen happened near the end of the 2nd period courtesy of Blackhawks Goalie Christobal Huet...((Courtesy Versus TV/You Tube))

Next up, a rematch of last years Cup, Pittsburgh versus Detroit, it should be fun to watch...

We'll Just Sue you Back!

Last night we told you about former Kentucky Basketball Coach Billy Gillispie filing a lawsuit against the University's Athletic Association, looking for monies owed to him. Well, today brings the countersuit. Yes, that's right the University has sued Gillispie, claiming that since Gillispie never signed a contract, they aren't responsible to pay him.

The Story from WKYT-TV here . A copy of the lawsuit for those of you into legal talk is here .

This sounds like it is going to be fun to follow. We aren't really sure exactly how Gillispie is going to get his money since he never bothered to sign anything. We all know that as much as you would like to take people at their word...or "Gentleman's Agreement", when things fall apart, you have no leg to stand on unless it is on a piece of paper.
((Billy Gillispie begs for his money//Photo Courtesy of
I stumbled across this story on the You Tube from WKYT going behind the scenes in Billy's then 1.5 million dollar home. Wonder if he still lives there?

AFL Drops Health Insurance Coverage

[HT Grand Rapids Press, Sports Business Daily]

The AFL has shut down for the year and that means for you players, no more health insurance. The league notified its players that it "plans to discontinue health insurance while preparing for a 2010 relaunch," according to two AFLPA reps cited by Brian VanOchten of the Grand Rapids Press.

The AFL Players Association informed the players as well last week that their health coverage would end May 31.

It was a total surprise and the AFLPA claims could stall the league's progress to return next season.

Grand Rapids Rampage placekicker Brian Gowins, the alternate union representative for the team, told the Grand Rapids Press "I am less optimistic than I have ever been. It's frustrating. I think a lot of players are coming to the point (waiting for AFL owners to finalize their plans) that they're going to have to wash their hands of the league and move on," he added. "A lot of them can't wait much longer."

According to the term sheet that outlines conditions for a new 4-year collective bargaining agreement between the AFL owners and players obtained by the Grand Rapids Press and clears the way for the AFL's return, it stipulates teams will pay 100 percent of the cost of (transition) insurance coverage for all players receiving insurance through at least June 30, 2009" or longer, depending on contract status, length of service time and other factors.

The AFL owners sent a memo to the AFLPA leaders that it was no longer the case.

New Crew Chief For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Eury, Jr. Let Go

OSG has learned that Tony Eury, Jr. will no longer be the crew chief for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports announced that Eury will be replaced as crew chief for the number 88 team. According to Hendrick Eury will move from the crew chief position into a key role with Hendrick Motorsports' research and development group.

"I have mixed feelings, and that's just natural," Eury said. "But I enjoy working at Hendrick Motorsports, and this is where I want to be. I'll do whatever I can to help all of our teams and try to be a part of another championship. I think a new challenge will be good."

"Tony and I talked through this last night," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports . "I want him here, he wants to be here, and he's going to be a big contributor to our future success. I have an unbelievable amount of respect for the job he's done and for the caliber of person that he is."

The two are first cousins and Eury has been Dale, Jr's crew chief his entire career behind the wheel. They have one win in 48 races with Hendrick and are 19th in points. Monday was clearly the lowest point finishing 40th at Lowe's Motor Speedway in a rain shortened race.
Team manager Brian Whitesell will lead the team this weekend at Dover, Del. Lance McGrew will become the interim crew chief starting with the June 7th race at Pocono.
Photo Courtesy: Hendrick Motor

Memphis Tigers Tailed By NCAA

Big time props to Dan Wolken of the Memphis Commercial Appeal for breaking the story of major allegations against the University of Memphis men's basketball program.

Back on January 16, 2009 the NCAA sent Memphis a notice of allegations charging the men's basketball program with major violations during the 2007-08 season. That team was coached by John Calipari and went to the NCAA title game losing to Kansas.

The NCAA is alleging that a prospective player became eligible after an "unknown individual" completed his SAT. That player played during the 1007-08 season and participated in the 2008 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

That players name was redacted in the NCAA report, You can read the NCAA notice of allegations here. According to the university spokesman that player has denied the charge.

The only Memphis player that fits that profile from the NCAA notice was Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

By the way, you won't see John Calipari's name on this report, he appears to be in the clear.

You can read Wolken's story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal right here.

Here's more from WHBQ-TV in Memphis.

And here are comments from Memphis Athletic Director R.C. Johnson. (Thanks WHBQ-TV)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Such a Temper!

We just saw this video and felt like we had to share it. Chicago Cubs Pitcher Carlos Zambrano...well, let's just say he blows a gasket after a very close play at the plate versus the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this afternoon.

Not the best video, if you want a cleaner look...follow the link here ((Thanks

While this was interesting, and the beatdown of the Gatorade Machine in the dugout was pretty good...we harken back to the all-time greatest meltdown of all-time. The Philip Wellman tirade/comedy show from a couple of years ago. Enjoy.

Video courtesy of and the You Tube

Gillispie Sues UK

((HT: Lexington Herald-Leader/Alessi and Tipton))
Former University of Kentucky men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie ((pictured, thanks file)) filed a multi-million-dollar federal lawsuit against the UK Athletics Association in Dallas late Wednesday.

The 24-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accuses UKAA of breach of contract and fraud for firing Gillispie two years into a seven-year agreement.

Gillispie never signed a formal contract, but he was operating under a memorandum of understanding with the athletics association.

"Throughout the entirety of Coach Gillispie's tenure, he treated it, correctly, as the binding, written contract between him and the defendant," the suit says.

Gillispie is seeking $6 million that he says he is owed for "termination without cause," according to the agreement. The memorandum of understanding said that Gillispie, if fired, would be paid $1.5 million a year for up to four remaining years on the agreement.

In addition, the suit says UK lured Gillispie away from Texas A & M at a point when that university was negotiating to give him a contract extension through 2015. He also is seeking punitive damages and the cost of attorney fees.

Gillispie has asked for a jury trial in Dallas.

The university responded with a statement saying its attorneys had been trying to work out a settlement with Gillispie's lawyers.

"The University of Kentucky learned of the lawsuit filed in Texas by Mr. Gillispie late this afternoon, which is surprising as the university was continuing to negotiate a separation in good faith and his counsel had asked for more time," according to the statement from UK spokesman Jimmy Stanton. "Since this now involves pending litigation, the university will not be able to discuss any further details of the case."

UK will be represented in the matter by Steve Barker of Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney in Lexington, Stanton confirmed.

Gillispie's attorney, Demetrios Anaipakos, declined to comment late Wednesday about any attempts at a settlement between the coach and UKAA.

"We can confirm we've sued the University of Kentucky Athletic Association," Anaipakos said. "Coach Gillispie, for the time being, prefers to let the lawsuit speak for itself, and we look forward to our day in court."

Stuart Campbell, Gillispie's agent, also declined to describe any settlement negotiations between the two sides.

When asked whether the two sides were close to an agreement, he laughed. "We'll see what happens," he said.

Campbell also declined to say whether he supported or opposed the idea of a lawsuit.
"We are still certainly hopeful that the matter will be resolved in the immediate future," he said.

Much of Gillispie's lawsuit hinges on the argument that UK considered the memorandum of understanding between the athletics association and Gillispie as a binding contract.

Gillispie and UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart negotiated the terms of the agreement over the phone while Gillispie was in Texas on April 5, 2007. Both signed the document after Gillispie's arrival in Lexington about 2:30 a.m. on April 6, according to the lawsuit.

However, the two sides never signed an actual contract because they couldn't agree on Gillispie's deferred compensation plan or how to define a termination "with cause," according to the lawsuit.

The suit lays out a series of instances when UK's attorneys referred to the memorandum of understanding as the equivalent of a legally binding contract.

For instance, a memo from UK general counsel Barbara Jones to Gillispie's agent cited the agreement as she sought to quash an endorsement deal the coach was considering with a Houston firm. The memo said that doing so "would place Billy in violation of the terms of the April 7, 2007 Memorandum of Understanding," the lawsuit says.

At another point, the university provided the Herald-Leader with a copy of the memorandum of understanding in response to an open records request for the contract with Gillispie in November 2007, which the lawsuit also noted.

"But when Defendant decided to terminate Coach Gillispie in March of 2009, it did a startling about-face that has continued ever since," the lawsuit said.

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., said for the first time at the March 27 press conference announcing Gillispie's firing that he considered Gillispie to be working under a "year-to-year contract." He said UK had taken that stance because the beginning of the memorandum states that a full seven-year contract will be negotiated "at the earliest possible date," which never happened.

Also, a March 27 letter Barnhart gave Gillispie after the firing said "the inability to come to an agreement on critical terms of an employment contract after two years of negotiation is just one indication of this incompatibility" between the coach and UK.

Here's coverage from our friends at WKYT-TV and Rob Bromley...

FCB TCB In Champions League Final

((HT: AwfulAnnouncing/ESPN))

This, is probably, one of the few times during the year that we'll actually show futbol highlights.

Those of us at OSG HQ thought Puyol did yeoman's work from the back for Barca, but Messi and Eto'o got the ball in the back of the Ol' Onion Bag...

2-nil was your final as FCB took out ManUnited...

Coaches Poll Confidential by 2010...

Beginning in 2010, ballots in the final regular-season USA Today coaches' college football poll will be kept confidential -- one of a handful of changes on tap for the poll that helps decide who plays in the BCS national championship game.

The American Football Coaches Association had asked Gallup to study its poll and recommend how to make it more accurate and credible. The AFCA's board heard the results in early May and announced them Wednesday in Waco, Texas.

Gallup recommendations being considered for the future include reducing the number of teams ranked from 25 to 10 or 15, and evaluating the merit of a preseason poll.

Starting this year, the poll will also eliminate bonus voters given to some conferences based on how their teams did the previous year.

The AFCA, and Executive Director Grant Teaff, spoke on the issue...
"...the trustees wanted to make it even better by reviewing all of the elements and methodology involved. We commend the Gallup Poll organization for its contributions and the professional way they approached this project. It resulted in providing the AFCA with unbiased and objective recommendations related to the way in which the poll is used to determine the nation’s top 25 collegiate football teams.”

Teaff indicated that some of the recommendations are being put in place immediately and one will be delayed for a year, while others will be taken under study.

The most radical change, however, will to be to return to the policy in place before 2005, when coaches didn't have to reveal their final ballots. Coaches will be allowed to release their own ballots if they choose.

Revealing the ballots has made for some awkward situations. Former Florida coaches Steve Spurrier (now at South Carolina) and Ron Zook (Illinois), for instance, took some heat last year when they ranked the Gators second behind Oklahoma in last year's final regular-season poll.

Zook, meanwhile, got lambasted two years previously when he picked the Gators as No. 1 over Ohio State, which is in the Big Ten with Illinois.

Zook said whether the poll is confidential or not, his method remains the same.

"To me, I was always going to vote how I felt," he said. "I think that's why you have a poll. That's why more than one person is involved. So what I try to do is rank the teams where I really feel they should be. I'm not real into the political stuff."

The AFCA also decided to continue allowing coaches to vote for their own teams and to select voters on a random basis beginning this year.

Here's the list of recommendations in full...

• Select voters on a random basis each fall.
• Eliminate a ‘bonus voter’ system based on ranking success of a conference’s teams in the previous year’s poll.
• Adopt the ‘round to even’ methodology for conferences with an odd number of institutions. The number of voters for each conference will continue to begin with 50 percent of the total of member institutions. The ‘round to even’ is the standard method used in many fields, including the business and scientific communities, and recognized by the American National Standards Institute. (Examples: Eleven teams: fifty percent = 5.5, rounded to 6. Nine teams: fifty percent = 4.5, rounded to 4).
• Continue the option of coaches being allowed to vote for their own teams.
• Do not release the individual coach’s ‘final end of the [regular] season’ ballot. Gallup recommended the voting process remain confidential. Historically, until four years ago, the AFCA kept the ballot confidential. (The AFCA does not restrict a coach from releasing his ballot). The AFCA Board decided to delay the implementation of the confidential ballot for one year, until the 2010 season, to coincide with the current BCS bowl cycle.

Among the Gallup recommendations that will be under study for the future:

• Reduce to 10 or 15 the number of teams ranked.
• Evaluate with other shareholders in college football the value of a preseason poll.
• Develop an online process for capturing coaches’ votes that would assist in improving the accuracy of the rankings and decrease USA TODAY’s review time for each vote.

Got all that...???

Rival Bid Disclosed For Coyotes

((HT: Toronto Star/McGran))

Sports Properties Investment Corp. – a New York investment firm that's flush with cash – was working with Chicago sports magnate Jerry Reinsdorf to buy the Phoenix Coyotes one day before the team filed for bankruptcy protection.

According to documents obtained by the Arizona Republic, Tony Tavares, a former baseball executive who runs Sports Properties Acquisition Corp., signed an agreement May 4 with the city of Glendale, where the Coyotes play their home games at Arena. The document did not reveal a purchase price, but the Republic says Sports Properties has $215 million (all figures U.S.) in a trust account to buy "sports and leisure properties."

The publicly traded firm refers to itself as a "blank check" business that last month was trying to acquire the NHL's Florida Panthers, according to published reports. The revelation comes on the day the NHL, Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes, and the legal team representing Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie head back to court with hopes for a seventh team in Hamilton teetering on the brink.

The court will deal with today, among other things, Balsillie's ultimatum that he will yank his offer of $212.5 million to purchase the franchise if he's not in control of it by the end of June. Just when it looked as if both sides were getting along, a conflict over the timing of the sale threatens to erupt with the Moyes camp arguing for a June 24 auction date, the NHL eyeing August 27-29.

Judge Redfield Baum is not likely to be amused with the myriad of motions filed on the eve of today's hearing.It was Moyes' legal team that turned up the heat on the judge – who is responsible to get the best deal possible for creditors – by announcing Balsillie's ultimatum as part of its desire for an expedited sale.

"If a decision on the proposed sale of assets is not made by the end of June, the Debtors (Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes) have been notified that PSE Sports (Balsillie) will withdraw its offer," said court documents filed Tuesday on behalf of Moyes. The team is swimming in debt, having lost more than $70 million over the past three seasons, and the filing reminds the judge that Balsillie's offer covers most of the team's debts.

If Balsillie's offer vanishes, it means creditors may not get paid in full because no one else is prepared to pay that much if it means keeping the team in Glendale, the documents say.

"An expedited sale is necessary to maximize the value of Coyotes Hockey assets," said the Moyes document, arguing a new owner wants to be on hand for the June 26 draft, and needs time to get a new arena ready for the 2009-10 season, line up sponsors and television contracts, and sell tickets to games.

"In other words, a sale cannot drag through the summer."

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he wasn't impressed by the latest court filings.

"Seems inconsistent with how the court instructed the parties on May 19," Daly said in an email. The judge had instructed both parties into mediation to resolve the issue of who controls the team.The NHL says it's too late already to move the Coyotes for next season. The team's schedule is already finalized, and switching dates now would be too complicated for the 29 other teams.

Baum is not even sure he has the power to authorize the relocation of the hockey team – a hearing on that matter is set for June 22 – just two days before Moyes' proposed auction.

"This means that potential bidders would not know whether the club is to be sold in place or relocated, which virtually assures that no one but Mr. Balsillie will show up for the auction," the NHL said in its legal reply.

While Balsillie wants his $212.5 million offer to stand as the opening bid, the NHL's sales procedure does not call for an opening bid. And while Balsillie wants the next bid to go up by $5 million, the NHL is calling for $2 million increments.The NHL says its slower sales schedule would draw more bidders and allow time for background checks. Moyes' documents suggest NHL knows far more about other bidders than it's letting on.

Referring to a letter from Moyes' lawyer Earl Scudder – which is under seal – the Moyes camp believes "that any entity interested in purchasing (the Coyotes) is fully aware ... of the proposed sale" and may have already been vetted by the league.

Scott Cohen, the lawyer for minority owner John Breslow, said Breslow was not interested in talking about his bid for the team.

Vaughan Mayor Linda Jackson said she would not discuss whether the group led by former Toronto Maple Leaf Kevin Maguire – who wants to bring a team to Vaughan – had any interest in the Coyotes.

The issue of who has "controlled" the team since November remains unresolved, but the NHL and the Coyotes have agreed to run the team together – each with a representative with equal power. GM Don Maloney would run the draft; the NHL would pay the bills.

If there are any disagreements, they would be brought to the court for resolution.

Judge Moves Up Coyotes Timetable

((HT: Arizona Republic/Craig Harris))

A judge handling the Coyotes bankruptcy case could decide in two weeks whether the financially beleaguered team stays in the desert or moves.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Redfield Baum on Wednesday put on a fast track a decision whether the highest bidder could relocate the team. A hearing will occur June 9, and the judge said he would rule shortly thereafter. A hearing on the issue previously wasn't scheduled until June 22.

Saying he wanted to deal with the "10,000-pound elephant in the room," the judge said it was beneficial to all sides to quickly determine whether the team could relocate.

The Coyotes sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 5, and as part of a reorganization plan owner Jerry Moyes agreed to sell the team to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie for $212.5 million. The deal, however, is contingent on Balsillie moving the team to Hamilton, Ontario. No other bidder has officially made an offer for the team.

The National Hockey League and city of Glendale, where the team plays, have vigorously opposed the sale. The NHL says it alone can approve who owns a team and where a franchise plays. Glendale, which spent $180 million on Arena, contends it has a valid lease that obligates the Coyotes to play there for 26 more years.

The Coyotes, who have lost more than $20 million a season and never have made a profit in Arizona, say because the team is bankrupt it's up to a judge to decide what's in the best interest of creditors and that should supersede the league's authority and the lease with Glendale.
If the judge rules in the favor of the Coyotes, it would set a precedent in professional sports, where leagues for the most part have long controlled who can own teams and where they play.
Major League Baseball, the NBA and NFL all have filed briefs in support of the NHL's position.
The NHL said if the Coyotes win, it would appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judge also set June 22 as the sale auction should the Coyotes win. If the NHL wins, an auction for the team is set for September 10.
The biggest issue they address is the idea of Jerry Moyes running the Coyotes in the interim...
Judge Baum announced that three executives of the current ownership group, led by Jerry Moyes, will run the team on a day-to-day basis. Moyes's group and the National Hockey League will also appoint one person as a “point person” who will review the finances on a weekly basis. If the two point persons can't agree on something, either one can bring the issue to court.
The ruling is on an interim basis only and the judge will continue to hear arguments about who controls the club.
The NHL has argued Moyes turned over control last fall in return for financing. Moyes has argued the league was only giving voting control over some issues and that his group retained day to day authority.