Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Save FIU Cheer!!!

At least that's the goal by the cheerleading squad since Florida International University, due to budget cuts, is eliminating their cheerleading squad and marching band...

Makes perfect sense for an athletic program, right...?

((HT: NBCMiami/WTVJ-TV: Janie Campbell))

The suits responsible for athletic department budget cuts at Florida International University should have thought twice before eliminating the 46-member cheerleading program -- it's impossible to suppress that much pep.

With a national championship under where their belts should be, a current no. 4 ranking, and more success than the football and basketball programs combined, the Golden Panthers cheerleaders could be excused for sitting on their spanky pants and sulking.

But the girls and boys aren't taking their demise lying down; they're taking it to the streets of Miami instead and showing a little skin.

That's right, if the drive-through car wash didn't do enough jigglin' for you, the FIU cheerleaders most certainly will. In a scene right out of the cinema classic "Bring It On," they held their first car wash fundraiser since being trimmed from the budget this past weekend, and plan many more in addition to raising funds through the sales of a swimsuit calendar and baked goods (no, they do not refer to any buns inadvertently toasted while soaping cars in the sun).

Knowing cheerleaders' indomitable spirits like we do, we have to wonder if FIU knew they wouldn't just go away quietly and seeing nubile young co-eds in bikinis wasn't the plan all along. But the coach, former Dolphins cheerleader Maria George, has offered to work for free, and FIU says if the team wants to continue they must raise additional funds toward future years.

The girls reported from the scene of the car wash that they need $40,000 more to stay alive; at a suggested poster price of $5, they need to wash just 8,000 more cars to secure another year of competition.

Judging by what we've seen in this video and in the swimsuit calendar, they just might accomplish that in the next 40 minutes.

Gentlemen, dirty your engines.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcmiami.com/video.

Maybe they shouldn't have hired that Isiah Thompson guy- or something...

Heatley Says No To Edmonton Deal

((HT: TSN/Bob McKenzie))

Now, it gets interesting.

Dany Heatley did not waive his no-movement clause to facilitate an agreed-upon trade between the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers that would have sent Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner and Ladislav Smid to Ottawa.

For now, and quite possibly forever, the deal is dead.

A lot of confusion has existed because there is a $4 million bonus payment due to Heatley on July 1. It was the understanding of many involved, including the Senators and Oilers, that once the clock struck midnight and turned over to July 1, the Sens would be on the hook for the $4 million bonus payment, which may have been a serious impediment to getting a deal done after midnight.

But as it turns out, the NHL says as long as a Heatley trade is concluded before midnight eastern tomorrow night, the bonus payment allocation can be transferred to the new team.

So, in effect, the Senators have another 24 hours to find a suitable deal that Heatley will approve and NOT be on the hook for his $4 million signing bonus.

Heatley became unhappy with his role in Ottawa last season, especially after the Senators made a coaching change. Heatley discussed his concerns about what he felt was the limiting of his ice time, and his shift from the first power-play unit to the second unit with head coach Cory Clouston in the Senators end of season meetings.

Heatley notched 39 goals and 33 assists in 82 games last season. The 72 points were his lowest point totals in his four seasons with the Senators.

The 28 year-old, had back-to-back 50 goal seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07.

Here's a backgrounder as to how we got to this point with Rod Smith and Darren Dreger
Thanks to our friends at TSN...

Coach K Staying At Duke... Again...


Mike Krzyzewski made it clear: He's not ever going to coach the Los Angeles Lakers.

During his annual summer meeting with reporters Tuesday, one of the first topics covered by the Duke coach was the simmering buzz that had him leaving the Blue Devils for the Lakers if Phil Jackson retires.

"I'm not going to the Lakers. They have one of the great coaches in the game,"
Krzyzewski said. "I don't know where that rumor started, but there has been nothing done like that, and I'm not leaving Duke. Whatever you hear about anything like that, I will never leave Duke until I leave coaching."

Recent reports fueled the latest round of Krzyzewski-to-the-Lakers chatter. Jackson had raised the possibility of coaching just home games next season and when that proposal was shot down it raised questions about Jackson's future with the club. Five years ago, Krzyzewski was courted by the storied franchise before he ultimately turned down a reported $40 million offer and stayed at Duke.

After three decades in Durham, Krzyzewski sounds like he is planning to stick around for quite a while longer.

"Since the Laker thing [in 2004], to hear another rumor like that, not that it's so bad, but I'd rather not go there at all," Krzyzewski said. "I don't want my Duke team -- not necessarily my basketball team, but my Duke team, the community -- to feel like you're looking at other things. I'm getting ready to start my 30th year at Duke, and I don't see the finish line yet. I know the finish line will be there sometime, but it's not in my vision right now."

Instead, Krzyzewski's top priorities this summer include coaxing along a Blue Devils team that returns only two scholarship guards and weighing whether to sign on for another stint as coach of the U.S. men's basketball team.

Krzyzewski, who guided the Americans to the gold medal last summer at the Beijing Games, said the coach for the 2012 Olympics will be announced July 21 in Las Vegas. He didn't hint which way he might be leaning.

"I've thought about it since then, a lot, and discussed it with a lot of people. If I do it again, it's not going to be the same experience, which is good, because in order to have that, you couldn't recreate that experience," Krzyzewski said. "So what would the new experience be like? Whether you're a player or a coach, it's going to be different, and each of the guys who are making decisions as far as if they're going to play have to look at it that way. The great thing about it is, there's a camaraderie there, and it's been a good thing."

Ken Medlin was at Coach K's Summer presser...

And here's the long version... it's about a half-hour if you're inclined...

Alabama State Probation Reduced From 5 To 3 Seasons


The NCAA has reduced the probation period for Alabama State University's football program from five to three years.

In December the NCAA placed the Hornets football program on probation for 17 rules violations that allegedly occurred from 1999-2003.

Violations included changing grades, allowing ineligible players to play and practice and conducting offseason workouts not allowed by NCAA rules.

ASU appealed the five-year probation on the grounds that it was "excessive and constituted an abuse of discretion." That is the critea that must be met before the NCAA will set aside a penalty.

The NCAA said in a release Tuesday that it was reducing the length of probation because it determined ASU officials took actions to correct the problems while the case was being investigated.

The NCAA did not lift a penalty that prevents the Hornets from competing for the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in the 2009 season.

Alabama State University will be clear of the the probation period on December 9, 2011.

Jeff Shearer has the early details...

The full ASU Presser with President William Harris is in black...

Henrys Heading To UK...???

((HT: ESPN/Andy Katz))

Xavier Henry, who first committed to Memphis and then changed to Kansas, may be changing his commitment again. And he may be taking his brother, C.J., with him ((both pictured, thanks Brett Deering/KC Star)).

According to multiple media reports and a radio interview their father gave Tuesday, the Henrys may end up at Kentucky -- with John Calipari, who originally recruited Xavier Henry to Memphis.

The Henrys started to waiver on the commitment to Kansas over the last two weeks. Players can't sign two national letter of intents, so nothing is binding.

A decision was expected some time late Tuesday or Wednesday, according to reports. Xavier Henry is the No. 2 shooting guard and No. 3 overall player in the 2009 ESPNU Top 100.

Kansas coach Bill Self told ESPN.com he doesn't know what is going to occur. No one seems to know just yet. Attempts to reach Kentucky coach John Calipari were unsuccessful.

The decision is likely to significantly impact the battle for No. 1 to start the 2009-10 college basketball season. When Henry decided to sign with the Tigers and join C.J., who was sitting out the season after coming out of the New York Yankees minor league system, it pushed the Tigers toward a possible No. 1 recruiting class.

But after the season, Calipari bolted to Kentucky and the Memphis class of DeMarcus Cousins, Darnell Dodson and likely Memphis signee John Wall came with him to Lexington. All except for Henry, who went West of his Oklahoma City home to Kansas. C.J., who is 23 and hasn't played organized basketball in four years, went with him.

That made the Jayhawks a consensus No. 1 pick next season. The core of the Jayhawks returned with Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins.

Now, it's up in the air again. The Kansas City Star reported that the Henrys are waffling. Their father, Carl Henry, did an interview 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City on Tuesday and indicated that Kentucky would be the eventual landing spot for his sons.

The interview with Chris and Cowboy is here, thanks to 610Sports...
And it's here as well, thanks to the Kansas City Star...

If the 6-6 Xavier Henry isn't at Kansas and instead attends Kentucky, the Wildcats could make a claim for the top spot. Kentucky lost shooting guard Jodie Meeks to the NBA draft last week. The Wildcats just cut lose two players -- Kevin Galloway and Matt Pilgrim -- to get down under the maximum 13 scholarships to 12.

Adding Xavier (C.J. can be a walk-on with his Yankees money) would mean Kentucky would be at the limit.

But Xavier Henry would give the Wildcats the No. 3, 4 and 5 players on the ESPNU top 100 with Henry, Cousins and Wall. They would join newcomers Eric Bledsoe at point guard and Dodson at shooting guard, along with returning forwards Patrick Patterson (a potential SEC player of the year candidate) and Darius Miller (on the U-19 USA team in New Zealand).

Self is expected to make a pitch to keep the Henrys with Kansas. The Kansas City Star reported a family meeting is expected Tuesday night.

“Now all of this stuff has been said, his mom doesn’t care where he goes,” Carl Henry said. “So guess what? Kid might have a change of mind. That’s what I told Coach Self.”

R-Braves Manager Throws Class-A Nutty

((HT: Augusta Chronicle/Byler))

Rome Braves manager Randy Ingle ((pictured, thanks Augusta Chronicle)) is known to turn his hat backward when engaged in a heated argument with the umpire. On Thursday, Ingle became a bit more creative.

During a heated debate with the umpiring crew in a game in Augusta -- Braves vs. the Greenjackets -- Ingle picked up third base and carried it nearer to second base to demonstrate how wrong he felt the umpire was about a call from moments earlier.

Augusta Chronicle sports writer Billy Byler wrote about Ingle's antics in his blog and Spotted photographer Lanel Gossett captured Ingle in action in a series of photos. Then a fan sent Byler video showing Ingle's tirade that the Chronicle posted around midnight Monday. It's getting a good bit of chatter of sports web sites.

Yeah, like ours...

7 Changing Job And Bankruptcy Plan


Suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick ((pictured, thanks WAVY-TV)) is leaving his construction job and will begin working for the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Steve Kast, Boys and Girls Club CEO, told WAVY.com Vick will work 40 hours a week at $9 an hour through July 20. That is the date the suspended NFL quarterback's federal sentence for his involvement in dogfighting is set to be completed.

Vick is working at the same club in Newport News where he was a member for 12 years as a young person.

Kast said Vick and his family contacted the organization. He said the Boys and Girls Club has been working with Vick and the U.S. Federal Probation Office for weeks on this employment situation for Michael Vick.

WVEC-TV reveals the changes in the bankruptcy plan:
Vick's lawyer, Paul Campsen, disclosed the basic outline of the new plan Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The full plan is still being finished. It's due to be filed by Thursday.

A judge in April rejected the first plan, saying it was not feasible.

Under the new plan, Campsen said 10 percent of the first $750,000 Vick earns would go to creditors. Under the old plan, Vick would have kept the entire amount up to $750,000.

The new plan also increases the amount it would pay creditors on income over $750,000.

Vick is currently in home confinement in Virginia for last two months of a nearly two-year sentence for operating a dogfighting ring.

Here's the statement from the Boys and Girls Club...

Here's coverage from our friends at WTKR-TV...

Pistons Fire Michael Curry

((HT: MyFoxDetroit/WJBK-TV))

The Detroit Pistons fired Michael Curry ((pictured, thanks WJBK-TV)) on Tuesday after finishing under .500 in his first year as coach and was swept in the first round of the playoffs.

The Pistons began the season with big hopes but couldn't recover from the loss of All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups in a November trade to Denver for Allen Iverson.

The Pistons went 39-43 and exited the postseason in four lopsided losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Joe Dumars, the team's president for basketball operations, said after that series that Curry would return.

"This was a difficult decision to make," Dumars said in a statement Tuesday. "I want to thank Michael for his hard work and dedication to the organization. However, at this time, I have decided to make a change."

Immediately after the season, Dumars defended Curry in the face of Detroit's demise.

"It was an up-and-down season for him,"
Dumars said. "And, an up-and down-season for us. ... The fact that we made so many changes for a first-year coach, I had to step back and be a little more patient than I have been."

"During the season I said to myself, 'What effect is this having on him as a first-year coach.' I tried to put myself in his shoes."

A message was left on Curry's cell phone Tuesday seeking comment. In January, he said he expected to be held responsible for the team's fortunes.

"It's part of the job," he said. "When you lose, it's the coach's fault. When you win, the players get the praise."

Dumars fired coach Flip Saunders last year after he led the team to the Eastern Conference finals in each of his three seasons. Curry was an assistant under Saunders for one season.

The Pistons parted ways with Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown in 2005 after he helped them win a title and almost repeat during his two years with the team.

Rick Carlisle was fired after two years with the Pistons following an Eastern Conference finals appearance in his second season and NBA Coach of the Year honors in his first.

Curry is a former president of the NBA Players Association. He played for the Pistons in 1995-1997 and 1999-2003.

Here's Dumars full interview with MyFoxDetroit's Jennifer Hammond...

NCAA Denies Sampson Appeal

((HT: IndyStar))

Former Indiana University basketball coach Kelvin Sampson lost his appeal to lessen penalties levied against him for his involvement in recruiting violations, the NCAA announced today.

Sampson's punishment virtually bans him from coaching at an NCAA school for five years.

Sampson appealed the penalties in an April hearing, saying his ban was too severe and that the original committee hearing was biased against him because a date was set before the NCAA enforcement staff issued formal allegations and before it completed interviews.

The NCAA contended that the the original findings and penalties were correct.

Sampson also contended that the infractions committee misinterpreted testimony from former IU assistant coach Rob Senderoff, which led to a conclusion that Sampson knowingly participated in impermissible recruiting phone calls.

Sampson resigned as IU's coach in February 2008, taking a $750,000 buyout, after his program was accused of five major NCAA violations.

Sampson, now an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks, was found guilty of two major violations. IU was found guilty of "failure to monitor" the program, but did not appeal the ruling.

Tony George Resigns As IndyCar/IMS CEO

((HT: IndyStar.com/Curt Cavin))

Tony George ((pictured, thanks Greg Griffo/IndyStar)) resigned his position as chief executive officer of Hulman & Co., the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. today, but he will remain on the board of the family’s organization.

He will be replaced by Curt Brighton (Hulman & Co.) and Jeff Belskus (IMS Corp.).

George, 49, became president and CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. in January of 1990 after the death of Joe Cloutier.

George brought NASCAR, Formula One and MotoGP to the Speedway, founded the IRL, oversaw the redevelopment of the facility and led the development of such safety initiatives as the SAFER barrier and the Delphi Safety Team, a group of medical personnel that travels to each Indy-car race. Last year, he was the driving force behind unification of the sport.

But he came under criticism from family members for his financial commitments, particularly the IRL — now in its 14th season — and Vision Racing, the team his stepson, Ed Carpenter, drives for. Last month, board members declined to continue funding the second Vision car that Ryan Hunter-Reay was driving.

Here's a look at the details from our friends at WISH-TV
Anthony Calhoun gets to sit at the adult table for this one...

“Our board had asked Tony to structure our executive staff to create efficiencies in our business structure and to concentrate his leadership efforts in the Indy Racing League,” said Mari Hulman George, IMS chairman of the board. “He has decided that with the recent unification of open-wheel racing and the experienced management team IMS has cultivated over the years, now would be the time for him to concentrate on his team ownership of Vision Racing with his family and other personal business interests he and his family share."

Mrs. George underscored the confidence in the leadership of Belskus and Brighton, who both were originally hired by Tony George.

“Jeff and Curt have both been with the company for many years in positions of top leadership,” Mrs. George said. “Tony, as well as the entire Board of Directors, has the utmost confidence in their capabilities.”

Joie Chitwood is president and chief operating officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC. Terry Angstadt is president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League. Brian Barnhart is president of the competition division of the Indy Racing League. Charlie Morgan is president and COO of IMS Productions. Gary Morris is president and COO of Clabber Girl.

“These changes underscore our family’s commitment going forward to all of our companies, especially our commitment to the growth of the Indy Racing League and the sport of open-wheel racing,”
Mrs. George said. “We believe the Hulman-George family’s long stewardship of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, beginning in 1945, and our significant investment in the Speedway and in the IRL demonstrates that we have full confidence in all of our companies and that we intend to grow them in the future.”

More facts and figures from WISH are in black...

NHL Silly Season Begins: Habs Land Gomez

((HT: TSN/CP))

Getting a jump on the free agent market, the Montreal Canadiens moved to secure their centre ice position via trade, making a deal with the New York Rangers Tuesday and taking on a whole lot of salary in the process.

The Canadiens acquired centre Scott Gomez ((pictured, thanks Scott Audette/Getty)), winger Tom Pyatt and defenceman Mike Busto from the New York Rangers in exchange for winger Chris Higgins and defencemen Doug Janik, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko.

Gomez, 29, is coming off a down season for the Rangers, finishing with 58 points, his lowest total since 2002-2003.

"We are extremely pleased to have acquired a player of the caliber of Scott Gomez. He is an outstanding playmaker and an excellent skater. Having won the Stanley Cup twice with the New Jersey Devils, he brings to our team a lot of playoff experience. Scott is an elite player who will certainly contribute to the success of our team for years to come" said Canadiens GM Bob Gainey.

A two-time Stanley Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils, Gomez was a blockbuster free agent signing for the Rangers in the summer of 2007. Gomez is signed through 2013-2014, at a salary cap hit of more than $7.35-million, so he represents a significant investment.

In 706 career games, Gomez has 148 goals, 430 assists and 578 points, adding 81 points in 114 career playoff games.

Higgins, a 26-year-old restricted free agent winger, also struggled in 2008-2009, scoring a career-low 23 points in 57 games as he missed a combined 25 games with hand and groin injuries.

Prior to last season, however, Higgins recorded three straight seasons of at least 20 goals and he'll be a more economical option for the Rangers as he earned $1.7-million last season.

McDonagh, 20, was Montreal's first-round pick in 2007 and recorded 16 points in 36 games as a 6-foot-1, 212-pound sophomore at the University of Wisconsin in 2008-2009.

Valentenko, 22, has good size at 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, but left the Canadiens' farm team in Hamilton early last season to play for Moscow Dynamo in the KHL, where he finished with one assist in eight games.

Janik, a 29-year-old journeyman acquired from Dallas last season, will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The minor leaguers coming to Montreal aren't considered elite prospects. A six-foot, 185-pound forward, Tom Pyatt is a 22-year-old who put up 37 points in 73 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL last season and was a fourth-round pick in 2005.

23-year-old Busto is 6-foot-1, 210 pounds and registered 11 points and a minus-7 rating in 54 games with Charlotte of the ECHL.

Stallworth 911 Call Released


Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth ((pictured, thanks WSVN-TV)) said on a 911 call that the man he struck and killed while driving drunk came out of nowhere.

Stallworth is serving a 30-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter in the March 14 death of 59-year-old Mario Reyes. Stallworth also has two years' house arrest after his release from jail and is suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

On the 911 call released Monday, Stallworth describes how the victim "just ran in front of my car." Police have said Reyes was not in a crosswalk and was rushing to catch a bus when he was hit.

Stallworth tells the 911 operator, "You got to send an ambulance right now, man."

Stallworth also reached an undisclosed financial settlement with Reyes' family.

Here's the 911 call...

Moyes: Reinsdorf Coyotes Bid Has No Cash

((HT: Arizona Republic/Sanders))

Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes is blasting the latest bid for his bankrupt team as illegitimate.

Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf and Valley attorney John Kaites together recently offered $148 million to keep the NHL team playing in Glendale.

Moyes says it appears to be a no-cash bid that would assume $118.5 million in secured debt but would fail to pay creditors.

Moyes prefers a deal he helped cobble together from Canadian tech-executive Jim Balsillie for $212.5 million that would require the team to move to Ontario.

Glendale, which rents Jobing.com Arena to the Coyotes, and other groups that would lose money from a team relocation oppose the deal and threaten millions in damages.

But Moyes points out that the new Reinsdorf bid requires renegotiation of contracts with Glendale and the other vendors, an arm-twisting approach Moyes was unable to accomplish before turning to bankruptcy.

"The current structure of our agreements with Glendale and other parties is a money loser no matter how well the team plays,"
Moyes said in a statement. "Simply put, the Reinsdorf bid wants to only assume the team's debt and then restructure all agreements, which is what I have been trying to do for the last year."

Moyes questioned why Glendale would make concessions for another owner but not him.

Glendale officials maintain they would tell a new owner what they told Moyes: The city can raise ticket charges to help the team make money, for example, but will not lower the city's revenue-generating fees.

Earl Scudder, a consultant to the Coyotes' for-sale efforts, said Moyes tried working out an arrangement with Reinsdorf but couldn't close on it.

"That effort failed when no offer involving cash to creditors was forthcoming,"
Scudder added to the statement.

Reinsdorf's recent offer does not mention setting aside any money to satisfy the $104 million that Moyes, as an unsecured creditor, claims he loaned to the team and lost.

The deadline has passed for any other parties to bid. The NHL had told a U.S. Bankruptcy judge that three other groups, including Coyotes minority owner John Breslow, were interested, but none stepped forward with official offers.

The court will decide Aug. 5 whether to accept Reinsdorf's offer or hold an auction for Balsillie and any other party wishing to move the team.

ALERT: The NHL's Bill Daly joins XTRA 910AM's Bickley and MJ at 7:00 eastern time
Watch it here...if it's not up, then you're watching their live show...

Segment One From the Daly interview is found in black...

Tearing Up Good Real Estate

Brother J-Dub Tuesday on the course at TPC Los Colinas on the Cottonwood Valley Golf Course teeing off at 18.

Not bad. Those of us back at the OSG HQ have seen better swings on a saloon door. We are digging the hat though.

Waltrip & Allison Nominated For NASCAR Hall Of Fame

As the NASCAR Hall of Fame begins the process of inducting their inaugural class and 5 will get in we know 2 of the 25 nominees for that honor.

Legendary drivers Bobby Allison and Darrelll Waltrip are on the nominee list. The rest of the 25 will be revealed Thursday night on SPEED.

Allison won 84 Sprint Cup races, 3 Daytona 500's and the Cup Championship in 1983.

D.W. won 84 Sprint Cup races (just like Allison) 3 Cup Championships (1981, 1982 and 1985) and 1 Daytona 500 (1989).

Both had impressive careers and are legendary drivers but would Allison and Waltrip be one of the First Five in?

Those of us at the OSG HQ say the odds are against them but they will get in eventually.

First here is Bobby Allison's last Daytona 500 win in 1988 (Thanks CBS Sports/SPEED/Youtube.com)

And now here is Darrell Waltrip's only Daytona 500 victory the next year. (Thanks CBS Sports/SPEED/Youtube.com)

Francoeur Sports Lucky "Turkey" Underwear

[HT/David O'Brien/Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur said he’ll wear the same underwear to Turner Field Tuesday that he wore on Sunday.

He claimed the Braves are 7-0 when he wears his Thanksgiving-themed “turkey underwear” to the ballpark.

For a team that has a disappointing 35-40 overall record, that 7-0 mark is no small feat. The Braves open a three-game series against NL East leader Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Francoeur said he had not worn the turkey briefs for back-to-back games all season, but will Tuesday (the Braves were off Monday, and he planned to ask his wife, Catie, to wash the underwear).

Francoeur said Catie gave him the underwear as a gift last Thanksgiving.

He’s only worn them this season in must-win situations, such as last Monday’s rainout makeup game against the Chicago Cubs, after the Braves lost back-to-back games at Boston. They beat the Cubs.

He wore them again Sunday for a home-series finale against the Red Sox, after the Braves lost the first two in the series. With rookie Tommy Hanson (flu symptoms) questionable entering Sunday’s game, and Yunel Escobar and Nate McLouth out of the lineup, Francoeur pulled out the stops.

“I wore the turkey underwear,” he announced before Sunday’s game. Hanson then proceded to pitch six scoreless innings Sunday and the Braves beat the Red Sox, 2-1.

Photo Courtesy: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

13 Year Old Commits To Tennessee

Evan Berry is 13 years old, is the younger brother of Tennessee All-American Eric Berry and hasn't played a game of high school football yet he has verbally committed to the Vols.

By NCAA rule, Tennessee can't offer a scholarship to an athlete that young and the Vols haven't offered one to Evan Berry.

Berry told Rival.com who first reported the story: "It's the only college I know right now and it seems the best for me," Berry, 13, said. "My dad went there and my brother is there now. I know I can do the same things there. I have a real friendly relationship with the coaches there. I don't know them too well, but I know I will have plenty of time to get to know them."

Evan, who will begin his high school career at Creekside High School in Fairburn, GA is projected to be a quarterback or safety, just like his big brother.

Let's see how his high school career progresses and if he changes his commitment along the way.

Worshipping Saban

Bob Riley may be the Governor of Alabama but I doubt heaven and earth would be moved to accommodate his wishes. Not when you have the great Saban winning football games. In the wake of textbook gate the University of Alabama is willing to do whatever they can to make jolly ole St. Nick a happy man.

First appeal the NCAA probation even as some of those vacated wins occured under Saban's watch. Check that.

Next keep the athletic director who did hire Saban but whose power has been eroded by probation under his watch. Done deal.

Now extend Saban's contract entering into his third year of an eight year deal that pays a grand total of $32 million. A contract that contains no buyout clause. Saban can leave whenever he feels like it.

Reportedly preliminary discussions are going on to extend Saban's contract to 2016 and give the message to recruits that Saban isn't jumping ship after textbook gate.

Couple that with the University President embarrassed by probation and having the Board of Trustees in the palm of his hand and Saban is gaining total and absolute power at Alabama.

Those of us at the OSG HQ acknowledge that Saban put the Crimson Tide football team back into elite status. That he is a brilliant recruiter who exploits every advantage available and gets the players he wants. Saban can flat out coach too. A few of us in the HQ have been around Saban and he can be an engaging person. We wonder to if Saban has become too powerful and if anyone at the University of Alabama, from the athletic director to the University President to the Board of Trustees has ever said the word "no" to Saban. And if anyone has if they still have their head on their shoulders.

Photo Courtesy: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Monday, June 29, 2009

UK Asking For Venue Change Or Dismissal

((HT: CBSSports))

The University of Kentucky Athletics Association says former Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie ((pictured thanks cnn.com)) has sued the wrong people and in the wrong place.

The athletics association has asked a federal judge in Texas to either dismiss Gillispie's lawsuit over his firing or move the case to Kentucky. In a motion filed Friday in federal court, the association's attorneys say the school has minimum contact with the state of Texas, giving the court there no jurisdiction to hear Gillispie's claims.

The association's attorneys also claim the University of Kentucky, not the athletics association, hired Gillispie and paid him.

Gillispie sued the University of Kentucky Athletics Association in federal court in Dallas on May 27, claiming fraud and breach of contract. Gillispie claims the school never intended to sign him to long-term deal. The school has denied the allegations. He is seeking at least $6 million -- about $1.5 million per year for four of the five years he says were left on his agreement.

Gillispie's attorney, Demetrios Anaipakos of Houston, said the motion didn't address Gillispie's central complaint, that he agreed to a $6 million contract.

"It doesn't matter if you are in Texas or Kentucky, a deal is a deal," Anaipakos said.

A day after Gillispie sued the athletics association, the University of Kentucky sued Gillispie in state court in Kentucky. The university wants the court to rule that the two-page memorandum of understanding Gillispie signed after his hiring in 2007 was not the equivalent of a full contract.

Gillispie went 40-27 in two seasons with the Wildcats, including a 22-14 mark last season that tied for the second-most losses in the program's 106-year history. A stumble down the stretch left the Wildcats out of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.

His one-page termination letter concluded Gillispie was not a "good fit" for the school, and it specifically cited his failure to agree on a full employment contract.

Logano Youngest To Win NASCAR Race

((HT: SpeedTV))

Here's your post and highlights from the race at Loudon.
Joey Logano wins a race to become the youngest ever at 19 years and change...

Irving Recovering From Car Crash

((HT: WRALSportsfan.com))

N.C. State linebacker Nate Irving suffered a broken leg and a collapsed lung in a car accident on Interstate 40, near mile marker 314.

Irving was traveling on I-40 westbound when his vehicle ran into the median at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, state Highway Patrol spokesman Capt. Everett Clendenin said. Irving tried to regain control, but the vehicle ran off the road and struck two trees, Clendenin said.

Paramedics transported Irving to WakeMed, where he was listed in good condition Sunday evening.

N.C. State spokesperson Annabelle Myers said Irving was returning to Raleigh from his hometown of Wallace when the accident happened. Troopers said it appears he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Irving's mother Frances Corbett, told the Charlotte Observer that her son was returning to N.C. State from Wallace. "He's doing really well," Corbett said. "He knows he's lucky to be alive."

“Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with Nate and his family,” head coach Tom O’Brien said in a statement. “All of his teammates and coaches will be there to support him as he recovers and goes through the process of rehabilitation.”

Irving has been charged with careless and reckless driving, Clendenin said.

The junior's status for the upcoming season was not immediately known.

Irving was an honorable mention all-Atlantic Coast Conference player last season despite missing nearly one-third of the year with injuries. He had 84 tackles, tying for third on the team.

Irving, 6 feet 1 and 235 pounds, starred in high school at Wallace-Rose Hill and redshirted as a freshman at State. He made a quick impact as a redshirt freshman, starting four games and making 52 tackles.

As a sophomore, he emerged as one of the ACC's most dynamic players, and State's defense suffered without him.

Pack Pride's Greg Henderson discusses the idea that Irving could be out the year...
Thanks to our friends at 99.9 The Fan in the Triangle...

Dodd: NCAA Recommends Sickle Cell Test

((HT: CBSSports/Dennis Dodd))

In what could become a landmark case for player safety, the NCAA and Rice University have settled a lawsuit brought by the family of a Rice football player who died in 2006 due to complications resulting from sickle cell trait ((Greg Lloyd is pictured, thanks Fox26Houston)).

As part of the settlement announced Sunday night, the NCAA has agreed for the first time to recommend to its membership that it test for the condition that affects one in 12 African-Americans. While the NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook has contained
language warning against the dangers of sickle cell trait for more than 30 years, the association had not formally recommended or endorsed testing, calling it an "institutional decision."

CBSSports.com reported last month that "exertional sickling" a complication of sickle cell trait, is now the leading cause of death of NCAA football players this decade.

The details of Lloyd's death were part of a document obtained exclusively by CBSSports.com detailing the rash of sickle cell traits deaths this decade.

"The most gratifying part about this case is I am very hopeful and optimistic we have seen the last death of a sickle cell athlete," said Eugene Egdorf, attorney for the Lloyd family.

As part of the settlement, Rice will help sponsor NCAA legislation to make sickle cell trait testing mandatory. Testing is relatively inexpensive -- $5 for the initial test and $30-$35 for a confirmation test.

An NCAA spokesman said, "Many of our schools already are testing, and while we can't mandate that test we can recommend that. ... An overall priority of ours is to ensure the health and well-being of our student-athletes."

Dale Lloyd II died in September 2006 following a workout at Rice that included 16 100-yard sprints. The Harris County (Texas) medical examiner stated the cause of death was sickle cell trait. Rice was sued for not testing for the trait. The NCAA was also blamed in the complaint for being "negligent for failing to warn ... about the known dangers and risks from sickle cell trait ..."

During intense exertion, red blood cells can "sickle," thus blocking blood vessels and posing a "grave risk" according to the National Athletic Trainer's Association. Experts in the medical field have speculated in the past they believe the NCAA stopped short of recommending testing because of legal concerns, such as racial profiling. While sickle cell trait affects 8 percent of the African-American population, Caucasians can have the condition but are less at risk.

Sickle cell trait deaths in football have become tragically more common in recent years. Five of the 10 deaths in Division I-A football this decade have been attributed to the condition. Since 2000, seven of the 19 non-traumatic deaths in all divisions have been linked to sickle cell trait. Almost half of such deaths in college football -- 15 since 1974 -- have occurred this decade.

A 2006 NATA survey showed 64 percent of Division I-A schools screen for sickle cell trait. In 2007, the NATA took a strong stance, releasing a consensus statement advising schools on how to deal with the condition.

Missouri recently began testing for sickle cell trait after settling with the parents of deceased player Aaron O'Neal for $2 million. O'Neal died in 2005 following an offseason workout due to exertional sickling. The family of Ereck Plancher is suing Central Florida. Plancher collapsed in March 2008 during offseason conditioning drills. His death also was attributed to sickle cell trait.

It is possible to compete safely with the condition. It is recommended that athletes with sickle cell trait be allowed to acclimate themselves gradually to strenuous drills.

Oklahoma's training and medical staff has been a leader in research of the condition and a testing advocate. Curtis Lofton found out he had sickle cell trait after being tested at Oklahoma. He went on to become an All-American linebacker as well as the 2007 Big 12 defensive player of the year. Lofton made several NFL all-rookie teams in 2008 after his first season with Atlanta.

Lofton was incredulous when told recently the NCAA didn't recommend testing.

"Really, are you serious? That's crazy,"
he said. "How many kids are going to have to die before they make these tests mandatory? I would highly recommend that you do tests. Save a life and save a lot of heartache."

All 50 states screen for the condition at birth, but in many cases families aren't told the results, or they forget or ignore them. The NFL Combine reportedly screens for the condition but obviously that doesn't cover all players who come into the league. In 2007, Steelers safety Ryan Clark had his spleen and gall bladder removed after complications due to sickle cell trait.

The college deaths have followed a familiar pattern: They occur in practice or conditioning instead of practice or a game, and involve overexertion.

"I'd like to think the NCAA thought it was the right thing to do,"
a person close to the Lloyd case said of the settlement. "I would have liked to think the NCAA lawsuit was the driving force in getting this thing done."

Going forward, the NCAA will produce an educational video on the dangers of sickle cell trait. It will also donate $50,000 to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and $10,000 to the Dale R. Lloyd II scholarship fund.

Rice now tests all athletes for sickle cell trait. Lloyd's coach at the time, Todd Graham, was a defendant in the lawsuit and is covered by the settlement. Graham is currently at Tulsa.

Here's coverage from our friends at Fox26 in Houston...
FOSG Mark Berman has the report...

Lawsuit Chasing Dookies...

((HT: Charlotte Observer/Blythe-Hagel))

For college basketball fans, Christian Laettner and Brian Davis are glorified chapters in Duke University sports history -- teammates who won back-to-back championships in a record four consecutive trips to the Final Four. When Laettner sank his famous 17-foot buzzer-beater, propelling the Blue Devils over Kentucky on their way to the 1992 championship, Davis was cheering on the sidelines.

The two have since teamed up in the business arena. And although that college success has opened doors for the former Duke stars as they look for good fortune off the court, the tandem's long shots at development and professional sports team ownership rattle the rim.

The duo, which led a $170 million effort to convert an abandoned tobacco factory into a thriving mix of restaurants and offices and apartments in the heart of the Bull City, faces at least five lawsuits for failing to pay more than $6 million to friends and associates.

Their financial straits have prompted questions about the anticipated completion of that project, West Village ((pictured, thanks Charlotte Observer)). Now, efforts to test the model in other parts of the country are on ice.

Their journey from the hard court to the boardroom to the courtroom, detailed in interviews with former business partners and in lawsuits filed during the past 15 years, give a glimpse of the big money, big egos and big-time successes and failures of professional athletes who try to make it big in the business world.

"The whole confidence factor with athletes, it is at a very high level. And their greatest strengths become their greatest weaknesses if they're not careful," said Anthony Dilweg, a former Duke quarterback who, after leaving the NFL, formed a successful Durham development firm. "They think they can pull things off. And a lot of times people like to bet against them."

The triumphs and tribulations of the high-profile players also provide insight into the free flow of money, ideas and ambitious real estate during the mid-2000s, when dollars for developers oozed from every pore of the economy.

And they underscore the challenges and obstacles of building in these dire economic times.

Their struggles are not unique. As lenders have tightened credit, the lifeblood of commercial real estate, some of the most seasoned developers have been forced to bench projects. These were not seasoned developers. Instead, they were just a couple of guys who aimed high in life, expecting success.

"There's been three steps forward, one step back, five steps forward, one step back,"
Laettner said in an interview Friday. "You win some championships, you lose some games. But you keep trying to win."

Laettner and Davis reached the pinnacle of their sport. Both played in the NBA after Duke. Laettner played for 13 years on various teams; Davis for one.

Armed with a sense of accomplishment, they tried to beat the odds with an ambitious plan near their alma mater.

Davis and Laettner hooked up with Tom Niemann, a Duke business school grad. They formed Blue Devil Ventures in 1995, and drew up plans to renovate factories abandoned by the tobacco companies that made the city hum for generations.

The kind of project they envisioned -- renovating historic buildings for new uses -- is considered one of the most difficult to pull off, even for the most talented developers. And being in what at the time was a burnt-out downtown, the plan didn't get much support from investors and lenders, Davis recalled in a recent interview. So they poured their own money into the project, and turned to friends for more.

During the course of his NBA career, Laettner's total contracts were worth at least $60 million. Laettner and Davis, whose professional careers included a year in France and one with Laettner on the Minnesota Timberwolves, credit their legacy at Duke with their ability to get the project off the ground. It gave them a foot in a door that likely would have been closed to lesser-known developers. "Without it," Davis said, "it would have been impossible."

Once complete in 2000, the apartments carved out of those brick husks were snapped up by graduate students and employees in downtown and nearby Research Triangle Park who were willing to pay hefty rates.

"It proved two major things," said Bill Kalkhof, president of Downtown Durham Inc., a nonprofit liaison between developers and city officials. "One, that people would live downtown and really enjoy it, and secondly, that you could do a very big project in downtown and be profitable."

Riding the success of that project, Laettner, Davis and Niemann embarked on a major expansion of West Village, including 366 apartments, and 234,000 square feet of offices, labs, restaurants and shops. In 2004, they were able to lure dollars from Wall Street investors including Rhahime Bell, the best man at Davis' wedding.

By then, their roles were established. Laettner was the main money man. Niemann was the on-the-ground manager. And Davis, although he doesn't like the description, was the affable salesman for the vision. But their ideas about the direction of the company differed.

Buoyed by initial success in Durham and an increasingly fluid lending environment, Laettner and Davis shifted their gaze to restoring crumbling buildings in the blighted parts of other inner cities, rather than focusing on finishing in Durham first. They bought sites in Baltimore, and near Temple University in Philadelphia, and had designs on many more cities. Davis talked up plans for a hotel in Miami, and had "visions of being 'the black [Donald] Trump,'" according to a company history distributed by a New York publicist in 2005, as Blue Devil started to break ground on the second phase of West Village.

Along the way, though, Laettner and Davis frustrated partners with their lack of focus. With ambitious real estate projects already under way, Laettner and Davis sought to invest in sports teams with an eye toward developing near their stadiums. The duo bought a small stake in the D.C. United Major League Soccer team. But other efforts did not gain serious traction. Plans for the second phase of West Village were delayed until late 2006.

About that time, the two had agreed to a combined $40 million to buy the Memphis Grizzlies, with Davis pledging to put in more than half to become the youngest majority partner in an NBA ownership.

And then it gets really interesting...keep reading...and enjoy...

Brandon Jennings Does Not Mince Words

((HT: Joe Budden/youtube))

The Milwaukee Bucks Brandon Jennings decided to have a conversation with rapper/entertainer Joe Budden...

Apparently, Budden and Jennings were not aware of the "Carlin 7" when the conversation took place. The quality is a little telephon-y from Jennings end, but be warned Jennings thought his coach Scott Skiles was a "tough n-"

The language in this is not for virgin ears...

Former Boxing Champ Lockridge Homeless

((HT: Newark Star-Ledger/John O'Boyle))

Rocky Lockridge, a former boxing champion, has been homeless on the streets of Camden for the past ten years. Between a poor financial situation, and a drug and alcohol problem Lockridge has gone from the top of the boxing world to not having any money to his name.

Former boxing champ Rocky Lockridge is homeless in Camden

Longhorns LB Left Scene of Accident

((HT: Austin American-Statesman/KEYE-TV))
A Texas Longhorn football player could be in trouble with the law.

The attorney for Senior UT linebacker Sergio Kindle admits his client crashed his car into an apartment near the UT Campus then left the scene.

It happened early Wednesday morning at the Jefferson West Apartments located at 2704 Rio Grande St.

Kindle's attorney Brian Roark says Kindle was texting while driving at 2 a.m. His car veered off road and ran into apartment building. Kindle left the scene. Either Kindle or a friend called apartment complex at around 10:30 a.m. to accept responsibility for the accident and assume the cost of any damages.

Roark says to his knowledge Kindle was not drinking.

No one was hurt at the apartment.

Texas Sports Information Director John Bianco says the team's physician saw Kindle that morning about a concussion he suffered in the crash.

Police are investigating. The driver could be charged with leaving the scene of a collision.

In 2006, Kindle was arrested on a charge of drinking and driving. Head coach Mack Brown suspended him for three games.

Gregg Watson reports from the scene, thanks to our friends at KEYE-CBS42 in Austin

According to our friend, Doc Saturday, what Kindle did does NOT constitute "leaving the scene."

"...since Kindle struck a stationary object, reported it to owners within a reasonable amount of time (the following morning) and will file an accident report with the Texas Department of Public Safety, it doesn't constitute leaving the scene."

My Career's Over... Now What...?

((HT: Washington Post/Les Carpenter))

So, a football player's career is over and he thinks he can go straight into the media as an analyst of sports personality.

Carpenter follows Redskins DE Renaldo Wynn as he goes through "Broadcaster's Boot Camp" at the NFL HQ in New Jersey...

Present and accounted for as one of the tutors was FOSG Curt Menefee...

Thousands Attend Iowa Coach's Funeral

((HT: Cedar Rapids Gazette/Orlan Love))

About 2,500 of Ed Thomas’ closest personal friends converged here Monday morning to pay their final respects to the slain football coach who will be longer remembered for service to God, family and community.

“Everyone here has a personal relationship with him, because that’s the way Ed was,”
friend and fellow coach and teacher Ed Kern said during Thomas’ funeral at the First Congregational Church ((NFL players who were players for Martin at A-P carry his casket, thanks The Gazette/Liz Martin)).

Including himself among the many people calling Ed Thomas their best friend, Kern said.
“And all of us are right.”

Thomas connected with people in a way that made them friends for life, said Parkersburg Police Chief Chris Luhring, a 1997 Aplington-Parkersburg High school graduate who played football under Thomas.

Thomas, 58, was shot to death Wednesday during a weight-lifting session at the school. A former football player, Mark Becker, 24, of Parkersburg, a is charged with first-degree murder.

Here's coverage of the funeral from our friends at KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids...

Ozzie Guillen Does Not Like Cub Fans

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is talking again and he is no fan of Chicago Cub fans or even Wrigley Field.
Sunday Guillen was asked why attendance for the Sox series with the Los Angeles Dodgers was weak (around 22,000 average) when the weekend series with the Cubs at US Cellular Field sold out, his response was pure Ozzie.

"Because our fans are not stupid like Cubs fans," Guillen said. "They know we're [expletive]."

Guillen wasn't through mouthing off. He went on to say that Cubs fans will watch any game at the friendly confines because "Wrigley Field is just a bar."

I think Ozzie Guillen is just getting warmed up.

Ripping Cub fans isn't new for instance when he managed the Cubs in 1983, Lee Elia went off on a expletive tirade that eventually got him fired. Here's the edited version. (Thanks Youtube.com)

And here's longtime Voice of the Cincinnati Reds Marty Brennaman and his broadcast partner Jeff Brantley ripping Cubs fans a year ago for raining baseballs at Wrigley Field.

Photo Courtesy: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Sunday, June 28, 2009

IndyCar Drivers Apologize For Richmond

((HT: Richmond Times-Dispatch/Paulk))

Scott Dixon can thank Helio Castroneves for his good fortune -- and his second SunTrust Indy Challenge victory last night at Richmond International Raceway ((pictured, thanks Richmond Times-Dispatch/Alexa Welch Edlund)).

Dixon, whose 19th career Indy Racing League win ties him with Sam Hornish Jr. for the most, led the final 161 laps for his first victory at RIR since 2003. Dixon took the checkered flag nearly a half-second ahead of his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, pole-sitter Dario Franchitti.

"Richmond is a place I've wanted to win at again for quite some time," Dixon said. "To come through and get the points when we need them and have such a great day points-wise over the Penske two [Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe] was very, very big."

Still, a victorious Dixon was apologetic afterward for a race that lacked any semblance of a climatic finish. It was a battle of fuel instead of wits and speed.

"Once you got to lapped traffic it was very hard to pass," said Dixon, winning with an average speed of 124.952 mph. "It was a frustrating night, but it was a big night for us."

Franchitti, though, moved atop the IndyCar Series points standing with his second-place finish. Briscoe entered the race as the points leader, but a crash on Lap 28 sent him spiraling from the top spot.

However, it was a Castroneves crash just 52 laps from the finish that altered the fate of Dixon and Andretti Green Racing teammates, Hideki Mutoh and Danica Patrick, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

With 55 laps to go, Patrick was feeling good about her chances of winning a second IndyCar Series race.

Patrick and Mutoh were seemingly in perfect position to battle for the checkered flag after plotting a pit and fuel strategy that would put them far ahead of their nearest pursuers during the waning laps.

Mutoh and Patrick pitted on Laps 214 and 225, respectively. And while they were shuffled to the back of the pack, Dixon and Franchitti stayed on the racetrack, flirting with a rapidly shutting fuel window.

Clearly, it was advantage Mutoh and Patrick.

Then, as Castroneves violently slammed his No. 3 Honda-Dallara into the wall on the back straightaway on Lap 248, Patrick and Mutoh were victims of bad timing and bad luck.

"We wanted to come back strong after a poor qualifying effort," said Patrick, registering her fifth top-five finish this season. "We got another top-five, but I'm itching for a win."

Castroneves appeared poised to make a run as Dixon and Franchitti gambled with their fuel. But the Indianapolis 500 winner suffered the same fate as Briscoe as he lost control halfway down the back straightaway.

"Things were going real good, but the guy in front of me slowed down very much, and I did not have anywhere to go," Castroneves said. "I avoided him, but unfortunately I ended up in the wall."

Castroneves' crash, and the subsequent caution, enabled Dixon and Franchitti to maintain their lead. They both pitted under caution for fuel on Lap 250. Dixon got ahead of the lead pack, including Franchitti and third-place Graham Rahal, and was never challenged following the Lap 260 restart.

Again, Ganassi Racing, as it did last weekend in Iowa, benefited from a Castroneves mishap. Dixon, winning for the third time this season, kept a frustrated Franchitti at bay over the last 40 laps.

"My mistake was trying to use too much fuel capacity. Ultimately, that hurt us when we had to pit," Franchitti said. "When Scott got ahead we were pushing like hell to catch him, but we couldn't get it done."

"It was a track-position race. To a degree, it became a fuel race. We were hanging on all night. Everyone was pushing, but we couldn't get close enough to make any passes."

This, of course, was supposed to be a duel between the series' two dominant teams -- Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing. Their drivers -- Castroneves, Briscoe, Dixon and Franchitti -- had won seven of the first eight races.

"Anytime you can make a gain on the Penske, you have to take that run with it," Dixon said. "It's not often they make the mistakes they made tonight. We've had some bad runs at the start of the year . . . but tonight was a big gain for us, and could be a pivotal point in the season.

"I felt bad for Dario because he couldn't save enough fuel. But that's what a lot of racing has become this season. I'll complain as much as the next person as to what we have to fix. We have to remember we're here to put on a show for the fans."

Dixon, the defending IRL champion, assumed the lead after Mike Conway brought out the third caution flag by spinning out on the front straightaway. The Ganassi teammates toured the three-quarter-mile short track almost effortlessly following the Lap 155 restart.

Jamie Scavotto has the highlights and honest postgame from the Richmond race

Mosley Stepping Down After All...???

((HT: CBSSports))

Max Mosley claims he is coming under pressure to reverse his decision last week not to seek re-election as president of Formula One's ruling body.

Mosley originally said he would step down as president of the International Automobile Federation in October. His decision helped broker a peace deal with the Formula One Teams Association, which had threatened to form a breakaway series if the FIA pressed ahead with an unpopular plan for budget caps from next year.

However, FOTA may not have seen the last of Mosley, according to an interview with the Mail on Sunday, where the 69-year-old official said some in the world of motorsport want still him to stand for a fifth term after 16 years in the job.

"They made the mistake of dancing on my grave before I was buried," Mosley was quoted as saying. "It's no good the teams getting a PR agency to claim I am dead and buried when I am standing here as large as life. I am under pressure now from all over the world to stand for re-election.

"I do genuinely want to stop. But if there is going to be a big conflict with the car industry, for example, with the FOTA teams, then I won't stop. I will do whatever I have to do. It's not in my nature to walk away from a fight."

It was also clear that a comment made after Wednesday's peace deal by Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo, referring to Mosley as a "dictator" whose reign had been ended, clearly rankled with the FIA president.

"By going home to Italy and telling the Italian media that they had toppled the dictator, di Montezemolo has tried to make it sound like I sit here and just decide what's going to happen," Mosley said. "It's absolutely not true ... to say that I run a dictatorship is nonsense."

Here's Mosley before the British GP, explaining the supposed schism...
((HT: BBC))

Coaches Testify Stinson Did Nothing Wrong

((HT: Louisville Courier-Journal/Riley-Konz))

Three assistant football coaches for Pleasure Ridge Park High School say they never heard former head coach David Stinson use profanity, ridicule players for getting a drink or deny players water during the Aug. 20, 2008 practice in which a player collapsed and later died after running wind sprints, according to depositions filed Thursday.

"To my knowledge, he's never denied players water,"
said Adam Donnelly, the former offensive line coach, in a deposition taken this month.

Some of the coaches' statements are at odds with what players, witnesses and Stinson have previously told police.

Donnelly and coaches Steve Deacon and Jason Cook, who wore a "Support our Stinson" arm band during his deposition, defended the head coach's actions and their own during the Aug. 20 practice where 15-year-old sophomore lineman Max Gilpin ((pictured, thanks Louisville Courier-Journal file)) collapsed from heat stroke. He died three days later.

Another assistant coach who had left the practice early, Jason Hiser, also did not find fault with any of Stinson's actions that day, testifying that players were given numerous water breaks and are allowed to get water any time they need it.

In fact, neither Donnelly nor Hiser, who has been serving as the team's interim head coach since Stinson was indicted on a charge of reckless homicide in Max's death, said they were troubled by allegations that Stinson told players they would continue running until someone quit the team.

"If you have a team where some guys are maybe wondering if they want to play or not, it's kind of a way of motivation to find out who is going to stick it out with the team," Hiser said during his June 11 deposition.The coaches, all of whom are named in a civil lawsuit filed by Gilpin's parents, testified that the players were lethargic and lackadaisical during the hot August practice, which prompted coaches to abandon their scheduled full-contact drills and have the team run wind sprints.

"It's our obligation to make sure they're in shape on Friday night so they don't suffer something from a heat illness," Hiser said. "I think it was the best judgment to have them at least get in shape."

Hiser said that if players weren't properly focused, it would have been more dangerous for them to run 11 on 11 tackle drills.

Donnelly said he only heard Stinson make one statement during the time the players were running — "something to the effect that we'll run until someone quits" — and he acknowledged that he probably wouldn't have used those exact words. But then he defended Stinson.

"You're going to say things to motivate your athletes maybe to snap them into the right frame of mind to try to get them refocused," testified Donnelly, who is no longer a coach on the team.

Donnelly testified that Stinson was not angry that day, did not curse at the team and that as soon as the head coach was told that Antonio Calloway, a defensive back, had "hit the wall," Stinson ordered the senior to stop running. Antonio also collapsed at the practice and was hospitalized for two days.

And Donnelly testified that even during the sprints, he and Stinson felt most of the team still wasn't running hard — all but a couple of players "were kind of jogging through it," he said.

Cook agreed, testifying in his June 12 deposition that many of the players were "jogging" during the sprints.

Some of the testimony from the coaches contrasts with what Stinson and other witnesses told police.

For example, Stinson has acknowledged telling four players they couldn't get water after running wind sprints, though he said Gilpin was not one of them. Several players have told police they were denied water.

None of the coaches testified to hearing or seeing Stinson deny players water.

Witnesses at the practice also told Louisville Metro Police homicide detectives that Stinson called players "cowards" and "babies" for trying to leave for water without his permission. The coaches testified that they heard none of this.

Stinson, who has pleaded not guilty, has been released from teaching duties pending the outcome of his trial. Prosecutors allege that he repeatedly denied players water, despite receiving extensive training in the dangers of heat-related illnesses, and forced them to run extra wind sprints as punishment for failing to practice hard.

Before the sprints, which lasted 30 to 35 minutes, Cook said Stinson addressed the team, telling them if they wanted to quit, they should do so before the running began. But only after the running did two players quit the team, Cook testified.

Cook said that when a player did quit running, Stinson said something to the effect of, " 'We have a winner,' and the running was over."

Donnelly and Cook testified they never heard players ask for water during the sprints. Cook saw one player vomit but continue to run. Donnelly said Max was running in the middle of the pack, and he never saw him struggling.

After players had finished running, Donnelly said, he noticed two players dragging Max off the field. Max was unresponsive, his breathing shallow.

Donnelly, who was among the first to reach Max, said the teen reacted only with grunts when water was poured on him.

Donnelly said coaches iced Max down and called EMS, but Max wasn't able to drink water at that point.

Asked if he took any responsibility for Max's death, Donnelly said, "I look in the mirror every day to see if I could have done anything differently. I try to question, did I do everything right. I tried to do everything right."

"I believe I did everything right with Max,"
he added.

As a sidenote, the county school system has been ordered by a Louisville judge to turn over all their findings in the Gilpin ivestigation...
Shayla Reaves has the details, thanks to our friends from WAVE-TV