|04.09.13 at 12:01 pm ET|
A former Robert Morris basketball player told school officials that Mike Rice threw a basketball at a player “once or twice” and used a homophobic slur during his time at the university.
Last week, during an episode of ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Rice’s physical and verbal abuse against his players at Rutgers became public knowledge. The day after the airing, Rice was fired. A former Rutgers staff member alleged that Rice also was involved in “coaches vs. players” brawls while coaching Robert Morris from 2007-10.
Robert Morris athletic director Craig Coleman said that an internal investigation did not reveal any evidence of the alleged fights. Coleman also said that one player, who left the program while Rice was at the helm, told school officials that the coach directed a gay slur at him and was involved in a shoving match with another during halftime of a game. The other player has denied having any improper contact with Rice.
RUTGERS REVIEWING PRACTICE VIDEOS FOR ALL SPORTS
Rutgers president Robert Barchi announced Monday that school officials are reviewing practice videos for all of the school’s sports teams to see if any other coach has engaged in similar behavior to Rice. The school also announced that it plans to hire a consultant to conduct an independent review of the situation.
During a town hall meeting on the school’s campus on Monday, Barchi said that he wants any instances of bullying or homophobic language to be reported immediately. Barchi acknowledged that he should have viewed the video of the abuse back in November, when it first surfaced, and that he would have fired Rice then.
Rice was not the only Rutgers employee to depart following the video’s release, as athletic director Tim Pernetti, an assistant basketball coach and the university’s top lawyer resigned last week.
|04.09.13 at 7:47 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Dodgers at Padres, 6:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Athletics at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Suns at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Hornets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: NCAA women’s championship, Louisville vs. UConn, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Wild, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Rays’ ninth-inning rally against the Rangers ended Monday night when umpire Marty Foster called out Ben Zobrist on a full-count pitch that was well outside the strike zone, and the umpire later admitted that he blew the call.
The Rays had scored two in the eighth and one in the ninth and had the tying run on first base, but Texas reliever Joe Nathan got a friendly call to end the game at 5-4.
Rays manager Joe Maddon argued immediately and later told reporters: “It just can’t happen in a Major League Baseball game.”
Foster acknowledged his mistake.
“I saw the pitch and of course don’t have the chance to do it again,” he told a pool reporter. “But had I had a chance to do it again, I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike.”
Said Zobrist: “Umpires make mistakes just like players do. It was a tough time to have a bad call.”
♦ When Metta World Peace had surgery to repair a torn meniscus 12 days ago, he was expected to be sidelined for six weeks. However, the Lakers forward said he plans to return for Tuesday night’s game against the Hornets.
“It’s not how sure I’m playing [Tuesday] night,” he said. “It’s how sure I was playing three days ago. I was ready to play.”
World Peace explained that the swelling that normally accompanies meniscus surgery did not exist in his case, allowing him to return much earlier.
“He’s good,” coach Mike D’Antoni said Monday after World Peace participated in a three-on-three scrimmage at practice. “It’s probably a game-time decision, but he looks good. He’s raring to go. The medical staff will make a decision [Tuesday]. It’s unbelievable. He’s different. … I’ve never seen this before.”
With five games to play, the Lakers are battling for the final playoff spot in the West.
“We’ve got a chance to make a push for this championship run,” World Peace said. “We all need it. All the guys under contract, injured or not injured, we all need each other to make a run at this thing.”
♦ Flyers minor leaguer Eric Wellwood was recovering Monday after undergoing surgery Sunday night to repair tendons he cut during the Philadelphia Phantoms’ Sunday game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Connecticut.
The 23-year-old Wellwood, who has played 31 games for the Flyers over the past three seasons, apparently clipped himself with his own skate after falling into the boards. He is believed to have severed an artery, as his skate filled with blood.
“I don’t think anyone really saw it,” Phantoms coach Terry Murray said. “It was away from the play. In conversation, everyone figures it was an accident that happened to himself. The play was already in the offensive zone and this happened in the neutral zone, so we’re not sure exactly what took place.”
Trainer Greg Lowden rushed onto the ice — not even waiting for play to be stopped and causing a Phantoms goal to be disallowed — and helped Wellwood to the locker room. Wellwood underwent surgery at a Bridgeport-area hospital to repair vascular damage, stop the bleeding and close the wound. He is scheduled for another surgery later this week in the Philadelphia area. to repair damage to the tendons and ligaments.
— Danny Syvret (@DannySyvret) April 8, 2013
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 9, 1982, the Celtics retired jersey No. 10 in honor of which player?
|04.08.13 at 2:03 pm ET|
University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino on Monday was officially announced as part of the class of 2013 elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.
Pitino, a one-time Celtics coach who is coaching the Cardinals in Monday’s NCAA championship game against Michigan, will join ex-NBA stars Bernard King and Gary Payton, former college coaches Jerry Tarkanian and Guy Lewis, former University of Virginia women’s star Dawn Staley and current North Carolina women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell for the September induction ceremony.
Inductees announced previously include E.B. Henderson, Roger Brown, Oscar Schmidt Richie Guerin and Russ Granik.
|04.08.13 at 7:55 am ET|
MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 2:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB Network: Yankees at Indians, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Hurricanes at Bruins 7 p.m. (NESN, NHL Network)
College basketball: NCAA championship, Michigan vs. Louisville, 9:20 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-FM)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Jets keep saying publicly that they’re happy to have Darrelle Revis on their team, but their actions tell a different story. The latest development in the Revis saga is that the team reportedly is forcing him to attend next week’s voluntary workouts in order for him to receive his $3 million in bonus money, and Revis is not happy about it.
The Jets put the language in Revis’ contract to prevent a recurrence of his 2010 holdout, and they apparently plan to enforce it while they continue to talk to the Buccaneers about a trade.
“As we get into the offseason program, it’s all voluntary … but you would hope that most of your players want to be there and be in the building and get the juices flowing with our staff,” new general manager John Idzik said at the NFL scouting combine in February. “We feel that we have a lot to offer Darrelle and all of our players. We would hope that they would be there.”
Revis, who has been rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee in Arizona, had planned to meet with Jets doctors in New Jersey on April 15 and then return to Arizona. Last spring, the Jets allowed LaRon Landy to skip most of the offseason program while he rehabbed a foot injury in Arizona.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers reportedly are growing impatient with the Jets regarding Revis trade talks.
♦ The feel-good story of the weekend comes from Lincoln, Neb., where a 7-year-old cancer patient named Jack Hoffman scored a touchdown during Nebraska’s spring football game.
Hoffman, who has been battling brain cancer for the past two years, was befriended by the Huskers last year. On Saturday, he dressed in a replica No. 22 uniform and took the field at the end of the scrimmage. On fourth-and-1, he took a handoff from quarterback Taylor Martinez and followed his blockers 69 yards for a touchdown as more than 60,000 fans roared in approval.
“Jack’s a young man who’s touched the hearts of a lot of people,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. “Our football team, the student body, people have gotten behind him and he’s become a big part of the team.”
♦ Marty Blake, who was the NBA’s director of scouting for more than 35 years, died Sunday at the age of 86.
A former general manager of the Hawks who oversaw the 1958 title team, Blake later turned to providing scouting reports to NBA and ABA teams. In the mid-1970s, the NBA started paying him to provide the reports for all the league’s teams.
“Marty began his lifetime of service to basketball at a time when the league was still in its infancy,” commissioner David Stern said in a statement. “His work as a general manager and then as director of scouting for the NBA first helped the teams to understand the value of scouting. Marty’s dedication not just to the NBA, but to basketball was extraordinary and we will forever be indebted to him.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 8, 1973, who became the first Red Sox designated hitter to record a hit when he smacked a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 4-3 victory over the Yankees?
|04.05.13 at 2:08 pm ET|
Former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo told The Baltimore Sun that four current NFL players are considering coming out as gay.
“I think it will happen sooner than you think,” Ayanbadejo, a vocal proponent of gay rights, told the Sun. “We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now, and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.
“Of course, there would be backlash. If they could share the backlash, it would be more positive. It’s cool. It’s exciting. We’re in talks with a few guys who are considering it. The NFL and organizations are already being proactive and open if a player does it and if something negative happens. We’ll see what happens.”
Ayanbadejo recently was cut from the Ravens, but he emphasized to the Sun that he didn’t think that had anything to do with his outspoken advocacy for gay rights.
The Ravens issued a statement on Thursday to the same effect, saying: “We have always been respectful of Brendon’s opinions and his right to express those. Our decision regarding his departure from the team has everything to do with football. Nothing else.”
|04.05.13 at 2:02 pm ET|
Regardless of how his Cardinals fare in the Final Four, Louisville coach Rick Pitino will have something to be proud of next week: He will be introduced as part of the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame class on Monday, according to ESPN.
Pitino is the only coach to have officially taken three schools to the Final Four. He took Providence in 1987 and won the national championship with Kentucky in 1996, and this is his seventh Final Four appearance. His all-time collegiate coaching record is 662-239.
“It would mean a lot to me and my family,” Pitino said recently of a possible induction, “but it really exemplifies what I’ve done for athletes and coaches. And if that day comes, it would mean a lot to share with them. So it’s not something I think about, but it’s something I would be very, very proud of.”
Pitino would also be coaching in the national championship Monday if Louisville beats Wichita State on Saturday. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Syracuse-Michigan semifinal.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held in September. ESPN reports that Gary Payton, a nine-time NBA All-Star renowned for his defense, will also be inducted, as will Guy Lewis, who coached at the University of Houston for 30 years.
|04.05.13 at 1:37 pm ET|
Auburn’s football program has been surrounded by controversy this week after an article by Selena Roberts, published Wednesday on her website, roopstigo.com, alleged that Auburn had covered up positive drug tests by players and allowed a former player to go to trial on a robbery charge to protect the program.
ESPN then reported Thursday that 12 Auburn football players had failed tests for synthetic marijuana and that the school had withheld the test results.
Roberts’ article suggests a connection between the drug tests and the upcoming trial of former player Mike McNeil on robbery charges. McNeil has maintained his innocence, and Roberts quotes McNeil’s grandfather saying, “Maybe there is a fear in Auburn’s mind that Michael knows too much. Their fear is that Michael will expose the family secret. It’s a way to silence him.”
SB Nation’s Jason Kirk picked apart Roberts’ and ESPN’s reports Friday, noting that although Auburn began testing for the drug in January 2011, the substance wasn’t banned by the NCAA until August 2011.
Kirk also points out that the ESPN report doesn’t make clear where the estimate that 12 players failed drug tests came from, and that the source could be Dakota Mosley, a player who will go on trial this summer for robbery charges and, by his own account, tested positive multiple times for synthetic marijuana.
Mosley’s attorney, Davis Whittelsey, has said he’ll argue in court that Auburn could have done more to help Mosley with his drug problem instead of covering it up.
Many of the players quoted in Roberts’ story have denied her account or claimed that their words were misrepresented in the story. Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik called the report “absurd” and “outrageous,” saying, “Unfortunately, Ms. Roberts’ story is long on accusation and inference, but short on facts and logic.”
|04.05.13 at 1:12 pm ET|
The Nuggets won Thursday’s game against the Mavericks, 95-94, but they lost their second-leading scorer, forward Danilo Gallinari, to a knee injury in the second quarter.
Gallinari was driving for a layup when he fell to the court. No one had touched him on the play, but he appeared to be in serious pain as he was helped off the court. He did not return to the game, and the Nuggets said he would have an MRI on his knee on Friday.
The Nuggets now are without their top two scorers, as Ty Lawson, one of the team’s two point guards, is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a tear to the plantar fascia of his right foot.
|04.05.13 at 10:21 am ET|
Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti announced his resignation Friday, following the fallout over his handling of the Mike Rice situation.
Rice, whose physical and verbal abuse of players at practice was exposed when ESPN aired a videotape documenting the behavior, was fired, and assistant coach Jimmy Martelli, who also was taped mistreating players, resigned Thursday.
Even in his resignation letter, Pernetti continued to attempt to pass the blame for his failure to fire Rice after seeing the videotape last fall. Earlier this week, Pernetti insisted he preferred to rehabilitate the coach. Rice was suspended for three games in December, fined $50,000 and ordered to attend anger management counseling. On Friday, Pernetti claimed that he wanted to fire Rice but that he did not have the support of the school to do so.
“I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today,” Pernetti said. “As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.”
Rutgers president Robert Barchi also has come under fire for not insisting that Rice be fired last fall, although Barchi denied seeing the videotape before this week. Barchi hosted a press conference Friday afternoon and was widely criticized for attempting to deflect responsibility in the matter.
“This was a failure of process. I regret that I did not ask to see this video when Tim first told me of its existence,” Barchi said. “I want to apologize to the entire Rutgers community for the negative impact that this situation has had on Rutgers.”
Added Barchi: “It was not until Tuesday evening of this week, when I watched the video, that I had the opportunity to witness personally for the first time what Tim had seen last fall. I was deeply disturbed by the behavior that the video revealed, which was much more abusive and pervasive than I had understood it to be. As Tim acknowledged on Wednesday, his decision to rehabilitate, rather than fire, coach Rice was wrong.”
|04.05.13 at 8:03 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Giants, 4:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Braves, 7:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Cavaliers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Heat at Bobcats, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Trail Blazers. 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Flames at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush resigned Thursday, following the controversy over his offering a bribe — jokingly, he insists — to a referee who would give a technical foul to Arizona coach Sean Miller during last month’s Pac-12 tournament.
While he still insists he comments were “absolutely, 100 percent said in jest,” Rush, a former longtime NBA referee, acknowledged that it was not the time nor place for such remarks.
ESPN reports that a number of Pac-12 officials were unhappy with Rush’s leadership and were prepared to rebel against him had he remained. One referee said that Rush bullied his charges and another insisted that Rush was not joking about the Miller situation.
“Ed Rush doesn’t joke,” the official said. “To say it was a joke is absolutely not true. If he meant it in jest, then he had time to correct it the second day and he didn’t. And the only coach he mentioned was Sean Miller.”
♦ Former Ravens special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo sent mixed signals this week, first implying that he was cut by Baltimore in part because he’s been so outspoken about his support for gay rights and same-sex marriage, then insisting the Ravens “had my back all year” and did not let his views factor into the decision.
“My bark is louder than my bite,” Ayanbadejo told Newsday. “I can make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around? … I don’t necessarily think that teams want this type of attention.”
After the story came out, Ayanbadejo claimed that it was a “total misquote.”
Tweeted the 10-year NFL veteran: [Team president] Dick Cass and the @ravens had my back all year. Why would I say I was cut cuz my views? Makes no sense.
The Ravens followed up the report with a denial.
“We’re surprised that he would indicate this. We have always been respectful of Brendon’s opinions and his right to express those,” Ravens senior vice president for public and community relations Kevin Byrne said. “Our decision regarding his departure from the team has everything to do with football. Nothing else.”
♦ Heat forward Shane Battier weighed in on the discussion about women’s basketball star Brittney Griner and her chances of making the NBA. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said earlier in the week that he would consider drafting the Baylor star, while UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma scoffed at the possibility of Griner making an NBA roster, calling it “absolutely ludicrous.”
Battier said he expects a woman to break into the league sooner or later.
“There’s no doubt that in our lifetime, there will be a woman NBA player,” Battier told ESPN.com Thursday. “I don’t know if it’s Griner or if it’s someone who is 5 years old right now. But we’ll see it. It’ll happen in our lifetime. Just the law of averages.”
Added Battier: “I don’t think it would be out of the realm of possibility that [one day] we’ll see a female LeBron [James]. You could be the most skilled player in the world that the women’s game has ever seen, but that won’t cut it in the NBA. She’d have to be a physical specimen.”
♦ When the Penguins acquired Brenden Morrow, teammate Tanner Glass switched from No. 10 to 15 so Morrow could have 10. If that wasn’t gracious enough, Glass then reached out to fans who own Glass jerseys.
Tweeted Glass: ANy #Pens fans with “GLASS 10″ jerseys that want to switch to “15″- Head to Consol PensGear and I’ll pay for the the switch. First 15 are on me!
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 5, 1971, the Cardinals returned to the Red Sox which Rule 5 draft pick who would go on to a stellar major league career (most of it with the Brewers)?
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