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Friday’s Morning Mashup: NBA says Kobe Bryant got away with last-second foul 03.29.13 at 7:52 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Hawks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Heat at Hornets, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Oregon vs. Louisville, 7:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Michigan vs. Kansas, 7:37 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Michigan State vs. Duke, 9:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Florida Gulf Coast vs. Florida, 9:57 p.m. (TBS)
NHL: Mighty Ducks at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: NCAA tournament, Yale vs. Minnesota, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: NCAA tournament, Wisconsin vs. UMass-Lowell, 4:30 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: NCAA tournament, Niagara vs. North Dakota, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: NCAA tournament, Denver vs. New Hampshire, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB preseason: Yankees at Nationals, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Blue Jays at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Athletics at Giants, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)


‘™¦ The NBA on Thursday confirmed what the Timberwolves already knew: Kobe Bryant fouled Ricky Rubio on a 3-point attempt just before the buzzer in the Lakers’ 120-117 victory Wednesday night in Minneapolis.

“Video review by the league office confirmed that Kobe Bryant fouled Rubio while Rubio was in his shooting motion,” the league said on its website. “Rubio should have been awarded three free throws.”

Rubio, who complained to officials after the play, said his team hasn’t been treated the same as more successful franchises such as the Lakers.

“We have to earn the respect,” Rubio said. “But I don’t understand how things go sometimes. We just want to play basketball, play hard as we can and do all the things. Sometimes it’s not fair because we give 100 percent and sometimes we can’t control things. But we have to improve things that we can control.”

Bryant, meanwhile, showed little sympathy. When asked about the play right after the game, he said: “That’s not a foul. You don’t call that [stuff].”

Later, he tried to downplay the importance of the play. If a foul was called, “we’d have went into overtime and won the game,” he said. “Simple as that.”

Meanwhile, Bryant was spotted walking with the aid of a crutch after Thursday night’s game (a 113-103 loss to the Bucks), although he played down the injury, which the Lakers described as bone spurs.

‘™¦ The Mets, stung by Thursday’s news that pitcher Johan Santana has re-torn the anterior capsule in his left shoulder and likely will miss the entire season, were answering questions about some infighting after a recent intrasquad game.

Star pitching prospect Zack Wheeler and 21-year-old infielder Aderlin Rodriguez were involved in an incident during the game last Saturday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that reportedly led to players taking sides along ethnic lines in the clubhouse.

Rodriguez homered off Wheeler and apparently strutted around the bases, leading to the 22-year-old right-hander hitting Rodriguez his next time up. In the clubhouse after the game, “Some of the American guys and some of the Latin guys were circling and yelling at each other,” a source told the New York Daily News.

The team reprimanded both players. Said vice president of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta: “We’ve talked to everybody involved, and I think at this point it’s done with.”

‘™¦ Former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has taken steps to file a defamation lawsuit against ESPN. Fine filed paperwork in November, but it had not been reported until Thursday.

In November of 2011 the network reported two ball boys’ claims that Fine sexually abused them. Fine was fired 10 days later, following a third man’s accusation. No charges were filed against Fine.

Fine, 67, has served as a consultant for an Israeli basketball team since leaving Syracuse.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 29 of which year did the Bruins beat the Rangers, 2-1, to complete a two-game sweep of the Stanley Cup finals and win their first championship?

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Read More: Aderlin Rodriguez, Bernie Fine, johan santana, kobe bryant
Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel on D&C: NCAA president Mark Emmert ‘Roger Goodell-like’ 07.23.12 at 10:43 am ET
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Yahoo! Sports’€™ Dan Wetzel joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to share his views on the NCAA‘€™s penalties against Penn State. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Wetzel began by highlighting the significant departure NCAA president Mark Emmert‘€™s decision represents from how the NCAA typically comes to decisions.

‘€œThe NCAA president is a title that sounds really good but generally has no power,’€ Wetzel said. ‘€œIt is not like being Roger Goodell or Bud Selig or David Stern. So most of the way the NCAA operates is through this endless bureaucracy, committee meetings, board of directors, executive management councils, subcommittees, you name it, task forces. They just have meeting after meeting and nothing gets done.’€

Wetzel explained that this time around, Emmert went to the board of directors and requested (and received) the power to punish Penn State on his own, ‘€œRoger Goodell-like.’€

‘€œThat is a huge change of course for the NCAA,’€ Wetzel said, ‘€œand probably one that they should have that power, particularly in cases like this, where there is such a huge internal investigation like the Freeh report and we’€™re talking about crimes like this.’€

Wetzel says the fact that Penn State won’€™t appeal Emmert’s decision suggests that Penn State president Rodney Erickson was consulted in the course of the NCAA’€™s decision-making process.

‘€œI mean, why would you give that up? If that’€™s accurate, why would you say that if you don’€™t know what the penalty is,’€ Wetzel said. ‘€œSo I’€™m guessing that he was consulted through this.’€

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Read More: Bernie Fine, Dan Wetzel, Dennis & Callahan, Jerry Sandusky
Wife of fired Syracuse assistant Bernie Fine sues ESPN 05.16.12 at 3:06 pm ET
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Laurie Fine, the wife of former Syracuse basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine, announced Wednesday morning that she has filed a federal libel lawsuit against ESPN for the network’€™s reports claiming she was aware of child molestation accusations against her husband.

“I’m here today as a wife and a mother who has had to endure the trauma of being smeared in the public as a monster,” Laurie Fine said in a written statement. “My life has been destroyed.”

According to The Post-Standard, the lawsuit claims that, in the wake of Penn State’s sex abuse scandal, ESPN “spitefully destroyed Laurie Fine’€™s reputation in an attempt to capitalize financially.”

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the network stands by its reporting and the claim doesn’t hold merit.

Read More: Bernie Fine, ESPN, Laurie Fine, Rumor Mill
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Racist tweets stir controversy after Bruins’ loss to Capitals 04.26.12 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: NFL draft, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Bucks at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE; WRKO)
NBA: Knicks at Bobcats, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Senators at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Devils at Panthers, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Blue Jays at Orioles, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)


‘™¦ When Joel Ward, one of the few black players in the NHL, scored in overtime for the Capitals to knock out the Bruins in Game 7 Wednesday night, B’s fans took to Twitter to express their frustration. Some fans directed their anger at Ward, and the racially charged comments came fast and furious. (Note: Link includes racially offensive terms and expletives.) A number of websites published the most offensive of the tweets, which are sure to rekindle accusations that Boston has lingering racial problems.

UPDATE, 12:05 p.m.: Capitals owner Ted Leonsis responded late Thursday morning, calling the tweets “unforgivable.” Wrote Leonsis: Shame on these folks who decided to take to their keyboards and show their ignorance and their racism and hate.

Ward, whose parents emigrated from Barbados and settled in Ontario, scored a career-low six goals this season after signing with Washington as a free agent from the Predators. The 31-year-old is in his fifth NHL season, and he’s making a name for himself as a postseason player after recording seven goals and six assists in 12 playoff games last year in Nashville, then coming up big Wednesday night.

‘€œI’€™ve done it this way my whole life,’€ Ward said after Wednesday’s game. ‘€œI’€™ve always been the underdog. I’€™ve never been a top guy. But I never doubted myself.’€

‘™¦ One might think that New York fans would be pleased to see Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and receiver Santonio Holmes sitting together in the front row at a Knicks game, as their alleged rift was blamed as part of the reason for the team’s struggles toward the end of last season. However, when the two were shown on the scoreboard at Wednesday night’s game, fans booed.

Both players smiled upon hearing the reaction, and Holmes waved to the camera. Neither player had a comment for the reporters in attendance.

‘™¦ Despite being fired by Syracuse after allegations that he sexually abused two former ball boys, Bernie Fine has landed a new job. Israeli basketball Maccabi Bazan Haifi, owned by Florida-based businessman Jeffrey Rosen, announced Thursday that Fine was hired as a basketball consultant. Fine will have input on player personnel decisions as well as the team’s coaching search for next season.

Fine was an assistant coach at Syracuse for 36 seasons before being dismissed in November. He has denied the accusations and has not been charged with any crimes, although a federal investigation continues.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 26, 1988, the Bruins beat the Canadiens, 4-1, in Montreal to win the Adams Division finals series in five games and post their first postseason series victory over the Habs since 1943. Which two Bruins had two goals each in the win?

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Read More: Bernie Fine, Joel Ward, Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes
Bernie Fine accuser from Maine sentenced for abuse 04.11.12 at 1:07 pm ET
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Zach Tomaselli of Lewiston, Maine, who accused former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him, has been sentenced to three years and three months in prison for sexually abusing a boy.

Tomaselli was sentenced Wednesday in Auburn, Maine, and had previously pleaded guilty to the offense in December.

The victim attended a camp at which the 23-year-old Tomaselli was a counselor. The boy was 13 and 14 when the abuse took place.

Tomaselli was one of several people who accused Jim Boeheim‘s long-time assistant coach of molestation and his case is the only one of the group that falls within the statute of limitations. Fine, who was fired in November, has denied Tomaselli’s allegation, one that the U.S. Attorney’s office is investigating.

Read More: Bernie Fine, jim boeheim, Rumor Mill, Zach Tomaselli
Fourth accuser comes forward in Bernie Fine case 12.16.11 at 11:54 am ET
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Former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine was accused by a fourth man of sexual molestation. Floyd VanHooser, a 56-year-old who was sentenced in October to 16 years to life for being a persistent felony burglar, said Fine began sexually abusing him when VanHooser was 14 years old and continued to have sexual contact into adulthood.

Last week, Onandaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick referred to an unnamed persistent felon in prison as having make accusations, but the DA said the claims were not credible.

The mother VanHooser’s daughter said he told her of the abuse in 2002.

“He was going to go to Bernie’s and do some work on his house and he really didn’t want to go. He seemed so upset, and I questioned him and he said that Bernie had been abusing him that it had started way back in 1970,” former girlfriend Cindy Clarke said.

VanHooser, who acknowledged having a drug addition but said he stopped cold turkey six months ago, said he doesn’t care if Fine is punished any more, and he doesn’t want to talk about the issue further.

“I just want it to be over with,” he said.

Read More: Bernie Fine, Rumor Mill,
DA: No state charges against Bernie Fine despite ‘credible’ accusations 12.07.11 at 12:23 pm ET
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Onandaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said at a Wednesday morning press conference that he cannot bring charges against former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine due to the expired statute of limitations, even though he found the two former ball boys who made accusations against him “credible.”

“On almost every single criteria, Bobby Davis came out as a credible person,” Fitzpatrick said. “Mike Lang also comes across as a credible person.”

While Fitzpatrick said a 2005 investigation by the university was inadequate, he said people should stop calling for the resignation of school chancellor Nancy Cantor and coach Jim Boeheim, insisting that only man is to blame.

“Hasn’t Bernie Fine caused enough pain in this community?” he asked.

Fine also has been accused by a third man, Maine’s Zach Tomaselli, but his claims fall outside the jurisdiction of Onandaga County. Tomaselli’s accusations fall within federal statutes of limitations and are being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.

Read More: Bernie Fine, jim boeheim, Rumoe Mill, William Fitzpatrick
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris ejects own player 12.05.11 at 7:27 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Bruins at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Coyotes at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (Versus)
NFL: Chargers at Jaguars, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
College basketball: St. John’s at Detroit, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)


‘™¦ Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris was not happy with Brian Price when the defensive tackle incurred a personal foul penalty in the third quarter of Sunday’s 38-19 loss to the Panthers. Price’s penalty came after a Tampa Bay sack that would have pinned the Panthers at their 16-yard line with a third-and-13. Instead, Carolina got a first down and went on to score a touchdown that essentially put the game out of reach, 38-12. Morris, frustrated with his oft-penalized team, ended Price’s afternoon early.

“Yes, I sent him to the locker room,” Morris said. “I told him go home. [Expletive], yeah. Because it’s foolish, it’s selfish to your teammates, to everybody in your organization, to your fans. That’s terrible. That’s just selfish behavior to get a 15-yard penalty, in that situation, when that’s all we talk about, when that’s all we discuss. You just can’t do that to your team.

“When you give up a penalty, after a third-and-15, those are things that are not smart, not fair to anybody on the football team. Not fair to anybody that’s coaching that football team. Those things are unacceptable.”

Price’s agent said his client “regrets the untimeliness and the foolish nature of the penalty” but suggested Morris overreacted with a player “who has played through some enormous challenges.”

‘™¦ College football fans who logged on to to find merchandise of the top-ranked Tigers were surprised Sunday night to find the site featuring clothing and memorabilia adorned with the logo of SEC rival and BCS championship game opponent Alabama. There was no immediate word as to if the site had been hacked by ‘Bama faithful or if it was a mistake.

‘™¦ Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim made an emotional apology after Friday night’s game, acknowledging he “misspoke very badly” when he defended assistant coach Bernie Fine and derided the men who accused Fine of sexual abuse. On Saturday, Boeheim told The Associated Press that he plans to campaign against child abuse, although he knows that his motives will be questioned.

“We believed in helping kids long before this. I’m sure people are always going to question why you do something, but we’re going to do this and continue to do it,” Boeheim said. “We don’t do it for what people might say.”

At, Matt Norlander writes that Boeheim might have won back some of the fans who turned on him for his arrogant and ignorant comments when news of the accusations were first reported.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 5, 1982, in a 6-4 victory over the Flyers, which Bruins player recorded a hat for the second consecutive day?

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Read More: Bernie Fine, Brian Price, jim boeheim, Raheem Morris
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Syracuse Post-Standard defends decision to pass on Bernie Fine story in 2003 12.01.11 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Eagles at Seahawks, 8 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI)
College football: West Virginia at South Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Providence at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Georgetown at Alabama, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


‘™¦ The Syracuse Post-Standard and ESPN have come under fire for failing to publish stories about the Bernie Fine accusations when they were first contacted by former ball boy Bobby Davis in 2003. In Wednesday’s Post-Standard, executive editor Michael J. Connor explains why the paper passed the first time, even after Davis taped a phone call with Laurie Fine in which she makes some statements that appear to corroborate Davis’ story.

Connor explains that the tape — which he implies was made with the encouragement of the paper — was “sleazy and sickening” but still too vague and ambiguous to use as verification of the accusations. And when the paper confronted Laurie Fine after hearing the tape, she said it had been doctored and then stopped talking to the reporter.

‘™¦ The NBA is getting ready to return, but for some free agents who signed in China, it might not be so easy getting back to the States. Players such as Kenyon Martin, Aaron Brooks, Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Patty Mills are under contract for the entire Chinese season, which lasts until March. There are severe financial penalties if they leave, and the NBA is required by basketball’s governing body, FIBA, to honor international contracts.

‘™¦ The Big Ten is holding its football championship game Saturday night in Indianapolis, pitting Michigan State against Wisconsin. Apparently, tickets are tough to give away. So, an unidentified party is offering to pay $75 for individuals to attend the game as “seat-fillers.” UPDATE: It’s a prank.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 1, 1961, which Red Sox player was named American League Rookie of the Year after starting the season in the minors but playing so well after his call-up that he was named to the All-Star team?

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Read More: Aaron Brooks, Bernie Fine, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin
Fourth accuser in Syracuse case; Jim Boeheim ‘never worried about my job status’ 11.30.11 at 10:24 am ET
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On the same night that it was revealed that a fourth victim has come forward in the Syracuse sexual abuse scandal, Orange basketball coach Jim Boeheim answered questions about former assistant Bernie Fine in the postgame press conference after Syracuse’s win over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday.

Rev. Robert Hoatson, who runs the molestation victims’ advocacy group Road to Recovery, said that the family of a man contacted him last week and informed him that an unidentified man was abused by Fine as a teen. The alleged victim, who is now a grown man, has been in contact with the District Attorney’s office.

Meanwhile, Boeheim said that he is not concerned with status as coach of the Orange and that the facts will be revealed once the case goes through the legal process.

“I never worried about my job status in 36 years,” Boeheim said. “I do my job. What happened on my watch, we will see. When the investigation is done, we will find out what happened on my watch.”

Boeheim came under fire for his initial comments that two former ball boys were lying about Fine molesting them in order to make money after the Penn State scandal. The longtime coach explained those comments on Tuesday.

“Based on what I knew at that time, there were three investigations and nothing was corroborated,” Boeheim said. “That was the basis for me saying what I said. I said what I knew at the time.”

“I supported a friend,” he added. “That’s what I thought I did.”

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Read More: Bernie Fine, jim boeheim, Robert Hoatson, Rumor Mill