Review Category : National Sports

Baylor President Ken Starr Demoted Amid Football Scandal

Cooper Neill/Getty Images(WACO, TX) — The president of Baylor University, Kenneth Starr, has been demoted to Chancellor amid criticisms of the way the Texas college has handled reports of rape and assault by football players.

Baylor Head Football Coach, Art Briles, was also suspended with intent to terminate, while Athletic Director Ian McCaw was sanctioned and placed on probation, the university announced Thursday.

The school posted a statement to its website announcing “leadership changes and extensive corrective actions following findings of external investigation,” which states that Starr will also remain a professor at the Baylor University Law School. Starr’s demotion will be effective May 31.

Dr. David Garland, a former dean and professor at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will serve as interim president, a role he previously filled from 2008 to 2010 before Starr was named president.

Last fall, Baylor’s Board of Regents commissioned an independent external review of the university’s management of and compliance with Title IX by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton. The findings reflected a “fundamental failure” by the school to implement Title IX and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, according to the university.

Baylor failed to “consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures” and “failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence or address its effects,” the university said.

Richard Willis, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, said in the statement that the school is “horrified” by the extent of the acts of sexual violence on campus. The Waco, Texas school is a private, Baptist university.

“This investigation revealed the University’s mishandling of reports in what should have been a supportive, responsive and caring environment for students,” Willis said in the statement. “The depth to which these acts occurred shocked and outraged us. Our students and their families deserve more, and we have committed our full attention to improving our processes, establishing accountability and ensuring appropriate actions are taken to support former, current and future students.”

Briles and Starr, who was the special prosecutor investigating President Bill Clinton’s sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, have faced sharp criticism about whether the school ignored allegations of assault by football players. Two players were later convicted of sexual assault, the Associated Press reported.

The Baylor Bears have won two Big 12 championships since 2013.

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Hearing Ends Without Decision on US Women’s Soccer Team Right to Strike

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — A federal court hearing in Chicago over whether the U.S. women’s soccer team has a right to strike concluded Thursday without a decision from the judge.

Earlier this year, the women’s team filed a wage-discrimination suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The players allege in the filing that, despite raking in nearly $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team in 2015, the women were only paid about a quarter of what the men’s team earned.

Thursday’s oral argument was to determine whether a no-strike clause is contained in the existing labor agreement between the team and the USSF.

The USSF claims that a Memorandum of Understanding between the USSF and the Union should be interpreted to “carryover” the no-strike clause from a collective bargaining agreement that expired in 2012.

The Union disagrees with that position.

After listening to the arguments, Judge Sharon Coleman said she would “take under advisement these well-crafted arguments.” She did not indicate when her decision could be handed down.

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Report: Memphis Grizzlies Offer Head Coach Job to David Fizdale

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — The Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly closing in on their next head coach.

Sources tell ESPN that the team has offered the position to David Fizdale, the assistant coach for the Miami Heat. Both sides are said to be working on a deal.

The Grizzlies fired their head coach, Dave Joerger, earlier this month after three seasons. The team initially went after former Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel, but he opted to take an offer from the Orlando Magic.

Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Fizdale’s interview with Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace went well, leading to a sit down with the team’s owner.

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Rafael Nadal Advances to Third Round of French Open

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(PARIS) — Rafael Nadal is one step closer to claiming his 10th French Open title.

The No. 4 seed defeated Facundo Bagnis in three sets at Roland Garros Thursday, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3. With the second-round win, Nadal also claimed his 200th victory at Grand Slam tournaments.

Roger Federer holds the record for most Grand Slam matches won with 302.

In his career, Nadal has 14 Grand Slam titles — nine at Roland Garros alone. He is tied with Pete Sampras and trails only Roger Federer, who holds the record with 17 titles.

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US Women’s Soccer Team to Appear in Court over Wage Discrimination

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — The U.S. Women’s national soccer team will appear in court Thursday morning to make their case in a wage-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

In April, members of the U.S. women’s soccer team — including Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan — filed a wage-discrimination suit against the USSF with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to ESPN. The players allege in the filing that, despite raking in nearly $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team in 2015, the women were only paid about a quarter of what the men’s team earned.

Thursday’s oral argument is to determine whether a no-strike clause is contained in the existing labor agreement between the team and the USSF.

The USSF claims that a Memorandum of Understanding between the USSF and the Union should be interpreted to “carryover” the no-strike clause from a collective bargaining agreement that expired in 2012.

The Union disagrees with that position.

There will be motion for summary judgment oral arguments at the U.S. District Court in Chicago Thursday morning.

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NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Revealed

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 has been revealed.

The five new inductees into the Hall, announced Wednesday, will be Richard Childress Racing owner Richard Childress; Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick; racing great Mark Martin; Raymond Parks, one of stock-car racing’s earliest team owners; and 1973 NASCAR champ Benny Parsons.

Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles is the winner of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

The induction ceremony will be held next January.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 5/25/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Philadelphia 8, Detroit 5
Boston 10, Colorado 3
Miami 4, Tampa Bay 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Seattle 13, Oakland 3
Minnesota 7, Kansas City 5
Texas 15, L.A. Angels 9
Cleveland 4, Chi White Sox 3
Toronto 8, N-Y Yankees 4
Houston 4, Baltimore 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Milwaukee 3, Atlanta 2, 13 Innings
L.A. Dodgers 3, Cincinnati 1
N-Y Mets 2, Washington 0
Chi Cubs 9, St. Louis 8
San Francisco 4, San Diego 3, 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 5, Arizona 4

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Cleveland 116, Toronto 78

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

San Jose 5, St. Louis 2

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Steve Kerr Says Steph Curry’s Struggles Are Not Injury Related

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Golden State Warriors’ coach Seve Kerr insisted once again that Stephen Curry’s two-game slump is not because of Curry’s injured right knee, according to ESPN.

Curry’s recent poor performance is so unexpected that people are speculating whether he is really bothered by the sprained MCL he suffered in Game 4 of the opening-round series against the Houston Rockets.

“Nobody has said anything about Steph being 70 percent to me,” Kerr said referring to a Yahoo! Sports report that quoted a non-Warriors source as saying Curry is playing at 70 percent. “Training staff, relatives, friends, sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking — nobody has told me he’s 70 percent. Evidently they told the media but not me.”

ESPN reports that Kerr acknowledged Curry has not been as “explosive” during the past two games, but he said it’s due to the rigorous series that offers little time for rest and recovery.

“It’s the playoffs, and nobody cares,” Kerr said of Curry’s knee. “Everybody has issues and injuries.”

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Vikings’ Blair Walsh Putting 2015 Field Goal Miss Behind Him

iStock/Thinkstock(EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.) — After Wednesday’s session of the Minnesots Vikings’ organized team activities, kicker Blair Walsh told reporters that he has moved on from that tough miss that brought the Vikings’ 2015 season to an end.

Walsh was referring to the 27-yard field goal that he missed wide left in the final seconds of the Vikings’ 10-9 wild card loss to the Seattle Seahawks, according to ESPN.

Walsh told reporters that he is no longer thinking about that miss on a daily basis.

“My common message is, it’s one moment,” Walsh said. “It won’t define me.”

ESPN reports Walsh will play in the first season of the four-year contract extension he signed with Minnesota last summer.

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Bills GM Says He ‘Used Poor Choice of Words’ Regarding Game Safety

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(BUFFALO , N.Y.) — Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley admitted in a statement he issued Wednesday that he “used a poor choice of words” while discussing whether humans’ bodies were made to withstand playing football during a radio interview, ESPN reports.

“Clearly I used a poor choice of words in my comment yesterday [Tuesday] morning,” the statement read. “As a former player who has the utmost respect and love for the game, the point that I was trying to make is that football is a physical game and injuries are a part of it.”

The statement comes after Whaley responded to a question about whether Bills receiver Sammy Watkins is prone to injuries in an interview with Buffalo radio station WGR 550.

“This is the game of football,” Whaley had said. “Injuries are a part of it. It’s a violent game that I personally don’t think humans are supposed to play.”

According to ESPN, Whaley retracted that comment, commending the benefits of playing football and the advances in safety in the league.

“Playing football no doubt is very physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging, and that is all part of what makes the game so compelling to play and watch,” he said in the statement. “The game has more protection for players now than ever, thanks largely to the safety advancements and numerous rule changes made by our league and promoted to all levels of football. I believe our game continues to have a bright future and I hope that this statement provides clarity as to the intent of my earlier comment.”

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