UConn football coach Edsall's message to NCAA: Pay the players

UConn football coach Edsall's message to NCAA: Pay the players

UConn football coach Randy Edsall wants to pay college athletes, and he thinks football coaches should be worried about the college basketball scandal hitting the gridiron.

Connecticut football coach Randy Edsall says paying the players could help solve NCAA's problem.

Connecticut football coach Randy Edsall says paying the players could help solve NCAA’s problem.

(JENNIFER PAGE/AP)

Edsall posted a pair of tweets Friday amid the latest revelations in the NCAA basketball investigation which dragged some of the biggest names in college hoops into the federal probe.

“I’m sure there are plenty of @NCAAFootball Head Coaches and assistants who are nervous based on what is happening with @NCAAMensBball,” Edsall posted in his original tweet.

Edsall later posted his endorsement to pay college athletes, a feeling not shared among many of his highly paid peers.

FBI docs show top NCAA hoops programs, players involved in probe

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said last year college athletes are entitled enough already and don’t need to be paid.

The argument is relevant because if student-athletes are paid, would pay-to-play scandals like the one tearing through NCAA hoops be avoided?

“With @NCAAFootball proposal 2017-99 adopted Colleges and Universities will employee more people in their scouting departments than the NFL and still not paying the players with all the money being brought into the Conferences,” Edsall wrote. “We’ve become a farm system. #PayThePlayers”

Edsall did not immediately return a call for comment.

Tags:
college basketball
college football
uconn huskies
randy edsall

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet
Tennis star Bouchard settles slip-and-fall suit for unknown sum

Tennis star Bouchard settles slip-and-fall suit for unknown sum

Tennis pro Eugenie Bouchard and the United States Tennis Association reached an undisclosed settlement Friday over her disastrous 2015 slip-and-fall.

A jury gave Bouchard, 23, a win on Thursday in her negligence lawsuit against the USTA — finding that the tennis organization was 75% to blame for the accident that left the Canadian tennis star unable to compete in the U.S. Open three years ago.

Bouchard was also partly at fault for entering a dark training room unaccompanied after a late-night doubles match, the jury found.

The tennis player didn’t realize she’d stepped onto a floor slick with cleaning fluid — and she tumbled onto her back, smashing her head in the process.

Tennis player Eugenie Bouchard recalls slip-and-fall in court

Bouchard, who was seeded 25th at the U.S. Open three years ago, has seen her ranking plummet to 116 since suffering the concussion.

Her lawsuit asked for unspecified damages — and earlier Friday lawyers for Bouchard and the USTA had argued back-and-forth in front of the judge and jury about the amount of damages.

But by the afternoon a backroom deal had been hashed out.

Judge Ann Donnelly called the jury in a little before 3 p.m. and announced that the two sides “agreed to resolve the case.”

Jurors hear of tennis pro Eugenie Bouchard’s fall after U.S. Open

Tags:
eugenie bouchard
tennis
u.s. open tennis
sports injuries
sports concussions
lawsuits

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet
'Around the Horn’ panelist Tim Cowlishaw admits to tanking

'Around the Horn’ panelist Tim Cowlishaw admits to tanking

Tanking in sports is now starting to leak into journalism.

Longtime “Around the Horn” panelist Tim Cowlishaw admitted to Dan Patrick on the “Dan Patrick Show” that panelists on the ESPN show sometimes intentionally lose if they wanted to get out of the show early.

“I’m just saying, I might have called myself out a few times for past mistakes and that results in a deduction when I needed to go to lunch or somewhere. But, you know, that’s as far as I can remember right now,” Cowlishaw said. “I did not mean to do this.”

Aaron Solomon, a producer of ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” heard Cowlishaw’s words and said it would be addressed on Thursday’s show as well as jokingly wishing the reporter “good luck with future endeavors.”

When Thursday’s “Around the Horn” airs, host Tony Reali played the clip from the “Dan Patrick Show” and then proceeded to mute Cowlishaw repeatedly until the show went to a commercial break.

“Speaking of tanking, if Cowlishaw is actually tanking, then taking points away is what he wants. So maybe I should have just given him points,” Reali said. “But muting is so much fun! I don’t know. That’s it for Cowlishaw, that’s it for Yates. Shelburne, Paige, Showdown. Two minutes.”

Not Released (NR)

Tim Cowlishaw told Dan Patrick he’s lost “Around the Horn” on purpose in the past if he needed to be somewhere else.

(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images For ESPN)

Cowlishaw currently writes for The Dallas Morning News and is a regular panelist on “Around the Horn.”

Ironically, Cowlishaw’s tanking news came around the same time Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was slapped with a $600,000 fine for talking about the team trying to lose games.

Tags:
espn

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet
Team USA's Mirai Nagasu could earn an Olympic medal for excuses

Team USA's Mirai Nagasu could earn an Olympic medal for excuses

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Watching the free skate program was unnecessary to figure out how the women’s individual figure skating competition ended for the United States. Listening to Mirai Nagasu would suffice.

“I’m ready to go home,” she said.

That’s the kind of rhetoric expected of an overfed and overpaid newspaper columnist, not an Olympic champion.

Which is, well, why she isn’t an Olympic champion, except in the field of complaining.

This might be unpleasant to read, but many others in the field encountered the same obstacles she did.

The 24-year-old Nagasu was the senior member of the three-woman U.S. contingent here, and it’s little wonder the Americans had their worst showing in the modern era of the Olympics.

Nagasu piled up excuses the way Russian gold medalist Alina Zagitova did combination jumps.

Nagasu was emotionally drained after winning a bronze medal in the team competition. She traveled four hours last week to attend a lunar new year party. She couldn’t take hot showers.

But, hey, she wasn’t the only one who choked Friday at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

“I’d like to point out that Gabrielle Daleman, who is an Olympic gold medalist (for Canada in the team event), also didn’t have a strong outing here in the individual,” Nagasu said.

By the way, if ABC is looking for a contestant for the next season of “Dancing With the Stars,” Nagasu is available.

“I would like to be on ’Dancing With the Stars’ because I want to be a star,” she said.

Of course, she could have become a star if she didn’t mentally check out of this competition.

Mirai Nagasu complains about travel schedule, lack of hot water after disappointing effort in free skate.

Mirai Nagasu complains about travel schedule, lack of hot water after disappointing effort in free skate.

(KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

The once-dominant U.S. team’s decline in women’s figure skating has become a major talking point at these Games, with explanations varying from the reluctance of Americans to take the kinds of risks rewarded by a new scoring system to how the absence of a transcendent figure such as Michelle Kwan has affected the sport’s popularity in the country.

What the skaters said in the post-competition interviews pointed to another problem: the lack of mental and emotional fortitude.

National champion Bradie Tennell was the top U.S. finisher here at ninth. Nagasu was 10th and Karen Chen 11th.

Until Friday, an American woman had finished sixth or higher at every Olympics since World War II.

The Russians — pardon, the Olympic Athletes From Russia — reaffirmed their dominance in this discipline, with 15-year-old Zagitova and 18-year-old Evgenia Medvedeva outclassing the field by a significant margin.

The top American, Tennell, finished more than 35 points behind Medvedeva, the silver medalist.

“The rest of the world just has to catch up,” Tennell said.

Tennell never gave herself a chance to compete, as she was 11th after the short program. To her credit, the 20-year-old responded with America’s best performance Friday.

She stumbled on a double axel-triple toeloop combination, and her left hand touched the ice on a triple lutz. She salvaged the program by following up with a successful triple loop-double-toeloop-double loop combination.

“It wasn’t that perfect Olympic program, but I’m really happy for getting out there and pulling myself together,” she said.

Tennell pledged to be part of a U.S. resurgence.

“I can’t speak for everybody, but for me, I’m sticking around and I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to bring us up in the rankings,” she said.

American Mirai Nagasu was content with the bronze medal she helped the U.S. win in team competition.

American Mirai Nagasu was content with the bronze medal she helped the U.S. win in team competition.

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The 18-year-old Chen dropped a place, from 10th to 11th. She fell on a triple loop and landed clumsily on a triple salchow.

She had no explaination for the U.S.’s problems at the Olympics. The last American woman to win an individual medal was Sasha Cohen, in 2006.

“What I can say is that there is a lot of pressure,” Chen said, “and Bradie and I, this is our first time at the Olympics. To be honest, when I first came here I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was going to be big, it was going to be grand, but that was about it. I didn’t know what the media was going to be like, I didn’t know what the ice was going to be like, I didn’t have an idea of what the village was going to be like, so it was all so brand new and all so different.”

She mentioned another factor: She couldn’t see her mother.

“The biggest change for me was not being able to see my mom 24/7,” she said. “For me, that was something that I really missed.

“We tried to call and FaceTime each other as much as possible. I actually did run upstairs to give her a hug and just talk for a brief second before I came down to warm up. For sure, I definitely missed her.”

Nagasu said she was satisfied with the bronze medal she won in the team event. In that competition, she became the first American woman — and only the third woman from any country — to land a triple axel at the Olympics.

Nagasu failed to land the jump in the short program and failed to land it again Friday, popping it.

“I’ve been crying every day since the team event because I was so happy, but then we had to keep training and training and training,” Nagasu said.

You know who else skated in the team event? The three skaters who won medals, including Kaetlyn Osmond, the bronze medalist from Canada.

“Maybe it won’t be enough for another person or maybe someone else could have done a better job,” she said, “but I didn’t back down.”

Actually, that’s exactly what it looked like she did. And if the next generation of American skaters fails to develop more resilience, it won’t be winning any medals, either.

(c)2018 the Los Angeles Times/Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet
Old vision for NCAA isn't sustainable — it's time to pay players

Old vision for NCAA isn't sustainable — it's time to pay players

Every time there is another bad story out of college sports, and the one on Friday from Yahoo Sports about corruption in college basketball uncovered by the FBI might be as bad as it gets, I think about the famous scene at the end of the Al Pacino movie “And Justice For All,” when Pacino’s lawyer character is told by a corrupt judge that he’s out of order.

“You’re out of order!” Pacino yells at the judge. “You’re out of order. This trial is out of order!”

That is the current culture and the current world of big-time college sports, as it now comes out that some of the most legendary programs in college basketball — it would also mean some of the legendary coaches in college basketball — are being accused of corruption and various violations by the feds. And why are the feds involved, you ask? Because the NCAA is unable to properly police the money machine that it has become, at least without subpoena power, which you have to say is far more powerful in this world than a rousing slam dunk.

So now the feds have set their sights on coaches and agents and players and their families for what is essentially tip money when you compare it to the fortunes the biggest programs create for their schools, and the further fortunes that come to the schools, and the NCAA, because of network television contracts. Maybe some of these people named in the Yahoo Sports story stole small because they were well aware how big the ultimate stakes really were.

FBI docs show top NCAA hoops programs, players involved in probe

MARCH 18, 2015, FILE PHOTO

The NCAA needs to stop pretending these professional athletes are just like any other student.

(Keith Srakocic/AP)

It has always been assumed that this system, one built on the backs of what we still are told are “student-athletes” — even though one-and-done college freshmen are essentially college students for a single semester — is too big to fail. But perhaps not.

You always caution yourself when a story like Yahoo’s comes out that stories like it are not indictments and indictments are not convictions. So as much as we learned on Friday, there is more to know. But what even the people in charge have to know by now, as blinded as they have been by greed and power, is that the current system for those “student-athletes” is simply no longer sustainable; the way of the old-time vision for the NCAA is no longer sustainable.

You may think that room and board and tuition, even with an idiotic NCAA rulebook that can sometimes get that same book thrown at you for a meal or a plane ride, should be more than enough of an inducement for a star high school player to come play basketball for your school. The latest rights fee to the extension to television the NCAA basketball tournament is more than $8 billion — with a b — for eight years. So even though we still do constantly hear about those student-athletes, this isn’t the Lawn Tennis Association out of the past, where everybody wore white and played for the love of the game.

Here is part of the statement from NCAA president Mark Emmert after the Yahoo Sports story, as Emmert begins to fight for his own job:

College hoops will change forever — and it starts with Louisville

Not Released (NR)

Sports scandals throughout history

“These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports….. (We) are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.”

Knowing what we know about the current state of college sports, and reading the story written for Yahoo Sports by Pat Forde and Pete Thamel about these “unscrupulous parties” over which Emmert is wringing his hands, you have to say that the integrity ship sailed a long time ago at the highest levels of college sports, where they are still desperate to convince the world that professionals masquerading as college basketball stars are practically the same as the woodwind section of the school band.

Every time there is another story like this one, you hear the same explanation of why schools simply can’t pay their star players: Well, it’s simply too complicated to pay the basketball players and the football players, because then what do you do about lacrosse and soccer and swimming?

Well it is time for them to figure out a way, simply because the way they’re doing things now isn’t working. It is the system that is the shame here, I’m sorry, not the athletes being shamed by the current story just by having their names out there. And as all this goes on in front of our eyes — and again, the allegations here are against programs as big as there are — you cannot help but see the NCAA crumbling as if it is the old Roman Empire.

NCAA vacates Louisville’s 2013 basketball title over sex scandal

NCAA president Mark Emmert

NCAA president Mark Emmert

(David J. Phillip/AP)

I’ve said this before, but when you compare the money coming into college basketball, and you realize that it is ultimately the players who are filling these arenas and television hours, the only athletes who share less in profits of their work are thoroughbred racehorses. And until you can figure out how to pay these athletes, let them earn money on their own at the very least.

It’s time to change things once and for all in college sports and figure out a way to pay the players because the way things are now, this is about so much more than the players being put on trial by Yahoo Sports. The system is out of order. The NCAA is out of order. They’re all out of order.

Tags:
college basketball
fbi

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet
Figure skater uses Olympics as 'Dancing With the Stars' tryout

Figure skater uses Olympics as 'Dancing With the Stars' tryout

Mirai Nagasu is more worried about getting on “Dancing With the Stars” than winning a gold medal in the Olympics.

The U.S figure skater decided to pack it in for her individual performance after winning a bronze medal in the team event. She told ESPN she chose to use her individual attempt as a tryout for the hit TV show.

“I smiled in the middle of my program, which is very rare for me. I thought of this as my audition for ‘Dancing With the Stars,'” Nagasu said. “I would like to be on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ because I want to be a star.”

Nagasu previously made history at this year’s Winter Olympics when she became the first U.S. woman to land the triple axel. Her performance helped the team take home the bronze, which she said was her main goal of the Olympics.

Canadian hockey player apologizes for yanking off silver medal

The figure skater finished in 10th place in the women’s long program after deciding not to do the jump again.

“I saved the team event with Adam (Rippon) and the Shibutanis. We were about to lose our medal,” Nagasu said. “So today I put my medal in my pocket and I said, ‘Mirai, you’ve done your job already. This is all just icing.”

Mirai Nagasu was the first U.S. woman to land the triple axel but she chose to not try in the individual competition.

Mirai Nagasu was the first U.S. woman to land the triple axel but she chose to not try in the individual competition.

(MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Nagasu said the Olympics have been exhausting and “emotionally draining.” She said she’s content with the team medal, even though reporters brought up the idea that skaters from other countries have medaled in both the team and individual events like Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond.

The skater shrugged off the question by pointing to problems at the Olympic Village.

Mastermind of attacks on South to lead North Korea delegation

“I love competing as part of a team, but also it’s been a long, long journey. We’ve had so many other commitments. We went to the Team USA House on the lunar holiday, and it took four hours just to get to the mountain,” Nagasu said. “I also haven’t taken a warm shower because there are a lot of people on Team USA and somehow I keep trying to take a shower when all the hot water is gone.”

The 24-year-old has gone from Colorado Avalanche ice girl to Olympic figure skater. The NHL and Avalanche were quick to capitalize on her new-found fame following her bronze medal performance in the team event.

Regarded as the best alpine slalom racer in the world, having won 26 of 32 World Cup slalom events before starting the Olympics, USA's Mikaela Shiffrin was a favorite to finish on top and she didn't disappoint. The 22-year-old took home silver during the Women's Alpine Combined Slalom at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on Feb. 22, 2018. She was narrowly defeated by Michelle Gisin of Switzerland.

Highlights from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

Nagasu answered the stories on Twitter, saying “Gotta pay for skating somehow!”

It’s too bad she didn’t use those lessons to give a full effort in the individual competition.

Tags:
pyeongchang olympics 2018
olympics
figure skating
mirai nagasu
dancing with the stars
team usa

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet