NEW YORK (AP) In one of the biggest crackdowns on the corrupting role of money in college basketball, 10 men – including a top Adidas executive and four assistant coaches – were charged with using hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence star athletes’ choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents, even tailors.
Some of the most explosive allegations appeared to involve Louisville, one of college basketball’s biggest powerhouses, which is already on NCAA probation over a sex scandal.
Federal prosecutors said at least three top high school recruits were promised payments of as much as $150,000, using money supplied by Adidas, to attend two universities sponsored by the athletic shoe company. Court papers didn’t name the schools but contained enough details to identify them as Louisville and Miami.
”The picture of college basketball painted by the charges is not a pretty one,” said acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, adding that the defendants were ”circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes” and exploited them to enrich themselves.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Together again: LeBron and D-Wade. Just like old times.
Dwyane Wade has decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers and reunite with LeBron James, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press.
Wade is expected to clear waivers on Wednesday and then join the Cavs, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until the 12-time All-Star goes through the waiver process.
In Cleveland, Wade will be reunited with James, his close friend, former Miami teammate and a player he confided in before signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls last year.
Wade and James won two NBA titles together during four seasons with the Heat and will now chase another one with the Cavs, who have been revamped after losing to Golden State in last season’s Finals.
NEW YORK (AP) – Through three weeks, viewership for national telecasts of NFL games is down 11 percent this season compared to 2016, the Nielsen company said.
Nielsen said the games averaged 17.63 million viewers for the first three weeks of last season, and have dipped to 15.65 million this year. The Nielsen figures don’t include many of the Sunday afternoon games that are shown to a regional audience, but not a national one.
The NFL ratings are in focus because of President Donald Trump’s suggestion that viewers are turned off by a protest against police brutality that began with quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem. The protests spread rapidly this past weekend following the president’s criticism of people involved.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Sharks forward Joel Ward told The Mercury News he might take a knee during the national anthem at an upcoming game, becoming the first NHL player to join the protests that started in the NFL and drew criticism from President Donald Trump.
The 36-year-old Ward, one of about 30 black players in the league, is from Canada. Asked by the newspaper if he would consider kneeling during the anthem, Ward says ”it’s definitely something I wouldn’t cross out.”
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in the preseason a year ago to make a statement about social inequality and police treatment of blacks in the United States. More than 200 NFL players knelt or sat during Sunday’s anthems in the wake of Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire players who protest during ”The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer says he would back Ward if he decides to take a knee this season. Ward says general manager Doug Wilson also was supportive.
NEW YORK (AP) – The internal disciplinary trial of a police officer who tackled retired pro tennis player James Blake and slammed him to the ground in a mistaken arrest concluded, but the public and even Blake aren’t entitled to the details of any possible punishment.
Officers’ disciplinary records are secret under state law, city officials say. Blake said he expects to be told the outcome by the police watchdog group that brought the case, but it’s not a right.
”That I’m not entirely entitled to know what happens when it involved me just makes no sense,” Blake told The Associated Press. ”Something needs to change.”
Officer James Frascatore, who arrested Blake outside a Manhattan hotel in 2015, has been accused of using inappropriate force on someone who never resisted or tried to flee. Frascatore was part of an undercover operation targeting credit card fraud and mistakenly thought Blake was one of the suspects. The arrest was captured on security video.