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Tuesday
Aug142018

Maryland accepts 'legal and moral responsibility' for football player who died after practice

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The University of Maryland said it accepts "legal and moral responsibility" for mistakes made in treating a 19-year-old player who collapsed during a practice in May and died two weeks later.

Jordan McNair died June 13 from complications related to extreme exhaustion and heatstroke after a May 29 workout, ESPN reported. McNair's body temperature, according to medical reports, was 106 when he was admitted to the hospital.

University President Wallace D. Loh said at a press conference on Tuesday that he and Athletic Director Damon Evans had met with McNair's parents and apologized for mistakes made by the football team's training staff. McNair didn't receive appropriate medical attention and best practices weren't followed, Loh added.

"No Maryland student-athlete will ever be in a situation where his or her life will be at risk, especially when that risk is foreseeable," Loh said.

Rick Court, the strength and conditioning coach, had been placed on leave Aug. 12 and turned in a letter of resignation on Aug. 13. Wes Robinson, the head football trainer, and Steve Nordwall, director of athletic training, were placed on administrative leave Aug. 10, according to ESPN.

Court, who posted his resignation letter on Twitter, "contributed to an environment based on fear and intimidation, including throwing objects and small weights in the direction of players," sources told ESPN.

DJ Durkin, the head football coach, was placed on administrative leave Aug. 11, after ESPN reported "allegations of abuse and disparagement in the program" that included "belittling, humiliation and embarrassment of players" and "extreme verbal abuse" and a player who said "he was forced to overeat or eat to the point of vomiting."

"You can motivate people and push them to the limit," Loh said, "without bullying and intimidating behavior."

An attorney representing McNair's parents said in a statement to ABC News: "While Marty and Tonya will never get another day with Jordan, Dr. Loh's words were meaningful to them and give them some comfort that he will put the university on the path to change the culture of the program so that no Terrapin family will have to endure the heartache and grief they feel."

The school has retained an expert team of sports medical and training personnel to review McNair's case as well as university policies, and a public report is expected to be released mid-September that includes findings from external investigators, ESPN reported. The football team also said it's added safeguards such as having more water breaks during practices.

Evans said Tuesday that he had "not witnessed any behavior as was described in the media, but it is important that we investigate all these allegations."

Evans, after serving as the school's interim athletic director, officially took over July 2. He joined Maryland in December 2014 as a top aide to then-athletic director, Kevin Anderson. Evans played football at Georgia, where he later served as athletic director until a July 2010 DUI arrest.

"We need to evaluate that culture, make sure the environment is safe," Evans told reporters on Tuesday. "I'm the one that can lead us through these difficult times."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug142018

Scoreboard roundup -- 8/13/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:
    
   INTERLEAGUE
 Final  N-Y Mets     8  N-Y Yankees   5
 Final  Cleveland   10  Cincinnati    3
 Final  Texas        5  Arizona       3
 Final  L-A Angels   6  San Diego     3, 10 Innings
    
   AMERICAN LEAGUE
 Final  Detroit       9  Chi White Sox   5
 Final  Kansas City   3  Toronto         1
 Final  Oakland       7  Seattle         6
    
   NATIONAL LEAGUE
 Final  Atlanta         9  Miami         1
 Final  Atlanta         6  Miami         1
 Final  St. Louis       7  Washington    6
 Final  San Francisco   5  L-A Dodgers   2

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug132018

Serena Williams will wear a $500 dress with a tutu to the US Open

Nike(NEW YORK) -- Serena Williams is one of tennis' most stylish stars, and at the 2018 U.S. Open, expect her to make an even bigger splash than usual.

Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh has teamed up with Nike to design a special outfit for Williams to wear: a black one-shoulder dress replete with a tulle skirt and his signature quotation graphic.

She will also play in a special pair of NikeCourt Flare sneakers and warm up off the court in an Abloh-designed jacket.

All of the clothing, including her $500 dress and $900 jacket, will be available at select Nike locations later this month, according to Vogue.

“When I first tried on the dress, I felt very strong and feminine at the same time. It has all the really strong elements, from the leather to that really cool stretchy material," Williams told Vogue. "I felt so feminine in the tutu, which is probably my favorite part of it. It really embodies what I always say: that you can be strong and beautiful at the same time."

Nike stated in a press release that Abloh and the NikeCourt team met in Paris to discuss what Williams' performance dress might look like, and then Williams chose elements that she liked best. One inspiration? The tennis champion's love of dance and ballet. Abloh sees similar themes in tennis.

"What I love about tennis is the gracefulness. It's an aggressive and powerful game, but it takes touch and finesse," Abloh said in the press release. "So the dress is feminine, but combines her aggression. It's partially revealing. It's asymmetrical. It has a sort of ballerina-esque silhouette to symbolize her grace. It's not about bells and whistles and tricks. It's just about it living on the body, and expressing Serena’s spirit with each swing of the racket."

Williams is also excited about wearing an outfit that "is so different for tennis" -- and of course, living out her fantasy of wearing a tutu.

"I have never worn a tutu. Every girl loves a tutu, or at least I do!" she said. "It’s always been my dream to wear a tutu, and I can’t wait to wear it on court."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug132018

Boys reunite with dad at Cleveland Indians game after yearlong deployment at Guantanamo Bay

ABC News(CLEVELAND) -- It was Sasha Lieb's first time at a Cleveland Indians' game in Ohio.

On Aug. 6, the 9-year-old was picked to play a fan game that involves opening briefcases for a prize.

However, before Sasha started playing the game, the announcer had a little surprise for him.

"Somebody special wants to weigh in on which case you should pick," she told Sasha.

She directed him to look at the Jumbotron, where he and brother Jonah, 6, then spotted their father, Tim Lieb, larger than life on the screen.

"Hey Jonah and Sasha!" Lieb said.

It was a nice surprise because Lieb, a U.S. Coast Guard chief petty officer, had been gone from home for a year, stationed in Guantanamo Bay, and he'd promised Sasha that they would attend his first ballgame together.

Lieb then turned his son's attention back to the briefcases, each bearing the letter K, E and Y.

"I'm pretty sure you should pick letter K," Lieb told his son.

Sasha took his father's advice and when the briefcase was opened, a message was revealed: "I'm home."

Lieb appeared at the side of the small landing where Sasha and Jonah were standing. The fans applauded and cameras flashed as the boys ran over and jumped into their waiting father's arms.

"He turned, looked at me and said, 'Dad?'" Lieb told ABC News, "like almost in a question mark."

"I just jumped over and hugged him," Sasha said. "I was like, 'Dad's home! Dad's home! Dad's home!' And that's the best prize ever."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Aug122018

South Florida police union urges members to boycott Miami Dolphins, NFL

Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images(MIAMI) -- A South Florida police union is urging its members and the local law enforcement community to boycott the Miami Dolphins football team after some players protested the national anthem at a preseason game last week.

Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt, while defensive end Robert Quinn raised a clenched fist during "The Star-Spangled Banner" before their team played against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Thursday night.

The next morning, the Broward County Police Benevolent Association called on its union members, as well as all police officers in nearby counties, to boycott any ticket sales, merchandise or products from the Miami Dolphins and the National Football League.

"Anybody that disrespects the flag during the national anthem is personally offensive to me, having spent four years of my life -- six months in the Persian Gulf -- and having friends that have died while serving in the military," Rod Skirvin, vice president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, told ABC News in a telephone interview Sunday. "That being said, I do not have a problem with peaceful protests, whatsoever, I also served in the military to preserve that right for people. I just feel that the forum that they are using to do that is extremely offensive to a large part of America."

Representatives for the Miami Dolphins did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

A few weeks ago, the NFL invited the Broward County Police Benevolent Association and other South Florida police unions to a Dolphins game on Nov. 4 that's slated to honor first responders. The organizations collectively decided to accept that invitation and offer its members discounts on tickets to the game, because the NFL had announced in May a new policy to fine teams for players who sit or kneel during the national anthem, according to Skirvin.

But the NFL put the policy on hold last month and said players wouldn't be penalized until it reaches an agreement with the NFL Players Association over how to deal with those who protest the national anthem.

After Thursday night's game, the Broward County Police Benevolent Association posted a statement on Facebook, asking its members and its sister organizations in Mami-Dade and Palm Beach counties to return their tickets and demand a full refund. Skirvin told ABC News he also emailed the Dolphins, saying the union would possibly reconsider if the NFL changes its policy

"We entered into this partnership with the understanding that the Dolphins organization would require their players to stand for the national anthem," the union said in the statement. "This did not happen at last night's preseason game against Tampa Bay. If you have already purchased tickets to this game, we encourage you to call the Dolphins ticket office to request a refund because this organization obviously DOES NOT honor first responders and the dangers they put themselves in every day."

The national anthem protests began during the 2016 NFL preseason when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling before games to raise awareness of social injustice, including police brutality against black Americans. But the protests really took off over the next couple years, with players from across the league joining Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media after taking a knee. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Kaepernick defended the protests amid criticism that it was anti-American or anti-military.

"The media painted this as I’m anti-American, anti-men-and-women of the military and that’s not the case at all," Kaepernick told reporters after a preseason game on Sept. 1, 2016. "I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put themselves in harm’s way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country and my freedom to take a seat or take a knee, so I have the utmost respect for them and I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way."

In early March 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers, making him a free agent. Kaepernick remains unsigned, and some have accused the NFL of blacklisting him, according to ESPN.

Skirin, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1986 to 1990 before joining the police force in Coconut Creek, Florida, said showing disrespect to the American flag, especially during the national anthem, is insulting to all those who serve the country and put their lives on the line, whether they are cops or soldiers.

"To have somebody as privileged as Mr. Kaepernick has been -- through his efforts of playing in the NFL -- to disrespect our national anthem to me is above and beyond," Skirvin told ABC News. "I find it personally offensive that he is protesting the police as hundreds of officers die every year to protect the citizens of their communities."

Skirvin said he and others in his community were also offended by the socks Kaepernick was seen wearing at 49ers training camp in August 2016 that depicted policemen as pigs.

"I acknowledge that not all police officers are perfect," Skirvin added. "But I do in my heart believe every police officer goes into this job with the intent of serving their community to the best of their abilities. And, ultimately, some have to give their lives to do that."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Aug122018

Scoreboard roundup -- 8/11/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Saturday’s sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
St. Louis 8, Kansas City 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Boston 5, Baltimore 0
N.Y. Yankees 5, Texas 3
Tampa Bay 3, Toronto 1
Minnesota 4, Detroit 3
Boston 6, Baltimore 4
Seattle 3, Houston 2
Cleveland 3, Chicago White Sox 1
Oakland 7, L.A. Angels 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 9, Chicago Cubs 4
Cincinnati 6, Arizona 3
Miami 4, N.Y. Mets 3, 11 Innings
Milwaukee 4, Atlanta 2
Colorado 3, L.A. Dodgers 2
Philadelphia 5, San Diego 1
Pittsburgh 4, San Francisco 0

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Atlanta 92, Dallas 82
Las Vegas 92, Indiana 74

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PRESEASON
Minnesota 42, Denver 28
Arizona 24, L.A. Chargers 17

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Philadelphia 3, New England 2

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Aug112018

Scoreboard roundup -- 8/10/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Friday’s sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
St. Louis 7, Kansas City 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Texas 12, N.Y. Yankees 7
Boston 19, Baltimore 12
Tampa Bay 7, Toronto 0
Detroit 5, Minnesota 3
Seattle 5, Houston 2
Chicago White Sox 1, Cleveland 0
L.A. Angels 4, Oakland 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Chicago Cubs 3, Washington 2
Cincinnati 3, Arizona 0
N.Y. Mets 6, Miami 2
Atlanta 10, Milwaukee 1
Colorado 5, L.A. Dodgers 4
San Diego 2, Philadelphia 0
San Francisco 13, Pittsburgh 10

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Chicago 97, Connecticut 86
Phoenix 94, Indiana 74

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PRESEASON
N.Y. Jets 17, Atlanta 0
Oakland 16, Detroit 10

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Aug102018

Scoreboard roundup - 8/9/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Cleveland     5  Minnesota   4
N-Y Yankees   7  Texas       3
Toronto       8  Boston      5
Tampa Bay     5  Baltimore   4
Seattle       8  Houston     6

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington    6  Atlanta         3
San Diego     8  Milwaukee       4
L-A Dodgers   8  Colorado        5
Pittsburgh   10  San Francisco   5

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Washington  100  Seattle       77
Atlanta      79  L.A. Sparks   73
Minnesota    89  Las Vegas     73

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Aug102018

Wake Forest coach in court after alleged fatal punch 

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An assistant basketball coach at Wake Forest University in North Carolina was in court Thursday after turning himself in for allegedly punching a tourist who later died.

Jamill Jones, 35, was arraigned in New York on third-degree assault charges, court records show.

Early Sunday morning in Queens, Sandor Szabo, 35, of Boca Raton, Florida, banged on the window of Jones' vehicle because he thought Jones was his Uber driver, authorities said.

Jones emerged from his SUV and punched Szabo, who fell to the ground, hit his head and later died at a local hospital, according to police and court documents.

Detectives told ABC New York station WABC-TV that Szabo had just left a family wedding, possibly while intoxicated, and was walking around banging on cars until he then pounded on Jones' SUV.

The Wake Forest Athletic Department released a statement that said: "We have just been made aware of this matter and we are gathering information. We will make a further statement after we learn more about the matter."

Jones was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court Oct. 2.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Aug092018

Petition calling for LeBron James to be education secretary amasses thousands of supporters

Jason Miller/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- A week after President Trump took a swipe at NBA star LeBron James’ intelligence, a new petition calls for the Ohio native to become education secretary.

The petition has over 10,000 online signatures as of Thursday morning and calls for James to replace current Secretary Betsy Devos, who has faced a somewhat-rocky tenure as the nation’s head of the Department of Education.

The petition presents a stark contrast between James and DeVos and implores the public to decide who should be at the helm of the agency.

"The first candidate is famed athlete LeBron James, a highly respected and extremely influential community advocate and activist who recently opened a state-of-the-art public school for at-risk children in Akron, Ohio," the author wrote.

"The second candidate is Betsy DeVos, a scandal-ridden Republican donor who shows an inexcusable dislike for public education, wants to gut protections for women and minorities, and has advocated for teachers to be armed in schools," the petition continues.

The petition was prompted by the latest feud between the president and James after the player gave an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon about a newly-opened public school for at-risk students.

The I Promise School, a new public school in Akron, established by the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools system, will run from July 30 through May 17, which is seven weeks longer than a normal school year. Every student receives free tuition, as well as free food, uniform and even a free bike, according to the organization.

"We want to create an environment of family and not like a workplace," James said at the opening.

Following the interview, Trump questioned James' intelligence on Twitter.

The president added in his tweet "I like Mike!" in an apparent reference to the debate over whether LeBron James is better than basketball legend Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan responded to the president’s comments through a spokesperson: "I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community."

Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, defended James calling Trump "a divider."

ABC News has reached out to the Department of Education for comment.

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