A sex tape not involving Paris Hilton

Cops questioned St. John's leading scorer Elijah Ingram, forward Grady Reynolds and center Abraham Keita after the woman accused them of raping her at their Pittsburgh hotel.

The players picked up the woman at a nearby strip club early yesterday, hours after the team lost to the University of Pittsburgh, 71-51, and its record fell to 5-14.

St. John's officials expelled Reynolds, who had a prior infraction last term, and moved to expel the other two players, who were suspended.

But when cops examined the cell phone, they played back a recording that had the woman threatening to concoct the rape claim because they refused to pay her $600 for sex, police and team sources said.

Police wound up clearing the players and charged the woman with prostitution, extortion and filing a false report.

"It's a business deal gone bad," a team source said.

Well, nobody comes out of this looking very good. The university looks awful, even after suspending the players. The players look terrible, and the woman is just an amateur prostitute. and not a good one. This is about as sad as a story can get. Sad in the pathetic sort of way.

posted by Poseur 2/06/2004 09:53:00 AM

Lewis retires

In related news, Lennox is planning to come out of retirement later this year.

posted by Poseur 2/06/2004 09:47:00 AM

Clarrett beats the NFL

In fact, Scheindlin, who is not just some night-court yahoo with a hammer and a graduation gown but a full-fledged U.S. District Court judge, said the NFL is so wrong that a trial to adjudicate the issue is unnecessary.

That's legalese for "You lose. Get out. Now."

Scheindlin ruled in favor of Ohio State running back and cause celebre Maurice Clarett in his suit against the league, which had barred him from the upcoming NFL Draft because he hadn't been out of high school for three years. She cited the NBA and NHL as leagues that had abandoned (or never bothered with) age limits, and in a fairly scathing but occasionally silly 70-page opinion said the NFL rule is "precisely the sort of conduct that the antitrust laws were designed to prevent."

A few things to note here.

ONE. The NFL draft is illegal as all hell. They do not want to keep going to court on this because there's no way they can win this. The draft, which is great for parity and distributing talent, is bad labor practice. It forces labor to negotiate with only one potential employer instead of trying their luck on the open market. It depresses wages and redtricts opportunity. Leagues need the draft to keep the franchises on equal footing and keep us entertained, but there's no way a decent labor lawyer couldn't tear this system to shreds. The players agree to this system because if the league thrives, they thrive as well (well, that, and the fact their union is impotent), but Tagliabue has got to drop this or else the reprecussions could be dire. He's not going to win. Forget about the age requirements, the draft itself is a faulty premise.

TWO. This isn't going to mean the end of college football. Most blue chip talent still gets redshirted, meaning they can't even compete against college seniors, much less full grown men. The NFL does not want to pay to develop young players, not when they have a perfectly good and free minor league system. High school players will need time and development, and given the fluid nature of rosters in the NFL, who wants to pay to develop a player for somebody else? Without a minor league system, the NFL will not be in any rush to draft young kids. Heck, Clarrett's almost 21.

THREE. Clarrett's durability is a huge concern. He's never played a full college season, much less a pro one. If he wants to test the waters, good for him, but he's probably costing himself millions of dollars by refusing to return to college ball. So maybe he is not just doing this for himself.

posted by Poseur 2/06/2004 09:44:00 AM


Xavier upsets Cincinnati

I'm just curious, is there a rivalry game that is better, year-in and year-out, than the queen City Rivalry. I swear, every year it seems like it comes down to the wire. It's why it's one of my favorite regular season games every season. I have no conenction to either school nor the city of Cincinnati (though I do like their airport in Kentucky), but I always make time for XU-UC.
posted by Poseur 2/04/2004 10:17:00 AM

Carmelo and LeBron snubbed

Both of these guys have lived up to the extreme hype. They are the most exciting rookie duo since Bird and Magic, and they are the best two reasons to watch the NBA right now. Even my boy Jason has admitted he underestimated how good LeBron is. OK, that out of the way, they didn't desrve the All-Star Game roster spots.

The coaches' selections, while unpopular, are hard to attack on their merit. Let's look, where does LeBron fit? He's putting up good numbers: 20.6 PPG, 5.9 APG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.5 SPG. So who made it?

- Michael Redd doesn't have the assist totals, but he's scoring 22.1 PPG and shooting lights out from three. He was also just named player of the month.
- Baron Davis has better numbers across the board: 23.3 PPG, 7.9 APG, 4.2 RPG, and 2.4 SPG. OK, the rebounds are lower, but the assists are way higher as well as points and steals. Davis clearly desreves the spot.
- Jason Kidd doesn't have the scoring totals, but he's still at 17.0 PPG, However, he's the best point guard in the game, averaging nearly 10 assists per night, as well as 6.4 RPG. He moves ahead.
- The only slight question is Paul Pierce. He still has better numbers: 22.9 PPG, 5.5 APG, 6.8 RPG, and 1.6 SPG. Ad last time I checked, the Celtics are doing better in the standings than the Cavs.

Carmelo's got a better case, he probably should be in ahead of either Kirelenko or Miller, but neither is an obvious snub. They are all roughly the same. Everybody needs to chill out, LeBron's good, but he ain't quite there yet.

posted by Poseur 2/04/2004 10:12:00 AM

Bobby Knight: Schoolyard Bully

"I absolutely did not instigate anything," Knight said at a news conference after an 83-63 victory over Baylor Tuesday night. "I'm absolutely pleased the president got all of the facts and went through things. I'm very comfortable with the way they handled it."

Knight said there had been discussions about a suspension, which he would have fought.

"I would have stayed through a suspension because I enjoy it here so much," said Knight, who took no questions from reporters about the altercation or reprimand. "I'm glad everything's behind us and I hope we can go on from here."

I make no secret of intensely disliking Bobby Knight. He's a bully, pure and simple, and anyone who dares criticize him in anyway is subject to his wrath and then that of his phalanx of apologists. The guy is a criminal. For real. He's not allowed in Puerto Rico because he was convicted of violating gun laws. CONVICTED, people. He assaulted a fan, he's made thousands of boorish comments, and he's continually disrespectful of his superiors while demanding fawning idol-worship from his players and employers.

Frankly, he can go to hell. Of course he didn't get suspended and of course Texas Tech bowed down. Their basketball program only exists as a national presence because of Knight. As soon as he goes, so too does the program. Just like Indiana before them, Texas Tech has sold their souls and now can't turn back. to quote They Might Be Giants, "You can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

posted by Poseur 2/04/2004 09:55:00 AM


Best Super Bowl ever?

In a word, no. The last quarter was fantastic, but the rest of this game was almost unwatchable. So, here's the unofficial BartCopSports Top Five super Bowls:

The first close Super Bowl, and the first to come down to the final kick in the waning seconds. Dallas held a 13-6 lead because of a blocked extra point going into the final quarter, but Unitas came off the bench one last time to lead the Colts to a touchdown and then the game-winning field goal with five seconds left. Why this game isn't one of the more storied games is beyond me.

Two of the best teams in NFL history and the Steelers got the best of it both times. X gets the nod because the Steelers rallied in the fourth from a 10-7 hole with a safety and then two field goals. They scored a touchdown with three minutes left to which Dallas responded with a touchdown of their own but couldn't convert the onside kick. And we don't have the famed drop in this game. Let Jackie Harris in the Hall of Fame already.

The Patriots won when there was no chance. This was supposed to be a lopsided game and merely a coronation of a Rams dynasty. Instead, they got ambushed and didn't show any life until they tied the game at the very end. Just when you thought the udnerdogs would crack, they calmly marched up the field for Vinatieri to kick the game-wnner. Just an awesome upset and a great game.

People forget the Niners first Super Bowl win was over the Bengals as well, but this is the one we remember. And with good reason. After a battle of field goals, Jennings returned a kickoff for 93 yards. San Fran wouldn't socre a touchdown until they tied it in the fourth. Breech kicked what may have been one of the ultimate clutch field goals, a 40-yarder with 3:20 left, but it is forgotten because of that incredible drive Montana put together, resulting in a game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds left. If you were watching, you remember that entire drive.

Strange that two of the best games ever were sandwiched in the middle of the blowout era of the Super Bowl. This game, however, is a monument to great football. A nine-minuted rive to begin the second half? Are you kidding me? Bavaro's catch, Norwood's miss, Bruce smith's safety. This one had it all. And, of course, it came down to that infamous final play. Two completely constrasting styles and two great teams slugged it out to the very end. I judge all Super Bowls against this one.

posted by Poseur 2/03/2004 02:07:00 PM

Random musing on the Super Bowl

- The Patriots have a great defense, but my God, that was a pitiful display of tackling. Look at Foster's big run again, he breaks two arm tackles en route to the end zone. all night long, the first guy missed, leaving the best tacklers on the team (the safeties) make the hit.

- Brady isn't a mobile QB, but the guy has terrific footwork in the pocket. The offensive line did a good job of keeping the rush from Brady all night, but the Lord helps those who help themselves, and that's what Brady did. He avoided the rush brilliantly all night just by stepping up in the pocket or rolling out slightly. He's got terrific instincts. He got sacked 32 times this year, which is above league average, but the guys who get sacked a ton are the leadfoots and thescramblers who get bottled up (Kitna and McNabb).

- Even withhis abysmal 1-9 for 1 yard beginning, Delhomme average 10 yards per pass attempt. He single-handedly kept the Panthers in the game, and while I won't quibble with Brady's MVP award, Delhomme was my personal choice.

- Kasay's getting the goat horns for kicking it out of bounds, but since that kick wasn't even close, I'm thinking it was a coaching decision by Fox. Which would be a stupid decision, but not as stupid as Belichek's squib kick or the two-point conversion call, which still bothers me.

- TIf this was the greatest Super Bowl ever, we should never have this game again. Becuase it was a total dog for most of the night, capped off by a brilliant fourth quarter. If I wanted to watch a penalty-filled, mistake-prone title game, I say we bring back the XFL.

- It didn't matter in the end, but when was the last time an official actually called offensive pass interference for a push off? sure, it was the right call, but it's like calling travelling in the NBA.

- The commercials sucked. Apparently, the MoveOn ad wasn't allowed because it was tasteful. OK, there were some decent ones, I liked willie Nelson, the Budweiser referee and his wife ad, and the "Tommorrow" ad for NFL Network.

- I saw boob. Can we please stp pretending this wasn't a planned event?

- Oh yeah, the game. The better team won. I think that's the biggeest thing. The Panthers made it game, but the Patriots should have been winning the game by 20 points or so at the half, but they couldn't take advantage of a Panthers offense which had one first down for the first 28 minutes.
posted by Poseur 2/03/2004 01:44:00 PM


Adventures in two point conversions

More analysis later, but let this game stand as a monument as to why you do not go for two early on. This has always been a per peeve of mine, coaches going for two early on, when there are too many scoring variables to count, but never before has it so clearly cost a team the Super Bowl. I'm surprised by how little play this has gotten in the press: John Fox cost his team three points in the fourth quarter.

Let's review, at 21-16, Fox elects to go for two, setting in motion the string of two-point follies. Now, he wants to get within a field goal, but if the Pats simply kick a field goal they are up by exactly seven if you just kick the PAT. Do you take the under 50% chance of getting within three, or the 99% chance of getting within four? This should eb a complete no-brainer. Then, the Panthers score a go-ahead touchdown, but insyead of going up 24-21 had they kicked the two PAT's, now it's 22-21 and Fox is virtually forced to go for two. It doesn't work. Now, when the Patriots score their touchdown, had Fox simply taken his PAT's, they would have kicked a PAT themselves and taken a nice 28-24 lead, instead they went for two to create a seven-point margin, which worked: 29-22. The Panthers scrambled for the score, but instead of a go-ahead touchdown, they just tied the game. And had Fox just kicked the PAT's, the Patriots last drive would simply have been to force overtime at 31-31 instead of the 32-29 win.

Fox, overall, did a great job. But he cost his team the Super Bowl by taking a foolish risk for one extra point, which eventually cost him three.

posted by Poseur 2/02/2004 09:13:00 AM

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