AP : Baylor Cover-Up Including Threatening Victims

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, The Law at 9:36 pm by

The Pepper Hamilton law firm entrusted with investigating Baylor University’s response to multiple sexual assault allegations against members of the school’s football program has concluded the school actively sought to coerce victims into, well, keeping their mouths shut. From the AP’s Jim Vertuno :

“A number of victims were told that if they made a report of rape, their parents would be informed of the details of where they were and what they were doing,” said Chad Dunn, a Houston attorney who represents six women who have sued Baylor under the anonymous identification of Jane Doe.

The nation’s largest Baptist university is a notably conservative place in one of the most conservative states in the country. Dancing on campus was banned until 1996. Fornication, adultery and homosexual acts were included in an official list of misconduct until May 2015, and the current policy stresses that “physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity.”

One woman said her case began when she called police to report a physical assault on another woman at an off-campus party. Police demanded to know if she was underage and had been drinking, then arrested and reported her to the school office that investigates conduct code violations, she said. She told Baylor officials her drinking was a result of being raped a month earlier and detailed what happened in person and in a letter.

She received an alcohol code violation and told to do 25 hours community service, and when she tried to appeal, the woman said Baylor officials urged her to drop it. The school never pursued her rape claim.


Meltzer’s Farewell To A Portland TV Fixture

Posted in Professional Wrestling at 10:17 pm by

Last week, Portland OR furniture chain owner Tom Peterson, a longtime sponsor of Portland Wrestling, passed away at the age of 86. Profiled by People Magazine in 1988 (“Some people say I’m an egomaniac. So what? If you’re going to spend a lot of money on advertising, you might as well spend it advertising yourself,”), Peterson is recalled by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer :

Peterson’s high energy commercials were a staple of the Portland Wrestling show during the 70s and 80s, and he later was the key sponsor of Frank Culbertson’s Portland Wrestling revival promotion, doing commercials with wife Gloria. Peterson opened his first furniture and appliance store in 1964 and by 1989 his chain of stores were doing $30 million per year in business. At one point he owned six furniture stores and in 1989, just as Portland Wrestling was dying out, he purchased the Stereo Super Stores chain, an ill fate move which ended up with his entire business declaring bankruptcy in 1992. He reopened one store at his original location. In the 1980s, the Oregonian said that Peterson, who did all his own commercials with his trademark crewcut haircut, was the most recognizable man in Portland. A Tom Peterson commercial played in the background of the movie “Drugstore Cowboy,” leading director Gus Van Sant to have him do cameos in several movies as well as putting another Peterson commercial in the movie “To Die For.” His face and name were also in the comic book “Boris the Bear #2 and there was a local song that got airplay for years in Portland called “I Woke Up with a Tom Peterson Haircut” that was released in 1987. Peterson’s death was due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, which he had been battling dating back to 1992.

Introducing The Flushing Version Of Jeffrey Maier

Posted in Baseball at 10:05 pm by

Your top defensive play of the night at Citi Field. Wilmer Flores wasruled out on fan interference, and the ejected Terry Collins spared the indignity of watching the finish…why does TC get off so easy?


A Disgrace To The Rich History Of The Tortuga & Hammerhead Franchises

Posted in Baseball at 8:41 pm by

Footage from last week’s outta control melee between the Florida State League’s Daytona Tortugas and Jupiter Hammerheads made a few of the more highly trafficked sports blogs today, forcing FSL President Ken Carson to confess the incident was, “one of the ugliest things that I’ve ever seen and I’ve been around baseball for 40 years and hockey for 20.” From The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Zach Dean :

The incident took place during the July 20 game against Jupiter after Tortugas first baseman Gavin LaValley was hit with a pitch with two outs in the ninth inning.

Tortugas manager Eli Marrero began jawing with the umpires after LaValley was hit and shouting could also be heard from Jupiter’s dugout. Hammerheads manager Randy Ready came out and Marrero eventually threw a punch at Ready, both benches cleared and several fights broke out across the diamond.

Making matters worse, the brawl took place on “Camp Day” at Jackie Robinson Park, with local summer camps and many elementary school age kids in attendance.

In addition to Marrero, five players, pitchers Brennan Bernardino and Keury Mella, catcher Garrett Boulware, infielder Ty Washington and outfielder Jonathan Reynoso received suspensions. The team is not required to reveal the length of player suspensions according to FSL rules.

“We don’t have to disclose that information, but anybody can figure it out,” Carson said of the amount of time a player is suspended.

“The one thing that I do is I don’t suspend everybody at once. The reason for that is the teams can’t go and play with 18 players or whatever it is. I’ll suspend one or two players at a time and then once their time is up I’ll suspend a few more.”


Not Every Wrestling Promotion Has To Resort To Something As Unbelievable As “The Final Deletion”

Posted in Going To The Zoo, Professional Wrestling at 7:47 pm by

Apologies to the Kalahari Gorilla, whom I’m certain would exercise better judgement nearing middle age than Jeff Hardy.


Sometimes Heroes Refuse To Wear Size XXXL Pullovers : Chris Sale Goes Mr. Blackwell On The White Sox

Posted in Baseball, Fashion at 9:50 pm by

Earlier tonight when it was announced that White Sox SP Chris Sale had been sent home due to an unspecified “clubhouse incident”, most presumed this to be a curiously-worded cover story prior to his being dealt to a contender for prospects. Instead, it’s being widely reported that Sale, unhappy with Chicago’s plans to don throwback uniforms based on the club’s 1976 ensemble (see above), personally rendered the jerseys unwearable before game time. From South Side Sox’s Jim Margalus :

The team came out wearing 1983 uniforms, which gave Tommy Stokke’s initial report some circumstantial evidence. Ken Rosenthal said Sale cut up the jerseys during batting practice, a last-ditch protest after his earlier complaints about comfort and priorities fell on deaf ears.

(Julie DiCaro said he used a knife, if you were wondering.)

If Sale didn’t have a rich history of insane behavior, he would have a good point. Maybe he still does. Looking back at last year’s post about the 1976 uniforms, I thought the jerseys were too billowy on everybody, but they worked best on the guys with broad builds. Smaller guys like Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino looked like they were wearing nightshirts.


ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman Is Still In Thrall To His Former Employer

Posted in Professional Wrestling, Sports Journalism, Sports TV at 7:08 pm by

ESPN anchor Jonathan Coachman previously toiled as an interviewer, analyst and a-little too-often, in-ring participant for the World Wrestling Entertainment.  With that in mind, you’d think Coachman aka “Coach” would recuse himself from commenting on the recent concussion sued filed against the WWE and Vince McMahon, but that’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a real journalist with an ounce of common sense.  Cageside Seats transcribes Coachman’s love letter to McMahon :

In 2003 was the first time I got into the ring to train to be an in-ring participant. The very first day I was in there, I suffered a concussion. There’s a very good chance … I didn’t get them all evaluated, but … probably between 10 and 20 concussions during my time from 2003 through 2008.

And the one thing I’ve always said about Vince McMahon is this: he is more loyal than any person, boss, human being that I have ever met in my life. It’s not just because he signed my paychecks for nearly a decade.

I don’t like it, in fact, I hate it when a certain group of people, and this was always the case when stars would leave to go somewhere else or they’d get fired because of something stupid that they did, and then they would blame Vince for whatever issues it was that they had.

Vince has recognized that, so he has paid all these guys for years and years and all he asks – all he asks – is that once a year at WrestleMania they show up, sign some autographs, shake some hands and then he pays them enough to live, right? And, so, in response to this, what do these 50 guys do? They go out and file a lawsuit that he was not there for them, and the company was not there for them, when they had all these concussion issues.

This drives me crazy, because for a lot of these people, this is a dream. It’s a dream come true. It’s not an easy business, it’s a tough business. But to come out and say that the company didn’t take care of you because of these concussions is just wrong. It will go away, and as a former employee and a person that loves that business, it just drives me crazy and I don’t like it.

On Thursday, Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer fired back :

By saying he had so many concussions that he never had evaluated, Coachman probably did more harm than good. Plus, his claiming that Vince takes care of all the ex-wrestlers out of the goodness of his heart is ridiculous. Guys get royalties for merchandise sold or being in DVDs, and the amount varies greatly, but the idea he pays everyone’s bills for a year and all they have to do is come to Mania once a year, and now they are suing him is such malarkey and that he said it on ESPN is really speaking without thinking.