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  • Conspiracy at the Euro? No, not in soccer

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/socce...nspiracy_x.htm


    No investigation of Denmark-Sweden tie

    LISBON, Portugal (AP) European soccer's ruling body has no plans to investigate the tie between Sweden and Denmark that sent both teams to the European Championships quarterfinals and eliminated Italy.
    Conspiracy theories had swirled in the Italian media that the Scandinavian neighbors would play for the 2-2 result. Any tie 2-2 or above automatically eliminated Italy.


    "So far there are no elements to start any investigation or proceedings in this case," Julien Sieveking, UEFA's disciplinary counsel, said Wednesday. He added the Italian federation had not lodged a complaint.

    Italy defeated Bulgaria 2-1 on Tuesday but the outcome became irrelevant because of the Sweden-Denmark finish.

    "Until I see the goals, I'm hesitant to believe it was a fix," Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni said. "Certainly, that result could raise some doubts, but I remain convinced that, in general, sporting ethics prevail."

    Mattias Jonson capitalized on a goalkeeping blunder with a minute left to give Sweden the tie.

    "If you see the game, you see there is no way you can fix a match like this," said Henrik Larsson, who had Sweden's opening goal. "Not even Spielberg could write a script like this."

    Added Jon Dahl Tomasson, who scored twice for Denmark: "If you look at the game, we tried to play for the three points."

    Sweden, Denmark and Italy each finished with five points in Group C. The two Nordic countries advanced because they had scored more goals than Italy, which tied 0-0 with Denmark and 1-1 with Sweden.

    "Looking at the matches and the way they were played and the drama of the two games, I don't think there is any doubt whatsoever that there was any type of collusion at all," UEFA spokesman Rob Faulkner said.

    Trapattoni said Wednesday he was "not going to search for alibis," and suggested Italy start addressing the problems of the national team. The 65-year-old coach, whose contract expires July 15, said he would not resign. His four years with the team were also marked by a second-round exit at the 2002 World Cup.

    Marcello Lippi, who just stepped down at Juventus, is widely expected to be hired as Italy's new coach

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  • txramsfan
    U.S. tries to close in on World Cup Berth
    by txramsfan
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050817/...NlYwMlJVRPUCUl


    EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - Claudio Reyna is rested, and ready to help lead the United States closer to a World Cup berth.

    He skipped a pair of World Cup qualifiers in early June, drawing some criticism from Bruce Arena. But the U.S. coach now praises the decision by his captain, who wanted to heal from leg injuries and get ready for what he hopes will be 12 straight healthy months that will take him through next year's World Cup.

    "I just needed a rest. I wanted to get my body right," he said Tuesday, a day ahead of the Americans' World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago.

    The 32-year-old midfielder missed much of last season with Manchester City because of leg injuries and has played just once with the national team since September, the 2-1 loss at Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in March.

    He missed the game against Guatemala three days later because of a sprained ankle, then wanted a seven-week rest after the English Premier League season ended. Reyna spent the time with his family in the Hamptons and the Caribbean.

    "Being injured for so long is a lot worse mentally than when you're playing and having to deal with just trying to play well," he said. "I was looking at the big picture, the long term. I didn't want to just play through injuries and not really be fit. I think it benefits me and the team if I'm fully fit and mentally rested. I felt I needed it. It was hard because I've never taken a break from the national team since I was 20."

    The U.S. captain most of the time he's been on the field since 1999, he also was captain of Manchester City for the first time last Saturday, filling in while regular captain Sylvain Distin is sidelined for the opening month.

    "He's been our most consistent player that's played in Europe and has played at the highest level for a long time," Landon Donovan said. "He doesn't yell at people. He doesn't say much, but he's just calming. Our team constantly wants to go, go, go, and he's the guy that knows when to settle it down. But he also knows when to go. You always want him on the ball. He's going to make things happen. It's invaluable."

    Arena says Reyna looks fit and thinks the rest was beneficial.

    "The young player look up to him," the coach said. "The older players obviously are friends with him and he brings confidence to the group."

    The United States (4-1) is second in the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region with 12 points, one behind Mexico (4-0-1), and can move to the verge of qualifying for its fifth straight World Cup.

    Costa Rica (2-2-1), which plays at Mexico, is third with...
    -08-17-2005, 03:15 PM
  • txramsfan
    Tiger's Tourney draws criticism
    by txramsfan
    http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/new...v=ap&type=lgns


    Criticism mounts over new event having short field
    By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer
    March 8, 2007

    PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) -- Saying he was "insulted" by the prospect of Tiger Woods' new tournament being treated like an invitational, Rich Beem said he would rally players against the PGA Tour to make sure the event had a full field.

    "It's the most totally wrong thing I've heard of in a long time that's sticking it to the players," Beem said Thursday.


    PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has said that the AT&T National, to be played July 5-8 in Washington with Woods as the host, likely would be considered along the lines of tournaments run by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer that have limited fields.

    The Memorial Tournament has a minimum of 105 players, while the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill has a minimum of 120 players, although 133 eligible players already have committed to play next week in Orlando.

    Finchem said several details have not been finalized for the tournament, which will be run by the Tiger Woods Foundation.

    "I've had some preliminary conversations with our board and I have to believe that we will work with Tiger and the foundation to fine-tune it," Finchem said at a press conference Wednesday. "But my guess is that at the end of the day, the field size will be commensurate with what you generally see in invitationals, which is a somewhat limited field."

    This caught several players by surprise.

    "I was shocked when I heard that," Brad Faxon said. "We've got players looking for spots, and we're replacing a tournament that had a full field. With the amount of tournaments we have that are invitationals, it doesn't make sense to do more."

    Other invitationals on the PGA Tour include the MCI Heritage and the Colonial. That doesn't include the three World Golf Championships.

    Faxon and Beem are part of the 16-member Player Advisory Council, which reports to the tour's policy board.

    PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said PAC input would be included before Finchem makes a formal recommendation to the policy board. The next scheduled meeting of the PAC is not until the end of April.

    This is the second time in the last five months that some players have felt Finchem spoke too soon.

    In November, the commissioner said the playoff events for the FedEx Cup this year would have 144-man fields, with players being mathematically eliminated from contention along the way, even though they could still tee it up. In a revolt led by Tom Pernice Jr., the tour changed course and decided to reduce the fields to 120 players, then 70 players until 30 players reached the...
    -03-10-2007, 04:39 PM
  • txramsfan
    Biggest upset at the Olympics
    by txramsfan
    Won't top this one......




    ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Top-seeded Roger Federer was eliminated in the second round of the Olympics Tuesday night, losing 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

    Federer, who won Wimbledon the past two years and replaced Andy Roddick atop the rankings in February, was undone by poor serving and a string of unforced errors on the shadowy Court 1.

    The Swiss star, who looked sluggish in the last two sets, was broken by the 74th-ranked Berdych in the last game of the match.

    Tomas Berdych admitted that Roger Federer might have been off his game a bit during Tuesday's match.

    "It was everything," Berdych said. "This guy won Wimbledon and the Australian Open and now you are the player who beats him. Unbelievable."

    Federer handily took the opener, breaking to 3-2 then simply holding serve to take the set.

    But he started to struggle in the second set, unable to gain control. Berdych won four consecutive points to break Federer's serve for a 5-3 advantage. Federer managed to break back immediately, but he seemed to lose some confidence.

    The Czech capitalized on several mistakes to break at 6-5, and Federer lost the set on one of many double faults.

    The third set proved no easier for Federer, with Berdych easily keeping pace. With the Czech leading 6-5, Federer committed a double fault and three unforced errors to lose the match.

    "I was serving well and not making too many unforced errors, which was crucial playing someone like Roger," Berdych said. "And maybe Roger was not on his form."

    Berdych will next face 15th-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain, who beat him in Davis Cup play in February.

    "I want revenge," Berdych said with a smile.

    Federer had entered the match 58-5 this season and was the favorite in Athens.

    Four years ago in Sydney, Federer narrowly missed out on a medal. Tommy Haas of Germany defeated him for a place in the final and Federer subsequently lost the bronze-medal match to Arnaud Di Pasquale of France.
    -08-17-2004, 02:17 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Illinois' Turner might be out after third losing season in row
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 21, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Illinois coach Ron Turner said repeatedly he hopes to stay. His players all want him to come back.

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    Now it's Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther's turn to have his say.

    After weeks of silence, Guenther could announce as early as Monday whether Turner will come back for a ninth season or be fired with two years left on his contract.

    "Of course I'm concerned," Turner said after the Illini's 28-21 overtime loss to Northwestern left them 3-8, their third straight losing season.

    "Ron and I will get together the next couple of days and talk. We really haven't talked much about it," Turner said. "We talked about the Northwestern game, we talked about preparing to win, going out there to try to win. We will get together next time, whenever, the next day or two."

    Turner took the Illini to the Sugar Bowl and a final No. 12 ranking just three seasons ago. But since then, Illinois is 9-26 and has won only one of its last 15 Big Ten games.

    The Illini are 35-37 in Turner's eight years and have had just two winning seasons. They've finished last in the Big Ten the past two seasons.

    "We definitely made progress, no doubt about it," Turner said. "Not enough to get the record where we want to get it, but we definitely made progress. We are a better team now. We are a lot better team defensively.

    "We have made progress and we have a lot of very good young players," he added. "They are going to be outstanding in the future."

    Guenther never said how many games Turner had to win to keep his job, only that he wanted to see progress from the Illini. Granted, Illinois won two more games than it did last year, but one was against Florida A&M, a Division I-AA team.

    The Illini were certainly more competitive. They were in the game against then-No. 15 Purdue until late in the fourth quarter and led then-No. 14 Michigan at halftime. But they were blown out by Minnesota, then lost to Iowa.

    They dominated Northwestern for all but two minutes of Saturday's game, but all their momentum evaporated when Jeff Backes returned a punt 73 yards for a score that tied the game at 21. The Illini missed a last-second field goal attempt, and then played in overtime like a team that was already beaten.

    "It's disappointing," Turner said. "We had a chance to finish it, we had chances to get a win. And we as a football team -- all of us, players and coaches -- didn't get it done."

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    But the players insist Turner isn't to blame for the Illini's struggles. He's been upbeat and worked as hard as ever, linebacker Matt Sinclair said. In...
    -11-21-2004, 06:02 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Owls ready to get kicked out of Big East nest
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 7, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    PHILADELHPIA -- Temple's futility is startling even by the most awful standards.

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    There are the 13 consecutive losing seasons, no bowl games since 1979, six one-win seasons in the last 15 years and five times since 1992 the Owls failed to win a conference game. The Owls spent most of the last two decades without a permanent home and crowds were as sparse as the victories.

    It gets worse.

    Big East teams decided it was no longer worth the automatic win to keep the Owls around. The conference gave the Owls a shove out of the nest and told them to look elsewhere to get kicked around.

    That was in March 2001. Time has run out for the Owls who start their final Big East season Saturday against Pittsburgh. Even a conference that only months ago was fighting for teams to stay wouldn't give the Owls another chance.

    The Owls are now looking for a home.

    "Temple may have been the only D-I member ever ousted from a league," Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said.

    The Owls now face life as an independent, if the program even stays around at all. Temple created a task force examining the viability of all its teams, with football -- for once -- on top.

    The reason for the eviction: The Owls didn't meet minimum requirements for membership, most notably in attendance, facilities and fielding a competitive team. Plus, Temple never had all its teams in the Big East, including men and women's basketball which plays in the Atlantic 10.

    "We have to make an honest evaluation of where we want to be and if we're willing to make the commitments necessary to do that," said Bradshaw, who was not the AD at the time Temple was axed from the Big East.

    Temple tried to spruce up the program. The Owls built a state of the art practice facility at their north campus that opened in 2001 and reached a deal last year with the Philadelphia Eagles to play all home games at Lincoln Financial Field.

    Attendance has always been a problem and playing in an NFL stadium was supposed to be a draw.

    Instead, the Owls were 85th in the country last year out of 117 Division I teams. Still, it was better than in 2001 when they were 94th out of 115 teams.

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    The record certainly hasn't helped.

    The Owls haven't had a winning record since they went 7-4 under Jerry Berndt in 1990 and had only one winning season in the 1980s (6-5, 1984). The Owls failed to win a game in 1986 and are 1-4 this year, including a 70-16 loss last week at home to Bowling Green.

    It was one of many humbling and disheartening games for Bobby Wallace, who's coached the Owls since 1998. Wallace has never won more than four games...
    -10-08-2004, 02:20 PM
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