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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, 02:15 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, 03:39 PM
  • evil disco man
    Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt
    by evil disco man
    Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt
    June 15, 2006
    Onion Sports

    NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, and WASHINGTON, DC—With the Dow Jones average down over 600 points, factory productivity in a downward spiral, and workplace attendance down by nearly a third, experts say the U.S. World Cup team's heartbreaking 3-0 defeat at the hands of Czech Republic on Monday has brought life across the soccer-crazed nation to a virtual standstill.
    Enlarge ImageDevastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    "What happened in Gelsenkirchen has indeed dealt a grievous blow to the morale of the American people," said President Bush, who had promised his constituency a swift and speedy victory in the World Cup this year and whose popularity has taken a 9 percent hit since the U.S. team's loss. "I want the citizens of this great nation, the world's only remaining superpower, to know that I grieve alongside them and urge them to be strong in our hour of darkness, and urge them to return to their jobs and schools despite their heavy hearts."

    Mere days ago, the feeling across the nation was one of great joy, eager anticipation, and optimism for the prospects of the most talented American team to ever take the field. It is estimated that over 85 percent of U.S. households were watching the USA–Czech Republic matchup. And going into the game that most Americans have been waiting for, analyzing, and all but living for during the past four years, schools, offices, shopping centers—everything, in fact, except vital services—closed their doors as the game began.

    Now, days after the end of penalty time, many of those doors are still closed.

    "I take full responsibility for losing the game," said Claudio Reyna, whose shot off the crossbar of the Czech goal as the U.S. trailed 1-0 in the opening half of play has been shown to coincide with a significant bump in the suicide rate, a momentary increase in reports of domestic violence, and a $0.45 increase in the per-gallon price of gasoline. "But we still have games to play in this opening round. I realize that the United States, more than any other country, loves this game. But that is no reason for so many people to cancel their weddings."

    The general feeling of hopelessness may be felt across the United States, the nation the rest of the world thinks of as Pelé's adopted home, the land that popularized the term "soccer," and Americans are finding many different ways to voice their despair.

    Hundreds of yards of black bunting hung over the head and arms of the Statue of Liberty has yet to be removed by the New York City Parks Department; similar shrouds have appeared on Mount Rushmore, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Hawaii's Pearl Harbor Memorial. Las Vegas casinos are running skeleton staffs at the tables...
    -06-15-2006, 08:19 PM
  • RamsFan16
    Sampson barred from off-campus recruiting
    by RamsFan16
    Sampson barred from off-campus recruitingAssociated Press


    Kelvin Sampson endured his first major loss at Indiana before ever coaching a game.

    The NCAA on Thursday banned the Hoosiers' new coach from calling recruits and making off-campus visits for a year, ruling Sampson and his staff at Oklahoma deliberately broke NCAA rules by making 577 extra phone calls to basketball prospects.

    The decision, announced by the NCAA's infractions committee, also requires Indiana to adopt self-imposed restrictions put in place by Oklahoma. Those sanctions include a ban on Sampson being paid performance bonuses for next season, but Indiana will suffer no scholarship penalties.

    Indiana said it did not intend to appeal the ruling -- and would not change its decision to hire Sampson.

    Infractions committee chairman Thomas Yeager said Sampson's Oklahoma staff "rationalized the infractions as not important."

    "While these may not be as notorious as some infractions the committee has seen in the past, they are important and produced the same objective, which was trying to induce recruits to attend the institution," Yeager said.

    Thursday's ruling could have threatened Sampson's tenure with the Hoosiers.

    When Sampson signed a seven-year deal April 20 to replace Mike Davis, Indiana officials inserted a provision that allowed the school to "take further action, up to and including termination" if the NCAA "imposes more significant penalties or sanctions than the University of Oklahoma's self-imposed sanctions."

    The infractions committee did just that, handing down stronger recruiting sanctions than Oklahoma recommended. The Sooners had restricted Sampson to fewer off-campus recruiting days last July and only 19 days last season.

    No sanctions were imposed on any of Sampson's Indiana assistant coaches, none of whom was at Oklahoma when the improper calls were made between 2000 and 2004.

    Yeager's committee thought Sampson's actions warranted harsher punishment for the calls, which were made at times when coaches were not supposed to be contacting recruits. Sampson made nearly half of the calls -- 233 -- himself.

    "I think there are more documented calls in this case than any other I'm familiar with," Yeager said.

    But Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan quickly ended any speculation of a short tenure for Sampson.

    "We knew that there could be further sanctions and we accept them," Greenspan said. "While these sanctions do present an immediate challenge, we are excited about the future with Coach Sampson."

    Sampson did escape some punishment with his move to Indiana after 12 seasons with the Sooners.

    Oklahoma's self-imposed sanctions included cutting two scholarships...
    -05-25-2006, 09:48 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, 01:20 PM
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