Lazare Adingono (Cameroon National Basketball Coach & Assistant Men’s Coach at Canisius College) has been arrested in Buffalo, USA on a felony charge of second-degree assault and a misdemeanour charge of endangering the welfare of a child, after allegedly using a belt on his four-year-old son’s back, neck and arms at the family home, about 8am on January 15th. His wife, Maureen, then took her son to the hospital for treatment.
The Erie County district attorney’s office is investigating and has yet to determine whether to pursue the case against Adingono. Canisius College Director of Athletics Bill Maher announced that assistant men’s basketball coach Lazare Adingono has been granted a leave of absence to attend to personal matters involving his family.
FISA (The International Rowing Federation) has temporarily delayed reviewing the Swiss boat numbers proposal, in favour of debating the issue properly at a congress in September. The Swiss proposal would have limited countries competing in the Olympics to only send a maximum of 10 boats across 14 potential classes.
If FISA were to accept this proposal, this would be another example of positive discrimination and the Olympic competition would cease to be about how fast a boat could go and more about which country it came from. It would also lead to some of the larger countries having to make decisions over which categories they entered competitors into.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded the European broadcast rights for both the 2014 (Sochi, Russia) and 2016 (as yet undecided) Winter Olympics to Sportsfive, a sports marketing agency in a deal thought to be worth about $316-million.
Sportfive was granted rights for all media platforms (including free and subscription television, Internet and mobile phones) across 40 countries in Europe. The agreement does not however include broadcast rights for Italy and Turkey (where the IOC already has deals with Sky Italia and Fox Turkey) or for France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain as the IOC will negotiate directly with these countries. Once all these figures are added together, the IOC is hopeful of achieving a 30% increase on its current $850-million deal with the European Broadcast Union (EBU) for the 2010 and 2012 rights.
Another day, another report into concussions in sport! This time the recommendations come from a Panel of experts from the London Hockey Concussion Summit in Ontario. The statement issued by the Summit chair, Dr. Paul Echlin, recommends that fighting (the major cause of high / head hits) should be eliminated in order to remove the incidence of concussions. It is important to note however that this statement was not unanimous, but rather was intended to be a talking point providing recommendations for future discussion.
The panel also advised that:
a central ‘concussion certification program’ (Proposed name: Hockey Concussion Initiative) be set up in which trainers, coaches and officials would gain knowledge aimed at recognizing and treating concussion. While this agency would initially be focused on Hockey injuries, ultimately the Panel hope that it could serve as a model for all sports in which head injuries occur such as football, soccer, rugby, skiing, skateboarding and cycling.
an NHL/Ontario Hockey League role model program be adopted
Studies should be launched leading to a data collection system
Players should undergo pre-season screening
A survey should be conducted of protective equipment.
The owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) are concerned that it could come under federal regulation in much the same way as boxing, if a new commission is established by a boxing bill currently before Congress. The bill’s House sponsor is Representative Peter King, (a New York Republican who previously tried to pass a similar bill in 2004). That time it succeeded in the Senate, but not the House.
While King comments that he can appreciate why UFC are worried, he has said there was no intent to cover mixed martial arts when the bill was drafted, and he has no intention to detract the focus away from boxing in order to streamline its passage through Congress. Apparently, President Barack Obama has yet to take a position on the bill.
The proposed legislation would establish a U.S. Boxing Commission under the Commerce Department, charged with protecting the health, safety and general interests of boxers. The commission would oversee all professional boxing matches and license boxers, promoters, managers and sanctioning organizations.
Essentially, by pushing for the bill, King is saying that he doesn’t trust the governance of National and International bodies like the International Boxing Federation (IBF) or the World Boxing Federation (WBF) to regulate the sport. If this position is true, I would think that UFC has every reason to be worried given the mixed reaction lawmakers have had to the sport.
It would seem that a consensus is slowly emerging regarding fighting in Ice Hockey. Paul Kelly (Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association) has now added his voice to the debate, saying that he did not believe that all fighting should be banned, however:
“Hypothetically,” Kelly said, “should we consider some kind of rule about helmets, that you need to keep them on during fights and do we instruct our officials that when a helmet comes off, that they should step in and stop the fight? That’s one of the things we should look at.”
Kelly said the other aspect of fighting that needs to be reviewed is “the fights that appear to be the most dangerous in our sport, the ones engaged in by the super-heavyweights, the 6-foot-7, 250-plus-pound players who frankly, just on the basis of sheer size and strength, have the ability to deliver really damaging blows. My view has always been, if the fight arises out of the emotion and spontaneity of the game, if you’re rising to the defence of a teammate or yourself as a result of a perceived dirty hit, then that’s all a natural part of the game,” he said.
“On the other hand, if it’s a staged fight — one of those events, just the two heavyweights, not precipitated by some hockey play and in some instances, prearranged [sometimes by text message before the game], if they just decide to drop the gloves prior to a faceoff or a certain designated point in the period — those are fights that we ought to take a serious look at and consider whether there’s some way to reduce or potentially to eliminate those.”
Eric Tillman (Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager and VP of Football Operations) has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16yr old girl on 6th August 2008. Apparently the charges relate to an alleged inappropriate touching from behind, however the police and club refuse to confirm or deny this. Although Tillman made a brief appearance in court today, the case has been adjourned until March 17th.
Tillman asks that the public reserve judgement until the legal process has run its course. When news of the story broke, he was suspended on full pay and will not be taking part in team operations.
Three Habs players (Andrei & Sergei Kostitsyn and Roman Hamrlik) were alleged to be friendly with 38-year-old Pasquale Mangiola, (an underworld figure accused of conspiracy, cocaine and weapons charges) who was arrested in a police sweep on Feb 12th. None of the players are accused of any wrongdoing, simply poor choice of companions
With all these WADA drug testing rules where athlete’s have to declare where they will be at a certain time, and now teams telling them who they can and cant be friends with, isn’t this a bit like being at school? Next thing you know, the next big scandal will be athlete fails to tidy his bedroom shocker!!!!
Rick Vaive (former captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs) believes that new rules are needed to curb fighting in professional ice hockey, because the fighting skills of the new generation of players, coupled with their size and strength have made the sport much more dangerous than it ever used to be. What has changed since Vaive’s time, is the fact that Canada has seen two recent tragedies in quick succession to Don Sanderson (who died earlier in January after hitting his head on the ice during a fight in Ontario) and to Garrett Klotz (who suffered a seizure and was taken to hospital after a fight in the AHL) and he hopes that the National Hockey League’s general managers make a serious attempt to examine the issue when they meet in March.
Indeed, one organisation – the Ontario Hockey Association has already made changes. From next season:
any player removing his helmet or undoing his chin strap during a fight will be given a gross misconduct penalty and an automatic one-game suspension. The player will be dealt the same penalty if he attempts to take off his opponent’s helmet.
Officials have also been instructed to be “more vigilant” in stopping fights.
The OHA will also work with helmet manufacturers and the Canadian Standards Association to determine whether the current fastening systems for helmets can be improved.
Players who drops the gloves regularly have also been targeted.
In addition to receiving an automatic game misconduct for fighting — a policy that was already in place — players who engage in three fights in a season will be given a one-game ban. A fourth fight will result in a two-game suspension, while a fifth fight will lead to a three-game ban. A sixth fighting major will result in an indefinite suspension.
Interestingly though, Dave Andrews (the AHL President) recently commented that: “Can you play without it? Obviously,” he said. “There is no way you can say fighting has to be part of hockey. There are all sorts of great hockey games that don’t have fights in them. I listened to the players in this debate and I haven’t heard any take the position we should eliminate fighting from the game, even the skilled guys.”
Mike Milbury (a commentator on popular CBC show – Hockey Night in Canada) has offended homosexuals by describing how stopping fighting in the NHL was akin to ‘pansification’.
Jeff KEay (network spokesman for the channel) has said that neither Milbury nor his fellow commentators intended to cause offence and instead argued that the colloquial use of the term has meant that the word is much more acceptable in today’s society!
This seems an argument that CBC are destined to lose. Just as Carol Thatcher got into trouble for allegedly referring to a black player as a ‘golliwog’ (see post below), so Milbury’s phrase is equally wrong. Yes, I know what he intended to say – that reducing hockey to a gentle mild-mannered non-contact sport would be wrong, and yes I know the term ‘pansy’ is in the common vernacular, but that does not make it any more acceptable. Free speech is one thing, but using this phrase, not once but repeatedly, seems rather ill-judged.
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Kris is a Senior Lecturer, and Co-Director of the Centre for International Sports Law (CISL) at Staffordshire University, UK. He originally trained and competed as an elite gymnast until a shoulder injury at university forced him to retire as an active competitor. He now spends his spare time coaching Trampolining, Gymnastics, DMT, Cheerleading, Parkour and anything that involves throwing yourself through the air with various degrees of twist and rotation!
Jon is an Associate Professor, and Co-Director of the Centre for International Sports Law (CISL) at Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia. Jon worked as a climbing guide, trained and coordinated search and rescue, managed risk and sales in the United States with a European-based manufacturer of outdoor equipment and advised recreation programmes on their exposure to legal risk. His extra-curricular background is just as diverse and includes stints playing semi-pro volleyball in Brazil, researching wolves in the Canadian Rockies, climbing and leading expeditions from Alaska to Argentina, Tajikistan to the Tetons, and many points in between. He has been married to Wendy for 15 years and together they have 2 wonderful kids – Tegan (10) and Brock (8) – whom he continues to emotionally scar as their football coach!