A police video showing Andy Kennedy (University of Mississippi Basketball coach) being arrested on assault charge has been released. Kennedy and Bill Armstrong (Mississippi basketball operations coordinator) were arrested in downtown Cincinnati on December 18 for allegedly hitting and racially abusing an Arab taxi driver (Mohamed Moctar Ould Jiddou), a 25-year-old native of the northwest Africa country of Mauritania.
Jiddou later told reporters that the incident broke out after Kennedy hailed him and then asked him to pick up his friends. When four other people tried to get in, Jiddou said, he told them he couldn’t take that many because he only had four seat belts. Jiddou said Kennedy then began yelling, cussing him and calling him “bin Laden, Saddam Hussein,” and hit him in the face.
Kennedy denies all the allegations and in fact has counter sued Jiddou and another witness for $25,000 alleging defamation of character (his wife also alleges a loss of consortium!)
The deposition has been set for 9 March, while the criminal case is set for April.
Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3880848&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines ; http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090211/NEWS0107/902110338
The Kennedy Counter-Claim: kennedy-counterclaim
Jiddou’s response: jiddou-response
A recent ESPN documentary “Outside the Lines” has explored accusations that the Houston Texans American Football team required players to participate in one-on-one contact blocking drill in May 2008, in violation of NFL rules which ban the practice in the offseason.
According to several players, even after a complaint to head coach Gary Kubiak, the drills continued and subsequently led to season-ending injuries to three offensive linesmen (Chukky Okobi, Jordan Black & Dan Stevenson). All three players required surgical intervention. While Okobi couldn’t be reached for comment. Black and Stevenson said that although they accept football’s injury risks, they are distressed that their seasons ended in a drill they say should not have taken place.
ESPN also reports that Fred Weary (Former Texans guard) supports their story: “In the Texans’ defense they did tell us what was going on. They did give us parameters, like going half-speed during the drills. But when guys are trying to make the team, those parameters go out the window.”
Stevenson and Black have labor grievances pending against the team, and Stevenson plans to sue the Texans. Asked about the players’ charges, team counsel Suzie Thomas wrote in an e-mail: “I am unable to comment, other than to say that information set forth … is inaccurate.”
The collective bargaining agreement between the player’s union and the league specifies that if proved, a team will lose a week of organised team activities for a first violation, and the head coach can be fined. If a second violation is discovered within a calendar year, the team could lose the fourth-round pick.
Source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/6249413.html ; http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3885900&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines
ESPN reports that Helio Castoneves (Two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion) is due to appear before the courts with his sister and attorney on conspiracy and six counts of federal tax evasion charges. (Each of these seven counts carries a 5-year prison sentence).
Although the Internal Revenue Service alleges that Castroneves hid £5.5million in income through a variety of shell corporations and offshore bank accounts, Castrovenes denied the charges, claiming he relied on the “advice of lawyers and experts to handle his finances.”
Coincidentally, the trial date is the same day (March 2nd) as Barry Bond’s trial starts!
ESPN reports on NASCAR’s new drug testing policy which had been implemented as a response to the admissions of two Truck Series drivers that they were using drugs, but that nobody on either the teams or NASCAR itself had noticed. Indeed, Aaron Fike’s admitted that he had competed under the influence of heroin, while Ron Hornaday had received shipments of testosterone and Human Growth Hormone (although nobody alleges that this was for anything other than to combat a hormone imbalance).
Because of these revelations, all drivers and crew members in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Nationwide Truck Series will now have to submit to mandatory pre-season tests conducted by an independent laboratory in order to establish baseline levels. Random testing will then be continued throughout the season. This marks a sea change from previous seasons, where testing was only conducted after “reasonable suspicion”.
A failed test by a driver will be made public, but not those by crew members (although two pit-crew members were reported to have failed tests on Kevin Harwick’s team). Three failed tests will result in an automatic lifetime ban.
Brian France (NASCAR Chairman) explained that the drugs policy was not implemented because they had a particular problem with drugs, but rather was an attempt to distance themselves from the scandals currently engulfing other sports, and to ensure that NASCAR was being pro-active about the use of these substances.
Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/racing/news/story?id=3887109&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines ; http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/columns/story?columnist=smith_marty&id=3815670
ESPN reports that Dana Stubblefield (four-time Pro Bowl lineman) was fined $5,000 and sentenced in Federal court to two year’s probation for lying to investigators regarding the BALCO drugs scandal and his use of steroids (including the designer drug THG).
Although Stubblefield had pleaded guilty to the charges in 2008, he managed to avoid jail time by providing information to the government regarding illegal drug use in the NFL.
Neither the NFL nor Stubbleman commented to the associated press.
Jeremy Lusk, 24, an American Freestyle Motocross rider died last Tuesday while attempting a backflip in the X-Knights competition in Costa Rica. Tragically, Lusk failed to a complete a full rotation of the backflip and catapulting head first into the dirt immediately on landing.
Eerily, Lusk had crashed in exactly the same manner while performing exactly the same trick during the X Games in 2007, on that occasion though he just managed to get his arms out to enable him to tuck and roll safely, scaring himself, but not suffering any lasting damage. Sadly, the landing in Costa Rica was slightly more underrotated and this was not possible.
A trust has been set up in Jeremy’s memory, and donations can be made through the Athlete Recovery Fund, www.athleterecoveryfund.com.
Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ap-obit-lusk&prov=ap&type=lgns ; http://espn.go.com/action/news/story?id=3896499&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines
Although a video of the accident is available on Youtube and a variety of other sites, it is not an easy watch and I see no reason why it should be included, or linked to from this blog. If you do have to see what happened, watch the 2007 accident and use your imagination, but please please please remember if you do have to watch a video, be respectful.
ESPN report that Jamal Anderson (Former running back for the Falcons, and now ESPN analyst) was arrested and subsequently released for felony possession-of-cocaine and the lesser misdemeanour possession-of-cannabis on Sunday night.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that“a nightclub patron at the Peachtree Tavern alerted an off-duty police officer who was working security to possible drug use in the club’s restroom.” According to the paper, “Police found a 1-inch-square bag of cocaine and a suspected marijuana cigarette in Anderson’s pocket”