A different view of sports

Clearing my mind and notebook while still waiting for NBC’s Lester Holt to admit that he got snookered by propaganda from North Korean officials with his Olympic reports from a ski resort:

Sexual revolution

The Dominos are falling fast.

It all began with Wednesday’s sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar on sexual abuse charges, which has led to the resignations of the USA Gymnastics Board of Trustees, Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon and MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis.

Nassar, who was also employed by Michigan State, began working as a trainer for USA Gymnastics in 1986 and served as the organization’s national medical coordinator from 1996 to 2014. He graduated from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1993.

In September 2016, the Indianapolis Star reported that two former gymnasts had accused Nassar of sexual abuse during his treatments. After years of denials, the floodgates finally opened and by the time of this week’s sentencing more than 150 gymnasts had testified against Nassar. His victims have included several Olympic gold medalists, including McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman.

With the sentencing handed down Wednesday, the 54-year-old Nassar faces up to 175 years behind bars. He had previously been sentenced to 40 years on pornography charges.

Michigan judge Rosemarie Aquilina told Nassar that she had “signed your death warrant.”

Because of his actions, there are lawsuits filed against USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State.

While some of the incidents have nothing to do with Nassar, the practice of covering up allegations of sexual assault at Michigan State goes beyond gymnastics.

The allegations that have forced Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo to defend the policies of their programs could lead to more resignations.

Even the highly respected Dantonio and Izzo may not survive this purge.

Yes, the Dominos are falling.

Women’s voices are finally being heard loud and clear. And that’s a good thing.

They said it

Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W. Va.:  “Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting patients. It was the first time gymnasts ever gave a judge a 10.”

RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com:  A snowstorm prompted the AHL Charlotte Checkers to play a home contest with no fans in attendance. The arena was so empty, it felt like a Florida Panthers game.”

TBS comedian Conan O’Brien: “North Korea has announced that it will send a group of citizens called the “cheering squad” to next month’s Winter Olympics. And many of them are expected to actually compete in a new event called the ‘400 Meter Defection.’”

Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald after a collision left Rangers left winger Jimmy Vesey playing most of a game with two teeth embedded in his lower lip: “It’s not as gross as it sounds — he’s pretty sure one of the teeth is his.”

Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com: “MSU lineman David Beeble on Nassar situation: ‘As a MALE football player, situations such as this are rare so if it was to arise in football, I feel that action would’ve been taken immediately.’ He’s right, unless maybe it was a football coach.”

Travis Krol, former college roommate of Matt Patricia to the Detroit Free Press on why the New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator has a beard: “He’ll probably kill me, but he’s got dimples. You can’t be a coach of men with dimples.”

Vin Scully recalling the time he played golf with fellow broadcasting icon Keith Jackson to the L.A. Times: “He was not only a great player, but he kindly spent a lot of time helping me look for my ball.”

The briar patch

Since she resigned, we can assume Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon was admitting that she hadn’t done enough to react to the criminal actions of Dr. Larry Nassar or the allegations of other sexual assaults within the athletics department.

But if she was admitting any sort of guilt, she certainly isn’t being punished for it.

Her separation agreement allows her to take a 12-month research leave in the College of Education at her current salary of $750,000 and then return to the faculty at full salary for a second year and 75 percent of her salary ($562,500) for two more years. She will also receive office space and secretarial support and hold the title of “president emeritus.”

That’s not all. She’ll also receive:

  • Parking passes for on-campus parking
  • Parking pass for all home sporting and cultural events
  • Two free tickets to home football games for the Spartan Club suites
  • Two free tickets to women’s basketball games
  • The option to buy up to four men’s basketball tickets in the same location she currently has seats
  • Reduced-price tickets for bowl games and post-season play for football, men’s and women’s basketball and ice hockey

Yep, that really is making her pay a price for poor leadership.

 Headlines

TheOnion.com: “Fired-up Patriots ready to give full 60, maybe 70 percent against Jacksonville.”

SportsPickle.com: “Steelers vow to bounce back strong at Pro Bowl.”

Fark.com:  “Johnny Manziel’s deadline to sign a CFL contract is ‘fluid’ – just like his diet.”

TheOnion.com: “Blake Bortles out to prove he’s worth franchise-crippling contract.”

TheKicker.com: “James Harrison petitions to have the Eagles play in Steelers uniforms.”

Fark.com: “USOC to USA Gymnastics board: ‘Resign of GTFO.’”

SportsPickle.com: “LeBron posts message to his future self on Instagram, congratulating himself on leaving Cleveland again.”

TheKicker.com: “Doc Rivers forces Clippers to take self-defense class at local mall.”

Ring, ring, ring

Brandon Marshall, who has been in the NFL for 12 years and never experienced the playoffs, should start angling for a free-agent contract with the New England Patriots.

The New York Giants receiver is clearly jealous of the Patriots’ success.

With Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick advancing to the Super Bowl for the eighth time (they’ve won five of previous seven), Marshall went off on a rant on sports talk radio.

“Players should be ashamed, coaches should be ashamed, owners should be ashamed,” said Marshall. “How do we let these guys do this year in and year out?

“Congratulations, you guys are phenomenal, you guys are great …. Can’t get any better. But how do 31 other organizations let this happen?”

My takes

Rehastagging this week’s top tweets from @Randy_Beard11

  • “As part of lawsuit settlement with USA Gymnastics, MaKayla Maroney signed nondisclosure agreement and could have levied fine of more than $100,000 for speaking about abuse. After several celebrities offered to pay the fine, the organization allowed her to testify without fine.”
  • At least someone will be getting a ring. South Carolina alum Stephon Gilmore, now a cornerback with the Patriots, will be covering South Carolina alum and Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery in Super Bowl LII.
  • Who are brainiacs who do the videos that are part of the pregame “analysis” for NFL games. I’m speaking of the Tom vs. Tom nonsense CBS did to preview mental matchup of Tom Brady vs Tom Coughlin? I also have no use for Jim Rome’s opinion. I want to be informed, not entertained.
  • Zion Williamson picks Duke, which reels in top 3 recruits with No.1 R.J. Barrett (SF), No. 2 Williamson (PF) and No. 3 Cam Reddish (SF). We need NCAA to appoint a special prosecutor.
  • Know Your Audience Department: Got offer today to subscribe to Evansville Courier & Press for $4.31 per month signed by Patricia Miller, President of Indiana Gannett, which forced me to retire 2 years early and after I won 2 SPJ Indiana Awards in May. Hah! #gannettcankissmyass

 X marks the sport

SportsPickle.com’s 10 most amazing aspects of the new XFL:

  1. All tackles that are not helmet-to-helmet result in immediate ejection from game.
  2. He Hate Me is now named He Mid-Level Assistant Coach.
  3. When someone catches the football it will count as a catch.
  4. Players who kneel for the anthem will be hit in the back of the head by a metal chair.
  5. Also, the anthem is “Welcome to the Jungle.”
  6. Every drive that picks up more than one first down will be accompanied by this GIF (promoting Hulu) on the stadium Jumbotron.”
  7. You want Tommy Maddox? You got Tommy Maddox.
  8. The actual football will be slightly less shitty than it was before.”
  9. Johnny Manziel has promised not to do meth on game days.
  10. The MVP of each season’s XFL title game will be given a cabinet position of his choosing.”

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