Sports Outside the Beltway

North Korean gymnasts banned for teammate’s false age

Hong Su Jong had previously competed at events, including the 2004 Summer Olympics. From AP-

North Korea’s gymnasts have been suspended from the world championships starting next week because one team member’s age had been falsified.

The International Gymnastics Federation said Thursday it provisionally suspended North Korea’s federation and gymnast Hong Su Jong for 30 days, ruling them out of the worlds – being held Oct. 16-24 in Rotterdam – and any other international or national event.

North Korea – which entered four women, including Hong, and two men to compete at the worlds – can appeal to the FIG within five days.

The FIG’s disciplinary commission met Wednesday and noted that Hong’s entry for the worlds had her birth date as March 9, 1989.

FIG documents show that she competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 worlds using a birth year of 1985, and won the silver medal on vault at the 2007 worlds using 1986.

If Hong was born in 1989, she would have been ineligible to compete in Athens. Gymnasts must turn at least 16 in the calendar year of an Olympics to be eligible.

Age falsification has been a problem in gymnastics since the 1980s, when the minimum age was raised from 14 to 15 to help protect still-developing athletes from serious injuries. The minimum age has been 16 since 1997.

It seems pretty dumb to me that the North Koreans thought they could slip a age change for Jong through without anyone noticing. All the publicity stemming from Chinese athletes at the 2008 Olympics have most likely made officials scrutunize age claims more seriously.

Was it fair to ban the whole team? I think so because it was North Korea’s responsibility to make sure of the age of its athletes. Jong’s prior history makes this look like a blatant effort at cheating.


2010 NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracket

Here it is-

2010 Women's bracket

Like with the Men’s tournament, I’ll take a shot at making some guesses predictions in the women’s also.


For the record- UConn beats Notre Dame 59-44

The Huskies broke the consecutive win streak also set by the Huskies back in 2001-03. From AP-

Tina Charles, Maya Moore and the latest Connecticut Huskies dynasty now have their own place in the record books.

Charles scored 16 points and Moore added 11 to help top-ranked Connecticut win an NCAA record 71st straight game — a 59-44 victory over Notre Dame (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) on Monday night in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

UConn surpassed its own mark set from Nov. 9, 2001, to March 11, 2003. Unlike that amazing run, which ended in a loss in the Big East conference tournament semifinals to Villanova, this Huskies team has thoroughly dominated its opponents in every game, winning all of them by double digits.

Connecticut (32-0) will face either West Virginia or Rutgers on Tuesday night with a chance to win its 16th Big East conference tournament championship.

Maybe the most spectacular aspect of UConn’s record is the fact they have seldom been behind in any of the 71 games. Has there ever been a more perfect sports team?


Parting gift- Montana State basketball program gets bequeathed $170,000

It was given by Ellen Kreighbaum who was instrumental in starting Women’s Sports at the University. From AP-

Montana State University’s women’s basketball program and the Bobcat Club are the beneficiaries of a $200,000 estate gift.

The MSU Athletics Department announced Friday that the gift was made by Ellen Kreighbaum, a pioneer in Bobcat women’s athletics.

The women’s basketball team will get $170,000, while the remaining $30,000 will go to the Bobcat Club for student-athlete scholarships.

Kreighbaum was instrumental in starting the MSU women’s basketball program in the late 1960s. She also helped establish the women’s athletic department at MSU.

Ellen Kreighbaum’s affiliation with Montana State began in the mid-1960′s. Prior to 1968 the school didn’t have a women’s athletic program.

The Florida High School I attended was bequeathed money to build its own swimming pool. It was still held up in probate at the time of my graduation.


Texas Community College Women’s basketball coach arrested

He and one of his players were arrested earlier this week. From AP-

The women’s basketball coach at an East Texas junior college and one of his players was released on bond Thursday after their arrests after a game.

Trinity Valley Community College coach Bill Damuth was freed from Washington County Jail on $1,500 bond Thursday, a day after Blinn College police arrested him on a charge of resisting arrest. Freed on $2,500 bond was Lesha Dunn, Trinity Valley’s 6-foot-4 freshman post player from Canada, who was charged with assault on a police officer.

According to Blinn spokeswoman Cathy Boeker, Damuth angrily charged game officials at the final buzzer of No. 4-ranked Trinity Valley’s 61-55 loss Wednesday night at Blinn, then struggled with a campus police officer who was trying to restrain him.

Boeker says Dunn came to her coach’s aid, grabbed the arm of the officer trying to restrain Damuth, then struggled from behind with a second officer who was trying to place Damuth in handcuffs.

Both spent the night in the Washington County Jail in Brenham before their arraignments Thursday morning.

The charge of resisting arrest is abused by law enforcement officials all the time. Without further facts, I won’t comment on the criminal charges. As for being angry at officials, Coach Damuth needs more self control.


Rutgers Basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer suspended for one game

She will miss the February 11th game against Seton Hall. From AP-

Rutgers suspended Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer on Tuesday for one game for misusing practice players.C. Vivian Stringer

Duncan Williams/Icon SMIC. Vivian Stringer was found to have violated an NCAA bylaw that bars managers from participating as practice players. Rutgers has only nine players on its roster.

Stringer will miss the Scarlet Knights’ game against Seton Hall on Wednesday. She is third among women’s coaches on the all-time victories list with 838 wins and was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last September.

Stringer violated an NCAA bylaw which states that managers may not participate as practice players with the institution’s team if they are not eligible student-athletes.

“Accountability is a vital element of the Rutgers athletics family,” the school’s athletic director, Tim Pernetti, said in a statement. “We will always follow what is in accordance with athletic department and NCAA policy.”

Associate head coach Carlene Mitchell will be the acting head coach against Seton Hall.

Rutgers is down to nine players due to one player transferring away from the school. In my opinion a one-game suspension or a warning is enough punishment for this particular rules violation.


Crystal Ball Time

My annual sports predictions for the upcoming year. Due to some unknown reason, I skipped doing this a year ago. What matters is I came back, right?

1 Cleveland beats the LA Lakers for the NBA Championship
2 Indianapolis defeats Arizona in the Super Bowl Crystall ball
3 San Jose defeats Washington for the Stanley Cup
4 St. Louis beats the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series
5 Tiger Woods returns to golf, wins at least one tournament but no major championships. That is a risky prediction in light of the fact that Tiger has won majors on 3 of this year’s host courses.(Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews)
6 Phil Mickelson wins the US Open
7 Michelle Wie wins at least two tournaments, one of which is a major championship
8 Ji Yai Shin is LPGA player of the year
9 A non-Korean golfer will be LPGA rookie of the year
10 Yu-Na Kim wins figure skating gold at the 2010 Olympics
11 The Miami Dolphins don’t make this year’s playoffs but have a winning 2010 season
12 The Miami Heat make the playoffs but lose in the 1st round
13 The Florida Marlins have a winning record but don’t make the playoffs
14 Urban Meyer doesn’t return as coach of the Florida Gators
15 Joe Paterno announces his retirement after the 2010 Penn State season is complete
16 The Florida Panthers don’t make the playoffs
17 The Florida Panthers trade Goalie Tomas Vokoun
18 Manny Pacquiao loses to Floyd Mayweather
19 Kansas defeats Purdue for the NCAA Basketball Championship
20 Texas defeats Alabama in the BCS Championship game
21 Army has a winning football season and gets a bowl invitation
22 Washington Redskins fire Coach Jim Zorn
23 Serena Williams wins at Wimbledon
24 Versus and Directv finally settle their dispute
25 A North American horse racing track closes its doors.
26 Sebastian Vettel wins the Formula World Drivers Championship
27 New York Rangers fire Coach John Tortorella
28 The New Jersey Nets don’t finish with the worst record in NBA history
29 Connecticut defeats Tennessee for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship
30 At least half these predictions are wrong

We’ll come back on December 31st 2010 and see how I did.


Eastern Illinois assistant basketball coach Jackie Moore dead at 28

Very sad and slightly reminiscent of Maggie Dixon who coached Army and died at the same age. RIP.

Jackie Moore, a 28-year-old assistant women’s basketball coach at Eastern Illinois, has died.Jackie Moore

The university says Moore died Wednesday night at a hospital after collapsing as she started a workout.

School spokesman Rich Moser says doctors said Moore’s heart “just stopped.” Moser says an autopsy is planned.

Moore was in her third season at the school. She graduated from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn., in 2005 and was from Windsor, Ontario.

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Penn hires Mike McLaughlin to coach women’s basketball

He replaces the recently fired Patrick Knapp. From AP-

Mike McLaughlin is the new women’s basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania, joining the Ivy League school after winning more than 400 games at Division II Holy Family University.

Penn athletic director Steve Bilsky announced the hiring Friday. McLaughlin replaces Patrick Knapp, who was fired last month after going 48-90 overall and 28-42 in the Ivy in five seasons with the Quakers.

McLaughlin went 407-61 in 14 seasons at Holy Family and won his 400th game faster than any women’s coach in NCAA history. He reached the milestone in 459 games, beating former Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore, who needed 463.

That’s an incredible record. That said, it will take more than few miracles for McLaughlin to do the same at Penn.


Women’s Sarasota marathon winner disqualified

Shadows of Rosie Ruiz. From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune-

SARASOTA — Cristina Noble, the first woman to cross the finish line at Sunday’s Sarasota Marathon, has been disqualified.

Race officials say she missed electronic checkpoints at mile 17 and 18 of the Sarasota race. Course monitors confirmed that she did not run a mile of the marathon on Ken Thompson Parkway.

The official women’s winner of the 2008 ABC-7 Sarasota Marathon is now Madeleine Zolfo, 43, of Treasure Island. She learned the news Monday night.

Madeleine Zolfo finished three minutes behind Sunday’s winner, but was named the winner Monday.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet phone call to get,” Zolfo said. “You know, to win because someone else got disqualified.”

Zolfo said the course was clearly marked on City Island, but she doesn’t know what happened with Noble.

Race officials didn’t elaborate. Noble is supposed to be a gifted runner with a similar time in last year’s Detroit marathon. Without her side of the story we can only guess what happened in Sarasota.


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