Investigation: No one at fault
in Notre Dame student’s death
The final investigation into the death of a student videographer who died after a 40-foot-high hydraulic lift he was atop blew over in a 53 mph gust during a Notre Dame football practice ended Monday without anyone involved being faulted or punished.
University officials acknowledged that their procedures and safeguards weren’t adequate but said they couldn’t find anyone to blame for 20-year-old Declan Sullivan’s death. No one was monitoring wind speeds when the lift blew over, but it wasn’t anyone’s job to do that, executive vice president John Affleck-Graves said.
The Rev. John Jenkins, the university president, said he ultimately was responsible, but he doesn’t expect any action to be taken against him.
“We did not find any individual who disregarded safety or was indifferent to safety. Consequently, there was not any individual discipline,” Jenkins said. “Our conclusion is that it’s a collective responsibility that must be dealt with collectively as we move forward.”
The university’s 130-plus page report found that while several members of the football staff were monitoring wind speeds before practice, they stopped checking after they went out for practice about 2:45 p.m.
Also: North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes will return for his sophomore season of basketball instead of declaring for the NBA Draft.
Barnes was the Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year, averaging nearly 16 points. The 6-foot-8-inch forward was widely regarded as the nation’s top freshman entering the season and helped the Tar Heels win 29 games and the ACC regular-season title before falling a win short of the Final Four.
Washington State guard Klay Thompson announced he will forgo his senior season and enter the NBA Draft, and the only likely scenario in which he’d return to school is if Thompson doesn’t believe he’ll be a first-round pick.
Thompson, the Pac-10 Conference’s leading scorer at nearly 22 points per game last season, said he believes he’ll be a first-round pick.
Suspended Penn State guard Taran Buie will transfer following a tumultuous freshman season.
Buie started the season as the Nittany Lions’ top reserve, averaging 5.8 points in 15 minutes a game, but he had several off-court problems. He was suspended in December for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Former UNLV coach Lon Kruger completed his coaching staff at Oklahoma by hiring assistant Chris Crutchfield away from Oral Roberts.
Five retired players sue NFLPA
over lost licensing royalties
Five retired players are suing the NFL Players Association in federal court, claiming the organization denied them and other former athletes lucrative royalties from licensing deals that used their images.
The class-action lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles and was first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The suit alleges breach of fiduciary duty by the players association and its for-profit Players Inc. subsidiary.
Among those suing the players association are former Washington Redskins receiver Walter Roberts III, former Baltimore Colts linebacker Bob Grant and former Cincinnati Bengals safety Marvin Cobb.
More than 2,000 ex-players agreed to a $26 million settlement two years ago over similar allegations. However, the new suit claims thousands of other players are entitled to royalties from video games, trading cards and other products.
Also: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play the Chicago Bears at London’s Wembley Stadium in October if the NFL season isn’t altered by a labor dispute.
The league said the Bucs will return to the British capital for the second time in three years, having lost to the New England Patriots at Wembley in 2009. For the Bears, the game on Oct. 23 will mark the 25th anniversary of having played a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at the stadium.
Though a public vote is still seven months away and the NFL is in a deep labor freeze, a new poll has found that 53 percent of New Jersey voters support allowing legal sports betting at Atlantic City’s casinos and at the horse tracks.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll surveyed voters in advance of a November referendum on whether people in New Jersey should be allowed to bet on professional sports.
Thirty percent of respondents opposed sports betting, while 17 percent weren’t sure.
Mason Rudolph, who qualified for the U.S. Open at the age of 16 and was the 1959 PGA Tour rookie of the year, has died. He was 76. Rudolph died at a Tuscaloosa, Ala., hospice.
UNLV right-hander Tanner Peters was named the Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 17.
Peters (6-2) hurled his fourth complete game, including his third in his last four starts in UNLV’s 7-2 win on Thursday over Brigham Young. He also struck out 11 in the victory.