SPORTS AND THE LAW
Sandusky declines to testify at trial
The defense in Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse trial in Bellefonte, Pa., rested on its third day Wednesday without calling the former Penn State assistant coach to dispute charges that he molested boys at his home and on campus for more than a decade.
Closing arguments were set for today in the case that led to the dismissal of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno, the ouster of the university president and a re-examination of college administrators’ role in reporting abuse charges.
The defense called only four new witnesses Wednesday, including a physician who they used to try to poke holes in the story of a Penn State coaching assistant who testified that he saw Sandusky sexually assault a boy in the campus showers more than a decade ago.
The defense’s case has consisted of character witnesses who defended Sandusky’s reputation, a psychologist who said Sandusky had a personality disorder and the former coach’s wife, who said she did not see her husband do anything inappropriate with the accusers. His lawyers showed that an investigator had shared information with an accuser about other alleged victims’ stories and repeatedly suggested that accusers have financial motivations for their claims.
BCS to propose four-team playoff
Bowl Championship Series commissioners reached a consensus on a model for a four-team, seeded playoff that will be presented to the university presidents next week for approval.
All that’s left is for the presidents to sign off, and major college football’s champion will be decided by playoff come the 2014 season.
The commissioners have been working on reshaping college football’s postseason since January. The meeting in Chicago was the sixth formal get-together of the year. They met for four hours and emerged together with a commitment to stand behind a plan.
In fact, all 11 commissioners stood shoulder-to-shoulder behind Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, who filled in for ailing BCS executive director Bill Hancock and read the BCS statement.
“We are excited to be on the threshold of creating a new postseason structure for college football that builds on the great popularity of our sport,” Swarbrick read.
But they were stingy about providing specifics of that plan.
They said they were reluctant to share too many details before they had a chance to discuss them with their bosses, the university presidents. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott did say the two semifinals would be worked into the existing major bowls, and the site of the national championship game will be bid out similarly to the Super Bowl. An unnamed source later told The Associated Press semifinals would rotate between the major bowls and not be tied to traditional conference sites.
Also: Poor academic scores could create a different kind of madness in March.
A record 10 men’s basketball teams, including three-time national champion Connecticut, will be banned from next season’s NCAA Tournament because of subpar work in the classroom.
Joining the Huskies on the sideline in March will be Arkansas-Pine Bluff, UC Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield, Jacksonville State, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina-Wilmington, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Toledo and Towson.
Disgruntled Harvin no-show at camp
Percy Harvin was nowhere to be found at the Minnesota Vikings’ mandatory minicamp practice in Eden Prairie, Minn., and no one seems to know when the star receiver will be back in purple.
Unhappy with several unspecified issues with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2009, Harvin requested a trade, a person with knowledge of the situation told the AP.
After participating in a light walk-through practice in the morning with his teammates, Harvin wasn’t present for the afternoon practice.
Also: Assistant head coach Joe Vitt said a piece of evidence recently made public in the NFL’s bounty investigation into the New Orleans Saints falsely portrays him pledging $5,000 for knocking then-Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2010 NFC title game.
In a statement issued by the team, Vitt said he has never pledged money for any type of performance incentives, let alone the cash-for-hits bounty program that the NFL says the Saints ran from 2009 to 2011 under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde has a sprained right wrist, but the team is hopeful the injury won’t keep him out long. Trainer Kevin Rand said Valverde will use a wrist immobilizer for the next two or three days.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy will have reconstructive surgery on his right elbow today and miss the rest of the season. Beachy was tied for the major league lead with a 2.00 ERA
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will have surgery on his left groin area today, and it’s unknown when he’ll return.
UNLV men’s golfers Derek Ernst and Kevin Penner were named honorable mention All-Americans by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Ernst, a senior last season, was fourth in the Mountain West Conference in scoring average and led the Rebels at 71.39 strokes over 36 rounds.
Penner, who will be a senior next season, was sixth in the MWC and second on the team with a 71.61 average over 36 rounds.