Tag Archive | "paula duffy"

Jerry Sandusky guilty of 45 counts


Jerry Sandusky who was fighting 48 counts of criminal behavior related to sexual misconduct with 10 children over the course of almost 15 years, was found guilty Friday of 45 of the 48 counts. The jury in the Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania deliberated for less than two full days to reach the verdict that many were expecting.

Many in the jury pool were either employed by, attended or had been to Penn State University which made some think it more difficult to get a conviction against a man who had been considered and called “a local hero” during times of testimony.

Jurors were facing a weekend away from their homes and families when they unanimously agreed to convict the former Penn State coach and founder of The Second Mile charity.

Sandusky was taken away in handcuffs for processing and later posed for the mugshot shown here. As he faced the cameras and lights during what is called the “perp walk” Sandusky was solemn, without the jocular look he would display at times in court and to media members on his way in and out of the courthouse.

Sandusky faced eight of his victims who took the stand despite having to speak in detail about what could be considered unspeakable. Years of abuse that seemed to follow a pattern from friendship to physical intimacy that was unwanted all the way to forced intercourse was put forth by young adults who were all children as young as 10 when they began being violated by Sandusky

Joe Amendola, lead attorney for the Sandusky family commented afterwards:

“The Sandusky family is very disappointed about the verdict but we respect it. From the beginning of this case we said we had an uphill battle, trying to climb Everest from the very bottom.”

His co-counsel also commented saying:

“Jerry rose and saw some tears in his eyes. He’s always been a law abiding citizen, except for these allegations. We knew whatever the jury’s verdict was we’d have to honor it. “

Both attorneys told media that there are grounds for appeal, one of which was their inability to get a continuance prior to trial to wade through the evidence. Amendola’s defense had been criticized by some as weak and without the vigor expected. None of the defense witnesses countered the accusations of the victims of physical and sexual abuse. Rather, Amendola tried to show they were unsure of exact dates, times and how often they were with Sandusky.

After promising the jury during opening statements that Sandusky would testify in his own defense a decision was made to keep him off the stand. The jury only heard the voice of the defendant answer questions from NBC’s Bob Costas during an interview last November.

Mr. Amendola revealed at tonight’s media conference that his client did not testify because he learned that one of his adopted children was ready to testify against his father. When the prosecution said they wouldn’t use Matt Sandusky in their direct case, but would use his testimony to counter his father’s claims he made on the stand. The decision was made to keep Jerry Sandusky off the stand at that moment.

The facilities of Penn State University were used for many of the crimes and the fallout toppled an administration, including legendary football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno was never accused of criminal behavior as he informed his superiors of facts told to him by a witness to one of Sandusky’s acts with a young boy in the showers of the football facility.

It was Paterno’s lack of interest in following up on the facts to see if they were taken seriously or reported to authorities as was required under state law. After losing his job of over 50 years, he was treated for rapidly spreading lung cancer and died a few months later.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

Copyright ©2012 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, Features, NCAA, Recent BuzzComments (0)

MLB dress code, what would Oscar Madison think?


Major League Baseball is the first major pro sport in America to issue a dress code for credentialed media. What would the character Oscar Madison of “The Odd Couple” think?

He may have walked around with food stains on his clothes but he wasn’t in flip flops, tank tops or anything that bared his midriff, so he may have survived the cut regarding the new code.

Bare midriffs in the clubhouse, press box and on the field will be no more says MLB.

Senior VP Phyllis Merhige commented on mlb.com:

“We just thought it was time to get a little organized, to put it in place before there was an incident.”

An incident?

She may be referring to the few in the NFL with female reporters over the past year. Here are the items specifically mentioned as being unacceptable for media members who want to cover baseball this upcoming 2012-13 season.

Tank tops, halter tops, flip flops or what MLB called “shower shoes”, ripped jeans, shorts or skirts that are “more than three or four inches above the knees” are no longer acceptable. Bare midriffs are also on the no list as well as any attire that displays “visible undergarments.”

In a bit of an unexpected move, MLB included among the unacceptable articles of clothing, anything with a team or MLB logo on it, including shirts and ball caps.

One writer who suffers from male pattern baldness is going to miss his cap, he said on Yahoo! Looks like straw hats might be making a comeback.

It’s all the fault of those of us in smaller/newer media organizations, like this one.

Because we are freelance journalists, there are no corporate dress codes for us to follow, and it looks like common sense has not been the order of the day.

There is a particular emphasis on warm weather clothing. “The code is aimed at limiting provocative outfits during the hot summer months when clothes have a tendency to get skimpier,” MLB posted on their site.

MLB worked up the new dress code with the Baseball Writers Association of America, getting advice from one of the Association’s officers.

One question comes to mind: who will be measuring the length of skirts worn by ESPN, FOX Sports and other electronic media members when they cover baseball games?

 

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, MLB, Recent BuzzComments (0)

How will losing streak affect Lakers?


After a hot start this season, the Los Angeles find themselves in the midst of a losing streak that has hit four games after their loss on Wednesday to the Houston Rockets. Adding fuel to that fire is the fact that the Rockets played without Yao Ming and regular Lakers-killer Aaron Brooks yet still defeated LA 109-99.

The two most interesting stats may be that no Phil Jackson coached Bulls or Lakers team had ever lost four straight and won the championship that same season.

Since the arrival of Pau Gasol in February 2008, the team has not fallen four times in a row until now. In fact, the Lakers had not racked up three losses in a row during this Gasol era except for one time prior to the playoffs this spring. After that stretch, the team called a closed door meeting then came alive for a second straight NBA crown.

The Technical Foul Police help Lakers lose to the Suns

The last two seasons analysts had predicted doom for LA if the team continued playing down to its competition or waited to “turn it on” when faced with elimination. The Lakers defied all those predictions and have the NBA Championship rings to prove it.

So with this recent streak questions are being posed about the team that only a month ago was being hailed as deeper than the two that won the championship. Early on they played with passion and the bench was a revelation with the addition of point guard Steve Blake and forward, Matt Barnes.

Since then they are finding themselves losing to teams like Memphis, Indiana and Houston, three teams not considered to be loaded with near as much talent as the Lakers. The usual suspects are being dragged out for flogging–Kobe shoots too much, Gasol is playing too many minutes, Bynum isn’t on the court and Ron Artest isn’t performing on the offensive end of the court.

Phil Jackson knows that repeating as champ is tough enough but three-peating is much more challenging and the season is a marathon, not a sprint. The four game losing streak stat will loom over all of this, but those who are familiar with the team won’t be surprised if it becomes meaningless by the time this season comes to close.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, NBAComments (0)

ESPN Body Issue hits the stands


ESPN The Magazine’s second annual “Body Issue” hit the stands with more titillating shots of incredible athletic bodies. At least one of the photo subjects is presented in a light, so different and new, it makes you appreciate what artistic photography can accomplish. Despite that, some might say it’s all too much information.

Photos were taken of the New York Knicks’ Amrar’e Stoudemire, WNBA star, Diana Taurasi, Team USA goalie, Tim Howard, golfer Camilo Villegas, Dutch wheelchair tennis player, Esther Vergeer and last but certainly not least, the entire USA Women’s Water Polo Team.

More than one cover shot was produced and used, so that you don’t know which one you’ll see when you open up your mailbox to find the magazine. In homage to Playboy there is a full color pull-out of the cover suitable for framing, or just admiring in any way you see fit.

No delicate body parts displayed in full, but it is clear that the photo subjects are completely naked. As with any nude modeling shoot, subjects have been expertly directed how to use their arms, hands and legs to obscure the “money shot” so to speak.

What might shock some is the seeming ease with which the athletes display their many assets without much between them and the camera lens. The athletic bodies are works of art in and to themselves and in at least one case, that of Ms. Taurasi, her beauty is seemingly discovered once she rids herself of a basketball uniform and her on-court ponytail.

“Doing the shoot was something (new), and I had fun with it,” Taurasi claims. We can all attest to the reasoning behind her participation as expressed by her agent, who says that fans and the public will see his client in a new light; no pun intended.

The women’s water polo team is captured in an underwater ballet setting with strategic placing of water bubbles. Amar’e Stoudimire and Tim Howard utilize their large hands to cover their privates and Camilo Villegas executes that unbelievable push-up maneuver to look at break on a green prior to his putts, without anything between him and the grass.

The amazing transformation of Taurasi, from plain Jane hoop star to glamorous photo subject is similar to the reaction to last year’s stunning cover photo of tennis star Serena Williams. Glamorized and lit in the most favorable way, Serena’s body is as sculpted as any classic marble piece of art in a museum. It makes you realize that while in action at their respective sports, we are missing a whole heck of a lot.

The usual critiques have erupted about the message that nude photos send to the many young fans of these athletes. It’s not clear what that message is, other than the fact that these folks got paid for taking off their clothes and the shots are as far removed from “sexting” digital phone shots as one can get.

With the hoopla still swirling about the latest crotch photos of someone who is purported to be Vikings QB Brett Favre, the stark contrast between that kind of nasty stuff and The Magazine’s cover shots is plain for all to see.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in FeaturesComments (0)

Guerrero hits canvas but defeats Casamayor


Robert Guerrero’s nickname is the Ghost and yet it was his opponent that was hard to find in the ring.

Guerrero 27-1-1 18KOs, won a ten round unanimous decision against Joel Casamayor 37-5-1 22KOs, on the under card of the Marquez vs. Diaz II bout in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Casamayor looked at this fight as perhaps his last chance to demonstrate he could still hold his own against a fighter with a future as a champion. He did nothing to advance that intention.

At 39 years old with his best days behind him, he took on a good friend in Guerrero, 27 who he had mentored some years ago.

Two judges scored the fight 98-89 with the third seeing a 97-90 contest. From the lopsided scores you would have assumed it was a dominating performance by Guerrero, but you would be wrong.

Landing only an average of 5 punches per round, Casamayor looked like he was waiting for Guererro to make him have to work. Guerrero barely obliged him.

After the tenth and final round, during which Casamayor actually knocked down Guerrero on what appeared to be nothing more than a hard jab, the referee congratulated him for engaging his opponent for once in the fight.

Guerrero landed more punches but as a percentage of his total thrown he didn’t fare much better than Casamayor at 18%. The vast majority were jabs without much behind them.

There were two explanations given for his lackluster showing, by the TV announcers on the HBO PPV telecast. One was that Casamayor is known to be a head butter and Guerrero stayed away in fear of that.

The second explanation put forth by Emanuel Steward was less flattering to Guerrero. He looked at the fight and saw Casamayor as ripe for the picking, if only Guerrero would have stepped in and thrown a few punches in combination once he landed jabs that he kept throwing and landing.

Based on his jabs landing, Guerrero won the fight. This was nothing more than a victory rather than what he hoped would be a demonstration of his readiness to take on a more top level boxing opponent.

When Guerrero was knocked down late in the tenth and final round, he looked stunned after having been so kind to Casamayor throughout. His corner had bragged that their fighter had never been knocked down in the ring or out of it in training.

Welcome to the canvas young man. Try and explain why you fought at the pace of your aging and almost skill-less opponent and got tagged as the fight was winding down.

Guerrero was the sentimental favorite on the night since he had taken time away from the ring to care for his wife who contracted cancer. He helped care for the couple’s two young children and assisted his wife fight her own fight. Her cancer is now in remission.

For Golden Boy this couldn’t have been a pleasant sight. They were touting this under card for the Marquez-Diaz rematch as if it was a gift from God.

Jorge Linares dominates Rocky Juarez in unanimous decision

In the earlier fight between Jorge Linares and Rocky Juarez, the crowd was listless and started booing due to the lack of action in the ring.

They had to endure the same pace and lack of hard punching in Guerrero’s win against Casamayor.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, MMA/BoxingComments (0)

Where’s Brett Favre retirement news?


What’s missing from the daily news cycle as the NFL training camps open? The yearly angst about whether Brett Favre will retire or return for another season.

Instead we have been treated to our daily dose of LeBron James ever since he played his final game in the 2010 NBA playoffs.

The King has been the featured daily news hog as a result of his “Decision”, the fallout from it and the ESPN.com article that chronicled his night out in Vegas.

LeBron’s Vegas chronicle pulled by top brass

Brett Favre has been reduced to the size he should have been for the last three years. It’s a story that titillates only once and maybe twice.

For some, the third time is the charm but for news of Brett Favre’s Decision, it is strike three, you’re out. Thank you to all that is holy.

Two years ago we suffered through his retirement, his ugly divorce from Green Bay, a flirtation with their rivals the Minnesota Vikings and his ultimate arrival on the door step of the New York Jets.

Packers finally tell Favre to stay home

Last summer it was the will-he-or-won’t-he sign with the Vikings after a less than triumphant end of season in New York. The daily reports of flights to and from Hattiesburg were spellbinding for some, while others tried to suppress their gag reflexes.

Vikings fans sick of the Favre indecision

The current news on Favre is none. Just the same old photos of him throwing a football to high school students near his home in Mississippi, without it pointing one way or another to his return to the NFL.

He had the necessary surgery he said he wouldn’t undergo if he didn’t intend to return. We’ve been treated to the obligatory orations about him trying to recover enough to help a team again.

Kurt Warner shows Brett Favre how to retire with dignity

What’s new this time, other than the absence of interest in the story, is that his head coach has been honest about it all.

Brad Childress, Vikings head coach said that once Brett leaves home, he’d only need two to three weeks to ready himself to start a new NFL season.

That arrival would have him missing all of training camp and after the pre-season games were already in full swing. Hey, let poor Tavaris Jackson play the meaningless contests, right.

There you have it. Someone who finally gets the drama out of the way and speaks the obvious. The guy doesn’t want to attend training camp. Period.

No one thinks he won’t play again. That is why the silence about his third annual summer drama has been deafening. Been there, done that, more than we ever wanted.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, NFL, Recent BuzzComments (0)

Witness in Pitino case calls rape allegation “craziness”


Rick Pitino has an ally in defending his honor against rape charges. His name is Tim Sypher, the ex-husband of the woman on trial for extortion, in connection with the rape charges.

Pitino took the stand on Thursday for a second day and withstood cross-examination by Karen Sypher’s attorney, He was reported to have lost his composure when trying to describe how it felt to have his private indiscretions aired in public.

Louisville’s courier-journal.com reported Pitino told defense counsel, “It has been extremely embarrassing. The most difficult thing was telling my wife and children.”

What he was forced to tell them was that he had a brief sexual encounter in 2003 with Karen Sypher, then known as Karen Wise, a woman he had only met the night they had relations. The details of that are contained in the original story, found here.

He also had to confess that the woman claimed she got pregnant as a result of the sex with Pitino, had an abortion and in 2009 said she was raped that night in 2003, for which she was seeking money to keep it all on the down low.

That is where Tim Sypher comes in. Sypher was on Pitino’s coaching staff, in 2003, he served as the Louisville Cardinals’ equipment manager.

He met with Karen Wise, a woman he didn’t know, at the request of his boss. Rick Pitino then asked him to be part of a 2003 meeting with the two of them to discuss the pregnancy. From there it gets a bit weird.

Sypher testified that he drove his future wife to an abortion clinic in Cincinnati, only days after the meeting. They began a romantic affair and within six months they were married. They had a child together in 2005.

It wasn’t until early 2009 that Tim Sypher says, he first heard rape allegations from Karen. He told the court he found them surprising and troubling.

More disturbing to him was the fact that a man, not him, had left voice messages for Pitino about the rape claim.

In conjunction with making claims of rape, Karen Sypher started to demand things from Pitino. Tim delivered a letter to his boss containing a laundry list of of wants and desires. Somehow, no one thinks Tim was in agreement with Karen on how she was going about all this.

According to the courier-journal.com “She started saying I want this, I want that,” Sypher said. The letter to Pitino “… included a demand for money to pay for college for her four sons, a ‘car of my choice’ and a house paid off, according to the one-page, handwritten letter introduced in court.”

Tim Sypher characterized the rape charges against Pitino as “craziness”. He and his wife separated after she continued to insist on receiving compensation and the couple is now divorced.

In the coming days there will be more testimony about how her demands got her charged for extortion.

How will Pitino face parents of recruits after this?

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, Features, Recent BuzzComments (0)

Titans suing USC and Kiffin but not Pola?


The Tennessee Titans filed a civil lawsuit against USC and its football coach Lane Kiffin arising out of the school’s hiring of Kennedy Pola, the Titans’ running back coach.

They did not include coach Pola in the suit. The question is why.

This is a breach of contract case if pursued against Pola since the filed documents make clear that the assistant coach’s obligations were to notify his employer and obtain written permission to merely enter into discussions with a third party looking to employ him.

The case against the Titans alleges that they maliciously interfered with a contract they knew about including knowledge of the terms. There is case law in the state of Tennessee that allows for such a claim in addition to a state statute.

Money damages are sought including punitive amounts for the malicious nature of what the Titans believe occurred. And therein lies the only reasonable explanation of why Pola has been spared, at least for now.

Deep pockets are needed for cases like this, first for legal fees and then a potential settlement or a jury verdict if it even gets that far. Pola reportedly was paid $400,000 under the terms of his Titans deal, coming in pay checks just like all of us get from time to time.

USC, on the other hand is worth a whole heck of a lot more, as is Kiffin.

Kiffin will surely have to face the wrath of incoming Athletic Director, Pat Haden, who takes office on August 3. He can’t be happy to start his term by having to untangle another mess brought on by remnants of the bad old days at USC.

Lawsuits such as these can be dismissed prior to getting into the nitty-gritty of depositions and exchange of internal documents and communications. It isn’t likely this will be the case in this instance.

The case states the minimum it has to for a smell test and key facts are what is at issue. Did USC really know that Pola had to ask permission to leave? Were they informed that verbal approval was insufficient to proceed?

Those kinds of things require fact finding that will open USC and Kiffin to producing texts, phone records, emails and testimony about how in less than 48 hours, a man with a contract left his employer and joined another, without proper notice and approval.

Stay tuned..

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, NCAA, NFL, Recent BuzzComments (0)

Golden Boy Productions screams slander


Golden Boy Promotions announced late Tuesday that the New York State Athletic Commission has lifted the suspension of the company’s state boxing license, imposed on July 6.

After a hearing on the issues raised by the suspension, the NYSAC saw no reason not to reverse its earlier decision.

Golden Boy claims, “significant but innocent mistakes” caused suspension

Golden Boy is now on the war path, not against the Commission, but against a journalist it claims may have libeled the promotions company.

Golden Boy’s announcement of the reversal savages George Kimball who it claims is guilty of “unprofessional and personally vindictive reporting.”

Kimball’s untruths, according to GBP include reporting that the promotions company was suspended for unethical conduct, “…arising from supposed financial transactions relating to Golden Boy’s May 15, 2010 event in New York.”

The NYSAC ruled on Tuesday that GBP was guilty of omitting the existence of certain contracts. When they were produced, GBP says, the Commission found no evidence of anything other than failure to timely produce what was demanded.

In addition to lifting the suspension, the Commission assessed a $10,000 fine against GBP for violating a New York State law. There was no finding that the company committed any violation of the Ali Act.

The company’s statement ends with a threat to Mr. Kimball and his publishers. “It is our hope that the matter can be put to bed with a retraction and an apology. However, Golden Boy wants to make clear that going forward, it will not tolerate this kind of irresponsible journalism, and will move swiftly to vindicate itself in court and elsewhere.”

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, Features, MMA/Boxing, Recent BuzzComments (0)

Erin Andrews suing hotels


Erin Andrews has finally taken action against the hotels that enabled her stalker, Michael David Barrett to occupy rooms next to hers and secretly videotape her. 

Photo: GQ Magazine

Andrews just renewed her contract with ESPN that gives her more freedom to appear on the ABC network side of the Disney empire, in addition to working ESPN entertainment and sporting events. 

Earlier this week, Erin worked at the ESPY Awards during their Red Carpet special in downtown Los Angeles and then watched the show with her partner, Max Chmerkovskiy  from “Dancing With The Stars”. 

Red Carpet slideshow from ESPY’s Red Carpet,
 

The lawsuit names Marriott International and Radisson Hotels International and seeks damages for negligence, infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. 

On several occasions during 2008, the hotel chains provided Barrett with Andrews’ room information without her permission. Andrews traveled extensively in the course of her employment with ESPN. 

After obtaining that information Barrett then asked to rent the room adjacent to hers and the hotels granted that request. 

Barrett was able to videotape Andrews, while she was in various staged of undress, post the video to the Internet and allegedly shop the footage for sale to TMZ. 

Erin Andrews, a crime victim, ridiculed after nude video was posted on Internet
 

That led to his arrest and a 2009 guilty plea to stalking charges, for which is doing two and a half years of jail time. 

Andrews wants to send a message with the legal action. ” I do hope that my experience will cause the hospitality industry to be more vigilant in protecting its guests from the time they reserve a hotel room until they check out,” Andrews said in a statement, which was published by CNN. 

Used with permission of the author. 

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.  

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, FeaturesComments (0)

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