June 28, 2012

 

By RALPH D. RUSSO |

 

Associated Press

 

 

 

A committee of university presidents approved a plan for a four-team college football playoff, starting in 2014.

 

Here’s what you need to know about the new postseason format put together by the commissioners of the 11 major college football conferences and Notre Dame’s athletic director.

 

HOW WILL THE TEAMS BE CHOSEN? A selection committee will pick the four teams after the regular season, using guidelines such as strength of schedule, head-to-head results and won-loss record, while giving conference champions preference. The makeup of the committee is to be determined, but it likely will be about 20 conference commissioners and college athletic directors.

 

WHERE WILL THE GAMES BE PLAYED? The two semifinals will rotate among six sites. The current BCS games are the Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.), Sugar Bowl (New Orleans), Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.) and Orange Bowl (Miami). The Cotton Bowl, now played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has to be considered a front-runner to land one of the other two spots. Candidates for the other one? Try Atlanta and Jacksonville, Fla.

 

The championship game will become college football's Super Bowl. Any city can bid on it, even ones that host the semifinals and those that have not been traditional bowl sites. Expect most to be played in dome stadiums or at warm-weather sites.

 

WHEN WILL THE GAMES BE PLAYED? The semifinals will be played on Dec. 31 and/or Jan. 1. College football used to own New Year’s Day. The Bowl Championship Series got away from that. The leaders of the sport want to reclaim that day. The championship game will always be played on the first Monday in January that is at least six days after the semifinals. The first “Championship Monday” is Jan. 12, 2015.

 

WILL THIS PUT AN END TO THE CONTROVERSY? No. Doubling the field from two teams to four alleviates some of the problems that the Bowl Championship Series couldn't solve. There will still be plenty of complaining, but it will come from teams No. 5, 6 and 7, instead of Nos. 3 and 4. That's better. The further down you go in the rankings, the weaker the arguments get for inclusion. But there are plenty of people out there now that believe four is not nearly enough.

 

HOW MUCH? Conservative estimates have the television rights to the new playoff system being worth at least double what the BCS brought in. That means $300 million easy, probably more like $400 or $500. How it gets divided among the conferences is still to be finalized, though criteria has been set up:

 

— On-field success

 

— Teams’ expenses

 

— Marketplace factors

 

— Academic performance of student-athletes

 

In short the five power conferences (SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12) will get more than the others. The Big East no longer will get a big share, but how much smaller will it be?

 

HOW SOON AND FOR HOW LONG? The four-team playoff will start in the 2014 season because the current TV deals already have locked the Bowl Championship Series in for two more years. The next round of TV deals will be for 12 years. Those negotiations will begin in the fall. The 12-year deal accomplishes two goals for the commissioners:

 

1) They don’t want to deal with this every four years the way they have been.

 

2) It keeps the playoff from expanding for 12 years.

 

WILL IT GROW EVENTUALLY? No doubt. It will be successful, so why not have more of a good thing. Also, many if not all of the people who put this format together will have moved on when it's time to come up with another plan. College football is moving away from the current bowl system, in which it farms out its postseason to third parties. As a new structure evolves and conferences continue to realign, there is no reason to think the playoff will continue to have only four teams.

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Category: Sports

June 28, 2012

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — USA Track and Field officials say they will wait until after the women’s 200 meters Saturday night at the Olympic track trials to finalize plans for breaking a tie for third place in the 100 meters.

Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh finished the 100-meter final this past weekend in a dead heat for third. The top three finishers in each event at the trials make the U.S. Olympic team for London.

Felix and Tarmoh are both running in the 200.

The announcement Wednesday said officials would wait until after the 200 before determining how the tie would be resolved — either by coin flip or runoff. The decision could come Saturday night or Sunday morning, officials said.

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June 28, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Amare Stoudemire has been fined $50,000 by the NBA after the New York Knicks star tweeted a gay slur.

Stu Jackson, the league’s executive vice president of basketball operations, announced the fine Tuesday in a release, calling Stoudemire's language offensive and derogatory.

Stoudemire apologized Sunday to a fan for using the slur in response to a crude tweet in which the fan admonished the All-Star to “make up for this past season.”

The fan, @BFerrelli, tweeted his comment on Saturday and received a direct message containing an expletive and the slur from the account Twitter verifies as Stoudemire’s. BFerrelli, identified by the New York Daily News as Brian Ferrelli, posted a screen shot of the direct message. Direct messages can only be seen by the sender and the recipient.

Stoudemire also issued an apology in a statement Tuesday.

“I am a huge supporter of civil rights for all people,” he said. “I am disappointed in myself for my statement to a fan. I should have known better and there is no excuse.”

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June 28, 2012

By KENNETH MILLER

 

LA Watts Times Correspondent

 

It’s the first Saturday of summer on the backstretch of  Betfair Hollywood Park race track and just as the sun rises so too does the horses, trainers, grooms, exercise riders and jockeys, but there is one person who stands out in the crowd.

 

Kevin Krigger leaps from his black Dodge Durango with his green helmet, jockey boots, wearing a pair of blue jeans with a whip in his hand.

 

Down the dirt dust road he casually walks toward the barn with his agent, Vietnam veteran Tom Knust to discuss the workload for the morning.

 

The morning began at 7:30 and his first exercise mount is at eight and some six or seven mounts later he’s off to the jockey room for the first of two mounts he will have on the day’s racing card.

 

It is a routine that Krigger is all too familiar with as he competes for mounts on the most competitive circuit in America.

 

“From top to bottom this is the toughest level of competition there is,” explained Knust, who is a former racing secretary at Santa Anita Park.

 

So, for any jockey to earn mounts and sustain success is a rarity, but for a Black jockey as Krigger is makes for giant headlines in a sport that was once dominated by Blacks but is now almost void of them.

 

Marlon St. Julian of Louisiana became the first Black jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby in nearly 80 years when he rode 50-1 shot Curule in the 2001 Derby.

 

Krigger came oh so close to riding 2012 Derby and Preakness winner ‘I’ll Have Another’ but the mount went to Mario Gutierrez instead, although Krigger had worked the horse for trainer Doug O’Neal.

 

“That would have been great if that was to happen, but I didn’t get the assignment so I just keep on working. My time will come,” said Krigger.

 

Born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Island, Krigger has being riding for more than a decade, earning the respect of trainers and winning races at such small tracks as Thistledown in Ohio, Mountaineer Park in Chester West Virginia and then began to really raise eyebrows when he moved west to Golden Gate Fields in Northern California.

 

The soft-spoken and determined Krigger has career earnings of $14,456,725 from 6,196 mounts including 880 first place finishes, 899 second place finishes and 872 third place finishes.

 

During the current year which also includes his mounts at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, he’s rode 344 horses, won 41 races, second 35 times, third 57 times and earnings of $1,566,059.

 

Jockey’s earn percentages of purses that range from 10 for first, five for second, and three for third and so on. They also earn a meager $67-70 for each horse they ride, but 25 percent of their earnings go to agent fees.

 

It is a brutal business to say the least, not discounting that every mount could be your last. Horse’s breakdown, jockey make mistakes, but in the glamour of the sport fans and consumed bettors are only concern with winning.

 

Krigger understands that. The 28-year old has four children with his girlfriend Taisha, Kiki (11), Kunzai (5), Kevin Jr. (6) and Kynaira (2).

 

It should not be lost on you that all of his children initials are the same as his “KK” and their names are engraved onto the red leather saddle that rides on his many mounts.

 

He is not just happy to be along for the rides, but wants to become a dominant figure at the racetrack.

 

“I feel that I am the best jockey, but I am not always on the best horse,” he stated. In this business the best horses usually go to the jockey with the best reputation, talent or relationships.

 

Krigger has the talent and he is winning enough to gain a reputation as a capable jockey who can be trusted with a million dollar race- horse. Knust is adding the ingredient of developing the relationships.

 

“This (Betfair Hollywood Park) meeting has been slow, but I think he will have a big meeting at Del Mar and will be competing for meet titles for years to come,” added Knust.

 

For now, Krigger will make the most of his infrequent mounts in Inglewood, but he is expected to be prominent at Fairplex in Pomona although the big name jockeys by pass the bull ring.

 

“I just want to ride. I love riding horses and it is all that I ever wanted to do. If I wasn’t doing this I would be singing Reggae music,” Krigger concluded.

 

In a sport where Blacks rode 13 of the 15 horses in the first Kentucky Derby in 1875 to only disappear by 1921, Kevin Krigger is a vivid reminder of the good old days and living proof that Blacks can do more than just dominate in basketball, football and baseball. They can ride horses too, and for that we just want Kevin to Ride — KEVIN — Ride!

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June 28, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Three of the NBA's bright, young stars — Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose — will grace the cover of "NBA 2K13," the latest edition in a popular video game series.

The trio were selected Tuesday, a year after Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird were put on the cover of the game as the league and current players fought over a new labor deal.

Now the game's makers are moving from the past to the NBA's future. Each of the three new cover boys has won the Rookie of the Year award and Rose was the MVP in 2010-11.

Developed by Visual Concepts, a 2K Sports studio, "NBA 2K13" will be available Oct. 2 in North America and Oct. 5 internationally.

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