Tuesday, May 8, 2007

HERE'S A SHOCK: PRESSLER IS PISSED OFF

After showing initial support for the lacrosse team amid rape allegations against three players, Duke University officials caved to pressure, the team's former coach says in a book that goes on sale next month.

Mike Pressler resigned under fire last spring on the same day university President Richard Brodhead canceled the season -- a move the book contends helped harden public opinion that the woman's allegations were true.

"It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives It Shattered," goes on sale June 12. It's written by former Sports Illustrated reporter Don Yaeger with Pressler getting partial credit.

Remaining charges against three former lacrosse players were dropped last month by Attorney General Roy Cooper, whose office took over the lacrosse investigation from embattled Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.

But Pressler, now the lacrosse coach at Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., complains in the book that his name will always be associated with the Duke rape allegations that were dismissed as unreliable nearly a year later.


Two other books are due out between June and September.

DUKE TOP SEED IN LAX TOURNEY

Led by number one seed Duke, the Atlantic Coast Conference will be well represented in the 2007 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament. Virginia, last year’s National Champion and runner-up in the recent ACC tourney to the Blue Devils, received the No. 2 seed, while Maryland and UNC are seventh and eighth-seeded, respectively.

The Blue Devils, winners of nine in a row and owners of a 14-2 overall record, will make their 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament as the squad hosts Providence College . The winner will battle the winner of North Carolina and Navy in quarterfinals action in Annapolis, Md., on Sunday, May 20.

Virginia will host Delaware in first round action on Sunday, May 13 at 5 pm in C’ville. The third-ranked Cavaliers are 12-3 this season and have been ranked in the top 10 all season long. The 2007 NCAA Tournament marks the Cavs' 30th appearance overall, second behind Johns Hopkins (36). The winner of this game faces the winner of the UMBC at Maryland game in the quarterfinals at Navy on Sunday, May 20.

As the No. 7 seed Maryland will host UMBC in the first round at Chevy Chase Bank, Phillips Crab House, Boardwalk Fries and Natty Bo Field at Byrd Stadium, Saturday, May 12. The Terps were 10-5 on the season and were awarded one of nine at-large bids to the tournament. Earlier this season the Terps won an 11-7 decision over the Retrievers at Chevy Chase Bank, Phillips Crab House, Boardwalk Fries and Natty Bo Field at Byrd Stadium.

North Carolina earned the No. 8 seed in the field of 16 teams and will play host to Patriot League champion Navy Saturday. The Tar Heels finished the regular season 9-5 and makes their second showing in the tournament in the past four years under the tutelage of head coach John Haus.

Making 23 appearances in the title game, the ACC holds 10 NCAA titles as Virginia and North Carolina have four apiece. Maryland has two national championships (1973 and 1975), while defending national champ Virginia also won titles in 1972, 1999, 2003. The Tar Heels earned crowns in 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1991.

HOKIES WIN HOKIE BENEFIT

The Virginia Tech team of football coach Frank Beamer (the real one, not the imposter pictured at left) and former basketball star Dell Curry won the Chick-fil-A Bowl Alma Mater golf tournament Tuesday, a win that will benefit families of the massacre on the Virginia Tech campus.

Beamer and Curry combined for a 10-under 62 to top the San Diego State team of Chuck Long and Marshall Faulk by one stroke at Reynolds Plantation.

"We had a great round and a lot of fun," Curry said. "You put Frank and me together and we make one pretty good golfer."

Said Beamer: "I hit a few good shots and Dell hit a lot of great shots."

Twelve college teams were competing for $275,000 in scholarship money.

At the request of Beamer and Curry, their $100,000 first-place prize will be donated to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, which benefits families of the April 16 massacre.

Houston's Tom Penders and Doug Drabek and Wake Forest's Jim Grobe and Billy Packer tied for third at 5 under, one stroke ahead of Georgia Tech's Chan Gailey and Jon Barry.

The event will be broadcast on CBS on Christmas.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

CINCO, THE DE MAYO IS OPTIONAL: Floyd Mayweather Jr., center, poses with his title belts after defeating Oscar De La Hoya in a split decision following their WBC super welterweight world championship boxing match on Saturday, May 5, 2007, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NO SURPRISE, THAT'S HIS REAL NAME: Casey Stoner of Australia and the Ducati Marlboro leads Valentino Rossi of Italy and the Fiat Yamaha team during the Motorcycle Grand Prix of China at the Shanghai International Circuit May 6, 2007 in Shanghai, China.

(Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

NEXT YEAR, Gold Cup, 12-man beer bong.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

THE WEATHER WAS...CRAPPY

But Salmo didn't seem to mind...

Running and jumping on the lead for 4 miles, timber veteran Salmo won the $100,000 Virginia Gold Cup Saturday. The 11-year-old son of Northern Baby went to the head of the 12-horse field at the start, maintained the advantage with superb jumping over the 22-fence course and repelled a stiff challenge from Mr Bomastic in the stretch to win by a head. Chip Miller rode the winner for trainer Jack Fisher. Ghost Valley (Jody Petty) was third.

The world's first timber race with a six-figure purse, the Gold Cup featured five major contenders in contention at the last fence. Salmo, Mr Bombastic, Ghost Valley, Bubble Economy and Seeyouattheevent were all in with a chance. Bubble Economy fell and Salmo and Mr Bombastic surged away toward the wire.

The winner picked up $60,000 and gave owner Irv Naylor his second win in the race. -- Steeplechase Times (
http://www.st-publishing.com/)

STOP MAKING SENSE

A mile into the Kentucky Derby, all the other horses were motoring along in fourth gear when Street Sense kicked it into fifth. Then he zeroed in on his last challenger, Hard Spun, went wide, and burned up the final quarter-mile like a dragster.

"After that," jockey Calvin Borel said, "it was just a matter of how far he'd win."

Street Sense showed plenty of that Saturday by smartly picking his way through traffic, roaring from next-to-last in a 20-horse field to win by 2 lengths. The dark bay colt was so commanding that he broke two Derby jinxes and put a couple of guys in the winner's circle late in their careers.

Trainer Carl Nafzger and owner Jim Tafel were taking a second shot at the Derby together. In 1999, Vicar finished 18th for the duo.

Street Sense became the first Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner to return in the spring and win on the first Saturday in May, snapping an 0-for-23 skid. He did so on the same track where he won the Juvenile by 10 lengths six months ago. He was also the first 2-year-old champion to win the Derby since Spectacular Bid in 1979, and the first colt to win with two or fewer prep races since Sunny's Halo in 1983.

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, were among the 156,635 racing fans on hand, the third-largest crowd in the Derby's 133 years.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

COOL PICTURE. Horses race down the front stretch of the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2007 in Louisville, Kentucky.

(Photo by Jeff Gentner/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NICE HAT. A racegoer wears an extravagant hat at the Kentucky Derby meeting at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, during the third day of British Queen Elizabeth II's state visit to America on Saturday May 5, 2007.

(AP Photo /Fiona Hanson)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

NICE SUNGLASSES. Patty Stinson of Louisville, Ky., drinks a Mint Julep at the 133rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, May 5, 2007.

(AP Photo/John Flavell).

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