random ramblings fred riecke, gamblersdata

hockey fights

…Only in the NHL? Well, maybe not, but the irony is strong. The NHL and Kings are ready to suspend the Kings’ Slava Voynov for alleged off the field violence. Hmmm. On the other hand it seems the NHL does little to stop fighting in the games. Most of the times the players are not even ejected.

…Why are so many people angry at the NCAA Rules and Infractions people? Not really how to figure. According to the NCAA there are minor violations such as giving players credit for fake classes or employing an assistant coach that is guilty of abusing 10 year olds on campus. Throw in a booster that gives millions in stolen money to dozens of athletes over a ten year period and a head coach who buys blue chip recruits through a fake scouting service. But if a star running back’s parents are found to be living rent free in a house owned by a sports agent with no ties to the school, throw the book at them!

…Due to his excellence in playoff games, is anyone ready to say Madison Bumgarner is a better pitcher than that other left hander who has had little success in the post season? You
know who I mean, Clayton Kershaw?

…Good job. Good effort. Wow – the Lakers have enough issues as it is but Steve Nash’s unofficial retirement this season is just rubbing it in.

…Here’s a note to the NFL – I’m pretty sure I represent the vast majority of fans in the Los Angeles area when I say we don’t care if we get an NFL franchise or not. We’ve survived
very well here without the need for taxpayer susbsided NFL teams owned by millionaires. We have our own teams owned by millionaires and in a couple of cases billionaires.

…Late last month was the 22nd anniversary of an infamous Las Vegas heist that to this day remains unsolved, 8newsnow.com reported. In 1992, Bill Brennan, an employee at the no-
longer-existing Stardust Hotel and Casino allegedly walked out of the casino with half-a-million dollars in chips and cash. Brennan worked as a cashier at the casino’s sports book.
He hasn’t been seen since. Brennan was on the FBI’s most wanted fugitive list years ago, but no legitimate leads turned up. Brennan had books in his apartment on topics such as how to
change your identity. The people who knew him said he was a cat lover. His cat was also gone when police went to his apartment. “It appears he left the casino without being filmed by
the surveillance cameras,” a Metro Police Lt. said in an interview after the heist in 1992. Some observed that Brennan had started hanging out with a unidentified gambler who regularly
bet big money at the casino. After Brennan’s alleged theft, the bettor also disappeared without a trace. It’s never been determined if they were partners.

…Viktor Blom and Gus Hansen, two of the worst performing players in the history of online poker, are no longer sponsored by online gambling site Full Tilt.
According to reports, their contracts were not renewed, which was speculated since a site redesign did not feature either of the poker pros, who were members of the site’s now-defunct
“The Professionals.” Tom Dwan was the third member of the group, but he left earlier this year.

…Ted Bishop was ousted Friday as president of the PGA of America over a sexist tweet and Facebook post directed at Ian Poulter. Bishop was irritated by remarks Poulter made in his
book on the Ryder Cup captaincy of Nick Faldo in 2008 and Tom Watson this year. He referred to Poulter as “Lil Girl” on Twitter when stacking up Poulter’s feats next to Faldo. In a
Facebook post, he noted that Watson (with eight majors) and Faldo (with six majors and the Ryder Cup record for most points) were getting “bashed” by Poulter. “Really? Sounds like a
little school girl squealing during recess. C’MON MAN!” he wrote. The PGA of America board voted Friday to remove him, meaning Bishop will not be invited to future PGA Championships
and Ryder Cups, or any other courtesies extended to past presidents. He is the first PGA president to be ousted. Bishop had one month left on his two-year term.

…John Boyett, a safety on the Broncos practice squad, was arrested by Greenwood Village police early Wednesday on a charge of third degree assault, a misdemeanor. According to an NFL
source, Boyett was involved in an incident with a cab driver. Boyett did not attend the Broncos’ practice Wednesday morning. “We are disappointed to learn of the matter involving John
Boyett and are in the process of gathering more information,” the Broncos told the Denver Post. This is Boyett’s second run-in with the law in 13 months. He had apparently made the
Indianapolis Colts’ season-opening roster as a sixth-round rookie last season when on Sept. 2 he was arrested on charges of disorderly public intoxication and resisting arrest after an
altercation with police. Law enforcement was called in response to an incident involving Boyett at a downtown Indianapolis bar. The Colts waived Boyett the day after his arrest. He was
signed to the Broncos’ practice squad on Nov. 19 of last year. And yes, the Broncos released Boyett immediately.

…Cliff Robinson, a former National Basketball Association all-star player, was among the 42 drivers arrested by State Police and Orchard Park Police on drunken driving and other
charges after the Buffalo Bills game Sunday, State Police said. Robinson, a former Riverside High star now living in Mears, Mich., was stopped for failing to use the designated lane as
he drove onto Route 400 after the game. He was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated for having two children in his car, driving while intoxicated, refusal to take a breath
test, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, endangering the welfare of a child, and a number of traffic violations.

…Joe Maddon opted out of his Rays contract around noon Friday, instantly becoming the most attractive free-agent for Cubs President Theo Epstein to consider this offseason. Early
speculation was the Maddon would surely follow former Ray GM Andrew Edelstein to the Dodgers. But Dodger brass insists the Don Mattingly is secure, though I don’t think anyone really
believes that. Sure, the Cubs have a manager in Rick Renteria but Renteria still is learning a job Maddon has mastered, and rare are the opportunities to hire somebody at the top of
his profession who fits in the Cubs organization like ivy on an outfield wall.Maddon’s agent Alan Nero told Fox’s Ken Rosenthal he expected to hear from four or five interested teams.
Chairman Tom Ricketts owes it to Cubs fans to become the team to beat, which means refusing to be outbid for a manager who might be worth as many as five victories a season. The Cubs
have the best farm system in baseball and Maddon a history of developing home-grown talent. Maddon has left millions on the table working for the small-market Rays and the Cubs proved
in the bidding for Joe Girardi they are willing to dig deep to pay for the right man. Having seen Maddon in action with the Angels and Rays, I’d say he is the right man for any team.

…Here’s something to test your sense of reality. On Wednesday, former member of the U.S. Justice Department, Kenneth Wainstein, released a 131-page report documenting academic fraud
at the University of North Carolina, which spanned 18 years and involved 3,100 students, 47 percent of whom were student-athletes. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams gave his first
public comments about the report on Friday. “I’m dumbfounded by everything that came out in the report this week,” Williams said, according to Andrew Carter of the News & Observer.
The investigation into academic fraud at Chapel Hill was reopened in June, shortly after Rashad McCants, a member of North Carolina’s 2005 national championship team appeared on
Outside the Lines, detailing the “paper class” system. The former Tar Heel student-athlete claimed he was steered into bogus classes to remain eligible. While McCants recalls a meeting
he had with Williams, stating that Williams advised McCants to “swap out” one class for another, the report shows no evidence Williams knew about the scheme. Of course not.

…Tiger slugger Miguel Cabrera underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture to the navicular bone in his foot. We have known
about the ankle injury for a while, but Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told Chris Iott of MLive.com that everyone was caught off guard by what was actually found. “He is as
tough as you can possibly be,” Dombrowski said. “They cannot even believe once they went in there and looked at it that he could play with the ankle that he had. It’s worse than what
we ever would have anticipated.” Cabrera batted .379 with eight home runs and a 1.118 OPS in September. It’s pretty incredible under the circumstances. Cabrera had two screws inserted
into his foot during the procedure and will have to stay off his foot/ankle for three months. That timetable puts him on pace to be reevaluated in late January, just weeks before the
start of spring training. Dombrowski refused to speculate when asked about Cabrera’s readiness for Opening Day, but it’s far from a given right now.

…With Ebola finally arriving in New York City and a lingering sense of uncertainty as to whether Americans should not worry about the disease at all or retreat to an underground
bunker for the next five years, Seahawks owner Paul Allen has decided to try to stem the tide of a disease that, while still very new to our country, continues to ravage West Africa.
Via the New York Times, Allen has donated $100 million to the fight against Ebola. “Everybody feels called sometimes to really pursue a certain thing that resonates with them, and this
has resonated with me,” Allen said. “The exponential nature of the growth of this disease is really a challenge — we’ve already seen in the U.S. where one case quickly became two.”
Allen also has created the TackleEbola.com website, where donations much smaller than $100 million can be made for small, specific projects.

…Congrats to Maryland. Some institutions are serious about keeping the student in student-athlete. The Maryland Board of Regents unanimously voted in favor of a policy “denying
bonuses to coaches and athletic directors whose players don’t measure up academically”, according to the Baltimore Sun. “I think this is another step for Maryland to be in the vanguard
on issues of intercollegiate athletics,” former U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen, who is a member of the Board of Regents, told the Sun. “They were a leader on guaranteed scholarships and now
they are a leader in academic accountability.” Maryland approved a “lifetime guarantee degree” in August. At that time, athletic director Kevin Anderson said, “Our vision is to be the
best intercollegiate athletic program while producing graduates who are prepared to serve as leaders in the local, state and global communities. We are confident ‘The Maryland Way
Guarantee’ will further demonstrate our commitment to our student-athletes’ pursuit of a college degree.” The school’s commitment — which extends to Towson, Coppin State and UMBC —
took a logical step by making its coaches more accountable for the academic performance of their athletes.

…A year ago, the Marshall Thundering Herd were known a potential “BCS Buster.” Doc Holliday‘s squad is attempting to be this year’s dark horse choice to become one of four teams
invited to the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Thundering Herd (7-0) is one of three undefeated teams, and the program is currently ranked 23rd overall in the AP Top 25. With
only five games left on the regular season schedule, Marshall has plenty to overcome to be named one of college football’s Top 4 teams. So they took the next logical step. “Marshall
University and Conference USA have hired an LA-based public relations firm to assist with their case to be selected to the first College Football Playoff,” Tess Quinlan of USA TODAY
Sports reported.

…In a report taking a look at potential candidates to become the permanent successor to June Jones as head coach that we mentioned Thursday, Dallas Morning News writer Bill Nichols
set the Twitterverse ablaze with the following: “SMU officials have already had preliminary discussions with former Texas coach Mack Brown, floating $4 million annually over eight
years.” That came a short time after the former UT head coach’s attorney confirmed that SMU had approached his client about a return to the sidelines. Brown himself, currently serving
as a college football analyst on ESPN, said a week earlier that he will decide in December if his coaching career is done.

…Everyone knew there was a new day dawning for collegiate athletics, thanks to autonomy for Power Five conferences and the O’Bannon lawsuit and the like. Part of the change called
for increased benefits for all student-athletes in elite conferences specifically, including football players. Tuesday, one university put a price tag on that change. At a Big 12
sports forum yesterday, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson revealed that his university will soon begin paying its student-athletes in every sport, male and female. UT expects to
spend $6 million annually on the endeavor, which works out to roughly $10,000 per athlete per year. The Dallas Morning News writes that “[t]he money will cover college expenses that
aren’t covered by a traditional full scholarship and give each player $5,000 in compensation for the university’s use of his image.” The latter is in connection to the O’Bannon suit.

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