Friday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) Two former South American soccer officials were convicted Friday of corruption charges at the first U.S. trial stemming from the FIFA bribery scandal, while deliberations will continue next week for a third official.
A federal jury in New York deliberated a week before reaching the partial verdict.
Jose Maria Marin and Juan Angel Napout, were found guilty of the top count they faced, racketeering conspiracy. Marin, the former president of Brazil’s soccer federation, and Napout, formerly president of Paraguay’s soccer federation and of the South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL, also were convicted of wire fraud conspiracy.
But Napout was acquitted of money laundering conspiracy. And Marin was convicted on money laundering conspiracy charges, but acquitted of one charge of money laundering conspiracy.
Jurors remained undecided about the single racketeering charge against Manuel Burga, the former president of Peru’s soccer federation.
U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen immediately jailed Marin, 85, and Napout, 59, after prosecutors argued they had the connections and the wealth to flee the U.S. to avoid prison terms she said could be more than 10 years on the racketeering charge alone.
Afterward, their lawyers said they were disappointed by the verdict.
”We’re going to continue fighting to absolve Mr. Napout,” said defense attorney Silvia Pinera.
Burga, 60, remained free on bail and was to return to court on Tuesday for further jury deliberations. His lawyer, Bruce Udolf, said his client was hopeful that the jury would clear him.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – UCLA has extended the suspensions of freshmen basketball players Jalen Hill and Cody Riley through the end of the season as a result of their admitted shoplifting during the team’s trip to China in November.
Athletic director Dan Guerrero and coach Steve Alford announced the decision in a joint statement. The Bruins left campus on Thursday ahead of their game against No. 7 Kentucky on Saturday in New Orleans.
Riley and Hill still won’t be allowed to travel with the team or suit up for home games. However, they can begin participating in practices and team meetings starting Dec. 26.
”I’ve told our players all along that actions have consequences, and the season-long suspension shows how seriously we take their misconduct,” Alford said in the statement.
LiAngelo Ball was suspended with Riley and Hall but his father withdrew him from school – a move Alford said he never saw coming – and he signed a contract to play professionally in Lithuania, along with his 16-year-old brother LaMelo.
During their indefinite suspensions, the players were allowed to use athletic facilities, including the weight room, but haven’t been working directly with the coaching staff.
”Since returning from China, they have done everything asked of them and continued to work hard in the classroom and in their own personal workouts,” Alford said in the statement.
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) – Ohio coach Frank Solich knew his Bobcats were better than their record showed.
Dorian Brown rushed for 152 yards on just 12 carries and scored four touchdowns, Nathan Rourke threw for two scores and Ohio beat UAB 41-6 in the Bahamas Bowl.
It was a stirring comeback for the Bobcats, who lost their last two games of the regular season to miss a shot at the Mid-American Conference title.
”I feel like eight wins were not enough with this football team, so this ninth win puts a little icing on the cake,” Solich said.
Ohio (9-4) averaged 38.9 points per game during the season, setting a school record with 467 points, and the Bobcats exhibited that prowess in the opening half against UAB, using big plays to build a 27-3 halftime lead.
Brown, a redshirt senior, scored on runs of 74, 9, 25 and 14 yards, two in the second quarter and two in the third as he carried the load for injured A.J. Ouellette.
”It was very important (to go out on a high note),” Brown said. ”I had to step up and take my role.”
BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Josh Allen threw three touchdown passes in his final game for Wyoming, and the Cowboys took advantage of Central Michigan’s eight turnovers to cruise to a 37-14 victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
During the postgame award ceremony, Allen declared his intention to give up his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Wyoming (8-5) rebounded after losing its last two regular-season games with Allen sidelined by a sprained right shoulder.
Allen was 11 of 19 for 154 yards with no interceptions. He showed off his arm strength on a perfect 45-yard pass that hit receiver C.J. Johnson in stride in the end zone.
”In today’s world where players are making all kinds of decisions about bowl games, Josh chose to play and I applaud him for that,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said before lobbying for Allen to be drafted. ”If there’s any NFL team looking for a player out there, you’re never going to find a bigger competitor and a better leader than him.”
Central Michigan (8-5) had won five straight. The eight turnovers broke the previous Famous Idaho Potato Bowl record of six.
”I don’t feel that today’s performance was indicative of the type of team we have,” Central Michigan coach John Bonamego said. ”The storyline obviously is eight turnovers. You’re not going to win many football games against any decent opponent turning it over that many times.”