Wednesday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino believes the school should take legal action against the NCAA after the governing body nullified the Cardinals of the 2013 men’s basketball title.
Pitino, speaking from his attorney’s offices, said that the NCAA’s decision to have Louisville vacate the title as part of sanctions for a sex scandal was unfair.
The sex scandal occurred during Pitino’s coaching tenure, though the Hall of Fame coach once again reiterated that he didn’t know about the sex shows. Pitino did take responsibility for the people he hired as assistant coaches – including Andre McGee. It was McGee who an escort said hired her and other dancers for sex parties on campus with players and recruits that led to the NCAA investigation.
As for taking legal action himself, Pitino said he was defenseless in this situation, but he is suing Louisville for his dismissal. He was not fired after the sex scandal, but Louisville let him go in October after the school acknowledged the university was being investigated as part of a federal college corruption case.
That case is unrelated to the NCAA’s investigation of the sex scandal.
DALLAS (AP) – The NBA fined outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 on Wednesday for comments about tanking during a podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Erving.
Commissioner Adam Silver said the fine was for ”public statements detrimental to the NBA.” The league said the podcast with Erving was posted Sunday, the day the All-Star game was played in Los Angeles.
Cuban said during the 30-minute interview that he met recently with some of his players and told them ”losing is our best option.” Cuban was trying to illustrate to Erving how he believes he is a transparent owner.
After trading veteran guard Devin Harris to Denver at the deadline this season, Dallas (18-40) is tied for the fewest wins in the NBA and among seven teams with 18 or 19 victories at the All-Star break.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki said he was ”disgusted” to read about allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace for women.
The 20-year player who has spent his entire career with the Mavericks told reporters after the first post-All-Star break practice in Los Angeles that he was glad the franchise was addressing the situation by hiring outside counsel to investigate the allegations.
Ussery was accused of making sexually suggestive remarks to several women. He spent 18 years with the team before going to the sports apparel company Under Armour in 2015. Ussery, who was investigated by the team over similar claims in 1998, denied the allegations in a statement to SI.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Another game, another record for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Alex Tuch scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period and Vegas pulled away for a 7-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. The win moved the Golden Knights back atop the NHL standings with 84 points – a record for an expansion team in its inaugural season – one point ahead of Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay.
Vegas improved to 23-4-2 at home to also set the record for home wins by a team in its inaugural season. It topped the previous mark set by the Gordie Howe-lead 1979-80 Whalers (22-12-6).
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – The Arizona Coyotes acquired goalie Darcy Kuemper from the Los Angeles Kings for forward Tobias Rieder and goalie Scott Wedgewood.
The 27-year-old Kuemper was 10-1-3 with a 2.10 goals-against average in 19 games for the Kings this season. He’s 51-35-17 with a 2.52 GAA in 104 career games with Minnesota and Los Angeles.
The 6-foot-5 Kuemper will join No. 1 goalie Antti Raanta as the netminding pair for the Coyotes.
Kuemper and the Coyotes were finalizing a contract extension Wednesday night. He said he is excited to be part of the growth of an Arizona franchise with a lot of young players.
The 25-year-old Rieder, from Germany, had eight goals and 11 assists in 58 games for Arizona this season. He has 51 goals and 60 assists in 292 career games, all with the Coyotes.
Wedgewood was 5-9-4 with a 3.45 GAA in 20 games this season for Arizona. The 25-year-old goalie appeared in four games for New Jersey in 2015-16.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Marty Hurney will be calling the shots once again with the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina re-hired Hurney as its general manager, marking his second full-time stint as general manager. Hurney previously worked for the Panthers from 1998-2012, beginning as GM in 2002. He rejoined the Panthers last July as on an interim basis.
Panthers COO Tina Becker said Hurney did an ”exceptional” job in helping the Panthers to an 11-5 season last year.
The Panthers reinstated Hurney as interim general manager last week after an NFL investigation found no wrongdoing into charges of harassment by his ex-wife. Hurney had been on a paid leave of absence during the investigation and had disputed all accusations through his attorney.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired former NFL player Brentson Buckner as defensive line coach.
Buckner spent the past five seasons as defensive line coach for the Arizona Cardinals. They had 203 sacks during his tenure – tied for the seventh-most in the NFL.
The Bucs were last in the league with 22 sacks in 2017.
Buckner was a second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1994. He also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers during a 12-year career.
The Bucs also announced the hiring of former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas as defensive quality control coach.
Nicholas was a fourth-round pick of the Falcons in 2007. He spent the past three seasons as a defensive quality control analyst at South Florida, his college alma mater.
YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) – Brittany Force remembers nothing about the hard crash that hospitalized her overnight during the NHRA season opener nearly two weeks ago.
The defending Top Fuel champion says in a question-and-answer session released by her team that she watched part of the crash on a cellphone and ”it was much worse than I expected.”
Force was hospitalized following a wall-banging accident at the Winternationals in Pomona, California, on Feb. 11. Her team, John Force Racing, said she escaped internal injuries and sustained only ”upper-body soreness.”
The 31-year-old Force is one Funny Car great John Force’s three daughters.