Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 21, 2015 · Page D6
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page D6

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Page D6
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Page6D Wednesday,October21,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com WITHOUTTHE ENDLESS PRAYERS THATLAMAR HAS RECEIVED AND THE STRENGTH I WAS GIVEN FROM MYLOVED ONES, ITWOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFICULTTO ENDURE. ... GOD IS GREAT!!!” Khloe Kardashian ,in a statement on her website to thank supporters and hospital staffers after the medical crisis involving her estr anged husband, Lamar Odom. QUOTE OF THE D AY KARDASHIAN BY GETTY IMAGES USA SNAPSHOTS © Talladega titans Source ELLEN J. HORROW AND JANET LOEHRKE, USA TODAY 6 Victories apiece by Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Talladega Superspeedway, most among active Sprint Cup drivers SPORTSLINE isn’t likely to play well with big- pocketed donors. They’ve already weathered one sex scandal involving Pitino, and that one seems tame by comparison. Pitino’s contract contains language requiring him to “diligently supervise compliance of assistant coaches and any other employees for which (Pitino) is administratively responsible.” It also requires him to “demonstrate acute sensitivity to and support of the core values of the academic institution.” A sta er facilitating sex parties on campus wouldn’t seem to square with either of those objectives. The larger concern is the punishments that are sure to come from the NCAA. It won’t just be Louisville being punished, either. As Larry Brown a nd Southern Methodist learned the hard way last month, coaches can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse when there are NCAA violations. If something goes w rong on a coach’s watch, he or s he has to pay the price, too. F or Pitino, that price ought to be his job. If Rick Pitino isn’t already packing up his o ce at Louisville, he ought to get started. Sordid allegations of sex parties for players and recruits got even seamier Tuesday with a former recruit telling ESPN’s Outside the Lines, “It was like I was in astrip club.” OTL also found a wire transfer from Andre McGee, Pitino’s former director of basketball operations, to an escort and confirmed that text messages to arrange the parties came from McGee’s cellphone. Pitino has vehemently denied k nowledge of the parties, though that’s hard to believe given they took place on school property. “I don’t know if any of this is true or not,” Pitino told ESPN a nd YahooSports. “There’s only o ne person who knows the truth, a nd (McGee) needs to come out and tell the truth.” But what Pitino knew or didn’t know no longer matters in the eyes of the NCAA or the public. T his is his program and he’s responsible for everything associat- e d with it. When someone Pitino hired is accused of paying teenage girls to strip for and have sex with players Pitino thought enough of to want on his team, some of the b lame has to fall on Pitino, too. I t seems Louisville President J ames Ramsey has figured that out. On Oct. 8, he pledged to get to the bottom of the embarrassing allegations while praising athletics director Tom Jurich. Now here did he mention Pitino, his Hall of Fame coach. P itino has done great things for Louisville, reviving a once-proud program that was fading into irrelevance and leading it to the 2013 NCAA title. The Cardinals a lso went to the Final Four in 2 005 and 2012 and have made t he NCAA tournament in all but two of 14 seasons under Pitino. But that matters less and less at a time when image is everything. Louisville is now a punch l ine, a school only Hugh Hefner could admit to loving, and that Ignorance no excuse, so Pitino needs to go Nancy Armour USA TODAY Sports MARK KONEZNY, USA TODAY SPORTS Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino denied having knowledge of alleged sex parties for players and recruits. FOLLOW COLUMNIST NANCY ARMOUR @nrarmour for commentary on the latest in major sports. Please don’t think I’m lacking in sympathy for Andrew Whitworth and the several other Cincinnati Bengals players whose u nclad rumps — and some fronts — were inadvertently exposed to the prying eyes of the NFL Net- w ork’s viewership Sunday. B ut Whitworth’s plea to over- h aul the league’s media policy thanks to a poorly aimed locker r oom camera is a bigger load o f junk than, well, you got the picture. Several players were caught unaware when the network snared Adam Jones for a Q- and-A session after Cincinnati toppled the Bu alo Bills 34-21. As Jones talked to Albert Breer about the “nitty-gritty” of his team’s latest triumph, the locker room hinterland showed at least seven players in various forms of undress, ranging from the partially clothed to those using the old towel-covering-the-assets ploy to the kind of thing that’ll give you nightmares. Whitworth, an o ensive tackle in his 10th year and a former NFL Players Association representative, was understandably annoyed. He demanded answers from the league and the network. He called the NFL’s open locker room policy outdated and plead- e d for change in how he changes, o r at least who gets to see it. “This is my o ce space; I s houldn’t have to change in it,” W hitworth said. “Every single day I have to change clothes and be naked, or not, in front of the m edia. It’s just not right.” W hitworth received support from several other players, but he should perhaps be careful what he wishes for. His idea for an alternative such as a media mixed zone might protect a few sensitive egos but would do nothing to help the league or its players. Amixed zone is where players walk through a barricaded area and journalists are fenced behind waist-high metal grilles. Typically, it either turns into an unruly scrum or means a player walks past without talking to reporters. The English Premier League has such an arrangement, and it doesn’t work. With few exceptions, the soccer league and its clubs do a miserable job of ensuring players or even coaches provide access to the media and by extension the public. Whether athletes should be forced to share their comments is a matter of opinion. Organiza- t ions such as the NFL and the professional tennis circuits take a p unitive approach, fi ning those w ho do not attend mandatory m edia sessions, as Marshawn Lynch well knows. T he “must speak” policy the N FL insists is vital to maintaining its brand and giving the public access to the inner workings of the game would be far more di - cult to enforce in a mixed zone rather than with an open locker room, a system that has operated for decades without issue. In England, the lack of access creates a combative scenario between players and the media and the resulting basic, perfunctory level of coverage makes for a severe disconnect between athletes and fans. It is also important to see the Sunday situation for what it was, agrave mistake. The whole thing was farcically put together enough to make most in the media question what on earth the camera crew was thinking. In most such instances, cameras almost always point toward a player with his own locker space b ehind him, instead of at the car- n age, strewn clothing and roaming bare bodies of the locker r oom. In this case it really was “ Butt? Why?” I f there is was now a recurrence of this incident, it would be a bigger shock than it was for v iewers who were confronted with an unexpected peep show on their television screens Sunday. Part of what makes the NFL and U.S. sports special is the ability for fans, through the media, to get up close and personal with their heroes. Just as long as it’s not too close, nor too personal. KELLEY L. COX, USA TODAY SPORTS Removing reporters’ access to NFL players in their locker rooms might cost the league and its fans. LIMITING ACCESS HURTS FANS Error no reason t o change policy on locker rooms COMMENTARY Martin Rogers USA TODAY Sports FIRST WORD HE SORTOF SETS THE TREND FOR FASHION IN OUR STATE.” West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins at the Big 12 basketball media day Tuesday on school President Gordon Gee, who’s known for the bow-tie look. MAGIC NUMBER 4 Semifinalists in the Rugby World Cup, all from the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Def ending champion New Zealand will face South Africa on Saturday, and Australia will play Argentina on Sunday. TWEET OF THE DAY @ CJ12_ Times like this, you’ll r eally find out who’s in your corner Ohio State quarterback Car dale Jones, a few hours before coach Urban Meyer named J.T. Barrett the No. 1 Buck eyes ’ starter . LAST W ORD “ IF THESE THINGS ARE TRUE — A ND I KEEP USING THE WORD IF — THERE’S ONLYONE PERS ON WHO CAN GIVE THESE S OLUTIONS TO THESE PROBLEMS. IT’S ANDRE MCGEE. IT’S T IME TO GIVE BACK TO HIS TEAM, HIS UNIVERSITYAND HIS COACHES AND TELL THE NCAA THE TRUTH AND TELL EVERYONE ELSE WHO WAS AT ONE TIME VERYPROUD OF HIM THE TRUTH.” Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino to ESPN about his f ormer assistant’ s alleged involvement in hiring escorts and paying for parties for prospects and players. SNAPSHOT CORRECTION The Sports Snapshot that ran in Tuesday’s editions included an incorrect headline and chatter for some editions. The headline should have read “Shutout streak” and the chatter “Combined score for Michigan in the Football Bowl Subdivision’s first stretch of three consecutive shutouts since 1995. ” Edited by Thomas O’Toole GEE BY MANDEL NGAN, AFP/GETTY IMAGES MCGEE BY JIM O’CONNOR, USA TODAY SPORTS

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