Stanford player who’s accused of rape gets Bowl trip
In accordance with procedures for justice in sexual assault cases, a review board of Stanford University employees and students found, by 3-2 vote, that a football player had raped a female student. The complainant wanted to avoid the unpleasantness of a criminal trial, choosing instead to confine the matter to campus. But she was hoping her assailant would suffer some sanctions other than being flown to El Paso for the Sun Bowl. Under the Stanford justice system, a 4-1 supermajority was required for a ruling of guilt. According to The New York Times, coach David Shaw knows who the accused player is. Most likely, with the omnipresence of media, social and otherwise, so will the general public in due course. But since “only” 60 percent of the panelists considered him guilty, he avoids punishment. Shaw could have suspended him but said he needed “more information.” The accuser did not feel comfortable remaining in his neighborhood, so she transferred to another school. She told The Times: “He was a valued football player, but I had earned my right to be here too.”
Dear Jane Doe: Being an athlete has its privileges and protections. A Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, famously served all of three months in county jail as punishment for sexual assault against an unconscious female student.
Sammy Watkins says Rex was too easy on the Jets
In the aftermath of Rex Ryan’s firing as head coach of the New York Jets, some players said he failed to establish discipline, that he was too easy on them. Sammy Watkins, the team’s star receiver, told ESPN: “The coaches have to be hard on us, not scared of us. Get at us, yell at us, curse at us.” Running back LeSean McCoy said, “I think the discipline has been an issue. . . . There’s no reason we should be high on penalties. There’s no reason we should be high on missed opportunities, mistakes.”
Recent gaffes included the defense having ten men on the field for a critical overtime play and special teams failing to pounce on a kickoff in the end zone, resulting in a touchdown for the opponents.
Beuerlein: ‘zero chance Tyrod Taylor is back in Buffalo’
Tyrod Taylor has quarterbacked the Buffalo Bills for the past two seasons but Steve Beuerlein of CBS Sports said there’s “zero chance” he will do so in 2017. Taylor was benched for the season finale against the New York Jets and said he “didn’t see where it was fair” and that he “had no clue why it happened.” But interim coach Andy Lynn, who’s expected to be retained full-time, indicated the decision was made by general manager Doug Whaley. Beuerlein interpreted that to mean the Bills will not renegotiate and extend the contract as requested by the 26-year-old QB. Taylor, a Pro Bowl invitee last year but not this one, earns about $16 million a year and is under contract through 2021.
Between the Lines: Although Taylor runs as well as any QB, he takes longer to release the ball than any QB in the league: 3.7 seconds per throw. The Bills are losing patience.
Aaron Rodgers has rift with family, alienates others
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers may be the best quarterback in football, but his persistent boorish behavior has alienated teammates, friends and family, according to numerous media reports. His brother Jordan said after appearing on the television show The Bachelorette: “Me and Aaron really don’t have much of a relationship.” Another report said that when Aaron’s parents sent him Christmas presents two years ago, they were mailed back. He was set to be a groomsman at the wedding of one of his closest friends, but he texted the day before to say he couldn’t make it. A Bleacher Report article by Tyler Dunne quoted Jermichael Finley, once among Rodgers’ receivers, saying, “I just don’t think he was a natural-born leader. . . . It was all about his game and his stats, in my opinion.” Finley said he and Rodgers would pass in the hall without either saying a word. “He’s not a guy who hangs out with the fellas. He’s real self-centered.”
Talib pulls gold chain from Crabtree’s neck
Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib has a lengthy rap sheet of inappropriate behavior during NFL games. His latest misstep came after the whistle had blown during Denver’s 24-6 victory over Oakland, when he ripped a gold necklace off the neck of Oakland receiver Mike Crabtree on the sideline. “He has been wearing that gold chain all year,” Talib said. “It’s been growing on me. I said if he wears that chain in front of me, I’m going to snatch it off. He wore it in front of me, so I had to snatch it off. He started crying to the ref. He didn’t say anything to me though.” Crabtree later had this message for Talib: “You’re snatching chains in front of the police and take off running. That was childish, man.”
Schilling says his political views keep him out of the Hall
Curt Schilling, retired pitching ace of the Boston Red Sox, believes his right-wing political rants are keeping him out of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Although a late bloomer, he won 216 games in the major leagues. He was one of the all-time postseason greats: 11-2 with a 2.28 ERA, playing for two world champions and wearing a bloody sock while winning a game in the 2004 American League Championship Series. Among the 16 pitchers with 3,000 strikeouts, he and the steroid-tainted Roger Clemens are the only ones not in the Hall. Schilling is no doubt correct that his political incorrectness has cost him votes. Dan Shaughnessy, columnist for the Boston Globe, said he will no longer vote for Schilling after he tweeted agreement with someone wearing a T-shirt advocating violence against journalists. The tweet, since deleted: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required.”
Dear Curt: As a player you had very good rapport with baseball writers, who are the people who vote for the Hall of Fame. You seem to have become your own worst enemy. Jokes about lynching are always in questionable taste.