No Flippin’ Way –USA Gymnastics proposes to emerge from bankruptcy by offering a $215 million settlement to 511 survivors of sexual abuse from its former doctor, Larry Nassar. The offer is less than half of the $500 million settlement that Michigan State University agreed to in May 2018 with 332 victims of the infamous sports doctor. He is serving a life sentence. The governing body for gymnastics was basically forced to file for bankruptcy back in December 2018 after 100 lawsuits mounted against them from hundreds of sexual assault victims. The plan would require the plaintiffs to vote on whether to accept the settlement by May. If they accept it, they absolve former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny, former national team coordinators Martha and Béla Károlyi and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committees. No more lawsuits. Attorney John Manly represents about 200 of the plaintiffs and he ain’t having it. He called it “laughable.” Olympic gold medal wearing gymnasts, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman definitely ain’t having it. They went off on their social channels. In an exclusive interview on TODAY this morning, Aly blasted USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee for a cover-up and not being accountable. Guess USAG forgot these divas were part of the “Fierce Five.”
Crimson Smoke –The NFL Combine is an invite only, week-long job interview for prospective NFL players. The go through physical and mental assessments. The most anticipated measurement is “The 40,” the test of speed. This year Henry Ruggs III clocked the fastest time in the 40-yard dash at the annual event. The wide receiver from Alabama Crimson Tide had an official time of 4.27 seconds. Ruggs was five seconds short of the record set in 2017 by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, John Ross III. Coming out of the University of Washington, Ross clocked at 4.22 in the 40 during his combine performance. That’s fast, fast.
Why Wait? –NCAA DI (Division I) Transfer Waiver Working Group is seeking support to expand the transfer waiver to all include all student-athletes. The issue is student-athletes who play baseball, basketball, football, or men’s ice hockey have to wait a full academic year before they can play at their new school. I’m not saying the NCAA is a gold digger, but… the big revenue-producing sports is what we’re really talking about. All other student-athletes are eligible to play immediately at their new school. The question is should student-athletes have the same freedom to move around and switch schools like wealthy coaches and administrators? The Division I Council will review the proposed change at their meeting in April. The working group hopes to have the plan approved for transfers in the 2020-21 academic year.
Lockout Looming –Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowl quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) expressed their opposition and “no” vote to the proposed collective bargaining agreement (CBA). On Twitter, Rodgers expressed his thoughts and Wilson wrote that other leagues are putting players first. What’s at the line of scrimmage is adding another game to the regular season. The owners want a 17-game schedule. The players don’t. NFL Owners have already decided that they will only work with a CBA with 17 regular season games and two additional playoff games. This brings more value to TV negotiations and ultimately more revenue. Players are like, “Nah…I’m not putting my body through 17 games.” Another Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowl cornerback, Richard Sherman (San Francisco 49ers) tweeted that you can’t put a price on health and wellness. The NFL and NFLPA (players union) are negotiating a 10-year deal. The current CBA expires next March at the end of the 2020 NFL season. Game on, Shavannia
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