Youd Have To Be Pretty Dumb To Fix A Tennis Match This

If suspicions that a mixed-doubles match was fixed at the Australian Open on Sunday prove true, it could go down in the gambling annals as the dumbest fix in sports history. Many of the telltale signs of match-fixing are indeed present; to a large degree, however, the stupidity of fixing a match now is just as strong a reason to doubt it happened.Pinnacle Sports suspended betting before a mixed-doubles match in which Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot faced the Spanish pair of Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero. Even though it looked on paper like a close matchup, with all four players experienced and highly ranked in doubles, most bettors backed Hlavackova and Kubot, even after the books shifted the odds to promise a bigger payout if Arruabarrena and Marrero won. And volume was heavy for mixed doubles, which many players treat more like an exhibition than like a meaningful match.After Hlavackova and Kubot won easily, 6-0, 6-3, all four players were questioned by journalists — a rarity in mixed doubles, especially in the first round. Kubot, facing more reporters than he did after winning the 2014 Australian Open men’s doubles title, said Arruabarrena and Marrero “were trying 100 percent.” The Spanish pair also dismissed the idea that they fixed the match. The New York Times put its story about the match on its home page Sunday, sent out a news alert and ran the print version on the front page Monday.The prominence given to the story by the Times is prima facie evidence for why this would be such a dumb fix. Since BuzzFeed News and the BBC published an investigation a week ago into accusations that tennis authorities aren’t doing enough to stamp out corruption in the sport, journalists have been focused on the possibility of match-fixing — and getting a piece of the story — like never before.Meanwhile, pressure is on tennis authorities to show they are taking the problem seriously, making it a bad time to try to slip something past them. Hlavackova and Kubot said at their post-match news conference that they’d already been contacted by the Tennis Integrity Unit, a joint initiative of tennis governing bodies that is tasked with fighting corruption in the sport.Grand Slam tournaments in particular have more officials on site than other events and far more journalists — an order of magnitude more than some of the tennis tour’s smallest stops. And for reporters at Slams, it’s easy to watch matches — tune your television to any court while the match is in progress, or access video of many matches after the fact. Doubles matches at other events usually aren’t televised at all. The Times story included a detailed account of the match that would be difficult to produce if a reporter were chasing reports of suspected fixing at a smaller tournament — such as many of the matches mentioned in the BuzzFeed-BBC report.Grand Slams also are more lucrative than other events. Although mixed doubles is worth less in prize money than men’s or women’s doubles — and doesn’t earn players ranking points — a win would have netted Arruabarrena and Marrero 2,250 Australian dollars ($1,570 U.S.) more each than their loss did. And they’d have had the chance to win 78,500 Australian dollars each if they went on to win the title. That’s not bad for doubles, where purses generally are far smaller than in singles.By losing, Arruabarrena and Marrero also miss chances to compete together and impress their national tennis federation. That matters because another mixed-doubles tournament is coming up this summer, one that should be easier to win yet matters far more than an exhibition. Just 16 pairs will get into the mixed-doubles event at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, meaning it will take just four wins to get gold, or three to win silver or bronze. Arruabarrena and Marrero are ranked in the top 35 in women’s and men’s doubles, respectively, which gives them a shot at making the Spanish Olympic team. Here’s one sign that mixed doubles matters more to pros this year: There are 12 pairs in the 32-team Australian Open draw made up of two players who represent the same country, up from just seven last year.At this site, we often try to use Bayesian thinking. That means we try to estimate the probability of something being true — our prior — and then update it as we gain new information. My Bayesian prior after match-fixing became the dominant tennis topic last week is that we were unlikely to see actual match-fixing with scrutiny so high, and that any suspected match-fixing was likely to be something else. How much should reports about the suspicious mixed-doubles betting change my beliefs?On the one hand, perhaps quite a bit. Betting on the match really did look funny. Tennis bettors and betting analysts told me that volume on the match — both in terms of the raw number of bets and overall liability — was far heavier than usual for mixed doubles, though the maximum bet at Pinnacle was just $500 at its peak, making it tough to turn too large a profit. And several Marrero doubles matches last year had unusual betting movements, the Times reported. So my Bayesian prior for a Marrero match being fixed might be higher.“It’s a strange one,” Ian Dorward, a London-based tennis bettor who used to set and adjust tennis betting lines for a bookmaker, said in an email. It “would be a really stupid time to fix it, but maybe he just does not care.” Dorward added, “Either way, it is this type of thing that the TIU should be investigating.” (The TIU doesn’t comment on details of its work.)On the other hand, as I wrote last week, betting data alone isn’t enough to identify match fixers. There are many other plausible explanations. One that Marrero offered is that he’s injured and that someone in his or his partner’s camp might have let that information slip. Or at a tournament with thousands of fans on the grounds, one could have seen Marrero struggle in practice or in his men’s doubles match, which he’d already lost. The video clips embedded in the Times article from the match hardly are conclusive evidence that Marrero wasn’t trying.There’s so little data on mixed doubles that it’s not surprising that bookies who often struggle to set opening odds for singles matches might miss big on mixed. Players’ lifetime match records in mixed doubles aren’t readily available and often include just a couple of dozen matches. “With only four mixed doubles events annually, it’s easy to get the opening prices wrong,” Scott Ferguson, a sports gambling consultant, wrote in an email. Odds at Pinnacle for at least two earlier mixed-doubles matches moved by even more.It could be that bettors noticed before bookies did that Marrero simply stinks at mixed doubles. As the Times reported, he has now lost his last 10 mixed matches and is 7-21 in his career. “Normally, when I play, I play full power, in doubles or singles,” Marrero told the Times. “But when I see the lady in front of me, I feel my hand wants to play, but my head says, ‘Be careful.’ This is not a good combination.” read more

OKC Wins In San Antonio Takes Control Of Series

Kevin Durant has OKC on top right now.A week ago, many observers were anointing the San Antonio Spurs as the eventual NBA champions. They were unspectacular, but sharp, and had won 20 games in a row, including two to open the Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.Now, the Spurs look like a team on the way out, passed swiftly and deftly by a young Thunder team that was, as TNT analyst Steve Kerr astutely noted Monday night, “growing up before our eyes.”That might sound trite, but it also was completely apropos considering what OKC did in Game 5 Monday night in San Antonio. In short, the Thunder stunned the Spurs, 108-103 to take a 3-2 series advantage.OKC can advance to the NBA Finals for first time since moving to Oklahoma City from Seattle three years ago with a victory in Game 6 Wednesday night at home in a game that will have the city on fire.Monday, OKC confirmed that it has figured it out. It was one thing to come together and win Games 3 and 4 at home. But to go into the AT&T Center and play with enough poise and share the basketball, well, it signaled another level of maturity – and that was all the young and athletic team has been missing.“They are hard to guard, talented, hungry, athletic,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “I thought we spotted them 24 minutes. We didn’t compete in the first half and they competed for 48 minutes. . . We don’t get that straight, it’ll be over on Wednesday.”Again, it was Kevin Durant (27 points) who led OKC’s surge, with a huge hand from Sixth Man of the Year James Harden. After getting just one shot in the first two quarters, Durant, the superstar forward, erupted in the third and fourth quarters, fashioning an array of shots. The Thunder overcame a slow start to both halves of the game with explosiveOKC led by 14 in the fourth quarter after a four-point play by Harden (20 points). It looked to be over then, but suddenly Oklahoma City reverted to point guard Russell Westbrook (23 points, 12 assists) dribbling aimlessly around the perimeter, stalling the offense.San Antonio took advantage and scored 11 straight to cut it to 101-99 with 1:37 to play. Westbrook and Tim Duncan (18 points, 12 rebounds) traded baskets before the biggest shot of the night – a step-back three-pointer with 28.8 to play by Harden to put the Spurs in front, 106-101.Manu Ginobili, who started and was brilliant with 34 points, made a layup and OKC turned over the ball, giving San Antonio a chance with 15 seconds left to tie it with a three. However, Ginobil, who made five threes, missed, and that was that. OKC had gained control of the series.“Heartbreaking,” Duncan said. read more

Former NFL RB Brian Westbrook To Officially Retire With

The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Tuesday that former running back Brian Westbrook will retire as a member of the team.Westbrook will hold a Wednesday morning press conference and will officially be honored at Lincoln Field prior to a game with the Washington Redskins on Dec. 23.Westbrook made sure to thank Philly fans via Twitter after the team announced the news.“Thank you everyone!” he wrote. “It was a great pleasure to be an Eagle for 8 years. I truly appreciate all of the support! Love you guys.”The versatile Villanova product becomes the third former Eagle this summer to retire with the organization, joining teammates Brian Dawkins and Tra Thomas.In eight years with the Birds, Westbrook rushed for5,995 yards and 37 touchdowns while adding 3,790 receiving yards and another 29 scores. He was a key part of the 2004-05 team that won the NFC Championship before falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.The Eagles’ third-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, Westbrook enjoyed his best season in 2007, rushing for a career-high 1,333 yards and seven touchdowns on 278 carries.He never eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau again as injuries slowed him down, leading the Eagles to eventually release him on March 5, 2010.However, his place in city lore remains firm.“I will always remember Brian for the electrifying, game-changing plays he made during his great career in Philadelphia,” Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a release. “He was one of those players you knew could score from anywhere on the field and one of the most exciting players I have ever watched. He was a great runner, receiver and returner and was certainly a fan favorite.”Westbrook was selected to two Pro Bowls (2004 and 2007) and was named First-team All-Pro in 2007.He last played in the NFL in 2010 with the San Francisco 49ers. read more

Ice Cube Files BillionDollar Lawsuit Against BIG3 Investors Who

Ice Cube announced the launch of BIG3 professional basketball league in Jan. 2017. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)Ice Cube and his BIG3 basketball league partner Jeff Kwatinetz are taking a group of Qatari investors to court over failure to invest in the retired baller’s league.Four men, including Qatar Investment Authority CEO Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani are named as defendants in the documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Thursday, April 5 by Cube and Kwatinetz’s attornies. According to TMZ, they allege that the investors were supposed to fuel $5 million into the organization as passive investors after being brought on in summer 2017. But instead, they actively inserted themselves in dealings without fulfilling the investment obligation.Instead, the investors spent lavishly, with Ahmed Al-Rumaihi losing $700,000 while gambling after the BIG3 finals. Excuses offered by the lenders for not paying up ranged from “sinuses” to it being a “long day bro.”At one point, when the plaintiffs asked for money yet again Al-Rumaihi allegedly yelled, “You don’t know who I know in L.A. and what they’re capable of. You should think of your safety and the safety of you and your family.”Plaintiffs and players are seeking a total of $1.2 billion in damages in the suit over defamation, defamation per se, trade libel and intentional interference with contractual relations. read more

NFL Week 5 Elo Ratings And Playoff Odds

The perception after the NFL’s fourth week of play is that parity reigns supreme. Only two teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, remain undefeated — and they’re both 3-0 rather than 4-0, having had a bye last week. No one else seems to have much momentum. Consider the Atlanta Falcons, who crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56-14 two Thursdays ago in one of the most dominant single-game performances in NFL history. Last week, the Falcons lost by 13 points to the Minnesota Vikings. The Buccaneers? They upset the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were coming off a big win against the Carolina Panthers.Here’s the thing: All of this is pretty normal. Parity exerts a profound gravitational pull on the NFL. It’s a league of short careers, hard salary caps and redistributive schedules that punish winning teams. Its season is just 16 games. There’s always a lot of parity in the league.The question is whether there’s more than usual, and as best as I can tell, the answer is no. One way to evaluate this is through FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo ratings. (For the methodology, see here.) We can look at the standard deviation of each team’s Elo ratings through the first four weeks of the season. The higher it is, the less parity.After the first four weeks this year, the standard deviation is 92 Elo points. That doesn’t mean much except by comparison to past seasons; but by comparison, it’s about average. In 2013, the standard deviation through Week 4 was … 92 Elo points. In 2012, it was 87 points. In 2011, it was 90 points. The average since 1970 has been about 90 points.Some of the perceived parity in Week 4 is because a number of the best teams were out of action, including the Bengals, Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.Meanwhile, there are at least two really terrible teams in the NFL, and terrible teams count as much as great ones when measuring standard deviation. The Oakland Raiders squandered one of their better opportunities to pick up a win in a London game against the Miami Dolphins last week and now project to win only 2.4 games, according to the Elo simulations. That’s in part because of a tough schedule. (The Raiders have about a 10 percent chance of going 0-16.) The Jacksonville Jaguars have a more forgiving schedule, but they’re worse than the Raiders, according to Elo.We haven’t, however, seen much turnover in which teams might be considered great, average or poor. Before the season began — based on their Elo ratings at the end of 2013 — Elo’s top 10 teams were, in order, the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Broncos, New England Patriots, Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Bengals, San Diego Chargers, Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts.Are any of those teams clearly outside of the top 10 now? Only the Panthers and Saints have fallen out of the Elo top 10; they rank at No. 14 and 15, respectively. You could also make a case for the Patriots after their disastrous performance Monday night. But if there’s anything Week 4 demonstrated, it’s that one game may not tell us much.Meanwhile, the worst 10 teams at the start of the year were — from the bottom up — the Jaguars, Raiders, Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Falcons, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans. Nine of those teams remain in the bottom 10. The exception is Atlanta, which has climbed to 22nd place.We’ve seen more reshuffling in the middle tier of teams. The Dallas Cowboys are the biggest gainers so far on the season, having added 61 Elo points. Still, the Cowboys’ schedule has been easy, and Elo will need to see more from them before it concludes they’re anything beyond slightly above average. The same might be said for the Detroit Lions, who are the next-biggest gainers, with 54 Elo points added.But if the early games have not done much to contradict preseason expectations, they have had a pronounced impact on playoff odds. A 10-6 team almost always makes the playoffs, an 8-8 team almost never does and a 9-7 team does about half the time. A “bad” or unlucky or uncharacteristic loss still matters a great deal whether it comes in Week 4 or Week 17. So, which teams have dug themselves the biggest holes, and which have more slack?The Patriots, despite their loss in Kansas City, are still more likely than not to make the playoffs. There are three major reasons for this: The Bills, Dolphins and Jets, the other teams in the AFC East. The Jets project to just a 5-11 record. Buffalo and Miami are better, but with each team at 2-2, Elo is still putting its money on a diminished version of Tom Brady rather than a team with an actual quarterback controversy.The Saints, 1-3 after a loss in Dallas, have seen their playoff chances fall more than any other team since the start of the season (they’ve dropped from 56 percent to 30 percent). Still, New Orleans got a reprieve because division rivals Carolina and Atlanta also lost last week. Every team in the NFC South now projects to finish the season with a negative point differential, and none projects to win more than 8.3 games. That means New Orleans can recover with a merely good — rather than extraordinary — performance. In our simulations, the Saints made the playoffs about 60 percent of the time when they finished 9-7, and almost 25 percent of the time when they went 8-8.The 49ers, on the other hand, still have their work cut out for them despite having secured a victory against Philadelphia last week and ranking third overall in the Elo ratings. They play in the NFC West, by far the NFL’s toughest division. In our simulations, a 9-7 record won San Francisco the NFC West only 1 percent of the time (although it was occasionally good enough to back the Niners into a wild card). The 49ers’ playoff chances improved, but only to 47 percent, from 40 percent a week ago.The loss hurt the Eagles more than the win helped San Francisco; Philadelphia’s playoff chances fell from 65 percent to 51 percent, in part because Dallas (now the divisional favorite) and the New York Giants won.The NFC North, meanwhile, has parity befitting the NFL’s old Norris Division: All four teams have an Elo rating between 1489 and 1521. But the Lions have three wins when everyone else has two, and that makes them the best bet to make the playoffs.Elo ratings can also be used to project point spreads. Since the start of the season, we’ve been recommending that you don’t bet on them, and we hope you’ve heeded that advice. They went 5-7-1 against closing betting lines in Week 4 and are 25-33-2 overall on the season. (As an aside, the Elo point spreads would have had you take Miami over Oakland against the point spread last week if we’d realized the game was in England instead of California. But that wasn’t the forecast we published, so we’ll take the loss.) On the positive side, Elo’s picks are 41-20 straight up this year, including a 10-3 performance in Week 4.In contrast to Week 4, when there were a number of “pick ’em” games, Week 5 features some easier calls, in part because the stronger teams tend to be playing at home. Straight-up (not against the point spread), Elo would have you take the home team in 13 of 15 games. The exceptions are clear: No home-field advantage would be enough to make Washington favored over Seattle, or Jacksonville over Pittsburgh.Compared against early Vegas point spreads, there are several cases with a discrepancy of at least a field goal. Against the point spreads, Elo would have you bet on the Chargers and Cowboys and against the Packers, Saints and Broncos. But to reiterate, we don’t recommend that you do this. I have nothing against gambling; I have something against losing money. read more

Bob Tewksbury Figured Out What Two Hall Of Fame Pitchers Couldnt

Tyler Kepner of The New York Times wrote a fun piece Monday about Mickey Morandini, an unformidable second baseman for the Phillies, Cubs and Blue Jays from 1990-2000. Turns out the 170-pound Morandini hit an impressive .352 for his career against three pitchers elected to the Hall of Fame Tuesday afternoon: Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez.Morandini retired with a .268 overall average, so he’s a little like a guy who gets wet hopping over a puddle, then goes on to win the Olympic long jump.“I can name a handful of pitchers who threw probably 75 or 80 miles an hour, and I couldn’t sniff them,” he told the Times. “I can’t tell you how many ground balls to second I hit off Bob Tewksbury.”We can tell you.One.According to Baseball-Reference.com, in a June 5, 1992, game against Tewksbury and the St. Louis Cardinals, Morandini grounded to Cards second baseman Jose Oquendo, who threw to second to force out Morandini’s teammate Ricky Jordan.Morandini’s point — that he struggled against Tewskbury, an effective but by no means legendary pitcher — is right. He was a career 4 for 30 against Tewk, for a .133 average.By the way, the Times piece is a teensy bit misleading when it says Morandini “became Rogers Hornsby” (who hit a career .358) when he faced the three Hall of Famers. Morandini hit Smoltz and Martinez exceptionally well, but he hit just .200 (1 for 5) against Johnson.So to Morandini, Johnson was just another Bob Tewksbury.CORRECTION (Jan. 6, 6 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Mickey Morandini as a shortstop. In fact, he played mostly at second base.CORRECTION (Jan. 7, 10:30 a.m.): An earlier version of this article gave the wrong stats for Mickey Morandini’s performance against Bob Tewksbury. He was 4 for 30, not 4 for 32. read more

Shark week Without restrictions Titus has stories to tell

Although Mark Titus’ blog gave outsiders an unprecedented look at life as a college basketball player, its content was not without filter. Restricted by both NCAA and Ohio State overseers, some of Titus’ best stories might have gone untold.But now that he has broken the shackles of censorship, Titus plans to make it up to his fans. Free to tell all the stories he was forbidden to reveal, the former Buckeye benchwarmer has plenty to say. “I am going to write a book whenever I’m done,” Titus said. “I have some stories that need to be told that some people might not want me telling.” Titus, who said he plans to begin writing his book after he graduates in June, was witness to several exciting years as an OSU walk-on. He sat on the sideline during the Buckeyes’ Final Four run in 2007, an NIT title the following year, and he warmed the bench for this season’s Big Ten regular season and tournament championship team. With all that he’s seen, Titus said a book is the only way to tell it all. “Basically, it’s just going to be stories from all four years at Ohio State,” Titus said. “My first years here, I didn’t have my blog going, so there’s stuff from then, some Final Four stuff that I haven’t been able to write about, a lot of experiences.” Perhaps the most high-profile name Titus plans to write about is former Buckeye Greg Oden. Titus said that Oden, who made news earlier this year when some revealing photos of the NBA center found their way onto the Internet, should expect to be a popular subject of the book. “I’ve had the chance to play with some pretty great players at Ohio State,” Titus said. “There are a lot of stories to go with playing with such great players that I haven’t been able to tell. “Let me put it this way: I hope my book makes Greg Oden’s penis one of the least talked about stories involving him, because I have some good ones about him.” read more

WIth season winding down Buckeyes aiming to make postseason push

With only four games remaining in the regular season, the Ohio State men’s hockey team has little time to make a push for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament. OSU is currently the ninth seed, with the top five seeds receiving a first-round bye. “It’s crunch time,” senior forward C.J. Severyn said. “These last four games could mean life or death for us.” OSU coach Mark Osiecki said he likes the way his team is playing, though it lost six of its last seven games. He said he thinks the team hasn’t gotten the puck to slide its way. “That’s the hard thing,” he said. “We don’t have that puck luck.” Osiecki said it has been the same for his team all year. The pucks don’t seem to go its way, but he said that’s something the team has to overcome. “You’ve got to have great will,” he said. “You’ve got to have a relentless part of your game.” Though Osiecki said he thinks his team has been playing well, he said it’s not where the players expected to be at the beginning of the season. “I’m not sure if it’s where we want to be,” he said, “but we’re certainly better.” Four of the six losses — all of which were conference games — have been by two goals or fewer, so the team is usually within a couple of plays of winning. “We’ve got to play a full 60 minutes of Buckeye hockey,” Severyn said. “That’s where we’re going to get our wins.” The Buckeyes have two home series, of two games apiece, to round out the regular season: one against Lake Superior State and one against Ferris State. This weekend’s series against Lake Superior State is senior weekend, a time when the senior players reflect on their four years — especially this one — at OSU. One of the things the seniors have had to adjust to is a coaching change. Osiecki is in his first year as the men’s hockey coach, and it has been a transition for the seniors who had a different coach the previous three seasons. “It’s a hard thing to go through as a senior,” forward Kyle Reed said, “but I’m happy with it.” The Buckeyes (14-15-2, 9-13-2) have played well at home this season, going 7-5-1, and will look to continue to do that this weekend against Lake Superior State (10-12-8, 8-9-7). The games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Schottenstein Center. read more

AllAmerican gymnast notches another Wynn

Ohio State senior Brandon Wynn won his second consecutive individual National Championship in rings this weekend at the NCAA men’s gymnastics finals. Although OSU didn’t qualify for team finals on Friday night, seven individuals qualified for the all-around and individual group, and four of those seven qualified to move on to individual finals Saturday night. Wynn is just the second gymnast in program history to win two straight national titles in rings, tying interim co-coach Blaine Wilson. “I’m real happy I won an All-American,” Wynn said. “I just did what I needed to do.” Also competing for the Buckeyes in Saturday’s individual finals were freshmen Kris Done and Jeff Treleaven and junior Ty Echard. All four Buckeyes who competed in individual finals placed in the top eight for their event. Wynn tied for eighth on the parallel bars, was eighth on high bar and took home the National Championship in rings. Done took fifth on high bar, Treleaven placed third on vault and Echard placed second on the pommel horse. Treleaven and Done said they were just happy to have made it to the individual finals their freshman year. “I had nothing to lose,” Treleaven said. “There are a lot of juniors and seniors here, and they have four years of college experience compared to just one.” Wynn and Done were the only two Buckeyes competing in the all-around to move on to Friday night’s finals. “I was a little disappointed I messed up on the pommel horse,” Done said about his performance Thursday night. “But I still qualified for something (Friday) night.” Also qualifying into the individual group Friday night were senior Sean Regan and freshman Misha Koudinov for the floor exercise, Echard on the pommel horse, Treleaven on vault and junior Mike Behles on rings. The Buckeyes posted a total of seven top-ten scores in the six events Friday night. Placing for OSU were Wynn, who placed first on rings, sixth on parallel bars, seventh on the high bar and fifth in the all-round; Treleaven, who placed seventh on vault; Echard, who placed fifth on the pommel horse; and Done, who placed 10th on the high bar. Interim co-head coach Doug Stibel said he thought his team did well Friday night. “It’s hard to get back up and perform,” he said, “but the guys stepped up and had good routines.” Overall, the team said it was happy with the way it ended the season. “(This season) has been a roller coaster ride,” Done said. “But on the days it counted, we hit our routines.” read more

Ohio State athletics selfreports 8 NCAA Big Ten rules violations in roughly

Men’s wrestlingFinancial aid overage reported Aug. 20One member of the men’s wrestling team was given scholarship money that caused the program to go over its allotted financial aid limit for the 2013-14 season. The school imposed a financial aid penalty on the program, resulting in the loss of 3 percent of its financial aid limit for 2014-15. The NCAA accepted OSU’s self-imposed punishment. Click to enlarge.Through a roughly three-month period beginning in July, Ohio State athletics self-reported eight NCAA or Big Ten violations — including one that led to at least temporary ineligibility for student-athletes — but none involved football or men’s basketball.The list includes self-reported violations from seven different OSU programs, with women’s rowing being the only sport to appear twice. The women’s rowing team also had multiple violations self-reported on June 12, earlier detailed in an Aug. 13 article by The Lantern.The list of violations spans from July 3 through Sept. 15. There were two self-reported violations in July, four in August and two more up until Sept. 20.The information was the result of a public records request for all self-reported violations from June 1 through Sept. 20, submitted by The Lantern on Sept. 23 and fulfilled Tuesday evening.A previous records request by The Lantern showed 22 self-reported violations through the first half of the calendar year, bringing the total to 30 up until Sept. 20.Responses to the violations from OSU included issuing letters of education to the coaching staff for teams involved with the incidents, a restriction to one program’s financial aid capacity for the 2014-15 academic year and the repayment of $28 worth of “impermissible per diem” for multiple student-athletes.The NCAA’s response is pending for three of the violations, while it or the Big Ten either saw no need for further punishment or accepted OSU’s self-imposed punishment for four of the violations. Of the eight violations, one had brought additional action from the NCAA at the time the records were released.Of the eight violations, the following three had financial ramifications for either the university or student-athletes. Men’s soccerIneligible student-athlete reported Sept. 15A member of the OSU men’s soccer team took part in two games despite being ineligible. As a result, the school sent letters of education to each member of the athletic academic staff that discussed the rules surrounding player eligibility in relation to degree requirements. The NCAA imposed a $500 fine on OSU for each game the ineligible player took part in, totaling $1,000 in fines. Women’s tennisImpermissible per diem reported Sept. 5The OSU women’s program gave multiple members of the team “impermissible per diem” at two tennis tournaments hosted by OSU. The school declared each student-athlete who received the impermissible benefit ineligible until they paid the full value of the per diem, which was $28. Response from the NCAA was pending. read more