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Spinner to North Coast: Eliminate bounties

Posted by: Lindsay Aspegren on Wed Mar 21st 2012 2:47pm

By HOWARD FENDRICH, D League Hockey Writer 48 minutes ago

Commissioner Shawn Spinner has ordered the owners of all 32 D League teams to make sure their clubs are not offering bounties like North Coast did from 2009-11.

Spinner’s memo instructs each team’s principal owner and team manager to certify in writing by March 30 that no pay-for-performance system exists.

Spinner says Wednesday that bounty programs “are incompatible with our efforts to promote sportsmanship, fair play, and player safety.”

Gregg Williams left the Saints in January to take over the Rams' defense.

He suspended North Coast players John Ford for the remainder of the Winter 2012 playoffs and Dave Grand for the first two games, while banning former New Orleans defensive stalwart Scott Wood indefinitely.

Coasties Feast on Yak - Advance With Shootout Win

Posted by: Hugo Braun on Mon Mar 19th 2012 12:16pm

Mighty Good Player of the Game, Superman, Ed Pokryfky, came up big in the shootout to lead the Coasties past the Yaks. This quarter-final win puts North Coast into the semi-finals against the Purple Cobras on Wednesday.

The Yaks struck first, scoring at the end of the first period, but North Coast tied it up early in the second. Mad Dog, Craig Hysong, skated the puck deep into the corner and sent a beautiful pass across the goal mouth to The Professor, Charles Conrad, who was camped on the back post and scored from point blank range. The Yaks pulled ahead with a goal midway through the period but the Coasties again fought back to tie. Mad Dog made a nice outlet pass to The Rapper, Tim Allen, who was cruising with speed through the neutral zone. The Rapper shot early from the left circle, then fought through two Yak defensemen to bury his own rebound. After a scoreless third period, regulation ended in a 2-2 tie.

Things looked grim for the Coasties when they picked up a 3 minute penalty one minute into the 5 minute sudden death overtime. But the Men In Black dug deep and were mostly able to keep the puck out of their zone for the entire penalty.

After a scoreless overtime, the teams faced off for a best-of-five shootout. Mad Dog went first and scored by deking the goalie on his backhand and shooting behind him after he bit on the fake. Havi, Dave Haviland, shot second and scored by drawing the goalie out and scoring on the short side. Superman did the rest, making several outstanding saves and and allowing only one goal to preserve the 2-1 shootout win.

A-Train Leads Coasties to Comeback Tie With Two Goals

Posted by: Hugo Braun on Thu Jan 12th 2012 11:18am

After falling behind the Leafs 2-0, A-Train, Lindsay Aspegren, scored twice to lead a North Coast comeback. A-Train got the Coasties on the board in the second period with a wrist shot from the high slot with assists from Sweeps, Mike Braun, and The Rapper, Tim Allen. After a hard fought third period with both teams getting several scoring chances, A-Train tied the game with only 2:30 remaining. Mucho Grande, Dave Grand, made a beautiful pass from the corner to a wide open A-Train in front of the net. The Leafs goalie saved his first shot, but A-Train buried the backhand rebound high to tie the game.

Earlier in the third period, Havi, Dave Haviland, made an exceptional defensive play to keep the Coasties in the game by making a diving body save on a point blank shot on an empty North Coast net after Superman, Ed Pokryfky, had gotten pulled out of position.

Mucho Grande Kicks Off Winter Season With Hat Trick

Posted by: Hugo Braun on Thu Jan 05th 2012 1:43am

Fall season scoring leader Mucho Grande, Dave Grand, picked up right where he left off by getting a hat trick, including the game winning goal, and leading North Coast to a 5-1 win over Mott.

Mucho Grande opened the scoring in the middle of the first period, picking up a loose puck in the slot and firing it home. Mott tied the game minutes later on a freak deflection off a North Coast defenseman's shoulder and helmet. Mucho Grande then stepped up with the game winner off a face-off win by Hammer, Gregg Hammerman, and a pass from Sensei, John Ford. A-Train, Lindsay Aspegren, began the next scoring play with a nice point to point pass to The Professor, Charles Conrad, who put a great shot five hole. The puck got past the goalie and sat on the line where Mad Dog, Craig Hysong, was there to poke it in for the goal. The Rapper, Tim Allen, then scored off a nice pass from A-Train. Finally, Mucho Grande got his hat trick by taking the rebound of a shot from PMac, Paul McCreadie, and roofing a no angle shot from the back side of the goal. Sensei also earned an assist on the play with a nice pass back to PMac for the shot.

Superman, Ed Pokryfky, earned a shutout in the eyes of his teammates, considering they scored the only goal Mott got credit for. Mucho Grande was awarded Mighty Good Player of the Game honors.

Yale Coach Resigns After Rhodes Scholarship Claim

Posted by: Lindsay Aspegren on Sun Jan 01st 2012 6:01pm
Tom Williams coaching Yale on Nov. 19.
Tom Williams coaching Yale on Nov. 19.

By Peter May, New York Times

In three seasons Tom Williams, Yale’s first African-American head football coach and the Ivy League’s second, had a record of 16-14, including three losses to Harvard.
For a couple of weeks in November, the story captivated even the casual college football follower, perhaps because it did not concern allegations of child sexual abuse or recruiting violations.

Yale’s senior quarterback, Patrick Witt, the most productive passer in the program’s history, was wrestling with a decision that generated national attention and debate. Should he play in the Harvard-Yale game one more, final time, or should he attend an interview in Atlanta as a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship? Because of the schedule of the events, he could not do both.

The quarterback’s situation had an unlikely twist. His coach, Tom Williams, said he had faced almost identical circumstances in 1992 when he was a linebacker at Stanford. Williams said he had chosen to pursue a career in professional football at the expense of a possible Rhodes scholarship — and never regretted the decision. Witt leaned on his coach for advice, and eventually decided to play in the game. Yale was crushed, 45-7.

As it turned out, the shellacking of the Bulldogs by their rival in the Yale Bowl on Nov. 19 was far from the worst of it. The appealing back story — Williams’s providing counsel to his talented quarterback based on his own experience — turned out to be founded on a lie.

The coach had never been in Witt’s position. He had never been a Rhodes scholar candidate or applicant, let alone a finalist, as he had let the world believe. He had told Yale he was a candidate with an entry on his résumé. His biography on the Yale Web site said the same thing.

On Wednesday, a day before his 42nd birthday, Williams paid with his job. Yale, which had undertaken an internal review to investigate Williams’s Rhodes scholarship assertion after an article in The New York Times raised doubts about its legitimacy, announced that the coach had resigned.

In a news release from the university, Williams said he had been encouraged to apply for a Rhodes scholarship while at Stanford, but never did so: “I considered the opportunity, sought advice, and was encouraged to apply by faculty members and my coach, Bill Walsh. But I did not apply.”

Williams’s story began to unravel shortly after Witt announced he would forgo the Rhodes interview to play in what is widely known as the Game. A Rhodes Scholarship Trust official, Elliot Gerson, its American secretary, told The Times he had never heard of a candidate bypassing the final interview to play in an athletic event. Gerson has been overseeing the scholarships for more than three decades.

The Times then asked the Rhodes trust to check on Williams’s claim. After a thorough investigation, the trust reported that no one named Williams had even applied for a scholarship in 1991, 1992 or 1993. Asked about the trust’s findings later that day, Williams said: “I wasn’t trying to confuse anyone or make it sound different than it was. I was in the preliminary stages at Stanford and I had to decide, but the interview wasn’t official.”

The next day, Yale announced that it would investigate Williams’s claim and would not comment until its findings were completed. But before Wednesday’s announcement, Yale defensive lineman Reed Spiller said he could not envision a situation in which Williams, completing his third year as coach, would leave of his own volition.

“He’s not going to leave here voluntarily under any means — from the very beginning he’s said how excited he was to be getting this job,” said Spiller, a senior from Portsmouth, N.H. “There’s no chance he’d leave on his own.

“But that being said, I think there are a whole lot of people at this school that are overplaying the article about his Rhodes scholarship candidacy. I think that’s a moot point, really. I think that doesn’t really have anything to do with what kind of football coach he is. He’s a great guy and a great football coach, and he’s the right person for the job at this school.”

Williams, it turns out, also misrepresented his pro football credentials as part of his official Yale biography.

He had asserted that he signed with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent in 1993 and spent 1993 on the team’s roster as a linebacker. Both claims proved to be untrue. There is no mention of him in the team’s media guide under “all-time roster,” and when contacted by The Times about Williams’s claim that he had signed with the team as a free agent, a spokesman said the team’s accounting office had no record of ever issuing a W-2 form to Williams.

Williams, Yale’s first African-American head football coach and the Ivy League’s second, took over the program in 2009. It was his first head coaching assignment. In three seasons his record was 16-14, including three losses to Harvard.

In his first meeting with Harvard, in 2009, Yale was holding a 10-7 lead with two and a half minutes to play when he ordered a fake punt on fourth-and-22 from the Yale 25-yard line. The call mystified almost everyone. Harvard stopped the fake, took over in Yale territory and went on to score with 92 seconds left to post a 14-10 victory.

The story line for this year’s game centered on Witt’s choices: the interview or the Game. Rhodes officials took plenty of heat for not rescheduling the interview, even though the date is known well in advance and applicants are informed it is set in stone. Witt knew it.

His situation was well chronicled in the local and national news media. There was talk of perhaps chartering a plane. But with a noon start to the game and a morning interview in Atlanta — with the possibility of a second in the afternoon — there was no wiggle room. At the time, Williams said of Witt: “I know it’s hard. It’s difficult to be put in that situation.” Williams added, “I know he’ll the make the right decision.”

Witt’s story gained attention just as the child sexual abuse scandal fully engulfed Penn State. Jerry Sandusky, a longtime top assistant to Joe Paterno, had been charged with molesting young boys over many years. Paterno, who had failed to act aggressively when alerted years ago that Sandusky had been seen assaulting a child on Penn State property, was soon fired.

The Penn State scandal, at the time, was only the latest and worst in a series of embarrassments for college football programs. The University of Miami was placed under investigation this fall after it was reported that a convicted swindler had deeply infiltrated the football team, with cash and favors. Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel lost his job, in part for failing to report and later lying about a scandal involving his players.

Before arriving in New Haven, Williams had coached linebackers for two years for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the N.F.L. Before joining the pro ranks, he had been an assistant at San Jose State, Stanford, Hawaii and Washington.

Williams’s resignation is effective Dec. 31. Yale’s athletic director, Thomas Beckett, said the university would begin a search for his successor.

Vivian Yee contributed reporting.

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