Rome News-Tribune: Sports

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Thursday 07/31/2014
Rome Braves announce Alumni Event
Posted: July 31, 2014

The Rome Braves announced the lineup and timeline for the first Rome Braves Alumni Event at State Mutual Stadium on Sat., Aug. 9.

Shorter football to play twice as part of GSC-TV package with ESPN
Posted: July 31, 2014

The Shorter Hawks football team will be in the broadcast spotlight two times this fall as part of the GSC's 2014 televi-sion package, which has a new home after the league offi-cially announced an exclusive agreement with ESPN to broadcast its GSC-TV content.

AP source: A's acquire Lester, Gomes for Cespedes
Posted: July 31, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. — A person with knowledge of the trade says the Oakland Athletics have won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander along with outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday's trade deadline.

Dodgers beat Braves 3-2 for 5th straight win
Posted: July 31, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Matt Kemp has suddenly found his power, and it's helping keep the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the NL West.

UGA FOOTBALL: UGA’s coordinators talk preseason practice
Posted: July 31, 2014

ATHENS — Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt preview the Bulldogs’ preseason practice, which is set to begin Friday.

Wednesday 07/30/2014
Braves announce mixed-used site development near planned Cobb Co. ballpark
Posted: July 30, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have announced the group of developers that will build a multimillion dollar, mixed-use site near the team's new suburban ballpark.

Braves officials announced Wednesday that Fuqua Development, Pope and Land, and Pollack Shores Real Estate Group have been chosen to develop the 74-acre site.

Officials say Fuqua Development will work on the retail portion of the project, Pope and Land will develop office space, and Pollack Shores Real Estate Group will work on the site's residential component. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

Atlanta Braves CEO Terry McGuirk said in a statement that partnering with three Atlanta-based companies on the suburban mixed-use site reflects the team's "local roots and global brand."

The Braves are expecting to begin playing in the new stadium in 2017.

Braves lose 8-4 to streaking Dodgers
Posted: July 30, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tommy La Stella put together his second straight three-hit game and fourth since making his major league debut in late May. Freddie Freeman broke out of his slump, too. Their offense just wasn't enough to keep Atlanta's winning streak going.

Berry College has high expectations in 2nd season
Posted: July 30, 2014

A year ago Berry Football coach Tony Kunczewski and his staff were preparing to welcome a slew of new football players to campus.

Rome Braves edged by Power
Posted: July 30, 2014

Final: Power 4, Braves 3

Tuesday 07/29/2014
Rome makes roster move
Posted: July 29, 2014

The Rome Braves announce that INF Gerald Chin has been placed on the disabled list with right hamstring tightness.  LHP Yean Carlos Gil has also been placed on the DL with lower back tightness. 

NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules
Posted: July 29, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports.

College sports' governing body also agreed to implement a single return-to-play policy spelling out how all teams must treat players who received head blows, according to a Tuesday filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Critics have accused the NCAA of giving too much discretion to hundreds of individual schools about when athletes can go back into games, putting them at risk.

Unlike a proposed settlement in a similar lawsuit against the NFL, this deal stops short of setting aside money to pay players who suffered brain trauma. Instead, athletes can sue individually for damages and the NCAA-funded tests to gauge the extent of neurological injuries could establish grounds for doing that.

The filing serves as notice to the federal judge overseeing the class-action case that the parties struck a deal after nearly a year of negotiations. In addition to football, ice hockey and soccer, the settlement also applies to all men and women who participated in basketball, wrestling, field hockey and lacrosse.

Joseph Siprut, the lead plaintiffs' attorney who spearheaded talks with the NCAA, said the sometimes-tough negotiations ended with a deal that will make college athletics safer.

"I wouldn't say these changes solve the safety problems, but they do reduce the risks," the Chicago attorney said Tuesday. "It's changed college sports forever."

He also said that stricter oversight and return-to-play rules should help ensure the viability of football by allaying the fears of parents who are currently inclined to not let their kids play.

"Changes were necessary to preserve the talent well of kids that feeds the game of football," he said. "Absent these kinds of changes, the sport will die."

Phone and email messages seeking comment from the NCAA, based in Indianapolis, were not immediately returned Tuesday morning.

There is no cutoff date for when athletes must have played a designated sport at one of the more than 1,000 NCAA member schools to qualify for the medical exams. That means all athletes currently playing and those who participated decades ago could undergo the tests and potentially follow up with damage claims.

To keep the NCAA from having to hold unwieldy talks with multiple plaintiffs, 10 lawsuits filed from Georgia and South Carolina to Minnesota and Missouri were consolidated into the one case in Chicago, where the first lawsuit was filed in 2011. Combined, the suits identified several dozen athletes by name as having suffered brain trauma.

The lead plaintiff is Adrian Arrington, a former safety at Eastern Illinois. He said he endured five concussions while playing, some so severe he has said he couldn't recognize his parents afterward. Subsequent headaches, memory loss, seizures and depression made it difficult to work or even care for his children, filings said.

Another named plaintiff is former Central Arkansas wide receiver Derek K. Owens. After several concussions, he said he found he could no longer retain what he had just studied. His symptoms became so severe he dropped out of school in 2011, telling his mother: "I feel like a 22-year-old with Alzheimer's."

Among other settlement terms, all athletes will take baseline neurological tests to start each year to help doctors determine the severity of any concussion during the season; concussion education will be mandated for coaches and athletes; and a new, independent Medical Science Committee will oversee the medical testing.

The NCAA admits no wrongdoing in the settlement and has denied understating the dangers of concussions. As proof it has tried to mitigate the risks, it has cited recent changes in equipment, medical practices and playing rules, including ones prohibiting football players from targeting an opponent's head or neck.

The NCAA also announced in May a three-year, $30 million concussion study co-funded by the U.S. Defense Department. Plans call for initial data collection on about 7,200 athletes from 12 colleges, increasing to 37,000 athletes at 30 sites, with the aim of better understanding concussions and developing better prevention methods.

The settlement is still subject to approval by U.S. District Judge John Lee, in a process that could take months. He must grant preliminary approval and then, after affected athletes weigh in, give a final OK.

Plaintiffs' filings say the number of athletes who may require testing to learn if they suffered long-term damage runs into the tens of thousands. They cite NCAA figures that from 2004 to 2009 alone, 29,225 NCAA athletes suffered concussions — about 16,000 in football, 5,751 in women's soccer and 3,374 in men's soccer.

Internal emails unsealed in the lawsuit illustrate how pressure mounted on the NCAA over the issue.

In a Feb. 23, 2010, email, the NCAA's director of government relations, Abe Frank, wondered about debates elsewhere, including in Congress, about recommended new safeguards for young children playing contact sports.

"Do you think this renewed emphasis on youth sports will increase the pressure on the NCAA to do more at the college level?" he asks in the email sent to the NCAA's then-director of health and safety.

David Klossner responded bluntly a few hours later. "Well since we don't currently require anything all steps are higher than ours," he wrote.

Later that year, the NCAA did establish a new head-injury policy that requires each school to have a concussion management plan on hand and it states that athletes should be kept from play for at least a day after a concussion; it also requires players to sign a statement "accepting responsibility for reporting their injuries."

But plaintiffs argued schools put too much of the onus on athletes with little understanding of concussions to self-report injuries. And they blamed a tendency of some teams to hurry concussed players back into games according to patchy, uneven plans and the NCAA's lax enforcement of the concussions policy.

In a 2012 deposition, Klossner conceded the NCAA provides virtually no oversight of concussion management plans and that schools aren't required to submit them to the NCAA. Asked if any schools had been disciplined for having subpar plans, Klossner said, "Not to my knowledge."

Prior to the settlement, plaintiffs were scathing about how the NCAA handled the head injury issue for decades.

Instead of adopting stricter protections for athletes, the lawsuit said the NCAA chose "to sacrifice them on an altar of money and profits," an approach that occurred even though the NCAA had known for at least a decade "of the correlation between concussions and depression, dementia and early onset Alzheimer's disease."

The plaintiffs cited a 2010 internal NCAA survey that found almost half of college trainers put athletes with signs of a concussion back into the same game.


Rome Braves roll past Power
Posted: July 29, 2014

Final: Braves 5, Power 1

YMCA soccer registration underway
Posted: July 29, 2014

With more than 500 players and 50 teams each season, the biggest soccer league in Northwest Georgia returns this fall. The league’s focus is participation, fun and player development. Soccer skills are developed through activities and games. Sportsmanship and respect are key components of this league.

Griffin impresses at Top Gun camp
Posted: July 29, 2014

Local linebacker Jamious Griffin from Rome Middle School impressed NFL level coaches at the invitation only Football University Top Gun Showcase in Dublin, Ohio this past weekend.

Monday 07/28/2014
New LakePoint promo video shows diversity of sporting complex
Posted: July 28, 2014

Volleyball, football, baseball, wake boarding. The LakePoint sporting community in Emerson is planning to have it all. A video released by LakePoint shows promise for the large sporting complex.

Three GHC women’s basketball players participate in NJCAA All-Star event
Posted: July 28, 2014

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association of the National Junior College Athletic Association held its 6th Annual All-Star Weekend this past weekend in Niceville, Florida hosted by Northwest Florida State College. Georgia Highlands College was represented at the event by Coach Brandan Harrell, Gabby Kendall, China Henderson, and Aujana Dawkins.

Santana, Gattis lead Braves to 2-0 win over Padres
Posted: July 28, 2014

ATLANTA — Ervin Santana threw eight scoreless innings, Evan Gattis homered for the first time in more than a month and the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 2-0 on Monday.

Former UGA track star Torrin Lawrence killed in auto accident
Updated: July 28, 2014 - 2:13 pm

CORDELE, Ga. (AP) — Former University of Georgia 400-meter runner Torrin Lawrence has died in a car accident. He was 25.

Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said Lawrence was traveling along Interstate 75 about 1:40 a.m. Monday when a tire blew on the car and became disabled in the center lane. Lawrence got out of the car to call 911 when a tractor-trailer came over the crest and struck the car, knocking the vehicle into Lawrence.

Hancock said Lawrence was returning home to Jacksonville, Florida, after training in Athens, where he won an NCAA indoor title for the Bulldogs in 2010.

Lawrence ran for the United States in the opening round of the 4x400 relay at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas in May. The team went on to capture the gold medal.

Sunday 07/27/2014
Rome Braves come up short
Posted: July 27, 2014

Final: Power 5, Braves 4

Saturday 07/26/2014
Rome Braves give up lead in loss
Posted: July 26, 2014

Final: Power 9, Braves 8