Sports

Sports news

WKU, Former Swimmer Reach Agreement in Hazing Case

Aug 10, 2016
WKU

A former Western Kentucky University swimmer has reached a settlement in a lawsuit in which he claimed to have been hazed and assaulted by his teammates.

Attorney Vanessa Cantley was quoted by the Daily News as saying that her client Collin Craig had reached a confidential resolution with all parties named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Craig had alleged that he was abused physically and mentally and suffered discrimination on the basis of sex. He reported multiple cases of assaults and hazing.

WKU attorney Tom Kerrick on Tuesday called the settlement an economic resolution and said that the university and its employees continue to assert that they didn't violate Craig's rights.

The case hasn't been formally dismissed by a federal judge yet.

WKU Athletics Media Relations

Four former Western Kentucky University athletes are being inducted into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in Elizabethtown.

Dwight Smith, Jim Rose, Gene Rhodes, and Harry Todd are part of the Hall’s fifth class of inductees.

Smith and Rose are being honored posthumously.

Smith is a Princeton native who led Dotson High School to the state tournament in 1963. He went on to score 1,142 career points at WKU, while averaging 11 rebounds a game.

Rose led Hazard High School to three straight Sweet 16 appearances in from 1964-66, and was named all-state in his final three high school seasons. He finished 34th on the all-time WKU scoring list, and was a key member of the school's 1971 Final Four team.

Ellis Park

Ellis Park in Henderson opens Saturday with daily purses expected to average $210,000 during a summer meet featuring five stakes races worth $325,000.

The growth of Ellis Park's Instant Racing game and a $1.35 million contribution from Kentucky Downs will increase the track's daily purse average from $155,000 last year.

flickr/creative common/Jim Worthington

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who helped boost the women's game to the big time in a 38-year career at Tennessee, has died at 64.

With an icy glare on the sidelines, Summitt led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and prominence on a campus steeped in the traditions of the football-rich south until she retired in 2012.

Her son, Tyler Summitt, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most.

Tyler's statement said "since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, 'Alzheimer's Type' ... and we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease. "

WKU Athletics

Incoming Lady Hilltopper Whitney Creech has been named the 2016 Female Athlete of the Year by the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. The freshman is the all-time leading scorer in Kentucky high school basketball history.

During her career at Jenkins High School Creech poured in 5,527 points. She led the nation in scoring in her final two seasons with the Lady Cavaliers averaging 42 points a game as a junior and 50.3 points a game as a senior.

Creech was also named the 14th Region Player of the Year and was a finalist for Miss Kentucky Basketball 2016.

Creech will join fellow WKU signees Malaka Frank and Sarah Price in the annual Kentucky All-Star Game on June 12th. That will be the first time in four years that WKU has had three players selected in the same season.

Derby Winner Nyquist Won't Run in Belmont

May 24, 2016
NPR

The trainer of Nyquist says the Kentucky Derby winner is sick and won't run in the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

Doug O'Neill said Tuesday that Nyquist is "out because of sickness."

Nyquist's bid for a chance at the Triple Crown ended when he finished third behind Exaggerator in the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday.

O'Neill's assistant Jack Sisterson said from Baltimore that the colt's blood work came back and showed an elevated white blood cell count. He said "we just want to do right by him and get him to 100 percent."

When he's healthy again, the plan is to ship him back to California, with a summer schedule that could include the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

In 2012, O'Neill's Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have another was retired the day before the Belmont with a tendon injury and missed a Triple Crown chance.

Garry Jones/AP

Exaggerator has taken home the second gem in horse racing’s triple crown. The colt won a mud-filled Preakness Stakes on Saturday, handing rival Nyquist the first loss of his career and effectively ending his shot at a triple crown.

It wasn’t an easy win for Exaggerator, though. For much of the race, the colt trailed not only Nyquist but Uncle Lino, as well. As in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, Exaggerator mounted a last-minute bid to take the lead; unlike that last race, however, Exaggerator finished the job.

Nyquist entered the race as the odds-on favorite, trailed by Stradivari and Exaggerator, whom he narrowly defeated at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. Nyquist — who’s named for the NHL’s Gustav Nyquist by his hockey fan owner — has now gone 8 for 9 in major races.

Rain came down for much of the day at Pimlico Race Course, just outside Baltimore. Still, Nyquist’s trainer, Dale Romans, betrayed no concern for the conditions in the lead-up to the race.

“My horse loves the mud,” Romans quipped to AL.com.

Rob Carr / Getty Images

Nearly one year since American Pharoah made history, Nyquist has embarked on a star-making turn of his own at Churchill Downs. The thoroughbred has won the 2016 Kentucky Derby.

The colt beat out 19 other competitors over the course of a hectic mile and a quarter, crossing the finish line about a body length ahead of Exaggerator.

Jockey Mario Gutierrez earned a patient win with Nyquist, giving the racehorse Danzing Candy plenty of leeway to lead the pack early. Gutierrez kept Nyquist close, though, never dropping much lower than third. Nyquist pulled ahead in the final stretch and didn't ease up until he definitively captured the Run for the Roses.

The win didn't exactly come as a surprise. By mid-afternoon, the bay colt was pulling down 2-1 odds, cleanly earning honors as the heavy favorite. Nyquist — owned, trained and ridden by the same team that won the 2012 Kentucky Derby — approached this year's race with the confidence of having succeeded at Churchill Downs before.

"There's a quiet confidence in the group that's not flashy," owner Paul Reddam told Rick Howlett of member station WFPL before the race. "But — to speak Californian for a moment — there's a very good vibe in the barn."

WKU Athletics

A former football standout from Western Kentucky University has pleaded not guilty to assault and other charges stemming from an altercation outside a club in Bowling Green.  Tyler Higbee made a brief appearance in Warren Circuit Court Thursday for arraignment.

Higbee was drafted last week by the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.  Defense attorney Brian Lowder says Higbee’s legal woes will not keep him from participating in the team's rookie mini-camp this weekend.

"The court is generally flexible with respect to letting people earn a living and that's what we expect him to be doing," Lowder told WKU Public Radio.  "I would anticipate we will be accommodated with regard to him earning a living and playing football."

Higbee is charged with assault, evading police, and public intoxication.  Higbee has denied using racial slurs before hitting Nawaf Alsaleh, which witnesses said preceded the fight last month.  Alsaleh received a concussion and brain hemorrhage, and has since been released from the hospital.  Higbee claims he acted in self-defense.

Higbee is due back in court on June 17 for a status hearing.

WKU Athletics

Three WKU football players were selected on the final day of the NFL draft. That ties a program record for the most players selected in the modern era. Five other players were invited to rookie camps.

Tight end Tyler Higbee was the first Hilltopper to get the call, chosen by the Los Angeles Rams with the 110th overall pick in the fourth round. Higbee became the highest offensive draft pick ever for WKU, and the first offensive player taken since 2003.

Record-setting WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty was taken by the Miami Dolphins as the 223rd pick in the draft's seventh round. The south Florida native led the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns for the past two years.

Doughty is the first WKU quarterback ever selected in the NFL draft.

Cornerback Prince Charles Iworah rounded out the WKU selections when he was taken by the San Francisco 49ers also in the seventh round.

WKU Athletics

Former Western Kentucky University men's basketball coach Ray Harper has been hired in the same position at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He'll be formally introduced at a news conference in Jacksonville Thursday morning.

Harper resigned from WKU last month following the suspension of three players for undisclosed reasons. It was announced this week those players are no longer enrolled at WKU. School President Gary Ransdell has said those suspensions were the "primary reason" behind Harper's resignation March 17th.

WKU hired former Mississippi State head coach and Texas A & M assistant Rick Stansbury as head coach March 28th.

Harper coached for five seasons at WKU after becoming interim coach in the 2011-12 school year. He compiled an 89-64 record. He led the Hilltoppers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first two seasons but failed to reach any post-season tournaments in his last three years.

Harper's taking over a program at Jacksonville State that went 8-23 last season, including a 4-12 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.

After being suspended from the Western Kentucky University men's basketball team last month for undisclosed reasons, three former players have now officially left the school.

In a statement released late Tuesday afternoon, WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart said "Fredrick Edmond, Marlon Hunter and Chris McNeal are no longer enrolled at Western Kentucky University. They have been released from their scholarship and are able to pursue other opportunities."

The three were dismissed from the team for undisclosed reasons after a ruling by the University Disciplinary Committee. The Committee and the athletics department cited federal privacy laws in declining to release any details of the case.

Former coach Ray Harper resigned immediately following the players' suspensions. He's reportedly being considered for the head coaching position at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. New coach Rick Stansbury made it clear during his introductory news conference last week that the three would not be on the team next season.

Fredrick Edmond has signed with an agent and will forego his senior year of college eligibility to play professionally overseas. Both McNeal and Hunter are freshmen.

Wikimedia Commons

Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel is retiring.

That’s according to Borel’s agent,  Larry Melancon, who tells the Daily Racing Form that Borel informed him of his decision.

The publication says Borel is currently based at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and has not commented publicly.

The 49-year-old Borel has won more than 5,100 races, including three Kentucky Derbys. In 2009, he became the first jockey to win the first two legs of racing’s Triple Crown aboard different mounts.

He rode Mine That Bird to victory in the Derby and finished first aboard the filly Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness Stakes.

Borel was inducted into the racing Hall of Fame in 2013.

Clinton Lewis

Rick Stansbury is returning to Kentucky to coach basketball.  The Meade County native was introduced Monday afternoon as the next men’s basketball coach at Western Kentucky University. 

During a news conference, Stansbury said he did not have to be sold on WKU.

"There's so much tradition.  I understood that.  I know what this place about," remarked Stansbury.  "I know not where it's at, but where we're going to go with it.  It's not about me.  It's about all of us, and that first game we show up to this year, we want that arena packed, and we're going to put a team on that floor that you will be proud of."

Stansbury comes from Texas A&M where he served as an assistant coach.   Before that, he spent 14 seasons as Mississippi State’s head coach.  Under a four-year contract, Stansbury will be paid a base salary of $500,000 annually. 

He takes over for Ray Harper who resigned this month following the suspension of three players.  Stansbury said the three would not be returning to the team. 

Stansbury said he has a lot of respect for Harper and hopes he will continue to be a part of the basketball program at WKU.

WKU Athletics

WKU has introduced Kentucky native Rick Stansbury as the school's new men's head basketball coach.

Stansbury played his high school basketball at Meade County, and comes to WKU after two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas A&M. He previously was head coach at Mississippi St. for 14 seasons.

Stansbury takes over the WKU job following the resignation of Ray Harper almost two weeks ago.

Stansbury has 293 career wins and 11 postseason trips as a head coach.

During his final ten seasons with Mississippi St., only Kentucky won more SEC championships than the eight won by the Bulldogs. He took the team to the postseason 11 times, with six NCAA appearances, and became the school's all-time wins leader.

Pages