• History of the Major Sports Drafts

    by Max Rettig June 2016

    The draft is a relatively recent addition to most major sports, allowing teams to choose from the best up-and-coming players in the hopes that the worst teams will have the greatest chance to improve. These are the histories and experiences of the four major professional leagues: NFL Football's draft dates to 1936, after then-Eagles owner Bert Bell argued within the sport for an alternative to the waiver system created in 1934. Bell contended that the league needed a way to ensure competitive balance - that the worst team in the league would have the best chance to improve by selecting the best available college talent. The waiver system favored those teams that could afford to pay top money for players, leaving teams like Bell's Eagles at a disadvantage.

  • Navigating Olympic Penalty for Russian Doping Tricky

    by Brent Schrotenboer June 2016

    The largest country on the planet has been accused of conducting the biggest sports doping scandal in decades, including rampant cheating at the most expensive Olympics ever. At least three insiders who blew the whistle on it fled the country in fear. Two of its former anti-doping officials ended up dead in February, adding to the dread. Now the stakes have been raised to unprecedented proportions, all centered on one big question: Should Russia be banned from the Olympics? Many think it should be after witnesses and reports detailed systematic cheating by the Russians with the help of Russian state security agents. The latest came Wednesday, when a new report from the World Anti-Doping Agency said armed Russian agents threatened doping control officers with expulsion from the country.

  • NFL Players Push for Marijuana Pain Relief Option

    by Nichole Montanez June 2016

    In recent months, current and former NFL players have come out in support of cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain and brain injury. This week at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition in New York, former Denver Broncos Charlie Adams and Nate Jackson will be part of panel discussion on "CTE, concussions and CBD" moderated by Leonard Marshall, a former New York Giants player and co-founder of the Brain Unity Trust.

  • Opinion: Punishing Players for Earlier Cheating Unfair

    by Vince Grippi June 2016

    An incoming freshman at Bellevue High this year would play some 34 football games in his four years, about 35 percent fewer than a recently graduated senior may have played and about 20 percent fewer than the typical high school football player in this state.

  • Utah to Consider Changes to HS Athletic Transfer Policy

    by Amy Donaldson June 2016

    Proposed changes to the high school transfer policy would make it even tougher for student-athletes in Utah to switch schools and continue playing varsity sports.

  • Opinion: Sharapova a World-Class Cheater

    by Christine Brennan June 2016

    If this is it for 29-year-old Maria Sharapova, and it certainly could be, it's such an inglorious ending. It's also a well-deserved one. When one of the world's iconic athletes willfully disregards repeated email warnings that a drug she has been taking for 10 years is being banned, and continues to use it after the ban, and hides the fact that she is taking it from her doctors, there's only one word for that kind of behavior: cheating. The International Tennis Federation suspended Sharapova for two years Wednesday for testing positive twice in 2016 for the banned substance meldonium. She immediately said she will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, hoping to lessen her suspension.

  • Sharapova Hit with Two-Year Ban, Will Appeal

    by Chris Lehourites and Howard Fendrich The Associated Press June 2016

    Maria Sharapova was suspended Wednesday for two years for failing a drug test, labeled "the sole author of her own misfortune" because she hid regular pre-match use of a newly banned substance from anti-doping authorities and members of her own entourage. The tennis star said she would appeal what she called "an unfairly harsh" punishment to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  • Cheating HS Football Program Hammered with Sanctions

    by Jayson Jenks June 2016

    A committee has voted to ban the Bellevue High School football program from postseason play for four years, ban outside donations and tighten incoming transfer oversight, citing a preponderance of evidence that violations occurred.

  • HS Cross Country Team on Probation for Recruiting

    by Jim Allen June 2016

    One of the most successful high school athletic programs in Spokane history has been placed on probation for recruiting violations. The North Central boys cross country program - which has won 10 consecutive state championships - faces numerous penalties handed down last month by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. The penalties stem from the actions of assistant coach Len Long, who earlier this school year distributed DVD videos and other promotional material to select athletes at elementary schools outside the North Central attendance area.

  • New Rule to Benefit HS Baseball Draftees

    by Josh Barnett and Bob Nightengale June 2016

    For the first time, high school baseball players drafted will be able to hire agents without jeopardizing their college eligibility, significantly curtailing the practice of agents serving as advisers. Under an NCAA rule passed in January, players must pay the agent's rate while working with the agent and then end their relationship with the agent before enrolling in college if they don't sign.