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Posted at 11:04 PM ET, 07/29/2014

Pauley Pavilion court submerged as UCLA campus suffers flooding

A worker begins the task of cleaning up water covering the playing floor at Pauley Pavilion after a broken 30-inch water main under nearby Sunset Boulevard caused flooding that inundated several areas of the UCLA campus. (Mike Meadows/Associated Press)

A water main broke on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, sending torrents of water into UCLA’s campus. The school’s legendary arena, Pauley Pavilion, and its football team’s practice field were flooded.

From a report in the Los Angeles Times:

Three and half hours after the flooding began, about an inch of water remained on the wood court of Pauley Pavilion. Those at the scene said at that its peak water was as deep as three or four inches at a facility that underwent a $136-million renovation, completed in 2012. A new synthetic turf was installed on Spaulding Field the same year.

From the Associated Press:

People saw the water and started rushing down the stairwells to rescue their cars, and authorities had to keep them out as water rose up to the wheel wells of vehicles, many of which were stranded, city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

The scene made for some dramatic images, many of which were shared on social media:

By Des Bieler  |  11:04 PM ET, 07/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  UCLA

Posted at 11:03 PM ET, 07/29/2014

Coaches poke much-appreciated fun at shirtless colleagues

Duke’s David Cutcliffe, right, talks to North Carolina’s Larry Fedora before a Nov. 2013 game. Fedora was presumably wearing a shirt under that jacket. (Gerry Broome/Associated Press)

We get it: it’s summer, you’re at the beach or at a pool, the weather’s warm, so you take your shirt off. Still, one couldn’t help but detect a bit of an arms race — make that abs race — this week among a couple of prominent college football coaches. And a couple of their colleagues noticed, as well, leading to a delightful shot.

First, this image of  North Carolina’s Larry Fedora made the rounds.

Whoa, hunk alert! That clearly got the attention of college football’s resident studmuffin, Kliff Kingsbury, or at least someone interested in defending his turf. Shortly after the Fedora picture went viral, the Outkick the Coverage blog published a photo of Kingsbury it said it had just received in response. That poolside pic, too, received its share of attention. 

As it happened, Duke Coach David Cutcliffe and N.C. State’s Dave Doeren were spending time together today, both making the rounds of ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Conn. Along the way, someone had the brilliant idea to have them pose for this magnificent rebuttal:

Well played, gentlemen. And excellent color coordination!

By Des Bieler  |  11:03 PM ET, 07/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:58 PM ET, 07/29/2014

Josh Gordon’s case to lift his suspension is surprisingly strong

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon participated in organized team activities in June, above, and has been active in Cleveland’s training camp, hoping he’ll be able to play this season. (Mark Duncan/Associated Press)

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is facing a potential year-long suspension by the NFL after reportedly failing a drug test. He hired the attorney who helped Richard Sherman get a four-game suspension overturned, but given Gordon’s checkered history, going back to college, it didn’t seem likely that he stood much of a chance of playing for Cleveland this season.

However, a report by ProFootball Talk  indicates that Gordon may have a compelling case. Gordon, because of  a previous infraction that landed him a two-game suspension to start the 2013 season, is in a league-mandated program that tests him for drugs up to 10 times a month. According to the report, he has passed 70 tests, and could, in fact, have passed the one he failed (barely), with a little better luck.

Gordon submits urine samples, which are then divided into two containers, randomly marked either A or B. If the A sample reveals a substance amount higher than the threshold — 15 nanograms per milliliter — then the B sample is tested. Apparently, the B sample doesn’t even have to also register above the threshold, it just needs to have a detectable amount of the substance in question.

That’s what reportedly happened in Gordon’s case. His A sample registered slightly above 15 ng/ml at 16, while the B sample came in at 13.6. If the samples had been randomly marked the other way, so that the sample at 13.6 ng/ml was tested first, Gordon wouldn’t even have failed at all.

Gordon’s 2013 suspension was over codeine use, and in this one, marijuana is the substance in question. His lawyers plan to argue that Gordon ingested it in the form of second-hand smoke, and they may try to point out irregularities in the way his failed drug test was handled.

The NFL’s ultimate ruling will have major repercussions for the Browns, not to mention (ahem) fantasy football players. Gordon, even after that two-game suspension, led the NFL in receiving yards last season. His unexpected presence this season would be a major boost to the Browns’ passing attack, which could be directed by Johnny Manziel.

By Des Bieler  |  10:58 PM ET, 07/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Josh Gordon

Posted at 08:12 PM ET, 07/29/2014

Raiders reportedly in talks about a possible move to San Antonio

The acorn that is Raiders owner Mark Davis, left, may not have fallen far from the tree, it would seem. (Tony Avelar/Associated Press)

For more than a decade, the only thing that the Raiders have had in common with the San Antonio Spurs is that both teams sport silver-and-black uniforms. However, it appears that one of the NBA’s most successful franchises could be welcoming one of the NFL’s doormats to its neighborhood.

According to a report in the San Antonio Express-News, Raiders owner Mark Davis has been talking with San Antonio officials about possibly moving his team to that city. The Raiders’ lease with Oakland’s O.co coliseum — which the squad, alone among NFL franchises, shares with a baseball team — expires in 2015, and talks with officials in that city about building a new, football-only stadium have not gone well.

Earlier this month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell mentioned the possibility that, after this season, the Raiders could play in the brand new stadium built for the 49ers. That idea is surely not popular among those respective fan bases, who have a bitter rivalry.

Of course, Davis’s legendary father, Al, relocated the franchise twice; from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982, and then back to Oakland in 1995. Over the years, teams have floated the idea of moving to San Antonio, often as a means of gaining leverage in stadium negotiations with their home cities. The Express-News story points out that NFL teams such as the Saints, Vikings, Cardinals and Chargers have previously been linked to San Antonio.

In the Alamodome, San Antonio does have a facility ready to host football, although the Raiders would surely press for upgrades and/or expansions. Any move would require the approval of at least 24 of the NFL’s 32 teams. Among other issues, the league would have to weigh the implications of the Raiders moving from the country’s sixth-largest media market, according to Nielsen, to its 36th.

By Des Bieler  |  08:12 PM ET, 07/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Oakland Raiders

Posted at 06:30 PM ET, 07/29/2014

16-year-old Nigerian weightlifter at risk of losing Commonwealth Games gold after failing drug test

Chika Amalaha of Nigeria. (Alastair Grant/AP)

Chika Amalaha’s gold medal-winning weightlifting abilities seemed unbelievable to those who watched the 16-year-old Nigerian compete in Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games last Friday. Now, a failed drug test might be proving they actually were. The Associated Press reports:

Chika Amalaha has been provisionally suspended from the Glasgow Games after testing positive for diuretics and masking agents after winning the 53-kilogram (117-pound) division last Friday. Amalaha’s “A” sample contained amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide, which are both banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Amalha hasn’t had her medal stripped from her yet, but if the backup “B” sample test comes back positive on Wednesday it will be.

The slight teenager set a Commonwealth Games record in her weight category by lifting a total of 432 pounds, 18 pounds more than the previous record, the AP reports. If Amalaha’s medal gets striped, Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea will be the new champion.

As for the future of weightlifting — a sport that has experienced ongoing issues with doping — in the games, Mike Hooper, the Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, is not too worried. He told The Guardian:

“I think weightlifting is a fantastic sport and a strong Commonwealth and Olympic sport. I think the issue here is about showing we have a robust anti-doping program in place. We want to send a message to anybody in any sport who would go down the route of taking any substance to enhance performance that they will be caught.”

Not counting Amalaha, 10 weightlifters have been sanctioned in 2014 for failing drug tests, according to the International Weightlifting Federation. All received suspensions of two years. In 2013, a whopping 90 lifters were sanctioned, including four who were suspended from competing in the sport for life.

By Marissa Payne  |  06:30 PM ET, 07/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)


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