- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

BAYLOR SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION

WACO, Texas (AP) - An outside investigation of the Baylor University sexual violence scandal found 17 women who had reported sexual or domestic assaults involving 19 Baylor University athletes since 2011, university regents have told The Wall Street Journal.

Those included four reports of gang rapes, the Journal reported in a story posted to its website.

The investigation by the Pepper Hamilton law firm in Philadelphia found some players were alleged to have participated in what one regent called a “horrifying and painful” series of assaults over several years. The regents said then-Baylor football coach Art Briles knew of at least one reported incident but didn’t inform police or school officials.

Baylor previously had said the review found that the football program operated as if it were above the rules. However, the university had released few details from the Pepper Hamilton report. That led to increasing public demand, especially among alumni and Baylor critics, for transparency.

NORTH CAROLINA ACADEMIC PROBE

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - North Carolina appeared before an NCAA infractions committee panel for a procedural hearing in the multiyear academic case.

Athletic director Bubba Cunningham told The Associated Press the meeting lasted about five hours in Indianapolis but wouldn’t comment on details.

“We are now looking forward the next phase of the process,” said Cunningham, adding there was no timetable for a ruling.

The hearing was focused on procedural arguments made by UNC in response to five charges, including lack of institutional control. In a letter last month scheduling the hearing, the NCAA had said Friday’s hearing wouldn’t focus on the “underlying facts or allegations” of the case.

UNC had challenged the NCAA’s jurisdiction by saying its accreditation agency - not the governing body for college sports - was the proper authority for academic questions.

PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Chicago guard Dwyane Wade was fined $25,000 by the NBA for making a throat slashing gesture after hitting a late 3-pointer in his Bulls debut Thursday night.

Wade got the ball in the corner, took a dribble to his left and stepped back for the 3-pointer. He made the gesture after the ball swished through the net, and then jumped around as the crowd roared.

Wade finished with 22 points in the Bulls’ 105-99 home victory over the Boston Celtics.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia 76ers apologized for canceling the national anthem performance of a singer wearing a “We Matter” jersey.

The 76ers backtracked from their original stance when they told R&B; singer Sevyn Streeter she could not perform the anthem before Wednesday night’s season opener because of the shirt’s slogan.

A person familiar with the decision to invite Streeter back said she would be allowed to wear her “We Matter” jersey if she decided to sing. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Sixers had not announced the detail publicly.

Streeter could not immediately be reached for comment.

OLYMPICS

MONTREAL (AP) - The World Anti-Doping Agency has detailed serious failings of doping control management at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, saying the system was only saved from collapsing by the “enormous resourcefulness and goodwill” of some key staff.

In a 55-page report from its independent observer team led by British lawyer Jonathan Taylor, WADA said the logistical issues which put a strain on the testing process were “foreseeable and entirely avoidable” during the games in August.

The report blamed a lack of coordination, budget cutbacks, tension between the local organizing committee and Brazil’s anti-doping agency, and inadequate training for the problems that included days when only half of the out-of-competition samples could be collected in the athletes village.

The report, which was released by the Montreal-based agency on Thursday, said the sample collection process in the village was so strained that it came “close to breaking point.”

PRO FOOTBALL

KENNER, La. (AP) - The wife of slain former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith said the defensive end’s zest for life and refusal to accept failure has guided her recovery from the physical and emotional wounds she suffered on the night her “worst fear came true.”

Racquel Smith, who was shot twice in the legs when her husband was fatally shot last April 9, made her first public remarks since Will Smith’s death at the former Pro Bowl player’s formal induction into the Saints Hall of Fame.

“There were days when I couldn’t get out of bed, nor did I want to,” Racquel Smith said. “I knew I had to be strong for my three beautiful kids, and that’s when I felt Will the most - his strength, his determination, his commitment to being the best.

“Through my darkest days of my life, Will gave me so much,” she continued. “He instilled so much in me and he showed me how to be strong. He always told me, ‘Rocky, you can do this.’”

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