- Associated Press - Saturday, May 27, 2017

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Seven people who threatened basketball referee John Higgins after an NCAA Tournament game in March have been identified. Information on them will be referred to authorities in their jurisdictions and to the FBI’s Omaha field office, a Nebraska prosecutor said.

Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said the identities were ascertained after a lengthy investigation following Kentucky’s 75-73 loss to North Carolina in the South Region final in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 26. Polikov did not release the names.

Kentucky coach John Calipari criticized the officiating during his postgame news conference. Higgins, of Omaha, saw his La Vista-based roofing company inundated with harassing emails, phone calls and voice mails, including death threats against Higgins and his family.

GYMNASTICS

MASON, Mich. (AP) - A gymnast testified that a Michigan sports doctor accused of sexual assaulting dozens of women and girls asked her father to leave the room before he molested her during a 2012 appointment for a heel injury.

The girl, who was 11 at the time, said she didn’t object when Dr. Larry Nassar penetrated her with his fingers because she was embarrassed and thought it might be a legitimate procedure.

“I remember lots of pain,” the 16-year-old, identified as victim A, told a judge.

Judge Donald Allen Jr. must decide whether there’s enough evidence to send Nassar to trial on sexual assault charges involving seven women or girls. The judge has so far heard testimony from six of them over two days. The hearing will resume on June 23.

Separately, dozens of others are also accusing Nassar of assaulting them and are suing him in federal court.

PRO FOOTBALL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A lawsuit accusing the NFL and team owners of conspiring to suppress wages for cheerleaders lacks evidence to support that claim, a federal judge said.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the lawsuit by a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader. The lawsuit sought class action status on behalf of all NFL cheerleaders.

Alsup gave the former 49ers cheerleader - identified in the lawsuit only as “Kelsey K.” - an opportunity to amend her lawsuit and refile it by June 15.

Her attorney, Drexel Bradshaw, said he plans to do that, saying he has uncovered “significant facts” that he thinks will lead the judge to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

The lawsuit was among a spate of legal actions in recent years accusing NFL teams of failing to pay cheerleaders for hours they spent practicing and making public appearances.

TRACK AND FIELD

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Some 10 athletes, including 2015 world champion hurdler Sergey Shubenkov, encountered issues with obtaining visas to compete in the Prefontaine Classic track meet.

The meet is the only U.S. stop for the international Diamond League series.

Organizer Tom Jordan said it was the first time in nearly a decade that athletes had problems securing visas for the meet. Visas were denied or delayed for athletes from various countries, including Russia and Ethiopia, Jordan said.

Asked for comment on the matter via email, the U.S. Department of State replied: “Section 222 (f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits us from disclosing details from individual visa cases.”

SPORTS MEDIA

Chip Kelly is getting back into the college football business, this time without a headset.

The former Oregon coach is joining ESPN as a studio analyst next season. ESPN announced it has signed him to a multiyear deal.

Kelly will primarily be part of Saturday pregame, halftime and wrap-up shows on ESPN2. He’ll also provide NFL analysis on Sundays during SportsCenter.

The 53-year-old Kelly spent the last four seasons in the NFL, coaching at Philadelphia for three years and San Francisco for one. Kelly was fired by the 49ers after going 2-14 last season. He was 26-21 with a playoff appearance for the Eagles.

BOXING

TOKYO (AP) - The World Boxing Association has suspended two judges after their scoring of the Hassan N’Dam and Ryota Murata WBA middleweight title fight last Saturday in Japan.

Gustavo Padilla from Panama and Hubert Earle from Canada were suspended for six months, the WBA announced on its website.

The two judges saw N’Dam win Saturday’s bout 116-112 and 115-113. The third had Murata up 117-110.

After the bout, WBA President Gilberto Mendoza, who also said he scored it 117-110 in favor of Murata, called for a rematch.

Murata, a 2012 London Olympic gold medalist who was bidding to become the second middleweight champion from Japan and the first in 22 years, sent N’Dam to the canvas several times.

After the suspension, the WBA said Padilla and Earle will have to pass tests before being allowed to judge WBA-sanctioned fights.


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