Slaughter suspended; Young on probation


Slaughter suspended; Young on probation

Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
1:32 p.m.By Michael O'Brien
Young coach Tyrone Slaughter has been suspended from all coachingactivities until Feb. 14, according to IHSA Executive Director MartyHickman. Young is also on probation until Jan. 1, 2012. Thepenalties are the result of the IHSA's investigation into Young's boysbasketball practice at Burr Ridge Middle School on Nov. 12, 2010. Slaughter is suspended from all team events, including contact with players and coaches.
Thiswas not an event that came together at a moments notice, Hickman saidin a statement. Youngs basketball program had ample time to seekclearance from its athletic administration, high school administrationor from the IHSA. Had they done so, they would have been notified thata practice of this nature violates the IHSA Recruiting Bylaws,specifically 3.071 and 3.073.
The practice was first revealed in the Sun-Times on Dec. 9.Slaughterconfirmedthat the practice happened, but didn't give a specific reason why.According to the IHSA media release, Young had a conflict at its campusgym on Nov. 12 and practiced at Burr Ridge Middle School on the way toa team event. "It's not against the rules," Slaughter said. "There is no rule against it. There is nothing."Burr Ridge Middle School Principal Julie Bartell said the practice was "an opportunity for our students."Thispractice violated the IHSA recruiting by-laws and would have done soeven if none of the attendees were basketball players, added Hickman.The fact Whitney Young traveled some 20 miles from its campus toconduct a practice, with an audience which was made up almostexclusively of middle school basketball players was especiallytroubling. A schools administration can market its programs, but ithas to be done in the overall context of the schools academic andextracurricular programs. This event was conducted by the coach andonly provided the attendees with the opportunity to learn about WhitneyYoungs boys basketball program.With that said, we did not find evidence that any particular players were recruited, as was previously alleged.
Hinsdale South filed an official complaint with the IHSA in December.

Can the Bears make enough plays to beat the Carolina Panthers?

Can the Bears make enough plays to beat the Carolina Panthers?

Everything changed for the Bears after going up 17-3 last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Mitchell Trubisky’s 27-yard touchdown to Dion Sims was immediately followed by Bobby Rainey running a kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown, then the offense was bogged down with three fumbles (two lost) on three consecutive possessions. 

But Adrian Amos seemed to seal the game with his 90-yard pick six — that is, until Michael Campanaro ran Pat O’Donnell’s punt back 77 yards for what wound up being a game-tying touchdown after a two-point conversion.

The point is the Bears should’ve cruised to a comfortable win last week; a few critical mistakes didn’t allow that to happen. The Bears haven’t led at the end of the fourth quarter this year, a pretty strong indicator they haven’t played a complete game yet despite having two wins. 

The Carolina Panthers have road wins over the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots this year, and only lost to the Philadelphia Eagles by five points last week (despite Cam Newton throwing three interceptions). The bet here is the Bears keep things close on the backs of a strong defense, but either can’t make enough plays or make too many mistakes to win. 

Prediction: Panthers 20, Bears 16

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio


Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

"Of course," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said in the middle of the National League Championship — he would like his coaches back in 2018. Pitching coach Chris Bosio told the team's flagship radio station this week that the staff expected to return next year. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein didn't go that far during Friday afternoon's end-of-season news conference at Wrigley Field, but he did say: "Rest assured, Joe will have every coach back that he wants back."

That's Cub: USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale first reported Saturday morning that Bosio had been fired, the team declining a club contract option for next year and making a major influence on the Wrigleyville rebuild a free agent. Epstein and Bosio did not immediately respond to text messages and the club has not officially outlined the shape of the 2018 coaching staff.

Those exit meetings on Friday at Wrigley Field are just the beginning of an offseason that could lead to sweeping changes, with the Cubs looking to replace 40 percent of their rotation, identify an established closer (whether or not that's Wade Davis), find another leadoff option and maybe break up their World Series core of hitters to acquire pitching. 

The obvious candidate to replace Bosio is Jim Hickey, Maddon's longtime pitching coach with the Tampa Bay Rays who has Chicago roots and recently parted ways with the small-market franchise that stayed competitive by consistently developing young arms like David Price and Chris Archer.

Of course, Maddon denied that speculation during an NLCS where the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs in every phase of the game and the manager's bullpen decisions kept getting second-guessed.

Bosio has a big personality and strong opinions that rocked the boat at times, but he brought instant credibility as an accomplished big-league pitcher who helped implement the team's sophisticated game-planning system.

Originally a Dale Sveum hire for the 2012 season/Epstein regime Year 1 where the Cubs lost 101 games, Bosio helped coach up and market short-term assets like Ryan Dempster, Scott Feldman, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija. 

Those win-later trades combined with Bosio's expertise led to a 2016 major-league ERA leader (Kyle Hendricks) and a 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner (Jake Arrieta) plus setup guys Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. and All-Star shortstop Addison Russell.

Bosio helped set the foundation for the group that won last year's World Series and has made three consecutive trips to the NLCS. But as the Cubs are going to find out this winter, there is a shelf life to everything, even for those who made their mark during a golden age of baseball on the North Side.