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Sandusky asks judge to overturn abuse convictions

Sandusky asks judge to overturn abuse convictions

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky asked a judge on Thursday to overturn his child sexual abuse convictions and grant him a new trial, claiming his lawyers lacked sufficient time to prepare and the statute of limitations for some charges had expired.

Sandusky's lawyers made the filing at the courthouse in Bellefonte where he was sentenced two weeks ago to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of abusing 10 boys, some on Penn State's campus in State College.

``The defendant submits the court's sentence was excessive and tantamount ... to a life sentence, which the defendant submits is in violation of his rights,'' they wrote.

The 31-page set of motions, technically not appeals because they were filed with the trial judge, cover a wide range of assertions, including insufficient evidence, improper use of hearsay testimony and erroneous rulings from the bench.

More than a third of the document explores ways Sandusky believes the rapid pace of the case violated his right to due process of law, as he went from arrest to trial in just over seven months. His lawyers said they were swamped by documents from prosecutors, they lacked time to interview possible witnesses and an expert and two assistants were not available at trial.

The document said Judge John Cleland ruled improperly concerning the use of a computer-generated drawing of an accuser and issued incorrect jury instructions. It also raised issues about prosecutors' closing argument, the vagueness of the charges, the sequestration of jurors and the amount of restitution ordered.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the Sandusky filing was under review.

Sandusky remains in the county jail, awaiting a transfer to a state prison. Eight young men testified against him in June, describing a range of abuse they said included fondling and oral and anal sex when they were boys.

Sandusky didn't testify at his trial but has consistently maintained his innocence in interviews and at sentencing.

Also Thursday, People magazine said an accuser identified in court papers as Victim 1, whose claims of being abused by Sandusky began the investigation in late 2008 and who testified against him at trial, gave an interview in which he spoke out publicly by name for the first time.

Aaron Fisher, 18, told the magazine he decided to come forward with a book to tell other victims it is better to tell people about abuse than remain silent. Fisher, who's expected to appear on ABC on Friday, said he and Sandusky's other victims ``had a very long battle to see justice done.''

Sandusky, 68, built a reputation as one of the country's premier defensive coaches while serving under head coach Joe Paterno, including two national championships. That image was shattered last year by his arrest.

The abuse scandal rocked Penn State, bringing down Paterno and the university's president and leading the NCAA, college sports' governing body, to levy unprecedented sanctions against the university's football program.

Two Penn State administrators were charged as a result of the investigation into the Sandusky allegations, accused of lying to the grand jury that investigated Sandusky and not reporting suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. Those two officials, athletic director Tim Curley, who is on administrative leave, and retired vice president Gary Schultz, await trial in January and maintain their innocence.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, hired by university trustees to conduct an investigation into the university's handling of abuse complaints against Sandusky, concluded that Paterno, who died in January, ousted president Graham Spanier, Curley and Schultz concealed a 2001 allegation against Sandusky to protect Penn State from bad publicity.

The late coach's family, as well as Spanier, Curley and Schultz, dispute Freeh's assertions.

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

Andre Burakovsky will be sidelined for the remainder of Washington's first-round series vs. Columbus, but he isn’t necessarily out for the remainder of the playoffs, Coach Barry Trotz said on Friday.

Burakovsky suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in the Capitals' Game 2 overtime loss and has not been on the ice since.

Trotz said the 23-year-old top-six winger needs “minor” surgery.

That procedure, however, will not preclude Burakovsky from returning to the Caps’ lineup in subsequent rounds, should Washington advance.

“That's why I said minor surgery,” Trotz added, asked if Burky might return at a later date.

This latest surgery is the second for Burakovsky this season. In late October, he had a procedure to repair a broken left thumb and missed the next 20 games.

Since his departure in Game 2, Jakub Vrana and Chandler Stephenson have taken turns replacing Burakovsky on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks remarked after Game 2 and following practice on Thursday that he was partly to blame for Bradley Beal's modest scoring output through two games in the team's playoff series against the Raptors. They weren't just throwaway lines, a coach trying to make his star player feel better for struggling in the playoffs.

No, Brooks truly meant what he said and followed up those comments with an apology face-to-face. Brooks met with Beal and John Wall in between Games 2 and 3 to see how they can get Beal going and reiterated that some of it all was on the coach.

"He apologized to me, which was weird because he's somebody who always holds me accountable for stuff," Beal said after Friday's shootaround. "I guess he figured I wasn't shooting the ball enough and he thought it was his fault. I don't know."

Beal, who is averaging 14.0 points in two games and scored only nine in Game 2, came away from the meeting with a good understanding of what he needs to do to get back on track. After apologizing, Brooks laid out a strategy in hopes that he, Wall and Beal can all be on the same page moving forward.

They need to get their All-Star shooting guard back to form on the offensive end.

"He just basically challenged me. He challenged me to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive end," Beal said.

What has made Beal's scoring troubles through two games particularly surprising is how well he played against the Raptors during the regular season. He averaged 28.8 points in four games against Toronto and all were without Wall.

Beal shot 50 percent against the Raptors both from the field and from three. So far this series he's shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from long range.

Asked whether there is anything he can draw from the regular season to apply to the playoffs, Beal said it's not as easy as it may seem.

"Those games are different. The matchups are different to an extent. It's totally different in the playoffs because you have more time to prep and prepare and gameplan for us," he said. 

"I think the biggest thing is them being physical. They are real physical with me. Whenever I'm standing around on offense or moving around, they are grabbing me. I just need to be physical back with them. Keep moving off the ball and especially if Kyle [Lowry] is guarding me. Tire him out as much as possible. Continue to be aggressive."

Coaches use all sorts of leadership tactics to motivate players. Perhaps an apology will do the trick.

MORE ON THE WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

HISTORIC ODDS FOR TEAMS THAT GO DOWN 0-2

BROOKS MAY CHANGE STARTING LINEUP FOR GAME 3