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Texas regents mull coaches' conduct with students

Texas regents mull coaches' conduct with students

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) University of Texas regents Sunday ordered a review of policies regarding inappropriate relationships between employees and students after a two-hour, private telephone meeting to discuss incidents involving assistant football coach Major Applewhite and former women's head track coach Bev Kearney.

The call between the regents, their legal staff and Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa was scheduled after the disclosure Friday that Applewhite, the Longhorns' offensive coordinator, had been disciplined by the school in 2009 for his conduct with a student during a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. Applewhite was ordered at the time to undergo counseling and his pay was frozen for a year. The regents did not order any further discipline against him after Sunday's meeting.

The revelation about Applewhite's conduct almost a month after Kearney resigned while under investigation for a 2002 relationship with an athlete in her program. Texas officials have said they were in the process of firing her.

``As leaders of the University of Texas System, our chief concern is and always will be the safety and welfare of the students on our 15 campuses,'' regents Chairman Gene Powell and Cigarroa said in a joint statement.

``The No. 1 priority of all UT administration leaders, faculty, staff and athletic personnel should be protecting our students and ensuring that their experience at any UT institution is a positive and safe one,'' the statement said. Regents Vice Chairman Paul Foster would lead the policy review.

In both cases, the university has said the relationships between the coaches and students were consensual. But Kearney's lawyer, Derek Howard, has suggested the track coach was treated unfairly and may sue the university. Howard did not immediately respond to an email message.

Kearney, who won six national championships since 1993, was in line for a large pay increase until the former athlete reported their relationship in October. Kearney was placed on paid leave in November and resigned Jan. 5.

When Kearney resigned, school officials said it didn't appear Kearney had engaged in any other inappropriate behavior with students, but that the relationship with the athlete ``crosses the line of trust placed in the head coach for all aspects of the athletic program and the best interests of the student athletes on the team.''

A public records request by the Daily Texan student newspaper revealed a disciplinary letter to Applewhite from athletic director DeLoss Dodds. Applewhite, a former Texas quarterback who was the Longhorns' running backs coach in his first season on staff, was ordered to undergo counseling. His salary was frozen for a year.

Dodds' letter warned Applewhite that any more such actions by him could result in more serious punishment. Applewhite has since been promoted to co-offensive coordinator and will call plays for Texas next season.

In a statement Friday night, Applewhite, who is married and one of the most popular assistants on Mack Brown's staff, said he was embarrassed by his conduct at the bowl game.

``It was a one-time occurrence and was a personal matter,'' Applewhite said. ``Shortly after it occurred, I discussed the situation with DeLoss Dodds. I was upfront and took full responsibility for my actions. This is and was resolved by the university four years ago. Through counseling, I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us.''

Dodds said the university's legal office looked in the matter at the time and said Applewhite had been given appropriate punishment.

Joe Jamail, a Houston attorney and prominent supporter of the athletic program who is advising Applewhite, did not immediately return a phone message.

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Wizards take out Sixers to tie season series behind Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter's hot shooting

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USA Today Sports Images

Wizards take out Sixers to tie season series behind Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter's hot shooting

The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 109-94 on Sunday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Playoff implications: Later in the season the stakes are raised and the Wizards' win over the Sixers on Sunday night could loom large in just a few weeks.

By beating the Sixers, who had won seven straight entering the matchup, the Wizards tied up the season series with their second win. A loss would have handed Philly the tiebreaker in playoff seeding if the two teams finish with the same record at season's end.

Now that their season series is over and locked even, it will come down to their record against other Eastern Conference teams if they tie. At 22-15 vs. the East, the Wizards currently have the edge on the Sixers, who are 18-14 in that category.

The Wizards dominated the Sixers for much of the night and they did so by once again moving the ball with generosity and precision. They had 35 assists on 43 field goals. The Wizards have had 30 or more assists in five games this season and four have come within the last month.

Those four games have been part of a 9-3 surge for the Wizards since John Wall got injured. With their win against Philly, the Wizards moved to 35-25 on the season and a half-game out of third in the East. The Sixers are among several teams nipping at their heels in an increasingly crowded conference.

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Oubre put on a show: The Wizards led 67-48 at halftime and that was in large part due to Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s impact on both ends of the floor. He had eight points in each of the first two quarters, including four threes, and made several key plays on defense.

Oubre had three blocks to set a career-high by halftime, including one on Robert Covington that bounced off Covington's leg and gave the Wizards possession. He also took a charge on Ben Simmons and flashed a smile for the cameras as he sprinted back down the floor.

Oubre ended the game with 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting. It wasn't long ago that Oubre was in a significant shooting slump.

In his last 11 games before the All-Star break, Oubre was averaging just 9.4 points on 31.2 percent shooting. In three games since the break, Oubre has scored 47 points (15.7/g) while shooting 51.5 percent. It's safe to say he's put those shooting struggles behind him.

Oubre had been making his mark defensively as the Wizards closed the first half on a tear, but Sunday showed how much of a boost he can provide when he's in a rhythm offensively. He completely changed the game and helped the Wizards knock off a team that came to Washington super hot.

Porter wasn't fazed: Otto Porter did something on Sunday that likely has never been accomplished before. He hit not one, not two, not three but four buzzer-beaters all in the first half. Three of them were to beat the shot clock. Then, he hit another one to end the first half:

That shot capped an 8-1 run to end the second quarter for the Wizards and it brought a burst of energy out of the crowd. Porter had 14 points in the second quarter and shot 6-for-6 in the frame. The Wizards outscored the Sixers 37-20 in the second and Porter led the charge.

Porter finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Much like Bradley Beal, who had 24 points in this game, Porter has thrived in this second extended absence for Wall. Both Beal and Porter battle inconsistency as they adapted to being the primary focus of opposing teams back in November when Wall first went down. But this time around, they have answers to everything teams are throwing at them.

Porter's patience at the end of the shot clock on Sunday was an example of that. His confidence seems to be at an all-time high, knowing he has enough tricks to keep his opponents guessing. That was on display with under two minutes to go when he drained a three in Covington's face, turned around to stare at him afterwards and then shook his head as he trotted down the court, as if he were saying that no one can stop him. 

Up next: The Wizards are off Monday before playing back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Bucks and Warriors. Tuesday is an 8 p.m. tipoff on TNT. We will have pre- and postgame coverage of Wizards-Bucks on NBC Sports Washington Plus beginning at 7 p.m.

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Dan Fegan, former agent for John Wall, dies in car crash

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Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Caravan

Dan Fegan, former agent for John Wall, dies in car crash

NBA agent Dan Fegan, who had previously represented many high-profile NBA clients including John Wall, died in a car crash Sunday morning, according to The Aspen Times. 

According to the report, Fegan's SUV was struck by a bus while trying to merge onto Highway 82 in Colorado a little after 9 am this morning. 

The two passengers in the car - an unidentified woman and Fegan's 5-year old daughter - were airlifted to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. 

Fegan was 56.