Unlike Goodell, CFL's Ambrosie had a problem with easy solution and solved it


Unlike Goodell, CFL's Ambrosie had a problem with easy solution and solved it

The Canadian Football League failed once again to be like its massive brother south of Trump’s Second Invisible Wall. It had a problem with an easy solution, and it solved it.

More specifically, commissioner Randy Ambrosie, doubtless in concert with the eight owners who don’t run the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, solved it by nullifying the hiring of former Baylor head coach Art Briles to become the assistant head coach for the Ti-Cats. No fuss, no muss, no investigators, no long drawn-out stall. Just a simple, “This is bad, let’s not do it.”

Briles, who while at Baylor worked tirelessly to run an excellent football team that took a disturbingly active role in hiding sexual assault cases involving his players and was fired as a result, had been hired by the winless Ti-Cats’ coach June Jones over the weekend, to a bi-national hue and cry of “What the hell are you thinking?”

Jones was thinking he knows Briles, felt sorry for his current lot in life and threw him a lifeline despite his revolting role in the Baylor scandal. Jones was also thinking Briles is a bright football mind and the Ti-Cats need all the help they can get.

But Ambrosie was thinking something else, namely, “What the hell are you thinking?” And then he thought something else – that Briles’ employment was a very bad idea that needed to be halted. And so it was, Monday night, before Briles even had a chance to move his stuff into the office.

Ambrosie thus did what Roger Goodell hates doing – acting swiftly to fix an obvious failure in social comprehension – and is being hailed for it because, after all, if a commissioner has any role at all in the modern sports world other than as the boy who fetches the tea, it is to act when the solution is clear to everyone but the fellow who caused the problem.

If there are lessons to be drawn from this, the obvious first one is that shielding people accused of rape is always wrong and when done as many times as Briles did is worthy of exclusion from public work. The second one is that commissioners do not always have to canvass the room for weeks and talk to lawyers for months before doing what it clear to everyone in the room.

It took less than 24 hours to undo the deed. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Cal 1B Andrew Vaughn caps monster season by winning Golden Spikes Award


Cal 1B Andrew Vaughn caps monster season by winning Golden Spikes Award

LOS ANGELES – One of the most prolific seasons in Cal baseball history has earned Andrew Vaughn a spot among the elite names ever to play the game on the amateur level as he has been named the Golden Spikes Award winner by USA Baseball and the Rod Dedeaux Foundation.

The award, which has been given to the nation’s top amateur player annually since 1978, is considered one of the highest honors a college baseball player can earn. The announcement came as part of ESPN’s SportsCenter telecast on Thursday afternoon with three of the four finalists – Vaughn, Texas infielder Kody Clemens and Auburn pitcher Casey Mize – in studio at ESPN Los Angeles.

Vaughn is the first Cal baseball player to earn the honor and is only the second to be named a finalist, joining Lance Blankenship (1984). He is the eighth Pac-12 player to bring home the award and joins a group that includes UCLA’s Trevor Bauer (2011), Washington's Tim Lincecum (2006), USC's Mark Prior (2001), Arizona State's Mike Kelly (1991), Oddibe McDowell (1984) and Bob Horner (1978) and Arizona's Terry Francona (1980). 

The announcement came live on SportsCenter at ESPN’s Los Angeles studios. After being announced as the winner, Vaughn was joined on set by his parents, Toby and Diana, along with his sister, Madison, and Cal head coach Mike Neu. 

From a statistical standpoint, the award is certainly deserved for the native of Santa Rosa, Calif. after he turned in one of the greatest single seasons in Cal baseball history.

A sophomore first baseman, Vaughn started all 54 games and hit .402, a mark that ranks third in Cal single-season history. His 23 home runs tied the single-season record set by Xavier Nady in 1999 and his slugging percentage of .819 is the best in school history. 

He also drove in 63 runs, walked 44 times, got hit by a pitch 12 times and struck out only 18 times. His on-base percentage of .531 ranks fourth in the nation. Vaughn was also one of the conference's best defenders at his position, compiling a fielding percentage of .992 and earning a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.

The announcement came as part of a two-day trip to Los Angeles for Vaughn, who has stayed busy since the end of the collegiate season. Beginning the summer as a member of the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod League, Vaughn left New England as the league leader in both home runs (5) and RBI (14) after 14 games played.

Before heading to Southern California, he moved down the East Coast to Cary, N.C. to begin his second stint with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. International play begins for Team USA on June 28 when Chinese Taipei visits for a five-game series. The team will also take on Japan and Cuba as play extends into mid-July.

Cal Athletics provided this report.

WNBA All-Star sues Cal over alleged sexual assault


WNBA All-Star sues Cal over alleged sexual assault

BERKELEY — Former California women’s basketball player and current WNBA All-Star guard Layshia Clarendon has filed a lawsuit against Cal claiming she was sexually assaulted by a longtime member of the athletic department.

The school acknowledged the lawsuit Wednesday night and said the staff member, Mohamed Muqtar, had recently been placed on paid leave. The assistant director of student services, Muqtar has been working for the university for just more than 25 years, the school said. An e-mail to Muqtar’s Cal email account was not immediately returned.

Cal said in a statement “the University is aware of the complaint, but has not received a copy of the lawsuit nor had the benefit of reviewing the allegations.”

Clarendon, who plays for the Atlanta Dream and was at Cal from 2009-13, posted on Twitter her thoughts about the lawsuit.

She said in three separate tweets:

— “Regarding the news today: I want the shame to not be my own anymore, because it’s not my shame to carry, but it’s something that I’ve had to carry. It’s a horrible thing to live in silence, to carry that pain and that weight and the guilt.”

— “My biggest hope is that he never does this to anyone else. That no one else has to suffer under his hand, or him violating their bodies again. That this would be the end of him assaulting people. #TimesUp.”

— “It feels there is a big level of responsibility there for me, to make sure this doesn’t continue. And he doesn’t continue to harm other people.”

Cal explained in its statement that this case goes beyond the athletic department for investigation.

The statement reads: “Our department policy states that once anyone in Cal Athletics is made aware of any instance or allegation of a violation of University policy involving a coach, staff member or student-athlete, those matters are referred to the appropriate departments on campus responsible for investigating them. Athletics does not have its own specific conduct process nor does it investigate allegations or cases on its own, but follows the University’s policy and works in concert with campus professionals who are responsible for those areas. All university staff are also required to complete sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training, and those programs have increased in recent years. Cal Athletics is and will always be committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected. We encourage anyone who is feeling distressed or troubled to contact the PATH to Care Center and other campus resources.

“Layshia holds a special place in our history for her contributions to Cal women’s basketball both on and off the court and we are saddened to hear of the allegations that are coming to light today.”