Redskins

Idaho State coach won't face player push charges

Idaho State coach won't face player push charges

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) Prosecutors in Idaho have decided not to file criminal charges against Idaho State football coach Mike Kramer after a player complained that the coach shoved him to the turf during practice.

Pocatello City Attorney Dean Tranmer called it a difficult decision but said Thursday that investigators didn't believe Kramer had any intention of harming wide receiver Derek Graves or committing a criminal act.

``It was an unfortunate occurrence, which Kramer apologized for to Graves and the entire team a short time after it happened,'' Tranmer said.

Tranmer said another factor was the 11 days that elapsed between when Graves was pushed on Oct. 3 and when he filed the police complaint, as well as the fact that Graves released videotape of the altercation to ESPN.

On the recording, Kramer is seen running across the field during practice, stopping in front of Graves and apparently yelling at him before shoving him. Graves took a few stumbling steps backward before falling down. Graves said he injured his neck in the fall.

Graves hasn't played since the confrontation and was suspended indefinitely last week for violating team rules. Graves said the letter he received said he had been late for practice.

During the investigation, Tranmer said a charging decision was delayed because he wanted detectives to interview assistant coaches and players who were present and that investigators had a difficult time obtaining Graves' medical records relating to the injury.

The Idaho State team doctor attested to Graves' injury in writing in a statement supporting a medical redshirt and has refused to clear him for competition, Graves' attorney, Donald Jackson of Montgomery, Ala., said Friday in an email to The Associated Press. He called the incident a ``black eye on collegiate sports.''

``It is unfortunate, though quite expected, that law enforcement and a prosecutor would fail to see criminal conduct in a videotaped two-handed shove by a gentleman that weighs in excess of 250 pounds against a college student that he has an obligation to protect and instruct,'' Jackson wrote. ``An apology does not lessen the impact of this coach's conduct nor does it lessen the university's responsibility to protect its students from this type of conduct or minimize the degree of culpability by this perpetrator.''

Tranmer said the case was one best resolved internally at ISU.

Idaho State suspended Kramer for the game against Montana on Oct. 27. However, Kramer was allowed to coach the team during the week leading up to the game. The Idaho State Journal reports Kramer was given permission to travel to Missoula, but he chose not to.

Kramer has not commented publicly on the situation.

Steve Schaack, ISU's assistant athletic director for media relations, said Thursday the school would not comment on city attorney's decision.

``As an athletic department, because it is a matter investigated by the Pocatello Police Department, all questions are deferred to them,'' he said.

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NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.

This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. 

Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though. 

The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.

 

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In a surprise twist, Barry Trotz takes The Hot Lap ahead of Game 7

In a surprise twist, Barry Trotz takes The Hot Lap ahead of Game 7

TAMPA—Head Coach Barry Trotz skated the hot lap prior to Wednesday’s Game 7 at Amalie Arena, taking over the superstitious tradition from captain Alex Ovechkin.

Why the change?

The Caps lost Game 5 here on Saturday. And when the Caps lose on the road—the only place where the morning-skate-starting hot lap takes place—a new skater is selected.

The weird tradition began in the first round at Nationwide Arena in Columbus when Jay Beagle grew tired of waiting for the ice to freeze over following a fresh Zamboni cut. Beagle's teammates implored him to wait a little longer for the ice to cure, but he grew impatient and took it upon himself to kick off the skate by racing around the rink, a la the fastest skater competition at the All Star Skills competition.

Ovechkin took it over prior to Game 6 in Pittsburgh because the Caps had lost Game 4 at PPG Paints Arena.

Ovechkin proudly carried on the tradition as Washington won three in a row—Game 6 in Pittsburgh and Games 1 and 2 of this series vs. Tampa Bay.

Following the Caps’ 3-2 defeat in Game 5 here, though, it was expected that a change would be made.

And on Wednesday morning the baton changed hands, with the least obvious of all the Caps busting his 55-year-old hump around the rink much to the delight of his players and assistants.

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