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Pa. congressman unhappy with NCAA fine guidelines

Pa. congressman unhappy with NCAA fine guidelines

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) A Pennsylvania congressman voiced displeasure Thursday with how the NCAA president responded to a request from the state's U.S. House delegation that all of the $60 million in Penn State fines in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal be distributed to causes within the state.

Republican Rep. Charlie Dent said in a statement that Mark Emmert's response was ``unacceptable and unsatisfactory.''

The NCAA president said in a Dec. 12 letter to Dent that a task force charged with developing guidelines for an endowment and hiring a third-party administrator to distribute the funds is to allocate at least 25 percent of the fine money to programs in Pennsylvania.

``By outlining comprehensive plans to address child sexual abuse, of course, agencies within Pennsylvania have an opportunity to significantly increase the initial allocation to the Commonwealth,'' Emmert added.

An NCAA spokeswoman on Thursday said the organization stood by Emmert's correspondence.

The university met an NCAA deadline on Thursday by placing the first of five annual installments of $12 million into a money market account, while the task force works on recommendations due in early 2013. The transfer of the money to the endowment is expected to occur in the first half of next year.

The payment was made by Penn State's athletics department through an internal loan from university reserves and will be repaid with interest, the university said Thursday.

According to the university, in-state organizations also are slated to receive the first round of funding from the endowment. The university said it had heard from ``a number of organizations and survivors of sexual abuse'' with ideas of how funds could be used to benefit children in the state and across the country.

Emmert's reply didn't address the delegation's concerns, Dent said, but ``instead chose to hide behind the procedural mechanisms of the NCAA-created Task Force in order to deflect any sort of actual accountability for the disbursement of these funds.''

Of the 10 members on the task force, two are affiliated with Penn State: Nan Crouter, dean of the College of Health and Human Development; and Craig Hillemeier, vice dean for clinical affairs at the College of Medicine. The task force chairman is Timothy White, chancellor of the University of California-Riverside.

Dent said directing funds to entities outside Pennsylvania runs contrary to its taxpayers' interests.

``I am greatly disappointed by Dr. Emmert's response and will continue to press for greater accountability and oversight of the NCAA on this and other matters,'' he said.

Sandusky, a former assistant to longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, was convicted this summer of sexually abusing 10 boys, some on campus. He is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison but maintains his innocence.

Three former university administrators also face trial on charges of perjury, obstruction and other offenses. They deny the allegations.

The abuse scandal led to the dismissal of Paterno, who died soon after, and elicited landmark NCAA sanctions including a four-year postseason ban and significant scholarship cuts.

Delegation members, in their Nov. 30 letter, noted that Sandusky's accusers were all Pennsylvania residents and all the ``substantiated reports of abuse took place within the Commonwealth.'' They urged that all fine money be dedicated to prevention and assistance programs within the state.

The NCAA, the governing body for college athletics, issued the fine as part of sanctions over the school's handling of the Sandusky matter.

University President Rodney Erickson agreed to the penalties in July. He said it was a difficult process but the university was left with little choice if it wanted to avoid a shutdown of its football program, known as the death penalty.

It's one of several tough decisions Erickson has made since replacing Graham Spanier, who left under pressure days after Sandusky's November 2011 arrest. Trustees chairwoman Karen Peetz cited Erickson's ``tremendous job'' leading the university through the last year when it was announced this week he has received a raise of $85,000 to $600,000, or a 16 percent bump.

Gov. Tom Corbett, a trustee by virtue of political office, said he was a ``little surprised'' about Erickson's raise and thought the timing was ``inappropriate.''

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Associated Press writer Marc Levy in Harrisburg contributed to this report.

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Unsung LaToya Sanders’ two-way play has Mystics one game away from WNBA Finals

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Unsung LaToya Sanders’ two-way play has Mystics one game away from WNBA Finals

On a stacked Mystics team, LaToya Sanders knows her role. 

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound wisp of a center is asked to guard far bigger opponents throughout the season and still complement her teammates on the offensive end. It’s a lot to deal with. She does so without complaint. 

Sanders, the most unheralded of Washington’s five starters, did it all on Thursday night in a 103-91 WNBA semifinal win over the Las Vegas Aces at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. 

She finished with 17 points on a night when WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne (14 points, 5 of 15 shooting) struggled given her lofty standards. Sanders also played the kind of defense that left coach Mike Thibault insisting she should have been named WNBA first or second-team All-Defense. 

“My job is probably the easiest on the team,” Sanders laughed. “My job is basically to hit wide-open jumpers and lay-ups. Pretty sure I can do those two things.”

Indeed, she was efficient hitting 7 of 10 shots and all three free throws. Sanders also had to guard Vegas’ 6-8 center Liz Cambage, a big ask given their size difference. Cambage did have 23 points and 10 rebounds, but she only took 11 shots. 

Sanders and her teammates tried to make it as hard as possible for the Aces to get the ball inside for easy baskets in their two wins this week. Washington won Game 1 of the series 97-95 on Tuesday, a game that left Cambage visibly frustrated. She also earned a technical foul in Thursday’s game on a rough play underneath the Vegas basket.  

“When you’re LaToya Sanders and you’re 6-3 and you’re relying on your long arms to guard people, she takes a beating every night,” Thibault said. “She guards Camabge and [Phoenix Mercury center Brittney] Griner and [Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia] Fowles and all those people. And every night she wins a lot of those battles.”

But the really unsung part of Sanders’ game is her mid-range jumper. Thursday she was on when some of her higher-profile teammates like Delle Donne didn’t quite have their shot dropping. 

Sanders had six points in the third quarter as the two teams battled back and forth in a tight game and that set the stage for the decisive run that tilted the game toward the Mystics. She also had a hot start to the night with two baskets in the first quarter. 

“[Sanders is] a really good player. She's just on a team with so many other good players that she doesn't get as many shots,” Vegas guard Kelsey Plum said. “But she plays her role as good as anyone in the league. She's a vet. She rebounds the crap out of the ball. I just think that she does a great job for them. Everyone made us pay."

Thibault referenced a rebound Sanders grabbed in traffic to stifle a Vegas possession when they were trying to get the lead under 10 points in the fourth quarter. Instead, Washington was able to work the clock at the offensive end and score a knockout blow. It’s the little things that matter most when a team is pushing for a championship. The Mystics are one step closer. 

“Cambage is a talent, she’s a big girl,” Sanders said. “I just do what I can to try to make it difficult for her, but she’s going to hit some buckets here and there. I try to dish it out, but not take it.”  

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Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini stays hot in 8-4 home loss to Blue Jays

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Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini stays hot in 8-4 home loss to Blue Jays

In a fitting tribute to most games this season in Baltimore, Trey Mancini had a terrific day at the plate, but the pitching staff allowed too many home runs and the O's ended up losing.

Here's everything you need to know about the Orioles.

Player Updates:

OF Trey Mancini hasn't slowed down at all for the Orioles, turning in a 4-for-4 night to tie his career high in hits. He's hitting .286 with 34 home runs during his breakout season.

OF Austin Hays enjoyed a banner night, hitting his first home run of the season and making one of the year's highlight catches, robbing a home run well over the centerfield wall.

SP Gabriel Ynoa allowed three runs in 6.1 innings. He didn't walk anyone and allowed just six hits, but he also only struck out one batter despite pitching into the seventh inning, and two of the hits allowed were home runs.

Injuries

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up:

Friday, 9/20: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Saturday, 9/21: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Sunday, 9/22: Mariners at Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Camden Yards