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Texas' Applewhite was disciplined in 2009

Texas' Applewhite was disciplined in 2009

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas offensive coordinator Major Applewhite acknowledged Friday night that he was disciplined by the university for an inappropriate relationship with a student during the Longhorns' trip to play in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2008 season.

In separate statements and a document released from Applewhite's personnel file, Applewhite and athletic director DeLoss Dodds said the former Texas quarterback had his pay frozen in 2009 and was ordered to undergo counseling. Applewhite also was warned that a repeat offense would have more serious consequences.

In his statement, Applewhite, who is married and one of the most popular assistants on Mack Brown's staff, said he was embarrassed by the incident. Neither Applewhite or the school released further details.

``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 counsel, I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us.''

Gene Powell, the chairman of the Texas Board of Regents, and system Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said they learned about the discipline ``a short time ago'' and their reaction was ``great disappointment and sadness.''

``At our direction, the General Counsel to the Board has posted notice of a special called meeting of the Board on Sunday afternoon, February 3rd, so that the Board can be fully briefed on issues related to this matter in executive session,'' Powell and Cigarroa said in a joint statement.

Dodds called the incident ``inappropriate,'' but noted it was also something that happened between consenting adults.

Dodds said the university's legal office looked in the matter.

``We have high standards for behavior and expect our staff and coaches to adhere to them in all aspects of their lives,'' Dodds said. ``I believe the appropriate discipline was taken in this case.''

Texas women's track coach Bev Kearney resigned in January as the school was in the process of firing her for having a relationship with one of her athletes in 2002. In 2011, the university paid $400,000 to a former administrative assistant who complained of sexual harassment by Cleve Bryant, a former top athletic official in the football program.

The Arena Football League is expanding to Atlantic City with Monumental's third team

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@ThePressofAC/Twitter

The Arena Football League is expanding to Atlantic City with Monumental's third team

Arena Football is officially expanding to Atlantic City N.J., the League announced Tuesday. 

The expansion franchise, owned by Ted Leonsis' Monumental Sports & Entertainment, expected to be placed at the historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, will begin its inaugural season in April.

Sports gambling's recent emergence has to be appealing to this venue and location for obvious reasons. Seven casinos now have sports books on their properties. DraftKings, an Arena League partner, operates one at Resorts Casino Hotel.

“We are thrilled that Atlantic City will be the next great arena football town,” said Leonsis in an official release. “Arena Football is a game that’s tailor-made for an integrated sports betting experience, and Atlantic City is a perfect fit to help realize our vision for the AFL as the next frontier in sports betting and gaming.

“We are excited about this announcement and about future expansion of the league to come.”

Atlantic City is now the fifth active franchise in the Arena League, joining the Phialdelphia Soul, Albany (New York) Empire and the MSE-owned Baltimore Brigade and Washington Valor. 

Fans are invited to submit team name ideas at AtlanticCityAFL.com. The final choices will then be available for a fan vote at a later date.

The reigning champion Washington Valor greeted the brand new team shortly after the announcement. 

The 2019 regular season schedule will feature 12 games. Atlantic City is in the process of searching for its first head coach. 

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Will the 2019 and 2020 free-agent classes stir things up the way this one hasn’t?

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USA Today Sports

Will the 2019 and 2020 free-agent classes stir things up the way this one hasn’t?

There’s an old Magnum, P.I. episode called “Home at Sea”. Magnum has been knocked off his surf ski after a too-close speedboat zips by, leaving him alone to survive in the water. His mind wanders. Flashbacks from childhood, the war, and his family, fill his head. He’s treading water and waiting.

Things are not life-and-death severe during this offseason as the baseball world wades through what has become the sigh-inducing drudgery of free agency. But, big names remain unsigned, reduced to sending out social media pings via a hat (Manny Machado seen in the background of a video in a White Sox lid) or tweet (Bryce Harper having fun with everyone’s emotions by making weather jokes or referencing Tony Romo’s prognostication abilities).

What we don’t have — yet — are results. Everyone is just treading water. Which leads to thoughts beyond today. In particular, the coming free agents in 2019 and 2020.

This class was supposed to be epic. Harper, Machado, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Donaldson. Cy Young and MVP winners along with young, generational talents. A mix rarely, if ever, seen before.

(Jose Fernandez, the talented young pitcher in Miami, was also expected to play a major role in this free agency class before he tragically died in 2016 at the age of 24.)

Instead, ongoing shrugs and muted exuberance have met this market, which gives next year a chance to deliver comparative heat. Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rendon, J.D. Martinez, Marcell Ozuna, Gerritt Cole, Chris Sale, Kenley Jansen, Justin Verlander and Madison Bumgarner could all be available. Even Stephen Strasburg could join them in the unlikely situation he exercises his first opt-out.

That grouping would be more well-rounded than the current top-heavy one. It also could suffer from the same lack of investment occurring now, which has already begun underground rumblings about the pending fight between players and owners once the collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season.

Several things need to align in order for the 2019-20 free agency crowd to be awash in such prominent names. Martinez, Jansen and Strasburg would have to opt-out. Rendon would need to make it through the season without signing a contract extension in Washington, something both sides are working on and open to.

Though, if everyone hits, around-the-diamond needs will be filled.

Need a third baseman? The best and arguably second-best are available.

Need a top-of-the-rotation starter? Sale, Bumgarner, Verlander and Cole are there. 

Need a reliever? Jansen or Dellin Betances would be there.

The class also has interesting middle depth: Yasiel Puig, Khris Davis, Michael Wacha, Miles Mikolas, Brett Gardner, Matt Kemp, Scooter Gennett, Jose Abreu, Ryan Zimmerman (if the Nationals do not pick up his $18 million option). 

Another monster class hits the following year. Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Jacob deGrom can become free agents after the 2020 season. George Springer, Robbie Ray, James Paxton and J.T. Realmuto are also in the mix. Even Giancarlo Stanton could hop in by opting out, though who would want to leave that contract?

Languishing negotiations from Harper and Machado have led us here, treading water and wondering what’s to come. It at least sounds interesting. We’ll see if it turns out to be so.

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