The Salt Lake Tribune
Orem’s first state football championship since 1994 may have been symbolized by one play.
Klaysen Christianson took the handoff with the Tigers holding a tenuous 6-0 lead in the third quarter of what would become a 26-0 victory over Mountain Crest in Friday’s Class 4A state title game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
It appeared as though he was stopped about five yards short of the goal line, but what looked like most of the Orem offense seemed to push him toward what turned into a 13-yard touchdown.
“That’s what team is,” Tigers coach Jeremy Hill said. “One guy is going to get the ball. If he’s not going to get in, we’ve got 10 more to push him in.”
Christianson echoed those sentiments.
“All game our guys were pushing me in there,” he said. “It was kind of just a second effort. It was the whole team. We went an extra five yards. That got the momentum starting rolling and turned it into a showcase.”
If there was a showcase in this one, though, it probably was on the defensive side.
In recording the first state football championship shutout since South Summit blanked Beaver in 2015, Orem grabbed three interceptions, earned two quarterback sacks and recovered one of two Mountain Crest fumbles. The Tigers held their foe to just 137 yards of total offense.
“We have a bunch of no names for the most part,” Hill said about his defense. “We have some little guys who are fast and run around. They are just so tough. I think we confused them a little bit.”
Billy Tenney had a particularly good game for the Tigers. He recorded three solo tackles, six assisted tackles and had two sacks for 16 yards in losses.
“We just knew it was a really big game,” he said. “Our defense showed up, so we had to hold them to a goose egg. This is the best our defense has played all year.”
Mountain Crest coach Jason Lee said his team could not overcome its turnovers.
“If you turn the ball over, you are not going to win the ballgame,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether it is the state championship or any other game. If you turn the ball over, you will not win. And we didn’t get any turnovers from them.”
Even at 12-0, Mountain Crest seemed very much in the game. But a fourth-quarter rally was snuffed with 11:15 left in the game when Orem star receiver Puka Nacua hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cooper Legas. And Legas put the capper on with a 5-yard run.
“I’m just happy,” Hill said. “They have done everything I asked for. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids. They have bought into the vision.”November 17, 2017
OREM 26, MOUNTAIN CREST 0
• Orem forces three intercepted passes, recovers one of two fumbles and gets two sacks from Billy Tenney to shut out Mountain Crest.
• This was the Tigers’ first state title since 1994.
• Orem kicker Canyon Esplin boots two first-half field goals and quarterback Cooper Legas runs for a score and throws for another.
A South Jordan police officer has been charged with a felony and is accused of extorting his ex-wife.
Investigators were tipped off to what Jonathan Mangum had done, court papers say, because his body camera recorded him telling a domestic violence suspect about it.
Charging documents say Mangum, 31, used a compromising photo of his ex-wife to stop her from trying to get part of his retirement and pension. He did not appear to use the photo to get custody of the couples’ two young children.
Mangum was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with second-degree felony theft by extortion. The charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Mangum responded to a report of domestic violence on Aug. 27, according to the probable cause statement. While talking to the suspect of domestic violence, Mangum reportedly said that he had used a compromising photo of his ex-wife to “force her to back off pursuing a share of his pension during divorce proceedings,” court documents state.
He also told the domestic violence suspect that he had threatened to get the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) involved if she didn’t leave his pension alone. He reportedly said he’d post the photo on Facebook, show it to her parents, and said he’d “f------ ruin your a--,” according to the probable cause statement.
She backed off after the threat, Mangum is recorded saying. The conversation ended with Mangum reportedly saying that it “sucks you gotta play dirty games like that,” court documents state.
A police officer interviewed Mangum’s ex-wife on Sept. 27. She confirmed that her ex-husband had texted her the photo when threatening her about her receiving part of his pension. The photo made her back off, she said, adding she didn’t want to take the risk of Mangum posting the photo, which “scared” and “embarrassed” her.
Police also searched Mangum’s phone, and found text messages from April, May and June that matched what he was recorded telling the domestic violence suspect.
The question of Mangum’s retirement/pension had come up during a May mediation, court documents state. After the meeting, Mangum sent a series of text messages saying that he would post the photo to Facebook and that he’d call DCFS. In her responding text message, she told him she would waive the pension and they could work things out if he went back to mediation.
The divorce degree states that his ex-wife would not receive any of the pension. According to the probable cause statement, Mangum’s ex-wife had a right to more than $5,000 of the retirement benefits.
According to court documents from the couple’s divorce, they were married in 2009 and have two children under the age of ten together.
Colorado Springs, Colo. • Two-time U.S. women's figure skating champion Gracie Gold has withdrawn from the national championships while she continues to seek treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder.
Gold announced last month that she was withdrawing from her Grand Prix assignments, and her decision to skip nationals in January ends any chance of her competing at next year's Winter Olympics.
The 22-year-old Gold, who won team bronze and barely missed the women's podium at the 2014 Sochi Games, has struggled since the 2016 world championships. She also changed coaches earlier this year, shortly after finishing a disappointing sixth at the national championships.
Gold said in a statement Friday that "it pains me to not compete in this Olympic season, but I know it's for the best. I wish everyone the best of luck and will be cheering you all on."
This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.
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The Utah Jazz, struggling on the road without a victory this season, try to end that winless streak at the Brooklyn Nets in New York City on Friday evening. Follow live here for updates from The Tribune’s Tony Jones
Los Angeles • Southern California has already wrapped up the Pac-12 South, and its national championship hopes are faint. After a grinding regular season, the 12th-ranked Trojans have a bye next week before the conference title game.
Every ingredient is in place for a trap game for the Trojans (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12) on Saturday night at the Coliseum.
If their opponent were anyone except their neighbors and rivals from UCLA (5-5, 3-4), that is.
"You don't need to worry about motivation in this one," USC quarterback Sam Darnold said. "Nobody on either team does."
The 87th edition of Los Angeles' crosstown showdown is the first — and probably only — college matchup between Darnold and UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, two of these tradition-rich schools' most impressive quarterbacks of the past half-century.
But neither Darnold nor Rosen sees the matchup as being about them — not with pride and bragging rights at stake across the city.
"There's a lot more juice that goes into it," Rosen said. "But at the end of the day, it's not 1 1/2 wins. It's just another win on your record."
Most of these schools' fans don't agree. The campuses are only 11 miles apart, and the unusual nature of this rivalry immediately captures the attention of newcomers like USC coach Clay Helton, who didn't know much about the schools' relationship until his first taste of it in 2010 after he became the Trojans' quarterbacks coach.
"I remember driving in and seeing the different flags on the houses," Helton said. "I don't know why that always stuck with me. There's a USC, a USC, a Bruin, a Bruin. Everybody is living together. When you play Ohio State and Michigan, they're probably not living together. And we have neighbors that have been to both schools."
The Bruins' motivation is clear. Along with securing bowl eligibility, winning the Victory Bell would be an enormous achievement to close a second straight up-and-down season under coach Jim Mora.
But the Trojans have won three straight after their blowout loss to Notre Dame, and they're undefeated at the Coliseum in 15 consecutive games since mid-2015. Helton and Darnold have never lost at USC's 94-year-old home stadium as the Trojans' head coach and starting quarterback.
Although USC's two road losses have left them on the fringes of contention for a spot in the four-team playoff, Darnold and his teammates haven't given up.
"Right now, our chances of making the playoff, they're slim, but they're still there," Darnold said. "Obviously, to do that, we've got to win out. But right now, we're just focused on winning this game."
Here are more things to watch when both teams take the Coliseum field in their home jerseys:
A small group of unsatisfied UCLA fans might have inadvertently motivated the Bruins. Before their victory over Arizona State last week, two anti-Mora banners were flown over the Rose Bowl. After the game, Rosen called the banners "absurd," ''disrespectful" and "disgusting." Rosen also said those sentiments carried over into practice this week: "After those banners, we kind of got some juice to get our coaches' back, to get a win. I think we're just trying to keep that fire going forward."
Mora won his first three editions of the crosstown showdown, even getting UCLA's first win at the Coliseum since 1997. USC has won the last two rivalry games under Helton, and the Trojans have won 14 of the last 18 meetings overall since 1999, when USC snapped an eight-game Bruins winning streak.
Despite occasional stretches of struggle, USC is averaging 35 points and 495 yards per game with its most productive offense in 12 seasons. UCLA's defense hasn't been great all season, giving up 38.6 points and 499 yards per game. The USC offense is brimming with confidence after racking up three straight games with at least 38 points. "If UCLA's offense puts up 40 points, we've got to put up 41 somehow," Darnold said.
UCLA is in danger of a winless season on the road after going 0-5, including three losses to ranked teams. The Bruins have lost nine straight on the road overall in a remarkable turnaround from their road prowess during Mora's early seasons in charge.
The game will be played on the 50th anniversary to the day of USC's 21-20 victory over UCLA, propelling the Trojans to a national championship. That game is best remembered for a phenomenal 64-yard touchdown run by O.J. Simpson on third down with 10 minutes to play. USC has no plans to recognize the anniversary.
Bingham defended its state title by overpowering East 27-14 in Friday’s Class 6A championship game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Braedon Wissler ran for a pair of touchdowns in the first half and Lolani Langi returned a fumble for a touchdown to lead the Miners.
The victory was No. 500 all-time for Bingham, which last lost to a Utah opponent in the 2015 state semifinals.
This story will be updated.
Washington • Congress is pushing back on an Interior Department proposal to more than double entrance fees at some national parks during peak times and could look at legislation to halt any increases.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says the proposed pilot project — which would affect four of Utah’s five national parks — is aimed at raising money to chip away at the estimated $11.3 billion maintenance backlog at parks across the country.
The cost at peak times to enter Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Zion national parks would be $70 a car under the proposal unveiled last month. Parks now charge between $25 and $30 per car, depending on the park. Capitol Reef was not part of the pilot-project blueprint.
Zinke says the new rates proposed are still affordable and only being suggested for parks with a high volume of visitors.
“The greatest bargain of the U.S. is our parks,” Zinke said in an interview. “Even at $70 per car load — which is a multiple-day pass — it’s cheaper than taking a family to a movie.”
Parks are in desperate need of maintenance work, he added, with much of that backlog in road maintenance and repairs. Utah’s share of the backlog is estimated at $278 million, including $62 million at Zion National Park alone.
“Our parks are being loved to death,” Zinke said.
The Interior secretary noted that he’d like to work with Congress to change the fee structure to allow more money to stay in the park where the user fee is collected. By law now, 80 percent of the fee remains at the park while 20 percent goes to the entire system. About one fourth of parks charge a fee.
Zinke said he wants to see how the public reacts to the proposal — the comment period ends next week — and will reassess then.
“Ultimately, we work for the public, so we want to work with the public and see what they think,” Zinke said.
Congress may step in first.
Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Interior Department, says he will hold hearings on the park-fee proposal and look at legislation to prohibit an agency from raising fees without consulting Congress.
“It is very difficult to allow an agency to raise money by itself,” Bishop said. “That’s troublesome to me. Raising fees should have congressional input.”
Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is also pushing back, arguing that the fee increases would hurt Utah families and the Interior Department should be looking to charge international tourists more money than Americans who own the system.
“It makes absolutely no sense,” Love said of the fee proposal. “We want to be able to enjoy the beauty of the landscape. It’s very difficult for a family to go from, at Zion, $25 a car to $70 or more.”
She noted the opposition isn’t partisan — Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has also blasted the proposal — and although Love supports most of Zinke’s efforts at the Interior Department, she said, “I’ve got to fight him on this.”
The Interior Department is taking public comments on the proposal through Thursday.
Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma is proposing a global settlement in an attempt to end state investigations and lawsuits over the U.S. opioid epidemic, according to people familiar with the talks.
Purdue's lawyers raised the prospect with several southern-state attorneys general who haven't sued the company, as they try to gauge interest for a more wide-ranging deal, said four people who asked not to be identified because the talks aren't public.
Opioid makers are accused of creating a public-health crisis through their marketing of the painkillers. More than a dozen states and about 100 counties and cities already sued Purdue, other opioid makers and drug distributors, in a strategy echoing the litigation that led to the 1998 $246 billion settlement with Big Tobacco.
"This sounds like the opening bid in settlement talks,'' said Anthony Sabino, who teaches law at St. John's University in New York. "It also sounds like they are trying to convince some of these state AG's that they don't need to bring their own suits.''
A group of 41 attorneys general are also investigating how companies like Purdue and other opioid makers marketed and sold prescription opioids. It's not clear whether Purdue's lawyers are authorized to speak for other drugmakers facing opioid suits, but the people familiar with the talks say Purdue's attorneys are looking for a global accord to include all U.S. states' claims against all manufacturers.
Robert Josephson, Purdue spokesman, declined to comment on the settlement discussions. The company said earlier that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Oxycontin for use as a painkiller, and approved the safety warnings. Cases focusing on opioids are targeting a government-regulated product, the company said. That means judges must defer to the FDA's finding that the painkillers are safe and effective, and that Purdue properly disclosed addiction risks on its warning label, according to the company's filing.
Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue hired Sheila Birnbaum, a veteran mass-tort defense lawyer, to help guide their legal strategy and put together a settlement game plan, two of the people said. She's a partner with New York's Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
Nicknamed the "Queen of Torts,'' the 76-year-old Birnbaum helped negotiate big-dollar settlements in the past, including lawsuits against Pfizer Inc. over its hormone-replacement drugs and the $765 million NFL concussion settlement. She also oversaw a $2.8 billion fund set up to compensate first responders and residents following the 2001 World Trade Center attacks.
"She's been the go-to person over the years to come up with sweeping resolutions for mass-tort cases,'' Carl Tobias, who teaches product-liability law at the University of Richmond in Virginia, said of Birnbaum.
Birnbaum didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Any settlement would likely include cash, along with changes to the company's manufacturing and marketing practices, the people said. It would resolve only the state claims, they added.
What may make an early settlement offer attractive to states is early access to money to deal with the social costs of the opioid epidemic, Sabino said.
"The idea is the states wouldn't have to go through years of discovery and trials to wind up where they could be right now – at the settlement table,'' the professor said.
Governments could use their share of billions in settlement funds to recoup the costs of ramping up policing and drug-treatment programs over recent years.
Swain Wood, a lawyer for the North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, told a group of county officials at a Nov. 15 seminar in Raleigh that his office was negotiating with opioid makers, according to a person who attended the meeting.
Wood said his office was on a "dual-track,'' engaging in settlement talks while continuing to investigate opioid makers' activities in North Carolina, according to the person. He said the settlement proposal offered to North Carolina would only resolve the state's claims, but could offer an opt-in right for counties, the person said.
Laura Brewer, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Attorney General's Office, didn't immediately return a call for comment on Wood's presentation.
More than 60,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, and there was a fivefold increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids – from 3,105 in 2013 to about 20,000 in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
A study in the October 2016 issue of Medical Care Journal put the economic cost of opioid overdose, abuse and dependence at $78.5 billion. Health care accounts for about a third of that cost, while lost productivity in nonfatal cases add another $20 billion, according to the journal published by Wolters Kluwer.
While opioid makers are floating settlement proposals, they are also calling on the federal courts to consolidate all opioid claims before a single judge. A hearing on the multi-district litigation request is set for Nov. 30 in St. Louis.
The companies and some plaintiffs' lawyers are asking that opioid suits filed by states, counties and cities be combined for information exchanges and test trials. The consolidation is intended to save money by streamlining document exchanges and avoiding duplication.
Drugmakers have suggested collecting the cases in federal court in Manhattan while plaintiffs recommended that they be sent everywhere from New Hampshire to opioid-ravaged southern West Virginia, according to court filings.
Nine years after the Cottonwood Mall was torn down, Holladay City is finally considering a formal request to develop the 56-acre site at the base of Mount Olympus.
Ivory Development and Woodbury Corp. are proposing far more housing and far less retail space than the concepts that have been informally discussed since Utah’s first mall was leveled in 2008. Holladay’s planning commission will hold a hearing on their plan at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Much of the housing would be concentrated in high rises, with Ivory Development’s proposal calling for structures 136 feet tall (the equivalent of 11 or 12 residential stories above first-floor commercial) on the northwest corner of Highland Drive and Murray-Holladay Road (4800 South).
Building heights would taper off as the development moves to the south and east, with a subdivision of detached single family homes flanking the perimeter adjacent to Memory and Arbor lanes.
“I’ve long advocated working with local developers who have a commitment to this area and this site,” said Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle. “We never felt like we had that before. We’re excited that we have that opportunity now to turn this from dirt into a productive area for the city and our residents.”
Ivory and Woodbury have an agreement to buy the property from Howard Hughes Corp., which took control of the mall property when it was split off from General Growth Properties, the mall-owning company that declared bankruptcy in 2009.
Hughes had hoped to build a Gateway-style, open-air mall centered around a Smith’s grocery store and a Larry H. Miller theater complex, supplemented with apartments and some single family homes.
“But Howard Hughes couldn’t get any traction with that whole concept,” Dahle said.
The property lay dormant, with weeds covering terrain beyond the parking lots for now-abandoned buildings that once housed a Macy’s department store and a TGI Friday’s restaurant.
The sale is contingent on Holladay City’s approval of the Ivory plan.
To help get public buy-in for the concept, Ivory President Chris Gamvroulas held an open house Wednesday to explain the concept to area businesses. A second session for area residents was set for Thursday evening at Creekside Place Shopping Center west of the old mall site.
“We want to educate people,” Gamvroulas said Thursday, adding he was pleased with the reception the plans received at the previous evening’s open house.
“There were certainly a lot of questions. People have concerns about height and density,” he said. “But a lot of the surrounding business owners were excited about enlivening the area and reactivating it. A lot of these businesses have struggled since the mall was torn down.”
Dahle said Holladay officials originally hoped the redeveloped Cottonwood Mall would be a lucrative retail complex, filling city coffers with sales tax revenue. But they learned over the past decade, he said, that “that world doesn’t exist any more. Howard Hughes didn’t get any takers. There’s no market for 500,000 square feet of commercial space. Brick and mortar is shrinking.
“What Ivory and Woodbury are saying is that if you want mixed use and retail, you need bodies to keep them in business,” the mayor said. “They believe that if we can get enough multi-family housing product in there, they’ll have enough population that they can put retail in that [succeeds].”
While early plans contemplated 600 housing units, Ivory’s plan now includes 1,035 to 1,255 units. That’s a density of 18 to 22 units per acre, covering 60 percent of the property. Another 12 percent of the land would be set aside as open space, largely along the Highland Drive frontage, while 10 percent would be commercial.
Dahle said the planning commission will hold a second public hearing on the proposal in December. The city council then will consider the matter further. Public interest already is increasing. “Our phones and emails are lighting up,” he added.
Hearings will be held at Holladay City Hall, 4580 S. 2300 East.
There is a large dog, a mastiff, in one of the yards that abuts the fence in the outfield of the Pleasant Grove High baseball field. But for years, Vikings coach Darrin Henry said, it was the house next door that scared his players and ultimately produced a story with all the makings of the “The Sandlot.”
“Nobody wanted to hop that fence,” Henry recalls now with a chuckle.
The problem started when Henry’s son, Payton, started to take batting practice. On his way to becoming a catcher in the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization, Henry hit plenty of homers for the Vikings — much to the chagrin of the homeowner behind left field.
“No one ever really hit the ball over there in his yard before, but when Payton came through, he would put it over the fence a lot,” Darrin Henry says. “We didn’t know what to do. We had him hitting with wood bats, and it wasn’t working.”
A woman who lived there told the city council she had almost been hit in the face with a ball while pulling weeds, and that they had been forced to replace parts of their fence on multiple occasions. The property owners asked the city to do something and were told that signs would be posted telling players that they “were not to hit the ball out of the park.”
“… [T]his was clearly a mute plea,” the woman told the Pleasant Grove City Council in 2014, “since hitting the ball out of the park is the primary goal in baseball.”
So the baseballs kept coming. The man, a retired law enforcement officer, kept each of the balls, marked them with the date of each home run, and mapped the spots he found them on his property, Henry said, so that he could document his displeasure for school and city officials.
“I remember one day during Payton’s junior year, he came on the field. All of the players were screaming at me to stop pitching and of a sudden there’s a guy standing on third base,” Henry said. “He said, ‘You take one more swing in here from this kid and I’m going to call the cops.’”
Henry’s short-term solution: telling his son to hit to the opposite field. Then or during his son’s senior year in 2016, Henry said, the city built a taller fence and netting.
“Of course, the very first time Payton gets up there, he takes it over the net,” the father recalled.
But as Henry’s high school career came to an end, the couple apparently decided it was time to make amends.
“His wife came over with a whole bucket of balls and said, ‘We’ve finally forgiven you,’” Henry said.
Payton Henry, who has been told he will move up in the Brewers’ organization after a solid season with Helena in the Pioneer League, posted a photo of the baseballs on his Twitter account Friday.
“It ended up like ‘The Sandlot,’” his father said. “Now everyone’s friends.”
There’s a house behind the Pleasant Grove high school baseball field and the owner of the house collected all of the balls that have been coming over into his yard the past few years and wrote dates on all of them. It’s like a real life Sandlot!! pic.twitter.com/d8IcrzEFGr— Payton Henry (@paytonhenry1515) November 17, 2017
New York • Over two years, the Jazz have consistently been one of the most injured teams in the NBA.
That trend seems to be continuing this season.
Ahead of Friday night’s matchup against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center, Utah’s injury report reads like a walking M.A.S.H unit.
• Dante Exum, out.
• Joe Johnson, out.
• Rudy Gobert, out.
• Ricky Rubio, out.
• Thabo Sefolosha, questionable.
So, if you’re counting at home, here’s what it means Friday night. The Jazz will be missing their best player, their most consistent bench scorer and both point guards. They may also be missing their best perimeter defender. That’s at least four rotation players and potentially five that won’t be playing in a game the Jazz really need to win.
Friday is the only game of the current road trip the Jazz can look at and confidently call themselves favorites. Now, with their injury list, their advantage on the interior and on the perimeter may be significantly decreased.
So, what happens with Rubio out? Utah can do a few things. Coach Quin Snyder can slide Donovan Mitchell over to the point guard slot, move Rodney Hood into the starting lineup and Joe Ingles down to the small ball power forward slot. Or, Snyder can keep Hood as his sixth man - that move has worked really well for Hood — and insert Raul Neto into the starting lineup, and continue to use Mitchell as his starting shooting guard and backup point guard.
Also, the Jazz have recalled two-way point guard Nate Wolters and he will be available for Friday night’s game. He’s played very well so far for the Stars. The Jazz enter Friday night with a 6-9 record and having lost six of their last seven games.
For an old guy, Orrin Hatch still can pull a fast one.
On Thursday, Utah’s senior senator was driving ahead on a tax plan that was suddenly taking on water, in large part because Hatch added language that would lop off a big part of Obamacare.
Hatch’s language would rescind the individual mandate, meaning people who can buy insurance but don’t would no longer face a tax penalty.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), losing the mandate and its tax hit would mean 13 million Americans would no longer buy health insurance.
From Hatch’s perspective, that is a good thing, because those people would be choosing not to buy insurance, which works fine, until they get sick and don’t have coverage and the doctors and hospitals have to eat the cost.
Over the past few years, the American Hospital Association says uncompensated care has fallen by more than $10 billion. Expect that trend to reverse and those costs to get passed on to everyone else.
What’s more, the CBO estimates that those who continue to buy insurance from the healthcare marketplace would see their premiums rise by 10 percent after those 13 million generally healthy individuals pull out, leaving the older and sicker people behind. That assumes the marketplace, already struggling, can survive the shock.
And why is Hatch doing it? Beyond the Republican pathological hatred for Obamacare, the senator needs to get his math to work out.
Under the Senate budget rules, Hatch would’ve needed a hard-to-get 60 votes to pass the bill if it added more than $1.5 trillion to the national debt. So not subsidizing the insurance of 13 million Americans — an estimated 125,000 Utahns among them — would save $338 billion and the tax boondoggle could pass with just 50 Republican votes.
That makes it far more likely for Hatch and the Senate to pass a bill that gives massive, permanent tax cuts to corporations and give a modest tax break to individuals — tax breaks that would expire after a few years (again, to keep the debt under $1.5 trillion in debt) and turn into tax hikes for many low- and middle-income Americans.
According to the review by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, people earning between $10,000 and $30,000 would be paying higher taxes in 2021 than they are now. By 2027, that tax hike would expand to everyone making less than $75,000. And those making more than $100,000? They’d still be paying slightly less.
The reason for the ticking tax bomb is that the Senate plan gets rid of deductions now claimed by millions of American families — things like student loans, state and local taxes, child deductions — and replaces them with a child tax credit. But those credits have an expiration date on them, and when they do go away as many as a third of Utah families could see their federal taxes shoot up, higher than they were before.
Hatch claims that Democrats can join Republicans to make the tax cuts permanent.
And all they have to do is blow up their health insurance plan and give billions of dollars in tax breaks to the rich. Why not?
Here’s another kicker for Utahns: According to Utah legislative analysts, thanks to Hatch’s tax bill, his constituents would end up paying more than $200 million more a year on their state income taxes.
That’s because eliminating all those deductions increases a taxpayer’s federal adjusted gross income, which is what each person’s state tax burden is based on.
Analysts projected (based on earlier versions of the GOP tax plan) that starting next year a Utah family of four will end up paying about $300 more a year; a family of five would pay about $500 more annually; and a family of six would be on the hook for a $700 increase.
Those analysts have been working on revising the figures based on the ever-changing tax proposals, but they haven't seen much change in the latest proposals.
So take a family of four making the state median income — about $62,000 — they would see a $1,000 federal tax cut in the first year with about a $300 increase in state taxes. By 2021, about half the federal tax cut would be gone and by 2027, there would be paying MORE in both federal and state taxes.
The bill that passed the House on Thursday with all four members of Utah’s delegation voting for it, has many of the same flaws built in.
Hatch has been fighting hard for his tax cuts, potentially the capstone of his long Senate career, and this is what he’s given us: A huge tax break for the wealthy, higher taxes for his middle-income constituents, and millions more people without health insurance.
That’s some legacy.
Maybe a few upsets will liven up a weekend college football schedule that looks as if it will be full of blowouts.
Most of the top teams are big favorites this weekend and some are even playing FCS teams to get healthy and prepared for huge games next weekend.
But there is bowl eligibility on the line in many places and maybe some of the non-Baker Mayfield Heisman Trophy contenders can make a move in that race. Week 12 has a chance to be dominated more by coaching news than significant results on the field.
Five things to know about college football Saturday, when the most important game is kicking off at noon eastern.
No. 19 Michigan at No. 5 Wisconsin.
Like defense and don't like to stay up late? Well, have we got a game for you.
The only game on the schedule this weekend matching ranked teams features two of the best defenses in the country. The unbeaten Badgers have already wrapped up a spot in the Big Ten championship game representing the west, but they have their eyes on the College Football Playoff.
Michigan figures to be the toughest test for Wisconsin before it gets to Indianapolis for the conference title game. The Wolverines are fourth in the nation in total defense (4.25 yards per play allowed) and have maybe the best defensive lineman in the country in tackle Maurice Hurst.
The Badgers are third in the nation in defense (4.15 yards per play). Both teams have wonky passing games and lean heavily on the run. Freshman Jonathan Taylor is fourth in the nation in rushing for Wisconsin at 152 yards per game.
Taylor has a chance to push himself into the Heisman discussion, but otherwise with so many teams playing light competition it will be hard to gain any ground on front-runner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma.
One player to keep an eye on, though: Penn State's Saquon Barkley's Heisman campaign has sputtered in recent weeks, but the Nittany Lions play Nebraska on Saturday and the Cornhuskers have been awful stopping the run. Barkley won't win the Heisman against Nebraska, but he can at least firm up his status is a possible finalist.
Numbers to know
4 for 4 — No. 2 Miami has gotten four takeaways in each of its last four games, getting plenty of air time for the turnover chain. Virginia visits the Hurricanes on Saturday.
3— Margin of victory in each of the last two games between No. 11 TCU and Texas Tech. The Frogs won a wild 55-52 game in Lubbock in 2015, then lost at home to the Red Raiders 27-24 last year. The Frogs host Tech on Saturday with a chance to put a firm grasp on a spot in the Big 12 title game, but without some key injured players, including QB Kenny Hill.
10.61 — Yards per play for Arizona quarterback Kahlil Tate, who has surged into the Heisman conversation after not even being a starter for the first month. Tate plays at Oregon on Saturday.
45 — Combined touchdown passes for UCLA's Josh Rosen (21) and USC's Sam Darnold (24) entering their first — and maybe only — college meeting. The 12th-ranked Trojans have won the last two meetings with their crosstown rival 76-35.
Under the radar
Bowl eligibility is going to be a hot topic the next couple of weeks. There are 78 bowl spots available this season for FBS teams, and 59 teams are already are eligible.
Among the teams still scrambling that can lock it up this weekend is Texas, which travels to No. 24 West Virginia. The Longhorns finish the season at home against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders also need one more victory for six. They host No. 11 TCU. Staying in the Big 12, Kansas State is at No. 10 Oklahoma State looking for win No. 6.
In the Pac-12; Oregon, California, Utah, Arizona State and UCLA all have two more shots to get one more victory.
Others that can lock up a postseason spot: Boston College, which faces UConn at Fenway Park; Minnesota at Northwestern.
UMass at BYU
It is probably a stretch to think second-year Cougars coach Kalani Sitake is in deep trouble at his alma mater, but it has been a really bad season for BYU (3-8). The Cougars are managing to salvage some pride by beating some weaker competition, such as San Jose State and UNLV. The Minutemen (3-7) are probably a little better than their record. They have won three of four and played a competitive game against Mississippi State. Still, losing to UMass at home would probably be the bottom for a proud program with fans not accustomed to their Cougars being terrible.
New Haven, Conn. • Yale coach Tony Reno says his team is approaching Saturday's meeting with Harvard as if it were any other game.
Clearly, it is not.
The Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 Ivy) will be playing in front well over 50,000 fans at the Yale Bowl with a chance to secure the program's first outright Ivy League championship in 37 years. The team also can win back-to-back games against the Crimson for the first time since winning three in a row from 1998 to 2000.
"We don't look at things that way," Reno said during the team's weekly media luncheon. "We just look at things in the context of continuing to improve."
The Bulldogs certainly have done that. Yale lost just one game this season, 28-27 at Dartmouth, and clinched a share of the Ivy title by beating Princeton last week. The Bulldogs won just three games year ago, including a season-ending upset of Harvard, which cost the Crimson a share of the Ivy title.
A loss to Penn last week ended the Crimson's chance to capture a share of this year's league crown. So Harvard (5-4, 3-3), comes into the game hoping to turn the tables on Yale.
"It's hard to say it's no bigger than another game because there's 60,000 people in the stands, and there's people coming up to me all week and saying, 'You'd better win this one,'" Harvard linebacker Luke Hutton said.
"I'd be lying if I said some guys weren't a little more motivated to play against Yale. It is a pride thing. It's not about our record against them; it's about ending our season, ending our careers in the right way."
Some other facts about this matchup of archrivals, which has been known since the 1940s simply as The Game:
Yale holds 66-59-8 advantage in the rivalry, which began in 1875. But Harvard has won 14 of the last 16 meetings and has been better when a title is up for grabs.The Crimson are 16-12-1 when at least one team has a chance to secure a share of the league crown.
Home field disadvantage
Yale has not beaten Harvard in New Haven since 1999 and is 30-31-3 against the Crimson at home.
Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings credits last year's win over Harvard with providing the team the confidence it needed this season.He said the team bonded in the offseason with 4 a.m. workouts and has been a much more cohesive unit that last year's group.
"That's where we should have been every game last season," he said. "I was kind of angry that we let a lot of games slip last year. This year we're focusing more on taking care of business."
Seizing the opportunity
Yale's freshman running back, Zane Dudek, came into the season third on the Bulldogs' depth chart.Injuries helped put him on the field and he has done the rest, rushing for 1,069 yards on just 134 carries. That's an average of 7.98 yards a rush. He is the third player in league history to win the rookie of the week award five times.
Rooting for Harvard
Columbia (7-2, 4-2) and Dartmouth (7-2, 4-2) will be Harvard fans this week.Each could share the Ivy League title with a win and a Bulldogs loss on Saturday. Columbia hosts Brown (2-7, 0-6).Dartmouth hosts Princeton (5-4, 2-4).
Homestead, Fla. • Dale Earnhardt Jr. bounded out of the media center and was instantly swarmed by fans snapping photos and shoving Sharpies in his face. Earnhardt was tailed until he walked through the garage gate and up the steps to another interview.
"Did you see him?" a man yelled as more fans scampered toward NASCAR's most popular driver.
The chance to catch him is all but over.
Earnhardt is at peace with his decision to retire as he straps into the No. 88 Chevrolet for the final time in his NASCAR Cup career on Sunday. The 43-old Earnhardt has Homestead-Miami Speedway stamped as the final spot in his farewell tour.
His one wish is to end on his terms.
"It would be a bit of a heartbreaker if we have the kind of issue that would take us out of an event and we couldn't finish," he said.
Earnhardt, dressed in a red T-shirt and red cap of his race sponsor, was at ease as he reflected on the end of a 19-year career; he cracked jokes, asked the media questions and reflected on some of the misspent years early in his career. The video tributes from race teams, tracks and sponsors have touched the usually laid-back driver. Some of them have brought his pregnant wife, Amy, to tears.
"Amy's the one that's most emotional with being pregnant and everything," he said. "They've really been hitting her."
Earnhardt hired a personal photographer to document the final weekend and he's had a camera crew filming in preparation for a possible documentary. Earnhardt has a photo shoot set for Friday with longtime friend Matt Kenseth. Earnhardt and Kenseth broke in together and leave the series together.
While the rest of the sport has all eyes on Earnhardt, he is rooting for his hunting buddy, Martin Truex Jr., to win the Cup championship on Sunday.
"I'm Team Martin this weekend, for sure," he said.
The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native made his 600th career series start earlier this year. He has 26 career Cup victories and is a two-time Daytona 500 champion. But the son of the late champion has never won a Cup title.
Earnhardt has driven for Hendrick Motorsports since 2008 after a split with Dale Earnhardt Inc., the team founded by his father but run by his stepmother. He was unhappy with the direction of DEI since his father's 2001 death in a last-lap accident at the Daytona 500, and a frosty relationship with his stepmother led him to bolt to NASCAR's most powerful team.
His mother, sister and a few close friends were invited down on his plane for Sunday's race. He joked he had hundreds of friends who probably want to come but, hey, there's only nine seats on the plane.
He'll have hundreds of thousands more fans pulling for Junior one final time in the 88.
"We want to enjoy this weekend," Earnhardt said, "but we want to end well."
More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org
When South Salt Lake hired an outside auditor at the end of June to look into questions from two city councilmen about whether public funds were being diverted to the mayor’s re-election campaign, the councilman overseeing the audit anticipated the process would take three weeks. But more than four months later, there are still no answers.
Mayor Cherie Wood requested the audit herself after Council members Mark Kindred and Shane Siwik, who were running for her seat at the time, raised concerns. They were particularly curious about the many roles filled by a city contractor — who simultaneously ran the Promise South Salt Lake program and Wood’s political action committee (PAC), including through her 2013 election. Kari Cutler resigned from the PAC soon after the issue came up in a council meeting.
Wood appears to have fended off a challenge from Kindred in the Nov. 7 election. As of Friday, her lead stood at 50.5 percent to 49 percent — a gap of just 43 votes out of more than 3,000 cast. Final results will be determined at a canvass Tuesday.
Councilman Ben Pender, who is managing the audit, said it’s taken longer than expected to get information from the mayor’s office and Social Marketing Consultants, the contract firm run by Cutler and her husband, Jack Wilbur.
“I definitely have some concerns on the length of time it’s taken,” Pender said, noting, for example, that one request made of Social Marketing Consultants in September has still not been fulfilled. “I believe based on comments that I’ve heard from other council members that at least the majority do believe that something … something or [for] some reason this thing has been stalled,” he added.
Cutler did not respond to a request for comment Friday. Wood said in an email that Social Marketing Consultants had submitted documents from the council’s initial, “massive,” request in August. The city submitted its documents in July.
The second request had come from the council three weeks ago, Wood said, and the city provided those documents on Tuesday.
Kindred said he thinks the delays in the audit response are due to “internal resistance” but he wasn’t sure why that would be.
“Everyone was on the same page with it taking, you know, not that much time — being a quick effort,” he said. “The mayor even supported doing this. I mean, it was at her suggestion, I believe, that we implemented this and now it’s … It’s four months later.”
Wood did not comment on concerns about intentional delays in the process.
Pender said he thinks part of the holdup may also come from the administration’s concerns about the scope of the information the council is seeking. The audit scope goes back several years.
“I think there’s some pushback coming from the administration on that, saying we’ve overstepped our bounds on what we’re looking for,” Kindred said.
Pender said the audit is close to completion and he hopes the holiday season won’t slow results too much. But no matter what, Kindred said the council plans to see the audit to completion.
“We’re not done with this,” Kindred said. “We’re going to push this through to the end and we’re going to see it through to the finish. And as deep of a dive as we have to go, we’ll go for it. And if we get pushback, then we’ll get pushback. We’ve got to go and we’ll take it to the end of where it needs to go to get an answer.”
Hue Jackson's position on an NFL coaching hot seat is no surprise. Nothing was expected of the Browns anyway.
Ben McAdoo's spot on a similarly burning seat is stunning because plenty was projected for the Giants.
Those are the two most prominent cases of a head coach in trouble as the NFL heads toward its stretch drive. Among those two, their teams have one victory.
Jackson and McAdoo are not the only head men whose job security is tenuous — if even that. Add in Chuck Pagano in Indianapolis, John Fox in Chicago, Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati and Dirk Koetter in Tampa Bay.
And don't think that Jim Caldwell in Detroit and Todd Bowles with the Jets are completely safe.
Several betting outlets even have odds on which of the current NFL coaches in precarious positions who go first.
As all of them would say — and some of them have — "it's our job to coach, not to worry about those things."
That, of course, doesn't mean they aren't somewhat nervous.
Hue Jackson, Browns (0-9)
This one is most obvious, although to his credit Jackson doesn't seem to have lost the faith of his players. Upper management is another story.
Jackson appears to be at odds with Cleveland's analytics-reliant front office. He can only coach the "talent" he is given, and the skill level in Cleveland might not win in the Big Ten.
Give him credit for this: Despite only John McKay, who went 0-25 with a ragtag bunch of expansion Buccaneers in the 1970s, Jackson has the worst 25-game span in NFL history at 1-24. But he consistently takes the blame for what goes wrong in Cleveland.
And plenty does go wrong.
Ben McAdoo, Giants (1-8)
This one is confounding.
New York didn't make the playoffs in each of the four seasons Tom Coughlin coached after winning his second NFL title by beating the Patriots in the 2012 Super Bowl. When Coughlin was forced out, the Giants elevated offensive coordinator McAdoo, who also was coveted by other clubs.
He guided the Giants to an 11-5 record and playoff berth in 2016 with a big-play defense.
That defense has crumbled, the offense has been inept — it's fair to blame injuries to three key receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr. for some deficiencies — and the locker room is a mess. McAdoo has suspended both starting cornerbacks for a game for violating team rules, and what some characterize as rumblings are more like earthquakes.
Do you think there are some Giants fans clamoring for Coughlin nowadays?
Chuck Pagano, Colts (3-7)
When you lose your outstanding quarterback to lengthy injury, as Pagano has with Andrew Luck, you probably are doomed. That Luck's surgery was at the start of 2017 and he never got onto the field this season is beyond Pagano's control, but the coach's Plan B has been a bust.
Lowlights this season have included continual late-game collapses and some mind-boggling plays by the opposition. The Colts haven't been the same since losing the AFC title game in the 2014 season. Yeah, the "Deflategate" game.
Owner Jim Irsay also is seeing empty seats in Indy. Pagano's seat is on fire.
Marvin Lewis, Bengals (3-6)
Like Jackson and Pagano, Lewis is a nice man who spent lots of time working his way through the ranks. He's also the best coach Cincinnati has had since founder and Hall of Famer Paul Brown from 1968-75.
But the time perhaps has come for the second-longest tenured NFL coach to move on.
The Bengals have gone to the playoffs seven times under Lewis. They've left the postseason after one game all seven times.
Their offense is abysmal as the front office, which includes decisions by Lewis, allowed top linemen Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler to walk in free agency. QB Andy Dalton has regressed. Dalton is earning a ton of money, so Lewis has stuck with him over AJ McCarron, who could become a free agent after this season.
Perhaps most damning: The Bengals are downright dull.
John Fox, Bears (3-6)
Fox guided the Panthers and, later on, the Broncos to Super Bowl appearances (and losses). The Bears are about as close to a Super Bowl as Chicago is to Mars.
Bears fans are ticked that Adam Gase departed for Miami before last season, ending any hopes he would take over for Fox at some juncture. The Bears haven't been relevant in the Windy City since Lovie Smith was in charge, and he got fired in 2012 with an 84-66 record and two NFC championship appearances. Smith was 10-6 in his final season; Fox is 12-29.
The main reason Fox isn't higher on this list of coaches who could get torched is that these Bears have a foundation. The running game with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen is outstanding. They believe they have their franchise quarterback in second overall draft choice Mitchell Trubisky. The defense has some young playmakers.
None of which means Fox will be around in 2018.
Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers (3-6)
Tampa Bay rivals the Giants in some ways as a flop this season. While a huge leap upward was expected — the NFC South was supposed to be a powerhouse division, with the Bucs in the mix. It has been the league's best sector this season, but with the Bucs mired at the bottom.
History is not on Koetter's side. The past two coaches (Greg Schiano and the aforementioned Lovie Smith) only got two years. The coach before that (Raheem Morris) got three. The Bucs haven't made the playoffs since 2007 and haven't won a postseason game since the 2002 team won the Super Bowl.
Where are you, Jon Gruden?
But Koetter's players verbally are supporting him, and he has the offensive touch needed to help Jameis Winston progress.
In a typical baseball offseason, even the biggest personnel moves are fundamentally simple equations: Team X signs Player Y to a $ZZZ million contract (as will likely be the case for J.D. Martinez this winter), or a small-market team trades the superstar it can no longer afford to a large-market team that can (as may be the case with Giancarlo Stanton) for prospects and hope.
But this winter, the most intriguing transaction on the talent marketplace will require something closer to advanced calculus to close out. To land Shohei Ohtani, the fabled, two-way Japanese star, a team will need to navigate the still-to-be-negotiated Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, Major League Baseball's international bonus pool restrictions and delicate negotiations with Ohtani's American agents.
And, somewhere in there, the team that gets him will need to make a crucial decision, one that could impact Ohtani's own choice: Is he a pitcher, a hitter — or both?
Simply put, baseball has never seen a phenomenon such as Ohtani, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher/left-handed slugger who has declared his intentions to play for an MLB team in 2018, after dominating — in both of his roles — for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan for much of the past five seasons. In his best season, 2016, the "Babe Ruth of Japan" batted .322/.416/.588 with 22 homers in 382 plate appearances as a hitter and went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 140 innings on the mound. His fastball has been clocked as high as 102.5 mph, and several of his home runs were measured at more than 500 feet.
"At this stage," New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said at the just-completed GM meetings in Orlando, Florida, "everybody has to be somewhat interested. … I think it will be fascinating."
In a sense, the rules governing the acquisition of foreign talent within baseball's collective bargaining agreement, reached last winter, never anticipated someone of Ohtani's talent, youth and haste.
Why haste? Because, had Ohtani waited until he turned 25 to come west, he could have been an unrestricted free agent and probably would have received a nine-figure contract in the states. Instead, by coming over now, he is governed by the same bonus-pool rules that apply to 16-year-old Dominican prospects. His signing bonus will be no more than $3.535 million, and his 2018 salary will be in the neighborhood of $550,000.
In effect, these restrictions remove money from the equation as a decisive factor in Ohtani's signing — unless you count the under-the-table side deal that 29 other teams are sure to suspect will be cut by the team that ultimately signs him, and that MLB has vowed to police. Teams occasionally sign rookies to long-term contracts during their initial seasons but, in the case of Ohtani, such a deal would be highly scrutinized for impropriety.
Nothing can happen with Ohtani until MLB, the MLB Players Association, NPB and Ohtani's Japanese team agree on a posting protocol, as the old agreement — under which MLB teams were required to pay a fee of up to $20 million to acquire a Japanese player's rights — expired Oct. 31.
Speaking ahead of an MLB owners' meeting Wednesday in Orlando, Dan Halem, the league's chief legal officer, said a preliminary agreement has been reached with NPB but that it is awaiting approval from the union and a vote of MLB owners before it can be ratified. The union, concerned that uncertainty over Ohtani's status could harm big league free agents, reportedly set a Monday deadline to reach agreement with MLB on the new system.
"I'm hopeful that we'll have a new system in place in early December," Halem told reporters.
Assuming an agreement is reached, once Ohtani is posted, it would open a 30-day window for teams to make their pitches and for Ohtani to choose his destination. By rule, teams' offers are limited by what is available in their international bonus pools, ranging from a high of $3.535 million for the Texas Rangers down to $10,000 for Cleveland and Colorado, according to the Associated Press. The Washington Nationals have $300,000 available and are not considered to be among the teams most likely to land Ohtani.
"We're not sure what the process even is at this point," Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said Wednesday, echoing the stance of many in the industry. "So until we know more about that, we'll no-comment on it."
With official bonuses and salaries not expected to vary widely from team to team, many observers expect Ohtani to make his decision based on other factors, such as teams' relative chances of winning, their histories with foreign players and the Asian presence in their home markets (which could affect, for one thing, how much Ohtani can earn off the field through marketing and endorsement deals).
Among the teams widely seen as best positioned to land him are the Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners — but those are just guesses, as Ohtani has said little publicly about his intentions or his criteria for choosing a new team. The Dodgers nearly signed Ohtani coming out of high school in 2012, but he chose to remain in Japan.
Still, the most intriguing factor that could steer Ohtani's future is the degree to which major league teams are willing to allow him to continue being a two-way player — something believed to be important to him as he prepares to move to the majors.
"I'm interested to hear what the teams have to say," Ohtani told the Los Angeles Times in September.
At least on a theoretical basis, many teams appear to have no qualms with allowing Ohtani to pursue both disciplines in the states, but most scouts value his arm over his bat, and it remains unknown the extent to which the team that ultimately signs him will be able to stomach the sight of its future ace running the bases and/or playing the outfield two or three days between starts.
"Babe Ruth did it, right?" Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski told reporters in Orlando. "I would say that it's possible. … If you had somebody who was talented enough, why not?"
Logic would dictate that American League teams would hold an advantage over National League teams in their pursuit of Ohtani, as the presence of the designated hitter rule could mitigate the risk of allowing him to continue as a hitter. In Japan, where starters typically pitch just once a week, Ohtani usually served as designated hitter Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, prepared for his upcoming start Friday and Saturday, pitched Sunday and rested Monday.
Some NL teams, however, may envision a different scenario in which, on certain days, Ohtani plays in the outfield or first base for eight innings, then moves to the mound to pitch the ninth as the closer.
Baseball still has not seen a true full-time, two-way player since Ruth gave up pitching nearly a century ago. But the atmosphere has never been more conducive to it, as the growing dependence on relievers has led teams to carry ever more pitchers on their roster, making positional versatility and flexibility critical components of roster-building. The Tampa Bay Rays drafted Louisville pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay with the fourth pick in June's draft and are allowing him to pursue both disciplines in the minors.
The possibilities for Ohtani, once he gets on the field, are endless and could require the sort of imagination and creativity for which baseball teams are not typically known. But first, someone has to acquire him — a transactional act that, unlike most offseason moves, will require its own sort of creativity and imagination.
Matt Wells was initially unhappy at the placement of Utah State’s bye week so late in the season, but the Aggie football coach might be coming around now.
The week off for Utah State came just last weekend, and the well-rested Aggies now resume their schedule Saturday against Hawai’i. It marks USU’s final home game of the season.
“I would have ... hoped that the bye week was a little more mid-October. It happens to be right now,” Wells said.
“I’m not sure what bye weeks late in the year gives you, but I know this: we are re-energized, and we have a little bit of a hop in our step,” he added. “Late in the year, a lot of teams get tired, and a lot of teams can start going through the motions, or they can get re-energized and re-focused. I’m hopeful that’s what the bye week did for us last week.”
The Aggies last played on Nov. 4, beating New Mexico 24-10 in Albuquerque.
Utah State is one shy win of becoming bowl-eligible. That, in and of itself, is plenty of motivation for a squad that only had three wins a year ago and was picked for last in the Mountain Division for the Mountain West Conference.
“It was something that was discussed that everybody in the Mountain West, media and coaches, they all voted us last place,” said junior safety Gaje Ferguson. It’s awesome that, obviously, we’ve gotten further than that, but there really is no ceiling to how good you want to be. That’s what we strive for, just always be better.”
In Hawai’i, the Aggies will face an offense that’s almost the opposite of the run-heavy Lobos. The Warriors employ a controlled passing game.
Quarterback Dru Brown has thrown for 2,399 yards while starting every game for Hawai’i, but the Warriors also have a 1,000-yard rusher in Diocemy Saint Juste (1,349 yards).The visitors come into the game struggling however. Hawai’i has lost its last three games — home defeats to San Diego State and Fresno State sandwiched around a road loss at UNLV.
“They have a few good weapons, some solid people and they’re capable of putting up numbers if you let them get going,” Ferguson said. “It’s something our defense, if we do our job and play how we know we can play, we should be able to take care of business with their guys.”
An additional boon that the bye week provided for Utah State was a chance to get healthier heading into the final two games. USU wraps up the regular season next week at Air Force.
“We have a real motivation these last two weeks. I think what the bye week has done for us is help to re-emphasize that. It’s also got us healthier,” Wells said. “We’re going to have a lot of guys back. We’re about as healthy this year as we’ve been since I’ve been the head coach. Very few season-ending injuries.
“Really, only one, Ian [Togiai, senior defensive end], that we’ve lost for an extended amount of time,” he added. “He’s getting closer to getting back, so we’ll see on that here this week.”
Hawai’i at Utah State
Kickoff • Saturday, 1 p.m.
TV • Spectrum Sports PPV.
Radio • 1280 AM, 97.5 FM.
Records • USU 5-5, 3-3 MWC; UH 3-7, 1-6.
Series • Utah State leads, 8-6.
Last meeting • USU 35, UH 14 (2014)
About the Rainbow Warriors • Running back Diocemy Saint Juste needs 150 yards on the ground to set a new single-season record for rushing yardage for Hawai’i — currently held by Travis Sims’ 1,498 yards (1992)... Junior linebacker Jahlani Tavai leads the team with 98 tackles and, with two more, will reach the century mark in stops for a second straight season... Former Alta High standout Ammon Barker has 33 catches for 337 yards while Dylan Collie, whose older brothers Austin and Zac played at BYU, has 43 catches for 474 yards.
About the Aggies • Matt Wells is 5-0 as head coach in games after the bye week, with a double-digit margin of victory in all of those victories... Freshman Jordan Love is expected to start at quarterback again, as he has for the previous three games. Utah State is13-3 when starting a freshman QB in Wells’ five seasons... The offensive line, completely retooled at the beginning of the season, has not allowed a sack in the last two games and only one in the previous three.
Washington • Minnesota Sen. Al Franken personally apologized to the woman who has accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour, saying he remembers their encounter differently but is “ashamed that my actions ruined that experience for you.”
In a guest appearance Friday on ABC’s “The View,” Leeann Tweeden read a letter she received from the Democratic lawmaker in which he also discussed a photo showing him posing in a joking manner, smiling at the camera with his hands above her chest as she naps wearing a flak vest aboard a military plane.
Franken missed votes in the Senate Thursday afternoon and has not made any public appearances since the allegations came out.
Both had been performing for military personnel in Afghanistan two years before the one-time “Saturday Night Live” comedian was elected to the Senate. Tweeden, a former Fox TV sports correspondent who now is a Los Angeles radio anchor, has said Franken had persisted in rehearsing a kiss and “aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”
Franken told Tweeden in the letter he wanted to “apologize to you personally,” adding: “I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture. But that doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse. I understand why you can feel violated by that photo. ... I have tremendous respect for your work for the USO. And I am ashamed that my actions ruined that experience for you. I am so sorry.’”
Franken, 66, was the latest public figure to be caught in the deluge of revelations of sexual harassment and misconduct that have crushed careers, ruined reputations and prompted criminal investigations in Hollywood, business and beyond.
While Franken has repeatedly apologized, there were no signs the issue would go away any time soon. Fellow Democrats swiftly condemned his actions, mindful of the current climate as well as the prospect of political blowback in next year’s elections.
Republicans, still forced to answer for the multiple allegations facing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, joined in pressing for an investigation. Franken said he would welcome it.
Franken abruptly canceled a sold-out book festival appearance scheduled for Monday in Atlanta, festival organizers said. He had been scheduled to speak and promote his book, “Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.”
Tweeden posted her allegations, including a photo of Franken and her, Thursday on the website of KABC, where she works as a news anchor for a morning radio show.
On Friday, Tweeden said she didn’t come forward with the hope that Franken would step down. “That’s not my call,” she told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ″I think that’s for the people of Minnesota to decide.”
Franken faces re-election in 2020.
Meanwhile, a Minnesota woman and rape survivor who worked with Franken to craft legislation for fellow survivors said Friday the senator should take his name off the bill. Abby Honold, 22, who was raped by a fellow University of Minnesota student in 2014, called Franken’s conduct disappointing and said someone else should champion the bill.
Eight women who worked for Franken in the Senate vouched for him, saying in a joint statement Friday that he treated them “with the utmost respect.”
In a statement Thursday, Franken apologized to Tweeden and his constituents while maintaining that he remembered the rehearsal differently. Tweeden said she accepted his apology.
“I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t,” Franken said. “And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”
President Donald Trump, who has faced his own allegations of sexual misconduct, ridiculed Franken in tweets Thursday night: “The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? ..... And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women.”
Trump has been publicly silent about the allegations against Moore, the Republican nominee in Alabama’s special Senate election. Through a spokeswoman, he called the allegations of sexual misconduct against the former judge “very troubling” but stopped short of calling on Moore to drop out.
Trump once boasted that as a celebrity “you can do anything,” speaking of groping and kissing unsuspecting women. More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, claims Trump denies.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday: “Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing, and the president hasn’t. I think that’s a very clear distinction.”
The accusations against Franken come just days after the Senate unanimously adopted mandatory sexual harassment training for members and staffs amid a flood of stories about harassment, sexual misconduct and gender hostility from staffers, aides and even female elected officials.
Franken’s fellow Minnesota Democrat, Amy Klobuchar, condemned Franken’s behavior. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, facing a tough re-election next year, said, “Comedy is no excuse for inappropriate conduct, and I believe there should be an ethics investigation.”
Associated Press writers Kyle Potter and Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
Air Force Academy, Colo. • Tom Brady, fresh off his NFL-record 86th road win, is ready to take the New England Patriots to new heights, namely Mexico City's Azteca Stadium, where they'll face the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
"I'm excited for it. It's going to be a lot of fun," Brady said Friday. "I've never been to Mexico City. It's nice that it's there. When the schedule comes out you kind of figure out where you're playing. It's been the kind of game you look forward to and we're playing against a really good football team in a really cool environment.
"So, it'll be pretty memorable. I think everyone's excited. It's been a fun week to prepare."
To get ready for the 7,200 feet of elevation they'll be dealing with Sunday, the Patriots (7-2) stayed in Colorado for a week to acclimate to the high altitude .
The Patriots tied their own AFC record with their 12th consecutive road win in a 41-16 dismantling of the Denver Broncos last weekend.
Then, rather than flying home, coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots bused an hour south to the Air Force Academy. They trained at Falcon Field, the nation's second-highest college football stadium at 6,621 feet above sea level, in between trips to see U.S. Olympians train and watching paratroopers and falcon demonstrations.
"I'm just ready to go and play. I've been looking forward to this game a long time," wide receiver Danny Amendola said. "We're playing a great team. We've had a good week of preparation. There's a lot of football love in Mexico City and they're really enthusiastic. They're amped up, they're ready for the NFL to get down there and we're all excited, too. So, it's going to be a fun week."
Amendola said he appreciates the high-altitude training.
The defending Super Bowl champions stumbled to a 2-2 start but have successfully covered their warts to win five straight while outscoring their opponents by an average of 25-13. But Brady wouldn't say that he senses that vibe like in years past when the Patriots found their groove about this time and sped toward the playoffs.
"I think it's still a work in progress," Brady said. "I mean, you look at adding a player like Martellus (Bennett) last week. I mean, things are always changing and evolving and we're still trying to figure out what exactly we're doing well."
Once identified, those plays get extra attention so they can perfect them "and use them going forward to win the most important games," Bray said. "We have a lot of important games coming up, starting with this one."
The Patriots are in the midst of a stretch in which they'll play five of six games away from home. Upon their return from Mexico City, they'll host the Dolphins before trips to Buffalo, Miami and Pittsburgh.
The Patriots are hoping to capitalize on a week's worth of midseason bonding in Colorado.
"Naturally being on the road like this, there's less things to do," Brady said. "You know, my family's not here, my kids aren't here. There's nobody telling me what I did wrong in the house."
He quickly looked at the cameras and apologized to his wife, Gisele Bundchen.
"I didn't mean that, Gisele, so I take that back," Brady said with a laugh.
Although the focus was on preparing for the Raiders, Brady said he's enjoyed his time at the Air Force Academy.
"It's been great. We've had a lot of fun. It's been a great time and it couldn't be any better. It's a really beautiful place in a unique setting."
The Raiders chose to stay at sea level leading up to the game at Azteca Stadium, same as they did last year when they beat the Houston Texans 27-20 in front of a partisan crowd of more than 76,000.
"They were pretty into it last year, I remember watching it and I watched a little bit of it this week just to kind of get a feel for the atmosphere," Brady said. "They're cheering loud the whole game. And it seems like there's a lot of Raiders fans.
"I'm sure there will be a lot of Raiders fans. Hopefully, there will be a lot of Patriots fans, too. It'll be really cool."
As I write this, it is unclear what behavior we consider beneath the dignity of the Senate. Is there a standard? Does it depend on your side of the aisle? What is the essential variable? Is it whether you apologize? How grovellingly you apologize? Whether you double down? How incumbent you are? How loudly you chant “Fake news! Tax reform!” over the cries of your accusers? All of the above? None of the above?
If things keep going this way, I fear the Senate of the future will look something like this:
Unrepentant Groping Hand Protruding From a Big Stack of Bibles, R-Ala.
Black and White Picture of a Judge Sitting on a Porch, R-Ala.
Six Startled Elk Who Sometimes Demand Money for an Invisible Bridge, R-Alaska
Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
John McCain Delivering a Stirring Address to an Empty Chamber, Accompanied Everywhere by Sarah Palin’s Vengeful Ghost, R-Ariz.
Angry Lobster Brimming With Hatred of Minorities Who Has Taken Jeff Flake’s Seat and Cares Not for the Law, R-Ariz.
Praying Mantis, R-Ark.
Atheist Mantis, D-Ark.
Cool Lady Who Comes to Your High School to Talk About Drugs, D-Calif.
Big Envelope of Money from Private Prisons Under a Pink Knitted Hat, D-Calif.
Ham-Fisted Series of Apologies, D-Colo.
NPR Voice That Has Somehow Gotten Loose, D-Colo.
Human-Sized Lego, D-Conn.
Thread of Tweets, D-Conn.
A Sock, D-Del.
Guy Who Won’t Leave Because He Wants to Stay and Apologize Even Though a Woman Has Been Waiting for His Seat for Eight Years, D-Del.
Little Boy in A Sailor Suit Holding An Oversized Lollipop, R-Fla.
The Rock, D-Fla.
A Rock, R-Ga.
A Boulder, R-Ga.
Festive Boulder, D-Hawaii
Beautiful Cupcake With a Fondant Flower on It Left Outside Someone’s Door as an Apology and Then Devoured by a Raccoon, D-Hawaii
A Turnip, R-Idaho
Boot Stepping on the Human Face, Forever, R-Idaho
Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.
Wax Sculpture That Exactly Resembles Mike Pence but, I’m Told, Isn’t, R-Ind.
Elegant Gold Skeleton, D-Ind.
Elephant Slowly and Painfully Dying After Being Shot in the Wrong Place, R-Iowa
Man Who Shot It Clad in Ivory Cufflinks, R-Iowa
Series of Restraining Orders That Has Been Taught to Shout “Tax Reform” at Regular Intervals, R-Kan.
Unapologetic Arsonist, R-Kan.
Mitch McConnell, Powerless and Trapped in a Plastic Cell Where the New Members of His Delegation Taunt Him, R-Ky.
Rand Paul, Is He Okay? I Hope He Isn’t Seriously Hurt, R-Ky.
Person Who Refuses to Apologize for Anything Even Though He Is Obviously Holding a Severed Head, R-La.
Touchy-Feely Invisible Hand That Claims It Is Something to Do With the Economy, R-La.
Rock Lobster, R-Maine
Sexy but Problematic Ghost of Franklin Pierce, D-Maine
Pigeon That Had Something the Matter With Its Foot That I Saw Once in Union Station and Cannot Un-See, D-Md.
Swamp Thing, D-Md.
Series of Regulations Wrapped Up in a Coat, D-Mass.
Problematic Disney Heroine, D-Mass.
Six Birds Trapped in a Suit Jacket, D-Mich.
Fifteen Men on a Dead Man’s Chest, R-Mich.
Al Franken’s Old Suit Jacket Stuffed With Frantic Apologies Shambling from Committee to Committee for Decades Without Making Eye Contact, D-Minn.
Grumpy Newsman, R-Minn.
Quentin Compson, D-Miss.
Old Plantation House Full of Hideous Secrets and Unthinkable Lies, R-Miss.
Man Politely Vacating His Seat for a Woman but Not Just Yet, D-Mo.
The Word “No,” D-Mo.
Actual Pharmaceutical, R-Mont.
Contrite Reformed Satyr, D-Mont.
Preschool on Cursed Burial Ground, D-Neb.
Bright, Promising Young Man Who May Someday Make Something of Himself, R-Neb.
Slot Machine Spitting out Apologies to the Wrong People, D-Nev.
Lobbyist Who Fell Into a Swamp and Ate a Mysterious Squash and Now He Can See the Beginning and End of All Things and You Too Can Try the Squash but Be Warned That It Will Pronounce a Verdict on You and You Will Know for Once and All If You Are Good or Not, R-Nev.
Woman Who Is Bad Somehow, D-N.H.
Granola With Love in It That Was Not Licensed by the FDA, D-N.H.
Good Apology, R-N.J.
Bad Apology, R-N.J.
Alien Bursting out of a Human Stomach With a Hideous Shriek, R-N.M.
Demand That Someone Else Apologize, D-N.Y.
Crude Child’s Drawing of the Empire State Building, D-N.Y.
Human Typo, D-N.C.
Animatronic Confederate Statue, R-N.C.
A Big Fish That Looks Statesmanlike, R-N.D.
No Apology, R-N.D.
Invasive Exam That the State Senate Decided All Women Should Have, R-Ohio
Sexy Rosie the Riveter Costume, R-Okla.
Ghost Who Is Trying to Help, D-Okla.
Series Of Hedging Statements, D-Ore.
Large Adult Son, R-Ore.
Suspicious Man in a Trench Coat Who Keeps Bumping Into Russian Affiliates but It’s Definitely Fine, R-No One Can Say
Pokemon Go to the Polls, D-Pa.
Little Green Ghoul, R-Pa.
Murderous Gourd, D-R.I.
That Feeling You Get When You Step Into a Room and Something’s Been Moved, D-R.I.
Scorpion Asking for a Ride Across a River, R-S.C.
Mint Julep With a Cigarette Holder Resting on the Rim, D-S.C.
The Night King, R-S.D.
Many of Hand-Written Apology Notes Addressed to the Wrong Person, D-S.D.
Vile Cloud Periodically Haunted By Bob Corker’s Ghost, Full Of Good Advice, But Unable To Make Himself Understood, R-Tenn.
Wedding Cake With a Man and a Woman on Top of It, by God, R-Tenn.
Thing That Appears in Your Mirror If You Light a Candle and Speak Unholy Words, R-Tenn.
Rick Perry’s Glasses All by Themselves Making a Run for It, R-Texas
Lifelike Replica of Ted Cruz, R-Texas
What Remains of Mitt Romney’s Soul After That Dinner With Trump, R-Utah
Hive That Has Been Struck With a Stick From Which an Enraged Buzzing Can Be Heard, R-Utah
Granola Without Love in It, D-Vt.
Bernie Sanders’s Glasses and Hair, I-Vt.
Big Teddy Bear You Got at the Dentist’s Office, D-Va.
Animated Windsock With Strong Opinions About Corruption, D-Va.
Still Not Enough Women, D-Wash.
Controversial Coffeemaker, D-Wash.
Enormous Pile of Coal Formed Into a Crude Facsimile of a Man, R-W.Va.
Ghost Who Won’t Say Sorry, R-W.Va.
A Glass Tube That Contains a Thousand Voices Crying out in Terror, R-Wis.
Cheerful Cow With No Policy Experience, D-Wis.
Vegan Bear, R-Wyo.
Regular Bear, R-Wyo.
Here is what the presidency will look like:
New York • Major League Soccer's attendance is up and fan interest is booming, even if television broadcasts are far less popular and some young Americans would rather play in Europe.
MLS averaged 22,000 in attendance for the first time in its history this season, ranked among the top seven leagues in the world. The league is set to add a second Los Angeles franchise next year, announce two expansion cities next month and at some point finalize David Beckham's long-pending Miami club.
But viewers averaged under 300,000 for nationally televised regular-season matches, fewer than the average for a New York Yankees game on their regional sports network. Several top young Americans, such as Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, have chosen to forego the MLS to play in Germany and test their mettle in a more demanding environment.
And worst of all, the United States — whose roster was filled with MLS stars — failed to qualify for next year's World Cup, ending a streak of seven straight appearances in soccer's showcase.
"We need to use this failure as a wakeup call for everyone associated with the sport at all levels to ensure that we have the right processes and mechanisms and development programs and leadership and governance in place to learn from this missed opportunity to ensure that it never happens again," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said this week. "Part of the maturation of becoming a soccer nation is recognizing that qualifying for the World Cup is not a birthright. It's something you need to earn, and we are unfortunately in the company of some great soccer nations, like Italy and Holland and Ghana and Chile — Copa champions — that have also not qualified."
MLS playoffs resume next week after the international break with the first leg of Conference Championships. Columbus — whose owners are threatening to move to Austin, Texas, in 2019 — hosts Toronto, while Houston is home against Seattle.
"MLS and soccer in the United States have made great advances in many areas. But its promoters have found that the abundance of existing legacy sports leagues that have the highest quality of athletes on the planet creates a ceiling on professional soccer in the United States," said Marc Ganis, president of the consulting firm SportsCorp. "It has not, and perhaps never, will supplant any of the major legacy sports unless and until the quality of play and players increases significantly and the U.S. men's team in particular is more competitive and, in fact, wins some of the major international tournaments."
Momentum of playoff runs was interrupted because of World Cup qualifying, and the culmination of the league's season competes for attention with the NFL and college football among the wider American sports audience.
"Long-term demographic things like CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and stuff with the NFL says maybe there is a long slow decline around some of that, but when you're starting from where they're starting, that's going to take a generation," Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said. "We'll grow because most of the immigration to the U.S. is from soccer-playing countries and the country is going to grow."
Launched with 10 teams in 1996, two years after the U.S. hosted the World Cup, MLS expanded to 12 but cut back to 10 after the 2001 season. There has been steady growth since expansion started in 2004. Next year's total will be 23, already well over the norm for a first division, and the league is planning to settle at 28.
Infrastructure could not be more different than in the early days. The league has 14 soccer specific stadiums, two more renovated for the sport and one built with both the NFL and soccer in mind. Three more soccer stadiums are under construction.
Average attendance is up 60 percent from 13,756 in 2000, boosted this year by 48,200 for Atlanta in its opening season. MLS trails only the Germany's Bundesliga, England's Premier League, Spain's La Liga, Mexico's Liga MX, the Chinese Super League and Serie A, with Italy's first division ahead by only 22,177 to 22,106.
But that has not translated yet into big television ratings.
ESPN averaged 272,000 for 30 telecasts this regular season on ESPN and ESPN2, and Fox averaged 236,000 for 33 broadcasts on FS1 and Fox. In addition, Univision is averaging 250,000 viewers for its Spanish-language MLS telecasts.
But the Premier League attracts a larger audience, averaging 422,000 on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC, even though many matches are on weekend mornings.
"We're not the Premier League," Garber said, pointing out last year's MLS Cup drew 1.4 million viewers on Fox. "The fact that we're able to generate ratings growth across all of our partners here and in Canada, and dramatic growth in Canada, is a positive. So we actually, we and our partners, feel pretty darn good."
Player payroll has increased as MLS keeps adding what it calls Targeted Allocation Money. While several older American players have returned to MLS from Europe, many of the teens viewed as the future of the U.S. national team have gone abroad as they emerge from the MLS youth academies, which have been mandated by the league since 2007 and produced more than 250 players with first-team MLS contracts.
Pulisic, at 19 already the leading American star, left Hershey, Pennsylvania, to sign with Borussia Dortmund at age 16, able because of his grandfather's Croatian citizenship to play in Europe before he turned 18. McKennie left FC Dallas' academy when he turned 18, signed with Schalke and scored in his U.S. debut this week.
"I didn't want to become one of those guys that started in MLS and said, man, I wonder if I could have made it to Europe," McKennie said. "I wanted to spread my wings and see what I could do over here."
Forward Josh Sargent decided against Sporting Kansas City and is waiting until he turns 18 in February to sign with Werder Bremen.
"I think I've just always wanted since I was a little kid to play in Europe," he said.
Tyler Adams, who also made his U.S. debut this week, played his first MLS game with the New York Red Bulls last year at age 17 and became a regular this season. Garber says "Tyler Adams probably is playing more minutes today for the Red Bulls than he would if he was not in Major League Soccer."
Adams is happy but thinking ahead.
"Obviously a goal of mine is to play Champions League one day, and obviously the MLS is working its way to becoming one of the top leagues in the world," he said. "Maybe one day I find myself in Europe. You never know."
Sometimes big contracts only stall a career. Matt Miazga left the Red Bulls to sign with Chelsea in January 2016, saw little playing time and didn't get in games regularly until late that autumn during a loan to the Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem.
"If your only desire is to go to Europe, there are flights leaving every hour on the hour from JFK and LAX and everywhere in between," said retired American defender Alexi Lalas, now a Fox analyst. "But getting to a place in Europe where you are making good money, where you are playing consistently, where you are learning, where you are valued as a player and as an American player, where you are able to adapt and adjust and live in the other 22 1/2 hours that we often don't talk about, that's whole 'nother story, and there's not a lot of flights leaving that have that on the other end."
With the U.S. soccer community in turmoil following the World Cup failure, some have called for MLS to guarantee playing time for young Americans.
"Our coaches universally believed that that was not the best way to ensure we had the highest-possible product quality to be able to have competitive games and to drive the growth of our fan base," Garber said.
Provo • BYU players and coaches couldn’t believe what they were seeing from their hotel rooms in Fresno, Calif., back on Nov. 4. Mississippi State, which had pummeled BYU 35-10 four weeks ago, was getting all it wanted from one-win UMass.
Trailing 20-13 at halftime, the Bulldogs eventually prevailed 34-23 over the UMass team that BYU crushed 51-9 last year in Provo.
That’s why the 3-8 Cougars, who haven’t lost a home game in November since 2005, say they will be on high-alert Saturday when they host the 3-7 Minutemen for the second straight season at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and the final home game for BYU’s 18 seniors.
“UMass looked really good against Mississippi State,” said BYU senior linebacker Fred Warner. “They came out firing against those guys. Unfortunately, they couldn’t pull it off. But yeah, they looked good. We are going to have to bring our ‘A’ game this time around.”
The Minutemen are rolling, having won three of their last four after opening the season with six straight losses. They racked up nearly 500 yards of offense in a 44-31 win over Maine last week while BYU was rebounding from the 20-13 loss to Fresno State with a 31-21 win over UNLV.
“We were in Fresno, watching them play Mississippi State,” said BYU defensive lineman Kesni Tausinga. “I was surprised they were doing so well, but we watched the film and they are a good team. They’ve got some ballplayers. Their quarterback [Andrew Ford] is really good. Their O-line is not bad. It is going to be a big challenge for us. … This quarterback is really accurate. Their tight end has a lot of catches; he’s a stud. I think they look a little more put together, and are more disciplined.”
BYU coach Kalani Sitake said the Minutemen will be a lot more comfortable in high-elevation Provo this year, and will be smelling blood knowing the Cougars have struggled this season. UMass played in cold, miserable conditions last week at Boston’s Fenway Park and more of that kind of weather is expected Saturday.
Then there’s the revenge factor. UMass led 9-7 last year before BYU scored 44 unanswered points on a sunny afternoon at LES.
“It’s another revenge week,” UMass linebacker Bryton Barr told the Daily Hampshire Gazette, despite being in his first season at UMass. “We’re treating it that way.”
Senior defensive lineman Ali Ali-Musa, who was here last year, said the Minutemen have waited a year to get their revenge on their fellow independent.
“I hope they take us lightly,” he said. “We’re here to play. We’re here to win.”
BYU travels to Massachusetts for return games in late November in 2018 and 2019, possibly at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Freshman quarterback Joe Critchlow will make his second straight start for the Cougars, having passed for 160 yards and a touchdown last Friday against UNLV. But the Cougars will probably try to establish the run first with junior Squally Canada, who had a career-high 213 yards against the Rebels.
UMass is a respectable 63rd in total defense, but is 101st in rushing defense, allowing more than 195 yards per game on the ground.
“They are one of these teams where you watch them and they are slanting and blitzing and linebackers are hitting it from every angle,” said BYU offensive coordinator Ty Detmer. “Safeties blitz, and they give you a lot to look at. It might be where they blow it up in the back field, but if you crease it, you are into the secondary. … If you get through that crease, you have a chance for a big one.”
BYU’s defense will have its hands full with Ford, receiver Andy Isabella, running back Marquis Young and the rest of the UMass offense, defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki said.
“It is the most complex [offensive] scheme we have seen all year,” Tuiaki said.
UMass at BYU
At LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo
Kickoff • Saturday, 1 p.m. MST
TV • BYUtv
Radio • 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, Sirius XM 143
Records • BYU 3-8, UMass 3-7
Series • BYU leads, 1-0
Last meeting • BYU 51, UMass 9 (Nov. 19, 2016)
About the Minutemen • They have won three of their last four games and are coming off a 44-31 win over Maine at Boston’s Fenway Park. … Left-handed quarterback Andrew Ford threw for 355 yards against Maine after returning from a neck injury. He has thrown for 2,345 yards and 17 touchdowns, with three interceptions. … WR Andy Isabella has caught 51passes for 841 yards and eight TDs.
About the Cougars • They have won two of their last three games and are hosting UMass for the second straight year. … Freshman All-America candidate Matt Bushman has caught 45 passes for 453 yards and is No. 3 among tight ends in the country in total receptions and No. 8 in total yards. … 18 seniors will be honored before the game, most notably starters LB Fred Warner, OL Tejan Koroma, S Micah Hannemann, WR Jonah Trinnamann, OL Tuni Kanuch and OL Keyan Norman.
Oakland, Calif. • Klay Thompson danced unabashedly in China after winning another NBA championship, and it got shared all over social media. He smoked a stogie on the rooftop, letting loose to reveal another side of himself.
"I didn't plan for that video to go viral," Thompson said matter-of-factly. "I was just having fun. I've always been myself and having fun while doing it and learning to enjoy every day, because it goes by so fast."
Coming to that mindset, however, has been a process for the seventh-year Golden State guard, who acknowledges for so long he put extreme pressure on himself to be the best.
The quiet, more under-the-radar Warriors All-Star of the bunch, Thompson has provided a steadying hand early on for the reigning NBA champions who are favored to capture a third title in four years.
"I used to stress a lot more at the beginning of my career about my performance," Thompson recalled. "Now, it's not like I don't stress, but I play more carefree and I'm more able, if I play as hard as I can I'm satisfied with the results. ... I used to compare myself with all players and want to be the best so badly, but now it's all about winning and having fun and realizing basketball is more of a team sport than anything."
After a recent practice, Thompson dazzled right alongside a couple of visiting Harlem Globetrotters, spinning the ball on his finger, rolling it up and down his arms, off his knee and then a foot soccer-style before swishing a short jumper.
"I should've been a Globetrotter!" he yelled.
It's a new look for this hang-loose, beach-loving Splash Brother.
The approach is working for the Warriors.
"He still carries the threat. You have to honor him," Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. "He's great at making the right play. Their whole team is. I think he's trying to fit in with their whole buy-in that ball movement and passing is greater than any one man carrying the bulk of it."
Still, his numbers are stellar. Thompson has had a fast start this season, which previously hasn't been the case.
Thompson credits the familiarity with teammates and a comfort in coach Steve Kerr's offense.
"He's taken another step in his game. Just the experience that he's had in his career, every year he's gotten better and I think this year he's shown how at the end of the season he carried it over to the beginning of this year," backcourt mate Stephen Curry said. "Historically he hadn't started seasons well but this year he's locked in. He's obviously shooting the ball well and playing great defense, but I think the biggest thing is his playmaking in situations where he's drawing a crowd. He's making great decisions setting guys up and just playing under control for the most part this entire season."
Life off the court is great for Thompson, too, and that helps him be stress-free on it.
Look closely, and it's easy to see he has come out of his shell.
On a day off last week, he golfed a popular public course close to Oracle Arena. Thompson signed someone's toaster last spring, and it became a superstition.
In July, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at an Oakland Athletics game, then drove an IndyCar in September while serving as Grand Marshal of a series stop in Sonoma.
Thompson shares his training tricks on social media and posts photos with his bulldog, Rocco.
He recently donated $75,000 to relief efforts in the aftermath of the devastating Northern California wildfires, committing $1,000 per point for a three-game stretch during which he scored 69 points — but added to that total.
He is a spokesman for chocolate milk and an obscure — in the U.S. anyway — Chinese shoe company. He signed an $80 million, 10-year extension to wear the sneakers.
"Life's good," Thompson said. "I never thought I'd get paid millions of dollars to wear shoes and apparel. I'm very proud to be a part of Anta. ... It's so cool that I'm big in China. I never thought I'd be on billboards and posters in China."
Thompson has found a balance during the offseason to stay sharp, mixing up his workouts with outdoor activities he enjoys.
"It took years for me to figure out how to prepare the best I can for the season. I finally learned in my sixth year," he said. "You've got to stay in shape almost year-round because as you get older it's harder to get back into shape. It's easier to get out of shape than it is to get back into shape. I do other things besides basketball to stay in shape in the offseason. I think that just keeps my mind fresh."
He hopes to do a formal swim from Alcatraz, or even a triathlon. He swims in the ocean — "my favorite place in the world" — whenever he can. Freestyle is his strength, butterfly not so much. He plays hours of beach volleyball or just throws the football around and runs routes through the sand.
At work, he has been a model of consistency. Thompson is determined to be a better passer, creating for teammates whenever possible. He also usually guards the opponent's top perimeter scorer.
Thompson is off to his best shooting season ever, with career highs of 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 45.6 percent on 3-pointers.
"I think his playmaking has been the best it's been in his career," Kerr said. "He's really doing a good job of putting the ball on the floor and moving it on, drive and kick game, finding the centers in the pocket for little floaters. ... It's been his best passing season so far."
Thompson used to get teased for his lack of assists, and it remains a running joke.
"I got thick skin," Thompson quipped, "honestly I don't really care."
That carefree approach has taken time, and the Warriors are better for it.
Southern Utah, Weber State and Northern Arizona will all play for at least a piece of the Big Sky Conference football championship on Saturday.
The No. 9 Wildcats, No. 18 Thunderbirds and No. 23 Lumberjacks are all tied at the top of the Big Sky standings with 6-1 conference records entering the final weekend of the regular season.
Three for the title
Idaho State at Weber State
When • Saturday, 2 p.m.
Northern Arizona at Southern Utah
When • Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Southern Utah plays host Northern Arizona, while the Wildcats entertain Idaho State in Ogden. If the T-Birds and ‘Cats both win, they will share the BSC title. If Weber and NAU both win, they will be conference co-champs. If heavily-favored Weber loses to Idaho State, the winner of the SUU-NAU game will be the Big Sky champ.
Weber State (8-2) has its eyes set on not only the league title but a spot in the FCS Playoffs for the second straight season. The Thunderbirds (8-2) are one win away from winning their second conference title in the last three years, while NAU (7-3) is gunning for its first BSC championship since 2003.
Weber fell to SUU 32-16 in Ogden last month. The Wildcats do not play the Lumberjacks this season.
For more than 30 years, colleges and universities have leaned on an obscure tax rule that allows sports boosters to make tax-deductible contributions to their teams. Athletic fundraisers around the country say that's an advantage that generates millions in annual revenue — and one that's threatened by Republican tax legislation.
The issue revolves around donations that confer the right to buy top-tier football and basketball tickets. Modeled after seat licenses in pro sports, these "contributions" have historically been 80 percent tax deductible and have become one of the three main revenue streams in college sports. Ticket sales and money earned from media rights are the other two.
The bill approved by the House Thursday would remove the tax incentive tied to those donations. Congressional tax writers say other kinds of tax relief in the bill are more important. "If seat license revenue is important to state-based colleges and universities, then states themselves can provide this tax benefit rather than federal taxpayers," a House Ways and Means Committee spokesperson said in an email.
A plan being debated in the Senate includes a similar measure. If passed, the change would make effectively make those contributions more expensive, and colleges and universities fear that would have a chilling effect on giving.
Take LSU, for example. Between the athletic department and its foundation, the perennial power receives more than $60 million per year in donations tied to seat licenses. If that drops 20 percent as a result of the new tax code, senior associate athletic director Robert Munson says, "that is a number we cannot possibly absorb."
It could erase the roughly $10 million a year that the Tigers contribute to the academic part of the institution, he said, and could even make the department reliant once again on funding from the school's general coffers.
"On the surface it may look like, 'Oh, a bunch of rich people don't get a tax deduction,' but what it's really going to do is hurt athletes," Munson said.
The federal government expects to increase federal revenue by $200 million a year as a result of the change, according to estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation. It's not clear how much it will cost colleges and universities.
Jon Bakija, an economist at Williams College, calculated that the change could result in a 20 to 30 percent drop in giving. Mark Mazur, director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, suggests the change will be negligible. "Demand for those tickets are so high," Mazur said. "These aren't donations with no strings attached."
Even a small decline could hurt many schools. The University of Virginia receives roughly $20 million in annual athletic donations tied to seat priority, and it still needs millions in student fees to cover its costs. The department doesn't anticipate getting any more help.
"We have zero room for error," said Dirk Katstra, executive director of the Virginia Athletics Foundation. Like their peers around the country, UVa administrators are working with the university's governmental affairs team to lobby local senators and representatives.
The change would take effect in 2018 if passed, meaning schools would probably change the terms of their existing donor agreements so that the annual cost to the donors remains the same. Future contributions would be a bigger issue.
James Maurin, a retired Louisiana businessman who has given more than $1 million to LSU athletics over the years, says it won't change his giving — "I'm affluent enough, and I'm a big enough fan." But he said he expects the new tax plan could result in a 30 percent dip in donations overall.
"I fear that it will be devastating," said Maurin, who served as chairman of the school's Tiger Athletic Foundation from 2011-12.
Previous efforts to make these donations non-deductible have failed. When the Internal Revenue Service tried in 1986, LSU led a successful lobbying effort in opposition. In 1988, Congress voted to explicitly add colleges and donations tied to premium sports tickets to the tax code. That created the 80 percent deduction on the books today.
Schools reacted by creating seat licenses if they didn't have them already, an added benefit to donors that in turn led to greater fundraising. Universities with existing programs made them bigger. LSU has renovated its football stadium three times in the past 20 years to add premium seating, such as suites and skyboxes. Now more than 10,000 seats out of the 102,000 in the stadium require donations.
In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discussed cutting the provision should he win office.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has not hidden his feelings about the NBA's one-and-done rule, which has been in place since 2005 — before he assumed control of the league — and mandates that draft prospects be both 19 years old and one year removed from high school. He doesn't like it and wants to get rid of it, for multiple reasons. And on Thursday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Silver met with the NCAA's new Commission on College Basketball about possibly doing away with the rule.
The commission was established by the NCAA in the wake of the federal investigation into college basketball recruiting, which has led to the arrests of multiple assistant coaches, shoe company executives and financial advisers and led to the downfall of Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino. One of the commission's stated mandates is to discuss college basketball's relationship with the NBA, specifically how the one-and-done rule affects both parties. Much of the evidence suggests it doesn't help either.
For one, the fact that the best NCAA players will only be around for one year creates an atmosphere where coaches, desperate to win, are more willing to cast aside the NCAA's rule book while recruiting. Players also aren't being helped. Instead of learning the pro game in the NBA, they're forced to spend a year in college, often at schools that are serving as mere placeholders.
Silver addressed that latter topic last month on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" show, pointing out that the last two No. 1 picks in the NBA draft — LSU's Ben Simmons and Washington's Markelle Fultz — both played for teams that failed to reach the NCAA Tournament in their lone seasons with the programs. Being forced to spend a year didn't help anyone, not the players, the NCAA programs nor the NBA teams that drafted them.
"I don't think enough people are talking about that. That seems to be a sea change," Silver said. "It's become common knowledge that these so-called one-and-done players, maybe understandably, are almost entirely focused on where they are going to go in the draft lottery. Not to say they don't badly care about winning but … the stakes are so high in terms of the amount of money they can make over a long NBA career.
"From our standpoint, if the players in that one year of college aren't getting the kind of development we'd like to see them get coming into the NBA, aren't playing in the NCAA Tournament, aren't competing against top-notch competition, I think we have to take a step back and figure out whether we are better off taking those players at a younger age and working on their training and development full time," Silver continued.
The NBA players' association would need to approve any changes to the one-and-done rule because it falls under the league's collective bargaining agreement, and the union has long opposed it. But Wojnarowski adds that, in exchange for allowing players to enter the NBA straight out of high school, the league would ask the union to agree to a new rule that states any player who chooses college must wait two years to enter the NBA.
The NCAA has no say on the one-and-done rule. Wojnarowski says Silver's meeting with the commission was purely informational.
The Boston Celtics have attempted to pull off one of the most difficult balancing act in sports in recent seasons by trying to win in the present while setting themselves up for success for the next decade.
Thursday night, though, the focus on the future officially faded into the background. With a 92-88 victory over the Golden State Warriors in front of a raucous crowd inside Boston's TD Garden, the Celtics increased their stunning win streak to 14 games, and announced to the league that this year's team, as constituted, is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
That Boston finds itself in this position is stunning. When Gordon Hayward, the team's marquee free agent acquisition, suffered a gruesome dislocated ankle and fractured tibia six minutes into the Celtics' season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers, it seemed like the focus was going to shift back to the future for Boston. And with 21-year-old Jaylen Brown and 19-year-old Jayson Tatum in the team's starting lineup, plus the possibility of a top-five pick coming in one of the next two drafts, it was a future that still looked plenty bright.
But then, after the Celtics lost their opening two games, and trailed in the second half of their third, they started winning. And winning. And winning some more.
Suddenly, they found themselves riding the league's best defense to a 13-game winning streak before welcoming the defending champion Warriors for a nationally televised game Thursday night. Surely a game against the team with arguably the greatest collection of talent in league history would finally produce the end to the unlikeliest of streaks.
Only it didn't. At times in both the first and third quarters, it looked as though Golden State might run away with the game — particularly when the Warriors took a 17-point lead midway through the third quarter. But other than for brief portions of the game, it was the Celtics — and not the high-powered Warriors — who dictated the terms of engagement.
With officials allowing them to be physical with their more skilled opponents, the Celtics turned the game into a good old-fashioned street fight. That's why, despite shooting 32.9 percent overall and 21.9 percent from 3-point range, Boston was able to hang tough against a Golden State team that has the league's best offense by a significant margin.
"They were just tougher and smarter than we were tonight," Warriors Coach Steve Kerr told reporters in Boston.
Much of that success can be attributed to Brown, who played like a 10-year veteran in leading the Celtics in scoring (22 points) while playing ferocious defense. The fact he did so after the death of his best friend this week makes his performance all the more admirable.
But Brown wasn't alone. It takes a team effort to hold Stephen Curry to nine points, Klay Thompson to 13 and the Warriors to 40.2 percent shooting overall and 31.3 percent from 3-point range. Golden State never looked comfortable — aside from Kevin Durant, who had 24 points. But even Durant missed a potential game-tying basket in the final 15 seconds, and the Warriors spent the final few minutes of the fourth quarter rushing into one ill-advised shot after another.
The Warriors were rushing, though, because the Celtics were forcing them to. The intensity with which the Celtics played, and the physicality that went with it, had an impact on Golden State as the game wore on, and allowed Boston to put the ball in Kyrie Irving's hands down the stretch to carry the Celtics home.
And Irving did just that, scoring seven straight points in the final three minutes to keep this entirely unexpected win streak alive.
Boston now has a victory over the defending champs, a 14-game winning streak and the best record in the NBA — three pretty good reasons to believe Thursday's clash might have been a preview of the 2018 NBA Finals. When asked about it after the game, even Curry couldn't help but feed into the hype.
"It's very, very likely, right?" Curry said with a smirk, responding to a question on that very topic. "They're playing the best right now in the East and obviously they [have to] beat Cleveland, who's done it three years in a row … so we'll see.
"But I hear the weather is great here in June."
Even with Thursday's result in the books, that kind of conjecture remains premature. For as hard as Boston plays, and as good as its defense is, the offense - ranked 22nd in the NBA — remains a problem. So, too, will the continued loss of Hayward, as relying on such young players as Brown and Tatum — as great as they've been - in the postseason is always a harrowing experience.
And despite the ups-and-downs Cleveland has gone through so far this season, Curry was correct to mention that they still have to get past the Cavaliers, as LeBron James isn't going to cede his throne without a fight.
But the time for doubting the Celtics is over, as is the time for worrying about Boston's future. Thursday night, these young Celtics officially arrived, and they're here to stay.
Homestead, Fla. • She started in go-karts when she was 10, and was a national champion two years later. By the time Danica Patrick turned 16, she was on her own in Europe, pursuing a racing career.
Patrick was a fearless woman in a sport almost exclusively comprised of male drivers. She raced hard, sparred with her rivals off the track and rarely flinched while becoming one of the most recognizable athletes in the world.
Her tough-girl persona almost never cracked in public.
When it came time to announce her retirement, with her mother, father, sister, brother-in-law, boyfriend and support team watching from the back of a crowded room at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday afternoon, Patrick broke down in tears.
"I feel like this is where my life should be headed, and sometimes we just get kind of nudged there," she began. "Sometimes it's big nudges and sometimes it's little."
The 35-year-old Patrick paused several times to compose herself to announce that she will race only in the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 next year and then she will walk away from a sport where success was elusive even as she grew into a superstar with multiple labels, not the least of which was savvy businesswoman.
Patrick has known for at least a month that she will end her career next season at the Indianapolis 500, a decision that will bring her full circle and return her one last time to the storied track that made her famous. Discussing her decision a few hours before her announcement, Patrick was giddy with excitement and thrilled at the chance to take one more spin around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Patrick said it took her many months to come to the realization her career is all but over. Once she accepted it, she began putting together plans for "The Danica Double" over the last several weeks.
"Nothing that was being presented excited me, then about three weeks ago, I just blurted out, 'What about Indy? Let's end it with the Indy 500,'" she said. "This ignites something in me. But I am done after May. Everyone needs to put their mind there. My plan is to be at Indy, and then I'm done."
Patrick would not reveal who she will drive for in either race next year, but Chip Ganassi Racing is the likely ride at Indy. Ganassi has room to field additional cars — he's scaling down from four full-time cars to two next year — and would give Patrick a car capable of winning. Roger Penske and Michael Andretti both have full lineups announced for next year's Indy 500.
Patrick will not be driving in the Daytona 500 for Stewart-Haas Racing, team co-owner Tony Stewart told AP. Patrick moved from IndyCar to NASCAR after the 2011 season, and has been racing Cup cars for SHR since 2012. She is being replaced after Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Aric Almirola.
Patrick is the only woman to have led laps in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Patrick ran the Indy 500 from 2005 through 2011. Her highest finish was third in 2009, and she was the first woman to lead laps in the race when she paced the field for 19 trips around the Brickyard as a rookie.
Patrick was highly marketable early in her career even though wins were rare. She won the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013, but finished 24th in the standings the last two seasons. She won her only IndyCar race in 2008, in Japan.
Sponsorship trouble surfaced this year, too. When no strong opportunities for next season presented itself, Patrick decided to call it a career next Memorial Day weekend.
"I think it's awesome and it will make for a huge month of May that she's back there," said Stewart, who spent half of his career trying to win the Indy 500. "It would be really cool to see her face on the Borg-Warner Trophy, if she can pull that off."
Patrick had been adamant she would never return to IndyCar or the 500, but changed her mind as she realized her competitive options were dwindling.
"I know I always said I'd never go back to Indy, and I was always being honest," she said. "Well, things change. I know now you can never say never. I'd been going through this in my head and kept asking myself, 'How am I going to get the words out and say it's over?' And trust me, I lost my (stuff) a few times over that.
"But this seems right, and this seems good."
Patrick told AP she had only informed about 10 people of her decision prior to Friday's announcement. Everyone had been extremely happy with the path she's chosen. She said longtime boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. "has never been more excited about something about me in his life."
Stewart praised Patrick for her time at SHR, and said his team would never have expanded to four cars without her assistance. Kevin Harvick will try to win a second championship in four years for the organization on Sunday, and Stewart said Patrick has been a huge part of the team's success.
He was disappointed to learn she's ready to stop driving.
"I am happy that she is doing it on her terms, but I am sad because I feel like there are wins under her belt that she can still get," Stewart told AP. "I thought she'd go road racing or back to IndyCar or something along those lines, because I think that's where she can be successful."
Patrick's fame was launched in IndyCar, and her relationship with former sponsor GoDaddy made her one of the most recognizable female athletes anywhere, from Super Bowl commercials to race days in the green-and-black firesuit. She has a winery in California, a line of athletic wear and an exercise and fitness program. Patrick said she'll have more time to spend on those ventures after the Indy 500.
Her career crossroads was put in motion when GoDaddy left auto racing after 2015, then new sponsor Nature's Bakery was unable to fulfill its three-year commitment to SHR and Patrick. The team pieced together sponsorship all year, but the deal for Almirola next year made Patrick expendable.
"I didn't want to be pushed into anything, and everyone can relate, sometimes things just shift and change around you," she told AP. "Especially with me and the sponsor situation. I've never been there before. I've always had a sponsor. It forces you into thinking about things and nothing was lining up easily. If I don't feel like I can run better than where I am, then I don't want to do it. And, there have been times that I could not have been more miserable.
"That's not why I come, and I feel like it takes away from everything else I accomplished. I don't want to be remembered for the things that didn't go as well. I want to be remembered for the things that went well."
As the number of women accusing former Olympic gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar of sexual assault has continued to rise this year — surpassing 130, including at least five former Team USA members — victims, lawyers and members of Congress have directed outrage at USA Gymnastics, whose chief executive resigned in March.
While the Nassar case has captured public attention because of the renown of a few of his accusers, it is far from an isolated instance. The problem of sexual abuse in Olympic sports organizations extends well beyond the confines of one sport, or one executive.
More than 290 coaches and officials associated with America's Olympic sports organizations have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct since 1982, according to a Washington Post review of sport governing body banned lists, news clips, and court records in several states. The figure spans parts of 15 sports and amounts to an average of eight adults connected to an Olympic organization accused of sexual misconduct every year for more than 36 years.
The figure includes more than 175 officials convicted of sex crimes as well as those who never faced criminal charges and have denied claims, such as Andy Gabel, an Olympian and former U.S. Speedskating president banned from the sport in 2013 after two women alleged he forced himself on them; and Don Peters, the 1984 Olympic gymnastics coach banned after two women alleged he had sex with them when they were teenagers.
The Nassar case — in which USA Gymnastics officials waited five weeks after first hearing a complain to report Nassar to law enforcement in 2015, and then didn't inform Michigan State, where he continued to work with young athletes until August 2016 — is the latest in a series of well-publicized incidents in which Olympic sports organizations committed errors that left children at risk.
Why does this keep happening? Interviews with dozens of officials in Olympic sports and a review of thousands of pages of records produced in lawsuits filed by abuse victims highlight a culture in which limiting legal risk and preserving gold-medal chances have been given priority over safeguarding children.
Until this year, the U.S. Olympic Committee resisted calls for changes to a federal law that has, at times, inspired flawed responses by Olympic officials to suspicions of abuse. Top officials at other Olympic sports organization delayed reforms by balking at common child protection measures as costly and intrusive. And Olympic sports lawyers — victims' advocates blame one influential firm, in particular — have instilled a unusually strong fear of lawsuits that routinely arises when new child protection measures are proposed.
"We're hearing all about gymnastics, but the problems in gymnastics are equally as prevalent in every other sport," said Katherine Starr, a former Olympic swimmer and abuse victim who founded Safe4Athletes, a nonprofit that works to combat abuse. "I think people are starting to understand the complexity of this, and how this stays in the system. ... It stays in the system because of governance, because of the people in charge."
In the past three years, the USOC has improved safety policies significantly across Olympic sports organizations. Criminal background checks and abuse education programs — common in other youth-serving organizations since the 1990s — have been mandatory since 2014. This year, a new nonprofit agency, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, took over dealing with suspected abuse in Olympic sports.
USOC board chairman Larry Probst and chief executive Scott Blackmun declined interview requests for this story. In an interview, USOC board member Susanne Lyons praised Blackmun for changes he has pushed since taking over in 2010.
"I think we all feel, in hindsight, how could we have let this take so long? ... All up and down that food chain, there were failures in the system that I think everyone regrets," Lyons said. "The best we can do now is just go forward aggressively."
In a year marked by long-quiet allegations of harassment and assault against powerful men erupting into public view, the Nassar case has brought unprecedented attention to abuse in Olympic sports. In the last few weeks, Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman have both gone public with their allegations of abuse by Nassar.
In speaking out, these women have highlighted ingrained, cultural aspects of Olympic sports organizations that present challenges to the current reform effort.
"Most Olympic sports are set up in a way that is not great for protecting children. You have people at the higher levels who really, really want to win," said AnnMaria De Mars, a technology executive and mother of Olympic judo fighter and mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey. "And then you have lots of young women spending lots of time with older men."
• • •
The bureaucracy that oversees Olympic sports in the United States is, essentially, a pyramid.
At the top sits the USOC, headquartered in Colorado Springs with average annual revenue of about $230 million.
Underneath the USOC are 47 Olympic and Pan American national governing bodies - one for each sport, Olympic insiders call them "NGBs" — many also headquartered in Colorado Springs.
Many of these sport NGBs, as a fundraising mechanism, offer memberships that allow local coaches and clubs across the country the opportunity to use the prestige of an association with the Olympics to attract students. These coaches and clubs form the bottom of the Olympic sports pyramid, and they work with at least 11 million children.
Before last year, USA Gymnastics and its chief executive, Steve Penny, were considered by other Olympic executives to be leaders in the effort to combat abuse.
In August 2016, when an Indianapolis Star investigation revealed USA Gymnastics executives had dismissed allegations of abusive behavior against four coaches who went on to sexually assault children, the USOC defended USA Gymnastics as "one of our most active, supportive, and concerned partners" in abuse prevention.
Then a series of events raised concerns in Congress.
The next month, dozens of women started coming forward accusing Nassar of assault. In March, court documents released in a lawsuit in Georgia showed that Penny had never undergone formal training on abuse prevention, even though he personally handled all abuse complaints for USA Gymnastics.
The documents also included a letter, sent from a previous CEO of USA Gymnastics to top USOC leaders — including Blackmun — alerting them that some Olympic organizations were ignoring abuse prevention entirely in 1999, nearly 15 years before the USOC first required basic abuse safety measures.
Days later, the USOC board urged Penny to resign.
Lyons said she and her fellow board members did not think Penny had been aware of allegations against Nassar before the first known report in 2015, but that, "at the end of the day ... it happened on his watch.
"And that's why we had the very difficult conversation [with USA Gymnastics board members] to say we don't see how he or the organization can recover from the magnitude of the Nassar situation, we think there needs to be dramatic change."
The documents released in March included depositions from two former USA Gymnastics officials who testified that aspects of the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act — the federal law that governs Olympic sports organizations - inspired USA Gymnastics' policy that required a written allegation of abuse from a victim or victim's parent before the organization could respond.
"I personally would like to have been more aggressive, but it wasn't an option," said Kathy Kelly, a former vice president at the organization. "The Amateur Sports Act ... clearly states that we, the NGB, or any other NGB, cannot restrict anybody's ability to pursue participation in Olympics ... Our bylaws are set up to reflect, as we are instructed to, by the [U.S.] Olympic Committee."
The Ted Stevens Act has played a recurring role in mishandled Olympic abuse cases — including prior incidents at USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo — because portions of the law intended to protect athletes' rights to compete have impeded attempts by victims and advocates to quickly bar coaches suspected of abuse from working with children.
• • •
In March, Sen. Dianne Feinstein. D-Calif.. proposed legislation that would amend the Ted Stevens Act to make everyone who works under Olympic organizations mandatory reporters of suspected abuse and require stronger abuse prevention measures throughout these organizations. The bill passed this week, after incorporating changes recommended by the Senate Commerce Committee.
Starr, the former Olympic swimmer and victims advocate, said she and others have been suggesting changes to the Ted Stevens Act since 2011, after a similar abuse crisis at USA Swimming. Top USOC leaders, including Blackmun, have been reluctant to support legislation, she said.
"I've been pounding on the doors for the last six years on this," Starr said. "I'm glad that Dianne Feinstein is actually doing something and stepping up. I wish it had been done earlier."
In March, in an interview for another story, Blackmun said he did not oppose Feinstein's legislation, which had just been announced, but that there was nothing wrong with the Ted Stevens Act. Three weeks later, the USOC announced its support for the bill.
In a statement, the USOC said it had convened several working groups focused on abuse prevention since 2010, and none had suggested changes to the Ted Stevens Act.
"It was not a part of our strategy," USOC spokesman Mark Jones wrote.
• • •
The USOC's ability to influence has its limits. Among the sport NGBs, some have leaders less inclined to take direction from Colorado Springs.
In 2012, as word started to circulate the USOC was considering making background checks and education programs mandatory, officials in two sports pushed back.
In a December 2012 letter to Blackmun, U.S. Tennis Association official F. Skip Gilbert vehemently objected to the USOC's attempt to mandate abuse prevention policies, calling it "misguided at best" and saying it "equates to the same bullying and harassment charges that the USOC wants to mandate that we keep out of our sport."
Gilbert, who no longer works for the USTA, declined to comment. In a statement, the USTA said the organization had its own abuse prevention program in 2012.
"We felt that we would be able to best implement a program specific to tennis," spokesman Chris Widmaier said. "Over time, our position evolved."
In a 2012 email to Blackmun, USA Softball official Ron Radigonda expressed concerns about the expense of criminal background checks, which cost about $20 each. Mandatory background checks for all adults who work with children at local organizations could affect "competitive market share," wrote Radigonda, who lamented that USA Softball had recently lost business in one state because a local official there decided to require background checks for umpires.
"Is there really a need for a top-down one-size-fits-all USOC approach to these issues?" Radigonda wrote.
Radigonda did not return messages requesting comment. USA Softball declined to answer questions about its background check policies.
Within the sports more closely associated with the Olympics, any lack of vigilance is particularly dangerous, experts believe. In June, when former federal prosecutor Deborah Daniels released her review of USA Gymnastics' abuse prevention practices, she devoted an entire section to cultural factors that leave children at heightened risk of abuse in elite gymnastics.
Young athletes are often desperate for the attention and approval of coaches who - particularly in individual sports - have an unusual amount of control and power over athlete success. So-called "helicopter parenting" is discouraged; famed Olympic coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi prohibited parents from visiting the camp where the USA Gymnastics women's team trained.
Parents, many of whom are unfamiliar with the intricacies of an esoteric sport, often defer to coaches. And the hypercompetitive atmosphere which affects rival athletes, as well as their parents means the rare victims willing to come forward risk vilification.
"Everything about this environment, while understandable in the context of a highly competitive Olympic sport, tends to suppress reporting of inappropriate activity," Daniels wrote.
• • •
In 2013, USA Swimming commissioned its own report, after a series of abuse cases across the country, including the conviction that year of Rick Curl, a Washington, D.C., area swim coach, for his sexual relationship with an underage swimmer in the 1980s.
As Victor Vieth, a former sex crimes prosecutor, researched USA Swimming's abuse prevention policies, he noted with surprise that romantic relationships between athletes and coaches were condoned until 2013.
"There was a great reluctance for people to finally recognize that that was an abuse of power, just like a relationship between a teacher and a student," Vieth said in an interview.
Something else struck Vieth as he interviewed adults throughout elite swimming, from USA Swimming officials in Colorado Springs to local coaches and parents across the country: a reluctance to use the word "children."
"Constantly, it didn't matter who we were talking to. ... They always called them 'athletes,'" Vieth said. "We really wanted them to focus on, you've got 320,000 children in your organization, and you need to see them first as children before you see them as athletes. There really was the mentality of the possibility that this could be the next gold medal winner at the Olympics, and that mentality was not just among the coaches and the people running the groups, it was among the parents themselves."
As Vieth reviewed USA Swimming's files and interviewed victims, he came across several situations in which a victim came forward, and the other swimmers and parents rallied around the coach.
"They put blinders on ... because he could cut their kid's time by two seconds," Vieth said.
In 2010, as USA Swimming proposed a mandatory abuse education program for all coaches, John Leonard, executive director of the American Swimming Coaches Association — essentially, a coach union — argued against the measure, which ultimately was approved.
"Educate about what? Does anyone need education to know what a pedophile act is? The only education that needs to take place is parents having the courage to go to the police," Leonard wrote in an email to USA Swimming CEO Chuck Wielgus produced as evidence in a lawsuit.
In 2013, Leonard published an op-ed in the coach association's newsletter expressing outrage that USA Swimming leaders were considering making abuse prevention a core part of the organization's mission, a common measure for youth-serving agencies.
"The statement was made to me that 'Protecting athletes from sex abuse is a core function of USA Swimming,'" Leonard wrote. "That's UTTER NONSENSE. The core business of USA Swimming is BUILD, PROMOTE and ACHIEVE ... The core business of the FAMILY is to keep our children SAFE."
Leonard, still executive director of the coaches' association, did not respond to multiple interview requests.
• • •
While the 47 sport NGBs are diverse in many ways — USA Swimming annually brings in nearly $35 million and has 94 employees; USA Team Handball brings in about $500,000 and has four employees — many of them have one thing in common: their lawyers.
The Olympic sports legal market is dominated by a small number of attorneys and firms in Colorado Springs and Indianapolis, where most of the governing bodies are clustered. Victim advocates blame these lawyers and their emphasis on avoiding potential litigation that repeatedly arises during discussions of abuse prevention in Olympic sports.
In 2011, the USOC started discussing a sex abuse prevention handbook. Circulating education material is a basic safety measure experts have recommended since the 1990s; the Boy Scouts of America started doing it in 1986.
As Olympic officials discussed their handbook in 2011, however, several mentioned a common concern: that the handbook could get them sued by victims, who would use it as evidence Olympic officials knew abuse was a problem but weren't doing enough to stop it.
"While several NGBs expressed that the handbook sets the proper focus ... there is also a perception that publishing the handbook will increase their risk of legal liability," Malia Arrington, a USOC executive in charge of abuse prevention, wrote Blackmun in a December 2011 memo made public by the USOC this year in communication with the Senate.
Child protection experts expressed bewilderment that, in 2011, organizations working with children would debate the legal risks associated with abuse prevention material.
"Litigation happens all the time. Anybody can sue anyone for anything. That's a fact of life," said Stephen Forrester, an attorney and director at the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Lawyers also have stepped in when Olympic officials have tried to act swiftly to prevent coaches suspected of abuse from working with children. In 2014, a USA Taekwondo disciplinary panel recommended an immediate lifetime ban of Las Vegas coach Marc Gitelman, after three women came forward accusing Gitelman of abuse.
USA Taekwondo leaders ignored the recommendation, however, after the organization's lawyer — Stephen Hess, of Colorado Springs — raised the concern Gitelman might sue, in part, because the hearing panel didn't allow him to cross-examine his accusers, violating his due process rights under the Ted Stevens Act.
Hess declined to comment. USA Taekwondo banned Gitelman in 2015 after he was convicted of three sex crimes in California, in connection with the same allegations.
"I think that NGBs in general are plagued by weak governance by the boards, and that is a field day for lawyers," said Don Parker, a financial services executive in Oklahoma City who was part of the USA Taekwondo panel that tried to ban the coach. "The lawyers have too much sway ... and the legal risk opinion is too heavily weighted."
Nancy Hogshead-Makar — a three-time gold medal Olympic swimmer, civil rights attorney and advocate for stronger abuse prevention in Olympic sports — blames one firm in particular for this fear of legal risk: Bryan Cave, an international firm whose Colorado Springs office has made its attorneys the most influential legal minds in American Olympic sports.
At one time or another, Bryan Cave has represented 27 of the 47 Olympic NGBs, and also serves as outside counsel to the USOC. Blackmun, the USOC CEO, is a former partner at the firm. Bryan Cave partner Rich Young helped write the World Anti-Doping Code, the rules that police drug cheating in Olympic sports globally.
In an interview in the firm's Colorado Springs office last December, Young declined to answer questions about specific cases and said he and his colleagues have led the way in the effort to make Olympic sports organizations safer for children.
"Over the years, the lion's share of our time representing NGBs in this area has been prosecuting abusers ... and in drafting rules to help protect athletes," Young said.
Hogshead-Makar and other victim's advocates, however, remain critical of the firm, arguing Young and Bryan Cave defended USA Swimming policies and decisions that left children at risk — such as a confidential settlement with a former national team coach who admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old, and a confidential list of coaches banned for sexual misconduct — that didn't change until after critical news coverage in 2010.
Similar to USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming also had a long-running policy of requiring written complaints from victims or witnesses of abuse before they investigate. Because most victims never come forward, experts say, policies that dismiss suspicions as "hearsay" inherently allow predators to get away.
"The problem with the USOC, and USA Swimming, and a lot of these other NGBs is they get their legal advice from Bryan Cave," Hogshead-Makar said. "Their eye is all on legal liability, as opposed to what would make it safest for kids."
• • •
Praesidium, a Texas company that creates sex abuse prevention policies for youth-serving organizations, consulted with USA Gymnastics this year as it reformed its policies, and previously performed the same services for USA Swimming.
In a phone interview, Praesidum founder Richard Dangel declined to discuss his work with the lawyers for either Olympic organization, but said he believes a fear of lawsuits by youth-serving organizations, in general, is overblown.
"What we tell an organization is, if you always keep the needs of the kid first, you're going to be much better off in a lawsuit saying, we felt the kid was at risk," Dangel said. "My way is the right way, but it might not be the most comfortable way for some lawyers."
• • •
In March, after more than a year of delays, the U.S. Center for SafeSport opened in Denver. The nonprofit is supposed to operate as a rough equivalent of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which polices drug cheating in Olympic sports. The Center for SafeSport is tasked with disciplinary investigations of abuse and will also regularly evaluate safety policies at Olympic organizations.
The delays, the USOC has said, were caused by difficulties raising money, and it's unclear if the amount raised so far — about $25 million for the next five years — will be enough for the potential workload.
The Center for SafeSport has responsibilities similar to a college Title IX office, which investigates gender discrimination crimes on campus. As a comparison, the University of Maryland's Title IX office has a full-time staff of seven to cover a population of about 50,000 students and faculty who live mostly on campus or nearby. The Center for SafeSport has a full-time staff of nine and four contract investigators to cover a population of at least 13 million athletes, coaches and officials that is spread across the country.
The Center for SafeSport can act, however, only when it gets a report. The front lines of abuse prevention, USOC officials acknowledge, will remain the hundreds of thousands of local clubs and coaches affiliated with Olympic organizations, and the officials who oversee those sports communities.
In late March, Timothy Nguyen, a 25-year-old coach at Quicksilver, a USA Swimming-affiliated club in San Jose, quit after an underage swimmer told the club's head coach that Nguyen had sent her suggestive messages through social media. The head coach informed USA Swimming officials, but no one told law enforcement.
Two months later, on May 30, Elizabeth Hoendervoogt, a USA Swimming official and abuse prevention specialist, called San Jose police to report Nguyen and send over messages the coach had exchanged with three swimmers, all aged 14 to 16.
In one exchange, police allege, Nguyen asked a girl if she'd been sexually active yet, discussed the specifics of several sex acts, and then suggested they could be "friends with benefits." In another, police say, Nguyen asked a girl for nude photos. One girl told police she had improved as a swimmer under Nguyen, and she had been concerned he would stop coaching her if she didn't respond.
In late June, police arrested Nguyen. Then they learned Quicksilver's head coach and USA Swimming officials had known about some of Nguyen's behavior in March.
In California, coaches are mandatory reporters, and must inform authorities within 36 hours of learning of suspected sex crimes involving children.
In a phone interview, prosecutors said they considered charging Nguyen's former boss at the club with failing to report.
"We're glad [Hoendervoogt] reported. We wished that she had reported earlier," said Pinaki Chakravorty, a deputy district attorney in San Jose.
USA Swimming spokesman Matthew Farrell said it took two months for the Olympic sports organization to report Nguyen to police because it took time to collect the text messages. When asked if USA Swimming or the club should have handled the report differently, Farrell replied: "I'm not aware of any substantive changes that USA Swimming or the club would make."
Highway commuters crashed at about double the normal rate Friday due to mountain snow and valley rain that came down hard along the Wasatch Front.
From 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., there were 55 crashes, mostly along freeways along the Wasatch Front, said Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason. He said the number is about double the average for a typical weekday, but is “not as high as you’d expect in a major winter storm.”
During the first “major winter storm” of the year, Gleason said UDOT usually sees hundreds of fender bender-type crashes.
He advised commuters to “drive in the rain as they would in the snow.” Visibility is a major concern with any type of precipitation, Gleason said. He suggested drivers increase the distance between themselves and vehicles in front of them so if they needed to break, they could do so without hydroplaning.
Additionally, travelers should use headlights and drive slower than the posted speed limits, he said.
UDOT implemented chain restrictions for semis on Interstate 80 and on westbound routes through Parleys Canyon, Gleason said. It also required chains or four-wheel drive for all vehicles on State Route 224, near Park City, and in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.
I-80 was closed late Friday morning on the Wyoming side of the Utah-Wyoming border, along with US Highway 191, due to hazardous weather conditions. The Wyoming Department of Transportation noted that I-80 was closed in both directions between Exit 30 and Exit 39, near Evanston, Wyo., and US-191 near Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
The brunt of the precipitation arrived in the Salt Lake Valley about 7 a.m., according to UDOT, and would continue to spread south, hitting Beaver about 3 p.m.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for north central Utah on Friday. Areas with altitudes greater than 4,500 feet should expect snow accumulation of up to a foot, with more possible in the central Wasatch Mountains.
The Utah Avalanche Center warned of a “considerable“ risk of avalanche danger in mountains near Logan, a “moderate” risk in the Salt Lake and Provo areas and “low” risk near Ogden.
The precipitation was forecast to taper off Friday night, according to the NWS, and despite the anticipated slush, no snow accumulation is expected in the valleys.
In south central Utah, the NWS issued a wind advisory beginning at 9 a.m. near Glen Canyon Recreation Area and Lake Powell. Winds were anticipated to blow at 20 to 30 mph in the morning, increasing slightly in the afternoon with gusts near 50 mph.
The wind will bring the cold front through the state and is expected to peak in the afternoon.
Boaters at Lake Powell should take extra caution in the windy conditions, the NWS said, as well as motorists with high-profile and lightweight vehicles.
The entire state was under a hazardous weather outlook, anticipating wind and precipitation over the coming week.
Rocky Mountain Power reported about 300 customers were temporarily out of power Friday morning in Cottonwood Heights and Fruit Heights, due to wind blowing down power lines.
Temperatures in the Salt Lake and Tooele areas will top off in the upper 40s Friday, with winds blowing at 10 to 20 mph in the afternoon and evening. The chance of precipitation is 90 percent during the day, and as the mostly cloudy skies clear up in the evening, temperatures will drop into the mid-20s.
Over the weekend, Saturday is expected to be sunny with highs in the mid-40s. Overnight lows will hit the upper 20s, before temperatures climb back up to the upper 40s Sunday.
St. George is expected to reach 70 degrees Friday with partly sunny skies and a 20 percent chance of rain showers. The NWS predicts the area will also be breezy with 10- to 20-mph winds. Temperatures will drop into the lower 30s overnight as the wind continues to blow.
Saturday will be sunny with highs at about 60 degrees, and overnight temperatures again dropping into the lower 30s. Meteorologists expect Sunday to have similar conditions to Saturday, with sunny skies and highs at about 60.
Air quality levels are expected to be green, or good, across the whole state Friday and Saturday, according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
For more detailed weather information, visit The Salt Lake Tribune’s weather page at www.sltrib.com/weather.
Geneva • The International Olympic Committee will decide on Dec. 5 if Russia can compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
Russia faces being banned from the Feb. 9-25 games in South Korea as punishment for state-backed doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The IOC said on Friday that a "decision with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be taken" by its executive board on the opening day of a Dec. 5-6 meeting in its home city of Lausanne.
IOC President Thomas Bach is scheduled to announce the decision at a news conference starting at 7.30 p.m. local time (1830 GMT).
Bach has criticized sport officials who call for a total ban on Russia, which could be offered sanctions that would allow some athletes to compete if they also have met stricter standards of doping controls.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it would be "degrading" for its athletes to take part in the Winter Games as a neutral team and be denied their national flag and anthem.
That happened in August at the athletics world championships, where some Russian athletes won medals despite the Russian athletics body being suspended by the IAAF in fallout from the doping scandals.
The IOC board is awaiting reports from two commissions it created to verify evidence detailed by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren last year, weeks before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
One panel led by IOC board member Denis Oswald is prosecuting around 30 individual Russian athletes who are suspected of doping violations at Sochi. There, tainted samples were swapped with clean urine in the WADA-accredited testing laboratory.
Six cross-country skiers, including two medalists, have already been disqualified by Oswald's three-man panel and banned from the Olympics for life. They plan appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
A second IOC panel is studying whether Russian state agencies, including the sports ministry and FSB security service, were involved in the doping program. That commission is chaired by Samuel Schmid, a former president of Switzerland.
The case for Russia to stay in the Pyeongchang Olympics got tougher this week when WADA declined to re-accredit the reformed national anti-doping agency known as RUSADA.
Russian authorities refuse to acknowledge there was a state conspiracy to corrupt the Sochi Olympics — a key condition insisted on by WADA.
"It is clear that an unconditional recognition of the McLaren Report is impossible," Russian IOC member Alexander Zhukov told the WADA meeting on Thursday in Seoul, South Korea.
Russia blames individuals for the doping program, and wants whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov — the former director of the Moscow and Sochi labs — to be extradited from the United States. Rodchenkov is in a witness protection program after fleeing to the U.S. and alleging to American media last year how the Sochi doping system worked.
Call it the curse of mom.
Orem standout Puka Nacua laughed that it was his mother’s fault that he didn’t set a record for touchdown receptions in a season.
“Curse my mom,” he said. “No, I love my mom. But she cursed me with big feet — size 15. The back of that heel, he caught me with that one.”
Nacua was pulled down from behind, just 2 yards short of owning the state record on his own. Winning the state title was plenty of consolation for the Orem junior receiver.
“Winning this state championship was the most important thing to me,” he said.
Nacua, the younger brother of Utes receiver Samson Nacua, finished with four catches for 75 yards and a score in Orem’s 26-0 win over Mountain Crest in Friday’s Class 4A state title game. That touchdown tied Nacua with Brighton’s Simi Fehoko (2014) with 24 receiving touchdowns in a season. And Nacua’s 1,691 yards receiving this season rank second all-time behind Logan’s Richie Geertsen in 1989.
“I think he’s the best receiver in the state, for sure one of the best in the country,” Orem quarterback Cooper Legas said.
The record-tying score came in the fourth quarter when Legas fired to his right. Nacua’s little stutter step made Mountain Crest defender Joshua Powell miss, and Nacua raced into the end zone.
Orem again closed in on the goal line later in the fourth quarter, and Tigers coach Jeremy Hill knew where he wanted the ball to go. That’s when Nacua said his big feet got in the way.
“I told Lance [Reynolds], who is my OC, if this doesn’t work, it’s on me, but let’s really try to get him a record right here,” Hill said. “We had it down there the next time and probably could have got him, but he goes, ‘Coach, I’m good. It’s about the team, it’s not about me,’ which says a lot about him.”
Nacua was more than happy to spend the final minutes on the sideline as the Tigers ran out the clock. He hugged teammates while watching the action on the big screen in Rice-Eccles’ south end zone. Then as the final seconds ticked off, he gave a huge bear hug to Hill and screamed, “Yes. We did it, coach.”
When the Tigers players shook hands with Mountain Crest players, it was Nacua at the front of the line.
Nacua talked after the state quarterfinal win over Desert Hills about how his brother Samson was giving him a hard time about not playing at Rice-Eccles yet. Samson won a pair of state titles at Timpview, and Puka planned to call his older brother as soon as possible.
“I’m gonna get him next year,” Puka said. “I’m gonna tie him up next year. We’re coming for another one. I’ve got another year. But at least I got one now, so the argument’s not as big as it used to be.”November 17, 2017
UT Arlington at BYU
At the Marriott Center, Provo
Tipoff • Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
TV • BYUtv
Radio • 1160 AM, 102.7 FM, Sirius XM 143
Records • BYU 2-0, UTA 1-0
Series • Tied, 1-1
Last meeting • UTA 105, BYU 89 (March 15, 2017)
About the Mavericks • They defeated West Coast Conference member LMU 85-80 last Saturday in their first game behind a 28-point effort from Kevin Hervey. … Seven-footer Johnny Hamilton added 13 points and four rebounds and 5-10 point guard Erick Neal had 14 points and 11 assists. …Coach Scott Cross is 205-148 in his 12th season.
About the Cougars • They are coming off a 65-56 win over Princeton. Junior guard Elijah Bryant scored 27 points in the season-opening win over Mississippi Valley State and 22 at Princeton, his firstback-to-back20-plus games of his career. … TJ Haws has made a 3-pointerin18-straight games, the 10th-longest streak in school history. … They are holding opponents to 58.5 points and 37.6 percent shooting from the field.
Mountain Crest High School senior Beau Robinson waved his team off the field, urging them to pick up the pace.
Snow swirled around him as he almost bounced among his teammates. The Mustangs’ season, and some of their careers, ended with Orem lining up in victory formation in the state championship game. But Robinson wouldn’t settle for anything less than a sprint as the clock ran out.
“Ever since we were young kids, we’ve been taught to run off the field, never walk on the field,” he said. “No matter what happens, keep your head up. So I wanted everyone to get off the field as fast as they can, run over and shake the team’s hand that won. That’s what they deserve.”
Robinson put up team-leading numbers on both sides of the ball in Friday’s Class 4A title game at Rice-Eccles Stadium Friday, which Orem won 26-0. The halfback led the team in rushing yards (46) and pass receptions (3). He tied fellow linebacker Hunter Schroeder with a team-high three sacks.
“He’s a hard-working sucker,” Mountain Crest coach Jason Lee said. “He never quits, he gives you everything he has every play. That’s why we love him.”
As Robinson as he ran off the field at the end of the game, Lee intercepted him. He pulled Robinson in with seniors Nicholas Nethercott and Cameron Moser, and the four men wrapped their arms around each other.
“I just told them how much I love them, how much I appreciate those guys,” the second-year coach said. “They’ve worked their guts out for two years.”
And then it was over.
Huddled with his team off the southwest corner of the field, Robinson visibly shivered as he absorbed the loss. His bare arms were flushed with pink from the cold, and the wet tape around his wrists had begun to peel off. A hint of a smile crept onto this face.
“I’m surprised I’m not crying right now, to be honest,” he said. “We’re sad, we needed a win, but it’s a ballgame, and it’s going to happen. I’m so thankful that we’re here, that we got to play here, play against a good team, and the team that deserved to win won.”
Montgomery, Ala. • Standing on the white marble steps of Alabama’s Capitol, Kayla Moore surrounded herself with two dozen other women Friday to defend husband Roy Moore against accusations of sexual misconduct that are dividing Republicans, and women in particular.
“He will not step down. He will not stop fighting for the people of Alabama,” Kayla Moore said at a “Women for Moore” rally. Acting as her husband’s lead defender, she lashed out at the news media and thanked people who were sticking behind her husband. “To the people of Alabama, thank you for being smarter than they think you are,” Moore said.
Not everyone is sticking with Roy Moore, however, and certainly not all women.
“I was going to vote for him. I was going to be one of his voters. I just don’t know that I can vote for him anymore,” said Laura Payne, a Trump delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Since last week, Moore has been engulfed by accusations of sexual misconduct toward women in their teens when he was a deputy district attorney in her 30s. Several of his accusers have allowed their identities to be made public.
One said Moore tried to initiate a sexual encounter with her when she was 14. Another said Moore assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old waitress after he offered to drive her home. Five others said Moore pursued romantic relationships with them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.
“I have not found any reason not to believe them .... They risked a whole lot to come forward,” Payne said of the accusers.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she also has no reason to disbelieve the women but will vote for Moore anyway to help maintain GOP control of the Senate.
Moore has ignored mounting calls from Washington Republicans concerned that if he stays in the race against Democrat Doug Jones he may not only lose a seat they were sure to win but also may do significant damage to the party’s brand among women nationwide as they prepared for a difficult midterm election season.
The Alabama GOP, meanwhile, reaffirmed its support for Moore on Thursday.
Jones told reporters Thursday night in Birmingham it was “really unfortunate” that state GOP leaders had chosen to discount the allegations of women and stick with Moore.
“One of the problems in this state is that people continue to put a political party above what is in the best interest of the state and what’s in the best interest of the country,” he said.
The accusations sent a shockwave through the Senate race in Alabama, where Republicans typically have a lock on statewide election. Democrats already hoped to stand a chance against the polarizing jurist who was twice removed from chief justice duties because of defying court orders regarding the Ten Commandments and gay marriage.
A Fox News poll released Thursday, a week after the first accusations, showed Jones leading Moore by eight points. Support from women was helping to give Jones the edge with 68 percent for Jones compared to 32 percent for Moore.
One of them is longtime Republican Tracy James, who worked for former senator and current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Her cousin was a Republican governor. She won’t vote for Moore, a decision she made before the election.
“My hope is that the Moore debacle will not only be a wake-up call for evangelicals, but also for Republicans, who should stand back and say, ’Wow, look at the kind of person we almost elected to our ranks,” James said.
Kayla Moore says her husband is exactly the kind of person who needs to be in the Senate.
Decades ago, then known by her maiden name, Kayla Kisor, she was performing in a hometown dance recital when she first caught Roy Moore’s eye. As he wrote in his 2009 autobiography: Seeing her was something he never forgot.
“Years later,” Moore wrote, when she was 23 — she’s 14 years his junior— he finally met her. They wed in 1985.
Now, Kayla Moore is doing more than standing by her husband — she’s his most aggressive defender against allegations threatening his Republican bid for U.S. Senate.
When Moore makes a public appearance, Kayla Moore is there. When something pops up on social media that could help her husband’s cause, she shares it on Facebook. And she was the star at the Statehouse rally in Montgomery.
Speakers there said the allegations against Moore were out of character for the man they have known for years.
“I do not recognize the man these ladies are describing,” Ann Eubank, a fixture in Alabama Republican politics, said of the accusers.
Across the street from the rally, Rose Falvey, 25, held a “Moore is a pedophile,” a reference to the 14-year-old accuser.
Falvey, who runs an LGBT community center, said she was angered by the stories about Moore since he had fought to block gay marriage in the state.
“I think it’s really hypocritical and an embarrassment for the state of Alabama, and he’s dragging us backwards,” Falvey said.
Associated Press writers Steve Peoples and Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama, and Zeke Miller and Catherine Lucey in Washington contributed to this report.
New York • Since The New York Times published allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in October, multiple men in entertainment, media and politics in the U.S. and beyond have faced allegations ranging from sexual misconduct to rape. A look at some of the men accused:
Producer Harvey Weinstein
Accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment or assault. Fired by The Weinstein Co. and expelled from various professional guilds. Under investigation by police departments in New York, London, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex, but he has apologized for causing “a lot of pain” with “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past.”
Celebrity chef John Besh
Accused by 25 women of sexual harassment. He has stepped down from the company he founded.
Comedian Louis C.K.
Cinefamily executives Hadrian Belove and Shadie Elnashai
Accused of sexual misconduct. Movie theater shut down in the wake of allegations due to crippling debt.
Actor Richard Dreyfuss
One woman alleges sexual harassment. He denies the allegation.
Director-producer Gary Goddard
Accused by one man of sexually molesting him when the man was 12. He denies the allegation.
Casting employee Andy Henry
Admitted to urging women to take off their clothes during coaching sessions in 2008 while working on the “CSI” series. He was fired by his current employer.
Actor Dustin Hoffman
Accused by woman of sexual harassing when she was 17. He has apologized for his behavior.
Actor Robert Knepper
Accused by one woman of sexual assault. He denies the allegations.
Showrunner Andrew Kreisberg
Accused by 19 women of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching. The “Supergirl” and “Arrow” showrunner has been suspended by Warner Bros. Television Group. He told Variety he has made comments on women’s appearances and clothes “but they were not sexualized.”
Actor Jeremy Piven
Accused by three women of sexual misconduct. He denies all allegations.
Filmmaker Brett Ratner
Accused by at least six women of sexual harassment. Playboy shelved projects with Ratner and Ratner stepped away from Warner Bros. related activities. He denies the allegations.
Comedy festival organizer Gilbert Rozon
Accused by at least nine women of sexually harassing or sexually assaulting them. Rozon stepped down as president of Montreal’s renowned “Just for Laughs” festival and apologized “to all those I have offended during my life.”
Producer Chris Savino
Accused of harassing up to 12 women. Fired from Nickelodeon. He has apologized for his behavior.
Actor Steven Seagal
Accused by two women of rape. He denies the allegations.
Actor Tom Sizemore
Actor Kevin Spacey
Accused by at least 24 men of sexual misconduct or assault. London police reportedly investigating a sexual assault. Fired from “House of Cards” and replaced in Ridley Scott’s completed film “All the Money in the World.” Massachusetts prosecutors are investigating one allegation. His former publicist has said he is seeking unspecified treatment.
Actor Jeffrey Tambor
One woman alleges sexual misconduct. He denies the allegation.
Actor George Takei
One man alleges sexual assault. He denies the allegation.
Writer-director James Toback
Accused by hundreds of women of sexual harassment. Beverly Hills police investigating complaints. He has denied the allegations to the Los Angeles Times.
“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner
Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. He denies the allegation.
Actor Ed Westwick
Accused by two women of sexual assault. The BBC pulled an Agatha Christie adaptation from its television schedule and halted production on a second sitcom starring the former “Gossip Girl’ actor. Los Angeles police are investigating. He denies the allegations.
Media, publishing and business:
Billboard magazine executive Stephen Blackwell
Accused of sexual harassment by one woman. He has resigned from the magazine.
Penguin Random House art director Giuseppe Castellano
Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. Penguin Random House is investigating. Castellano has not commented.
New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish
Multiple sexual harassment allegations. He has resigned from the magazine.
Journalist Mark Halperin
Accused of harassing about 12 women while at ABC News. Book contract terminated. Fired from job at NBC News. He has denied some of the allegations.
Artforum publisher Knight Landesman
Accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and sued by one woman. He has resigned from the magazine.
NPR news chief Michael Oreskes
Accused of inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment by at least four women while at The New York Times, NPR and The Associated Press. He has been ousted from NPR.
Amazon executive Roy Price
Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. He resigned from Amazon.
Webster Public Relations CEO Kirt Webster
Accused of sexual assault by one woman. Firm renamed and Webster is “taking time away.”
Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner
Accused by one man of sexual harassment. He says he did not intend to make the accuser uncomfortable.
New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier
Accused of sexually harassing numerous women. Removed from the masthead of The Atlantic magazine. He has apologized for his behavior.
NBC News booker Matt Zimmerman
Accused of inappropriate conduct by multiple women at the network. He was fired from NBC.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)
Accused of forcibly kissing a woman while rehearsing for a 2006 USO tour; Franken also was photographed with his hands over her breasts as she slept. Franken has apologized, while maintaining that he remembered the rehearsal differently. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for an ethics investigation of Franken.
U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R.-Ala.)
Accused of sexually assaulting two women decades ago when they were teenagers; about a half-dozen other women have accused Moore of inappropriate conduct. The former state Supreme Court chief justice denies the allegations. He has rebuffed pressure from national Republican leaders to step aside; the state GOP is standing by him.
Former President George H.W. Bush
Accused of patting seven women below the waist while posing for photos with them in recent years, well after he left office. The 93-year-old Republican has issued repeated apologies through a spokesman “to anyone he has offended,” with the spokesman noting that the former president uses a wheelchair and that his arm sinks below people’s waists when they take photos with him.
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel
Accused of sexually inappropriate comments and behavior toward a number of women, Bittel resigned. Meanwhile, Democratic state Sen. Jeff Clemens resigned after a report that he had an extramarital affair with a lobbyist, and Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala is being investigated by the Senate over allegations of harassment and groping. Latvala has denied the allegations.
Kentucky House Speaker Jeff Hoover
Stepped down as speaker this month after news surfaced that the Republican had settled a sexual harassment claim from a GOP caucus staffer. Hoover denied the harassment allegation but said he sent consensual yet inappropriate text messages. He remains in the Legislature.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon
Accused of inappropriate advances on two women, the Conservative resigned. Sexual harassment and assault allegations have also emerged against a number of other U.K. political figures. Labour Party legislator Carl Sargeant is believed to have taken his own life after harassment allegations cost him his post as the Welsh government’s Cabinet secretary for communities and children. He had asked for an independent inquiry to clear his name.
International Olympic Committee member Alex Gilady
Accused by two women of rape and by two others of inappropriate conduct. Gilady denied the rape accusations, said he didn’t recall one of the other allegations, but acknowledged a claim he’d propositioned a woman during a job interview 25 years ago was “mainly correct.” He stepped down as president of an Israeli broadcasting company he founded. The IOC has said it is looking into the allegations.
Former South African soccer association president Danny Jordaan
Accused by former member of parliament Jennifer Ferguson of raping her in 1993. Jordaan denies the accusation.
“She was innocent.”
It’s the first words that Orlando Vijil used to describe his 12-year-old daughter, Kailey, who died more than two years ago after authorities believe her neighbor, a 16-year-old boy, strangled her after luring her from her West Valley City home under the guise of looking for a lost cat.
She loved animals, her father said Friday, and was a generous and giving little girl.
Wearing a white T-shirt printed with his young daughter’s photo, Vijil said he hopes for justice for his daughter, and that the boy accused of killing her will stand trial in adult court.
And after a juvenile judge Friday ruled that the accused boy is now competent for the case against him to proceed, Vijil is one step closer to getting what he and his family wants.
The teen is charged in juvenile court with aggravated murder and rape of a child in Kailey’s July 2015 death.
But the case has been at a virtual stand-still since he was charged in 2015, after defense attorneys raised concerns that he was confused and didn’t understand what was happening.
Third District Juvenile Court Judge James Michie ruled in December 2016 that the boy was not competent, but found it was possible he could be restored. Since then, the teenager has received education and services from the states’ Department of Human Services.
On Friday, after two days of closed-door hearings about the boy’s mental state, Michie changed his determination, finding that the boy is now competent for the case to move forward.
Michie on Friday read his ruling from the bench, saying the teen defendant suffers from “more than one” mental disorder or intellectual disability. But the judge ruled that the boy now has enough understanding of the court process and can aid in his own defense, and therefore is competent for trial.
“I’ve made an important decision,” Michie said, addressing the teen. “You understand enough about what’s going on to proceed with the next step.”
That next step will be a preliminary hearing, where prosecutors will present evidence and Michie will decide if there is enough evidence for the case to move forward. If the judge rules the case will proceed, he will then hear more evidence about the boy before deciding whether the case should remain in the juvenile system or whether he should go to trial in adult court.
If convicted of the crimes in the juvenile court, the teen faces a maximum penalty of a stay in a juvenile detention facility until the age of 21. If the case is moved to the adult court, he could face a maximum penalty of up to life in prison.
The boy will be back in court Dec. 5 for a scheduling hearing.
Vijil was found dead about 1:30 a.m. on July 17, 2015, in an overgrown horse pasture near 3600 South and 5200 West, about 1/2 mile from her family’s home.
Officers found Vijil “lying in the field with a shirt wrapped around her neck,” charges state. A medical examiner later determined the girl died from strangulation.
Court documents say a medical examiner also found the girl had been sexually assaulted and that DNA found on her body matched DNA samples from the defendant, who was 16 at the time of Vijil’s death.
The boy has been held in a juvenile detention facility since then. The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not identify juvenile defendants unless they have been certified to stand trial in adult court.
Blockbuster hit “Wonder Woman” came out earlier this year and in it we see a kick-butt female superhero who is talented, smart, brave, strong and caring, who owns her power and uses it for good.
Audiences loved it. By the end of September, “Wonder Woman” had pulled in gross worldwide sales of over $818 million. It was the top grossing film of the summer, the No. 1 film with a female director (Patty Jenkins), the No. 1 superhero origin film (domestic and worldwide) and the No. 1 DC Comics Extended Universe film.
We want to be like her, too. According to the National Retail Federation, Wonder Woman was the No. 1 children’s Halloween costume this year and No. 10 for adult costumes.
Basically, Wonder Woman rocks.
In Utah a networking organization named “Utah Wonder Women” was founded three years ago “for today’s accomplished women and tomorrow’s ambitious leaders.” Over that time, they have held regular networking events in private homes but, as their numbers grew, they decided to hold a larger event.
So, last week, Utah Wonder Women held their first summit. They welcomed women from all over the state who had the opportunity to listen to speakers like Rosie Rios, former U.S. Treasurer, Alexis McGill Johnson, executive director and co-founder of the Perception Institute working on issues of unconscious bias and Robin Hauser who is directing and producing a documentary on bias. The next day, they also held a summit for teen girls designed to promote and inspire them to leadership.
Whether they belong to a formal organization or not, Utah has many of its own Wonder Women. I’d like to talk about a few.
Former Utah House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart was a prime example of a Utah Wonder Woman. She worked hard, believed everyone should have a voice, even those whose voices were rarely heard in political circles and brought compassion and collaboration to the Speaker’s dais. While not aspiring to become a role model for women in or out of politics, she realized that she was one. She gave an interview shortly before her death and said, “There’s something to the visual, actually seeing a woman as Speaker. There’s something powerful to that because other young girls and women say, ‘I can do that now because I’ve actually seen one.’ ”
Neylan McBaine and Mandee Grant founded Better Days 2020, an organization devoted to celebrating the 150th anniversary of women voting in Utah and the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, allowing all women the right to vote in the United States. They are developing public school curricula, working on a downtown walking tour, a film, ways to honor Utah’s early suffragettes and even trading cards of Utah’s women’s rights leaders. Neylan and Mandee are two more of Utah’s Wonder Women, honoring earlier Wonder Women.
My friend Tammy has a son with Down Syndrome and has become a fierce advocate not only for him, but for all families who have children with disabilities.
My friend Christie is an inspiring author who write beautiful books that touch, lift and help other women to become better versions of themselves.
My friend Michelle, also an author and inspiring speaker, juggles family and multiple businesses but always has time to reach out and serve others, personally and professionally. She is also hilariously funny, won’t hesitate to tell you how she sprayed Mace in her own eyes and how those lessons can apply in your life too.
These women are Wonder Women!
In fact, the list of Wonder Women that I know could fill pages. Most will never be in the public eye, most will never serve on big corporate boards, but all of them exert powerful influence on the lives of people around them. There’s a popular slogan I’ve adopted as a mantra: Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
Holly Richardson, a columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune, is delighted to be raising a number of young Wonder Women.
Utah State University administrators plan to convene a tuition advisory panel for the first time in December after reporters with the school’s student newspaper discovered that the group formed two years ago has never held a meeting.
In 2015, university administrators entered into an agreement with USU’s student government to create a Differential Tuition Advisory Board. The board’s charter calls for annual meetings and outlines the membership of the advisory panel to include students, faculty, staff and administrators.
But through interviews with Associate Dean Dave Patel and public records request, Utah Statesman reporters Alison Berg and Carter Moore discovered the committee existed only on paper.
“The Statesman contacted all five faculty members Patel said were on the board,” Berg and Moore reported, “two stated via email they had never been involved with this board or differential tuition, while the other three did not respond.”
USU spokesman Tim Vitale confirmed to The Tribune that the advisory committee has never been impaneled.
“The advisory committee referenced in the Statesman report did not meet, and that is a failure for certain. No excuses,” Vitale said. “But, and importantly, that is not to say the associate dean was not in regular and ongoing conversations and meetings directly with the school’s students.”
Students at USU’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business pay differential tuition to support the college’s programs and staffing. Those payments are made on top of general tuition, and combine to roughly $8 million in supplemental funding for the business school.
The advisory board, according to its charter, is intended to review the use of differential tuition funding and submit recommendations to Dean Douglas Anderson.
Vitale said information regarding differential tuition is regularly posted to the business school website and shared with Huntsman students. He said university administrators are aware of the issues raised by The Statesman’s report, and are working to comply with the terms of the advisory board’s charter.
A breakdown of differential tuition uses for the 2017 fiscal year, provided by Vitale, show the majority of funds going toward salaries and other personnel costs, with additional spending on operating expenses.
“Student input is a critical part of the process, as is communication with students about how differential tuition is being spent,” Vitale said. “An Advisory Board meeting for this year has been scheduled for Dec. 4.”
In an email to The Tribune, Berg and Moore said they are happy Huntsman administrators have agreed to increase tuition transparency.
“We recognize the importance of college journalism and thank our advisers, editors and sources for helping us make our story impactful,” they wrote. “Reporting on this story took a lot of time and energy, and we are extremely glad to have seen it make an impact. It goes to show the importance of watchdog journalism, no matter how small.”
Editor’s note: Salt Lake Tribune owner and publisher Paul Huntsman is the son of Jon Huntsman Sr.
As a feminist and the author of a book on rape culture, I could reasonably be expected to lead the calls for Al Franken to step down, following allegations that he forced his tongue down a woman’s throat, accompanied by a photo of him grinning as he moves in to grope her breasts while she sleeps. It’s disgusting. He treated a sleeping woman as a comedy prop, no more human than the contents of Carrot Top’s trunk, and I firmly believe he should suffer social and professional consequences for it.
But I don’t believe resigning from his position is the only possible consequence, or the one that’s best for American women.
Cynics on both the right and left will presume I am passing by this particular steam tray on 2017′s smorgasbord of feminist outrage because Franken is a Democrat, and so am I. I was even his proud constituent for two years.
In the most superficial sense, this is true. But it’s meaningless to say it’s because I am a Democrat without asking why I am a Democrat. If you understand what it means to be a Democrat today — that is, why it makes sense to vote blue over red in this highly polarized political environment — you can understand why it might not make the most sense to demand Franken’s resignation.
I am a Democrat because I am a feminist who lives under a two-party system in which one party consistently votes against the interests of women while the other sometimes does not. I am not a true believer in the party itself, nor in any politician. I am a realist who recognizes that we get two viable choices, and Democrats are members of the only party positioned to pump the brakes on Republicans’ gleeful race toward Atwoodian dystopia.
I recognize that men’s harassment of and violence against women is a systemic issue, not a Democrat or Republican problem, a Hollywood problem, a sports problem, or a media problem. Its roots lie in a patriarchal culture that trains men to believe they are entitled to control women’s bodies — for sex, for sport, for childbearing, for comedy.
When you combine these things — an awareness that the Democratic Party is no more or less than best of two, and an understanding that men in power frequently exploit women — it becomes difficult to believe that Franken is the only sitting Democrat with a history of harassment, abuse or assault. The recent #metoo campaign demonstrated how normalized unwanted kissing and groping are in our culture. Donald Trump was caught on tape crudely admitting to both of those transgressions, and we made him our president. According to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, one in three women experiences some sort of contact sexual violence in her life.
Sexual harassment and assault are simply too widespread for Democrats to respond to Franken’s offense with only Franken in mind: We need to respond in a way that helps us develop a protocol for meaningful change.
It would feel good, momentarily, to see Franken resign and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, D, appoint a senator who has not, as far as we know, harmed women. And if I believed for one second that Franken is the only Senate Democrat who has done something like this, with or without photographic evidence, I would see that as the best appropriate option. But in the world we actually live in, I’m betting there will be more. And more after that. And they won’t all come from states with Democratic governors and a deep bench of progressive replacements. Some will, if ousted, have their successors chosen by Republicans.
In other words, if we set this precedent in the interest of demonstrating our party’s solidarity with harassed and abused women, we’re only going to drain the swamp of people who, however flawed, still regularly vote to protect women’s rights and freedoms. The legislative branch will remain chockablock with old, white Republican men who regard women chiefly as sex objects and unpaid housekeepers, and we’ll show them how staunchly Democrats oppose their misogynistic attitudes by handing them more power.
Isn’t that hypocritical? I hear you asking. Because Republicans won’t do the right thing, we shouldn’t, either? But if the short-term “right thing” leads to long-term political catastrophe for American women, I think we should reconsider our definition of the right thing. I am in no way suggesting that we decline to hold Franken accountable for his offenses, only that we think in terms of consequences that might actually improve women’s lives.
For example, if Franken genuinely wishes to be an ally to women, as he claimed in an expanded statement Thursday, here’s what I’d like to see him do. First, cooperate fully with an ethics investigation, as promised. Second, declare as soon as possible that he will not run again in 2020, so other Democratic candidates have plenty of time to prepare their campaigns. Third, go on a listening tour to learn what the women of Minnesota — Native American women, Somali women, Hmong women, Karen women, disabled women, queer women, working-class women — most want him to fight for in his remaining time, and go to the mat for their needs. Accept that some women will not want to talk to him at all, or will only want to yell at him for being a pig. Go anyway.
After all that, I would like to see him support a qualified progressive woman, who will carry on that important work, to run for his seat. (If she won, she would be the second woman ever elected to represent Minnesota in the Senate. Minnesota has been a state since 1858.) Whether he does so publicly or behind the scenes will depend on the sincerity of his atonement and Minnesotans’ perception of same. If they forgive him, he can stump for her. If they don’t, he can still offer fundraising expertise, connections and advice privately. He can leverage the many advantages of being an older, famous white man (which inevitably persist despite temporary ignominy) to elevate a progressive woman to the political height he once achieved.
Then, if another Democratic politician’s sexual misconduct is revealed, we can ask the same of him. Don’t just apologize and drop out of sight. Do penance. Live the values you campaigned on. Be a selfless champion for women’s rights.
There are, of course, limits to this formula. If a Democratic official is credibly accused of a violent assault, or if their alleged abuses relate to or involve their work in politics, we should demand their resignation and encourage a full investigation. As I write this, only one woman has alleged that Franken assaulted her; if her story emboldens others to tell theirs, and he is revealed to be a serial predator, then I wouldn’t want him in a position of power for one more minute. And if by some miracle, Republicans actually do start holding their own accountable for sexual misconduct — instead of arguing about whether a grown man who preys on teenagers is fit for office — then most of my argument dissolves. In that happy circumstance, I would gladly throw all the sexist jerks in the sea, regardless of party affiliation.
But in a sharply divided political climate where toxic masculinity knows no party, yet is only ever acknowledged by one, we must think about how to minimize harm to women. One more empty apology and resignation, one more head on a pike, will not make American women safer or better off. Powerful men lifting up women’s concerns and supporting progressive women candidates, however, could be a real step toward changing the culture that makes victims of so many of us.
Kate Harding is co-editor of “Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America,” co-host of the podcast Feminasty, and author of “Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture - And What We Can Do About It.”
The husband and wife sat on the hill overlooking the dirt parking lot, watching cars crunch up the unpaved road into Red Butte Canyon.
Authorities say they had already killed one man back in Colorado and were both wearing the dead man's clothes against the Utah chill. Now they wanted to get to Tennessee.
Austin and Kathleen Boutain decided they would kidnap someone, a random driver in the hills covered with fields of high grass cowlicked by the mountain wind just east of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, according to documents presented Thursday by the district attorney for Salt Lake County along with an indictment of the pair. The driver's credit cards and money would pay for food and fuel, the couple later admitted to police.
They planned to kill their victim in the Utah canyon or take him along and kill him in Tennessee — the couple had not figured that piece out yet, they told police.
So the Boutains eyed the cars, waiting for the right one. But as the afternoon beat on, Kathleen's patience frayed. Every time she pointed a vehicle out to her husband, Austin hesitated. Another vehicle would come up. Don't want witnesses, he'd say. Or it was too light out still. Excuses. He was taking too long to find a victim. Finally she told Austin he was a coward. The 24-year-old pulled out the .44-caliber Ruger handgun and pistol-whipped his wife for questioning his resolve to kill, the couple told police. Kathleen broke away and ran off down the dirt road out of the canyon. She passed a black car pulling up into the parking lot.
When his wife did not return, Austin walked down the hill to gravel lot. As he would later explain to police, he knocked on the car's window to see if the drivers knew which way Kathleen had gone. He knocked again when no one answered, his temper flaring. He started yelling as the car drove away, then wrenched the Ruger free, firing into the driver's side window until the gun clicked empty.
The shooting on Oct. 30 in Salt Lake City was the last act for the Boutains, a tattoo-splattered Bonnie and Clyde who sliced a drug-fueled, violent crash course through the western United States. Although the random killing made headlines across the nation, only this week have investigators released court documents offering the details of the drifter couple's violent run, including a murder attempt with a crossbow, an alleged actual murder with a knife, and bizarre plans for cross-country kidnap plot. Now both face murder charges in Utah and are likely to be indicted in Colorado as well. They have not yet entered a plea.
Little public information throws light on either of the Boutains' backgrounds. In his mug shot, Austin has large flowers and Gothic script scrawled across his neck, tattoos dripping from his eyes, and more undecipherable wording printed above his right eyebrow. Police records indicate he has previous felony convictions, including a charge in Alabama of failing to register as a sex offender and a conviction for theft of a motor vehicle. He was on probation at the time of the Utah and Colorado killings. The AP reported Austin was in prison until this spring, and that he skipped parole in Wisconsin.
Recent police records indicate that in late October the couple was living in a tent under a bridge in Golden, Colo. There they met Mitchell Ingle, a "friend to all" in the words of his family who enjoyed skiing and other outdoor activities. The 63-year-old lived in the Clear Creek RV Park, and Austin had previously sold Ingle marijuana, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
On Oct. 27, the Boutains visited Ingle with weed and a stolen bottle of cinnamon whiskey. The three drank and smoked, but Austin became enraged when the older man made sexual comments about Kathleen. When Ingle went to sleep, the couple decided to kill him, they told police.
Austin originally tried to shoot the sleeping Ingle with a crossbow bolt. The arrow missed, but woke Ingle. Unaware of what was going on, the older man went to the bathroom. Austin followed him inside the RV's bathroom, where he allegedly cut Ingle's throat with the knife, the Tribune reported.
The couple first thought about stealing Ingle's trailer, then thought better — it was too bloody. Instead, they ransacked the RV, taking money, prescription drugs, a .308 caliber Winchester rifle, a .44 caliber Ruger handgun, a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, ammo, three knives, blankets, clothes, and Ingle's green F350 Ford truck, police records say.
While Ingle's murdered body lay undiscovered in the trailer, the couple traveled in the stolen truck to Salt Lake City. On the road, they picked up another couple at a truck stop. In Salt Lake, the Boutains gave the truck away to the couple so that they would not have to dispose of it, police records indicate.
The Bountains set up a camp in Red Butte Canyon, eventually coming up with their plan to kidnap an unsuspecting driver for passage to Tennessee.
On Oct. 30, as Kathleen ran from her husband down the road leading into the canyon, ChenWei Guo, 23, pulled his car up into the park.
An international student from China, he was a computer science major at the nearby University of Utah, where Guo also worked as a peer adviser in the International Student and Scholar Services Office. Deeply committed to his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith, he had previously served a church mission in Provo. Xiaoying Ding was in the passenger seat of Guo's car when Austin started banging on the window in the gravel lot.
Guo attempted to pull the car away as bullets became crashing through the window, Ding would later tell police. Guo was hit in the neck, and the car slammed into a rock on the berm. Ding climbed into Guo's lap to get control of the car, but she didn't know how to drive. She called 911 at 8:38 p.m.
While she spoke with the operator, Austin stood outside the vehicle, listening to the woman's voice, deciding what to do. He paced the hillside, then, as he recounted to police, returned to the vehicle after a few moments. He had reloaded his gun and allegedly decided to kill the woman inside.
Austin wrenched open the driver's side door. He ordered Ding out of the car. His plan, he confessed later to police, was to walk her into the foothills and shoot her there. He told her to turn off her phone. She threw the cell down, but when Austin bent to pick it up, she bolted into the darkness down the road.
Austin quickly squeezed off a round at the fleeing woman. He missed. Austin wrapped both hands around the handgun, steadying his aim, but his second shot also skipped past Ding, he told police. By now, police had heard the gunfire in the canyon and were rushing to the scene. Austin ran back into the foothills.
The University of Utah campus was put on lockdown as hundreds of armed officers flooded into the area. Kathleen had actually gone to a campus building, where the staff called police. When they arrived, Austin's wife told police her husband "had already killed someone, was in possession of two guns, had pistol whipped her, and that he would kill someone for a vehicle," police records say. The manhunt spread to the rest of Salt Lake City. Police later determined that Austin crawled from the scene through the underbrush on his belly, eventually coming in from the foothills north of the city, the AP reported.
The next afternoon, he was spotted roaming the halls of the Salt Lake City Public Library downtown, four miles from the canyon. A librarian noticed Austin and security guards took him into custody in a third floor bathroom, the Tribune reported. The same day, acting on a tip from Salt Lake police, law enforcement in Colorado discovered Ingle's body in his trailer.
In interviews with police, both Boutains detailed the Ingle's murder as well as the events leading up to Guo's death.
On Thursday, Salt Lake County prosecutors charged Austin Boutain with 10 felonies, including aggravated murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and robbery. He faces the death penalty. Kathleen Boutain was charged with first-degree felony solicitation and second-degree theft. She could face life in prison if convicted.
Both remain in custody.
There’s a massive television production underway in Utah, and the state has a starring role as Montana in the upcoming series “Yellowstone,” which stars Oscar- and Emmy-winner Kevin Costner.
The series, which will premiere in mid-2018, is designed to make a big splash for the Paramount Network, which will replace current cable channel Spike in January. It’s a colossal, spare-no-expense production that’s pumping perhaps as much as $30 million into Utah’s economy.
“It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done,” said Paramount spokesman David Schwarz. “Easily. It’s one of the biggest things Viacom [television] has ever done.
“The goal is to make it look like a movie every week. When you sit down and watch ‘Yellowstone’ next summer, we want you to feel like you’re watching a big movie.”
Makeup supervisor Greg Moon, a Utahn with 35 years of experience in the business, agreed that the show “shoots like a feature. I’ve seen some of the editing, and, oh my gosh, it looks incredible.”
To date, “Yellowstone” has filmed on more than 20 locations in Utah, from Park City to the Salt Flats, from Ogden to Spanish Fork. Plus several locations in Montana.
“We’re excited to have it here,” said Utah Film Commission director Virginia Pearce. “And we’re excited to have Taylor back.”
That would be Taylor Sheridan, the Oscar-nominated writer (“Hell or High Water”) who wrote and directed the made-in-Utah film “Wind River.”
“He shot here last year and realized how many resources are here and how much he loved the locations and the production value,” Pearce said.
Sheridan is the creator, executive producer, writer and director of “Yellowstone,” a sweeping drama that’s being described as a cross between “Dallas” and “The Sopranos.” The story is set on the largest contiguous ranch in America, centered on its owner, John Dutton (Costner). They’re keeping details under wraps, but there will be fights with land developers and politicians, and interactions with an American Indian reservation and the national park next door.
The cast includes Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Dave Annable, Danny Huston, Gil Birmingham, Jefferson White, Gretchen Mol, Jill Hennessey, Patrick St. Esprit, Ian Bohen and Denim Richards.
How big is the production? “Yellowstone” is using all three soundstages at the Utah Film Studio in Park City — a total of 45,000 square feet. The building also houses offices, editing, a huge wardrobe department and construction shops. It’s a gorgeous facility that helped attract the production to Utah.
“When people come here, they just can’t believe there’s a Hollywood-quality film stage in Park City, let alone in Utah,” said Matthew Crandall, one of the owners.
Production began in August at the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Mont., which is standing in as the home of Costner’s character. And several of the rooms have been re-created on the Park City soundstages.
“The sets are super impressive,” Pearce said.
Those aren’t plastic logs tacked up to look like the inside of the Chief Joseph Lodge. Those are massive trees shipped in from Montana.
“That part was like putting together a puzzle,” said general foreman Christopher Rice.
These are not flimsy, cardboard sets. The rooms are solid, and they feel lived in, with family photos on the walls, stuff left lying around and, in the bunkhouse, cigarettes and peanuts and doughnuts amid the mess.
“I want to clean up in here,” publicity coordinator Perri Eppie said with a laugh.
On Thursday, the crew was hard at work positioning a helicopter — a real, full-sized helicopter that was dwarfed by the soundstage. The copter was lifted in and placed on top of huge pistons that will shake it about as Costner and actor/UVU student Mason Davis film scenes inside the craft — scenes that will be edited together with shots of one helicopter taken from cameras on another helicopter.
Davis, who had a small part in “Wind River,” plays the ranch helicopter pilot in “Yellowstone,” and he’s thrilled to be working with Costner. “He’s one of the four actors who inspired me to become an actor,” he said.
The Tennessee native said he enrolled at Utah Valley University because “they have a great film program.” In part. “It was honestly just to kill some time while I wasn’t acting. It’s beautiful here. It offers everything I want — except surfing.”
Most of the 160-member crew, several of the actors and all the extras are Utahns. On any given day, the number of extras ranges from a handful to 450. One episode features an American Indian event, and “instead of just hiring extras, we actually invited the Ute tribe,” Eppie said. “And they came and put on a whole pow-wow for us.”
Some crew members, like Rice, are Southern Californians who came to Utah to work on the show.
“I’m loving every bit of it,” he said. “And now I’m looking for a place up here.”
Right now, he’s in a hotel room paid for by the production. To date, Paramount estimates the money the production has spent in Utah includes:
• $12 million in goods and services.
• $7.2 million in labor.
• $1.2 million for hotel rooms.
• $740,000 for rental cars and trucks.
• $750,000 for per diem.
The best guess is that the production will spend about $30 million in Utah on Season 1 of “Yellowstone.” About 70 percent of the production is taking place here, both because of the vistas and because of the tax incentives.
Utah’s film incentive is a “post-performance tax rebate,” Pearce said. Once everything is totaled, that rebate can be up to 25 percent of the production costs.
Production on Season 1 is expected to be completed before Christmas. No premiere date has been announced, but early summer appears to be the best bet.
There seem to be more instances of bats entering homes, schools and businesses in Utah this year.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources offers the following tips if you happen to have a bat enter your home or business.
• Do not swat at a flying bat. Wait for it to land.
• If you are trying to pick up a bat, always wear thick gloves.
• Open an outside door or window. Then leave the room and allow the bat to leave on its own.
• If the bat lands within reach, cover it with a towel.
• If the bat is on a curtain or wall, place a small box or can over the bat. Then slide a piece of cardboard over the opening, trapping the bat inside the container.
• Take the bat outside and release it on a tree or other high object.
• Do not leave the bat in the container. It will have difficulty crawling out. If it is in a towel, loosen the towel so it can get free.
If you happen to get a bite from a bat, the DWR recommends getting medical treatment immediately. Wash the wound with soap and water. Contact your doctor and the local health department. If possible, try to capture the bat alive so it can be treated for rabies.
Two female inmates in the Duchesne County jail are facing sexual assault charges, accused of forcing fellow inmates to strip down and be searched for allegedly stolen sugar packets.
The two women, 29-year-old Zhondee Spring Nephi and 21-year-old Letha Ilene Beston, were charged this week with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. Nephi was also charged with assaulting a prisoner, a third-degree felony.
One of the alleged victims reported to jail officials on Oct. 29 that she and another inmate were forced into the shower and then were stripped of their clothes, according to charges. Beston forced them to strip, the inmate said, on behalf of Nephi, who believed the two alleged victims had stolen sugar packets from her commissary order.
One of the targeted inmates was forced into a second search after not showing her “women parts” well enough, an officer wrote in a probable cause statement filed in court.
And after the search, Nephi allegedly grabbed one woman by the neck and punched her in the face, charges state.
One of the inmates who was allegedly assaulted told authorities that the strip search was “cruelty,” and that she believed the other inmates made up the story of stolen sugar to belittle them and make them “feel smaller.”
Following the report, jail staff reviewed surveillance video, which confirmed the women’s story. The two assailants also admitted to the assault during a subsequent interview, according to charges.
Both Nephi and Beston had been in the jail for alleged crimes that occurred on tribal land, according to the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office. Nephi is accused in an Aug. 23 homicide, while Beston was arrested on a weapons charge.
Initial court dates have not yet been set.
The South Carolina Gamecocks waited months to receive an invitation to the White House. When it finally arrived earlier in November, the NCAA women's basketball champions gave this reply: thanks, but no thanks.
Gamecocks Coach Dawn Staley confirmed Thursday that her squad will not be joining other NCAA spring-season title teams in a ceremony Friday at the White House. South Carolina reportedly cited a scheduling conflict, the same reason the NCAA men's champion North Carolina Tar Heels offered in September, when they turned down an invitation to be honored by President Donald Trump.
The difference is that the Tar Heels were invited to be the only team feted that day, much as football's Clemson Tigers were earlier in the year, as well as major professional sports champions. The NCAA women's champions had received their own invitations to the White House every year since 1983 (per Yahoo Sports), but Staley said last month that she was "over" waiting for one to be extended to her Gamecocks.
"Here's my take, and I'm not going to discuss the White House anymore. As far as I'm concerned, I'm over the White House thing," Staley said at the time. "The only invitation I would like is an invitation to get into the NCAA tournament in March. That's the only invite that I'm looking forward to."
Staley echoed that language Thursday, saying in a statement, "We did hear from the White House about attending [Friday's event], but we will not be able to attend. As I've been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament."
Some members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots cited an antipathy to Trump's policies in declining to accompany the team on a White House visit this year. In September, the president tweeted that he was rescinding an invitation for the NBA champion Warriors, after Golden State's Steph Curry told reporters that he and his teammates weren't interested, saying that "by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to."
By contrast, after South Carolina's triumph in April, Staley had said, "It's what national champions do. We'll go to the White House."
However, the No. 2-ranked Gamecocks won't be going. Instead, they'll focus on repeating their feat by becoming the 2018 NCAA champions, a task for which they may now be armed with a little more motivation.
They’d put in the work to go anywhere they wanted, thrust on the radar of dozens of Division I coaches before they even could drive.
That’s football in the greater Miami area. From your first snap in Pop Warner, performance is requirement.
“It’s way deep in Miami,” Utah running back Zack Moss said. “Coming from where we’re from, that’s the only way out. That, basketball, track or something like that. If you’re not doing any of those three, you’re probably somewhere on the corner or something like that. So we never had pressure here to be really good.”
Hallandale trio leading the way
QB Tyler Huntley, sophomore • 1,953 yards passing, 13 touchdowns, nine interceptions, 64.9 percent completion percentage; 432 yards rushing, three touchdowns
RB Zack Moss, sophomore • 772 yards, 151 carries, seven touchdowns, 5.1 yards per carry
WR Demari Simpkins, sophomore • 285 yards, 23 receptions, one touchdown, 12.1 yards per reception
Yet here they are in Salt Lake City.
To understand why they took the risk and wanted to buck a trend, why they each chose to move 2,500 miles away from the neighborhoods and football fields that created them, the answer lies in the results.
It’s been two years since Moss, Tyler Huntley and Demari Simpkins spurned offers from high-profile programs close to home in South Florida, packed up and relocated to Utah.
“We knew who we were coming here,” said Moss, now Utah’s starting running back. “We knew our time was going to come. We knew we’d play early here and make an impact in the Pac-12, make an impact for this team and help this team win games and set it up for the future.”
The Florida sophomores are both the now and what’s ahead for the Utah offense.
The former high school teammates each assumed starting roles on the offense out of fall camp. Huntley, the dual-threat quarterback; Moss, the every-down running back; and Simpkins, the speedy, shifty wide receiver. Simpkins, a former high school quarterback, converted to receiver to play alongside Huntley and Moss at Hallandale High — about 30 minutes north of Miami — in their final year at the prep level.
Looking back, he is not the least bit stunned to see the trio has established itself.
“Where we’re from, we’re built on competition,” Simpkins said. “So it’s a matter of time where we’re going to be able to produce.”
South Florida is one of the notable hotbeds churning out the nation’s top football talent. So from the time they were in little league, they regularly were lining up across from future college football players. Huntley, Simpkins and Moss met each other at a young age through the youth football circuits and eventually played on traveling 7-on-7 club teams.
“Down here in South Florida, it’s always competition,” said Tyler Huntley’s mother, Regina. “Every week, every day. It’s a lot of competition. Them feeling the pressure here, it was a lot on them. It’s so much talent they had to compete against.”
That competition instilled the need to succeed before they were even teenagers. The environment, the trio says, shaped them, prepared them for the rigors of college football. This, their time at Utah as starters on a Pac-12 team, is the payoff.
“We don’t feel no pressure,” Simpkins said. “Like I said, we’re built for this. We’ve been in more worse situations back home than just football. There’s more to life than just football.”
Moss recalls the need to rise to the occasion on the field as a Pop Warner running back. Simpkins, too.
“Our goal was just to get away,” he said. “We’d seen it was a good opportunity [at Utah], and just took it.”
They don’t take it for granted. They just want their trajectory to continue.
And every once in a while, it hits them — the realization that the moments the three envisioned when being recruited by former Utah assistant and Miami coaching legend Dennis Erickson are reality.
“There’s been a couple times where we’re sitting next to each other at lunch or something and we’re talking like, ‘Yeah man, we’re on this level. We’re doing it,’” Huntley said. “We’ve just got to keep doing it. We’ve gotta find what we need to do better.”
It was Erickson who first saw Huntley and knew he had to offer the quarterback. Simpkins and Moss eventually followed suit. Moss, once committed to Miami, shifted gears and chose Utah with his teammates. In an interview with The Miami Herald two years ago, national recruiting analyst Ryan Barstow said, “Dennis, when he comes down here, he gets what he’s looking for.”
“A lot of people came in [after them],” Erickson said recently,” but they didn’t change their mind.”
“A lot of good football left with those guys in our program,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said, “and we hope to continue that pipeline [in Florida].”
While they are relishing their young careers in Utah, they do miss home. Home-cooked meals are one of the highlights when Huntley’s parents visit or Simpkins’ mother arrives in town.
The trio is comfortable, though, established so far away from the fields that first showcased their abilities so many years ago. For Moss, his piece of home arrives around 1 a.m. after every game when he fields a phone call from his oldest brother, who gives his scouting report on what went well in the game and what must improve.
Then he hands the phone off to Moss’ father, who does the same.
“It’s cool,” Moss said.
His parents haven’t been able to make a trip out to Utah yet to watch him play in person. Moss is hoping for some time in 2018 that not just his parents but also his siblings and grandparents can soak in the atmosphere of Rice-Eccles Stadium with No. 2 in the backfield.
“Like I’ve said, coming from where I’m from,” Moss said, “it’s just too far right now.”
At the conclusion of practice this week, the trio huddled up under the lights, bundled up to combat the brisk late-fall conditions. Underneath his pads and practice jersey, Moss wore a dark gray Hallandale hoodie. Down the left arm, it said “Chargers.” Home is never too far away.
UTAH AT NO. 16 WASHINGTON
At Husky Stadium, Seattle
Kickoff • 8:30 p.m. MT Saturday
TV • ESPN
Radio •700 AM
Records • Utah 5-5, 2-5 Pac-12; Washington 8-2, 5-2
Series history • Washington leads, 9-1
About the Utes • Utah is 0-3 against the Pac-12 North in 2017, losing to Stanford, Oregon and Washington State. … The Utes have at least six injured players who are expected to be game-time decisions, according to Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. … Utah’s last trip to Seattle was its first and only win so far against the Huskies, a 34-23 win in November 2015. … Utah committed seven turnovers in the loss to Washington State at home last week. … Utah senior team captain Troy Williams is a former Husky, playing two seasons in Seattle.
About the Huskies • Washington running back Myles Gaskin is only the third running back in program history to rush for three straight 1,000-yard seasons. The junior has 1,038 yards and 15 total touchdowns in 10 games this season. … After throwing for 43 touchdowns a year ago, quarterback Jake Browning has 16 for the Huskies this year. … Washington is coming off a loss at Stanford last Friday, its second Pac-12 loss of the season. … Star linebacker Azeem Victor has been suspended indefinitely after his arrest Sunday on suspicion of DUI, according to coach Chris Petersen.
Erin Hamlin is looking forward to normalcy. She is getting married next summer in her hometown. She is thinking about career moves. She is trying to figure out the rest of her life.
It is probably her last luge season. It is definitely her last Olympic season.
As such, it would be easy to fall into the trap of saying that winning a gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games in February would be the only thing that makes this season a success. It's important, sure, but Hamlin is entering her 13th year of World Cup racing with a much broader view and insisting that she's going to enjoy whatever time she has left on her sled.
"I'm not going to hyperfocus myself on one result or bust," Hamlin said. "Very likely, it's going to be my last time in a lot of places, sliding on a lot of tracks. So I think more so, it's going to be a lot of soaking it all in."
That process starts Saturday, when the World Cup season opens in Igls, Austria. Hamlin, who turns 31 on Sunday, is coming off the finest year of her career — she won a gold medal and two silvers at the world championships for the biggest haul ever by an American luge athlete, got two World Cup wins and finished fourth in the overall world rankings.
She might be going out, and there's a chance she can go out on top.
"We're working hard to convince her to stay," her longtime USA Luge teammate Emily Sweeney said.
Sweeney knows that's probably futile. Sliders always tend to cycle out after an Olympics, no matter if it's bobsled, skeleton or luge, and the Americans will see plenty of veterans take their last rides this winter. A few U.S. sliders have already retired this fall, in part because they weren't going to have a shot at an Olympic berth.
For her part, Hamlin hasn't officially said this is the end.
"There's never really as concrete of a plan as you hope there would be, because you never know what can happen," Hamlin said. "But at the moment, what I'm excited to do is see what other opportunities are there and what other adventures await."
Hamlin has been in the world's top 10 in each of the past 11 seasons — the second-longest current streak of any woman in luge, one year behind German legend Tatjana Huefner. She's won a World Cup in each of the past three years, took the world title in sprint last winter and became the first American to medal in a singles race at the Olympics with a bronze at Sochi in 2014.
There was a lesson to be learned that season: Not expecting much can work wonders. That's one of the reasons why Pyeongchang isn't taking up all the bandwidth in her brain right now.
"That's the nature of winter sports in a Winter Olympic year, there being so much focus on the games," Hamlin said. "How I went into the last Olympics taught me a lot. I had no expectation of walking away from the last Olympics with a medal. At this point, goal No. 1 is to make the team and beyond that, I know if I slide as I'm capable of I can be pretty fast and I can do well."
The schedule this season is hectic. This weekend's stop in Austria starts a run of five races in five weekends, with the next two in Germany followed by another in Calgary, Alberta, and then on USA Luge's home ice in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Dec. 15-16. When that Lake Placid World Cup is over, the Americans will announce their Olympic team for Pyeongchang.
So when Hamlin needs an escape from all that, the wedding is there to bring her back to reality. It will be at her parents' home in July. It will, without question, be the social event of the season in Remsen, N.Y., where the one-time high school soccer player has annually left her tiny hometown brimming with pride.
"Pretty exciting," Hamlin said. "It's definitely adding a whole new aspect to an Olympic year, planning a wedding, but it's cool. It gives me a good distraction when I need to think about something other than sliding."
Late Thursday night, just before the Finance Committee passed the Senate’s version of the tax bill slashing taxes on corporations and the rich, a remarkable moment unfolded that perfectly captured the GOP’s whole handling of the tax debate — in all its dishonesty, misdirection and bottomless bad faith.
Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, engaged in extended sparring with committee chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, over who would benefit from the Senate bill, with Brown insisting that it fundamentally represents a tax cut for the rich, and not the middle class. This drew an enraged response from Hatch, even though Brown’s argument was 100 percent correct.
Brown’s reference to an amendment offered by Senator Ron Wyden. D-Ore., at the beginning of his exchange with Hatch is crucial to what transpired. That amendment would undo the tax cuts on corporations if wages don’t grow. The Senate bill would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent — permanently — and one of President Donald Trump’s and the GOP’s chief stated rationales is that it will unleash massive wage growth. The amendment called the GOP’s bluff for messaging purposes.
And it worked. Indeed, Brown’s questioning of this Republican argument is exactly what ticked Hatch off. Brown claimed that “this tax cut for really is not for the middle class, it’s for the rich,” and that the GOP argument about tax cuts on corporations leading to “higher wages” is just a “good selling point.” Brown pointed out: “Companies don’t just give away higher wages just because they have more money. Corporations are sitting on a lot of money. They’re sitting on a lot of profits now. I don’t see wages going up. Just spare us the bank shots.”
All this made Hatch angry. “I come from the poor people,” Hatch said. “And I’ve been here working my whole stinkin’ career for people who don’t have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying that I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break. You guys overplay that all the time, and it gets old. And frankly, you outta quit it.” When Brown pushed back by suggesting that previous tax cuts for the rich haven’t produced the results Republicans are once again predicting, Hatch silenced him.
Now, Hatch was probably angered by the questioning of his motive — the idea that Republicans are disingenuously packaging a tax cut for the wealthy and corporations as a tax cut for the middle class. But, whatever is in Hatch’s heart, this is exactly what the Senate bill does. It frontloads the benefits for non-wealthy people by making its various tax preferences and its cuts to individual income tax rates temporary and subject to expiration, while making the corporate rate cuts permanent. It also ties tax brackets to an alternate inflation measure in a way that will result in out-year tax increases for everyone but the top one percent. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation has concluded that in 2027, most poor and working class people will see a tax hike, while upper-income earners (who benefit from corporate tax cuts) continue to pay less.
Hatch, like other Republicans, claims to have “no intention” of raising taxes on lower-income people, meaning Congress will renew their tax cuts later. The suggestion otherwise got Hatch angry. But there is zero guarantee this will happen, and indeed, this claim actually ratifies the objections of Brown and Democrats.
It reveals in a backdoor way that the whole reason for making all these provisions temporary is to pay for permanent tax cuts on corporations, which is necessary to comply with the procedural need to avoid raising the deficit later. Indeed, the bill’s repeal of the individual mandate is also designed to cut health spending on less fortunate people precisely to fund those corporate tax cuts — which shows, as Brian Beutler points out on Crooked.com, that this bill partly represents another version of the massively regressive Obamacare repeal efforts that have already been defeated, in a new packaging of grift.
As it happens, there is good reason to doubt Hatch’s motives — or, at least, those of the GOP more broadly. Multiple Republicans have admitted on the record that if Republicans don’t pass these tax cuts, their donors will stop giving them money. If Republicans wanted to cut taxes for the middle class, they could cut taxes for the middle class, and remain within deficit and procedural constraints by limiting the bill’s massive giveaway to their corporate donors, which would not necessitate hiking middle class taxes later. Yet Republicans aren’t doing that.
Hatch claimed that pointing this out “gets old.” But this week’s Quinnipiac poll finds that Americans say by 59-33 that the GOP plan favors the rich at the expense of the middle class, which means they are on to the GOP game.
The bottom line is that Brown engaged with Hatch’s substantive case for the cuts, by insisting they aren’t going to produce the wage growth Republicans promise, which happens to be an argument supported by many economists. But Hatch angrily shut him down, anyway, with an outpouring of high dudgeon about his own background and a mighty swing of his little wooden gavel.
Washington • President Donald Trump is displaying selective outrage over allegations of sexual harassment against prominent men in politics, as his own tortured past lingers over his response.
Trump moved quickly Thursday to condemn accusations against Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken as “really bad,” but he has remained conspicuously silent on the more serious claims leveled against Roy Moore, the Republican in Alabama’s special Senate race who faces allegations he sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago.
Trump has repeatedly declined to follow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan in calling on Moore to quit the race. Both had said they believe Moore’s accusers.
With the nation confronting revelations of sexual impropriety by powerful men in entertainment and politics, Trump is an inconsistent as well as an unlikely critic of alleged offenders.
More than a dozen allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct were leveled against him in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump was caught on tape in conversation with “Access Hollywood” boasting in graphic detail of sexually harassing women.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the allegations against him as fake news, most recently telling reporters on Oct. 16: “It’s just fake. It’s fake. It’s made-up stuff.”
That didn’t deter Trump from scoring a blow on a reeling detractor.
Leeann Tweeden, now a Los Angeles radio host, on Thursday accused Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her during a 2006 USO tour. She released a photo showing the comedian turned senator posing in a joking manner with his hands on her chest as she naps wearing a flak vest aboard a military plane.
In a pair of tweets Thursday night, Trump spotlighted the accusations against Franken, saying the photo “speaks a thousand words.”
“Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?” Trump tweeted. “And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women.”
The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? .....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
.And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
Hours before the tweets appeared, Franken moved swiftly to apologize and embrace bipartisan calls for an ethics investigation into his actions.
As Trump assailed Franken, Moore was digging in, pledging to fight the accusations against him as the state GOP in Alabama reaffirmed its support for the embattled candidate. Two women have come forward by name accusing Moore of initiating sexual contact with them when they were 14 and 16, respectively.
On Friday, Moore’s wife, Kayla, told supporters that Trump actually “owes us a thank you” for taking the media focus off investigations of possible collaboration between his presidential campaign and Russia last year.
On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee pulled its financial support for Moore, following similar action last week by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The White House said Trump supported the RNC’s decision, which came as the party absorbed polling data showing Moore trailing Democrat Doug Jones in the Republican stronghold.
In recent days, GOP officials sought to explain away Trump’s refusal to call on Moore to step aside as an effort not to add more fuel to the anti-establishment fires boosting Moore’s campaign. They also suggested that Trump was wary of wading into issues of sexual impropriety given the previous claims against him. But the strike against Franken indicated a more political rationale. The former “Saturday Night Live” writer and cast member has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s administration.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeatedly declined Thursday to say whether Trump believed Moore’s accusers, even after the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, told The Associated Press that she had no reason to doubt their claims against him.
“He thinks that the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be,” Sanders said of the president, who dodged questions from reporters on the subject twice earlier in the week. Sanders also refused to say whether Trump was pulling his endorsement of the candidate.
Dear Not Happy Yet • This past week I received a number of emails from Trib readers, responding to your request for advice about dealing with your feelings of anger triggered by the presence of a (caring) new stepparent in your children’s life. The writers were warm-hearted and supportive, eager for you to succeed. I am passing along their observations.
Virtually all of them agreed that time does heal (most) all wounds. It may take years for this to happen, but hang in there. Meanwhile, everyone emphasized the importance of civility in front of your children, acknowledging that there will be moments of failure all around.
Some readers suggested, when possible, to move past mere civility and actively extend kindness. A woman shared this experience: “One Thanksgiving the kids told me that their dad and his wife didn’t have any food. It really bothered them. So the kids and I went grocery shopping for them along with buying a gift certificate to get what else they needed. That was a turning point for me.”
Some readers observed that in time parents and stepparents actually became blended families, full of affection for all the in-laws and outlaws. Others found that relationships never progressed past the cordial stage — if that. Still, these individuals advocated for civility. “A mom who stays on the high road, acts honorably and tries to act with grace even with difficult relationships teaches her children an invaluable lesson,” a reader noted.
One father shared the deep pain he felt knowing that his kids were being raised, in part, by another “dad.” Eventually, he realized that he was “still their dad. That will never change.” This sentiment was echoed by others. Your children are yours, no matter what the circumstances. You don’t need to compete. A reader says this: “Your kids love you just the way you are.”
None of this is to suggest that you shouldn’t feel hurt or angry — or that those feelings won’t sometimes reappear down the long, long Road of Life. In fact, acknowledging your anger is important — as is the idea that you can experience conflicting emotions at the same time. I’ve reprinted a letter touching on this reality below:
Dear Ann Cannon • I know I’m not a professional, but as I was reading your response to that amazing woman, I thought I’d share a principle of mindfulness with you — the idea that in order to invite an emotion to leave, we have to first invite it in. Rumi’s poem “Guest House” puts it really well.
Just like a good holiday party, life is full of amazing stuff and sometimes pretty crappy stuff. The challenge, then, is to feel two emotions at once. Give yourself permission to be disappointed, frustrated, mad, etc. AND also look for the positive in the situation at the same time. It’s like when my 3-year-old told me he had a rock in his shoe after running around the block for about 15 minutes. “Didn’t it bother you?” I asked. “Well, yeah. But I decided to have fun, too.” We let the rocks in our shoes ruin our lives sometimes. We don’t have to. It is our own choice. Take a deep breath. And that space between “inhale” and “exhale” — that’s where you decide what your next second will look like, feel like, be like.
Finally, readers advised you to take care of yourself. “As much as your time allows, give yourself permission to do something for yourself when the kids are with your ex and his wife. Get a massage, have coffee or a shake with a favorite friend, read a book, watch a good movie, take a nap or anything else that is pleasant for you. Don’t feel guilty about these things!”
Thank you again for your question. People you don’t even know are seriously rooting for you.
Dear Ann Cannon • Why do I feel guilty for wanting a purebred puppy instead of doing the noble thing and adopting a mixed-breed dog from the animal shelter?
— Dreaming of My Own Dandie Dinmont
Dear Dreaming • I’m so happy that people send me dog questions! I love being the Tribune’s Resident Dog Expert! Meanwhile, let me absolve you of your first-world guilt. Now go out there and get whichever dog you want.
Do you have a question for Ann? Send it to email@example.com or visit the Ask Ann Cannon page on Facebook.
Montgomery, Ala. • Embattled Alabama Republican nominee Roy Moore’s wife Kayla Moore said Friday that her husband will not end his Senate campaign, which has been upended by allegations that he initiated unwanted sexual encounters with women when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
“He will not step down. He will not stop fighting for the people of Alabama,” Kayla Moore said in remarks here Friday.
Her comments were the latest signal that Moore is not planning to end his campaign, even as Senate Republican leaders have urged him to bow out and have withdrawn their support for him.
Among GOP officials here in Alabama, however, the reaction has been very different. The state Republican Party issued a statement Thursday saying they are sticking by Moore.
Kayla Moore spoke on the steps of the state Capitol here before several dozen women, and after several previous speakers.
She thanked backers for their support. And she apologized for not being able to reply to all the well-wishers.
“Most of the negative has been from out of state . . . The people of Alabama know what is going on here,” she said.
Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election. Some public and private polls released this week have shown Jones with a lead.
Chicago • The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he’s been seeking outpatient care for two years for Parkinson’s disease and plans to dedicate himself to physical therapy.
In a Friday letter to supporters, the 76-year-old says family and friends noticed a change in him about three years ago and he could no longer ignore symptoms.
He says the diagnosis isn’t a sign to stop working but a “signal” to make “lifestyle changes” to slow progression of the chronic neurological disorder that causes movement difficulties.
The civil rights icon also released a Northwestern Medicine letter saying he was diagnosed in 2015 and has sought outpatient care.
Jackson runs the Chicago-based Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. He’s remained a strong voice in anti-discrimination efforts, including advocating for affordable housing, and been a fixture at protests nationwide.
Jackson declined further comment Friday.
Rich High School is changing its mascot of more than 30 years after complaints that it is racially insensitive.
The 142-student high school in northern Utah’s Rich County will phase out its Confederate Rebel mascot and by altering its gray fatigues for a classic royal blue uniform transform the school into the far more politically palatable Revolutionary Rebel.
The decision has been a long time coming, said principal Rick Larsen. Complaints about the symbol’s racist connotations had been made over the years and Larsen said they resurfaced during Rich School District’s August board meeting.
On the other side, Larsen said :“There are people here who feel really strongly about the Rebel name, so it’s been quite a divisive issue.”
The Confederate Rebel became the school’s mascot through a student vote more than 30 years ago following the consolidation of two high schools. Larsen said many believe the decision came from a love for the popular television show “The Dukes of Hazzard,” whose signature Dodge Charger touted the confederate flag on its roof.
The school board charged Larsen with finding alternatives for the mascot, so he asked the student body for suggestions.
Ander Rex, a junior, began researching why so many people connected with the rebel symbol and decided they resonated with being an outsider and fighting against a system of oppression.
His research led him straight to the minutemen of the Revolutionary War, who were among the first to fight the British.
“I realized we could keep the rebel in a way that was more patriotic,” he said. “For me, it was even better than the original rebels.”
In a school survey about its mascot, Larsen said about 80 percent of students agreed to keep the rebel name but change the symbol to represent Revolutionary soldiers.
Rex and other students presented their idea to the school board in October and, to Larsen’s surprise, the new symbol resonated with members and approved it. Rich thought the board would rather chose a completely different mascot to distance itself from any controversy.
The school is now in the process of choosing a new design, which will still include the school’s colors of royal blue, black, white, and silver. Students are submitting drawings to Larsen, which he will present to the school board for approval in the coming months.
The school will have to replace logos on its gym floor and a carpet tapestry in the school’s common area, which will cost about $3,500. Athletic uniforms with the Confederate Rebel will be phased out over the next few years.
There has been no backlash from students about changing the school’s mascot, Larsen said, who described students as being more understanding than many adults because they don’t want their school to be associated with racism.
“They immediately accepted the change and worked to find a solution that better represented who we are as a school,” he said. “They are great kids who are willing and accepting of change.”
David Archuleta is back in Utah at this very moment, and does he have big plans.
Yes, of course, there’s the Monday performance at Abravanel Hall by the Beehive State’s favorite “American Idol” alum. But, as for the truly momentous and newsworthy way he intends to spend the rest of his time here …
“I’m gonna get a haircut,” Archuleta revealed exclusively to The Salt Lake Tribune in a phone interview.
Ummm, you’re a platinum-selling pop singer — surely you’ve got something epic going on.
“Not really, other than my haircut!” he added with a laugh. “I usually just stay home. My sisters show me anime, ’cause they’re big fans of anime. So they’re like, ‘Watch this one!’ They always show me really good ones. So that’s usually the thing.”
Haircut … anime … got it.
When • Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Where • Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $35.50-$59.50; ArtTix
Of course, the former Murray resident and “Idol” runner-up’s life has not always been so sedate. But then, that’s precisely why he’s so enamored of his current calm.
Now 26 years old and going on a decade removed from Idolmania, he’s naturally experienced a fair bit of change.
For one thing, he moved to Nashville about three years ago. For another, his latest studio album, “Postcards in the Sky,” released last month after a four-year hiatus, saw a distinct shift from the Top-40-driven material of his earlier efforts to a more personal, heartfelt songwriting style.
The biggest transitions, though, have largely been internal. Mostly, he no longer feels like a scared kid putting on a brave face.
“I think I’ve definitely grown up. I was 16 when I started getting publicity, when people started watching to the degree that it was with ‘American Idol.’ It happened so quickly and I still didn’t know who I wanted to be,” Archuleta said. “I think a lot of that was I was a very conservative person, I was a very introverted person. … To be in a world where I had to be ‘on’ all the time, and all of a sudden to feel like I couldn’t be myself or people weren’t going to like me or watch me … I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know how to do this!’ … It was really overwhelming.”
And while it may ultimately have proved a mentally healthy thing that he never came to believe in his own hype, it certainly was not helpful in the moment that, as public adoration for him grew, he lived in constant fear of being exposed as a fraud.
“I never had the confidence before to believe I was good at what I did,” Archuleta said. “I got a lot of attention, and my worry was, ‘I don’t get why people like me. I must have fooled them, because it’s not like I’m that good at what I do.’ And I became very self-conscious, like, what if I mess up and then people are like, ‘Ugh, he wasn’t as good as I thought he was.’ ”
Like many other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Archuleta credits his religious mission with helping him gain needed perspective and maturity.
After two years proselytizing in Santiago, Chile, he returned far more comfortable in his own skin.
“When I went on my mission, it kind of gave me a step away from everything, and I was able to grow up a little bit, on my own, without everyone watching me,” Archuleta said. “When I came back, it was like, ‘I can still be introverted and conservative, prioritizing my religion and my spirituality, and always liking these positive things.’ That’s what I like! And I was always told before that I couldn’t — ‘That’s too cheesy. You’ve gotta be more macho. You’ve gotta be more mature. You’ve gotta have a little bit of a dark edge to you.’ And that’s just not what I am. … Now, I’m still me and I can still help people have a fun time at a show being who I am. It’s been really refreshing.”
Part of that has entailed folding his spirituality into some of his songs.
Though Archuleta is quick to clarify that “I’m not a Christian artist” and that “Postcards in the Sky” is “not a Christian album,” he points out that his desire to make more authentic music naturally precludes him from excluding matters of faith from his writing.
“It was always hard for me to sing breakup songs, especially as a teenager that had never been in a relationship before, even into his 20s! So, talking about life — ‘Who am I? Do I matter? Can I do any good in this world? Do I have a purpose?’ — those are all questions that I asked myself and I wondered about and I struggled with. So I wrote about that on this album,” Archuleta said. “Maybe there are other people out there who are having a hard time finding their worth, feeling like they’re good enough, and I can tell them a little bit about my challenge with those insecurities, and finding a purpose in spirituality. I dared to not be afraid to be a Mormon in the entertainment industry.”
He also dared to make other tough choices — the move to Nashville, for instance.
While acknowledging that he misses Utah’s mountains and loves coming home to visit, he maintains heading to Music City was necessary for the opportunities and the escape it offered.
“Interestingly enough, a lot of people who were on the show ‘American Idol’ have moved to Nashville. I think after ‘American Idol,’ becoming this big hometown deal to a lot of people … you still love home but you’re not sure how to be treated and what you consider normal anymore,” Archuleta said. “And Nashville is a place where they have this understanding in general of a musician’s lifestyle. So they’re not saying to you, ‘When are you gonna get a job?’ ‘Oh, well, I do music.’ ‘Well, what about when you need to get a real job?’ Things like that.”
And to be sure, this is Archuleta’s real job.
Earlier in his career, he acknowledged, “I was so caught up in wondering, ‘Do other people like what I’m doing?’ [that] I didn’t ask, ‘Oh, do I like what I’m doing? Do I enjoy this?’ ”
He knows the answer now.
“I want to keep doing this. I want to tell stories that are actually meaningful to me, that come from a vulnerable place in my life. I want to do that. So I’m gonna keep working at this,” he said. “I have to restart in a way, after being on a hiatus. I have to remarket myself to people and show them who I am. I mean, I’m still David, but ‘Round 2’ now.”
Speaking of Round 2, care for another go at divulging some even minutely entertaining activity you might be engaging in now that you’ve returned to your old stomping grounds?
“I just look forward to the simple things — being able to stay home, not having to go out to eat, because I don’t know how to cook. I mean, I try — I can make quesadillas, but that’s about it,” Archuleta insisted. “So to be at my family’s house and just have meals and not have to go out and figure out what to eat is a nice feeling.”
There you have it, folks: haircut … anime … meals sans quesadillas — an intimate peek inside the lifestyle of a pop star.
Much of the time, it doesn’t have anything to do with sex.
“Sometimes it’s about creating a safe space,” Nicole Emma said. “Real life doesn’t always allow people to express themselves. Our tools are our bodies and our communication skills, but what we are really selling is a safe space.”
Talking about her job isn’t something Emma, a married mother of two, typically does publicly.
But on Thursday she and three other women — Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro, Bella Arsenic, and Heidi Robinson — led lively discussion aimed at breaking down stereotypes about their industry, which includes a broad range of legal services, from phone sex and stripping to pornography.
The conversation was equally broad, touching on the relationship between feminism and sex work, on the opportunity for human connection the industry gives to disabled and transgender people, and on the effects of Mormon culture on the demand for sex services.
It also was political.
The women are lobbying state lawmakers in hope of shaping future policies that impact the industry.
“Oh, and P.S., sex workers pay taxes,” Robinson said, just before Arsenic chimed in with, “I vote!”
Provo • Why doesn’t Riley Burt get more carries?
BYU football fans have pounded reporters’ email inboxes with that question a lot this season, and even more after freshman Ula Tolutau’u was suspended for allegedly running afoul of the law (marijuana possession) and promising sophomore KJ Hall was re-injured in the first half of the San Jose State game.
Burt, a redshirt sophomore from Box Elder High, isn’t sure himself.
“I don’t know,” he said Wednesday, choosing his words carefully. “I have just been working my hardest to get the offense down, and get healthy. I have just been focused on becoming a better player.”
Burt has played in six games and carried the ball 10 times, for 29 yards.
After redshirting last year, Burt started the 2017 season at running back — he had some sensational runs as a freshman in 2015 — but was briefly moved to defense when the season started. He was moved back to running back after the Utah State game.
“I look forward to seeing [Burt] on the field a little more,” coach Kalani Sitake said in early October.
It hasn’t happened.
“Coaches just want to put the best, most-prepared running back out there,” Burt said. “And I haven’t been that.”
His prospects for playing more Saturday against UMass appear dim, because junior Squally Canada was fantastic in the 31-21 win over UNLV, rushing for a career-high 213 yards, and also because Hall is close to returning after having missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury.
Burt, 6-foot-1, 205, said he has been “pretty healthy” all season. He declined to talk about why he didn’t play in some games early in the season.
“I am just trying to stay positive, help the team,” he said. “We have a great group of seniors and we want to send them out the best way possible, by winning out these last two games. That’s what we are looking for.”
After the season, Burt will have eye surgery to repair of problem with his cornea. However, he said the problem is not the reason for his limited playing time.
Canada’s can-do attitude
It took a few games, but Canada (546 yards) has finally moved past Toluta’u (303 yards) as BYU’s leading rusher. The junior from Milpitas, Calif., who transferred from Washington State is averaging an impressive 5.9 yards per carry.
Offensive coordinator Ty Detmer said Canada if finally healthy and is taking advantage of his opportunities.
“Sometimes running backs need a rhythm, to get into a flow,” Detmer said. “They start seeing cutbacks, those things. It is an opportunity more than anything, and a mindset from him that ‘I am going to play hard.’ He’s had a great attitude despite being up and down and healthy and not healthy.”
Linebacker Adam Pulsipher honored
A junior in football eligibility, BYU linebacker Adam Pulsipher has been named to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 Football Team. Pulsipher has already graduated with a degree in finance and has a 3.83 grade point average. He is currently enrolled in BYU’s Masters of Public Administration program.
He has played in all 11 games and started the last four. He has 47 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Fullback Creed Richardson has been added to the list of players who will be honored Saturday in their final home games. Richardson has a year of eligibility left, but is retiring from football. … The Cougars are No. 2 in the nation in kickoff defense efficiency, a stat that measures the average starting position of opponents after kickoffs. “That’s a stat we are very proud of, and we take a lot of pride in putting the best guys out there to cover kicks,” said special teams coordinator Ed Lamb.
Utah’s rate of job growth was good last month, but not as good as it’s been for most of the past three years, the state Department of Workforce Services reported Friday.
Private and government employers have added 39,400 jobs since October 2016, a 2.7 percent growth rate.
“Employment trends in Utah have moderated slightly but continue to show notable expansion,” said Carrie Mayne, the department’s chief economist.
Since the end of 2014, the state has consistently enjoyed month after month of job growth exceeding 3 percent, with a couple of 4 percent months mixed in, Workforce Service records show.
Year-over-year job growth hasn’t been below 2.7 percent since a momentary dip late in 2011, as the state and national economies bounced back from the Great Recession. The nadir occurred in the early fall of 2009, when Utah’s economy had 6 percent fewer jobs than a year earlier.
Private-sector companies were responsible for the bulk of the job growth (38,400 positions), which boosted Utah’s employment total to 1,492,600.
Professional and business services led the way with 10,000 jobs, while the trade, transportation and utilities sector added 6,200 jobs and education and health services grew by 5,500. The 4,300 new jobs in the construction industry reflected a 4.5 percent increase.
Cutbacks by telecommunications and internet service businesses left the information sector with the largest job losses (1,000) year over year, while mining and other extraction industry firms lost another 300 positions.
Even with those pink slips, Utah’s unemployment rate dipped one-tenth of a percent to 3.3 percent in October, Mayne said, suggesting the low jobless rate “indicates that opportunities for employment are meeting the needs of job seekers.”
About 51,600 Utahns were unemployed and actively seeking work last month, she added. The national unemployment rate in October was 4.1 percent.
College football players and coaches basically spend 12 months of the year preparing for the opportunity to compete in 12 games. That makes each of them meaningful, regardless of whether the opponent is from a lower level or ranked in the Top 25.
So it is silly to suggest that Utah’s home game vs. Colorado next week is more important to the Utes (5-5) than Saturday night’s visit to Washington. Yet the way the math works, it is only natural that coach Kyle Whittingham would want to have the most healthy team facing Colorado with bowl eligibility likely at stake and the Buffaloes coming off a bye.
Whittingham has said as many as a half-dozen injured players would be evaluated during the week, possibly until just before game time in Seattle. I never would recommend holding out players just for the sake of a better chance to win next week, because they deserve to compete as often as possible. Even so, that strategy certainly must have crossed Whittingham’s mind.
Wow. This is tricky. If any part of the Utes’ mentality wavers Saturday, they’re in trouble. In other words, they can’t allow themselves to think that all they have to do is beat Colorado to go to a bowl, because in that case the Huskies might embarrass them.
Two of the worst Jazz performances I’ve witnessed in the last decade came in similar situations. The Jazz went on the road with a close-out opportunity in a playoff series, recognizing they could come home and win to advance. They got crushed, and those were miserable games to watch. But in a practical sense, nothing was lost. Each time, the Jazz won at home in the next game. NBA players are conditioned to bounce back.
The difference is that this Ute team has proven to be fragile, in the way it responds to defeat. In October, two losses turned in four losses, with Whittingham citing the demoralizing effects. In contrast, he expects to see an angry Washington team after the Huskies lost to Stanford and were knocked out of College Football Playoff consideration.
If the Ute players see their teammates being held out when they possibly could play Saturday, that would send the wrong message. So Whittingham has to field the best team available, take a shot at the Huskies and then regroup for Colorado. Any other approach might be logical, but won’t necessarily work.
More than a third (34 percent) of Americans surveyed said they were atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” according to the American Family Survey released Friday.
Taken together, this makes the unaffiliated the largest religious group in the study, having surpassed Protestants (33 percent) and Catholics (21 percent). There was also a smattering of other groups such as Muslims (2 percent), Jews (2 percent), Mormons (1 percent), Orthodox Christians (1 percent), and Hindus (1 percent), as well as those who said they were “something else” (4 percent).
The American Family Survey is the project of Christopher Karpowitz and Jeremy Pope, who teach political science at Brigham Young University, and is co-sponsored by Brigham Young University and the Deseret News.
Now in its third year, it aims to uncover Americans’ attitudes on a range of issues, including politics, health care, immigration, and the challenges now facing the American family. This year had a special focus on comparing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump voters.
How respondents answered questions about challenges facing the family was the source of some of the surprises in this year’s study compared to 2015 and 2016, says Karpowitz.
“When we first started doing this study in 2015, more than two-thirds of our respondents picked at least one cultural issue as being one of the three most important issues facing American families,” Karpowitz says. “Now there’s been an 11-point increase in the percentage of people who say the biggest issues facing families are economic.”
Overall, economic issues increased in importance from 51percent to 62 percent, while concern about “cultural” matters (such as the decline in religious faith or the increase in sexual permissiveness and drug use) decreased by 17 points, from 68 percent to 51 percent.
Basically, this shows that an increasing number of Americans are more worried about economic stresses than they are about traditional markers of moral decline.
What’s particularly surprising about this trend, says Karpowitz, is that “the economy seems to be humming along, and we’re not in a recession right now.” Various markers of economic health, such as low unemployment and a robust stock market, are already in place.
Even so, about four in 10 respondents reported that they had put off going to the doctor when they were sick or experienced a time in the past year when they couldn’t pay a bill, showing that the economy’s health has not prevented many Americans from feeling a financial pinch.
There’s a religious divide in how Americans perceive which are the most pressing issues. Highly religious people are far more likely to point to cultural issues than are secular Americans, with 72 percent of frequent religious attendees and just 43 percent of nonattendees being concerned about things such as sexual permissiveness or falling religious attendance. In contrast, nearly seven in 10 secular respondents were concerned about the economy.
Faced with these polarizing differences, what can almost everybody agree on? There are two things.
• First, “Everybody loves their own family, and there’s hope in that message — there’s a lot of commitment to family, across lines of political and religious difference,” says Karpowitz. Among parents, it doesn’t matter if respondents voted for Trump or Clinton, or did not vote at all; nor does it matter whether they consider themselves to be religious. All groups of parents see the act of parenting as a fundamental, core part of their identity.
• Second, Americans are concerned that kids need more discipline. “More than half of both very religious and nonreligious Americans say that parents not teaching or disciplining their children is one of the most important issues facing families,” says Karpowitz.
In other words: We all love our own kids to pieces, but we also think that other parents need to do a better job teaching theirs.
The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.
Christine Durham has spent her life working.
Whether it was juggling odd jobs as a young woman trying to make it as a lawyer in the 1970s, or balancing her duties as a Utah Supreme Court justice, Durham spent her entire adult life with a planned — and often overflowing — schedule.
After 35 years as a Supreme Court justice — she’s the first woman in the state to hold such an appointment — the 72-year-old retired this week.
So, what is she going to do now?
Durham says she hasn’t quite decided. She’s decided to take a few months off, to think about her life and what she wants to do. She’s interested in access-to-justice issues, she said. Maybe she’ll do something there.
“It actually feels really liberating,” Durham said of her empty schedule. “I have loved my life in the law. I have loved being a judge. And I think I have had some of the most wonderful opportunities anyone can imagine, but it has always come with an established agenda of expectations. For the first time, I’m not going to have that.”
Durham hasn’t had much time this week to reflect on her career as this chapter of her life closes. She’s been busy — the justices needed to vote on all the cases she was a part of before she left. She cast her last vote on a case at 5 p.m. Wednesday, her last official day as a justice.
But among her proudest accomplishments, of course, was being appointed Utah’s first woman to serve as a judge in a court of general jurisdiction (several women at that point had already served on circuit and juvenile courts in Utah) and then as the state’s first female Supreme Court justice.
It “was just amazing,” she said, smiling. “Just extraordinary in every respect.”
Then there was her role in helping create the National Association of Women Judges, and in organizing Women Lawyers of Utah.
During her time on the bench, she also helped unify a fragmented judicial system in Utah. And after receiving nothing more than a robe and a case file when she first became a trial judge, Durham focused her energy on creating educational material for judges and others who work in the courts.
“I look back and I just see so many examples of times when I got lucky,” she said, “and was in the right place in the right time to be engaged in some really important efforts.”
‘I believed her’
Durham knew from a very young age that she wanted to work outside the home. By the time she got to college, she had an interest in the law.
Sitting on the library steps one September evening in 1963 in Massachusetts, 18-year-old Christine Meaders discussed her hopes and dreams with her future husband, George Durham. Even then, George Durham said, she knew she wanted to study law. Maybe someday she’d be a judge.
“I believed her,” the husband recalled at her retirement ceremony this week.
Christine Durham said he was the only man she ever dated who encouraged her ambitions. He’s her “secret weapon,” she said Thursday, someone who supported her career as a lawyer while pursuing his own practice as a pediatrician — all as they raised five children.
Through their lives, Durham said, she and her husband would sit down and figure out “the juggling act,” and they would take turns working part- and full time while taking care of things at home. Not all of her neighbors or fellow church members agreed with this setup, Durham said, but she didn’t care. It worked for them.
“My husband and I always felt confident we were doing the right thing for ourselves and our family,” she said. “We were completely on the same page.”
And Durham’s path to judgeship was not an easy one. A fresh law school graduate, Durham found that law firms weren’t interested in hiring women.
So she opened her own law office in North Carolina.
In 1973, the Durhams moved across the country, to Utah, after her husband accepted a pediatrician residency at the University of Utah hospital.
Durham was the 72nd woman to be accepted into the Utah State Bar. Here, she continued to work as a lawyer and became a partner in a law firm.
In 1978, Gov. Scott Matheson appointed her as a district court judge, which she would be for four years.
In 1982, she became the first woman appointed to the Utah Supreme Court.
And in 2002, she checked off another milestone: first woman to become chief justice of Utah’s highest court. She held the position for 10 years.
Durham led the way for other female jurists in Utah, and she’s mentored other women who came after her. Nearly 75 of those female judges recently signed a letter to the editor published in the Utah Bar Journal, thanking her for her work. Her accomplishments, they wrote, have made their own possible.
For now-federal Judge Jill Parrish, just seeing Durham’s name on a list of judges when she was a second-year law student was an assurance that she could someday do the same. It wouldn’t be until decades later that she would get the chance to work alongside Durham as a fellow Utah Supreme Court justice.
Parrish recalled at Durham’s retirement ceremony this week that her friend was always a patient, diligent and genuine person.
“Justice Durham is one of the most organized, hard-working people I know,” Parrish said. “Either that, or she’s magic.”
But Durham’s influence went further than the fellow women she worked with. Chief Justice Matthew Durrant said that he, too, is among those who have been inspired by Durham. No one has has done more for Utah’s judicial branch than her, Durrant said — male or female.
She’s confident, Durrant said, but not arrogant. Strong in her views but eager to hear an opposing opinion. She’s intelligent and has integrity.
“We will always count it as one of the greatest privileges,” he said, “and honors of our lives to have served with Justice Christine Durham.”
The now-retired justice said she had two mentors who were instrumental in her success: Norm Johnson, who was her senior partner in her Utah law firm and encouraged her to apply to be a district court judge, and Matheson, who twice made history with her as he appointed her to a district court judge and later to Utah’s high court.
“He took such a chance on me,” she said. “And I’ll always be grateful to him for that. It wouldn’t have happened without him.”
But while many young lawyers, especially women, aspire to have careers like Durham, she said she didn’t have a similar icon when she was that age. There simply were no women around in her profession, she said.
“A lot of my role models were my contemporaries,” she said. “Other women who were like me, who were figuring it out as we went along.”
Washington • The “Wicked Bible” omits one crucial word from the Seventh Commandment.
“Thou shalt commit adultery,” the Wicked Bible commands.
Definitely not the message conveyed on the stone tablets Moses brought down from Mount Sinai, according to the Book of Exodus. The Ten Commandments made liberal use of the word “NOT.”
The doozy of an error in Exodus 20:14 was discovered a full year after the King James Bible was published in 1631 in London.
An angry King Charles I ordered every copy of the Wicked Bible to be gathered and burned. But not all the Wicked Bibles went up in flames. At least 11 copies somehow survived, and one of them will go on display Saturday when the new Museum of the Bible opens in Washington.
Bound in black leather, the small Bible rests under dimmed lights inside the museum’s fourth-floor gallery, entitled “History of the Bible.” Its pages are flipped open to Exodus, with an account of the printing error beside it.
The Wicked Bible contains another huge error in Deuteronomy 5:24, which was intended to proclaim the “greatnesse” of God. Instead, the Wicked Bible replaces the word, “greatnesse,” with a word churchgoers may find difficult to utter: “great-asse.”
“And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his great-asse,” the passage reads, “and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.”
The two blasphemous mistakes in the same Bible have led some scholars to conclude they were an act of sabotage.
“If it had just been one mistake, like leaving off the ‘not’ in Exodus 20:14, it could have been an accident,” said Diana Severance, director of Dunham Bible Museum at Houston Baptist University. “But the mistake in Deuteronomy 5:24 of God’s ‘great-asse,’ instead of greatness, suggests there was something else going on.”
The Wicked Bible was published under the oversight of royal printer Robert Barker, said Norm Conrad, curator of American and Biblical imprints for the Museum of the Bible. Another royal printer, Martin Lucas, is sometimes listed as Barker’s partner in the production of the Wicked Bible.
The men were punished severely for the mistakes.
George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote: “I knew the tyme when great care was had about printing, the Bibles especially, good compositors and the best correctors were gotten being grave and learned men, the paper and the letter rare, and faire every way of the beste. But now the paper is nought, the composers boyes, and the correctors unlearned.”
Barker and Lucas were ordered by King Charles I to the Star Chamber. They were fined 300 pounds and their printing licenses revoked.
Some scholars suspect Bonham Norton, a rival of Barker, may have injected the errors to get Barker in trouble and take over his printing job.
“It is thought that an ally of Bonham Norton, a partner of Robert Barker’s who had heavy debts, could have been the cause of the sabotage,” said Severance. “In order to print the Bible, you had to have a license from the king. Barker had the license. Another printer wanted the license. He thought if he got Barker in trouble, he could get the license. That was the motive.”
Barker ended up dying in debtors’ prison.
Severance said that history records some other grand biblical blasphemies, including a 1653 printing in First Corinthians 6:9, that transforms the passage to read: “ ‘Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?’ “
The book, “Let It Go Among Our People: An Illustrated History of the English Bible from John Wyclif to the King James Version,” by David Price and Charles C. Ryrie, lists other epic biblical mistakes. Among them:
• The “Breeches Bible,” a 1560 Geneva Bible that says in Genesis 3:7, “Adam and Eve put on ‘breeches instead of aprons.’ “
• The “Bug Bible,” also known as the 1535 Coverdale, which says in Psalms 91:5: “So yet thou shalt not need to be afraid for any bugs by night.”
• The so-called “Murderer’s Bible,” which refers to three different Bibles, including a King James version from 1795 that contains a typo in Mark 7:27 that says: “Let the children be killed,” instead of “filled.”
• The “Printers’ Bible,” a 1702 edition of the King James, contains an error in Psalm 119:16. Instead of saying “princes have persecuted me without a cause,’ David complains, ‘printers have persecuted me without a cause.’ “
• In a 1549 printing of the “Matthew’s Bible,” according Price and Ryrie, “a note on 1 Peter 3 offers husbands some terrible advice: ‘And if she be not obedient and helpful unto him [he] endeavoreth to beat the fear of God into her.” That version is called the “Wife Beater’s Bible.”
In their collection at the Dunham Bible Museum in Houston, Severance said, they have what is called “the Vinegar Bible.”
“It’s a beautifully printed bible,” Severance said. “In the heading instead of the ‘Parable of the Vineyard,’ it says ‘Parable of the Vinegar.’ “
The Bible Museum in Washington also contains a “Vinegar Bible” in its collection of more than 500 Bibles.
“That error wasn’t considered to be as egregious as ‘Thou Shalt Commit Adultery,’ “ curator Conrad said Wednesday, as workers added finishing touches to the museum, “so those weren’t destroyed.”
Sandy • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan were among the political notables at the glittering gala Thursday night marking the opening of Hale Centre Theatre’s new high-tech Centre Stage.
The lobby was packed with sequined patrons at the opening, where guests sipped Sally Temples, Marktinis and Sparkling Ruth fruit drinks.
At a brief ceremony, Herbert proclaimed Nov. 16 as Hale Centre Theatre Day. Co-founder Sally Dietlein thanked everybody who help build the fancy new arts center. “Oh my goodness, there are a lot of everybodies out there, and you’re a spectacular-looking bunch,” she said, looking over the crowd that packed the theater lobby and filled the staircase.
The black-tie gala kicked off with the unveiling of a massive bronze jester statue on the plaza outside the Mountain America Performing Arts Centre. The event was capped with the first performance of the company’s high-flying, spectacle-juiced revival of “Aida,” the 2000 Broadway pop musical Elton John and Tim Rice wrote about a forbidden love.
Flashy projections on video screens outside, in the lobby and in the house provided a high-tech flash to the new complex, as does a $1 million marquee facing the freeway.
At the center of the night’s attention was the Centre Theatre’s automated 24-foot circular stage, built by Tait Towers, an international live entertainment company. The stage hydraulics feature ”47 axes of motion using more than 120 motors,” according to the theater company.
More simply, the entire stage can be considered a movable beast, with a center circle capped by two cantilevered slip stages, which weigh 20 tons.
The $80 million complex, which also includes the 467-seat Sorenson Legacy Jewel Box theater, was built by Layton Construction and designed by Beecher Walker & Associates. The Sandy City Council approved a $42.7 million bond that includes a 27-year lease-to-own agreement with the theater company. Donations have been sought to cover the rest of the cost.
The opening marks a new chapter in the 32-year history of the homegrown Utah theater company, which launched as a for-profit company in a former lingerie factory in South Salt Lake in 1985 before transforming itself into a nonprofit company in 1997.
Hale has performed for 18 years in an $8 million theater, which opened in 1998, built with West Valley City taxpayer bonds. (The current show, “A Bundle of Trouble,” will close Dec. 1.) The house was enlarged from 530 to a squishy 613 seats, and most of the company’s long-running plays and musicals have sold out.
Those huge audiences for a community theater — Hale markets itself as a “professional family theater” — make the company something of an only-in-Utah success story. It’s also unusual for the number of amateur actors, singers and dancers who turn out to audition and perform in its shows, which are double-cast.
The company employs a full-time staff of 48 and a part-time staff of 147, with 300 performers paid per-show rates. The community theater company has an annual budget of more than $7 million, which is bigger than the state’s fully professional companies.
Washington • A debate between two senators over whether Republican tax cuts are aimed at helping the rich escalated into raised voices, interruptions, a banging gavel and a decidedly un-senatorial cry of "bull crap."
The eruption occurred late Thursday as Republicans pushed a near $1.5 trillion, 10-year tax cut for businesses and individuals through the Senate Finance Committee over Democrats' objections.
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said people know Republicans want to help the rich because it's "in their DNA."
The committee's chairman is 83-year-old Orrin Hatch. The Utah Republican has served in the Senate since 1977, and he told Brown he'd heard enough.
Hatch said he's helped disadvantaged people "my whole stinking career."
As the two senators talked over each other, Hatch said he was tired of Democrats' "bull crap."
My friend Trapper bailed me out of another computer problem this week. In the 15 years we’ve been friends, he’s saved my life at least a dozen times.
This doesn’t count the lives of other people I almost certainly would have killed in the middle of a tech-induced rage.
Trapper’s an IT geek, which means he’s a master of the dark arts. He might even be a warlock. He performs wizardry on insentient, worthless and damnable pieces of junk —like the expensive ConfusTech POS-2600 printer I recently bought.
I knew better than to try anything technical without Trapper’s help, but I wanted to prove to him (and myself) that I had learned something from all the times he’d fixed my computer problems.
Surely I could manage a printer by myself. They come with instructions, right? If I followed them carefully — or mostly — everything would work out.
At the store, the sales clerk was rhapsodic about the printer’s endless virtues, touting that it could do everything I could possibly imagine and some stuff I couldn’t.
Him • “It’ll print, fax, scan, do your taxes, remember your birthday, and change the oil in your truck.”
Me • “Will it artificially inseminate livestock?”
Him • “Of course. I’m telling you, sir, it’s top of the line.”
I should have waited for Trapper. I know now that he would have yanked the salesman’s lying tongue like a pull starter on a recalcitrant lawn mower until he got the truth.
The printer turned out to be evil.
I got my ConfusTech POS-2600 home and set it up to connect with every wireless contraption in the house by following the instructions to the letter. It couldn’t have been simpler.
Except that it wasn’t.
Not only would the POS-2600 not connect with my cellphone, but it also wouldn’t turn on the oven, microwave popcorn, or flush the toilet. Hell, it wouldn’t even print or scan.
Two days I wrestled with it, alternately praying and cursing. Nothing. Even when I held a gun to the control panel, my all-in-one printer refused to work. Finally, moments before throwing myself into traffic, I called Trap.
If you’re the average computer user like me, you have no idea what goes on inside the machine beyond the keyboard. If I push the “a” key, an “a” will appear on the screen.
That’s the limit of my tech know-how. There could be small animals, tiny aliens or the Holy Ghost in there, and I wouldn’t know.
But if you’re the average computer user, you have a work around — a friend, a co-worker, or a homeless-looking person in a dark corner of the office basement who helps you with your IT nightmares.
Trapper set up a remote connection to my computer from his office. I sat in my chair and watched what turned out to be a boring movie that I didn’t understand. We talked on the phone while he explored everything.
Him • “Is that a picture of Kim Jong Un being, ahem, violated by a water buffalo?”
Me • “Yeah. It’s my monitor wallpaper. Don’t lose it.”
Here’s the good news: After another two days of trying — including contacting ConfusTech customer support and NOT cursing at them — Trapper gave me the verdict.
“Your new POS printer is an actual POS [Piece Of Sh--]. Take it back to the store and demand a new one.”
My joy could not be contained. For once, a computer glitch was not attributable to my lack of mental prowess. The device itself was confused.
So, I’ll swap out the printers. I might even get my 3-year-old granddaughter to help me set it up. Hey, she fixed my cellphone.
A Republican appointee in charge of a Department of Homeland Security center for outreach to faith and community groups has resigned after a report that he said black people had "turned America's major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity."
Rev. Jamie Johnson, the head of the DHS's Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships, made the remarks during appearances on conservative radio shows over the last 10 years, before he was appointed in April by John Kelly, then the head of the department.
His resignation came swiftly after CNN published the comments on Thursday afternoon, along with the audio of the shows it unearthed.
"His comments made prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security clearly do not reflect the values of DHS and the administration," said a Tyler Houlton, the acting press secretary of the DHS in a statement announcing the resignation.
The department had previously distanced itself from the Johnson's statements, saying that it did not support them but that "Rev. Johnson has proven himself as a valuable supporter and proponent of the interfaith community's recovery efforts."
The incendiary comments about blacks came in 2008 on the show "The Right Balance," on Accent Radio Network, CNN reported. An unidentified speaker on the show said that "a lot of blacks are anti-Semitic" and asked Johnson why.
Johnson extolled the economic successes of American Jews and said "it's an indictment of America's black community that has turned America's major cities into slums because of laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity," according to a recording posted by CNN.
As a guest host on the AM radio program "Mickelson in the Morning," in Iowa, Johnson also spoke harshly of Muslims, saying radical Islam was "faithful Islam."
"I never call it radical Islam, if anything, it is obedient Islam. It is faithful Islam." Johnson said, according to audio posted by CNN.
He later said he agreed with the conservative author Dinesh D'Souza that "all that Islam has ever given us is oil and dead bodies over the last millennia and a half."
In a statement given to CNN before his resignation, Johnson said he regretted the remarks and said they do not represent his personal or professional viewpoint.
"I have and will continue to work with leaders and members of all faiths as we jointly look to strengthen our safety and security as an interfaith community," Johnson said. "Having witnessed leaders from the entire faith spectrum work to empower their communities I now see things much differently."
The DHS's Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships was created in 2006 after hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma to help religious and community organizations respond to emergencies and natural disasters. Its mission is also to "help combat human trafficking and the exploitation of the poor and vulnerable," according to its website.
The DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is driven by one simple, enduring, inspirational principle: LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.— Jamie Johnson 🇺🇸 (@JamieJohnsonUSA) March 23, 2017
According to his biography on the site, Johnson regularly visited disaster areas to help these efforts, and represented the department and FEMA in regular speeches at conferences, churches, schools and civic groups across the country.
The bio notes that Johnson has worked as a minister and in teaching, consulting and broadcasting. According to CNN, Johnson worked in Republican politics in Iowa for years, working for presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Donald Trump in the state. He was a regular guest on conservative talk radio shows, CNN said.
Kelly, now President Trump's chief of staff, drew harsh criticism last month after he called confederate general Robert E. Lee "an honorable man" and said that "the lack of an ability to compromise" led to the Civil War.
Owen Thursday was unimpressed. With the new command the Army had given him. With his own prospects for achievement and glory. And most of all with the appearance of the local Native Americans — “digger Indians” he dismissively called them — which he had been sent west to keep under control, by force if necessary.
He was already depressed by the fact that the much smaller post-Civil War Army in which he continued to serve no longer needed so many generals, and so he was now, as he said, being paid as a lieutenant colonel.
Capt. Kirby Yorke welcomed Col. Thursday to his new command, and tried to impress upon the newcomer the long-standing reputation of the Apaches as fierce warriors, worthy foes, who had once run off the formidable Sioux.
“I suggest the Apache has deteriorated since then,” Thursday observed, “judging by a few of the specimens I’ve seen on my way out here”
No, I’m not going all Ronald Reagan on you, confusing, in my old age, the plot of an old movie with real events. That story was a movie. A really great movie. John Ford’s “Fort Apache,” with Henry Fonda as Col. Thursday, John Wayne as Capt. Yorke and every grizzled old Irish actor in Hollywood as the rest of the U.S. Cavalry.
Not only is the 1948 black and white movie a classic — much of it filmed in Utah — it also plays remarkably against type for the two stars. Hollywood liberal Fonda is the stand-in for Col. George Armstrong Custer, racist and seeking personal glory at the expense of Indians and his own command. Jingoistic Wayne is the defender of the Indians’ honor and their rights.
Lambasting the corrupt Indian agents who were supposed to help the Apache live peacefully and well on their reservation, but tricked and swindled them instead, Yorke delivers a list of indignities that pushed Cochise to break his treaty with the U.S government, leave the reservation and take his people to Mexico. It’s a statement that has echoes of the Civil Right Movement to come 20 years later.
“Whiskey but no beef; trinkets instead of blankets; the women degraded; the children sickly; and the men turning into drunken animals,” Yorke expounded. “So Cochise did the only thing a decent man could do. He left.”
Eventually, Yorke’s pleas for the dignity of the Indians go unheeded and Thursday suffers his own little Little Big Horn in Monument Valley.
In the real Utah of the present day, it has not the Apache who go unseen by their own design. It is the Navajo who have long been invisible due to the inability, or unwillingness, of local, state and federal officials to see them.
There is reason to hope, though, that the same United States government that so mistreated Cochise will now stand up for the Navajo. Or, at least, be able to see them. The feds (not the Cavalry) will, with luck, set off a political ripple that will change Utah’s path to the advantage of everyone.
By learning to see, and to count, Navajo, the Census Bureau and the federal courts stand to redraw the power structure, first of San Juan County and later of the rest of the region. First would come the plan, ordered by a federal judge, to redraw the county commission and school board districts in San Juan County in a way that the Navajo gain power in proportion to their numbers. Which basically means they would be in charge.
And, having gained that power, the Navajo would see that it would be harder for state officials and Utah’s congressional delegation to ignore their plight, and their dreams. No longer would the pipe dreams of coal and oil riches, or the mythical return of the cattle empire, rule. Instead, respect, preservation, recreation and tourism would become politically dominant and economically sustainable.
The reported plan of the White House to slash the size of the Bears Ears National Monument, the creation of which was the culmination of years of effort by the duly elected leaders of the Navajo and other Native nations, would be a modern, and real, version of Col. Thursday’s desire to win fame and glory for himself by demeaning and degrading the Apache.
There’s no other rational explanation for what’s happening.
In the movie, of course, the Native nations won the battle but lost the war. Today, in real life, it promises to be the opposite. With ballots and legal briefs taking the place of guns and arrows.
And that will be another made-in-Utah classic.
George Pyle is still waiting for the Navajo Nation to open an embassy in Salt Lake City. In case he ever needs to seek asylum. firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal regulators rolled back a series of decades-old regulations on Thursday, in a move that will make it far easier for media outlets to be bought and sold — potentially leading to more newspapers, radio stations and television broadcasters being owned by a small handful of companies.
The regulations, eliminated in a 3-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission, were initially put in place in the 1970s to ensure that a diversity of voices and opinions could be heard on the air or in print. But now those rules represent a threat to small outlets who are struggling to survive in a vastly different media world, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
"Few of the FCC's rules are staler than our broadcast ownership regulations," said Pai. By eliminating them, he said, "this agency finally drags its broadcast ownership rules to the digital age."
One longstanding rule repealed Thursday prevented one company in a given media market from owning both a daily newspaper and a TV station. Another rule blocked TV stations in the same market from merging with each other if the combination would leave fewer than eight independently owned stations. The agency also took aim at rules restricting the number of TV and radio stations any media company could simultaneously own in a single market.
A major beneficiary of the deregulatory moves, analysts say, is Sinclair, the conservative broadcasting company seeking to buy up Tribune Media for $3.9 billion.
"This has a huge impact," said Andrew Schwartzman, an expert on media law at Georgetown University. He added that the decisions will "reduce or eliminate" the need for Sinclair to sell off many stations in order to receive regulatory approval for the deal.
The FCC vote is the latest to ease regulations for the broadcast industry. It came the same day that the agency was expected to approve the deployment of Next Gen TV, a new broadcast standard that is ultimately expected to lead to improved audio and video quality on over-the-air television, as well as targeted advertising. And it came one month after the FCC voted to no longer require broadcasters to operate a physical studio in the markets where they are licensed.
The National Association of Broadcasters welcomed Thursday's vote.
"These rules are not only irrational in today's media environment, but they have also weakened the newspaper industry, cost journalism jobs and forced local broadcast stations onto unequal footing with our national pay-TV and radio competitors," the trade group said in a statement.
Critics of the FCC repeal effort argue that the decision will lead to the concentration of power in the hands of a dwindling number of media titans.
"Instead of engaging in thoughtful reform," said Democratic FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, "this agency sets its most basic values on fire. As a result of this decision, wherever you live the FCC is giving the green light for a single company to own the newspaper and multiple television and radio stations in your community. I am hard pressed to see any commitment to diversity, localism, or competition in that result."
Senate Democrats this week called on the FCC's inspector general to launch a probe of the agency, over concerns that its impartiality with respect to Sinclair had been "tainted."
"This merger would never have been possible without a series of actions to overturn decades-long, settled legal precedent by Chairman Pai," wrote Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and 14 other lawmakers in a letter. The letter added that Pai has "signaled his clear receptiveness to approving the Sinclair-Tribune transaction and in fact paved the way for its consummation."
The FCC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Sinclair declined to comment.
In his remarks Thursday, Pai said it was "utter nonsense" that his agency's decisions on media ownership would lead to a company dominating local media markets by buying up newspapers and radio stations.
"It will open the door to pro-competitive combinations that will strengthen local voices," he said, and "better serve local communities."
Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls said he was looking for a truck bearing a profanity-laced anti-Trump sticker — and that authorities in his Texas county were considering charging its owner with disorderly conduct.
But his threat immediately raised the alarm among free speech advocates — and caused the sheriff to walk back his statement and retreat from social media.
Nehls posted a photo of the truck Wednesday on his personal Facebook page after he said he'd received several complaints from unhappy people in the Houston-area county.
A graphic on the rear window of the GMC Sierra reads: "F--- TRUMP AND F--- YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM." (The profanity is spelled out on the sticker.)
"If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you," the sheriff wrote. "Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification."
But the Facebook post was removed Thursday as a First Amendment controversy swirled around Nehls.
"The objective of the post was to find the owner/driver of the truck and have a conversation with them in order to prevent a potential altercation between the truck driver and those offended by the message," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "Since the owner of the truck has been identified, the Sheriff took down the post. Due to the hate messages he has been receiving towards his wife and children, the Sheriff will not be commenting on the matter further."
The Houston Chronicle reported that the truck's owners have no plans to remove the custom graphic, which they ordered after President Donald Trump's election.
"It's not to cause hate or animosity," Karen Fonseca told the newspaper. "It's just our freedom of speech, and we're exercising it."
The Chronicle reported:
"Fonseca said the truck belongs to her husband but that she often drives it. They had the sticker made and added it to the window after the billionaire real estate magnate and reality TV star was sworn into office.
"The sticker has attracted attention many times before, Fonseca said. People shake their head. They take photos of it. Officers have pulled her over but failed to find a reason for writing a ticket," according to the report.
"It makes people happy. They smile. They stop you," Fonseca told ABC affiliate KTRK. "They want to shake your hand."
The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union offered to help Fonseca - and provided Nehls with a "Constitutional Law 101" lesson: "You can't ban speech just because it has [f---] in it."
Texas penal code describes disorderly conduct as "intentionally or knowingly [using] abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of peace." Making "an offensive gesture or display in a public place" is also prohibited if "the gesture or display tends to incite an immediate breach of peace."
But the ACLU cited a 1971 Supreme Court decision, Cohen v. California, in which the high court overturned a man's disturbing-the-peace conviction after he'd gone to a courthouse in Los Angeles wearing a jacket that said "F--- the Draft."
At a news conference Wednesday, after his Facebook post went viral, Nehls said he supports freedom of speech, according to The Associated Press.
"We have not threatened anybody with arrest; we have not written any citations," Nehls said. "But I think now it would be a good time to have meaningful dialogue with that person and express the concerns out there regarding the language on the truck."
In Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston, Hillary Clinton won the majority of the vote in last year's presidential election, with 51 percent vs. 45 percent for Trump.
Nehls — a Republican who is considering a congressional bid, according to the Chronicle — has not responded to requests for comment.
It's not uncommon for bumper stickers to bluntly convey political viewpoints, from messages such as "Impeach Clinton" during Bill Clinton's presidency to "Hail to the Thief" after George W. Bush's 2000 election win over Al Gore.
While the First Amendment protects the bulk of offensive speech, there have been several incidents in which law enforcement officials cited drivers for the messages of their bumper stickers.
Typically, those who are cited have bumper stickers with profane language or pictures. A man in Georgia, James Daniel Cunningham, was arrested and fined $200 for his bumper sticker, which read, "S--- happens." The Georgia Supreme Court ruled in 1991 that the state's law banning bumper stickers with offensive messages wrongfully restricted the driver's right to free speech.
A few states still have laws specifically prohibiting offensive bumper stickers. Tennessee law, for example, states: "To avoid distracting other drivers and thereby reduce the likelihood of accidents," displaying obscene or offensive movies, bumper stickers, window signs or other markings on or in a motor vehicle is prohibited, punishable by a fine of up to $50.
In 2011, Tennessee officials said they'd begin ramping up their enforcement of bumper sticker language — although there haven't been many incidents reported.
In March 2017, a man was cited for a bumper sticker depicting stick figures having sex, which read, "making my family." He filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, claiming the sticker does not meet the Constitution's definition of obscenity. Days later, the charges were dropped after police attorneys conceded that the stick-figure display was protected by the First Amendment.
A case report about the seizure and death of an 11-month old after exposure to cannabis has prompted headlines about "the first marijuana overdose death" this week.
Except that's not what the doctors meant.
"We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child," said Thomas Nappe, an author of the report who is now the director of medical toxicology at St. Luke's University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Nappe, who co-authored the report with Christopher Hoyte, explained that the doctors simply observed this unusual sequence of events, documented it and alerted the medical community that it is worth studying a possible relationship between cannabis and the child's cause of death, myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle.
Their observations appeared in the August edition of the journal Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine as a case report, which is significantly different from a scientific study or research report that can be used to establish a causal relationship.
A spokesman for Denver Health wrote in an email that Hoyte would not be available for an interview late Thursday.
The report states that the child experienced an "unstable motel-living situation" and the parents admitted to drug possessions, including cannabis. Nappe said the authors urge parents to be vigilant and keep cannabis out of reach of children.
The report recommends: "In states where cannabis is legalized, it is important that physicians not only counsel parents on preventing exposure to cannabis, but to also consider cannabis toxicity in unexplained pediatric myocarditis and cardiac deaths as a basis for urine drug screening in this setting."
The authors added that, "As of this writing, this is the first reported pediatric death associated with cannabis exposure."
Nappe emphasized that the word "associated" should not be interpreted as indicating a cause and effect.
Drug policy and health experts also warned against making too much of the report.
"You just can't make those statements because then what happens is lay people say, 'Oh my God, did you hear a kid died from marijuana poisoning?' and it can be sensationalized," said Noah Kaufman, a Northern Colorado emergency room physician.
"It's not based on reality. It's based on somebody kind of jumping the gun and making a conclusion, and scientifically you can't do that."
Turns out, that's what happened in previous news reports, much to Nappe's dismay. Upon hearing that Nappe and Hoyte were not claiming that the child died from marijuana, Kaufman said "that's more responsible."
Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College, said that it doesn't strike him as impossible that the death described in the report could be linked to marijuana.
"Unambiguously, cannabis can accelerate the heart," said Caulkins, who is not a medical doctor but studies drug policy and markets. He also agreed that parents should keep marijuana out of reach of their children.
Millions of Americans use marijuana regularly, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and addiction treatment researcher Keith Humphreys said cannabis consumption has "virtually no risk."
The Drug Enforcement Administration states that there have been no reported overdose deaths from marijuana.
Even if after further studies it turns out that this child's death was caused by a marijuana overdose, it would be "a very unusual event," said Humphreys, a Stanford University psychiatry professor who served as a senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Obama administration.
"It would not be correct to go from this to a generalized panic about the lethality of cannabis. It's just not there," Humphreys said.
"This is not an omen of a disaster to come."
The changing nature of jurisprudence seems to be veering ever left these days. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been let off from any prison time for desertion, a crime that Pvt. Eddie Slovik was executed for on Jan. 31, 1945, during World War II; first such penalty since the Civil War.
Bergdahl is supposedly to be dishonorably discharged, thus losing pension, other benefits and a return of part of his pay since he was swapped for five Taliban thugs. But of course , there will be the inevitable book and the crying towel appearances on the many weepy cable shows that love such garbage.
Bradley Manning gave away national security secrets, spent a few years in prison and after deciding he preferred to wear a dress and lipstick, was released as Chelsea Manning.
Rick Koerber, regardless of the massive amount of evidence, won a mistrial on the charges of financial fraud.
Terry Diehl, who had suspicious dealings while with the UTA, has just had 14 charges removed leaving him with only one accusation, basically a matter of his income tax filing. He must still have some very powerful friends up on the hill.
The military judge in the Bergdahl case and the judge in the Diehl matter reducing more charges than Al Capone ever had leveled at him, belong back in law school.
I just hope Bergdahl doesn’t attempt to visit the VA hospital here in Salt Lake City. For there he would see a great number of brave men and women who have faced enemy fire, suffered the trials and inconveniences of battle conditions but still stayed on post and did not desert.
James F. Oshust, Millcreek
Corporations are people, my friend. Both Mitt Romney and the Supreme Court told us so years ago.
Still, they left out one key fact: It’s way better to be a corporate-person than a person-person. At least when Republicans are reshaping the tax code.
Republicans love cutting taxes. They’d cut all the taxes in the world if they could. But the rules that allow senators to pass their tax agenda with only 51 votes require setting priorities for who gets the most generous cuts, or any cuts at all. This week, the party made its top priority abundantly clear.
It chose corporations. By a long shot.
Both the House tax bill — which passed handily Thursday — and the Senate version are heavily weighted toward business. Both bills would slash rates on regular corporate profits, “pass-through” business income (currently taxed at regular individual rates) and overseas profits that get repatriated. They also provide other tax breaks for companies, such as allowing full and immediate expensing for qualified investments.
Of course, Republican lawmakers and administration officials promise that these corporate giveaways will really, truly, honest-to-goodness primarily benefit us regular humans, especially humans in the middle class.
That’s because, they claim, corporate tax cuts will unleash a wave of business investment and therefore economic growth, most of which will trickle down to the little people-people.
It’s hard to find an independent economist who buys this. Even corporate executives won’t back up this story.
At the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting this week, a Journal editor asked audience members to raise their hands if their companies planned to invest more should the tax legislation pass. Only a smattering of hands went up.
Gary Cohn, the director of President Trump’s National Economic Council, looked out at the crowd with surprise.
“Why aren’t the other hands up?” he said, laughing a bit.
This was no one-off embarrassment. A survey of 300 companies this summer similarly found that a tax holiday on the repatriation of overseas profits was more likely to lead to share buybacks, mergers and paying down debt than investment and hiring.
It gets worse. The Senate plan isn’t just more generous to companies than it is to individuals. It effectively takes from low- and middle-income individuals to give to corporations.
The Senate bill makes the corporate rate cuts permanent. Which is expensive. So expensive, in fact, that the cuts would cause the bill to run afoul of those rules that allow passage with a simple majority vote.
Senate Republicans came up with a solution, however. To offset the cost of those corporate cuts, they did a few things that hurt individuals.
First, they decided to “sunset” — that is, make temporary — nearly all of the goodies for households, such as the doubling of the standard deduction and expanding of the child tax credit, in their bill. Further, they changed the way that individual tax brackets are calculated so that households move into higher marginal rates more quickly than they do under current law.
Finally, they added the repeal of the individual health-insurance mandate, which would have the not-very-intuitive effect of reducing tax subsidies for lower- and middle-income Americans, some of whom will cease buying health insurance without the mandate.
The net result of these changes: Over time, fewer American households get tax cuts. In fact, as of 2021, households making $10,000 to $30,000 would see their taxes go up on average, according to a report released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ nonpartisan internal analysis shop.
And, by 2027, every income group under $75,000 would experience tax increases, on average, relative to what they would pay if Congress left the law unchanged.
This doesn’t even account for other effects of repealing the individual mandate that would also hurt many human-persons. Premiums, for instance, would spike, as healthier and younger people dropped out of individual insurance pools.
Nor does it include the fact that passing tax cuts this year would trigger automatic cuts to Medicare starting in January. Not a decade from now, or five years from now, but January. Overriding these cuts would require 60 votes in the Senate.
Perhaps because the legislative process has been so rushed, many senators don’t appear to even know that these cuts are in the offing. Even so, when given the opportunity to vote for an amendment explicitly ruling out cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid if their tax bill blows a hole in the budget, Republicans voted no Wednesday.
Person-persons, rather than corporate-persons, may still be the ones who vote. But they’re clearly not Republican lawmakers’ most prized constituents.
So I just watched a lineup of Republican lawmakers tout the massive virtues of their “middle-class” tax cut. Their pitch: An average American family of four, making $59,000, would receive an annual benefit of $1,182.
They went on and on (I mean on and on) about how much $1,182 would mean to that family. Really? That “massive” benefit amounts to $21.19 a week to that family. Every penny counts, but if they touted the weekly saving, because that’s the way many of these families have to live, they’d be laughed off the screen. Especially when compared to the massive tax cut the plan would give to the wealthy.
In 2005 (the only year in which we have his returns), our president had to pay an extra $31 million in taxes (due to the alternative minimum tax); that’s gone in this plan. That’s a weekly cash flow savings of $596,153.85 for the prez vs $21.19 for families who actually need it.
Greed is not good, but it’s alive and well in Washington.
Mark Petersen, Park City
The job of presidential press secretary may be a thankless task, but the two individuals who have occupied this position in the Trump administration share similar personal styles. Both Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders have a smug attitude designed to convey as little information as possible to the press and the public.
Sanders’ comments about the Mueller investigation are a perfect example. She averred that George Papadopoulos’ involvement with the Trump campaign was on a “volunteer and extremely limited role.” Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI with regard to “the timing, extent and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials.”
Apparently he was a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign and tried to arrange contacts with the Putin regime through senior members of the administration’s inner circle.
Methinks Papadopoulos’ role could hardly be minimized by saying he was a volunteer. Sanders’ dismissive comments are hardly edifying for those of us trying to understand the morass of the Trump administration.
Louis Borgenicht, Salt Lake City
I’m afraid that The Tribune’s “Proposed fee hikes are too much” editorial is evident of a typical mindset that the treasures we have in our irreplaceable and over-visited big five national parks are worth so little to so many.
It costs an adult $100 plus per person per day to go to Disneyland, EPCOT, Universal Studios, etc., and yet the editorial board thinks that increasing park vehicle fees from $30 to $70 is too much? I’m guessing that if you dug deeper you’d find that the cost of basic services (toilets, signage, roads, emergency services, training, staffing, equipment) has not gone down in the last decade, while visitors have increased substantially in all of the parks.
The experts at theme parks know exactly what to charge to run, update and make a profit while our national (and probably state-run) parks don’t even get close to breaking even. A car of four people would be spending $17.50 per person to see, feel and experience some of the most beautiful scenery in the world for the price of a movie ticket and a soda pop.
Our parks can never be replaced and must be protected and preserved for all generations, and raising fees will help tremendously. Senior passes are still available, and if low-income folks find it hard to afford, then offer a discount to those who can show they are receiving government aid of some kind.
There is always a way to help those who can’t afford higher prices, but never a way to replace our natural resources.
Babs De Lay, Salt Lake City
A recent poll showed that 67 percent of Utahns feel it is an appropriate expression of religious freedom for a baker to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
So, let me ask you: What part of your religious practice includes baking cakes for a living? Because my religious practice — and I share this state’s dominant religion with most of those in the poll — involves things like personal prayer, scripture study, giving service, going on a mission, attending church and going to the temple.
Using my personal bias to refuse to offer my work skills to a potential client is not a religious practice and should not be upheld by the courts, any more than a Southern Baptist should be able to say it is his deeply-held religious belief that a Negro should not order food at his Mississippi lunch counter. We’ve already legislated this issue decades ago.
As an accountant, I have quite a few gay clients, and I was once contacted by a girl who said she worked as a stripper, and when people found out what she did for a living, they refused to help her file her taxes.
I’ve got news for you all: Their money is still as green as anyone else’s, and since I am not in the business of turning down paying clients, feel free to send the ones you don’t want my way. Just don’t cheapen my religious values by claiming our shared religion requires you to do so.
William Brough, Sandy
Here are the three state championship games that will be contested at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium.
It’s fitting that the two best teams in the state will play for the state title. The Miners are trying to follow in South Summit’s footsteps and finish the year undefeated. Bingham took down East 48-17 in Week 2, but it seems irresponsible to think this meeting will be a blowout. Bingham’s defense isn’t allowing points, just like usual. The Miners’ last three opponents have scored one touchdown apiece, and Tanner Merrill returned an interception for a touchdown in the Miners’ state semifinal win over Herriman. Bingham last lost to a Utah opponent in the 2015 state semifinals. East put together a state-record 752 yards in its state quarterfinal win over American Fork but only managed 227 yards total in its 28-13 win over Lone Peak in the state semifinals. The Leopards did run for 379 yards against the Miners in Week 2, but senior Sioni Molisi accounted for 228 yards in that one. Molisi missed the state quarterfinals and only played at the end of the state semifinal. Turnovers crushed East in the Week 2 matchup. The Leopards turned over the ball five times, including three fumbles in the first half. They must clean up those or the game likely will get out of hand. East’s defense can’t be ignored either. The Leopards sacked Lone Peak quarterback Brock Jones nine times in the state semifinals, which helped account for the minus-18 yards rushing for the Knights.
Skyridge pulled off quite the rally to become just the fifth school in its second year to reach the state title game. The Falcons are trying to become the first to win it. QB Jayden Clemons connected with Nathan Upham for two passes covering 69 yards in 23 seconds for the winning touchdown. Clemons finished with 263 yards and four TDs through the air. It was his most passing TDs and second most passing yards in a game this season. The Falcons have averaged 48.5 points over their last four games. And the Skyridge defense, led by Brayden Togiai’s 14 total tackles, did sack Corner Canyon’s Zach Wilson three times in the state semifinal win. The defense is going to be tested by Lehi quarterback Cammon Cooper, who is headed to Washington State. Cooper has thrown for 4,464 yards and 53 TDs this season, including 330 yards and five TDs against Springville in the state semifinals. And the Pioneers ran the ball well against Springville. Carsen Manookin topped 1,000 yards this season by gaining 163 against Springville. Both teams have the ability to score a ton of points if a shootout breaks out — Skyridge’s season high is 60 points, while Lehi scored 72 in the season opener.
The Mustangs offense has leaned heavily on quarterback Brady Hall to move the ball this season. He’s thrown for 2,866 yards and 30 TDs while running for another 827 yards and nine scores. But it was Beau Robinson who shouldered the load in Mountain Crest’s 17-7 win over Stansbury in the state semifinals. He carried 21 times for 117 yards and a score. Hall still threw for 139 yards and ran for 49 yards against the Stallions, but his 188 yards was well below his average of 284.1 yards combined per game. Orem’s defense did a good job bottling up Sky View’s running game — the Bobcats only gained 64 yards on 21 carries — but surrendered 246 yards passing. Orem will counter with an offense that’s averaging 40.4 points over its last five games. Junior receiver Puka Nacua sits one TD catch short of tying the state record (24). He caught seven passes for 55 yards and a score in the Tigers’ win over Sky View. It broke a streak of four games with at least two TD catches. QB Cooper Legas was held under 200 yards passing and to less than two TD passes for the first time this season. He also threw two interceptions, but he did run for two scores.
In 2016, former “MythBusters” Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara reunited for a 10-part series, “The White Rabbit Project,” which pretty much disappeared into the vast pool of Netflix programming.
“A lot of our fans don’t even know we had a new show,” Bellici said.
“Rabbit” features the trio doing pretty much what they did for a decade on “MythBusters” — investigate. Experiment. Check out crazy tech and, yes, myths.
Not much of anybody noticed. Netflix throws so much programming at subscribers with so little promotion for most of it that many shows sail under the radar.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara will perform their show on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main St. in Salt Lake City. Tickets (from $30-$165) are available at the box office, online at live-at-the-eccles.com or by calling 801-355-2787.
(You can still stream the episodes on Netflix, of course. And it’s not to be confused with a new version of “MythBusters” with new hosts that airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m on the Science Channel.)
Belleci, Byron and Imahara have resurrected “White Rabbit” as a live stage show. They’re going “Down the Rabbit Hole” in Salt Lake City on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Eccles Theater.
“We thought it would be really fun to kind of take it on the road and get to actually meet the people who’ve been watching our shows and supporting us for so many years,” Byron said.
The live show gets the fans involved. The trio will talk about their experiences on “MythBusters” and “The White Rabbit Project”; they will do science exeriments/demonstrations; and they’ll pull people out of the audience to participate.
“People always say we are the luckiest people in the world,” Belleci said. “They wish they had our jobs. So this is their chance to come up onstage and be a part of demonstrations and experiments, so that they can see what it’s like to be a MythBuster.”
It’s your big chance to be “a human guinea pig,” Imahara said.
It’s worth pointing out that not all of their experiments worked. That not everything turned out the way Belleci, Byron and Imahara planned. So there’s potential for “humiliation,” Byron said with a laugh.
“Hopefully not,” she added. “But as with most live shows, I’m sure there will be a few things that go horribly wrong. Failure is always an option.”
Everything has been carefully planned, of course, but, “Doing science live onstage is definitely different than doing it in our shop,” said Imahara, who promised the stage show will be filled with “some cool science stuff.”
The plan is to keep the audience “happy and entertained,” Byron said. “And none of us get arrested.”
“And no injuries,” Belleci joked.
Still, “if something goes wrong, it goes wrong,” Imahara said.
“The show must go on!” Belleci said.
Pentagon ‘erroneously’ retweets call for Trump’s resignation. Tax reform measure passes the House. Hatch backs fix to criminal background system for guns.
Happy Friday. The Department of Defense retweeted and then quickly disavowed what it called a mistaken retweet from its official social media account of an activist’s call for President Donald Trump to step down. A Twitter user identified as @proudresister, in referring to recent allegations of sexual misconduct, tweeted: “The solution is simple… Roy Moore: Step down from the race. Al Franken: Resign from congress.” The tweet concluded with “Donald Trump: Resign from the presidency. GOP: Stop making sexual assault a partisan issue. It’s a crime as is your hypocrisy.” [Politico]
-> Washington Post journalist and Watergate reporter Bob Woodward spoke at the University of Utah’s Sam Rich Lecture Series and reminded journalists to be patient and cautious in their reporting during the Trump administration. [Trib] [DNews]
-> After the mass shooting in Texas, Sen. Hatch signed onto a bill Thursday that will enforce a law which requires agencies to report records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @StephenAtHome: “If I’m reading this week’s news correctly, is the solution to all of this to nominate Drake to the Senate?”
-> From @kelsey_snell: “I love listening to Grassley vote on these amendments “GRASSLEY NO!” before they call his name or really even start calling votes at all.“
-> From @rorycooper: “This is going to be the Inception of ‘how did SNL handle this story’ news cycles.”
-> From @fivefifths: “Maybe we just should stop electing dudes into office for a while”
Happy Birthday: To Alan Crooks.
Happy Anniversary: On Saturday to U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. and his wife Mary Kaye.
Behind the Headlines: Tribune reporter Jennifer Dobner, Washington Bureau Chief Thomas Burr, government and politics editor Dan Harrie and editorial page editor George Pyle join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including online sex education and the opioid crisis.EachFridaymorning, stream “Behind the Headlines” online at kcpw.org or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast.
-> Starting Monday, I-215 will be clear of the construction that’s taken place over the past eighteen months. [Trib]
-> Rep. Mia Love responded to sexual misconduct allegations made against Sen. Al Franken. [DNews]
-> Pat Bagley compares the president’s turkey pardon with the recent reversal of the elephant trophy ban. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly talks about a recent Trump judicial nominee who Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Mike Lee backed. [Trib]
Nationally: The House passed the GOP’s tax bill and the Senate Finance Committee approved the tax package on Thursday night. The full Senate is expected to take the next step after Thanksgiving. [NYTimes]
-> Leeann Tweeden accused Sen. Al Franken of sexual misconduct, prompting fellow senators to call for an ethics investigation. [WaPost]
-> After a mistrial was announced in the bribery and corruption case, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requested an ethics probe into Sen. Bob Menendez. [Politico]
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at email@example.com. If you haven’t already, email us to sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox.
Donnie Tillman still felt the effects of a stomach bug on Thursday nights. At times on the bench, he had a towel covering his mouth because he was coughing and spitting up.
But he didn’t let illness stop him from filling the role the Utes envisioned for him.
Tillman finished the game with his first career double-double having registered 11 points, 10 rebounds, one block and one steal in Utah’s 77-59 victory against Missouri on Thursday night at the Huntsman Center.
“We had a little sitdown conversation four, five days ago to clear some things ups,” Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “He’s been bringing an awful lot of energy to our practices, and it’s kind of a little bit of karma. When you practice well and focus and play as hard as he did — our key was focusing on the defense and the rebounding and a lot of time the offense will take care of itself, and it did.”
Tillman, a four-star recruit from Findlay Prep in Nevada, averaged six points and four rebounds in the first two games of the season for Utah before Thursday.
“Coach was telling me he was looking for a motor guy, so like Draymond [Green], Kawhi [Leonard], a two-way player,” Tillman said referring to the Golden State Warriors forward and the San Antonio Spurs MVP candidate. “He needs someone who could put it on the ground and attack, get to the free throw line, and who can defend multiple positions.”
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak talking about how he thought his team took care of the ball against Missouri. pic.twitter.com/ewBoXnS0mI— Lynn Worthy (@LWorthySports) November 17, 2017
Against Missouri, Tillman scored all 11 of his points in the first half on 4-for-5 shooting, making one 3-pointer. He got the free throw line for three attempts and also grabbed five rebounds and one steal.
And, he did it all in 10 minutes to help the Utes build a 16-point halftime lead.
“I was just being aggressive,” Tillman said. “I knew I had like a big, slower guy — a 6-11 guy trying to guard me so I just tried to get to the rim first, get a foul, make some contact and things were just going in.”
Turnovers doomed the Utes in last weekend’s loss to Luke Falk and the Washington State Cougars. But if you “really try hard, and wish and hope” can you find enough positives and, possibly, a path for Utah to still save its season?
On this week’s episode of Game of Throws, the Tribune’s Utah football podcast, we try — but it isn’t easy.
At 1:30 — We sort through the rubble in search of bright spots, which might include a 300-yard passing game despite Darren Carrington’s absence against a tough Wazzu defense.
At 6:30 — Trib columnist Kurt Kragthorpe believes bowl eligibility will ease the pain on the hill despite an overall disappointing season. Is he right?
At 11:15 — Offensive coordinator Troy Taylor has acknowledged the struggles of his first season and thinks Tyler Huntley still has lots of potential to improve. Will the OC be around to help Huntley develop next year?
At 15:25 — Don’t kid yourself: There won’t be anything easy about taking on Washington in Seattle. The worst part? The Huskies are going to be angry after a loss to Stanford.
Or on SoundCloud.
Steven Stamkos had two goals and two assists, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 27 saves to beat mentor Ben Bishop, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 6-1 on Thursday night.
Vasilevskiy was Bishop's backup in Tampa Bay for parts of three seasons until Bishop was dealt to Los Angeles last February. Bishop holds the Lightning career wins record with 131, while Vasilevskiy has gone 26-5-3 since taking over the starting role. It was Bishop's first game against Tampa Bay since the trade.
Stamkos has 10 goals and an NHL-best 35 points after missing most of last season with a lateral meniscus tear. Mikhail Sergachev, Brayden Point, Jake Dotchin and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning, who have the NHL's best record at 15-2-2.
Radek Faksa scored for Dallas, and Bishop stopped 22 shots.
Coyotes 5, Canadiens 4 • Derek Stepan and Christian Fischer scored power-play goals in the third period and Arizona rallied to beat Montreal for its first regulation victory of the season.
Brad Richardson, Christian Dvorak and Tobias Rieder also scored for the Coyotes, and Antti Raanta made 33 saves. Arizona snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 3-15-3.
Brendan Gallagher, Paul Byron, Joe Morrow and Shea Weber scored for the Canadiens, and Charlie Lindgren stopped 27 shots.
Maple Leafs 1, Devils 0, OT • William Nylander scored with 2.2 seconds left in overtime and Frederik Andersen made 42 saves in Toronto's victory over New Jersey.
The Maple Leafs have won five straight to improve to 13-7-0.
Corey Schneider stopped 24 shots for New Jersey. The Devils dropped to 11-4-3.
Toronto star center Auston Matthews was on the ice for the optional morning skate, but sat out his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury.
Islanders 6, Hurricanes 4 • Johnny Boychuk scored the tiebreaking goal on a slap shot with 4:25 remaining and New York rallied to beat Carolina.
Mathew Barzal had a goal and two assists, and Nick Leddy, Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck each had a goal and an assist to help the Islanders remain one of two NHL teams without a regulation loss at home this season at 6-0-2. Jordan Eberle added an empty-netter, and Thomas Greiss finished with 28 saves.
Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanafin and Derek Ryan scored for Carolina.
Penguins 3, Senators 1 • Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel each scored in the second period and Pittsburgh held on to beat Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Riley Sheahan added an empty-net goal, and Matt Murray made 21 saves.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored in the third period for Ottawa.
Golden Knights 5, Canucks 2 • Erik Haula scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Vegas beat Vancouver.
Haula, David Perron, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson each had a goal and an assist, and Reilly Smith added an empty-netter. Vegas improved to 11-6-1 in its debut season. Maxime Lagace had 19 saves.
Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat scored for Vancouver. Jacob Markstrom made 25 stops.
The teams were sent to the locker rooms with under a minute left in the second period when a fan seated in one of the corners was hit in the head by an errant puck. One of the officials on the ice threw towels to nearby spectators to help with the bleeding, and the fan was eventually taken away on a stretcher.
Jets 3, Flyers 2, SO • Bryan Little scored the deciding goal in a shootout and Winnipeg rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Philadelphia .
Mark Scheifele tied it 2-all when he scored with 49 seconds left in the third period with Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck pulled for an extra attacker.
Mathieu Perreault, back on the ice after missing 12 games with a lower-body injury, also scored for Winnipeg. Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier had first-period goals for the Flyers.
Avalanche 6, Capitals 2 • Gabriel Landeskog scored three goals — one on a penalty shot — for his first career hat trick, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and four assists and Colorado beat Washington.
Mikko Rantanen added a goal and three assists, Colin Wilson also scored and Semyon Varlamov had 28 saves for the Avalanche. Brett Connolly and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals.
Wild 6, Predators 4 • Jason Zucker scored with 2:55 left and Minnesota scored four goals in less than six minutes in the third period to beat Nashville.
Jared Spurgeon, Eric Staal, Ryan Suter, Matt Dumba and Nino Niederreiter also scored. Minnesota has won four in a row. Ryan Johansen, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and Viktor Arvidsson scored for Nashville.
Panthers 2, Sharks 0 • Roberto Luongo made 35 saves for his 74th career shutout and Florida blanked San Jose on goals by Colton Sceviour and Nick Bjugstad.
Martin Jones was nearly as good for the Sharks. He stopped 26 shots, but that wasn't enough to keep the Panthers from winning for the seventh time in their last eight trips to San Jose.
Blues 4, Oilers 1 • Brayden Schenn had two goals and an assist to help St. Louis beat Edmonton.
Vladimir Sobotka and Alexander Steen also scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen made 29 saves. St. Louis improved to 14-5-1. Ryan Strome scored for the Oilers.
Boston • Hours before the Celtics took the court Thursday night to protect their winning streak against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, Jaylen Brown was walking around in a fog.
Boston's second-year forward was not even thinking about basketball after learning about the sudden death of his childhood best friend, Trevin Steede, on Wednesday night.
"It was tough to kind of accept it," Brown said. "Plus, I was kind of in shock."
But after talking to his family and having conversations with Celtics coach Brad Stevens, Brown looked to the basketball court to find solace. The 21-year-old ended up playing one of the best games of his young career.
Brown had 22 points and seven rebounds, Kyrie Irving had 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including two free throws that put Boston ahead in the closing seconds, and the Celtics beat the Warriors 92-88 on Thursday night for their 14th straight victory.
"He inspired me to come out and play and I played in his spirit," Brown said about Steede.
They met after Brown transferred to Joseph Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia.
"I remember I didn't have any friends," Brown said. "The first few days I sat at the lunch table by myself — I'm super quiet and didn't know anybody."
Steede noticed Brown sitting alone one day and told him he could sit with him.
"Ever since then we've been best friends. ... He's been my brother." Brown said.
He said the circumstances of Steede's death are still being determined and he declined further comment out of respect for his family. After the final buzzer, Irving walked over and embraced Brown.
"Ky gave me the game ball and said, 'This one was for Trevin,'" Irving said.
Kevin Durant had 24 points for Golden State. The Warriors had won seven in a row.
Playing his second game since suffering a facial fracture, Irving shed his protective mask in the second quarter. Then, with the game tied at 88, he was fouled on his layup attempt and calmly made a pair of free throws. Durant then came up empty on his jumper on the other end.
Golden State led by as many as 17, but had to lean heavily on its reserves as its trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Durant struggled offensively.
Curry, who returned to action after missing a game with a bruised right thigh, was the most ineffective. He was 3 of 14 from the field — 2 of 9 from the 3-point line — and had nine points.
"It was just one of those nights," Curry said. "We had control of the game despite how bad we all were shooting. We just didn't sustain ourselves defensively."
Curry sat for a long stretch after picking up his fourth foul early in the third quarter.
"We kind of fell out of our rotation in the third quarter," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "They were just tougher and smarter than we were tonight
Boston came in limiting opponents to just 94.5 points per game, the stingiest mark in the NBA this season. It did even better against a Warriors team that entered the night averaging an NBA-best 119.6 points.
Rockets 142, Suns 116 • James Harden had 23 of his 48 points in the second quarter while Houston scored 90 points in the first half en route to a win over Phoenix.
Houston dominated with Chris Paul back in the lineup after missing 14 games with a knee injury. The Rockets made 61 percent of their first-half shots to get the second-most points in a first half in NBA history.
Troy Daniels tied a Suns franchise record with six 3s in the second quarter and led Phoenix with 23 points. Devin Booker added 18 points and 10 assists.
Las Vegas • Jack Murphy zigzagged across his hometown, ducking into gyms to watch AAU basketball players on all points of the Las Vegas compass.
Some stops lasted minutes, long enough for Murphy to stand near a doorway to evaluate a player who just popped up on his radar. Others, he stayed the entire game, prominently positioned with an assistant coach at his side in a show of solidarity toward a player — and his family — they hope to sign.
The Northern Arizona coach made 11 stops in all — some gyms multiple times — that 14-hour, crisscrossed day, the first of three marathons during the summer's final live evaluation period.
Murphy was not alone; hundreds of coaches from across the country burned through tanks of gas to watch the nation's best young basketball players in late July.
One significant difference: Murphy and other coaches of low-major programs sought a different type of talent than coaches at the highest echelon of Division I.
Of course Murphy noticed the five-star recruits, those long, agile players, heads above the rim, rainbowing in 3-pointers from all angles. It doesn't take a coach to see their talent.
By necessity, Murphy's sights were much further down the recruiting spectrum.
"Would I love to have one of those elite players? Absolutely. Who wouldn't?" Murphy said. "But that's not the world we live in."
The low-major programs are often in different galaxies than high-major schools.
College basketball has one of sports' most unique structures, 351 schools all supposedly on the same level.
Reality: The low-majors rarely stand much of a chance against the power programs, faced with a multitude of disadvantages, from finances to facilities to travel.
Recruiting is a huge one.
While top-tier programs fight over future pros, low-major coaches go after players with fewer stars before their names.
They seek overlooked players who somehow slipped through the far-reaching recruiting cracks. They recruit skilled players who might be a little too short or skinny to draw interest from the power programs. They search for someone who can fit their system or be molded into it.
"I couldn't tell you who the No. 1 kid in the country is," Sacramento State coach Brian Katz said. "Unless he's on our radar, I don't know who anybody is. I can walk into a gym and figure out where I am right away. If all the big boys from the ACC are there, I'm probably on the wrong court. You're typically fishing from a little different pond than those guys."
Recruiting has always had a shady side, filled with backroom deals, gifts, even paying recruits to attend a certain school.
The veil of the worst-kept secret in college basketball was ripped back in August, when 10 people — four assistant coaches from prominent schools among them — were arrested as part of a federal investigation that revealed kickbacks and bribes from shoe companies being used to sway players.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were fired, and the tentacles will likely reach deeper, casting an even darker shadow over the sport.
Low-major coaches won't have to hide.
Shoe-company money gets funneled to top-tier players, potential NBA stars worth millions. Most low-major players are more likely to work at a shoe company than to become an NBA star.
High-majors have multimillion-dollar shoe deals. Low-majors, far less lucrative, if any at all.
The notion of paying a player $150,000 to attend a low-major school? Laughable.
"It's just not going to happen," Murphy said.
What low-major coaches can offer is a chance to improve and earn a degree.
That's not to say coaches at high-major programs don't make players better. It's just that they're often preparing already high-end players for the next level. Well, that and winning games.
Low-major players have talent — they wouldn't be playing Division I basketball otherwise — but often aren't as polished as the five-star recruits.
So when low-major coaches are in the living rooms of recruits, they tout the school, the program, the town, but also the ability to develop them as players.
Low-major coaches are often masters of developing fundamentals. It's the only way their teams have any shot against high-major, even mid-major teams, but also because their players often don't get the high-level coaching found on the travel-team circuits.
"You've got to be so good at that because when you go into the recruiting process, that's the thing you've got to sell," said former Wake Forest and South Carolina coach Dave Odom. "'If you're good enough to get to the NBA, I will develop you and get you to that point.' They have to drive that home."
Once low-major coaches get a foot in the door, it's work fast or risk getting locked out.
Recruiting has turned into an all-seeing monster, top players sometimes identified by the eighth grade, their every point and rebound documented.
Navigating this world turns low-major coaches into hidden-talent detectives.
They look at end-of-the-bench players on big AAU teams; talented, but buried behind the five-stars. Could be a player who didn't play AAU ball or one tucked away in a small school or town off the recruiting grid.
And the clock is constantly ticking.
In the overexposed world of recruiting, it's a matter of time before a major program unearths a once-hidden talent and whisks him away from the smaller schools.
The high turnover rate in coaching also takes a toll. New high-major coaches sometimes sign mid-major-type players to fill out a recruiting class, causing a trickle-down effect on the low-majors.
That's what makes the early-signing period, which ended on Monday, so important to the low-majors. Sign a recruit in the fall, they don't have to worry about another school snatching him up. Wait until spring, there's a chance another school will be onto him.
"There's just so much time between November and April," Murphy said. "To get guys in the fall, it really solidifies your program, helps you understand who you have coming in and you can get a steal in that time period. Whereas if it drags out, you lose."
Recruiting, like most of life in the mid-majors, is a never-ending fight to win the little battles with the power programs.
Tucson, Ariz. • Allonzo Trier made eight of nine shots, including all three 3-point attempts, for 28 points and No. 3 Arizona coasted to its third straight victory, 91-59 over Cal State Bakersfield on Thursday night.
Freshman Deandre Ayton added 18 points, 16 in the second half, and grabbed 10 rebounds — his third double-double to start his college career — for Arizona (3-0). Dusan Ristic scored 12 points and Parker Jackson-Cartwright 11 for the Wildcats, who led by as many as 18 in the first half and 38 in the second.
Jarkel Joiner scored 14 points, Moataz Aly 12 and Shon Briggs 11 for the Roadrunners (1-2).
No. 8 Florida 108, North Florida 68 • In Gainesville, Fla., behind a balanced effort and six double-figure scorers, Florida dominated.
Junior KeVaughn Allen was Florida's top scorer with 18 points. The balanced scoring helped the Gators (2-0) dismantle the Ospreys (0-4) from the beginning, with Keith Stone, Gorjok Gak and Allen contributing some emphatic dunks along the way.
Stone was next on Florida's balanced scoring sheet with 14 points. He was followed by Jalen Hudson with 13 and Egor Koulechov, Deaundrae Ballard and Gak with 12 each.
Trip Day's 14 points led the Ospreys.
No. 11 Miami 90, Florida A&M 59 • In Coral Gables, Fla., highly touted Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV limped off the court in the first half after twisting his left ankle, but coach Jim Larranaga said he didn't think the injury was serious.
Larranaga said he didn't expect Walker to miss any games. The Hurricanes are scheduled to play La Salle next Wednesday in Walker's hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania.
"We won't know for a couple of days, but I think he's fine," Larranaga said. "I'm sure he'll be ready."
Walker, who underwent surgery in July for torn meniscus in his right knee, stepped on another player's foot after missing a 3-point attempt. The freshman guard collapsed to the court and immediately was assisted to the locker room.
Bruce Brown had 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Hurricanes, who shot 59 percent and had six players in double figures.
Miami (3-0) has outscored opponents by an average of 32 points, while A&M; (0-3) has been outscored by an average of 30.
Marcus Barham scored 22 points for the Rattlers.
No. 12 Cincinnati 97, Coppin St. 54 • In Highland Heights, Ky., Jarron Cumberland led Cincinnati's opening blitz of 13 made shots.
The Bearcats (3-0) piled up 107 and 102 points while beating Savannah State and Western Carolina, and were trying to reach triple digits in three straight games for the first time in school history. They came up short, failing to make a field goal in the final 4 minutes.
They made quick work of the Eagles (0-3), who have yet to score more than 54 points in a game. Cincinnati made its first 13 shots — five from beyond the arc — while racing ahead 35-13. Cumberland had 12 of his 17 points in the Bearcats' perfect opening spurt.
Karonn Davis scored 10 points for Coppin State, which is playing three road games in four days.
No. 13 Notre Dame 105, Chicago St. 66 • In South Bend, Ind., sophomore guard T.J. Gibbs survived a scary second-half fall to score a career-high 23 points for Notre Dame.
Gibbs hit the court hard with 11:59 remaining in the second half but stayed in the game for the Irish (3-0). He finished 8 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc, and added three assists before taking a seat on the bench with 5:47 remaining.
Bonzie Colson had 15 points and nine rebounds, and fellow senior Matt Farrell added 18 points and four assists.
Fred Sims Jr. led Chicago State (1-3) with 19 points and Jelani Pruitt had 16.
No. 15 Xavier 80, Wisconsin 70 • In Madison, Wis., Trevon Bluiett scored 25 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers in a decisive run over the final 1:47, to help Xavier pull away late in one of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
J.P. Macura added 20 points for the Musketeers (3-0).
Ethan Happ led Wisconsin (2-1) with 21 points and eight assists.
Bluiett took control in the closing minutes, scoring 10 of Xavier's final 14 points. His 3 with 1:47 left bounced high off the rim before falling through the hoop to put Xavier up for good, 69-66.
Brandon Better had all 15 of his points in the first half and Jadon Cohee finished with 19 as Southern Utah started fast and held on for an 81-69 win over San Jose State on Thursday night.
Better outscored the Spartans early as he drilled four from beyond the arc and converted a 3-point play to give Southern Utah a 30-14 lead with 4:10 left in the first half.
Jaycee Hillsman's 3-point play with 6:43 remaining in the game pulled the Spartans to within eight, 61-53. Cohee hit a 3 for a 74-61 lead at the 2:41 mark and Dre Marin's jumper gave the Thunderbirds a 76-63 lead with 1:22 left.
Southern Utah (1-2) made seven more from distance, hitting 29 of 64 field goals. The Spartans made 46 percent (23-50).
No. 8 BYU 3, San Francisco 0 • Junior outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perry led BYU to a 25-12, 25-17, 25-12 win with 19 kills, four digs and two aces. McKenna Miller added 12 kills for BYU (26-2, 15-1 West Coast Conference).
Utah Valley 3, UMKC 1 • Madison Dennison finished with 17 kills and seven blocks as the Wolverines won 24-26, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 in the first round of the WAC tournament.
Nevada 3, Utah State 1 • Kassidy Johnson had 49 assists and eight digs for the Aggies in a 25-19, 17-25, 25-23, 28-26 loss to the Wolf Pack.
North Dakota 3, Weber State 1 • Andrea Hale had 24 kills, Amanda Varley had 15 kills and 13 digs for Weber State and Megan Gneitling added 12 kills and 12 digs in a loss in the first round of the Big Sky tournament.
SLCC 59, Odessa 44 • Bruins coach Betsy Specketer won her 499th career game as Tia Hay led SLCC (5-0) with 13 points.
SLCC 99, Lee College 62 • Christian Gray led the 7-0 Bruins with 22 points and Kur Kuath added 21 points and five rebounds for the winners.
Longtime Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward avoids comparing President Donald Trump to Richard Nixon.
Nixon directed an operation that sought to subvert an election against his Democratic opponent during Watergate scandal that Woodward uncovered as a young reporter working for The Post.
There is evidence of impropriety among key staffers of the Trump campaign, yet Woodward cautioned journalists Thursday night to follow the story and evidence patiently.
“Restraint always works,” Woodward said in the University of Utah’s Sam Rich Lecture Series. “Who knows where the story is going?”
When reporters fail to get out, report thoroughly and wait for a story to guide them, they are at risk for getting it wrong, Woodward said.
When former President Gerald Ford pardoned his predecessor, Woodward said it appeared at the time to represent a grave case of corruption.
“The son of a b---- pardoned the son of a b----,” Woodward remembered his reporting teammate, Carl Bernstein, telling him shortly after the pardon.
More than two decades later, after speaking directly with Ford for the first time, Woodward said the conversation convinced him that the Nixon pardon was an act that served the national interest by helping the nation move on from the scandal.
Reporters must be “rigorously empirical” when working to unravel the 2016 presidential campaign, which featured questions about the Russian government’s possible support for Trump’s candidacy.
There has been “unhinged” reporting “on both sides,” Woodward said, though he noted that some journalists were doing a good job of waiting out the story.
“The pressure is on,” he said. “As it should be.”
Woodward also encouraged journalists to show up in person and get out of the office, noting that crucial reporting happens during human interaction.
Such reporting is crucial now more than ever as the country remains divided and political and cultural norms are being tested under Trump, who Woodward told him believes “real power is fear.”
“This really is the final exam for democracy,” he said.
Portland, Ore. • A person familiar with the decision confirmed that head coach Caleb Porter has parted ways with the Portland Timbers.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made by the team. The surprise move was first reported Thursday night by the soccer website FourFourTwo.com.
The 42-year-old Porter has been coach of the Timbers for the past five seasons, compiling a 60-50-52 record and guiding the team to the MLS Cup Championship in 2015. He was named the MLS Coach of the Year after his first season with the team in 2013.
He signed a long-term contract extension with the team in January, 2016.
Porter tied the Major League Soccer record league record for fewest losses through his first 100 games with just 25. This season he coached his 150th game in the league.
The Timbers qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League twice during his time with the team. The Timbers also reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup in 2013, his first season with the team
The Timbers finished this season as the top seed in the Western Conference, but fell in the conference semifinals 2-1 on aggregate to the Houston Dynamo. The Timbers were decimated by injuries in the semis, including midfielder Diego Chara, who broke a bone in his foot.
"This is one that hurts for sure. We fell short. We felt we could move on, but we didn't," Porter said after the game. "When the dust settles I think we will look back and realize it was a good season, but it's also a season where you think to yourself 'what if?' 'What if we were at full strength?'"
Porter came to the Timbers from the University of Akron, where he was head coach of the Zips from 2006-12. He went to the NCAA College Cup championship game twice during his tenure, winning the title in 2010.
After that loss to Houston to end the season, Porter praised his players.
"One to 25 they were all good guys and there was a great spirit in that locker room. That's really what made us the team that we were this year. It's the team and the locker room and the guys' character," he said. "So I really enjoyed spending a lot of time in the trenches with these guys. Like I said in a couple days we will realize it was a good season. We made a lot of steps forward this year. We still need to make more steps, but we had a good bounce back from last year."
Pittsburgh • Ben Roethlisberger threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns, three to Antonio Brown, and the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled away from the Tennessee Titans in a 40-17 victory on Thursday night.
Running the no-huddle offense extensively for the first time all season, Roethlisberger completed 30 of 45 passes to help the Steelers (8-2) win their fifth straight.
Brown caught 10 passes for 144 yards and the three scores, including an acrobatic grab in the back of the end zone in which he pinned the ball to his helmet before bringing it in to put Pittsburgh up 20 in the fourth quarter.
Marcus Mariota ran for a touchdown and threw for another but also was picked off four times as the Titans (6-4) saw their four-game winning streak come to a crashing halt. Mariota finished 22 of 33 for 306 yards but was under pressure much of the night, absorbing five sacks and rarely finding room to move outside the pocket.
Still, Tennessee appeared to be in it when Mariota hit Rishard Matthews with a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second half to get to 16-14 but Pittsburgh's long-sputtering offense finally came to life.
Roethlisberger dropped some very not subtle hints that he wanted the freedom provided by the no-huddle after the Steelers used it to pick the Colts apart during the winning drive last Sunday in Indianapolis.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley appeared to be listening.
Pittsburgh opened in the no huddle and needed just six plays to take the lead as Roethlisberger took advantage of a free play and hit Brown with a 41-yard rainbow. Mike Hilton then returned Mariota's interception to set up the first of Chris Boswell's four field goals and the Steelers appeared on the verge of another prime-time blowout at home.
The blowout did eventually arrive, just not quickly.
The offense ground to a halt for the rest of the half, held in check by former defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. The Hall of Famer spent 12 years building a defense that helped Pittsburgh to a pair of Super Bowl victories before being ushered out in favor of protege Keith Butler in January, 2015. The 80-year-old is in the middle of his latest project with the steadily improving Titans.
Yet the gap between Tennessee and Pittsburgh remains significant. The proof came after Mathews' long catch-and-run appeared to give the Titans momentum.
It didn't last.
The Steelers, with Roethlisberger deftly at the controls, finally showcased the firepower they've only flirted with this season. The 35-year-old who has struggled with his accuracy at times was near perfect over the final 30 minutes. He finished 20 of 23 for 185 yards in the second half as Pittsburgh's $92-million offense sprang to life but scoring on four straight possessions.
Roethlisberger found a leaping Brown for a 5-yard score to put Pittsburgh up 23-14, executed a perfect play-action fake that the goal line before flipping it to a wide-open Jesse James for a 1-yard touchdown and put the Titans away with a lob to the back corner of the end zone that Brown somehow hauled in from 10 yards out that made it 37-17.
Pittsburgh rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster knelt down and bowed to Brown during the giddy celebration. Hard to blame the 20-year-old. For the first time all season, the Steelers put it all together and looked every bit like a team with a legitimate threat to play deep into January and beyond.
Titans: Visit Indianapolis on Nov. 26. Tennessee beat the Colts 36-22 on Oct. 16.
Steelers: Welcome the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 26, the second of four straight prime-time games for Pittsburgh.
A fire in Taylorsville on Thursday night burned both units of a duplex and melted the siding off a third unit. It displaced at least six people, but no one was injured.
Unified Fire Authority spokesman Matthew McFarland said a report of the fire came in at 7:20 p.m. When firefighters arrived, one unit of the duplex, a car and a carport were engulfed in flames. The fire was spreading to the conjoined unit.
Investigators do not know what caused the fire.
The fire eventually took over both units and scorched the exterior of a third, not connected unit, McFarland said. Forty firefighters extinguished the blaze within 30 minutes of the 911 call.
McFarland said four people in the building at the time had left the home before firefighters arrived, and six people are displaced. Dogs and cats were also in the building. McFarland said all but one cat is accounted for. He said the occupants refused aid from the Red Cross and are being helped by friends and family.
McFarland said an investigation into the cause is underway and there is no damage estimate.
New York • The Associated Press has obtained a letter sent by the NFL to Jerry Jones' attorney accusing the Dallas Cowboys owner of "conduct detrimental to the league's best interests" over his objection to a contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The letter accusing Jones of sabotaging the negotiations was sent to David Boies on Wednesday. Jones hired Boies and threatened to sue the NFL if Goodell's contract extension was approved by the compensation committee, made up of six owners. All 32 owners voted unanimously in May to let the committee finalize a deal with Goodell.
The letter, first reported by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, was written by outside counsel for the compensation committee and given to the AP by a person who requested anonymity because it was not intended to be made public.
It's the latest escalation of a feud between the NFL and one of its most powerful owners. Jones has denied that his objections to the extension are tied to Goodell's decision to suspend star running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games over alleged domestic violence.
Elliott abandoned his legal fight over the suspension Wednesday. He has five games left to serve.
"Your client's antics, whatever their motivation, are damaging the league and reflect conduct detrimental to the league's best interests," the letter said.
Jones has said he has issues with compensation in the deal, along with concerns about the escalation of player protests involving the national anthem and how the league has handled them. He also has suggested that owners should revisit the power that the position wields.
The letter confirmed that Jones was removed as a non-voting member of the compensation committee after threatening to sue.
Jones, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, was accused of sharing with all the owners an outdated document related to the negotiations with Goodell.
"Someone who is genuinely concerned 'that the owners know the truth about the negotiations' would not deliberately distribute such an outdated document, particularly when he has in his possession drafts that are current and accurately reflect the actual state of negotiations, or threaten to sue the league and its owners if he does not get his way," the letter said.
Jones has acknowledged being at odds with the compensation committee chairman, Atlanta owner Arthur Blank, over the Goodell talks. They didn't speak on the field before the Falcons' 27-7 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday.
Blank issued a statement Monday saying the committee planned to proceed with finalizing the Goodell deal and would keep other owners updated.
A spokesman for Jones didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jones claimed Tuesday on his radio show that "well over half" the owners agree with him in wanting a final vote after the committee is finished negotiating the deal.
"With due respect, we urge Mr. Jones to drop his misguided litigation threats and media campaign to undermine the committee's mandate," the letter said. "And we urge Mr. Jones to support the committee's deliberations, not attempt to sabotage them."
Thomas Jefferson had a complicated relationship with the Bible.
By the time he was elected the nation’s third president in 1801, the Founding Father had become a champion of separation of church and state. His Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a precursor to First Amendment safeguards on religious freedom in the Constitution, passed the state’s general assembly in January 1786. When campaigning for president, Jefferson was berated by his opponents for being “anti-Christian” and “an infidel.” Once in office, Jefferson hosted what is believed to be the White House’s first iftar — the sunset meal to break daily fasts during Ramadan — in 1805.
Jefferson kept his own religious views private. But he always wrestled with the veracity of the New Testament. That’s when his penknife came in handy.
Jefferson believed that to glean the most from the New Testament, Jesus’ moral teachings needed to be separated from the miracles in the Gospels that he found suspect. He ordered six volumes — in English, French, Latin and Greek — and took a blade to their thin pages, rearranging Jesus’ teachings in chronological order and cutting out what he saw as embellishments that he didn’t believe. He felt those core teachings provided “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.”
Jefferson pasted his preserved passages on blank sheets of paper and sent the scrapbook off to a book binder. In 1820, when Jefferson was 77 years old, the small, red volume of roughly 80 pages was complete.
Titled “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth,” Jefferson leaned on its lessons in the last years of his life. Harry Rubenstein, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, described the book, known as the “Jefferson Bible,” as well-worn and riddled with dog-eared pages.
“You have this question of, ‘what is the new moral pinning for this republic?’” Rubenstein said. In his last years at Monticello, Jefferson sought to cut and paste an answer together.
Visitors to Washington’s new Museum of the Bible, opening Nov. 18, will have to walk over to the American History Museum to see the Jefferson Bible. But the new museum includes an exhibit on the founder’s views on religion and the Bible, which has long played in the lives of U.S. presidents. Nearly all have taken their oath of office with their hand on a Bible, and many quote passages from it in their inaugural addresses. Here are a few more notable stories about presidents and the Bible:
• John Quincy Adams, president of the American Bible Society, took the oath of office without one.
Adams was reared in a liberal strand of the Congregational Church. But, like his father, President John Adams, he migrated over to a more conservative tradition and toward Unitarianism. Though his views on religion constantly evolved, he wrote of his “veneration” of the Bible. “So strong is my belief, that when duly read and meditated on, it is of all books in the world, that which contributes most to making men good, wise and happy.”
While serving as secretary of state, Adams accepted the presidency of the American Bible Society. Yet upon his inauguration in 1825, Adams chose not to take the oath of office on a Bible, instead placing his hand on a U.S. law tome. He wanted to recognize the nation’s legal distinction between church and state and show that he placed the law above religion. (Theodore Roosevelt also did not swear on a Bible at his first inauguration in 1901.)
• Abraham Lincoln grappled with his faith over slavery.
A promotional video for the Bible Museum shows a silhouette of Lincoln reading the Bible before the camera pans to a Civil War battle scene. During his years as a struggling Illinois politician, Lincoln had been attacked as a nonbeliever, which Lincoln disputed, saying he couldn’t support a politician, “I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion.”
At his inauguration in March 1861, Lincoln’s family Bible was still en route from Springfield, Ill., along with the rest of his belongings. So he borrowed a copy provided by a Supreme Court clerk. Upon giving the oath of office, Lincoln spoke of the nation’s reliance on God, a theme he would reference again when the United States splintered during the Civil War. In one private writing known as the “Meditation on the Divine Will,” Lincoln did not assert that God favored the Union cause but instead “wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet.”
Just days after the Union victory at Antietam, Lincoln gathered his Cabinet to share that he had been debating with God over the issue of slavery and had made a vow that if the Confederates were driven back, “I would crown the result with the declaration of freedom for the slaves.” The Emancipation Proclamation soon followed.
The Lincoln Bible survives as one of the most tangible examples of Lincoln’s faith. Used at his first inaugural in 1861, the Lincoln Bible was not used by a president again until Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013. It was also used by President Donald Trump and is housed at the Library of Congress.
• Jimmy Carter, the first born-again president, used the Bible to inform his political agenda.
On his first day in office, Jimmy Carter met with his vice president, Walter Mondale. As Mondale would later tell the story, Carter surprised him by saying that one of his priorities would be to bring peace to the Middle East. The issue had not played a major role in Carter or Mondale’s campaign, says Randall Balmer, a professor of religion at Dartmouth and the author of “ God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency From John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush.” Carter’s reason for doing so, Balmer, said, “was quite clearly to bring peace to a land that was part of the Bible, the Holy Land.”
Balmer described Carter as a president who uniquely “fashioned his life in accordance with biblical principles.” While other presidents invoked Bible verses in speeches or “used the Bible as a prop,” Balmer said, Carter’s born-again, evangelical faith fully informed his presidential agenda. The timing of Carter’s election was no coincidence either, he says. Rather, in the wake of Watergate and Nixon’s resignation, voters urgently looked to their leaders as moral examples and keepers of biblical literacy.
“Before Nixon, those questions were simply not part of the political conversation,” Balmer said. “Then we were faced with Nixon, and all of a sudden voters said, we need to have a moral compass, so let’s begin asking those questions.”
Six years later, Colt McCoy cannot remember going back into the game, or what happened after he did. In December 2011, McCoy, playing quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, rolled to his left. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison launched his helmet into McCoy's face mask, leaving McCoy flattened on the turf and concussed. On the sideline, doctors inspected his bruised hand. After two plays, coaches sent him back in.
When he watched the film a week later, McCoy felt like he was watching another person. He made throws and decisions disconnected to the play he called in the huddle. "I don't know what I'm doing," he thought as he watched himself. It would be six weeks before he felt normal again, before lights stopped hurting his head.
"You certainly don't want that to happen," McCoy said. "But because of that, there's even more enhanced protocol. Guys are taking it a bit more serious."
The hit McCoy absorbed, the brain injury he suffered and the aftermath became a touchstone in the NFL's concussion crisis. Perhaps more than any play, it changed how the league approached in-game concussions, leading to a series of policy and rules changes that continue to evolve.
The NFL has improved its practices for handling concussions, and players have grown more aware of the signs and dangers. But as this week illustrated, the NFL is still grappling with how to diagnose concussions and protect players during games, in the fury of competition. Even after efforts to improve the process and a public-relations push to convince fans the game is safer, several high-profile cases have revealed imperfections in the NFL's concussion protocol, either inherent complications or failures in implementation.
The NFL's concussion protocol received a fresh round of criticism after multiple quarterbacks returned to the field in Week 10 after showing clear signs of a potential concussion or experiencing symptoms afterward. The NFL is doing more than ever. Is it doing enough?
So far this season, preseason included, the NFL has tested players 379 times for concussions, NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said. "We want that number to remain high," Sills said. "We want to have a high bar set for screening. Our motto to all of our personnel on game day is if you see something, say something. We want anyone who has a concern to point it out, we want to be very aggressive in our screening."
One case drew attention Sunday afternoon. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett took a vicious hit to the back of his head scrambling for a first down. He grabbed his head as he lay on the ground and then dropped his arms to his side. Doctors returned him to the field without him missing any offensive plays, but Brissett showed symptoms afterward and remained in the concussion protocol early this week.
The Colts said Brissett cleared two concussion tests during the game, in adherence to the league's protocol, one of them by an independent neurologist. "Our guys, if they're not 100 percent, they're not going to put them back out there, period," Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said.
Concussion Legacy Foundation CEO and co-founder Chris Nowinski said this kind of thinking is a flaw. Passing a sideline concussion test does not mean a player didn't suffer a concussion. Players can experience a concussion but not show symptoms until the next morning, and they would still be at risk of suffering the grave consequences of a second concussion. Nowinski said teams and doctors need to be more aggressive in holding out players.
"If they show signs of concussion like holding their head after impact and you cannot find another reason why they would hold their head, you have to assume concussion and you cannot clear them," Nowinski said. "I've talked to a lot of doctors. No one can come up with any reason why his hands would go to his head and drop to his side and not move, other than a concussion."
Sills said both Colts medical staff and independent docots continued to monitor throughout the game, in adherence with the NFL's unstated policy. Brissett only experienced symptoms after he had showered and was ready to leave the stadium, Sills said.
"One of the things that is important to point out about this that may not be evident and does not necessarily show up on our protocol sheet, is once a player gets a sideline evaluation, that is not the end of their contact with the medical staff," Sills said. "Let's say that a player comes off, gets the sideline evaluation and clears that, they pass that evaluation and are cleared to go back in and play. That player is still going to be monitored by the medical staff as the game progresses. They are going to touch base with that player, they're going to look at the emergence of any new symptoms, they're going to continue to maintain contact with that player both verbally as well as visually. They are going to watch that player as they go back on the field and make sure there are no visible signs of head trauma as they go on."
In its protocol, the NFL urges caution. Listed under additional best practices: "It is important to recognize players may be able to equal or exceed their performance under the Sideline Concussion Assessment compared to their baseline level yet still have a concussion, underscoring the importance of the physicians' knowledge of the player. If there is any doubt about the presence of a concussion, regardless of the Sideline Concussion Assessment results, the player is to be removed from practice or play."
Though Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers showed no apparent symptoms of a concussion Sunday, Rivers landed in the concussion protocol Monday after he showed symptoms the day after Los Angeles's loss in Jacksonville. Since Rivers did not take an obviously concussive blow, the Chargers could not have known. "In 2017, we have to accept that's going to happen," Nowinski said.
Rivers's case, in some ways, makes the Brissett example more exasperating. Sometimes, even coaches, doctors and spotters with the best intentions cannot diagnose a concussion and prevent a concussed player from entering the game. But Brissett showed unmistakable evidence he may have suffered a concussion.
Teams sometimes make the mistake of putting a concussed player back into a game. Rarely, if ever, do teams hold out players out of an abundance of caution. Nowinski believes teams should be erring on the other side - holding out a player despite his ability to pass a concussion test, if he took a hit that likely caused a concussion.
"It sounds like if you pass the protocol, you're forced to put him back in," Nowinski said. "We need to know what kind of guidance [independent doctors] are given. Are any NFL players kept out just in case? Or are we just accepting [several players] are going to show symptoms after the fact, and thank god they survived?"
Sills disagreed with the notion a replay could provide clear evidence of a concussion. "There is no medical professional or scientific body in the world that would say that video is alone is sufficient to cause a concussion," Sills said.
In some cases, the protocol protects such players. On Sunday, the Redskins announced wide receiver Ryan Grant had cleared tests after his head bounced off the turf. And yet trainers escorted him to the locker room, and he stayed out of the game and remained in the recovery protocol this week.
"I do think that process has gotten much, much better throughout the league," McCoy said. "The issue is, it's hard during a game to evaluate a concussion when a player is in the moment, he's played in the game, he feels fine, he's answering all the questions. That's a tough deal. Every guy is different. Some guys might not experience symptoms, immediately, right away. Everything is normal. I don't think you could pull a player out at that point, regardless of if he wakes up the next day and is experiencing symptoms."
At times, though, teams skirt the protocol entirely, despite the presence of an independent doctor on the sidelines. On Thursday night, officials removed Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson after he took a hit to the head, but Wilson returned after scurrying underneath a sideline medical tent, receiving no apparent attention and returning to the field after one play. ESPN reported the NFL found that Seattle violated the concussion, for which the Seahawks could be fined or docked draft picks.
In Wilson's case, an easy fix would prohibit such a return. In one international rugby league, Nowinski said, players who are suspected of having a concussion must sit out for a minimum of 10 minutes. It gives longer time for symptoms to surface and decreases pressure on doctors.
"That's a clear choice by the NFL not to have a time minimum, and that's going to increase the number of guys that return too soon," Nowinski said.
Quarterbacks have been at the center of most controversies, because their big hits happen in the open. "Think about an offensive lineman or a defensive lineman," McCoy said. "They hit every single play. How do you know?" Those linemen are most often sustaining sub-concussive blows, the accumulation of which, researchers say, can lead to debilitating brain diseases later in life, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
No concussion protocol could prevent or mitigate damage from those hits. It could be argued the concussion protocol is only an attempt to make an inherently damaging game appear safer.
"The reality is, the concussion protocol does matter," Nowinski said. "Players can die of second-concussion syndrome. Careers can end from concussion symptoms. We have to get this right."
The NFL's system is protecting some players. Six years later, McCoy believes what happened to him wouldn't happen again.
"The mentality was, just get back in there, you're fine, don't worry about it," New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "There's a system in place to make sure guys are doing the right thing for their health."
But there are cracks in the system, too, and this week showed the NFL still has more work to do.
In what could be a breakthrough development in the detection and treatment of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, researchers have announced that they have confirmed the existence of the neurodegenerative disease in a patient whose brain they had scanned four years previously. If further testing bolsters that confirmation, reliable tests for CTE might be performed on people while they are still alive, as opposed to posthumously.
A team from NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Illinois, still had to wait until the patient died to autopsy his brain and note that what had shown up on his scan conformed to what they saw. The unidentified subject was described as a 12-year veteran of the NFL, who became just the latest former football player to have been diagnosed after his death with CTE.
CTE is diagnosed when scientists see distinctive deposits of a protein called tau, which eats away at brain cells and causes symptoms such as speech and motor impairment, memory loss, erratic behavior and personality changes. The disease was first linked to football in 2002 by neuropathologist Bennet Omalu, and it is thought to result from repeated concussive and sub-concussive impacts.
The NorthShore team has been working with UCLA researchers to use positron emission tomography (PET) on former football players and military members. NorthShore co-director Julian Bailes told USA Today on Wednesday that CTE forms "a very unique pattern" in the scans, and the recent autopsy revealed the "first to have that brain specimen correlation."
"It was very nice to get that scientific confirmation of that scientific truth," Bailes added. The results were first published last week in the journal Neurosurgery.
The patient was said to have been an NFL linebacker who played defensive end in college and who began law school in his final professional season. He eventually began to show signs of concerning behavior, including depression and a lack of impulse control, and had his brain scanned at age 59. Within two years, he developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and he died at age 63.
Having gotten confirmation of what they saw in a scan from one patient, researchers will need to replicate that result in more patients before confidently moving ahead with CTE tests in living people. However, Bailes is very encouraged by what he saw, and by what could be on the horizon for those suffering from a disease they don't know for sure they have.
"If there's ever a treatment developed, you can test the response to it," he told the Chicago Tribune. "If you can trust the scans, you can tell a football player he shouldn't keep playing, or tell someone in the military he can't [be exposed to] explosions."
Vatican City • Pope Francis on Thursday urged lawmakers to ensure that health care laws protect the “common good,” decrying the fact that in many places only the privileged can afford sophisticated medical treatments.
The comments came as U.S. lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have been debating how to overhaul the nation’s health insurance laws.
In a message to a medical association meeting at the Vatican, Francis expressed dismay at what he called a tendency toward growing inequality in health care. He said in wealthier countries, health care access risks being more dependent on people’s money than on their need for treatment.
“Increasingly, sophisticated and costly treatments are available to ever more limited and privileged segments of the population, and this raises questions about the sustainability of health care delivery and about what might be called a systemic tendency toward growing inequality in health care,” the pope said.
“This tendency is clearly visible at the global level, particularly when different countries are compared,” Francis said. “But it is also present within the more wealthy countries, where access to health care risks being more dependent on individuals’ economic resources than on their actual need for treatment.”
Without citing any countries, Francis said health care laws must take a “broad and comprehensive view of what most effectively promotes the common good” in each situation, including looking out for society’s most vulnerable people.
The Vatican meeting explored end-of-life issues and Francis repeated decades-old church teachings forbidding euthanasia.
He also reiterated Vatican teaching that says “not adopting, or else suspending, disproportionate measures, means avoiding overzealous treatment. From an ethical standpoint, it is completely different from euthanasia, which is always wrong.”
In addressing end-of-life issues, the pope said, countries must “defend the fundamental equality whereby everyone is recognized under law as a human being.”
Using his nearly 5-year-old papacy to highlight the plight of the poor, Francis later made a surprise visit to an area near St. Peter’s Basilica where volunteer doctors can give poor people medical exams as part of the church’s first-ever World Day of the Poor, to be held Sunday.
Michael Bennett and other athletes, including the WNBA's Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart, as well as Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, are calling on the NFL to sign Colin Kaepernick. In a statement issued Wednesday by a Bennett-led group called Athletes in Action, they said, "No one should be denied employment for having the courage to follow their convictions and take action for equality and social justice."
"Join me and many others to get Colin Kaepernick signed!" Bennett, a Seahawks defensive end, said on Twitter. Kaepernick has been a free agent since parting ways with the 49ers in March, and many believe that he is being deliberately shunned by the NFL for being the first in the league last season to stage protests during the national anthem.
The 30-year-old Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL for colluding to deny him employment, and attorneys for the quarterback are seeking to obtain depositions from several team owners, as well as Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Every day that goes by and he doesn't get signed is another nail in the NFL's defense," one of the attorneys, Mark Geragos, told The Post's Mark Maske earlier this month.
Bennett's group, which also includes former Olympian John Carlos, famous for raising a black-gloved fist on the medal podium during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, is seeking to harness people power on behalf of Kaepernick. Other Athletes for Impact campaigns include initiatives on gun safety, mass incarceration, police violence, LGBTQ rights, immigration and climate change.
In its statement Wednesday, the group traced a tradition of athletes protesting social injustices back to the 1960s, then through the 1996 anthem protests of former NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and demonstrations last year by WNBA players, before Kaepernick began sitting, then kneeling, during renditions of "Star-Spangled Banner" ahead of preseason games. "Kaepernick was clear in live interviews and in writing about the intentions of his protest," the group said, "stating time and time again the specific reasons for his demonstration, and that it was not intended to disrespect the military but start a national conversation and action around issues of injustice."
"It is now clear that because of his courage and willingness to speak truth to power, Kaepernick has not been signed by any NFL team," the statement claimed. "As Seattle Seahawks star, Michael Bennett said of Kaepernick, 'if you look at the quarterbacks in the NFL right now, out of the backups, I can't name one better than him . . .'
"Legendary athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Tommy Smith and John Carlos were disparaged by many in their day for using their platform to speak out against racism and injustice. Today their statues stand proudly in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and they are widely celebrated as truth tellers ahead of their time. It is time we start celebrating our truth tellers from the start."
Bennett was among the first NFL players to stage anthem demonstrations this season. Including the preseason, he has sat on a bench on Seattle's sideline during the anthem before every game except two. Earlier this month, he stood along with every Seahawks player while the host Arizona Cardinals celebrated their "Salute to Service" night, and before an October game they all stood to honor the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.
After Goodell said last month that his league believes "everyone should stand" for the anthem, but would not force players to do so, Bennett said, "I plan on sitting down." With talks occurring between the NFL and its players about how to negotiate an end to the protests, the two-time Pro Bowler said at the time, "I think the first step to even being able to even have a conversation is to make sure that Colin Kaepernick gets an opportunity to play in the NFL.
"I think all of us are having opportunities to be able to speak to our employers, but to think about the guy who started everything not to be able to have a voice at this moment, it just doesn't seem very right to me," Bennett added.
Last week, Geragos disputed a claim by an NFL spokesman that Kaepernick's camp had not responded to an offer from the league for the quarterback to have a one-on-one meeting with Goodell. The attorney said that Kaepernick "would be happy to attend" a meeting with the commissioner, but that the presence of a mediator would be required because of the grievance the quarterback has filed.
In its statement, Athletes for Impact said, "We call on all NFL owners, general managers and coaches with a positional need to summon the courage to sign Colin Kaepernick and to stand with us on the right side of history."