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Off the wire

by Compiled from Democrat-Gazette press services | April 9, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.


Lawsuit alleges retaliation

In a federal racketeering lawsuit, an associate athletic director at Louisiana State University accuses university officials of retaliating against her for reporting racist remarks and inappropriate sexual behavior by former coach Les Miles. Sharon Lewis’ lawsuit said she was denied pay raises and subjected to verbal abuse after going to officials with the allegations against Miles — including her accusation that he told her there were “too many Black girls” employed in athletics and an incident when a female student accused him of “getting on top of her” on his office couch. It also accuses LSU officials of working with a law firm to cover up allegations against Miles, including one that he engaged in “explicit sex acts” with a student. “This lawsuit is a work of fiction eight years in the making,” Miles’ attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said in an emailed statement. Miles has denied allegations he made sexual advances toward students. Lewis, a former LSU track and field star, is the associate athletic director for football recruiting and alumni relations at LSU. Her lawsuit, filed in Baton Rouge, is the latest blow to the university after an independent investigator determined the school mishandled allegations of sexual misconduct by student athletes and Miles. Numerous LSU officials refused to testify Thursday in Baton Rouge at a legislative hearing about the ongoing scandal, sending De-Cuir on their behalf. Several LSU students told the committee they don’t believe university leaders are doing enough to improve the climate.


No. 1 Barty keeps rolling

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty continued her quest for a second straight title, rallying past Shelby Rogers to reach the quarterfinals at the Volvo Car Open on Thursday night in Charleston, S.C. The top-seeded Barty hadn’t played in an 11-month stretch from Feb. 2020 until the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne, Australia in January due to the coronavirus pandemic. She’s gone 18-2 since her return with a pair of championships including last week’s Miami Open. Rogers, the 28-year-old from nearby Mount Pleasant, S.C., gave Barty a challenge, charging from behind to win the second set and tying things at 4-all in the third. But the Australian won the last two games to close out the match, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4, at the season’s first clay-court event. Barty will face Paula Badosa of Spain today for a spot in the semifinals. Badosa defeated American Catherine McNally 6-3, 6-3. Barty is the only one of the top eight seeds still around. Others in the final eight include former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, who hadn’t advanced to a tournament quarterfinals since the French Open in 2019.


Stock car driver injured

Taylor Gray, a professional stock car driver slated to make his first NASCAr start later this month, was involved in a car crash Wednesday night, according to his David Gilliland Racing team. The single-car accident took place in Statesville, N.C., and Gray was transported to a local hospital, where he remains in stable condition, DGR said in a statement issued Thursday morning. The extent of any injuries is not yet known. Gray drives in the ARCA Menards Series in the No. 17 for DGR and was slated to make his first Truck Series start at Richmond Raceway on April 17, but it has not yet been determined whether he will participate in the event.


NBA suspends three

Toronto Raptors guards DeAndre’ Bembry and Fred Van Vleet and Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker were suspended one game without pay Thursday for leaving their benches during a fight. The suspensions, announced by NBA executive vice president for basketball operations Kiki Van-DeWeghe, stemmed from the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game, a 110-101 victory by the Lakers. Also, Toronto’s OG Anunoby and Montrezl Harrell of Los Angeles were fined for their roles, leading to their ejections. With 2:24 left in the first quarter, Dennis Schroder fouled Anunoby’s layup attempt. Schroder and Anunoby squared off and other players became involved. The ejections were determined by video review. Anunoby, who received a technical foul, was fined $30,000 for initiating the altercation by grabbing Schroder by the leg and flipping him to the ground. Harrell, who also received a technical foul, was fined $20,000 for aggressively entering the fray and shoving Rap-tors guard Gary Trent Jr.

Hawks’ Collins still out

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins will be out at least another week with a sprained left ankle. The team announced Thursday that Collins has progressed to drills such lateral shuffling and individual court work. His status will be reviewed again in seven to 10 days. Collins was injured in a March 30 loss at Phoenix. He underwent an MRI that showed a lateral ankle sprain and associated bone bruise. Collins is averaging 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

UCLA coach gets extension

Mick Cronin has been rewarded for UCLA’s surprising run to the Final Four with a two-year contract extension. Athletic Director Martin Jarmond announced Thursday that the deal worth a guaranteed $4 million per year runs through the 2026-27 season. Cronin has compiled a 41-22 record in his first two seasons. The team’s Final Four appearance in the NCAA Tournament was its first since 2008. The Bruins were 22-10 this season. They finished fourth in the Pac-12, losing their final four games before landing in the NCAA Tournament as a First Four team. They beat Michigan State before defeating BYU, Abilene Christian, No. 2 seed Alabama and top-seeded Michigan. UCLA lost to top-seeded Gonzaga in the national semifinals.


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