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Tag:NBA
Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:10 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 3:11 pm
 

NCAA sickle cell testing debated

The American Society of Hematology issued a policy statement Thursday opposed to the current NCAA mandate that requires schools to test athletes for sickle cell trait.

The policy statement conflicts with that NCAA testing policy that is not yet two years old. For decades, the association had not tested for sickle cell trait but changed its stance as part of a settlement of a lawsuit over the death of a Rice athlete in 2006.

The NCAA requires that all athletes be tested for the condition unless they provide prior test results or sign a waiver. In a Thursday press release, the hematology society contended that “current scientific evidence does not justify screening.” It says that “universal preventive interventions” make testing unnecessary.  The society stated further that the Army uses such measures as heat acclimatization, hydration and work-rest cycles to deal with all situations regarding exertional issues.

Scott Anderson, Oklahoma head trainer and noted expert on sickle cell trait, countered: “Their [recommended] precautions are not working for individuals with sickle cell trait …”

Sickle cell trait is not a disease. It is a condition found in approximately eight percent of African-Americans and in a much smaller percentages of Caucasians.  Anyone with the condition can live a normal life. About two million Americans live with the trait. Problems occur when blood cells “sickle” due to overexertion.

Thursday’s policy statement seems to make public a large disagreement between organizations on how to treat the affliction. The hematology society said its position is supported by the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, American Public Health Association and Association of Public Health Laboratories.

That differs from the approach taken by the NCAA, NBA, NFL and the military academies aside from the Army.

Oklahoma has had major award winners play with the condition. But because of Anderson and his research, afflicted athletes are acclimated to heat and exertion over a period of days at the beginning of spring and fall practice. Testing becomes a further safeguard.

Several high-profile deaths caused by the condition have occurred in recent years at Missouri, Florida State, Central Florida and Rice.  
Anderson added that the NBA, NFL, Navy, Marines and Air Force do screen for sickle cell trait. In results published recently in Health Services Research Journal, it was estimated there would be one death in the NCAA if every athlete were tested over a four-year period. Without testing, the research concluded that seven players would die over a 10-year period.

Anderson said that 2011 was believed to be the most deadly year for athletes nationally regarding sickle cell trait since 2000. Not all of the deaths have been confirmed to be caused by sickle cell trait, Anderson added. It is known that sickle cell trait has been the leading cause of non-traumatic deaths among Division I college football players since 2000. The NCAA changed its policy in 2010 after lawsuit brought by the family of Rice football player Dale Lloyd. The association promised to require testing and increase awareness.

“When you look at kind of objectively, this was prompted by a lawsuit,” said Dr. Janis Abkowitz, president-elect of the hematology society. “We’re not against the NCAA … We hope that we could provide information to the NCAA in rethinking both the correctness of the initial policy, but also some of its downstream unintended policy.”

Dr. Abkowitz said the NCAA plans to extend its policy to Division II and Division III athletes, “every high school kid that is interested in sport would be tested and confused.” She want on to call it a “huge network of misunderstanding”. The society notified the NCAA before releasing its statement.

“We’re not out for a battle, we’re out to be helpful,” Dr. Abkowitz said.

In February 2010, Ole Miss player Bennie Abram died of complications resulting from sickle cell trait. The school, the NCAA and other entities are being sued by Abrams’ family. The death took place just as the NCAA was changing its policy.

 

 

 

 

Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:13 pm
 

We've been duped here in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- We were asked to vote on a new arena here in Kansas City a few years ago. The plan -- no, the promise -- was to lure a pro franchise to play in it.

That's how 72 suites were sold in a matter of months. That's what the president of arena giant, AEG, said. You can look it up. Tim Leiweke said we'd have our own franchise (NBA, NHL) when the doors opened in October 2007.

I thought about that watching a thoroughly entertaining preseason NHL game Tuesday night at that arena -- the Sprint Center here in Kansas City. The game was sold out. The hockey was fantastic, Pittsburgh over L.A. 3-2 in an eight-round shootout.

Then this morning I read the latest back track from Leiweke

"Kansas City," he told the Kansas City Star, "can take its time."

Whoa, wait a minute. Who is Tim Leiweke telling us what to do when his politicking and false promises got us to this point?

Why not just admit, Tim, that you duped us? Admit that the Sprint Center was built four years ago to become the world's largest concert hall in the first place?

Take our time? How dare you? AEG has taken out full-page ads to proclaim that it is one of the most successful music and entertainment venues in the world. Those 100 nights of Taylor Swift and Lil Wayne and Guns N Roses, may be fun but that's not why we voted $250 million for the Sprint Center.

It was for the promise of attracting a pro franchise and to keep the Big 12 basketball tournament. That second item looks kind of shaky because the Big 12 has almost broken up twice in the last 16 months. I'm sure AEG didn't count on that, but it probably didn't have a four-day, college basketball tournament at the top of its list for building for building Sprint either.

The arena was built to house acts it could funnel through Kansas City. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m trying to come up with a list of cities this size with an arena this new that don't have a pro franchise. Please, someone help me here.

I just wish they'd told us that up front. I would have had a harder time voting for a car rental and entertainment tax to watch Enrique Iglesias and the pro rodeo tour.

“Right now there is not an urgency [to get an anchor tenant],” Leiweke told the Star. “This building is doing phenomenal."

And to that I proclaim B. -- freakin' -- S. Ask the merchants across the street at the Power and Light (entertainment) District who are doing OK, but could be doing so much better with a guaranteed 41 home dates for an NBA or NHL franchise.

One of the biggest days in the P&L's short history was a crowd that gathered to watch a U.S. World Cup game there in 2010. That had nothing to do with the glittering jewel across the street, Sprint just happened to be there.

I get that there has been an economic downturn since the building opened. I get that teams aren't moving and leagues aren't expanding. That's why I feel doubly duped. Leiweke should have never made those claims when he needed our tax dollars to fund his concert hall. I feel doubly duped because Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins ownership group toured the construction site. It turned out to be leverage for the Penguins to get their new building.

We are a college town. Check that, we are a Chiefs and Jayhawks town. You wonder how an NHL or NBA franchise would do on nights when Kansas, Kansas State or Missouri are playing basketball. I still wonder that. I also wonder why I voted for Sprint when the plan all along was to fill it with exhibition games and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Full disclosure: I loved the Paul McCartney show in 2010. At age 68, he rocked the house. Best show I ever saw. But, again, I wouldn't have helped vote $250 million for Paul McCartney either. Meanwhile, the Sonics are now the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Atlanta's Thrashers are now the Winnipeg Jets. Wait, we got scooped by OKC and Winnipeg?

"We're fine without one [anchor tenant]," Leiweke repeated, "and we probably make more money without one."

If that isn't an indication of AEG's true intentions, I don't know what is. Make money, sure? Just don't lie to us how you're going to make it. We're no closer to being a better major-league town than we were when the first shovel was stuck in the ground for Sprint. Well, unless you can't wait to see Jeff Dunham, Monster Jam and something called Nuclear Cowboyz.

It was a great night for the Kansas City hockey community on Tuesday. They got out there and sold a lot of tickets. The announced attendance of 17,779 was the most ever to watch hockey in our town.

However, it was a horrible night for the Sprint Center. When the puck dropped there were still thousands of people outside waiting to get in. Sprint/AEG apparently hasn't figured out that it needs to open more doors when there are a lot of people outside. There was literally more room marked off for smokers outside than there were for people with tickets waiting to get in.

Also, at a sold out event it might be a good idea to open all the concession stands. I missed half the game waiting in line with my son for food. At least the game presentation was good. The first period intermission featured a commercial for the 2012 Camry. One was driven on the ice, in case you didn't get that Toyota was a sponsor.

A wing-eating contest was being shown on the big screen during a face-off. The public address announcer didn't know the names of players as he was announcing goals.

I still would say the Kansas City deserves the NHL or NBA. But after the frustration of these four years, the question has changed. Does Kansas City deserve AEG?

 

Posted on: March 9, 2011 10:29 pm
 

Baylor's Jones declared ineligible, another Cam?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cam Newton meet Perry Jones III?

Baylor's second-leading scorer was declared ineligible Wednesday for sort of the same reason that Auburn's quarterback went free last year. The NCAA ruled that Jones' mother accepted three, 15-day loans from Jones' AAU coach while the player was still in high school. Baylor said Jones had no knowledge of the loans. 

Sound familiar? Newton was allowed to keep playing in December after the NCAA ruled that the player had no knowledge of his father's solicitation of money from Mississippi State. Baylor said the loans were repaid in a "timely manner." If you want to make a comparison, the difference in this case is that money actually changed hands.  

"This outcome appears to be inconsistent with other recent, widely discussed NCAA decisions," Baylor AD Ian McCaw said.

Baylor officials could barely conceal their disgust. After dealing with this situation since December, they were upset that the ruling came out on the same day of the opening of the Big 12 tournament. McCaw said the school found out about the ruling at about noon, approximately six hours before Wednesday's tip off with Oklahoma. The Bears, 18-13, then officially slid off the NCAA tournament bubble, losing to the Sooners, 84-67.

"I hope no one ever has to go through what we had to go through the last six hours," coach Scott Drew said.

"It's like somebody coming into your house and punching your little brother," teammate Quincy Acy said. 

Baylor is appealing the case. Regardless, Jones' next stop is most likely the NIT or the NBA. If is not reinstated at Baylor, Jones already is considered a top-five NBA draft choice after one season in college. The 6-foot-11 freshman from Duncanville, Texas averaged 13.9 points and was the Bears' second-leading rebounder (7.2). He was Drew's highest-rated recruit having been rated a top-10 prospect by MaxPreps.  

The NCAA is cracking down on third-party influence in both football and basketball recruiting. Baylor contends that Jones had a relationship with his AAU coach since at least the sixth grade. The AAU coach also paid for Jones to go an NFL preseason game in San Diego, according to the school. 

Jones was a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the nation's top freshman.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Baylor, NBA, NCAA, NIT, Oklahoma
 
Posted on: January 28, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Bubba Starling and KC all-time greats

Bubba Starling is line to become one of the greatest athletes ever in the Kansas City area. I wrote a recruiting story Friday about the impressive two-sport athlete from Gardner, Kan. I mention that because the list that Starling is trying to climb onto is impressive:

Great Kansas City-area athletes (Gardner, Kan. is located about 30 miles southwest of the city center)

BASEBALL
David Cone
-- played in high school at Kansas City Rockhurst which, at the time he attended, didn't offer baseball. You probably remember him as a standout pitcher with the Royals, Yankees and Mets.
Frank White -- multiple Gold Glove winner. Locals argue that White should be in the Hall of Fame.
Rick Sutcliffe -- former Cubs star has built an impressive broadcasting career
Albert Pujols -- Yeah, Albert Pujols if you consider he only went to high school (Fort Osage) and junior college (Maplewoods) in the Kansas City area.

FOOTBALL
Darren Sproles
-- Olathe (Kan.) North, Kansas State and San Diego Chargers running back.
Josh Freeman -- Rising quarterback star with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Ryan Lilja -- Late blooming offensive lineman from suburban Kansas City and Kansas State who won a Super Bowl with the Colts.

BASKETBALL
Kareem and Brandon Rush
-- The famous Rush brothers each play/played in the NBA. Kareem went to Missouri. Brandon won a national championship with Kansas.
Earl Watson -- Former Kansas City, Kan. Washington High star went on to play at UCLA and in the NBA.
Lucius Allen -- Played for some of John Wooden's great teams at UCLA, then the NBA.
Larry Drew -- Current coach of the Atlanta Hawks played for three NBA teams and under Norm Stewart on some great Missouri teams.
Anthony Peeler -- best known as the former Missouri star who once scored 43 at Allen Fieldhouse.
Jon Sunvold -- Sharp-shooting bomber was a star at Missouri and had a solid NBA career.
Warren Armstrong (Jabali) -- They still talk about his high school exploits here. Armstrong starred at Wichita State, then played eight years in the ABA changing his last name to Jabali.


OLYMPICS
Maurice Greene
-- world-class sprinter from Kansas City, Kan.

 
 
 
 
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