Sports

Sean C. Murphy for KUT News

With 70,000 people making their way there each day, you can expect heavy traffic this weekend as people head down to the Austin City Limits Music Festival

Big delays around ACL host Zilker Park are a given. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Catch the Bus: Roads will also be closed around Republic Square Park at Fifth Street and Guadalupe Street to make room for Capital Metro's free ACL Shuttle at downtown. The shuttle drops off at ACL’s doorstep in Zilker Park.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin school district could start offering more perks to athletic coaches in hopes of attracting better talent. School board members will hear about a proposal tonight to pay coaches competitive stipends and offer flexible work schedules.

Austin ISD says student athletes do better in school than non-athletes. Their attendance rates are five percent higher. They score almost seven percent higher on math tests. And they are 16 percent more likely to graduate. The relationship between learning and sports is the subject of much scholarly analysis.

That’s part of the justification for increasing how much AISD dedicates to athletics. Currently, the district spends about $10.7 million a year, which amounts to 1.1 percent of AISD’s budget. Almost two out of five high school students play sports. In middle school, it’s closer to three out of five.

Providing stipends to coaches and giving them more flexible work schedules might help attract better talent and make students more likely to play sports, but the head of the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Rusty Dowling says that’s not the only thing coaches will consider.

Doublewide

Maybe it’s time to drop the idea that only hippies play Frisbee.

Far afield from the Frisbee golf crowd, Ultimate Frisbee has grown into a collegiate sport, catching the attention of athletic students who aren’t scholarship athletes. And after college, players can  go on to club teams. Doublewide is one of the nation’s best, and it’s based right here in Austin.

Doublewide plays teams from all over the nation. Its traditional rival is Chain Lightning, based in Atlanta, but USA Ultimate (basically the MLB or NFL of Ultimate Frisbee) has recently shifted the region. Now they play in a region that stretches from Colorado all the way into Mexico. The elite of teams from this region will face off this weekend – right here in Austin.

Michael Natenberg is one of Doublewide’s three team captains (Jeff Loskorn and Valley Renshaw are the others.) In college, Natenberg played for the University of Texas, where he learned the game.  

The not-so-long, not-so-much of a national nightmare is over.

Regular NFL officials will be on the field starting with tonight's game now that the league and its referees union have reached tentative agreement on a new, eight-year contract.

Though the nation's football fans — from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the average couch quarterback — are begging the two sides to settle their contract dispute so that regular NFL referees can come back to work, there seems to be no clear reason to think that's going to happen in time for this week's games.

Despite complaints from NFL coaches and players, the league and its locked-out officials are no closer to reaching a deal than they were last week, according to reports. The two sides are separated by "significant and serious economic gaps," an anonymous source tells the AP.

A representative of the NFL Referees Association confirmed that talks had taken place, but he would not go into detail, the AP reports.

Boyer photo mackbrown-texasfootball.com; stadium photo KUT News

Green Beret Staff Sgt. Nate Boyer fulfilled a long-time dream during last Saturday’s Longhorn football game against New Mexico. Boyer joined the team as a walk-on after his tour with the Special Forces in Iraq. Now he represents the Longhorns’ special teams as a deep snapper.

Boyer is a unique figure on the team. Being ten or so years older than his teammates, he brings a certain sense of maturity and imbues a breath of enthusiasm into the new season.

Having gone to a high school without a football team, Boyer said at today's Mack Brown press conference that his only advantage was his work ethic and his ‘no-regrets’ mentality. “I just felt confident that going through what I’d gone through, I could make the team and help out in any way and at least be a part of it,” Boyer said. 

KUT News

We’re learning more details about the Longhorn Network’s deal with AT&T U-verse.

Texas U-verse customers with at least the U100 package can watch the network on channel 1609 (channel 609 SD). Outside of Texas, customers will need to have the U-verse U450 package to watch.

ESPN says the agreement will bring the network to more than a million Longhorn fans in Texas and throughout the country. The Longhorn Network has been around for one year but, up until now, has not been widely available.

Officials with ESPN say the deal to bring the Longhorn Network to AT&T U-verse happened early this morning.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Lawyers for seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong argued for more than two hours in federal court in Austin Friday afternoon. But in lieu of a decision, Judge Sam Sparks gave both sides a week to submit final claims in the case.

The case should boil down to jurisdiction. Armstrong’s lawyers asked District Judge Sam Sparks for an injunction against the US Anti-Doping Agency, or USADA. The USADA claims that Armstrong was a part of a doping conspiracy that led to Tour de France victories between 1999 and 2005. They want to ban Armstrong from competition for life and take away his titles.

Armstrong has consistently denied doping. His lawyers claim that the International Cycling Union, or UCI, holds jurisdiction in this case. If any body is to charge Armstrong with doping, his attorneys argue, it would have to be the UCI.

Both athletes were U.S. swimmers, both were dripping wet after finishing an Olympics final, and both had just won medals.

The first said, "It's not my normal specialty. ... We went out there and raced tough – and just came up a little short."

The second had a beaming face. He said, "[I] swam my own race. And knew I had a lane, and had an opportunity, and I went for it. It worked out, you know, it's just awesome that I get to go on the podium tonight. Honestly, I'm really proud of myself!"

Every recent opening ceremony of the Olympics went for glitter and glamour, in an escalating war of excess. Ceremony fanatics consider the Beijing opening ceremony the gaudiest of all — and Oscar-winner Danny Boyle (the director of Slumdog Millionaire) had $42 million to try to outdo the Chinese organizers.

Instead, Boyle says, "You can't get bigger than Beijing. So that, in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought, 'Great. Oh good. We'll try and do something different, then.' "

National Beep Baseball Association

Imagine a baseball diamond.

Now imagine that first and second base are tall, buzzing, blue-foam pillars, and that third base is gone.

Now imagine six fielders and a couple "spotters," who direct fielders toward a beeping ball — because everyone except the spotters, the pitcher and catcher are blind and/or blindfolded.

That’s what a beep baseball game looks like. 

The 2012 National Beep Baseball Association World Series is underway in Ames, Iowa, where several teams of blind and visually impaired players will compete. Representing Austin, the Blackhawks added another win in their fight for the pennant Thursday.  

The sanctions slapped on Penn State football in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal charter a new territory in punishment by the NCAA, a sports author said today.

"I think it is unprecedented in terms of taking away wins. That's a huge blow," says Ted Kluck, author of several books on sports, including Game Time: Inside College Football.

Saying that the punishment is "warranted by the conspiracy of silence" among Penn State University's top leadership that turned a blind eye to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of young boys, the NCAA just announced sanctions on the school that include:

-- A $60 million fine. The money will go into an endowment fund to support programs around the nation that assist victims of sexual abuse, NCAA President Mark Emmert said.

flickr.com/mikeneilson

A scathing report on the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State was released today, indicting authorities at top levels of the college for failure to report Jerry Sandusky’s sexual assault of young boys in the university’s football program.

The report, prepared by Louis Freeh, states the following:

Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University—President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance Gary C. Schultz, Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley and Head Football Coach Joseph V. Paterno—failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade. These men concealed Sandusky's activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities. They exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky's victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being, especially by not attempting to determine the identity of the child who Sandusky assaulted in the Lasch Building in 2001.”

Two doctors and a trainer affiliated with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong have received lifetime bans from the sport because they failed to contest allegations that they violated doping bans.

The former members of the U.S. Postal Service Pro-Cycling Team — Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, cycling team doctor, Dr. Michele Ferrari, cycling team consulting doctor, and Jose "Pepe" Martí, cycling team trainer — were charged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency at the same time they announced charges against Armstrong.

Update at 5:58 p.m. ET. Lawsuit Dismissed:

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Lance Armstrong that sought to stop a USADA hearing into accusations of doping. The AP reports:

"U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled just hours later. He criticized Armstrong's attorneys for filing an 80-page complaint the judge says seems more intended to whip up public opinion for his case than focus on the legal argument.

"Sparks, however, did not decide on the merits of Armstrong's case and said he can refile his lawsuit."

The college football champion will be decided by a playoff beginning after the 2014 season.

The AP reports:

"Come 2014, the BCS is dead. A committee of university presidents on Tuesday approved the BCS commissioners' plan for a four-team playoff to start in the 2014 season.

It almost certainly won't solve the European sovereign debt crisis. But the way it's being framed, tomorrow's European Championship quarterfinal is starting to sound like its next chapter: Greece vs. Germany; austerity vs. stimulus; intact eurozone vs. one without Greece.

The Wall Street Journal reports that some have dubbed the game a "debt derby" that pits "the euro zone's most cash-strapped nation against its Teutonic task- and paymaster." The Journal adds:

A jury found baseball star Roger Clemens not guilty on six charges against. Clemens was accused of lying to Congress in 2008 about his use of performance enhancing drugs.

Lance Armstrong Faces New Doping Allegations

Jun 13, 2012

The Washington Post reports Austin native Lance Armstrong was notified of new doping charges against him yesterday. The move comes after a separate investigation into potential doping ended in February.

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