NCAA

No. 16 Saint Mary's bounces back with win over Broncos

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No. 16 Saint Mary's bounces back with win over Broncos

BOX SCORE
MORAGA -- The stars that faded against Gonzaga two nights earlier shined bright again for Saint Mary's when it mattered most. While that 12-game winning streak is gone, the Gaels' dominance in the West Coast Conference still seems alive and well.Same goes for the program's leaders, too.Rob Jones had 25 points and 12 rebounds, Matthew Dellavedova added 16 points and 10 assists, and No. 16 Saint Mary's rebounded from a loss at Gonzaga with an 82-67 victory over cross-bay rival Santa Clara on Saturday night."Our guys who needed to step up, our leaders, did. And that was the key," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said.Stephen Holt scored 11 points to help Saint Mary's (23-3, 12-1) overcome a slow start and pull away in the second half. The Gaels improved to 16-0 at home with only two games left at McKeon Pavilion this season."I think it just proves how tough a team we are. You can't be proven this tough if you face adversity," said Jones, who was held to eight points and seven rebounds against the Bulldogs on Thursday in a rare off night. "So after last game, I prepared to prove to myself and everyone else that I'm still here with this team."Consider it done.Denzel Johnson scored 17 points and Niyi Harrison added 12 points for the Broncos (8-17, 0-12), swept for the third straight year in the series and still winless in conference play this season.Santa Clara junior guard Kevin Foster, the WCC's leading scorer at 17.8 points a game, was held out for the seventh straight game. He has not played since being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Jan. 21."We can only use the bullets we have, and the ones we got are getting better," Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating said. "For us, this whole season's been hard. We haven't won a road game all year. We dealt with a lot of adversity in the very beginning, and certainly in the last three weeks it's changed and been even more adverse."The first setback in weeks did little to quiet the Saint Mary's faithful.Patrons packed in the aisles and up to the rafters at standing-room-only McKeon Pavilion, where the capacity is 3,500. With the 73-59 loss to the Bulldogs two nights earlier still fresh, the program's rival tried to make it sting even worse.Harrison provided an immediate burst, finishing with a three-point play over Jordan Page that gave the Broncos a 19-16 lead. Santa Clara withstood every momentum swing - keeping most brief - and never let the Gaels pull away.At least for a half.The Gaels galloped past the Broncos with a strong finish to the half and a stronger start to the second, bringing fans roaring to their feet after Brad Waldow's put-back tip at the buzzer. Two big plays in the first minutes following the break sent Santa Clara home for good.Holt converted a difficult layup while getting draped by Cowels and Rob Jones made a short jumper as Cowels fouled him moments later. Both missed the free throw that followed.The 22-7 run between the first and second half put Saint Mary's ahead 54-40, and all the Gaels had to do was hold on against an inferior opponent the rest of the way - something they've done plenty of this year.Santa Clara chopped the deficit to three with 8:51 remaining with some surprisingly streaking shooting before Saint Mary's took control again. Dellavedova had a layup and also fed Waldow for a dunk that helped put the Gaels back in front 71-61.The victory kept Saint Mary's in prime position to end Gonzaga's streak of 11 straight seasons with at least a share of the WCC crown - and likely the high NCAA tournament seeding that comes with it.But as last season showed, one loss can change plans quickly.The Bulldogs beat Saint Mary's in the last year's regular-season finale to split the title and again won in the league championship game. The two losses kept the Gaels out of the NCAA tournament.Saint Mary's is one of eight teams in Division I - along with WCC rival Gonzaga and newcomer BYU - to win at least 25 games in each of the last four seasons. The ranking this week in the AP poll is the highest for Saint Mary's since the 1958-59 season."We're not really focused on that," Dellavedova said. "But one game can turn around a season."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans. 

NCAA adopts sexual violence policy: 'It's not banning violent athletes...'

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AP

NCAA adopts sexual violence policy: 'It's not banning violent athletes...'

NCAA member schools will be required to provide yearly sexual violence education for all college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators under a policy announced Thursday by the organization's board of governors.

Campus leaders such as athletic directors, school presidents and Title IX coordinators will be required to attest that athletes, coaches and administrators have been educated on sexual violence.

The policy was adopted from a recommendation made by the Commission to Combat Campus Sexual Violence, which was created by the board last year in response to several high-profile cases involving sexual assaults and athletic departments, including the scandal at Baylor.

The policy also requires campus leaders to declare that athletic departments are knowledgeable and compliant with school policies on sexual violence prevention, adjudication and resolution.

Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and activist who speaks to college teams across the country about sexual violence , is a member of the commission. She has called for the NCAA to ban athletes with a history of sexual violence. While this policy falls far short of that, Tracy said she was encouraged.

"It's not banning violent athletes, but it's a positive policy that's going to have a big impact on our campuses," Tracy said in a phone interview from Amherst, Massachusetts, where she was spending the day speaking to the UMass football and basketball teams.

The announcement from the NCAA came just one day after Youngstown State decided a football player who served jail time for a rape committed while he was in high school will not be allowed to play in games this season. Ma'Lik Richmond , who served about 10 months in a juvenile lockup after being convicted with another Steubenville High School football player of raping a 16-year-old girl in 2012, walked on at Youngstown State earlier this year. He will be allowed to practice and participate in other team activities.

Tracy has promoted a petition urging Youngstown State to not allow Richmond to play.

"I think that playing sports and playing NCAA sports is a privilege. It is not a right," Tracy said. "If we're going to be placing student-athletes in that position of power and influence - to drive narrative, to drive conversation, to affect culture - then behavior matters. Right now, I feel like Youngstown is sending the message that violence against women, rape all of these things are OK. It doesn't affect your ability to play sports."

A move toward an NCAA policy on sexual violence was given momentum by numerous issues involving athletes and athletic departments in recent years. Perhaps the most high-profile example is Baylor, where an investigation found that allegations of sexual assault, some against football players, were mishandled by school leaders.

Two years ago, the Southeastern Conference barred schools from accepting transfers who had been dismissed from another school for serious misconduct, defined as sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.

Indiana announced in April that it would no longer accept any prospective student-athlete who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence. In July, the athletic director at the University of Illinois said the school was working on a similar policy.

Tracy said the NCAA has not ruled out implementing a policy like Indiana's.

"The fact that's still on the table, we're still having discussions about that, we're still going to keep working moving forward, gives me a lot of hope," she said.

In a statement, the NCAA said: "Any discussion of individual accountability beyond the criminal justice system must address the complexities and nuances of different federal and state laws so that it can be consistently applied across the NCAA."

The new NCAA policy defers to schools to set their own sexual violence education practices, though in 2014 the association set expectations for its members with a resolution and made recommendations in a handbook on sexual assault.

"Schools do different things," Tracy said. "The NCAA is now saying this isn't just an option. This is now a policy and a requirement. And not only that but you need to attest to us every year what it is that you're doing ... Some schools are doing a great job. Some schools are not doing a great job."