Maryland high school swim team forced to forfeit championship for shaving violation

An incident of illegal shaving by a swimmer has forced a Maryland high school girls swim team to relinquish its county championship Tuesday.

The Broadneck High School varsity girls swim team was stripped of the county title it earned two weeks ago after officials later discovered one of its swimmers shaved at the site of the meet prior to an event, a big no-no according to National Federation of High School Associations. The NFHS’s guidelines for swimming state: “No team personnel/competitor shall perform any on-site shaving before, during or after the meet.”

The swimmer’s points were deducted from Broadneck’s total, enough to drop the school down to third place. The team’s coach reportedly knew of the misdeed before the swimmer competed and has also been disciplined.

Swimmers frequently shave their bodies because it helps cut seconds off their times. But, according to Patch.com, this rule is implemented for safety and health precautions.

“It is very important that coaches counsel their athletes on the danger and inappropriateness of on-site shaving ranging from sharing razors, possible cuts and exchange of body fluid (blood) and spreading communicable disease to cleanliness issues at the facility,” the NFHS said.  “Coaches have the responsibility to educate their athletes and enforce this restriction.”

Is waxing also out of the question? If so, then there would be no room for female Rays fans.

Ohio State sign rips Michigan football’s academics (Photo)

What you’re looking at here is a poster recently seen in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Ohio State’s campus that compares the majors chosen by players on the OSU and Michigan football teams. The sign is meant to condemn “The Team Up North,” as per Urban Meyer’s crusade against calling the school by its actual name, for its players not challenging themselves with academic rigor. Evidently, 24% of Michigan football players majoring in “General Studies” is extensively worse than the same amount of Buckeyes players majoring in “Communication” or “Family Resource Management.” But who are we to judge?

Yet, we hope we’re not the only ones seeing the hypocrisy here. Need we look further than the questionable academic pursuits of former Buckeyes linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer, who went from borderline failing student and ineligible All-American to a bona fide scholar athlete thanks to a schedule crammed with cake classes, such as ones on golf and AIDS education?

We’re just wondering if any of the 14% of OSU players majoring in communication are taking the same course Katzenmoyer took in which none of the students received no lower than an A-minus. Because easy A’s are the best.

H/T Eleven Warriors via Lost Lettermen

Lakers reportedly hold players-only meeting amid trade rumors

Following the Lakers’ decisive 103-92 victory over the Blazers on Monday night, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher held a players-only locker room meeting that was undoubtedly called in response to the team’s recent handling of trade rumors that have abound the team this season. ESPN’s Chris Broussard has the details:

Their message was clear: Trade rumors do not matter; your feelings about management or the coaching staff don’t matter; all that matters is that the 14 men in that locker room support and believe in one another. If they stay together and stay on the same page, they can get to where they want to go as a team.

Following an embarrassing loss to the Suns on Sunday, Kobe notably lashed out against Lakers management for being indecisive on Pau Gasol’s future with the team.

Prior to Monday’s game, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak released a statement that one could interpret as essentially saying, “Kobe, shut up. Gasol is still on the block.”

Broussard also writes that the meeting additionally covered problems that have arisen switching over from Phil Jackson’s coaching regime to Mike Brown’s, most notably unpredictable rotations and long practices.

Anytime you need to hold an emergency players-only meeting, things can’t be going well for your team. Obviously, the Lakers aren’t the elite team they used to be. But Kobe is right: If the Lakers think they can get better by trading Gasol, they should just get on with it. And also because of the fun that comes with ruffling Dan Gilbert’s feathers. The trade deadline is March 15.

Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez, US Presswire

Kobe Bryant believes trade rumors have distracted Pau Gasol

Ever since David Stern stepped in and prevented him from becoming a member of the Houston Rockets last December, Pau Gasol has been the center of nonstop trade rumors, and Kobe Bryant thinks it’s affecting the Lakers big man’s play.

Kobe told the LA Times after Friday’s 111-99 home win over the Suns he thinks all the trade chatter has provided “an emotional couple days” for Gasol, who scored just 10 points in the contest.

“Personally I don’t understand that crap,” Bryant said. “But it is what it is. It’s important for him to know we support him. I support him especially. I just want him to go out there and play hard and do what he does best for us.”

Amid constant talk this season about being the centerpiece in a potential trade to the Magic for everybody’s favorite frontrunner Dwight Howard, Gasol has posted a career low in points per game (16.6). Recently, he’s also been linked to a possible deal sending him to Minnesota for rookie Derrick Williams and draft picks. The NBA’s trade deadline is March 15.

“At times it crosses your mind, but not exactly when you’re playing,” Gasol said. “Obviously when you’re playing, you’re focused and you try to do the best that you can. It’s something you have to shake off regardless at any time.”

Regardless of Gasol’s play on the court, you can’t knock him for displaying excellent professionalism in the face of persistent trade speculation, especially when you compare him to the way Lamar Odom handled his things.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas, US Presswire

Troy Aikman thinks concussions may ruin football’s status as No. 1 sport

Player safety continues to be a growing issue in football, and Troy Aikman thinks it could wind up hurting the NFL if the league doesn’t proceed appropriately.

The Hall of Fame quarterback was on a forum panel in Los Angeles on Friday discussing the city’s NFL prospects when he expressed concern about concussions harming the league’s status of being the country’s No. 1 professional sport.

“The long-term viability, to me anyway, is somewhat in question as far as what this game is going to look like 20 years from now,” Aikman said, according to the LA Times.

“If (I had a son), I wouldn’t tell him he couldn’t play football. If he wanted to, I would say ‘OK, great.’ But I don’t know if I would be encouraging him to play. Whereas, with the other sports, you want your kids to be active and doing those types of things.”

That sentiment is what Aikman, who suffered 10 concussions in his career, believes is going to drive people away from football, opening the door for other sports to supplant the NFL in popularity unless the league takes a proper course of action.

“I think we’re going to look back at this point in time and say these were the missteps that the National Football League took that kept football from being the No. 1 sport,” he said.

“I believe, and this is my opinion, that at some point football is not going to be the No. 1 sport. You talk about the ebbs and flows of what’s popular and what’s not. At some point, the TV ratings are not going to be there.”

Aikman certainly voices a valid opinion. Football is always going to be a violent sport. But one can only hope standards and equipment are improved to the point where player safety doesn’t ruin the NFL’s reputation. You know, before having a team in London will.

Photo credit: Dale Zanine, US Presswire

Dereck Chisora brawls with David Haye in post-fight press conference (Video)

What a roll Dereck Chisora is on.

First, on Friday he slapped Vitali Klitschko during the weigh-in for their WBC Heavyweight title bout. Next, in the ring moments before the first bell rang Saturday, Chisora spit water in the face of Klitschko’s younger brother, Wladimir. Then, after losing the fight in a unanimous decision, Chisora and David Haye had to be separated after the two British boxers got in a screaming match that led to an unreal scuffle.

Some NSFW language here. The brawl starts around the 2:10 mark.

As you see, Haye interrupted the presser, challenging Chisora to schedule a fight with him. The two came face-to-face, and you can guess what happened next. (The Daily Mail has an unbelievable photo of Haye throwing the first punch). Somewhere in the tussle, Haye’s trainer Adam Booth suffered an gaping wound to his forehead.

When the dust finally settled, Chisora said he was going to “shoot” Haye because he hit him with a glass (“He glassed me!”). Munich police questioned Chisora, who faces an assault charge, for nearly seven hours before he left Germany on Sunday. Klitschko’s amusement seen towards the end of the video epitomizes how much of a circus the whole thing was.

Haye retired after losing to the younger Klitschko in July, but all signs point to him unretiring and possibly meeting Chisora in the ring. Saturday’s melee would certainly be a compelling backstory.

Meanwhile, Chisora continues to star in the greatest reality show that doesn’t exist.

Dereck Chisora spits water in Wladimir Klitschko’s face (Video)

A day after slapping Vitali Klitschko during their pre-fight weigh-in, Dereck Chisora outdid himself when he spit water in the face of Klitschko’s brother Wladimir. This guy is just asking to die.

It happened in the ring before Chisora and Vitali squared off for the WBC Heavyweight belt in Munich on Saturday. Wladimir remained restrained, only revealing a slight grin.

Somehow Chisora survived the fight — albeit with a loss. Klitschko won by unanimous decision, taking almost every round on all three judges’ cards. Vitali is now 44-2 while Chisora falls to 15-3.