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Longtime Holy Cross women’s basketball coach Bill Gibbons takes leave after accusation of abuse

10.17.13 at 10:59 am ET
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Longtime Holy Cross women’s basketball coach Bill Gibbons voluntarily went on paid leave Wednesday following accusations of mental and physical abuse by a former player.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court in New York City, former Holy Cross basketball player Ashley Cooper claims that Gibbons was physically and mentally abusive to his players for years. The lawsuit also claims that Holy Cross was aware of Gibbons’ unacceptable behavior, but did nothing to stop it.

The lawsuit named Gibbons, Holy Cross, athletic director Richard Regan and associate athletic director Ann Zelesky as the defendants in the case.

In an interview with Masslive.com, attorney Elizabeth Eilender said that Gibbons screamed at his team and struck some of his players on several occasions, often so hard that it would leave marks.

“This was not done in an encouraging way, but out of frustration and anger” Eilender said. “The man is clearly in need of some anger management therapy. … The yelling and the screaming is the least of it, we’re talking about physical abuse here.”

Eilender made the comparison between this case and that of Mike Rice, the former Rutgers University men’s basketball coach who was fired after videos were released that showed Rice abusing his players by screaming and throwing basketballs at them during practice.

“I actually think this is worse, ” Eilender said. “You learn when you’re little you don’t hit girls.”

Gibbons’ alleged abuse was the chief reason why Cooper decided to transfer from Holy Cross to New York University after two seasons with the team, giving up her athletic scholarship in the process, Eilender said.

The lawsuit alleges that Holy Cross knew of Gibbons’s rough treatment of his players but did not take any action to stop him. In a statement released by Ellen Ryder, Holy Cross’ director of public affairs, the school said that it was unaware of these new allegations and will begin a new investigation into Gibbons.

‘€œThe physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of our students is our highest priority at Holy Cross,” Ryder said. “We just received the lawsuit and are in the process of reviewing it.”

Eilender expressed skepticism in Holy Cross’ intentions to fully investigate Gibbons.

“Holy Cross did what Holy Cross does, they buried it, they denied it, they covered it up,” Eilender said. “I don’t understand why they’re protecting this man.”

Now in his 29th season with the Crusaders, Gibbons became the 24th coach in NCAA history to earn 500 victories back in 2011. He’s lead the team to 11 Patriot League titles.

Read More: Bill Gibbons, Holy Cross, women's basketball,

BC’s Alex Amidon named ACC Receiver of the Week

10.14.13 at 12:20 pm ET
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Boston College senior Alex Amidon was named ACC Receiver of the Week after catching six passes for 121 yards with a 69-yard touchdown in the Eagles’ 24-14 loss at Clemson on Saturday.

Amidon recorded his third 100-plus-yard receiving game of the season and the 10th of his career, a school record. A product of the Western Massachusetts town of Greenfield, Amidon also had two rushes for 12 yards, finishing with a game-high 133 all-purpose yards and helping the Eagles throw a scare into the third-ranked Tigers.

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Hockey East Wraparound: David Quinn era off to 2-0 start; BC drops 7 on RPI; Friars pick up impressive sweep; Upset of the Year?

10.14.13 at 9:12 am ET
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It may not have been against the toughest competition in the world, but Boston University will gladly take a 2-0 start to the David Quinn era. The Terriers are a young team — 18 of their 25 players are freshmen or sophomores — so growing pains are going to be inevitable. They certainly experienced some of those this weekend, particularly on special teams, but they still managed to beat Massachusetts 3-1 on Friday and Holy Cross 3-2 on Saturday.

Coming into the season, there were really only six spots in the lineup that the Terriers felt totally comfortable with. They knew that Danny O’€™Regan, Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann would create offense up front. They knew that Garrett Noonan and Matt Grzelcyk were among the best two-way defensemen in the league. And they knew that Sean Maguire and Matt O’€™Connor made for a pretty solid goaltending tandem. Unsurprisingly, all of those guys played well this weekend (and O’€™Regan, Rodrigues, Hohmann and Noonan all scored).

Every other spot on the roster was something of a question mark. The Terriers knew they had talented players who could fill them, but none of them were really proven. They were going to have to rely a lot on freshmen, and they were going to need sophomores Matt Lane, Sam Kurker and Ahti Oksanen to play bigger roles and be more consistent.

Of those sophomores, Oksanen had the best opening weekend. He registered four assists and a plus-3 rating and looked strong in his own end. Lane notched a power-play assist on Saturday and brought some energy to his shifts on Friday. Kurker, on the other hand, definitely did not have the start he or BU was hoping for, as he took two offensive-zone penalties on Friday before getting benched and failed to register a shot on goal for the weekend.

As for the freshmen, Tommy Kelley registered his first career goal on Friday, and Nick Roberto did the same on Saturday. Both came on quick shots from the slot that showed an ability to finish from in close, and Kelley’€™s came on the power play. Roberto led the team with seven shots on goal for the weekend, and classmate Robbie Baillargeon tallied five while looking pretty comfortable alongside O’€™Regan and Rodrigues on BU’€™s top line. Pretty much all of BU’€™s freshmen saw time on special teams, and Quinn said he only expects them to get better in those roles. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston College hockey, Boston University, David Quinn, Hockey East

UMass basketball tabbed to finish fourth in Atlantic 10 preseason poll

10.08.13 at 2:05 pm ET
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The University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference’s preseason poll Tuesday.

The poll was determined by the 13 A-10 coaches as well as media representatives.

The 2013-14 season is poised to be a promising season for the Minutemen, as coach Derek Kellog returns seven starters from last year’s 21-12 team that made it to the NIT and conference semifinals for the second year in a row. UMass also is set to welcome five new players this season — sophomore transfer Derrick Gordon, a guard from Western Kentucky, and four freshmen.

VCU was picked to finish first with 19 first-place votes. Saint Louis, last year’s conference champion, was ranked second. La Salle was picked third with 265 points while UMass finished fourth with 236 points.

Rounding out the list, Saint Joseph’s was tabbed to finish fifth (199), followed by Richmond (173), Dayton (171), George Mason (141), Rhode Island (130), George Washington (122), Fordham (58), St. Bonaventure (56) and Duquesne (38).

UMass senior Chaz Williams received some individual preseason accolades, as the Brooklyn native was named to the preseason first-team all-conference squad and the preseason all-defensive team. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 16.2 points, 6.8 assists, and 4.3 rebounds over the last two seasons for the Minutemen.

UMass will kick off its season on Nov. 5 with an exhibition game against American International before taking on Boston College in the Coaches vs. Cancer Boston Tip-off at TD Garden on Nov. 10.

Read More: Chaz Williams, Derek Kellogg,

BC’s Kevin Pierre-Louis named ACC Linebacker of the Week

10.07.13 at 12:51 pm ET
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Boston College senior Kevin Pierre-Louis was named ACC Linebacker of the Week for his performance in Saturday’s 48-27 victory over Army.

Pierre-Louis recorded a career-high 18 tackles (10 solo), his third game this season with double-digit tackles. Pierre-Louis ranks second in the conference with 50 tackles in five games. He’s first in the ACC with 28 solo tackles.

The Eagles (3-2) next play at third-ranked Clemson on Sunday afternoon.

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Hockey East Season Preview: This really might be ‘the deepest the league has ever been’

10.07.13 at 9:22 am ET
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If you go to enough Hockey East media days, you’ll realize that there are certain lines you’re bound to hear from coaches year after year.

“Anyone can beat anyone in this league.”

“There isn’t much of a difference between the first-place team and the last-place team.”

“This might be the deepest the league has ever been.”

“There’s more parity now than ever before.”

The first quote is obviously true. That’s how sports work. We see upsets all the time, and Hockey East is no different. Just last year, we saw conference champ Massachusetts-Lowell drop the season series against eighth-place Maine (Lowell went on to sweep Maine in the playoffs, though), and second-place Boston College lose games against each of Hockey East’s bottom three teams.

But the fact that the first quote is true doesn’t necessarily mean the second quote is true. Let’s face it: the worst teams really only have a chance of beating the best teams when the best teams are off their game. There’s a reason Lowell and BC ended up with significantly better records than Massachusetts and Northeastern last season — because Lowell and BC were significantly better teams. And barring something crazy, they’ll be significantly better teams again this year.

As for the third and fourth quotes, when you hear them every year, you start to wonder if coaches would say those things even if they didn’t actually believe them. The league can’t really get deeper every single year, can it? There can’t really be more and more parity every year, right?
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston College, Boston University, Hockey East, maine

BC confirms Army game will go on as scheduled

10.03.13 at 8:21 am ET
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Boston College’s game Saturday against Army will be played as scheduled. The school confirmed the decision with a statement late Thursday morning.

“I’€™m pleased to announce we will host the U.S. Military Academy this Saturday,” BC athletic director Brad Bates said. “I’€™m thrilled our students and those from the service academies will get to play their games this weekend. Thank you, fans, for your patience and understanding the past couple of days. Also, thanks to Army AD Boo Corrigan, who has been terrific through this process.”

There were concerns that the service academies would not play this weekend following the government shutdown, but the secretary of defense reportedly agreed to allow the teams to use independent funding to allow the teams’ participation.

Bates had said in a statement Wednesday that there would be an announcement mid-day Thursday.

Tweeted Bates Wednesday night: Lots of chatter re Army game; we owe you accuracy. In consistent contact with Army tonight, will let you know asap when confirmed.

Navy hosts Air Force on Saturday in a game that is sold out, and Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said a cancellation would have wide-ranging effects.

“It would be devastating to our budget,” said Gladchuk, a former BC AD.

Read More: Brad Bates, Chet Gladchuk,

BC offers Army financial assistance to play Saturday

10.02.13 at 12:02 pm ET
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With the government shutdown affecting the sports teams at the service academies, Boston College is doing its part to have Saturday’s football game against visiting Army go on as scheduled.

“We have been considering and engaging all possibilities in order to play Saturday’€™s football game, including offering financial assistance to Army for travel,” BC athletic director Brad Bates said in a statement Wednesday morning. “We have been told by officials at the U.S. Military Academy, however, that this is not solely a financial decision. I remain in close communication with Army AD Boo Corrigan and we expect a decision will be made by noon tomorrow. We will provide an update as soon as we have more information.”

Meanwhile, BC coach Steve Addazio announced Wednesday that defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad will miss the remainder of the season with a torn left patella tendon. The 6-foot-7, 278-pound junior started all four games this season, recording 17 tackles (9 solo) and two sacks.

BC football game vs. Army in jeopardy due to government shutdown

10.01.13 at 2:28 pm ET
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Boston College’s home football game against Army this Saturday is in jeopardy of being postponed as a result of the government shutdown that began early Tuesday morning. On Tuesday afternoon, Navy athletics announced that the Department of Defense has suspended all intercollegiate athletics at the service academies until the shutdown is over.

“We have been in close communication with Army athletics officials regarding the potential impact of the govt shutdown on Saturday’s game,” BC athletic director Brad Bates said on Twitter. “Obviously our intention is to exhaust all possibilities to play & will communicate the information promptly as soon as we have resolution.”

Saturday’s Navy-Air Force game is also in jeopardy, with Navy saying a decision would be announced by noon on Thursday. Other athletic events involving the service academies have already been canceled.

Saturday’s game against Army is set to be the centerpiece of BC’s first homecoming weekend in decades.

UConn fires football coach Paul Pasqualoni

09.30.13 at 10:55 am ET
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UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni was fired following an 0-4 start to the season, the school announced Monday.

UConn will announce an interim head coach at 4 p.m. Monday, and it reportedly won’€™t be associate head coach George DeLeone.

‘€œI am making this change in our football coaching staff now as we approach the conference season to see an improved performance from our football program,’€ athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. ‘€œI am disappointed in the record of our team thus far, but I am confident that our coaching staff and student-athletes will continue to work hard to improve and that will be reflected on the field of play as we start our American Athletic Conference season.’€

Pasqualoni took over as coach before the start of the 2011 season, but back-to-back 5-7 seasons and the putrid start to this season doomed him. The Huskies’ four losses this year include a season-opening 33-18 loss to Towson, an FCS team, and most recently, a 41-12 loss to Buffalo. UConn also fell to Maryland and No. 15 Michigan.

Pasqualoni coached at Syracuse from 1991-2004, amassing a 107-59-1 record and six bowl game victories before his firing in 2004. After Syracuse, Pasqualoni spent time in the NFL as an assistant coach for the Cowboys and Dolphins.

Read More: Paul Pasqualoni,
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