Update on the latest sports
Ex-USC coach Tony Bland to plead guilty in corruption case
NEW YORK (AP) – Former University of Southern California assistant basketball coach Tony Bland is expected to plead guilty in a criminal case in which prosecutors said bribes were paid to steer top athletes to certain schools.
Bland’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, says Bland is set to enter the plea on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.
Bland was among four assistant coaches charged in the September 2017 crackdown on college basketball recruiting corruption.
Prosecutors say the coaches teamed up with a top Adidas executive and others to trade hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence star athletes’ choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents and even tailors.
Bland was scheduled to go to trial in April. He had previously pleaded not guilty.
Sports betting will be no home run for state budgets
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – The race to legalize sports betting is on now that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed it in all 50 states, but states shouldn’t expect to hit the jackpot with extra tax revenue.
Just look to the handful of states that capitalized immediately after the court’s ruling last spring and to Nevada, which previously had an effective monopoly on sports gambling. Even though the market is still developing, the returns to date have been modest.
In Nevada, revenue from sports betting has accounted for roughly one half of 1 percent of the entire state budget.
The expected stampede of states seeking to legalize it has parallels to the growing trend toward legalizing recreational marijuana, which 10 states have done and others are considering.
As with marijuana, lawmakers say they are motivated in large part because sports betting has been a black market activity outside Nevada. Legalizing it would allow states to impose regulations and take in at least some money.
Nadal withdraws from Brisbane because of thigh strain
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Brisbane International on the eve of his first scheduled competitive match of the season because of a strained left thigh.
The second-ranked Nadal had a bye in the first round and arrived in Australia after withdrawing from an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi following one match.
He played only nine tournaments during an injury-interrupted 2018 season, winning five titles.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since September but says he is confident he will be ready to compete at the Australian Open, which starts on Jan. 14 at Melbourne Park.
Nadal says he plans to keep practicing in Brisbane until the weekend, then travel to Melbourne via Sydney early next week.