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12.22.06: Former ECU assistant Brindise leaving coaching ... USF's Burnett apparently out for bowl ... ECU's Mills scores 24 in losing effort in Cancun
12.21.06: Cavanaugh joins Pirate baseball staff ... Lady Pirates lose opener in Cancun to Pitt ... Derek Dooley leaving Dolphins for La. Tech
12.20.06: ECU's Graham getting double exposure ... Stanford names Harbaugh as new coach ... Women's hoops contest called due to rain
12.19.06: ECU's Allison selected for Senior Bowl ... BC picks longtime ECU assistant Jagodzinski ... Television numbers up for college football
12.18.06: Former ECU aide Calloway takes helm at UAB ... Auburn suspends 3 from bowl game ... 17,000-plus watch Nebraska win volleyball title
12.17.06: Orange Bowl resets ECU-Wake hoops to Jan. 1 ... Spurrier's wife, Lawing commit infractions ... Rebs, Bulldogs shuffled on Memphis schedule
12.16.06: Appalachian State repeats as I-AA champ ... DeBerry announces retirement at Air Force ... Possible perp in Pata shooting held in Boston
12.15.06: Boone booming with football success ... All-America: Rice's Dillard and UTEP's Higgins ... Miami offensive coordinator moving to ASU
12.14.06: Grobe gets national recognition for coaching ... ECU soccer duo receives honors
12.13.06: Pirate baseball competes to get in shape ... Holy Toledo! Green Wave's search over ... Arizona State fills football coaching void
12.12.06: Garrard not complaining after Jags win ... Rutgers' Schiano named coach of year ... Wolfpack dominates Lady Pirates in Raleigh
12.11.06: Watson Brown heads home to Tennessee Tech ... Boston College names Spaziani interim coach ... Georgia Tech's Johnson wins Biletnikoff award
12.10.06: Junior Smith involved in Cox commitment ... WVU's Rodriguez says no to Bama's big bucks ... Boykin leaves Blue Devils hoops program
12.09.06: Garrard named AFC player of the week ... C-USA players of year: Kolb, Bunting, Higgins ,,, Miami elevates Shannon to head coach
12.08.06: Rivers tips off conclusion of coaching search ... Orioles' Roberts serving FCA baseball camps ... Hoops: Lady Pirates defeat UNC-Wilmington
12.07.06: Nine Pirates named to all-conference teams ... League honors four ECU freshman gridders ... Recruiting thumbnail: Rodney Cox ... ECU's Norris named to All-South 2nd team
12.06.06: UTEP's Higgins named AFCA All-American ... Memphis thumps Herd in C-USA hoops opener ... C-USA names top cross country performers
12.05.06: First-ever Gators- Buckeyes match-up a big one ... Boise State crashes BCS party in Fiesta ... Seminoles top Lady Pirates for tourney title
12.04.06: New recruiting thumbnail: Tyrell Worthington ... McFadden leads Independence into title game ... Bearcats bound for new bowl in Toronto
12.03.06: Paper: Hudson among Cincy coaching targets ... UAB ousted from NCAA volleyball by UCLA
12.02.06: Witter wins minor league baseball honor ... Millican in position in LPGA qualifying ... ECU announces challenging softball slate
12.01.06: C-USA announces football players of year ... Rice's Graham gets coach of year award ... ECU's Krug lands All-America honor
11.30.06: T.H. issues direct appeal to fans for ticket sales ... New recruiting thumbnail: Maurice Mercer ... Dougherty, Johnson first team All-Conference ... Five from ECU on C-USA All-Freshman team
11.29.06: C-USA bowl slate sends ECU to Birmingham ... SMU's Needham a finalist for Hermann Trophy ... Bearcats coach bolts for Michigan State
11.28.06: ECU's Roach on
C-USA academic team ... Wager on Clemson-South Carolina turns deadly ... Shula era comes to end at Alabama
11.27.06: C-USA title game features UH-USM rematch ... Bunting farewell to press a succinct one ... ECU announces swimming, diving signees
11.26.06: Pirates add Lugo to 2008 baseball class ... VCU prevails over ECU in women's hoops ... Tulsa gains momentum for postseason trip
11.25.06: ECU-bound Herlocker paces Charlotte Catholic ... Miami enters search mode for football coach ... BC out of ACC title contention
11.24.06: Herd takes ECU hopes to Hattiesburg ... Gonzaga has a Garden party in NIT semis ... Iowa State search eliminates two candidates
11.23.06: Yow taking leave of absence for treatment ... Marshall's Bradshaw nabs
C-USA weekly honor
11.22.06: Pirates face Houston if Marshall wins ... Former teammates push Raye for MSU coach ... SMU's Wideman named academic player of year
11.21.06: Duke, Wake athletes named Rhodes scholars ... UAB captures Conference USA volleyball ... Old Dominion stuns Georgetown on the road
11.20.06: Ohio State-Michigan rematch possible ... Video helps inspire Tar Heels to beat State ... Cords stepping down as AD at Marquette
11.19.06: Cougars to host USM or ECU in C-USA title game ... ECU falls in women's hoops to Vermont ... Pirate swimming teams in seventh place
11.18.06: ECU baseball bringing in 10-man class ... UTEP edges Pirates in C-USA volleyball ... West Virginia steamrolls Pitt
11.17.06: Pirates reschedule hoops contest with NCCU ... ECU volleyball places 3 on all- league team ... Top-ranked SMU goes down in NCAA soccer
11.16.06: Paterno's hall of fame induction postponed ... Tressel downplays his dominance vs. Michigan ... ECU softball announces pair of signees
11.15.06: Pirates control their fate in East Division ... Pinkney in star game, playing for Buddy Ryan ... ECU's Lee named special teams player of week
11.14.06: ECU-NCSU kickoff moved to 7 p.m. for TV ... Butch will succeed Bunting at UNC- Chapel Hill ... Conference USA coaches make debuts ... Pirates seeded sixth in C-USA volleyball ... Lady Pirates drop hoops opener to JMU
11.13.06: Houston clinches
C-USA championship berth ... ECU volleyball slips in regular season finale ... Grad rates: Athletes outperform student body
11.12.06: ECU announces women's hoops signees ... Miners extinguish Blazers' bowl hopes ... Mustang duo in contention for Hermann Trophy
11.11.06: Rutgers kicks Cards out of title picture ... Roach selected for district academic honor ... Krug getting it done on court, in classroom
11.10.06: Pirates prepare for Saturday hoops opener ... Houston's Kolb makes cut on O'Brien award list ... UNC-CH officials mum on Davis' status
11.09.06: Former star QB to represent N.C. in Congress ... Homicide unit probing death of Miami player ... Krog's 73 puts her in top five at Augusta
11.08.06: UK's win over Payne's charges not flawless ... SMU, UAB gain NCAA men's soccer berths ... Three C-USA women's teams get NCAA slots
11.07.06: Two Marshall players get C-USA honors ... UAB women capture C-USA soccer title ... Punter faces attempted murder charge
11.06.06: Pirate volleyball takes down Memphis ... Denny O'Brien's Harris Poll ballot ... ECU swimmers, divers perform well ... Paterno recovering from fractured leg
11.05.06: Promotions aplenty for ECU-Marshall game ...
Ex-Tulsa great Largent gets humanitarian honor
11.04.06: Dougherty a semifinalist for Ray Guy Award ... Butch Davis deal with Tar Heels imminent? ... Cardinals talking national title, again ... Honors abound for ECU women's soccer team
11.03.06: Boise State rolls past Bulldogs ... Reale, Pirates earn seconds at Kitty Hawk ... ECU softball's Kozlowski promoted
11.02.06: Mustangs a win away from bowl eligibility ... Hunt, Icenhower lead East Carolina divers ... ECU's Moore earns academic honor with 4.0
11.01.06: Kragthorpe curtails Tar Heel speculation ... Pirates in C-USA women's soccer tourney ... Backup QB Lee to start for FSU against Cavs

News Nuggets, 12.23.06
 —  —  —  —  —

Compiled from staff and electronic reports
© All rights reserved.

Nifong hangs on to unraveling Duke rape case

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong dismissed first-degree rape charges against three former Duke lacrosse players Friday, but he let stand accusations that they kidnapped an exotic dancer and committed a first-degree sex offense against her during an off-campus party in March, according to a Durham Herald-Sun report.

The new twist in the case caused many legal observers to further question the accuser's already embattled credibility. Nifong had no comment on the development.

In court paperwork, Nifong said the dismissal resulted from an interview that his investigator, Linwood Wilson, conducted with the dancer on Thursday.

The alleged victim told Wilson that "while she initially believed that she had been vaginally penetrated by a male sex organ," she was no longer certain that a penis was used, Nifong wrote.

As a result, "the state is unable to meet its burden of proof with respect to this offense," he said.

Penetration by a penis is necessary to convict someone of first-degree rape. But under the law, the three suspects — Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans — still could be convicted of committing a first-degree sex offense if jurors believed they used a finger or other item to vaginally penetrate the woman against her will.

The defendants also could be convicted of first-degree kidnapping if they restrained the dancer in a bathroom during the alleged assault, as she said they did.

At a news conference Friday, Joe Cheshire, attorney for Evans, and Wade Smith, who represents Finnerty, defended their clients and appealed to Nifong to drop the remaining charges.

As things stand now, "the case is quite clearly not over," said Cheshire, noting that the additional charges "still carry significant active prison time."

The sex assault charge carries a presumptive sentence of 20 to nearly 25 years, while the kidnapping charge carries a presumptive 7-year sentence.

The lawyers maintained that their clients did not commit any of the crimes with which they are charged.

"These boys are absolutely innocent. They never touched her," Cheshire said. "They were never alone with her together in any place. It's not possible that they kidnapped her, touched, raped her or whatever."

BYU seniors realize their dream in Las Vegas

Each one of these seniors, from John Beck and Curtis Brown to Cameron Jensen right down the line to several lesser-knowns, lived out a fantasy that few experience, according to a Las Vegas Bowl report in the Salt Lake Tribune on Brigham Young's 38-8 win over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl.

From the day they committed to BYU, every one of these players dreamed of a conference championship and success in the postseason. They pictured the time that came Thursday, when thousands of of their closest friends swarmed the field, basking in the glow of football excellence.

Securing its place among the program's greatest teams, BYU rolled to victory before a record crowd of 44,615. The Cougars, who won a bowl game for the first time in 10 years, finished at 11-2 and could possibly end up in the top 15.

"It's everything that we could ask for as seniors," said Curtis Brown, who capped off his career by becoming the first BYU running back to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

"It feels so great," said tight end Jonny Harline, named the game's MVP after catching nine passes for 181 yards and one touchdown.

Paulus wows homefolks, Coach K in Big Apple

Slowly but surely, Duke sophomore Greg Paulus has inched toward reaching his comfort zone coming off a preseason foot injury.

Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, playing in his home state of New York, Paulus looked like he finally felt at home, according to a Durham Herald-Sun report.

Paulus scored a career-high 20 points — eight in the first half to keep Duke close and 12 in the second half to keep Gonzaga at bay in the Blue Devils' 61-54 victory.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called the performance the best of Paulus' career, though Paulus didn't look at it in those terms.

"I'm not even thinking about it like that," said Paulus, who was playing in front of about 50 family members and friends. "I just thought of it as doing whatever we needed to do to win — whether that was getting a long rebound or hitting an open shot or making a pass."

Paulus' play helped the sixth-ranked Blue Devils (11-1), playing in their annual home-away-from-home game, survive against a 22nd-ranked Gonzaga team (9-4) that brought more of a neutral-court feel by bringing more fans than expected from the other side of the country.

Appalachian State basking in a multi-sport roll

Appalachian State has capped an impressive run of victories with an 87-79 overtime win over Vanderbilt in the championship game of the San Juan (Puerto Rico) Shootout, according to a Winston-Salem Journal report.

Donte Minter, a 6-8, 250-pound junior who transferred from Virginia and was playing in his fifth game for ASU, paved the way with 27 points and seven rebounds.

"It's been quite a week," Coach Houston Fancher of the Mountaineers said. "First the national championship for football, and we just beat an ACC team, an SEC team and a Conference USA team in a span of three days. I'd say it's been a pretty good week for the Apps."

The Mountaineers (10-3) followed wins over Virginia and Central Florida in the eight-team tournament with their first victory against an SEC team in 18 tries.

It was also the first championship in a regular-season tournament by the Mountaineers since a first-place finish in the Toledo MVP Classic in 1988.

"This is a huge confidence booster," Minter said. "I think we've shown that if we play like this we can play with anybody."

The Mountaineers shot 52 percent from the field in their three victories. Yesterday's 7-of-23 performance (30 percent) from 3-point range was well off a cumulative 49-percent mark from long range in their previous two games, but Minter, who hit 11 of 14 field-goal attempts, led a productive inside attack.

Minter won the battle against Ted Skuchas, a 6-11, 250-pound center, and Minter's teammate Jeremy Clayton, a 6-7 forward, was a force as well — totaling 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Mountaineers wound up with a 41-28 advantage in rebounds.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from electronic services and other sources. Copyright 2006 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:54 PM


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