Review team installed at Santa Anita
ARCADIA, Calif. — Santa Anita has put together a five-member team to review horses’ medical, training and racing history for the final six racing days at the Southern California track where 29 horses have died since December.
The Arcadia track’s season ends June 23.
Led by the California Horse Racing Board’s equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur, and chief steward, Darrel McHargue, the review team includes independent CHRB vets and stewards, who supervise the outcome of horse races.
The review team will decide if individual horses are at elevated risk of injury before racing. They will look at any history of a horse on the veterinarian’s list and steward’s list as well as medical and race history and physical observations of the horse.
All five members of the review team must agree that a horse isn’t at elevated risk of injury in order to clear the animal to race. One objection can prevent a horse from racing.
The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita, has agreed to instruct the racing secretary, who currently decides if a horse is fit to race, to deny the entry of any such horse, and the review team’s recommendation will serve as the final word.
“This is unprecedented in American horse racing,” said Alexis Podesta, secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, which oversees the CHRB. “Never have we had this additional layer of review with a team of experts to connect data points and confer on the well-being and capability of individual race horses.”
The review team was formed in response to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who called on the CHRB to ensure that no horse competes until it is examined by independent veterinarians and found fit to race.
“I continue to be troubled by the horse deaths at Santa Anita Park. Enough is enough,” Newsom said this week.
NFL investigating Texans for tampering
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The NFL is investigating tampering charges against the Texans after the Patriots accused them of contacting New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio for the Houston general manager job.
ESPN.com reported that New England complained to the league after Texans executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby, a former Patriots chaplain, attended the team’s championship ring ceremony at the home of owner Robert Kraft. The Texans fired GM Brian Gaine the next day, less than 18 months after he took over the job.
ESPN.com noted that Easterby and Caserio are represented by the same agent, Bob LaMonte.
Kemba would take less to stay in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three-time NBA All-Star Kemba Walker said he would consider taking less money than he is eligible to make to stay with the Charlotte Hornets if that means helping them build a winning team.
Because Walker was named to an All-NBA team this season, the Hornets can offer him a five-year “supermax” contract worth up to $221 million — significantly more than the five-year, $190 million deal had he not been named All-NBA.
Other NBA teams can only offer a four-year deal worth $140 million when free agency begins June 30.
“Yeah, why not? I would take less, for sure,” Walker said Thursday during his youth basketball camp at Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte.
The eight-year NBA veteran said the Hornets remain his first priority, but he said he’s “pretty sure” he will meet with other interested teams before making a decision on his future.
Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak previously said the team will do “everything we can” to re-sign Walker, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.
There has been plenty of speculation about where Walker might end up, including with the New York Knicks because he grew up in the Bronx.
But Walker has repeatedly said he loves playing and living in Charlotte.
Walker has been selected for the last three All-Star games and was named a starter this year for the first time. He averaged a career-high 25.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last season along with 5.9 assists while playing in all 82 games.
Walker has averaged more than 20 points per game in four straight seasons and is averaging 19.8 points per game for his career since joining the league in 2011 out of UConn, where he won a national championship with the Huskies.
More basketball programs to be charged
ORLANDO, Fla. — A key NCAA official says six schools are going to be facing allegations of Level I violations as early as next month, the latest fallout in the college basketball corruption scandal.
Stan Wilcox, vice president for regulatory affairs for the NCAA, tells CBS Sports two high-profile programs will be notified in early July, the others at a later date.
Level I violations can include such punishments as scholarship reductions, postseason bans and show-cause orders against coaches.
NCAA officials said in a statement that it’s likely even more schools will be notified of violations.
Wilcox told CBS the new cases will be subject to new NCAA policies approved after recommendations made by a commission led by Condoleezza Rice, a former U.S. secretary of state. Wilcox was in Florida participating as a panelist on NCAA issues at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention.
The FBI announced in September 2017 it had indicted 10 people, including four assistant coaches, for bribery and fraud. Prosecutors said coaches teamed with an executive from an apparel maker and others to trade hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence star athletes’ choices of schools, shoe sponsors, agents, even tailors in a widespread recruiting scandal that tainted two dozen schools.
The cases concluded last week when Lamont Evans, a former assistant basketball coach at Oklahoma State and the University of South Carolina, was sentenced to three months in prison for accepting bribes to link top players with bribe-paying managers and financial advisers.
Former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code were convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud last October for funneling recruits to Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina State.
Wilcox said the NCAA waited to act, at the request of the federal government, until the trials wrapped up.