Free your mind and think.

21 05 2013



Your state’s highest-paid public employee is probably a coach.

15 05 2013

… And your team probably still sucks. Money well spent.

– dEV


Sorry, Lance.

5 02 2013


I Enjoy Both.

4 01 2013


In all seriousness, I find that Fantasy Football is a lot more like a deck-building card game or CCG, or even more of a army-building miniatures game. And I think that all of these have untapped potential as educational tools!

None of this explains why I can’t convince my Fantasy Football friends to try tabletop gaming, or vice versa. Sigh.

– dEV

TIME: Nine Charged in Massive Pee Wee Football Gambling Ring

6 11 2012

By Associated Press Oct. 31, 2012

(DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla.) — Authorities said Tuesday they uncovered a massive gambling operation targeting youth football games in South Florida, leading them to arrest nine men, including several coaches with extensive criminal backgrounds who they say exploited kids to turn a profit.

The 18-month long investigation started when ESPN journalists brought Broward County Sheriff’s officials surveillance video showing parents openly exchanging money in the stands while watching their kids’ tackle football games. Authorities later uncovered the stakes on pee wee games were high, with more than $100,000 wagered on the youth football championship.

Coaches routinely met before games and set point spreads, investigators said, but they do not believe the games were thrown or that coaches encouraged players not to complete a touchdown in order to control the outcome. Authorities said they had no evidence that the players were aware of the bets.

“It’s about kids being exploited unfortunately by greedy parents and greedy grown-ups and coaches who were basically nothing more than criminals,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said.

After months of surveillance, digging through trash cans and raiding two gambling houses, authorities arrested alleged ringleader Brandon Bivins, known as ‘Coach B’ in the community, charging him with felony bookmaking and keeping a gambling house. Eight others were also charged Monday with bookmaking and some were charged with keeping a gambling house.

It’s unclear if Bivins has an attorney. A phone message and email sent to one of the other suspect’s attorneys was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Authorities said the suspects have direct ties to the South Florida Youth Football League and several have extensive criminal histories. Bivins has been convicted of cocaine possession, grand theft auto, and marijuana possession with intent to sell.

According to the league’s website, it has 22 clubs and 6,000 players, ranging from pee wee to teens, in three counties. Many of the children come from impoverished neighborhoods.

Emails and phone calls to several officers in the league were not immediately returned Tuesday.
The website says the sole purpose of the league “is to benefit children” and instill wholesome values.

Bold print on the league’s website warns that anyone taking bets on games will be asked to leave. “The SFYFL is taking a hard stand on gambling, recruiting, paying kids to play and big hits on players.”

Perhaps more disturbing than the gambling operation was the extensive criminal background of six coaches, authorities said.

An affidavit claims Bivins ran a fake barbershop, complete with barber stations and vending machines, as a front for a gambling house. But behind what appeared to be a closet door was a narrow hallway leading to a seedy gambling room where Bivins and others took bets on professional, college and youth games behind conspicuously dark tinted windows.

An informant placed numerous bets at Red Carpet Kutz Barbershop and another gambling front, Showtime Sports, during the investigation, according to the affidavit.

Authorities said they seized nearly $40,000 from a drop safe at one of the storefronts and took another $20,000 from Bivins’ home. They believe ‘Coach B’ was skimming off the top of the bets.

(Full Story)

PFT: Ex-NFL player Cedrick Wilson indicted for test-taking fraud

1 11 2012

I recall Cedrick Wilson’s tenure in the NFL playing for the Niners and Steelers. I remember it because he became somewhat of a running gag with myself and my roommates. He was always an interesting player to watch, as he had a knack for putting up pretty decent numbers until doing something stupid. He’d do stuff like catch three or four passes and make you think, “Cedrick’s having a pretty good game,” but then muff a punt and give the ball away, or get a penalty that would kill a drive.

As it turns out, Cedrick Wilson is every bit the moron I imagined him to be. Not only did he think that he’d have a shot at a teaching career after (allegedly) beating up his girlfriend and having his NFL career cut short as a result, but figured he could get away with paying someone to take his teaching certification test for him.

When I hear of stories like this, I can’t help but wonder when Cedrick’s problems really began. If I were to guess, he probably got away with a lot both in high school and in college. I’m sure he’s had sycophants and handlers all his life that have made sure that he’s made the grades, stayed out of trouble, and made sure that the regular rules don’t apply to him. Well, eventually life catches up with you and the real world sets in. And that’s all the more reason to teach our students that character is important, and they need learn how to be self-reliant and capable adults.

– dEV

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Ex-NFL player Cedrick Wilson indicted for test-taking fraud

Posted by Michael David Smith on October 30, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

Former 49ers and Steelers receiver Cedrick Wilson has been indicted on fraud charges for paying someone to take a teacher-certification test for him.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that Wilson wanted to become a high school teacher and coach in Memphis, but according to prosecutors, Wilson didn’t take the standardized test that teachers are required to take in Tennessee. Instead, Wilson hired someone to take the test for him.

Wilson has been charged with wire fraud and Social Security fraud. Prosecutors say Wilson gave the test-taker his Social Security number as part of the plan for the test-taker to pose as Wilson.

The person hired by Wilson to take the test was part of a large standardized test cheating ring. Four people have already pleaded guilty to involvement in the cheating ring, and Wilson is one of 14 others who have been indicted.

A sixth-round draft pick out of Tennessee in 2001, Wilson played for the 49ers for four years and then signed with the Steelers in 2005 and played three years in Pittsburgh. In his best season, 2004, Wilson had 47 catches for 641 yards and three touchdowns.

The Steelers cut Wilson in March of 2008, just hours after he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend in a Pittsburgh restaurant.

(Original Story) Manning jerseys banned by Colorado school district for gang ties

6 09 2012

It’s an unfortunate side effect of gang violence. Around here, all professional sports apparel has been banned, and clothing items by some college teams — the Fresno State University Bulldogs, for example — have been made off-limits as well. And it’s all because gangs have co-opted the colors, jersey numbers, and logos of popular teams and players.

I long for the day when I can wear a jersey to support my favorite team without having to worry about getting shot. But the sad reality is that gangs have taken the fun out of supporting your favorite teams and players.

The only good to come of this is that I can’t stand Peyton Manning, and that makes this a little bit funny to me.

– dEV

#     #     #

Posted by Darin Gantt on September 6, 2012, 1:56 PM EDT

Peyton Manning’s popularity in Colorado has been immediate, and intense.

But if you want to support him, don’t wear his jersey to school in Greeley.

One family is upset because their 8-year-old son was forced to change out of his new Manning jersey because it doesn’t comply with the school district’s dress code designed to minimize gang activity.

The Greeley-Evans School District has banned the numbers 13, 14, 18 as well as their inverses (31, 41 and 81) because of the ties those numbers have to area gangs.

Pam Vanatta told CBS4 she was “speechless” that her son Konnor couldn’t wear the jersey his grandmother bought him as a gift.

“I knew that Greeley had a gang problem but I didn’t think in any event it should affect someone that’s in third grade,” she said.

School officials say no one objected to the policy — which also bans students from shaving notches in their eyebrows or displaying red or blue bandanas — until Manning signed with the Broncos.

Now, all of a sudden, it is a big deal,” district spokesman Roger Fiedler told theDenver Post. “Until yesterday there haven’t been any concerns raised about our dress code.

“It’s unfortunate that it has become a big deal. It is not a new policy. It has nothing against [the Broncos]. Mr. Manning is a great role model. We would hope people would understand it has nothing to do with him or the Broncos.”

The numbers 13 and 14 are linked with the Sureño and Norteño gangs, and the 18th Street gang is invoked in the policy as well. Fiedler said the policy has been on the books since the 2008-09 school year, and has been effective.

(Full Story)