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SportShorts for Friday, December 7, 2018


Normal West JV team involved in accident

A semitrailer heading the wrong way on an interstate crashed into a school bus carrying an Illinois high school girls basketball team, killing the truck driver and an adult on the bus, authorities said Thursday.

Illinois State Police said eight girls were injured when the truck collided head-on with their bus Wednesday night along Interstate 74 near Downs, a village in central Illinois just east of Bloomington. Police said the bus driver and a coach also were injured.

Normal West High School Principal Dave Johnson said five girls had been treated and released from the hospital as of mid-morning Thursday. Police said none of the girls’ injuries was considered life threatening.

Johnson said the coach, Steve Price, suffered “multiple broken bones that will require surgery,” but that he was also expected to recover. Johnson said he didn’t know the condition of the bus driver.

Police identified the bus passenger who died as 72-year-old Charles Crabtree, a volunteer with the high school. Preliminary reports indicate the truck driver, identified by the Peoria County Coroner as Ryan E. Hute, 34, of Delmar, Iowa, was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes, authorities said. The westbound lanes were closed following the crash.

The girls’ team was returning from a game at Champaign Central, Normal West athletic director Stan Lewis told The Bloomington Pantagraph. Lewis said the bus was carrying the school’s freshman team and some members of the JV team.


Tagovailoa, Murray win top awards

College football handed out its awards on Thursday night, and Heisman finalists Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray each won a pair of them.

Tagovailoa, the Alabama quarterback, won the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards as the nation’s best player, while Murray, the Oklahoma QB, was the AP Player of the Year and also won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top QB.

The Big Ten was represented by Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, who won the Doak Walker Award as the top running back, and Purdue’s Rondale Moore, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player.

Other winners on the offensive side of the ball were Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy (Biletnikoff Award), and N.C. State center Garrett Bradbury (Rimington Award).

On the defensive side, Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen won the Nagurski and Bednarik awards as the defensive MVP, while LSU’s Devin White won the Butkus Award as the top linebacker. Georgia’s Deandre Baker was the Thorpe Award winner as best defensive back, and Alabama’s Quinnen Williams won the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman.

Texas A&M’s Braden Mann was the Ray Guy Award winner as the best punter, and Syracuse’s Andre Szmyt won the Lou Groza Award as the top kicker. Clemson’s Christian Wilkins took home the Campbell Trophy for his academics and service.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly won both the Home Depot and Eddie Robinson coach of the year awards, and Alabama’s Mike Locksley – who was recdently hired to be Maryland’s next head coach – was the Broyles Award winner as the top assistant.


Washington hopes for privacy for recovering Smith

The Washington Redskins have asked for privacy for Alex Smith and his family amid reports the quarterback is dealing with complications from surgery to repair a broken leg.

A team spokesman declined to say whether Smith was still in the hospital more than 2 weeks after surgery to repair a broken right tibia and fibula.

Coach Jay Gruden said Nov. 19 he expected Smith to make a full recovery and be out 6-8 months. NFL Network and Washington’s FM-106.7 reported Thursday that Smith is still battling infection in his right leg and is being tended to by doctors.

Foster’s accuser speaks out

Elissa Ennis now says she lied under oath in May when it came to saving Reuben Foster’s San Francisco 49ers career, and now she is standing by her latest claims of domestic violence against him, an accusation that led to his Nov. 24 arrest and release from the team.

“I did what I had to do for the person I love,” Ennis told ABC News about recanting in court her story of a Feb. 11 incident at their home. “I thought that he would change.”

Foster was arrested Nov. 24 at the 49ers team hotel in Tampa, Fla., on the eve of their game against the Buccaneers, after Ennis called police and accused him of abuse.


USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy

USA Gymnastics is turning to bankruptcy in an attempt to ensure its survival.

The embattled organization filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday in an effort to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces, and to avoid its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

USA Gymnastics filed the petition in Indianapolis, where it is based. It faces 100 lawsuits representing over 350 athletes in various courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervise Larry Nassar, a team doctor accused of molesting them. Nassar, 55, worked at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University for decades. He is serving effective life sentences for child porn possession and molesting young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.

Kathryn Carson, the recently elected chairwoman of USA Gymnastics’ board of directors, said the organization’s goal is to speed things up after mediation attempts failed to gain traction.

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