Toledo Coach Quit After ‘Lurid Letter’ Gets To AD

The TOLEDO BLADE reports today:

Gene Cross Quits After Lurid Letter Reached Toledo AD

(”The Women Of Ottawa Hills”?)

Former University of Toledo men’s basketball coach Gene Cross resigned three days after learning his boss was in receipt of an accusatory, lurid letter detailing Cross’ alleged relationships with women.

Cross, 38, who submitted his resignation Thursday, said in an exclusive interview with The Blade last night that “the letter had nothing to do” with his departure from the Rockets. By resigning, he walked away from more than $700,000 left on his five-year contract.

“This was my decision and nothing else,” Cross said. “It’s about my wanting to go out and continue to coach the game of basketball. It’s not about the money for me. I chose to resign based on those factors.”

When asked directly if the letter impacted his decision to leave behind a lofty salary and his first job as a head coach, Cross said: “None whatsoever.”

Cross was notified by UT athletic director Mike O’Brien on Monday of a letter he received from a woman who claimed to have dated Cross for eight months. The letter, obtained by The Blade yesterday from UT through a public records request, is attributed to a woman named Dawn K. Gears, who provided her name, telephone number, and e-mail address but did not sign the letter with her handwriting.

Ms. Gears did not return a phone message seeking comment and was not available at her home in Ottawa Hills last night.

In the letter, the author provides vivid descriptions of her personal relationship with Cross and alleges that multiple women confided in her the details of their relationships with the coach.

Cross would not confirm nor deny his relationship with Ms. Gears and would only say of the letter: “The allegations made about me are categorically untrue.”

Toledo AD O’Brien, who first saw the letter on March 5, said that when he saw the letter, he was “incredibly disappointed.” Read more…

Manny Ramirez Suspended After Failing Drug Test

Manny Ramirez gets suspended for 50 games after failing a drug test.

Manny Ramirez Dodgers

How will the baseball media “experts” react to his Hall Of Fame status?

• But here’s an even bigger story coming straight outta Dodgertown - Kim Kardashian threw out last night’s first pitch!

• Is Red Sox Nation trying to fill the NL All-Star ballots full of Washington Nationals so Boston will have World Series home advantage?

• We figured Jelena Dokic’s dad was crazy & abusive, but would he really take out an Australian ambassador with a rocket attack?

• Ex-Nebraska & Arizona State QB Sam Keller is taking the NCAA & EA Sports to court over his likeness being used in a video game.

Read more…

Six Toledo Athletes Charged With Point Shaving

The fallout from the long alleged Toledo point shaving scandal has finally come down, and the findings are not comforting for Rockets fans. According to the TOLEDO BLADE, six different Toledo athletes have been charged with actions that make it pretty obvious that they were willing to sell their success on the field and court.

kashif payne toledo

(The most decorated point shaver, Kashif Payne.)

Here’s the full scoop: Three football players and three basketball players (and possibly a fourth) all met with two Michigan men, and allegedly exchanged more than 130 phone calls, setting the stage for some $407,000 of proceeds on Toledo basketball games in 2005 and 2006. The whole scandal started when Adam Cuomo, a Canadian backup running back for the Rockets, started tipping Ghazzi “Gary” Manni about upcoming football games, then introducted him to a number of basketball players for the team.

The lesson, as always: It’s all Canada’s fault.

Read more…

Michigan, Illinois, and OU Are Your Early Losers

We had a decent slate of early games today, with most ranked teams waiting until the late afternoon and evening games to play. But those who slept in missed plenty.

Colt McAwesome

(Why “Hook ‘em, Horns”? Why not “Gore them” or “Mutilate them”?)

The dominant story, of course, is Oklahoma’s defensive collapse in the Red River Shootout, relinquishing their top ranking after falling to Texas, 45-35. OU was up 14-3 early and still led 28-20 in the third quarter, but Texas scored the last 15 points while Sam Bradford imploded for the Sooners.

And the hilarity didn’t stop in Dallas.

Read more…

Meet Emeka Okafor’s Third Cousin: Emeka Okafor

The basketball talent normally runs in the family. For the Okafors, that’s definitely the case, as Emeka Okafor excelled at UConn and is now with the Charlotte Bobcats. So does his third cousin, currently in high school, who will commit to the University of Toledo Rockets, the TOLEDO BLADE reports. And what’s his name? Why, Emeka Okafor.

Emeka Okafor. Left: Emeka Okafor

(From left to right: Emeka Okafor, Emeka Okafor.)

Now, this might be extremely convenient at family reunions when you want to gather everyone around (”Emeka! Dinner’s on!”) But for those of us who follow sports or “write” about them, we need some distinguishing marks:

Read more…

God Doesn’t Really Care How Good Tom Brady Is

Tom Brady realizes chicks & Patriots fans really dig his pigskin prowess, but God doesn’t.

Tom Brady God pointing

• Olympic athletes sporting tattoos could have more under their skin than just ink.

• A Red Sox fan is suing a Yankees fan for beating him up - and for wearing that stupid bluetooth headset.

Shaq shares his secrets of success through the wonders of the Webinar.

• An ex-Toledo Rockets b-ball player has been charged in a point-shaving scandal.

Read more…

Toledo Hoopster Shaved Points, And I Was There

There’s been a clumpy stream of coverage on the University of Toledo and players’ alleged connections to gamblers and point shaving rings in the last year or so, but it’s been dormant for a while. I guess they were waiting to finally nail someone in the investigation, and the latest chargers have come under former Toledo basketball player Sammy Villegas.

Sammy Viiiiiiiiiii-llegas!

Villegas (pronounced vee-JAY-gus) played for the Rockets from 2002-2006, but documents filed in district court obtained by FOX TOLEDO charge the man with one count of “conspiracy to influence sporting contests by bribery,” a federal offense punishable up to 5 years in prison.

And I thought Villegas was just bad at basketball his senior year. Read more…

EA Sports Wants Costumed Critter On NCAA Cover

TROY NUNES IS AN ABSOLUTE MAGICIAN informs us that EA Sports is putting the cover for their next college football game up for public vote. And it’s not super seniors or fantastic freshmen they’re looking for, but school mascots.

EA Sports mascots

Fans have a chance to decide which costumed character will be gracing the front of NCAA Football 09 for the Nintendo Wii. And what a selection it is. Read more…

Fattest College Football Coaches Amstutz Mangino Face Off Saturday

STUFFED-CRUST COACHES FACE OFF IN A HEART-POUNDER: BIG TEN TAILGATE is polite to point out that this weekend college football’s most esteemed lardasses, Kansas Coach Mark Mangino and Toledo Coach Tom Amstutz, will be playing sideline seesaw during the Jayhawks-Rockets matchup in Lawrence, KS (if only we weren’t going to USC-Nebraska!).

Tom Amstutz Mark Mangion

Last year EDSBS noted that Amstutz was named spokesperson for “Get Fit Toledo!” by the mayor (we hope he had the same lighting and photoshop experts for his promotional posters as Mike Golic and John Kruk).We’re guessing Mangino is involved in a similar program in Kansas. The only difference being one second-word vowel difference.