KU basketball, volleyball programs rally prayer support for Scott ?Scooter? Ward – KUsports


Members of the 2016 Kansas volleyball team pose with academic advisor Scott "Scooter" Ward. On Friday, Oct. 7, Ward suffered a tear of his aorta and was rushed into surgery, prompting several members of the KU volleyball and men's basketball teams to send out thoughts and prayers for one of the most popular and well-liked members of either program.

@Addie_Barry

Members of the 2016 Kansas volleyball team pose with academic advisor Scott “Scooter” Ward. On Friday, Oct. 7, Ward suffered a tear of his aorta and was rushed into surgery, prompting several members of the KU volleyball and men’s basketball teams to send out thoughts and prayers for one of the most popular and well-liked members of either program.

The Kansas volleyball and men?s basketball families took to prayer Friday in hopes of helping one of their own.

Scott ?Scooter? Ward, KU?s associate athletic director for academic and career counseling who oversees academics for the KU men?s hoops and women?s volleyball team, on Friday morning suffered a tear in his aorta after a cardiac episode and was flown from Lawrence Memorial Hospital to the University of Kansas Hospital for surgery, according to a colleague.

photo

Thad Allender/Journal-World Photo

Kansas University junior men’s basketball player Wayne Simien,
left, laughs with academic counselor Scott Ward in 2004 while going over
Simien’s homework schedule at Wagnon Student Athletic Center. Ward,
who works with the men’s basketball, volleyball and tennis squads
at KU, has overcome a paralyzing accident to realize his dream of
coaching.

The colleague said surgery ?went well? and added that Ward was ?not out of the woods yet.? As of Friday night, Ward was listed in critical condition.

Current Kansas guards Frank Mason and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk shared their support for Ward on Twitter Friday evening with short messages of ?Pray for Scooter.? A few members of the current team Retweeted Mason?s message and a handful of former Jayhawks, including Tyrel Reed, Cliff Alexander, Wayne Selden Jr., Christian Garrett and others, posted similar messages later Friday night.

Several Kansas volleyball players Rewteeted various prayer messages and senior Tayler Soucie, whose team will host Texas Tech at 4 p.m. Saturday, wrote the following: ?For all my prayer warriors out there: Please pray for my academic advisor Scooter! Hands down one of the best people I know. #KUStrong?

Added KU junior Addie Barry, who posted a recent photo of Ward with several volleyball players: ?Biggest stud I know right here guys. Loved by so so many. Keep fighting, Scoot!?

Even Kansas football coach David Beaty, whose team will host TCU at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, got in on the act, sending out the following message: ?Prayers for our man ?Scooter? Ward? late Friday night.

A veteran teacher and academic advisor at Kansas, Ward, a native of Kingman, owns three degrees from KU, including a doctorate in sports pyschology and counseling.

In the spring of 1986, Ward, then a freshman at Hutchinson Community College who had dreams of playing college basketball, suffered a severe injury to his spinal cord that left him with a broken neck and bound for a wheelchair for life.

It was then that he first began exploring his options outside of playing sports and the path he followed led him to Kansas, where he both studied and taught and ultimately began working with Bill Self and the Kansas basketball program.

In addition to one day hoping to play college basketball, Ward also always dreamed of coaching. His association with the Jayhawks has helped fill that desire and he has long been one of the most popular and well-liked people associated with the program.

He also has a history of awing and inspiring people with his strength and mental toughness.

In a 2004 article in the Journal-World, former Kansas basketball player Bryant Nash summed up Ward’s persona perfectly, saying, “”That’s a warrior right there. Some people don’t have that mentality where they would keep going. Some people just give up.”



Mexico's masked wrestling heroes train police – Bangkok Post


MEXICO CITY – Wearing colorful masks, two pro wrestlers show off their moves to a crowd, but this time it’s not in an arena: They’re teaching Mexico City police officers how to subdue villains.

Mexican wrestler Polvora teaches local police in Iztapalapa on how to subdue suspects without using weapons

“How are you doing?” Dragon Rojo Jr, wearing a red mask with yellow horns and a crest, shouts at the 190 men and women at the courtyard of a police station in Iztapalapa, a crime-plagued borough of the mega-capital.

“Good!” the officers reply in chorus before the ring gladiators lead them through a series of stretches, push-ups, squats and situps, making many sweat and pant heavily (while some take a break).

After warming up, Dragon Rojo (Red Dragon) and his fellow “Lucha Libre” star Polvora, whose ring name means Gunpowder in English, demonstrate one of their moves.

The burly Polvora lunges forward with a stabbing motion, but Red Dragon grabs his assailant’s arm, twists it, pins him down and places a knee on his chest to immobilize him.

The “Lock 4” submission was among the clutches, holds and other moves that the pro wrestlers presented to the officers, who then practiced the move against each other on the concrete.

But snatching suspects is not the only benefit to this intense training.

“We are proud to change an image of the Mexican police that is not very good: Fat, short, unfit,” said Polvora, who grew up in Iztapalapa.

“We are trying to make a contribution to change this image,” he said through a mask decorated with golden and red flames.

– Feeling healthier –

The wrestlers come twice a week to train the officers in the densely populated borough, where murders are up this year with 150 people killed so far.

“You go into your patrol car and the truth is that you get rusty,” said officer Joel Garcia, who admitted that a suspect got away from him once.

“With this you get more active, you start running, feeling better, lighter and healthier,” he said as he worked out following a 24-hour shift.

Garcia grew up admiring Lucha Libre legends such as El Santo, Blue Demon and El Matematico. Now he was trying to imitate his idols.

With the deliberate motion of a rookie wrestler, Garcia crossed his arms and raised them to block his smiling colleague from fake-stabbing him in the head.

Captain Alfredo Alvarez, a former marine, had the idea of bringing luchadores to train officers after he took over as the police station’s coordinator three months ago and realized that his colleagues were “somewhat sedentary.”

The station commander, Israel Rodriguez, told him he knew Dragon Rojo Jr and Polvora because they were both from Iztapalapa.

“All the special police forces in the world have their specialty: Russia has sambo, Brazil has capoeira, China has kung-fu, Japan has karate. In Mexico, our martial art is lucha,” Alvarez said.

The wrestlers agreed to provide free lessons to some 380 officers every week out of “friendship and commitment” to their borough, Alvarez said.

– Childhood heroes –

The officers are learning how to subdue suspects without resorting to truncheons or pepper spray, which they do not carry.

“We needed this type of training because we always get military-like training, marching, which doesn’t work,” said officer Alejandra Alvarez, 27, who has intervened in cases of with domestic violence and drug addiction.

Dragon Rojo — who is a “rudo”, or bad guy, in the wrestling circuit — said the agents are motivated because “they see the luchador as a superhero and it brings out their inner child.”

The wrestling moves are “100 percent applicable” in police work, said the middleweight champion of the CMLL pro wrestling circuit.

“We’re not teaching ‘backbreakers’ or ‘flying kicks’. We are teaching techniques to control and physically subdue while being careful about the physical integrity” of the officer and the suspect, he said.



Jets' Winters out; fined for head-butt, source says – ESPN


New York Jets guard Brian Winters delivered an illegal head-butt Sunday that proved costly on two levels.

Not only was he knocked out of the game with a concussion, an injury that will sideline him Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Winters also received a $24,309 fine from the NFL, a source said Friday.

Technically, he was fined for unnecessary roughness.

Running alongside Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Winters leaned into Bennett and head-butted him, resulting in a personal foul.

Dazed, Winters dropped to one knee and left the game. He got up slowly on the previous play as well, but it’s not clear if that contributed to his concussion.

Bennett, who later called Winters’ act “a dirty play,” was furious and had to be restrained.

Jets guard Brian Winters will miss Sunday’s game against the Steelers after suffering a concussion last week against the Seahawks.?Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

“The play was over. He came and hit me in my head,” he told reporters. “I got three daughters. I love playing with them. I don’t want this to be the last thing I do.”

Bennett might have retaliated later in the game, blocking center Nick Mangold from behind on an interception return. Mangold called it “a dirty cheap shot,” but Bennett wasn’t fined.

Without Winters in the lineup, the Jets are planning to rotate Brent Qvale and Dakota Dozier at right guard.



No Hockey or J.Lo, but Vladimir Putin Still Gets 450 Roses for His Birthday – New York Times


Photo

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Moscow on Wednesday.

Credit
Pool photo by Alexei Nikolsky

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia celebrated his 64th birthday on Friday with an outsize gift from his country?s Parliament: a bouquet of 450 roses, one from each member of the State Duma, or lower house of Parliament.

Russian men frequently receive large bouquets of flowers on their birthday, and Mr. Putin has used the occasion to generate positive publicity and burnish a cult of personality.

?Let?s send him a basket in gratitude for his incessant labor,? said Valentina V. Tereshkova, a lawmaker who made history in 1963 as the first woman in space.

Russians presumed that the bouquet sent to Mr. Putin might actually contain 449 or 451 roses, because an even number of flowers is traditionally reserved for funerals.

Last year Mr. Putin celebrated his birthday by playing hockey in Sochi with Russian stars of the National Hockey League, Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu and a several billionaires.

The president?s team won, naturally, and he scored seven goals.

Mr. Putin?s press secretary, Dmitri S. Peskov, said the Russian leader would not participate in public events on his birthday this year and would instead celebrate with family and close friends.

Despite the modest festivities, congratulations poured in from across Russia. Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church praised Mr. Putin for devoting his ?life to the service of Russia,? and said his ?name is connected with a number of events that have already entered the annals of national and world history.?

Birthdays are frequently used by leaders of former Soviet states to create pageants of national unity. Some more authoritarian leaders have even declared their birthdays national holidays.

Ramzan A. Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya who won 98 percent of the vote in last month?s presidential election, was inaugurated for a third term on Wednesday, a day picked to coincide with his 40th birthday.

?Today is the birthday of the strongest and most outstanding politician of modern times ? the President of Russia Vladimir Putin,? Mr. Kadyrov said via social media on Friday.

In 2013, Jennifer Lopez sang at the 56th birthday party of Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, president of Turkmenistan. After being criticized by human rights activists, Ms. Lopez issued an apology. Her publicist said she would not have accepted the invitation if she had known about Turkmenistan?s record of abuse.

Mr. Berdymukhammedov?s predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, who once erected a gold statue in his likeness, commemorated his birthday each year on Flag Day.

Citizens, however, knew which celebration was the true state holiday.

Continue reading the main story



15 must-read fantasy football stats for Week 5 – NFL.com



Welcome to “Frelund’s 15,” where each week analytics expert Cynthia Frelund provides you with her 15 must-read stats for the upcoming slate of NFL games. These might not be end-all, be-all stats for making a start or sit decision for your fantasy team, but they’re here to help you understand the matchups and make the most informed lineup decisions possible.

1) Last year, Tom Brady averaged 11.5 yards per attempt on passes traveling 10 or more air yards.

Brady completed 88 of 182 passes of 10-plus air yards in 2015, with 10 touchdowns, three interceptions and a 101.9 passer rating. Furthermore, the Browns are one of only four teams to have already allowed 10 or more passing touchdowns in 2016. Guess how many Brady threw for last year? He paced the NFL with 36. I am not going to go much further because my point should be really obvious by now … the downfield attack is back for the Pats!

Fantasy Impact: The Browns defense allows the 10th-most total yards per game (378), with 118 coming on the ground and 260 through the air. The main point here is that Julian Edelman and even Chris Hogan should see more opportunities this week. I am monitoring Danny Amendola’s snap count as it has dipped below 25 percent for the season. Right now he is in the unplayable territory for me. As for this game specifically, I like the revenge narrative, but I also think that there’s a good chance the Pats will be playing with a big lead. Playing with a big lead typically means more rushing attempts and fewer offensive snaps while grinding out the clock. Typically. Factor that (and the health of Gronk) in, especially if you are playing in formats like Perfect Challenge.

2) Carson Wentz completes an additional 14 percent of his passes (approx. 76 percent vs. 62 percent) when facing the blitz and all five of his touchdowns have come on plays where he was blitzed.


The Lions’ defense blitzes on 32.8 percent of their plays in 2016. Carson Wentz has been blitzed on 21.7 percent of his attempts and is averaging 10 yards per pass against the blitz. So while Wentz could see more pressure than he’s used to, there’s a good chance it won’t matter. Detroit’s defense owns the second-worst third-down percentage in the league, allowing opponents to convert 47.1 percent of the time. Even if Wentz needs a longer pass, there’s a good chance he makes it as he currently has a passer rating of 140.0 (second in NFL) on passes of 15-plus air yards.

Fantasy Impact: If you need a quarterback, put Wentz in. He’s my No. 9 quarterback for the week. You already know my feelings on tight ends against the Lions defense (ahem … play them, always play them) so that means Zach Ertz this week.

3) Jordan Howard is averaging 5.1 yards per carry (fifth among players with 35-plus carries).

This Chicago offense is off to a slow start, only scoring on 20 percent of their drives (32nd in NFL), averaging 15.5 points per game (tied-30th in the NFL) and failing to score more than 17 points in a single game. The bright spot so far has been Jordan Howard, who has 31 attempts and seven catches in the past two games (23 carries for 111 rushing yards last week against the Lions).

Fantasy Impact: The Colts defense is giving up 105.8 yards per game on the ground (14th-most) and also allow 227 yards per game through the air (ninth-most). Howard is currently my seventh-ranked running back for the week. Brian Hoyer is also one of my favorite sleeper picks this week.

4) T.Y. Hilton has 10-plus targets in every game this season.


Only two players have 10-plus targets in each game this season: Hilton and Jarvis Landry. So far Hilton has 336 receiving yards, which puts him on pace for a 1,344-yard season. The Bears’ defense is giving up an average of 210 passing yards per game, which is good for eighth fewest currently in the NFL (they are giving up the eighth most rushing yards per game, though).

Fantasy Impact: The Colts play-calling has been 60 percent pass and 40 percent rush so far this season. If you have Hilton, Andrew Luck, and Frank Gore on your team you are starting them. I think this will be more of a pass-heavy game script for the Colts, who could be in for another close one. As an aside, the Colts are coming back from playing in London last week, which seems brutal since typically teams get their bye following international travel. If you play in formats like Perfect Challenge, I would consider the Colts risky and adjust my expectations. Lastly, with Donte Moncrief sidelined, Phillip Dorsett is again a sleeper pick to consider despite only having one catch off three targets last week — that one catch was a 64-yard touchdown, though. He’s viable because his target share figures to increase in a game where more passes are likely to be called.

5) Miami’s defense is only allowing opposing teams to convert 31.67 percent of their third downs.

They’ve accomplished this despite giving up the fifth-most total yards on defense (401.8). I was honestly a little surprised that their third-down percentage was so low, but looking at the WR1 production over the past four games reveals a weakness in Miami’s defense:

Week 1: Doug Baldwin – nine catches, 92 yards, TD
Week 2: Julian Edelman – seven catches, 76 yards
Week 3: Terrelle Pryor – eight catches, 144 yards
Week 4: A.J. Green – 10 catches, 173 yards, TD

Fantasy Impact: I interpret this to mean that DeMarco Murray is in a great spot from a fantasy floor perspective and that Tajae Sharpe, who has no fewer than seven targets in each game this season, could be a risky but smart pick if you are looking for upside!

6) The Dolphins offense only converts 26.7 percent of their third-down attempts (32nd in the NFL).

In terms of total yards per game, the Dolphins average the seventh-fewest (329.8) with only 77.8 of those yards coming on rushing plays (29th in the league). Tennessee’s defense is allowing opposing offenses to convert 41.8 percent of their third downs so far this season. Earlier this week, Adam Gase talked about how his four-back committee wasn’t working how he wanted, and that he was going to change it going forward. I do not think this lousy third-down performance lasts, in fact, I think this week it was probably a focal point for the team and coaches.

Fantasy Impact: Sometimes Kenny Stills gets the touchdown nod, but Jarvis Landry and his 10-plus targets per game are a top-15 play this week. DeVante Parker is also a solid mid-range option. I am waiting to see which running back draws the start here (likely Jay Ajayi, but possibly Kenyan Drake) and attempting to shift him into my lineup at the last minute as the Titans’ defense gives up 110 rushing yards per game (tied-20th). Do I think this is the safest play ever? Nope. But in cases where I am looking for upside and smart risk, I like this one. I wouldn’t play both Landry and the starting running back in the same lineup, though, as I don’t think there will be enough points scored in this game to earn the fantasy return necessary to win. How does this relate to third downs? A better ground game sets up more manageable (and not obvious passing) third-down plays.

7) Steve Smith had seven receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 of 2014 against his former team, the Panthers, when Josh Norman was still there.


Norman is now in Washington, Smith’s next opponent. My favorite people in the building, the research/Next Gen Stats teams, gave me that stat and followed it up with even more goodness: Smith’s big plays didn’t come when Norman was defending him. His stat line in that game when facing Norman: three receptions on four targets for only 32 yards. So far this season, Smith has spent 60 percent of his snaps on the outside, with 36 percent of them on the right side of the field.

Fantasy Impact: Do I think Josh Norman will be covering Smith? Yeah, some at least. Do I think he’s going to have himself the day he had in 2014? It’s not impossible, but that’s not my prediction. His 37 targets are the most on his team, and I think he’s a top-20 wide receiver. The safer pick here from a floor perspective is Terrance West, as Washington gives up the third-most rushing yards per game (133).

8) The Ravens currently have the worst red-zone defense in the NFL with seven touchdowns allowed on eight drives (87.5%).

However, they also allow the fewest yards per game (256) in the league. Washington’s red-zone efficiency is currently 36.8 percent (30th), after finishing last year at 61.2 percent (eighth).

Fantasy Impact: To me, this game projects to have one of the lower final scoreboard totals of the week. The Ravens defense has allowed the third-fewest yards per game in the air and the fifth-fewest on the ground. In other words, manage your volume expectations for Kirk Cousins, who is outside of my top-15 QB projections, Matt Jones who is around my RB33 right now and all of the receivers. Jordan Reed is, as always, is in my top-three tight ends, though my final rankings depend on the health of Cam Newton and Rob Gronkowski.

9) The Jets defense allows 8.89 air yards per attempt (20th in the NFL).

The Jets last four opponents averaged 8.13 air yards per attempt (Bengals), 12.32 (Bills), 6.15 (Chiefs) and 9.09 (Seahawks). Imagine what that average could be if Kansas City had tried to air it out more? The Steelers receivers boast the following air yards per reception: Sammie Coates 17.5, Markus Wheaton 16, and Antonio Brown 9.9.

Fantasy Impact: I am not going to waste time telling you that A.B., Ben Roethlisberger, and Le’Veon Bell are top options because you should already know that. But if you are looking for potentially big-play making wide receivers consider Sammie Coates or Markus Wheaton. Also, if you are looking for a defense to replace one on the bye, you could roll the dice with Pittsburgh as the Jets’ offense has the most giveaways in the NFL right now (thanks in part to nine interceptions in the past two games for Ryan Fitzpatrick).

10) Odell Beckham Jr. has 22 receptions off 39 targets for 303 yards, but no touchdowns … yet.


No wide receiver has more targets without a touchdown than No. 13 for the Giants. His 9.75 target average per game this season is very close to last year’s 9.9. Looking back, his 25 scores on 291 targets (8.6 percent) in the 2014 and 2015 seasons is near the top of the league, suggesting maybe he is due for some positive regression in the form of finding the end zone this week.

Fantasy Impact: Add in that the Packers’ cornerback Sam Shields has already been ruled out and OBJ is my WR5 for the week.

11) Aaron Rodgers’ 58.5 completion percentage so far this year ranks 27th in the NFL.

That’s lower than his 2015 completion percentage of 60.7, which also happened to be his career-low. The Green Bay offense overall is tracking at 29th in both total yards and passing yards per game. One last one … Rodgers is currently completing only 33 percent of passes 10-plus air yards (lowest in the NFL).

Fantasy Impact: How did Rodgers end up as my No. 2 quarterback for the week? First, for me, this game script calls for both teams to put up a lot of points. Second, when you rewatch the games — especially the Minnesota game — you are really witnessing the power of the opposing defense limiting Rodgers. I think he gets back on track with the stats we are used to seeing from him. The Giants are much improved on defense, but it’s unlikely they produce results like the Vikings did. Also, Jordy Nelson’s four receiving touchdowns are tied for first in the NFL and they have only played three games (while others have played four), making him a top-five option at the wide receiver position.

12) Matt Ryan currently completes 72.1 percent of his pass attempts (best in the NFL)

If you somehow missed it, last week Matt Ryan had a historic outing with 503 passing yards against the Panthers … and four touchdowns. If you look at season-long completion percentage averages, you’ll see that the annual leader typically comes in just under 70 percent. His 368 passing yards per game is 51 yards higher than the next closest quarterback and about 55 more than the pace league-leaders typically achieve. Denver’s defense hasn’t allowed more than 20 points to an opponent in nine straight games, leads the league in sacks (17), and quarterback hits (41). The Broncos have also held opposing teams to fewer than 200 passing yards per game this season.

Fantasy Impact: I was wrong about this last week, but I am sticking to the process and saying that Matt Ryan doesn’t make it into my top-10 quarterbacks this week. For me, Carson Wentz and Derek Carr are both signal-callers with greater fantasy potential this week.

13) Derek Carr completes 68 percent of his passes

The Raiders are converting touchdowns in the red zone at a rate of 90.9 percent (tied-first). The offensive line needs some love as they have only allowed Carr to be sacked twice (best in the NFL). The other place this maps to is rushing yards ??? and the Raiders are averaging 5.3 yards per carry (second in the NFL)


Fantasy Impact: Carr is a top-eight quarterback this week, while both Amari Cooper (35 targets) and Michael Crabtree (37 targets) are top-eight options at wide receiver. If like me, you believe that the Chargers offense will keep them in this game, this could be another time where Carr’s fourth quarter is an exciting one as he’s thrown five of his nine touchdowns in the final frame of games (only Andrew Luck has thrown more). Watch for running back news before Sunday (Latavius Murray is already out), as I have DeAndre Washington marked as a great sleeper (just make sure he’s healthy and potentially starting).

14) Last year when Vontaze Burfict was on the field, opposing offenses passed on about four percent more plays than their season average, and earned about eight percent fewer average yards per game in the air

By comparing the games Burfict played and didn’t play last year, the impact Burfict had on total yards per game allowed by the Bengals is pretty dramatic. Offenses ran on fewer plays and earned fewer rushing yards per game while also passing more frequently and earning fewer yards per game in the air. These are compared to each team’s own averages for the season.

Fantasy Impact: I think this could be a tough game for the Cowboys. While I wouldn’t suggest something as nuts as sitting Ezekiel Elliott, I would manage expectations a bit especially considering Elliott’s minimal involvement in the passing game. With Dez Bryant likely out, Cole Beasley is a good sleeper pick with sneaky upside.

15) Quarter-pole turnover differentials

Defensive takeaways minus offensive giveaways equals turnover differential in the NFL. If you look at the past, teams with the highest turnover differential strongly correlate with playoff teams. The top five through Weeks 1-4 are:

1. Vikings: +10
T-2. Bills: +6
T-2. Eagles: +6
T-4. Raiders: +4
T-4. Rams: +4
28. Titans:-4
29. Dolphins: -5
30. Giants: -8
31. Bucs: -9
32. Jets : -10

I averaged each team’s first four opponents’ turnover differential, scoring differential and yards differential, then I did the same thing for their next four weeks and came away with the following takeaways:

Fantasy Impact:
– Things are getting easier for Carolina. In the first four weeks, they faced teams with a combined net of 18 more takeaways than giveaways who were beating their opponents by an average of six points per game. Carolina’s next four opponents combined for nine more GIVEAWAYS and are losing to their opponents by an average of five points per game.
– Things are getting harder for Houston. Their first four opponents totaled a turnover differential of zero and were losing by an average of 2.9 points per game. Coming up, they will see teams that have average nine more takeaways than giveaways who have been winning by almost four points per game.
– Tennessee trending up? The Titans’ opponents over the first four weeks had a plus-eight turnover differential and were winning by an average of 1.8 points per game. Their next four opponents currently have nine more giveaways than takeaways and have been losing by an average of 6.5 PPG. Is it perhaps Tajae Sharpe time?

It’s not too late to play NFL Fantasy! CLICK HERE to join or create a Fantasy league.

— Cynthia Frelund is an analytics expert who appears regularly on NFL Fantasy LIVE and GameDay Morning. Follow her on Twitter @cfrelund



Sentencing postponed for former Valley tennis player – DesMoinesRegister.com


The sentencing of former Valley High School tennis player Nicholas Fifield has been delayed until Nov. 21 because his lawyer had a scheduling conflict.

Fifield, 18, was scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 12 for assault with intent to commit serious injury in Polk County District Court.

Authorities said Fifield met an?18-year-old mentally disabled group home resident through an online dating site and gained permission from?her parents and staff?to take her to a movie on Dec. 5, 2015.?Instead, he took her to his Windsor Heights home and made her perform sex acts?though she reportedly said ?no? many times, according to a police report and criminal complaint.

But additional police investigative records provided by a public relations firm hired by?Fifield’s?parents showed the victim also changed her story after she told?a friend at school she was sexually assaulted. At one point, a group home staff member said the young woman?told a nurse she willingly let Fifield kiss and touch her.

Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said his office will not oppose?probation with possible treatment for the young, first time offender, who also is diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

MORE ON CASE:

Fifield, the son of former Valley tennis coach Jay Fifield, played doubles in the Class 2A state tennis tournament this year in Cedar Rapids.?He was 17 when charged in December with third-degree sex abuse of a person “suffering from a mental defect or incapacity, which precludes giving consent.?

In a?story Sept. 18, the parents of the victim said she was adopted from another country and had several diagnoses that made her vulnerable to manipulation. They said Fifield intentionally misled them about where he was taking their daughter.

On Friday, Fifield’s parents?said in a statement they were anxious to resolve the emotionally trying case.

?Ultimately, no matter how long it takes, our highest priority is making sure that the actual facts of this case are shared as widely as the false narrative that was spread about the son we love,? the statement read.

The case was?first highlighted in a May 25 Reader?s Watchdog column after Valley parents questioned whether Fifield?s one-meet suspension at the beginning of tennis season was sufficient given the serious nature of the charge.

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