SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Judge delays Sandusky sex-abuse trial by 3 weeks
The judge overseeing former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse case on Thursday delayed the start of the trial by three weeks to early June, and prosecutors filed a lengthy court document that said the case should not be dismissed.
Judge John Cleland said the additional time was needed "to accommodate various logistical contingencies that have arisen," and the attorney general's office supported the postponement.
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The prosecution's 21-page answer to a catch-all pretrial motion that Sandusky's lawyer submitted a week ago said the commonwealth had "broad latitude" to establish the dates of allegations in child sexual abuse cases. Sandusky has asked for more specifics about when the alleged crimes occurred.
"Defendant cannot exploit the appalling breadth of his own criminal conduct by claiming it encompasses so long a period as to hamper his defense," wrote chief deputy attorney general Frank Fina.
The 68-year-old retired defensive coordinator faces 52 counts involving 10 alleged victims over 15 years. He remains confined to his home to await trial. Prosecutors have accused him of engaging in a range of illegal behavior with the boys, including sexual assaults, allegations he denies.
In Sandusky's omnibus pretrial motion last week, defense lawyer Joe Amendola argued some allegations were not sufficiently specific, others lacked evidence and the statute of limitations may have run out in some cases.
Sales of Jets' Tebow apparel blocked
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has already been introduced to fans, but they'll have to wait until Tuesday to meet his official NFL jersey. U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel granted Nike Inc. a temporary restraining order late Wednesday, finding "sufficient reason" for him to block sales of Tebow merchandise created by Reebok International Ltd. after March 1. Nike has a five-year contract to be the NFL's exclusive provider of on-field apparel, including game uniforms and sideline apparel. It maintained in a lawsuit that Reebok rushed to market with Tebow apparel to take advantage of a "unique and short-lived opportunity." Nike said Reebok was required to get Tebow's permission if it intended to hurry out shipments of Jets-Tebow apparel after he was traded last week from the Denver Broncos to the Jets. Reebok's 10-year NFL licensing deal ends this month.
Sharapova beats Wozniacki on overrule
Maria Sharapova benefited from a chair umpire's overrule on the disputed final point Thursday and edged Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open. At 40-30 in the last game, Sharapova hit a second serve that the linesman called long, which would have been a double-fault, but umpire Kader Nouni immediately reversed the ruling and ordered the point replayed. The call couldn't be reviewed because Wozniacki had no challenges left, although TV replays showed Nouni was correct to overrule. Sharapova was awarded two serves and took advantage with a big first serve to set up an overhead slam for the victory.
■ Jo-Wilfried Tsonga accused the chair umpire of giving Rafael Nadal preferential treatment during their quarterfinal at the Sony Ericsson Open. Nadal, bidding for his first Key Biscayne title, won 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in a match that ended shortly after midnight Thursday. Tsonga complained during the match and afterward that when borderline calls went against him, umpire Damian Steiner was reluctant to overrule. "It's not fair," Tsonga said. "If it's really close, he would never say 'out' against Rafa. If Rafa doesn't like him anymore, he would not be in the chair many times in a final and semifinal."
Kentucky Speedway announces Fan Day
Fan Day at Kentucky Speedway will be Saturday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and guests will be able to tour the garages, media center, grandstands, press box, owner's suite, spotters' stand, campgrounds and a new tunnel that connects the original speedway property to expansive new parking fields.
Montana fires coach, AD
The University of Montana fired football coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O'Day on Thursday, adding more uncertainty to a program already dealing with sexual assault allegations against two of its players. Pflugrad, who was honored as Big Sky coach of the year last season, and O'Day were notified in a meeting with university President Royce Engstrom that their contracts would not be renewed, said assistant athletic director Greg Sundberg. O'Day and Engstrom addressed staff and coaches in separate meetings Thursday morning, but neither gave a reason for the firings, Sundberg said.
■ Florida tight end A.C. Leonard, suspended indefinitely following his arrest on a domestic battery charge last month, has been reinstated. Leonard practiced with the Gators on Wednesday, but Coach Will Muschamp says the sophomore "still has a lot of things to work through before his status for the fall is addressed." His arrest was the 10th during Muschamp's 15-month tenure.
Canadiens fire general manager
The Canadiens fired general manager Pierre Gauthier on Thursday after a dismal season, insisting such play will not be tolerated by a franchise long part of hockey history. "We need to remember that our fans want us to win, period," owner Geoff Molson said. "Our organizational culture is to support and adopt this passion for victory. Nothing else matters." A string of moves by Gauthier failed to revive Montreal, which has been hit by injuries and is 29-34-14, last in the Eastern Conference.
The last word
Tim Tebow, in his first tweet since being traded from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets:
"I've already said it 44 times so here goes number 45: I'm really excited to be a Jet! Haha!"