Archive for March, 2010

Don’t miss Rick Reilly column about Houston basketball coach

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

If you haven’t read it, make sure you go to the link below to read Rick Reilly’s column that appears on and ESPN the Magazine. It is about a high school basketball coach in Houston that has repeatedly run up the score. Note that his team won a state championship over the weekend, but we all know that there are many teams that can win titles with grace and dignity along the way.

DA throws the book at Burnsville basketball parent

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Kudos to Dakota Country District Attorney James Backstrom for taking his time before charging Robin Johnson with four criminal charges in connection with the beating of Jeff Shand following a sixth-grade in-house boys’ basketball game in Burnsville on Feb. 13. Shand, the commissioner of the Burnsville basketball program, was knocked out by an alleged sucker punch thrown by Johnson. He suffered dental damage and other injuries as a result of the assault, which was witnessed by numerous bystanders, including scores of kids in the gymnasium. Johnson was charged with two felonies (first- and third-degree assault) a gross misdemeanor (interfering with a 911 call) and a misdemeanor (disorderly conduct).

I have traded some e-mails with Shand and sent him a copy of BasketCases to lift his spirits. Perhaps I should send a copy to Johnson as well, but Johnson isn’t getting his copy for free. He needs to pay for the book and for his crimes to Shand. Of course, I assume that Johnson will plea bargain to lesser charges, but I certainly would like to see jail time for this assault. Although Shand was actually protecting referees at the time, he wasn’t working in the capacity as a sports official, so I doubt that more severe charges could be applied, per Minnesota’s state law that raises the stakes in an assault against a sports official.

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