Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Appeals court hears case between WIAA and newspapersWisconsin Sports
-- The federal appeals court in Chicago heard arguments today in a case that may decide if newspapers have a First Amendment right to show high school sporting events on-line.
CHICAGO - The federal appeals court in Chicago heard arguments today in a case that may decide if newspapers have a First Amendment right to show high school sporting events on-line.
Wisconsin newspapers are challenging the WIAA’s assertion that it can sell exclusive broadcast rights to one company to show events like playoff football games. The papers say the events involved tax-funded schools, so the media should have the right to cover them as they see fit. The case stems from the Appleton Post-Crescent’s streaming of a football playoff game on its Web site a couple years ago. The appeals judges’ grilled the newspapers’ attorney harder than the WIAA’s lawyer – but of course, that doesn’t mean the court will rule against the papers. It could take a few months for the judges to issue their decision.
At eight games below .500, you might not think the Milwaukee Bucks are in contention for a playoff spot – but they are. The Bucks and Philadelphia are one game back for the eighth-and-final Eastern Conference spot. And the two teams will square off tonight in Philly. The ‘76ers are 15-23, while Milwaukee is 14-22. And they’re both a game behind eighth-place Charlotte, which is 15-21. The Sixers have won eight-of-their-last-10 against Milwaukee, including a 90-79 decision in mid-November in which the Bucks shot only 34-percent and went 0-for-12 from three-point range. The Bucks are still the NBA’s lowest-scoring team with 91 points a game. And they have the league’s lowest shooting percentage at just under 42.
Milwaukee Bucks’ center Andrew Bogut is fourth among Eastern Conference centers in the fan balloting for the NBA All-Star Game. Bogut had just over 245-thousand votes at the last tally. Orlando center Dwight Howard is the leading Eastern Conference vote-getting with just over one-and-a-half million ballots. Former Marquette star Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat leads all East guards with just under one-and-a-half million votes. Former Bucks’ guard Ray Allen of Boston is fourth, and Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings is sixth – despite being out for a month with a broken left foot. Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant is the top overall vote-getter with one-and-three-quarter million ballots cast. The fan voting continues through January 23rd. The All-Star Game will be played February 20th in Los Angeles.
Wisconsin’s major college basketball teams all have the night off. In small college action, the Midwest Conference has a full slate of men-and-women’s double-headers. Saint Norbert plays at Illinois College. Beloit travels to Knox College. Lawrence is at Grinnell. Ripon plays at Lake Forest. And Carroll is at Monmouth. The Saint Norbert men are ranked 15th in Division-Three. But they’re fourth in their own league at 5-and-2, behind three teams which are 5-1 – Ripon, Lawrence, and Illinois College. On the women’s side, Saint Norbert is ranked 17th. And the Green Knights are the only unbeaten team in conference play at 7-0. Monmouth is second at 5-1. Also tonight, Northland will host Martin Luther in a men’s-women’s double-header.
The Big Ten Conference will not drop its new “Legends” and “Leaders” division names for football any time soon. Assistant commissioner Scott Chipman says the names will be used for at least the 2011 season, to measure their sustainability. But he says the names will be under constant review. The “Legends” and “Leaders” names came under a lot of criticism when they were unveiled a few weeks ago. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said at the time he was surprised by all the negative reaction – and there was a chance they would be changed. Wisconsin will be in the “Leaders” division, as the Big Ten begins divisional play in football for the first time this fall.
UW-Whitewater football coach Lance Leipold has received three national honors in recent days. The American Football Coaches’ Association, the Field-turf Company, and American Football Monthly have all named Leipold their coach-of-the-year in the NCAA’s Division-Three. Leipold led Whitewater to a 15-0 record and a third national championship in the four years he’s been with the Warhawks. His teams have gone 57-3, with a current winning streak of 29 games – the longest in any division. He has won the coaches’ and the Field-turf honors three times. And he’s been D3football.com's Coach-of-the-Year all four seasons he’s been at Whitewater.
Four Wisconsin small college players have been named to D3football.com All-Decade team. They are running back Justin Beaver, defensive tackle Ryan Kleppe and kicker Jeff Schebler, all of UW-Whitewater – and linebacker Jerimiah Janssen of Saint Norbert. Twenty-six players were chosen in all. They played for Division-Three schools between 2000 and 2009. D-Three players do not get scholarships, and very few make the NFL. But Janssen said the passion for the game is what he liked the most about Division-Three football. He was on the New York Jets for a year after he graduated in 2002. And Janssen says he misses the game to this day.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team returns to conference play tonight and tomorrow night at Minnesota-Duluth's brand new AMSOIL Arena. The Badgers have a seven-game winning streak, their longest since 2006. And they’ll try to avenge a pair of overtime losses to Duluth last November in Madison. Defenseman John Ramage will play his first game for Wisconsin since he helped Team USA take third at the recent World Junior Championships. Wisconsin is 6-6-2 in the WCHA and 14-7-3 overall. Duluth is 9-3-2 in the conference, and 14-4-3 overall. The Bulldogs are coming off a two-game sweep at Clarkson last weekend.
The top-ranked University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team will host Saint Cloud State this weekend. Game-One is tonight at the Kohl Center, and the series ends on Sunday afternoon. The Badgers are 20-2 overall and 14-2 in the WCHA. They’re coming off a two-game sweep at Ohio State last weekend in which Hilary Knight became the Badgers’ all-time career goal-scorer with 91. Saint Cloud State is still winless after 21 games. They’re 0-15-1-1 in the conference, and 0-20-1 overall. The Huskies dropped a pair to Bemidji State last weekend. The only time they didn’t lose this season was on December third, when they tied Minnesota-Duluth.
The Milwaukee Wave will try to hang onto its share of first place in the Major Indoor Soccer League tonight, when it hosts the Omaha Vipers. The Wave is tied with Baltimore for the top spot at 6-and-2. One of those victories came against Omaha, an 8-6 verdict on December second. The Vipers are in third place at 4-4. They have the league’s scoring leader in forward Carlos Farias. He has 29 points on a league-high 57 shots. Milwaukee’s Marco Terminesi has scored at least one point in his last 17 games. And he’s second in the league with 27 total points.
If you think you’re great at ice fishing, you’ll soon have a chance to prove it. The U.S. Ice Fishing team will hold a qualifying event on January 29th in Oshkosh on Lake Winnebago. And those who make Team USA will compete in the world competition next month in the Ukraine. Both men-and-women can enter, but they have to be U.S. citizens 18-and-older. The Oshkosh Convention-and-Visitors’ Bureau will put on a seminar January 28th to go over the rules. The bureau has more information. Last year’s world ice fishing tournament was held in Rhinelander, and the Americans won it. Doug Bussian of Columbus was among those getting a gold medal.