Football: Brotherhood between Leo Musso, D’Cota Dixon translates to success on field

first_imgIt is evident the camaraderie between Dixon, a junior strong safety, and Musso, a fifth-year free safety, have carried their bond onto the gridiron. The duo have accounted for nine of the Badgers’ 21 interceptions, Musso with five and Dixon with four.Some interceptions have been more important than others. Dixon’s first one of the season, against Louisiana State University during the season opener, sealed the game. Musso’s latest, which came on Saturday against Purdue, was mostly inconsequential but his one-handed catch made highlight reels. After Musso’ second interception against Illinois, Dixon immediately found his buddy on the sidelines and excitedly proclaimed:“Who the best safeties in this country?!”Football: Breakdown of Badgers’ upset over LSUThe Wisconsin Badgers played a spoiler game against fifth ranked Louisiana State University with a 16-14 upset victory in college Read…In the team’s comeback win over the University of Minnesota, Musso’s interception in the back of end zone sparked a four interception performance in the second half and led the Badgers to their 21 unanswered points. Despite losing by double digits for the first time in 23 games at halftime, Musso grabbed Paul Bunyan’s Axe and gave an inspiring speech that woke up the team going into the second period.The safety position, thought to be the biggest question marks on the UW defense, if not the entire team, has evolved into one of its strengths, thanks to the efforts from Musso and Dixon.Dixon, when asked whether or not he and Musso are the best pair of safeties in the nation, stood firm in his belief.“I feel like we’re the best at what we do,” Dixon said. “I’m not thinking about anybody else being better than me, so of course.”When asked what exactly they are best at, the experienced veteran made it as cut and dry as it comes.“Keepin’ them out the end zone,” Dixon said. “Win games for our team. That’s what we do. Making turnovers is just part of it. It’s not about me. It’s not about Leo. It’s not about any individual on this team.”Football: Leo Musso’s halftime speech, defensive stinginess in second half keep Paul Bunyan’s Axe in Madison for 13th straight yearLeo Musso studied the faces of his teammates on the University of Wisconsin football team and saw expressions of shock. Read…Their friendship, both on and off the field, began last season when they were both backing up the departed Michael Caputo and Tanner McEvoy. The paths they took to that point were so different, yet resembled each other.Dixon, a black man, fought his way out of poverty from Florida, then battled injuries and position changes once at UW. Musso, a white, Waunakee, Wisconsin native, was one of the state’s best high school running backs statistically, but endured a shift to safety and years of waiting in the wings before he got his shot. In this time of divisiveness in the U.S., their story of friendship provides hope in what some seem as a dark time.But it was in those practices last season with the second team, though, they realized their potential to become playmakers on the field.“The kind of guys we are and the mentality that we bring to the game helped us gel well together,” Musso said. “We know what to expect out of each other. I think more than anything, we trust one another. That’s I guess what’s kinda been the key to our success.”Earlier last week, UW head coach Paul Chryst raved about Musso, not just about his play but the way he carries himself as a teammate, calling him “a tremendous leader, a guy everyone could go to.”Dixon also sees that in Musso. As to why Musso has developed into that role, he says it’s because of his roots.“I’m a Wisconsin kid,” Musso said. “I take a lot of pride in playing for this school and playing for my home state, obviously growing up 15 minutes away from here. I guess I just kind of a good feel for what Wisconsin’s all about … we’re built up of no five-star dudes, very seldom four-star dudes, just no-star, two-star group of guys. And we have to rely on being smart, tough and dependable, as cliche as it sounds, that’s really all you can rely on.”Musso’ collegiate career has a life span of just three more games at most. At the end of the season, one chapter of the Musso-Dixon will close. Dixon says he tries not to think about it. He’ll have one year left, and he’ll have to do it without his brother.If he wanted to give Musso a going away present, what would it be? A Big Ten title? A special memento?“A smile,” Dixon said.“The wins, the gifts, the presents, it will all fade away, you know what I’m saying?” he said. “As a brother, I try to give him something more than that — some genuine love that stays with you for years.”The two now put their friendship and dominance to the test as they travel to Indianapolis to take on No. 7 Penn State University in the Big Ten Championship game. As two guys who have been around for a couple of years, they will look to erase the memory of the last time the Badgers went to Indianapolis in 2013, a crushing defeat to Ohio State University. The word “brotherhood” is thrown around loosely while describing teammates on a football team. Too often, that true weight of the term pales insignificant when compared to the actual definition.But what if two teammates, who come from completely different backgrounds and walks of life, form a bond so close they become just that — brothers? Such is the case with the University of Wisconsin football team’s starting safeties Leo Musso and D’Cota Dixon.“We’re like brothers,” Dixon said. “We genuinely care about each other. I think it’s one of those relationships where you meet someone in college and you have a lifetime friendship with them.”last_img read more

Legal challenges loom in removing Donald Sterling from Clippers

first_img“This will be a process in getting Donald Sterling to agree toward selling the franchise,” said NBA TV analyst Stu Jackson, who previously served 13 years as the league’s executive vice president of basketball operations. “It’s going to be a battle of intellect, legal expertise and what they can finagle behind the scenes.”Attempts to reach Sterling and his lawyer, Robert Platt, have been unsuccessful. But shortly before the NBA’s ruling, Fox News contributor Jim Gray reported speaking with Sterling, who vowed he would not sell the team.The NBA’s constitutional bylaws require a three-fourths vote, and sources among the NBA, the Clippers and law experts believe that ruling will become unanimous. But the sense within the league suggests they are resigned toward Sterling dragging this case out through litigation. “There is no way that man walks away without a battle,” said Lakers legend Magic Johnson in an appearance Monday at Cal State Long Beach where he downplayed talk he would partner up with an ownership group to buy the Clippers. Sterling rarely shied away from the courtroom amid his 33 years overseeing the Clippers’ franchise. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error His words sounded forceful. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver classified Donald Sterling’s racially disparaging remarks on an audio tape “as deeply offensive and hurtful.”His punishment seemed harsh yet fair. Silver issued Sterling a life-time ban, a $2.5 million fine and urged the league’s Board of Governors made up of NBA owners to force him to sell the Clippers franchise. His actions seemed quick. Silver plans to appoint a new chief executive officer to oversee the Clippers, and the NBA announced Tuesday that president Andy Roeser will take an indefinite leave of absence. The NBA will likely hold a vote this week that rules Sterling must sell the team. But with the NBA acting as swiftly and as powerfully as a Chris Paul lob to Blake Griffin, it appears that momentum could get stalled in court and could drag out for years. center_img He successfully fought off an employee who sued him in 2003 on sexual harassment. In 2009, the court dismissed a case former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor filed against Sterling that charged both employment and racial discrimination. That same year, Sterling paid $2.7 million to settle a lawsuit that accused him of practicing housing discrimination in various L.A.-based real estate properties to blacks, Hispanics and families with children. In 2011, former Clippers coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy was awarded $13.5 million through arbitration after the Clippers initially stopped paying him the remainder of his contract after he was fired in March 2010. In this case, law experts believe Sterling will seek an injunction and then file suit, raising both breach of contract and antitrust claims. Yet, under Article 13 of the NBA constitution, an owner can be terminated with a three-fourths vote from the Board of Governors if the franchise fails “to fulfill its contractual obligations to the Association, its Members, Players, or any other third party in such a way as to affect the Association or its Members adversely.” In Article 24 of the NBA constitution, the commissioner’s duties are listed as “protecting the integrity of the game of professional basketball and preserving public confidence in the League.”“The league is on pretty solid footing,” USC law and business professor Michael Chasalow said. “They have contractual rights to terminate Sterling. The only limit with that is whether the league did not act in good faith in enforcing its rights. That’s impossible to prove given he started the whole thing with his outrageous comments.”Sterling criticized a female friend named V. Stiviano for posting pictures of herself and Johnson on Instagram and for bringing black friends to Clippers games. Yet, Sterling could invoke privacy laws after an audio recording of that conversation leaked to both TMZ and Deadspin.“He might try to become a crusader and martyr for privacy rights,” USC law professor Jody Armour said of Sterling. “With the current day concerns about the NSA intrusions into ordinary citizens’ privacy, there are a lot of folks who believe privacy rights are valuable. They may believe people deserve some protection.”Silver dismissed such concerns about that topic, saying, “Whether or not these remarks were shared in private, they are now public and they represent his views.”But will such issues slow down the Clippers transition process?Unanswered questions persist, including the nature of Sterling’s trust that includes his wife, Shelly, and whether she will stay on as the team’s co-owner. The NBA players union has said the league cannot allow that to happen. “I am concerned that if this process continues on, it may be at the sacrifice of one the 30 NBA clubs,” Jackson said. “What’s going to happen with that franchise during the time that this battle rages on?”Jackson then cited the Clippers losing a flurry of sponsors and uncertainty whether coach Doc Rivers and star players, such as Paul and Griffin would want to stay if a lengthy legal fight ensues. Even amid this uncertainty, however, law and sports economics experts find some hope Sterling will concede defeat. Coupled with the Clippers’ playoff resurgence, a potentially new cable deal and an expected bidding war among competing ownership groups, experts predicted the Clippers could sell as high as $1.6 billion. That number marks a stark increase from the $575 million Forbes currently tabs as the franchise’s worth. “If he wants to, he could tie it up for a very long time,” said Notre Dame sports economics professor Richard Sheehan. “But I bet that he wouldn’t. The cost of him doing so would be very extreme.”Staff writer Chris Trevino contributed to this report.last_img read more

Patricia Smith Pruitt, 69, Overland Park: Feb. 28, 1946 – April 19, 2015

first_imgPatricia Smith PruittPatricia L Smith Pruitt, 69, of Overland Park, Kans. died April 19, 2015  in her home.She was born to Wilbur Smith Sr. and Hazel Smith in Arkansas.  She attended school in Wellington. She formerly worked as an echo-tech at Via Christi/St. Francis in Wichita.She is proceeded in death by her mother Hazel Smith and her sister Barbara Perrin.Survivors include her father Wilbur Smith Sr. of Kansas, two daughters, Machelle Koehn and her husband Mike of Kansas and Sheila Hutchison and her husband Chris of South Carolina, Grandchildren Steven Stewart (Heather) Kansas, Jimi Threadgill (Kayliegh) Texas, Jonathan Threadgill Texas, Caleb Hutchison South Carolina, Emily Hutchison South Carolina. Two Great Grandaughters Kyara and Rylee. Her sisters Lynda Redd (Allen) OK, Wanda Cathey (John) TX,  Brother Wilbur Smith Jr. (Cindy) KS, and a brother in law Ron Perrin, KS. Several nieces,  nephews, great nieces and great nephews.In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been set up at Security State Bank in Wellington in her name.last_img read more