The `King’ of softball dies at age of 81

first_img The NCAA is upholding sanctions it imposed last year against former Fresno State basketball coach Ray Lopes. Lopes was involved in separate infractions cases for improper recruiting practices at Fresno State, where he went 50-37 in three seasons as the head coach before resigning in March 2005, and at Oklahoma, where he served as an assistant to current Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson from 1995 to 2002. Lopes now is an assistant coach for the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. His Duncan, Okla.-based attorney, Toby Baldwin, said Lopes was disappointed with the NCAA’s ruling, “but they’ve made their final decision and we have to live with that.” NFL officially A former supervisor of NFL officials sued the league in federal court, claiming he was unfairly fired after some referees lodged false complaints that he was racially biased. Earnie Frantz, a head linesman in the NFL from 1981 to 2001, said he was fired as associate supervisor of officiating in the spring of 2005. In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan, Frantz said part of his job as a supervisor included grading the performance of officials after each week of play. But while performing that role, the suit said, Frantz became a target of complaints by “a vocal component of the minority officiating crew,” who complained that he was racially biased and graded minorities more harshly than whites. “In terminating Mr. Frantz’s employment, the NFL bowed to the pressure of the minority members of the officiating crews whom he supervised,” the suit said. Frantz, who is white, claimed in the suit that he was essentially fired “because of the color of his skin.” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that Frantz was let go by the league, but disputed the former official’s account of how it happened. “While we have not seen the specific allegations, we know that Earnie Frantz’s departure from the NFL had nothing to do with issues of race,” Aiello said. Hold the Mayo O.J. Mayo, considered by many to be the country’s top high school basketball player, will miss three games as punishment for being ejected and making contact with a referee in a Jan. 26 game. The two-week suspension is retroactive to Feb. 3. Mayo, who plays for Huntingon High (W.Va.), called the suspension fair. “I guess we have to serve whatever penalty we got, accept the consequences and move on,” Mayo said. Wie injured Michelle Wie injured her wrist in a fall while running and is wearing a hard cast that will keep her away from golf for at least a month. “Michelle’s playing schedule will be altered as needed to allow the injury to fully heal,” said Wie’s spokesman Jesse Derris. Briefly A group of investors led by Boston Red Sox owner John Henry has completed a deal to buy a 50-percent stake in the Roush Racing NASCAR team. London’s Arsenal soccer club extended its influence into the United States, entering into a partnership with Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which owns Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids, as well the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets. In the agreement, the soccer clubs will exchange business, commercial and marketing information as well as the transfer of coaching and training philosophies. The New York Red Bulls of MLS acquired goalkeeper Nick Rimando from Real Salt Lake in return for future considerations. Discovery Channel will drop its sponsorship of former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong’s team after this season. Armstrong remains a co-owner of the team. The New York Rangers acquired forward Pascal Dupuis from the Minnesota Wild for forward Adam Hall. Sprinter Allyson Felix set an American record in 300 meters in a time of 36.33 seconds. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With a fastball once clocked at 104 mph, Feigner threw 930 no-hitters, 238 perfect games and struck out 141,517 batters while playing more than 10,000 games. He was inducted into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame in 2000. A stroke in 2000 – a day after he threw out the first pitch before the women’s softball competition in the Sydney Olympics – ended his playing career at age 75. He left the team for medical reasons last summer, and lived in Trenton, Tenn., for the last several years until recently moving to Huntsville. Knight said Feigner also suffered from dementia. “Eddie Feigner was a genuine Jekyll and Hyde,” Knight said. “On the field, a master showman, brilliant pitcher, creator of the most popular softball attraction in history. And off the field, one tough son of a gun. He was a former Marine, everything was by the numbers. He made millions, and was generous to a fault. Some guys got fired three times in the same day and rehired in the next moment.” Feigner not only pitched from the standard mound, 46 feet from home plate, but also from second base, behind his back, on his knees, between his legs, from center field and blindfolded. In a nationally televised exhibition against major leaguers at Dodger Stadium in 1964, he struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Maury Wills, Harmon Killebrew, Roberto Clemente and Brooks Robinson in order At the height of Feigner’s popularity, the team played at major league ballparks, including Yankee Stadium, and Feigner appeared on numerous national television shows, including “The Today Show,” “I’ve Got a Secret,” “What’s My Line?” the “Tonight Show,” and the “CBS Sports Spectacular.” NCAA vs. Lopes center_img Eddie Feigner, the hard-throwing softball showman who barnstormed for more than 50 years with “The King and His Court” four-man team, died Friday. He was 81. Feigner, known for his trademark crewcut and bulging right arm, died in Huntsville, Ala., from a respiratory ailment, longtime friend and teammate Jack Knight said. last_img read more