TIME Baseball

Yankees Pitcher Michael Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Illegal Use of Pine Tar

Umpires check Michael Pineda for a foreign substance as Derek Jeter looks on.
Home plate umpire Gerry Davis checks out a substance on the neck of Michael Pineda as New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter looks on. Jared Wickerham—Getty Images

New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda has been suspended for 10 games after umpires found the grip-enhancing substance on his neck during last night's game against the Red Sox. Pineda claimed he used the pine tar because he couldn't feel the ball due to chilly temps

Updated 3:20 p.m. ET Thursday

New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended ten games, beginning Thursday night, after umpires discovered pine tar on the pitcher’s neck in the second inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.

Pineda was ejected from Wednesday’s game at Fenway Park, which the Yankees ultimately lost 5-1, and a suspension from Major League Baseball was largely expected.

In an usual turn of events, Pineda actually confessed to the crime — not that his guilt wasn’t apparent — and explained that he wasn’t trying to cheat, but rather that he was trying to get a better grip on the ball so as not to unintentionally hit any batters: “It was a really cold night and in the first inning I (couldn’t) feel the ball,” he said. “I don’t want to like hit anybody so I decided to use it.”

The umpires’ discovery came after Red Sox manager John Farrell asked that they checked the 25-year-old pitcher for an illegal substance. The ejection comes just two weeks after rumors swirled that Pineda had placed a foreign substance on his pitching hand during an April 10 game also against Boston.

There’s much debate in the baseball world about whether pine tar and other grip-enhancing substances should be banned, and it’s no secret that their use is widespread in the sport — Pineda’s mistake was making the infraction so obvious.

Pineda faces a likely suspension, another blow to a weakened Yankees pitching staff that will likely lose Ivan Nova to elbow surgery.

TIME TIME 100

The 2014 TIME 100: The Athletes Matter

The five athletes on this year's list exemplify excellence, perseverance, and a pioneering spirit.

Whether you’re in the stadium cheering like crazy for them, or sitting on the couch screaming in disbelief because someone just pulled off the seemingly impossible, great athletes can inspire you. They can move you. Sometimes even to tears.

The influence of the five athletes in the 2014 TIME 100 extends far beyond the playing field. Jason Collins, center for the Brooklyn Nets, finished the 2013-2014 NBA season averaging 1.1 points and 0.9 rebounds per game. Despite the unimpressive stats, he’s a pioneer. This year Collins became the first openly gay athlete to play in a major U.S. sports league. “Jason has always maintained that he’s first a basketball player,” writes Chelsea Clinton, Collins’ Stanford classmate, in the TIME 100 issue. “He is. But he’s also a leader and inspiration.”

Richard Sherman, of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, isn’t just the best shutdown cornerback in the NFL. His smack-talking rant during a post-game interview, immediately following the NFC championship game, sparked a national conversation about race, stereotyping, and sportsmanship. Critics were quick to label the dreadlocked star a “thug.” But Sherman, a Stanford grad raised in Compton, Calif., engaged in the debate — most athletes flee social questions — and wondered if that term is really today’s way of calling him the N word. In a heartbeart, Sherman altered the discourse.

Serena Williams is back on the list — she last made the TIME 100 in 2010 — which is a testament to her staying power. Williams is still the number one player in the world. Remember, years ago, when skeptics wondered if she was focused enough on tennis, given her passion for fashion and other interests? Plenty of tennis stars burned out. Serena remains a dominant force — and a joy to watch.

“Serena is a warrior,” writes her friend, Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade. “An aggressive and competitive nature combined with passion, drive and skill make her a formidable and fierce opponent.”

The young golf phenom Lydia Ko, who turns 17 today, has the potential to help grow the women’s game around the world. “She is responsible for sparking increased interest in our sport not just in her native South Korea and adopted homeland of New Zealand but also among juniors across the globe,” writes eight-time LPGA player of the year Annika Sorenstam.

Around a billion people watched the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. Soccer’s influence exceeds its beauty. This summer in Brazil, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal — the world’s best player — will try to lead his country to its first-ever appearance in the championship match. “I wish him the best this summer at the World Cup in Brazil,” writes Pelé. “But if Portugal goes to the final against Brazil, I’m sorry, Cristiano, but I want to Brazil to win.”

Pelé will be cheering. And the world will be watching, enjoying the kind of shared cultural experience that sports, and sports alone, can deliver.

TIME Nepal

Mount Everest Avalanche Witness: ‘It Looked Like a Big Snake Coming Down The Mountain’

Mount Everest on Oct. 27, 2011.
Mount Everest seen in 2011. Kevin Frayer—AP

American climber Joby Ogwyn was at base camp on Mount Everest when the deadliest avalanche in the mountain's recorded history rolled down the side, killing at least 13 Nepalese Sherpas and sparking resentment over working conditions on expeditions

Joby Ogwyn was planning to jump off the summit of Mount Everest. Instead he went to funerals for his Sherpas.

There are some 50,000 Sherpas in the world, according to some estimates, mountain-dwelling people best known for the livelihood the Nepalese Sherpas have made helping tourists scale Mount Everest. At at least 13 of them were killed this month in the deadliest avalanche in the mountain’s recorded history—proportionally, that would be like a loss of about 100,000 Americans in a single day. Dozens of Nepalese Sherpas staged a walkout at the Mount Everest base camp on Wednesday, in honor of the fallen and in reaction to a tragedy that has sparked resentment over their working conditions. The mountain is closed, and long-planned expeditions are being canceled, some by teams who lost their guides in the avalanche and want to respect their memories by standing down this season, even if the mountain reopens.

One of those teams is Ogwyn’s. The American climber was set to do the first wing-suit jump off the summit of Everest, to be broadcast live by the Discovery Channel later this month. In the wake of the avalanche, the grand adventure that was hatched two years ago has been scrapped. Discovery is eating many of those costs and will instead be airing a special documentary on May 4 about the aftermath of the avalanche, which it inadvertently had camera teams in place to capture.

TIME spoke to Ogwyn from his hotel in Kathmandu about what it was like to be on the ground when the mountain came tumbling down, what he remembers of the guides that their team lost, and why he has no regrets.

“It looked like a big snake coming down the mountain through the ice fall,” Ogwyn recalls of when he first saw the avalanche. “And I saw all my guides with the other Sherpa on ladders, going up a big vertical section of ice. And the avalanche just came down right on top of them. I knew it was bad, but obviously I didn’t realize how bad it would be.”

Here’s his interview with TIME, lightly edited and condensed.

When did you arrive in Nepal and what was the trip to base camp like?

I arrived on April 4, and I was here for a couple days. Then my team took a small airplane ride to the city of Luqa and 9,000 feet. We proceeded to trek in, and it took about seven days to arrive at base camp. On the third day we were there, we had our puja ceremony, which is the blessing of all the members of the team. And it was really the most beautiful puja ceremony I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot. Each expedition has their own. They have a lama that comes. It’s a celebration, but it’s really a prayer for safe passage up the mountain. We had a really great day there and bonded with all our friends, our Sherpa, our staff from base camp.

And then what happened?

The very next day, our guides were going to take some equipment to the first camp. We had planned on going the following day. That morning that they went up, I was awake very early in my tent. It was about 6:45 a.m. if I remember right, and I heard the avalanche.

There’s a lot of little avalanches that happen when you’re at base camp. You’re on a glacier and everything is creaking and cracking, so you get used to hearing those types of things. And usually you don’t look outside your tent unless you really hear that it’s a big avalanche. Because they’re quite powerful and, in some ways, quite beautiful. But the one that I heard [even though it didn't sound big], I could hear that it was coming from the ice fall. And I knew my guides and a lot of other guides were up there. I zipped the tent fly back and looked out.

I couldn’t see it at first. It had happened a little further back on the mountain, where the piece had broken off. And then I saw it. It looked like a big snake coming down the mountain through the ice fall. And I saw all my guides with the other Sherpa on ladders, going up a big vertical section of ice. And the avalanche just came down right on top of them. I knew it was bad, but obviously I didn’t realize how bad it would be.

How could you tell, when you heard the avalanche, how big it was?

The way that it works on the really big mountains in the Himalayas, it’s not like an avalanche you would have in Colorado, where it looks like a little slab that breaks off and it’s soft snow. This is all ice. The mountains are so big and so high, they’re on these glaciers. And at some moment, a piece of it breaks off. When it hits, it falls for so long, tumbling down the mountain, it brings so much energy and speed and power, that when that piece breaks, it just turns it into pieces of shrapnel that are made out of ice. And whatever it hits, it destroys.

This one, it seemed to me, came from a piece of ice that was not hanging quite as high. It wasn’t as loud or as fast-moving as I had seen many others. There were people that had gotten away from it, people who saw it and outran it. And the people behind them, once it got to them, it had more speed and pushed them back into the ice fall. … I knew that some people had probably died, been killed by the upper, bigger part of it. But I was hoping that the guides that I saw get covered up just got a dusting. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

So what did you do in those moments after you looked out of your tent and saw the avalanche covering your guides?

I put my clothes on very quickly, got out of my tent. In other camps I started to hear people talking and yelling at each other. Our radios lit up. I walked into the our communications tent where our camp manager was and we just started to try to make contact on the radio with our guides. We made contact with some guides up there who weren’t on our team and were asking about our team members. You could hear in the background on the radio, guys were scrambling around, yelling back and forth. The Sherpa who had survived were working very hard to find the Sherpa that were covered up and were trying to dig them out, digging them out as fast as they could. Some they were finding very quickly were dead. Some they found still alive, or just covered up, and they managed to pull them out. But from what they were telling us, it was a brutal scene.

So very quickly, I would say within 12 minutes, all the Western teams had come together with their lead guides and were preparing for going up and assisting. We were getting helicopters mobilized, which was the part of the process that took the longest. It probably took an hour or two hours, which is still incredibly fast in this area because it’s just very remote. I was impressed with how fast people came together.

And what did you personally do in terms of recovery efforts? Was there much you could do at that point?

We knew that of our guides who were up there, three of them were missing and three were alive. And we also knew a lot of other people up there. So my climbing partner Garrett Madison and I, we geared up and we started walking into the ice fall. We walked up not quite halfway and our goal was to make sure that we tried to find our three guides and that we received our other three guides coming down. And every other Sherpa, we wanted to bring them food and water and medical equipment. One cameraman came up there and the two of us stayed in position there. It took us all day, until every single Sherpa was off the mountain.

My climbing partner went up the ice fall. He climbed all the way up to the actual avalanche zone, found our guides and unfortunately the three of them that we were working with, that we were going to go to the summit with, were all dead. He spent hours in this hot zone with several other guides basically chipping our guides out of the ice so we could do the body recovery for their families, which is very important in this part of the world, to retrieve the bodies of these guides. They were our guides, our Sherpa, our lead Sherpa. And this ice is really like concrete. It took a long time to get them out. And it just, really, was one of the more heroic things I’ve ever seen. What I did was trying to spot for those guys in case anything was coming down.

Eventually we got everybody off the mountain that we could. There were three guides who were missing who would be very difficult or impossible to find. But we did manage to get our three guides out and get their bodies in the helicopter back to Kathmandu so they could be cremated. We just had the funerals for them yesterday. It was a pretty massive crowd of people and it was just a very, very sad day. We definitely did everything we could to help our friends. I just wish that we could have done more.

When you think about it now, do you have any regrets about trying to have this adventure?

No, I don’t have any regerets at all. What happened was just an unfortunate one-in-a-billion accident, truly an act of God. It just was so random, out of nowhere. You have to remember that people have been climbing on Everest for over 50 years, and nothing like this has ever happened, especially in the last decades. The safety precautions and the way trips are organized has gotten really good. But unfortunately the mountain is what it is. It’s just a massive piece of nature. People do die on it every year. What’s really shocking about this particular instance is that it happened on the first day of climbing, essentially, right at the very beginning, and that is why it was all Sherpa.

My intention was to climb up the very first day, taking all the equipment we could carry and establishing that first camp. The only thing that kept me from being with these guides and being killed ourselves is that one of the producers wanted to do some shots with our equipment and from a scheduling point of view, we thought, we’ll get this out of the way and come up the next day. Literally, when they asked me, and I thought about it for an hour before saying, okay, let’s do it. The fact that I had to think about it for an hour really is scary to me now, because I almost said, Nah, I’m going to go up with my guides the first time. That one little choice saved my life.

Obviously you’re feeling some grief, but do you also feel very lucky?

Absolutely. I am destroyed for my guides, there’s no doubt about that. And I might have lost my team, but other Sherpa lost brothers and friends and cousins. It was just a catastrophe. Am I sad about my project? Of course. You know, I’m not the only person who put a massive amount of time and resources into it, and we had great weather and good conditions for the most part on the mountain. I’m quite convinced that if this hadn’t happened, we could have made everything work. But that’s really the least of my concerns right now. … Nobody is feeling sorry for themselves here.

Discovery will be running the documentary Everest Avalanche Tragedy on May 4 at 9 p.m. and contributing to the American Himalayan Foundation Sherpa Family Fund, which gives 100% of all donations to help families of the deceased. To make a donation, click here.

TIME Sports

The Ridiculous Things NFL Cheerleaders Put Up With

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
Tom Szczerbowski—Getty Images

Members of the Buffalo Jills are the third group of cheerleaders in the NFL to file a lawsuit citing poor pay and degrading treatment from their franchises, including catcalling, groping, "jiggle tests" and worse

Another group of NFL cheerleaders is suing their team for wage theft claiming that they’ve worked hundreds of unpaid hours training and performing, as well as appearing at events where they were at risk for catcalls and groping.

Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders filed suit on Tuesday, and they are the third group of cheerleaders to do so. As TIME reported in February, cheerleaders for the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders have filed similar suits for poor pay and demeaning treatment.

Buffalo Bills cheerleaders, called the Buffalo Jills, say they are wrongly classified as independent contractors and are therefore not paid the state’s $8 minimum wage. One of the cheerleaders, Alyssa U. told the Associated Press that she estimated she was paid only $420 for the 2012-13 football season, and another cheerleader, Maria P., says she only got $105 for the season.

Previous cases have had mixed results. Cincinnati Bengals’ Ben-Gals cheerleader Alexa Brenneman, 24 filed that suit was paid a total of $855 for her time as a Ben-Gals cheerleader. She says she spent over 300 hours performing, practicing and attending events–she missed one game for a funeral and wasn’t paid. The minimum wage in Ohio is $7.85, but Brenneman’s pay equates to less than $2.85 an hour. Brenneman’s case is still pending. And unfortunately for the Oakland Raiders cheerleaders who brought the complaint, the Raiderettes, the U.S. Department of Labor announced in March that it had closed its investigation of the case, concluding that the Raiders are exempt from paying their cheerleaders minimum wage, since they are considered “seasonal amusement.” The suit may go to private arbitration. Some of the Raiderettes still want to go to court.

Beyond the surprisingly low pay for a job in this very profitable industry, these women say they are subjected to treatment and demands that are unfair and degrading. The calendars the women pose for? They don’t get any free copies. The Oakland Raiderettes, for example, got to purchase their calendars at cost. All the women have highly specific and sometimes costly physical standards they must maintain, which includes mandatory trips to nail and hair salons. And according to the Buffalo Bills’ suit, their cheerleaders are forced to participate in what are called “jiggle tests” so their coach can assess the firmness of their bodies. According to the complaint documents which were procured by Deadspin, the women were also given a rulebook with demands like: “how to properly wash “intimate areas,” and how often to change tampons.”

“Everything from standing in front of us with a clipboard having us do a jiggle test to see what parts of our body were jiggling,” cheerleader Alyssa U. told the Associated Press, “and if that was something that she saw, you were getting benched.”

These policies aren’t isolated cases. A Raiderette guidebook that was released to the Los Angeles Times listed demands like: “There’s not a female alive (or male either) who doesn’t like attention. But you need to learn to deal with attention you receive from the public (and especially the players) without it getting out of hand and going to your head.” When it comes to parties, the women were told to be on their best behavior, with the manual citing a popular annual Halloween party that had been hosted by an NFL player: “This same player was suspended from the team for drug use but also arrested for date rape. For you on the squad who have attended those parties, just think how narrowly you missed having your photo in all the local papers and/or being assaulted.”

Cheerleaders are not bringing in all the money for the NFL, but they are a necessary draw for many teams as they are evidence of a franchise’s success. For example, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders still bring in about $1 million per season for their team. Not to mention that overall, the NFL is the most lucrative sport in America. As TIME reported, in 2012, the Oakland Raiders were valued at $825 million, with revenue of $229 million. The NFL, a tax-exempt organization, brings in about $9 billion in revenue annually, and the group hopes to bring in $25 billion by 2027.

The argument the women hear constantly, is that there are hundreds of women who would gladly take their spot if given the chance. “Do they pay a lot? No they don’t. But there are women who would continue to do it if they paid even less. It’s really not amount the money. It’s about the opportunity, and the prestige, and loving the sport and the game,” Starr Spangler Rey, 27, a former three-season Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader—now a management consultant, told TIME.

The women hope for policy changes in how they are treated and paid. Given the immense wealth of these franchises, it doesn’t seem like a lot to ask for.

When asked to comment about the lawsuit, Scott Berchtold, senior vice president of communications for the Buffalo Bills, said in an email response to TIME: “We are aware of this lawsuit and it is our organizational policy not to comment on pending litigation.”

TIME Baseball

Albert Pujols Hits 500th Career Home Run in Win Over Nationals

Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning at Nationals Park on April 22, 2014 in Washington, DC Patrick Smith—Getty Images

First baseman Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels joined the few who have hit 500 home runs in their careers, during a win over the Washington Nationals, making him the third-youngest player to accomplish the feat in the history of Major League Baseball

Tuesday night was all about Albert Pujols in the nation’s capital.

The first baseman joined the likes of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron when in the top of the 5th inning he buried a 430-ft. homerun in left centerfield, the 50oth of his career.

“To have more than 19,000 players who wore a big league uniform and to have only 26 players to do this, it’s pretty special,” Pujols told ESPN. “I was pretty emotional running the bases.”

The home run was Pujols’s second of the night, having already driven a homer into deep left field during the first inning of play. The Angels finished off the Washington Nationals with a dominant 7-2 win.

TIME Athletes

Meb Keflezighi’s Boston Marathon Win Is a Victory For Us All

Meb Keflezighi crosses the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Jim Rogash—Getty Images

A year after the Boston Marathon bombings, the immigrant American's victory sends a strong, symbolic message to the perpetrators of that awful event

One year ago, two young immigrant men, fed up with the American way of life, allegedly terrorized the Boston Marathon. A year later, an old — by marathon-running standards — immigrant who has totally embraced his adopted country won the historic race, thrilling everyone in attendance. On the first running of the Boston Marathon since last year’s bombings, Meb Keflezighi is the perfect man for the moment.

The message this victory sends to the bombers is not subtle: Screw you. You squandered your opportunity, your chance at the American dream — which still exists, thank you. You blew it. This could have been you.

Keflezighi became the first American man to win a Boston Marathon since 1983. No one gave him much of a chance, given his age — he will turn 39 next month — and the reality that since 1991, a Kenyan has won the race 19 times.

But Keflezighi has surprised skeptics before. He won a silver medal in the Athens Olympics marathon in 2004, and in 2009 became the first American to win the New York City Marathon in 27 years. That win kindled a tortured debate about “real” Americanism; a CNBC.com commentary, entitled “Marathon’s Headline Win Is Empty,” said that “the fact that [Keflezighi] is not American-born takes away from the magnitude of the achievement … Nothing against Keflezighi, but he’s like a ringer you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league.” Comments on a running site included: “Give us all a break. It’s just another African marathon winner” and “Meb is not an American – case closed.”

Yes, Keflezighi was born in an Eritrean house with no electricity. But his family fled that country’s war with Ethiopia when he was still a young boy. “I ran my first mile here,” Keflezighi told me in a 2012 interview before the London Olympics, where he finished fourth in the marathon. “I didn’t know the sport was an option in Eritrea.” He ran cross country in grammar school and high school in San Diego, and at UCLA. He’s a product of the American running system.

CNBC.com, for its part, apologized after the flap. But all questions about Meb Keflezighi’s Americanism have surely been answered by now. Especially on this day. Last year, Keflezighi attended the race, but did not run: he left only about five minutes after the bombs went off. “When the bomb exploded, every day since I’ve wanted to come back and win it,” Keflezighi said afterwards, via USA Today. “I wanted to win it for the people of Boston. It’s beyond words.”

He doesn’t need them. A year later, Keflezighi’s win speaks louder than any bomb ever could.

TIME cities

Newlywed Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Finish Race Holding Hands

Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky each lost a leg in the bombings last year, only six months after getting married. One year later, they crossed the finish line together

Boston Marathon husband and wife bombing survivors Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, who each lost a leg in last year's bombings, roll across the finish line in the 118th Boston Marathon Monday, April 21, 2014 in Boston.
Boston Marathon husband and wife bombing survivors Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, who each lost a leg in last year’s bombings, roll across the finish line in the 118th Boston Marathon, April 21, 2014 in Boston. Elise Amendola—AP

Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky lost limbs as victims of the Boston Marathon bombing last year. One year on, they rolled across the finish line in wheelchairs, hand-in-hand.

After the first explosion on Boylston Street in 2013, the couple, watching the race together, suffered matching injuries: They each lost their left leg below the knee. Patrick’s memories of the crisis are murky but Jessica remembers the trauma clearly. In an interview with the Boston Globe, she recalled trying to block Patrick’s view from his own severed foot while a passerby extinguished her flaming clothes.

The couple recovered together, and returned to the marathon in 2014, side by side. “We’ve been married a year and a half,” Patrick told the Boston Globe, “but it’s like we have the knowledge of a couple that’s been married 10 years.”

TIME College football

A Coach Is Cleared of Child-Porn Charges, but His Ordeal Drags On

Minnesota State–Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner mostly observed practice and did not take an active role, April 18, 2014, in Mankato, MN.
Minnesota State–Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner mostly observed practice and did not take an active role, April 18, 2014, in Mankato, MN. David Joles—Zumapress

In 2012, Minnesota State-Mankato's head football coach Todd Hoffner was charged with two felonies for photos of his own kids after a bubble bath. Now, with his name cleared and his job back, things still aren't "normal"

Todd Hoffner, the head football coach at Minnesota State-Mankato, a Division II school, can still recall that night he spent in jail. It was August 2012, and he had been arrested and charged with two felonies: using minors in a sexual performance or pornographic work, and possession of child pornography. That June, Jerry Sandusky had been found guilty of sexually abusing young boys while an assistant coach at Penn State. Colleges were on red alert, on the lookout for any sort of inappropriate contact between coaches and children.

But Hoffner knew his university—which had placed him on leave after a technician found videos of naked or partially clothed children on his Blackberry—had overreacted. And that the authorities had arrested him under false pretenses. “There was shock, fear, and I gradually worked myself towards resolve,” Hoffner says. “I set two goals for myself as I sat in that jail cell. I wanted to be exonerated from the criminal charges, and vindicated by my university.

“Now, it’s a clean sweep,” he adds. “Mission accomplished.”

Todd Hoffner is not a child molester. The videos on his phone were those of his own children. In dismissing the charges against him three months later, a judge labeled the videos “playful and silly.” They were taken after his kids, then ages 9, 8, and 5, had taken a bubble bath. And for the first time in two seasons, Todd Hoffner will coach the Minnesota State-Mankato football team this fall.

But Hoffner’s road to reclaiming his job, and reputation, was a borderline nightmare. And where Hoffner’s career—and the Minnesota State-Mankato football team—goes now will depend on how Hoffner, the school’s leadership and the players on the team react and adapt to circumstances that, even in the already weird world of college sports, are almost unprecedented in their awkwardness.

Because without Hoffner on the sidelines, Minnesota State-Mankato went 24-2 the last two years under interim coach Aaron Keen, and made two appearances in the Division II playoffs. Hoffner may be vindicated. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be embraced. “No doubt, there are a lot of emotions on both sides,” says Minnesota State-Mankato athletic director Kevin Buisman, who hired Hoffner in 2008. “I don’t think anyone knows what’s normal now. And it’s going to be a little while until we can define normal, or experience normal.”

Although the child pornography charges were dismissed, Minnesota State-Mankato suspended Hoffner for 20 days, then reassigned him to an administrative role. In May, Hoffner was fired for undisclosed reasons. The Mankato Free-Prees revealed that, according to an arbitrator’s report, the school accused Hoffner of viewing pornography on a work-issued computer and also allowed his wife to use the computer. Hoffner denied viewing pornography, and the arbitrator noted that other people could access the computer. The arbitrator also ruled that the use of the computer by Hoffner’s wife was not grounds for firing, and ordered the school to reinstate Hoffner as coach and repay him, with interest.

In the meantime, Hoffner had accepted a position as head coach at Minot (N.D.) State back in January. “We were down to our last few hundred dollars,” he says. “They gave us an opportunity to feed our family.” But the Hoffners had roots in Mankato, so they decided to accept his reinstatement. “The whole ordeal was the ultimate test of toughness,” Hoffner says. “Given all we went through, I think a lot of people would have surrendered.”

Hoffner returned to Minnesota State-Mankato last Tuesday. But on Wednesday, his players refused to practice, as a show of support for Keen. “That took us by surprise,” Buisman says. “We definitely turned to crisis management mode.” Says Hoffner: “The players wanted to have a voice, wanted to be heard. They were showing their loyalty to coach Keen. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

On Thursday, the players held a team meeting with Hoffner. Keen has a more personable, player-friendly coaching style than Hoffner—and over the past two seasons, that approached paid off on the field. “The overriding question from the players was, are you going to adapt to us, or are we going to adapt to you?” Busiman says. “And coach Hoffner acknowledged that it would be foolish to upset the apple cart.”

The players have returned to practice, with Hoffner doing more observing than coaching. They’ve pledged their support for Hoffner, who says he plans to meet with each player one-on-one. For now, Keen is the associate head coach, though given his success leading the Mavericks over the past two years, he’ll be scooped up as a head coach elsewhere, at some point.

“The situation is still tenuous,” Buisman says. “There’s no guidebook how to handle something like this.”

It’s public record: Todd Hoffner got railroaded in the post-Sandusky era. Minnesota State-Mankato probably wasn’t on your college football radar screen for September. Now maybe the Mavericks should be. They’ll be an easy team to root for.

TIME Athletes

Meb Keflezighi Wins 2014 Boston Marathon

ATHLETICS-US-MARATHON-BOSTON
Meb Keflezighi of the US, celebrates after winning the Men's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 21, 2014 . TIMOTHY A. CLARY—AFP/Getty Images

The 38-year-old became the first American to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years

Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983 on Monday. He completed the race in 2:08:37.

Keflezighi has a long list of running achievements. He won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics marathon and in 2009 became the first American to win the New York City marathon in 27 years.

His win in Boston was unexpected: Keflezighi will turn 39 next month and many believed that his age would prevent him from beating out his foreign competitors. Since 1991, a Kenyan has won the Boston marathon 19 times.

Born in Eritrea, Keflezighi moved to the United States when he was 12 years old. When he won the New York City marathon, there was some debate over whether he was “really” American. A CNBC.com commentary claimed that claiming Keflezighi as American was like taking pride in “a ringer you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league.”

But in a 2012 interview with TIME’s Sean Gregory, Keflezighi said he might not have become a runner had he not become an American citizen. “I ran my first mile here,” Keflezighi said. “I didn’t know the sport was an option in Eritrea.” The marathon champion learned to run cross-country in elementary school in San Diego and attended UCLA.

Keflezighi’s American pride was on display Monday as he made history just one year after the Boston Marathon bombings. After crossing the finish line, he raised his arms, looked up at the sky and kissed the ground three times before taking a bow, according to USA Today. He then began to cry. He didn’t race last year but watched in the stands, departing only five minutes before the bombs went off.

Keflezighi lives in San Diego with his wife and three daughters.

TIME NBA

New York Knicks Fire Coach Mike Woodson

Miami Heat v New York Knicks
Head coach Mike Woodson of the New York Knicks yells to a ref during the second half of a game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on February. 1, 2014 in New York City. Rich Schultz—Getty Images

Coach Mike Woodson, who had one year left in his contract and who guided the team to a series last year for the first time in 13 seasons, has been booted along with the entire coaching staff after the New York Knicks failed to make this year's playoffs

The New York Knicks organization fired its entire coaching staff, the team announced Monday, after failing to make the playoffs despite competing in a weak Eastern Conference.

Phil Jackson, the newly-minted Knicks president, said in a release that coach Mike Woodson and his staff would not be returning next season. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.”

Woodson had one year remaining on a three-year contract. Under Woodson, the Knicks won a playoff series for the first time in 13 seasons in the 2012-2013 season.

But the team fell short of being a title contender this year, as owner James Dolan had hoped. The Knicks began the season 3-13. They recovered in March, winning 12 of 15 games, but still missed out on a playoff spot.

Jackson, a 13-time NBA champion, said that the search for a coach would begin immediately, according to ESPN.

[ESPN]

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