In allegations that sent shock waves through academia, federal prosecutors on Tuesday accused top CEOs, two Hollywood actresses and a legendary fashion designer of taking part in an audacious scheme to get their children into elite universities through fraud, bribes and lies.The scheme, which began in 2011, centered around the owner of a for-profit Newport Beach college admissions company that wealthy parents paid to help their children cheat on college entrance exams and to falsify athletic records of students to enable them to secure admission to elite schools, including UCLA, USC, Stanford, Yale and Georgetown, according to court records.Fifty people, across academia and college sports as well as a cadre of super-wealthy parents, have been charged in what prosecutors say is the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted.,Some parents participated in one aspect of the scheme, while others paid for both, stealing slots from hard-working students with legitimate grades and test scores, authorities said.William Rick Singer, who owns the admissions company called the Edge College Career Network, was charged with money laundering, obstruction of justice, racketeering and conspiracy to defraud the United States.,In at least one instance, a student claimed to have a learning disability to obtain medical documentation required by the College Board and ACT Inc. to grant additional time on the tests, according to court documents.Once the students were given additional time, which generally allowed them to take the test over two days instead of one and in an individual setting, the clients were instructed to change the location of the exam to either a public high school in Houston or a private college preparatory school in West Hollywood that Singer controlled, according to the documents.At those locations, prosecutors allege, Singer bribed test administrators Igor Dvorskiy, of Los Angeles, and Lisa Niki Williams, of Houston, with the parents money to facilitate cheating on the exams.,Singer had a psychologist on his team assign fake learning disabilities to give students an academic advantage, the charges say.Coaches and private admissions counselors allegedly received money for helping to get students admitted as athletes at Yale, Stanford and USC.USC senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel and mens and womens water polo coach Jovan Vavic were alleged to have received bribes totaling more than $1.3 million and $250,000, respectively, to help parents take advantage of the relaxed admissions standards for athletes at USC even though their children were not legitimately being recruited as athletes.,It described spending thousands of dollars on trips for dental students to help needy Cambodians and offering math tutoring to underserved children in Oakland.Prosecutors said the charity was nothing more than a means to launder money to an array of people requiring bribes.Our contributions to major athletic university programs may help to provide placement to students that may not have access under normal channels, the organization stated in tax documents.Federal law enforcement began the investigation, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, in May 2018, based on a tip from a confidential source who was being interviewed as part of a separate investigation, said FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta.Make no mistake: This is not a case where parents were acting in the best interests of their children.

No team in the NBA has lost more games over the past six seasons than the Lakers, but whatever infects basketball operations has graciously spared game operations, which are still the league's best.,The team plays in the most appealing market in the league; their local broadcast deal pays them in excess of $150 million per season; they employ LeBron James; and they have picked second overall in three of the past four drafts.,Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAYRather than assign blame to unfavorable news reports that embarrassed her franchise, Buss could have taken a page from Robert Sarver, the owner of a Suns team with the fifth-most losses over these six seasons.,At some point, the Lakers must recognize that running an NBA team is far more than an exercise in brand management and talent recruitment.,A front office is a managerial project like any other business -- NBA teams make widgets, only they're wins (or, more commonly for the Lakers, losses).

Even though the Thunder narrowly ended their 4-game skid last night @ Portland, they are still 1 loss away from losing 5 of 6 and 6 of 8 games.,Next up for the Hawks was a 6 game Western Conference road trip against average to good teams, all of which would be underdogs to them.,Proposed bet#3: .3 units on LA Lakers ML +200 ~ Potential Profit = .6 units -(Subtracted by the .1 from Denver Bet & the .2 units from Phoenix bet) =+0.3 units

Regardless of which game they loss, my friend Jay would profit between .1 and .6 units as long as they lost one game.,Although I haven't employed such an ambitious strategy, I have always thought about the ways in which Jay would manufacture value by betting against a team multiple times - knowing that if he was wrong on the first game, he would get better value betting against them the next game.,If the true value of the Hawks against OKC, the 6th game of their trip, was an even money proposition, by the time the Hawks won their next 5 games the market would make them significantly more expensive, and the Thunder would obtain more value, around at +130 or better. read more

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on an Arizona Supreme Court ruling on a car rental tax surcharge imposed in metro Phoenix to pay for building a football stadium and other sports and recreational facilities (all times local):

The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld a car rental tax surcharge that's imposed in Maricopa County to pay for building a professional football stadium and other sports and recreational facilities.,Car rental companies challenged the surcharge on the grounds that it violated a section of the Arizona Constitution that requires revenues relating to the operation of vehicles to be spent on public highways.,But the Arizona Court of Appeals reversed the decision last spring, ruling voters who approved the constitutional provision "did not intend to encompass every tax or fee in any way 'relating to' vehicles.",The decision Monday by the Arizona Supreme Court echoes the ruling by the Court of Appeals.,The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to release a decision Monday in a challenge of a car rental tax surcharge imposed in Maricopa County to pay for building a football stadium and other sports and recreational facilities. read more

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The last few years have been lean for New York Mets fans as the team tries to recreate the magic that led to an exciting – if not improbable – run to the National League pennant in 2015.,Being a Mets fan in Los Angeles is not so different from following the club from any other baseball city.,While I would love to have the TV tuned to SNY 24/7 to get my content fix, there is one part of being a fan in Los Angeles that can never be taken for granted – the time change.,There are at least three games at Dodger Stadium each year and every so often the team will head to Anaheim to take on the Los Angeles Angels.,I guess at the end of the day, it may actually be easier to be a Mets fan in Los Angeles than a Dodgers fan. read more

Former Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight is on a mission to make an NFL roster, and he's hoping the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football will help him get there.,Other league venues will be Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field) for the Legends, Legion Field for the Iron, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for the Express, Spectrum Stadium (University of Central Florida) for the Apollos, Rice-Eccles Stadium (University of Utah) for the Stallions, the Alamodome (University Texas-San Antonio) for the Commanders and SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm Stadium) for the Fleet.,The AAF features several well-known coaches, including Steve Spurrier (Orlando), Mike Singletary (Memphis), Dennis Erickson (Salt Lake), Mike Riley (San Antonio) and Mike Martz (San Diego), in addition to Neuheisel.,Despite an impressive showing at the NFL Combine two years ago � where he finished first among quarterbacks in the vertical jump (35.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet, 5 inches) and the 40-yard dash (4.54 seconds) � Knight was not selected in the 2017 NFL Draft.,In addition to local stations, TNT will broadcast two games per season (one regular season and a playoff game) and the NFL Network will air two weekly games.

NORMAN — Single-game tickets for the seven-time defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma softball team go on sale Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. CT.,Reserved seats have already sold out via season ticket holders, but general admission tickets will be available for $10 for adults and $8 for youth (ages 6-18) and senior citizens (55 and older).,Oklahoma has won the past seven Big 12 regular season titles, finishing with a perfect 18-0 record in 2018.,OU returns two First-Team All-Americans in senior infielder Sydney Romero and sophomore utility player Jocelyn Alo.,In addition to Romero and Alo, returning All-Region honorees include seniors Shay Knighten and Caleigh Clifton and junior Nicole Mendes.

On Aug. 20, 2005, a crowd of A-listers — including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Jessica Alba — watched as Lauren Sanchez, an “Extra” correspondent, sashayed down the aisle to tie the knot with their Hollywood mega-agent Patrick Whitesell.,Finally caught out, Sanchez and Bezos are in the relationship for keeps, said the source familiar with the affair.,Bezos made a play for Sanchez at a 2016 holiday party that he threw with Matt Damon to celebrate “Manchester by the Sea,” said the source familiar with the affair.,Patrick Whitesell, Lauren Sanchez and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, 2016.,In November 2018, Bezos and Sanchez told their spouses about their affair and were seen “making out like teenagers” at Hollywood power spot Felix in Venice, Calif., Page Six reported.

The player nicknamed Joker finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 21st career triple-double to help the Western Conference-leading Nuggets extend their home winning streak to 11 by cruising past the Los Angeles Clippers 121-100 on Thursday night.,Jokic did a little bit of everything, including the pass of the night when he lofted a full-length strike over a defender to Jamal Murray for a dunk in the third quarter.,This capped off the night: Jokic and Miller exchanging jerseys.,These days, the same can be said of Jokic, who was coming off a game in Miami on Tuesday in which he had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.,NATIONAL TREASURES

Jokic, who's from Serbia, currently sits in seventh place among Western Conference frontcourt players in the All-Star voting by fans. read more

Andrew Wiggins scored 25 of his 28 points in the first half, helping the Minnesota Timberwolves take charge from the opening tipoff and breeze by the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers for a 108-86 victory on Sunday, the last game for coach Tom Thibodeau.,RAPTORS 121, PACERS 105

TORONTO (AP) — Norman Powell scored a season-high 23 points, Pascal Siakam had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Toronto snapped Indiana's six-game winning streak.,NETS 117, BULLS 100 read more