Articles

SPORTS: NCAA’s no-tolerance gambling stance tested

My first experience with sports gambling came as a youngster. My father would come home with “parlay cards.” They were always imprinted with the line, in bold type, For Amusement Purposes Only. And so, for a long time, I thought my pop was just having a good time as he scanned the teams and numbers, then circled some of those numbers on the bottom tear-off portion. Later, I discovered there was more than amusement involved because, on occasion, he’d say…

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GERALD BEPKO Commentary: Chicago World’s Fair is model for Indiana

Cities seem to progress in stages with moments of decline, growth, exceptional energy, and, at times, a sense of destiny. For many years, Indianapolis has been a city on the move, a little like Chicago in 1893 when it hosted a World’s Fair. Chicago sought to shed its frontiertown image and establish itself as a city of global consequence. It beat out New York, St. Louis and Washington, D.C., for the right to host the fair. In hosting it, Chicago…

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Convention, Colts issues in play: With gambling plan off table, stadium funding gets elusive

Whether it includes taxes on players’ salaries, tickets and suite rentals remains to be seen. But early deliberations won’t include revenue from gambling, according to Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, who chairs the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. “There’s not going to be any gambling included in the bill,” Kenley said. “It’s not going to be funded through slot machines or pull tabs.” Sen. President Pro Tem Robert Garton, R-Columbus, also said he’d oppose any measure including slot machines or…

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Buckner relishes role as executive: IU great recalls lessons from Knight, Bird

Quinn Buckner has always sought out strong mentors, but he didn’t have to search for his most solid role models. From Bob Knight to Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh, Buckner has surrounded himself with some of basketball’s best minds. But he credits his parents with instilling in him the leadership skills and determination that have carried him through good times and bad. “Coach Knight was a great mentor to me at an early age,” said Buckner, who played for Knight’s…

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Convention, Colts issues in play: Hospitality: Hospitality officials say delays may scare off potential clients

Hospitality officials say delays may scare off potential clients Patience is one thing. Imprudence is quite another. The Indiana Convention Center’s largest customers are keeping a keen eye trained on Indianapolis these days, hoping for a sign that state lawmakers will find a way to fund a $275 million expansion that would give them room to grow. But the lack of progress more than halfway into the legislative session has some reevaluating their options. “I’m very disappointed at how this is…

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SUSAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Keep Statehouse free of ‘March Madness’

Commentary Keep Statehouse free of ‘March Madness’ “March Madness” is upon us. Downtown will play host to 37 basketball games in 37 days. Visitors from all over the state and the nation will flock to our city and be dazzled by the ambiance and excitement we have refined over many years of hosting major events. Even the most profoundly addicted hoops fans should get their cravings satisfied. As we enjoy the month’s activities, we must be mindful not to take…

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Stadium would help more than Colts:

Like many, I remember the Indianapolis of the early ’70s. There was little reason to come downtown unless you worked there. It offered nothing after 4. It took the vision of city and state leaders to build Market Square Arena. The arena, along with the expansion of a small convention center, brought a faint heartbeat of social life and a couple decent restaurants downtown. A group of private, civic and elected officials followed Market Square Arena with the vision to…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: At half-time in the Statehouse, it’s politics 1, people 0

This column is typically devoted to the intersection of politics, government and business (with an occasional tortured sports analogy tossed in). We don’t usually address the higher order of the universe, but after last week, we find that we must delve into the field of metaphysics to provide you with some perspective on legislative events. March 1 marked the halfway point in the 2005 session of the Indiana General Assembly. But with more than 130 bills dying for lack of…

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GIZMOS: High-tech watch keeps information at your fingertips

The idea of a portable device to indicate the time of day is nothing new in the world of technology. Watches of various forms have been around for years. However, it’s only been in the last 30 years or so that modern technology has changed the face-literally-of telling time. Since the days of the original Pulsar LED digital watches (think red calculator digits) in the early 1970s, watch manufacturers have tried to appeal to technology’s early adopters by adding functionality…

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EYE ON THE PIE: Do Indiana papers make the grade?

I’m always trying to learn more about Indiana. I suspect investors within and outside our state are also interested in what is happening in our many cities and towns. Yet no single newspaper does a good job of covering the news of the state. Nor can one hope to read all 47 daily newspapers published in Indiana. Then, along comes the Internet and the posting by local newspapers of their records of Hoosier activity. Here, at last, is our chance…

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SPORTS: Tournament committee ready to pick and defend

He describes the experience as gutwrenching, intense, agonizing and exhausting. But also, some kind of fun. “It’s like going off to basketball junkies camp for a week,” said Jon LeCrone, commissioner of the Indianapolis-based Horizon League. “Camp” convenes this Wednesday, when LeCrone joins nine other members of the NCAA’s Division I men’s basketball committee to select, seed and bracket the 65 invitees to the tournament, aka the Big Dance. To be sure, it’s not Camp Granada, with rustic cabins, bunk…

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TV weather war becoming a race for arms: Local TV news ratings, advertising dollars at stake VIPIR attack

A storm is brewing. But the weather-related tempest has as much to do with television viewer ratings and advertising dollars as it does with tornadoes and hailstorms. With an array of new forecasting technology hitting the market, Indianapolis’ four local TV news operations are arming for a weather war that would make Dorothy and Toto run for the nearest Doppler radar. “The weather is an enormous driver in local TV news ratings,” said Bill Perkins, president of locally based Perkins…

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Clarian’s capabilities keep Combine here: Medical services lure NFL officials, owners back to Indy

When Mayor Bart Peterson announced in December plans to build a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts, he mentioned as a side note the $600 million facility would help retain the National Football League Scouting Combine. The mayor’s pronouncement is no side note to Clarian Health Partners, the hospital system that handles all the athlete medical testing for the four-day Combine, which runs this year through March 1. “We were told by Clarian officials this event adds $1 million to…

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CLOUD OF CONTROVERSY: Suburbs might follow city’s lead Backers: Tough Indy ban would sway others

The City-County Council’s handling of a proposed smoking ban has implications well beyond Indianapolis, to neighbors poised to adopt their own laws but watching the outcome in the state’s most populous city. If Indianapolis doesn’t enact a smoking ban, or adopts one that’s politically unpalatable to neighboring cities and counties, those communities might adopt a confusing variety of laws, observers on both sides of the debate say. They say a lack of uniformity could even spawn a migration of bar…

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Radio Slayer?: The 3.6-ounce iPod could become a 500-pound gorilla

The 3.6-ounce iPod could become a 500-pound gorilla Radio’s death knell has tolled before. In the 1950s, television was supposed to kill radio. And in the last 30 years, there have been a cavalcade of challengers from cassette tapes and Walkmans to compact discs and portable disc players. Even though a record $20 billion was spent nationally in radio advertising in 2004, a new predator on the landscape has the potential to take a serious bite out of the industry’s lifeblood….

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SPORTS:

After spending much of his adult life with a stopwatch, Duke Babb knows something about time. In this case, it’s his. Having just turned 70, he says it is time to get off this “great ride” through football he’s been on the past 50 years. Time to let someone else tend to this behemoth he’s created, which is popularly known as the NFL scouting combine. Time to still have the energy to “kick the dog a little bit.” That’s figurative…

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SPORTS: Trainer is MVP so far, but Pacers can recover

If ever there were a team in need of a break-lucky, all-star, rest or otherwise-that team would be the Indiana Pacers. At risk of stating the obvious, in all the years I’ve followed that franchise or other sports organizations in general, I cannot recall a more star-crossed season. It began with preseason injuries, spiked the moment that beer cup landed on Ron Artest’s noggin, and since has been a steady drip-drip-drip of injuries and illnesses sprinkled on top of the…

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George’s role as team owner draws criticism: Some say purchase is conflict of interest

Nine years of hunting for sponsors, recruiting and trying to retain drivers, and managing costs that had nearly doubled in recent years had taken its toll. The founder of locally based Kelley Racing shuttered his Indy Racing League team at the close of last season. And with the close of Kelley Racing, a new era for the Indy Racing League opened. Founded in 1996 as an alternative to CART, the open-wheel racing series stepped into what IRL founder Tony George…

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Basketball-filled month awaits downtown planners: Indianapolis set to host 35 big games in 36 days

Next month will bring new meaning to “March Madness” in Indianapolis. In a 36-day span starting March 1 and culminating April 5 with the crowning of the women’s NCAA basketball champion, the city will play host to 35 high-profile games in 36 days. The Hoosier state’s love affair with the sport has endured for decades. But next month will truly be “Hoops Hysteria” here. While the city has welcomed basketball tournaments before, it never has offered so many games at…

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SPORTS: How do I love sports? Let me list the ways

Lance Armstrong beating cancer, the Tour de France field and the French press. The Red Sox, down 0-3, over the Yankees. Never say never. “And down the stretch they come!” at the Kentucky Derby. “Gentlemen, start your engines,” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The alpenglow on the San Gabriels above the Rose Bowl late in the third quarter. A three-pointer to win at the buzzer … unless it’s against the Pacers. Hinkle Fieldhouse, anytime. Amen Corner on an April Sunday…

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