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OP: MLS commissioner is the only thing that “isn’t helpful” in Crew lawsuit

jimmy lentz

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Cobra Don Strikes Again

In the glow of announcing FC Cincinnati as the latest expansion club into Major League Soccer (MLS), the league’s commissioner Don Garber recently remarked that the Art Modell-inspired lawsuit by Ohio Attorney Mike DeWine against Precourt Sports Ventures and MLS “isn’t helpful.”

Actually, what isn’t helpful is MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Those paying attention to the relocation situation concerning Columbus Crew SC are well aware of the snakes known as Precourt Sports Ventures. What is becoming clearer by the day is the king cobra known as Don Garber.

If Mr. Garber wants to help the Columbus Crew and its dedicated fans, then he would confront Mr. Precourt and explain to the trust-fund punk that he bought the Columbus Crew, not the Austin Crew.

Furthermore, the commissioner would demand Mr. Precourt conduct himself in the most transparent, cooperative fashion to all parties involved. Mr. Garber would then elaborate with ironclad force that if Mr. Precourt is hell bent on abandoning his team in Columbus to own an MLS team in Austin, Texas, then he needs to sell his existing club in Columbus to local ownership.

The next step would be for Mr. Precourt to go through the extensive process with the pricey entry fee to own a new MLS club in a different city.

That would be the logical reality. Sadly, that’s all fantasy.

“…As much as leagues and commissioners don’t like moving clubs, you have to be viable,” Don Garber said.

Given the infamous, manipulated “business metrics,” untruths, lack of sincere local investment into fan outreach and appreciation, marketing, parking, the stadium—including basic upkeep—and so forth leads to a conclusion that the relocation and viability argument by Mr. Garber to be yet another lie. The Austin clause comes to mind. The league and Mr. Precourt have not done all they can to make the Crew successful in Columbus.

Don Garber’s MLS has been spitting metaphorical venom at Columbus for years with help from Anthony Precourt.

But they’ve never faced an opponent like America’s hardest working fans.

And why does it feel like golfer Jason Dufner wearing a “Save the Crew” hat this week at Muirfield (Drinks are on us, Mr. Dufner) is doing more than the MLS commissioner to keep the Crew in Columbus?

That reality isn’t helpful.

#SaveTheCrew

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Columbus’s John Tortorella Coach of the Year finalist

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Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella / photo by Lori Schmidt

The NHL has announced that Columbus Blue Jackets head man John Tortorella is a finalist for the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award. If he beats out Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins and Alain Vigneault of the Philadelphia Flyers, it will be the third time Tortorella has taken home the honor. 

He’s been a finalist for the award four times.

Not many seasons have been like this one, though. 

Before COVID-19 interrupted the Blue Jackets season, Columbus went 33-22-15 despite losing 419 man games to injury. 

Among those missing significant time for the Blue Jackets: last year’s leading goal scorer (Cam Atkinson), the team’s All-Star defenseman (Seth Jones), and All-Star goaltender (Joonas Korpisalo). 

Even as players fell to injury, the team rose to ninth place in the Eastern Conference, which qualified them for the modified postseason, which is scheduled for next month.

Columbus will face Toronto in Toronto for a best-of-five Stanley Cup Playoff qualifying round, the dates for the first games of which are set.

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Prior to that, Columbus will face Boston July 30 at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game. 

It won’t be long after that, Tortorella will learn if he is the NHL’s coach of the year. The winners of this year’s NHL honors will be revealed during the Conference Finals.

Hear captain Nick Foligno's thoughts on the Stanley Cup Playoffs below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6OyEsL0h68
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Ohio high school fall sports are on…for now

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Interim Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Bob Goldring today announced that, as of now, fall sports are going ahead as scheduled. The decision as to whether to cancel play over COVID-19 concerns will be left up to individual schools. 

Goldring added that this could easily change. He talked about the fact that the governor might make a ruling that affects the ability of athletes, particularly those in contact sports, to play. 

There has been some discussion of pushing back the start date of sports in which the most contact occurs, particularly after This Week Sports reported an unknown number of local high school football coaches had suggested moving football to the spring, while having baseball staged in the fall.

Goldring did admit they have been looking at options and said they would be naive not to do so, especially because 80 percent of their revenue comes from ticket sales. Without games being played, tough decisions will certainly have to be made. 

 “The fiscal part of things is very much on my radar,” Goldring said. 

As to whether fans would actually be able to buy tickets and attend games if they do go ahead? Goldring said that, too, is ultimately a local matter. 

OHSAA may cut the minimum number of games a football team is required to play to qualify for the playoffs to account for the possibility of only some games being canceled. 

The board of directors is also still pondering the question of whether athletes can take the field if they are relying on virtual learning and aren’t allowed into the classroom. 

Right now, though, they are proceeding as if the fall season will kick off Aug. 1.

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Buckeyes back to work

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Ohio State athletics is permitting athletes from seven different sports to resume voluntary workouts after a pause due to an outbreak of COVID-19. 

Ohio State defensive back Shaun Wade heads into a workout

The university said that all athletes were tested Monday before determining that the resumption was safe. 

“These young people come from across the nation and the world to be part of our Ohio State family, and we do everything we can to create a safe, healthy environment so that they have a chance to study and compete,” said Athletics Director Gene Smith. “Our medical team will continue to evaluate, and we will share decisions as we move forward.”

The Buckeyes have refused to say how many athletes have tested positive, but longtime beat reporter Tim May had said it was fewer than ten. 

OSU teams with athletes currently working out on campus are football, men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

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