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Kent State apologizes for stopping women’s field hockey game for fireworks

Would Kent State have stopped this Olympic women’s field hockey match for fireworks?
Would Kent State have stopped this Olympic women’s field hockey match for fireworks?
(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

Temple and Maine were scoreless and heading into double overtime of a women’s field hockey game on Saturday when Kent State officials informed the coaches the game had to end. Why? Kent State was having its football season opener and the field hockey area, which was near Kent State’s football stadium, needed to be cleared for safety reasons. You see, Kent State would soon be shooting off some pregame fireworks for their football home opener. The game was starting at 1 p.m., so these were daytime fireworks. Which sort of defeats the purpose of fireworks.

The women’s match was stopped, and it was deemed a scrimmage with no official result.

“I think it’s just where we’re at with female sports,” Temple coach Susan Ciufo told ESPN. “As much as we have come a long way, there’s still a long way to go. Saturday is the perfect example.”

The National Field Hockey Coaches Assn. also reacted with a strongly worded letter.

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“While we understand that the fireworks were deemed to be an important part of Kent State University’s Family Weekend festivities which featured the home football contest,” NFHCA president Andy Whitcomb and executive director Jenn Goodrich wrote in a prepared statement, “we cannot understand why the university would seemingly prioritize a daytime fireworks display over the completion of a Division I Women’s Field Hockey contest. The optics and the messaging to every field hockey program and to every field hockey player are that while they matter, they don’t matter more than pregame football festivities.”

On Monday, Kent State apologized.

“On behalf of the Kent State University Athletic Department, I would like to apologize to the University of Maine and Temple University for the decisions made surrounding the Field Hockey contest this weekend,” athletic director Joel Nielsen wrote in a statement. “In hindsight, a different decision should have been made to ultimately ensure the game reached its conclusion. We hold ourselves to a very high standard, and in this situation, we failed.”

Him again?

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spoke for us all when he responded to a question about Antonio Brown on Sunday night.

After a 33-3 loss to the New England Patriots, Roethlisberger was asked for his thoughts on his former teammate joining the organization that just embarrassed the Steelers on national TV.

“Whatever,” Roethlisberger said.

Steelers linebacker Ramon Foster had a similar (if slightly lengthier) response to a similar question regarding Brown.

“Please don’t ever ask me about him again,” Foster said. “I ask that respectfully.”

Amen, guys. Amen.

Remembering two legends

Former Times sports editor Bill Dwyre shared the following remembrance with Morning Briefing:

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Arnold Palmer would have been 90 on Tuesday. He died three years go. He was beloved, idolized and even fictionalized. The latter came at the hands of an equally beloved and idolized sports columnist, The Times’ late, great and Pulitzer Prize-winning Jim Murray.

It was Jan. 6, 1961, the opening round of the Los Angeles Open Golf Tournament at Rancho Park. Palmer, playing the par-five ninth hole (now the 18th), made a 12. Walking nearby while covering the event was Murray. After one of his errant shots, Palmer saw Murray and, always feeling like The Times sportswriter sort of favored Jack Nicklaus over him, said to Murray, “How would your buddy Nicklaus have gotten himself out of this mess?” To which Murray replied, “Nicklaus would never have gotten himself into this mess.”

That gave both a good laugh.

After the round, Palmer was asked the obvious question by the media: “What did you do to get that 12?”

Palmer played it straight, recounting it shot by shot, which included two balls he hit onto the driving range and two more onto Patricia Ave., plus a putt that lipped out.

Murray later told friends jokingly that he had decided the Palmer quote needed editing for better reader impact. So, he wrote: “Arnold Palmer was asked how he made a 12 on No. 9 and he replied, ‘I missed a short putt for 11.’ ”

Your favorite sports moment

What is your favorite L.A. sports moment? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com and I might run it in a future Morning Briefing. And, yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too.

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Today’s moment comes from Steven Sandoval of Whitter:

“In 1970, our Little League team was allowed to go in the Dodger dugout, in our uniforms, before the game. I was 11 years old and I remember standing in the dugout, watching Maury Wills warming up right in front of us and being amazed how hard they all threw. Andy Kosco put his hand on my shoulder and asked me who my favorite player was. I told him Wes Parker, since I also played first base. Kosco walks me over to the top step and points. I was frozen, there was Wes Parker being interviewed by Vin Scully for the Dodgers pregame radio show. Scully made eye contact with me and winked, so I look behind me thinking that wink was for someone else. Vin and Wes laugh a little but continue on never breaking stride. Then Kosco brings me over to Parker. He and I made small talk, but I did ask if I could try on his glove. He said “Yes, try it on.” It was so heavy! I got autographs from several Dodgers, including Walter Alston, Steve Garvey, Wes and Wills!

“Problem was my friends could not make out the autographs and never believed me, but, hey, Vin Scully winked at me that day and nobody else! A great day I’ll never forget!”


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