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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM   |   Comments

Borger to be Super Bowl referee

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Jerome Boger, working his first Super Bowl, will be the referee for Sunday's NFL championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

The NFL on Wednesday announced its lineup of game officials for Super Bowl XLVII, to be played Sunday in New Orleans. The crew has a collective 77 years of NFL experience, including 50 playoff assignments.

Boger has been an NFL official for nine seasons. He entered the league as a line judge in 2004 and was made a referee two years later.

Also on Sunday's crew are umpire Darrell Jenkins, head linesman Steve Stelljes, line judge Byron Boston, field judge Craig Wrolstad, side judge Joe Larrew and back judge Dino Paganelli. Bill Spyksma is to be the replay official with Terry Sullivan designed the game's replay assistant.

The Super Bowl officiating crew is chosen from the highest-rated officials, as determined by the league's officiating evaluation system, at each position. Super Bowl officials must have five years' NFL experience and previous playoff assignments.


College football recruits visit strip club

MIAMI, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Florida International University football coach Ron Turner's problems include a visit by potential recruits to a strip club, escorted by student-athlete hosts.

The incoming coach at the Miami college ordered the Twitter accounts of players Demarkus Perkins and Isame Faciane shut down after an entry by Perkins Sunday morning read, "The recruit was 2funny at strip club tonight."

FIU's official rules regarding visiting recruits, and their hosts, prohibit hosts from entertaining "the prospective student-athlete by attending a gentlemen's club or providing an opportunity for a sexual encounter."

The names of the recruits in the incident were not reported. Perkins and Faciane are still in school and still on the team, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday, but Turner refused to discuss any further disciplinary action.

"Moving forward, I'll be able to do a better job of picking hosts," Turner said. "Obviously, a couple didn't do the right job. That's not something that's acceptable."


Alleged hoaxer says he loves Te'o

NEW YORK, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The alleged mastermind behind the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, said in an ABC interview he was in love with the Notre Dame standout.

Dr. Phil McGraw said he and Tuiasosopo watched Te'o's interview Jan. 24 with ABC News' Katie Couric on Jan. 24 and then sat down for their own interview. ABC said the interview will be broadcast Thursday and Friday.

"Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love," Dr. Phil McGraw told NBC's "Today." "I asked him straight up, 'Was this a romantic relationship with you?' And he says yes. I said, 'Are you then therefore gay?' And he said, 'When you put it that way, yes.' And then he caught himself and said, 'I am confused.'"


Safety questioned after X Games accidents

ASPEN, Colo., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Caleb Moore's snowmobile crash and injuries at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., have left some participants questioning the safety of their sports.

The annual winter competition, this year at Aspen's Buttermilk ski area, has had a somber feel since Thursday's accident in which Moore, 25, crashed his snowmobile in freestyle competition, The Denver Post reported Wednesday.

Sunday it was announced his condition worsened as a cardiac injury led to a brain complication. He remained in critical condition in a Grand Junction, Colo., hospital, the newspaper said.

A New Zealand skier, Rose Battersby, 19, sustained a fractured back while practicing Sunday.

"When is enough enough?" asked Paul Thacker, 36, of Anchorage, Alaska, back at the X Games to compete in adaptive snowmobile racing after a 2010 accident left him a paraplegic. "It's kind of like you tell me I can't do something and I'll show you how I can. It's how we are wired."

Thacker formerly held the world record for jumping his snowmobile 301 feet.

Assessing and mitigating risk is a big part of the X Games, the newspaper noted, as athletes raise the bar with gravity-defying artistry once thought impossible.

"These are inherent risks in the sport, and I wouldn't do it if I didn't believe in myself," said Canadian medal-winner Kaya Turski. "Still, it is a fine line, and I've crossed that line a few times."

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