NCAA Football

OTL Investigates Perception of Top College Athletic Programs and Law Enforcement

ESPN's Outside the Lines conducted a study beginning in the fall of 2014, looking into men's college basketball and football players from 10 high-profile schools who were accused of crimes from 2009 to 2014.

Sunday marked the release of the study, per's Paula Lavigne, which concluded that athletes often avoid prosecution and prison because of their status. Of the 10 schools, Florida and Florida State ranked first and second, respectively, in total athletes who had run-ins with the law.

Eighty Gators players were suspects in over 100 crimes, while the Seminoles had 66 players involved in alleged crimes. Florida had 56 percent of its cases either not result in charges, result in dropped charges or not reach the prosecution phase. Florida State had 70 percent of cases fall by the wayside on such statuses.

Lavigne cited a number of factors that contribute to many accused student-athletes not seeing a day in court. The intimidation factor of prosecuting an athlete from a big-name program is one, which has to do with athletic department personnel becoming involved in cases, along with the resources available to the players to call on renowned attorneys.

With specific regard to the Seminoles, Outside the Lines discovered nine instances in its study where "Florida State coaches or athletic department officials tried to determine when and where city police would interview athletes or attempted other involvement."

A former department staff member highlighted Seminoles associate athletic director Monk Bonasorte as a go-to intermediary.

"He is kind of the fixer for football," said the past employee. "He knows where the skeletons are buried, but he also helps keep those football players, not out of trouble, but out of paying for the trouble they've gotten into."

Recent No. 1 overall NFL draft pick and former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is mentioned in the Outside the Lines story regarding a sexual assault allegation against him. Winston ultimately didn't face prosecution after an investigation.

Benton County (Oregon) District Attorney John Haroldson, whose office deals with Oregon State athletes' cases, weighed in on how the media spotlight impacts similar cases.

"I think it would be naive to suggest that the high level of [publicity] doesn't have a chilling effect on people," said Haroldson. "You certainly see that happen in cases of sexual assault. ... They have to contend with, 'Do I want this to play out in the media?'"

Ex-Florida running back Chris Rainey was noted as being "named a suspect in five crimes in Gainesville" but "faced charges once."

Outside the Lines' investigation also revealed that Florida, along with other programs, has a campus police department with members assigned to specific university officials or the athletic department.

Although it's dangerous to conclude there is an imbalance of justice, the rates that crimes involving college-age males get thrown out before reaching court in Gainesville and Tallahassee are 28 and 50 percent, respectively. Those percentages are considerably lower than the rate for the athletes examined in the study.

The burden of proof certainly seems held to a different standard for men's college basketball and football players—at least at many of the powerhouse programs Outside the Lines reported on. In the study, Michigan State is noted as an outlier, since it offers free legal counsel to all of its students, eliminating the improved access to defense attorneys that athletes have at programs like Florida and Florida State.

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Le Mans 2015: Leaderboard, Live Stream and Finish Time for 24-Hour Race

Three hundred and sixty-four days out of the year, Le Mans, France likely tells time just like the rest of us: watch, clock, or smartphone. But for one 24-hour period each year, they can judge a day's passing by waiting for the distinctive buzz of high-performance race cars to start and—after one of Earth's rotations around its axis—finally stop.

Time is running out in Le Mans 2015, one of the premier automobile endurance racing events in the world. Along with the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, it's one leg in the sports' own Triple Crown. It's also the flagship race of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The race started at 9 a.m. ET (3 p.m. local time) at the Circuit de la Sarthe racetrack on Saturday, June 13 in Le Mans, France. The finishing time is then, naturally, 9 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Each team of the 55 teams at Le Mans 2015 consists of three drivers. There are four different classes of car at Le Mans—two prototype and two GT, per the event website—and teams of drivers and their crews compete for the top spot both within their class and outright against all other competitors. The race is judged on greatest number of laps completed, not total distance covered.

Here's what you need to know to follow along to the finale of this unique spectacle.

Viewing Info

Here's the remaining television broadcast schedule for Le Mans 2015.

A live stream of the race can be found at either Fox Sports Go (TV provider log-in required) or at NISMO TV on Youtube, found below. The NISMO TV link features multiple car cams, a live leaderboard with commentary and even a pit cam. Fox Sports Go offers a similar set of options.



A live leaderboard can be found at, on the right-hand side of the main page.


Race Report

Although Audi cars and teams have dominated the 24-hour Le Mans in recent years, this year has seen a pair of Porsche teams best the competition for much of the long day's journey into night (and, well, back into day).

As can be expected in most years, the top of the leaderboard is dominated by the powerful, top-tier prototype class (LM P1). The No. 19 Porsche 919 Hybrid car driven by Earl Bamber, Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Tandy held the lead as of 6:30 a.m. ET.

The staff—doing yeomen's work liveblogging the entire race—noted at the 20-hour mark that this had been the state of affairs for quite some time:

"For yet another hour, there is little change overall. Porsche #19 has a wide lead on Porsche #17, which is ahead of all of the Audis (Only the #9 among them being close to one of the top 919 Hybrids) and, well adrift, the #18 Porsche."

Porsche is the top car manufacturer at Le Mans, with 16 titles since the race began in 1923.

The top Audi team as of 6:30 a.m. ET was one well acquainted with Le Mans success. Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer—taking turns piloting the No. 9 Audi R18 e-tron quattro—won the 24-hour Le Mans in 2011, 2012 and 2014, but their run of dominance appears to be headed for at least another one-year hiatus barring engine trouble or some other calamity befalling the top two Porsche teams.

Loic Duval and his cohorts driving the No. 8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro have acquitted themselves well in this race despite taking heavy damage in a crash within the first four hours of the race, per

While battling for a spot inside of the top five, Duval made a swift move to avoid cars who were checking up for a slow zone on the run to Indianapolis. Unfortunately, slight contact with the No. 51 Ferrari pitched Duval sideways and into the guardrail.

The hit ripped the front end of the Audi off, but Duval managed to limp the car back to the pits where the team could make repairs...

Oliver Jarvis is on Duval's team, and he is looking to put a disappointing 2014 in Le Mans behind him, when he watched his car crash out very early on at the Circuit de la Sarthe. An experienced driver, he contends there is nothing quite like Le Mans and is well aware of what it takes to win, per the Guardian's Giles Richards:

I love driving at here. Especially at night, two to three in the morning, it’s almost as if you are out there on your own, you really become one with the car, But ultimately whoever manages to stand at the top step will have done an incredible job. They will have to have driven 24 hours on the absolute limit, with no mistakes, because that is what it is going to take to win Le Mans this year.

Outside of the top-of-the-board action, there was a scary moment very early on in the race when the No. 66 Ferrari 458 Italia caught fire during a pit stop, per the Sporting News' Steve Petrella. Triple M Sidney provided a look:

According to Petrella, there were no injuries and the fire was swiftly put out.

With the amount of stress piled on these cars over the course of this race, anything is possible in the late hours. However, the approximately 8 1/2-mile track and the need to make up full laps makes any final charge a daunting proposition.

If the current race pattern holds, an Audi automobile team will not be featured atop the leaderboard for the first time since 2009. The trio Bamber, Hulkenberg and Tandy are in line to win their first 24-hour Le Mans should they drive well and the Porsche hold up to the intense demand.

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