Baylor hires former Wake coach Grobe; AD McCaw resigns

RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer

Scrambling to find a coach to lead its football program through a tumultuous time, Baylor hired a man known for turnarounds and integrity.

Former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe will replace Art Briles, Baylor announced Monday. Grobe was named acting coach, with no mention of how long of a contract he will receive.

A little more than an hour after Grobe’s hiring was made official, Baylor announced that athletic director Ian McCaw had resigned, severing another tie with the sexual-assault scandal that has tarnished the school’s reputation.

Briles was ousted and McCaw placed on probation by Baylor last week after the release of a report commissioned by the Waco, Texas, school that accused university leadership of not responding to or inappropriately handling allegations of sexual assault, some by members of the football team.

Grobe, 64, has been out of coaching for two seasons. He spent 13 years with Wake Forest, leading the team to some of its best seasons. Grobe was 77-82, including an Atlantic Coast Conference title and Orange Bowl appearance in 2006.

The Demon Deacons had two winning seasons in the 12 years before Grobe took over and had gone to five bowl games in program history. Under Grobe, Wake Forest played in five more bowl games.

He resigned after the 2013 season, his fifth straight at Wake Forest that ended with a losing record.

“It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to join the Baylor football program during this important time,” Grobe said in a statement released by the school.

“I am looking forward to getting to know and working with the coaches and players in the coming days, and I have great respect for Baylor as an institution and its long-standing heritage.

“As a coach, winning is important. At the same time, I want to assure the Baylor family that every decision we will make in this football program will be made with Baylor University, her students and our student-athletes in mind.”

Grobe is still an active member of the American Football Coaches Association, which is headquartered in Waco. He served an eight-year term (2006-13) as chair of the organization’s ethics committee. During that time, the AFCA was led by former longtime Baylor coach Grant Teaff.

This is a difficult time of the year to hire a football coach, especially at a university wracked by scandal reaching the president’s office.

There was speculation and unconfirmed reports following the move to dismiss Briles that Baylor would promote defensive coordinator Phil Bennett to interim coach.

Instead, the university — beset with uncertainty after also demoting president Kenneth Starr — decided to go outside the program for at least a temporary solution.

“Jim Grobe is the right leader at this time to move Baylor University and the football program forward,” McCaw said in a statement before announcing he was stepping down.

“Coach Grobe enjoys an impeccable reputation within the intercollegiate athletics community and is a man of great integrity and faith.”

McCaw was hired in 2003 after a scandal within the men’s basketball program at Baylor led to the resignation of then-athletic director Tom Stanton.

In 2003, Baylor basketball coach Dave Bliss stepped down after it was revealed he encouraged players to lie about a Bears player who had been killed by a teammate. Bliss was trying to cover up NCAA violations involving Patrick Dennehy after he was murdered by Carlton Dotson.

McCaw hired Briles and helped raise funds to build a $250 million on-campus football stadium.

“After much reflection and prayer, I have decided that a change in athletics department leadership is in Baylor University’s best interest in order to promote the unity, healing and restoration that must occur in order to move forward,” McCaw said in a statement.

It is still unclear how much of the current staff will remain at Baylor for the upcoming season. Briles’s son, Kendal, is Baylor’s offensive coordinator and Briles’ son-in-law, Jeff Lebby, is running backs coach.

While the report by the Pepper Hamilton law firm did not give details and specific names of other coaches involved in wrongdoing, the fact finding stated staff members spoke directly to potential victims of sexual and violent crimes, discouraged them from reporting allegations and withheld information about allegations against football players from the university.

Art Briles was suspended with the intent to terminate. He was two years into a 10-year contract that paid more than $4 million annually. In eight seasons at Baylor, Briles had turned the Bears into a Big 12 powerhouse after they languished at the bottom of the conference since 1996.

Before taking over at Wake in 2001, Grobe coached Ohio University for six years. In 1995 he took over an Ohio program that had not won more than four games in a single season the previous 12 years.

As challenging as it was to turn around perennial losing teams at Wake Forest and Ohio U., taking over at Baylor right now might be the most difficult job Grobe has even taken.

Rio problems, doping issues, refugee athletes on IOC agenda

STEPHEN WILSON, AP Sports Writer

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — With the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro just over two months away, Olympic leaders have plenty of troubling issues to deal with this week.

The Zika virus, unfinished venues and political chaos in Brazil. A flood of positive drug tests from the past two Summer Games. Fresh accusations of state-sponsored doping in Russia. Vote-buying allegations involving Tokyo’s winning 2020 bid.

All these challenges and more will be on the table when the International Olympic Committee executive board holds a three-day meeting starting Wednesday in Lausanne. It’s the last meeting before the IOC gathers in Rio on the eve of South America’s first Olympics.

The policy-making board will also name the team of Olympic refugee athletes for Rio, consider the proposed five additional sports for the Tokyo Games, review the bidding for the 2024 Olympics and nominate several new IOC members.

“I can’t recall an executive board meeting with so many issues on the agenda,” IOC vice president Craig Reedie told The Associated Press. “There is a whole range of difficult issues facing the Olympic movement, led by Rio.”

A look at what’s keeping the IOC busy:

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RIO: READY OR NOT?

Rio organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman will give his latest update Thursday on preparations for the games, which open on Aug. 5. The buildup has been dogged by political, economic and public health crises.

Last week, a group of 150 scientists suggested the Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the outbreak of Zika, which has been linked to severe birth defects. But the World Health Organization said there was “no public health justification” for scrapping the games, and Olympic officials have repeatedly said they will go ahead.

Some leading athletes have expressed concerns about going to Rio. Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol said Monday he may skip the games because of the Zika threat and that other Spanish athletes were also considering staying away.

Meanwhile, Dilma Rousseff has been suspended as Brazil’s president pending a Senate impeachment trial, with Michel Temer taking over as acting president. A final vote on removing Rousseff could come on Aug. 2 — three days before the opening of the games.

Brazil is dealing with its worst economic recession since the 1930s, leading to the slashing of Olympic budgets.

Some sports venues are behind schedule. UCI President Brian Cookson said he remains “very, very concerned” about delays to the velodrome, and the city said Monday it is changing contractors to take over the construction. ITF President David Haggerty said “an awful lot of work” is needed to get the tennis venue ready for the games.

Water pollution remains a concern for Olympic sailing, rowing and open water swimming events. Crime is a worry: Three Spanish sailors were recently robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight while training in Rio.

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DOPING, DOPING, DOPING

Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, will deliver a report that will include an update on the agency’s independent probe into allegations by Moscow’s former drug-testing lab director, Grigory Rodchenkov, that he operated a state-backed doping scheme for Russian athletes that involved switching tainted urine samples for clean ones during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Russia’s track and field athletes remain suspended from global competition, with the IAAF to decide on June 17 whether to keep or lift the ban for the Rio Games.

The IOC has recorded 55 positive results in retests of Olympic doping samples — 32 from the 2008 Beijing Games and 23 from the 2012 London Games. The tests were designed to catch cheats who might compete in Rio. More positives are expected.

The Russian Olympic Committee said 14 of its athletes from Beijing and eight from London tested positive. The IOC is retesting the “B” samples before announcing sanctions and medal reallocations.

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NEW SPORTS

The IOC board will examine the proposed addition of baseball-softball, surfing, skateboarding, karate and sports climbing for the Tokyo Games. The sports, which would add 18 events and 474 athletes, were recommended for inclusion last year by Tokyo organizers.

While some officials have expressed concern over whether skateboarding has a unified governing body, the board is likely to recommend the five sports for inclusion as a package, which will go to a vote of the full IOC at its session in Rio before the games.

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TROUBLE IN TOKYO

After controversies over the main stadium, venue changes and the Olympic emblem, Japanese organizers are now embroiled in a corruption probe.

Leaders of the Tokyo bid acknowledged making payments, before and after the 2013 vote, totaling about $2 million to a Singapore company linked to Papa Massata Diack, son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack. The younger Diack is the subject of an Interpol wanted notice. Lamine Diack, a former IOC member, has been accused by French prosecutors of taking more than $1 million in bribes to cover up Russian doping cases.

Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda, who headed Tokyo’s bid, said the payments were for legitimate consultancy work. The committee has opened an investigation; the IOC says it remains a civil party to the French probe.

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REFUGEE TEAM

On Friday, Bach will announce some feel-good news — the names of the refugee athletes who will compete as a team under the Olympic flag in Rio. A total of 43 refugees were originally considered for the team, including a teenage female swimmer from Syria, long-distance runners from central and western Africa, and judo and taekwondo competitors from Congo, Iran and Iraq.

While Bach initially said he expected the final list to comprise between five and 10 athletes, officials say the number could reach 12 to 15.

Penguins edge Sharks 3-2 in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Nick Bonino looks the part. Thatchy beard that juts out well below his chinstrap. Nose a bit askew. The rugged forward has etched out a career making a living in tight spaces, putting his body in places on the ice that aren’t for the meek.

Those instincts, honed from years of finding order in the middle of chaos, lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to the early lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

Bonino darted to the net and knocked in Kris Letang’s centering pass with 2:33 remaining, lifting the Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 on Monday night.

Pittsburgh recovered after blowing an early two-goal lead and spoiled San Jose’s long-awaited debut on the league’s biggest stage. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Letang and Carl Hagelin took turns digging the puck out of the corner behind the San Jose net when Letang emerged with it and slipped it to Bonino, who collected himself and flicked it past Martin Jones’ blocker for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

“Tanger put it right on my stick,” Bonino said. “It was a shot that wasn’t my hardest shot by any means but I kind of found a way to flip it over him.”

Bonino has spent much of the last two months as the heady, understated center on Pittsburgh’s hottest line while playing between hard-shooting Phil Kessel and Hagelin. Dubbed “HBK” — a chant that occasionally greets them when they flip over the boards and onto the ice — they have powered the Penguins to their first Cup Final in seven years. Yet it was Bonino, whose hockey IQ is considered his greatest attribute by Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan, who scored the group’s biggest goal of the postseason.

“He does all the things right and found himself in a great position and capitalized on it,” Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz said. “Any time you’re in the slot, get him the puck. It seems like we find a way to win when he scores.”

Rookies Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary also scored for the Penguins, though Rust left in the third period after absorbing a shot to the head from San Jose’s Patrick Marleau. Matt Murray — who like Rust and Sheary spent a significant amount of time this season with the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton — finished with 24 saves.

Jones made 38 stops but couldn’t get over in time on Bonino’s knuckler. The Penguins threw 41 shots at Jones, the most he has faced in a regulation game during the playoffs. Marleau and Tomas Hertl scored during San Jose’s dominant second period, but the Sharks spent a large portion of the third period on their heels and their dynamic power play failed to record a single shot when Ben Lovejoy went to the penalty box with 2:09 to play.

“They played their game for longer stretches than we did and that’s what happens,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said.

The Sharks made it to the first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history by rebuilding themselves on the fly. Two years removed from a brutal collapse from a 3-0 series lead in the first round against Los Angeles, San Jose ended a 9,005 day wait to play in the NHL’s championship round by relying on a tough, aggressive style that squeezes opponents with a relentless forecheck while limiting chances in front of Jones.

Yet veterans Marleau and Joe Thornton — the top two picks in the 1997 draft held in Pittsburgh who had waited nearly two decades to make it to the league’s biggest stage — insisted the Sharks were hardly satisfied after dispatching St. Louis in a cathartic Western Conference finals.

Maybe, but the Sharks looked a step slow — maybe two steps slow — while searching for their footing early on against the Penguins, who rallied from a 3-2 deficit to edge Tampa Bay in seven games to advance to their first Cup Final since 2009.

Rust, who surprisingly made the team out of training camp and became an unlikely playoff star by scoring both of Pittsburgh’s goals in Game 7 against the Lightning, gave the Penguins the lead 12:46 into the first when he slammed home a rebound off a Justin Schultz shot for his sixth of the postseason, a franchise record for playoff goals by a rookie.

Less than a minute later, Sheary, who didn’t become a regular until the middle of January, made it 2-0 when Sidney Crosby whipped a blind backhand cross-ice pass to Sheary’s stick. Sheary’s wrist shot from the right circle zipped by Jones, and the Penguins appeared to be in complete command by overwhelming the Sharks in a way few have in months.

Maybe it was the Penguins. Maybe it was jitters.

“You try to keep everything normal but you’ve been dreaming about it for a while,” San Jose defenseman Brent Burns said. “Now we know what we’re in for and we’ll be better.”

San Jose regained its composure during the first intermission and responded with a big surge. Hertl jammed a power-play shot from just outside the crease between Murray’s legs 3:02 into the second to give the Sharks momentum. Late in the second, Marleau collected a rebound off a Burns one-timer behind the Pittsburgh net and then beat Murray on a wraparound that caromed off Murray’s extended right leg and into the net.

Yet Bonino, who arrived in an offseason trade with Vancouver, helped the Penguins improve to 9-3 at home all-time in the Cup Final by sliding to a familiar spot in search of a familiar result.

NOTES: San Jose went 1 for 2 on the power play. The Penguins were 0 for 3. … The Sharks are 5-1 following a loss during the postseason.

Djokovic drops 1st set before rain causes French Open delay

HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer

PARIS (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s fourth-round match at the French Open finally got started, albeit under a light drizzle, remnants of heavier rain that wiped out an entire day of play and caused a delay of more than an hour to Tuesday’s proceedings.

The top-seeded Djokovic, seeking to win a fourth consecutive major title and complete a career Grand Slam, was facing 14th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain at a nearly empty Court Philippe Chatrier, where the handful of spectators huddled under umbrellas.

And there was time for only one set to be finished — Bautista Agut took it 6-3 in 35 minutes by breaking Djokovic three times — before the drizzle grew heavier, causing play to be suspended.

Djokovic and Bautista Agut originally were supposed to face each other Monday, when there was a complete washout of a day at Roland Garros for the first time in 16 years.

Continuing showers Tuesday pushed back the start of play, but eventually the rain became lighter, the tarps came off and there was action all around the grounds. That included the resumption of a pair of fourth-round women’s matches that were suspended in progress Sunday night because of rain and didn’t get a chance to continue Monday: No. 2 Agienszka Radwanska vs. Tsvetana Pironkova, and No. 6 Simona Halep vs. No. 21 Sam Stosur.

Those matches were also suspended yet again after only about a half-hour of play Tuesday. Radwanska and Pironkova were even at a set apiece when action was halted; Stosur was leading Halep 7-6 (0), 3-2.

With a backlog of suspended or postponed matches, organizers were hoping to be able to make progress Tuesday and avoid the possibility of needing to push back the end of the tournament.

The women’s singles final is supposed to be Saturday, with the men’s singles final on Sunday.

If Djokovic and Bautista Agut were able to complete their match, it was scheduled to be followed in the main stadium by defending champion Serena Williams against 18th-seeded Elina Svitolina in their delayed fourth-round match.

The first men’s quarterfinals were also listed on the schedule, weather permitting: Second-seeded Andy Murray against No. 9 Richard Gasquet, and defending champion Stan Wawrinka against Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Monday was the first day entirely wiped out by wet weather at the French Open since May 30, 2000.

In order to try to make up ground on the schedule, organizers decided to try to begin play Tuesday at 11 a.m. local time — three hours earlier than normal on the tournament’s second Tuesday. That didn’t quite work out, but at least there were players on court, and shots being struck, by a little past noon.

Less than an hour later, though, everything was put on hold.

Curry and record-setting Warriors headed back to NBA Finals

JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry knocked down yet another 3-pointer in the waning moments, pulled his jersey up into his mouth and yelled to the rafters in triumph once more.

A special, record-setting season saved for the defending champs, with a memorable comeback added to the long list of accomplishments.

Splash Brothers Curry and Klay Thompson carried the 73-win Warriors right back to the NBA Finals, as Golden State rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 on Monday night in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.

Now, Curry and Co. are playing for another NBA title — just as they planned since Day 1 of training camp in September.

Bring on LeBron James again.

“You appreciate how tough it is to get back here,” Curry said. “You’ve got to be appreciative of this accomplishment, and look forward to getting four more wins.”

The MVP scored 36 points with seven 3-pointers to finish with an NBA-record 32 in a seven-game series, and also had eight assists. Thompson added 21 points and six 3s, two days after his record 11 3-pointers led a Game 6 comeback that sent the series home to raucous Oracle Arena for one more.

The Warriors became the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win a postseason series. They return to the NBA Finals for a rematch with James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who lost the 2015 title in six games as Golden State captured its first championship in 40 years.

Game 1 is Thursday night in Oakland.

“We survived by the skin of our teeth,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We were able to pull it out, and we’re moving on.”

His signature mouthpiece dangling out and the game ball cradled in his left hand, Curry pumped his right arm as yellow confetti fell through Oracle Arena once the final buzzer sounded.

With the Thunder trailing 90-86, Serge Ibaka fouled Curry on a 3-point try with 1:18 to go and the shot clock running out. Curry made all three free throws, then that 3-pointer to seal it.

“This is who he is. Having a clutch performance in a Game 7, that’s Steph Curry,” Kerr said.

And Golden State’s beloved “Strength In Numbers” catchphrase coined by Coach of the Year Kerr was needed in every way.

“No one ever had any doubt that we could get this done,” Draymond Green said. “People have seen teams down 3-1 before but they ain’t seen many. They’ve definitely never seen a 73-win team down 3-1.”

Andre Iguodala joined the starting lineup for just the second time all season and the 2015 NBA Finals MVP hung tough against Kevin Durant, who scored 27 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Shaun Livingston’s breakaway, one-handed dunk late in the third provided a big lift off the Warriors bench.

Oklahoma City won Game 1 108-102 at deafening Oracle Arena, so Golden State never envisioned this one coming easily. Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds for the Thunder.

“It hurts losing, especially being up 3 games to 1,” Durant said.

It took a quarter and a half for Thompson to warm up after his 41-point performance in a 108-101 win Saturday at Oklahoma City that sent the series back to the East Bay.

He missed his initial seven shots before hitting a 3 6:02 before halftime, energizing the Warriors in their first Game 7 at home in 40 years.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Thompson and Iguodala pulled the Warriors within 54-51 with 7:57 left in the third. They tied it on Curry’s 3 at 7:21 and he followed with another 3 to give his team the lead.

Curry and Thompson each topped the previous record for 3s in a seven-game series, 28 by Dennis Scott and Ray Allen. Curry hit one over 7-foot Steven Adams in the third, and Thompson wound up with 30 3s.

Iguodala replaced Harrison Barnes in the starting lineup and what a move by Kerr, who did the same thing last year in crunch time. Iguodala made a pretty bounce pass through the paint to Green for Golden State’s first basket, and his smothering defense on Durant kept the Thunder star without a shot until his 3 at the 5:45 mark in the first. Durant had just nine points on five shots in the first half.

But Oklahoma City dictated the tempo with snappy passes and the hard, aggressive rebounding that had been such a part of its success this season. The Thunder couldn’t sustain it.

“They won a world championship last year, and they’ve broken an NBA record, and people are already talking about it before the playoffs started, this may be the greatest team to ever lace them up in the history of the NBA,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

The Warriors, who fell behind 35-22, lost their last Game 7 at home: 94-86 to Phoenix in the Western Conference finals on May 16, 1976.

TIP-INS

Thunder: The Thunder’s 12 third-quarter points were the fewest allowed by Golden State in a playoff third quarter during the shot clock era. … Durant took nine shots in the first 33:25. … Oklahoma City led by as many as 13 in the first half. … Donovan celebrated his 51st birthday. … The Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State’s opponent the previous round, are the only teams to beat the Warriors twice this season.

Warriors: The Warriors are 4-4 all-time in Game 7s — 3-1 at home. … Iguodala earned his first since Jan. 2 against Denver. … Golden State wasn’t whistled for its first foul until 2:34 in the first. … The Warriors’ 42 first-half points were their fewest at home this season. … Curry hit a 3 in his 51st straight playoff game.

Prince Charles in Romania to travel to Transylvania

 

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Britain’s Prince Charles has returned to Romania where he has a charity that promotes skills and training in rural Transylvania.

Charles, who has long been enamored of Romania’s rural traditions, arrived in Bucharest on Monday and met with President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos.

He discussed topics he is passionate about with them, including Romania’s cultural heritage, durable rural development and traditional architecture.

Charles will then travel to Transylvania where he has owns two properties, which he visits regularly.

On Wednesday, he will celebrate the first year of the Prince of Wales Foundation Romania, which supports the East European nation’s heritage and rural life, and sustainable development.

Charles first visited Romania in 1998.

NFL’s Cam Newton brings Nickelodeon series to White House

DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has scored big for his new Nickelodeon series that launches Friday.

Newton brought 3-year-old Rosie Smolowitz to the White House to interview Michelle Obama for the cable TV series “All in with Cam Newton.” The NFL star helps kids fulfill some of their dreams.

A White House spokeswoman says the first lady highlighted a program called “Every Kid in a Park.” The program grants fourth-graders and their families free access to national parks and forests, and public lands and waters.

Mrs. Obama, Newton and Rosie also talked about the Charlotte, North Carolina, youngster’s dream to become president, and about staying healthy and active.

The interview was conducted last week in the Rose Garden. Nickelodeon says the episode will air during the summer.

Polish justice minister revives Polanski extradition drive

MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s justice minister on Tuesday revived an effort to have filmmaker Roman Polanski extradited to the U.S., where he is wanted in a nearly 40-year-old case involving sex with a minor.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro’s office said he asked Poland’s Supreme Court to annul a ruling in October by a court in Krakow which found that Polish law forbids Polanski’s extradition. In November, prosecutors said they found no grounds to challenge the decision.

Ziobro took office late last year, after the ruling, as part of a new conservative government. The minister, who is also the country’s chief prosecutor, argues that celebrity status is shielding Oscar-winning director Polanski in Poland, where he grew up and which he often visits.

The Krakow court’s decision was at odds with a Polish-U.S. extradition agreement, Ziobro’s office argued in a statement. It said that, “according to the extradition agreement, the defendant should be handed over to the United States.”

The director pleaded guilty in 1977 to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot in Los Angeles. In a deal with the judge, he served 42 days in prison, but then fled the U.S. fearing the judge would have him imprisoned again for much longer.

The U.S. has been seeking to bring Polanski back and put him before a court.

Last year, the Krakow judge ruling on the case found that Polanski served his punishment in confinement in the U.S., and later for 10 months — partly under house arrest — in Switzerland in 2009-2010 when the U.S. unsuccessfully sought his extradition there.

He argued that U.S. judges and prosecutors in the case violated legal procedures, broke the plea bargain in 1977, denied Polanski the right to proper defense and appeared biased.

Jan Olszewski, Polanski’s lawyer in Krakow, where the filmmaker has an apartment, told The Associated Press he had contacted the director about Ziobro’s decision, which “we had been expecting.”

“The court’s verdict stands and Mr. Polanski is a free man,” he said. “But I cannot exclude that this situation will affect his decisions as to visiting Poland.”

Paris-born Polanski, 83, has Polish and French citizenship. He lives in Paris but often visits Poland, where he is popular and is preparing to make a film.

Polanski’s artistic output is deeply admired in Poland, where he spent his World War II childhood and later went into filmmaking. His mother died at the Auschwitz death camp.

The filmmaker’s movements are restricted by an Interpol warrant in effect in 188 countries, but he has avoided extradition by traveling only between France, Poland and Switzerland, which in 2011 rejected a U.S. request to extradite Polanski. Ziobro’s move could now make Poland a risky destination for him.

Polanski won an Academy Award for best director for his 2002 film “The Pianist,” which he filmed in Warsaw, and was nominated for his 1970s movies “Chinatown” and “Tess.”

Casino tests novel approach to preventing gambling addiction

PHILIP MARCELO, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is set to launch this week a first-in-the-nation system allowing slot players to limit their bets, following months of planning and some pushback from the gambling industry.

The goal is to prevent casual players from going down the destructive path of addiction, said Marlene Warner, executive director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, which is helping administer the new feature. It isn’t necessarily meant to address those with serious gambling problems, she said.

“It’s truly a prevention tool,” Warner said. “We want people to keep gambling in a way that’s healthy and safe for them, so that it doesn’t rise to that problematic level.”

The “Play My Way” system is being piloted at Plainridge Park, the slots parlor and harness racing track in Plainville and the only operating casino in Massachusetts so far. It could go live on the casino’s roughly 1,250 machines as soon as June 1.

If successful, the system may be imposed at two other state-regulated casinos still in development: Wynn’s Boston-area resort and MGM’s Springfield one.

The federally recognized Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which is building a resort casino on sovereign land in Taunton, says it’s also reviewing “Play My Way,” but declined to say last week whether it would commit to implementing anything similar when its First Light casino opens in part in 2017.

Massachusetts casino operators and the Washington-based American Gaming Association initially voiced reservations about the planned system, arguing such bet limiting or “play management” programs have not proven effective in Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and other countries where they’ve been tried.

But American Gaming Association spokesman Christopher Moyer said “productive conversations” with Massachusetts regulators have allayed most of the association’s concerns.

“Any responsible gaming tool should be targeted to assist the small minority of players that may confront irresponsible play without harming the entertainment experience for nearly all players who enjoy our entertainment experience responsibly,” he said. “We’re optimistic this tool will help to achieve this goal.”

Bet limiting systems are distinct from so-called “self-exclusion” policies in place at Plainridge Park and most U.S. casinos that bar enrolled gamblers from betting at casinos outright.

Warner said the Massachusetts system, which is similar to one also in development in the Canadian province of British Columbia, also is not as draconian as those imposed elsewhere.

“Play My Way” is voluntary and is only being offered initially to players signed up with the casino’s reward card program.

Gamblers would never be cut off from betting. By enrolling, they simply receive regular, onscreen notifications as they approach or reach their limit. They also can change their betting ceiling or unenroll at any time.

“It’s just a tool to make that person aware of what’s happening and the decisions they’re making.” Warner said.

Group targets DNC chair with TV ad over payday lending bill

SERGIO BUSTOS, Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — A liberal group is spending $100,000 in television ads in South Florida to call out embattled Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for not cracking down harder on what many call the predatory practices of the payday lending industry.

Allied Progress, in its 30-second ad, uses the congresswoman’s recent appearance on a local Sunday public affairs show to slam her for co-sponsoring a bill that would delay the federal Consumer Financial Protection Board from regulating the business.

Payday lenders have long been a target of criticism by politicians and consumer advocates, who argue the industry charges extremely high interest rates to customers, who are often the poor. The industry has argued it provides a necessary financial service to people in need of emergency funds.

The ad features Wasserman Schultz saying “payday lending is unfortunately… necessary” during an April 10 interview on CBS-4’s “Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede.”

“No, Congresswoman, it’s predatory,” says a voiceover. “Tell Debbie Wasserman Schultz to stop siding with payday lenders.”

“How anyone could describe this racket as ‘necessary’ —unfortunate or not — is beyond me,” Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, told The Associated Press in announcing the six-figure ad buy. The ad begins airing Tuesday for at least a week in the in the Miami TV market.

He also bashes the congresswoman for collecting more than $68,000 in campaign contributions from the payday lending industry, citing figures from the Center for Responsible Politics.

“(Borrowers) find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt while payday lenders rake in piles of cash and then turn around and donate to powerful politicians like Wasserman Schultz,” said Frisch.

Ryan Banfill, Wasserman Schultz’s campaign spokesman, said “the ad, like all the others, intentionally takes her out of context.”

He said the congresswoman said “payday lending is unfortunately a necessary component of how people get access to capital that are working poor” and that increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would make payday loans unnecessary.

“This is a Super PAC masquerading as a consumer group,” he said. “The group apparently has decided they can’t win a debate without resorting to distortions and bullying. That’s unfortunate for the people who just want to responsibly pay their bills but are short on cash.”

He added that Wasserman Schultz “will continue to fight hard to protect consumers as her constituents know she always has.”

The ad buy comes at a time when Wasserman Schultz is facing a serious challenger in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 23rd congressional district seat and has come under fire from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Tim Canova, a university law professor, has raised more than $1.5 million and gotten the endorsement of Sanders in his quest to defeat her. She’s held the seat since 2005. The district is heavily Democratic, so the winner of the Aug. 30 primary is all but assured of winning the general election in November.

The Sanders campaign has accused her of providing more favorable conditions to front-runner Hillary Clinton during the primaries, pointing to the quantity and timing of debates and a dispute over access to party data.

Washington-based Allied Progress has been a vocal critic of her. It previously produced a TV ad and paid for a pair of billboards in the congresswoman’s South Florida district, attacking her position on payday loans. It has also launched an online petition, DebtTrapDebbie.com, calling on her to “stop sabotaging President Obama’s hard work to hold payday lenders accountable.”

Wasserman Schultz is one of 24 co-sponsors of H.R. 4018, a bipartisan bill that would allow states, including Florida, to continue to regulate payday lenders instead of the federal government and delay federal rules for two years. Half the bill’s co-sponsors are from Florida.

In the CBS-4 interview, Wasserman Schultz said the controversy over the bill was “overblown,” adding it only says “let’s push the pause button” to let other states “that don’t have as good protections as we do” catch up to Florida.

Payday loans are often used to cover an unexpected expense or to make ends meet before the next paycheck. But for many borrowers, short-term loans wind up being difficult to pay off, leading to a cycle of debt that can drag on for months.

Such loans drain $4.1 billion in annual fees from consumers in 36 states where the loans are legal, according to report this month by the non-profit Center For Responsible Lending. It found that borrowers pay $458 in fees on a typical $350, two-week loan. Interest rates in Florida for payday loans average 304 percent.