OAKLAND, Calif. — A former Golden State Warriors employee filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against star guard Monta Ellis on Wednesday, alleging Ellis sent her unwanted texts that included a photo of his genitals.
In her lawsuit, which also names the team, Erika Ross Smith alleges Ellis began sending her several dozen explicit messages, sometimes several times a day, starting in November 2010 while she worked for the team’s community relations department.
The messages included lines such as, “I want to be with you,” and “Hey Sexy,” and periodically asked her what she was wearing or doing, according to the lawsuit.
Her attorney, Burt Boltuch, said his client rejected Ellis’ advances and feared that no one would believe her. Boltuch also showed a photo of what he said was Ellis’ genitalia that the guard allegedly sent to Smith’s work-issued cellphone on Dec. 17, 2010, a day after he complained to the team about her job performance.
A call to a spokesman for the Warriors was not returned. Ellis’ agent, Jeffrey Fried, said he was en route to Oakland and didn’t immediately have a comment.
According to the lawsuit, the Warriors changed Smith’s job description and eventually fired her after Ellis’ wife, Juanika Ellis, learned of the texts and complained to team executives in January.
Louisiana Tech’s Dykes signs contract extension
RUSTON, La. — Louisiana Tech football coach Sonny Dykes has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him at the school through the 2017 season.
Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde said Wednesday that the football program’s progress under Dykes’ leadership “has been exemplary.” The proposed extension is pending approval from Tech’s governing board, the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors.
Dykes led Louisiana Tech to a Western Athletic Conference Championship in his second season, as the Bulldogs won seven consecutive games to end the regular season with an 8-4 record.
Tech faces No. 15 TCU in Wednesday night’s Poinsettia Bowl at Snapdragon (Qualcomm) Stadium in San Diego.
Garrett eligible for St. John’s men’s basketball
NEW YORK — Amir Garrett, a member of St. John’s highly regarded recruiting class who was declared a nonqualifier in September, has enrolled at the school and is eligible for Wednesday night’s game against Texas-Pan American.
St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said Garrett completed the necessary coursework at Bridgton (Maine) Academy and achieved initial eligibility requirements as certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
The Red Storm (5-5) used just six players in their last game following the transfer of guard Nurideen Lindsey.
The 6-foot-6 Garrett, a left-handed pitcher with a fastball clocked at 96 mph, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22nd round in June. He signed a contract with a $1 million signing bonus in August and will begin his professional baseball career this summer.
Backed by Liverpool squad, Suarez to appeal ban
LONDON — Luis Suarez’s lawyer announced plans Wednesday to appeal his eight-game suspension for racial insults toward Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, and his Liverpool teammates publicly backed the Uruguay striker.
Alejandro Balbi, who is Suarez’s lawyer and agent, told reporters in the player’s home country that he would appeal.
He said Suarez “is very affected” by the English Football Association’s ruling but is also “calm because of the massive support of the club, the coach, his teammates and his captain.”
Before Wednesday’s match against Wigan, Liverpool’s players and manager Kenny Dalglish appeared wearing white T-shirts featuring Suarez’s picture.
They also released a statement expressing their anger at the FA’s punishment, which included a $62,000 fine.
The FA accepted Evra’s allegation that Suarez directed a racial insult at him during United’s Premier League match at Liverpool on Oct. 15.
Balbi noted that the only evidence taken into account by the FA disciplinary panel was “the word of Evra,” a fact that Liverpool also emphasized Tuesday in defense of the player.
Steelers LB James Harrison returns to practice
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison believes the Cleveland Browns should be disciplined by the NFL for how they handled the aftermath of Harrison’s helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy.
Harrison practiced Wednesday for the first time since being suspended one game for his collision with McCoy on Dec. 8.
Harrison says he understands the hit was illegal but wondered why the Browns let McCoy return to the game so quickly despite the severity of the collision. The 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year says if he was suspended, the Browns should also face penalties from the league.
Harrison adds he doesn’t believe he’ll have to change his playing style to be effective and thinks he’s done a good job playing within the rules over the last year.
Bryant out of preseason finale with wrist injury
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers say Kobe Bryant won’t play in Wednesday night’s preseason finale because of an injury suffered in the team’s first preseason game against the Clippers.
The team says Bryant is being listed as day-to-day. The Lakers say an MRI revealed that Bryant had torn a ligament in his right wrist.
The Lakers face the Clippers again on Wednesday night.
They open the regular season at home against the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day.
14 athletes test positive for doping at Arab Games
DOHA, Qatar — The committee in charge of drug-testing at the Arab Games says 14 athletes — including seven gold medalists — have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The local anti-doping body said Wednesday that seven gold medal winners in bodybuilding failed tests. Four were from host Qatar, two from Egypt and one from Jordan.
Three other bodybuilders, including two bronze medal winners and one silver medal winner, also tested positive.
The committee said the athlete’s will be stripped of their medals.
Also testing positive were a silver medal winning female weightlifter from the United Arab Emirates, an Iraqi basketball player and two judo athletes from Morocco and Egypt.
The committee did not say which substances any of the athletes tested positive for.
A total of 402 doping samples have been collected so far. The games started Dec. 9 and end Thursday.
Benedictine guard dies in Mo. highway crash
ATCHISON, Kan. — Officials at Benedictine College in northeastern Kansas say a member of the men’s basketball team has died in a traffic accident in Missouri.
R.J. Demps was a sophomore guard for the Benedictine Ravens and a resident of Aurora, Colo.
Benedictine spokesman Stephen Johnson told the St. Joseph News-Press that Demps died around 6 a.m. Wednesday when the vehicle he was riding in crashed on U.S. 45 near Weston, Mo. Johnson said another player, Quaran Johnson, of Philadelphia, was also in the vehicle and suffered minor injuries.
The school said Demps and Johnson were heading to Kansas City International Airport to fly home for Christmas.
Ravens coach Ryan Moody describes Demps as “great teammate” who brought energy and a good attitude to the locker room.
From Wire Reports