NBC’s Albert gets booked, pleads innocent to sex charges

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Marv Albert was booked, fingerprinted and photographed on Tuesday after appearing in court, where his lawyer made of point of telling a judge that the sportscaster will plead innocent to sex charges.
Judge Benjamin Kendrick set a Sept. 22 trial date for Albert, who was indicted last week on charges of biting a woman repeatedly and forcing her to perform oral sex in his hotel room in February. Albert arranged his surrender through his lawyer.
The judge released Albert on his own recognizance.
NBC’s top basketball announcer said nothing in court or as he, fiancee Heather Faulkiner and his four sons pushed past throngs of reporters and cameras outside the Arlington County Courthouse.
Albert did not formally enter a plea. The judge said he prefers to adhere to the local custom of accepting pleas immediately before trial.
Defense attorney Gerard Treanor, however, asked the judge during the five-minute hearing to acknowledge that his client intends to plead innocent to the assault and forcible sodomy charges.
Neither Treanor nor prosecutor Richard Trodden would elaborate on the evidence or say whether tests of Albert’s teeth will be performed.
Albert, 53, faces five years to life in prison if convicted.
Albert’s mugshots, which will be released on Wednesday, show the sportscaster wearing his toupee, said Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Raffo.
Albert’s accuser — a 41-year-old woman who said she has been a friend of his for 10 years — faces criminal charges herself. She is accused of threatening to kill a former boyfriend in March. A female co-worker at the Washington Hilton hotel also filed a discrimination complaint accusing the woman of harassing her.
Homefield advantage for Bulldogs in CWS regional
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State had a definite homefield advantage at the NCAA Mideast Regional. And because of it, the Bulldogs are back in the College World Series.
State got a gutsy pitching performance from ace Eric DuBose and Barry Patton had a two-run single in the eighth inning that provided the winning runs in a 4-3 victory over Washington in Monday’s title game.
But give the partisan crowd its due credit for getting the Bulldogs through four victories in about 43 hours.
“They wouldn’t let us lose,” said State outfielder Rusty Thoms. “It was so hot and so humid, and we were all so tired. But they kept lifting us up. You feel like you can do anything when you’ve got a crowd behind you like that.”
A NCAA regional single-game record crowd of 10,688 cheered on the Bulldogs (46-19) during the title game at Dudy Noble Field.
State fell into the losers bracket after losing 5-4 to Washington on Friday night. But the Bulldogs won three games between 7:40 p.m. Saturday and 7:24 p.m. Sunday to extend the tournament another day with a chance to earn its sixth CWS berth, and first since 1990.
Of the 83 NCAA regional games played at eight sites over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the top three single-game crowds were at Starkville. And all six of the Mideast Regional games involving Mississippi State ranked in the top 10.
The total attendance of 59,378 for the 11-game regional set an NCAA record, breaking the 1989 record of 56,906 set at Mississippi State, and at least doubling the attendance at six of the eight other regionals this year.
Counting only Mississippi State games, the attendance was 47,407, which alone outdrew every other regional but Baton Rouge, La., where host Louisiana State University earned its second straight World Series appearance.
“We’re building a program and a tradition, hopefully, in Seattle and a new ballpark,” said Washington coach Ken Knutson. “This is sort of like looking at a crystal ball, hopefully. We’d love someday to have a chance to host a regional and have this kind of community support.
The Bulldogs open College World Series play against Alabama, one of the other three Southeastern Conference Western Division teams in the CWS. Because the Bulldogs don’t play until Saturday night, DuBose will likely get the starting nod.
“I’ve got plenty of juice left for Omaha,” said DuBose, the junior left-hander expected to be a top pick in next week’s amateur draft.
Miami looks for second chance
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Shortstop Alex Cora crumpled to the ground. Second baseman Rudy Gomez stood stunned.
Warren Morris’ drive had just cleared the right-field fence for a two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth, giving LSU a 9-8 victory over Miami and seizing the 1996 College World Series championship from the Hurricanes.
“There’s no question it’s the most traumatic thing I’ve ever gone through as a coach,” Hurricanes coach Jim Morris said. “It took a little time to get over that.”
It also pushed Morris and the handful of returning Hurricanes to return to Omaha with another chance in this year’s series, which begins Friday. Miami plays UCLA on Saturday in the third game of the series.
“I guess it is a motivating thing, and I think it is in the back of everybody’s mind,” Morris said.
It was another dramatic homer that gave the Hurricanes their shot to return to Omaha a 16th time. Jason Michaels hit a two-out, ninth-inning grand slam on Sunday to beat Arizona State 7-6. It forced a second Atlantic Regional final that Miami also won 6-5.
“It’s kind of reverse of what happened to us up in Omaha,” Morris said. “I really feel for (Arizona State coach) Pat Murphy and his club because I know how much that hurts when something like that happens. Arizona State’s got a great club, and we were fortunate enough to get out of the regional.”
Three of the Hurricane players who played in last year’s shocker are back this year, including relief ace Robbie Morrison, who threw that fateful pitch to LSU’s Morris.
Also returning is Pat Burrell, the nation’s leading hitter last year, who leads the club with a .425 average and 21 homers.
“We need to get our bats going,” the Miami coach said. “We’ve won with a combination of everything, but our bullpen has been the stable part of our game here at the regional.”
The Hurricanes also have something else going for them — incentive. They want to forget, as quickly as possible, that home run sailing over the right-field fence.