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New York Couple Faked Son’s Cancer, Solicited $3K In Donations, Syracuse Visit

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A Central New York couple reportedly fabricated a story about their son having cancer, according to the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office.

The couple, Martin and Jolene LaFrance, solicited about $3,000 in fund for their son’s recover and a visit with the Syracuse University football team.

According to a report from Syracuse.com, the couple faked the story of their son, CJ LaFrance, having Hodgkin lymphoma, operating a GoFundMe page that received $3,334 in donations.

In August 2017, the family was invited to attend a Syracuse football practice and a then 9-year old CJ met with the student-athletes and even played catch with Syracuse wide receiver Ervin Philips and linebacker Kielan Whitner.

Roy Wittke, Syracuse’s director of player personnel, also bonded with CJ.

CJ’s uncle also played a role in the fabrication saying that CJ’s cancer had been upgraded to Stage 3 and that he had undergone both radiation and surgery, after his visit to Syracuse.

An investigation by the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office “conclusively” learned that the boy had never been diagnosed with cancer. Martin and Jolene LaFrance were charged with scheme to defraud and endangering the welfare of a child, and will appear in court on May 16 to be arraigned.

“The LaFrance Family has violated GoFundMe’s terms of service, and all donors will receive a refund,” GoFundMe said in a statement. “Additionally, they have been banned from our platform. It’s important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back. Additionally, we are working with law enforcement on their investigation.”

 

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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NCAA Football

Heisman Trophy Finalists Include Joe Burrow, Justin fields, Jalen Hurts, Chase Young

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joe burrow

The finalists for the Heisman Trophy have been unveiled and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young are headed to New York this weekend for the 85th edition of the award for the most outstanding college football player.

The winner will be announced on Saturday night during a ceremony that kicks off at 8pm est on ESPN.

“In my opinion, he should win it,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said, according to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura. “In my opinion, he’s going to win it. The best thing about Joe is he’s a team player. All he wants to do is win this game. Individual awards are not high on his list. That’s what makes him such a great team player.”

While Burrow may have the most momentum heading into the ceremony, and is the likely number 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Young is the first Ohio State defensive player to finish in the top four in Heisman voting, and Young is the first defensive player from the Big Ten to do so since Michigan’s Charles Woodson won the award all the back in 1997.

Young led the nation with 16.5 sacks and in tackles for loss per game with 1.9.

Additionally, Ohio State is the seventh school to have multiple players invited to the Heisman ceremony in the same year, but the first to have both an offensive player and a defensive player.

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NCAA Football

Rutgers Brings Back Greg Schiano with Eight-Year, $32 Million Deal

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Greg Schiano

Rutgers is bringing back Greg Schiano as their head coach following a lengthy negotiation process that has led to an eight-year, $32 million deal, according to ESPN.

“Today we open the next great chapter for Rutgers Football,” Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs said. “Coach Schiano is absolutely the best person to lead our program. He brings a quality of leadership and integrity that will make all of us proud in the years ahead. I couldn’t be more excited for our student-athletes and our fans.

“A lot of hard work lies ahead, but we will all keep chopping together with Coach to achieve success in the Big Ten. We all know what the goal is and we all must do our part. I can’t express enough appreciation to Greg and Christy Schiano, the first family of Rutgers Football. Welcome back!”

Schiano went 68-67 from 2001-2011 as Rutgers head coach.

“Rutgers University and this football program have meant the world to me and my family,” Schiano said in a statement put out by the school. “I arrived here in 2000 with the goal to build a program that would be a source of pride for the state of New Jersey and develop great young men. I look forward to embracing that challenge once again. This is a great opportunity for all of Rutgers to pull together to get us back to where we all know we belong. It will take everyone on this campus and in the State of Rutgers to get this done.”

Schiano left Rutgers in 2012 to become the head coach of the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, in a tenure that lasted just two years.

“I commend Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs and Coach Schiano for reaching an agreement following very complex negotiations to bring on this new, exciting chapter for Rutgers Athletics,” Rutgers President Robert Barchi said. “We are all thrilled to welcome Coach Schiano. He is the right coach at the right time to build our Big Ten football program into a long-running source of pride for Rutgers.”

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Ole Miss Fires Matt Luke

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Matt Luke

Ole Miss is moving on from head coach Matt Luke, who was fired on Sunday following three seasons at the helm of the Rebels.

“After evaluating the overall trajectory of our football program, we did not see enough momentum on the field and determined a change is necessary in order for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level” Athletics director Keith Carter said in an official statement.

“While improvements were evident in certain aspects of the program, we are judged ultimately by our record, and, unfortunately, we did not meet the standard of success that we expect from our program. We will always be grateful to Coach Luke for his leadership, particularly from a recruiting, academic and overall culture standpoint. At the same time, winning is important, and we know that we can compete for championships at Ole Miss.

“A search is underway to find a new head coach who can build a complete program that attracts top talent, develops them as young men and sustains a winning mentality. We will be looking for the leadership, energy and commitment to excellence necessary to compete in the Southeastern Conference and galvanize our passionate fan base.”

Luke compiled a 15-21 record during his tenure at Ole Miss.

According to the Clarion Ledger’s Nick Suss, the firing of Luke was not well-received by some of the players, with some storming out of the team meeting angry over the decision.

Many are speculating that the Egg Bowl was what set the firing in motion. However, it is worth noting that attendance was becoming an issue in the midst of a losing season, and with a new athletic director in the fold, change was likely coming sooner or later.

 

 

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