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Admission scam defendants enter pleas...Alleged co-conspirator in Avenatti case...Jockeying for playoff position

March 25, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — A dozen athletic coaches test administrators and others caught up in a sweeping college admissions scam have pleaded not guilty to taking bribes from wealthy parents in exchange for helping students get into elite universities such as Georgetown. They appeared in Boston’s federal court nearly two weeks after they were arrested in what authorities have described as the biggest college admissions scheme ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. The investigation also ensnared prominent parents.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A person familiar with details of the Michael Avenatti extortion investigation tells The Associated Press that celebrity attorney Mark Geragos is a co-conspirator in the case. Prosecutors say in court papers that an unnamed attorney joined Avenatti in demanding that Nike pay millions of dollars, or risk being embarrassed by a scandal involving its sponsorship of an amateur basketball team. They described the attorney as a co-conspirator but didn’t charge him with a crime. The person knowledgeable about the case tells the AP that co-conspirator was Geragos, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.

UNDATED (AP) — There’s a lot of jockeying for playoff position still going on as the NBA regular season winds down. The Philadelphia 76ers currently stand third in the Eastern Conference. They’re in Orlando tonight to take on a Magic team that’s second in the Southeast Division, but looking up at a .500 record with long odds on qualifying for the playoffs. In the Western Conference, Portland hosts Brooklyn tonight. The Nets’ record is above .500, but with a tough schedule ahead.

UNDATED (AP) — It’s the place where points are precious for NHL teams still vying for playoff spots with just a half dozen o so games left. Pittsburgh is in a very tight Metropolitan Division race, just two points behind first place Washington but still not assured of a playoff berth. They are in New York to play the Rangers. Dallas is currently seventh in the Western Conference, but they have a tough assignment in Winnipeg tonight.

PHOENIX (AP) — The NFL is breaking with tradition for the start of its 100th season. The league opener will feature the Packers vs. the Bears at Soldier Field. Usually, the Super Bowl champion is the home team for the prime-time opener, but the league wants to salute historic rivalries in 2019. None fits better than Chicago-Green Bay. The teams have met 200 times since 1921.