The two-day Easter Racing Carnival commences at Caymanas Park today with an 11-race programme featuring the grade-one Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy over 1820 metres.Also on the annual Jockeys’ Guild of Jamaica race day programme are the Jockeys’ Guild Trophy race over 1400 metres for four-year-olds and up (non-winners of two) and the annual renewal of the Al Gopie Memorial Cup for maiden four-year-olds and up over the straight-five course, this to perpetuate the memory of the popular lightweight jockey who was killed in a spill in the day’s penultimate race on Saturday, November 20, 1999.Among the six starters declared for the Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy are the progressive American four-year-old filly LONG RUNNING TRAIN, who bids for her third win from her last five starts, and the 2015 Superstakes runner-up HOVER CRAFT, who won decisively over 1500 metres in overnight company last Saturday.LOOKS AGIFTLONG RUNNING TRAIN, however, not only holds a victory over HOVER CRAFT at a mile when last raced on January 23, but another of her opponents, the improving BRAWN, as well.With the Wayne DaCosta-trained HOVER CRAFT up in class and harshly treated at the weights with topweight of 57.0kg, the race looks a gift for the Harry Parsard-trained LONG RUNNING TRAIN, who, despite winning that open allowance mile on January 23, carries a mere 52.0kg with former champion jockey Wesley Henry again in the saddle.On that occasion, LONG RUNNING TRAIN beat the likes of CAMPESINO and ALL CORRECT in decisive fashion with HOVER CRAFT in fourth. And before that race she finished two lengths second to top stayer PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in the grade-one Harry Jackson Memorial Cup over 2400 metres last Boxing Day.Having looked sharp at exercise in preparation for today’s race, LONG RUNNING TRAIN looks hard to oppose under these favourable conditions.Other firm fancies on the card are BATIDOR DE MUNDO to go one better in the second race over a mile, the consistent GOLDEN BULLET In the fifth; PATCH in the seventh and SIR BIGGS in the Jockeys’ Guild of Jamaica Trophy to be contested by 12 starters.
Calabar High School’s Christopher Taylor, who broke the 200m and 400m Class Two records at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, said he is looking forward to his first Penn Relays, while helping his school to again triumph over their main rivals – Kingston College (KC), Jamaica College (JC), and St Jago.Penn Relays will be held at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, from April 28-30.”I feel very excited knowing that it’s my first Penns and I am going to go out there and do the very best for my school,” he said.”Well, I am confident and I am in pretty good form going into the Penn Relays, so we will see what happens there,” he continued in an interview following the FLOW Foundation’s presentation of $4,030,000 to 28 high school and tertiary institutions to offset costs associated with competing at the event at their head office on Half-Way Tree Road on Tuesday.RELAY CHAMPSLast year, Calabar High shone brightest on the final day of the relay carnival. They captured the 4×100 metre in record time and the 4×400 metres.With 16-year-old Taylor recently leading his Red Hills Road-based school to a sensational victory in the 4x400m in a time of 3:08.77 ahead of Kingston College, all eyes will, no doubt, be set on another battle between the long-time rivals.Taylor, the Class Two 400m record holder, received the baton about 20 metres ahead of the Class One record holder, KC’s Akeem Bloomfield, but saw the more experienced Bloomfield surge ahead coming into the straight.However, Taylor would not be denied, and despite the KC captain’s fast 44.5-split, the Calabar stand-out kept his composure and sprinted past the tiring Purples star with a 45.3-second split.”Well, we fear no one, but we have to look up to everyone also. So yes, I am confident. We are looking to retain the title,” Taylor told The Gleaner.
KINGSTON COLLEGE’S head coach, Neil Harrison, is banking on top performances from his athletes in the 4×100 and 4×400 metres at this weekend’s Penn Relays in the United States. Harrison’s KC will be trying to rebound from a 30-point loss to Calabar High at the recent Boys and Girls’ Championships and with titles and bragging rights up for grabs at the prestigious relay carnival, battle lines have already been drawn. Harrison is of the view that any win over his school’s longtime rivals will be a welcome one. “We are ready … we are going after the 4x100m and the 4x400m and we are hoping that in the 4x800m we will do well,” he pointed out in a recent interview. According to Harrison, the 4x100m this year would feel special. He stressed that the double would be nice. “I won two titles with the 4x400m team, so I am pretty much interested in the 4x100m,” he continued, while adding: “Not that I am not interested in the 4x400m, but we will see how things work out.” The coach said his charges are motivated to do well. “Yes, especially coming out of last weekend’s 39.52 seconds clocking. The Penn Relays will be keenly contested, but we are optimistic. We are hoping that things will go in our favour,” added Harrison. Anchor leg runner, Shivnarine Smalling told The Gleaner after their fast time at the MVP track meet that his KC team “changed up their 4x100m running order and are confident of victory ahead of Penns”.
In the early days of the Chris Gayle “Blushgate” I agreed that his comments were unprofessional and cringe-worthy and supported the fine from his employers.Chris behaved similarly in the past and simply got away with it.The response of his employers this time ensures (in my mind) that he will refrain from making similar gaffes in the future.I really do believe that every human being, unless severely mentally retarded, works out the cost/benefit of his actions prior to committing them. Therefore, Chris WILL NOT make a similar gaffe again. More than a week later, I still have the same sentiments.However, on reflection, I took a look at the phenomenon known as T20 cricket, the format that has transformed this enthralling game, cricket, which originated in England and which was played mainly by Commonwealth countries until very recently.This form of the game has attracted sponsors, expanded television coverage, and most important, new fans. It features music, cash incentives for fans, dancing girls in form-fitting outfits (or skimpy outfits), and a liberal, consistent supply of alcohol.NO PLACE FOR weaknessThe game thrives on the raw power of the participants, and ‘mamby-pamby’ players who don’t understand the ‘formula’ are soon discarded and replaced by those who are prepared to bang the ball around the ground.Christopher Henry Gayle is by far the world’s best T20 player. His services are in demand worldwide. His presence ensures a massive gate for the promoters, and he wins matches and breaks records. Most importantly, he is rich and willbe richer every time he signs another contract.Media houses cannot wait to interview him, and prime ministers are prompted to ensure that he stays in the game and in the limelight. As a result, when he is not playing cricket, he is photographed and quoted at all the hot spots of the ‘glitterati’. Women can’t wait to be photographed with him, and he wears garments (T-shirts) that have recently portrayed an attitude to women that is acceptable to some and repugnant to most.With this background and his previous interview with a female reporter in Antigua being ‘pooh-poohed’ by the media and society at large, can we really blame Chris?Isn’t Christopher Henry Gayle rewarded (handsomely) for portraying the persona that revealed itself in a worldwide television interview?RAW POWERThe game of T20 encourages free-flowing alcohol, skimpily dressed women, and raw power on show. The players who hit the ball all over (and out of) the ground are hired to promote this triumvirate. This is, whether we like it or not, where the money is.”Blushgate’ has now escalated into calls for a lifetime ban from cricket for Gayle. That won’t happen. However, I do think that this is the time for us as a people to take a long, hard look at T20 cricket and how it is promoted to see if this form of the game, the saviour of the game of cricket, can continue its successful path without the free flow of alcohol and the portrayal of women as sex objects.That revolutionary move would minimise the possibility of similar occurrences, where women at the game are treated with the respect they deserve.The United States of America has pioneered and been very successful at promoting this triumvirate but now finds itself having to deal with the very backlash that we are seeing in cricket, where some of the participants – rich, handsome, and strong – are forced or encouraged to treat women with the respect that they deserve.’Blushgate’ may be the start of something good.
KOLKATA, India (CMC):Teenager Hayley Matthews and captain Stafanie Taylor fashioned half-centuries as West Indies Women produced a superb run chase to beat three-time defending champions Australia Women by eight wickets and lift their first-ever Twenty20 World Cup title here yesterday.Set 149 for victory at the historic Eden Gardens, West Indies Women reached their target with three balls to spare, with the 18-year-old Matthews top-scoring with 66 from 45 balls and the in-form Taylor getting 59 from 57 balls.The pair put on a magnificent 120 for the first wicket to take Australia Women out of the contest and even when Matthews fell in the 16th over, Deandra Dottin (18 not out) joined Taylor to add 24 for the second wicket to keep the Caribbean side on top.West Indies Women entered the final over requiring three to win and Dottin reduced the target even further with a single to cover off seamer Ellyse Perry.Britney Cooper, who finished on three not out, failed to score off the next delivery, but took off for a suicide single off the third ball. The fielder at short midwicket missed a direct hit at the bowler’s end that would have seen Cooper on her way and the resulting overthrow handed West Indies Women the crucial win.The result sparked scenes of jubilation across the outfield as the remainder of the women’s team, along with members of the men’s team, ran on to the ground to celebrate.ELATED TAYLOR”I am (on top of the world). I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” an elated Taylor said afterwards.”I think it has actually come at the right time because we’ve played some fantastic cricket today. We didn’t get the start that we wanted with the ball, but I think the batting gave us the edge.”Matthews, who struck six fours and three sixes to post her maiden T20 International half-century, was voted Player of the Match, while Taylor was adjudged Player of the Tournament for her 246 runs overall.Earlier, Australia Women captain Meg Lanning and Elyse Villani both struck 52 to get the title favourites up to 148 for five off their 20 overs, after opting to bat first.Alyssa Healy fell cheaply for four at 15 for one in the second over when she tapped a low return catch to off-spinner Matthews, but Lanning and Villani put on 77 for the second wicket to rally the innings.Lanning faced 49 balls and gathered eight fours, while opener Villani counted nine fours in her 37-ball innings.”We probably did not get the result that we wanted, but congratulations to West Indies for the way they batted,” Lanning said. “We felt we were a little short, 160 would have been nice. But if we had bowled well we would have defended.”
MUMBAI, India, (CMC):South African left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi has been drafted into the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad for the rest of the season to replace injured West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree.The 26-year-old, who has played 68 first-class matches but is yet to represent South Africa, has gone straight into the final XI for RCB’s game yesterday against Rising Pune Supergiants.Badree sustained a shoulder injury in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in Kolkata earlier this month against England and has failed to recover.”RCB is pleased to have signed in SA’s left-arm chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi for injured Badree,” RCB chairman Amrit Thomas said.”He is highly skillful, with a lot of variations, and has had success in SA’s domestic cricket as well as in the CPL this year. While we will miss Samuel Badree, we are excited about the variety that Shamsi brings to our bowling attack.”Shamsi is known to Caribbean fans, having proved a sensation in the Caribbean Premier League last season, snatching 11 wickets for new boys St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.Badree, meanwhile, is the second West Indies player to be forced out of the IPL with injury after fellow Trinidadian Lendl Simmons was also ruled out for Mumbai Indians with a back injury.
ROME, Italy (AP):Six goals in six French league matches were not enough to convince Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura to restore Mario Balotelli to the national team.The often-divisive striker also needs to convince Ventura that he has cleaned up his act – both on and off the pitch.”It’s not due to technical reasons that Balotelli isn’t on the national team,” Ventura said yesterday. “He has great skills. Nobody is debating his technical abilities. Rather, it’s a thousand other factors.”Since transferring on a free transfer from Liverpool to Nice on deadline day, Balotelli has helped the unheralded club to first place in France and has seven goals in eight matches in all competitions.”He’s been back in form for two months now, but you can’t think that in two months somebody has changed who they are,” Ventura added.After scoring only one league goal in each of the past two seasons with Liverpool and AC Milan, respectively, Balotelli never played for Italy under coach Antonio Conte.His last appearance for Italy came when the Azzurri were eliminated in the first round of the 2014 World Cup – where he was considered a distraction by several team-mates.At 26 years old, Balotelli potentially has many more years as a top player.Ventura said he will have a discussion with Balotelli “to see if he has the desire to be a leader within the team”.”There are another two and a half months to evaluate,” the coach added, looking ahead to a possible return in 2017.Meanwhile, forward Graziano Pelle also remains excluded after refusing to shake Ventura’s hand following a substitution during a 1-1 draw with Spain last month.”I thought it would be useful for him to have a pauseto reflect,” Ventura said of Pelle, who transferred from Southampton to Chinese club Shandong Luneng in July.LEFT OUTAs for Sebastian Giovinco, Ventura said the high-scoring forward for MLS club Toronto FC has been left out because he “plays in a league that doesn’t count for much”.Italy is training for a World Cup qualifier at Liechtenstein on Saturday and a friendly with Germany three days later in Milan.Ventura plans to rely on the forward tandem of Andrea Belotti and Ciro Immobile – both of whom played under him at Torino.Immobile has scored nine goals in 12 matches for Lazio this season, while Belotti has eight in 10 for Torino.”They’re two players I don’t need to get to know. I know them perfectly well since I coached them,” Ventura said. “They have a chance to take over the national team.”Midfielder Claudio Marchisio was also sent home yesterday with an injured left leg, two days after being called back to the national team after six months out with a torn cruciate ligament, which forced him to miss the European Championship.Atalanta midfielder Roberto Gagliardini and Genoa defender Armando Izzo were called up after Marchisio left.Defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli are also out injured, with Juventus announcing yesterday that Barzagli will miss two months with a dislocated left shoulder.Italy is level on points with Group G leader Spain, one point ahead of Albania and Israel, while Macedonia and Liechtenstein are last with zero points.
Portsmouth and Ascot Primary are the current leaders with maximum 12 points in the INSPORTS Portmore Primary Netball League following four round of matches. The leaders are followed by Naggo Head, 6, Waterford, 6, and Kensington, 6. In games last Wednesday. Portsmouth swamped Greater Portmore 18-2, Ascot blanked Bridgeport 18-0; Naggo Head defeated Kensington 13-2 and Belmont surprised Gregory Park 8-4. Oracabessa Primary Victorious Two second-half goals from Challi Harris propelled Oracabessa Primary to a 2-0 victory over Mount Angus Primary in the Oracabessa Foundation primary league at the James Bond Beach Complex in Oracabessa, St Mary on Thursday. It was Mount Angus’ third straight defeat in the competition. One match was also played on Wednesday. Jacks River Primary clipped Galina Primary 3-2. Leon Heath, Dwayne Brown and Craige Collins were the scorers for Jacks River while Navar Logan and Geovaughn Walsh were on target for Galina Primary. Action will continue next Tuesday at the same venue. Portmore Domino league Unity Primary unstoppable Mt St Joseph, Belair lead Howie Chin leagues Semi-final two of the 2016 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce six-a-side football competition will be a repeat of the 2015 final, as defending champions Eurotrend will oppose beaten finalists Miles today at the Foska Oats Oval, 451 Spanish Town Road starting at 4 p.m. This will be followed by semi-final one between Ashoka and Henley at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Miles will be led by three Waterhouse Premier League players Kemar Thomas, Kemar Rodney and AndrÈ Hickling. Eurotrend, on the other hand, will have Kemar Bygrave and Fernando Hunt, the leading goalscorer and most valuable player, respectively, in 2015. The final and third place play-off will be played on Saturday, November 19, at the same venue. Two more teams secured passages this week to the next round of the 2016-17 season of the MFA-Brumalia House Knockout Competition. They are Hillstars and Alligator Pond. Alligator Pond hosted Star Zone Academy at their home field and were able to eke out a 3-2 extra-time victory. Dane Seaton was the hero, scoring his second goal and his team’s third in the 91st minute. Earlier, he scored in the 69th minute to earn a 2-2 equaliser. Teammate Kenji Thomas scored to give Alligator Pond a 1-0 lead only to see Star Zone Academy equalise and take the lead through goals by Imani Osbourne in the 10th and Ricardo Johnson in the 23rd. Hillstars FC qualified after spanking newcomers Trinity United 8-1. Kale Wilson notched a brace in the 24th and 59th minutes. He was joined on the score sheet by Thorn Simpson (10th), Jarvis Mattis (27th), Travoy McDonald (64th), Nicholas Kelsey (75th), Tahja Reynolds (84th) and Ceejay Lampark in the 89th. Porus, Downs, Los Perfectos and defending champions Ricam have already advanced. Bridgeport advance in primary football Three teams are locked on 13 points as the 2016 edition of the Manchester FA-Howie Chin Prep School League nears its semi-final round. They are Mt St Joseph’s, El Instituto, and Knox. However, Mt St Joseph have the clear advantage having played one game less. The highlight of the week was Charagape Prep’s 6-0 demolition of Hillcrest with Alex Forbes slamming in five goals. In other matches, Mt St Joseph had a 1-0 win over Sacred Heart and similarly El Instituto over Knox, however, got some redemption later by shutting out Emmanuel 3-0. Belair continue to lead the charge in the girls’ division despite being idle in the last round of matches. They have nine points from three games. Mt St Joseph are on seven points but have played two more games. In the last round, Dania Lee Wint’s two goals gave Mt St Joseph a 2-1 win over Emmanuel Preparatory School but they then lost 1-0 to Knox for whom Jianna Tomlinson scored. Manchester High for Digicel Cup Sporting Clays Manchester High will be the only rural-based school competing when the fourth Digicel Cup Inter Schools Sporting Clays Tournament shoots off tomorrow at the Jamaica Skeet Club in Portmore with the highest number of competitors to date (78). The other participants will be Jamaica College, Campion College, Wolmer’s, Hillel Academy, AISK, and Sts Peter & Paul Prep School. The tournament features 50 targets for all shooters. The top six shooters will compete in the Super Six for the highest overall total and the championship trophy. The Super Six will involve 18 targets. Seventy-eight students are expected to participate. The tournament starts at 9 a.m. Boys usually make up the largest contingent, however, this year will see an increase in females up from last year’s seven. The sponsors are Digicel, Wata, Reggae Jammins, Best Dressed Chicken, True Juice, Hawkeye, St Mary’s Banana, Bigga, Tin Grinners Club Jamaica and Arts & Photo Impressions. Ken’s cut lead with win Ken’s Wildflower moved within a point of leaders and defending champions Passagefort United with a 250-242 win over Garveymeade in the latest round of the MP Colin Fagan South East St Catherine Inter-Constituency Domino Tournament. Ken’s Wildflower are now in second place on 26 points, a point adrift of Passagefort UTD (27 points). In other games, fifth-place Waterford (18 points) defeated last-place Westmeade Rising Sun 250-243 and third-place Cumberland (26 points) got past Rising Sun 250-226. Tomorrow’s matches (Home teams named first): Garveymeade vs Cumberland, Westmeade vs Passagefort United and Waterford vs Ken’s Wildflower. Hillstars, Alligator Pond advance in Manchester KO Fraser-Pryce six-a-side football semis this weekend Portsmouth, Ascot on top Domino clubs have until Tuesday, November 15, to register for the 2016-2017 Portmore Domino League. Registration is $6,500 per club, and $350 per player. The competition will be launched on December 18, at the Garveymeade Sport Club and games officially start on January 15, 2017. Bridgeport advanced to the semi-finals of the INSPORTS Portmore Primary Football League after they defeated Belmont Park 2-1 in Zone One action last Thursday. Bridgeport ended the preliminary round with 10 points. In other games, Independence Primary moved to six points from four games as they beat Ascot Primary 2-1 as Jaheem Johnson scored two goals. Defending champions Waterford Primary are near qualification with eight points as they outscored Port Henderson 3-2. In Zone Two, the qualifiers are Portsmouth (nine points), and Naggo Head (six points). Portsmouth the pre-tournament favourites get a test from Greater Portmore but won 3-2 with Tyrique Beckford scoring a double and Theon Copie added the other goal. Bridgeport Police win big Bridgeport Police pulverised Cable Pro 5-1 in a lopsided encounter in the latest round of the INSPORTS-Charles Chocolates Portmore Business House 5-a-side football competition at the Sunshine playing field in Naggo Head, Portmore, St Catherine, last Wednesday. Kimani Brisett scored a double for the lawmen, while there was a goal each for Russane Spence, Kwami Richards, and Ado Niko. Kemar Grant scored Cable Pro’s lone goal. In another game, C&S defeated PETCOM 3-1. Romario Smikle scored twice, and Dane Coyle added another goal for C&S. Orlando Dwyer scored for PETCOM. The 2011 national champions, Unity Primary, topped the first round in the west zone of the Deran Lee/JaVA/ Philip Greenland Developmental Volleyball Championship 2016 for primary level schools in Westmoreland on Wednesday, November 9. Matches took place at Loving Care Christian Academy, Farm Pen Road, Savanna-la-Mar. Unity stopped Little London Primary 38-19, Williamsfield All Age 40-19 and had a narrow 36-32 win over hosts Loving Care who ended in second spot after beating Little London 34-26 and Williamsfield 38-27. Little London swamped Williamsfield 50-12 in the other match. Williamsfield will host Round Two on Tuesday, November 15, starting 9 a.m.
VETERANS HAVE LOTS TO DO The veterans, Irvino English, Jermain ‘Tuffy’ Anderson and Weston Forrest, still have a lot to offer, but they have to work for the good of the team if they are to stand a chance. In other games, defending champions and leaders Montego Bay United should get the better of the visiting Jamalco at Wespow Park while the Tivoli Gardens-Humble Lion game should be a very attractive showdown. Home team Harbour View should be given the edge over Boys’ Town, but the visitors cannot be written off as Jamiel Hardware and Shamar Nicholson are players of quality. Maverley-Hughenden have lost two games in a row and they believe that home advantage will help in their quest to stem the slide. Since the return of Craig Foster, Reno Football Club have been finding the goal with regularity and have pocketed two wins in the process. They will expect things to continue in that vein against Portmore United, but the visiting team will have ideas of their own. Former champions Arnett Gardens will be hoping that home comforts bring them what it brought at the turn of the new year when they host the struggling Waterhouse at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in one of six games on today in the Red Stripe Premier League. On that day, ‘The Junglists’ shocked title challengers UWI FC 5-3, but only managed to edge neighbours and the 12th-placed of the 12 teams in the League, Boys’ Town, 2-1 at the Barbican field. That game, coach Jerome Waite said, was affected by the playing surface. “The playing surface then really did not help our game, but with us playing at home this week, we should give a better account of ourselves,” Waite Told The Sunday Gleaner. Waite’s optimism, according to him, has nothing to do with the fact that their opponents are struggling and are firmly rooted in the relegation zone. In fact, he expects them to put up a tough fight. “We expect a competitive game from Waterhouse despite them struggling at the bottom. They are a team that cannot be taken lightly because of their pride and their fighting spirit. They always play us hard, they have good players and a coach who is a good motivator,” Waite said, assessing the opposition. He added: “On the other hand, we have a job to do. We are playing at home and have to deliver for our fans. Also, three points will keep us closer to the leaders and help us to continue to climb up the ladder.” Arnett Gardens will have to achieve their victory without the reliable Newton Sterling, their primary goalscorer. That, though, is not a worry for the home team as, according to Waite, they have scored seven goals in their last two games with seven different individuals responsible for the goals. Players such as the returning Kemal Malcolm, veteran Leon Strickland, Marvin Morgan, Fabian Reid and captain O’Neil Thompson should figure prominently for them. In captain Romario Campbell and Deandre Brown, Waterhouse have quality players, but are not helped by the departure of a number of players and injury to the exiting youngster, Rodave Murray. So bad is the situation in terms of player availability, that Waterhouse have not been able to name more than 15 players for their squad. Today’s games: – 3 p.m.: Arnett Gardens vs Waterhouse – Anthony Spaulding Complex – 3 p.m.: Montego Bay United vs Jamalco – Wespow Park/Fairfield – 7 p.m.: Harbour View vs Boys’ Town – Harbour View Stadium – 3 p.m.: Maverley-Hughenden vs UWI FC – Constant Spring Complex – 3 p.m.: Reno FC vs Portmore United – Frome Complex – 3 p.m.: Tivoli Gardens vs Humble Lion – Edward Seaga Complex
Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool)LOVELOCK, Nevada — O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America’s enduring fascination with the former football star.Simpson, 70, could be a free man as early as Oct. 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year armed-robbery sentence for a bungled attempt to snatch sports memorabilia and other mementos he claimed had been stolen from him.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets He got the four votes he needed from the parole commissioners who heard his case. In agreeing to release him, they cited his lack of a prior conviction, the low risk he might commit another crime, his community support and his release plans.During the more than hour-long hearing, Simpson forcefully insisted — as he has all along — that he was only trying to retrieve items that belonged to him and never meant to hurt anyone. He said he never pointed a gun at anyone nor made any threats during the crime.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“I’ve done my time. I’ve done it as well and respectfully as I think anybody can,” he said.Inmate No. 1027820 made his plea for freedom in a stark hearing room at the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada as four parole commissioners in Carson City, a two-hour drive away, questioned him via video. Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Simpson, gray-haired but looking trimmer than he has in recent years, walked briskly into the hearing room dressed in jeans, a light-blue prison-issue shirt and sneakers. He laughed at one point as the parole board chairwoman mistakenly gave his age as 90.The Hall of Fame athlete’s chances of winning release were considered good, given similar cases and Simpson’s model behavior behind bars. His defenders have argued, too, that his sentence was out of proportion to the crime and that he was being punished for the two murders he was acquitted of during his 1995 “Trial of the Century” in Los Angeles, the stabbings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.Before the hearing concluded, one of the dealers Simpson robbed, Bruce Fromong, said the former football great never pointed a gun at him during the confrontation, adding that it was one of the men with him who did so. Fromong said Simpson deserved to be released.“He is a good man. He made a mistake,” Fromong said, adding the two remain friends.Simpson’s eldest child, 48-year-old Arnelle Simpson, also testified on his behalf, saying her father is not perfect but realizes what a mistake he made and has spent years paying for it.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Television networks return to old obsession with Simpson McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return An electrifying running back dubbed “The Juice,” Simpson won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college football player in 1968 and went on to become one of the NFL’s all-time greats.The handsome and charismatic athlete was also a “Monday Night Football” commentator, sprinted through airports in Hertz rental-car commercials and built a Hollywood career with roles in the “Naked Gun” comedies and other movies.All of that came crashing down with his arrest in the 1994 slayings and his trial, a gavel-to-gavel live-TV sensation that transfixed viewers with its testimony about the bloody glove that didn’t fit and stirred furious debate over racist police, celebrity justice and cameras in the courtroom.Last year, the case proved to be compelling TV all over again with the ESPN documentary “O.J.: Made in America” and the award-winning FX miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”In 1997, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the two killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and the Goldman family.Then a decade later, he and five accomplices — two with guns — stormed a hotel room and seized photos, plaques and signed balls, some of which never belonged to Simpson, from two sports memorabilia dealers.Simpson was convicted in 2008, and the long prison sentence brought a measure of satisfaction to some of those who thought he got away with murder. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend “We just want him to come home, we really do,” she said.Simpson said that he has spent his time in prison mentoring fellow inmates, often keeping others out of trouble, and believes he has become a better person during those years.Asked if he was confident he could stay out of trouble if he’s released, Simpson replied that he learned much during an alternative-to-violence course he took in prison and that in any case he has always gotten along well with people.“I had basically spent a conflict-free life,” he said — a remark that lit up social media with scornful and sarcastic comments given the murder case and a raft of allegations he abused his wife.In a final statement to the board he apologized again.“I’m sorry it happened, I’m sorry, Nevada,” he said. “I thought I was glad to get my stuff back, but it just wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it and I’m sorry.”Several major TV networks and cable channels — including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, MSNBC and ESPN — carried the proceedings live, just as some of them did two decades ago during the Ford Bronco chase that ended in Simpson’s arrest, and again when the jury in the murder case came back with its verdict.Simpson said if released he plans to return to Florida, where he was living before his incarceration.“I could easily stay in Nevada, but I don’t think you guys want me here,” he joked at one point.“No comment, sir,” one of the parole board members said. View comments MOST READ LATEST STORIES 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’