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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Kennedy Dempsey shows her appreciation at the annual Red Coat dinner. Her parents stayed at the Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House while Kennedy, 2, was undergoing surgeries.


New format benefit to Mad Anthonys classicGood news. bad news for college sportsClemens verdict no surprise

Associated Press
Former baseball great Roger Clemens, left center, is surrounded by his family after his acquittal Monday.

The Mad Anthonys Charity Classic for Children has remained popular since its inception, but this year’s 55th annual tournament featuring professionals, celebrities and local golfers featured an exciting change that drew even more interest to the annual fundraiser.

Expanding from a one-day tournament to two, 12 professional golfers from the LPGA participated, with each golfing with local residents in a foursome while also competing among themselves. Credit pro golfer Amanda Blumenherst, who grew up in Fort Wayne, for recruiting her competitors to participate.

The Mad Anthonys are still calculating how much money was raised, but it appears the non-profit organization brought in a healthy amount of money that will go to the Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House. The home provides a place for families with children who are hospitalized locally to stay. The house offers a homelike environment for the families, including six family bedrooms, private bathrooms, and a shared kitchen.

College sports produced two big stories this week – one a refreshing, tougher emphasis on academics, the other a sign of more of the same.

The NCAA banned a record 10 colleges from participating in the annual basketball tournament – March Madness – for failing to meet the tougher new academic standards. Three-time national champion Connecticut was the most prominent team sidelined from the tourney; the closest school was the University of Toledo. Meanwhile, both Butler and Notre Dame scored perfect scores on the Academic Progress Rate that determined eligibility. Purdue and IU did well, too.

College football has become more and more like a professional enterprise, and the NCAA is right to show universities that team members are, first and foremost, students.

College football conferences, on the other hand, are headed toward making the game more professional by establishing a four-team playoff to determine the national championship. The new system would replace the much-maligned Bowl Championship Series, but it threatens to greatly diminish long-established bowl games, and distribution of playoff revenue would widen the gap between the well-financed programs and the have-nots.

Roger Clemens’ acquittal on perjury charges shows many Americans what countless prosecutors and defense attorneys already knew: Proving perjury is among the most difficult crimes to prosecute successfully.

Just as Barry Bonds was acquitted in 2006 of lying under oath about steroid use, Clemens was found not guilty by a jury that deliberated about 10 hours over three days.

Among the reasons perjury can be so hard to prove:

•There is usually little tangible evidence, often just one person’s memories of what was said, against another’s. There’s no DNA or fingerprints.

•Prosecutors must prove the defendant lied, knew he lied and intended to lie. And the lie has to be about something crucial to the original investigation or case.

•Defense attorneys painstakingly review the questions asked and the answers given that led to the perjury charges. The questions must be clear and unambiguous; the answers must be unequivocal.

There are some high-profile exceptions. In the 1950s, Alger Hiss, a State Department official, was convicted of lying to Congress. Three top aides to President Nixon – including Attorney General John Mitchell – were convicted in the Watergate affair. Locally, one-time mayoral candidate Matt Kelty pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false informing, admitting he lied to a grand jury.

But in general, perjury charges are often better used as a threat to witnesses who may be dishonest.

And, perhaps Clemens’ attorney is right: Clemens was acquitted because when he said he didn’t use steroids, he was telling the truth.