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BASEBALL

Death of 9-year-old leads to suspension on use of batboys

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Baseball Congress suspended using batboys and girls during its World Series games in Kansas following the death of a 9-year-old boy who was accidentally hit in the head with a bat during a game.

Kaiser Carlile died Sunday, a day after he was hit by a follow through swing near the on-deck circle during the Liberal Bee Jays' game in Wichita. The boy was wearing a helmet.

During an emotional press conference Monday, Kaiser was remembered as an energetic, happy boy who loved being part of the Bee Jays. Manager Adam Anderson and several players said he inspired them to always work hard, have fun and win.

"I can't get over how hard he worked, and he was having fun doing it," said outfielder Gavin Wehby, who plays for Nicholls State. "I was blessed to have called him a friend, a teammate and most of all a brother."

The NBC's general manager, Kevin Jenks, said Kaiser would be honored throughout the tournament until the championship game Saturday. The honors will include having the boy's initials on the scoreboard marquee and fundraisers for his family during the games. The team also is wearing wristbands and T-shirts with Kaiser's initials.

Kaiser's father, Chad Carlile, said his son was competitive but also just loved the game of baseball. He said Kaiser cherished a pair of shoes and a white bracelet the team had given him. He said his son's organs will be donated.

"There is no anger towards what happened," he said. "This is something that was obviously a tragedy. I want no bad comments. ... He was happy. He loved it and the team we are obviously for loved him as well."

SOCCER

Creighton men ranked No. 6 in preseason coaches poll

The Creighton men's soccer team was ranked sixth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason Top 25 poll released Monday.

The Bluejays are one of four Big East programs in the NSCAA preseason poll, along with No. 3 Georgetown, No. 7 Providence and No. 19 Xavier.

Creighton will face two other teams ranked in the preseason poll when it plays No. 9 Michigan State and No. 19 UC Irvine.

BASKETBALL

School report: Allegations by Illinois players unfounded

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A Chicago law firm hired by the University of Illinois to investigate allegations of racially motivated mistreatment made by former women's basketball players concluded in a report released Monday that those charges are unfounded.

Seven former players sued the university, coach Matt Bollant, Athletic Director Mike Thomas and others on July 1, alleging Bollant and some other coaches used race to divide the team and drive players out.

The report from the Pugh, Jones & Johnson law firm acknowledged now-former assistant coach Mike Divilbiss "treated players harshly" and recommended some changes, such as a code of conduct for coaches. But it concluded that complaints from players and parents started after a string of seven losses late in the 201415 season and included no real evidence of a racial divide.

"Some athletes and their parents obviously disagreed with the coaches' judgments about which players most effectively executed their new style of play, but there is no evidence that the coaches did not honestly believe they put the best team on the floor, without consideration of players' race," the report concluded.

Chancellor Phyllis Wise, the top administrator on the Urbana Champaign campus, said in a statement Monday that she takes the recommendations for changes seriously.

"Going forward, we will ensure that our coaches and staff members have a clearer understanding of our core values and expectations, and that our student-athletes never ever feel they have nowhere to go when they have concerns," she said.

The players' attorney, Terry Ekl, said in an email that he wasn't surprised that investigators selected and paid by the university would issue a report favorable to the school.

"This is precisely why we did not wait until the conclusion of the university-funded investigation to be completed before we file suit," Ekl said.

The players' lawsuit accuses Bollant and Divilbiss, who are white, of treating black players poorly to try to push them off the team, and doing the same to white players who supported black players. It also accuses them of holding segregated practices known as "the dog pound" for less-favored players, using more severe discipline for black players, barring white and black players from rooming together and using derogatory terms for black players since Bollant was hired in 2012.

HOCKEY

Senators forward Hoffman gets $2 million in arbitration

OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman was awarded a $2 million, one year contract by an arbitrator.

Hoffman asked for $3.4 million and the Senators sought $1.75 million. Hoffman's hearing was Thursday, but the ruling was delayed until Monday because of the extended weekend in Ontario.

Hoffman is set to be a restricted free agent again next summer.

The 25-year-old player finished sixth in Calder Trophy voting for NHL rookie of the year with 27 goals and 21 assists.

In other news:

Two people familiar with the decision say Buffalo Sabres Vice President of Hockey-Related Business Joe Battista is leaving the team to spend more time with his family in Pennsylvania.

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