Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
May 20th, 2013
01:03 PM ET

High School Senior asks Dwyane Wade to prom

High School senior Nicole Muxo sent a pretty creative invitation to "Miami Heat" guard Dwyane Wade over twitter, asking him to her senior prom.

Nicole got the surprise of a lifetime when Dwyane Wade actually showed up! She was in complete shock.

The lucky girl herself is on 'Starting Point talking with Zoraida Sambolin about a night she will never forget.

Filed under: A little fun • Basketball • Prom • Sports
May 6th, 2013
10:09 AM ET

Soccer referee’s daughter on his death: 'I will forgive this kid because it's only on God's hands... for him to have his punishment'

46-year-old Ricardo Portillo – a soccer referee and a father of 3 loses his fight for life, after calling a foul on a player.

This morning his eldest daughter Johana Portillo joins “Starting Point” to discuss her father’s passion for refereeing and his death after being punched by a player.

Filed under: Referee • Soccer • Sports
March 15th, 2013
10:00 AM ET

Oldest Boxing Champion Bernard Hopkins defeats fighter 17 years his junior

Bernard Hopkins sits down with John Berman and Brooke Baldwin on Starting Point to talk about his historic boxing win in the IBF light-heavyweight championship. On Saturday, the 48-years-old Hopkins beat Tavoris Cloud, who is 17 years his junior to become the oldest fighter to ever win a championship belt. Hopkins broke his own record that he set two years ago.

Hopkins states, he is “outsmarting the guys", and his "strategy is better.” On his success, he believes it is through dedication, and a healthy lifestyle that he has been able to continue boxing. Hopkins attributes the healthy lifestyle he took on early in his career to his success today. His advice to people is, “it's a process that takes place. You have to take time, work your way up to as they say a championship level. I tell people that in life. You work your way up.”

Hopkins says that by 35-years-old many boxers start to be fazed out of the industry, but that he has “really superseded everyone’s expectations.”

You can watch Hopkins' historic fight on HBO demand.

Filed under: Boxing • Sports
February 5th, 2013
10:37 AM ET

New Orleans City Council President: Superdome blackout 'will never happen again,' won't rule out city in 2018

Call it the "Blackout Bowl." Even if you weren't among the over 108 million people watching Sunday's Super Bowl, you know that at the start of the third quarter, with the Baltimore Ravens up 28 to 6, half of the New Orleans Superdome went black.

Entergy, the power company that supplies the Superdome with electricity, and SMG, the management company of the Superdome, say that monitoring equipment in the stadium's electrical system sensed an abnormality and cut off power to part of the Superdome. The game was delayed for 34 minutes and some critics say it will hurt New Orleans’ chances of getting another major sporting event.

New Orleans City Council President Stacy Head explains the latest into what happened on "Starting Point."

“It wasn’t Beyonce,” Head confirms. “We don't know what it was, and hopefully we'll find that out in a few days.”

Head says she hopes the blackout doesn’t overshadow the “magical weekend” New Orleans had hosting the Superbowl. She believes the power outage won’t hurt the changes of a future event at New Orleans.

“It was an amazing, an amazing weekend, and I don't know that anyone who experienced New Orleans' southern hospitality looks at anything other than that as a reason to come back to New Orleans, hopefully in 2018,” she adds.

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Filed under: Sports • Super Bowl
January 30th, 2013
11:57 AM ET

Fmr. Sen. George Mitchell raises questions, concerns on new MLB doping allegations

On Tuesday the Miami New Times released a report alleging that Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez purchased human growth hormone and other banned substances from an "anti-aging" clinic in Miami called "Biogenesis," which is now closed. The Times also names several other big league players in the report as well as a man named Anthony Bosch who ran the clinic and reportedly kept sloppy records. CNN has not been able to reach Bosch for comment and the DEA would not comment on whether Bosch or Biogenesis are being investigated.

This morning fmr. Senator George Mitchell, who authored the famous "Mitchell Report" on doping in baseball in 2007 joins “Starting Point.”

Mitchell says the unauthenticated and “dramatic” report raises questions about why someone would keep a journal with the baseball players real names because “it not only implicates the players… it implicates him.” He says the records also name players who have “previously been implicated and after some periods of denial have been admitted they used them.”

Mitchell says sports industries are facing a constant battle and trying to play catch-up with a “large illicit industry [of] people engaged in making these drugs for profit.” He adds that Major League Baseball in particular faces a lot of problems with doping because they’re a private organization and “they don’t have the power of government to compel testimony. So if a person won’t speak to them or won’t give them records voluntarily it takes a lot of sort of hard work to get to building a case and sometimes impossible.”

Filed under: Doping • Drugs • Sports
January 30th, 2013
10:44 AM ET

Report links MLB players to clinic peddling PEDs – John Zarrella reports

Steroids have bruised the reputation of Major League Baseball yet again. A published report links Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez—and other major leaguers— to a Florida clinic that's described as the "East Coast version of BALCO" for selling performance-enhancing drugs to ballplayers. A-Rod has denied any relationship with the clinic—or its owner, but he already has a track record of lying about juicing, denying he doped before finally admitting to it back in 2009.

Baseball says it's investigating the allegations. CNN's John Zarrella has more on the story.

Filed under: Baseball • MLB • Sports
January 24th, 2013
10:50 AM ET

Will Manti Te'o be able to convince people that he was duped in the girlfriend hoax? NFL expert panel weighs in

On Thursday, those looking for answers regarding the bizarre story surrounding Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te'o and his fake girlfriend might finally get them. The football star and his parents will officially break their silence when a taped exclusive interview with ABC News' Katie Couric premieres concerning the hoax first brought to light by sports blog Deadspin. During the interview Te'o's father Brian stuck up for the football player saying pretty adamantly that his son is not a liar.

This morning a panel of NFL experts join “Starting Point” to weigh in on the new developments, Te’o’s career and whether or not the 21-year-old football star was actually duped.

Sports Agent Doug Eldridge says Te’o’s future is a question of performance versus perception.

“It’s a question of how is Manti going to perform on the field," Eldridge says. "This is no longer a scouting issue. It’s a personnel issue.” He adds that NFL teams need to employ their investigation units to “look behind the scenes and [see] what really went into this.” On the perception side relating to Te’o’s marketability and future endorsements Eldridge says, “It’s a question of fan perception” and how they view him and his role in the hoax.

Former Atlanta Falcons NFL Player Chris Draft says as a football player the hoax is “a huge amount of pressure for Manti but he dealt with a lot of pressure throughout the season.” He adds that while the linebacker seemed affected during the 2013 BCS Championship game against Alabama, his poor performance was not necessarily all due to the scandal. Ultimately, Draft says Te’o “has to deal with it – he has to deal with it right now.”

ESPN Senior Writer and CNN contributor L.Z. Granderson says Te’o should have dealt with the situation weeks ago. “In December it makes all the sense in the world to me. In January that makes no sense in the world to me...Why would you let a month go by before you, before the University of Notre Dame, before your father who’s teary-eyed and saying you’re not a liar – why would you let a month go by before Deadspin outed you with this story?”

Filed under: Football • Manti Te'o • Sports
January 18th, 2013
11:03 AM ET

Can Armstrong repair his image? Cyclist Nicole Cooke, WSJ's Reed Albergotti & agent Drew Rosenhaus weigh in

In a gripping interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday night, now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong came clean about using performance enhancing drugs. Armstrong said that through most of through most his cycling career he had multiple blood transfusions in addition to using a cocktail of drugs, including testosterone, cortisone, human growth hormone and the blood booster EPO. The interview in which Armstrong did not get deep into the details of how exactly he doped and who assisted him is set to continue on Winfrey's OWN cable network on Friday night.

Cyclist and 2008 Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke, legal reporter for the Wall Street Journal Reed Albergotti, and sports agent Drew Rosenhaus weigh in on whether it is possible for him to rehabilitate his image.

In order for cycling to move forward Cooke says Armstrong has to “definitely” come clean. On Armstrong’s interview with the TV legend, Cooke says, “we haven’t even scratched the surface.” She adds, “Oprah isn’t an expert on the ins and outs of cycling and what happens with the anti-doping.” Cooke went on to say that she hopes Armstrong “can be put under oath and actually have to answer those hard questions.”

In order for Armstrong to get back in the public eye and have any credibility Rosenhaus says he has to “come completely clean, be totally remorseful, absolutely apologetic.” He adds that the disgraced cyclist “can not continue to be defiant. He’s got to lay it all out there publicly and privately with these agencies.” Rosenhaus says by doing these things Armstrong “has a chance to start over again and get a fresh start.”

With lawsuits and threats of legal action against Armstrong many wondered if his public statement would help him but Albergotti says, “I don’t think it does at all.” He adds, “I think they’re going to look at this and they’re going to say great you know at least we have the doping admission.” Albergotti adds, “they’re going to continue forward saying well look you admitted to this in a contract with the U.S. Postal Service – you swore that you would not dope and you would not break the rules of cycling. You violated – you’ve got to pay back that money.” Money that he says could make him liable for roughly $100 million.

Filed under: Cheating • Drug culture • Drugs • Sports
January 11th, 2013
10:28 AM ET

Will Lance Armstrong admit to doping during his 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey?

Many people are sitting on pins and needles as they wait to see if Lance Armstrong will admit to doping when he sits down to talk to Oprah next week. The former cycling superstar is doing his first interview since he was stripped of seven Tour De France titles and banned from cycling for life. This morning host of CNN's Reliable Sources and Washington Bureau Chief at Newsweek- Daily Beast Howard Kurtz and Daily Beast contributor and Editor in Chief of the Daily Download Lauren Ashburn join “Starting Point” to discuss whether they think Armstrong will use that interview to admit he took performance-enhancing drugs for years.

Ashburn says that while she believes Armstrong will confess to doping during his interview with Oprah, the talk show queen no longer has the cultural clout she used to have. Kurtz agrees but says, “she is still Oprah Winfrey and … [Armstrong] sees that he has to go to the “church of Oprah” and seek absolution.” Ashburn says she is looking forward to seeing Armstrong “sit there for and hour and a half and seeing his body language [and] what his eyes look like.” “This interview could be as important for Oprah Winfrey in trying to get back on the cultural map as it will be for Lance Armstrong,” says Kurtz.

Filed under: Drug culture • Drugs • Entertainment • Sports • TV
January 8th, 2013
09:58 AM ET

Beverly Kearney, Fmr. UT-Austin Track & Field Head Coach, speaks out since stepping down after admitting to relationship with student

This morning, a story that has shocked the college sports world. Hall Of Fame track and field coach Beverly Kearney announcing she is stepping down from her position at the University Of Texas after 21 years and six national championships. This after the coach admitted to what she calls a "consensual intimate relationship" with a student athlete on her team in 2002. The student athlete reported the relationship to the university in October 2012.

The coach says UT asked her to resign or she would be fired, and that the punishment does not fit the offense. Kearny feels her punishment was unjustified because she claims other professors and administrators at the school have not had the same repercussions after engaging in relationships that violated policy. Our team at “Starting Point” invited a representative from the university to appear on the program, but the invitation was declined. The legendary former coach, Beverly Kearney, joins us live from Austin, Texas this morning.

Kearny says she's finally come to embrace not knowing why she was treated this way by the school, especially at a time when she was negotating a contract with a raise. “I’ve always tried to live my life in a manner that I did not want to do harm," Kearney says. "And it’s always been easier for me to forgive others. But this was a challenge for me to forgive myself for making a poor decision.”

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Filed under: College • Sports • Women at work • Women's issues
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