College athletes have more power than ever before, almost everyone can agree on that. What is up for debate is whether that will lead to overdue change, or whether it will throw programs into turmoil.

Protests have been rare during the college athletes’ eight-decades and counting campaign for a bigger piece of the pie — and successful protests have been rarer still.

But the winds of change buffeting the power structure of college sports are stronger than at any time since the mini-revolts of the late 1960s and early ’70s that focused largely on civil rights. More and more, today’s athletes are showing a similar willingness to test the limits of their power through protests, organizing efforts and smart use of social media.

Even before a threatened strike by Missouri football players helped lead to the resignation of the school’s president, student athletes were showing their strength off the field.

Two years ago, Grambling State’s football team went public with their complaints over the sorry state of the facilities by forfeiting a game against Jackson State. Last March, Oklahoma’s football team walked out of spring practice in response to a video showing white fraternity members singing racial slurs. In June, a barrage of tweets by former Illinois lineman Simon Cvijanovic (“WHEN @coachbeckman is fired,” one tweet began, “you’ll hear plenty more stories …”) sparked the investigation that actually did get coach Tim Beckman fired three months later.

“People said this before, but I feel like college sports is in very dangerous territory right now,” said Gary Barnett, a former head coach at Northwestern and Colorado now a radio analyst for Sports USA network. “The schools and athletic departments have plenty of problems as it is; add this battle over athletes’ rights to the health issues, like concussions, that are already on the table, and it looks tough to continue on the track we’re on. …

“My greatest fear is what will happen if the tail is wagging the dog,” Barnett added. “But that’s what it feels like from a distance.”

Yet the same image that threatens some in the status quo looks like a positive from the other side of the prism. They say it’s no coincidence athletes are flexing their vocal muscles at the same time a steady stream of challenges to the authority of the NCAA. Major conferences are moving through the courts and federal agencies seeking to expand athletes’ rights and how they’re compensated.

“I think they have a real sense now of the power they can wield,” said Ramogi Huma, the former UCLA linebacker and executive director of the National College Players Association (NCPA), which led the unsuccessful fight to organize football players at Northwestern. “What happened at Missouri is that athletes who train and prepare and love to play demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice to advance a larger cause. In their case, it was to fight against racism.

“Now the question becomes will players prove willing to do the same to address unjust NCAA rules? To fight for better medical coverage? Or more just compensation? … The seeds have been planted before,” he added. “We’ll see if they bear fruit this time around.”

The stakes couldn’t be much higher. College football and men’s basketball are the bedrock of a multi-billion- dollar enterprise that has enriched TV networks and coaches, and turned some university athletic departments into nation-states. No one claims to be in favor of disrupting those games. And the powers-that-be have taken some steps to address issues ranging from safety to scholarship costs.

But two men who might not agree on much else — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Huma — both said recently they wouldn’t be surprised to find athletes on a picket line in the not-too-distant future. What that might accomplish is anyone’s guess. If the past is any indication, the answer is not much.

Ellen Staurowsky, a professor of sports management at Drexel University, recently compiled a history of labor-management set-tos in college sports dating back to the 1930s and it’s not a very distinguished one. In those early years, student-athletes from Howard, LSU, Pitt and Syracuse all tried or threatened to withhold their game-day services in exchange for a better deal and wound up folding, usually for very little.

In one memorable instance, at the 1961 Liberty Bowl, all it took to derail a threatened strike by Syracuse’s players was a gift of commemorative watches for the players.

But there were small victories, too, most notably perhaps, the members of the 1969-70 Syracuse football who came to be known as the “Syracuse 8.” They staged a lengthy and sometimes-divisive protest seeking academic, medical and on-field equality for black players, a fight that carried implications for athletes everywhere in those racially charged times.

“There are different issues today, and social media has been a game-changer for players already,” Staurowsky said. “They’re a different generation and they’re just beginning to grow into their story, to find where they fit, in a way that may be empowering to them. …

“So,” she said, “if we don’t see more activism coming out of this era, then it will make me wonder whether it will happen at all.”

HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong billionaire tycoon who has been convicted of corruption paid a total of $77 million at auctions in Geneva for two large and rare colored diamonds for his daughter, his office said Thursday.

Joseph Lau was the top bidder for the 12.03-carat “Blue Moon” diamond that sold Wednesday night for a record-setting 48.6 million Swiss francs ($48.5 million), said a spokeswoman for Lau, who declined to give her name.

Sotheby’s said the buyer promptly renamed the pricier gem “The Blue Moon of Josephine.”

Lau was also the buyer of a 16.08-carat vivid pink diamond that sold for 28.7 million Swiss francs ($28.5 million) auctioned by Christie’s the night before, she said.

The buyer renamed that diamond “Sweet Josephine,” Christie’s said.

“Yes, the two diamonds are bought by Joseph Lau,” said the spokeswoman, who added that they were named after Lau’s 7-year-old daughter.

The blue diamond, set in a ring, was said to be among the largest known fancy vivid blue diamonds and was the showpiece gem at the Sotheby’s jewelry auction.

The Blue Moon — named in reference to its rarity, playing off the expression “once in a blue moon” — topped the previous record of $46.2 million set five years ago by the Graff Pink, Sotheby’s said. The diamond also set a new record of more than $4 million per carat, capping the daylong high-end jewelry sale that reaped roughly $140 million.

Lau, a property developer with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $9.9 billion, has a habit of snapping up expensive gems for his children.

At a Sotheby’s Geneva auction in 2009, he bought another blue diamond, paying a then-record $9.5 million for the 7.03-carat “Star of Josephine.”

Last November, he also bought two gems for another daughter, 13-year-old Zoe, his spokeswoman said. One was a 9.75-carat blue diamond that he named “Zoe Diamond” after buying it for about $33 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. He also spent 65 million Hong Kong dollars ($8.4 million) for a 10.1-carat ruby and diamond brooch at a Christie’s Hong Kong auction. He named that one “Zoe Red.”

Lau was convicted last year by a Macau court of bribery and money laundering and sentenced to more than five years in prison. But Lau, who didn’t attend the trial, has remained free by avoiding travel to the former Portuguese colony, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with nearby Hong Kong. Both cities are specially administered Chinese regions.

“Tonight we set a new world record, a new auction record for any diamond, any jewel, any gemstone, with the sale of the Blue Moon diamond,” said auctioneer David Bennett in Geneva. He specified the price as $48,468,158. “I have never seen a more beautiful stone. The shape, the color, the purity — it’s a magical stone.”

The polished blue gem was cut from a 29.6-carat diamond discovered last year in South Africa’s Cullinan mine, which also yielded the 530-carat Star of Africa blue diamond that is part of the British crown jewels, and the Smithsonian Institution’s “Blue Heart” discovered in 1908.

Sotheby’s says experts took five months for an “intense study” of the original Blue Moon diamond, and a master cutter took another three months to craft, cut and polish the stone. The auction house said in a video that the Cullinan mine was the “only reliable source in the world for blue diamonds,” and only a tiny percentage of those found in it contain even a trace of blue.

Blue diamonds are formed when boron is mixed with carbon when the gem is created.


Keaten reported from Geneva. Associated Press writer Chris Den Hond in Geneva contributed to this report.


Corrects to show that pink diamond was auctioned by Christie’s instead of Sotheby’s.

CALAIS, France (AP) — Adnan Kurdu has been living in a world of hurt. For months, he has chewed food to the left of his mouth to try to minimize the pain that starts from a right upper molar and seems, sometimes, to shoot down to his feet.

Kurdu finds salvation at one of the improvised clinics that appear from nowhere in Calais’ migrant camp, where medical care for an estimated 6,000 souls depends on volunteers from several countries. After five increasingly graphic minutes seated in a plastic chair at the side of a dirt track, the root of Kurdu’s torment is removed — and the Syrian is all smiles.

“Thank you, thank you,” he repeats in Arabic to a visiting team of four British dentists led by Dr. Raid Ali.

A half-dozen patients who have just witnessed Kurdu’s extraction wait their turn to have abscesses and cavities treated. Soon, a tray of bloodied forceps and other single-use implements is full, and Ali’s team must find somewhere outside the camp with mains-supply electricity to run their sterilizer.

Ali, a 42-year-old Baghdad native who runs three dental practices in Wales, has made the 10-hour, 870-kilometer (540-mile) round trip from Cardiff four times in recent months to mount two-day weekend clinics that stop only when his equipment stockpile is exhausted.

Nearby, the French charity Doctors of the World has built a wooden-hut clinic where patients receive pain relief and treatment for parasites and other ailments, cuts and simple bone fractures. The latter are common as people attempt to board moving trains and trucks at night.

More specialized care requires an uncertain drive to Calais’ hospital, 2 kilometers (3 miles) southwest. Ambulances refuse to enter the camp, citing potentially dangerous crowds and the chance of getting stuck in narrow, bumpy mud paths. They will collect patients only on bordering paved roads.

As Ali speaks, a delirious man suffering from suspected kidney stones is carried by two comrades toward the dental clinic, only to be told in Arabic they are not physicians. A passing charity van is commissioned on the spot as an emergency shuttle. The man moans as his wobbly head slumps onto the dashboard.

“We do what we can,” Ali says, “but it’s never enough in a place like this.”


Of related interest: “Seeking Home: Life inside the Calais Migrant Camp” — a 360-degree, virtual reality video documents the Calais camp. For Google Cardboard-compatible or 360 video: or download the Ryot VR app:

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The latest on the protests and turmoil over racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

The University of Missouri system’s governing board has met for three hours in closed session with no announcement.

The Board of Curators held an emergency session Wednesday evening amid racial tensions on the Columbia campus. The tensions have fueled protests that led two top administrators to resign earlier this week.

Board member John Phillips emerged after Wednesday’s three-hour meeting and said, “Nothing to share tonight. There may be something tomorrow afternoon.”

Phillips was the only board member present on campus. He met with the other members by phone.


5:40 p.m.

A white college student has been charged with posting online threats to shoot black students and faculty at the University of Missouri’s flagship campus in Columbia.

Hunter M. Park was charged Wednesday in Boone County Circuit Court with making a terrorist threat. He’s jailed in Columbia. Prosecutors have requested no bond. Park is a 19-year-old sophomore studying computer science at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

The prosecutor’s office said in a written statement that it “takes very seriously all cases involving violence or threats of violence.” The statement said the office would make no further comment.

The prosecutor’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email asking whether Park had an attorney. No information about the case is listed online. The probable cause statement wasn’t immediately released.


4:50 p.m.

Authorities are investigating a threatened shooting at the University of Missouri campus in Rolla where one of its students was arrested earlier Wednesday for allegedly posting separate online threats to shoot black students at the university’s sister campus in Columbia .

A statement by Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla says police there fielded a report shortly after noon Wednesday that someone posted on anonymous location-based messaging app YikYak that, “I’m gonna shoot up this school.”

The threat came the same day a sophomore there, 19-year-old Hunter Park, was arrested on suspicion of anonymously warning online that he planned to shoot blacks at the system’s Columbia campus, 75 miles from Rolla.

Racial tensions on the Columbia campus have fueled protests that led two top administrators to resign earlier this week.


4:35 p.m.

A woman who was among University of Missouri employees whose videotaped clash with a student photographer during protests on the campus helped fan debate about free press is on administrative leave.

The Columbia campus’ director of student life, Mark Lucas, says in a statement that Janna Basler was placed on leave Wednesday and that the department is investigating her actions.

He says Basler is the school’s director of Greek life.

Basler and assistant professor Melissa Click of the school’s communications department drew criticism for trying to stop a freelance student photographer from taking pictures of protesters celebrating the university system president’s resignation announcement on Monday. The incident was captured on video and posted online.

Click apologized Tuesday.

Basler didn’t return a message Wednesday seeking comment.


2 p.m.

A University of Missouri professor who challenged his students to show up for class despite fears over racially-motivated threats of violence or risk missing an exam says he has offered his resignation.

Dale Brigham told The Associated Press by email Wednesday that he ultimately backtracked and told students they could take the exam on a later date. His initial email to his Nutritional Science 1034 class urging them to “not give in to bullies” and warning that the test would be administered Wednesday whether students showed up or not sparked an angry response.

Brigham says he has offered his resignation, although university spokesman Christian Basi said he didn’t know yet whether the school had accepted the resignation.

A student at another campus is accused of having made the online threats.


1:50 p.m.

Free speech advocates are expressing concern that instructions from University of Missouri police on how students should report “hateful and/or hurtful” speech could stifle legitimate differences of opinion.

A campus email sent Tuesday instructs recipients to call university police as soon as possible and notes that while such speech isn’t always illegal, students can nonetheless be punished by the Office of Student Conduct.

The university’s student conduct code prohibits harassment, which it defines as “unwelcome verbal or physical conduct” against “actual or perceived membership in a protected class … that creates a hostile environment.” The conduct code also forbids bullying, retaliation and threatening or intimidating behaviors.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri responded with a statement calling for the university to not compromise the right to free expression in its efforts to fight racism. Its statement says, “Mistakenly addressing symptoms – instead of causes – and doing it in a way that runs counter to the First Amendment is not the wise or appropriate response.”

A University of Missouri police official referred questions about the email to the university’s media relations office, which did not immediately respond.


1:30 p.m.

A man accused of posting online threats aimed at black University of Missouri students and faculty won’t appear in court until Thursday at the earliest because county offices are closed for Veterans Day.

Hunter M. Park was arrested early Wednesday in Rolla, where he is a student at Missouri University of Science and Technology. He was jailed in Columbia on a preliminary charge of suspicion of making a terrorist threat. He hasn’t been formally charged.

Authorities say Park posted on YikYak and other social media sites threats to “shoot every black person” he sees on the university’s flagship campus in Columbia. A black student group organized protests there that helped force the resignations Monday of the university system president and the chancellor of the Columbia campus.


10:25 a.m.

The 19-year-old man arrested for allegedly making online threats against black students and faculty at the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus is a student at one of its other campuses.

Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla confirmed that 19-year-old Hunter M. Park is a student there. He was arrested Wednesday at a residence hall on the Rolla campus. The school says no weapons were found.

Park was taken by University of Missouri police to Columbia, where he is jailed. Formal charges haven’t been filed.

The online posts on YikYak and other social media Tuesday threatened to “shoot every black person I see.”

The threats follow the resignations Monday of the university system’s president and the Columbia campus’ chancellor after student protests over their handling of racial issues.


10:15 a.m.

There are noticeably fewer people walking around the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus despite the early-morning arrest of a man suspected of posting online threats against black students and faculty.

The campus green where crowds protested against the administration’s handling of racial issues was devoid of students Wednesday morning.

Freshman communication sciences and disorders major Megan Grazman said she was heading to class and felt safe, but that it was clear many students weren’t. She said, “There’s nobody out. It’s a ghost town.”

Sean Ficken, who has one black parent and one white one, said he’s not worried but is being more vigilant than usual.

University police arrested a 19-year-old man early Wednesday suspected of posting anonymous threats online about shooting black people.


9 a.m.

University of Missouri police say the suspect accused of making online threats against black students and faculty is 19-year-old Hunter M. Park.

Park was arrested at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday by university police in Rolla, Missouri, and taken to Columbia, where he is jailed on $4,500 bond. Charges have not been filed. He is not a student at the Columbia campus.

Rolla is about 94 miles south of Columbia.

Police declined to release a photo of the suspect, citing concerns for his safety.

The online posts on YikYak and other social media Tuesday threatened to “shoot every black person I see.”

Campus police Major Brian Weimer says additional officers are posted on campus to ensure security.

The threats follow the resignations Monday of the university system’s president and the Columbia campus’ chancellor after student protests over the university’s handling of complaints about racism.


6:55 a.m.

University of Missouri Police say the department has arrested a suspect accused of making online threats against black students and faculty.

A post early Wednesday on the university’s emergency alert website says the suspect is in university police custody and was not on or near the university campus when the threats were made. A dispatcher at the university’s police department says more information will be released later Wednesday.

The online posts discovered on YikYak and other social media Tuesday threatened to “shoot every black person I see.”

Campus police Capt. Brian Weimer says additional officers are posted on campus to ensure security.

The threats follow the resignations Monday of the university system’s president and the Columbia campus’ chancellor after student protests over the university’s handling of complaints about racism.

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — With more runners called out on slides when they pop up off a base as fielders keep tags on them, Major League Baseball plans to review the issue during the offseason.

Since the start of expanded video review for the 2014, more runners have been called out after fielder’s press their gloves against them, hoping they will come off the base for a split second during or after their slide.

“I’ve talked to a number of managers about that, and in a lot of ways they feel it’s unfair,” Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, said Wednesday. “And yet when you’re dealing with replay and dealing with technology, it is what it is. If there’s a separation and his glove, the ball is on the runner, you can’t ignore that.”

MIAMI (AP) — The elbows-out GOP presidential contest appeared on Wednesday to have entered a kinder, gentler phase.

Jeb Bush, the son of the president who popularized that phrase, pointedly refrained from going after former protege Marco Rubio. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, previously the resident insult machine, did not speak ill of any of his Republican opponents during an hourlong interview Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show. Not of Rubio, who is rising in the polls. Not of Ben Carson, who has faced questions about details in his personal life story. Not even Bush, who Trump has frequently blasted as a “low energy candidate.”

“I am being nice. I’m trying to be,” Trump said during the interview on MSNBC.

The cease-fire by two of the race’s most aggressive candidates began during Tuesday’s night’s debate, may be forced by circumstance, and temporary. Bush’s criticism of Rubio for missed Senate votes had backfired on the former Florida governor, whose focus now is on projecting command of a tougher-than-expected battle for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump’s new diplomatic style, too, comes as he competes for Carson’s supporters, who mostly like the retired neurosurgeon for his even-tempered, pleasant approach.

However temporary, the shift in tone was dramatic for both candidates and reflects dwindling time remaining before the first votes of the 2016 presidential contest are cast in February. One more nationally-televised GOP debate remains this year, on Dec. 15, before voters plunge into the holiday season. The timetable means the coming weeks are critical for the remaining candidates in the unruly race to correct and focus their campaigns.

In the MSNBC interview, what former president George H.W. Bush might have called a kinder, gentler Trump, wouldn’t bite when asked to comment on how fellow Republicans fared in the debate.

“I don’t think anybody did poorly really. I really don’t,” said Trump. “Normally I should say they were all terrible, everybody, right?”

“I’ve actually become friends with a lot of the people that are up there,” Trump added, but did not name which opponents he counts as friends.

At one point, Trump declined to talk about whether Carson was qualified to be president. “That’s not for me to say,” he said, noting that he did have enough confidence in Carson to have him run one of his companies.

Previously, Trump had dismissed Carson’s surge in the polls and questioned Carson’s religious denomination, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

In Tuesday night’s debate, Trump played more the role of referee than rabble-rouser.

He complained about Ohio Gov. John Kasich taking too much speaking time from Bush.

“Thank you, Donald, for allowing me to speak at the debate,” said Bush sarcastically. “That’s really nice of you.”

For his part, Bush, who was in Iowa on Wednesday, was upbeat about his debate performance and did not utter a negative word about Rubio.

“It went good,” Bush said as he entered a grocery store in Johnston, where he poured coffee at the store’s annual Veterans Day breakfast. Potential caucus goers peppered him with questions about a nuclear-armed Korea, Social Security and veterans’ benefits.

Earlier in the day on ABC’s Good Morning America, Rubio, who has steered clear of making direct attacks against Trump, Bush or any other GOP opponents, squelched the chatter about how his former mentor may have snubbed him during a commercial breaking in Tuesday night’s debate. A video of the moment— not seen by nationwide television viewers— appeared as if Bush actually turned away from a Rubio overture.

“It may have looked that way, but that’s not what happened,” Rubio said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America. “We’re fine.”


Associated Press reporters Steve Peoples, Bill Barrow, Tom Beaumont and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report. Peoples reported from Washington; Barrow from Virginia; Beaumont and Lucey from Iowa.