HomeBad BehaviorNew sex abuse charges against former USC campus gynecologist Jul. 10, 2020 at 5:00 amBad BehaviorBriefsCrimeNew sex abuse charges against former USC campus gynecologistGuest Author11 months agoDr. George Tyndallsex abuseUSC gynecologist New charges have been filed against a former University of Southern California campus gynecologist accused of sexually assaulting young women who were his patients, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Thursday.The additional charges involve five new alleged victims of Dr. George Tyndall, who has previously pleaded not guilty to criminal charges involving 16 women.The amended complaint adds five counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and one count of sexual battery by fraud that allegedly occurred while Tyndall, 73, worked at a USC health center between 2011 and 2015.Arraignment was scheduled for July 24. An email seeking comment on the new allegations was sent to the office of Tyndall’s defense attorney, Leonard Levine. Tyndall was initially charged in June 2019 with 18 counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person and 11 counts of sexual battery by fraud, all felonies.All 21 victims went to the campus facility for annual exams or for other treatment dating back to 2009, prosecutors said.Tyndall resigned in 2017 and allegations against him became public in 2018 through a Los Angeles Times investigation.If convicted as charged, Tyndall now faces a possible maximum sentence of 64 years in state prison.In February, the U.S. Department of Education said it found systemic failures in USC’s treatment of allegations of sexual abuse by Tyndall and ordered the school to overhaul its procedures for preventing sex discrimination and to conduct a formal review of how employees responded. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called it a “total and complete failure to protect students.”USC’s new president, Carol L. Folt, pledged to protect the safety of students, faculty and staff and to restore trust in the university.A federal judge has approved a $215 million class-action settlement between USC and about 18,000 women who saw Tyndall at the university. Payments would range from $2,500 to $250,000, with specific sums decided by a panel of experts. Hundreds of women have opted out of the federal court settlement and many are pursuing separate lawsuits in state court. JOHN ANTCZAK, Associated PressTags :Dr. George Tyndallsex abuseUSC gynecologistshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentLatino group launches $10M campaign to boost voter turnoutLaughing Matters – Second Banana, First Class MenschYou Might Also LikeBriefsLos Angeles Sheriff’s deputy accused of destroying evidence of 2019 assaultAssociated Press10 hours agoBriefsCalifornia State Treasurer Fiona Ma to Speak at Online Santa Monica College Commencement Ceremony June 25Guest Author10 hours agoBriefsNewsBeach House Begins Community Re-Opening June 15Guest Author1 day agoBriefsNewsInput Invited for Marine Park Improvement ProjectsGuest Author1 day agoBriefsNewsPublic Health Emphasizes the Importance of Vaccinations as Distancing and Masking Guidelines Relax Next WeekGuest Author1 day agoBriefsNews“Righting Our Wrongs” performance on June 11Guest Author1 day ago
PHOTOS: Danica Patrick through the years | Danica on future, pastHOMESTEAD, Fla. — With tears in her eyes, Danica Patrick emotionally confirmed to media on Friday afternoon she would be stepping away from full-time racing competition following Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.“My sister told me I was supposed to get emotional,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes, as her sister and parents watched from the back of the room. “I said I wouldn’t.”After a long pause, she continued, “But I’m grateful for all the opportunities.”Dressed in a white blouse and black jeans, the 35-year-old Patrick declared her intentions to transition after a historical six-year full-time career in NASCAR preceded by a headline-making seven-year full-time stint racing in the IndyCar series.MORE: Danica on racing career: Tony Stewart has been part of it allBefore officially retiring, Patrick will race in the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 — two races innately and overwhelmingly crucial to her career path. Although she doesn’t have the deals completely finalized for the two fast farewells she is dubbing the “Danica Double,” Patrick said she hopes to announce something in the coming weeks. She is confident of putting together a deal or deals to give her racing contributions the proper exclamation point.The 2013 Daytona 500 pole winner and record-setting Indianapolis 500 competitor is the first woman to compete full-time in NASCAR’s highest level.Interestingly, she has the same number of laps led (64) and top-10 finishes (seven) in both her XFINITY career (61 starts) and her Cup career (189 starts).In addition to her NASCAR accomplishments Patrick is the only woman to win an IndyCar race (2008 in Japan) and boasts the top finish ever for a woman in the Indy 500 (third place, 2009). She had top-10 finishes in six of her seven Indy 500 starts.And Patrick is the only woman to lead laps in both the Daytona 500 (seven laps) and Indy 500 (29 laps), an event she last entered in 2011.She’s currently ranked 27th in the points standings with one top 10 this year (10th at Dover).MORE: Danica on 2018 plans | Key moments | Key players in NASCAR’s silly seasonSpeaking to a smaller group of reporters after her initial announcement, Patrick joked about containing her emotions, revealing, “I’m an emotional person, shockingly, I know.“It’s one thing to say to one person, or out loud to your family, another to deliver to the masses,’’ Patrick said. “It’s not like this is a conclusion I just arrived at. I started thinking about all the situations that could come my way in January. And there was a moment in the middle of the year that I was like, is the team just going to shut me down? Maybe. I had to pretty quickly face the music of, ‘what if this is the end?’ “Patrick said she was open to doing some TV work, but that there was nothing imminent or specific to that yet. Even beyond the two races closing out her career, she has a busy slate that includes a book tour for her “Pretty Intense: The 90-Day Mind, Body and Food Plan that will absolutely Change Your Life” book.And she will continue to attend Monster Energy Series races in support of her longtime boyfriend, Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Stewart-Haas announced last week that Aric Almirola will replace Patrick in the team’s No. 10 Ford.As for Patrick joining her first formal NASCAR “boss” Dale Earnhardt Jr. and former Cup champion Matt Kenseth in stepping away from full-time work at Sunday’s checkered flag?“The show goes on as they say,’’ Patrick said smiling, noting the excitement she feels for her final racing chapter.“I’m really nervous. But I’m really excited.”WATCH: Look back through Patrick’s career
The Bar Standards Board has entered the digital age, having decided to use software which collates and stores evidence in digital form, reducing the need for paper documents.Caselines is a UK developed system currently used by Crown courts and some family courts. Designed to increase efficiency, the platform allows parties to load documents onto a remote cloud server, so evidence can be securely shared between members of the BSB’s staff and its independent decision-making body.According to the regulator, Caselines will be integrated with a new custom-made case management system and is part of the BSB’s regulatory shake-up.Sara Jagger, director of legal and enforcement at the BSB, said: ‘[Caselines] makes the task of collating, reviewing and annotating evidence so much easier for everyone involved, and crucially helps to speed up the decision-making process.‘In the future we hope to extend the use of CaseLines to supporting tribunals and other panels.’In a further re-think of regulatory procedure, the BSB has decided to pay barristers for representation in disciplinary tribunals (60 barristers previously worked on a pro bono basis). It will also pay its independent decision-making body, which decides whether a case should be passed onto the tribunal.
Stuart Pearce has denied making any contact with West Ham United after reports suggested the former defender was set to join David Moyes’ coaching staff.Slaven Bilic was fired as manager of the Hammers on Monday and talkSPORT sources understand former Everton, Manchester United and Sunderland manager Moyes will take over on Tuesday until the end of the season.The Scot will inherit a disjointed, troubled squad from Bilic and it was widely believed that ex-England defender Pearce would be brought in as a coach to add some much needed steel.The 55-year-old is best known for his time playing for Nottingham Forest but played for West Ham between 1999 and 2001 under Harry Redknapp.Pearce – who has 78 England caps – is also no stranger to management having been head coach of both Manchester City and the England Under-21s in the past.“I’ve had no contact with West Ham if that’s what you mean,” the former defender told Kick Off.“But if I had contact with them I would certainly go and talk to them.”When asked if he knew Moyes well Pearce responded: “Well enough of course.“We are members of the same union don’t you know. He tried to sign me when he was at Preston actually.“I really enjoy doing the media work but then again I enjoy coaching – I’ve been at a club today coaching.”On a separate note Pearce also had words of praise for departing West Ham boss Bilic.“I must say as well I think Slaven has conducted himself with great dignity over what’s gone on,” he said.“It means a great deal to him to represent West Ham you can tell that.”
Founded in 2008, the Soweto Equestrian Centre is the only one of its kind in Soweto, the biggest township in SA. Enos Mafokate stroking his favourite horse Salmy. Mafokate regards Salmy, 23 years old, as part of his family after their many triumphs together. Sifiso Hlatshwayo and Menzi Buthelezi, holding the saddles they made during the saddler course. (Images: Ray Maota) MEDIA CONTACTS • Enos Mafokate Soweto Equestrian Centre: Founder +27 82 330 7030 RELATED ARTICLES • SA horse goes for glory in Hong Kong• South Africa’s shark whisperer• SA puppet company wins a Tony • Gallery: South Africa’s wildlifeRay Maota“I have a dream that one day a student from the Soweto Equestrian Centre will compete for South Africa in the Olympic Games.”This quote stands out on the homepage of the website for the centre, run by former show jumper, Olympian and horse groomer Enos Mafokate.Mafokate (66) is a man in love with horses. He has achieved what many would have deemed impossible – breaking into a white-dominated sport during the height of apartheid in 1960s’ South Africa.One of the high points of his career came when he was asked to travel to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, as a member of a South African development team. This marked South Africa’s first participation in the event for over 30 years, because of a decades-long international sporting embargo.Mafokate rode in the official parade and although he didn’t compete, his presence at the Olympics was a huge inspiration to himself and to up-and-coming equestrians.“Horses are my life. They have taken me around the world and have made me the man I am today,” said the sporting pioneer.Introducing children to horse-ridingThe land on which the centre is operated was officially handed over to Mafokate by the City of Johannesburg in 2008, making the establishment – in its current state – four years old.Over 700 children have been introduced to horses and horse riding at the centre, with lessons taking place twice a week: on Fridays and Saturdays.The centre also offers courses in essential equestrian skills like saddlery, grooming and general farrier skills.A total of 19 horses live here, including Jojo; Thabazimbi; Polokwane; Mpho; Sediba; Lady D; London Pride; Fabio; and Mafokate’s favourite, Salmy.“Salmy is 23 years old and is like a part of my family. I don’t ride her competitively anymore,” said Mafokate.He added that when she dies, the centre will have a proper burial with a tombstone for Salmy – because to him she is only a horse by name.Conquering barriersMafokate’s passion for horses was realised in the 1960s when he started participating in the elite sport of show jumping. Accomplished against a backdrop of apartheid South Africa, this was no mean feat.His relationship with horses started in his teen years when he got a job with John Walker, a farm owner in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg.“Many white people used to come and picnic at the farm, especially during the December holidays, and I would look after their horses for them while they enjoyed themselves. That’s when my love for horses blossomed,” said Mafokate.In the late 1950s, Mafokate got a job manning the gates at the Woodmead Golf Course, which allowed him to tend to the patrons’ horses while they played golf.He got his first taste of show jumping as a 16-year-old in 1962, working for a Springbok show jumper as the horses’ groom, and in the same year got his first chance to compete.“The people I was working for decided to give us black people a chance at show jumping,” he recalled.Mafokate could only compete against other black jumpers because regulations at the time barred people of different races from competing against each other.“I came first in that competition – wearing overalls.”A year later Mafokate won a riding competition at the Inanda Country Base in Kyalami.Apartheid was in full effect at this point in his career and he had to shelve his show jumping career until 1975 when, he said, some white people “decided to ignore politics”.Mafokate, along with 16 other grooms, were enrolled at the Marist Brothers College, the only school that allowed black people to compete in the sport.He went on to win the Rothmans Derby in 1976 and the championship at the Constantia Show Grounds in Cape Town in 1977 and 1978, and his future seemed set.“I was the first black member of the Transvaal Horse Society, which was based at Kyalami. I was also the first black rider in 127 years to compete in the Pietermaritzburg Royal Agricultural Horse Show in 1978,” said Mafokate.“My colleagues and I were now being called black riders, not grooms. We had attained recognition.”Meeting Princess AnneMafokate became the first sportsman in South Africa to take part in an international sporting event in 1982, after 20 years of sanctions on South Africa, because of the country’s apartheid policy, forced sportsmen and women into isolation.Out of 31 riders, he came fifth at the London Royal International Horse Show. His highlight of the show was coming within a stone’s throw of the British Royal family.“I saw Queen Elizabeth drive herself in a green Rover; Prince Charles play polo and Princess Diana holding a young Prince William. The highlight, however, was seeing Princess Anne, who I knew loved show jumping,” said Mafokate.Mafokate tried to talk horses with the princess, herself an acclaimed equestrian, but was denied the privilege by a bodyguard. The incident troubled him for years.He had to wait until 2011 to see Princess Anne again when he spoke at an event hosted by UK charity World Horse Welfare (WHW).“I went wet around the mouth when I saw her again,” Mafokate told guests at the event.He and Princess Anne spoke briefly but just as Mafokate was enjoying the conversation, the Princess had to speak to someone else.“She said I’ll see you later, but we never spoke again,” said Mafokate.He said, however, sources told him “when she said she’d see you later she meant it.”Princess Anne visited the Soweto Equestrian Centre in April, during a visit to South Africa to mark her mother’s 60th year on the throne.“I never thought she would come to see my centre. When I asked her why she came, she said ‘I came because you started something which no one ever thought could happen in a black township’.”Graduation dayThe centre, the only one of its kind in Soweto, held a graduation ceremony for horse handling and farrier skills and saddle making on 24 April.In collaboration with Avis Car Hire and WHW, the centre brings in overseas trainers and tools to train students in specialist equestrian techniques.The 10-week course, attended by 20 students, is divided into four modules: two three-week courses and another two that run over two weeks.WHW’s Jim Balfour, who helped with the training on the course, addressed the graduates: “Congratulations to you all. Do not forget about what it took to get this certificate, go out there and conquer.”The students came from different parts of the country, including the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.Karin Bothma, a horse inspector with the Carthorse Protection Association in Cape Town, said: “I’ve always loved horses but the farrier and grooming course taught me how to connect better with the horses.” Bothma graduated with several distinctions.Christa Smit, sustainability manager at Avis, said that the company supports the equestrian centre because the course was enterprising and contributed to community upliftment.A fun day for children with disabilitiesFormal training is not all that the centre has to offer. The Moonlight Foundation for children with autism recently held a fun day for children suffering from this developmental disorder of the brain, characterised by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behaviour.Siphokazi Mtshotshisa is the founder of the foundation.“On 2 April it was World Autism Day and we decided to treat the children to a fun day which involved horse riding,” she said. “It’s very therapeutic for them.”The foundation seeks to do away with the stigma of autism in the black community as most people do not understand it and say the child is bewitched or crazy, said Mtshotshisa.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham set asking price for Serge Aurierby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham have set their asking price for Serge Aurier.Despite his recent form surge, the fullback remains available at Spurs ahead of the January market.Sport Mediaset says AC Milan and PSG are both keen on the Ivorian.And Spurs are eager to sell, setting Aurier’s asking price at €15m.Aurier moved to Spurs almost two years ago from PSG.
Oct. 21, 1973WS Game 71235 Oct. 27, 1985WS Game 71315 Nov. 1, 2009WS Game 41274 Nov. 1, 2010WS Game 5133 Nov. 4, 2001WS Game 71374 Oct. 22, 1972WS Game 71235 Oct. 14, 1973WS Game 21235 Oct. 19, 1980WS Game 51336 Oct. 17, 1971WS Game 71236 Oct. 14, 1979WS Game 51337 Oct. 12, 1980NLCS Game 51348 EQUINOX DATEMLBNFLNBANHL Oct. 15, 1978WS Game 51355 Game 5 of the World Series is tonight, and it could be a deciding one: The Kansas City Royals are looking to finish off the New York Mets after going ahead 3-1 in the series. But Sunday also includes 12 NFL games, seven NBA matchups, and five NHL contests. That makes today a very special day: a sports equinox.A sports equinox occurs when the four major U.S. leagues — MLB, the NFL, the NBA and the NHL — all play at least one game. There’s a very narrow scheduling window when this can happen: Nowadays the MLB season and the start of the NBA season overlap by just a few days or not at all, depending on the NBA tip-off date and the length of the World Series.By our count this will be the 15th equinox in history, and the first since 2010.1We identified equinoxes using scheduling data from the sports-reference.com sites. Equinoxes, by our definition, were not possible before the inaugural NBA/BAA season in 1946. They did not used to be so rare: There were nine equinoxes between 1971 and 1980 (when the NBA season tipped off in the first half of October), and several years have more than one. Here’s the full list: GAMES Phoenix, of all places, is the only city to play in all four parts of an equinox. On November 4th, 2001, the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Phoenix Coyotes lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Phoenix Suns lost to the Houston Rockets. The Diamondbacks salvaged the day, winning Game 7 over the Yankees to capture the city’s first and only championship across the four leagues.2The Mercury, Phoenix’s WNBA team, have three titles of their own.New York and Kansas City sports fans have less luck today. K.C.’s NHL and NBA franchises left for other locales decades ago, and both the Knicks and the Nets are off. But New York has its own packed calendar on Sunday: beyond the World Series and both NFL and NHL matchups, the Red Bulls play their first game of the MLS conference semifinals, and around 50,000 runners will compete in the NYC marathon. It may not quite be an equinox, but it’s still a huge day for NYC sports. Nov. 2, 2009WS Game 5153 Nov. 1, 2015WS Game 51275 Oct. 15, 1972WS Game 21236
TCU 8-1151239%10%4% Navy 7-120155418%<1%<1% Temple 8-122283944%<1%<1% North Carolina 8-123182030%4%<1% Houston 9-024223634%2%<1% Alabama 8-121435%43%12% Oklahoma 8-11214119%17%7% Michigan St. 8-11382211%10%1% LSU 7-199814%12%3% USC 6-3—19719%1%<1% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Utah 8-110112121%11%2% Notre Dame 8-1469—30%8% Michigan 7-214201613%7%1% Mississippi St. 7-21716153%3%<1% Clemson is sitting pretty at the top spot. Alabama leapfrogged Ohio State to be No. 2. While LSU and TCU slipped, Iowa and Stanford made big leaps.So go the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Were the selection committee to form a playoff this week, its top four would be Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame. But who cares about this week? Let’s fast-forward to Dec. 6, when the final decision on this year’s playoff participants will be announced. Our model simulated the rest of the season, and the results are in the table below. UCLA 7-21921186%3%<1% Northwestern 7-2182961<1%<1%<1% Baylor 8-067234%31%12% RankingProbability of … Wisconsin 8-22517243%<1%<1% Stanford 8-1751152%28%6% Memphis 8-12131453%<1%<1% College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings as of Nov. 10. Florida 8-111101438%17%3% Ohio State 9-032544%56%15% Clemson 9-013667%67%17% Mississippi 7-3—26109%<1%<1% Oklahoma St. 9-0841338%23%5% Iowa 9-05132928%22%2% We project that three of the top four teams from this week will make the playoff, but we expect Baylor to surpass Notre Dame. It’s no guarantee, though; the Bears will play three games against top 15 teams — including a big one against Oklahoma on Saturday — so their playoff odds are only 31 percent.Another big change in our model since last week: Clemson has a lock on the No. 1 ranking. After gritting out a tough win over Florida State last week, the Tigers’ playoff odds are at 67 percent, with a 17 percent chance of taking the national title. Both numbers top all other teams. Ohio State has the second-highest odds of making the playoffs; the model put them at 56 percent. Alabama, fresh off an impressive win over LSU, has playoff odds of 43 percent.And finally, for you methodology diehards, we’ve made some slight tweaks to the model since last week. You can read about them here. For a deeper explanation, read Nate Silver’s original explanation of the model’s methodology. Florida State 7-21624170%<1%<1% Oregon 6-3—23321%<1%<1%
Still, the team’s proximity to the real-life Batcave alone doesn’t explain how the bats are working their way inside the venue.There are a couple of potential factors at play. First, the San Antonio arena — a few miles outside of the city’s downtown area and adjacent to a golf course — is perhaps the closest thing to a suburban venue in the entire NBA. The massive, brightly illuminated presence that attracts moths and other insects in an otherwise quiet area might be appealing to bats2Primarily males, since bachelor bat colonies often separate from maternal ones overnight. that are looking for food on a given night, according to Judit Green, who has worked as an urban wildlife biologist for 30 years with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.Beyond that, experts suggest that the 750,000 square-foot stadium almost certainly had — or potentially still has — a tiny crevice somewhere, releasing just enough warmth outside to entice bats and birds that are looking to escape the area’s colder-than-usual temperatures for a night. (The Spurs declined to comment or to make a facilities specialist available to be interviewed for this story.)“I’d guess there’s a small vent or other opening to the outside that’s attracting the attention of migratory bats,” said Merlin Tuttle, an Austin-based ecologist who has studied bats for 60 years and founded Bat Conservation International in the 1980s. “When cold fronts hit, sometimes that’ll drive the bats wintering in San Antonio to look for a place that gets them out of the cold.”Once a bat does make it into the arena, we’ve seen time and time again what type of hilarity may ensue. It was nearly a decade ago in 2009 — on Halloween, fittingly enough — that future Hall of Famer Manu Ginobili endeared himself to Spurs’ fans even more by swatting a disruptive bat out of the air with his bare hand.To be clear, the AT&T Center isn’t alone in producing odd animal-related headlines. It’s nothing new for pro sports, particularly ones played outdoors, to be interrupted by uninvited animals like squirrels, cats, birds, bugs, dogs and rabbits, just to name a few. And bats have also popped up once each this year at NBA games in Utah and Indiana, respectively.But the San Antonio arena has developed a reputation for general weirdness over the years. Aside from a pigeon that flew overhead at the arena in early January, a snake was found in the visiting locker room before a playoff game between the Blazers and Spurs in May 2014. A month later, during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the air conditioning stopped working — a development that became controversial after visiting star LeBron James cramped, shifting the momentum of the contest away from Miami and toward San Antonio. The Spurs went on to dominate the series, and James left the Heat the following month in free agency.While the team did hire a designated pest-control expert following the Ginobli incident, the little-desired task of removing the bats usually falls to arena staffers who just happen to be on the court — and needless to say, it doesn’t always go so well. A handful of Spurs’ employees often give unsuccessful chase to bats, usually armed with nothing more than towels. Even Coyote, the team mascot, has gotten in on it — and, in a few cases, has actually been the one to round up the bats, illustrating just how much of an all-hands-on-deck process it can be.Rob Wicall, who served as the mascot for nearly two decades before stepping down in 2016, sounded almost envious of all the bat run-ins there have been lately. For years, well before Ginobili’s bat-swat back in 2009, Wicall kept a fishing net he’d bought and the mascot’s Batman costume accessories nearby,3Underneath the stands, by the visiting team’s tunnel to and from the locker room. Wicall referred to the area as the “Coyote’s Den.” just in case a bat ever got loose in the arena.Ginobili took care of the problem just before Wicall could suit-up and come to the rescue back in 2009. But during his farewell season, Wicall got another chance to be the hero before a game in December 2015, and he made it count. He couldn’t see that well — the costume allows little to no peripheral vision — but he tracked the bat into the painted area before somehow nabbing it with his net. When he realized he’d succeeded, Wicall — in Coyote’s full Batman attire, with the PA announcer playing the old-school Batman theme song over the speakers — lifted his arms triumphantly.“It was one of those bucket-list things for a mascot, because you’ve not only solved a problem in the arena, but you’ve also brought entertainment,” said Wicall, adding that it took him less than 45 seconds total to dash into his changing area and throw on Coyote’s Batman accessories.But not everyone relishes these run-ins. Spurs forward Rudy Gay sought shelter from a bat by hiding behind ref Zach Zarba last month. And Nets All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, who has now had two separate bat experiences at AT&T Center the past three seasons, took refuge in the tunnel leading to the locker room as four bats circled over the court.Bucks center Brook Lopez, on the other hand, would activate a Bat Signal if he could. As a comic-book aficionado, Lopez told SB Nation early in February that he’d welcome being bitten by a bat in hopes that it might make him a superhero.“I’m just going to make myself available [to the bat],” Lopez said. “At that point, it’s up to the bat. A lot of it is up to fate in these superhero stories. But I want to give myself a shot.”Fate seemed to be listening. A bat flew past Lopez on Saturday in San Antonio. Fortunately — or perhaps unfortunately, given Lopez’s hope of becoming a superhero — he wasn’t bitten. There are a few things we’ve come to expect over the years from San Antonio Spurs basketball. The team will always find a way to make the playoffs, no matter how much talent and pedigree it loses during the offseason. Coach Gregg Popovich will generally deliver grumpy end-of-quarter interviews no matter how well his team is playing. And once in a while, we can expect a furry, winged menace to descend from the rafters and terrorize their home court.The local bats of San Antonio have long held a reputation as unruly Spurs fans, occasionally crashing games and disrupting play. In recent weeks, though, the bats have claimed season-ticket holder status with the red-hot team, which has won six-straight contests. In three of the team’s past six home games, including this past Sunday, one of the flying mammals has brought a Spurs’ game to a screeching halt for minutes at a time, as various team staffers furiously scrambled to apprehend the flapping intruders.All of which raises the obvious question: Why is the arena plagued with bats so often?After spending many sleepless nights investigating the matter — in truth, I just called a couple of local specialists — the answer actually makes pretty good sense. The AT&T Center is 25 miles southwest of Bracken Cave, which is home to more than 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats, making it the largest summer bat colony in the world.1Additionally, the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin — which is the world’s largest urban bat colony, and home to about 1.5 million bats — is only about 75 miles away.What’s more, it’s logical that bats would fly past the arena, particularly during the winter months. The stadium is almost directly in the bats’ migration path from Central America and Mexico back to Bracken Cave, where maternal colonies fly to have and nurse their newborns (nearly doubling in number).