NEW YORK -- A New York Rangers player who died in 2011 of an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers and a minor league hockey player who supplied him with pills are victims of organized sports and its lax attitude toward painkillers, a judge said Thursday.U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald commented as she spared Jordan Hart, a former player for the Utah Grizzlies, any prison time at sentencing on his guilty plea to a misdemeanor drug possession charge.Prosecutors had accused the 33-year-old Hart of contributing to the addiction of Derek Boogaard before he died in Minneapolis. Boogaard, who also played for the Minnesota Wild, had resorted to painkillers to cope with numerous hockey-related injuries, including a concussion.The judge, though, said there was no basis to assert that Hart supplied the drugs that killed Boogaard, especially since the autopsy revealed Boogaard had taken a different painkiller than the kind he got from Hart.Hart cried as he read a statement, saying he wanted to apologize to all parties.I am not proud of whats taken place in the past, he said, adding that he has become a better man and would never commit another crime.Before announcing her sentence of a year of probation, Buchwald said: This is obviously a very sad case.Mr. Boogaard and Mr. Hart were victims of organized sports, which did not consider the consequences of supplying large quantities of addictive pain medication to their players, Buchwald said.Hart was receiving prescription painkillers for a shoulder injury when he met Boogaard, who had hockey-related injuries of his own. Both were addicted to painkillers.Prior to the sentencing, Boogaards father, Len, wrote to the judge, saying he wanted Hart to be held responsible for his sons death. He said his sons banking records show large cash withdrawals that coincide with phone calls and trips to see Hart.He said he objected to claims by Harts defense attorneys that he did not blame Hart for his sons death, calling the assertion a vile distortion of the truth. Raul Mondesi Jersey . Numbers Game examines the deal that sees Michael Del Zotto and Kevin Klein switch places. The Predators Get: D Michael Del Zotto. Dellin Betances Jersey . Robredo, ranked No. 16, bounced back from an upset loss to Leonardo Mayer in the second round of the Royal Guard Open in Chile last week to down Carreno Busta in 1 hour, 25 minutes. 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Young formally announced his retirement Friday after returning to Rangers Ballpark, his baseball home for all but the last of his 13 major league seasons. So when was the last time a team generally regarded as unexpected won the NCAA womens basketball title? That would be 2011, when Texas A&M beat No. 1 seeds Baylor and Stanford, and then fellow No. 2 seed Notre Dame on the way to claiming the championship.The Aggies had a very good team that year, obviously, and you can hardly call a No. 2 seed a Cinderella. But Texas A&M had never won a title before and wasnt a popular pick to win that year.Since then, though, Baylor won as a favorite in 2012, and UConn did the same in 2013-16. When those outside of womens basketball inquired about a dark horse in that time span, it was hard for any of us who follow the game to really believe there was one. (Although No. 5 seed Louisville made a run for it in 2013, with defending champ Baylor its biggest conquest on the way to losing the title game to UConn.)But what about this season? Weve already examined how projections for the national player of the year award and All-American teams might look one way now and rather different when we get closer to seasons end.?Is it a similar scenario for the teams themselves? As the season gets underway Friday, that sense of possibility is in the air more so than has been the case for a while. Or at least everybody is telling themselves that. Well have to see if its actually true.This year is wide open, because you look and say, Who is going to be No. 1? said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, whose team has that distinction in the Associated Press preseason poll.You look at South Carolina, Baylor, Ohio State, Louisville -- theres so many good teams. And obviously, Connecticut, having won four in a row, theyre always in the conversation. But I think youre going to see that No. 1 moving around a little bit, and thats going to be a good thing for the game.UConn coach Geno Auriemma appears to agree with all that.This is a much more realistic picture of what its like in the world of team sports and coaching, Auriemma said of his Huskies being among the teams that have the potential to be champions, not the prohibitive favorites.Weve lived in a world that very few people get to live in. And they may get to live in it once in their caareers.dddddddddddd Some people, twice. But never in a row, 1-2-3-4.Never except for UConn. Yet could the Huskies national-championship string extend to five? Of course it could. UConn, which has won 75 consecutive games, still has a lot of talent, despite losing players who went first-second-third in the WNBA draft. Weve seen UConn rise to the occasion too often to not strongly consider the Huskies as contenders.?Still, the Huskies four-peat last year didnt prevent several other interesting storylines from getting noticed. Perhaps the most gratifying for the participants was the surge in the Pac-12, which got two teams -- Oregon State and Washington -- into the Final Four and felt that, as a conference, it finally got its due.I feel theres a level of responsibility to keep it going, said Cori Close, whose UCLA squad is picked to win the conference this season. Not only to think about our own growth, but how to continue to think strategically about the growth of the conference.And, by extension, the growth of the game nationally.Im not one of the UConn haters in terms of thinking it was bad for the game that they won so much. I dont think so, Close said. I think theyve set a bar thats gotten peoples attention. Like, Wow, the womens game is being played at such a high level.But I also think we need this next phase with other people stepping up to that standard that UConn has done such a great job setting. I think theres this optimism this year, and theres going to be drama in the NCAA tournament. Its an important year to grow the game.Thats a phrase that has been used for a long time, and it can seem trite. Plus, the fact is, other than UConns inevitability, there actually was pretty big drama in the postseason last season, too, with three of the No. 1 seeds -- South Carolina, Notre Dame and Baylor -- all losing before the Final Four.But this season, there does seem a chance that the final page of the script isnt already written. So as we get started, thats something to whet everyones appetite for what were about to see. ' ' '