THROW OUT THE RECORD BOOKS?

It's time to stop pretending like this never happened, here's why

Of course it happened, we saw them do it. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

We all remember the iconic scene of Lance Armstrong crossing the finish line and counting off his victories, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, at the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005. Now here's your trivia question:

Who won the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005?

Answer: Nobody.

After Armstrong was found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs, the International Cycling Union stripped Armstrong of his titles and decided that no winner of cycling's biggest race would be declared those years. Armstrong's achievements were erased from the record book and he was banned from cycling for life. His unprecedented seven consecutive Tour de France victories? Never happened.

Earlier this week, LSU announced that it was striking former star running back Derrius Guice from its football record books due to Guice's arrest on domestic violence charges last year. Those 3,074 rushing yards he gained over his career from 2015 to 2018? Those 29 touchdowns? That record-breaking 285-yard game against Texas A&M? Never happened.

Of course it happened, we saw Guice do it. And Lance Armstrong won seven Tour de France races, there are photos of him holding the trophy on the winner's podium.

And Milli Vanilli won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1990, despite organizers taking back the award after discovering that, girl you know it's true, the two guys in Milli Vanilli didn't actually sing on their albums.

There's got to be a better way of punishing cheaters and scoundrels than pretending they didn't do what millions of people saw them do. Wishing something didn't happen won't make it go away. You might try, but there are some things you can't un-see, like Caddyshack II. Winston Churchill once said, "those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Or as Tweety Bird said it better, "I did! I did taw a putty tat!"

Reggie Bush was announced as the winner of the 2005 Heisman Trophy, symbolizing the best player in college football. But a list of official Heisman winners now says "2005 – vacated." Technically, Bush handed back the trophy before the Heisman Trust could demand he return it. Bush was charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts during his football career at USC. The Heisman Trust decided not to award the trophy to the runner-up, UT quarterback Vince Young, who said he would have gladly accepted the award.

NCAA officials took away Louisville's 2013 men's basketball championship after investigators discovered that an assistant coach paid strippers to entertain players and recruits at a campus dorm party. A player admitted that he had sex with one of the dancers. The NCAA website still lists Louisville as the March Madness winner, but with an asterisk adding, "Louisville's participation in the 2013 tournament was later vacated by the Committee on Infractions."

The NCAA has wiped away several national titles after infractions were later discovered, including Howard men's soccer (1971), San Francisco men's soccer (1978), UTEP men's cross country (1983), Tulsa women's golf (1988), Syracuse men's lacrosse (1990), Arkansas men's track and field (1994-95), UCLA women's softball (1995), Hawaii men's volleyball (2002), Lewis University men's volleyball (2003), Florida State men's track and field (2007) and LSU women's track and field (2012).

NCAA's post-dated punishments aren't limited to bigtime athletic programs. Titles have been forfeited involving Division II and III schools, too: Cal Poly baseball (1989), Mississippi College football (2005), Saint Augustine men's track and field (2007), Armstrong State women's tennis (2015-16), Trenton State women's lacrosse (1992), Plattsburgh State men's hockey (1987), and Thomas More women's basketball (2015).

Sometimes the infractions seemed small, like a booster paying for housing for an injured player or a host family providing free meals to a player. The NCAA took away the University of Massachusetts' conference women's tennis title after the school paid players' phone bills totaling $252.

Sometimes the charges are whoppers, though, like schools using international students who played professional sports in their home country (Hawaii) and encouraging ineligible athletes to play under fake names (Tulsa).

More than 100 Penn State football wins during the Joe Paterno-era were stripped after assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's conviction on several charges relating to unlawful sexual contact with minors. Brian Cushing's second-team All-Pro honor was taken away because of a positive test for a banned substance in 2010. University of Michigan's basketball wins during the early '90s were stricken from the record books, and Final Four banners removed from Crisler Center, because "Fab Five" star Chris Webber took illegal money from a booster. The University of Massachusetts' Final Four appearance in 1996 and Memphis' Final Four appearance in 2008, both during John Calipari's tenure as coach, were removed from the record books because of cash payments to players.

Marion Jones (2000) and Ben Johnson (1984) had to return their Olympic gold medals after testing positive for banned substances. Dancer's Image was taken down as winner of the 1968 Kentucky Derby for a similar offense, although the horse didn't go to prison like Marion Jones did for lying to federal authorities.

Rosie Ruiz crossed the finish line first at the 1980 Boston Marathon but officials said, wait a minute, you took a shortcut, hand back that olive crown. Even Little League isn't immune from scandal. A team from The Bronx had to forfeit its 2001 third-place honor when hard-throwing star pitcher Danny Almonte was discovered to be 14, not 12 or younger as the rules say. The Jackie Robinson West team from Illinois was stripped of its 2014 U.S. title for recruiting players from outside its district.

All of the above happened, although now it appears they didn't.

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Houston goes up 1-0 in the series

Altuve, Correa help lift Astros to ALCS Game 1 win over Red Sox

Carlos Correa's go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of ALCS Game 1 helped lift the Astros to a 1-0 series lead. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite one rough loss to the White Sox in the ALDS, the Astros looked like the dominant team they are capable of being, taking that series 3-1 to advance and taking ownership of home-field advantage in the ALCS against the Red Sox, who upset the Rays. In Game 1, despite trailing for the middle portions of the game, Houston would get more highlight moments from the faces of the franchise to start the series with a win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 4

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek

Losing Pitcher: Hansel Robles

Houston strikes first, but Boston sends Valdez to an early exit

Both starting pitchers worked in and out of trouble in the early goings of ALCS Game 1, starting with Framber Valdez in the top of the first. After erasing a leadoff single by inducing a double play, he went on to load the bases on a single and two walks but would strand all three runners to keep Boston off the board. The Astros jumped in front in the bottom half, with Jose Altuve working a leadoff walk, moving to second on a one-out single by Alex Bregman, advancing to third on a wild pitch, then ultimately scoring on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez to put Houston ahead 1-0 after one frame.

They had a chance to extend their lead in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a shaky inning by Chris Sale, who loaded the bases with one out as Houston would get two singles and a hit-by-pitch. That flipped the order over to the top, but a great diving catch by former Astro Kiké Hernández would end the inning. Hernández led off the top of the third against Valdez, and he would tie things up with a solo homer.

Things went downhill from there for Valdez and the Astros, as a one-out walk followed by a single gave the Red Sox the go-ahead run in scoring position. On a groundball that likely should have been a double play to end the inning, it would get through Altuve's legs, scoring a run and keeping the inning alive for Boston. They took advantage, getting an RBI double to extend their new lead to 3-1. Valdez would get one more out before Dusty Baker would give him the early hook, bringing in Yimi Garcia, who finished the frame.

A battle of the bullpens, Altuve ties it up

Like Valdez, Sale would also not make it through three innings, getting two outs while putting two on base before Boston would start their bullpen's night as well. Both sets of relievers settled the game down, with the Red Sox stranding two of Houston's runners in the third as well as the fifth, maintaining their two-run lead. After Garcia finished the third, Cristian Javier entered to eat up a couple of innings, and he would do just that by getting through two frames with just one hit, four strikeouts, and no runs.

Next, Phil Maton took over in the top of the sixth and erased a leadoff walk to keep things in striking distance for the home team. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put another runner on base, getting a one-out single by Chas McCormick. Two batters later, with two outs, Jose Altuve provided yet another career postseason highlight, tying the game 3-3 with a two-run home to re-energize the Minute Maid Park crowd.

Astros take ALCS Game 1

Now a brand new ballgame in the top of the seventh, Brooks Raley came in to face three batters, getting two strikeouts while allowing a single before Dusty Baker would move on to Ryne Stanek, who would get the third out. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Correa continued his march to a monster off-season contract, putting Houston back on top with a solo homer, making it 4-3.

Houston kept the script after Stanek with the new lead in hand, going to Kendall Graveman as the setup man in the top of the eighth. Despite a two-out single, he would get out of the inning with the lead intact, putting Houston three outs away from the victory. After a walk, single, and hit by pitch to start the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, Altuve would drive in his third run of the game, getting a sac fly to extend the lead to two runs at 5-3.

That insurance run proved pivotal, as closer Ryan Pressly was met with a leadoff solo home run by Hernandez, his second of the night for Boston, to make it 5-4. Pressly refocused and was able to get the next three batters in order, though, wrapping up the win to start Houston off with a 1-0 series lead and putting them three wins away from advancing to the World Series.

Up Next: The two teams will have a moderately quick turnaround, with ALCS Game 2 scheduled to start at 3:20 PM Central on Saturday ahead of NLCS Game 1 between the Dodgers and Braves getting the night slot. The pitching matchup is expected to be Nathan Eovaldi for Boston, who is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his two starts this postseason, going opposite Luis Garcia, who had a rough outing in the ALDS for Houston, giving up five runs without completing three innings in Chicago.

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