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St. Louis Blues Win Stanley Cup Title; Amanda Knox Returns to Italy; Stanford Sailing Coach Gets no Prison Time. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired June 13, 2019 - 08:30   ET



[08:30:53] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the first time in their history, the St. Louis Blues are the Stanley Cup champions.



The St. Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup title ever. They beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in a game seven last night at The Garden.

Let's get right to it. We're going to discuss it with award-winning sports broadcaster Bob Costas.

Bob, thank you so much for being with us.

Among your many accolades, you are in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. I know that St. Louis is very close to your heart. Talk to us about the meaning of this Blues victory last night.

BOB COSTAS, AWARD WINNING SPORTSCASTER (via telephone): Yes, John, I've got a feeling this may be a happier morning for me than it is for you.

BERMAN: A little.

COSTAS: Yes. St. Louis has only two major sports teams. One is part of the identity of the city for the longest time. That's the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the great baseball towns in America. They're not going to get another NFL team in the foreseeable future, if ever. They don't have an NBA team.

The Blues have had a very loyal fan following for a very long time. They hadn't even been in the Stanley Cup finals since 1970 and they'd never won it. And at mid-season this year, they were at the bottom of the pack in total points. If you had gone to Vegas or someplace and bet on the Blues winning the Stanley Cup at that point, you might not be sitting behind that desk today. You might be looking at the ocean side property on the Riviera. The odds of this happening was -- were close to nil. They came out of nowhere. They won two dramatic game sevens along the way. And here they are. The entire city is in a state of celebration. They filled up the

Enterprise Center where the Blues play for a viewing party, but some 25,000 to 30,000 also went to Busch Stadium. The Cardinals were on the road last night and they filled up the stadium just about to watch the game on a big screen. It was a huge communal event.

BERMAN: Well, I'm smiling for you and I am smiling for St. Louis, mostly because I can't cry anymore.

But, look, they deserved it. They were the tougher team. There's no question about it.

I want to ask you about another big sports thing that's been going on for the last week, which is the Women's World Cup in soccer where Team USA is awesome and they beat Thailand 13-0. But there's controversy in that victory and how they won, the margin that they kept on scoring, and also the fact that they kept on celebrating as they were scoring goals number 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Do you see a problem with that?

COSTAS: In modern sports, you're tilting at windmills to say that you ought to be restrained in moments like that. My personal preference, and maybe it's generational, is that you celebrate the truly big moments, the crucial home run, the crucial goal, or when the game is over. But once it's gotten to that point and your opponent is so completely outclassed, it might be better with each subsequent goal, 9, 10, 11, to kind of pat one another on the back but not have elaborate displays while your opponent, who's completely outclassed, just kind of has to sit there and glance at the ground. But that's a personal preference. I can't say that you could make a rule or have a general consensus that that's the way it should be because I think that younger fans and younger players don't see it that way.

BERMAN: Do you think there is something gender based about the criticism of this, that had it been a men's team -- and, by the way, the men's World Cup soccer team, US men's national team, a big fan, they would never score 13 goals but they couldn't. they couldn't do it. They haven't scored 13 goals in two years.

COSTAS: Right.

BERMAN: But do you think there would be as much criticism about a men's team?

COSTAS: I don't know. Some. I think there would be some in either case. Whether it would be exactly 50/50, I can't be sure.

BERMAN: There is an issue, though, a separate issue with this team, this World Cup team, which, again, I really do Hope wins. They're fantastic to watch. They talk about the pay disparity that they face, vis-a-vis the men's athletes, and again, the U.S. men's national team. And they note the average salary for the men's team is $263,000, the maximum for the women is $99,000. And again, not to be, you know, cruel here, but the women's team is good and the men's team isn't.

COSTAS: Yes, there's two ways to look at this. If you look at it from the cold business aspect, the men's World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. It generates billions of dollars in overall revenue. The Women's World Cup, which many of us actually might prefer to watch, especially if we're following the U.S. team, generates something under $100 million. The women actually get a slightly larger percentage of the overall revenue generated from their event than the men do.

[08:35:24] And we know that rules of the market in sports dictate that the very best player in the WNBA isn't going to make as much money as the 200th best player in the NBA. We get all that.

But on the other hand, the U.S. Soccer Federation needs to look at this from the standpoint of prestige. It isn't just that they're competing for a championship or that it's a business relationship. The women's team, both in the Olympics and in the World Cup, generates much more interest and prestige in the United States than does the men's team. And so I think whether business, on a cold calculation, indicates that they should be paid as much, common sense and public opinion indicate that they ought to close that gap just based on the popularity and the prestige, which soccer overall gains from the success of the women's teams.

BERMAN: Now, I don't know if the St. Louis Blues will go to the White House and meet with President Trump. I don't know if the U.S. women's national team, if they win the World Cup, will go either. But what does it say now that there is a question about these champions, about whether the whole team will go or, in the case of the Boston Red Sox, when they went this year, all the white players went, none of the players of color went.

COSTAS: Well, if you're talking about players of color, you have less of an issue in that respect in the NHL.

BERMAN: In hockey, yes.

COSTAS: And even more so than baseball. You've got players from a wide variety of nations, including obviously Canada.

I think what it says in general is that this is the most polarizing of presidencies. You didn't see this happening. There might have been a player or two somewhere along the line, but you just didn't see this happening in past administrations and I imagine that will continue to happen.

BERMAN: All right, Bob Costas, it is always a pleasure to speak with you. You have made the pain a little bit less for me this morning knowing how meaningful this victory is to St. Louis. We win occasionally in Boston, so we'll get over it.

COSTAS: Yes. Keep in mind, the Patriots and the Red Sox are still the reigning world champions in their respective sports.

BERMAN: Thank you very much for that reminder. Important. Thank you, Bob.

COSTAS: Thanks, John.

CAMEROTA: Does that make you feel better?

BERMAN: A little bit. A little bit.

CAMEROTA: (INAUDIBLE). It seems like you've -- your mood has really improved in the past minute.

BERMAN: Yes, a little bit.

CAMEROTA: All right, now to this. Amanda Knox is back in Italy for the first time since being released from prison there in 2011. We'll tell you why she's there, next.


[08:41:42] BERMAN: Amanda Knox is back on Italian soil. This is her first trip since the harrowing ordeal that saw her convicted twice for murdering a former roommate before she was finally acquitted by Italy's supreme court. And Knox is going back in the name of criminal justice.

CNN's Melissa Bell live in Milan with the very latest.



She stepped foot on Italian soil for the first time in eight years a few hours ago in Milan and we expect next to see her, John, here in Modena (ph) where she will be speaking to this criminal justice reform conference on Saturday on the specific question of trial by media because what she believes is that the trial that she receives from the media, her treatment by the media, was crucial in that conviction that we saw that saw her spend, let us forget -- let's not forget, four years in jail.

So this was a difficult decision to make. She said she was feeling afraid on social media before setting off from Seattle and yet clearly is hoping to use the media attention that her visit here is guaranteed to raise to talk about that problem of people who face those trial by medias.

And bear in mind that although she's been fully exonerated about the Italian judiciary on that central charge of having been involved in the murder of Meredith Kercher, so many questions still remain about exactly what happened that night in that house. Rudy Guede is the man who's serving 16 years in jail for the murder of Meredith Kercher, but in his verdict it was plainly stated that the judiciary did not believe that he had act alone. Who then was there? Who else was responsible? Even if the Italian judiciary has decided that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend were not involved, it is with those wounds still opened and those questions still answered that she finds herself back in Italy. The lawyer for the family of Meredith Kercher has said that he believes that her return is inappropriate and uncalled for.

John and Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, Melissa, what an interesting chapter in this seemingly never ending saga. Thank you very much.

Well, actress Jessica Biel appeared to have joined the controversial debate over vaccinations. The actress lobbied California lawmakers this week, along with anti-vaccination advocate Robert F. Kennedy Junior, to express opposition to a state bill that seeks to limit medical exemptions from vaccines. Some reports have labeled Biel, who has a son with her husband Justin Timberlake, as anti-vacser, but she has made no public comment on that issue.

BERMAN: All right, turn away if you have a fear of heights. Those are cracks on the floor of the glass viewing platform at the Willis Tower in Chicago. That's 103 floors up. That is not where you want to see cracks, right? So a spokesperson says protective coating had some minor cracking and no one was in danger. Again, I would submit that there's no such thing as minor cracking at --

CAMEROTA: When you're 103 stories up?

BERMAN: No. No. SO the Willis Tower Sky Deck attacks about 1.5 million visitors -- 1.5 million visitors each year.

CAMEROTA: I don't see a lot of people in line to get out on that platform right now.

BERMAN: You think it might give you pause.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Don't worry, it's just minor splintering of the glass.

[08:44:47] BERMAN: So, it is the largest college admissions scam in history, but the first person sentenced as part of this scheme got no prison time. Why? We'll discuss, next.


BERMAN: The former Stanford University sailing coach involved in the college admissions scandal will serve no prison time. John Vandemoer was sentenced to a two year supervised release with a $10,000 fine. He is the first of 50 people charged in the scam to be sentenced.

I want to bring in CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson and Paul Callan.

Paul, we've been talking about this. It's the biggest college scam in history. You know, how many people were affected by this. And yet the first person sentenced gets no jail time. What does that tell you?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think a lot of people are going to be angry about it because (INAUDIBLE) this thing. You know, in a white collar crime situation like this, people want to see white collar crime be treated the same way other crime is. In other words, you got to jail.

But I happen to think the judge got this case right. This is the sailing coach at Stanford. He didn't personally benefit from the money.


BERMAN: Any of it.

CALLAN: He took the $700,000, put it back into the program. And he has a spotless prior record. So the judge is looking at him compared to who else is usually on her docket, terrorists, drug dealers, kidnappers, murderers. And then who walks into court, the Stanford sailing coach.

[08:50:13] CAMEROTA: Well, but we usually --

CALLAN: So, what are we going to do, send him to the -- to the slammer?

CAMEROTA: I don't know, but using that logic, a mom like Felicity Huffman shouldn't get any prison time either --

CALLAN: Well --

CAMEROTA: Because she's just -- she has no prior record. She's served the community. She's a good mom.

CALLAN: It's different. But she --


CALLAN: Well, she probably deserves some jail time because she benefited from the bribe that was -- that was given. In this case, he put all the money back into the sailing program.

My question is, where's Stanford in this? Is this place so wealthy that they get $700,000 given to their sailing program?

CAMEROTA: And don't look into it?

CALLAN: What college even has a sailing program? And they don't even check it out, you know? Hey, sailing coach, how did you raise the $700,000? What's he giving out tours of the, you know, San Francisco Bay or something?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Before I state my points of disagreement --

CALLEN: Joey, go ahead, be a hard ass. Go ahead.

JACKSON: To my esteemed counsel, let me say a couple of things. Look, this is a teachable moment for a number of reasons. Number one, we know that judges are king in their courtroom. Why do I say that? The prosecutor recommended 13 months. What did the judge say? No thank you.

Even Stanford itself provided a victim impact statement where they said, you know what, you've cost us dearly. You've cost us reputationally. You've cost us as it related to this federal investigation and time, money, et cetera. CAMEROTA: Right, but Paul calls BS on that victim impact statement.

JACKSON: So -- well, let me -- let me circle back to why I have a point of disagreement.

Now, this is -- this is good in as much as it demonstrates that courts are going to evaluate each defendant independently. We are in court every day arguing, look, my client is different from someone else. Not everyone is similarly situated. And that's a good thing.

However, here's where it's a bad thing. I think that there has to be some deterrent value. I don't care that you did not benefit personally. This is something you do not do. You are a person who stands in -- I don't want to be a moralist by any means, there's other people who can judge you -- but part of a factor in sentencing someone is not only punishment but it's deterrence. You have to send a message that certain conduct is not appropriate, certain conduct will not be tolerable, certain conduct is just unacceptable.

CALLAN: We're going to have deterrence?

JACKSON: And we -- when you are --

CALLAN: We're going to -- we're going to stop contributions to sailing programs at other schools?

JACKSON: No, we're going to --

CALLAN: Most of them don't even have any boats, Joey, so --

JACKSON: It's -- it's not about -- it's not about the sailing program, it's about the administrator who exercises authority over any program. We're not talking about sailing, we're talking about anything and everything wherein an administrator is in a position to treat people differently to accept applicants who don't belong there because you're giving them money. That shouldn't be done.

CAMEROTA: So you think he should have gone to jail?

JACKSON: I do. I think that --

CAMEROTA: For how long?

JACKSON: You know what, I -- I agree with the prosecutor's recommendation here. I don't --

CAMEROTA: Thirteen months?

JACKSON: We are on national TV?


JACKSON: I shouldn't be agreeing too much with prosecutors.

But, look, the fact is, is I think that there needs to be some deterrent value. This is a crime of gross proportions. It's a crime of privilege. It's a crime that not everyone gets to cut checks to everyone. And I think there needs to be some value.

CALLAN: Let me just add -- let me -- let me -- let me just add one other thing on the 13 months. Prosecutor recommends a 13-month sentence. Do you know what that is? That's a slap on the wrist in the federal system. And what that means is that the judge could have, to accommodate, maybe given nine months, 10 months, 12 months. If you -- if you go under 12 months, and Joey knows this because a lot of his -- a lot of his clients go to jail, but the -- no, I'm only kidding. I've actually seen him working quite --

JACKSON: He's in the audience rooting me on.

CALLAN: This guy -- no, this guy can cross-examine. So -- but if you get under 12 months with time -- with time off for good behavior, you can wind up doing six or seven months. So the prosecutor was sending a message to the judge, this is a case that you really should give a lenient sentence on.

BERMAN: All right, I've got two -- I've got two big questions here. Number one, it does (INAUDIBLE) what about the college here? I think perhaps this light sentence was given because the judge was saying, you colleges, you're crooked. What this Stanford college coach did is not even comparable to some of the stuff that's done legally at these schools, number one. And then number two, my question is, if you're Lori Loughlin now or you're Felicity Huffman, what's going through your head?

JACKSON: So, two things. Number one is I think the judge was persuaded by two factors. I think the first factor was certainly that he didn't benefit at all, right, in terms of giving the money back into the program. Number two, I think that judges do look at people who sent letters for you. You had parents, you had students, you had other people, coaches, family members who spoke highly of him. And, remember, in part of sentencing, you evaluate the whole individual, just not an isolated instance.

Number two, to your point about Felicity Huffman or Lori Loughlin. Look, the point is, Felicity Huffman accepted responsibility. That's big. I would not look at this particular case as the test case for everyone else. I think it's an outlier and it was predicated upon the facts here and this is not a broader issue. So I don't think this sends a message to anyone. I think it isolates and evaluates the person who was standing before the court.

CAMEROTA: I don't know if -- I still am confused, Paul, about how accepting the hundreds of thousands of dollars is better than a mom giving it. They're both -- I mean, the mom is hoping to get her kid into school. The person accepting the money is just taking the bribe.

[08:55:03] CALLAN: OK. I see your point on that. And that is a legitimate point.

I think you could argue, for instance, that maybe by bringing so much money into the university, he was going to get a promotion in the future maybe that he wouldn't have got normally. But you know something, here's the argument that's going to be made about the parents. They got swindled by this guy Singer, OK? What I'm wondering about is, in a normal situation, they would be perceived as victims as well because they have been forced -- well, they haven't been forced, but they gave all this money, you know, hoping for a legitimate benefit and they all wind up now possibly going to prison. So -- or facing prison.

BERMAN: There are other people -- there are other people who pocketed money, by the way, other coaches, other school administrators.

CALLAN: Yes, there are.

BERMAN: This person did not and I think that maybe (INAUDIBLE).


CALLAN: And he's a young guy with a spotless record.


CALLAN: You know, I think the judge did the right thing and I saw Joey seemed to be coming around to my point of view as we got toward the end of the interview.

BERMAN: I'm not so sure. I don't know if we were watching -- we weren't watching the same show there.

CALLAN: Did you see that?

BERMAN: All right, Paul, Joey, thank you.

JACKSON: That's what debate champions do like you, you know.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, gentlemen.

JACKSON: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much.

Now to this story. Two dozen police officers and two journalists were injured in protests overnight in Memphis. Our coverage picks up after this break.