- Krispy Kreme coming to Cape Girardeau (12/14/17)1
- Feds ask judge to impose $6.5 million punishment for Cape surgeon (12/7/17)9
- Light and music show: Jackson family goes high-tech with Christmas display (12/11/17)
- Former Wimpy's Drive-In owner Freeman Lewis dies (12/9/17)2
- Makeover at the movies: Transformation complete inside Cape theater (12/8/17)4
- Jury convicts Scott City man who confessed to murder; girlfriend's testimony corroborates confession (12/9/17)
- Cape schools to get two new principals, assistant superintendent (12/13/17)1
- Two Cape County residents, including former Jackson police officer, face burglary charges in Colorado (12/12/17)
- Pedestrian struck on Broadway (12/11/17)4
- Sugarfire Cape barbecue restaurant to open June 2018 (12/7/17)
UK Scrabble group bans star player for breaking tile rule
LONDON -- The Association of British Scrabble players banned one of its star players for three years after an independent investigation concluded he had broken rules in the popular word game.
Allan Simmons has written books on Scrabble and contributed game coverage to The Times newspaper, which first reported his ban from competition. The newspaper said it no longer will use him as a contributor.
A committee member for the association, Elie Dangoor, said three witnesses saw Simmons put a hand with freshly drawn letter tiles back into a bag to draw more tiles -- contrary to the rules.
"The natural conclusion had been that he had been cheating," Dangoor said.
There were four instances dating to 2016, and the committee conducted an independent probe which concluded a few weeks ago. The matter came to public attention recently and was discussed during the World English Language Scrabble Players Association event that ended Sunday.
Simmons told the Times he denied cheating, and he had suffered the same "untimely bad luck from the bag as anyone else."
"You have to remember that at the top level, games can be quite intense, and there's a lot going through one's mind let alone remembering to religiously ensure tile drawing rules are followed meticulously," Simmons said. "From the outset I have said that no one is beyond suspicion and complied fully with the investigative process."
Dangoor said Simmons had been "a huge part of the game's development" and there was "great disappointment," as he is a liked and respected part of the Scrabble community. But action had to be taken.
"There's no one person bigger than the game," Dangoor said.
Efforts to reach Simmons were unsuccessful. The Times quoted him as saying he planned to concentrate on "more important things in life."