Weather Logo

Weekend:  Chance of Precipitation: Fri: 0% / Sat: 0% / Sun: 50%.

  51 °

Doppler Radar |  Pollen Count |  Video Forecasts |  Weekend Weather Forecast |  10-Day Forecast
Sports

News provided by MSNBC
Union appeals Rice's indefinite suspension by NFL
BALTIMORE (AP) The NFL players' union appealed Ray Rice's indefinite suspension Tuesday night. Rice was originally handed a two-game suspension in July under the NFL's personal conduct policy after he was charged with assault following a Feb. 15 altercation with his then-fiancee in a casino elevator. The Baltimore running back had already served the first game of that suspension when, on Sept. 8, a video surfaced showing Rice punching Janay Palmer, now his wife, in that elevator. Within hours, the Ravens released Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell extended the suspension to indefinite based on the "new evidence." Goodell and the Ravens say they never saw the video before Sept. 8. "This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players," the NFL Players Association said in a statement. "The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators." The NFLPA said that the collective bargaining agreement requires a hearing date be set within 10 days of the appeal notice. It also said the hearing will require a neutral arbitrator to determine what information was available to the NFL and when it was available. The union, which had until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to file the appeal, added that under governing labor law, an employee can't be punished twice for the same action when all of the relevant facts were available to the employer at the time of the first punishment. The NFL didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. "The erratic and illogical system of ad hoc punishments is a paltry substitute for the leadership the NFL desperately needs right now," National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill said in a statement. "Roger Goodell must resign, and his successor must be fully committed to real and lasting change." Rice can apply for reinstatement when he convinces Goodell that he is "addressing this issue." Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the assault charge being dropped. The NFL has come under heavy scrutiny for its handling of the Rice situation - and other domestic violence cases - as the league tries to attract female fans to the game. It is an effort that has been scarred by the original two-game suspension, a punishment many women's organizations deemed too light. Goodell, in a letter sent to all 32 NFL owners in August, acknowledged that he "didn't get it right." He then announced a new policy, stating that first-time domestic violence offenders would face a six-game suspension, and repeat offenders would be suspended indefinitely. The policy didn't apply to Rice, who had already received his penalty. There is apparently no precedent for the indefinite suspension Rice received after the video surfaced. With all questions about who knew what and when - The Associated Press has reported the video was sent to NFL offices in April - the league has hired former FBI director Robert Mueller to look into how the NFL sought and handled evidence in the domestic violence case. Soon after receiving the original suspension, Rice called his actions in the elevator "inexcusable" and apologized publicly to Janay, his mother, his teammates and the Ravens organization. He also addressed the length of the suspension, which came with a fine of three paychecks totaling more than $500,000. "I never planned to appeal any kind of punishment," Rice said on July 31. "So whether it was two games, four games, six games, eight games, I was going to own my actions and be a man about it and take whatever was given to me." At that time, he spoke about the damage his reputation received. "In some people's eyes, Ray can do no wrong. That's something I take pride in," he said. "I know a lot of people out there have lost respect, maybe not like me anymore. But that's my fault. I have to own that. That's my battle each day." It is a battle he has waged recently out of the public eye. Although he attended a football game at his former high school with his wife last weekend, he has not spoken to the media since his release from the Ravens. --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Wed, 17 Sep 2014 03:06:00 +0000
Vikings bar Peterson from all team activities
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) After a day of public pressure from angry fans and concerned sponsors, the Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas. The Vikings made the announcement early Wednesday morning, about a day and a half after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out. Peterson is charged with a felony for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son and now could miss the rest of the season while the case proceeds through the court system. The Vikings came under heavy criticism for their initial stance. Several sponsors responded by either suspending their deals with the Vikings or severing ties with Peterson, prompting Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf to revisit the situation on Tuesday. "While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian," the Wilfs said in a statement. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community." Peterson was indicted last week in Montgomery County, Texas, after admitting to authorities that he struck his son with a tree branch. Peterson said he was disciplining his son the same way his own father disciplined him while growing up in Palestine, Texas, and didn't intend to hurt him. The Vikings deactivated him for the 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday while they gathered more information. But on Monday they announced that Peterson was being reinstated and expected to play this weekend at New Orleans. The about face came after the Radisson hotel chains suspended its sponsorship with the Vikings, Papa John's considered doing the same, and Anheuser-Busch said it was "disappointed and increasingly concerned" with the negative attention brought to the league by Ray Rice's assault on his wife and Peterson's arrest. Castrol Motor Oil, Special Olympics Minnesota and Mylan Inc. all severed ties with Peterson, and Twin Cities Nike stores pulled Peterson's jerseys from its shelves. "This is the best possible outcome given the circumstances," Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, told The Associated Press of the Vikings' decision. "Adrian understands the gravity of the situation and this enables him to take care of his personal situation. We fully support Adrian and he looks forward to watching his teammates and coaches being successful during his absence." Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who spearheaded an effort to secure $477 million in public money to help build the team a new stadium, and Sen. Al Franken were among the many who called for the Vikings to reconsider their position. Peterson's first court appearance isn't until Oct. 8, and with the Vikings specifying that he must stay away "until the legal proceedings are resolved," it appears there is a possibility that he won't play again this year. The Vikings said they had deliberations with the NFL over the previous two days and informed the league they were revisiting the situation. Executives were at the team's Winter Park headquarters late into the night on Tuesday, discussing how to respond to the avalanche of criticism. "After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian," the Wilfs said in their statement. "We are always focused on trying to make the right decision as an organization. "We embrace our role - and the responsibilities that go with it - as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region. We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community." What this means for Peterson's future with the team remains to be seen. The 29-year-old has been the face of the franchise practically since he was drafted in 2007, one of the most popular and marketable stars in the NFL whose All Day Foundation charity is devoted to helping children. But the foundation's website was shuttered on Tuesday, at one point posting a message that it "will re-engage after Adrian, his family, and staff have reflected on how the current situation impacts the direction for Adrian's philanthropy." Peterson has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns in his NFL career. He won the MVP award in 2012 after rushing for 2,097 yards in his return from a torn ACL. "We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision," the Wilfs said. "We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision." --- Online: AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:37:00 +0000
Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's voice NFL disapproval
Major sponsors including Anheuser-Busch are adding to the chorus of disapproval over the National Football League's recent scandals, but the companies are stopping short of pulling advertising. Anheuser-Busch said Tuesday that it has spoken with the NFL about concerns related to recent incidents that are sparking outcry from fans, including an investigation into how long the NFL and its commissioner Roger Goodell knew about a video that shows Baltimore Raven Ray Rice beating his then-fiancee; as well as the Minnesota Vikings' decision to let Adrian Peterson play while he faces an abuse charge for spanking his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. McDonald's, Visa and Campbell Soup Co. say they have also voiced similar concerns to the league. The statements come after Radisson hotels said Monday that it was pulling its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings. No other brands have pulled sponsorships from teams or the NFL. But the statements from sponsors are becoming increasingly strongly worded. Only last week, several big sponsors like GM and FedEx said they were monitoring the situation or watching it closely. Others like Anheuser-Busch and Procter & Gamble stayed silent. This week, sponsors are making it clear they have made the NFL aware of their concerns. A-B used the harshest language, saying it was "disappointed and increasingly concerned." The NFL responded to the sponsors' statements late Tuesday with a short statement of its own: "We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come," the organization said. As the NFL and various team executives navigate scandal, much is at stake: The money companies pay each year to be official sponsors -not including advertising and promotions- is worth about $1.07 billion for the league and all of its teams, according to sponsorship consultancy IEG. The NFL is a coveted partner for brands since an average of 17.4 million people tune in during a regular season NFL game, about 65 percent men and 35 percent women, according to Nielsen. Experts say that brands are taking their cues by how upset consumers seem. "It takes something pretty dramatic before those league sponsors who have invested in some cases hundreds of millions in their relationship with NFL seek to end their partnership or do something like that," said Jim Andrews, senior vice president of content strategy at IEG. "They follow the fans. They will be constantly monitoring and testing the waters to see what the fan reaction to this is." For Anheuser-Busch, those sponsorship fees alone are worth an estimated $50 million. The beer maker said Tuesday that it is "disappointed and increasingly concerned" by the recent incident. "We are not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code," the company said in a statement. "We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league." Also on Tuesday, McDonald's issued a similar statement, saying "we have questions surrounding these evolving situations and are closely monitoring as the appropriate parties investigate these matters," The company added it has "communicated our concerns to the league, and we expect it to take strong and necessary actions to address these issues." On Monday, Visa said domestic violence in any form is unacceptable and has no place in the NFL and society. "As a long-standing sponsor we have spoken with the NFL about our concerns regarding recent events, and reinforced the critical importance that they address these issues with great seriousness." Campbell Soup said it had also spoken to the NFL about the Ray Rice video investigation. "Upon completion of the investigation, we expect the NFL to take appropriate action," Campbell Soup Co. said in a statement. "We have shared our views with the NFL." Also on Tuesday, Procter & Gamble responded to a fake Covergirl NFL ad that went viral on social media. The ad depicted a woman with a black eye. The company posted a statement on its Covergirl Facebook page saying "domestic violence is completely unacceptable". The company went further, saying that it has "encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence." Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:05:00 +0000
Orioles clinch AL East with 8-2 win over Blue Jays
BALTIMORE (AP) The Baltimore Orioles won their first AL East crown since 1997, using home runs by Steve Pearce and Jimmy Paredes to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 Tuesday night before a boisterous crowd of 35,297 at Camden Yards. With their ninth win in 10 games, the Orioles clinched their second playoff appearance in three years following a run of 14 consecutive losing seasons. Afterward, the Orioles converged behind second base, fireworks soared in the outfield and streamers sprayed throughout the crowd. It was Baltimore's ninth AL East title and only its second since 1983, when the Orioles last won the World Series. The franchise has enjoyed a rebirth under the guidance of manager Buck Showalter, whose 1,254th victory thrust him past mentor Billy Martin into sole possession of 36th place on the career list. Baltimore is 42-23 in a division that includes the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, the free-spending New York Yankees and pitching-rich Tampa Bay. The Orioles led by only four games on Aug. 6 before going on a 27-11 run. The clinching victory featured an unlikely list of contributors, not at all unusual for a team that often delved deep into its 25-man roster. Ubaldo Jimenez was making his first start in a month; Pearce has morphed from a bit-player to a key starter; and Paredes didn't join the team until Aug. 28. Pearce provided the Orioles with the lead for good with a three-run drive off Drew Hutchison (10-12) in the first inning. Pearce has 18 home runs this year, one more than he had in 290 games as a part-timer from 2007-13. Paredes hit a solo shot in the second to make it 4-2. It was his second homer in 10 games with Baltimore. In addition, newcomer Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run triple in the seventh for a 7-2 lead. De Aza came to the Orioles in an Aug. 30 trade with the Chicago White Sox. Jimenez (5-9) survived a rocky start to limit the Blue Jays to two runs and two hits over five innings in his third start since July 5. After signing a $50 million, four-year deal in the offseason, Jimenez struggled with his control for much of the season, sprained his ankle in a parking lot before the All-Star break and ultimately lost his place in the rotation. Pressed into service because the Orioles played a doubleheader Friday, Jimenez issued four walks in the first two innings. But he bounced back to retire his last 10 batters. TRAINER'S ROOM Blue Jays: Steve Tolleson was available off the bench after being hit on the arm by teammate Munenori Kawasaki's foul ball while sitting in the dugout the previous night. "We got lucky," manager John Gibbons said. Orioles: RHP Steve Johnson will have surgery to have a bone spur removed from the back of his right shoulder later this month and should be ready for 2015 spring training. He did not pitch for Baltimore this year. UP NEXT Bud Norris (13-8) brings a 7-1 record against AL East foes into a matchup with Toronto lefty J.A. Happ in the series finale. Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:15:00 +0000
Nats beat Braves to clinch another NL East title
ATLANTA (AP) The Washington Nationals are again champions of the NL East, wrapping up their second division title in three years against the team that knocked them out of the top spot last season. Tanner Roark pitched five-hit ball over seven innings, Ian Desmond's two-run homer broke a scoreless tie and the Nationals celebrated another trip to the playoffs with a 3-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night. The clinching victory was especially sweet coming against the Braves, who finished 10 games ahead of the Nationals in 2013. The roles were reserved this season as Washington steadily pulled away down the stretch. Atlanta lost for the 11th time in 14 games, further damaging its hopes of making a third straight playoff appearance as a wild card. The Braves dropped to 75-76 with their fifth straight loss, the first time they have been under .500 since losing on opening day to Milwaukee. They came into the night 4 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh for the second NL wild card and have only 11 games left in the regular season. Roark (14-10) pitched around four leadoff singles by Atlanta, which never got a runner past second base. He struck out four and walked none, lifted after throwing 89 pitches. Tyler Clippard worked a scoreless eighth, and Drew Storen finished up for his seventh save. The Nationals finally broke through in the sixth off Aaron Harang (11-11). After Jayson Werth led off with a walk, Adam LaRoche took a called third strike before Harang worked the count to 2-2 on Desmond. The next pitch was a breaking pitch that stayed up in the zone. Desmond got all of it, sending a drive deep into the left-field seats for his 23rd homer of the season. Left fielder Justin Upton barely moved, while Harang pumped his fist angrily on the mound. Desmond scored another run in the ninth, trotting home on David Carpenter's wild pitch. The Nationals will be making only the third playoff appearance in the franchise's 46-year history. They reached the postseason only once as the Montreal Expos before moving to Washington in 2005. Two years ago, the Nationals had a major league-leading 98 wins but were stunningly beaten by the St. Louis Cardinals in the deciding game of the NL division series. Washington jumped ahead 6-0 after three innings and still led 7-5 going to the ninth, only to give up four runs with two outs. TRAINER'S ROOM Nationals: LF Bryce Harper was back in the lineup after leaving Monday's game in the third inning when he felt light-headed. Manager Matt Williams said Harper had a "little bit of the gunk" that seemed to be going around in the Washington clubhouse. ... 3B Ryan Zimmerman (strained hamstring) continued his rehab in the instructional league, playing three innings at first base and getting five at-bats in a simulated game. "It was a good day," Williams said. Next up, Zimmerman will play five innings the next time out, three at third base and two at first base. Braves: C Evan Gattis missed his eighth straight game since coming down with strep throat. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he doesn't know when Gattis will be healthy enough to return. UP NEXT Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-10) has won two of his three starts in September after going nearly two months without a win. Braves: LHP Alex Wood (10-10) has lasted at least seven innings and allowed two runs or fewer in 12 of his 22 starts. Atlanta is 5-7 in those games. --- Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:55:00 +0000
Grand jury to weigh case of NASCAR's Tony Stewart
The decision whether to charge three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York will be up to a grand jury. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said Tuesday he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by sheriff's investigators. Tantillo could have determined there was not enough evidence to support charges and dropped the case, but instead announced his decision more than a month after Stewart's car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a dirt-track race on Aug. 9. In a statement, Stewart said he respects the time and effort authorities have spent "investigating this tragic accident." "I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation," he said. Stewart-Haas Racing said Stewart will race in Sunday's NASCAR event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Stewart spent three weeks in seclusion before returning for the final two races of the Sprint Cup season. He did not make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field, and finished 18th in the first Chase race Sunday at Chicagoland. County Sheriff Philip Povero spent weeks investigating the accident at the small track in Canandaigua, several times saying investigators did not have any evidence to support criminal intent by Stewart. Ward had spun while racing alongside Stewart and then the 20-year-old climbed out of his car and walked down the track, waving his arms in an apparent attempt to confront the 43-year-old NASCAR veteran. "Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation," Tantillo said, "I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to the grand jury for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter." He said the law prevented him from saying when the case would be scheduled or who would be called as witnesses. Experts have said Stewart could be charged with second-degree manslaughter under New York law if prosecutors believe he "recklessly caused the death of another person," with negligent homicide another possibility. The sheriff asked in the days after Ward's death for spectators to turn over photos and videos of the crash as investigators worked to reconstruct the accident. Among the things being looked at were the dim lighting, how muddy it was and whether Ward's dark firesuit played a role in his death, given the conditions. In submitting his findings to the district attorney last week, Povero said they included a "forensic video enhancement" from state police. After Ward's death, NASCAR announced a rule that prohibits drivers from climbing out of a crashed or disabled vehicle - unless it is on fire - until safety personnel arrive. Stewart, who has 48 career Cup wins in 542 starts, is one of the biggest stars in the garage. From the small town of Columbus, Indiana, he has long been one of the most proficient drivers in racing, winning in every kind of series, from sprint cars to the elite Sprint Cup Series. He has for years taken part in little races in nondescript towns because he loves the thrill of the high horsepower, lightweight cars skidding around the dirt. He rarely made his schedule public, popping up when he pleased, and he was welcome at the clay track at Canandaigua Motorsports Park the night before the NASCAR race in nearby Watkins Glen. NASCAR spokesman Brett Jewkes said the series was closely following the case. "We are aware of the completed investigation and the announced next steps," he said. "We will monitor this process and stay in close contact with Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment on this case so we will continue to respect the process and authorities involved." Over the weekend, the No. 13 car belonging to Ward returned to racing at the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario. The car was driven by Ward's best friend, Dylan Swiernik, who finished 14th out of 30. Afterward, Ward's father said he would sell the sprint car that his son drove. "Life," Kevin Ward Sr. told Canadian Press, "just isn't the same without him." Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:25:00 +0000
DA: Josh Gordon gets probation in DWI case in NC
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) A prosecutor said Tuesday that suspended Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon will receive probation and undergo a substance-abuse assessment after pleading guilty to a drunken-driving charge in North Carolina. Acting Wake County district attorney Ned Mangum said Gordon received a 60-day suspended jail sentence and one year of unsupervised probation Tuesday. The Pro Bowler is serving an NFL imposed season-long suspension for a failed marijuana test, though that could be reduced under proposed drug policy changes. For his DWI, Gordon must also comply with any treatment recommended through the substance-abuse assessment, pay a $100 fine and court costs, and perform community service. His driver's license was also suspended. Gordon's attorney, Trey Fitzhugh, entered the plea on Gordon's behalf on a charge of driving while impaired from a July arrest in Raleigh. Gordon was pulled for going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone and also charged with speeding, though Mangum said that charge was dismissed. Gordon, who led the NFL with 1,646 yards receiving last year, has been away from the Browns during his suspension and planned to work for a car dealership. The players' union voted last week to accept a league proposal for drug policy changes that include HGH testing, an increase for the threshold that triggers a positive marijuana test and a two-game suspension for a player convicted of a drunken-driving charge. Under provisions of the new policy, Gordon's suspension likely would be cut to 10 games. A union spokesman said Monday that changes "are currently getting finalized" by the league and union. Gordon was due to first appear in Wake County court last month and the DWI case was continued until Nov. 18. But Mangum said the case was resolved Tuesday after Fitzhugh recently contacted his office to say Gordon wanted to plead guilty now. Fitzhugh did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday afternoon. Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:51:00 +0000
Atlanta mayor: Talked to 6 possible Hawks owners
ATLANTA (AP) Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday he has already talked with six potential buyers of the Atlanta Hawks and expects a sale of the team to move quickly after racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry. Flanked by Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins and other city leaders, Reed said the crisis engulfing the NBA team would be solved "the Atlanta way" and predicted the franchise would come out stronger in the end. The Hawks have been under fire since it was revealed Levenson sent an email two years ago theorizing that many suburban whites would not attend NBA games because of the team's African-American fans. He agreed to sale his share of the team, but it also emerged that Ferry had disparaged then-free agent Luol Deng on a conference call with team owners this past summer, saying he "has a little African in him." Reed, who did not identify the prospective buyers, said whoever buys the team would have majority ownership. While Levenson owns 24 percent of the team, his Washington partner Ed Peskowitz has also agreed to sale his share, meaning that 50.1 percent of the team is available, according to the mayor. For now, the Atlanta-based owners - including Michael Gearon Jr. and Rutherford Seydel (the son-in-law of former owner Ted Turner) - want to keep their shares of the team. "I have had conversations with no less than six prospective buyers," Reed said. "All six of those prospective buyers will have to go through a process to be vetted by the NBA. That process is going to occur very quickly." He said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was lining up an investment bank look into the finances of any potential buyer. In addition, Reed said the city will likely be willing to offer concessions to any new owner to ensure the Hawks commit to remaining in Atlanta for another 30 years. He said there could be as much as $150 million available after the city sells Turner Field, the current home of the Braves, though the mayor said that process has been held up by the baseball team's refusal to negotiate terms for its departure. The Braves are planning to move to a new stadium in suburban Cobb County in 2017; in fact, they held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site a few hours before the mayor's news conference. But if there are any delays in completing the stadium, the team has an option in its lease to spend another year at Turner Field. Reed criticized the Braves and said they are holding up a potential $250 million offer that could transform Turner Field into a 30,000-seat football stadium for Georgia State University, as well as fill in the area around the ballpark with student housing and commercial development. Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall said the team is not required to notify the stadium authority of its plans until Dec. 31, 2015, but added, "It is our hope to be able to work with them, the city of Atlanta and Fulton County, on negotiating an exit so they can best prepare for the future of the Turner Field site." With Levenson selling and Ferry on an indefinite leave of absence, Reed said the city would be heavily involved in efforts to find new ownership for the Hawks, since it is responsible for the debt on 15-year-old Philips Arena. Wilkins, a former Hawks star who now serves as a team vice president and television commentator, said he would "absolutely" be interested in taking on a greater role with the franchise. The city already plans to honor him with a statue outside Philips Arena before March 6 game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hawks CEO Steve Koonin has refused calls to fire Ferry, saying he believes the general manager can learn from the experience. Ferry met privately Monday with civil rights leaders, hoping to mend fences within the city, and has said he will undergo sensitivity training during his leave. But Ferry's future is still very much in doubt, with the start of training camp only two weeks away. Wilkins would neither endorse Ferry nor call for him to be ousted, knowing that any decision about the general manager will likely rest with the new owner. "That's not a choice I can make," Wilkins said. "The only thing I can say is whatever pieces are put in place are going to be the right pieces to help our franchise heal from what we've been through." Reed said city leaders would look favorably on Wilkins' involvement with any new ownership group, especially if it gives the team more diversity in the front office. The mayor said he plans to meet with Silver on Sept. 26 in New York to discuss the sale. "I think we're going to end up in a superior position, based on everything we know today, than we were before (Levenson's) memo," the mayor said. "That's all anyone can ask for." --- Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:10:00 +0000
McIlroy wins PGA player of the year award
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Rory McIlroy is the Vardon Trophy winner and the PGA of America's player of the year for the second time. McIlroy won the points-based player of the year award on the strength of his two majors at the British Open and PGA Championship. Winning two majors comes with a 50-point bonus. McIlroy also won the Bridgestone Invitational. McIlroy had an adjusted scoring average of 68.62 to win the Vardon Trophy over Sergio Garcia (68.95). The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland also won the PGA's player of the year and the Vardon Trophy in 2012. The PGA Tour awards a separate award for player of the year based on a vote of the players. Voting for that ends Sept. 25. Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:37:00 +0000
Warner, Seau among 113 Hall nominees
Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner and linebacker Junior Seau are among 15 first-year eligible modern-era candidates nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Also nominated for the class of 2015 in their first year of eligibility are receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, tackle Orlando Pace, and placekicker Jason Elam. A total of 99 players and 14 coaches comprise the 113 nominees. A modern-era player or coach must be retired at least five consecutive seasons to be eligible. The selection committee will choose 25 candidates as semifinalists in late November. That list will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists in early January. The 2015 class will be voted on the day before the Super Bowl. One senior committee nominee, former Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff, also will be on the ballot. Between four and eight new members will be selected. Inductions will be in August at Canton, Ohio, site of the Hall of Fame. Some other familiar names who have been nominated are running back Jerome Bettis, receivers Tim Brown and Marvin Harrison, guard Will Shields, defensive end/linebackers Charles Haley and Kevin Greene, safety John Lynch, and placekicker Morten Andersen. All were finalists in 2014. Coaches Tony Dungy, a finalist last January, Bill Cowher, Don Coryell and Mike Holmgren also are among the 2015 nominees. --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:48:00 +0000
Seattle wins US Open Cup, beating Philadelphia
CHESTER, Pa. (AP) Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins teamed to give the Seattle Sounders their fourth U.S. Open Cup title - at the expense of the Philadelphia Union. Dempsey and Martins scored in overtime in the Sounders' 3-1 victory Tuesday night. Dempsey, the U.S. national team captain, scored in the 101st minute on a left-footed blast off Martins' feed. Martin scored in the 114th minute after speeding around Union defender Ray Gaddis and poking one past goalkeeper Zac MacMath. "They just find each other," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said about Dempsey and Martins. "They know where each other is on the field at all times. The combination they have is fantastic." Seattle also won three straight titles from 2009 to 2011. The Sounders earned one of the United States' four spots in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League. Chad Barrett tied it at 1 on a header in the 47th minute for the Major League Soccer-leading Sounders. Stefan Frei made four saves in net for the Sounders, and MacMath stopped three shots. "From a fans' standpoint, it was probably a very, very entertaining game," Schmid said. "We equalized in the second half, and I thought we had some very good chances after that. And obviously they had some good chances in the last 15 minutes and they were unlucky to not win the game." Maurice Edu opened the scoring for Philadelphia in the 38th minute, heading home a free kick from Cristian Maidana. The Union, playing the first title game in their five-year history, nearly scored at the end of regulation, but Vincent Nogueira's shot hit off the post. World Cup star DeAndre Yedlin also made a big defensive play for Seattle late in the game, running 30 yards down the field to thwart a breakaway attempt from Maidana. "I've never been proud of anything in my life that's ended in a loss before," said Union interim manager Jim Curtin, who took charge of the team just before Philadelphia's Open Cup run began. "This is the first time." Wed, 17 Sep 2014 03:50:00 +0000
Domestic violence experts added as NFL advisers
NEW YORK (AP) Three experts in domestic violence will serve as consultants to the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams Monday announcing that Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith will work as "senior advisers." They will "help lead and shape the NFL's policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault," he wrote. Goodell has been under heavy criticism for his handling of the domestic abuse case involving star running back Ray Rice. Rice was initially suspended for two games. Goodell at first defended the punishment, but more than a month later, he told owners he "didn't get it right" and that first-time domestic violence offenders would face a six-game suspension going forward. Then Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the league after video surfaced of the assault on his then-fiancee. Friel was the head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office for more than a decade. Randel is the co-founder of No More, a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. Smith is the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Monday's memo also said that Anna Isaacson, currently the NFL's vice president of community affairs and philanthropy, will become its vice president of social responsibility. "Anna has been leading our internal work relating to how we address issues of domestic violence and related social issues," Goodell wrote. "In this new role, she will oversee the development of the full range of education, training and support programs relating to domestic violence, sexual assault and matters of respect." The National Organization for Women, which is calling for Goodell's resignation, called the appointments of the senior advisers "a step in the right direction - but it's not enough." On the new role for Isaacson, NOW said in a statement that "the fact that Roger Goodell is assigning a current member of his leadership team to oversee new policies shows once again that he just doesn't get it." --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:42:00 +0000
Papelbon suspended 7 games by MLB
SAN DIEGO (AP) Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended seven games and fined Monday night by Major League Baseball for making a lewd gesture and then bumping an umpire. Papelbon said in a statement distributed by his agent that he would immediately begin serving the suspension, and that he regrets making contact with umpire Joe West on Sunday. But the right-hander insisted he wasn't making a vulgar motion toward fans as he walked off the field to boos after giving up four runs in the ninth inning of Philadelphia's 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins. He apologized to Phillies fans in the statement. "While I completely understand how the fans would perceive my gesture while being booed, it was not my intent whatsoever to insult the fans of Philadelphia," Papelbon said. "If it was perceived in that manner, I sincerely apologize." Papelbon was ejected by West after the umpire thought Papelbon grabbed his crotch in response to the jeers from the crowd. "The whole thing started because the fans booed him and he made an obscene gesture. He had no business doing that," West said Sunday. "He's got to be more professional than that. And that's why he was ejected." The fiery reliever jogged out of the dugout and got into a face-to-face argument with West, who grasped the pitcher's jersey to hold him off, and Papelbon then argued with first base umpire Marty Foster. Papelbon threw a cup of liquid on the field before leaving the dugout. "The Phillies fully support the decision of the Commissioner's Office, which has exclusive jurisdiction for on-field player behavior," the team said in a statement. "By Major League Baseball rules, the Phillies have no authority to make official judgments about activity which occurs on the field or to determine the appropriate penalty for misconduct. We apologize to our fans for the actions of our player yesterday." Papelbon had converted 14 straight save chances since July 22 when he entered with a 4-1 lead. He is 37 for 41 in save chances this season. Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:29:00 +0000
Arians: OLB Abraham to return to Cardinals Tuesday
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona coach Bruce Arians says outside linebacker John Abraham will return to the Cardinals on Tuesday. Abraham left the team last week after sustaining a concussion in the Cardinals' season-opening victory over San Diego. Arians had said that Abraham was contemplating retirement, wondering if he still has the fire to play the game. "I knew a lot of it was the headaches and the first real big one (concussion) he's ever had," Arians said Monday, "and there are other things we're dealing with and he's fine with those. It will be the second return to the Cardinals for Abraham this season. The 15-year NFL veteran showed up late for training camp after undergoing what he later confirmed was rehabilitation for an alcohol problem. Abraham had until Tuesday to return or the Cardinals would have had to declare him out for the season. "He's excited about it," Arians said. "He's at the doctor's, the neurologist, now, to make sure he can pass the test and be ready to go." Arians said Abraham "talked to a couple of players Saturday night in the hotel." "We have been texting back and forth for the last three days," the coach said. "Probably about 30 minutes ago I asked him, `Do you want me to announce it at the press conference? He said, `Yes, that'd be great."' Abraham ranks ninth on the NFL's career sacks list with 133 1/2 and often has talked about how he wants nine more to move ahead of Michael Strahan into the No. 5 spot. He led the Cardinals with 11 1/2 sacks last season, his first with the team, and was voted to his fifth Pro Bowl. The 36-year-old linebacker had no tackles before leaving the season-opener in the third quarter. Abraham didn't arrive in training camp until Aug. 14, saying he had to deal with personal issues. He later confirmed that he had been in rehab. Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge in suburban Atlanta in late June. "He's ready to play," Arians said. --- AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:47:00 +0000
Panthers unsure if Hardy will play vs. Steelers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Panthers coach Ron Rivera isn't sure if Greg Hardy will play Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rivera also said Monday that the team hasn't considered releasing the Pro Bowl defensive end who is involved in a domestic violence case. He added that Hardy will continue to practice and attend team meetings, but the coach won't make a decision on when Hardy plays until later this week. The Panthers plan to continue gathering information in what Rivera said is "a very fluid situation." Hardy was convicted July 15 of assault on a female and communicating threats after the victim claimed he threw her down on a bed of guns and tossed her into the shower. He is appealing the ruling. Hardy played in Week 1 but Rivera deactivated him just hours before Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions - two days after the coach had said Hardy would play. Rivera said Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was involved in the Hardy discussion and the team received some input from the league, but it was his decision to bench him. Hardy made $770,588.23 - one-seventeenth of his yearly pay - despite not playing. Hardy is due to make $13.1 million this year. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman and his staff are "doing their due diligence in terms of looking at what our options are" going forward, Rivera said. The Panthers will have to decide by Week 6 how they want to handle Hardy's situation. Under the collective bargaining agreement, a team can only deactivate a player for non-injury reasons for a maximum of four games. The same limit applies if the Panthers were to suspend Hardy for conduct detrimental to the team. Hardy's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined to comment on the situation. On Monday, Hardy arrived at the stadium in his white Bentley shortly after noon wearing white shorts and a hooded white sweatshirt and sunglasses. He didn't acknowledge media questions as he strolled into the stadium. The decision to deactivate Hardy last Sunday was a difficult one, Rivera said. "If you play him and you win, then you don't have a conscience; and if you play him and you lose, he's a distraction," Rivera said. Rivera's decision to bench Hardy came after the Minnesota Vikings deactivated Adrian Peterson following his indictment for injuring a child. The Vikings released a statement Monday saying Peterson will play Sunday against New Orleans. The Panthers are trying to be careful not to be reactionary. "That is why we have to sit down and talk about these things," Rivera said. "And we did the same thing (on Sunday). We talked about a lot of things and at the end of the day I had to make a decision that I believe was in the best interest of our football team and for Greg." Rivera said he allowed Hardy to leave the stadium and return home after notifying him of the move. "I said, `Greg, are you OK with this?' and he said, `Coach, I understand,"' Rivera said. Carolina's defense didn't miss a beat without Hardy, forcing three turnovers and getting four sacks in a 24-7 victory. Hardy, who tied a franchise-record with 15 sacks last season, had four tackles and a sack in the team's regular-season opener at Tampa Bay. However, Hardy's status changed when the Ravens released Ray Rice and the league suspended him indefinitely last week after a video surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiancee. Later in the week, Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges, adding pressure on the Panthers to deactivate Hardy. Rivera said Sunday that "the climate had changed" in the NFL and that played into his decision to bench Hardy. When asked if the Panthers got it right the first time, Rivera said, "I don't know. What is right? You do the best you can and nobody is infallible. We have to get this issue right and we're trying to do the right thing." Panthers center and team co-captain Ryan Kalil said Monday he's glad he didn't have Rivera's job the last two weeks. "I don't envy having to make those tough decisions," Kalil said. Kalil also said he's tired of answering questions about Hardy, but said the best thing he advises younger teammates to do is focus on getting better. "There are countless guys I can name in this league that are just really good people," Kalil said. "My hope is that at some point we can focus on some of those guys. I know these things are the topic right now, but it's disappointing that it overshadows a lot of good people." --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Mon, 15 Sep 2014 22:50:00 +0000
Powered by: YouSeeMore © The Library Corporation (TLC)