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08 Dec 2016 23:57:53 -0500
Art Briles sues Baylor officials for libel, slander
On Wednesday, Baylor hired Matt Rhule to be the new head coach of the football program. All seemed good and dandy as the university and football program turned one page and looked forward to the next chapter. That was short-lived. A handful of leaders at the university were sued on Thursday by former head football coach Art Briles for libel and slander. Briles, who was fired amid controversy stemming from an investigation into how Baylor officials handled and responded to accusations of physical and sexual assault by football players, has filed a lawsuit accusing three regents and a vice president of conspiring against him and making it impossible for him to find a new coaching job. Briles is also seeking for damages related to emotional distress as he believes his coaching career may have come to an end as a result of the actions of Baylor Board of Regents Chairman Ronald Murff, board members J. Cary Gray and David Harper, as well as Baylor Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Reagan Ramsower.

08 Dec 2016 23:57:35 -0500
Giants FB has home vandalized with swastika, Trump's name
New York Giants fullback Nikita Whitlock has become the latest person to be victimized by a string of hate crimes sweeping through the tri-state area. When Whitlock returned home Tuesday night, he discovered that his Moonachie, N.J., apartment had been broken into and several items had been stolen. But the most disturbing part of the break-in is what the perpetrators left behind. Inside the apartment, Whitlock discovered a graffitied swastika along with letters “KKK” and the words “Go Back To Africa” scrawled across the walls, according to CBS New York. “It just re-establishes that no matter where you are, no matter who you are, this can happen to you,” Whitlock said, per CBS New York. Along with the images, the vandals also left the last name of President-elect Donald Trump on one of Whitlock’s walls. The thieves stole jewelry and video games, but most importantly they robbed Whitlock and his family of their sense of security. “It’s about to be 2017. Oppression, violence, racism, ha

08 Dec 2016 19:51:30 -0500
Raiders G Kelechi Osemele out Thursday with illness
The Oakland Raiders have been dealt some bad news ahead of their big game with the Kansas City Chiefs. Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele will not be available. Kelechi Osemele has been scratched tonight due to illness. — Jimmy Durkin (@Jimmy_Durkin) December 8, 2016 This is a big loss for the Raiders. Given the cold expected in Kansas City on Thursday, the running game figures to be important. Osemele has been a big part of an Oakland rushing attack that ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing yards and is tied for ninth in yards per attempt. He figured to be a big part of the Raiders’ attempt to keep the Kansas City interior — anchored by Dontari Poe — in check. Osemele has started in all 12 of Oakland’s games during the 2016 season and is a likely Pro Bowler.

08 Dec 2016 19:39:34 -0500
Red Sox send Brewers $100 as final piece of Tyler Thornburg deal
The Boston Red Sox are worth over $2 billion and have a payroll just shy of $200 million, but on Tuesday they were a part of a $100 transaction. Yes, that number only has two zeroes in it. When the team agreed to terms with the Milwaukee Brewers to acquire relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg, the Sox sent over Travis Shaw, two prospects, and a player to be named later or cash. Per Major League Baseball rules, an alternate cash consideration is required to be listed for deals that involve a player to be named, just in case something goes wrong during the transaction process. According to the Associated Press, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he and Milwaukee general manager David Stearns were so sure that there would be no problems with the deal that they wrote down $100 just for the sake of technicality. “They usually don’t like when you make it $1,” Dombrowski said, “so we made it $100.” The “c-note” made it official: Boston acquired Thornburg, and Milwaukee recei

08 Dec 2016 17:56:41 -0500
Troy Aikman almost came out of retirement to play for the Eagles
Troy Aikman famously played his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys, retiring after the 2000 season. But during a radio interview on Thursday, Aikman revealed that he almost came out of retirement in 2002, after a phone call from Andy Reid. The interview was with KTCK-AM in Dallas, and was detailed by the Dallas News: “So I retired, got into broadcasting. Then it was two years later when I got a call from Andy Reid in the middle of a game that I was broadcasting after Donovan McNabb had broken his leg,” Aikman said. “He wanted me to sign with Philadelphia and come out of retirement right then and go to work for them.  “And I gave it some consideration – actually I told Andy I was going to sleep on it and call him in the morning.” That would have been some story at the time, though Aikman had various health concerns to weigh, including a lengthy concussion history. Ultimately, he said no, but not before seeking counsel: “I called my producer at Fox and asked him what he thought my

08 Dec 2016 19:32:00 -0500
Blues miss morning skate due to traffic in Brooklyn
It’s safe to say the St. Louis Blues aren’t going to be big fans of the New York Islanders’ home in Brooklyn any time soon. Heading into a game against the Isles on Thursday night, the Blues missed their morning skate due to a “clogged commute” which prevented them from making it to the arena. #stlblues have canceled their morning skate all together because of the clogged commute to Brooklyn. Any updates at 4:30 when Hitch speaks. — Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) December 8, 2016 There’s no telling where the Blues actually stayed, but they clearly weren’t prepared for what a commute to Brooklyn can consist of even under normal conditions. Realistically, missing a morning skate isn’t a big deal (the GM of the Penguins thinks they should go away completely), but it is kind of funny seeing NHL athletes have to deal with the same struggles and frustrations of the common man. Traffic sucks no matter what profession you’re in.

08 Dec 2016 16:38:35 -0500
Oregon president no fan of DC Brady Hoke
Oregon has a new head coach in Willie Taggart and following the tradition of every head coaching hire ever, they held a celebratory coronation of an introductory press conference. It’s hard to come out on the losing end of one of these pressers. The coach hasn’t lost a game yet, everyone’s normally happy they got rid of the last guy, etc. But this time, the press conference opened thusly: Oregon president opens Taggart presser asking him to go get a good DC. No joke. — Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) December 8, 2016 #Oregon president offers up his only football advice to new coach Willie Taggart: "Go out & find a great defensive coordinator." — Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 8, 2016 Now, that might not sound too controversial, except for that Oregon still has a defensive coordinator in former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. Taggart himself followed up with a similar sentiment: Willie Taggart said he wants to “get a really good defensive coordinator. The best one we can

08 Dec 2016 16:26:15 -0500
Carmelo blows off Jackson's ball hog remarks, looks 'annoyed'
Carmelo Anthony has no interest in talking about the comments New York Knicks president Phil Jackson made about him earlier in the week, and you can understand why. For starters, they weren’t all that flattering. In an interview with CBS Sports Network that aired Tuesday, Jackson said Anthony has the potential to play the role for the Knicks that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played on their championship teams. Jackson’s assertion that Anthony holds onto the ball too long made the compliment seem a bit backhanded, however. “Carmelo a lot of times wants to hold the ball longer than — we have a rule: If you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop,” the 11-time champion said. “That is one of the things we work with. But he’s adjusted to [the triangle], he knows what he can do, and he’s willing to see its success.” Anthony, apparently not flattered by the comparisons to

08 Dec 2016 17:58:38 -0500
Richard Sherman gives logical take on Cam Newton's benching
To say Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman isn’t afraid to speak his mind is an understatement. Just this year Sherman has stated the NFL’s ratings have dropped for being ‘no fun’, the NFL is a bottom line business, how he wants owners to pay for their own stadiums, and that Roger Goodell’s proposed ejection rule was ridiculous. This time around, Richard Sherman’s target for criticism isn’t the league as a whole or Commissioner Goodell. Instead, it’s Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. When the Seahawks faced the Panthers during Sunday Night Football this past weekend, Newton sat out the very first play. The reason why? He was being punished for not wearing a tie on the trip from Northern California to Seattle, therefore not conforming with team dress code. As a result, Derek Anderson started at quarterback and Sherman was shocked. “I thought maybe there was an injury to Cam that they may have been withholding or he sprained his hand in warmups,” Sherman said. “Cra

08 Dec 2016 16:30:00 -0500
Sandoval's career fell 'into an abyss' after getting 'complacent'
Pablo Sandoval isn’t making any excuses for Pablo Sandoval. The Red Sox third baseman has been a bust since signing a five-year, $95 million contract with Boston ahead of the 2015 season, and he’s not blaming anyone but himself. Sandoval admitted in a recent phone interview with ESPN.com and ESPN Deportes that he didn’t give the Red Sox his all in his first season with the club. “My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished,” Sandoval said. “I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be.” After winning three World Series with the San Francisco Giants, Sandoval posted a woeful .242 average in 2015 to go with a career-low .658 OPS, 10 home runs and 47 RBIs. He appeared in just three games for Boston in 2016 before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery and went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts. But Sandoval turned over a new leaf during his long recovery and said

08 Dec 2016 15:31:00 -0500
Report: NFL believes Oakland ‘has no strong desire’ to keep the Raiders
The Oakland Raiders may be in the midst of their best season since the 2002 campaign. At 10-2 and in first place in the AFC West, they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. While we let the shock wear off regarding that, there’s something else happening behind the scenes with the Raiders. In reality, they could be playing their last handful of games in Oakland, a city the franchise has called home for the past 20-plus seasons. By now it’s well known that the Raiders could potentially be on the way to Las Vegas. While the stadium situation in Northern California remains fully up in the air, they have a plan in place with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to build a new state-of-the-art venue in the desert metropolis. We won’t know for some time whether the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas will become reality. What we do know is that their current situation in Oakland is not sustainable over the long term. That’s been the case since the team moved from Los Angeles in 1995 and it hasn’t c...

08 Dec 2016 15:11:25 -0500
Aroldis Chapman explains why he chose to return to Yankees
Aroldis Chapman is heading back to the New York Yankees after helping the Chicago Cubs break a 108-year championship curse. In terms of a career path, you can’t ask for much more than that. After he signed with the Yankees on Wednesday, Chapman revealed that he had narrowed his decision down to the Pinstripes and the Miami Marlins. Why did he choose the former? “I love the (Yankees) organization. They welcomed me with open arms and that’s why I decided to go back,” Chapman told Marly Rivera of ESPN.com. “I was hoping I had a chance to go back and it happened. Every player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they don’t it’s because they never got the chance.” Most free agents eventually sign with the highest bidder, but that may not have been the case with Chapman. He will certainly be well compensated after inking a five-year, $86 million deal, but the Marlins likely offered that much if not more. Miami is said to be desperate to sign a top closer, and the report about what they offered Kenley

08 Dec 2016 15:13:02 -0500
Brandon Marshall: Bryce Petty used to be ‘fat and overweight’
New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall doesn’t have any chill when it comes to his new starting quarterback. Wednesday, Marshall casually let it rip in a media interview, jokingly blasting the second-year player who will take over for the Jets after Ryan Fitzpatrick did yet another faceplant the week prior. The money quote, via NJ.com’s Connor Hughes: "Last year he was fat and overweight. I’m being honest. He was fat and overweight." To be fair, Marshall used this as a point of emphasis to stress how hard Petty has worked this year: “The first person I see every morning is Bryce Petty, because he’s the first one in every day,” Marshall said. “[Former Jet] Antonio Cromartie and I were the first ones in last year. We used to race in here. Now I can’t beat [Petty] in. I’m not even trying anymore. “He’s focused. He goes from the weight room, to breakfast, to film. And he’s relentless about it.” Still—wow. Petty entered the league out of Baylor in the fourth round a

08 Dec 2016 14:07:27 -0500
NFL: Ezekiel Elliott investigation is still ‘active’ and ‘ongoing’
As Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott enjoys a tremendous season on the field, his performance continues to be marred by allegations of domestic violence. They have become prevalent since he was selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, with Elliott’s ex-girlfriend claiming that he has assaulted her multiple times in the past. While Elliott was cleared of wrongdoing by the courts, the NFL itself doesn’t hold as high of a standard for potential punishment. The question at hand here — five allegations of domestic violence during a six-day span in July — has caught the NFL’s eye. According to this report from Pro Football Talk, the league’s investigation of Elliott’s alleged domestic violence past is still “active and “ongoing.” This, coming from the league itself. The interesting dynamic here is that while the NFL’s investigation is focusing primarily on those alleged incidents in July, it is also looking into allegations of domestic violence from back in...

08 Dec 2016 12:39:20 -0500
Report: Relationship between Jeff Fisher, Rams GM is ‘toxic’
Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher made some comments on Tuesday about the state of the franchise that were widely interpreted as finger-pointing. And if you ask those who are familiar with the relationship between Fisher and one member of the organization’s front office, the remarks were hardly a surprise. Fisher, who recently signed a two-year extension with the team, was asked about Rams general manager Les Snead getting years tackled onto his deal as well. “I’m so busy here, I was honestly unaware he was extended. I’m being honest with you, we’re just working here,” Fisher said. “I look at this as being my responsibility, the win-loss record. We need to do a better job from a personnel standpoint. We’ve had some unfortunate things take place with some high picks in Stedman Bailey and Tre Mason and those kinds of things you don’t anticipate. … But we’re moving forward.” While it may not have seemed like much, Albert Breer of The MMQB writes that Fisher’s comments “went o

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