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BREAKING: Judge Rules Against NCAA

BREAKING: Judge Rules Against NCAA

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a landmark decision on Friday, a federal judge has ruled in favor of former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, and 19 others, saying the NCAA can not stop college football or men’s basketball players from selling the rights to their names and likenesses.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled against the NCAA in a lawsuit that claimed college athletics’ governing body was in violation of the nation’s antitrust laws. 

“The Court finds that the challenged NCAA rules unreasonably restrain trade in the market for certain educational and athletic opportunities offered by NCAA Division I schools,” Wilken wrote in her 99-page decision. 

Wilken went on to say that the NCAA’s defense “do not justify this restraint and could be achieved through less restrictive means”.

There was one minor victory for the NCAA. Wilken did say that a cap could be put on just hoe much money is paid to athletes, putting the limit at $5,000 a year for big school football and basketball players.

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Packers to Induct Favre into Hall of Fame, Retire Jersey in 2015

Packers to Induct Favre into Hall of Fame, Retire Jersey in 2015

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images(GREEN BAY, Wisc.) — Brett Favre’s relationship with the team he spent the majority of his career playing for is apparently just fine. Both the quarterback and the Green Bay Packers announced on Sunday that Favre will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and have his number 4 jersey retired during the 2015 season.

The joint announcement originally came from Favre’s website on Sunday afternoon.

“It was a tremendous honor to play 16 years for the Green Bay Packers. Now to have my name placed among others such as Starr, Hornung, Kramer, Taylor, Lambeau, Nitschke, Lombardi, Davis, White and Hutson is a special honor that I share with all of my teammates and coaches, and that would not have been possible but for the foresight of Ron Wolf, the greatest GM in the history of the NFL,” Favre said in the statement.

Green Bay will make an official announcement at 1:30 p.m. on Monday with Favre participating via telephone. Packers Hall of Fame Inc. president Perry Kidder, Packers president Mark Murphy and former Packers president Bob Harlan will all take part.

Favre joined the Packers on Feb. 11, 1992 after being traded by the Atlanta Falcons who drafted him. He led Green Bay to two Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XXXI, and also won three MVP awards for 1992-2008. Favre announced his retirement that summer but decided he wanted to return and was eventually traded to the New York Jets where he played one season before finishing his career in Minnesota, playing two more years.

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Giants Beat Buffalo in Hall of Fame Game

Giants Beat Buffalo in Hall of Fame Game

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(CANTON, Ohio) — Backup quarterback Ryan Nassib connected with rookie wide receiver Corey Washington on a 73-yard strike in the fourth quarter to help give the New York Giants a 17-13 win over the Buffalo Bills in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame game.

The Giants (1-0) debuted their new offense, courtesy of first-year coordinator Ben McAdoo, and showed off a balanced attack. Most impressive was the combination of Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams in the backfield. The rookie Williams led the Giants with 43 rushing yards on seven carries. His best run, a 21-yard scamper, led to New York’s first touchdown of the night and gave them a 7-3 first quarter lead.

Buffalo (0-1) countered with a two-yard pass from Jeff Teul to Robert Woods in the second quarter before heading into halftime tied at 10-10. The Bills then took the lead on a Dan Carpenter field goal and held that advantage until Nassib and Washington connected.

Starting quarterback Eli Manning was 6-for-7 in three series for 43 yards but lost a fumble. EJ Manuel struggled in his two series, completing just two passes for only 19 yards.

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Longhorns Dismiss Four More Football Players

Longhorns Dismiss Four More Football Players

Brian Bahr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — There’s a new sheriff in Austin and Charlie Strong is making his presence known. The first year head coach has already kicked at least six players off his team since taking over the Longhorns, adding four more to the list on Friday.

Safety Josh Turner, running back Jalen Overstreet, defensive back Chevoski Collins and senior running back Joe Bergeron have all been dismissed from the team according to multiple sources. Turner, Overstreet, and Collins were all dismissed for violating team rules while the reason for Bergeron’s dismissal is not yet known. The University has not made mention of any suspensions or dismissals.

A projected starter, Turner has played 37 games with five starts in his Longhorns career. Overstreet ran for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 2013 as a freshman after switching to running back from the quarterback position. Collins was a redshirt player last season and listed as a backup safety while Bergeron had faced academic issues in the spring. 

Fullback Chet Moss and defensive back Leroy Scott were also kicked off the team back in the spring for a violation of team rules. A source close to the Longhorns said has many as five more players could face disciplinary action for similar infractions. Strong has also suspended receivers Kendall Sanders and Montreal Meander after the two were arrested on sexual assault charges Thursday night.

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Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(DALLAS) — During his annual state of the league address at the Big 12 media day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby proclaimed Monday that “cheating pays” in intercollegiate athletics.

“Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year,” said Bowlsby. “It’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”

Bowlsby continued by saying he does not believe cheating is a widespread epidemic, but that he fears for the future of the NCAA and its student-athletes.

“We certainly are operating in a strange environment in that we have lawsuits,” explained the commissioner. “I think all of that in the end will cause programs to be eliminated.”

While slamming college sports’ governing body, Bowlsby did come to the defense of the collegiate model, saying that he was against the unionization of student-athletes.

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Chris Snee Reportedly Set to Announce Retirement

Chris Snee Reportedly Set to Announce Retirement

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Chris Snee is reportedly ready to hang up his cleats and shoulder pads. A source close to the New York Giants lineman says he has scheduled a meeting for Monday morning with team officials to tell them he’s considering retiring.

While his final decision is not 100% made, the 32-year-old would not be able to start the season on time anyway thanks to a longer than expected recovery from elbow surgery in November.

After missing the team’s minicamp in June because of the extended rehab, New York and Snee each began weighing their options. The Giants gave the majority of reps to third-year player Brandon Mosley while also letting their second-round pick, Weston Richburg, see some time.

Snee, a four-time Pro Bowler, could be entering his 11th season as an offensive lineman for the Giants.

Snee played just three games in 2013 and was placed on injured reserve on October 4 due to an ailing hip injury. The 2004 draft pick out of Boston College helped the Giants to two Super Bowls in his 10-year career. He is also the son-in-law of Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.

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Vikings Suspend Coach for Anti-Gay Remarks

Vikings Suspend Coach for Anti-Gay Remarks

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Minnesota Vikings suspended special teams coordinator Mike Priefer for three games on Friday after an independent investigation found Priefer made a homophobic comment in the 2012 season.

In a statement released by team owner Ziggy Wolf and president Mark Wilf, the Vikings apologized for the incident. 

“In this instance, Coach Priefer fell short of what is expected. Accordingly, we have decided to suspend Coach Priefer without pay for the first three games of the 2014 regular season. In addition, he will be required to satisfactorily complete specialized workplace training that will include an emphasis on the managing of diversity and sexual orientation.”

Allegations over an alleged anti-gay comment came from former punter Chris Kluwe, who claimed that he was released by the organization because of his advocacy for the LGBT community. While the report found Priefer had made disparaging comments, no evidence was obtained to support Kluwe’s claim as to why he was released.

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Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(HOOVER, Ala.) — Despite not even reaching the national championship game last year, SEC media members selected Alabama as the preseason favorite to win the conference this college football season.

The poll was revealed on Thursday, the final of four SEC media days. It showed what was a surprise to no one: Alabama vs. Auburn for the conference title.

The Crimson Tide (154) earned more votes than every other Southeastern Conference school combined. Auburn (75), South Carolina (32), Georgia (19), and LSU (9) rounded out the top 5.

“Arguably, they’ve got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team,” said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. “If the recruiting services are correct, and they’re pretty much correct.”

Alabama also led the conference with nine players named to the preseason first-team. Wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon were the top two vote-getters among all players.

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Josh Gordon Arrested for DWI

Josh Gordon Arrested for DWI

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon continues to find himself in trouble. Already facing a possible year-long ban, Gordon was arrested Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina, and charged with driving while impaired.

Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said that Gordon was taken into custody after going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone around 3 a.m. Saturday. While no official word was given as to whether the impairment was alcohol or drug related, WNCN in Raleigh reported that the wide out’s blood-alcohol level was .09. The legal limit in North Carolina is .08.

Gordon was released on $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on August 26. Neither Gordon, nor his agent Drew Rosenhaus, had a comment on the arrest.

“We are aware of the matter and are disappointed to learn of this situation. We will comment further at the appropriate time,” Brown general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement.

The 23-year-old could be banned for the entire upcoming season after failing a second drug test. Gordon was suspended four games in 2013 for what he said was the use of codeine.

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Chad Johnson Makes CFL Debut

Chad Johnson Makes CFL Debut

Elsa/Getty Images(MONTREAL) — It wasn’t in the NFL and it wasn’t with his usual flash and flare, but Chad Johnson was back in professional football on Friday. The former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver made his debut for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in the final preseason game for the squad.

An 11-year veteran of the NFL, Johnson amassed over 11,000 receiving yards with both the Bengals and the New England Patriots. In his first real game action since 2011, Johnson caught one pass for 13 yards. The Alouettes fell to the Ottawa REDBLACKS, 26-10, in their final tune-up before the regular season begins.

“It felt good. Nervous, butterflies, it was cool,” said Johnson on his return to professional football. “I have a lot of work to do but it felt good.”

The outspoken wide out played 10 years for the Bengals, earning six Pro Bowl selections before signing with the Patriots in 2011, helping the team reach the Super Bowl. In 2012 he signed with the Miami Dolphins but was released following an arrest for domestic battery to which he pleaded no contest.

Montreal opens up the 2014 CFL regular season on June 28 when they take on Calgary.

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Vince Young Announces Retirement

Vince Young Announces Retirement

Jay Drowns/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — He has not played since 2011, but Vince Young announced his retirement from the NFL on Saturday. Young played parts of six seasons with the Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles.

Young was the third overall pick in 2006 by the Titans and was named Rookie of the Year, starting immediately. The former Texas Longhorn was also selected to the Pro Bowl in both 2006 and 2009. The 31-year-old threw for 8,964 yards and 46 touchdowns during his career.

After not playing in 2013, Young was cut by the Green Bay Packers and was later signed by the Cleveland Browns May 1. Cleveland also signed Tyler Thigpen that day before releasing Young after they drafted Johnny Manziel. 

Althought he signed a rookie contract that guaranteed him just under $27 million, Young suffered from financial issues his entire career and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. 

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Chiefs Release Pro Bowl Corner Flowers

Chiefs Release Pro Bowl Corner Flowers

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — Brandon Flowers, Pro Bowl corner for Kansas City, was released by the team on Friday. Flowers had started for each of the past six seasons for the Chiefs.

Flowers had not been attending offseason practices with the Chiefs, causing many to speculate that he was not happy with the franchise. The cornerback took to twitter on Friday saying “thanks to the Hunt family for the 6 years in Kansas City”. 

“We appreciate Brandon’s contributions to the team over the last six seasons,” a statement released from new general manager John Dorsey said. “It’s in the best interest of the club and the player to part ways at this time. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career.”

Marcus Cooper has replaced Flowers in the starting lineup during offseason workouts.

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Chuck Noll, Legendary Steelers Coach, Dead at 82

Chuck Noll, Legendary Steelers Coach, Dead at 82

George Gojkovich/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) — Chuck Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who led Pittsburgh to four Super Bowl titles, has passed away at the age of 82. The Alleghany County Medical Examiner confirmed that Noll had died of natural causes.

After playing seven season in the NFL, all with the Cleveland Browns, Noll began his ascent to one of the greatest coaches in league history as the defensive line coach for the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960. Noll spent three years as the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Colts who set a record for fewest points allowed in 1968.

A year later he would be named the 14th head coach in Steelers history, a team that had eight consecutive losing seasons prior to his arrival. Pittsburgh won the first of four Super Bowl titles in 1975 before winning three more championships in 1976, 1979, and 1980.

In 23 seasons, Noll was 209-156-1 including the postseason. He was inducted into the professional football Hall of Fame in 1993.

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Dan Marino Files Lawsuit Against NFL

Dan Marino Files Lawsuit Against NFL

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) — Dan Marino is one of 15 former NFL players that have filed a concussion-related lawsuit against the league. The Hall of Fame quarterback and 14 other plaintiffs filed the suit in federal court in Philadelphia last week.

While the lawsuit does not specifically state any medical issues for any of the plaintiffs, it does seek undisclosed damages and special medical monitoring.

Marino retired in 1999 and joins a group of almost 5,000 other players who have sued the NFL for misleading players about the long-term effects of concussions.

The league continues to deny those claims while more and more of it’s former athletes come forward against the NFL. A settlement between the league and its players was reached last August, giving more than $765 million to the original plaintiffs. In January, that settlement was rejected by a federal judge.

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Colts’ Mathis Suspended Four Games

Colts’ Mathis Suspended Four Games

Rob Carr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Indianapolis star linebacker Robert Mathis has been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 NFL season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. However, the drug which Mathis tested positive for is not a common one to football fans.

The linebacker was seeking fertility assistance and was reportedly told by the prescribing doctor that the drug would not cause a problem with the NFL.

“It is difficult for me to address the circumstances surrounding this suspension because they involve very personal medical information,” said Mathis in a statement. “Like many families, my wife and I faced fertility challenges, and I sought medical assistance. I specifically asked the doctor if the medication he prescribed for me would present a problem for NFL drug testing, and unfortunately, he incorrectly told me that it would not. I made the mistake of not calling the NFL or NFLPA to double-check before I took the medication at the end of last season.”

Mathis’ mother, Denis White, was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer in August of 2013. Wishing to give her another grandchild, Mathis sought out fertility help from Dr. Steven Morganstern in Atlanta. Due to a health condition that his wife, Brandi, suffers from, Dr. Morganstern advised Mathis begin taking the drug Clomid to help accelerate the process.

The 33-year old began taking the drug in November and stopped after finding out his wife was pregnant. The couple is expecting a baby girl in the fall and Mathis’ mother is still alive.

“The drug for which Mr. Mathis tested positive is not approved by the FDA for fertility in males and is a performance-enhancing drug that has been prohibited for years,” said a statement released by the NFL. “Importantly, Mr. Mathis did not consult with the policy’s Independent Administrator, a physician jointly approved by the NFL and NFL Players Association. Nor did he consult with his team doctor, the team’s training staff, the NFLPA, the league office or the hotline established under the policy to give confidential information to players. Each of these sources would have warned against using this substance.”

Mathis was the league leader in the sacks in 2013, recording 19.5 in his 12th season. He is eligible to return on Sept. 29 following the Colts Sept. 28 meeting with Tennessee. Mathis is still eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason workouts, including team practices and games.

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Michael Sam Drafted By Rams in Seventh Round

Michael Sam Drafted By Rams in Seventh Round

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Michael Sam has become the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, being chosen in the seventh round (249th overall) by the St. Louis Rams. Sam announced his sexuality back in February and said his announceme…

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14

Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) — NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Boston Bruins 4 – Montreal Canadiesn 2 (Bruins lead series, 3-2) 
NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Brooklyn Nets 104 – Miami Heat 90 (Heat lead series, 2-1)

Greg Jennings Happy to have Teddy Bridgewater on the Vikings

Greg Jennings Happy to have Teddy Bridgewater on the Vikings

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — With the issues the Minnesota Vikings issues at quarterback in recent years, wide receiver Greg Jennings is thrilled the team has drafted former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
The Vikings traded back i…

49ers Exercise Option on Aldon Smith

49ers Exercise Option on Aldon Smith

Brian Bahr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The San Francisco 49ers have decided to hold on to embattled linebacker Aldon Smith a little longer. San Francisco exercised the 2015 option on Smith’s contract, worth a reported $9.75 million.
The 49ers had until m…

NFL Releases 2014 Schedule

NFL Releases 2014 Schedule

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Seattle Seahawks will begin their title defense on Sept. 4 against the Green Bay Packers in the season opener for the NFL. A rematch of the infamous “Fail Mary” game in 2012 starts the 2014 season for the de…

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