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Report: Roger Goodell testifies for 2-plus hours at Ray Rice appeal

11.06.14 at 10:20 am ET
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Roughly two months after Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL, Roger Goodell reportedly testified for more than two hours at Rice’s appeal yesterday, according to the Associated Press.

Rice was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 8 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after a video of him hitting his then-fiancee was released publicly. The former Ravens running back is hoping to be immediately reinstated, but a team would then need to sign him. He has also filed a separate wrongful termination grievance against the Ravens after the team released him.

League security chief Jeffery Miller and Ravens President Dick Cass are also scheduled to testify.

The appeal was held for roughly 10 hours on Wednesday and it is unknown how long it will take for U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones to make a decision.

Read More: Ray Rice, Roger Goodell,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jets fan flies plane over practice calling for GM John Idzik’s job

11.06.14 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Oilers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Devils at Blues, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Spurs at Rockets, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NFL: Browns at Bengals, 8:30 p.m. (NFL; WEEI-FM)
College football: Clemson at Wake Forest, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
College football: Bethune-Cookman at Norfolk State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Tottenham at Tripoli, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Lille at Everton, 3 p.m. (FS1)


— A plane flew over Jets practice Wednesday towing a banner that read “Fire John Idzik.” The plane circled the field for about 20 minutes, while Idzik and owner Woody Johnson were in attendance.

According to the New York Daily News, at one point Idzik and Johnson stood by coach Rex Ryan and shared a laugh, though it was not clear if they were joking about the plane.

Ryan later said Idzik did not appear to be “overly upset,” but “I personally don’t think it’s appropriate.”

MASHUP POLL: Was Wednesday's stunt at Jets practice inappropriate?

  • No, Idzik has been terrible and the fans have a right to express their frustration like this (74%, 560 Votes)
  • Yes, that's taking it too far and embarrassing the team and its fans (26%, 194 Votes)

Total Voters: 754

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Jets players expressed disappointment with the stunt.

“It’s annoying,” receiver Eric Decker said. “You’re trying to practice … and then you see something that becomes a distraction, and then there’s a whole bunch of negative thoughts just going through your head. Now everybody’s attention is up in the sky as opposed to on the practice field.”

Added quarterback Michael Vick: “It’s like, kick a man when he’s down. We understand, people do that. Some people want to see other people suffer. … I think that was a bit extreme. The money they spent on jet fuel could’ve been given to some type of charity.”

The folks at the FireJohnIdzik website, who raised money to take out billboards near MetLife Stadium calling for the general manager to be dismissed, tweeted that they did not fund the plane. Read their tweet: This is not our plane but we endorse it.

The owner of the plane told the Daily News his company was approached about a week ago and said the woman behind it did not want to be identified but that she is a “frustrated” longtime Jets fan.

— Controversial Knicks guard J.R. Smith received his first punishment of the 2014-15 season after punching Wizards guard Glen Rice Jr. in the groin during the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game at Madison Square Garden, a 98-83 Washington win.

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, J.R. Smith, John Idzik, Rex Ryan

Report: Alex Rodriguez admitted PED use to DEA

11.05.14 at 2:23 pm ET
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According to a report in the Miami Herald, Alex Rodriguez admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during a January meeting with officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Rodriguez, who steadfastly proclaimed his innocence when confronted by Major League Baseball and eventually suspended for the entire 2014 season, detailed which drugs he took and how he took them, the Herald wrote, citing a “report of investigation.”

Rodriguez, who was reinstated to the Yankees‘ active roster Oct. 29, following the conclusion of the World Series, had been granted immunity by DEA officials and prosecutors before his Jan. 29 meeting in Weston, Florida.

Less than three weeks earlier, after an arbitrator reduced his MLB suspension from 211 games to 162, Rodriguez declared: “I have been clear that I did not use performance-enhancing substances … and in order to prove it, I will take this fight to court.”


Read More: alex rodriguez,

Michael McCann on D&C: Adrian Peterson plea deal ‘makes me think he’s going to come back pretty soon’

11.05.14 at 10:58 am ET
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Michael McCann

Michael McCann

Sports Illustrated legal analyst and University of New Hampshire law professor Michael McCann joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the Adrian Peterson plea deal. To hear the interview, go the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Peterson entered a no-contest plea in his case for reckless assault on his son, which will allow the running back to avoid going to jail. The hosts wondered how Peterson could easily escape punishment from the law for this incident.

“Under Texas law, it’€™s pretty permissive in terms of parental discipline of children,” McCann said. “And these are among the hardest cases to bring in a state like Texas. I have a feeling that there are different motivations at stake. And one of them was that the prosecution knew that there was a good chance Peterson would be found not guilty. So they themselves get a benefit by the fact that he is now pleaded guilty to a crime, albeit a misdemeanor. So I have a feeling that played a role as well.”

Now that it is known that Peterson will not head to jail, the talk is centered on if the league will allow him to return to the field. Whether commissioner Roger Goodell suspends Peterson or not is up in the air.

“I have a feeling they’ve already talked about this,’€ McCann said. “And the fact that Peterson agreed to a deal makes me think he’€™s going to come back pretty soon. And I think the one sort of plausible way of looking at this from the NFL’€™s perspective is to give him an eight-game suspension, but give him time served for the eight games that he’€™s already missed. And then make him pay for those eight games. Just write a check to the NFL charity for $6 million.”

Continued McCann: “Roger Goodell doesn’t need another headache. He doesn’t need another legal challenge to his penalty. He is in the most compromised state of his career as the NFL commissioner. I think he’€™s going to want to cut a deal himself to have this go in a way that Peterson isn’t going to challenge it.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Roger Goodell,

Dan Wetzel on D&C: ‘People who vehemently defend Adrian Peterson’ most shocking part of case

11.05.14 at 10:36 am ET
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Dan Wetzel

Dan Wetzel

Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the latest on the Adrian Peterson situation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Peterson entered a no-contest plea on Tuesday in the case over the reckless assault of his son. The plea deal will allow the Vikings star to avoid jail time. Wetzel said this incident would have been a difficult one if it went to trial.

“I understood the challenge down there [in Texas], and that’s if this thing went to a jury trial, there was no guarantee there was going to be a conviction,” Wetzel said. “And that’s really the attitude of the charges. It’s hard to look from afar and tell a prosecutor in Texas, particularly that county in Texas and that prosecutor who is anything but an easygoing person, that they went too easy on someone. That’s the way it works, but I would’ve preferred something.”

In Wetzel’s column this week, he said the NFL should allow Peterson to return to the field. Instead of suspending Peterson, Wetzel said the league could use the running back to speak out against such domestic violence.

Said Wetzel: “Obviously he would have to be cooperative on that. They can suspend him, or it can be part of it. But I think part of it, of his punishment, and I think what the NFL should do, is say, ‘How can we prevent the next child abuse?’ To me, the most shocking part of the story is not the actual abuse he put down. … It’s the number of people who vehemently defend Adrian Peterson and say, ‘This is exactly how parents should raise their kids. This is exactly this is the right way to do it.’ And particularly in certain communities and areas of the country where it’s even more prevalent.

“To me, to just sit there and say, ‘Let’s ban Adrian Peterson for life, let’s throw him out of the league, let’s try to take $5 million from a wealthy man,’ whatever it is. That doesn’t really help when I think Adrian Peterson has made some of his statements of understanding now what seems pretty obvious to many of us that whipping a 4-year-old the way he did with a tree branch isn’t effective. Neither effective, and it’s a damaging way to raise children.”

Continued Wetzel: “He’s given statements that he understands a great deal more that he’s taken some anger management and parenting classes. My idea is use this guy to get out and do workshops in the community. Use him as PSA. The NFL does PSA all of the time on their network that you just glaze over. If they’re talking about real issues, maybe it generates discussions that men generally aren’t going to have.”

Some of the issue, according to Wetzel, is that Peterson thought he was doing the right thing that any good father would do.

“He’s not a good father at all. But he thinks he is,” Wetzel said. “And that’s the problem. He’s acknowledging what he’s doing in real-time text messages to the mom and saying, ‘I’ve just got to keep that whupping and this how we discipline and he’s acting up.’ He absolutely thinks he’s doing the right thing. … Adrian Peterson believes he loves his son, absolutely.”

Read More: Adrian Peterson, Dan Wetzel,

Vikings players supportive of possible Adrian Peterson return

11.05.14 at 9:38 am ET
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Despite all of the legal issues Adrian Peterson has battled over the last two months, many his Vikings teammates still support him.

The running back, who was indicted in September for reckless assault for injuring his son with a tree branch, pleaded no contest during his Tuesday hearing. The plea will allow him to avoid any jail time.

Vikings players have been in contact with Peterson since he’s been off the field and on the exempt-commissioner’s permission list. A number of them admitted Tuesday that they would welcome Peterson back to the team this year.

“We all know the kind of person he is,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “We’ve stood behind him this whole time. You’d be crazy not to welcome him back into that locker room. It would be a big pickup for this locker room being we have so many young guys.”

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater added that Peterson would have no trouble returning to Minnesota.

“He’s a guy that everyone loves around here in that locker room,” Bridgewater said. “If he does come back, I’m pretty sure everyone will take him in with welcome arms.”

In the end, though, league officials will have the final say on if Peterson is reinstated.

“We would review the matter, including the court record, and the commissioner would make a determination,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “We cannot provide a timetable.”

Read More: Adrian Peterson,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: David Ortiz files lawsuit after alleged jewelry scam

11.05.14 at 8:15 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Raptors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pacers at Wizards, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Northern Illinois at Ball State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Buffalo at Ohio, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Red Wings at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Boston College at UConn, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Barcelona at Ajax, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— David Ortiz has filed a lawsuit against a Southern California jeweler, claiming the man sold him imitation jewelry and failed to return the Red Sox star’s money after admitting his deceit.

According to the suit (via The Boston Globe), Randy Hamida follows professional athletes around, stalking them at their hotels and claiming to be a luxury jewelry dealer.

Ortiz, known for his flashy displays of jewelry, eventually consented to buy a Breitling watch with diamonds and gold, a diamond bracelet, diamond earrings and other items in 2010. He compensated Hamida with an $80,000 check and jewelry from his own collection valued at about $47,000.

“David doesn’€™t buy jewelry, or buy anything, from just anybody. And he trusted Mr. Hamida,” said Jonathan M. Davidoff, Ortiz’€™s lawyer. “This was a last resort for David. David didn’€™t want to sue. But also, David doesn’€™t want to be taken advantage of. And professional athletes are targets, unfortunately.”

Hamida allegedly took back the imitation jewelry and promised to refund Ortiz’s money and jewelry in 2011, but then claimed he needed more time due to financial problems.

Ortiz told the Globe that he’s not getting personally involved in the suit.

“It’s going to get taken care of,” he said. “I’m not worried.”

— WNBA star Brittney Griner was attacked by a man with a knife Monday in China, but she only suffered a nick on her elbow that did not require stitches.

According to an ESPN report, the 6-foot-8 Griner and two teammates from the Beijing Great Wall team were walking from a practice to the team bus when a man began yelling and swinging the knife wildly. He chased the players onto the bus and stabbed at Griner, who was wearing a winter coat that offered some protection.

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Read More: Brittney Griner, David Ortiz, Devon Still,

Report: Adrian Peterson to avoid jail time with plea deal

11.04.14 at 12:30 pm ET
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According to ESPN, Adrian Peterson, will avoid jail time following being charged with felony child abuse two months ago after reportedly whipping his 4-year-old son, leaving bruises all over his body. The Vikings running back will enter a plea to one misdemeanor count of reckless assault.

Pro Football Talk added, the plea will not include reference to family violence or violence against a minor. Also, if the agreement is accepted by Judge Kelly Case, Peterson will pay a $2,000 fine, be placed on probation and perform 80 hours of community service.

Since Peterson is on the commissioner’s exempt list, only commissioner Roger Goodell can reinstate him.

Peterson played in one game this season, before being indicted in early September.

Read More: Adrian Peterson,

Drew Bledsoe compares playing quarterback for the Jets to being sacrificial virgin

11.04.14 at 8:36 am ET
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Former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2006, but he did have some interesting things to say about playing quarterback for the Jets.

“Going to play quarterback for the Jets … it’€™s kind of like, you know when they used to take the pretty young virgin up to the edge of the volcano and then just throw them in?”€ Bledsoe said on ESPN Radio, via the N.Y. Daily News. “€œThat’€™s kind of what it is when you play quarterback for the Jets. It just feels bad.”

Bledsoe is happy for former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez who is now getting a chance to play with the Eagles after Nick Foles went down with a broken collarbone in Sunday’s game.

“Mark had to live with that for a long time,”€ Bledsoe added about Sanchez playing for the Jets. “€œAnd people threw him under the bus like he was the whole reason for the demise of the Jets. To see him be able to come on to the field in a good system, with good talent and perform well, I’€™m just really happy for him.”

Read More: drew bledsoe, Mark Sanchez, New York Jets,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Cousin claims Alex Rodriguez paid him almost $1M to keep quiet about doping

11.04.14 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Panthers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Blues at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Rockets at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Cavaliers at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Northwood at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College football: Bowling Green at Akron, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Toledo at Kent State, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Liverpool at Real Madrid, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


Alex Rodriguez‘s controversial cousin is back in the headlines, and as usual, it’s not good news for A-Rod.

According to court papers filed in Florida (and reported by the New York Daily News), Rodriguez paid Yuri Sucart close to $1 million in 2013 so that Sucart would not divulge details of the Yankee’s use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Sucart is a defendant in the federal case against Biogensis and the company’s former owner, Anthony Bosch. Sucart, charged with conspiracy to distribute testosterone and HGH, has pleaded not guilty.

Sucart’s former attorney wrote to Rodriguez in 2012 demanding $5 million and a “life estate” for Sucart’s “past services rendered, and for the loyalty he has shown you.” Attorney Jeffrey Sonn indicated Sucart had no intention of cooperating with Major League Baseball, which had ordered Sucart to stay away from the clubhouse when A-Rod played for the Rangers. “Yuri, even after he was accused of being a steroid mule for you, kept your confidence of all your activities while you played of rate Rangers and the Yankees,” Sonn wrote.

According to the filing, A-Rod agreed to pay Sucart a payment of $700,000 and then three more payments totaling $200,000. This was in addition to money Rodriguez paid Sucart every year since 2003.

If Alex Rodriguez's cousin's accusations are true, should A-Rod be further punished?

  • Yes, MLB should go after A-Rod any chance it gets and try to remove him from the game (69%, 350 Votes)
  • No, he already received his punishment (31%, 156 Votes)

Total Voters: 506

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When he admitted in 2009 to using PEDs, Rodriguez said Sucart had provided him the drugs from 2001-03.

Now Rodriguez, who was suspended by MLB and missed the entire 2014 season, apparently is cooperating with the feds against Sucart.

“That is what it sounds like. It sounds like A-Rod is a potential witness against his cousin,” Sucart’s court-appointed attorney, Edward O’Donnell IV, told the Daily News. “They are not allies, that’s for sure, or friends.”

— Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov spoke to a media gathering for the first time in 10 months and made it clear that his split with Jason Kidd was not amicable.

Kidd coached the team for one season before reportedly demanding more power and then fleeing to Milwaukee to coach the Bucks.

“I think there is a nice proverb in English: Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you,” Prokhorov said Monday before his team’s home opener against the Thunder. “I think we shouldn’t get mad, I think we should get even. And we’ll see it on the court.”

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Jason Kidd, John Idzik, Mikhail Prokhorov