LEEINKS
Search
gdfgdfg
WEEI.com Blog Network

Sabres owners buy Bills for NFL-record $1.4 billion

09.10.14 at 2:53 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Bills reached a “definitive agreement” Tuesday to sell the team to the owners of the NHL‘s Sabres.

The Pegulas, who already have substantial clout in the Buffalo area, bid an NFL-record $1.4 billion to buy Bills from late owner Ralph Wilson‘s estate, much higher then the team’s estimated $935 million value. The previous high came when Stephen Ross bought the Dolphins for $1.1 million in 2009. The Bills’ new owners plan to keep the team in Buffalo.

“It is gratifying to reassure these great fans that the two franchises, so important to our region are here to stay,” Terry Pegula said in a statement released by the Sabres. “Ralph Wilson left an indelible mark on our community and we will strive every day to honor his legacy.”

Other prospective owners included groups headed by rock star Jon Bon Jovi and one led by Donald Trump. Some feared that the Bills would move to Canada if Bon Jovi took control of the franchise. Mary Wilson, the team’s controlling owner, said her late husband would have been happy with the Pegulas’ decision to keep the team in Buffalo.

“Ralph would have been pleased with the sale of the team to the Terry Pegula family, who have been so committed to Buffalo and the western New York region,”Wilson said. “He loved his team and he cherished the fans, and his legacy will remain for all time.”

Read More: Buffalo Bills, Jon Bon Jovi, Ralph Wilson, Terry Pegula

Roger Goodell continues to deny seeing Ray Rice videotape

09.10.14 at 9:55 am ET
By   |   Comments

The sports world is still reacting to the shocking Ray Rice video and the player’s subsequent release from the Ravens.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claimed in a CBS interview Tuesday he had not seen the video of Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer inside an elevator in Atlantic City. Goodell and the league had only suspended Rice for two games before the second video was released.

“We had not seen any video tape of what occurred in the elevator,” Goodell said in the interview. “We assumed that there was a video, we asked for the video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity.” 

The Ravens and coach Jim Harbaugh initially supported Rice after the incident occurred in February. In July, Harbaugh said he would “stand behind” Rice and was “proud” of how the running back handled the situation. After the TMZ video was released this week, though, Harbaugh said his feelings on the matter were swayed in the other direction.

“[The video] is something we saw for the first time today. All of us,” Harbaugh said. “It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.”

Jets backup quarterback Mike Vick, who spent more than a year in jail for organizing a dog-fighting ring, said Rice’s actions have no place in the game.

“It’€™s very sensitive,” Vick said. “I think we all got to realize as professional athletes that we are professionals. And we have to be able to maintain our poise in all situations, on and off the field. There’€™s just no room for that.”

While most have disapproved of Rice’s actions, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. said he thinks the NFL overreacted. Mayweather, who previously pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges and spent two months in jail in 2012, said there are other things people do that aren’t seen by the cameras.

“I think there’s a lot worse things that go on in other people’s households, also,” Mayweather said. “It’s just not caught on video, if that’s safe to say.”

Read More: Floyd Mayweather, Jim Harbaugh, Mike Vick, Ray Rice

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Hawks’ front-office racism controversy widens

09.10.14 at 8:00 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at Tigers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Braves at Nationals, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Diamondbacks at Giants, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: FIBA World Cup, noon (ESPN2)
Basketball: FIBA World Cup, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLS: D.C. United at Red Bulls, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The Hawks’ front office scandal widened with the revelation that general manager Danny Ferry made an offensive statement in June when discussing free agent Luol Deng. Despite calls for Ferry to be fired, CEO Steve Koonin said Tuesday that the GM will be disciplined but will retain his position.

Ferry, who like Deng played college ball at Duke, described the South Sudan-born forward as someone who “has a little African in him.”

In a June 12 letter to co-owner Bruce Levenson — who recently announced plans to step aside following the revelation of racially charged comments he made two years ago — Ferry elaborated on the comment by saying: “Not in a bad way, but he’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back.”

Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. recommended that Ferry be fired, writing: “Ferry completed the racial slur by describing the player (and impliedly all persons of African descent) as a two-faced liar and cheat.”

Ferry apologized Tuesday and claimed he was only passing along something he had heard about Deng.

“In regards to the insensitive remarks that were used during our due diligence process, I was repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources during background conversations and scouting about different players,” Ferry said in a statement released by the team.

“I repeated those comments during a telephone conversation reviewing the draft and free agency process. Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it. I apologize to those I offended and to Luol, who I reached out to Monday morning.”

MASHUP POLL: Should Hawks GM Danny Ferry be fired for his racist comments?

  • No, the team's punishment is enough, he doesn't need to lose his job (60%, 249 Votes)
  • Yes, there's no defending what he said, even if he was passing along someone else's comments (40%, 168 Votes)

Total Voters: 417

Loading ... Loading ...

Deng, who now is a British citizen, said he was proud of his African heritage, and he condemned the hurtful remarks.

“Every person should have the right to be treated with respect and evaluated as an individual, rather than be reduced to a stereotype,” Deng said. “I am saddened and disappointed that this way of thinking still exists today. I am even more disturbed that it was shared so freely in a business setting.”

– Defensive tackle Devon Still, who was cut but re-signed by the Bengals two weeks ago after he acknowledged not being fully focused during training camp due to his 4-year-old daughter’s battle with cancer, is turning his tough situation into a positive.

The Bengals announced Monday that all proceeds from sales of the player’s jerseys would be donated to pediatric cancer research. On Tuesday, a team representative said more Still jerseys were sold in a 24-hour span than any Bengals jersey ever. So many people ordered the jersey at one time that the site crashed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Danny Ferry, Devon Still, Luol Deng, Ryan Leaf

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Providence College, ABA legend Marvin Barnes dead at 62

09.09.14 at 8:02 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at Tigers, 7:08 p.m. (MLB Network)
Basketball: FIBA World Cup, United States vs. Slovenia, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: FIBA World Cup, Lithuania vs. Turkey, 11 a.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Finals, Sky at Mercury, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship qualifying, Kazakhstan vs. Latvia, noon (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship qualifying, Norway vs. Italy, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship qualifying, Czech Republic vs. Netherlands, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico vs. Bolivia, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Marvin Barnes led Providence to the 1973 Final Four. (Providence College)

Marvin Barnes led Providence to the 1973 Final Four. (Providence College)

– Marvin “Bad News” Barnes, the immensely talented but troubled basketball player from Rhode Island who starred at Providence College in the early 1970s and briefly played for the Celtics, died at the age of 62, according to a report in the Providence Journal.

Former PC teammate Kevin Stacom said that he saw Barnes at a Providence-area restaurant about 10 days ago and knew he was not well.

“He struggled with his demons but he was a great friend,” Stacom told the ProJo. “He was a great talent and a great teammate, but most of all he was our friend.”

Barnes, who admitted having a drug-abuse problem throughout his career, averaged 18 points and 19 rebounds when he led the Friars to the 1973 Final Four, playing alongside Stacom and fellow Providence native Ernie DiGregorio, who both went on to play in the NBA (and for the Celtics).

After an All-America senior season in which he averaged 22 points and 18.7 rebounds and led PC to a 28-4 record, the 6-foot-8 forward was the second overall pick in the 1974 NBA draft by the 76ers. However, Barnes signed a deal to play for the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis.

One month into his first season, while averaging 24.0 points and 15.6 rebounds and en route to being named ABA Rookie of the Year, Barnes left the team. He turned up a few days later at a pool tournament in Dayton, Ohio. Spirits owners Ozzie and Daniel Silna lured Barnes back and remained supporters of him throughout his life.

“I was young, wild and had tons of money,” Barnes said in an interview a few years ago. “I’d be late for practices, miss team flights and did what I pleased. Because of the numbers I put up management never really got too upset. If they didn’t care what I do, I don’t care what I do. My motto was live hard and die young. I didn’t expect to be around long, figured I’d die in a shootout where I grew up. I’d live for the moment so I’d drink, use marijuana and snort coke when I could. The coke intensified everything. When I got that rush, I thought the coke was making me a better ballplayer.”

Barnes jumped to the NBA in 1976 and played for four teams, including a 38-game stint with the Celtics during their miserable 1978-79 season. His first season with the Pistons was interrupted by a 3 1/2-month prison term in a Rhode Island jail for violating probation related to an assault on a PC teammate in 1972.

After his career ended, Barnes became homeless and bounced in and out of jail and rehab programs. He eventually returned to Rhode Island and worked for a foundation counseling youth, trying to convince them to avoid the same fate as him.

In 1997 Barnes was named to the ABA All-Time Team. His jersey was retired by the Friars in 2008.

– Thousands of Penn State students and fans celebrated on campus Monday night after the NCAA surprisingly lifted some of the penalties that were enforced in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, allowing the Nittany Lions to compete in the postseason this year and allowing the return of all scholarships for next season.

The NCAA‘s Executive Committee credited Penn State’s progress in reforming its athletic program as the reason for the move. It was suggested by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who is serving as Penn State’s athletic integrity monitor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Marvin Barnes, Penn State,

FIBA investigates possible Australian tanking at World Cup basketball

09.08.14 at 1:51 pm ET
By   |   Comments

A 91-83 Australia loss to Angola in the FIBA World Cup last Thursday is under investigation by basketball’s international governing body because of concerns that the Australians lost the game on purpose.

Australia held a second-half lead against Angola, but the team sat its starters, played weak defense and committed 18 turnovers. A loss in the contest meant Australia finished in third place in Group D of the tournament.

If the team had won, then Australia would have finished in second place, meaning the team would have had to play the United States in the quarterfinals. A loss against Angola delayed a potential U.S.-Australia matchup to the semifinals.

Australian coach Andrej Lemanis said after the game that his team did not lose on purpose. 

“We always, as Australians, compete the right way,” Lemains told AdelaideNow.com.au. “People will make up their own minds. There’€™s always going to be speculators. I can’€™t control what people think.”

Slovenia guard Goran Dragic took exception to the possibility that Australia tanked the game. The Slovenians, who finished in second place in Group D, will have to face the Americans on Tuesday in a quarterfinal matchup.

Tweeted Dragic: Basketball is a beautiful sport, there is no room for fixing the game like today Australia vs Angola!! @FIBA should do something about that!

Whether or not Australia lost intentionally, it does not have to worry about playing the United States at all, as Turkey eliminated Australia from the tournament Sunday.

Read More: Andrej Lemanis, FIBA, Goran Dragic,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: New video of Ray Rice domestic violence incident leads to further criticism of NFL

09.08.14 at 8:09 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Angels at Indians, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Royals at Tigers, 4:08 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Braves at Nationals, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Giants at Lions, 7 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
NFL: Chargers at Cardinals, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
Soccer: European Championship qualifying, Russia vs. Liechtenstein, noon (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship qualifying, Switzerland vs. England, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: US Open, 5 p.m. (CBS)

AROUND THE WEB:

Ray Rice — ELEVATOR KNOCKOUT … Fiancee Takes Crushing Punch [Video]
- Watch More
Celebrity Videos
or
Subscribe

– More video from the Ray Rice domestic incident in February was leaked early Monday morning, and the shocking tape has stirred further criticism of Rice as well as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for failing to impose harsher discipline.

In the video, released by TMZ.com, Rice and his then-fiancee Janay Palmer enter an elevator at the Revel hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Rice leans in and appears to antagonize Palmer before she pushes him away. Rice then punches Palmer with his left first, knocking her head into the back of the elevator. When the elevator doors open, Rice drags the apparently unconscious Palmer — which matched video that was released a few months ago.

Rice was charged with felony aggravated assault, but he was accepted into a pretrial prevention program in May that allowed him to avoid any jail time. Rice and Palmer were married one month later.

MASHUP POLL: Should the NFL attempt to punish Ray Rice further?

  • Yes, this video confirms the need to suspend him longer (89%, 123 Votes)
  • No, the league already suspended him and it wouldn't be fair to change it now (11%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 138

Loading ... Loading ...

Goodell already has acknowledged he was not as hard on Rice as he should have been when he suspended the Ravens running back for just two games. On Aug. 28 Goodell announced new domestic violence penalties, starting with a six-game suspension for a first offense.

“My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families,” Goodell said in a statement at the time. “I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right.”

The NFL has not acknowledged whether it had access to the second video.

– The Yankees held Derek Jeter Day on Sunday, honoring the retiring captain with a 45-minute ceremony that included sports legends Michael Jordan and Cal Ripken Jr.

Jeter received a 1 1/2-minute ovation from the Yankee Stadium fans before unemotionally addressing the the crowd with a three-minute speech.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that 20 seasons has gone by so quickly,” Jeter said. “You guys have all watched me grow up over the last 20 years. I’ve watched you, too. Some of you guys getting old, too. But I want to thank you for helping me feel like a kid for the last 20 years.”

Added Jeter: “In my opinion, I’ve had the greatest job in the world. I got a chance to be the shortstop for the New York Yankees, and there’s only one of those. I always felt as though it was my job – was to try to provide joy and entertainment for you guys. But it can’t compare to what you brought me.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bruce Levenson, Derek Jeter, Ray Rice, Roger Goodell

NFL to review Jets practice squad member’s domestic violence arrest

09.05.14 at 11:31 am ET
By   |   Comments

Quincy Enunwa

Quincy Enunwa

The NFL will take a deeper look into the arrest of New York Jets practice squad member Quincy Enunwa after he was charged with domestic violence Sunday night.

Enunwa pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday and was released from jail. After the NFL caught flak for the case of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was suspended just two games for his incident, commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that players involved in domestic violence cases would face stiffer punishments, including a six-game suspension for a first-time offense and a year-long ban for a second.

Though it is unclear what Enunwa’€™s relationship was with the female victim, a police complaint obtained by NJ.com said he grabbed the woman, which led to injuries to both her head and finger.

Enunwa practiced with the Jets on Thursday, but had no comment on the matter. The wide receiver is not on the Jets’€™ active roster for games.

Coach Rex Ryan said the Jets will have to wait and see what happens to the 2014 sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Nebraska.

“There’s different circumstances to every case and, this thing, we’ll see what happens,” Ryan said.

Read More: quincy enunwa,

Report: Browns WR Josh Gordon to work with Ohio auto dealer during NFL suspension

09.05.14 at 11:25 am ET
By   |   Comments

Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon

Suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will spend the 2014 season as the goodwill ambassador for the Sarchione Auto Group in Ohio, according to a Cleveland.com report.

Gordon, who was suspended the entire season by the NFL for a repeat violation of the league’€™s substance-abuse policy, will have a variety of tasks during his 40-hour work week at the dealership. He will also work on community service projects, such as the Wounded Warrior Project for veterans.

“He’s going to put his time in,” said Jeff Sarchione, who co-owns the dealership. “He’ll be everything from a salesman to attaching himself at the hip with my brother and just learning the automotive business from top to bottom.”

The job is a far cry from what Gordon did with the Browns in 2013. After coming back from a four-game suspension, he led the league in receiving yards despite playing with multiple backup quarterbacks.

Initially, Gordon tried to play in the Canadian Football League this year, but his contract with the Browns did not allow him to join a team in that league. Gordon is also not allowed to attend Browns practices or events, or even talk with his team. Browns coach Mike Pettine said he did not initially know about Gordon’s new job.

“We’re just finding that out as well,” Pettine said. “That’s something I don’t really want to get into because I want to discuss the guys that are here. … Internally we want what’s best for him. We just hope for that to occur.”

Read More: Josh Gordon, Mike Pettine,

NFL, NFLPA reportedly close to agreement on HGH testing

09.05.14 at 10:14 am ET
By   |   Comments

The NFL and the NFL Players Association are close to an agreement that would allow for HGH testing for the first time in the history of the league after three years of back-and-forth negotiations, according to an ESPN report.

It appeared that the league would have testing in place in 2011 when a new collective bargaining agreement was put in place, but disagreements have kept HGH testing on the back burner. Thanks to a push by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, the issue is back at the forefront and close to becoming a completed deal.

“Players who have been to any collective bargaining negotiation understand that we never describe them as ‘very close,’ ” NFLPA president Eric Winston said in a statement. ‘€œWe look at every issue we can to improve the rights and benefits of players. This process takes time, it takes creativity and it is never easy. We want to get a new agreement in place, but we understand the responsibility we have to the players and to the game. It is critical that we get this right.”€

While both sides apparently would like to come to an agreement before Sunday’€™s Week 1 games, there remain points of contention with other changes. One idea the league proposed that has been debated and hotly contested is a player getting disciplined immediately for a DUI arrest. There is concern that the negotiations could come to a halt if the proposed changes other than HGH testing lead to more bickering.

If the negotiations were to be finalized, the league would be allowed to test players for HGH the day before a game and the day after one. It would not allow the NFL to test players during the day of a game. Testing could begin as little as 10 days after an agreement is put into place.

Read More: DeMaurice Smith, NFL, NFLPA,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: UConn coach Geno Auriemma’s phone call to LLWS star an NCAA violation

09.05.14 at 8:15 am ET
By   |   Comments

Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2:15 p.m. (WGN)
College football: Pittsburgh at Boston College, 7 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
Washington State at Nevada, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLS: Rapids at Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: US Open, 12:30 p.m. (CBS)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Much to the dismay of Geno Auriemma, the NCAA announced Thursday that the UConn coach’s congratulatory phone call to Little League Baseball star Mo’ne Davis was in fact a secondary violation of recruiting rules.

Davis, who like Auriemma is from Philadelphia, has said she hopes to play basketball at UConn, and Auriemma said he put in the call after being asked by a friend who works for the 76ers.

UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said Auriemma checked with the school’s compliance department and was told because Davis is only in eighth grade the 13-year-old is not yet considered a prospected student athlete.

“The nature of coach Auriemma’s two-minute conversation with Mo’ne had nothing to do with recruiting and instead had everything to do with congratulating and encouraging Mo’ne to continued success,” Manuel said.

MASHUP POLL: Should UConn be punished for Geno Auriemma's phone call to Mo'ne Davis?

  • No, there clearly was no ill intent so the matter should be dropped (91%, 442 Votes)
  • Yes, he and the school should know better and should have to pay a price (9%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 488

Loading ... Loading ...

Auriemma bemoaned the fact that another school would complain about the call, which is what triggered the investigation.

“It shows you what is wrong not only for things that go on but also with some of the people that I coach against,” he said before the NCAA‘s ruling was announced.

– Nets guard Deron Williams found himself on the defensive this week after being quoted in a magazine article talking about how difficult it can be to raise his kids in New York City as compared to his hometown in Texas or his current offseason home in Utah.

“I grew up in an apartment in Texas where you could send your kids outside like, ‘Yeah, go play in the sun.’ Here it’€™s more challenging,” Williams told Resident Magazine. “The process of getting them into school [in New York] is a nightmare. Even private schools where you pay are an ordeal. In Utah, you just send your kids to the first public school in the area because they’€™re all great. Truth is, we enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle and going back to Utah every summer. It’€™s a relief to take that timeout. No traffic. No crowds. My daughters still have their friends there. There’€™s a big backyard. They go to the pool; the playground and they jump on the trampoline. Kids running wild and free here …? I don’€™t think so.”

Asked to elaborate on his comments Thursday, Williams told the New York Daily News, “I love New York, but I also love my time in Utah.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Deron Williams, Geno Auriemma, Jim Kelly, Mo'ne Davis