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Browns fire coach Eric Mangini

01.03.11 at 10:17 am ET
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The Browns announced Monday that Eric Mangini was relieved of his duties as coach by team president Mike Holmgren.

“This decision was not easy for me, and it was one into which I put a great deal of thought,’€ Holmgren said in a statement. ‘€œAlthough we have made improvements this season, my responsibility is to ensure that we establish a program that will allow this team to compete at a championship level. That will continue to be our goal in everything we do. I want to thank Eric for all of his contributions to the Cleveland Browns, and wish him and his family the best of luck in the future.’€

Said Mangini in his statement: ‘€œThe experience coaching the Cleveland Browns the past two years has been tremendous. I appreciate the opportunity that the Lerner family gave me. I have a deep respect for the players that I have coached the past two years and how they have made a profound difference in changing the culture ‘€” a tougher, smarter, more competitive, selfless team that never gave up. Our goal was to build a team for long-term success. The core characteristics we were dedicated to, I believe, will help achieve that goal, and have provided a strong identity for this football team and have helped to create a positive foundation upon which the organization can continue to build.

“I feel strongly that the Cleveland Browns are headed in a very positive direction and greatly value the commitment and exceptional efforts of the coaches, players and everyone in the building that I’€™ve worked with in trying to help achieve our goals. My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed living in the Cleveland community and appreciate the support and passion of the fans. I know Mike and [general manager Tom Heckert] are also dedicated to building a championship caliber organization and wish them nothing but success.”

Read More: Eric Mangini, Rumor Mill,

Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon main suspect in fatal shooting

01.03.11 at 10:11 am ET
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Police in the Dominican Republic said Sunday that Orioles relief pitcher Alfredo Simon is the main suspect in a fatal shooting New Year’s Eve and that the pitcher fled after the killing.

Michel Castillo Almonte, 25, was killed and his 17-year-old brother was wounded during a celebration in Luperon, police said.

Felipe Alou Jr., a Dominican representative for the Orioles, said he spoke with Simon on Saturday and the pitcher insisted he was not involved in the shootings.

Simon, 29, was 4-2 with a 4.93 ERA last season. He had 17 saves before surrendering the closer’s job to Koji Uehara.

Read More: Alfredo Simon, Rumor Mill,

Caron Butler could miss two months for Mavericks

01.03.11 at 10:05 am ET
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Mavericks forward Caron Butler, injured during Saturday night’s loss to the Bucks, was diagnosed with a torn patellar tendon and could miss two months or more, according to an Associated Press report.

The team was awaiting results of an MRI before making an announcement.

The Mavericks already are missing Dirk Nowitzki, who has missed three games with a sprained knee. Dallas is 0-3 in those games.

Read More: Caron Butler, Rumor Mill,

Randy Edsall leaves UConn for Maryland football job

01.03.11 at 10:01 am ET
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After spending 12 years building UConn out of 1-AA team to a Top 25 team that appeared in bowl games the past four seasons, Randy Edsall was tabbed to be the next football coach at the University of Maryland. Edsall replaces Ralph Friedgen, was was fired after 10 seasons with the Terrapins.

Edsall, the 2010 Big East Coach of the Year, was chosen over former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.

Maryland announced the hiring Sunday night and scheduled a press conference for Monday afternoon.

Read More: Randy Edsall, Rumor Mill,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: ESPN suspends announcer, anchor

01.03.11 at 7:54 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Bruins at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)


‘™¦ ESPN announcer Ron Franklin was pulled from the radio broadcast of Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl following his sexist comment toward a female sideline reporter. Franklin, 68, reportedly referred to Jeannine Edwards as “sweetcakes” during a production meeting when she attempted to join a discussion he was having with another announcer. When she complained, Franklin allegedly then swore at her. ESPN did not have time to find a replacement for Friday’s Chick-fil-A Bowl but made the move for Saturday.

The move comes just days after an ESPN anchor was suspended for plagiarizing a newspaper story. Will Selva admitted to copying all but a few words of a column on the Lakers written by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register and using it on air.

‘™¦ With Charlie Weis apparently headed to the University of Florida to be offensive coordinator, Sam Mellinger in The Kansas City Star looks at the alleged cold relationship between Weis and Chiefs coach Todd Haley. Writes Mellinger: “Haley looks like an impossible man to work for, ego and insecurity driving two veteran offensive coordinators away in a 16-month span.”

‘™¦ The University of Pittsburgh fired coach Mike Haywood two weeks after making the much-criticized hire, moving on after Haywood was charged with domestic battery. In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ron Cook writes that Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson now is the one on the hot seat.

‘™¦ Ryan Bourque, the 19-year-old son of former Bruins standout Ray Bourque, is leading the U.S. team at the IIHF World Junior Championship. In The Buffalo News, Bucky Gleason writes about the younger Bourque’s contributions to Team USA.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: [Note: Updated with a correction.] On Jan. 3, 2000, Pete Carroll had coached his final game with the Patriots a day earlier with a win over which team?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Charlie Weis, Jeannine Edwards, mike haywood, Ron Franklin

Brett Favre says he’s ready to retire

01.03.11 at 6:53 am ET
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Brett Favre‘s playing career ended on the sidelines on Sunday.

The 41-year-old quarterback was unable to play for the Vikings in their season-ending loss to the Lions, sidelined by a concussion as his team finished its season with a 6-10 record. After the game, Favre — who announced his retirement following the 2008 season with the Packers and the 2009 season with the Jets, only to return both times — said that he has played his last NFL game.

“I know it’s time, and that’s OK. It is,” Favre told reporters. “Again, I hold no regrets, and I can’t think of too many players offhand that can walk away and say that. Individually and from a team standpoint, it was way more than I ever dreamed of.”

Favre’s 20th NFL season (19th as a starter) was his most difficult on and off the field. He threw nearly twice as many interceptions (19) as touchdowns (11), and his 69.9 quarterback rating was the worst of his career. He also dealt with a slew of injuries that resulted in the conclusion of his NFL record streak of 297 consecutive starts by a quarterback. Off the field, he faced allegations of inappropriate conduct with a team employee while with the Jets; Favre was fined $50,000 for his failure to cooperate with the NFL’s investigation into the matter.

Despite the final campaign, Favre would also be walking away from football as the NFL’s all-time leader in wins (186), passing yards (71,838) and touchdown passes (508).

“That’s the thing every player and former player that I’ve talked to … will tell you that what you miss is the guys, the fellowship, the bus rides, locker rooms, winning and losing together, celebrating together,” Favre said. “That’s the things you’re going to miss. If I sat here and told you I would not miss that, I’d be kidding myself. From a playing standpoint, there’s nothing else left to do.”

For more on Favre, click here.

Read More: brett favre, Rumor Mill,

Report: Eagles could sit Michael Vick in favor of Kevin Kolb in playoffs

01.02.11 at 10:57 am ET
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According to Sal Paolantonio of ESPN (as relayed by, the Eagles have had concerns about quarterback Michael Vick‘s ability to recognize blitzes. The ESPN analyst said that if Vick struggles in the Eagles’ wild card game, he could be benched in favor of backup Kevin Kolb — the quarterback who was knocked out by a concussion in Philadelphia’s Week 1 loss to Green Bay, the same team that Philadelphia could end up facing in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

Vick, Paolantonio said, did not practice for part of this week in order to invest extra time in watching film of the Packers‘ defense.

Read More: Eagles, Kevin Kolb, michael vick, Rumor Mill

Pitt football coach Mike Haywood fired after domestic violence arrest

01.01.11 at 6:45 pm ET
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University of Pittsburgh football coach Mike Haywood was fired on Saturday, a day after he was arrested on charges of domestic violence at his South Bend, Ind., home, The Associated Press reported. Haywood was hired from Miami (Ohio) in December to replace Dave Wannstedt (who resigned under pressure) as the Panthers’ coach, but his tenure will not even last one game. Instead, Pitt faces a need to identify another head coach prior to the team’s Jan. 8 participation in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg issued the following statement:

‘€œAfter careful consideration of recent events, the University of Pittsburgh has dismissed Michael Haywood as its head football coach, effective immediately. He was advised of that action this afternoon.

‘€œTo be clear, the University’€™s decision is not tied to any expectation with respect to the terms on which the legal proceeding now pending in Indiana might ultimately be concluded. Instead, it reflects a strong belief that moving forward with Mr. Haywood as our head coach is not possible under the existing circumstances.

‘€œThis is a matter of real regret for the many people at Pitt who had looked forward to working with him. However, head coaches are among the University’€™s most visible representatives and are expected to maintain high standards of personal conduct and to avoid situations that might reflect negatively on the University.

‘€œWe will immediately re-open our search for a head football coach, expanding the process to include a larger pool of candidates. Our goal is to move swiftly, but prudently, to find the right person to successfully lead the Pitt football program for what we hope will be an extended period of time.’€

Haywood was charged with a felony and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Read More: arrest, dave wannstedt, mike haywood, pitt

Maurice Jones-Drew to undergo knee surgery

01.01.11 at 6:30 pm ET
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According to the Florida Times-Union, running back Maurice Jones-Drew will require arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus injury that he suffered during the preseason. While Jones-Drew was able to stay on the field and amass 1,324 yards this year, the injury forced him to sit in Week 16. He will remain on the sidelines for his team’s final regular season game on Sunday, a contest that the Jags must win (against the Texans) in order to sustain their playoff hopes.

Jacksonville would reach the playoffs, winning the AFC South, with a win and a Colts loss to the Tennessee Titans. If the Jags do make the playoffs, they are hopeful that Jones-Drew might be available at some point in January.

Read More: maurice jones-drew, Rumor Mill,

Rex Ryan on new photos of his wife: ‘a personal matter’

12.31.10 at 4:46 pm ET
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Jets coach Rex Ryan was asked Friday about a set of photos that were made public on the Internet earlier in the day, but he declined to address the matter. As he said when asked about the foot-fetish videos that became widely publicized last week, Ryan stated: “It’s a personal matter, and I’m not going to discuss it.”

The photos that hit the web Friday show a woman who appears to be Michelle Ryan with an unidentified man who is not Rex Ryan smelling and rubbing her bare feet. Two other photos show the woman posing on a bed in a suggestive manner.

Read More: Rex Ryan, Rumor Mill,