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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Seahawks CB Brandon Browner says he’ll fight year suspension

12.19.13 at 8:19 am ET

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NHL: Bruins at Sabres, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Wild at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Bulls at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Iona at Dayton, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: UCLA vs. Duke, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College volleyball: NCAA semifinals, Wisconsin vs. Texas, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College volleyball: NCAA semifinals, Washington vs. Penn State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


‘€¢ Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner was suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, but his agent promised he will “sue the living daylights out of the league” if the player is not given the opportunity to return.

Browner first tested positive in his rookie season of 2005 with the Broncos, and he was released the following year. He then was placed in Stage 3 of the substance-abuse program after missing tests at various points over the next five years. However, he wasn’t in the NFL at that time, as he moved on to the Canadian Football League. And he claims he did not have cell phone service and was staying with friends for at least part of that time, making him unaware that the league was trying to contact him. The league denied that appeal, saying there was written notification.

Browner returned to the NFL in 2011 with the Seahawks and passed multiple tests from 2011-13. When he failed another test this year, it triggered a year-long suspension because of his Stage 3 status.

The 29-year-old Browner, who becomes a free agent after the season, reportedly turned down a deal that would have reduced his suspension.

After the suspension was announced, Browner took to social media to show his appreciation to his fans and team:

I want to thank the Seahawks organization for the incredible opportunity they gave me when they took a chance on a player who was out of the NFL and playing in the CFL for 4 years. I also want to thank all of my teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and the 12’€™s for their support, respect, and friendship and for helping me grow into the player, father, and person I am today. I have been treated with nothing but first class by everyone associated with the Seattle Seahawks and for that I am forever grateful. Although I disagree with the circumstances surrounding my suspension, I accept responsibility for all of my actions and I apologize for any that causes any unflattering reflections of my family and the Seahawks. I believe in my innocence and will continue to fight with all legal resources available to me to. Go Hawks!!!

‘€¢ The Knicks added another lowlight-reel play in the clutch on Wednesday, although they managed to win anyhow, beating the lowly Bucks in two overtimes.

Leading by two points with 11 seconds left in overtime, the Knicks got an offensive rebound and Tyson Chandler passed it out to Andrea Bargnani outside the 3-point line. Instead of holding the ball or passing it to kill time and wait to get fouled, Bargnani immediately hoisted a trey that missed — while his teammates held up their hands in disbelief.

The Bucks got the rebound and tied the game on a John Henson follow, sending the game to a second overtime.

“It was a bad decision,” acknowledged Bargnani, who was one of the goats Monday for his lack of defense in a last-second loss to the Wizards. “I was being aggressive. I had a shot a few plays before that. It was a bad mistake.”

Said coach Mike Woodson: “You see a lot of things in this league. He shot it and couldn’t get it back.”

‘€¢ Southern Illinois basketball coach Barry Hinson delivered one of the most memorable postgame press conferences of the year on Tuesday night when he blasted his team for its play in a 73-65 loss at Murray State. On Wednesday, after video of the diatribe went viral, Hinson apologized to a player he singled out by name for his “absolutely awful” play but defended himself for the rest of his comments.

Hinson mixed in jokes with his criticism, calling his players “a bunch of mama’s boys.” Referring to his big men shooting 2-for-11, Hinson said: “My wife can score more than two buckets on 11 shots, because I know my wife will at least shot-fake one time. But those guys aren’t listening. They’re uncoachable right now.”

Said Hinson Tuesday about the fallout from the comments: “If that ruffles your feathers, or ruffles somebody else’s feathers, then you know what, you’re going to have to deal with it. And here’s the other thing, I’m going to have to deal with it.”

Guard Marcus Fillyaw, the player mentioned by name, said he couldn’t argue with Hinson’s assessment of the 2-8 team.

“Everything he said he was true,” Fillyaw said. “Right now our team is playing soft. That’s a big part of our identity right now. ‘€¦ It wasn’t so much him calling me out personally. I was just as upset with my performance. His statement about me was accurate.”

Added Fillyaw: “It was embarrassing that the whole world knows now.”

SIU athletic director Mario Moccia said there was no disciplinary action for the second-year coach’s comments, although he reminded Hinson to avoid publicly criticizing individual players.

“He’s very passionate,” Moccia said. “That’s why we hired him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 19, 2001, the Red Sox traded catcher Scott Hatteberg to the Rockies for a player they did not tender a contract to, making him a free agent. Two years later, they signed the same player to a one-year deal and he played for the Sox’ 2004 World Series championship team. Who is he?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Guys are always going to be talked about. In Rondo’€™s situation ‘€¦ it makes sense. Do you want to be mediocre? Do you want to finish sixth this year? Not that anyone is going to try to tank ‘€” this team is playing terrific. ‘€¦ I’€™m happy that they’€™re playing the way they’€™re playing. But for the fans and for that market, to be mediocre is not fun. ‘€¦ That, I don’€™t think the Celtics deserve. The fans don’€™t deserve that, the players don’€™t deserve that. The way you get past that sooner than later is trying to move a guy like Rajon Rondo. And that’€™s not to be disrespectful to a player like Rondo.” — NBC Sports analyst Donny Marshall, on Wednesday’s Mut & Merloni show, saying that the Celtics are talking to the Kings about trading injured point guard Rajon Rondo

STAT OF THE DAY: 42 — Points scored by the Celtics in the first quarter Wednesday night — their season high for a quarter — although they proceeded to blow a 21-point lead and lose to the Pistons

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): LeBron James gets upset with teammate Mario Chalmers during Wednesday night’s win over the Pacers (James later apologized).

Members of the UMass basketball team find their “inner white boy” with “White Boy Water.”


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Earth, Wind & Fire lead singer Maurice White was born on this day in 1941.

Read More: Andrea Bargnani, Barry Hinson, Brandon Browner,