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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos, facing criticism for hits to Cam Newton’s head, insist they’re not dirty 09.14.16 at 8:27 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.

MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mariners at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey exhibition, Russia vs. Canada, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Sevilla at Juventus, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Sporting CP at Real Madrid, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)


— The Broncos defense has come under some criticism since last Thursday’s season-opening victory over the Panthers in which Carolina quarterback Cam Newton took multiple hits to his head.

On Tuesday, Denver players defended themselves against accusations that they are dirty.

“I just don’t think that’s what we are,” linebacker Todd Davis said. “We’re not malicious. We don’t intentionally go to hurt anybody. We just play hard. We play physical.”

Added linebacker Brandon Marshall: “Just because we hit Cam in the head a couple of times, that doesn’t make us dirty.”

After the game — and after only one of the four head-to-head hits against Newton drew a flag — there was widespread criticism of the league for failing to check on Newton as per the sideline concussion protocol. But the Broncos — who are likely to face some fines from the league Wednesday — also found themselves being accused of some cheap shots.

“We just play hard. We hit hard. We play fast. … It’s the speed of the game,” Marshall said. “We’re a malicious group, but we’re not dirty.”

Coach Gary Kubiak defended his players, insisting: “We play hard. We’re going to continue to play hard.”

— Following three off-field incidents involving Washington State football players over the past few months, coach Mike Leach expressed his frustration — with local police.

Leach suggested that police in Pullman, Washington, were focusing their attention on his players, because he implied that other people involved in the incidents did not face similar treatment.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Rex Ryan will stick with Mark Sanchez despite Jets’ latest debacle 11.12.12 at 6:54 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.

NBA: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NFL: Chiefs at Steelers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM — joined in progress)
College basketball: Youngstown State at Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: IUPUI at Michigan, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: West Virginia at Gonzaga, 11:59 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Davidson at New Mexico, 2 a.m. Tuesday (ESPN)
College basketball: Houston Baptist at Hawaii, 4 a.m. Tuesday (ESPN)
College basketball: Stony Brook at Rider, 6 a.m. Tuesday (ESPN)


‘™¦ Antonio Cromartie is “still confident” about his playoff guarantee despite the Jets’ latest embarrassment, a 28-7 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle that dropped New York to 3-6. Rex Ryan, meanwhile, said he isn’t rethinking his quarterback situation. Despite an anemic offensive performance (the only touchdown came from the defense), the Jets will stick with Mark Sanchez.

Said Ryan: “I believe we can win with Mark, and I believe that we can win with Tim [Tebow], but I’m not going to let you or anyone else convince me otherwise. Because this is how I feel.”

Sanchez (9-for-22 for 124 yards with an interception and a fumble on a sack) did his best to remain upbeat after his worst performance of a bad season. “I know we can do it,” he said. “I have seen our guys do it. It just has to turn, and it starts with me.”

‘™¦ Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was suspended two games by the NBA on Sunday for confronting Spurs radio broadcaster Sean Elliott following Friday night’s game in Sacramento.

Cousins crowed toward his team’s bench after scoring a couple of baskets on Tim Duncan and then drawing a foul on the Spurs legend midway through the fourth quarter. Duncan responded by blocking a Cousins shot and scoring three baskets downs the stretch of a 97-86 Spurs win.

‘€œThat’€™s why some humility is in order,’€ Elliott said on the air. ‘€œYou think you’€™re dominating Tim Duncan, you get it stuffed right back in your face. Timmy doesn’€™t like to talk trash. But if guys start talking mess to him, he’€™s going to respond. All that trash talking was premature. I’€™m not about to let these guys off the hook. Young ballclub should learn from this. Don’€™t start talking and flapping your gums against one of the greatest players ever. He’€™s going to make you pay. Tell me who got the best of this exchange.’€

Cousins apparently was informed that Elliott was criticizing him, and he decided to argue with Elliott after the postgame show. Cousins also told the media in the locker room that Elliott was “immature” for making his comments.

‘™¦ First-year Washington State football coach Mike Leach took two years off from coaching after his acrimonious departure from Texas Tech, which was due in part to the fiery coach’s alleged mistreatment of a player who was suffering from post-concussion symptoms. It appears that Leach hasn’t softened.

Washington State president Elson Floyd called for an investigation after standout wide receiver Marquess Wilson quit the team and cited abusive behavior by Leach and his staff.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 12, 1942, which Bruin became the youngest player in NHL history when he took to the ice one month before his 17th birthday for a 3-1 loss in Toronto? Hint: He later coached the B’s.

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Read More: Antonio Cromartie, DeMarcus Cousins, Mark Sanchez, mike leach
Texas Supreme Court denies Mike Leach’s appeal vs. Texas Tech 02.17.12 at 1:38 pm ET
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The Texas Supreme Court denied the appeal of former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach on Friday in his wrongful termination suit against the school. Texas Tech fired Leach after allegations that he mistreated a concussed player. Leach filed a lawsuit shortly after, saying that he was wrongly accused.

The ruling of the state’s civil court rejected Leach’s appeal without comment over two years after he was fired. Leach argued that his termination may have been due in part to an $800,000 bonus he was supposed to receive the day after he was fired. He was recently hired as the coach at Washington State.

Leach is expected to continue his fight and seek a ruling that Texas Tech made an error in firing him.

The player that Leach allegedly mistreated, Adam James, is the son of former Patriots running back and ESPN broadcaster Craig James, who now is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Texas.

Leach also sued ESPN and a public relations firm in a separate case, accusing the media giant of libel and slander after his termination from Texas Tech.

Read More: mike leach, Rumor Mill,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers’ Ron Artest guarantees 2012 title, credits Chad Ochocinco as inspiration for name change 09.02.11 at 7:45 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Lakers guard Ron Artest continues to make headlines while the NBA is stuck in a lockout. In an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Artest guaranteed the Lakers will win the 2012 NBA title. “Win it all,” he said he asked how his team will do. “Win the whole thing. That’s a guarantee.”

Artest, recently named to the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars,” wasn’t as confident about being successful on the dance floor. “That’s going to be a problem,” he acknowledged.

Artest also said that new Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco inspired him to change his name to Metta World Peace. “When Ocho did it, I was like, ‘That’s kind of dope,’ I want to change my name,” Artest said.

Artest’s petition to change his name was put on hold due to unpaid parking tickets. Said Artest: “I don’t know how to pay a parking ticket. I’ve never paid a parking ticket in my life. There’s so much fine print. I just get them and throw them in my glove compartment.”

‘™¦ Former ESPN writer Bruce Feldman left the company for CBS and finally is speaking about his situation with the sports media giant after being silenced for his involvement with former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach. Feldman said ESPN was well aware he was writing “Swing Your Sword” with Leach, who is suing ESPN. Yet, ESPN still chose to limit Feldman’s workload and keep him from attending events related to his job covering college football. After being offered a one-year contract extension instead of the three years he expected, Feldman departed for CBS. “There’s more to the sports world than ESPN,” Feldman said, adding that he could no longer trust his former employers.

Replied ESPN in a statement: “We have significant disagreements with his account. Beyond that, we aren’t commenting.”

‘™¦ The Louisville (Ohio) High School football team was penalized for excessive celebration because two players pointed toward the sky after a go-ahead touchdown with 1:15 remaining in their game against Walsh Jesuit this week. The players were paying tribute to a 16-year-old teammate who died the previous week in a car accident. Following the penalty, assessed on the kickoff, Walsh Jesuit took advantage of the better field position and was able to get into position to kick a 29-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. “We have good kids here,” Louisville coach John DeMarco said. “It wasn’t taunting or anything like that, it was celebrating one of their friends.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 2, 2001, with Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina one strike away from a perfect game, which Red Sox pinch-hitter singled to center field?

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Read More: Bruce Feldman, Chad Ochocinco, John DeMarco, Metta World Peace
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall reportedly sues Champion for ending endorsement deal after controversial tweets 07.19.11 at 7:57 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.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall came under fire in May after sending messages on Twitter criticizing Americans for celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden and insisting there’s no evidence bin Laden was behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As part of the fallout, athletic clothing company Champion canceled a sponsorship deal. Now, Mendenhall is suing the company, according to Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV.

‘™¦ The controversy at ESPN involving writer Bruce Feldman and his reported suspension for writing a book with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach ‘€” who is suing ESPN ‘€” has become even more convoluted. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Review Project, in a story on, tries to break it down. She insists that Feldman never was suspended but rather that managers asked him not to write anything until they decided how they were going to handle the matter. Meanwhile, #freebruce continues to be a trending topic on Twitter, and Feldman continues to be mysteriously silent.

‘™¦ The New York Daily News has the court transcript from the Roger Clemens trial to better explain what the prosecution, defense and judge were thinking when a mistrial was declared last week. An interesting tidbit is that the defense did not initially object when the offending video was show, and that apparently caused Judge Reggie Walton to hesitate before declaring the trial over.

‘™¦ The USC football team suspended leading rusher Marc Tyler after the senior tailback joked with TMZ that he was getting paid to play in college. Tyler, caught on camera outside a West Hollywood nightclub, also made distasteful comments about reality TV star Kim Kardashian, the ex-girlfriend of former USC running back Reggie Bush. Tyler, son of former NFL running back Wendell Tyler, said he had sought counseling this summer after two incidents in the spring involving misbehavior toward women.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 19, 1983, a seven-day trial to determine ownership of the Red Sox ended in Suffolk Superior Court. Jean Yawkey, John Harrington and Haywood Sullivan prevailed over which former trainer turned businessman?

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Read More: Bruce Feldman, Marc Tyler, mike leach, Osama bin Laden
Friday’s Morning Mashup: James Harrison apologizes, but not to Roger Goodell 07.15.11 at 7:14 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 4:10 p.m. (FOX; WEEI)

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
MLS: Union at Revolution, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)


‘™¦ Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell “stupid,” a “crook” and a “devil” in a Men’s Journal article, apologized Thursday ‘€” but his apology was to people who might have been offended by his use of a gay slur. “It was careless use of a slang word and I apologize to all who were offended by the remark,” he said. “I am not a homophobic bigot, and I would never advocate intolerance of gay people.”

Harrison also tried to downplay critical comments he made about teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall for their subpar play in last season’s Super Bowl loss to the Packers.

‘™¦ Sports by Brooks reports that ESPN indefinitely suspended college football writer Bruce Feldman for participating in an authorized biography of former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach. Leach was fired in 2009 after his alleged mistreatment of the son of ESPN analyst Craig James.

‘™¦ The German soccer team Werder Bremen has banned players from getting tattoos, saying the discomfort and risk of infection could negatively affect the players’ performance. Last season, a player on rival Hamburg was sidelined after a tattoo became infected.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 15, 1986, who became the first Red Sox pitcher to record a win in All-Star Game history?

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Read More: Bruce Feldman, James Harrison, mike leach, roger clemens
Court rules against Mike Leach in suit vs. Texas Tech 01.21.11 at 11:32 am ET
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A Texas appeals court on Friday threw out Mike Leach‘s breach of contract claim against Texas Tech for his 2009 dismissal as football coach. Leach was fired on Dec. 30, 2009, after he was accused of mistreating a player who was recovering from a concussion.

Leach’s attorney indicated he will appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.

Read More: mike leach, Rumor Mill,
University of Miami targeting Jon Gruden, but Donald Trump wants Mike Leach 12.01.10 at 4:10 pm ET
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After firing coach Randy Shannon on Saturday, the University of Miami plans to speak with current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden today about filling the vacant coaching position, reports. The Associated Press cited an anonymous source on Sunday in reporting that Gruden is on the top of Miami’s list to fill the position.

Gruden has coached the NFL’s Buccaneers and Raiders, and has partnered with Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

However, according to USA Today, Donald Trump wants Miami to hire former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach to the position. This isn’t the first time that Trump has backed Leach, either. He vied for the hiring of Leach in 2006 after Larry Coker left – the year the university hired Shannon. Trump sent messages to Donna Shalala, the university president, saying that Leach should be the replacement.

Miami has not issued a timetable for the hiring of a coach and said that names of candidates will not be released until a hire has been made.

Read More: Donald Trump, Jon Gruden, mike leach, Rumor Mill
Coaches Gone Wild … 01.15.10 at 3:50 pm ET
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Screaming, swearing, kicking, yelling, turning red, throwing objects and just plain acting dumb. No, we aren’€™t talking about an infant during a tantrum. We are talking about coaches and their antics. Coaches, at any level, will do whatever it takes to get their message across to their players.

But what happens when they cross the line? Usually it ends up in a dismissal or those uncomfortable press conferences like when a politician has to explain his ‘€œindiscretions’€ with his wife standing in the background.

Over the past couple of months we have seen leading men take it too far. Mike Leach, arguably one of the better coaches in college football and the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2008, was fired from Texas Tech for allegedly making wide receiver Adam James stand alone in a small, dark room for not playing through a concussion.

Jim Leavitt, the University of South Florida’€™s only head football coach in the history of the program, was let go for allegedly grabbing a player by the throat and slapping him in the face. Leavitt is now suing the school to get his job back.

Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable knocked out his assistant coach. Oh no, he fell. Wait, he fell off a chair and broke his jaw. Coupled with the ESPN report of Cable physically abusing his wife and his utter hatred for JaMarcus Russell, Cable might not want to hold his breath waiting for another head coaching job in 2010.

And over the weekend, Kansas State head basketball coach Frank Martin was caught on video getting up in Chris Merriewether’€™s face and giving him a swift jab to the arm during a time-out.

Trying to get a point across, maybe. Crossing the line, probably so.

It got us thinking about other coaches in history who should have just counted to 10, walked away or basically should taken their anger out on a heavy bag.

Jeff Van Gundy

Who can forget the coach for the New York Knicks during their intense rivalry with the Miami Heat? Van Gundy, probably not much taller than Muggsy Bogues, decided to throw his hat in the ring when a hard foul on John Starks sent both benches looking to square off in a good old-fashioned basketball fight. Van Gundy clamps on to Alonzo Mourning’€™s leg (at 2:35) and it takes a couple of Knicks to peel the little man off of Alonzo.

Now an analyst for ESPN, Van Gundy will always be remembered for that moment.

Bobby Knight

Three national championships, 902 career wins and one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time. But he might be most remembered for his no-nonsense attitude and for getting fired from Indiana after several public and behind-the-scenes outbursts. There’€™s the infamous chair throw across the court after he was called for technical foul, the time he kicked his son Patrick during a game and the video of Knight putting his hands on Neil Reed’€™s throat during a practice.

Even when he got a second chance at Texas Tech he got so mad at a player that he gave him a slap to the jaw so the player would look him in the eye.

Knight is probably the poster child for violence against players, and a generation that never saw him coach will probably remember him for that, instead of all the records.

Rick Mahorn

Mahorn must have thought he was back on the ‘€œBad Boys’€ when he took the court to break up a WNBA fight in 2008. During the Detroit Shock’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks, a fight broke out on the court and Mahorn stepped in to keep the peace.

But, in the same building where the Ron Artest “Malice at the Palace” occurred, Mahorn ended up shoving Lisa Leslie to the ground. Was Mahorn just trying to keep the peace? Maybe, but the video doesn’€™t help his cause when a woman falls to the ground because a man pushes her down. Maybe it’€™s the water in the Palace, because things just seem to happen in this building.

Woody Hayes

Instead of hitting his own players, Hayes decided to take his rage out on Clemson’€™s Charlie Bauman. After Bauman intercepted a pass, he was knocked out at the Ohio State sideline. Hayes went over and threw a punch under Bauman’€™s helmet, because, really, why would he take a swipe at a guy’s helmet?

This left a scar on an otherwise great career for Hayes at Ohio State.

Read More: bobby knight, jeff van gundy, jim leavitt, mike leach