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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Hawks’ front-office racism controversy widens 09.10.14 at 8:00 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, 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)


— 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

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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.

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Read More: Danny Ferry, Devon Still, Luol Deng, Ryan Leaf
Ex-NFL QB Ryan Leaf moved to state prison after threatening treatment center staffer 01.18.13 at 2:12 pm ET
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Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been moved from a drug treatment center to the Montana State Prison after he threatened a staff member and violated his treatment plan, according to a corrections official on Thursday.

Adult Community Corrections Division director Pam Bunke wrote that Leaf, the former second overall draft pick of the Chargers out of Washington State, was too great a security risk to leave in a community setting.

Leaf was charged last spring with breaking into two houses and stealing prescription painkillers near his hometown of Great Falls. He pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal possession of dangerous drugs. He was to spend nine months in a drug treatment facility as an alternative to prison, but will now serve the rest of his five-year sentence in the state prison in Deer Lodge, Mont.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Ryan Leaf,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Kentucky celebrations lead to shooting, dozens of arrests 04.03.12 at 8:01 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: Penguins at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
NHL: Ducks at Canucks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: 76ers at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Nets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLB preseason: Yankees at Mets, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Mexico City Red Devils at Rangers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)


‘™¦ A man was wounded by gunfire and dozens were arrested in Lexington, Ky., as fans celebrated Kentucky’s national championship Monday night and early Tuesday morning. No immediate arrest was made in the shooting, which involved multiple shots being fired. The wounded man was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.

Lexington police reported arresting dozens of people only a few minutes after the end of the game, as revelers set fires to couches and least one car. Police had said they would be more prepared following the mayhem Saturday night, when fans set small fires and turned over cars in celebration of the semifinal victory over rival Louisville.

“I think that we’re taking a more zero-tolerance approach,” police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said. “That has a part to play in it, but also people started celebrating much earlier than they did on Saturday. The amount of time to become intoxicated and the amount of time for us to be in contact with these intoxicated people has increased.”

‘™¦ Former No. 2 overall NFL draft pick Ryan Leaf was arrested for the second time in four days on Monday, charged by Montana authorities with burglarizing a home for prescription drugs. Leaf was first arrested Friday when police found oxycodone pills an acquaintance said the troubled ex-player stole from his home, but that apparently did not stop him on Sunday from breaking into another house, where he was discovered by the owners.

Leaf, who could face additional charges as other people in the area have reported missing painkillers, is slated to remain in jail at least until Wednesday.

Leaf was drafted by the Chargers out of Washington State in 1998, one pick after the Colts grabbed Peyton Manning. He is regarded as one of the biggest busts in football history.

‘™¦ Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 athletes who get more attention than they deserve. The list includes former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco, Knicks guard Jeremy Lin and, at No. 1, new Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 3, 1996, which Bruins goaltender recorded his 200th career NHL victory with a 4-1 win over the Canadiens in Montreal?

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Read More: Chad Ochocinco, Jeremy Lin, Ryan Leaf, Tim Tebow
Agent tells magazine he paid college football players 10.13.10 at 9:25 am ET
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Former sports agent Josh Luchs told Sports Illustrated he paid college football players in the early to mid-1990s, and many of the players confirmed it. Among the players Luchs claimed he paid were 1998 No. 2 pick Ryan Leaf, 1994 No. 10 pick Jamir Miller, 1992 23rd pick Chris Mims. Leaf and Miller declined comment. Mims died two years ago.

Luchs listed more than 20 other college players he said he paid, and seven of them confirmed receiving money in violation of NCAA rules. Ravens tackle Jonathan Ogden turned down cash but admitted receiving Janet Jackson concert tickets from Luchs, also against NCAA rules.

Luchs also accused ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper of helping promote players for agent Gary Wichard ‘€” who is in the middle of the University of North Carolina controversy. Kiper denied the accusation. Luchs sued Wichard for breach of contract after leaving Wichard’s agency but lost. Wichard filed a grievance with the NFLPA over Luchs’ handling of a commission check, and Luchs was suspended in 2007 for one year.

Read More: Chris Mims, Jamir Miller, Josh Luchs, Rumor Mill