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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Dolphins fire OL coach Jim Turner, head trainer Kevin O’Neill for role in bullying scandal 02.20.14 at 7:46 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Heat at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Rockets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Towson at Northeastern, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Michigan State at Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Memphis at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Alabama at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Penn State at Nebraska, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Duke at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UConn at Temple, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Georgetown at Seton Hall, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Toledo at Bowling Green, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Gonzaga at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Olympics: Women’s hockey bronze medal game, Sweden vs Switzerland, 7 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Women’s figure skating, 10 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Men’s freestyle skiing, 2 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Women’s hockey gold medal game, United State vs. Canada, men’s freestyle skiing, noon (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s curling gold medal game, Canada vs. Sweden, 5 p.m. (CNBC)
Olympics: Women’s figure skating, women’s freestyle skiing, men’s freestyle skiing, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s Nordic combined, 1 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s curling bronze medal game, Britain vs. Switzerland, women’s freestyle skiing, 3 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Jim Turner

Jim Turner

– The Dolphins’ response to the investigator’s report about the team’s bullying scandal was swift. The team on Wednesday fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and head trainer Kevin O’Neill for their roles.

While Richie Incognito and two other veteran offensive linemen were pegged as the ringleaders of the culture of harassment in the locker room that led to the departure of Jonathan Martin, Turner was called out for failing to stop it. He also allegedly took part in teasing Andrew McDonald, another young offensive lineman.

The investigation found that O’Neill stood by and even laughed as an assistant trainer was repeatedly mocked for his Japanese heritage, and O’Neill was uncooperative with investigators, cutting short an interview.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement that the behavior of Turner and O’Neill goes “against the core values of our organization.”

“After receiving the report, I conducted my own internal review of the facts to determine the appropriate steps for our organization,” Ross said. “Jim Turner and Kevin O’Neill are good people who care a great deal about their profession and the players whom they serve, but both exhibited poor judgment at times, which led me to this conclusion.”

Coach Joe Philbin, who was found to have been unaware of the bullying, made his first public comments since the report was released Friday and accepted some responsibility.

“That ultimately rests on my shoulders, and I will be accountable moving forward for making sure that we emphasize a team-first culture of respect toward one another,” he said in a statement.

Dwight Howard returned to Los Angeles on Wednesday night as a member of the Rockets and, to no one’s surprise, was greeted rudely. Howard, who was a disappointment in his lone season with the Lakers last year, was booed when he touched the ball — starting in warmups about 45 minutes before the game started. In the third quarter, with the Rockets ahead by 22 points, the fans started a “Howard sucks” chant. Howard joined in.

Howard finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds as Houston rolled to its eighth straight win, 134-108.

“We’re always going to have fun when we’re playing basketball. We love what we’re doing,” Howard said afterward. “We’re playing great, and we just want to have as much fun as possible.”

The Lakers, who just before the game traded guard Steve Blake to the Warriors for backup guards Kent Bazemore and former Celtic MarShon Brooks, had just eight players in uniform. The loss kept Los Angeles tied with Sacramento for last place in the Western Conference at 18-36.

“The Lakers have always found a way to get back to the top, and they will one day,” Howard said. “But I can’t focus on the Lakers. My focus is on the Rockets and what we’re trying to accomplish.”

– A report in The Oklahoman on Wednesday revealed that the University of Oklahoma self-reported a number of NCAA violations recently. The one that turned heads: excessive consumption of pasta by three student-athletes.

The athletes were attending a graduation banquet last year when they took more than their allowable share of food. The school ordered them to donate $3.83 to charity in order to be reinstated.

Two football players took to Twitter to confess to the charge.

 

However, the NCAA responded to the story by noting the athletes did not commit a violation.

“While we appreciate Oklahoma’s commitment, there are no NCAA rules regarding portion sizes, and any penalties were determined by the university,” an NCAA spokeswoman said in a statement.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 20, 1997, which Bruin extended his point-scoring streak to 20 games with an assist in a 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks in Chicago?

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers PG Steve Blake fined $25,000 for berating fan 11.07.12 at 7:53 am ET
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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:
NBA: Wizards at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: 76ers at Hornets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Spurs at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Bowling Green at Ohio, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Veteran Lakers guard Steve Blake was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for using inappropriate language toward one of the team’s front-row fans during Friday night’s loss to the Clippers at Staples Center.

Lance Jackson, whose father is a longtime owner of eight courtside seats and reportedly has hosted Lakers players at his home gym, gave Blake a hard time while the player was having a bad shooting night. Blake started firing back late in the game. After fouling out in the final minute, Blake walked across the court and over to Jackson to berate him before taking his seat on the bench.

“It’s one of those moments you’re not proud of,” Blake said Tuesday.

Said Jackson, who reached out to Blake and had a face-to-face reconciliation with him at the team’s practice facility Tuesday: “I’m just sorry it got to this point.”

♦ It’s been a few weeks since the Yankees were ignominiously swept out of the playoffs by the Tigers in the ALCS and fans were calling for Alex Rodriguez to be traded. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, speaking Tuesday at the general managers meetings in Indian Wells, Calif., reiterated that he does not anticipate discussing any deals involving the 37-year-old third baseman this offseason.

“I don’t see that happening,” said Cashman, whose boss has indicated the team should look to shed payroll in the near future.

♦ Someone apparently created a fake Twitter account for a freshman defensive back at UCLA and used it to talk trash to a player for crosstown rival USC in advance of the team’s meeting in a couple of weeks. This did not sit well with UCLA coach Jim Mora, who said a harsh sentence should await the hacker.

“I think it’s a frickin’ joke that somebody would do that,” Mora said. “I think you’re the lowest form of life form if you were to portray yourself as an 18-year-old young man who is out here trying to do his best. Trying to stir it up, attributing comments to him that aren’t his, I think he ought to go to jail. That’s how I feel. I think you’re a scumbag.”

Added Mora: “I challenge that guy to come out here. He won’t, though; he’s a coward. Or girl, whoever it is.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 7, 1950, which Red Sox player beat out Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford to be named American League Rookie of the Year?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jose Canseco hitless in debut for Worcester Tornadoes 05.18.12 at 8:00 am ET
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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:
NBA playoffs: Celtics at 76ers, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Red Sox at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. (Fox; WRKO)
MLB: White Sox at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Reds at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB)

SATURDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Phillies, 7:15 p.m. (Fox; WEEI)
MLB: Reds at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Clippers, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Devils, 1 p.m. (NBC)
MLS: Dynamo at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Phillies, 1:35 p.m. (NESN, TBS; WEEI)
MLB: White Sox at Cubs, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Cardinals at Dodgers, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Pacers, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Coyotes at Kings, 3 p.m. (NBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Controversial former major leaguer Jose Canseco made his debut with the Worcester Tornadoes of the independent Can-Am League, going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and two walks in Thursday night’s 9-2 loss to the Newark Bears in New Jersey.

“I’m in spring training mode out there,” said Canseco, who participated in four of the team’s seven preseason practices. “I’m trying to find my rhythm.”

Canseco received a mix of cheers and boos when he was introduced as the cleanup hitter prior to the game. During batting practice, he hit one home run.

The 47-year-old is being paid $1,000 per month plus housing and use of a rental car, according to a team spokesman.

“It’s not about the money, believe me,” Canseco said.

Jonathan Vilma, who insists that he is innocent in the Saints' bounty scandal, is suing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. (AP)

♦ Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, suspended for the 2012 season for his role in the team’s bounty scandal, filed a defamation lawsuit against commissioner Roger Goodell.

“Commissioner Goodell opted to make very public and unfortunately erroneous allegations against Jonathan,” said Vilma’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg. “By making these false and public statements, he has significantly harmed Jonathan’s reputation and ability to make a living.

Wrote Vilma on his Twitter account: As I’ve said before..I NEVER PAID, NOR INTENDED TO PAY ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY, TO ANY PLAYER FOR INTENTIONALLY HURTING AN OPPONENT.

Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann writes that Vilma’s “historic challenge” appears to have merit and could threaten Goodell’s ability to hand out punishment as he has done in the past couple of years.

♦ Lakers guard Steve Blake missed a big 3-pointer in the closing seconds of his team’s Game 2 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday. That led to threats against the veteran on his Twitter account and that of his wife.

Kristen Blake retweeted one message that read: I hope your family gets murdered. She blocked more than 500 people from viewing her timeline and quoted a Bible verse with the message: “Pray for those who abuse you.”

Steve Blake, speaking after Thursday’s practice, said he wasn’t planning to check his Twitter account (“That’s why I don’t look at that crap,” he said) but his wife made him aware of it.

“It’s pretty disappointing that there are a lot of hateful people out there, but you move on,” Blake said. “I just don’t appreciate it when it’s toward my family. You can come at me all you want, but when you say things about my wife and my kids, that makes me upset.”

♦ An off-duty New York City police officer was arrested Wednesday night after moving from his seat to a better location at Citi Field and then refusing to leave during the Mets’ 6-3 loss to the Reds. Eduardo Cornejo, 30, was arraigned on criminal trespass charges.

“He was in a section he wasn’t supposed to be,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “They asked him to leave. He wouldn’t. [A] supervisor asked him to leave. He wouldn’t. The uniformed police sergeant asked him to leave. He wouldn’t, and he was arrested as a result.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 18, 1973, Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr again won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, setting a record by becoming the first player to win an individual NHL award six consecutive seasons. How many years in a row did Orr go on to win the Norris?

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