Archive for August, 2012

Saints Vilma may get suspension reduced

Jonathan Vilma has sued NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation.

Jonathan Vilma has sued NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation.

The NFL has apparently blinked in its standoff with Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

ESPN is reporting that the league has offered to reduce Vilma’s year-long suspension to eight games as part of negotiations with the NFL Players Association and the four players who were suspended in the Saints’ bounty program.

The NFL alleges the Saints operated a bounty system rewarding players for hard hits and injuring opposing players.

ESPN, citing anonymous sources, said the offer is contingent on Vilma dropping a civil suit charging commissioner Roger Goodell with defamation of character.

Goodell has said Vilma was a leader of the bounty program, which allegedly offered $10,000 rewards for taking out Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre during the 2010 playoffs.

The other three players — defensive end Will Smith (four games) and former Saints Anthony Hargrove (eight games), and Scott …

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Spurrier lifts QB’s suspension after a few days

Tanner McEvoy is back at practice after a zero-game suspension.

Tanner McEvoy is back at practice after a zero-game suspension.

Now we know why Steve Spurrier never seems to have any players suspended early in the season.

The South Carolina coach has lifted the suspension of backup quarterback Tanner McEvoy after less than a week, saying the incident for which he was locked up was no big deal.

Spurrier told the Post and Courier of Charleston:

“Tanner’s back. He’s been approved to come back to the team. Do you know what he got arrested for? He told me … I think South Carolina doesn’t have that law. North Carolina has that law (about underage people not being allowed to drink any alcohol at all before driving). He got arrested for it, and he’ll pay his fine. You want him suspended for having a beer and he’s underage? How many football players would be playing if they had a beer and they were underage? But anyway, go talk to coach Tanner (athletic director Ray Tanner) about that, if we’re going to suspend him, OK? I’m not going to suspend …

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Prankster hits MLB teams’ Facebook pages

Relax, Yankees fans, Derek Jeter is not getting a sex change. (NY Yankees photo)

Relax, Yankees fans, Derek Jeter is not getting a sex change. (NY Yankees photo)

A “rogue” employee of Major League Baseball’s media division is being blamed for posting gag messages on teams’ Facebook pages Thursday.

According to Deadspin.com, a Facebook spokesman issued the following statement after the website published a story about the incident:

Recently, several pages made unauthorized posts as a result of actions from a single rogue administrator of these Pages. Our team responded quickly and worked with our partners to eliminate the spam caused by this attack. This was an unique, isolated incident and we are always working to improve our systems to better protect our users and their data.

But according to Deadspin, the posts were not removed by Facebook, they were pulled by the employee who did the deed — who apparently never intended for the posts to go public. But they did.

Not all of them are fit for a family website, but here’s a sampling.

New York Yankees: “We …

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It’s ‘quiet time’ for the Gators

Will Muschamp isn’t know as “Coach Boom” because he’s shy and demure.

But the volatile Florida coach and his players are taking a different tack this year after his initial campaign of 7-6 last year, the Gators’ worst season since the Ron Zook years.

“We need to stop talking and start playing,” Muschamp told his team Thursday, according to Florida Today.

“It’s really about doing your talking on the field,” said senior offensive lineman Xavier Nixon. “We’re just not going to talk that much this season.”

Players said last year’s team engaged in too much smack talk.

“We kind of saw it as a little bit of a problem,” center Jonottan Harrison said. “Everbody has kind of talked about just concentrating on football and if somebody (talks smack) we’ll pull them aside and tell them to stop it.”

After years of the wisecracking Steve Spurrier, on-field Gator chomps and Tim Tebow’s fist-pumping and cheerleading, the thought of a quiet Florida team just doesn’t seem plausible.

The Gators …

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Dempster rocked in first start with Rangers

Ryan Dempster has a 15.43 ERA after his first start in the AL.

Ryan Dempster has a 15.43 ERA after his first start in the AL.

Ryan Dempster, the pitcher who declined to quickly accept a trade to the Braves and ended up being dealt by the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers, allowed eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in his first start for his new team Thursday night.

Dempster allowed nine hits, walked three and struck out six against the Angels.

Atlanta reportedly had agreed to a deal that would send pitching prospect Randall Delgado to Chicago, but as a major league veteran of 10 years and the last five with the same team, Dempster had the right to veto any deal.

The Braves instead traded other prospects for Cubs pitcher Paul Maholm, who will make his debut for Atlanta Saturday against the Astros.

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Umpire ejects DJ for playing ‘Three Blind Mice’

An umpire ejected a DJ for playing “Three Blind Mice” during a minor-league baseball game in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The ejection came in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game between the Daytona Cubs and the Fort Myers Miracle.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports Cubs manager Brian Harper was arguing a call at first base when he heard home plate umpire Mario Seneca bellow “you’re done!”

Harper says he thought he was being kicked out of the game. Instead, the umpire ejected the music man and had the public address system at the stadium shut down for the rest of the game.

What do you think about the umpire’s decision?

– The Asssociated Press contributed to this article.

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Jets exposing Tebow to more plays, hits

Tim Tebow stands out in Jets camp, whether going shirtless or lining up as the only lefty.

Tim Tebow stands out in Jets camp, whether going shirtless or lining up as the only lefty.

Tim Tebow may have found his place in New York — the goal line.

The former Florida QB ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in a four-play goal-line sequence that got the crowd at Jets training camp fired up Thursday.

On one play, Tebow took a snap from the shotgun, faked a handoff and sprinted into the end zone. Coach Rex Ryan yelled to the defense before the drills that Tebow was “live” — meaning he could be tackled if he left the pocket. Ryan said it was the first time in a practice that he made the quarterback “live,” something Tebow also said he had never experienced.

Tebow scrambled for a TD Thursday.

Tebow ran for two TDs Thursday.

Ryan was pleased with what he saw. “Obviously, Tim, this was his best day of camp,” the coach said.

Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez led the first-team offense to two scores in four chances. He seems willing to step aside for Tebow as drives reach the goal line — so far.

“We’ve …

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UGA ranked No. 6 in USA Today coaches’ poll

Another football poll is out today, and unlike the other ones released this year, this one actually means something.

The USA Today coaches’ poll is used as a component of the BCS formula that ultimately decides who will play for the national championship.

The USA Today poll was released Thursday morning, and LSU is atop the rankings.

Georgia comes in at No. 6, one of seven SEC teams in the poll. Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech are in the poll from the ACC.

Here’s the list:

1. LSU

2. Alabama

3. Southern California

4. Oklahoma

5. Oregon

6. Georgia

7. Florida State

8. Michigan

9. South Carolina

10. Arkansas

11. West Virginia

12. Wisconsin

13. Michigan State

14. Clemson

15. Texas

16. Nebraska

17. TCU

18. Stanford

19. Oklahoma State

20. Virginia Tech

21. Kansas State

22. Boise State

23. Florida

24. Notre Dame

25. Auburn

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Deja vu: South Carolina QB suspended after arrest

Tanner McEvoy was arrested in North Carolina.

Tanner McEvoy was arrested in North Carolina.

Steve Spurrier should be getting good at this.

Following the tradition of Stephen Garcia, a Gamecocks quarterback has been suspended for an alcohol-related incident.

Tanner McEvoy was arrested Sunday in Mecklenburg County, N.C., and charged with speeding and driving after consuming alcohol while younger than 21, a misdemeanor. He was released on $250 bond.

Under South Carolina Athletic Department policy, any athlete who is arrested is automatically suspended.

Garcia, the talented but much-troubled quarterback, was suspended five times by Spurrier before being kicked off the team last year.

McEvoy, 19, a redshirt sophomore from Hillsdale, N.J., will probably have a much shorter leash than Garcia — he’s listed as the fourth-string QB.

Spurrier, who recently joked that he likes playing Georgia early in the season because they usually have several players serving out suspensions, had no comment on McEvoy’s suspension.

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Georgians strike gold at Olympics

Allison Schmitt was a five-time NCAA champion at UGA. (AP photo)

Allison Schmitt was a five-time NCAA champion at UGA. (AP photo)

Two athletes with Georgia connections are celebrating gold medal performances at the London Olympics.

Former UGA swimmer Allison Schmitt won the gold medal Tuesday in the 200-meter freestyle with an Olympic record time of 1:53.61, almost two seconds faster than the silver medalist.

Schmitt, a five-time NCAA champion at Georgia, also won silver in the 400 freestyle and bronze in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

“I got a whole collection of them now,” said Schmitt, of Michigan, who also won a relay bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “Right now, they’re somewhere in my room — a secret place,” she told the Detroit News. “I kind of stashed them.”

Vincent Hancock of Eatonton also won gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. (AP photo)

Vincent Hancock of Eatonton also won gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. (AP photo)

Vincent Hancock of Eatonton won gold in skeet shooting.

Hancock, who also won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, missed only two of 150 shots, an Olympic record.

Still that wasn’t good …

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