Archive for December, 2012

ESPN suspends analyst Parker for comments about RGIII

ESPN announced on its website Friday that it has suspended commentator Rob Parker, who questioned the “blackness” of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III while on the air a day earlier.

“Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” spokesman Jos Krulewitz said in a statement. “We are conducting a full review.”

The spokesman made no further comment on the matter.

ESPN earlier quickly responded to the racially charged comments, calling them “inappropriate” and hinting the network may take some action against him.

“The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps,” David Scott, ESPN’s director of communications, said on Twitter.

During a segment of ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday, Parker said:

“Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?

“He’s not really. He’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not one of us. He’s kind of …

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Tennessee hero Tee Martin turns down Vols

At least three head coaching candidates turned down overtures from Tennessee, but the most painful rejection may have come from an assistant coach.

Tee Martin, the quarterback who led the Vols to a national championship in 1998 — the year after Peyton Manning left for the NFL — has turned down an offer to become receivers coach under new head coach Butch Jones.

Making matters even worse is the fact that Martin works at Southern Cal for Lane Kiffin, who infuriated Tennessee fans by leaving Knoxville after only one season as head coach. Martin is in his first season as receivers coach at USC.

Martin said his decision was no reflection on Tennessee — he is just keeping his word.

“I was very honored to be offered a position on Coach Jones’ Tennessee staff,” Martin said in a statement posted on the Southern Cal website. “I truly believe he will do an outstanding job with the Vols program. My decision to remain at USC was the toughest I have ever had to make because Tennessee is …

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Bad night for Steve Young

It wasn’t a great night for Steve Young.

The Hall of Fame quarterback suffered a couple of gaffes in his analysis of the Houston Texans’ 42-14 defeat by the New England Patriots.

In his post-game comments on ESPN, Young talked about how NFL regular-season games don’t necessarily mean anything in the postseason, when Houston and New England could meet again. “This is the NBA,” he said, “where the regular season is kind of all over the place.”

NBA? Really? Co-host Suzy Kolber looked toward the camera and smiled, but Young never corrected the error.

In another spot, he criticized the lackluster performance by the Texans, a team “that think they have the biggest [male body part] in the league.”

Some viewers thought Young said “biggest stick in the league,” but no one could really explain what that would even mean.

Maybe it’s just part of Young’s schtick.

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Report: Cleveland Browns may lure Saban back to NFL

Alabama’s Nick Saban could become the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns, the Boston Globe is reporting.

It’s far from a done deal, and a number of pieces would have to fall into place, but the Globe said on Monday that if the Browns hire Michael Lombardi as general manager as rumored, the door could be open to bringing in Saban as head coach. Saban and Lombardi, who is currently an analyst for the NFL Network, worked together for the Cleveland Browns in the early ’90s, where Saban was defensive coordinator and Lombardi was player personnel director.

According to the Globe, “Saban has let it be known that if he returns to the NFL — where he flopped, going 15-17 with the Dolphins from 2005-06 — it would likely be with Lombardi playing Scott Pioli to his Bill Belichick.” Pioli and Belichick are the GM-coach tandem who created a New England Patriots dynasty.

The Browns are suffering through another woeful season at 5-8 and have had only two winning seasons since …

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Bobby Petrino to coach Western Kentucky

Bobby Petrino was fired by Arkansas after a motorcycle wreck exposed his extramarital affair. (AP Photo)

Bobby Petrino was fired by Arkansas after a motorcycle wreck exposed his extramarital affair. (AP Photo)

Bobby Petrino on Monday was named the new head coach at Western Kentucky.

The Bowling Green Ky. school said in an announcement that the former Arkansas, Louisville and Atlanta Falcons coach will replace Willie Taggart, who left for the head coaching job at South Florida. The school said Petrino would be introduced at a press conference later Monday.

Western Kentucky has scheduled a press conference for 5 p.m. Monday.

Petrino was fired as Arkansas earlier this year after it was revealed that he hired his mistress for a job in the Athletic Department’s football office.

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ESPN: Cowboys nose tackle went after Jones

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a knack for rubbing people the wrong way — even his own players.

Jones apparently thought injured nose tackle Jay Ratliff should try a little harder to come back from a groin injury, and approached him after the Dec. 2 win over the Eagles.

Ratliff apparently did not take kindly to Jones’ encouraging words. From ESPN:

Nose tackle Jay Ratliff had to be separated from Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones after Dallas’ Dec. 2 win over Philadelphia, sources confirmed.

In the locker room after the game, Jones attempted to encourage Ratliff to return from a groin injury, which prompted Ratliff to yell at the owner before teammates stepped in.

Ratliff stormed out of the locker room after dressing quickly.

Dallas radio reporter Mike Fisher reported a source who witnessed the incident:

“They’re both passionate men and great men and they want to win, that’s all it i. But they were in each other’s faces. People had to …

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Atlanta’s Nelson may win gold medal 3,000 days after Athens Games

Adam Nelson, gold-medal winner.

More than seven years after he competed and won a silver medal in the shot put in the Athens Summer Olympics, Nelson may receive the gold. The winner, Ukraine’s Yuriy Bilonog, was recently found to have used performance-enhancing drugs.

Nelson, a native of Atlanta who attended The Lovett School, said he hasn’t celebrated. He compared it to winning a lifetime achievement award posthumously.

“(The emotions) are a lot more tempered that I ever thought I’d be when I found out I won a gold medal in the Olympics,” Nelson said.

Nelson didn’t win gold at Ancient Olympia Stadium because he lost a tiebreaker to Bilonog. Both athletes’ best throws traveled 21.16 meters. But Bilonog took the gold because his second-best throw was longer than Nelson’s.

Nelson talks dispassionately about the medals, saying his motivation has been the personal challenge and representing his country. He keeps his two silver medals (he won one in Sydney in 2000) …

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Video: DE tells Falcons to get off Carolina’s field

Payback was sweet for Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy Sunday.

Hardy was upset when television cameras caught Falcons QB Matt Ryan cursing at the Panthers sideline after Atlanta’s week 4 win, telling them to get off the Georgia Dome field. But Sunday, following Carolina’s 30-20 victory in Charlotte, Hardy returned the sentiment, walking across the field and screaming for the Falcons to get off Carolina’s turf.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera tries to restrain his players on the field after the game as Falcons coach Mike Smith (right) looks on. (AP photo)

Carolina coach Ron Rivera tries to restrain his players on the field after the game as Falcons coach Mike Smith (right) looks on. (AP photo)

That brought a response from Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who yelled for Hardy to “Enjoy watching us in January,” alluding to the playoffs, which Atlanta (11-2) has qualified for and Carolina (4-9) won’t be a part of.

(See the video above from WSOC-TV and Channel 2 Action News. Note that offensive language has been excluded.)

Hardy did not comment again after leaving the field, exiting the locker room before reporters …

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Valdosta State to play for national title

Valdosta State’s football team will play unbeaten Winston-Salem State for the Division II National Championship Saturday afternoon in Florence, Ala.

Valdosta State's Regginald Lewis fights for yardage against Minnesota State-Mankato (AP photo)

Valdosta State’s Regginald Lewis fights for yardage against Minnesota State-Mankato (AP photo)

Valdosta State (11-2) advanced by beating previously unbeaten Minnesota State-Mankato (13-1) 35-19 in a semifinal in Mankato, Minn. Austin Scott ran for 158 yards for the winners.

Winston-Salem State beat West Texas A&M 41-18 and improved to 14-0.

Saturday’s game will mark the fourth time that the Blazers have advanced to the Div. II national championship game. Valdosta State has won twice, in 2004 and 2007.

Meanwhile, Georgia Southern will play North Dakota State in the NCAA Division I (FCS) semifinals in Fargo, N.D., Friday night after beating Old Dominion 49-35 in Norfolk, Va.

North Dakota State (12-1), the defending national champion, will host the Eagles (10-3) in a rematch of a semifinal from last season. The Bison won that …

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Tennessee hires Cincinnati’s Butch Jones

Tennessee has hired Cincinnati’s Butch Jones to replace the fired Derek Dooley.

The university has scheduled a news conference for 2:30 p.m. Friday to announce the hiring, according to Tennessee media outlets. Cincinnati already has announced Jones’ resignation.

“I would like to thank Butch Jones for his time at the University of Cincinnati,” Bearcats’ athletic director Whit Babcock said in a release. “With that said, we are excited about the future of this program and this job will be extremely attractive nationally. Our search will begin immediately.”

Tennessee had reportedly offered its job — and was rebuffed — by Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and Louisville coach Charlie Strong before offering the job to Jones. The school had also reached out to former NFL coach Jon Gruden, who said he was not interested in the job.

Jones, 44, has compiled a 50-27 record in six seasons as a head coach at Central Michigan and Cincinnati, where he was 23-14.

Dooley was fired Nov. 18 after …

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