In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says his state is working on guidelines to allow sporting events and exhibitions to get back to “some semblance of normalcy.” Wolf said he’s been in touch with major professional organizations including NASCAR, the NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball and others to figure out how they can resume competition in the state. He said he expected his administration will decide in the coming days on guidelines for various venues, sports and activities going forward.— The NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same protection as a surgical mask. Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay says the issue came up about a month ago during a conference call with the league’s competition committee. Many players already wear visors to protect their eyes. McKay says the new mask would cover even more of the face. The medical director of the NFL Players Association tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter that league engineers and sports equipment company Oakley are already testing prototypes of the modified mask.— Washington Redskins rookie receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden says he tested positive for the coronavirus in March and had fully recovered by early April. He says his symptoms were mild and he feels 100% now. Gandy-Golden played the past two seasons at Liberty University, an evangelical college in Virginia that reopened this spring despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Redskins selected Gandy-Golden in the fourth round.— The NCAA Division I Council has voted to lift a moratorium on voluntary workouts by football and basketball players effective June 1. The decision comes as a growing number of college leaders express confidence that fall sports will be played in some form. Notre Dame and LSU are among a number of schools that have announced plans to reopen their campuses for the fall semester. A decision on other sports was pending. Associated Press The A’s have made the payment annually for use of the city- and county-owned baseball stadium. The team could face penalties for failure to pay.The A’s released a statement Wednesday noting the authority hadn’t been able to make the Coliseum available to the team because of the local shelter-in-place directive as well as state and local bans on public gatherings of more than 1,000 people at city facilities.MLB-PIRATES-KRAMERPirates infielder Kramer out 4-6 months after hip surgeryPITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kevin Kramer will miss four to six months while recovering from surgery on his right hip. The team announced Wednesday that Kramer underwent the procedure last week. The 26-year-old Kramer had been dealing with what the club called “chronic symptoms” while attempting to stay ready for the potential start to the 2020 season.NCAA-STEPHEN F. AUSTINStephen F. Austin gets postseason bans; agrees to sanctionsHOUSTON (AP) — Stephen F. Austin has received postseason bans and agreed to several sanctions including probation, scholarship reductions and the forfeiture of wins for having low scores on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate. The sanctions will bar the football, men’s basketball and baseball teams from postseason tournaments for one year.The three teams were on a nationwide list released Tuesday that faced bans for posting a four-year score below 930. The men’s basketball team had the lowest score of any team in Division I at 810. The SFA football program was one of six other Division I teams nationwide that fell below 900, at 894. NHL-SABRES-GREEN CARDSabres fighting for strength and conditioning coachBUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres are suing to obtain a green card for their British-born strength and conditioning coach.The Sabres say federal immigration officials wrongly denied a petition by the team to secure the card for Ed Gannon. The team maintains U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services misstated facts and arbitrarily failed to follow its own rules in denying permanent residency status to Gannon.Gannon was hired by the Sabres in 2015 while the team was beefing up its player development staff. — Watford defender Adrian Mariappa says he is one of the six people to test positive from the first round of coronavirus checks in the Premier League and is surprised that he contracted the disease. Mariappa says he has been “scratching my head to try to work out how I might have got coronavirus” because he hasn’t “really left the house apart from some exercise and the odd walk with the kids.” Two members of Watford’s staff also tested positive for COVID-19. Burnley said assistant manager Ian Woan also has contracted the virus.— The Portuguese soccer federation says six of the 15 stadiums seeking to host matches when the league resumes next month amid the coronavirus pandemic have failed health inspections. All stadiums must comply with a series health measures established by local authorities to be able to host matches. The federation says the stadiums for league leader Porto and second-place Benfica were among the nine stadiums that passed the inspections conducted by local health authorities. The stadiums that failed belong to smaller clubs. They will be allowed to make changes to their venues before another inspection is conducted.— The head of the organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup says a global recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic could affect the ability of fans to afford to travel to Qatar (KUH’-tur). The World Bank is forecasting a deep recession caused by the shutdown of economic activity around the world. Organizing committee secretary general Hassan Al Thawadi says he is hopeful the tournament will be an opportunity for the world to come together again in November 2022. But he says there are “concerns about the global economy and the ability of fans to be able to afford traveling and afford coming and participating and celebrating the World Cup.”NFL-COWBOYS-SMITHAldon Smith reinstated by NFL The Toyota 500 is NASCAR’s first Wednesday race in 36 years. However, rain held up the start of the race before it was green flagged.The health screenings were held again before the race and every driver was cleared to participate.The lineup was determined by Sunday’s race, with the top 20 finishers getting the top 10 rows in reverse order. That mean’s Ryan Preece and Ty Dillon made up the front row, while Sunday winner Kevin Harvick started 20th.The bottom 20 finishers start from their finishing positions for Sunday’s Real Heroes 400.Like Sunday’s race, tonight’s event will be without fans and with only essential personnel inside. FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Aldon Smith is getting another chance to resume his once-promising NFL career.The NFL has conditionally reinstated Smith from an indefinite suspension for off-field issues, allowing the pass rusher to take part in team activities with the Dallas Cowboys. Smith will be able to participate in the Cowboys’ virtual offseason program starting next week and can meet with teammates and coaches. He hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2015 and was signed to a one-year contract last month despite his uncertain playing status.Smith was drafted seventh overall by San Francisco in 2011 and had 14 sacks as a rookie. He was an All-Pro in 2012 when he had 19 1/2 sacks and the 49ers reached the Super Bowl.Smith had several legal issues as a player with the Niners and Raiders.MLB-ATHLETICS-RENT Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNASCAR racing on Wednesday for first time since 1984UNDATED (AP) — NASCAR’s comeback from the coronavirus continues at Darlington Raceway tonight, three days after resuming its season at the South Carolina track. — Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says he thinks football games can be played in Ohio Stadium this fall with 20,000 to 30,000 fans in the stands. Smith thinks that number of fans could be kept at a safe distance from one another in the stadium, which seats about 105,000. Face masks and other precautions would be required to limit the spread of COVID-19. He says he hasn’t figured out yet how spectators would be chosen from among those wanting tickets.— As the NBA continues to work through multiple return-to-play scenarios, two people with knowledge of the situation say Orlando, Las Vegas and Houston remain under consideration as cities that could host regular-season and playoff games. Wednesday marked the end of the 10th week since the NBA shut down on March 11. The pandemic halted a season that had 259 games left to play, but none of those games have been officially canceled yet.— The Minnesota Timberwolves are reopening their practice facility for voluntary sessions for players starting Thursday. Only one coach and one player will be allowed on the court at Mayo Clinic Square, across the street from Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. They’ll be required to stay 12 feet apart. Workouts will be limited to 45 minutes, and areas beyond the court will remain closed. — The Kentucky-Michigan college basketball matchup scheduled for Dec. 6 in London has been postponed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic. And the three-game series has been restructured. The schools were scheduled to highlight the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase doubleheader at the O2 Arena which also included Marist against UMBC. Michigan will now host the Wildcats on Dec. 4 in Ann Arbor before the schools meet in London one year later.— The Italian soccer federation has given the country’s top three leagues until Aug. 20 to complete their seasons. The federation has also come up with alternative plans if the leagues have to be halted again because of the pandemic. They could resort to playoffs or decide positions by applying coeffecients. The following season is now scheduled to start on Sept. 1. Serie A has been suspended since March 9. There are 12 rounds remaining in the league and the Italian Cup is in the semifinal stage. May 20, 2020 A’s say they are unable to pay Coliseum rentOAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics say they can’t pay their landlord.The head of the agency that oversees the Oakland Coliseum says the A’s have informed him they had “no ability to pay” the annual $1.2 million rent on the facility.Henry Gardner tells the Bay Area News Group that the A’s say they’ve been unable to generate revenue because they haven’t used the Coliseum this season. MLB has been in shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gardner says the Coliseum is willing to negotiate and waive some items in the Athletics lease, but, “we can’t just say no rent.”Gardner is the interim executive director of the Coliseum authority. Update on the latest sports The Sabres filed the application for permanent residency on Gannon’s behalf in October. To be granted a green card, Gannon had to demonstrate that he was at the top of his field. The Sabres argued that he proved his abilities under USCIS’ criteria.OCEAN SEARCH-MISSING WRESTLERBody found on LA beach identified as WWE pro Shad GaspardLOS ANGELES (AP) — The body of former World Wrestling Entertainment pro Shad Gaspard was found early Wednesday on Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, where he was caught in a rip current last weekend.A Police Department statement says patrol officers were flagged down around by a person reporting that a body had washed ashore. The department says the body was identified and next-of-kin notified. Gaspard was last seen about 50 yards offshore after he was caught in a rip current. Gaspard’s 10-year-old son was rescued and several other swimmers made it out of the water.Gaspard gained prominence in the WWE as one half of the tag-team group Cryme Time, along with his partner, JTG. After retiring from the WWE in 2010, Gaspard has had small roles on TV and in movies, including the 2015 Kevin Hart comedy “Get Hard.”,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
It did not take long for the defending national champion USC women’s golf team to pick up its first win of the fall season. The No. 1 Women of Troy erased a three-stroke deficit on the final day of the Dale McNamara Fall Preview to move past several tough teams and secure a victory to begin their 2013-14 campaign.Up and down · The Women of Troy were tied for eighth place after the first day of play, but sophomore Kyung Kim shot 4-under par (66) in the final round to help claim the team title for USC, as well as the individual title. – Courtesy of Tulsa Sports InformationIt was truly a comeback for the Women of Troy, who finished Monday’s opening round at Tulsa Country Club tied for eighth place, 10 strokes behind the leaders. Fortunately, dominating play from sophomore Kyung Kim and inconsistency from several opponents helped the squad claim its fourth straight victory dating back to last spring.Once again leading the way for the Trojans on Wednesday was the red-hot Kim, who picked up her second career individual title. The sophomore shot a blistering 4-under 66, her third straight round in the 60s and the ninth such round of her young career. Kim finished the tournament at 6-under overall, two strokes in front of Oklahoma State’s Julie Yang, Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow and Arizona State’s Noemi Jimenez.After taking the first two days of the tournament to get back into the swing of things, senior Sophia Popov found her groove on Wednesday. Popov shot a 2-under 68 in the final round, lowering her overall score to 5-over and moving her behind only Kim for USC’s best score.Popov’s initial struggles and eventual breakthrough mirrored her team’s experience.“We fought really hard out there to get that ‘W’,” Popov told USCTrojans.com. “We struggled the first two days so it was great to show the other teams today that we belong up there and have just as strong a team as we had last year. Today’s round showed the potential our team has and we hope to keep the momentum going.”No. 3 Duke, which began the day atop the leaderboard, struggled down the stretch in the final round, opening up chances for several top teams to take the crown. Ultimately it was the Women of Troy, behind strong play from Kim and Popov, who outlasted No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 16 Oklahoma State.Freshman Gabriella Then was again solid in her collegiate debut, finishing 2-over for the round and 6-over for the tournament. The rookie was a picture of consistency, bookending 16 consecutive pars with bogeys on holes one and 18. Behind Then was sophomore Annie Park, who couldn’t match her 2-under 68 from round two. The defending individual national champion finished the day at 4-over, raising her three day total to 7-over.It will likely not be the last time USC takes on this tough group of opponents, which also included No. 2 Alabama and No. 6 Arkansas. The Trojans also hope it will not be their last trip to Tulsa this school year — the NCAA championships return to Tulsa in the spring for the first time since 1999.The Women of Troy return to action in three weeks, when they will travel to the Chicago area for the Windy City Collegiate Classic at Northmoor Country Club. There they will attempt to capture a fifth straight team victory, breaking a record established by the national championship squad from 2008.
Ernest Chinwo in Port HarcourtRivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday met with the leadership of the Real Madrid Foundation as part of the requirements to establish a Real Madrid affiliated football academy in the state.Officials of Real Madrid Foundation were led by its Managing Director, Julio Gonzalez, and International Area Manager, Rosa Roncal Gimenez.The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Mr Boma Iyaye, was also present at the meeting. The meeting that held behind closed-doors at the Real Madrid Foundation office at the Santiago BernabÃ©u witnessed both parties concluding discussions on the areas of partnership.In an interview after the meeting, Wike said the deliberation went on satisfactorily, noting that the partnership has reached its highpoint.The governor said the academy would help the state harness the opportunities inherent in football as it would empower the upcoming generation.He said: “This is the concluding part of the process of establishing a Real Madrid Academy in Rivers State. It is our dream to empower our youths through football.“Today, you know that football is big business and one of the ways to improve the economy.“This meeting is the height of our deliberation to get the academy started. We are happy that this has gone on satisfactorily. Rivers youths will reap the benefits of the Academy.”Highpoint of the meeting was the presentation of a special Real Madrid jersey with “NEW” printed at the back to the Rivers State governor by the Managing Director of Real Madrid Foundation, Julio Gonzalez.International Area Manager of Real Madrid Foundation, Rosa Roncal Gimenez, lauded the governor for the initiative to set up a Real Madrid Academy in Rivers State.Wike was billed to meet with the Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez, later yesterday evening.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Related Articles StumbleUpon Submit Share Share UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020 Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), has challenged UK betting leadership to improve all-round consumer protections in 2020 or face further regulatory consequences.McArthur addressed an audience of industry leaders and wider stakeholders at yesterday’s ‘CMS Gambling Conference’ in London, in which he underlined the UKGC’s obligation of protecting consumers first and foremost.A stern McArthur opened his address stating that ‘consumer confidence in the industry has been in decline for years, you may think it’s the Commission’s fault but you are wrong’.The UKGC’s leader stressed that gambling executives could no longer neglect gambling addiction and harms as ‘simply a fact of life, that cannot be changed’.“If you think you cannot reduce the number of people experiencing gambling harms, you are wrong; and I am going to explain why you need to find another job if you are operating in Great Britain or advising operators” McArthur stated opening his address.McArthur warned industry leadership, that it cannot afford to disconnect on the consequences and harms of problem gambling, in which the Commission’s workforce has witnessed the ‘livid experiences’ of addicts and families devasted by gambling.For 2020, McArthur states that the UKGC anticipates for the UK government to instruct it to undertake a review of the 2005 Gambling Act, of which the scope is yet to be clarified. However, McArthur underlined that the Commission’s focus would remain on protecting consumers and improving industry standards related to game design, customer incentivisation, advertising and its all-round conduct.“Consumers have always been at the heart of our approach to regulation and they always will be. We don’t suggest that we know better than they do, we bring them into our work and we want to do that more and more in the future” McArthur said.Of utmost concern, McArthur would highlight the loss of consumer confidence in gambling, revealing that in ‘2008 49% of the population agreed gambling was fair and could be trusted, by 2018 that number had shrunk to 30%.’McArthur detailed that consumer confidence in UK gambling had declined whilst the sector had seen its gross gambling yield increase to £14.4 billion, yet UK participation in gambling is reported to have declined to 46% in 2018 (vs 57% in 2012).For the UKGC the GGY increase and falling participation rates indicate that ‘more money is being taken from fewer consumers, playing online and on mobile devices, and likely to be engaging in slots play’.Overseeing UK gambling’s regulatory frameworks, McArthur describes the UKGC as a ‘risk-based regulator’ which has to assess the interlinked dynamics of consumer, product, place and provider.“As consumers move online and move to use their phones the risk profile changes. For many people, the place they gamble is now their phone, which is always with them. What new risks does that that create? And consumers playing online are moving to play slots… what new risks does that create”.Regulating gambling in 2020, McArthur states that the Commission is unafraid in putting forward a ‘bold and innovative’ approach in its aim to reduce harm rates, in which collaboration is key dynamic.Believing that the industry has finally reached consensus on its issues, McArthur and the UKGC have challenged industry leaders to form an ‘effective Industry Code for Game Design, to be published no later than this Spring’s Raising Standards conference’.The UKGC’s 2020 agenda will further focus on the ‘incentivisation of high-value customers’, in which its enforcement work indicates that current frameworks are ineffective.Following industry consultation, the UKGC has accepted GVC Holdings offer to lead the development of a code of conduct on VIP Programmes, in which it aims to deliver tangible progress quickly or else it will enforce further actions to address concerns.At present, the UKGC awaits the publication of a gambling advertising report commissioned by Gamble Aware, on the effects of industry advertising on children, young audiences and vulnerable adults.McArthur advises UK gambling to explore how to use Ad-Tech technologies to minimise the risks of gambling advertising exposure, in which Sky Bet has stepped forward to lead the development of initiatives.McArthur closes his address, by underlining the Commission long-term collaborative goal of developing a ‘single customer viewpoint’, which he believes will be an extremely powerful tool for achieving integrity and raising standards.“Changes in consumer behaviour and technology will continue to create new risks to consumers and new opportunities to keep them safer. Taking those opportunities will need us all to take risks. Not everything will work. Nothing will be acclaimed or praised until there is clear evidence that it is having a true impact.”“I and my colleagues at the Commission stand ready to work with anyone who shares our determination to make gambling safer. If we work together, I am sure we can do that.” McArthur details closing his address. Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020
Mario Balotelli and M’baye Niang scored first-half goals as AC Milan controlled most of the match to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 and claim the third-place in the International Champions Cup friendly tournament Wednesday.Balotelli scored in the 17th minute and Niang in the 40th, but the Italian club got a scare in the 79th when Balotelli played a ball across the field and went down holding the back of his right leg around the knee area.There was no immediate diagnosis, although trainers who tended to him on the field seemed to be stretching him out as if he was dealing with a cramp.AC Milan won two of its three matches in this series of friendlies among eight club teams. The Galaxy, which beat two-time defending Serie A champion Juventus earlier in the tournament, was the only U.S.-based team in the event and lost two of three games.
“I don’t think so,” Maddon said Thursday. “The trainers didn’t express anything more than that, so as of right now I’m not concerned.”Adell’s first day on the big league bench came a day after he had trouble on two balls in right field, demonstrating the defensive issues that were largely the reason he wasn’t on the Opening Day roster.Maddon said he’s been personally working with Adell on his defense in their brief time together, and he feels the issues can be corrected.“After a couple games, there’s nothing to conclude,” Maddon said. “He’s going to be really good. I like the running, like the hustle. He’s been challenged on some difficult plays. We’ll work through that.”MARSH AT 1BThe Angels are experimenting with outfield prospect Brandon Marsh at first base at their alternate training site in Long Beach. Marsh, 22, is an elite defender in the outfield, but the Angels are taking the opportunity to see what else he may be able to do.“We value flexibility with all our players,” General Manager Billy Eppler said via text, adding that they are giving Marsh “a little introduction there (to) see how he develops.”The Angels obviously have Mike Trout in center and they just moved Adell to the big leagues, and hope for him to hold down right field for years. Although left fielder Justin Upton has been in a slump lately, he’s signed for two seasons after this one. Brian Goodwin also remains under control for two more years.Max Stassi #33 of the Los Angeles Angels fist bumps Tommy La Stella #9 after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)ALSOMax Stassi hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly on Thursday, the latter was a deep drive that Maddon said he thought was going to be a grand slam. Maddon has been impressed with Stassi’s swing, which he reworked entirely after hitting .167 last season. He hit just .071 in the final two months after the Angels acquired him…The Angels optioned reliever Jose Rodriguez and infielder Matt Thaiss because rosters were all reduced from 30 to 28. They’ll remain at that level for the rest of the way. …Without Thaiss, the Angels’ only backups to Albert Pujols at first are Tommy La Stella, who started there on Thursday, and Taylor Ward. Neither player has much experience at first. …The Angels have listed Griffin Canning and Andrew Heaney as the starters for Friday and Sunday in Texas, respectively. Saturday’s starter is TBA, but Maddon conceded that Patrick Sandoval is a candidate. He also said that he now prefers the bullpen for both Matt Andriese and Felix Peña, who have started in the past. “I think they’re very valuable there,” Maddon said. All of that seems to indicate that for now the Angels will go with a five-man rotation with Canning, Heaney, Sandoval, Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran.Related Articles With photos of fans filling the seats at Safeco Field, Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani flies out to center field to end the top the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)“I saw the best swing out of him that I’ve seen in person,” Manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani. “He’s on the verge right now. I like a lot what I saw today. And I’m curious, if we could just keep this path going right now. He was very focused, very convicted in everything he was doing. And that was the most forceful swing I’ve seen him take for a year.”Before the game, Maddon said he didn’t think that Ohtani’s arm injury would have any impact on his availability as the DH. Although he didn’t hit on Tuesday because he was a “little sore” and on Wednesday he got an extra day because they faced tough lefty Marco Gonzales, Maddon said he expects Ohtani to be the DH “pretty much every day.”Maddon also said that he’s not concerned that Ohtani’s latest injury is a sign that he will continue to have injury troubles throughout his career. Ohtani has now had two arm injuries since joining the Angels. He also had knee surgery to repair a congenital condition. Ohtani was also hurt in 2017, his final year in Japan.“It’s just one of those things that’s hard to understand,” Maddon said. “I’ve been around players in the past so as they were younger they get injured and then all of a sudden, they get beyond that moment and everything’s fine and they play consistently without injury. I’m wanting to believe that it’s gonna happen.”ADELL SITSJo Adell was out of the Angels lineup on his third day in the big leagues because of some quad tightness, although Maddon gave no indication it will be more than a one-day issue. Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield This is apparently something that Shohei Ohtani does.Ohtani hit a homer in his first at-bat on Thursday, which was his first game since learning on Monday that a forearm injury would prevent him from pitching again this season.In September 2018, Ohtani hit two homers in his first game after learning that he needed Tommy John surgery.Obviously the Angels and Ohtani are disappointed that the two-way player will now just be a hitter, but there is hope that he can be an exceptional one-way player. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter
Tyreek Hill’s timeline of trouble: From a domestic violence arrest in college to child abuse investigation with Chiefs
As SN wrote upon the conclusion of the investigation, the league-wide dissatisfaction with the result was predictable. Such public malaise has become the chorus that echoes from most of the NFL’s disciplinary decisions based on its personal conduct policy.The reason is simple: The NFL is not capable of being a consistent, trustworthy arbiter in cases that are too complicated even for the American justice system to handle properly. The league’s backpedaling in the Ray Rice case in 2014 led to this kind of interposition, seemingly as a result of the pressure the league felt to take these matters of misconduct into its own hands no matter what the courts decided.And, as the NFL continues to prove, we’re asking too much of it. Thanks in part to Hill’s 883 yards from scrimmage in a year that was cut short by an early-season injury, Kansas City enters the Super Bowl against San Francisco with one of the league’s most explosive offensive units. That production was foreseen, which is why the Chiefs ignored the red flags around a player who wasn’t expected to be drafted in 2016 and instead picked him in the fifth round.Below is an overview of the domestic violence case Hill faced in college that led to most teams’ concerns in the NFL Draft, plus an explanation of the child abuse investigation saga in 2019 that Hill escaped without punishment.MORE: The Chiefs extended Tyreek Hill’s contract with troubling urgencyTyreek Hill domestic assault in collegeAfter a couple seasons at Garden City Community College, Hill in 2014 chose to play Division-I football at Oklahoma State. But he would only play one season for the Cowboys thanks to his arrest on domestic violence charges.Crystal Espinal, Hill’s girlfriend who was eight weeks pregnant with his child, told police an argument late on the night of Dec. 12, 2014, at Hill’s Stillwater home escalated to physical violence. Espinal said she was choked by Hill, who also punched her in the stomach and the face. Still in pain in her stomach, she said she was concerned about the baby.Hill spent the night in jail and on the next day was charged with felony domestic assault and battery by strangulation. That day, Oklahoma State announced it had dismissed Hill from the football and track programs. “Oklahoma State University does not tolerate domestic abuse or violence,” the school said in a statement. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/9a/ec/tyreek-hill-050216-getty-ftrjpg_7x8167wf3dj11vfmgajian346.jpg?t=1928459572&w=500&quality=80 Tyreek Hill’s ascent to his current status, arguably the most electric player on the AFC representative in Super Bowl 54, has been a speedy but bumpy rise.And the Chiefs can’t say they were caught off guard by the issue that jeopardized the wide receiver’s availability months before this championship season began. In fact, the franchise only deepened its investment in Hill with a three-year, $54 million extension in October, putting him among the league’s highest-paid receivers. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ce/6/tyreek-hill-091119-getty-ftrjpg_lv8o50fcrws119jg6kaga7sf2.jpg?t=569421261&w=500&quality=80 Hill initially pled not guilty. In August, represented by a new defense attorney after reportedly failing “to meet monetary obligations” with Cheryl Ramsey, Hill pleaded guilty to the charges and, thanks to a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office, received three years on probation. According to The Oklahoman, “the plea agreement was eventually reached thanks in part to Hill’s voluntary efforts. Along with more than $1,000 in fines and court costs, a DNA sample, two years of state supervision, and proof of employment or student status, Hill’s probation requires he complete an anger management course and a 52-week Batterer’s Intervention Program.”In 2015, West Alabama coach Brett Gilliland allowed Hill to join the football team. He played only one season for the Tigers before entering the 2016 NFL Draft.Espinal eventually gave birth to Hill’s son.Tyreek Hill NFL Draft controversyHill was not invited to the NFL Combine and, due to his 2014 arrest, was not expected to be drafted. In part because Hill ran a 4.25-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, the Chiefs were willing to take the risk.Kansas City drafted Hill in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft at No. 165 overall.”I just want everybody to understand that we have done our due diligence with regards to full vetting each one of our draft-class members,” said then-general manager John Dorsey, via The Kansas City Star. “We would never put anybody in this community in harm’s way.”Added Chiefs coach Andy Reid: “There has to be a certain trust here, but there’s just things that we can’t go into and go through. We want people to understand, like Dorse said, we’re not going to do anything to put this community or this organization in a bind. We uncovered every possible stone that we possibly could, and we feel very comfortable with that part of it.” Many Kansas City fans were upset with the selection. At rookie minicamp in May 2016, Hill told reporters he understood their concerns.”The fans have every right to be mad at me,” Hill said. “I did something wrong. I let my emotions get the best of me, and I shouldn’t have did it. They have every right to be mad.”But guess what? I’m fixing to come back, be a better man, be a better citizen, and everything takes care of itself, and let God do the rest.”Dominating as a punt returner and a receiver, Hill earned three Pro Bowl selections and two All-Pro nods in his first three NFL seasons. Then, before the 2019 season, he found himself in trouble yet again.Tyreek Hill child abuse investigationOn March 15, The Kansas City Star reported Hill was under police investigation for battery involving he and Espinal’s 3-year-old son, who had suffered a broken arm. By this time, Espinal had become Hill’s fiancee.The Chiefs said they were aware of the situation but allowed Hill to participate in the team’s offseason program in April. The investigation led to Hill and Espinal temporarily losing custody of their son. On April 25, the Johnson County, Mo., district attorney announced that neither Hill nor Espinal would be charged with child abuse, but that a crime had occurred and the investigation remained active. The DA could not prove who did what to the child.The NFL said it would wait until the Kansas Department of Children and Families concluded its own probe of the allegations before conducting its own investigation.”I love and support my family above anything,” said Hill, who maintained all along he was innocent of committing a crime, via his attorney’s statement. “My son’s health and happiness is my number one priority. I want to thank the Kansas City Chiefs, my attorneys, my agent and my union for supporting me through this. My focus remains on working hard to be the best person for my family and our community I can be, and the best player to help our team win.”The next night, during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, a Kansas City TV station released a recording of Hill and Espinal talking about what happened to their son, the criminal investigation into alleged abuse and how they handled it.A portion of the Tyreek Hill audio with Crystal Espinal:Espinal: “What do you do when the child is bad? You make him open up his arms and you punch him in the chest.”Hill: “You do use a belt. That’s sad,” Hill said. “Even my mama says you use a belt.”— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) April 26, 2019Espinal: “He’s terrified of you.”Hill: “You need to be terrified of me too, b****.”— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) April 25, 2019Early the next morning, the Chiefs suspended Hill indefinitely. GM Brett Veach said Hill would not take part in any team activities “for the foreseeable future.” Chiefs CEO and chairman Clark Hunt broke his silence on the saga surrounding Hill that Saturday, saying the team would make the “right decision … at the right time.”Hill’s attorney issued a four-page statement to the NFL that dismissed the child-abuse claims levied against Hill by Espinal. It was unclear at the time to what extent the league was investigating the matter.”We will not interfere with that,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told media in late May, adding that the league had not yet interviewed Hill, citing the ongoing court proceeding as the reason, but that it planned to do so.On June 7, prosecutors said the child abuse probe involving Hill is was no longer an active investigation, confirming that Hill would not face charges. Later that month, Yahoo! Sports reported Hill was scheduled to speak with the NFL. That meeting, on June 26, reportedly lasted eight hours. Unnamed sources told Yahoo! it was a “positive” day for Hill.On July 19, the NFL declared Hill would not be suspended as a result of the league’s investigation, which according to a release had been ongoing since the beginning of the saga despite the NFL’s claim it was leaving the matter to local law enforcement. Below is the league’s explanatory statement in full:”Over the past four months, we have conducted a comprehensive investigation of allegations regarding Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Throughout this investigation, the NFL’s primary concern has been the well-being of the child. Our understanding is that the child is safe and that the child’s ongoing care is being directed and monitored by the Johnson County District Court and the Johnson County Department for Children and Families.”In conducting our investigation, we have taken great care to ensure that we do not interfere with the county’s proceedings or compromise the privacy or welfare of the child in any way. The information developed in the court proceeding is confidential and has not been shared with us, and the court has sealed all law enforcement records. Local law enforcement authorities have publicly advised that the available evidence does not permit them to determine who caused the child’s injuries.”Similarly, based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy. Accordingly, he may attend Kansas City’s training camp and participate in all club activities. He has been and will continue to be subject to conditions set forth by the District Court, Commissioner Goodell, and the Chiefs, which include clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention.”If further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time.”The NFL’s decision not to discipline Hill stunned many in and around the league. The surprise stemmed not from the alleged violence — even though the NFL’s disciplinary process does not carry the same burden of proof as the legal system does — but from the threatening language in the recording. In particular: “You need to be terrified of me, too, dumb b—.”Said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy: “When viewed in the context of the full 11-minute, 27-second audio recording and all other information gathered, the statement did not rise to a level of warranting discipline under the personal conduct policy.”MORE: Hill welcomed by cheers at training camp
(AP)–There’s always something to sell in boxing, some angle to make you pay.The latest from Manny Pacquiao is he’s willing to do everything but pick up Floyd Mayweather Jr. and drive him to the arena to make the megafight boxing has been waiting way too long for.Pacquiao says Mr. Money can have more money, and get top billing. He can watch him take his steroid tests, and even choose the food at the prefight press conference if he wants.“He can even wear my trunks if it gets him in the ring with me,” Pacquiao said. “I want to fight Floyd Mayweather next.”Unfortunately for boxing fans, Pacquiao is not fighting Mayweather next. He’s meeting Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time, a fight so unattractive that he needs to talk about Mayweather to get anyone to pay attention to it.That’s not entirely Pacman’s fault. Actually, most of it is Mayweather’s fault for refusing to step up for the fight that would likely define his career.His nonsensical rants about steroids and patriotism whenever Pacquiao’s name is brought up are just that. His strange reluctance to prove his boast that he is the best fighter in the world brings into doubt just how legitimate that boast is.Still, he remains the biggest draw in boxing, something he proves every fight with his big pay-per-view numbers. The mere mention of his name sells tickets, though it’s anyone’s guess when he will fight again after serving more than two months in jail this summer.It’s been nearly four years since Pacquiao gave Oscar De La Hoya such a beating that he sent him into retirement, a fight that started the buzz about a Pacquiao-Mayweather match. It seemed sure to happen, and it seemed sure to be the richest fight ever, with both boxers pocketing at least $40 million.My guess now is Mayweather and Pacquiao will never meet in the ring, even now when Pacquiao is offering to take 45 percent of the purse to 55 percent for Mayweather. I’ve felt that way for some time, and the feeling was reinforced when Mayweather went apoplectic when I dared to ask him before his fight against Miguel Cotto in May why he wasn’t fighting Pacquiao instead.That doesn’t mean Pacquiao can’t use his erstwhile rival to sell some tickets of his own. And that’s all he’s really doing by calling out Mayweather now when he’s got another fighter in front of him.I’ve been ringside for all three of Pacquiao’s fights with Marquez, and they’ve all been good, close fights that could have gone either way. Their styles guarantee a competitive fight, and if you liked the first 36 rounds you’ll probably dig the credit card out to pay for another 12.But do I want to see them fight for a fourth time on Dec. 8? Not particularly.But that is the fight promoter Bob Arum gave us when he told Timothy Bradley he wasn’t a big enough attraction for a second fight with Pacquiao, even though he won the first in a highly controversial decision. Arum believes that Hispanic fight fans will help Pacquiao-Marquez IV do more than the 850,000 pay-per-views for Bradley in June.There’s a sense, though, that Pacquiao is fading, even though he appeared to dominate Bradley before backing off in the final rounds of their fight. He has been fighting professionally now for 17 years, and the difficulty he had getting motivated for his last two fights is a sure sign that he’s inching closer to the end of his lucrative career.Beating Marquez for a third time in four fights won’t prove anything other than Pacquiao can still earn a big payday. Losing to him will mean two defeats in a row for Pacman, and almost certainly scuttle any chance of a Mayweather fight.Mayweather has been uncharacteristically quiet since his release from jail in Las Vegas, where he was serving a sentence on a domestic abuse charge. He hasn’t revealed what his plans are, though it’s clear he won’t be fighting the rest of the year.Assuming Pacquiao beats Marquez—and that’s a big assumption—the earliest the two could meet would be in the spring, most likely the first week of May. That’s also the last legitimate date for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight to mean anything, and if it passes, a chance to make boxing history will pass along with it.Pacquiao’s offer to take less money does put the onus of making the fight squarely on Mayweather. He’s running out of excuses not to fight Pacquiao, and both his legacy and reputation will suffer if he doesn’t.Any serious talk about a possible fight, though, will have to wait until Pacquiao fights Marquez.Until then any offer Pacquiao makes is nothing more than a sales job for Dec. 8.
BEJARANO GUIDES FAVORED ROYAL ALBERT HALL TO 1 ¼ LENGTHS WIN IN $58,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE; TRAINED BY O’NEILL, ENGLISH-BRED GELDING GETS FIRST STATESIDE WIN BY COVERING 1 ¼ MILES IN 1:59.90
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 25, 2016)–With a powerful late kick, English-bred Royal Albert Hall broke an 11-game losing streak by taking Friday’s $58,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by 1 ¼ lengths under leading rider Rafael Bejarano. Conditioned by Doug O’Neill, who with the win, went one-up in the trainer standings over Phil D’Amato, 28-27, the 4-year-old gelding got a mile and a quarter on turf in 1:59.90.Fourth with a quarter mile to run, favored “Royal Albert” angled three-wide turning for home and won as best at odds of 8-5 in a field of nine older horses.Owned by Steve Keh, Scott Knight, Mike Ryan and Westside Rentals.com, Royal Albert Hall paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.80.“He’s always shown plenty of ability since he first came to our barn (in late 2014),” said O’Neill assistant, Steve Rothblum. “He showed a lot of promise, so we kept running him against some of the best grass horses out here in stakes. Thankfully the owners were patient and even though he wasn’t winning, we ran up some money ($144,624 in 2015) with him. This race should be a good confidence builder.With the winner’s share of $34,800, Royal Albert Hall increased his earnings to $194,983. With Friday’s win, his overall mark now stands at 17-2-6-4.Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Excessive Kid trailed the field heading into the far turn and finished up well to be second, 2 ¼ lengths in front of Cardiac.Off at 7-1, Excessive Kid paid $6.00 and $4.80.With Fernando Perez up, Cardiac showed the way to the five sixteenths pole, where he was overtaken narrowly by Dreaming of Gold, who he outran for third money. Off at 12-1, Cardiac paid $6.00 to show.(With the win, Bejarano now leads the recently sidelined Santiago Gonzalez 63-47 in the jockey standings).Fractions on the race were 22.53, 46.54, 1:10.89 and 1:35.28.First post time for an 11-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.
The former Wests Tigers back-rower joined the Sharks in 2013 and has been a shining light for the club ever since, helping deliver the Shire its first premiership in a heart-stopping grand final win over the Storm last year. Now in his 15th year in first grade, Heighington has won a premiership with two different clubs, scored 41 tries and represented England; all of them achievements he never thought possible as a teenager coming up through the grades. Never the fastest, strongest or most creative player in the game, Heighington relied on his incredible work ethic, adaptability and toughness to reach the milestone, with the much-loved big man set to be honoured in style in front of his home fans. “Who would’ve thought that I’d play 300? Two hundred popped around at the Tigers, then I moved on from there to here and it’s come around really quickly the 100 games. It’s an honour – I feel really grateful to get the opportunity,” he said. Heighington made his NRL debut off the bench for the Tigers against St George Illawarra back in 2003, with the black and golds doing enough to snatch a 24-20 win over the Red V.Testament to Heighington’s longevity, the other three reserves that day – Nick Bradley-Qalilawa, Chris Paterson and Troy Wozniak – only managed 107 NRL appearances between them.He was a part of the Tigers’ fairytale premiership in 2005 and was considered one of the club’s favourite sons on and off the field. “To be honest, I couldn’t believe I was making my debut,” Heighington recalled. “I was still travelling from the Central Coast to Concord for training. “Tim Sheens gave me the opportunity in Round 1, 2003 to play in the double-header. We played against the Dragons and got the win and it was a great experience. It came so quickly because I’d only started the pre-season at the end of 2002. “I got seven games in 2003 and it was like an addiction; I just wanted more of it so I just put my head down and worked. If there was somewhere that I was lacking, I’d do everything I could to pick that up. You just keep evolving your game and that’s how you stay in the game for as long as you can.”On Saturday, Heighington will join names such as Cameron Smith, Steve Menzies and Darren Lockyer to have reached the 300 club, but the 35-year-old admits it will feel weird to be mentioned in the same breath as some of the game’s greats. “It doesn’t sit well with me to have my name next to them,” he said. “I’ve probably got to thank my physios because I’ve had them flat-out. I know my body pretty well and I know what it needs to perform at NRL level. I love training and working hard and getting better as a player. The game has developed and I’ve tried to go along with that. “I’ve been lucky with injuries. I’ve only broken a few bones – I haven’t had any reconstructions which is pleasing, touch wood. I’ve had a great ride and I’ve really enjoyed it. “I just lead by example and do everything I can on the field, and hopefully the young kids come with you. One day when I’m finished, hopefully some guy jumps up and takes the role I had at the club.”Heighington is still playing as well now as he did 10 years ago, and his impact hasn’t been lost on his teammates. Captain-in-waiting at the Sharks, Wade Graham, was full of praise for the milestone man, who could be joined in the 300 club by teammates Luke Lewis and Paul Gallen later in the year. “To reach 300 games is an enormous effort. It’s a testament to how well he’s played over the years and his longevity and his durability. He’s certainly been an integral member of our squad for the last three or four years,” Graham said. “Flanno (Sharks coach Shane Flanagan) has always done a great job with not only bringing in great players, but also bringing in blokes who add something to the group, and ‘Heighno’ has certainly done that. “He’s a great character off the field, he’s very likeable and he’s easily one of the most popular in the team.”