Cleveland Tigers football
|5 - 6||4 - 1||1 - 5||.455||270||328|
|2013-09-05||vs||Hominy||W||34 - 13|
|2013-09-13||@||Mannford||L||26 - 47|
|2013-09-20||@||Cushing||L||0 - 35|
|2013-09-27||vs||Tulsa Webster||W||39 - 12|
|2013-10-04||vs||Vinita||W||21 - 0|
|2013-10-11||@||Oologah||L||13 - 55|
|2013-10-17||@||Miami||W||47 - 30|
|2013-10-25||vs||Wagoner||L||21 - 28|
|2013-11-01||@||Catoosa||L||20 - 46|
|2013-11-08||vs||Tulsa McLain||W||42 - 14|
|2013-11-15||@||Poteau||L||7 - 48|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
Cleveland football News
NewsOK articles about Cleveland football, or articles mentioning current or former Cleveland football players.
Cleveland High School Varsity Boys Football
Sep 12, 2014
For all the diving catches and long runs during the NFL's opening weekend, the most enduring image might have been a blooper.The sight of Antonio Brown's foot in Spencer Lanning's face as the Pittsburgh returner was trying to elude the Cleveland punter last Sunday elicited sympathetic cringes and derisive laughs from far and wide."I caught a lot of grief from my friends. I saw the pictures...
Tackling for kickers is a tough task
DAVE CAMPBELL, Associated Press | Sep 12, 2014For all the diving catches and long runs during the NFL's opening weekend, the most enduring image might have been a blooper. The sight of Antonio Brown's foot in Spencer Lanning's face as the Pittsburgh returner was trying to elude the Cleveland punter last Sunday elicited sympathetic cringes and derisive laughs from far and wide. "I caught a lot of grief from my friends. I saw the pictures because they were sent to me. I've seen all the videos, and I do think they're pretty funny. I have to admit people do have some time on their hands," Lanning said this week. "But at the end of the day, I probably would have had more fun with it had we won." Brown was fined $8,268 by the NFL on Friday. At first glance, this was just another futile attempt by an undersized specialist at tackling a player paid for his speed, agility and size, not simply for the strength and accuracy of his leg. Lanning was at least a good sport about the gaffe. He said he wasn't mad. "He just should have given me a move, I thought, but whatever," said Lanning, who had a sore neck and a bruise over his right eye but was uncertain whether that came from the collision. Brown drew an unnecessary roughness penalty but said he meant no harm. After appearing to abort his hurdle mid-stride when realizing Lanning was not going to desperately dive at his knees and instead had him properly lined up like any defender would, Brown's leg wound up headed straight for the front of the orange helmet. "I tried to get over him," Brown said after the game. "There was no intent to hurt him. It was just a bad outcome of a play." Fair catches and down-field tackles that prevent long returns, of course, are far more common than punters being part of the play. Touchbacks for kickers have the same effect. Rare is the moment when the specialists are in sole position to stop a runback. The task, however, is no joke. If the kicker or the punter is in such a position, they're often the last chance to prevent a touchdown that can make the difference in winning or losing. Their disadvantage, against a returner approaching at full speed, in this scenario is stark. "It's icing on the cake if you can make a tackle and bring someone down," said Kansas City punter Dustin Colquitt, who made the Pro Bowl in 2012. Lanning's peers, naturally, expressed pride in his effort, courage and technique. "He was right on him. He got his arm around his leg, still, and he made him stumble," Minnesota punter Jeff Locke said. Full tackling drills in practice these days in the NFL are rare even for defensive players, so the most work the specialists typically get in this area is with pursuit angles after the ball is kicked. They're taught how to effectively use the sideline as an extra teammate. "If you can just slow him down until somebody who is in pursuit can come and get him, you've done your job," Vikings kicker Blair Walsh said. The instincts aren't always there, because most of them have been focused on kicking their whole career. Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos was on a high school team in Florida with only 19 players, though, so he had to play some on defense. Some guys, like Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski, are big enough to deliver jarring hits. Indianapolis kickoff man Pat McAfee pancaked Denver's Trindon Holliday during a game last season. Colquitt fondly remembered former teammate Daniel Sepulveda in action: "He can absolutely boss return guys. He just had that linebacker mentality, so it was fun." Tennessee punter Brett Kern, as a rookie with Denver at the time, was about to be leveled during a play while an Oakland blocker had his hand against his chin. So Kern held on, twisted the guy's facemask and brought them both to the turf. "I got a FedEx letter that Wednesday," Kern said of the $5,000 fine. "I almost broke down in tears having to tell my wife about that." Touchbacks and fair catches are always the goal. That's not cowardice, but rather common sense. If a returner is racing toward a kicker or a punter that means he, or a teammate or two on the coverage unit, has not done his job. "Hopefully I'll get a highlight soon, right?" Locke said, pausing to reconsider: "Or hopefully I don't get a highlight soon. I never want to be that guy." ___ AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, and AP Sports Writers Jon Krawczynski in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri, and Tom Withers in Berea, Ohio, contributed to this report. ___ Online: AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Derek McCartney used to saunter next door to his grandfather's house as a teenager to hear riveting stories.The Colorado defensive lineman never tired of listening to tales about the Buffaloes' 1990 national championship team or Kordell Stewart's Hail Mary pass in a game dubbed the "Miracle in Michigan."Then again, McCartney has quite a storyteller for a grandpa —...
Grandfather's tales lead DL Derek McCartney to CU
PAT GRAHAM, Associated Press | Sep 12, 2014BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Derek McCartney used to saunter next door to his grandfather's house as a teenager to hear riveting stories. The Colorado defensive lineman never tired of listening to tales about the Buffaloes' 1990 national championship team or Kordell Stewart's Hail Mary pass in a game dubbed the "Miracle in Michigan." Then again, McCartney has quite a storyteller for a grandpa — legendary Colorado coach Bill McCartney. Little wonder after all those yarns that the grandson had his heart set on attending Colorado. No surprise, either, that when the redshirt freshman runs into Folsom Field for the home opener Saturday night against No. 16 Arizona State, the proud grandfather will be front and center. "I'm 74 years old and in the fourth quarter of life. For me to have this opportunity, to be a part of Derek's life, is a privilege," said Bill McCartney, the all-time winningest coach at Colorado and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. "It's just thrilling for me that he's here, at Colorado, because this school was so good to me." Football simply runs in the family. Derek's father, Shannon Clavelle, was a defensive lineman for Colorado from 1992-94 before playing a few seasons in the NFL. His brother, T.C. McCartney, played at Louisiana State and now is in quality control with the Cleveland Browns. T.C. also is the son of late Colorado quarterback Sal Aunese. And then there's his grandfather, Bill, who guided the Buffaloes to national prominence. Hardly a day goes by when someone doesn't ask Derek if he's somehow related to the coach. "I like when that happens," said the 20-year-old, who has one sack and six tackles through two games. "It's really cool to have my grandfather in my life. It's really helpful for me." Go ahead and quiz Derek about Colorado football. Chances are his grandfather has covered the topic with him. Who caught Stewart's pass that day in Michigan nearly 20 years ago? Easy, Michael Westbrook. After all, his grandpa has a picture of the play and a button to push to hear the broadcast audio. "Love listening to that," said Derek, who also was close with his grandmother, Lyndi McCartney, before she died in 2013. "One of my favorite things in his house." The grandfather and grandson are close. Always have been. Derek and his mom, Kristy, along with T.C., moved next door to the longtime coach in Westminster, Colorado, when Derek was around middle-school age. Back then, Derek wasn't as close with his father as he's becoming now ("it's really cool, seeing our relationship grow," he said). His mom is one of his biggest role models and supporters. Same goes for his grandfather. He and his grandpa chat at least once a week, with Derek letting him know what's going on with football and school work. Before he even played a down for the Buffaloes, Derek was well on his way to his degree in physiology and on pace to graduate in the spring of 2016. For as much as he loves football, his biggest desire is to become a doctor. "This is a kid with high character and tremendous potential," Bill said. "It's not limited to just football." Derek grew up hearing the stories about Rashaan Salaam winning the Heisman Trophy and how Colorado beat Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl to cement the national title. But Derek's favorite story revolves around something that happened on the sideline, when running back Eric Bieniemy delivered an impromptu pep talk to a struggling defense. "The way my grandfather tells it, Eric pulled them off to the side and fired them up," said Derek, who played both defensive end and tight end in high school. "It's a story about how one guy can make a difference through leadership." Derek is hoping to be that kind of leader for the Buffaloes, a team that hasn't been to a bowl game since 2007. He sees a lot of the original coach Mac, his grandfather, in the new coach Mac — Mike MacIntyre, who's off to a 1-1 start in his second season in charge. "I never knew my grandpa as a coach. But I see a lot of similarities in the way my grandpa helped raise me and just the way that both of them encourage a lot to motivate," Derek said. "We're way more disciplined (as a team). It's going to start showing up pretty soon here."
Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last week’s record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Season record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Bixby 28, TULSA EAST CENTRAL 24 EDMOND SANTA FE 44, Moore 20 NORMAN NORTH 38, Yukon 17 Class 4A SANTA FE SOUTH 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Class 3A Locust Grove 45, KANSAS 12 Class 2A Pocola...
The Oklahoman's Week 2 high school football picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 10, 2014Every week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last week’s record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Season record: 135-47 (74.2 pct.) Thursday’s Games Class 6A Bixby 28, TULSA EAST CENTRAL 24 EDMOND SANTA FE 44, Moore 20 NORMAN NORTH 38, Yukon 17 Class 4A SANTA FE SOUTH 35, SeeWorth Aca. 14 Class 3A Locust Grove 45, KANSAS 12 Class 2A Pocola 36, Poteau JV 14 Class B DEPEW 40, OSD 24 Independent Wright Christian 46, Eagle Point Chr. 28 Friday’s Games Class 6A Bartlesville 28, CASCIA HALL 17 Bentonville, Ark. 17, BROKEN ARROW 7 Deer Creek 21, NORMAN 17 Edmond Memorial 20, EDMOND NORTH 14 Enid 28, SAND SPRINGS 24 Guthrie 44, PONCA CITY 10 TULSA UNION 31, Jenks 28 DEL CITY 55, Lawton Eisenhower 28 LAWTON 28, Lawton MacArthur 27 Midwest City 21, CARL ALBERT 20 Owasso 35, MUSKOGEE 14 CHOCTAW 42, Putnam City 28 Putnam North 28, PUTNAM WEST 24 Rogers, Ark. 21, CLAREMORE14 Sapulpa 48, TULSA HALE 12 WESTMOORE 28, Southmoore 20 MUSTANG 45, Stillwater 28 TULSA WASHINGTON 49, Tulsa Central 8 Class 5A ANADARKO 42, Altus 8 Ardmore 28, DURANT 12 WESTERN HEIGHTS 40, Capitol Hill 12 COLLINSVILLE 28, Catoosa 14 GROVE 22, Jay 18 Liberal, Kan. 35, GUYMON 14 McAlester 35, COWETA 28 McGuinness 17, TULSA KELLEY 14 Noble 28, CHICKASHA 14 NORTHWEST 35, Northeast 28 Pryor 24, WAGONER 20 Shawnee 35, DUNCAN 14 Skiatook 20, OOLOGAH 14 ELK CITY 31, Southeast 24 Stilwell 14, TAHLEQUAH 13 Tulsa Edison 30, TULSA MEMORIAL 22 Weatherford 17, PIEDMONT 13 Woodward 20, EL RENO 12 Class 4A HOBART 27, Cache 20 HERITAGE HALL 24, Clinton 21 HILLDALE 17, Fort Gibson 14 BEGGS 32, Glenpool 27 BROKEN BOW 28, Idabel 22 HARRAH 27, Jones 20 ADA 31, Madill 28 CLEVELAND 30, Mannford 10 Marlow 24, ELGIN 17 McLoud 30, PERKINS 20 VERDIGRIS 27, Miami 24 SPIRO 28, Muldrow 6 Oklahoma Christian 24, METRO CHR. 20 Poteau 34, VAN BUREN, ARK. 28 Seminole 49, TECUMSEH 7 SALLISAW 28, Stigler 20 BRISTOW 30, Stroud 22 TULSA McLAIN 28, Tulsa NOAH 24 NEWCASTLE 28, Tuttle 27 NOWATA 21, Vinita 17 Class 3A Berryhill 35, CUSHING 28 NEWKIRK 20, Blackwell 16 LEXINGTON 21, Bridge Creek 20 KELLYVILLE 34, Caney Valley 18 BLANCHARD 24, Casady 20 Chandler 28, MEEKER 21 Checotah 32, HENRYETTA 14 Chr. Heritage 42, MOUNT ST. MARY 28 LITTLE AXE 34, Crooked Oak 16 Davis 42, SULPHUR 14 PAWHUSKA 28, Dewey 24 LINDSAY 30, Dickson 17 HARTSHORNE 34, Eufaula 10 Haskell 14, MORRIS 13 John Marshall 38, CENTENNIAL 26 Kingfisher 40, HENNESSEY 20 VICTORY CHRISTIAN 49, Lighthouse Chr. 7 Lincoln Christian 42, HOLLAND HALL 14 Lincoln, Ark. 28, KEYS (PARK HILL) 21 Lone Grove 42, HUGO 7 BETHANY 45, OKC Legion 8 Okemah 28, BETHEL 12 PLAINVIEW 26, Pauls Valley 13 WASHINGTON 18, Purcell 12 Roland 35, SEQ.-TAHLEQUAH 14 Salina 21, INOLA 14 Seq. Claremore 28, SPERRY 6 COMANCHE 14, Tishomingo 13 Tulsa Rogers 26, TULSA WEBSTER 22 U.S. Grant 22, OKMULGEE 18 KINGSTON 35, Valliant 7 Vian 28, HEAVENER 6 COLCORD 27, Westville 22 Class 2A Adair 46, WYANDOTTE 6 COMMERCE 28, Afton 26 Alva 24, OKLAHOMA BIBLE 21 TALIHINA 41, Antlers 16 Barnsdall 21, OKLAHOMA UNION 20 PANAMA 28, Central Sallisaw 20 Chouteau 24, KETCHUM 16 SAVANNA 42, Coalgate 14 Empire 20, WALTERS 14 CHISHOLM 42, Fairview 20 CHELSEA 27, Foyil 16 Holdenville 20, ATOKA 14 Hominy 28, PAWNEE 18 FREDERICK 30, Mangum 12 ELMORE CITY 18, Marietta 14 TONKAWA 28, Morrison 21 CRESCENT 28, Perry 6 LUTHER 35, Prague 20 Rush Springs 30, DIBBLE 16 Summit Christian 46, LIBERTY 6 Warner 27, HULBERT 14 Wewoka 28, KONAWA 21 QUINTON 22, Wilburton 6 Yale 28, WELLSTON 20 Class A SYRACUSE, KAN. 20, Beaver 16 SNYDER 29, Burns Flat-Dill City 7 COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN 34, Carnegie 20 CORDELL 21, Central Marlow 20 MINCO 28, Crossings Christian 21 Drumright 16, PORTER 14 TEXHOMA 22, Gruver, Texas 14 STRATFORD 24, Healdton 22 Hollis 42, HOOKER 6 Humboldt, Kan. 27, QUAPAW 14 Kiefer 42, REJOICE CHRISTIAN 14 CASHION 35, Mooreland 16 Mounds 28, GORE 7 THOMAS 21, Okeene 7 WAYNE 32, Okla. Christian Aca. 13 HINTON 24, Sayre 14 WYNNEWOOD 35, Velma-Alma 34 APACHE 37, Wilson 20 Class B Allen 56, MACOMB 6 Arkoma 38, GANS 26 Canadian 28, HAILEYVILLE 24 ALEX 44, Cyril 6 Garber 48, OAKS 20 Geary 56, BRAY-DOYLE 42 Keota 42, WELEETKA 34 WAURIKA 38, Maud 20 Maysville 56, STROTHER 22 SEILING 44, Merritt 28 CANTON 34, Pioneer 28 DEWAR 56, Porum 6 Ringwood 48, KREMLIN-HILLSDALE 8 WELCH 32, South Coffeyville 28 POND CREEK-HUNTER 48, Turpin 12 DAVENPORT 54, Watts 6 LAVERNE 58, Waukomis 20 WOODLAND 42, Wesleyan Christian 20 Wetumka 40, CADDO 28 Class C Balko 42, ROLLA, KAN. 28 BOKOSHE 28, Bowlegs 24 Cherokee 54, BUFFALO 8 RYAN 44, Corn Bible 28 Covington-Douglas 34, MEDFORD 30 Coyle 54, PRUE 16 BLUEJACKET 56, DC-Lamont 40 Fox 60, WEBBERS FALLS 14 DUKE 48, Gracemont 44 CAVE SPRINGS 28, Paoli 24 Regent Prep 54, COPAN 38 Sasakwa 42, MIDWAY 26 Shattuck 58, SHARON-MUTUAL 28 MT. VIEW-GOTEBO 38, SW Covenant 22 TIPTON 56, Temple 8 Thackerville 54, GRANDFIELD 52 Timberlake 34, WAYNOKA 24 BOISE CITY 40, Tyrone 14 Independent Destiny Christian 40, OKC PATRIOTS 16 CLAREMORE CHR. 42, Immanuel Chr. 14 Saturday’s Game Class 3A Douglass 28, MILLWOOD 24 *Home team in CAPS
Sep 8, 2014
PRIVATE SCHOOLS — Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City has filed a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Seconday School Activities Association regarding rules governing private schools, their success rate and their classification.
Bishop McGuinness files lawsuit against OSSAA
BY JACOB UNRUH, Staff Writer, email@example.com | Sep 8, 2014More than three years after the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association adopted rules regarding private schools and their success rate, Bishop McGuinness High School is fighting back. The school announced Monday morning that it has filed a federal lawsuit to challenge Rule 14, which was adopted by the organization’s member schools in 2011 and forces private schools to play one level above their average daily membership if the school meets certain criteria. McGuinness met the criteria in boys basketball after making the state tournament three of the past five seasons and is now scheduled to play at the Class 6A level along with the girls team, which has not had the same amount of success. That is what the school deems unfair in its lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. “I think the rule in total needs to be addressed,” McGuinness athletic director Gary Savely said. “We feel basically that the rule is not equitable. We’re good members of the OSSAA and have been for many years, but it treats us in a different way than it treats the other members.” KOTV-6 in Tulsa reported late Monday afternoon that Tulsa Kelley plans to file a similar lawsuit. McGuinness’ lawsuit says the rule is unconstitutional and in violation of McGuinness’ due process and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. It also says the rule violates the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act, while citing cases involving Christian Heritage and Sequoyah-Tahlequah with the OSSAA along with out-of-state cases. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled last fall that the OSSAA was “arbitrary and capricious” with its ruling against Sequoyah-Tahlequah in which football players were ruled ineligible and the team was forced to forfeit games. The new lawsuit uses the same wording multiple times about the enforcement of the rule, which includes years previous to it being approved. State Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, recently spearheaded a legislative bill regarding the OSSAA. He said Monday he felt like it was a matter of time before this lawsuit happened. “They discriminated against Christian schools all along,” he said. “Every bit of their rule discriminates against Christian schools and what they’ve done to Bishop McGuinness I think is pathetic. That’s just the organization. This organization is still out of control and it looks like there’s going to be nothing that’s going to solve this organization less than legislation at the Capitol because they cannot control themselves.” The rule change was a hot topic in 2011 as it went through an OSSAA committee and the board of directors before being approved by the member schools 265-49. McGuinness, however, did not vote on the rule change. Its ballot was deemed ineligible because it was not signed by a delegate. Still, the intention was to vote against it. Since then, school administrators have watched closely to see how everything evolved. When it became apparent the school would be affected this season, they began trying to work with the OSSAA to reach a resolution. “We tried to work through channels with the association to take a harder look at it and we did not want it to come to where it is today,” McGuinness principal David Morton said. “Our hope was we could change it or work with it internally and not deal with it in this manner.” OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said Monday afternoon he was still looking over the lawsuit, and the topic was added to Wednesday’s board meeting agenda as a discussion item in executive session. “We’re also going to go back and see how this affected McGuinness since Rule 14 was put into place,” Sheakley said. “I’ve got to talk to my board about it. It’s in rule. It’s not just McGuinness. It’s all of our other schools affected by Rule 14.” McGuinness’ average daily membership is 699.50, placing it at No. 61 in the state and firmly in the lower half of Class 5A. If in 6A for basketball, the Irish will have to play teams such as Broken Arrow, which is the state’s largest school with an ADM of 4,790.03. McGuinness’ legal team was expected to file for a temporary restraining order Monday evening. A judge has granted the OSSAA 21 days to respond once it is filed, Sheakley said. If granted, the restraining order will allow McGuinness to remain in Class 5A for all sports. It does not affect other private schools. Breaking down Rule 14 In 2011, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association put into effect a controversial rule regarding private schools within the organization. The rule affects what level a school plays at based on its success in a certain time period. It is known as Rule 14. Section B of the rule states that a member school shall be placed one sports classification above the classification in which the member school would be placed according to the Average Daily Membership if the member school meets any three of the following criteria: *The school has the ability to decline admission or enrollment to a student, even if the student and the student’s legal guardian reside within that school’s public school district or designated geographic area. *If the school is located within a 15-mile radius of a school placed in the 5A or 6A classification according to theADM. *Fewer than 25 percent of the children enrolled at the school in grades nine through 12 qualify for free or reduced lunches. *The school’s ADM in grades nine through 12 has increased by 50 percent or more over the previous three school years. Section C states that a school moved up one classification pursuant to the above criteria will be moved back down a classification in a particular activity if the school’s team has not finished among the top eight teams in at least three of the past five seasons. For basketball, soccer, cross country and track, both boys and girls teams remain together in each classification. The rule also states that no school can move more than one classification and no school can be moved to the highest classification in football, which is Class 6A.
BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (AP) — About 100 people turned out for a rally Friday night before a football game at an Ohio high school where students are accused of dumping a bucket of feces and body fluids on a special-needs student who thought he was taking part in the "Ice Bucket Challenge."Outraged police in the Cleveland suburb of Bay Village are pledging to bring charges against the students...
Ohio rally draws support for pranked student
Associated Press | Sep 5, 2014BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (AP) — About 100 people turned out for a rally Friday night before a football game at an Ohio high school where students are accused of dumping a bucket of feces and body fluids on a special-needs student who thought he was taking part in the "Ice Bucket Challenge." Outraged police in the Cleveland suburb of Bay Village are pledging to bring charges against the students responsible for the prank, which the student's mother discovered this week on his cellphone. Since then the incident has gained national publicity and has been shared on social media. The woman said her son was tricked into having feces, urine and spit dumped on him when other kids told him it was part of the popular fundraiser to benefit ALS. The local chapter of Autism Speaks joined supporters for Friday night's rally featuring anti-bullying signs and chants. "We wanted something positive to come out of a horrible act," Bay High graduate and rally organizer Elizabeth Sweeney told The Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/1pVItZ5). "We got an overwhelming response from everyone." Laura Hoffman, field development director for Autism Speaks in northeast Ohio, said during the day students would collect money for ALS research and Autism Speaks. Students are urging the entire community to wear blue in support of autism awareness. "Unfortunately, these horrifying incidents of bullying and abuse among individuals on the spectrum are far too common and completely unacceptable," C.J. Volpe, who works for the national chapter of Autism Speaks, said in a statement. "It is critical as a community that we work together to prevent such horrific incidents from occurring and that we learn to recognize and respond to them in ways that best support our loved ones with autism." School officials say the act isn't reflective of the Bay Village student body. They say many students and staff have taken part in the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to fight ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Officials don't know when the incident occurred, but police have identified suspects and continue to investigate.
Sep 5, 2014
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Maybe only a coincidence, but the Browns put rookie Johnny Manziel's locker in a corner near the equipment room, next to an NFL-issued poster that says: "Your Off-Field Conduct Matters."Lately, that message seems more intended for Manziel's critics than any reminder for the super-hyped young quarterback to behave.Manziel, who will open the season as Cleveland's backup behind...
Manziel fighting off critics as opener nears
TOM WITHERS, Associated Press | Sep 5, 2014BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Maybe only a coincidence, but the Browns put rookie Johnny Manziel's locker in a corner near the equipment room, next to an NFL-issued poster that says: "Your Off-Field Conduct Matters." Lately, that message seems more intended for Manziel's critics than any reminder for the super-hyped young quarterback to behave. Manziel, who will open the season as Cleveland's backup behind Brian Hoyer, has been the target of some harsh criticism from football analysts like Boomer Esiason and Merril Hoge. Earlier this week, Hoge, a former Pittsburgh running back who works for ESPN, lambasted Manziel, saying the former Heisman Trophy winner wasn't worthy of a first-round pick, looked lost during the preseason and doesn't belong on the field in Sunday's opener against the Steelers. Hoge took his condemnation even further, calling Manziel, "a juvenile punk." It's not the first time Manziel has been subjected to negativity, and he brought some of it on himself with his offseason partying. However, Hoge's remarks seemed more of a personal attack. "Everybody's entitled to their opinion," Manziel said following practice on Friday. "So Merril Hoge is entitled to that. I'm sorry he feels that way. He's never met me. I've never met him, so I guess he thinks I'm not a very good football player." Manziel has legions of supporters, who revere the college sensation known as Johnny Football and waiting for his chance to shine as a pro. And while Manziel feels loved by the Browns and in Cleveland, there's a sizeable group who want to see him fail. He knows he's a target, but Manziel doesn't feel compelled to prove his doubters wrong. "I don't think I need any more motivation than what is already out there," he said. "I'm sure that adds a little bit of fuel to the fire, but I'm already an extremely motivated person." For the first time in several years, Manziel enters the season as an understudy. He's ready in case Hoyer gets hurt or the Browns need him, and it's possible Manziel could get on the field against the Steelers with a set of plays designed to suit his skill set. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan wouldn't disclose if the Browns will use Manziel in any "Johnny Package," but said there could be a benefit to him getting a few snaps. "Yeah, I think it can work," said Shanahan. "Other people have done it. It's had success, so everything has a chance." Browns coach Mike Pettine said any decision to use a second quarterback "would be a feel thing. I don't think there would be a strict set of parameters for when to do it." Manziel's ready if the Browns need him. He's spent the week with Hoyer breaking down film of the Steelers, renowned for their ability to blitz quarterbacks, seasoned or not. Manziel doesn't have any nervousness and if he gets to play, he'll treat the game like anyone he's ever played in. "It's football, so you throw a pigskin with laces on it, you go against defenses that are running coverages," he said. "But at the same time, Pittsburgh, they're doing what they've been doing. Their defense has been doing this for a lot of years with a lot of the same guys. They're extremely talented." Although he won't be starting for the first time since his freshman year at Texas A&M, Manziel intends to help the Browns anyway he can. As Hoyer takes the real snaps, Manziel will be taking mental ones and interacting with Cleveland's coaches as another set of eyes on the sideline. "That's what it has to be about," he said. "This isn't about me getting in or anything like that, it's about helping this team and get a win on Sunday." The Browns have been pleased with Manziel's progress. There's no more talk about his off-field activities. Since training camp started and through the exhibition season, he's been a model citizen, good student and improving player. "Johnny's right where he needs to be," general manager Ray Farmer said. "We said this was going to be a process. We said he was going to get his opportunities, and we said that he was going to come in and compete. He did all of those things. He took the bull by the horns and he's where he needs to be. "As long as he continues to work hard, he's coming along at the rate that he needs to." Farmer is aware of the hits Manziel has been taking off the field and said "only time will tell" if the young QB will pan out. Farmer Is certain of one thing: the Browns will help Manziel succeed. "Johnny knows how we feel about him and he knows what's going on in this building," he said. "That's what we're focused on is keeping him focused on football. Right now, he's in the building, he's loving life, life is good. He's working hard and we're going to stay focused on that." NOTES: Pettine said he's ready for his coaching debut. "Hopefully, it's the first of many," he said. Pettine remembers losing his first game as a high school coach and beginning the season 0-3. He laughed when asked if he made a quarterback switch before the fourth game. "I did not," he said. ... The Browns will be thin on both lines Sunday as DL Desmond Bryant (wrist), DL John Hughes (hamstring) and OL Paul McQuistan (ankle) will not play. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Each week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last year’s record: 1,551-364 (81.0 pct.) Thursday Class 6A Edmond Memorial 28, SOUTHMOORE 24 NORMAN NORTH 31, Norman 13 Class 5A COLLINSVILLE 28, Oologah 20 Weatherford 44, SOUTHEAST 20 Class 4A Broken Bow 34, VALLIANT 6 Cleveland 40, HOMINY 8 ALMA (ARK.
High school football: The Oklahoman's Week 1 picks
By Scott Wright | Sep 3, 2014Each week, The Oklahoman’s Scott Wright will predict the score of every high school football game in the state. Last year’s record: 1,551-364 (81.0 pct.) Thursday Class 6A Edmond Memorial 28, SOUTHMOORE 24 NORMAN NORTH 31, Norman 13 Class 5A COLLINSVILLE 28, Oologah 20 Weatherford 44, SOUTHEAST 20 Class 4A Broken Bow 34, VALLIANT 6 Cleveland 40, HOMINY 8 ALMA (ARK.) 35, Poteau 20 Roland 35, MULDROW 10 Class 3A WASHINGTON 35, Bridge Creek 12 INOLA 28, Chelsea 13 VELMA-ALMA 22, Comanche 16 CASADY 42, Heritage Hall 38 Kingston 14, DICKSON 12 DOUGLASS 48, Northeast 12 Locust Grove 42, Salina 8 Class 2A Crescent 28, NEWKIRK 14 PANAMA 40, Gore 14 Hartshorne 44, HOLDENVILLE 12 Talihina 48, WILBURTON 6 Oklahoma Union 14, QUAPAW 13 Class A Carnegie 28, BURNS FLAT-DILL CITY 12 Class B GEARY 42, Canton 38 DEER CREEK-LAMONT 40, Kremlin-Hillsdale 22 POND CREEK-HUNTER 42, Medford 12 BLUEJACKET 48, Welch 20 Class C Shattuck 56, Pioneer JV 6 Friday Class 6A JENKS 56, Bixby 16 Choctaw 35, SAPULPA 20 PRYOR 28, Claremore 22 STILLWATER 30, Deer Creek 27 Edmond Santa Fe 24, EDMOND NORTH 20 Fayetteville (Ark.) 35, LAWTON EISENHOWER 14 Lawton 28, SALINA (KAN.) CENTRAL 21 McALESTER 42, Muskogee 28 Mustang 28, YUKON 21 BROKEN ARROW 31, Owasso 17 ENID 28, Ponca City 20 Putnam City 28, PUTNAM CITY NORTH 27 DEL CITY 42, Putnam City West 20 Tulsa East Central 28, BARTLESVILLE 24 SAND SPRINGS 40, Tulsa Hale 12 SOUTHLAKE (TEXAS) CARROLL 35, Tulsa Union 28 MIDWEST CITY 21, Tulsa Washington 20 Westmoore 35, MOORE 7 Class 5A Ada 14, ARDMORE 13 Ashdown (Ark.) 28, DURANT 24 ANADARKO 42, Chickasha 17 Coweta 28, WAGONER 27 GUTHRIE 27, Duncan 21 CALR ALBERT 21, El Reno 7 Grove 28, MIAMI 21 HUGOTON (KAN.) 24, Guymon 14 Lawton MacArthur 33, CLINTON 27 JOHN MARSHALL 32, Northwest Classen 13 Shawnee 28, MCGUINNESS 14 Skiatook 21, PIEDMONT 20 FORT GIBSON 28, Tahlequah 16 NOBLE 21, Tecumseh 14 TULSA MEMORIAL 28, Tulsa Central 12 TULSA KELLEY 34, Tulsa Edison 30 WESTERN HEIGHTS 28, U.S. Grant 22 Vernon (Texas) 27, ALTUS 21 Class 4A McLOUD 35, Bethel 14 TUTTLE 28, Blanchard 21 CUSHING 27, Bristow 24 PAMPA (TEXAS) 28, Elk City 18 Glenpool 35, BERRYHILL 34 SEMINOLE 28, Harrah 27 Hennessey 35, ELGIN 14 CASCIA HALL 28, Holland Hall 20 CACHE 20, Iowa Park (Texas) 17 VINITA 20, JAY 13 TULSA McLAIN 14, Mannford 7 Newcastle 28, PAULS VALLEY 14 Sallisaw 31, CATOOSA 28 CHRISTIAN HERITAGE 42, Santa Fe South 7 Spiro 28, STILWELL 24 METRO CHRISTIAN 35, Tulsa NOAH 27 Woodward 21, KINGFISHER 20 Class 3A Beggs 40, EUFAULA 14 Centennial 28, CAPITOL HILL 12 Chandler 24, OKMULGEE 14 Hartford (Ark.) 28, WESTVILLE 12 Heavener 21, ATOKA 14 STIGLER 28, Hilldale 21 Hugo 35, IDABEL 14 LINCOLN CHRISTIAN 48, Kansas 12 KIEFER 22, Kellyville 16 CHECOTAH 38, Keys (Park Hill) 8 LITTLE AXE 27, Lexington 24 PURCELL 28, Lindsay 21 LONE GROVE 41, Marietta 14 BETHANY 28, Marlow 21 Meeker 20, PRAGUE 18 HENRYETTA 22, Morris 20 CROOKED OAK 28, Mount St. Mary 24 Nowata 38, DEWEY 12 TULSA ROGERS 21, OKC Legion 18 VERDIGRIS 28, Pawhuska 22 SEQ.-CLAREMORE 21, Perkins-Tryon 14 Perry 30, BLACKWELL 14 Plainview 24, SANGER (TEXAS) 21 TULSA WEBSTER 34, SeeWorth Academy 6 OKEMAH 28, Seq.-Tahlequah 20 ADAIR 44, Sperry 21 MILLWOOD 21, Star Spencer 20 WYNNEWOOD 32, Sulphur 17 MADILL 28, Tishomingo 22 Class 2A Caney Valley 22, BARNSDALL 20 Chisholm 28, OKEENE 24 Chouteau 36, FOYIL 14 AFTON 24, Colcord 22 STROUD 28, Commerce 21 Frederick 21, ELECTRA (TEXAS) 20 HASKELL 14, Ketchum 13 MOUNDS 34, Liberty 12 Luther 28, TONKAWA 27 HOBART 42, Mangum 14 Minco 28, DIBBLE 12 OCS 24, RINGLING 20 MORRISON 35, Pawnee 16 Pocola 28, CENTRAL SALLISAW 21 HULBERT 14, Porter 7 Savanna 32, ANTLERS 20 Stratford 35, COALGATE 14 Thomas 21, ALVA 7 Walters 40, WILSON 16 Wellston 28, DRUMRIGHT 14 Wyandotte 42, FAIRLAND 14 Class A Apache 44, RUSH SPRINGS 20 TEXHOMA 28, Booker (Texas) 24 Central Marlow 20, SNYDER 16 Community Christian 31, OCA 20 Cordell 24, SAYRE 12 REJOICE CHRISTIAN 34, Crossings Christian 24 EMPIRE 28, Elmore City 21 OKLAHOMA BIBLE 21, Fairview 20 ELKHART (KAN.) 28, Hooker 14 KONAWA 30, Quinton 28 BEAVER 31, Stanton County (KAN.) 14 Summit Christian 35, WARNER 21 Watonga 28, HINTON 8 Wayne 35, HEALDTON 16 HOLLIS 42, Wellington (Texas) 21 CASHION 48, Yale 14 Class B Arkoma 44, BOKOSHE 8 ALEX 44, Caddo 38 Cave Springs 48, WATTS 8 Cherokee 56, PIONEER 0 Claremore Chr. 42, S. COFFEYVILLE 28 WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN 28, Copan 14 MERRITT 44, Corn Bible 24 GARBER 56, Covington-Douglas 20 Davenport 54, WELEETKA 34 Dewar 60, WOODLAND 28 DEPEW 38, Haileyville 34 Keota 56, IMMANUEL CHRISTIAN 14 CYRIL 44, Life Christian 28 SASAKWA 38, Macomb 6 Maud 56, BOWLEGS 6 Maysville 44, PAOLI 12 Mountain View-Gotebo 42, BRAY-DOYLE 6 Oaks 56, GANS 8 WEBBERS FALLS 48, Porum 8 Ryan 42, WAURIKA 12 Seiling 56, SHARON-MUTUAL 38 Strother 40, CANADIAN 32 RINGWOOD 56, Timberlake 38 Waukomis 56, BUFFALO 8 Wetumka 48, ALLEN 42 Class C WAYNOKA 38, Duke 28 Gracemont 40, PRUE 24 Grandfield 56, OKC PATRIOTS 14 BALKO 48, Moscow (Kan.) 18 DESTINY CHR. 44, Southwest Covenant 28 THACKERVILLE 56, Temple 12 Tipton 54, FOX 42 BOISE CITY 28, Wiley (Colo.) 24 Wright Christian 34, MIDWAY 28 Saturday Class 3A Victory Christian 42, JONES 28 (at Choctaw) Class 2A DAVIS 28, Vian 22 (at Choctaw) Class A Mooreland 42, CHISHOLM JV 14 Independent Missouri Deaf 54, OSD 48 *Home team in CAPS
Sep 3, 2014
COMMENTARY — The former Heritage Hall standout will miss the Broncos’ first four games this season because of a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. But the cloud of his violation doesn’t overshadow all the good that he has done and will continue to do in Oklahoma City.
What do we think of Wes Welker now?
By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Sep 3, 2014Shannon Hayes heard the news about the Wes Welker suspension. He also heard the crashes and clinks of the new equipment in Millwood High School’s weight room. What does the latter have to do with the former? Plenty. Hayes is the athletic director at Millwood, and earlier this year, the school received a grant from the Welker Foundation that, among other things, allowed it to add to the weight room. Every athlete at the school will use it at some point during the year. Every athlete will benefit from that grant. “It puts us in a whole different league,” Hayes said of the additional funds. The folks at Millwood aren’t the only ones in Oklahoma City who’ve become fans of Welker, on the cusp of his 11th season in the NFL. He gives lots of money here. He spends lots of time here. He does lots of good here. The hometown boy has made his hometown proud. Then on Tuesday, he got suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy — the wide receiver must sit out Denver’s first four games — and everyone in Oklahoma City is left trying to figure out how we’re supposed to look at Welker now. How do we wrap our heads around the good guy getting a black mark? How are we supposed to balance this first transgression with what we know of Welker? The NFL doesn’t provide details when it suspends a player, but reports have indicated that Welker had amphetamines in his system. The Denver Post reported the amphetamine was Adderall, while Pro Football Talk reported that while attending the Kentucky Derby, Welker took Molly that had been cut with amphetamines. Molly is the street name for MDMA, which is an active ingredient in Ecstasy. But Molly is rarely pure MDMA. It is most often cut by amphetamines, which could include Adderall. Welker was adamant Tuesday that he never took anything knowingly, telling the Denver Post that he wondered if someone put something in one of his drinks at the Derby. “I wouldn’t have any idea where to get a Molly or what a Molly is,” he said. We want to believe that. I’ll admit, I want to believe that. But what if Welker had grown up in Kansas City or Cleveland or San Francisco? What if he wasn’t our guy and we were reading his denials in Oklahoma City? We’d laugh and roll our eyes and say, “Just another athlete making an excuse.” Listen, I don’t know what happened, if Welker knowingly took something that he should’nt have or if someone trying to be a wisenheimer got him suspended. But I know this — this suspension puts a cloud over Welker. A massive, ominous thunderhead? No. More of a stray, gray nimbostratus. After all, this isn’t an arrest, isn’t Welker doing something that harms someone else. What’s more, this is very much out of character for him. Welker has been a straight-and-narrow character, and that has only added to his feel-good story. The undersized guy who became a superstar at Heritage Hall. The lightly recruited receiver who became an All-American at Texas Tech. The undrafted free agent who became one of the most productive receivers the NFL has ever seen. What’s more, Welker has been known as a guy who does things the right way, busting his butt and outworking his competition. That endeared the masses, whether he was in West Texas or New England, but here in hard-working, blue-collar-wearing Oklahoma City, it was particularly powerful. Thing is, Welker has loved on Oklahoma City almost as much as fans here have adored him. He often wears a hat adorned with Bronco Drilling, an Edmond company now owned by Chesapeake. He regularly professes his love of the Thunder, even wearing Thunder cowboy boots while playing for the Patriots and living in Celtics-crazy Boston. It’s been sweet. A violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy sours that. Not entirely. But some. It has to. No two ways around that. But for all that we don’t know about what got Welker into trouble, here’s what we do know: the cloud of his violation doesn’t overshadow all the good that he has done and will continue to do in Oklahoma City. Not even close. His foundation alone has given grants to 30 schools and groups around Oklahoma City over the better part of a decade. The money is given in an attempt to level the playing field for at-risk kids through sports, encouraging their full potential and exposing them to positive role models. Capitol Hill, John Marshall, Millwood and Cleats for Kids, which provides equipment to low-income kids, received grants this year. Combined total: $173,200. Average grant: $43,300. That’s significant. Just ask someone like Hayes at Millwood. The small independent district is a sports power, bringing home two or three state titles just about every year, but drawing from neighborhoods on the city’s northeast side, the school isn’t flush with funds. “We have a lot of inner-city kids and low-income families that we deal with,” Hayes said, “so we don’t always have the money for athletics.” With its Welker grant, Millwood not only bought that additional weight room equipment but also purchased a projector and screen so it could have a film room; water coolers that could be wheeled to and from practices and games; and nets to be placed behind the north end zone at the football stadium. A deep ravine at that end of the field has been gobbling up footballs for years. Millwood purchased some additional football helmets. It didn’t have enough to outfit all the kids who wanted to come out for the team before. Who knows the impact that could have? A boy who now gets to play might be motivated to keep his grades up and stay in school. He might graduate and increase his chances of being a productive citizen. Hypothetical, yes, but entirely possible, too. There is no doubt that Welker’s drug suspension taints things. His legacy isn’t as pristine. His career isn’t as feel-good. But in Oklahoma City, our well is deep where Welker is concerned. It took more than one good deed to fill it up, and it will take much more than one unsavory one to drain it. Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
Sep 2, 2014
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Just call him Kenny Trill.Many, including Johnny Manziel himself, started calling new Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill by the nickname Kenny Football after his record-setting, 511-yard passing game in an upset of South Carolina last week.But the sophomore quarterback says that's Manziel's thing — and he prefers Kenny Trill."I like that one," he said. "That one's...
Kenny Football? Texas A&M QB has his own nickname
KRISTIE RIEKEN, Associated Press | Sep 2, 2014COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Just call him Kenny Trill. Many, including Johnny Manziel himself, started calling new Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill by the nickname Kenny Football after his record-setting, 511-yard passing game in an upset of South Carolina last week. But the sophomore quarterback says that's Manziel's thing — and he prefers Kenny Trill. "I like that one," he said. "That one's cool." Before settling on Kenny Trill, Hill went through a laundry list of nicknames people have suggested since Thursday's game. "I heard there's Kenny Trill, Kenny Thrill, King of the Hill, Kenny Football, Kenny Chill, Kenny Touchdown," he said. "I mean there's too many of them." Though trill is a word to describe a vibratory sound, that's not what it means in rap culture. It's a hybrid of true and real and has long been used by Texas rapper Bun B, who calls himself Bun B Trill OG. "I know about Bun B and I know coach Sumlin has got a little relationship with Bun B," Hill said. "So hopefully he'll let me be Kenny Trill." Maybe that will happen one day, but for now Bun B isn't quite ready to sign off on the moniker. He tweeted: "Like the idea of "Kenny Trill" but I think @coachsumlin would agree one good game alone doesn't make you trill. He's on his way though!" Hill said scores of people have approached him for pictures. They won't get them: Hill said coach Kevin Sumlin told him not to take them because "Johnny got in so much trouble over pictures." Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner for Texas A&M, was suspended for the first half of the Aggies' season opener against Rice for what the school said was an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules involving signing autographs. He also received criticism after being photographed after the Cotton Bowl in a nightclub holding a bottle of champagne and more criticism when he posted a picture of himself with a wad of cash from gambling. Sumlin denied telling Hill that he wasn't allowed to take pictures. "I told the guys that if they ever want to pass the blame, blame it on me," Sumlin said with a laugh. "Johnny didn't do that a lot last year. Kenny already took advantage of that. But he needs to let me know. You've got something like that, just blame it on me. The next step is let me know." Texas A&M's coaching staff even got on board with the nickname on Monday. When asked about Hill's turning into a celebrity overnight, offensive coordinator Jake Spavital answered: "Kenny Trill, you mean?" Spavital said he didn't have any strong feelings about the nickname, but knew that he didn't want to copy Manziel's nickname. "That's none of my business, but I knew he didn't want Kenny Football and that's the main thing," Spavital said. "Kenny Trill, I had to ask him what trill meant." Hill was named Manziel's replacement on Aug. 16 after beating out freshman Kyle Allen for the job left vacant when Manziel left early for the NFL and a backup job with the Cleveland Browns. Hill saw limited action last season, throwing for 183 yards and a touchdown in four games. He was the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Southlake Carroll High School after throwing for 2,291 yards and 20 touchdowns, and running for 905 yards and 22 scores. He and the ninth-ranked Aggies play their first game at the newly renovated Kyle Field on Saturday when they host Lamar.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Get to the quarterback.That's the goal this season for Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Jarvis Jones. It doesn't matter how he does it, either."No matter how you get there, you just have to get there," Jones said.The Steelers hope to see just that starting Sunday when they welcome the Cleveland Browns to Heinz Field for their season opener.Jones displayed flashes...
Jones' mantra: Get to the quarterback
DAN SCIFO, Associated Press | Sep 2, 2014PITTSBURGH (AP) — Get to the quarterback. That's the goal this season for Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Jarvis Jones. It doesn't matter how he does it, either. "No matter how you get there, you just have to get there," Jones said. The Steelers hope to see just that starting Sunday when they welcome the Cleveland Browns to Heinz Field for their season opener. Jones displayed flashes during the preseason. He sacked Eli Manning in the first game against the New York Giants and, in the team's finale, recovered a fumbled snap that went 15 yards past Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson. Jones is ready for more against the Browns. "That's what we look forward to, being able to play some real football and actually fight for something," Jones said. "This one right here, Week 1, we're playing against a top opponent in our division and we can't afford to start slow. "You have to be hitting on all cylinders because everything counts from here on out." Jones, the No. 17 pick in the 2013 draft, carried a reputation for reaching the passer at Georgia, totaling 28 sacks in 26 games, good for third in school history. But he struggled in his rookie season with just one sack, four passes deflected and 41 tackles in 14 games. "I wasn't productive and it hurt," Jones said. "I'm not used to being in that position. Ever since I started playing football in high school, I've always been successful. "It was humbling, but at the same time it makes you work harder. That's the approach I take." Jones has focused more on his mental approach to the game, spending additional time in the film room, studying formations, techniques, tendencies and more. The extra time helps, particularly in a week like this one when Jones will face Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, considered one of the best in the league. "When you get to the NFL, you're playing against guys that have been in the league for 10 years," Jones said. "I think most people try to play this game on the physical side, but it's the mental side that makes you a Pro Bowler and a Hall of Famer." That's where Jones eventually wants to land. He wants to be mentioned alongside the likes of James Harrison, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year who retired over the weekend fourth in team history with 64 sacks. "When you look at it, he's one of the best players to ever play this game," Jones said. "When you win Defensive Player of the Year in this league it means something. "When you talk about someone who had 60-plus sacks, defensive player of the league . I've got a long way to go and I'm nowhere near there. So for myself I have to continue to work, continue to try to get better and do the things my coaches and teammates ask of me." Reaching the quarterback is a big part of the job description, and Jones knows it. "Everybody puts me as a pass rusher, so that's the main thing everybody wants to see me produce this year," Jones said. Jones is ready to answer the call. The disappointments of last season are a distant memory, replaced by the optimism of an impressive preseason and a new start against the Browns on Sunday. "We got a good defense here and I believe we can be great," Jones said. "We have a lot to improve on, and that's going to be there no matter how good you are, but I think we have a great defense. We just have to go out and prove it." NOTES: The Steelers will honor former coach Chuck Noll this season with a commemorative decal on the back of their helmets. Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, passed away in June. . The players selected quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as offensive captain for the sixth time in his career. Safety Troy Polamalu was voted defensive captain for the first time. Safety Robert Golden and kicker Shaun Suisham are the special teams captains. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Police say fights on the field and in the stands forced the stoppage of a season-opening high school football matchup in Ohio.The game between Garfield Heights and Collinwood was in the third quarter Friday night when officials halted play because of an on-field altercation and two more in the stands. At least three people were arrested.Garfield Heights City...
Ohio prep football game halted after fights
Associated Press | Aug 29, 2014GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Police say fights on the field and in the stands forced the stoppage of a season-opening high school football matchup in Ohio. The game between Garfield Heights and Collinwood was in the third quarter Friday night when officials halted play because of an on-field altercation and two more in the stands. At least three people were arrested. Garfield Heights City Schools said in a statement that the decision to stop play was appropriate and any students involved will be dealt with "swiftly and appropriately." Garfield Heights is located a couple miles southeast of Cleveland.
Aug 27, 2014
MEET THE COMMITTEE — A look at the 13 members of the College Football Playoff committee, their backgrounds and their qualifications.
College Football Playoff: The background and biases of the men and woman who will decide
BY BERRY TRAMEL | Aug 27, 2014BARRY ALVAREZ * Age: 67 * Current job: Wisconsin athletic director * Hometown: Langeloth, Pa. * Alma mater: Nebraska * Former jobs: Wisconsin head coach, Notre Dame assistant coach, Iowa assistant coach and high school coach in Iowa and Nebraska. * Qualifications: The father of a program. Alvarez turned Wisconsin into a nationally-relevant program. * Regional bias: An upper Midwest man all the way. MICHAEL GOULD * Age: 60 * Current job: Retired Lieutenant General. * Hometown: Kent, Ohio * Alma mater: Air Force Academy, Webster University * Former jobs: Air Force officer. * Qualifications: Fresh perspective, as an administrator of a regal institution but no ties to big-time college football. * Regional bias: Nothing discernible. Air Force is a national institution. PAT HADEN * Age: 61 * Current job: Southern Cal athletic director * Hometown: La Puente, Calif. * Alma mater: Southern Cal, Loyola (Calif.) Law School, Oxford University * Former jobs: Director of companies with Riordan, Lewis & Harden, a private equity firm; football analyst with NBC, CBS, Fox and TNT; Los Angeles Rams quarterback. * Qualifications: TV work allowed Haden to see college football all over the nation. * Regional bias: Hard to imagine anyone more tied to one area than Haden to California. TOM JERNSTEDT * Age: 68 * Current job: Retired * Hometown: Carlton, Ore. * Alma mater: Oregon * Former jobs: NCAA director of events, NCAA executive vice president, Oregon administration. * Qualifications: As well as anyone on Earth, knows how championships are supposed to work. * Regional bias: Virtually none. Forty years in the NCAA will make a guy respectful of all, fan of none. JEFF LONG * Age: 53 * Current job: Arkansas athletic director * Hometown: Kettering, Ohio * Alma mater: Ohio Wesleyan, Miami-Ohio * Former jobs: Pitt AD, OU associate AD, Eastern Kentucky AD, Virginia Tech associate AD, Michigan administration, Rice assistant coach, Duke assistant coach, North Carolina State assistant coach. * Qualifications: Worked in football and athletics all over the country. * Regional bias: If Long isn’t beholding to the SEC, he better get that way quick. In case you haven’t noticed, provincialism is a requirement to work in the South. OLIVER LUCK * Age: 54 * Current job: West Virginia athletic director * Hometown: Cleveland * Alma mater: West Virginia, Texas * Former jobs: CEO of Houston Sports Authority, which oversees that city's major-league venues; commissioner of NFL Europe; general manager of World League of American football teams; practicing attorney in Germany. * Qualifications: A premier athlete, now an administrator and a really smart guy. Hard to ask for more. * Regional bias: A Big 12 man, you would think, but his son quarterbacked Stanford, so Luck is more diversified than most. ARCHIE MANNING * Age: 65 * Current job: Motivational speaker and public relations and consulting for a variety of companies in New Orleans and nationally. * Hometown: Drew, Miss. * Alma mater: Ole Miss * Former jobs: NFL quarterback with the Saints, Oilers and Vikings. * Qualifications: A football icon for going on 50 years and a man of unquestioned character. * Regional bias: The embodiment of the ideal Southern gentleman. No Yankee blood here. TOM OSBORNE * Age: 77 * Current job: Retired * Hometown: Hastings, Neb. * Alma mater: Hastings College, Nebraska * Former jobs: Nebraska athletic director, U.S. congressman, Nebraska assistant and head coach, NFL receiver with the Redskins and 49ers. * Qualifications: As great a coach as God ever made, plus a U.S. Congressman, for what that’s worth. * Regional bias: Nobody’s ever been more Nebraskan, but the real bias is, Dr. Tom is not too partial to the University of Texas. DAN RADAKOVICH * Age: 56 * Current job: Clemson athletic director * Hometown: Monaca, Pa. * Alma mater: Indiana (Pa.), Miami (Fla.) * Former jobs: Georgia Tech AD, LSU associate AD, American University AD, South Carolina associate AD, Long Beach State associate AD, Miami administration. * Qualifications: Administrator at many schools, large and small. * Regional bias: An ACC man, of course, but a man who worked at South Carolina and eventually was hired by Clemson must have some scruples. CONDOLEEZZA RICE * Age: 59 * Current job: Stanford professor of political science * Hometown: Denver * Alma mater: University of Denver, Notre Dame * Former jobs: U.S. Secretary of State, Stanford provost, Soviet expert on the U.S. National Security Council, Stanford professor. * Qualifications: Deciding between UCLA and Ohio State would seem to be no big deal after you’ve helped bring down the Iron Curtain. MIKE TRANGHESE * Age: 69 * Current job: Retired * Hometown: Springfield, Mass. * Alma mater: St. Michael's College * Former jobs: Big East commissioner, Big East administration, Providence administration, American International College administration. * Qualifications: For more than 30 years, on the inside of major decisions on the athletic landscape. * Regional bias: Absolutely an Eastern man, but since this is football, who cares? STEVE WIEBERG * Age: 59 * Current job: Writer, editor, Kansas City public library * Hometown: Martinsburg, Mo. * Alma mater: Missouri * Former jobs: USA Today sportswriter, Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader sportswriter, Mexico (Mo.) Ledger sportswriter. * Qualifications: A national college football writer for USA Today, which means he’s been thinking about these kinds of decisions far longer than anyone else on the committee. * Regional bias: A Missourian and a Big 12 insider, which in this day and age spreads the loyalties. TYRONE WILLINGHAM * Age: 59 * Current job: Retired * Hometown: Jacksonville, N.C. * Alma mater: Michigan State * Former jobs: Washington U. head coach, Notre Dame head coach, Stanford head coach, Minnesota Vikings assistant, Stanford assistant, Rice assistant, North Carolina State assistant, Michigan State assistant, Central Michigan assistant. * Qualifications: Coached under a huge microscope — Notre Dame’s first black coach. Should be able to handle the pressure of the committee. * Regional bias: Grew up on Tobacco Road, worked in the Midwest and the Pacific. Hard to see too much allegiance.
Aug 22, 2014
CLEVELAND (AP) — Even in Cleveland, League Park probably doesn't mean much to a casual baseball fan. The former home of the Cleveland Indians sat neglected and largely forgotten for decades in a not-so-well-traveled east side neighborhood.But the persistence and, after her death, the memories of a longtime Cleveland councilwoman kept her dream alive to restore the park where Cy Young threw the...
Historic Cleveland ballpark gets new shot at life
MARK GILLISPIE, Associated Press | Aug 22, 2014CLEVELAND (AP) — Even in Cleveland, League Park probably doesn't mean much to a casual baseball fan. The former home of the Cleveland Indians sat neglected and largely forgotten for decades in a not-so-well-traveled east side neighborhood. But the persistence and, after her death, the memories of a longtime Cleveland councilwoman kept her dream alive to restore the park where Cy Young threw the first pitch in 1891 and where Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run. And on Saturday, the city and baseball fans will celebrate its reopening. Fannie Lewis died in 2008, but those who knew her well can still hear her hectoring council colleagues and administration officials like an outraged baseball manager to raise dollars for the project. Cleveland public works director Michael Cox laughed when he recalled how hard Lewis fought for League Park. "If she disagreed with you, she would fight you tooth and nail," Cox said. The city has spent $6.3 million to make League Park once again a handsome place to play baseball. Cox remembers playing baseball on what was left of the field in the late 1950s and early '60s, unaware of the historical significance of the turf beneath his feet. The Indians last played at League Park in 1946 and the Negro Leagues' Cleveland Buckeyes in 1950. The Cleveland Rams of the National Football League played four regular-season games there en route to an NFL title in 1945. The Buckeyes won the Negro League World Series that same year, a feat that white-owned Cleveland newspapers largely ignored. Most of League Park was demolished in 1951, but the Browns continued to practice football there into the 1960s. In a nod to modernity and the vagaries of Cleveland's spring weather, the entire playing surface is now covered in field turf to prevent rainouts of high school games. There are metal bleachers that can hold a couple hundred people instead of the grandstands that seated more than 20,000. The old ticket office, which housed a commercial laundry for a time, will become the new home for Cleveland's Baseball Heritage Museum. The only other remnant from the original park is a brick wall that runs along East 66th Street. The quirky dimensions of the original field have been maintained. The right field line is just 290 feet away, topped with a 40-foot-high fence to replicate the high wall that once stood there. Babe Ruth hit his 500th homer over that wall onto Lexington Avenue in 1929, just a few months before the world was plunged into the Great Depression. Straightaway center field is 460 feet from home plate and the left field line stretches 375 feet, both abnormally long distances in the modern baseball era. Pete Shimrak said he watched his first Indians game at League Park in 1939 when he was 7 years old. The pitching match-up, he said, was Indians' all-star right-hander Mel Harder versus the formidable Bobo Newsom of the Detroit Tigers. It was a different era, Shimrak said. Men dressed in suits, ties and hats. The team didn't draw well, and given the park's cozy design, "Every seat was a good seat," Shimrak said. He recalled attending a game on Aug. 14, 1945, and hearing the public address announcer tell the sparse crowd of 2,000 that World War II had come to a merciful end. People stood clapping and celebrating for a long time. Indians players and coaches joined their opponents, the Boston Red Sox, on the field to hug and congratulate one another. Shimrak said he saw many of the American League greats play at League Park before teams were stripped of their stars by the war. He recalled watching the Red Sox's Ted Williams, perhaps the game's greatest hitter, hit a ball over the right field wall and onto the street. Now 82, Shimrak ended up having more than just a rooting interest in baseball. He was a minority owner of the Indians from 1972 to 1986 and had a piece of basketball's Cleveland Cavaliers franchise at a time. Shimrak thinks the Yankees' Joe DiMaggio was the greatest player he ever saw. League Park and "Joltin' Joe" are forever entwined in baseball lore. It was the site of the final game of his 56-game hitting streak. "I hated them then," Shimrak said of Williams and DiMaggio. "But now I'm so glad I got to watch them play."
Aug 22, 2014
Cunningham walks with a cane and talks with a stutter. When he’s walking and talking. Cunningham currently is in the Intensive Care Unit of Denton Regional Medical Center, just off a ventilator, recovering from cardiac arrest, and yet another blood clot, and more pulmonary embolism, which blocks his lungs. Cunningham’s doctor tells him he suffers from post-concussion syndrome.
Post-concussion syndrome robs former Tulsa basketball player J.R. Cunningham of a normal life
By Berry Tramel | Aug 22, 2014ARGYLE, Texas — The first time J.R. Cunningham fell, back in June 2011, he didn’t even want to go to the hospital. Cunningham was young and healthy and vibrant. He didn’t know his brain was damaged. Didn’t know why his world-class memory had been slipping some over the years. Didn’t know his life was about to change. Now Cunningham walks with a cane and talks with a stutter. When he’s walking and talking. Cunningham currently is in the Intensive Care Unit of Denton Regional Medical Center, just off a ventilator, recovering from cardiac arrest, and yet another blood clot, and more pulmonary embolism, which blocks his lungs. Cunningham’s doctor tells him he suffers from post-concussion syndrome. Cunningham has lost his job. He’s lost his home. Cunningham’s wife, Angela, takes care of him, even to the point of helping him up and down from a chair. He hasn’t driven in two years. Most days are Groundhog Day; he lies down for hours on end, trying to evade the headaches that haven’t left him since that first time he fell, getting out only for medical trips and when he can summon the strength to make one of his kids’ ballgames or dance recitals. J.R. Cunningham is 38 years old. And in July, Cunningham filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in Dallas’ federal court, alleging neglect in the treatment of concussions. Cunningham attended both Arizona State and the University of Tulsa. But he didn’t play football. Basketball was his game. * * * J.R. Cunningham lived 21/2 blocks from Edmond Memorial High School. So even as a little kid — who was big for his age — he would wander down to the Bulldog practice. “He used to come up after school and shoot free throws with my high school team when he was a little guy,” said Mike de la Garza, who spent 22 years as the Memorial coach. “He was really tall and real verbal and would talk to people. He always had a very vibrant personality. I had him in basketball camp for years and years and years.” Cunningham was camper of the week in his final summer to attend de la Garza’s camp. Cunningham made two foul shots with one second left to win the camp’s title game. De la Garza handed Cunningham the award and said, “You’re going to make a one-and-one for us one day, and we’re going to win a state championship.” In March 1993, de la Garza was proven prophet. In the Class 5A state championship game in Tulsa, the 6-foot-7 Cunningham had 32 points and 10 rebounds and sank two foul shots with four seconds left to give Edmond Memorial a 68-67 victory over Bartlesville. A star was born. “He was so good, especially his senior year, he had to battle just to get the ball,” de la Garza said. “Every defense was set up just to stop him. He was a tough, tough kid. Played hard. Never backed down from anybody.” Cunningham eventually signed with Arizona State, didn’t like it much, transferred back to St. Gregory’s when the Shawnee school was a junior college and finally Cunningham arrived at Tulsa U. in 1996. He had nine points off the bench in TU’s 78-75 victory over OU in the 1996 All-College championship game. The next season, Bill Self became the Tulsa coach, for Cunningham’s senior season. “J.R. was a tough kid,” Self said. “He didn’t have the greatest natural athletic ability. He had to fight and scratch and claw for everything. He was one of those guys that had to play a physical style in order to get a lot done.” But Cunningham’s aggression came at a cost. He suffered multiple concussions at both Arizona State and St. Gregory’s. They weren’t necessarily diagnosed as such back then, because not even the NFL was on the lookout for concussions. But Cunningham is convinced that’s what they were. “Most of ‘em were either elbows to the head or going for loose ball or hitting your head on the floor,” Cunningham said. “As they’ve come to realize, once you have a few of them, it becomes easy to get more. Not really having any protocol or anything like that for the doctors or coaches to follow, they might say, ‘OK, the next day you’re fine to go, when my brain definitely wasn’t able to go.’” Cunningham suffered more concussions at Tulsa. Cunningham missed the first part of his senior season but said Self was anxious to speed up the recovery process. “Suddenly, I was cleared to play,” Cunningham said. “I wanted to play. They needed me to be good.” Cunningham played in TU’s rout of Nebraska on Dec. 1, 1997, then in practice the next day, his career ended. “We were doing a pick drill, and I got somehow got flipped around,” said Cunningham, whose short-term memory is shaky but whose memory of long-ago events remains strong. “Our best player was Michael Ruffin; he weighed about 270. My head hit into his knee, and I just kind of plopped to the ground.” Cunningham knew this one was bad. It took awhile for him to even get up. He estimates he was mentally out of it for six hours. Cunningham went to see Dr. James Rodgers, a neurosurgeon whose son played on the TU team. Rodgers performed the first MRI on Cunningham, but it revealed nothing. Cunningham told Rodgers what had been happening. How the concussions were coming more frequently, without necessarily heavy contact. Cunningham asked the doctor if he would let his son play with a similar history. Rodgers said no. “That kind of helped me come to a decision,” Cunningham said. He would play basketball no more. His head hurt. He didn’t finish his schoolwork until July. “I just had no cognitive ability,” Cunningham said. But the headaches went away, and Cunningham went on about the business of life. Self, now at Kansas and one of the nation’s top coaches, is crestfallen at what’s happened to his former player. “This is terrible to say, but I don’t know that we as basketball coaches concerned ourselves close to the level that we are now,” Self said of concussion awareness. “Although we don’t have our arms around it, we’ve got a much better understanding of it. Obviously, today things would be handled so differently. “This was a thriving, tough-ass, 6-7, 230-pound strong man. To see what he’s going through now…” * * * Angela and J.R. met on a blind date, at a George Strait concert. She was a teacher in Lewisville, he a pharmaceutical rep working in Oklahoma City. They hit it off, he asked to be transferred to the Dallas area in 2000 and they were married in 2002. Soon enough, children Braedyn (now 10), Rylan (8) and Ashlynn (6) followed. Life was good. Cunningham was successful and healthy. He worked out, even played some basketball, trimmed down from his playing weight of 225. But Angela didn’t know that her husband still didn’t feel right, even though he told her from the start about the depression medication Dr. Rodgers had put him on. “It did get better,” Cunningham said from that last Tulsa concussion. “I got over it and had some cognitive ability, but I wouldn’t say my brain has been right since then. I would notice things, even with memory, I could see where it was slipping a little bit.” And then Cunningham fell and passed out at a business meeting in June 2011. He felt sheepish. Tried to wave off the ambulance. But by that night, Cunningham learned he had a blood clot in his leg and two clogged lungs. “I was very lucky to be alive,” he said. Cunningham went back to work a few months later but the headaches persisted and he kept falling. Doctors have told him that when the pain reaches a certain level, down he goes. Cunningham has a pump attached to his body for pain medication that helps some. He figures he’s fallen 30 times in the last three years, including once down the stairs, which injured his back and compounded his health problems. Cunningham went on long-term disability, which he’s grateful for but which has severely cut his family’s income. The Cunninghams lost their home and now rent a house in this nice suburb south of Denton. “It’s been tough,” said Angela Cunningham. “It’s affected the kids. He can’t do the stuff with the kids he wants to do. It’s been difficult. It was like overnight, everybody takes on different roles in the house.” Cunningham has been to the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins, seeking relief. Not much hope is offered. Cunningham has tried to join concussion study projects at Boston University, Vanderbilt and the University of Texas-Dallas. He says he’s been rejected because he wasn’t a football player. In March, the Cunninghams saw a commercial for Houston attorney Jeff Raizner, who has clients suffering from concussion-related conditions. Raizner said there are some class-action lawsuits pending that address medical monitoring for former athletes suffering from post-concussion syndrome, but those cases “won’t address the obvious financial and family impacts, the personal injuries that J.R. and other men and women have experienced. It really is inadequate.” Raizer said there are important distinctions between NFL players and college athletes. “NFL players have workers compensation and union representation,” Raizner said. “College athletes don’t have either one of those. That places a greater responsibility with the NCAA to be candid with these athletes. There is no safety net.” Cunningham said suing the NCAA, instead of individual schools, is proper “because I don’t think the NCAA did a great job of teaching the coaches and the trainers. The doctors don’t really come into effect in basketball practice. There’s not that knowledge out there to protect the player as I think there should have been.” Cunningham tried to keep his problems to himself. Self and de la Garza didn’t even know how badly Cunningham was until contacted in the last few days. Self immediately called Cunningham and de la Garza planned to head for Texas to visit. “I honestly tried to keep it to myself for awhile,” Cunningham said. “I don’t want to use the word embarrassing, but when you’re going through financial issues and not able to work, it’s pretty hard on you mentally.” A couple of weeks ago, Cunningham sat in his house and told his story. Glimpses of his old personality shone through, despite the stuttering that has afflicted him. He remains a big sports fan — OU football, Thunder — and is proud that he played for men like Self and de la Garza. But the blood keeps clotting, and his head keeps hurting, and his memory comes and goes. And now his condition has even worsened. “I’m very much a worrier to start with,” Cunningham said. “My physical condition is a worry. I certainly worry for myself. But I worry more about what it’s doing to my kids and my wife. Because they don’t deserve this. They didn’t sign up for this.” Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Joe Mixon might not be part of Oklahoma’s football team for now, but Mixon was at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Thursday. After the Sooners finished up an open practice and interaction with students, Mixon was seen walking off the field with Sooners’ Director of High School Relations Rajeeb Hossain. During the practice, Mixon was in […]
Mixon seen at Owen Field after Sooners' practice
Ryan Aber | Aug 21, 2014Joe Mixon might not be part of Oklahoma’s football team for now, but Mixon was at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Thursday. After the Sooners finished up an open practice and interaction with students, Mixon was seen walking off the field with Sooners’ Director of High School Relations Rajeeb Hossain. During the practice, Mixon was in the stands with other OU students. Mixon, a five-star running back from Oakley, Calif., was suspended for a year on Monday, shortly after pleading not guilty to a misdemeanor in Cleveland County District Court. Mixon, who was charged with one count of “act resulting in gross injury,” is scheduled to be back in court Sept. 23. He has reportedly been attending class this week, likely signaling he intends to stay in school in Norman.
Joe Mixon might not be part of Oklahoma's football team for now, but Mixon was at Gaylord Family—Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Thursday. After the Sooners finished up an open practice and interaction with students, Mixon was seen walking off the field with Sooners Director of High School Relations Rajeeb Hossain. Mixon, a five-star running back from Oakley, Calif., was suspended for a year on...
Oklahoma football: Joe Mixon attends open practice
By Jason Kersey and Ryan Aber | Aug 21, 2014Joe Mixon might not be part of Oklahoma's football team for now, but Mixon was at Gaylord Family—Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Thursday. After the Sooners finished up an open practice and interaction with students, Mixon was seen walking off the field with Sooners Director of High School Relations Rajeeb Hossain. Mixon, a five-star running back from Oakley, Calif., was suspended for a year on Monday, shortly after pleading not guilty to a misdemeanor in Cleveland County District Court. Mixon, who was charged with one count of “act resulting in gross injury,” is scheduled to be back in court Sept. 23. He has reportedly been attending class this week, likely signaling he intends to stay in school in Norman. STOOPS, BOREN COMPLETE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE Coach Bob Stoops, his assistants and university president David Boren all completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after practice Thursday on Owen Field. Senior defensive end Chuka Ndulue poured the ice-cold water on Stoops’ head, while senior cornerback Julian Wilson doused Boren. Stoops and Boren had both been challenged by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. Stoops also was challenged by South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, Marist women’s basketball coach Brian Giorgis and his brother, Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops. Before he was doused, Stoops challenged OU athletic director Joe Castiglione, former OU coach Barry Switzer and country music star Toby Keith.
Aug 20, 2014
CLEVELAND (AP) — Kent State football player Jason Bitsko, who was slated to start at center for the Golden Flashes this season, died Wednesday.Police believe he passed away from an undetermined medical issue, the school said. The school said in a release the 21-year-old Bitsko was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his off-campus apartment shortly before 9 a.m.When Bitsko failed to show up at...
Kent State starting center dies at 21
TOM WITHERS, Associated Press | Aug 20, 2014CLEVELAND (AP) — Kent State football player Jason Bitsko, who was slated to start at center for the Golden Flashes this season, died Wednesday. Police believe he passed away from an undetermined medical issue, the school said. The school said in a release the 21-year-old Bitsko was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his off-campus apartment shortly before 9 a.m. When Bitsko failed to show up at practice, calls were placed to Bitsko's roommate, who called 911 after finding Bitsko in his bed. Brimfield Police arrived on the scene within three minutes of the call. Bitsko was in his fourth year with the Golden Flashes. He started all 12 games in 2013, and received an award during this year's spring game for "exemplifying hard work and dedication." "Kent State University and the entire Kent community mourns his passing," said Joel Nielsen, the school's athletic director. "We are heartbroken by the news of Jason's death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, teammates and everyone whose lives he touched." Bitsko played at Huber Heights High School, the alma mater of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. Bitsko's teammates were informed of Bitsko's death at the end of the morning practice. "Our players, coaches and everyone involved with our team are hurting because he was family," coach Paul Haynes said. "As a team, we will come together and get through this one day at a time." The school said it is providing counseling services and support to student-athletes and athletic staff members to cope with the tragedy. The last post on Bitsko's Twitter account — @isthatbitsko — was dated Aug. 14: "There are 86,400 seconds in a day. Make sure you use one of those to thank god for everything you have #stayfocused," it read.
Aug 16, 2014
Oklahoma freshman running back Joe Mixon will be arraigned on a single misdemeanor count of acts resulting in gross injury on Monday, when he is expected to turn himself in, said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.
Oklahoma football notebook: Joe Mixon to be arraigned Monday
BY JASON KERSEY AND RYAN ABER | Aug 16, 2014Oklahoma freshman running back Joe Mixon will be arraigned on a single misdemeanor count of acts resulting in gross injury on Monday, when he is expected to turn himself in, said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn. Monday is an important day for Mixon, because that’s also when OU begins classes for the fall semester. OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said his department is conducting its own internal review and will decide Mixon’s future with the university soon. It’s unclear at this time if he will attend class Monday. The former five-star prospect from Oakley, Calif., hasn’t practiced with the team at all this fall after an early morning incident July 25 at Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe, where Mixon was alleged to have punched a 20-year-old female OU student in the face, causing severe injury. Mixon’s attorney, Kevin Finlay, says his client acted in self defense. “It is important to Joe and his family that he continues toward his goal of becoming a successful student-athlete both on and off the field at the University of Oklahoma,” Finlay said in a statement Friday. “Joe looks forward to the opportunity to clear his name and put this unfortunate situation behind him.” BACKUP QB BATTLE ONGOING The battle to be quarterback Trevor Knight’s backup is continuing beyond fall camp, which wrapped up Friday. Redshirt freshman Cody Thomas and true freshman Justice Hansen — a former Edmond Santa Fe standout — are competing to be the Sooners’ second-team quarterback. Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield, however, could make things interesting if he wins his appeal with the NCAA for immediate eligibility. Mayfield was the Big 12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2013 and played well in Oklahoma’s spring game four months ago. “They compete hard,” OU co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said last week of Thomas and Hansen. “They want to be better. They push for it every single day. The next week-and-a-half is gonna be critical for those guys to make the strides that we need them to to be ready to play.” EVANS, ALEXANDER HAVE SIMILARITIES Sophomore linebackers Jordan Evans and Dominique Alexander each came to Oklahoma as athletic guys who had played other positions in high school. “Me and Dom are both the same kinda players,” Evans said. “We’re athletes that are playing linebacker. We’ve made the transition to linebacker, but we’ve never lost our athleticism. It helps us out when we’re playing against fast receivers. Being big and strong definitely helps us out against big, running offenses.” Alexander, a Tulsa Washington product, started eight games last year after Corey Nelson’s season-ending injury and recorded 80 tackles. Evans, from Norman North, played behind Frank Shannon, and could be in line to start this season if Shannon is unavailable while appealing his one-year university suspension. “Great Oklahoma kids who play hard and work hard,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said of Alexander and Evans. “Those are two guys who really get after it, are good to coach. They understand the importance of what they do and what they represent. They've always carried themselves way beyond their years, and we're starting to see that physical and mental maturity develop on the football field.”
Aug 11, 2014
NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma’s internal Title IX investigation into an alleged sexual assault against linebacker Frank Shannon resulted in a one-year suspension, according to a statement issued by university president David Boren on Monday afternoon. According to Boren’s statement, though, “the university is unable to enforce its process at this time. The University has and is taking...
OU 'seeking to enforce' one-year suspension of Frank Shannon
jason kersey | Aug 11, 2014NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma’s internal Title IX investigation into an alleged sexual assault against linebacker Frank Shannon resulted in a one-year suspension, according to a statement issued by university president David Boren on Monday afternoon. According to Boren’s statement, though, “the University is unable to enforce its process at this time. The University has and is taking every legal step possible to move this process forward. “The University is currently seeking to enforce its decision so that it may be in compliance with federal law requiring responses by institutions to such matters in a timely manner. With the fall semester beginning August 18, time is of the essence.” Boren said in the statement that federal law prohibits him from discussing the case further. KERSEY: Where's Frank Shannon? A look into the Title IX appeals process The university’s process concluded on June 18, resulting in the one-year suspension from both school and athletic activities for Shannon. Shannon was Oklahoma’s leading tackler on last year’s Sugar Bowl championship team. The junior played high school football at Dallas’ Skyline High School. According to a Title IX sexual misconduct allegation report obtained in April by The Oklahoman, a female OU student accused Shannon of sexually assaulting her at an off-campus apartment in January. Cleveland County district attorney Greg Mashburn declined to prosecute the case, saying the alleged victim didn’t want to press charges. Despite that, the university is obligated under federal law to conduct its own internal investigation. Because any student found guilty of violating OU’s sexual misconduct policy has the right to appeal to a district court, that is very likely where this case is today. Shannon has continued to practice with the team throughout this process.
Aug 7, 2014
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — For the first time at Browns training camp, the spotlight wasn't on Johnny Manziel.LeBron James stole it.The NBA megastar got his football fix Thursday, showing up with his two sons to watch Manziel and the Browns practice. James spent an hour watching a morning workout as the team prepares for Saturday's exhibition opener in Detroit. It was James' first public appearance —...
'LeBrowns:' James and sons watch NFL team practice
TOM WITHERS, Associated Press | Aug 7, 2014BEREA, Ohio (AP) — For the first time at Browns training camp, the spotlight wasn't on Johnny Manziel. LeBron James stole it. The NBA megastar got his football fix Thursday, showing up with his two sons to watch Manziel and the Browns practice. James spent an hour watching a morning workout as the team prepares for Saturday's exhibition opener in Detroit. It was James' first public appearance — the practice was open only to media and corporate VIP guests — since re-signing with the Cavaliers last month, and his entrance caused quite a commotion. Browns players couldn't wait to meet him after practice, and several had their photos taken with the four-time MVP, who is noticeably thinner after shedding some weight during the offseason. Rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert ran into the locker room to grab his phone before returning to the field to shake hands with James. "It's awesome having him out here," Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas said. "He's obviously the best player in our generation in the NBA. To have him back in Cleveland is awesome." James spoke for several minutes on the sideline with Browns coach Mike Pettine and safety Donte Whitner. He chatted outside the locker room with Manziel, his close friend and business partner. "He just asked how camp was going," Pettine said. "You could tell that he's into it and loves football, a big Browns fan. He said he'll be at the games when it's warm, and when it's cold he'll be watching in his basement." Forced to keep one eye on his sons as they tossed around a football, James later walked off the field holding hands with LeBron Jr. and Bryce. He declined comment, saying "I'll see you tomorrow" to reporters as cameramen surrounded him. James' homecoming to Northeast Ohio is being celebrated with an event in Akron on Friday night. Pettine also got his photo taken with James, who towered over every group. "I do know I'm going to be father of the year now," Pettine said. "I got my daughter a picture with LeBron. She could care less about a picture with me." Pettine has had quite a week, meeting Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown for the first time at a practice. "When I got hired, somebody very quickly brought it up to me that I might have both of those opportunities," he said. "Two things off the bucket list." James and his sons were presented with No. 23 Browns jerseys that the boys put on. James took more photos with members of Cleveland's coaching staff and general manager Ray Farmer. James' return has given Cleveland fans hope they may one day celebrate a championship. It's been 50 years since the Browns captured the NFL title, the last Cleveland team to win it all. Pettine believes all three teams can feed off each other. "It's hard to explain when it happens, but I think it kind of gets fed through the fans with the teams," he said. "I don't know how many of them are actual connecting with each other, but I think when the city gets revved up, I think you can have momentum from season to season." Whitner grew up here and is well aware of the area's sports misery. But Cleveland — at long last — isn't such a joke and suddenly an epicenter of excitement. "Stuff like this doesn't happen. That's why it's time for a change," he said. "We're from here in Northeast Ohio: LeBron is from Northeast Ohio; we get Johnny here. It's a lot of excitement, man, and I think we pretty much deserve it. I think that a lot of people kick us around a lot, talk a lot of trash about us, but we deserve it." NOTES: Practice ended with defensive and offensive linemen squaring off in an extra-point competition. Defensive end Armond Bryant made the first attempt and Thomas, who punted and kicked in high school, booted one through with a straight-on approach before an out-of-character celebration. "There were some very unique styles," Pettine said. ... Manziel will not play with the starters in Detroit, Pettine said. ... Gilbert is "nicked up" and will likely be held out against Detroit. TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) and DE Billy Winn (hamstring) did not practice. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Other players with state ties in the NFL TULSA QB G.J. Kinne (Philadelphia): The former Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year will attend his third NFL camp after stints with Omaha in the United Football League and San Antonio in the Arena Football League. Kinne went to camp with the Jets two years ago and made the Eagles practice squad last season. Kinne is battling former USC...
Oklahomans in the NFL: Okies in NFL training camps
Jul 27, 2014Other players with state ties in the NFL TULSA QB G.J. Kinne (Philadelphia): The former Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year will attend his third NFL camp after stints with Omaha in the United Football League and San Antonio in the Arena Football League. Kinne went to camp with the Jets two years ago and made the Eagles practice squad last season. Kinne is battling former USC quarterback Matt Barkley for the No. 3 job. WR Demarius Johnson (Philadelphia): The NCAA’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards and kickoff return yards. An undrafted free agent, Johnson has compiled only 21 receptions in two seasons with the Eagles. His nitch is he’s averaged 10.3 yards on punt returns, 25.9 yards on kickoffs. DE Tyrunn Walker (New Orleans): An undrafted free agent, Walker made the Saints roster two years ago but never appeared in a game. Last season, he made his NFL debut, playing primarily on special teams, accumulating 12 tackles in seven games. RB Trey Watts (St. Louis): The son of the famous OU quarterback-turned-politician, Watts was an undrafted free agent. There’s a buzz the third all-time leading rusher in TU history might surprise and make the roster with a solid training camp. OTHER COLLEGES DL Armonty Bryant, East Central (Cleveland): Appearing in a dozen games with the Browns, Bryant, a seventh-round pick, recorded 12 tackles and a dozen quarterback hurries last season. DS Bryce Davis, Central Oklahoma (Pittsburgh): After spending two years on the Bengals practice squad, Davis attempts to make the Steelers roster. WR Caleb Holley, East Central (Buffalo): An Alaska native who earned a training camp invite after a strong tryout last spring. Holley hopes to turn some heads during camp. OKLAHOMA HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS RB Felix Jones, Tulsa Washington (free agent): After playing four years in Dallas, Jones saw limited action (48 carries) last year with the Steelers. He has 2,912 career yards rushing but is looking for work. CB Bryan McCann, Putnam City (Arizona): Signing late in the season with the Cardinals, McCann recorded two special teams tackles in six games. In 35 NFL games, undrafted four years ago, McCann has totaled 29 tackles in 35 games with the Cowboys, Ravens and Raiders. WR Robert Meachem, Tulsa Washington (New Orleans): Age (29) isn’t an issue, but Meachem recorded only 16 catches last season. He’s been bypassed on the depth chart by Kenny Stills and other Saints wideouts. It’s a big camp for Meachem. WR Wes Welker, Heritage Hall (Denver): The Broncos put up video-game like numbers in Welker’s first season with Peyton Manning. The consummate slot receiver, Welker (83 catches, 778 yards, 10 TDs) has compiled 841 career receptions and is only 642 yards shy of becoming the 41st player to reach 10,000 career receiving yards. The primary focus is to get that elusive Super Bowl ring.
Jul 6, 2014
From the smooth, almost laid-back approaches of Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell to the fiery passion of Mike Zimmer, new NFL coaches are reshaping the environments of their teams.Some have much bigger chores than others.Bringing in a new coaching staff usually means the previous one did too much losing. That's true times seven this year as Smith takes over at Tampa Bay, Caldwell in Detroit, Zimmer...
Change it up: How 7 new coaches are shaping tone
BARRY WILNER, Associated Press | Jul 6, 2014From the smooth, almost laid-back approaches of Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell to the fiery passion of Mike Zimmer, new NFL coaches are reshaping the environments of their teams. Some have much bigger chores than others. Bringing in a new coaching staff usually means the previous one did too much losing. That's true times seven this year as Smith takes over at Tampa Bay, Caldwell in Detroit, Zimmer in Minnesota, Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee, Bill O'Brien in Houston, Jay Gruden in Washington and Mike Pettine in Cleveland. PETTINE: BEING BLUNT Pettine might have the biggest challenge because he takes over a perennial loser: Cleveland last made the playoffs in 2002. There's been discord surrounding the franchise ever since Jimmy Haslam bought it in 2012, and he's already on his third head coach. The son of a highly successful high school coach, Pettine is bright, self-confident and media savvy, seemingly lacking the suspicious nature of so many NFL head coaches. He doesn't pull punches, which is critical in engineering a cultural change. "I would say no nonsense," Pettine says. "I have been nicknamed BFT: Blunt Force Trauma. The days are too short to dance around subjects and I think guys appreciate that." SMITH: STAYING LOW-KEY Another necessary skill is communication. Smith, who was 84-66 in nine seasons in Chicago, yet was canned after 2012, is a master at that. After the roughness of Greg Schiano's reign in Tampa, Smith's low-key style easily won over the players. Not that Smith doesn't know how and when to be stern; he learned under Tony Dungy, a master communicator. "It's been a while, I can honestly say, since you've seen guys smile this much and have this much fun," says DT Gerald McCoy, among the Bucs' best players. "It's just a completely different feel around the building." CALDWELL: STAYING CALM Caldwell also comes from the Dungy coaching tree, and he might still be the man in Indianapolis had Peyton Manning not missed 2011 after neck surgery. The Lions needed a steadying influence as head coach after the often unpredictable Jim Schwartz regime. To some, Caldwell was a surprise choice. To others, he is the anti-Schwartz and will bring a calm steadiness to Detroit — along with more discipline for a team that sometimes stepped beyond the bounds of NFL protocol in its on-field behavior. Caldwell has joked about his reputation for remaining even-keeled. "There's no need for a whole lot of cussing, screaming, yelling and all that kind of stuff," Caldwell says. "It's a mini-quiz out here. I never had any of my professors yelling in my ear when I was sitting at the desk filling out those multiple-choice questions." ZIMMER: THE TEACHER Zimmer might be doing some yelling in Minnesota, but it will be in a constructive way. An outstanding defensive coach in Cincinnati since 2008, he was in the running for several jobs before landing the Vikings gig. His forthright manner, confidence in his defensive schemes and tough love approach make him stand out from predecessor Leslie Frazier. Most of all, Zimmer sees himself as an educator. "I think one of the things of being a coach, you're a teacher," he says. "You're trying to teach them about techniques, you're trying to teach them about all the different aspects of the game of football, not just offense or defense, but what the other side of the ball is thinking." GRUDEN: FOLLOWING HIS OWN LEAD Gruden, the younger brother of ESPN analyst and 2003 Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden, was Zimmer's alter ego in Cincinnati. Gruden ran the Bengals' offense, and when Washington decided to replace Mike Shanahan, it sought someone who could design an attack around Robert Griffin III, while also protecting the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Nearly everything had fallen apart in the nation's capital last year, one season removed from an NFC East title. Perhaps most damaging was the fractured relationship between veteran coach and dynamic quarterback. So Gruden is charged with fixing things on the field and off it. "I'm not going to try to do something that Shanahan didn't, or not do something that he did, or do something that my brother did or Joe Gibbs did," Gruden says. "I'm just going to try to coach the way I know how, and the way I've done it in the past, and hopefully it'll be good enough." WHISENHUNT: PICKING UP THE PACE Like Gruden, Whisenhunt is considered an offensive guru. With Kurt Warner as his quarterback, he took usually downtrodden Arizona to a Super Bowl. What he likes best is a quick pace — everywhere. His practices in Tennessee are run at a faster tempo than in previous years. Players and coaches jog from drill to drill. Whisenhunt says he hopes that's noticeable because the intent is to better mimic game speed and conditions. "I think you have to create an intensity in practice because the game is so fast," he explains. Veteran receiver Nate Washington, who was with Pittsburgh when Whisenhunt was an assistant there, says the change is impossible to miss. "Before, things have happened in the past and we can't really sit here and try to compare the two or what's been happening before," he says. "But as of right now, I have seen a lot more intensity on this team, period." O'BRIEN: TEAM FIRST The excitement in Houston disappeared with a 14-game losing string that sank the Texans from AFC South champs to worst in the league. O'Brien, who could have written his own ticket at Penn State for years, instead chose to return to the NFL and take on a reclamation project. Not as massive a challenge as the one he faced with the Nittany Lions, perhaps. But certainly a hefty one for the former offensive assistant at New England. O'Brien delivered some not-so-subtle messages early on. Veterans don't have their names on their lockers anymore, only their numbers. A note on the inside of each locker says: "Always put the team first." Rookies have a temporary cubicle set up in the middle of the locker room and won't get real ones until they make the team. That goes for everyone, even top choice Jadeveon Clowney. "Being a head coach is about making sure the team understands the philosophy of what you want to get done: hard work, being a good teammate, team first and all of those things that we talk about every day," O'Brien says. ____ AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell and Sports Writers Noah Trister, Tom Withers, Kristie Rieken, Teresa M. Walker, Fred Goodall and Joseph White contributed to this story. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
CLEVELAND (AP) — Charges have been dropped against two Ohio school employees as part of an investigation into whether other laws were broken in the rape of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl by two high school football players.Wrestling coach Seth Fluharty had been accused of failing to report the August 2012 rape. Elementary principal Lynnett Gorman had been accused of failing to report a teen...
Charges dropped for 2 in Steubenville rape case
Associated Press | Jul 2, 2014CLEVELAND (AP) — Charges have been dropped against two Ohio school employees as part of an investigation into whether other laws were broken in the rape of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl by two high school football players. Wrestling coach Seth Fluharty had been accused of failing to report the August 2012 rape. Elementary principal Lynnett Gorman had been accused of failing to report a teen sex and drinking party in April 2012 unrelated to the rape. The state attorney general's office confirmed Wednesday misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse or neglect were dropped June 20 after Fluharty and Gorman met conditions of a deal requiring them to perform volunteer work. The rape case drew attention amid allegations of a cover-up to protect the celebrated Steubenville High School football team.
Jun 29, 2014
WASHINGTON — Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team’s name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not. The Patent and Trademark Office...
George F. Will: What's in a name?
Jun 29, 2014WASHINGTON — Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team’s name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not. The Patent and Trademark Office acted on a 1946 law banning trademarks that “may disparage” persons. “May” gives the agency latitude to disregard evidence regarding how many people actually feel disparaged, or feel that others should feel disparaged. Blackhorse speaks of “the majority of Native American people who have spoken out on this.” This would seem implausible even if a 2004 poll had not found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins’ name. A 2013 AP-GfK poll showed that 79 percent of Americans of all ethnicities opposed changing it, and just 18 percent of “nonwhite football fans” favored changing it. The federal agency acted in the absence of general or Native American revulsion about “Redskins,” and probably because of this absence. Are the Americans who are paying attention to this controversy comfortable with government saying, in effect, that if people are not offended, they should be, so government must decide what uses of language should be punished? In today’s regulatory state, agencies often do pretty much as they please, exercising discretion unconstrained by law. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley notes that in 2004 the Federal Election Commission held that the anti-George W. Bush movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” did not need to be regulated as an “electioneering communication” but in 2008 held that the hostile “Hillary: The Movie” was such a communication. In the regulatory state, the rule of law is the rule that law barely limits regulators’ discretion. Although the death penalty clearly was not considered a “cruel and unusual” punishment when the Eighth Amendment proscription of such punishments was adopted, perhaps society’s “evolving standards of decency” have brought this punishment under the proscription. Standards of decency do evolve: No sports team launched today would select the name “Redskins.” Although Thomas Sowell is correct that “some people are in the business of being offended, just as Campbell is in the business of making soup,” the fact that some people are professionally indignant does not mean offense may be given promiscuously to others. The name “Redskins” is more problematic than, say, that of the Chicago Blackhawks or Cleveland Indians presumably because “Redskins” refers to skin pigmentation. People offended by this might be similarly distressed if they knew that “Oklahoma” is a compound of two Choctaw words meaning “red” and “people.” Blackhorse, however, has two larger objections. She says “someone” once told her that teams’ mascots “are meant to be ridiculed,” “to be toyed with,” “to be pushed around and disrespected” and “have stuff thrown at them.” She should supplement the opinion of that someone with information from persons more knowledgeable. But she considers “any team name that references Native Americans” an injurious “appropriation of our culture.” Has an “appropriation” been committed by the University of Utah and Florida State University even though they have the approval of the respective tribes for their teams’ nicknames, the Utes and Seminoles? William Voegeli, a senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books, writes that the kerfuffle over an NFL team’s name involves serious matters. They include comity in a diverse nation, civil discourse, and “not only how we make decisions, but how we decide what needs to be decided, and who will do the deciding.” Time was, Voegeli writes, a tolerant society was one with “a mutual nonaggression pact”: If your beliefs and practices offend but do not otherwise affect me, I will not interfere with them if you will reciprocate regarding my beliefs and practices. Now, however, tolerance supposedly requires compulsory acknowledgment that certain people’s beliefs and practices deserve, Voegeli says, “to be honored, respected, affirmed and validated” lest they suffer irreparable injury to their sense of worth. And it requires compelling conformity for the good of the compelled. When two Oregon bakers chose, for religious reasons, not to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding, an Oregon government official explained why tolerance meant coercing the bakers: “The goal is to rehabilitate.” Tolerance required declaring the bakers’ beliefs and practices intolerable. We are going to discover whether a society can be congenial while its government is being coercive regarding wedding cakes and teams’ names. George Will’s email address is email@example.com. WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP
Jun 13, 2014
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chuck Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died Friday night at his home. He was 82.The Allegheny County Medical Examiner said Noll died of natural causes.Noll transformed the Steelers from a long-standing joke into one of the NFL's pre-eminent powers, becoming the only coach to win four Super Bowls. He was a...
Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll dead at 82
WILL GRAVES, Associated Press | Jun 13, 2014PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chuck Noll, the Hall of Fame coach who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died Friday night at his home. He was 82. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner said Noll died of natural causes. Noll transformed the Steelers from a long-standing joke into one of the NFL's pre-eminent powers, becoming the only coach to win four Super Bowls. He was a demanding figure who did not make close friends with his players, yet was a successful and motivating leader. The Steelers won the four Super Bowls over six seasons (1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979), an unprecedented run that made Pittsburgh one of the NFL's marquee franchises, one that breathed life into a struggling, blue-collar city. "He was one of the great coaches of the game," Steelers owner Dan Rooney once said. "He ranks up there with (George) Halas, (Tom) Landry and (Curly) Lambeau." Noll's 16-8 record in postseason play remains one of the best in league history. He retired in 1991 with a 209-156-1 record in 23 seasons, after inheriting a team that had never won a postseason game. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Noll worked so well with Steelers President Rooney that the team never felt the need to have a general manager. When he retired, and was replaced by Bill Cowher, only four other coaches or managers in modern U.S. pro sports history had run their teams longer than Noll had. "Chuck Noll is the best thing that happened to the Rooneys since they got on the boat (to America) in Ireland," Art Rooney II, the former Steelers personnel chief and the son of the team founder, once said. A former messenger guard for his hometown Cleveland Browns who earned the nicknamed Knute Knowledge — as in Knute Rockne — Noll was an assistant with the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Colts for nine seasons. Then he accepted what seemed a dead-end job in January 1969 as coach of the NFL's least-successful organization. Art Rooney Sr. often hired friends and cronies as coaches, and only two of the Steelers' first 13 coaches had winning records. At the time Noll took over, the franchise was 105 games below .500 in its history. Noll, hired only after Penn State's Joe Paterno turned down a $350,000, five-year offer, was different from any Steelers coach before him. He immediately brought intelligence, toughness, stability, confidence, character and a can-do mindset to a franchise accustomed to constant upheaval and ever-changing personnel. Asked at his first news conference if his goal was to make the Steelers respectable, Noll said, "Respectability? Who wants to be respectable? That's spoken like a true loser." Perhaps not the most colorful coach behind the microphone, Noll could often be counted on for memorable, motivational one-liners that became rallying cries. Phrases like "A life of frustration is inevitable for any coach whose main enjoyment is winning," and "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it," and "The thrill isn't in the winning, it's in the doing," spoke volumes about what Noll was trying to accomplish. They went over well in a football-crazed region of Pennsylvania. The day after Noll was hired, the Steelers drafted defensive lineman Joe Greene. He was the first of the nine Hall of Famers selected during the Noll era. Four of the others were drafted within Noll's first four seasons: Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount, Jack Ham and Franco Harris. Four more arrived in the first five rounds of the 1974 draft: Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. And the 1971 draft, though it produced only one Hall of Famer (Ham), generated seven starters. While the Steelers surprisingly won their opener under Noll in 1969, beating Detroit, they lost their final 13 games that season, and their first three in 1970. By then, some were questioning Noll's hiring. The Steelers' turnaround began in earnest in 1970, the year they moved into the AFC after the NFL and AFL merged. They drafted Bradshaw with the No. 1 pick, moved into Three Rivers Stadium after years of being a secondhand tenant of Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field. They won five of eight during one stretch. By 1972, the year Harris arrived to give them the ground game Noll sought, they were championship contenders with an 11-3 record and a we've-turned-the-corner attitude. Noll had long since run off underachievers and pushed the Rooneys to bring in the players he wanted. "He'll argue a point with you and keep yelling, 'No, this is right, you're wrong,'" Dan Rooney said. "Sometimes you have to say, 'This is the way we're going to do it.'" The first traditional playoff game in Steelers history on Dec. 23, 1972, also signaled what was to come. The Steelers were in control of the John Madden-coached Raiders most of the game, until quarterback Ken Stabler scored in the final two minutes to put Oakland up 7-6. With the Steelers down to fourth-and-10 on their side of the field, Bradshaw lofted a pass downfield intended for Frenchy Fuqua. As Fuqua and safety Jack Tatum converged on the ball, it bounded high in the air for what looked to be a certain incompletion. Instead, Harris, trailing on the play, caught the ball nearly at his shoe tops and raced into the end zone for an improbable touchdown. The play would quickly become known as the "Immaculate Reception." Noll's Steelers did not win the Super Bowl that season — they lost to unbeaten Miami on a fake punt in the AFC title game. But, with their roster completed by their remarkable 1974 draft, they finally became NFL champions and did it three more times by January 1980. Still, Noll's best team might have been in 1976, when the Steelers rebounded from a 1-4 start to go 10-4 — even with Bradshaw injured and out most of the season — by playing the greatest stretch of defense in NFL history. The Steel Curtain shut out five of their final nine opponents while yielding only 28 points. At one point, they didn't allow a touchdown for 22 quarters. However, Harris and Rocky Bleier, 1,000-yard rushers that season, were injured in a playoff game against Baltimore. Without a running game, they lost the AFC title to Oakland. A year later, Noll wound up in a federal court trial. He accused Raiders defensive back George Atkinson, who had leveled Swann with a brutal hit the season before, of being part of the NFL's "criminal element." Noll prevailed, but there were hard feelings when, under oath, he included Blount as also being part of that criminal element. The Steelers went 9-5 that season, but rebounded to win the championship in the 1978 and 1979 seasons. When all the talent began to retire, the championships ended. Great drafts gave way to poor ones. The Steelers won only two playoff games and no conference championships in Noll's final 12 seasons, missing the postseason eight times. Noll never was much of a yeller or screamer, though he had his moments. He confronted Oilers coach Jerry Glanville at midfield and warned him about the team's borderline-legal blocking techniques. "He didn't feel like it was his job to motivate," Bleier said. "It was his job to take motivated people and give them a direction and get the job done." When he retired, Noll always said he would never coach another team and he didn't. In 2007, the football field at St. Vincent College, the Steelers' longtime training camp home in Latrobe, was named for Noll, even though he played at and graduated from Dayton. Born in Cleveland, Noll attended Benedictine High School, where he played running back and tackle, winning All-State honors, before gaining a scholarship to play for the Flyers. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh's biggest, most traditional rival, in 1953. At 27, he retired as a player from the Browns in 1959.
Jun 11, 2014
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns don't expect quarterback Johnny Manziel to drop the football and pick up a bat anytime soon.Manziel was drafted last week by the San Diego Padres, a selection that surprised Cleveland coach Mike Pettine, who said he didn't even know his well-known rookie had a background in baseball.Pettine received a text informing him Manziel had been picked in the 28th round by...
Browns not worried about Manziel playing baseball
TOM WITHERS, Associated Press | Jun 11, 2014CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns don't expect quarterback Johnny Manziel to drop the football and pick up a bat anytime soon. Manziel was drafted last week by the San Diego Padres, a selection that surprised Cleveland coach Mike Pettine, who said he didn't even know his well-known rookie had a background in baseball. Pettine received a text informing him Manziel had been picked in the 28th round by the Padres, but didn't give it much thought because "the kid's die-hard football." Manziel played high school baseball, and considered playing at Texas A&M before focusing on football. Pettine is keeping Manziel off limits to the media this week during minicamp, but he offered a reaction on behalf of the 21-year-old to being drafted by saying, "I'll answer for him, he's football through and through." ___ AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Jun 8, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — Hut ... hut ... home run!The San Diego Padres threw a Hail Mary on the final day of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday by taking Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel — listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, even though he never played for the Aggies — in the 28th round."It was kind of, 'Why not?'" Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said before the Padres hosted the...
Manziel joins list of QBs drafted by MLB teams
DENNIS WASZAK Jr., Associated Press | Jun 8, 2014NEW YORK (AP) — Hut ... hut ... home run! The San Diego Padres threw a Hail Mary on the final day of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday by taking Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel — listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, even though he never played for the Aggies — in the 28th round. "It was kind of, 'Why not?'" Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said before the Padres hosted the Washington Nationals. "Best athlete on the board," Mike Dee, the Padres' president and CEO, wrote on Twitter. Manziel likely won't ever play an inning of professional baseball, but he's not the first NFL quarterback who heard their name called during the MLB draft. Sure, Manziel was a terrific baseball player at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, but he hasn't played the sport since so he could focus on football. It looks as though he might have called a successful audible after being the 22nd overall pick in the NFL draft last month. "We'll see what happens with his football career," Padres closer Huston Street said. "He's potentially got a baseball one." Here are a few quarterbacks who turned down the baseball diamond for the football gridiron: ___ JOHN ELWAY A two-sport star in high school in California, Elway was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 18th round in 1979. He chose to go to Stanford, where he continued to play baseball and football. The Yankees drafted the slugging outfielder, who was also a hard-throwing pitcher, in the second round in 1981 — 52nd overall, six spots ahead of Tony Gwynn — and he played for their short-season affiliate in Oneonta. Elway was selected No. 1 overall in the NFL draft by Baltimore in 1983, but unhappy with the team, he threatened the Colts that he would turn to baseball if they didn't trade him. Baltimore gave in and dealt him to Denver, where Elway forged a Hall of Fame career and won two Super Bowl rings. ___ DAN MARINO Marino was a right-handed pitcher and quarterback at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, and drew interest for his skills in both sports. The Royals drafted him in the fourth round of the 1979 draft — yes, they took Elway and Marino in the same draft — but Marino opted to play football at the University of Pittsburgh. Good play call. Marino became one of the game's greatest quarterbacks, going in the first round to the Miami Dolphins in 1983, setting dozens of passing records and being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. ___ TOM BRADY Yep, the three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time MVP was a pretty good baseball player, too. So good, that he was drafted out of high school in the 18th round by the Montreal Expos in 1995 — as a catcher. He ended up not signing with the Expos and headed to the University of Michigan, where he worked his way up the depth chart from seventh to starter. He wasn't particularly highly touted coming out of college, going to New England in the sixth round. But, we all know what happened next. ___ MICHAEL VICK He was such an amazing athlete that the Colorado Rockies drafted him as an outfielder out of Virginia Tech in the 30th round of the 2000 baseball draft — even though he hadn't played the sport since the eighth grade. Vick was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft and became one of the game's most dynamic players with the Atlanta Falcons. After rejuvenating his career following a nearly two-year jail term for his role in a dogfighting ring, the soon-to-be 34-year-old Vick is with the New York Jets and competing with Geno Smith for the starting job. ___ RUSSELL WILSON The quarterback of the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks was a 41st-rounder by Baltimore out of high school in 2007, but opted to go to North Carolina State. He was a fourth-round pick of Colorado in 2010 and played in the Rockies' system as a second baseman. Wilson, who later transferred to Wisconsin, told the Rockies in January 2012 that he wanted to pursue an NFL career, and was a third-round choice by Seattle that April. He wasn't quite done with baseball yet, though. In December 2013, he was acquired by the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 draft. A few weeks after winning the Super Bowl, Wilson attended Rangers spring training and participated in infield drills. ___ COLIN KAEPERNICK The speedy, athletic and tattooed signal-caller of the San Francisco 49ers had a blazing fastball in high school. He threw two no-hitters in his senior season and was a two-time all-state pitcher in California. Kaepernick turned down a few offers to play college baseball and instead chose a football scholarship at Nevada. He still was drafted in the 43rd round in 2009 by the Cubs, but continued his college football career, was a second-round pick by the 49ers in 2011 and helped lead them to the Super Bowl in his second season. ___ BRANDON WEEDEN The Dallas Cowboys' backup quarterback once had a brilliant baseball future after being a second-round pick of the Yankees in 2002. A 6-foot-4 fireballing right-hander, Weeden was traded to the Dodgers in 2004 and spent the 2006 season in the Royals organization, but was never able to advance beyond Class A. He was 19-26 with a 5.02 ERA in five minor league seasons before hanging up his baseball cleats and heading to Oklahoma State to play quarterback. He was a first-round pick of the Browns in 2012, but the 30-year-old QB was cut in March — two months before Cleveland drafted Manziel. Weeden signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys. ___ JAKE LOCKER The Angels really wanted Locker, drafting the strong, speedy outfielder and right-handed pitcher in the 40th round out of high school in 2006 and again in the 10th round in 2009 out of the University of Washington. Locker actually signed with the Angels the second time, but stayed off the diamond and played another season for the Huskies' football team. He was the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, but injuries have plagued his first few seasons. ___ A few other notable QBs who were once baseball draft picks: Jay Schroeder (1st round in 1979, Blue Jays); Ken Stabler (2nd in January 1968, Astros); Chris Weinke (2nd in 1990, Blue Jays); Kerry Collins (26th in 1990, Tigers; 60th in 1991, Tigers; and 48th in 1994, Blue Jays); Daunte Culpepper (26th in 1995, Yankees); Steve McNair (35th in 1991, Mariners); Matt Cassel (36th in 2004, Athletics); Joe Theismann (39th in 1971, Twins); and Mark Brunell (44th in 1992, Braves).
Jun 7, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — Just call him Johnny Baseball.Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday — the 837th player taken.Manziel was listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, although he never played for the Aggies as he focused on football. He hasn't played baseball since high school and probably won't see...
Padres pick Browns QB Johnny Manziel in 28th round
DENNIS WASZAK Jr., Associated Press | Jun 7, 2014NEW YORK (AP) — Just call him Johnny Baseball. Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday — the 837th player taken. Manziel was listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, although he never played for the Aggies as he focused on football. He hasn't played baseball since high school and probably won't see the diamond again as he embarks on his NFL career, but was happy the Padres took a swing at him. "Big thank you to the @Padres and @padresmikedee for selecting me in the MLB draft," Manziel wrote on his Twitter page. "What a great day!" Mike Dee, the Padres' president and CEO, tweeted back: "Best athlete on the board... #JohnnyBaseball." Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012, was taken by the Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL draft last month. "It was kind of, 'Why not?'" Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said Saturday before the Padres hosted the Washington Nationals. In May 2013, Manziel visited the Padres when he was in San Diego to work with a quarterbacks coach. "He certainly loves baseball," Byrnes said. "We kind of talked about it at that time, 'Do you want us to draft you?' He said, 'Yeah, absolutely.'" Why in the 28th round? "We really liked our 27th-rounder," Byrnes said. Asked the odds of actually signing Manziel, Byrnes, a big football fan, just smiled. Manziel played baseball and football at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, and asked Texas A&M coaches about being part of the baseball team before winning the Aggies' starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman. Earlier this week, Manziel — decked out in an Indians jersey — was set to throw out the first pitch in Cleveland before the Indians played Boston. He warmed up earlier with Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin, but his toss was washed out by rain that delayed the start. But, in May 2013, Manziel took batting practice with the Padres at Petco Park and tossed out a football-style first pitch as he dropped back, scrambled to the side of the mound and floated a bootleg "pass" to San Diego outfielder Mark Kotsay, who caught it behind his back with his glove. On Manziel's first swing in batting practice, the bat flew out of his hands, but he settled down and later drove a pitch off the right-field wall. "I didn't know he played baseball," Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy said Saturday. "Anybody in Texas probably plays all those sports, football, baseball." Padres closer Huston Street, who pitched at Texas and whose late father, James, played quarterback for the Longhorns, liked the pick, even if Manziel did play for the Aggies. "I'm a fan. I think he's an exciting player," Street said. "I think he's good for sport. I think he plays hard. I don't know if he'll ever wear a Padre uniform, but it sure is exciting that the organization took him. I know he hung out here last year a couple times and everybody really enjoyed his presence. Everybody liked him. I came away from that day thinking, 'Man, that's a good dude, that's a cool guy.' It seemed like he was a very focused, mentally strong guy. He wanted to do something. We know what he can do in football. "Heck, if he wants to come out here and hang around before games ... I don't know if they let 28th-round picks do that," Street said. "But he's a great athlete. I don't think anybody expects to see him in the big leagues, but maybe he's going to try and do both. I don't know. If he does, he's one of the more competitive people I've been around. We'll see what happens with his football career. He's potentially got a baseball one." Street isn't sure if Johnny Football would try both sports. "I would tell him to don't try to be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none," Street said. "But at the same time, it's been done before. I don't know about at the quarterback position. A little bit tougher position." Big-time quarterbacks are no stranger to recent Major League Baseball drafts. John Elway, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Daunte Culpepper, Colin Kaepernick and Jake Locker were all drafted by big league teams but instead stuck to the gridiron. Russell Wilson of the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks was a 41st-round selection by Baltimore out of high school in 2007, but opted to go to North Carolina State. He was a fourth-rounder of Colorado in 2010 and played in the Rockies' system as a second baseman. Wilson, who had transferred to Wisconsin, told the Rockies in January 2012 that he wanted to pursue an NFL career, and in December 2013 was acquired by the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 draft. A few weeks after winning the Super Bowl, Wilson attended Rangers spring training and participated in infield drills. Next year, Florida State's Jameis Winston could be in the same situation as Manziel. The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback also is a hard-throwing closer for the Seminoles' baseball team. Winston was already a 15th-round pick of the Rangers in 2012. ___ AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this report.
These athletes were honored by The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Oklahoma Chapter of The National Football Foundation, College Hall of Fame and The Oklahoman
All Sports Scholar-Athlete honorees
Jun 7, 2014List of all winners presented by The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Oklahoma Chapter of The National Football Foundation, College Hall of Fame and The Oklahoman. Bob Colon Scholarship Presented by The Oklahoman Winners: Landon Nault, Kingfisher; Hayley Redwine, Norman Runner-Up Winners: Cameron Batson, Millwood; Joshua Bedell, Yukon; Jessi Hildebrand, Newcastle; Bryan Lilley, Edmond North; Brianna McArthur, Moore; Violet Victoria, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Jim Thorpe Players of the Year Baseball: Gavin LaValley, Carl Albert Basketball (boy): Shawn Olden, Tulsa Union Basketball (girl): Toree Thompson, Broken Arrow Cross County (boy): Ben Barrett, Norman North Cross County (girl): Michaela Werner, Grove Football: Steven Parker, Jenks Golf (boy): Nick Heinen, Edmond North Golf (girl): Marla Souvannasing, Tulsa Union Soccer (boy): Mauro Cichero, Norman North Soccer (girl): Anna Beffer, Tulsa Union Swimming (boy): Riley Bunyard, Harrah Swimming (girl): Jessi Hildebrand, Newcastle Tennis (boy): Bryan Lilley, Edmond North Tennis (girl): Lauren Pickens, Owasso Track & Field (boy): Bryce Balenseifen, Deer Creek Track & Field (girl): Makayla Stephens, Atoka Volleyball: Josie Gandall, Tulsa Kelley Wrestling: Gary Wayne Harding, Collinsville NFF Jim Thorpe/Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame College Players of the Year Blake Bell, Oklahoma Alex Hemberger, Northwestern State Michael Hicks, Southern Nazarene Christian Hood, Central Oklahoma Deandre Jennings, Northeastern A&M Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State Gabe Moyer, Tulsa Kevin Tankerson, Panhandle State NFF High School Football Coaching Award Joe Biddle, Destiny Christian Jody Weber, Davis Merv Johnson Integrity in College Coaching Award Gary Howard, Central Oklahoma (retired) Jim Thorpe Appreciation Award Rep. Bobby Cleveland, for his dedication and support of working with the youth programs of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum.
CLEVELAND (AP) — The superintendent of the eastern Ohio district where two high school football players were found guilty of rape in a high-profile case last year wiped computer hard drives, erased emails and lied to investigators about his knowledge of the allegations against the boys, newly released court documents say.The filing Thursday came in the case against Steubenville superintendent...
Ohio schools chief accused of destroying evidence
MARK GILLISPIE, Associated Press | May 23, 2014CLEVELAND (AP) — The superintendent of the eastern Ohio district where two high school football players were found guilty of rape in a high-profile case last year wiped computer hard drives, erased emails and lied to investigators about his knowledge of the allegations against the boys, newly released court documents say. The filing Thursday came in the case against Steubenville superintendent Michael McVey, 51, who has pleaded not guilty to felony counts of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice, and misdemeanor counts of falsification and obstructing official business. The charges stem from an investigation of McVey's actions after he learned of the allegations in 2012 made by a 16-year-old West Virginia girl against the two members of the storied Steubenville High football team, one of whom was the team's quarterback. The teens eventually were found guilty in juvenile court and were sent to youth detention centers and classified as sex offenders. The case drew national attention in part because of the role of texting and social media in exposing the attack, which led to allegations that authorities were covering up the actions of football players. McVey is accused of misleading authorities about the school's investigation into the rape allegations and concealing knowledge about rumors of sex and drinking at a teen party four months earlier. The new filing alleges that he erased evidence that included emails and data on computer hard drives. McVey may have had someone wipe the hard drives for him, the document says. McVey is on paid administrative leave. Calls seeking comment from his attorney Friday were not returned. Three other people associated with the school and football team were charged along with McVey. One was a volunteer coach whose house was the scene of a teen drinking party that August evening. He pleaded no contest to two charges and was sentenced to 10 days in jail. Two elementary school principals, one of whom served as the team's strength coach, were charged with failing to report possible child abuse or neglect. Prosecutors agreed to drop those charges if those defendants performed certain requirements, such as community service and certain training.