Monday, November 25, 2013

Jerry Glanville wants to coach Eastern Michigan

Jerry Glanville wants to be a head coach again and he's hoping that Eastern Michigan will give him another shot at coaching glory.

The former Atlanta Falcons and Houston Oilers coach told the USA Today that he has applied for the job and can be the man that turns around the perrennial Mid American conference losers.

"I love coaching football," Glanville said. "The bottom line is coaches coach, preachers preach. They do that until they put them in the box."

Glanville said he has not spoken directly to EMU about the job but has several assistants in mind for his potential staff.

“The fun of Eastern is you’re not going to walk into the living room and take a kid away from Ann Arbor,” Glanville said. “You’ve got to get the kid that, two years after you got him, Ann Arbor wishes they have.”

“I know the history. I know it’s been hard, it’s been tough,” Glanville said. “Will there be challenges? Anytime you take a head job, whether you’re with the Lions or Eastern Michigan, your job is to keep the bus going down the road, and there’s going to be flat tires. Things are going to go wrong. Well, you keep the bus going down the road, and that’s really what these jobs are all about. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at.”

Former EMU quarterback Ron Adams, ex-Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley, now an assistant with the Buffalo Bills, former Miami (Ohio) coach Mike Haywood, and Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, previously with Grand Valley State are also rumored to be candidates for the job.

Glanville would be the face of the program and generate plenty of buzz, but at 72 I don't think he would be a serious candidate for the job. He's more sizzle than steak and i don't think he's someone you arm with a five year contract to rebuild your college football program.

"It Girl" of the week: Tiffany Upshaw

The Just Sports & Just Us "It Girl" of the week is Tiffany Upshaw.

The bi-racial beauty was born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida. She has been an endorsed Athlete & Fitness Model with Optimum Nutrition & American Bodybuilding since 2008.

Two suspects in custody in fatal shooting of Eastern Michigan football player

Two suspects are in custody in connection with the shooting of an Eastern Michigan University football player found dead in October at his off-campus apartment building, the university reported Monday.

According to a statement made by Eastern Michigan, “the Ypsilanti Police Department has identified two individuals in connection with the murder of Demarius Reed. Both are in custody.”

Ed Thomas, 20, of Detroit, was arraigned Sunday on charges of open murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, records show. Charges have also been filed against Kristopher Pratt, 20, also of Detroit, on charges of open murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

“I have a mix of emotions right now,” said Reed’s father, Carl, on Monday. “It brought relief that the police have been working so diligently and doing a good job to work the case, but it also brought sadness because all of those feelings have resurfaced.”

Reed, 20 and a junior, was gunned down about 7:15 a.m. Oct. 18 in the University Green Apartments on the 700 block of West Clark Road in what appeared to be a robbery. He was left to die in the hallway of the off-campus apartment building.

Tigers trying to work out a deal with Brian Wilson

The Detroit Tigers came into the offseason with the goal of acquiring a closer. After finally settling on Joaquin Benoit, the Tigers knew they had to revamp the bullpen.

After being mentioned as a possible suitor for Joe Nathan, the Tigers reportedly are in negotiations with free agent closer Brian Wilson.

 Wilson met Sunday with Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and with Wilson’s agent, Dan Lozano, in Los Angeles.

Wilson, 31, is coming off a partial 2013 season in which he posted an ERA of 0.66 in 13 2/3 innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wilson didn't make his season debut until Aug. 22 because he was working his way back from Tommy John surgery performed in April of 2012.

Wilson was a three time All Star with the San Francisco Giants, where he had his greatest success. If the Tigers can  sign Wilson it would address the glaring hole in the bullpen they've been trying to ever since Jose Valverde was forced to relinquish the closer's role.

Along with the Tigers, Wilson has also reportedly drawn interest from the Rockies, Rangers, Angels, Mariners and the Indians. He's reportedly looking for a multi-year deal.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ottawa Senators accuse Detroit Red Wings of diving

The Ottawa Senators got the best of a reeling Detroit Red Wings team Saturday night,4-2, but the win didn't stop Senators players from being critical of the Red Wings.

Senators goaltender Robin Lehner accused the Red Wings of diving, that contributed to the Red Wings having 5 on 3 advantages on four separate occasions.

“After the first 10 minutes, when we didn’t play very well, I thought the guys really picked it up,” said Lehner. “We have to be a little bit more disciplined. We had a few too many penalties, some of them were soft.

“It’s tough on the (officials). I don't think it's their fault. It’s like there was water out there with how much they were diving. I think we’ve just got to take the positives and go to the next game.”

“We don’t want to give up three or four 5-on-3s. I don’t know if their skate sharpener was broken over there or what? There was a couple where they went down pretty easy,” Ottawas's Clarke MacArthur said, according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch.

Both teams had a high number of power plays so it's almost pointless to accuse a team of diving. The Senators should take the win and stop complaining.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Brandon Jennings says he has no confidence in his shot

As a NBA player you have to exhibit confidence. If you don't the game will eat you up.

Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings has always been a confident player but has struggled with the game recently. It's to the point where Jennings says he has no confidence in his shot.

“I’m just going to tell it like it is,” Jennings said. “I think that’s why my shot isn’t where it is right now,” he said. “I don’t have any confidence in my shot right now. That’s the reason I’m missing, because there’s just no confidence there.”

Jennings went 4-16 in Friday night's loss to the Atlanta Hawks. He missed four three pointers and committed four turnovers in the fourth quarter.

“I feel like I’m just shooting when people are telling me it’s time for me to shoot,” he said. “I gotta want to shoot. I’m so into passing that I kind of forget I can score sometimes.

“My confidence level isn’t high.”

Here's a solution for Jennings. Help the team in other areas of the game, like on defense. The Pistons could definitely use an improved effort.

It's still early in the season and at some point Jennings will get his groove back. He never was the best shooter in the game so it doesn't surprise me when he has moments of being an inefficient chucker.

He needs to get his head back in the game because the Pistons really need him to put forth his best effort.

Report: Jhonny Peralta to sign with Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are keeping busy in the offseason. After trading third baseman David Freese to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder Peter Bourjos, the Cardinals are reportedly making a slight splash in free agency.

According to reports the Cardinals are closing in on a deal with former Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

The team is looking to upgrade from the tandem of Peter Kozma and Daniel Descalso. Peralta will do just that, but if he's signing in the neighborhood of the reported $50 million or more that he had on the table the Cards would be better served taking a pass.

Peralta ,31, served a 50 game susupension for his involvement Major League Baseball's Biogenesis scandal. He's a two time All-Star and .268 career hitter with 156 home runs in 11 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and Detroit. He came back from the suspension to help the Tigers reach the American League championship series and had a very solid playoff performance.

Due to the suspension I figured Peralta might come a little cheaper. Terms of the deal have not been announced.

Can Will Muschamp survive after loss to Georgia Southern?

No lower-division team had ever beaten the Florida Gators, who won their previous seven games against Football Championship Subdivision teams by an average of 45 points.

That was until today when Georgia Southern marched into the swamp and shocked the Gators 26-20 for arguably the school's worse loss in team history. Florida, which paid Georgia Southern $550,000 for this game to be a punching bag was the team left on the canvas.

Even though Florida was depleted by injury and came into the game with a losing record this still goes down as an upset. The Eagles, which won their third consecutive game despite playing without 19 of 65 scholarship athletes, so this loss doesn't make any sense for Florida fans.

The question after this loss is can Gators coach Will Muschamp survive after what's sure to be a 4-8 season after the finale against in state rival Florida State. The Gators have already lost to a revived Miami team and look in danger to falling to the third best program in the state. If Central Florida can keep heir momentum the Gators could fall to number four.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley and school president Bernie Machen said last week Muschamp was safe, but that was before the worst loss in school history and before there were thousands of no-shows in The Swamp.

Muschamp did lead the Gators to the Sugar Bowl last season but the offense has been fairly dismal during his tenure. In all fairness, despite the injuries Muschamp has kept the Gators competitive. That might not be enough in today's landscape.

Muschamp has gone 7-6, 11-2, and currently sports a 4-7 record that will end the nation's longest bowl streak. Not exactly the win totals of Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer, or even the ghost of Charley Pell This is a program that is used to winning big. There might not be enough support for Muschamp to weather this storm.

Jeremy Foley has a tough decision on his hands because this is the same coach that led the Gators to an 11-2 season a year ago. A lot of things have gone wrong this season, some totally out of Muschamp’s control. Had Muschamp won this game, Foley probably could have given Muschamp a pass even with a bad loss to Florida State. But now, with this embarrassment, there might be nothing left to do but cut ties.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Manny Ramirez Jr. to play college baseball

Manny Ramirez is still hoping to get one last shot in the majors, but it might be time for him to pass the torch. It might not be long before it happens.

The University of San Francisco baseball team made a big splash by announcing the signing of the son of former big-league slugger, Manny Ramirez Jr., to a letter of intent as part of eight players committing during the early signing period.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound first baseman Ramirez Jr. will be transferring from Central Arizona College. Ramirez Jr. attended IMG Academy for high school in Braderton, Fla., where he hit .331 with three home runs and 36 RBIs.

"He is a very talented hitter, has a chance to hit in the middle of our line-up, and provide us with a great approach as a hitter and defensive first baseman. The best part of Manny is how he handles himself as a person–he is very humble, driven, and competitive ," USF coach Nino Giarratano said.

We won't see a Griffey type reunion between the Ramirez's but if Junior is anything like his father he'll have a long career.

Panthers' Mike Mitchell tells Drew Brees to 'stop being soft'

Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell has found himself lighter in his wallet because he feels the league is targeting him. Based on what he had to say about New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Mitchell might find himself with a big bullseye on his back when the Saints and Panthers square off.

Mitchell went on Fox Sports L.A.’s FnA podcast and explained why he thought Brees was soft and accused Brees of flopping after being hit by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

“The thing that I hated about the play, the whole thing, and this is what these offensive guys are doing, they’re kind of running with it,” Mitchell said.  “Drew Brees is throwing a fit in the post-game interview saying how he got hit in the chin and he was dazed, and all this other stuff.  And it’s like, dude, the replay clearly shows he did not even touch you in the chin.

“Stop being soft, get up off the ground,” Mitchell said.  “You fumbled the football, that’s why the only reason you were acting like you were hurt, is so you could draw a flag.”

How are you gonna tell another player how he feels after being hit? Was the hit clean? In my opinion yes it was, by the rules no,but Brees did get his bell rang on the play. Did you see how his neck snapped? Someone is gonna feel a some pain after a hit like that. So I don't see how Mitchell accuse Brees of flopping.

Mitchell had more to say.

“He did not get hit in the chin.  He got hit hard, which he should have got hit hard because we are playing full speed tackle football.  And he fumbled the football.  And I think that’s really was the reason he was down so long.  He was really trying to sell that and trying to get a flag.  And obviously it worked, and their team was able to steal a win because of that play.”

The Panthers are chasing the Saints in the NFC South. The teams will face off twice in the next four weeks. Mitchell’s comments make an already interesting pair of games between the Panthers and Saints even more compelling.

I'm sure Brees will be eager to show how "soft" he is.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

LeBron James interested in joining David Beckham's ownership group

Two of the biggest stars in their respective sports are thinking of teaming up.

The Miami Heat's LeBron James and soccer star David Beckham are talking about joining forces to possibly bring a MLS team to Miami.

"We're working on it," James said.

"There is some interest on both sides. David has become a good friend of mine over the last few years and I think it would be great for this city to have a football club," James told the Miami Herald. "There is interest on both sides, but it’s preliminary talks but there is some open dialogue."

Beckham has the option to buy into MLS at a discounted rate, a privilege that was in his deal to join the LA Galaxy in 2007. The league confirmed in October that it is in discussions with Beckham about owning a team with reports consistently indicating Miami would be the former England international's location of choice.

Beckham has been scouting possible stadium sites in Miami.

''I am excited about owning a team ... continuing to be part of the MLS in the future,'' Beckham told the Associated Press in October. "Miami excites me because I think it's a city that is very excitable."

James currently has a small stake in the Liverpool of the  Barclay’s Premiere League.

"We don’t know" how viable the Miami market would be for a new-look MLS team, James said. "The research is still being made out but I think it could be huge. But, you never know. I think this is a great town for soccer. There are a lot of soccer players here. There’s a great youth [system] of soccer here. And people love the city as well, so that definitely will help."

Overall soccer has always been a tough sell in the United States. If MLS can have James behind one of it's teams it might just catch on.

Notre Dame's Louis Nix out for rest of the season

Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III will miss the last two games of the Irish's season coach Brian Kelly told reporters. That could also include the bowl game if the team elects to play in one.

Nix has undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus as the Fighting Irish prepare to take on BYU.

Nix has been banged up this season. He missed a game against Air Force due to tendonitis and a shoulder injury was suffered in a game against USC.

This is a big blow to the Irish defense as they'll have to go against a BYU team that has been solid on the ground this season.

Nix is expected to be a high draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Getting surgery now rather than waiting until after the season will give him more time to rehab and prepare for the NFL Draft. It would make sense to get it taken care of now with the Irish not competing for any big bowl game or championship and Nix still in position to be drafted highly if he is in optimum shape.

That all depends if he decides to come back to school for the 2014 season.

Rasheed Wallace fails to pay unpaid taxes

Rasheed Wallace owes an Oregon county more than $150,000 in unpaid property taxes. Multnomah County is still trying to collect money on a house Wallace owns in the Portland area.

Wallace's wife tried to make a $35,000 payment online but when the county tried to collect the money it was told the account is not valid.

That means Wallace is still on the hook for the roughly $150,000 property tax bill, plus a 16 percent penalty for not paying on time.

Dave Austin with Multnomah County told KGW as a result, a $25 returned check fee will be added to the $150,000 bill.

Wallace is a former Portland Trail Blazer who is now an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons.

"It Girl" of the week: Kyra Chaos

The Just Sports & Just Us "It Girl" of the week is Kyra Chaos.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Former Rutgers CB says he was bullied by the defensive coordinator

After a bullying scandal that led to basketball coach Mike Rice being dismissed, Rutgers University is once again dealing with a coach abusing a player.

Cornerback Jevon Tyree quit the football team on November 6 because of alleged bullying by defensive coordinator Dave Cohen. 

Cohen has been accused of getting in Tyree's face and calling him a "p----" and a "b----" (fill in the blanks) and threatened to head-butt him during a study hall session in April. Ironically the same time when Rice was fired for doing the same to members of the basketball team.

The incident happened in front of approximately 10 teammates and a tutor, Jevon Tyree said, and it led to the 19-year-old's escalating ostracization, eventually driving him to quit. Tyree says it ruined his standing on the team, he received less repetitions in practice which eventually cost him any possible playing time. He also claims to be excluded from some of the team meetings.

Tyree's parents, mark and Clarice have pushed for disciplinary action against Cohen.

Clarice Tyree called it "an outright bullying episode," and Mark Tyree said the behavior soon "transferred to the other coaches."

"I really think disciplinary action should happen, almost to the point where (Cohen) should get fired. I really do," Mark Tyree said. "That's how bad it is, especially for the damage he's done to Jevon."

The parents said they met with both Cohen and head coach Kyle Flood. "(Cohen) tried to apologize," Mark Tyree said, "and I was like, 'Well, the apology really isn't accepted. We want Jevon to get an opportunity. He's been battling this abuse and it's been trickling down to your other coaches on defense.' "

Tyree's father also wanted to meet with the athletic director Julie Hermann but according to him his request was denied. Hermann has also been accused of abusive behavior in the past.

Jevon Tyree says that Cohen's behavior stemmed from a spring practice incident when he injured his hamstring running the 40 yard dash.

Rutgers has released a statement about this case.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gary Payton II commits to attend Oregon State

Gary Payton II will be carrying on the family legacy at his father's alma mater.

Payton II has committed to play basketball for Oregon State next season. Payton II will be following his dad's footsteps, Gary Payton, and try to get the program back to the NCAA tournament, somewhere the team hasn't been to since the elder Payton left Corvallis.

Payton II will sign the letter of intent at the family home in Las Vegas.

 "I just felt like this was the best situation for me right now," Payton II said. "It's just a real business decision, too, knowing it's the same alma mater as my dad." 

Payton II, known as "The Mitten" will have two years of eligibility left when he arrives.

Detroit Lions' Chris Houston's father accused in Sam Hurd drug case

Sam Hurd was sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug trafficking. Now the fallout from he case is starting to take place.

The father of Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Houston has found himself denying allegations that he was involved in drug trafficking with the cousin of Hurd, Tyrone Chavful.

Larry Houston called the allegations 'crap' and says that Chavful's attorney,Michael McCrum, is just trying to get a more favorable ruling for his client.

The elder Houston has never been questioned by authorities about any possible connection with Hurd or Chavful despite McCrum presenting phone records that he says proves that Houston was partners with Chavful.

“I guess they’re trying to throw some smoke, but anything that they done said, I’m absolutely, 100% sure that the police have already checked all of that out, and if I had any connection to Tyrone in any way as far as drugs go, I’d be picked up already and be fighting my own drug case,” Larry Houston said. “That’s just crap. I haven’t even heard it. This is the first time I’ve heard it.”

Larry Houston did say he knew Chavful from printing up t-shirts for Chris' football camp. Chavful owned a a t-shirt printing shop in San Antonio.

“I’m sure the police have already checked all that out, and they were just trying to throw some junk up in the wind,” Larry Houston said. “It’s crazy.”

Apparently the judge isn't buying it and Houston's name will more than likely be cleared. Sounds like Chavful's attorney is trying to throw something to the wall to see if it sticks.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Former NFL receiver Sam Hurd gets 15 years in prison

Former Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd was sentenced by a federal judge to 15 years in prison on a drug trafficking conviction.

Hurd admitted to buying and distributing marijuana but denied any trafficking of cocaine.

“I am very sorry. I am very remorseful for what I did,” Hurd said.

U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis could have sentenced Hurd to anywhere from 10 years to life in prison.

“It’s a tragedy,” Solis told Hurd before issuing the 15-year sentence. “You had everything going for you. You had no reason to get involved in this activity.”

Hurd was arrested in December 2011 outside a Morton's steakhouse near Chicago after accepting a kilogram of cocaine from an undercover officer. Inside the restaurant, prosecutors alleged, Hurd told the officer and an informant that he wanted to buy 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana weekly to distribute. Outside, he got into his vehicle and within moments police surrounded him. Authorities arrested Hurd, capping a more than year-long investigation.

Hurd told the judge that his marijuana addiction led him to make decisions.

Lately it seems like the addiction card is being thrown around lately. Marijuana didn't make Hurd want to be a distributor, Hurd made Hurd want to be a distributor. He made good enough money doing something lots of us will never be able to do in our wildest dreams but he had to screw it up. While 15 years might be a long time, the part of him dealing with cocaine probably got him more years than he might've deserved.

Hopefully professional athletes will take a look at Hurd and leave the street activity out of sports.

New York Mets targeting Nelson Cruz

With the team finally being able to shed the cumbersome contracts of Johan Santana and Jason Bay, the New York Mets are looking to add some power to their lineup.

One name being mentioned is Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz. Cruz turned down the Rangers' one year $14 million offer in search of a multi-year conract. Cruz who is 33, was involved in the Biogenesis scandal reportedly is being targeted by the Mets, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

The Mets are trying to challenge in the NL East and may feel that Cruz can help get them there. The team is looking to get some pop in the lineup and have also been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Curtis Granderson.

The Mets are hesitant to spend big for outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shi Soo Choo. and are looking at the second tier and more affordable options.

Cruz served a 50 game suspension for his role in a PED scandal, but since he has never hit less than 22 home runs and  never driving in less than 76 runs  in the last five seasons teams might be willing to overlook the possible baggage he brings to the table.

Bucks' Larry Sanders cited in January for leaving his dogs in the cold

Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders is having a rough season so far. After signing a contract extension worth $44 million, sanders has had some tough going.

He had surgery on a torn ligament in his thumb that was injured in a bar fight he was involved in on November 2. He's expected to be out six weeks as he recovers from the surgery and the injury. Before that he was doing some chirping about his lack of playing time. Now he has to deal with another hit to his image as the Milwaukee Wisconsin Sentinel Journal reported that Sanders was cited twice in January for cruelty to animals.

Sanders paid $330 in fines for the two citations.

According to court records, a neighbor called police to say Sanders kept his two German shepherd puppies outside in the cold for hours without proper shelter, food and water.

The person said she tried to speak with Sanders about his dogs but felt intimidated and was told by Sanders to leave his property. The neighbor said Sanders told her that he was going to call the police if she returned, court records say.

On Jan. 3, police attempted to contact Sanders but were unsuccessful. An officer went to Sanders' home in the 3200 block of N. Lake Drive, and saw the two puppies in the backyard with no shelter, food or water.

The officer noted that the temperature outside was 17 degrees.

Police notified the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission to retrieve the dogs. An employee of the center determined the dogs "were in harm and needed to be removed," according to the police report.

On Jan. 4, police went back to Sanders' home, met with Sanders and issued the two citations.

Not quite on par with Michael Vick but you still don't leave pets out in 17 degree weather.

Pistons' Josh Smith says he isn't upset about benching during loss to Golden State

Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith says he was not upset at his noticeable lack of playing time in Tuesday's loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Smith, who signed a $54 million deal to join the Pistons in the offseason, scored just two points in a season-low 19 minutes Tuesday. But Smith insisted he did not take the benching personally.

Josh Smith played a season-low 19 minutes in the Pistons' 113-95 loss Tuesday at Golden State.

"I just got to cheer my teammates on," Smith told reporters, according to the Detroit Free Press. "You can't really focus on the decisions that people make higher than you. You just have to be able to adjust around it.

"As long as I've been in this league, that's what I've been willing to do."

Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said he was disappointed in the team's effort against the Warriors, who raced out to a 35-16 lead after the first quarter and led by as many as 29 points.

Smith was subbed out with 1:39 remaining in the first quarter and did not return until midway through the third quarter. But Cheeks said he was not trying to deliver a message to the high-priced forward.

"It's about trying to change some things up," Cheeks said, according to the Free Press. "It wasn't about sending a message; just trying to change some things up to see if we could get some things going."

When asked whether his lack of playing time was meant to send a message, Smith told the website, "You never know."

"You can't really let it affect your thought process," Smith told the website. "You just have to roll with the punches.

"I'm not a selfish player, so I'm not going to go in there and demand plays be ran for me. I just kind of look around and see what in the game is being forced my way, or given my way, and just work my way around it."

Despite his low output Tuesday, Smith has averaged 15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for the Pistons (2-5), who are mired in a four-game losing streak.

"I think I can be effective offensively but, you know, it might be somebody else's night," he told the website. "You never know what it is. Like I said, I can't focus on things that I can't control."

"It Girl" of the week: Angelina Polska

The Just Sports & Just Us "It Girl" of the week is Angelina Polska.

Jerry Rice says Calvin Johnson has work to do to be the greatest ever

Is the Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson the NFL’s greatest receiver ever? He might be, some say.

But the guy who holds most of the career records, Jerry Rice, said Megatron will have to get a lot closer to them before he gets in the conversation.

“I think it’s great that they’re still talking about me after my career’s over,” Rice told USA Today. “He still has a ways to go.

“We’re just going to let this guy continue to develop, and if he should break the majority of my records or break all my records, I’ll be the first one to congratulate him.”

Rice, 51, holds the NFL career receiving records of 1,549 catches, 22,895 yards and 197 TDs over 20 seasons. Johnson, 28, has 541 receptions for 8,740 yards and 63 TDs in seven seasons.

To some Rice may sound like a bitter old man, but he is correct. Johnson will have to perform at a peak level to put up the numbers Rice did when he was playing. In all fairness Rice always had John Taylor on the other side of the field to draw coverage away from him, played on a dominant San Francisco 49ers team and had Joe Montana throwing him the ball.

If Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford can stay healthy and productive, Johnson might be able to achieve the stats that Rice built up during his career.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Houston's Danrad "Chicken' Knowles finally cleared by the NCAA

The University of Houston basketball team received some good news today when prized freshman forward Danrad 'Chicken' Knowles was cleared to by the NCAA Eligibility Center to play immediately.

Knowles redshirted last season when he was declared academically ineligible. Knowles also did not participate in the Cougars' exhibition game or the first two games.

Head coach James Dickey is is happy to finally have the situation resolved.

"We are grateful that the NCAA has ruled quickly in Danrad's case, and we are excited that he has been allowed to compete this season," said James Dickey, UH coach, in a statement released by the school.

 "I appreciate all the efforts of our administration and compliance throughout this process. As excited as our coaches, players and fans will be with this news, no one will be more excited to hit the court than Danrad on Thursday night."

The 6-foot-10 Knowles is expected to be a major contributor for the Cougars, who will begin their first season in the American Athletic Conference. This will give the team a much needed boost as Dickey tries to get the program nationally relevant again.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nuggets' JaVale McGee out with a stress fracture

Denver Nuggets starting center JaVale McGee is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his lower left leg.

Team spokesman Tim Gelt said X-rays revealed the stress fracture in McGee's left tibia on Sunday.

McGee has been chronically bothered by soreness in the tibia, the inner and typically larger of the two bones between the knee and the ankle.

Timofey Mozgov figures to get his first start of the season in McGee's place when the Nuggets play at Utah on Monday night. J.J. Hickson also could see his minutes increased in McGee's absence.

The Nuggets are off to a 1-4 start under new coach Brian Shaw, who replaced George Karl last summer.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Former Miami Dolphin Mark Duper tests positive for signs of CTE

Former NFL All-Pro receiver Mark Duper said he was diagnosed with a brain disease likely caused by blows to the head he received during his playing days.

Duper, who was a star with the Miami Dolphins for 11 seasons in the 1980s, told ESPN he was feeling the effects of cognitive dysfunction and had been diagnosed just this week with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

"It was shocking," Duper told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" Friday. "I hoped nothing was wrong."

But something was wrong, said.

Duper admitted to bouts of depression and forgetfulness, and damage to his brain was confirmed by advanced medial scans.

"I have had memory things where I would go to the store and forget what I went for," he said. "And I have emotional swings and panic attacks."

Duper is the ninth living NFL veteran to be diagnosed with CTE, said. In addition, autopsies on more than 50 former players found buildups of a protein that causes CTE in their brains.

Duper said he was holding his own, and hoped his diagnosis would build further momentum for large-scale testing of NFL players.

"I think this test will show the damage we are doing to our bodies and how to prevent it," he said. "People have to speak up about CTE. I hope me speaking out will show that people should be tested."

Devils' Jaromir Jagr vows to play until 'he cannot walk'

Don't count out Jaromir Jagr just yet. He isn't ready to give up the game of hockey.

The New Jersey Devils winger is saying that this won't be his final year. Whether it's playing in the NHL or elsewhere, Jagr says he'll be playing.

“I’ll tell you one thing, as long as I don’t die, it’s not my last year of playing hockey,” said Jagr, who will turn 42 in February. “I don’t know where I’m gonna play. I don’t know if I’m gonna play U.S. or somewhere else. I’m gonna play. I’ll play until I cannot walk. I love the game too much to leave it.”

Jagr wasn't singing the same tune last August when he said this would be his last season.

Jagr is leading the Devils in scoring and he has no regrets on signing in Jersey despite the team's struggles.

“I’m happy right now, don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy,” said Jagr, who signed a one-year, $2 million pact with the Devils this offseason. “I love Lou (Lamoriello, the team’s general manager). He’s honest. If you play bad, he’ll tell you. If you play good, he’ll tell you. He’s an honest guy. I have no complaints after signing with the Devils.”

Even though he's past his prime, Jagr will play for whoever wants him.

Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers prospects facing off ice criminal charges

CKNW is reporting that Vancouver Giants defenseman Brett Kulak and forward Jackson Houck are facing criminal charges from an incident at an Aug. 18 house party in Delta.

Kulak, 19, a Calgary Flames prospect, and Houck, 18, a Edmonton Oilers prospect, are each charged with assault causing bodily harm. Kulak faces a second charge of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

According to CKNW, both players have had three court appearances so far.

Both are continuing to play for the Giants.

Kulak is Vancouver’s leading scorer, with 20 points, including seven goals, in 20 games. Houck tops the team in goals, with eight, and has 14 points in 20 games.

Former Michigan State center Derrick Nix signs with Latvian team VEF Riga

When Derrick Nix exhausted his eligibility for the Michigan State basketball team last spring that wasn't the end of his career.

Even though Nix didn't get picked up by a NBA team, he has made a living playing in Europe.

Nix signed with the Latvian pro team VEF Riga.

"I made the team today and this is my new home," Nix tweeted. "I like it here it's bigger and better, and I've been playing really well!"

Nix started his professional career in Slovenia but parted ways with the team in the preseason. 

Even though it's not the NBA, Spartans coach Tom Izzo sounds proud of his former player throwing in a joke along the way..

"Tell Nixer to take care of his business over in Europe, and I'd like to weigh him in
right now though," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said last month. "I would like to weigh him in right now."

Eastern Michigan's Ron English fired for 'inappropriate comments'

Ron English failed to turn the Eastern Michigan Eagles into a competitive football team in the Mid American Conference. More than likely he probably would've been fired but the ax came down earlier than expected for English after an audio tape surfaced of English using 'inappropriate language' to his players during a tirade.

Explained Heather Lyke, the school’s athletic director: “I received a tape of a situation in which Coach English had addressed the team and used wholly inappropriate language. We hold our coaches and staff to high standards of professionalism and conduct and there is no place, particularly in a student environment, where this language is appropriate. The statements made by Coach English are absolutely unacceptable. My decision to make a change in leadership of our football program was the culmination of a lot of factors including the comprehensive review of our program, the competitive performance and this tape.”

The timing was pretty odd since Eastern was scheduled to play their cross state rival Western Michigan. With the combined team performance and offensive remarks Lyke figure it was time for English to go.

Two years ago it looked like English had the program on the right track when the team finished 6-6.

English was 11-46 and 7-30 in the MAC. Offensive coordinator Stan Parrish will take over on an interim basis until the end of the season.