Headlines from around the world in sports
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2013, file photo, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel warms up during NCAA college football practice in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M coaches and players are talking only about Rice, their opening opponent Saturday. What they're not talking about is Manziel and the NCAA investigation into whether he was paid for autographs. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2013, file photo, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel throws during NCAA college football practice in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M coaches and players are talking only about Rice, their opening opponent Saturday. What they're not talking about is Manziel and the NCAA investigation into whether he was paid for autographs. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2012, file photo, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel (2) watches from the bench during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Sam Houston State in College Station, Texas. Manziel could become the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy when the award is presented on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel, File)
Manziel to sit half of Texas A&M’s opener
HOUSTON – Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was suspended for the first half of the Aggies’ season-opener against Rice on Saturday for what the school said was an “inadvertent” violation of NCAA rules by signing autographs.
The school issued a statement yesterday saying it declared the Heisman Trophy winner ineligible and that the NCAA agreed to reinstate Manziel after he sits out the first half.
“I am proud of the way both Coach Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty,” Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp said in the statement. “We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code.”
Manziel was being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly accepting money for signing autographs for memorabilia brokers, which violates NCAA rules and could have led to a much longer suspension. ESPN first reported the allegations against Manziel earlier this month.
According to the statement, Texas A&M and the NCAA “confirmed there is no evidence Manziel received money in exchange for autographs based on currently available information and statements by Manziel.”
Conditions for reinstatement include Manziel discussing his actions with teammates and A&M revising how it educates student-athletes about signing autographs.
“Student-athletes are often asked for autographs from fans, but unfortunately, some individuals’ sole motivation in seeking an autograph is for resale,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs. “It is important that schools are cognizant and educate student-athletes about situations in which there is a strong likelihood that the autograph seeker plans to resell the items.”
Flacco banner in Denver draws Broncos fans ire
DENVER – Joe Flacco looms larger than life in Denver, and not just because he engineered the stunning upset of the Broncos in the playoffs that propelled the Baltimore Ravens to the Super Bowl title.
The league’s marketing campaign for next week’s kickoff game features several large banners of Flacco fluttering from lamp posts on downtown streets – and a giant one several stories high that hangs at Sports Authority Field alongside a banner of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
That has drawn an angry public reaction from Broncos fans who have taken to Twitter and to the streets to vent their frustration. One local sportscaster used a Sharpie to draw a mustache on a Flacco poster hanging along Denver’s 16th Street Mall, and covered another with tape.
Browns waive DB Wade, former draft pick
CLEVELAND – The Browns were awarded rookie linebacker Eric Martin on waivers from New Orleans and waived second-year cornerback Trevin Wade.
A seventh-round pick last season from Arizona, Wade injured his shoulder while trying to make a diving interception during a training camp practice. He appeared in 13 games last season, playing mainly on special teams.
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Martin originally signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent on April 28. He played in all three exhibition games, recording one special teams tackle. New Orleans waived the former Nebraska player on Tuesday.
As a senior, Martin was named first-team All-Big Ten and led the Cornhuskers with 8½ sacks. The Browns said he will wear No. 56 and is expected to be available Thursday night for the exhibition finale in Chicago.
Pirates closer Grilli nearing return
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star closer Jason Grilli pitched a simulated game yesterday and is nearing a return from a strained right forearm.
Grilli threw 25 pitches to a handful of teammates and said he is encouraged by the results. The 36-year-old has been on the disabled list since injuring his arm in a 6-5 victory over Washington on July 22.
Barring a setback, Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle expects Grilli to make rehab appearance for Double-A Altoona on Saturday.
The righthander made the All-Star team for the first time and was second in the National League with 30 saves at the time of the injury. Grilli said he won’t rush back even as the Pirates battle St. Louis and Cincinnati for the NL Central title.
Indians place Raburn on DL with Achilles injury
ATLANTA – The Cleveland Indians placed outfielder Ryan Raburn on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left Achilles.
The move yesterday is retroactive to Aug. 19.
Raburn has missed 10 of the last 11 games with soreness in his left foot. He is hitting .270 with 15 homers and 41 RBI in 70 games.
The Indians purchased the contract of outfielder Matt Carson from Triple-A Columbus, where he was hitting .252 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs.
Rockets sign Brewer
The Houston Rockets have signed free agent swingman Ronnie Brewer.
The team announced the deal yesterday. Brewer spent last season with the Knicks and Thunder, averaging 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in just over 14 minutes a game. The 6-foot-7 Brewer can play both shooting guard and small forward and has carved a reputation as a hard-working defender in his seven seasons in the NBA.
Brewer’s career started in Utah in 2006. He has also played for Memphis and Chicago.
Brewer was traded from the Knicks to the Thunder last year after enduring a horrible shooting slump. In Houston he will be relied upon more for his defense, with James Harden, Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons shouldering much of the scoring load.
Clippers sign free agent Jamison
LOS ANGELES – Free agent Antawn Jamison signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The 37-year-old forward moves down the hallway at Staples Center to join the Clippers after starting six of 76 games with the Lakers last season. He averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Jamison is a two-time All-Star who enters his 16th NBA season ninth among active players with 19,958 career points and eighth in total rebounds with 8,102.
He has also played with Golden State, Dallas, Washington and Cleveland during his career. Jamison has career averages of 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
The deal was announced yesterday.
Labonte breaks 3 ribs in bike riding accident
TRINITY, N.C. — Bobby Labonte broke three ribs in a bike riding accident Wednesday near his North Carolina home and will miss this weekend’s NASCAR race in Atlanta.
A spokesman for the driver said Labonte was taken to a hospital by ambulance and will be held overnight for observation.
Labonte was scheduled to drive the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He’ll be replaced in the car by Mike Bliss.
Labonte’s consecutive starts streak came to an end earlier this season at 704 races when JTG Daugherty Racing used AJ Allmendinger at Kentucky in June instead of Labonte.
The 2000 NASCAR champion had not missed a start since he began racing full-time in the Cup Series in 1993. He’s won 21 races Cup races.
Donovan re-signs with Los Angeles Galaxy
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan signed a multiyear contract extension with the Los Angeles Galaxy, keeping the high-scoring U.S. national team star with his MLS club.
The Galaxy announced the deal yesterday with Donovan, whose current contract was up at the end of the season.
The 31-year-old Donovan has been with the Galaxy since 2005, winning three of his five career MLS Cup titles with Los Angeles. He is the third-leading goal-scorer in MLS history, trailing leader Jeff Cunningham by just three goals.
Donovan also is the U.S. national team’s career scoring leader, playing in the last three World Cups.
He took a self-imposed sabbatical after the Galaxy’s MLS Cup victory last December, only returning to the Galaxy in late March. He also returned to U.S. national team play last month.