Sports briefs: Sept. 12

September 12, 2013 

NFL

Goodell: League should listen to fans offended by 'Redskins'

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the NFL should pay attention to those offended by the Washington Redskins nickname.

"If we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure that we're doing the right things to try to address that," Goodell said in an interview with 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C.

It was a subtle change in position for Goodell, who had more strongly supported the nickname in his previous statements this year.

Goodell, who grew up in Washington and was a Redskins fan, said it was team owner Dan Snyder's decision as to whether the name will be changed.

"But," Goodell added, "it is something that I want all of us to go out and make sure we're listening to our fans, listening to people who have a different view, and making sure that we continue to do what's right to make sure that team represents the strong tradition and history that it has for so many years."

Lions: Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh says he isn't going to change what he does on the field. And he's appealing his latest fine, too.

Suh was fined $100,000 for an illegal block on a Minnesota Vikings player in the Detroit Lions' season-opening win last weekend. It is the NFL's biggest monetary fine for on-field conduct, not including the dollars lost by players to suspensions. Suh's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, said he expects the appeal to be heard later this week, when he hopes to provide another perspective to reduce his client's fine.

"Everyone is talking about how Ndamukong shouldn't have blocked the 300-pound lineman because there was no way he was going to catch a linebacker," Barnes said in a telephone interview. "If that's the case, the lineman should've known he wasn't going to catch the linebacker. But the lineman did attempt to catch the linebacker and Ndamukong attempted to block him. But everyone wants to make Ndamukong out to be a villain."

Panthers: Carolina announced Wednesday it's re-signed defensive tackle Sione Fua and placed guard and ex-Cat Garry Williams on injured reserve with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee.

Williams, who started 39 of 45 games in his time at UK, injured his knee in Carolina's 12-7 loss Sunday to Seattle. Chris Scott is expected to start in his place Sunday at Buffalo.

Browns: Linebacker Barkevious Mingo doesn't have to wait any longer. Cleveland's first-round draft pick in this year's draft, who was hospitalized with a bruised lung he sustained in an Aug. 15 exhibition game, returned to full contact in practice on Wednesday and is expected to make his NFL debut this week against Baltimore.


College Football

Report: Five SEC players got payouts

Five Southeastern Conference players received improper benefits during their college careers, including former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, according to a Yahoo Sports report.

The Yahoo report Wednesday cited text messages and financial records of former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis and an unnamed NFL source who said Davis was a go-between for the players with NFL agents and financial advisers.

The players named in the report were Fluker, who started on two national championship teams, Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and defensive end Maurice Couch, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and wide receiver Chad Bumphis.

All three schools issued statements Wednesday saying they are investigating the allegations. The transactions could violate NCAA rules prohibiting benefits from agents or representatives.

Agents Andy Simms, Peter Schaffer and John Phillips and financial adviser Mike Rowan each confirmed giving money to Davis, according to Yahoo, but said they didn't instruct the former player to provide benefits to players, and didn't know of him doing so.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban briefly addressed the allegations after Wednesday's practice.

"I have full confidence in our leadership that we're going to do whatever we need to do to handle the situation appropriately, and I know that we will," Saban said, adding that he didn't know of any current players involved in allegations related to the report.

Mississippi State and Tennessee are both on probation for other NCAA violations until the summer of 2015.

Weeden 'LOL'-ed at SI allegations

■ Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden called Sports Illustrated's allegations of widespread corruption within Oklahoma State's football program "comical" and said one of the magazine's reporters has an agenda against the school.

Weeden, who set numerous records at Oklahoma State from 2008-11, said he "literally laughed out loud" while reading the first part of SI's investigative series. Weeden said the players SI interviewed for the exposé "are guys that aren't real credible." He said he did not accept any money while he was at OSU and praised Coach Mike Gundy for running a clean program.

The second-year NFL starter believes SI writer Thayer Evans targeted Oklahoma State because he's a fan of rival Oklahoma.

■ Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake has been lost for the season after tearing a knee ligament at practice this week. Peake was the team's second-leading receiver with eight catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.

■ Grambling State has fired head football coach Doug Williams after the team lost its first two games of the season. Grambling had a 1-10 record in 2012 under the 58-year-old Williams, who served two stints as the team's head coach, first from 1998 to 2003 then returning in 2011.


UK SPORTS

UK women trounce field by 11 shots

The University of Kentucky women's golf team won the 2013 "MO"Morial Invitational by 11 strokes after recording the third-lowest round in program history Wednesday at Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.

The Wildcats finished with a team score of 2-under-par 286 in the third round, giving them a tournament total of 8-over-par 872. Second-place Virginia finished the tournament at 19-over.

Freshman Haley Mills, the only golfer to break par in the tournament, led three UK golfers who finished in the top 10. She finished at 213, good for 3-under. Sarah Harris, a sophomore, tied for second with Texas A&M's Katerina Ruzickova at 1-over-par, while senior Liz Breed tied with three others for seventh at 4-over.

"...This was a big step for her and I am looking forward to watching her develop over the next few years," Coach Johansson Borst said of Mills, who held the lead after the first round and never allowed another golfer to take the top spot.

■ The Kentucky volleyball team's match at Lipscomb on Saturday, Sept. 21 has been added to the ESPN3.com schedule, Lipscomb and the Atlantic Sun Conference announced Wednesday.


NBA

Knicks sign ex-Card, D-Leaguer

The New York Knicks have signed guards Chris Smith and Toure' Murry. Smith is the younger brother of Knicks guard J.R. Smith, the NBA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year. Chris Smith, who helped Louisville reach the 2012 Final Four, was on the Knicks' roster in the pre-season last year before getting hurt and waived before the regular season. Murry helped lead Rio Grande to the NBA Development League championship last season before playing on the Knicks' summer league team in July.


The last word

Michael Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, has returned to the place where his pro career started. The Miami Heat signed the troubled former lottery selection to a non-guaranteed contract Wednesday. Heat guard Mario Chalmers, who was particularly close with Beasley, wrote on Twitter:

"Well well the homie is back. I want every heat fan to welcome back my brotha @easyst0 aka mr buckets back to Miami. We focused"

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