NCAA misconduct follows Pryor to pros with suspension
Terrelle Pryor will have an opportunity to pursue his NFL dreams, with one significant caveat: The former Ohio State star must still pay for breaking NCAA rules while he was in college. The league announced Thursday that Pryor is eligible for its supplemental draft, but he won't be allowed to practice for the team that selects him until Week 6. Pryor gave up his final season with the Buckeyes following an investigation into the team's memorabilia-for-cash scandal. He would've had to sit out five games had he chosen to return to Ohio State.
"We accept that voluntarily," Pryor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said. "It's a small price to pay for him to have a chance to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL."
A small price that could have broader consequences. Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith worked together on the decision, Rosenhaus said. The league hopes it will dissuade future college players who run afoul of the NCAA from trying to use the NFL as a means of escaping punishment. But it also creates this question: Does the NFL have the authority to suspend a player who doesn't even work for the NFL yet?
The league told clubs Pryor "made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft."
Green practices with Bengals after injury
Rookie receiver A.J. Green fully participated with the Bengals in Georgetown Thursday, a day after he was forced to the sideline by a leg injury. The first-round pick from Georgia was kicked near his right knee during a workout on Wednesday, forcing him to sit out the rest of practice. Green said he felt fine and was looking forward to going against Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis in a pre-season game Sunday night in New York. Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel watched practice on the sideline with Bengals owner Mike Brown but declined to talk to reporters.
Players sue league over concussions
Six former players and one current player have sued the NFL in Philadelphia over the league's handling of concussion-related injuries, the first potential class-action lawsuit of its kind. The players accuse the league of training players to lead with their heads, failing to properly treat them for concussions and trying to conceal any links between football and brain injuries. The plaintiffs include two-time Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon, who has said he played through five concussions but now frequently walks around "in a daze." McMahon has agreed to leave his brain to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had not yet seen the lawsuit but would vigorously contest any such claims. The other plaintiffs include Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, 26.
■ Jets running back Shonn Greene has a "low-grade skin infection" on his right foot and will not play in the team's pre-season game against Cincinnati Sunday night. Meanwhile, wide receiver Plaxico Burress appeared to be a full participant at practice while working with the first-team offense. He had been hobbled by a sprained left ankle until Wednesday.
■ Broncos defensive tackle Ty Warren will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair his partially torn right triceps. Coach John Fox said Thursday that the Broncos won't place him on injured reserve. Warren was the Broncos' top free agency acquisition, signing a two-year, $8 million deal two weeks ago.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Wisconsin's Alvarez duped by Shapiro
Wisconsin Athletics Director Barry Alvarez is among those claiming to have lost money in a Ponzi scheme run by Nevin Shapiro, the imprisoned former Miami booster at the center of a scandal enveloping the Hurricanes' athletic department. Court records show Alvarez's family has filed claims against Shapiro's company for at least $1 million. In a statement Thursday, Alvarez said he invested in Shapiro's company after a friend told him about it several years ago.
Trotter to start at QB for Auburn
Barrett Trotter is Auburn's starting quarterback. Coach Gene Chizik said Thursday that Trotter will start the defending national champions' opener against Utah State. He beat out Clint Moseley and freshman Kiehl Frazier. Trotter was redshirted in 2008 and then missed the following season with a knee injury. He played in five games last season in relief of Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.
■ Boston College running back Montel Harris, the Atlantic Coast Conference Pre-season Player of the Year, will miss the next three to four weeks of practice with a knee injury.
Two shoot 63 in Wyndham's first round
Jeff Quinney and Tommy Gainey shot 7-under 63s on Thursday to share the lead after one round at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C. Quinney had eight birdies, including five in a row early in his round, to start strong in his last chance to qualify for golf's post-season. Gainey had five birdies and an eagle in matching his career-best round. Both players are chasing their first PGA Tour victory. Quinney arrived in 215th place in the FedEx Cup standings. A win — and the 500 points that accompany it — would put him in The Barclays.
■ Jeff Sluman shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Senior Players Championship, the Champions Tour's final major of the season. Senior British Open winner and Paducah native Russ Cochran was three shots back. Sluman, the winner last month at Pebble Beach, had seven birdies and a bogey at the major championship on Westchester Country Club's tree-lined West Course in Harrison, N.Y.
Nadal survives three tiebreakers in Cincy
Rafael Nadal held off fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco to pull out a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (9) win and reach the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati. Verdasco unleashed 48 winners to Nadal's 29. But Verdasco committed 41 unforced errors to Nadal's 31 in the match, which lasted three hours, 37 minutes in sunny, mid-80s temperatures. The match was the eighth to need three tiebreakers in the Open era and first since 2008.
UFC signs TV deal with Fox
The UFC, mixed martial arts' dominant promotional company, announced a landmark seven-year deal with Fox on Thursday, putting four UFC shows on the main network each year and an extensive array of programming on its cable networks. The UFC will become a prominent feature on FX, with live fights on most Friday nights and a revamped version of The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC's popular reality show.
South Lexington reaches Major/60 finals
South Lexington scored five runs in the third inning on its way to a 10-0 win over Buchanan (Calif.) Thursday and a spot in the finals of the Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series in Visalia, Calif. Lexington is set to take on the winner of Thursday's late game between the hosts and Pitt County (N.C.). The finals are at 10 p.m. EDT Friday.
■ The Kentucky women's soccer team kicks off the UK sports calendar Friday when it travels to Rochester, Mich., to take on Oakland. The Cats return their top four scorers from last season and five of their top six from last year's team that advanced to the SEC Tournament for the first time since the 2007 season.
The last word
Tigers pitcher Daniel Schlereth on yielding Jim Thome's 600th career home run:
"I felt kind of awkward. I didn't know whether to clap or what."