Anonymous rippers of Tebow called 'cowardly' by Ryan
An angry Rex Ryan addressed his New York Jets players for some anonymous quotes ripping Tim Tebow in a newspaper report, calling the comments "a cowardly thing."
Ryan, whose Jets are 3-6 and have lost three straight, said Wednesday that he has no respect for players who say things to the media without putting their names to their comments.
A report in the Daily News says that more than a dozen players and members of the Jets organization believe there's no chance Tebow could overtake Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback job — with one saying of the backup: "He's terrible."
Ryan says the Jets never brought Tebow in to be the starter.
■ Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews will miss Sunday's game in Detroit with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 4. Matthews is tied for second in the NFC with nine sacks.
■ Ben Roethlisberger's sprained right shoulder is just the start of his problems. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback said Wednesday he also dislocated a rib while getting sacked in Monday night's win against Kansas City. Roethlisberger sprained the SC joint in his shoulder on the play but says the rib issue is a bigger concern.
Roethlisberger said doctors are concerned the rib could cut into his aorta. He's already been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Backup Byron Leftwich will start.
■ Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for Kansas City on Sunday against Cincinnati because Brady Quinn still has not been cleared to play following a concussion. Chiefs Coach Romeo Crennel said that Quinn feels better and could be cleared soon.
Macumber Southeast Athlete of Year
Kentucky's Cally Macumber was named Southeast Region Women's Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Wednesday. The Rochester Hills, Mich., native, the 2012 SEC Women's Runner of the Year, earned the award after winning three races this season, including two straight post-season meets. She won Kentucky's first SEC individual title since 1989, then took the NCAA Southeast Regional by a three-second margin.
Macumber qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships, and will be joined at Saturday's meet in Louisville by teammate Chelsea Oswald and UK men's runner Luis Orta.
Cousins' suspension over; appeal isn't
The NBA players' association is continuing its appeal on behalf of Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins even after he has served his suspension.
The league suspended the ex-Cat two games for confronting San Antonio announcer Sean Elliott in a "hostile manner." The exchange followed the Spurs' 97-86 victory in Sacramento on Friday night.
The union said Wednesday that the two-game suspension was "excessive and unwarranted." Cousins hopes to recoup his pay for each game. He lost about $70,500 of his $3.9 million annual salary.
■ Houston rookie Royce White remains absent from the team in a dispute over how the Rockets are helping him confront his anxiety disorder. White, the 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft, made a deal with the team to travel by bus to some games so he could confront his fear of flying. He flew with the team to its season opener in Detroit, then traveled by bus to games at Atlanta and Memphis.
■ A cheerleader and stunt team member is in stable condition after falling on her head during a performance at an Orlando Magic game. The family of 31-year-old Jamie Woode says she suffered three vertebrae fractures and a broken rib. But there were no signs of neurological damage and she's expected to make a full recovery.
■ Ex-Cats Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight each scored 15 points Wednesday as Detroit won its first game of the season, 94-76 at Philadelphia. Detroit (1-8) is off to its worst start in club history.
■ Ex-Wildcat Rajon Rondo had 10 assists before leaving host Boston's 98-93 victory over Utah in the third quarter with a right ankle injury. It was his 32nd straight game with 10 or more assists.
Frankel's yearly stud projection: $19M
Frankel is expected to generate $19 million per year as a stallion after being given a stud fee of $200,000 by his owners.
The superstar horse, who retired last month after going 14 races unbeaten, is likely to have 100 mares on his annual roster as Saudi owner Prince Khalid Abdullah looks to breed another champion.
Frankel was chosen European horse of the year for the second straight year on Tuesday after winning five races in 2012 and maintaining his No. 1 position in the world thoroughbred rankings.
■ Goldencents is the early 5-2 favorite for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot for 2-year-olds on Saturday.
Trained by Doug O'Neill, Goldencents will break from the outside post in the field of nine under Kevin Krigger. O'Neill trained I'll Have Another to wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness this year.
O'Neill will also saddle Best Pal winner Know More, who will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez and is owned by J. Paul Reddam. They were the rider and owner of I'll Have Another. Know More is 4-1.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail was made the third choice at 9-2. He is trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Hightail will be the first BC champion to run in the Jackpot.
The winner will earn $600,000 and 10 points toward a possible starting position in next year's Kentucky Derby.
Big 12, SEC make Sugar deal with ESPN
The Big 12 and Southeastern Conference have agreed to a 12-year deal with ESPN for the rights to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. A person familiar with the contract said it was worth about $80 million per year.
The Big 12 and SEC recently picked the Sugar Bowl as the site of its new marquee game, starting in 2014. The champions of each conference will play in the game, unless those teams are selected for the four-team playoff that also starts that season.
■ Texas A&M police say freshman wide receiver Thomas Johnson is missing. The 18-year-old was last seen leaving his residence in College Station on Monday at 5 p.m. Johnson went to high school in Dallas and police believe he might have traveled there. Aggies Coach Kevin Sumlin said: "We pray for his quick and safe return."
Johnson has appeared in 10 games this season, and has 30 catches for 339 yards and a touchdown.
■ Lindsey Vonn was released from a hospital in Colorado on Wednesday, although details of her illness remain unclear and there is no indication of when she can begin skiing again.
"Lindsey is feeling much better today," Vonn's publicist, Lewis Kay, wrote in an email. "She is resting comfortably at home. Doctors are still working to determine what specifically was the cause of her illness, but thankfully she has responded well to their treatment. ... We do not know when she will be able to return to the mountain."
The four-time overall World Cup champion and Olympic downhill gold medalist was admitted to the hospital in Vail on Monday.
■ Mix Diskerud scored his first international goal in the third minute of injury time, giving the United States a 2-2 tie against Russia on Wednesday in an exhibition game at Krasnodar.
The last word
Major league owners descended on Chicago on Wednesday while the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays worked on a blockbuster trade with implications for the rest of the sport. Owners and baseball executives seemed interested in hearing more about the deal, even if they didn't want to talk about it just yet. Said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria as he strolled by a group of reporters:
"Not today, boys. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not going to figure it out for you."