NFLPA to investigate Dolphins' bullying scandal
The NFL Players Association will conduct its own investigation into the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday.
Richard Smith, outside counsel for the union in the New Orleans Saints bounty case, will investigate tackle Jonathan Martin's allegations, the person confirmed.
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Martin has said that he was harassed daily by teammates, including guard Richie Incognito, who has been suspended.
Smith will examine the roles of Coach Joe Philbin, his staff and Miami management, although it's unknown whether they will be willing to meet with him. One issue is whether anyone on the coaching staff ordered Incognito to toughen up Martin, a second-year tackle from Stanford who became a starter as a rookie but played poorly at times.
NFL special investigator Ted Wells has been questioning players, coaches and staff at the Dolphins' complex this week. Wells was appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell after Dolphins owner Stephen Ross asked the league to look into the case.
Martin spent nearly seven hours with Wells on Friday in New York. Wells will also interview Incognito, who was suspended Nov. 3.
■ A couple of Green Bay Packers fans whose baby sustained a broken collarbone during birth had no trouble picking a name for their newborn.
They happen to know their favorite NFL quarterback is healing from the same injury. Aaron Rodger Dryer arrived Sunday afternoon at St. Mary's Hospital in Green Bay, just in time for the Packers game against the New York Giants. When the medical staff discovered the newborn had a broken left collarbone, same side as Aaron Rodgers' injury, Kyle Dryer and Kristal Tyczkowski settled on a name for their third child. The couple dropped the "s" from Rodgers because they thought Rodger sounded better as a middle name.
The physician who delivered the baby, Dr. Robert Moyer, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette collarbone injuries are fairly common in newborns. He said the injury typically heals easily within a couple of weeks.
■ The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed offensive lineman Chandler Burden to their practice squad on Wednesday. Burden, a former University of Kentucky starter, spent six weeks on the Chiefs' practice squad before being released on Nov. 12. He spent last season on the Miami Dolphins' practice squad before being released by Miami in August.
■ Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is out of a hard cast and wearing a small brace on his injured left ankle. Coach Marc Trestman said Wednesday that Cutler remains week to week with a high ankle sprain. The Bears have ruled him out for Sunday's game at St. Louis.
■ Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that receiver Leonard Hankerson will have surgery on a damaged lateral collateral ligament and will require several months of recovery. Hankerson was hurt in the second quarter of Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
■ San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks has been fined $15,570 by the NFL for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday. The linebacker was fined $12,750 for a roughing-the-passer call against Aaron Rodgers during the season opener against Green Bay.
Davis quickly ties career high in Pels' win
Anthony Davis matched his career best with eight blocks — set just four days ago in Saturday's blowout win over the 76ers — and also had 20 points and nine rebounds in the Pelicans' 105-98 win over the Jazz. Davis finished with one more block than the Jazz did as a team. Enes Kanter had a team-high 19 points for Utah, as well as nine rebounds and one block.
■ Washington survived an 18-point fourth-quarter outburst by Kyrie Irving and defeated Cleveland 98-91 on the road, four days after falling to the Cavaliers at home 103-96 in overtime. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 26 points, while ex-Cat John Wall had 15 points and nine assists for the winners. Irving finished with 28 points.
■ Chris Paul had 20 points and 11 assists to help the Clippers edge the Timberwolves 102-98. Paul's double-double set a league record, as he became the first player to have at least 10 points and 10 assists in the first 12 games to start a season. He broke a tie with Magic Johnson, who opened the 1990-91 season with 11 straight such games.
■ The Bobcats improved to .500 as they won 95-91 over the Nets, who have had a hard time meeting high expectations many had for the squad prior to the season. Kemba Walker accounted for 31 of Charlotte's points. Former Kentucky standout Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went 4-for-10 for eight points, but turned the ball over a team-high five times in the win.
■ Paul George outdueled Carmelo Anthony, and the Indiana Pacers improved to a league-best 10-1 on the season after defeating New York 103-96 in overtime. George had 35 points and five steals for the Pacers, while Anthony led the struggling Knicks with 30 points and 18 rebounds.
■ Josh Harrellson played six minutes and connected on his only shot attempt — a three-pointer — to finish with three points and a rebound in Detroit's 93-85 loss at Atlanta.
Tigers' Fielder traded for Texas' Kinsler
A person with knowledge of the deal says the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers have agreed to a blockbuster trade that would send slugger Prince Fielder to the Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday night because no announcement had been made.
Fielder signed a $214 million, nine-year contract with the Tigers before the 2012 season that includes a limited no-trade provision, and the big first baseman was set to approve the deal. Kinsler just finished the first season of a $75 million, five-year contract.
■ The St. Louis Cardinals have given a three-year contract extension to Manager Mike Matheny, who has made deep post-season runs in both of his seasons. The team also announced Wednesday that pitcher Chris Carpenter has retired. The 38-year-old right-hander missed all of this season with a recurring nerve issue in his shoulder.
■ Josh Johnson and the San Diego Padres agreed on an $8 million, one-year contract that was finalized on Wednesday. The Padres, coming off a second straight finish of 76-86, hope they're getting the Johnson who was an All-Star with Miami in 2009 and 2010 and not the one slowed by triceps and forearm injuries last year while with Toronto.
Vonn suffers partial tear to right knee
Lindsey Vonn partially tore one of the reconstructed ligaments in her surgically repaired right knee in a training crash that at the very least puts her preparation for the Sochi Olympics on hold. Vonn has not competed since needing surgery to fix her ACL and MCL after a crash in the world championships at Austria nine months ago; the ACL was re-injured Tuesday.
■ Kentucky gymnastics coach Tim Garrison announced four signees to UK's 2014-2015 freshman class on Wednesday. Kathryn Carlisle (Newark, Ohio), Brittany Furuyama (Houston, Texas), Corinne Rechenmacher (Batavia, Ill.) and Sydney Waltz (Findlay, Ohio) have all signed national letters of intent.
The last word
Alex Rodriguez walked out of his grievance hearing Wednesday after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz refused to order baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to testify. Horowitz was in the midst of the 11th day of hearings on the grievance filed by the players' association to overturn the 211-game suspension given to Rodriguez by Major League Baseball last summer for alleged violations of the sport's drug agreement and labor contract. Rodriguez was still on the defense during an interview later on New York's WFAN radio:
"I'm done. I don't have a chance. You let the arbiter decide whatever he decides. My position doesn't change. I didn't do it."