Roethlisberger's suspension reduced to four games
Ben Roethlisberger's suspension was cut from six games to four by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Pittsburgh Steelers' star quarterback met with Goodell early Friday and was told he could return on Oct. 17 against Cleveland.
Roethlisberger was suspended in April for violating the league's personal conduct policy, but Goodell said at the time he would review the player's behavior over the next few months. Goodell was satisfied that the quarterback has followed the league's guidelines and stayed out of trouble. Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student following a night of drinking in a Milledgeville, Ga., bar on March 5. He was not charged by Georgia authorities.
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The league said the "reinstatement is contingent on Roethlisberger continuing to adhere to the program established by our advisors and avoiding any further violations of the personal conduct policy."
■ Byron Leftwich's strained left knee ligament could sideline him for most or all of the first month of the season, leaving the Steelers with only two healthy quarterbacks — Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch — for their Sept. 12 opener against Atlanta.
White, Hardesty out for season
The Denver Broncos' tailback turnstile keeps on spinning. LenDale White is out for the season after rupturing his right Achilles' tendon Thursday night at Minnesota. White will undergo surgery on Tuesday, said Chris Brantley, who represents the fifth-year running back who spent his first four seasons in Tennessee and joined the Broncos last month as a free agent. White was signed after Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) and Correll Buckhalter (back) got hurt in camp last month. He had been released this spring by Seattle, where Pete Carroll, who coached him at Southern Cal, is now coach.
■ Cleveland Browns rookie running back Montario Hardesty tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in his NFL debut on Thursday night and will be out for the year, a cruel twist for the second-round pick, whose career has been slowed by serious knee injuries. The Browns placed Hardesty on injured reserve Friday. Hardesty ran for 23 yards and a touchdown on his first six carries.
Cards keeping 3 QBs; no word on Leinart
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he has told rookie quarterbacks Max Hall and John Skelton they have made the Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster. The fate of Matt Leinart remained uncertain. Whisenhunt said he met with the former Heisman Trophy winner on Friday and told him the team was not yet prepared to take any action regarding him. Whisenhunt has not named a starting quarterback but all signs point to Derek Anderson, with Arizona reportedly trying to trade Leinart.
Cowboys trade Crayton to Chargers
Patrick Crayton wanted out the minute the Dallas Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant. He finally got his wish Friday, and it might've been worth the wait. The wide receiver was dealt to the San Diego Chargers for future considerations, likely a late-round draft pick.
■ The New York Giants reportedly acquired quarterback Sage Rosenfels from the Minnesota Vikings for an undisclosed draft pick.The Giants lost backup Jim Sorgi with a shoulder injury and he was placed on injured reserve, leaving untested Rhett Bomar as the only other quarterback besides starter Eli Manning. Rosenfels was third string behind Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson in Minnesota.
■ The Houston Texans released kicker Kris Brown, the only player remaining from the inaugural 2002 season. Brown lost a competition in training camp to Neil Rackers, a free agent who was signed in the off-season. The Texans worked out running backs Derrick Ward and Justin Fargas on Friday as they look to replenish depth at the position. Arian Foster has earned the starting role, but Steve Slaton and Jeremiah Johnson have sustained toe injuries.
■ Running back Ladell Betts was released by the New Orleans Saints. Betts, a former Washington Redskins starter, has been trying to come back from torn ligaments in his left knee. He played in the Saints' final pre-season game at Tennessee on Thursday night, rushing seven times for 38 yards and catching four passes for 21 yards.
■ Former Kentucky linebacker Johnny Williams was one of seven players waived by the Denver Broncos. Williams spent the 2009 season on Pittsburgh's practice squad. ... Kicker Shane Andrus, a Murray native who played at Murray State, was waived by the San Francisco 49ers. ... Owensboro native Justin Miller, a cornerback and kick returner, was released by the Arizona Cardinals.
Bledsoe findings expected next week
The law firm investigating the high school academics of former Kentucky basketball player Eric Bledsoe plans to produce its findings next week, Birmingham Board of Education attorney Afrika Parchman told The Birmingham News. The newspaper reported that since June 24, the Birmingham school system has spent $8,305 on the investigation. The scope of the independent investigation was limited to issues surrounding Bledsoe's course grades at Hayes and Parker high schools.
■ Former Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson, a sixth-round pick by the New York Giants in 2008, was released by the United Football League's Hartford Colonials on Wednesday. The team elected to keep Josh McCown and Ryan Perrilloux.
Women's soccer tops No. 15 Va. Tech
Kentucky's women's soccer team scored two second-half goals to rally for a 2-1 victory against No. 15 Virginia Tech (2-3) in the ACC/SEC Challenge in Winston Salem, N.C., on Friday night. The Wildcats' Jenna Goblirsch, an Elizabethtown graduate, scored her first goal of the season in the 50th minute. Kentucky (3-0) took the lead on a goal by Caitlin Landis in the 61st minute.
■ Freshmen Tyler Riggs and Tyler Beadle starred in the Kentucky men's soccer team's season-opening win. Riggs, a St. Xavier graduate, scored the Wildcats' goal in the 31st minute and Beadle, a goalie from Douglasville, Ga., held Eastern Illinois scoreless in a 1-0 win at the UK Soccer Complex. Riggs was named one of the pre-season top-100 freshmen to watch by CollegeSoccerNews.com.
■ Libero Stephanie Klefot had a career-high 21 digs in the No. 16 Kentucky volleyball team's 25-22, 29-27, 25-17 rout of Miami (Ohio) on Friday at Memorial Coliseum. Freshman Whitney Billings led the offense with 14 kills.
Nashville gets deal for SEC Tournament
The Southeastern Conference agreed to play the men's basketball tournament in Nashville three more times this decade, making Music City home to four events through 2019. The tournament already had been scheduled to be played at Bridgestone Arena in 2013, and now the event will be in Nashville in 2015, 2016 and 2019. The tournament averaged 17,441 fans in Nashville in March. The SEC has yet to award the tournament for 2017 and 2018. The tournament will be in Atlanta in 2011 and 2014 and New Orleans in 2012.
■ Duke senior Kyle Singler is recovering from knee surgery. The school said last season's most outstanding player at the Final Four had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Friday afternoon at the Duke University Medical Center. He is expected to recover in time for the start of pre-season practice Oct. 15.
The last word
The Oakland Athletics' Eric Chavez acknowledged yet again his career very well could be over. His season most definitely is. The six-time Gold Glove third baseman was recently playing rehab games in the Arizona Rookie League when he had to stop because two bulging disks in his neck became too bothersome each time he batted. It also affected his surgically repaired right shoulder. Said Chavez:
"I'm not going to give up on it that I might (come back) but I'm not going to say I'm going to either. I'm going to kind of let time be the answer. ... At some point you just have to realize what you're dealing with is what it is. I don't even know what my options would be going into next year, if I'd have any at all."