Review Category : National Sports

Olsen Reaches 1,000 Yards for Third Straight Year

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Panthers’ tight end Greg Olsen has made his way into the record books.

On Saturday, the 31-year-old became the first tight end in NFL history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

The record came on a 17-yard pass from quarterback Cam Newton in the second quarter of the Panthers’ NFC South matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.

Olsen had a career-best 84 catches for 1,008 yards two years ago, and followed that up with 1,104-yard season last year.

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Minnesota Vikings’ Team Plane Skids off Taxiway in Wisconsin

eric8669/iStock/Thinkstock(GREEN BAY, Wisc.) — The Minnesota Vikings’ team plane skidded off a taxiway upon landing in Wisconsin for their Week 16 game.

The team’s Twitter account posted a message Friday night saying that the plane had landed safely, but while taxiing, it slid off the taxiway. The team was reportedly waiting to exit the plane.

While taxiing after a safe landing, the team plane slid off the runway and became stuck. We are waiting patiently to exit the plane.

— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 24, 2016

Sgt. Erik Nielson of the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office said that the plane was traveling at a low speed when it slid off the taxiway. No one was reported injured.

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Jets Coach Bowles Hospitalized, Didn’t Travel with Team

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles was hospitalized with an undisclosed illness on Friday, the team announced, and may not be able to coach the team’s Saturday game against the New England Patriots.

Bowles did not travel with the team to New England, the team said, and his availability is “uncertain.” If Bowles, 53, is unable to coach on Saturday, assistant head coach Mike Caldwell would take those duties. Caldwell ran the walkthrough session on Friday.

Bowles is in his second year as the head coach of the Jets. After a surprising 10-6 season last year, Bowles’ Jets are just 4-10 in 2016, which has raised talk about his job security.

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Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon Apologizes for Punching Female Student in 2014 Incident

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NORMAN, Okla.) — Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon apologized Friday for punching a woman in an incident from 2014.

Friday was the first time since video of the incident was released last week that Mixon spoke publicly. “It’s never, never okay to retaliate and hit a woman the way I did,” he said. “I’m here to apologize to everybody that was affected.”

He apologized to the woman he punched, his coach, his teammates and his family.

The meeting with reporters follows a formal apology from Mixon last month.

The surveillance video, released last Friday, showed Mixon punching Amelia Molitor in the face. The incident left Molitor with four fractured bones in her face.

Following the incident, Mixon was suspended for the 2014 football season. After the suspension, Mixon was reinstated and will play in the team’s Sugar Bowl game against Auburn next month.

ESPN reports that Sooners coach Bob Stoops, university president David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione had seen the videos prior to their release. They were heavily criticized for allowing Mixon to rejoin the team.

Days after the incident, Mixon told police that he heard Molitor’s friend utter a racial slur. The running back admitted that he responded to the male friend with an anti-gay slur.

In the video, after Mixon appears to say something to Molitor’s friend, the woman pushed Mixon. Mixon lunged at her initially, at which point Molitor slapped him. Mixon responded by punching her, sending her face slamming into a table.

In 11 games this season, Mixon ran for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns.

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Tiger Woods to Golf with Donald Trump in Florida

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) — Tiger Woods will be teeing up with President-elect Donald Trump in West Palm Beach, Florida on Friday.

The two will be playing a game at Trump International Golf Club.

It is not yet known if Trump and Woods will be playing nine or 18 holes.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 12/22/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Boston 109, Indiana 102
NY Knicks 106, Orlando 95
Golden State 117, Brooklyn 101
Miami 115, LA Lakers 107
LA Clippers 106, San Antonio 101

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Columbus 7, Pittsburgh 1
Carolina 3, Buffalo 1
New Jersey 4, Philadelphia 0
Ottawa 2, Anaheim 1 (OT)
Boston 3, Florida 1
Minnesota 4, Montreal 2
Tampa Bay 5, St. Louis 2
LA Kings 4, Nashville 0
Toronto 6, Colorado 0
Winnipeg 4, Vancouver 1

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 24, NY Giants 19

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(3) Kansas 71, UNLV 53
(16) Indiana 97, Austin Peay 62
(19) Saint Mary’s (Cal) 74, SC State 47
(23) Southern Cal 83, Missouri St. 75
(24) Cincinnati 93, Marshall 91 (OT)

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Wrestler Chyna Died of the Combined Effect of Alcohol and Drugs

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Former wrestler Chyna’s death was caused by the combined effect of alcohol and drugs and has been classified as accidental, the L.A. County Coroner’s Office told ABC-owned station KABC Wednesday.

According to the coroner’s office, toxicology tests indicated that she had taken a combination of alcohol and diazepam (Valium); nordiazepam; oxycodone and oxymorphone.

Chyna, who also appeared on VH1 reality TV shows The Surreal Life and Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, was found dead in a Redondo Beach, Calif., apartment on April 20. At the time, the Redondo Beach Police Department said that there were no signs that Chyna’s death was caused by foul play.

She was 45 years old.

Chyna, whose given name was Joan Marie Laurer, made her debut with the World Wrestling Federation in 1997. Before her retirement in 2011, she became the first woman to qualify for the King of the Ring tournament and was the first woman to be a contender for the WWF Championship.

“It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero,” her team said in a statement at the time of her death. “Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the 9th wonder of the world has passed away. She will live forever in the memories of her millions of fans and all of us that loved her.”

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Cleveland Signs Slugger Edwin Encarnacion to Three-Year Contract

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(CLEVELAND) — The Cleveland Indians have added a big bat to their lineup in hopes of a return trip to the World Series in 2017.

Fresh off a World Series loss that saw them blow a three games to one lead to the Chicago Cubs, the Indians have signed slugger Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year worth $20 million. The team could also buy out the fourth year for $5 million.

Last year, Encarnacion played first base and designated hitter for the Toronto Blue Jays, smashing 42 home runs and driving in an American League-best 127 runs.

Encarnacion has finished in the top 15 of MVP award voting four of the last five seasons, and has made three All-Star teams in that time.

The slugger was a former top prospect for the Cincinnati Reds, but never reached his full potential in the Queen City. Since joining the Blue Jays, he has hit .268 with 239 home runs in eight seasons.

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Spring Football League Will Start in 2017, Work with Veteran Free Agents

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The NFL notified its teams on Thursday of a spring development league that will work with veteran free agents this coming April.

The league will be run by independent investors, ESPN reports, and will have no connection to the NFL. It will be made up of four teams of veteran free agents and “experienced NFL coaches,” according to ESPN.

The four teams will train at Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Six total games will be played.

The NFL has considered a development league of its own, but no decisions are expected before February at the earliest. An NFL development league would focus on young players instead of veteran free agents.

NFL teams cannot allocate their players to the development league beginning this spring.

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NCAA Amends Notice of Allegations Against UNC

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) — The NCAA has amended its notice of allegations against the University of North Carolina, which could have significant consequences for the school’s men’s basketball team.

The new allegations, ESPN reportsd, include a charge of extra benefits provided to athletes, including the men’s basketball team, between 2002 and 2011. The Tar Heels won an NCAA Championship in 2005, and if players on that team were deemed ineligible for having received extra benefits, the organization could levy punishments against the school, including possibly vacating that title.

The NCAA claims that the fake courses the school is alleged to have offered to student-athletes constitute extra benefits, “because the university used its relationship with two African-American studies professors to ‘obtain and/or provide special arrangements to student-athletes,'” ESPN says.

Players, including members of the football and men’s basketball team used those courses, the NCAA says, to ensure their continued academic eligibility.

UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham claimed on a conference call Thursday morning that the NCAA is operating outside of its own bylaws. “You can’t chase things because you have an opinion,” Cunningham said. “We’ve seen recently the NCAA has chased after some other schools and went outside their own process and that hasn’t worked out very well.”

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