Review Category : National Sports

Video of Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon Released Showing RB Punching Woman

Brett Deering/Getty Images(NORMAN, Okla.) — Video of Joe Mixon has been released showing the Oklahoma running back punching a female student two years ago.

Mixon’s attorneys released the footage Friday after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled earlier in December that Norman, Oklahoma, should release it.

The 20-year-old running back was suspended for the 2014 season after the incident, which left Amelia Molitor with four fractured bones in her face, according to ESPN.

The University of Oklahoma issued a statement after the video’s release reiterating that the school had suspended Mixon that year and sensitivity training had been “intensified” since.

“University officials were made aware of the content of the video prior to taking action with respect to Joe Mixon [in 2014],” the school said in the statement. “Based on that information, the university immediately suspended and removed Mr. Mixon from the football team for one year, during which high standards of conduct were expected and maintained. It was made clear to Mr. Mixon at the time of his suspension that violence against women will not go unpunished at the university. Coach [Bob] Stoops has been proactive in presenting training for his team aimed at preventing such behavior in the future. Sensitivity training in the area of violence has been intensified and best practices will continue to be implemented. Mr. Mixon has apologized for his actions, and the university hopes that it is an indication that he has learned from his mistakes. We are an educational institution, where we hope young people will learn from their mistakes and chart a better future course.”

Mixon played 11 games for the Sooners this season, rushing for 1,183 yards and eight touchdowns.

He faces a pending civil lawsuit from Molitor who approved the release of the video, Mixon’s attorneys said according to ESPN.

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University of Minnesota Football Team Refuses to Play Until Teammates Linked to Sexual Assault Allegation Reinstated

Dylan Buell/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — Players on the University of Minnesota’s football team are refusing to play or practice until the school reverses its decision to suspend 10 players linked to a sexual assault allegation in September.

“Effective immediately, we will boycott all football activities. The boycott will remain in effect until due process is followed and the suspensions for all 10 players involved are lifted,” senior wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky said Thursday at the team’s practice facility.

He continued, “We, the united Gopher football team, issue this statement to take back the reputation and integrity of our program and our brothers that have faced unjust Title IV investigation without due process. We’re concerned that our brothers have been named publicly with reckless disregard, in violation of their constitutional rights. We are now compelled to speak for our team and take back our program.”

According to a Minneapolis police report, a University of Minnesota female college student said she was sexually assaulted by several Gopher football players after a night of partying and drinking in September.

In the report, she told investigators that in the early hours of Sept. 2, she drank as many as six shots of vodka at home before heading out to attend several parties with some friends. Investigators say she told them she later went to an apartment building, where other parties were taking place.

At some point, according to what she told police, she went to one player’s apartment that he shared with a roommate who was also there.

Police say she told them that she believed sexual contact with the first two men may have been consensual but sexual contact with others was not.

Police noted in their reports that she told them that she didn’t “have a recall about how the sex acts started” and that she said there was a “line of people, like they were waiting for their turn.” Police say she told them that people had their phones out but she did not know whether videos or photos were taken.

According to the police report, she said she was scared and they note she said she “didn’t feel like she could leave, and at some points believed she was being held down.”

Investigators, however, said the players were adamant that the sex was consensual. A criminal investigation resulted in no arrests or charges.

In a statement Tuesday, the university said the following football student-athletes had been suspended indefinitely from all team activities: Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, Seth Green, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson, Kobe McCrary, Antonio Shenault, Mark Williams and Antoine Winfield Jr.

“Due to privacy restrictions relating to student educational data, there is nothing further the University can share,” the statement said.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and athletic director Mark Coyle released a joint statement Friday, responding to the players’ boycott.

“We understand that a lot of confusion and frustration exists as a result of this week’s suspension of 10 Gopher football players from all team activities. The reality is that not everyone can have all of the facts, and unfortunately the university cannot share more information due to federal laws regarding student privacy. We fully support our Gopher football players and all of our student-athletes. Situations like this are always difficult and the decision was made in consultation with and has the full support of President Eric Kaler,” the statement read. “We want to continue an open dialogue with our players and will work to do that over the coming days. It’s important that we continue to work together as we move through this difficult time.”

The players said the boycott would extend to its Dec. 27 bowl game against Washington State if its demands were not met.

Wolitarsky said the players are seeking a closed-door meeting with the administration as well as an apology from the school’s president and athletic director. He said previous meetings had resulted in few, if any, answers to the players’ questions.

“This decision for the players to take this stance is not easy but important to the action to preserve the integrity of the program and ourselves,” he said. “This effort is for players, by players.”

In response to the boycott, Gophers coach Tracy Claeys tweeted: “Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights and support their effort to make a better world.”

Jerome Djam, the father of suspended player Carlton Djam, told ABC affiliate KSTP-TV that he was angry after learning of the school’s decision.

“I was extremely frustrated,” he said. “This is like a double whammy here. I mean, he is an intelligent kid, 4.0 GPA. He’s a talented kid. … These kids cannot get their lives all messed up this early in their lives with all the talent they have.”

Ray Buford Sr., whose son Ray Buford Jr. was also suspended, told KSTP-TV: “Are they supersleuths and they say they are guilty of everything? … That doesn’t smell right. … How many times do they have to say, ‘I didn’t do this'”?

According to KSTP-TV, “both fathers of Djam and Buford said their attorney will appeal any future decisions made by the university.”

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No. 3 Baylor Dominates Winthrop 140-32

(Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)(WACO, Texas) — The third-ranked Baylor Lady Bears made history Thursday night, defeating the Winthrop Eagles 140-32, the largest margin of victory in Division I women’s basketball history.

Baylor scored the first 21 points of the game as part of a 38-6 first quarter. The team led by 59 at the half, and held the Eagles scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey did her best to rotate players in and out and call time outs to avoid a rout, but everyone she put in contributed. Winthrop head coach Kevin Cook said he appreciated Mulkey’s efforts.

No Baylor Lady Bear played more than 21 minutes, all of Mulkey’s players played more than 10 minutes and her leading scorer, Alexis Jones, did not play due to a knee issue.

The 108-point margin of victory erased the previous record of 102 set by Grambling in 1986 when they defeated Jarvis Christian College 139-37. Baylor also set school single-game records for points, rebounds (75), assists (42) and blocked shots (17).

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Report: Phillies Re-Sign Herrera to Five-Year Deal

(Allen Kee / ESPN Images)(PHILADELPHIA) — The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to terms with center field Odubel Herrera, sources tell ESPN. The deal is reportedly for five years and guarantees Herrera $30.5 million. It also includes club options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Herrera, 24, was acquired by Philadelphia from the Texas Rangers in 2014 as part of the Rule 5 draft. He started out as a middle infielder, but was made a center field by the Phillies, where he started Opening Day in 2015.

Last sesaon, Herrera set season highs in home runs (15) and walks (63) while batting .283 and being named to the National League All-Star team.

Herrera is currently the only player on the Phillies’ roster signed to a contract beyond the 2017 season.

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Minnesota Football Player Suspensions Lead to Boycott

Photodisc/iStock(MINNEAPOLIS) — The Minnesota Golden Gophers football team announced Thursday night that they will be boycotting all football activities due to the suspension of 10 of their teammates from team activities.

The suspensions come as part of a Title IX investigation conducted by Minnesota Univertsity over reports of alleged sexual assult. The team announced the boycott after what they described as an unsatisfactory meeting with athletic director Marc Coyle regarding the suspensions.

Defensive back Ray Buford Jr., running back Carlton Djam, quarterback Seth Green, defensive back KiAnte Hardin, freshman defensive back Dior Johnson, defensive lineman Tamarion Johnson, junior running back Kob McCrary, defensive back Antonio Shenault, quarterback Mark Williams and freshman defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. are the players suspended.

Buford Jr., Hardin, Dior Johnson and Tamarion Johnson were suspended for three games earlier in the season when their names came up in an alleged sexual assult investigation, but the players were not arrested and charges were not filed.

Minnesota is set to take on Washington State on Dec. 27 in the National Funding Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

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Gabby Douglas Joins Anti-Cyberbullying Campaign After Social Media Attacks

ABC/Kelly McKelvey(NEW YORK) — Three-time Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas has a message for kids who are the subject of cyberbullying and harassment.

“I just want to say that you are not alone,” Douglas, 20, said in an interview that aired Friday on Good Morning America. “And even though it may seem the world’s against you — and I definitely felt like the world was definitely against me in Rio — I’m here today to tell you that’s not the case.”

“There are people out there who love you and your life is very valuable and it’s very important, so just stay strong,” she said.

Douglas was infamously bullied online while competing with the gold medal-winning “Final Five” USA women’s gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Social media users slammed Douglas for her facial expressions, not placing her hand on her heart during the national anthem and even her hair. The scrutiny was so intense and publicized that the hashtag #Love4GabbyUSA was created to drown out the hate.

Douglas, who vaulted into the public spotlight with two gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, said the backlash in Rio was her first experience with online bullying.

“I was caught off guard,” she said. “I was like, ‘Wait, what’s going on?'”

Douglas stayed off social media until after she and her teammates won the gold medal in the team competition but then allowed herself to go back online.

“I started Googling myself, which I probably shouldn’t have done,” she said.

Now, nearly four months after that experience, Douglas is putting herself in the social media spotlight again, but this time as a force for change.

Douglas is the first Change Ambassador for Hack Harassment, an initiative among media and tech companies and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation to “take a stand against online harassment,” according to its website.

“I am encouraging everyone to take a pledge,” she said. “It’s called the hackharassment.com/pledge and you read it and you follow it.”

“It’s pretty simple,” Douglas explained. “You take the pledge and you don’t be mean online anymore.”

Douglas is also encouraging parents to play a role in trying to prevent online bullying.

“It starts at home,” she said. “If you’re a good example to your kid, your kid’s going to follow that example. If the kid sees you nasty, he/she’s going to take over that role.”

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Scoreboard Roundup — 12/15/16

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

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

New Orleans 102, Indiana 95
Milwaukee 108, Chicago 97
San Antonio 107, Phoenix 92
Denver 132, Portland 120
Golden State 103, NY Knicks 90

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Chicago 5, NY Islanders 4
Anaheim 4, Boston 3
Arizona 3, Toronto 2 (SO)
LA Kings 4, Detroit 1
St. Louis 5, New Jersey 2
Minnesota 5, Nashville 2
Florida 3, Winnipeg 3 (SO)
NY Rangers 2, Dallas 0

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Seattle 24, Los Angeles 3

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Craig Sager Dead at 65

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images(NEW YORK) – Turner Sports announced on Thursday that Craig Sager, the longtime sideline reporter, has died after a battle with cancer at the age of 65.

Turner President David Levy said in a statement that “Craig Sager was a beloved member of the Turner family for more than three decades and he has been a true inspiration to all of us. There will never be another Craig Sager. His incredible talent, tireless work ethic and commitment to his craft took him all over the world covering sports.”

Levy’s statement did not say when or where Sager died.

Sager announced in April 2014 that he had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He underwent two bone marrow transplants and as a result, missed covering that season’s NBA playoffs and a large part of the following season.

Although the cancer went into remission, Sager revealed in March 2016 that it was no longer the case. According to Sager, the typical prognosis was three to six months to live.

The side line reporter was known for his flashy suits and good sense of humor.

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Report: Widespread Allegations of Abuse in US Gymnastics

Polhansen/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) — An Indianapolis Star-USA Today investigation into sexual abuse of young gymnasts has turned up hundreds of allegations.

The nine-month investigation located at least 368 gymnasts who claimed they were victims of sexual abuse over the past 20 years. The Indianapolis Star reported that a number of the victims were children, and almost all of them were girls.

More than 100 coaches, gym owners and other adults are accused of involvement in the alleged abuses. The report also noted that the system failed to stop abusive coaches from relocating to other gyms.

Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an Olympic gold-medal swimmer and CEO of Champion Women, a group that advocates for women and girls in sports, said the alleged abuse was allowed to continue because victims were too afraid to speak out.

“It’s just too easy for coaches to keep getting hired and hired and hired. Sexual abuse thrives on the fact that people are embarrassed about the topic, ashamed to talk about it, and they keep quiet about it,” Hogshead-Makar told the Indianapolis Star. “And that’s exactly why molesting coaches keep getting hired at the next place. Nobody talks about a coach that is inappropriate with athletes; the coach quietly moves away and gets hired someplace else.”

USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for the sport in the United States. More than 3,450 clubs nationwide have a membership in USA Gymnastics, although not all do. It is not clear how many of the alleged victims were members. The Indianapolis-based organization said it was cooperating with law enforcement and working to prevent any future abuse.

“Nothing is more important to USA Gymnastics, the board of directors and CEO Steve Penny than protecting athletes, which requires sustained vigilance by everyone — coaches, athletes, parents, administrators and officials,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement to the Indianapolis Star. “We are saddened when any athlete has been harmed in the course of his or her gymnastics career.”

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Assault Charge Against Mets’ Jeurys Familia Dropped

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(FORT LEE, N.J.) — Fort Lee municipal court judge John DeSheplo agreed on Thursday to drop legal proceedings against New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia for domestic violence allegations.

Familia had been charged with assault. But prosecutor Arthur Balsamo recommended that the misdemeanor charge be dismissed at Familia’s wife’s request. The record of the case will also be expunged.

Familia’s wife, Bianca Rivas, met with the prosecutor before the court session began.

“She’s been steadfast that the matter be dismissed,” Balsamo said during the proceedings.

Familia was arrested on Oct. 31 after allegedly causing a scratch on his wife’s chest, and a bruise on her right cheek. A police report stated that there was “probable cause to believe that domestic violence had occurred.”

Rivas later told authorities that the scratch was caused by their infant son, and the bruise was self-inflicted.

Familia may still face suspension from Major League Baseball. The Mets said on Thursday that they “await the outcome of MLB’s investigation,” which is ongoing.

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