Review Category : National Sports

NASCAR Reveals Nominees for Hall of Fame Class of 2017

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — NASCAR on Wednesday announced the nominees who will be considered for its Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.

The list includes five first-time nominees, including four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.; longtime car owner Jack Roush; driver Ricky Rudd; engine builder Waddell Wilson; and broadcaster Ken Squier.

Among the 15 returning nominees are car owners Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick, and driver Mark Martin.

The new Hall of Fame class will be announced in May.

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FIFA Reduces Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini Bans by Two Years

photogearch/iStock Editorial/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Soccer’s international governing body said Wednesday that following appeals of eight year bans, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former UEFA (the governing body of soccer in Europe), President Michel Platini woudl be lessened to six years.

FIFA said in a press release that “the Appeal Committee determined that some strong mitigating factors for Mr. Platini and Mr. Blatter were not taken into account when establishing the sanction. In this sense, amongst others, the Appeal Committee considered that Mr. Platini’s and Mr. Blatter’s activities and the services they had rendered to FIFA, UEFA and football in general over the years should deserve appropriate recognition as a minitgating factor.”

The decision came after hearings in Zurich, Switzerland on February 15 and 16 for both Platini and Blatter.

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Colorado Rockies Shortstop Jose Reyes on Paid Leave Pending Criminal Investigation

Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Major League Baseball (MLB) has placed Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes on paid leave while a domestic violence case in Hawaii is completed, reports ESPN.

Last October in Hawaii, Reyes was arrested on charges of assaulting his wife at a hotel. Reyes plead not guilty to the charges and is expected to go on trial on April 4.

Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement of Reyes’ paid leave on Tuesday.

A statement from the MLB said that its domestic violence policy allows the commissioner “to impose a paid suspension pending resolution of the legal proceedings or an investigation,” ESPN said.

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Report: Orioles Reach Three-Year Deal with Dexter Fowler

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The Baltimore Orioles have reportedly reached a deal with former Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler.

ESPN reports the 29-year-old free agent has agreed to a three-year deal worth approximately $35 million. The contract will be completed once Fowler undergoes a physical.

As part of the acquisition, the Orioles will give up a pick in this year’s draft to the Cubs, ESPN says.

Fowler, who was traded to Chicago from the Houston Astros in 2015, passed on a $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Cubs late last year. Last season, he had a .250 batting average, with 17 home runs, 46 RBIs and a .346 on-base percentage.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 2/23/16

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

Washington 109, New Orleans 89
Orlando 124, Philadelphia 115
OT Utah 117, Houston 114
Sacramento 114, Denver 110
Portland 112, Brooklyn 104

New Jersey 5, N.Y. Rangers 2
Carolina 3, Philadelphia 1
Tampa Bay 2, Arizona 1
2OT Detroit 2, Columbus 1 (SO Detroit 2-0)
Nashville 3, Toronto 2
Dallas 5, Winnipeg 3
N.Y. Islanders 4, Minnesota 1
Ottawa 4, Edmonton 1

(2) Kansas 66, (19) Baylor 60
(6) Michigan St. 81, Ohio St. 62
(16) Kentucky 78, Alabama 53

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Ty Dillon to Fill In for Tony Stewart This Weekend at Las Vegas

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Ty Dillon has been tapped to fill in for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 car at this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart-Haas Racing also announced that Brian Vickers will replace Stewart the following weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Stewart is recovering from a broken back suffered in an ATV accident last month. Vickers filled in for him in the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

SHR has yet to name a replacement driver for the March 13 race at Phoenix.

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Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving Says He Left OKC Game Early Because of Bed Bugs

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving wasn’t pulled from Sunday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder because of a stomach bug, but because of another type of bug.

Irving said Monday that despite the team saying he had “flu-like symptoms,” he was actually “freaked out” after dealing with bed bugs at the hotel the team stayed the night before the game, according to ESPN.

“It was honestly from the bed bugs from the frickin’ Hilton that we stayed at,” he said according to ESPN.

He also said he wasn’t able to get any sleep and he started to feel nauseous during the game.

The hotel where the Cavs stayed Saturday night was the historic Skirvin Hilton Hotel, which is allegedly haunted.

A spokesperson for the hotel confirmed the bed bug problem in Irving’s room.

“Unfortunately, every hotel occasionally has a case of bed bugs,” the spokesperson told ESPN. “This is one of those cases where a guest did bring in bed bugs to this particular room, and it was reported to us, fortunately, and we responded immediately and put the room out of order and all of the surrounding rooms to be inspected by a professional company.”

On Tuesday, pest control company Terminix left a message for Irving on Facebook from a Cleveland branch manager.

“Hi Kyrie, we’re sorry to hear about your unfortunate bed bug experience in Oklahoma! We’re all huge, huge Cleveland Cavaliers fans here in my office so we want to help you out. Tell the Cavs to call me and I’ll arrange to have one of our best technicians accompany you and the team on your next road trip. We’ll inspect every hotel room and ensure they’re bed bug-free so you can sleep easy and focus on a deep playoff run. Go Cavs!”

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MLB Places Jose Reyes on Paid Leave Pending Domestic Violence Case

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images(DENVER) — Major League Baseball has placed Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes on paid leave pending a resolution of his domestic violence case.

According to a statement, MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. will make a decision in terms of discipline for Reyes after the conclusion of criminal proceedings and after an MLB investigation.

The 32-year-old allegedly assaulted his wife on Halloween at a Maui resort in Hawaii. He’s scheduled to go on trial in April.

Because Reyes was placed on paid leave, he is still set to earn his $22 million salary this season.

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Report: New Orleans Saints Likely to Release WR Marques Colston

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — It could be the end of Marques Colston’s 10-year career with the New Orleans Saints.

According to ESPN, a league source has said the team will likely release the wide receiver in the next few days after last year’s injuries led him to have his worst season yet.

The 32-year-old was the Saints’ No.3 receiving option in 2015 and was out for three games in the season because of his injuries.

In 2006, Colston was drafted out of Hofstra in the seventh round and boasts a Saints-best in receiving yards (9,759) and receiving touchdowns (72).

If the Saints choose to keep Colston, he will earn $3.2 million next season.

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University of Tennessee Coaches Address Sexual Assault Allegations

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) — Coaches from the University of Tennessee defended the athletic department’s culture on Tuesday after former student athletes accused the school of creating a “hostile sexual environment.”

During a joint news conference with 16 head coaches, the head coaches of female teams said their players were “shocked” by the allegations that the school acted with “deliberate indifference in its response to incidents of sexual assault.” They also shared the advice they give their athletes to avoid potential dangers on campus, including avoiding walking alone at night and not putting themselves in a “bad situation.”

“We’re in an environment that’s a safe environment,” female basketball coach Holly Warwick said, adding, “Nothing good happens after midnight.”

A group of six unidentified women filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Feb. 9 alleging that the school violated Title IX, a federal law that bans sex discrimination in education. The plaintiffs said in the lawsuit that the school had a “clearly unreasonable response” to the reports of sexual assault by student athletes, which caused them to endure additional harassment.

Coaches of female teams also described Tuesday the plethora of facilities and opportunities made available to female athletes at the University of Tennessee.

“That’s all because of the wonderful culture that’s created by our administration,” softball coach Karen Weekly said.

No one from the University of Tennessee’s administration spoke in the news conference, including Athletic Director David Hart.

Head basketball coach Rick Barnes said the coaches feel that an unfair picture has been painted of the university’s athletic department.

“We don’t want the stereotype out there that there’s something there that isn’t true,” Barnes said.

Head football coach Butch Jones said the athletic department is full of “great individuals.”

“Everything is about the alleged victims. We feel for them, hurt for them,” he said. “Also, though, it’s not who we are.”

Jones said people were using the lawsuit against the university as a recruiting advantage. “Our competitors are using it against us,” Jones said.

Baseball coach Dave Serrano said he teaches his players “respect.”

“We educate them on respecting others,” he said. “Everyone is treated with respect.”

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was among those cited in the lawsuit for a sexual assault that allegedly happened during his time at the University of Tennessee 20 years ago.

Manning’s trainer, Jamie Naughright, reported the then-student athlete to a sexual assault crisis center in 1996 for allegedly placing his bare bottom and genitalia on her while she examined his foot, according to court documents.

Naughright included the allegations in a 1997 lawsuit against the school. She eventually settled with the university and agreed to leave her job.

Manning denied the assault, according to court records. In his book “Manning: A Father, His Sons and A Football Legacy,” he wrote that Naughright simply caught him “mooning” a fellow athlete, describing the act as “crude … but harmless.”

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