Review Category : National Sports

Graham Penalized, Scolded for Touchdown Dunks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — It didn’t take long for Jimmy Graham to violate the rule many feel was put in place because of him. Following both of his touchdown receptions in Friday’s 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee, Graham proceeded to dunk the football through the goalposts and was penalized 15 yards for it.

The second celebration drew the ire of head coach Sean Payton, who tracked his tight end down on the sideline to scold him. In total, the Saints committed 22 penalties throughout the game. Graham declined interviews as he left the locker room while Payton would not directly comment on the incidents.

The celebration of “dunking” a ball through the goalposts was lumped in with other taunting penalties where the ball is used as a “prop”. Many have referred to the rule chance as the “Jimmy Graham rule”.

“I understand Jimmy’s frustration with that rule change. I understand what he’s doing,” said offensive tackle and team captain Zach Strief. “And yet it’s something, look, if this is a regular-season game, Jimmy’s not dunking over the goalpost. Coach Payton was completely, I think, correct to jump on him. Any of us, I think would expect it.

New Orleans was once again without quarterback Drew Brees who sat with an oblique strain. He is expected to be 100% healthy come the regular season. Wide receiver Marques Colston was also not dressed for action, but for an undisclosed reason.

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Rays Reach .500 With Shutout Of Yankees

Tom Szczerbowkski/Getty Images(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Just over two months ago, the Tampa Bay Rays sat 18 games under .500 at 24-42. Now, following a 5-0 win against the New York Yankees, the Rays are back even with a 61-61 record.

“Really proud of the boys,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It was not easy.”

Alex Cobb certainly made it look easy for the Rays who won their third straight. The righty pitched into the eighth inning, allowing just six hits in 7 1/3 innings of work with eight strikeouts. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay plated a pair of first inning runs in the first to give Cobb a lead to use.

The Rays become just the fourth team ever to get back to .500 after being 18 games under earlier. Back in 2004, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays also completed the feat, as did the 2006 Florida Marlins and 1899 Louisville Colonels.

“It started with Joe and not letting us believe that we were that team,” Cobb said. “It’s mind-boggling that we went through the stretch we did, but we’re back on track now.”

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ABC Scoreboard Roundup – 8/15/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – MLB: Washington Nationals 5 (67-53) – Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (64-58)

New York Mets 3 (58-65) – Chicago Cubs 2 (52-69)

Seattle Mariners 7 (66-55) – Detroit Tigers 3 (65-55) 2

Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (53-69) – Miami Marlins 2 (60-62)

Tampa Bay Rays 5 (61-61) – New York Yankees 0 (61-59)

Atlanta Braves 7 (62-60) – Oakland Athletics 2 (73-49)

Cleveland Indians 2 (61-60) – Baltimore Orioles 1 (69-51) – 11 Innings

Houston Astros 5 (51-72) – Boston Red Sox 3 (55-66) – 10 Innings

St. Louis Cardinals 4 (65-56) – San Diego Padres 2 (57-64)

Chicago White Sox 11 (58-64) – Toronto Blue Jays 5 (63-60)

Kansas City Royals 6 (67-54) – Minnesota Twins 5 (54-66)

Los Angeles Angels 5 (71-49) – Texas Rangers 4 (47-45)

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Notre Dame Investigating Academic Fraud

Elsa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The University of Notre Dame is investigating four football players for allegedly violating the university’s honor code by receiving improper help on classwork.

ESPN is reporting the two players are wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive back KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams, and linebacker Kendall Moore were among the players involved, along with some non-student-athletes.

“Integrity is at the heart of our mission and academic misconduct will not be tolerated at Notre Dame,” Rev. John I. Jenkins, the university president, said in a statement posted on the school’s website. “If the suspected improprieties are proven, we will use the experience to reinforce among our students the importance of honesty in all that they do.

“We are also examining ways of better conveying to students that they can avail themselves of legitimate academic assistance without resorting to cheating.”

Williams and Moore are seniors this season, Daniels and Russell are juniors. Notre Dame are ranked 17th in the USA Today/Coach’s poll.

The university have also come out and said that they will vacate any wins as a result of the investigation, if necessary.

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Chiefs Suspend Wide Reciever Dwayne Bowe One Game

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Kansas City Chiefs will start their season without one of their best play makers as the team has suspended wide receiver Dwayne Bowe one game for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Bowe will now miss the team’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 7. He will be allowed to play in the Chiefs final three preseason games.

“I am extremely sorry that I can’t be on the field for the first game of the 2014 season because I made an error in judgment,” Bowe said in a statement. “I take responsibility for my mistake, and it will not happen again. I hope that my teammates, coaches and Chiefs fans accept my sincere apology.

“I will be supporting my teammates in Week 1, and I cannot wait to get back on the field to help us win in Week 2 and beyond as we work towards our goal of winning the Super Bowl.”

The 29-year-old Bowe has spent his entire seven-year career with the Chiefs.

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Tony Stewart: Not Concerned About Chase Right Now

Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR(BROOKLYN, Mich.) — Tony Stewart’s team announced that he would not be racing at this Sunday’s race in Michigan on Thursday.

Stewart continues to grieve after last Saturday’s sprint car accident that killed Kevin Ward Jr. and there has been no timetable set for the former Sprint Cup champion’s return.

“This decision was Tony’s,” said Brett Frood, the team’s executive vice president. “[It's been] an emotional week for him. He’s grieving. Made the decision he’s not ready to get in the race car and will take it week by week. It will be up to Tony when he’s ready to get back in the car.”

Stewart had to race in this weekend’s race in order to be eligible for the chase for the championship.

“I’ll be honest, the Chase is of the lowest priority as it relates to Tony right now,” Frood said. “As far as the Chase, the only care I have this weekend is to get Danica Patrick in the Chase.”

“Right now, it’s about getting Tony in a better place than he is. When he’s ready to do that, he’ll get back in the car. [I] don’t care about the Chase,” he added.

Jeff Burton will race for Stewart on Sunday and said on Friday that he hopes he can start the healing process.

“Hopefully me being here in some kind of way can help, I don’t know how, but hopefully I can find a way to help a healing process start,” said Burton, who has only made two Cup starts this year. “I don’t know how that is, but that would be my ultimate goal for everybody.”

“Obviously it’s an awkward situation for everybody. But there’s a lot of people at Stewart-Haas Racing that work really, really hard and deserve 100 percent effort from me, and that’s what they’re going to get,” he added.

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Terry Collins Wants Matt Harvey to Back Off His Rehab

Norm Hall/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New York Mets manager Terry Collins doesn’t want rehabbing pitcher Matt Harvey to overdo it as he continues to come back from Tommy John surgery.

Harvey is the key to the Mets pitching staff moving into 2015 as the team continues to work towards their goal of getting back into the playoffs.

“No. 1, he’s a tremendous competitor,” Collins said. “That being said, he’s a bulldog at the same time. There’s no backing down with Matt Harvey — for anything. He was bound and determined to get ready. We slowed him down. It frustrated him to the max. He’s feeling good.”

Harvey has continuously said that he wants to pitch by the end of the season, but Collins believes he shouldn’t do anything to ruin 2015.

“He wants to try to get back here to help,” Collins said about Harvey. “And I explained to him, ‘I understand that. But…you have got to understand the big picture. And the big picture is 2015. So back off.’ …Now, does he get it? You’d have to ask him. I mean, I can’t answer that for him. I just trust him. I just trust him that he gets it. So we’ll see.”

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NASCAR Institutes New Rule to Keep Drivers in Car

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton instituted a new rule on Friday that will not allow drivers to get out of their car until told to do so by a NASCAR official.

The announcement comes in the wake of Tony Stewart’s fatal sprint car crash that killed Kevin Ward Jr. in upstate New York on Saturday.

“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” Pemberton said. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority No. 1 at NASCAR.”

The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be effective immediately. Here’s the rule below:

During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:

  • Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
  • Do not loosen , disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
  • After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
  • At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
  • At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle

All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.

The Sprint Cup series will be in Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

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NASCAR Institutes New Rule to Keep Drivers in Car

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton instituted a new rule on Friday that will not allow drivers to get out of their car until told to do so by a NASCAR official.

The announcement comes in the wake of Tony Stewart’s fatal sprint car crash that killed Kevin Ward Jr. in upstate New York on Saturday.

“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” Pemberton said. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority No. 1 at NASCAR.”

The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be effective immediately. Here’s the rule below:

During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:

  • Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
  • Do not loosen , disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
  • After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
  • At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
  • At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle

All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.

The Sprint Cup series will be in Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

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Red Wings Give GM Ken Holland New 4-Year Contract

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(DETROIT) — Detroit Red Wings signed executive vice president and general manager Ken Holland to a new four-year contract Thursday that will keep him with the team through the 2017-18 season.

The 58-year-old Holland has been the Red Wings GM since 1997, during which the team has won three Stanley Cup championships. The Red Wings also won a Stanley Cup with Holland as the assistant GM.

“Ken is regarded as one of the premier executives in the National Hockey League and has been instrumental in the success of the Red Wings over the last two decades,” Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch said in a statement. “Marian and I are extremely pleased that he will continue to lead our hockey club over the next four years. We feel strongly that stability is key to the success of any organization and having this new agreement in place with Ken is important to the organization and its future.”

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