Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images(SEATTLE) — The Seattle Mariners relieved Jack Zduriencik of his general manager duties Friday.

The decision was likely prompted by the Mariners failure to see a playoff game in the seven years since Zduriencik took the general manager post, reports MLB.com.

Kevin Mather, the Mariners’ team president, will look at candidates to replace Zduriencik over the next month with hopes to find a new team manager by early October.

In the meantime, the current assistant manager Jeff Kingston will fill in as interim GM to complete the season, MLB.com reports.

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Michael Hickey/Getty Images(URBANA, Ill.) — Illinois’ coach is out only a week before the season begins.

Head football coach Tim Beckman has been dismissed by the University of Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas, according to a statement on Friday.

The decision came out of an external review and one week before the season began. The review looked into allegations that Beckman had encouraged players to play hurt or influenced medical decisions.

“The preliminary information external reviewers shared with me does not reflect our values or our commitment to the welfare of our student-athletes, and I’ve chosen to act accordingly,” Thomas said in the statement. “During the review, we have asked people not to rush to judgment, but I now have enough information to make this decision in assessing the status and direction of the football program.”

Bill Cubit will be the interim coach for the 2015 season, said the statement.

According to the statement, Beckman won’t get the $3.1 million left from the last two years of his original five-year contract. The statement also said he won’t get the $743,000 called for if his contract had been bought out.

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Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(SARASOTA, Fla.) — Hockey icon Al Arbour has died.

Al Arbour has died at the age of 82 after a lifetime career in hockey where he served as a player, coach, and as an executive.

He is perhaps most remembered as a coach for the New York Islanders, leading the team to four consecutive Stanley Cup wins from 1980-1983.

“Al will always be remembered as one of, if not the, greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League,” Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow said in a statement. “The New York Islanders franchise has four Stanley Cups to its name, thanks in large part to Al’s incredible efforts. From his innovative coaching methods, to his humble way of life away from the game, Al is one of the reasons the New York Islanders are a historic franchise. On behalf of the entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to the entire Arbour family.”

In NHL history, Arbour is second in wins and games coached behind Scotty Bowman. He was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.

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ABC News(CONCORD, N.H.) — Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault in a case at St. Paul’s School, a prestigious New Hampshire prep school.

The jury of nine men and three women delivered a not guilty verdict on the felony sexual assault charge on the second day of deliberations. He was found guilty of four misdemeanors for sexual assault and one felony related to a computer charge.

Labrie, now 19, was accused of raping a fellow student in May 2014 at the school in Concord, New Hampshire. He was charged with multiple felonies relating to the encounter and had entered a not-guilty plea.

The alleged victim, whose name is being withheld because of the nature of the crime, testified last week. “I was raped!” she said loudly amid tears. “I was violated in so many ways.”

When Labrie took the stand this week, he described their activity, which he said was mutual, but he denied having sex with her.

“It wouldn’t have been a good move to have sex with this girl,” he recalled thinking at the time when he said he and the alleged victim were making out in a school tower.

Prosecutor Catherine Ruffle said in court that the encounter at the center of the case was part of a “senior salute,” a tradition at the prep school. Ruffle said that the “senior salute” practice was largely intended as a way for graduating seniors “to be with someone that they might have wanted to be with throughout” high school, and could include activities like walking to class together or kissing but “it might include a little bit more.”

She also said some students believed Labrie and some of his friends had turned the tradition into a competition.

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Arizona State Troopers(PHOENIX) — Police in Arizona credit a motorist’s dash-cam video with helping them make an arrest in an alleged road rage incident.

The high-speed chase occurred Monday on Loop 101 in Phoenix. Video shows a driver revving his engine and peeling out. The driver is seen opening his door while the car was moving, then accelerating and swerving in front of a fellow driver, allegedly causing a collision.

Both drivers pulled over and called police but, because of their conflicting accounts, police let the drivers go without pressing charges, officials said.

After dash-cam video of the crash emerged, police arrested Kyle Geisler, 36, charging him with aggressive driving and making threats. Geisler was released on bail and has not entered a plea.

“The proof is in the pudding,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Trooper Tim Case said. “Once you see [the video], it’s undeniable.”

Police say they are thankful for the extra eyes on the road, in this case another motorist who recorded the collision between the other two cars.

“When you have proof like this, and it’s undeniable what happened,” Case said, “it makes it a lot easier for us to prosecute.”

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Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage(NEW YORK) — The lives of champion UFC fighter Ronda Rousey and speech pathologist and mom Laura Smith might seem worlds apart, but the two women share a unique connection.

Smith and her 5-year-old daughter, Ashlynn, met Rousey, 28, this spring at a book signing in Denver for Rousey’s autobiography, My Fight/Your Fight.

Smith told ABC News she was on a mission to meet Rousey in order to find out if the speech disorder she had as a child was the same condition that her daughter, Ashlynn, has.

“I read probably everything she’s ever said about her speech impediment and the more I read I was like, ‘That was apraxia. This is apraxia,’” Smith recalled.

Childhood apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder where the brain has problems coordinating with the body parts — like lips, jaw and tongue — needed for speech, according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.

“At first I was tested for deafness,” Rousey said of her own childhood struggle. “They thought maybe my pronunciation was off because I was hearing things differently.”

“But it was really I had all these words perfectly arranged in my head, it’s just when they tried to come out of my mouth they sounded different,” she said. “It was kind of like there was a divide between my brain and my mouth.”

Because apraxia was not a common diagnosis when Rousey was a child, no one suspected it was what was behind the fighter’s speech problems. That is, until Smith gave Rousey a brochure on apraxia at the book signing.

“I threw the brochure and the bodyguards came in immediately to get it,” Smith said. “She [Rousey] picked it up and I was like, ‘If you did have it, would you say it in your interviews because it would mean so much for our kids.’”

Rousey says the information in the brochure struck her instantly.

“I actually ended up reading through the whole thing that night and was like, ‘Oh my God, this is all exactly it. This is exactly what it was,’” Rousey said. “I didn’t know it was actually apraxia until that moment.”

“She really taught me a lot about myself that day and I can’t thank her enough for it,” Rousey said of Smith.

To thank Smith and her daughter, Rousey sent a special message, doing exactly what Smith asked her to do at the book signing, talking about apraxia.

“Hi Laura and Ashlynn,” Rousey said in the taped message. “I just wanted to say I’m so happy to hear everything that you’re doing to raise awareness of apraxia.”

“You definitely raised awareness in me and I just wish you all the best,” she said. “I know our paths will cross again someday at some point so I can’t wait to see you again.”

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Erika is battering the Caribbean with heavy rain but will it become a hurricane as it heads towards Florida?

“[Erika] could strengthen a little bit before it moves inland over the Florida peninsula as we get into late during the weekend and early next week,” says Michael Brennan of the National Hurricane Center. “But we’re expecting Erika to remain a tropical storm through the five-day forecast period.”

As of Friday morning, Erika has maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.

“It’s passed south of Puerto Rico and it’s currently located about 165 miles east/southeast of Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic,” says Brennan.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for several Caribbean islands, including the Dominican Republic, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and parts of the Bahamas.

“Our forecast takes the center of Erika across the Dominican Republic and then near the southeastern Bahamas [Friday night} and early Saturday and then after that time, our forecast shows Erika moving near the central and northwestern Bahamas as we go through the weekend,” Brennan says.

“We’re expecting 4 to 8 inches of rain, with maximum amounts of up 12 inches across portions of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and then spreading through the Bahamas through Saturday,” he says.

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Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — With the Chase approaching, the Sprint Cup Series drivers have the weekend off.

They return to action Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, in the Bojangles’ Southern 500. It’s the second-to-last event before the Chase begins.

You can still get your NASCAR fix this weekend with the XFINITY Series’ Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville, held at Road America in Wisconsin. It airs Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern time on NBC Sports Network.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — AMERICAN LEAGUE
L.A. Angels 2, Detroit 0
Texas 4, Toronto 1
Kansas City 5, Baltimore 3
Tampa Bay 5, Minnesota 4
Chicago White Sox 4, Seattle 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE

L.A. Dodgers 1, Cincinnati 0
San Francisco 9, Chicago Cubs 1
Washington 4, San Diego 2
Pittsburgh 2, Miami 1
N.Y. Mets 9, Philadelphia 5, 13 Innings
St. Louis 5, Arizona 3

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iStock/Thinkstock(SAVANNAH, Ga.) — Shots rang out on Savannah State University’s campus Thursday, with one student killed and the university placed on lockdown.

The shooting, which occurred at the SSU Student Union building, was sparked by an altercation, the university said in a statement.

Christopher Starks, a junior from the metro Atlanta area, died in the shooting, the school said. At this point, no arrests have been made.

The campus was put on lockdown following the shooting. The lockdown order was later lifted.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation, with the SSU Police Department assisting, the university said. Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact police.

Friday’s classes will be delayed until 10 a.m. and grief counselors will be made available.

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