=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Friday, September 19 ===
=== Goodell calls for new conduct policy ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - In his first public comments since being
besieged with criticism over his handling of a swarm of recent abuse cases,
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced his intention to implement a new
player conduct policy and have it in place prior to this year's Super Bowl.
After acknowledging that he "got it wrong" in regards to the controversial
case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, Goodell said he
plans to meet with NFL Players Association director DeMaurice Smith next week
to discuss potential changes.
"There will be changes to our personal conduct policy. I know this will happen
because we will make it happen. Nothing is off the table," said Goodell. "They
will have a set of clear and transparent rules for league and club personnel,
owners and players. My goal is to complete this work by the Super Bowl."
Among those potential revisions will be the formation of a committee designed
to help establish and enforce the new policies.
The announcement comes as a response to a wave of negative publicity the NFL
has generated over several incidents of domestic violence, most notably the
ones involving Rice and Minnesota star running back Adrian Peterson, recently
indicted by a Texas grand jury on allegations of physically abusing one of his
Goodell initially suspended Rice two games for an altercation with his then-
fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino back in February, a
ruling that drew a considerable backlash from both the media and public. The
running back was ultimately released by the Ravens and given an indefinite
league suspension, but only after new video footage emerged last week that
showed Rice punching Palmer in a hotel elevator.
"I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter. I am sorry for that,"
Goodell remarked. "But now I will get it right and do whatever is necessary to
"The same mistakes can never be repeated. We will do whatever is necessary to
ensure that we are thorough in our review process and that our conclusions are
reliable. We will get our house in order first."
Goodell also formally announced that the league will enter into long-term
partnerships with two violence hotlines, outlined in a memo he sent to all 32
teams Thursday night.
Additionally, all league and team personnel will participate in education
sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault in the next 30 days.
The public outcry over the Rice case resulted in a revamped domestic-violence
policy that calls for a six-week suspension for a first offense and a
lifetime ban for a second and promises awareness programs.
Other incidents involving domestic violence have come to the forefront as
well. In the latest instance, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer
was arrested Wednesday on charges he assaulted his wife and was placed on the
non-football illness list by the team.
That news broke just hours after the Vikings placed Peterson on the exempt
list following his indictment last week in Texas on charges he abused his 4-
year-old son with a tree branch.
And the Carolina Panthers said Wednesday that defensive end Greg Hardy chose
to be placed on the exempt list while he awaits a jury trial after being
convicted by a judge of assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend.
=== Goodell memo outlines NFL's next steps ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The NFL will enter into long-term partnerships with two
violence hotlines amid a spate of abuse cases that have rocked the nation's
most popular sports league.
The partnerships were outlined in a memo by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
that was sent to all 32 teams Thursday night.
In the memo, a copy of which was obtained by SportsNetwork.com on Friday,
Goodell says all league and team personnel will participate in education
sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault starting in the next 30 days.
"Starting this season, we will dedicate significant resources to raise
awareness on the subjects of domestic violence and sexual assault, including
support for victims," Goodell says.
"These are by no means final steps. We will continue to work with experts to
expand and develop long-term programs that raise awareness, educate, and
prevent domestic violence and sexual assault both within the NFL and in our
society in general."
The memo follows Goodell's letter to owners last month outlining a revamped
domestic-violence policy that calls for a six-week suspension for a first
offense and a lifetime ban for a second and promises awareness programs.
Thursday's memo says a partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline
will yield "25 full-time advocates over the next few weeks that will result in
an additional 750 calls a day being answered."
Goodell says the NFL learned the recent string of abuse cases involving NFL
stars had caused an 84-percent jump in calls over a an eight-day span ending
Sept. 15. The organization says more than half of the calls went unanswered
due to lack of staff.
The NFL will also partner with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center
and will support Loveisrespect, a 24-hour text chat service aiding young
adults affected by dating abuse.
Goodell announced earlier this week that he had named four women to oversee
the NFL's policy on domestic violence.
He said in his August letter that he "didn't get it right" when he suspended
Ray Rice for two games in July after the Baltimore Ravens running back was
arrested on a domestic-violence assault charge in February.
Rice was later cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL over a
video that showed him hitting his then-fiancee in the face -- a case that has
become a byword for similar situations around the league as more teams have
been forced to make decisions over players accused of assault.
In the latest case, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested
Wednesday on charges he assaulted his wife and was placed on the non-football
illness list by the team.
That news broke just hours after the Minnesota Vikings placed star running
back Adrian Peterson on the exempt list following his indictment last week in
Texas on charges he abused his 4-year-old son with a tree branch.
And the Carolina Panthers said Wednesday that defensive end Greg Hardy chose
to be placed on the exempt list while he awaits a jury trial after being
convicted by a judge of assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend.
=== Redskins WR Jackson questionable vs. Eagles ===
Ashburn, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean
Jackson returned to practice Friday, but his status for Sunday's game against
the Philadelphia Eagles is at least officially still up in the air.
Jackson missed two straight practices as he recovers from a shoulder injury
and was "very limited" on Friday, Redskins coach Jay Gruden said.
As the Redskins prepare to take on Jackson's former team, the speedy wideout
is dealing with an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder and has been listed as
questionable on the final injury report.
He was hurt late in the first quarter of Sunday's game against Jacksonville
trying to catch a pass from Kirk Cousins, who had replaced injured starting
quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Jackson was signed in the offseason after the Eagles abruptly cut him and has
nine catches for 81 yards.
Griffin remains out after suffering a dislocated left ankle on Sunday. Tight
end Jordan Reed (hamstring), cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) and
linebacker Akeem Jordan (knee) have also been ruled out.
=== Cards' Abraham's season over ===
Tempe, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Just three days after he returned to the team,
the Cardinals have placed pass rusher John Abraham on injured reserve due to
continued symptoms from a Week 1 concussion.
Abraham failed a concussion test upon his return to the Cardinals on Tuesday
and has still yet to be medically cleared by team doctors. The 15-year veteran
had requested and was granted a leave of absence to deal with the injury,
which occurred in Arizona's season-opening win over San Diego on Sept. 8.
It's possible that Abraham, the NFL's active leader with 133 1/2 sacks, has
now played his last down. The 36-year-old is in the final year of his contract
and had been contemplating retirement during his brief time away from the
Abraham had 11 1/2 sacks to lead Arizona last season and was chosen to his
fifth career Pro Bowl in 2013.
With regular punter Dave Zastudil still bothered by a groin injury that's
prevented him from kicking the season's first two weeks, Abraham was moved to
IR to clear a spot for Arizona to re-sign punter Drew Butler.
Butler served as the Cardinals' punter during Zastudil's absence, averaging
47.8 yards on eight attempts and placing two kicks inside the 20-yard line.
=== Chiefs list Charles questionable ===
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal
Charles appears headed to be a game-time decision for the team's matchup at
Miami on Sunday.
Charles returned to practice Thursday, albeit in a limited capacity, just four
days after head coach Andy Reid said the 2013 AFC rushing leader suffered a
high ankle sprain in a Week 2 loss at Denver. Charles was also a limited
participant during Friday's session and was listed as questionable on the
final injury report.
"We're going to see how he did on (the ankle) today and how he feels after
this practice," said Reid. "But he did practice and he moved around and did a
decent job. So, we'll see how it all works out."
Safety Eric Berry, who also sprained his ankle in Sunday's 24-17 loss to the
Broncos, has been ruled out for this weekend's clash after sitting out a third
straight practice on Friday.
Rookie running back/return specialist De'Anthony Thomas will miss a third
consecutive game due to a lingering hamstring injury.
=== Niners TE Davis questionable against Cards ===
Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - San Francisco 49ers tight end
Vernon Davis is questionable for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Davis has missed practice all week with a left ankle injury.
Also listed as questionable after missing all week of practice are tight end
Vance McDonald (knee), cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe) and right tackle
Anthony Davis (hamstring).
=== Panthers' Williams uncertain for Sunday ===
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo
Williams returned to practice on Friday, though it's still unclear as to
whether he will be available for this weekend's game against the Pittsburgh
Williams, Carolina's all-time leading rusher, was a limited participant in
Friday's session after sitting out the previous two days with a thigh injury
that also kept him out of last Sunday's home opener against Detroit. The team
has listed him as questionable to face the Steelers.
Two of the Panthers' top three receivers are also questionable for Sunday's
tilt due to hamstring issues. Jerricho Cotchery, who was hurt during
Thursday's practice, did not participate on Friday, while Jason Avant did
return to the field after missing Thursday's workout.
Tight end Greg Olsen (calf), fullback Mike Tolbert (chest), wide receiver
Kelvin Benjamin (knee), offensive tackles Byron Bell (toe) and Nate Chandler
(toe) and linebacker Thomas Davis (hip) were among those players termed
probable for Sunday's contest.
=== Lions' Ansah, Fairley questionable vs. Packers ===
Allen Park, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah
and defensive tackle Nick Fairley are both questionable for Sunday's game
against the Green Bay Packers.
Ansah (knee) practiced Friday for the first time this week with a knee injury.
He has five tackles and one sack in two games this season.
Fairley (biceps) was limited in practice this week. Defensive end George
Johnson (groin) is also questionable.
The Lions will be without cornerback Cassius Vaughn (ankle), right tackle
LaAdrian Waddle (calf) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quad).
Safety James Ihedigbo (neck) was listed as doubtful, along with fullback
Montell Owens (hamstring).
=== Mathews out, Allen questionable for Chargers ===
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - As expected, the San Diego Chargers have
ruled running back Ryan Mathews out for Sunday's game against the Buffalo
Wide receiver Keenan Allen, meanwhile, has been listed as questionable on the
team's final injury report after being limited in practice for a second
straight day by a groin issue.
Mathews was carted off the field with an injury to his right knee during the
fourth quarter of San Diego's 30-21 win over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday.
NFL.com reported Monday that the two-time 1,000-yard rusher suffered a
sprained medial collateral ligament and could be sidelined for 4-to-5 weeks.
Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead are expected to split backfield duties for
this weekend's clash with the 2-0 Bills.
Allen ranks second among Charger players in catches (10) and receiving yards
(92) through the season's first two weeks.
Tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring), coming off a three-touchdown game against
the Seahawks, is probable to face the Bills after putting in a full practice
San Diego will definitely be without starting outside linebacker Melvin
Ingram, who did not practice at all this week due to a hamstring injury.
=== Bengals WR Green probable for Sunday ===
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J.
Green is listed as probable for Sunday's home game against the Tennessee
Green was forced to exit early from last Sunday's 24-10 win over Atlanta with
a toe injury. He returned to practice Thursday and was a full participant in
Linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion) and guard Kevin Zeitler (calf) are
listed as doubtful.
=== Cowboys' McClain doubtful, Bryant questionable ===
Irving, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Cowboys appear likely to be
without middle linebacker Rolando McClain when they visit St. Louis this
Sunday to battle the Rams.
McClain, who has not practiced this week due to a groin injury, has been
listed as doubtful on Friday's final injury report.
After spending last season out of football, McClain won the Cowboys' starting
middle linebacker job during the preseason and has recorded a team-best 15
tackles along with one interception and one sack through the first two weeks.
Dallas was already shorthanded at the linebacker spot with Sean Lee out for
the season with a torn ACL and veteran Justin Durant to miss a second straight
game with a strained groin. Rookie Anthony Hitchens is slated to man the
middle if McClain can't play on Sunday.
On the offensive side, top wide receiver Dez Bryant was termed questionable
with a sore shoulder that has limited him in practice the past two days,
though ESPN Dallas reported Friday that he's fully expected to play.
Bryant briefly left last week's game at Tennessee with the injury, but
returned to rack up 103 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches.
Quarterback Tony Romo, meanwhile, put in a second straight full practice on
Friday and is probable for Sunday's tilt.
Defensive end Anthony Spencer remains sidelined as he continues to recover
from offseason knee surgery.
=== Dolphins' Jordan suspended again ===
Davie, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan has
been suspended again.
The NFL announced Friday that Jordan's previously imposed four-game suspension
has been lifted, per the terms of the NFL's new drug policy. However, Jordan
has been suspended without pay for the next four games, this time for a
violation of the NFL's Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.
The 2013 first-round pick will be eligible to return to the Dolphins' active
roster on Oct. 20 following the team's Week 7 game against the Chicago Bears.
In July, Jordan was suspended for a violation of the NFL's policy on
"I am currently undergoing treatment to address my situation," Jordan said in
a statement. "I am working hard to become a better man and to make better
choices in the future. I am especially looking forward to returning to the
team. I also want to thank my family, Coach (Joe) Philbin and the Miami
Dolphins organization for their support."
Jordan, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, played in all 16
games for Miami in his rookie campaign, compiling 26 tackles and two sacks.
"While we were disappointed to learn of this result, we support Dion for
proactively taking steps to voluntarily seek treatment to better himself,"
Philbin said in a statement. "We will continue to support and work with him as
he takes advantage of all available resources during this time."
=== Jags WR Shorts listed as probable ===
Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver
Cecil Shorts will most likely make his season debut Sunday against the
Shorts missed the first two games with a hamstring strain and is listed as
probable. He was a full participant in practice on Friday after being limited
the previous two days.
The team's leading receiver in 2013, Shorts caught 66 passes for 777 yards
and three touchdowns in 13 games.
Shorts missed three weeks during training camp with a hamstring problem, but
pulled the other hamstring prior to Jacksonville's Week 1 game against the
On Thursday, the Jaguars ruled out rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee because of
a hamstring injury. Tight end Clay Harbor is questionable with a calf injury.
=== Stanton to start for Cardinals vs. 49ers ===
Tempe, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians announced
Friday that quarterback Drew Stanton will start Sunday against the San
Stanton made his first start since 2010 last week, completing 14-of-29
passes for 167 yards in a win over the Giants.
Carson Palmer has been dealing with a shoulder injury that occurred in
Arizona's season-opening win over the Chargers. If Palmer can play on Sunday,
he'll be the backup.
Palmer was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report. Defensive end
Frostee Rucker (calf) and tight end Rob Housler (hip) are also questionable.
Linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) and punter Dave Zastudil (groin) have been
=== Raiders' Jones-Drew, Streater questionable vs. Patriots ===
Alameda, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones-
Drew and wide receiver Rod Streater are listed as questionable for Sunday's
matchup against the New England Patriots.
Jones-Drew, who was inactive in Sunday's 30-14 loss to Houston due to a hand
injury, was limited in the final two days of practice this week. The nine-year
veteran began his tenure on the East Bay by rushing nine times for only 11
yards in the season opener, a 19-14 loss to the New York Jets.
Streater returned to practice in a limited capacity on Friday after suffering
a hip flexor injury against the Texans.
Also questionable for Sunday are cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa (knee) and Carlos
Rogers (knee), tackle Matt McCants (knee), defensive lineman Antonio Smith
(back) and linebacker Nick Roach (concussion).
Linebacker Sio Moore is out with an ankle injury, while defensive end Justin
Tuck is probable with an illness.
=== Texans RB Foster questionable for Sunday ===
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Houston Texans running back Arian Foster
is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
Foster, who was a limited participant in practice all week with a hamstring
injury, leads the AFC in rushing with 241 yards on 55 carries for 2-0 and AFC
Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes and Ronnie Brown are the other running backs on
the Texans' roster.
In addition, guard Ben Jones (ankle/knee) and safety D.J. Swearinger (elbow)
are also questionable for Sunday's tilt.
=== Rams QB Hill questionable against Cowboys ===
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - St. Louis Rams quarterback Shaun Hill is
listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Hill, who was a limited participant in practice all week due to a thigh
injury, didn't play in St. Louis' 19-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last
Austin Davis made his first career start and completed 22-of-29 passes for
Hill was injured in a season-opening loss to Minnesota.
Wide receiver Tavon Austin (knee) and tight end Cory Harkey (knee) are also
listed as questionable.
=== Packers' Bulaga questionable vs. Lions ===
Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Green Bay Packers right tackle Bryan
Bulaga and cornerback Casey Hayward are officially listed as questionable for
Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.
Bulaga did not play last week against the Jets because of the sprained MCL he
sustained in Week 1 against the Seahawks. He was limited in practice this
"From last week to this week, it feels a lot better," Bulaga said Friday.
"Mobility wise, strength wise, everything has just progressed really well."
If Bulaga can't play, Derek Sherrod will make his second straight start.
Hayward (glute) did not practice Wednesday, though he was able to do limited
work later in the week.
Linebacker Brad Jones (quad) was ruled out. Fellow linebacker Andy Mulumba
(knee) was placed on injured reserve.
=== Titans CB McCourty questionable against Bengals ===
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason
McCourty is questionable for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
McCourty has been a limited participant in practice all week after suffering a
groin injury in last Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys. McCourty has made 37
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard (ankle), running back Dexter McCluster (foot) and
backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst (finger) are all probable for Sunday's
=== Colts' Freeman, Jones ruled out vs. Jaguars ===
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Indianapolis Colts linebacker Jerrell
Freeman and defensive tackle Arthur Jones have both been ruled out for
Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Freeman has a hamstring injury that also forced him to miss Monday night's
game against the Eagles. Jones suffered an ankle injury in that game and was
held out of practice this week.
Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (ankle), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks
(illness) and guard Joe Reitz (ankle) are questionable for Sunday's game.
=== Ravens RB Pierce questionable for Sunday ===
Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard
Pierce is questionable for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.
Pierce popped on the injury report Thursday with a thigh injury and has been
limited in practice the last two days.
In addition, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is doubtful with a knee injury.
=== Saints' Ingram out vs. Minnesota ===
Metairie, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - New Orleans Saints running back Mark
Ingram was ruled out for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Ingram, who broke his hand in Sunday's loss to Cleveland, did not practice at
all this week and will be sidelined for at least a month.
Ingram had been getting the bulk of the carries through New Orleans' first two
games, recording 143 yards on 24 carries for three touchdowns. The Saints will
turn to Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson for increased production.
Safety Marcus Ball (hamstring), linebacker David Hawthorne (ankle) and
fullback Erik Lorig (ankle) were also ruled out.
Center Jonathan Goodwin (elbow), linebackers Kyle Knox (ankle) and Curtis
Lofton (shoulder) and wide receiver Joe Morgan (knee) are all probable, while
center/guard Tim Lelito (back) is questionable.
=== Gordon suspension reduced to 10 games ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh
Gordon had his suspension reduced to 10 games after the NFL and the NFL
Players Association announced Friday the finalized agreement to changes in
their substance abuse and performance enhancing substances policies.
Gordon has already served two games of his penalty and will be eligible to
return in Week 12 for a road game against the Atlanta Falcons.
"We are aware of the new NFL policy related to the reduction of Josh Gordon's
suspension to 10 games," Browns general manager Ray Farmer said. "We will
continue to support and work with him under the NFL guidelines throughout this
process. Our team's focus right now remains on preparing for Sunday's game
against the Baltimore Ravens."
Gordon pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while impaired stemming from
an arrest in North Carolina in July.
Due to the new policy, free agent wide receiver LaVon Brazill will be eligible
to return after 10 games. Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos, Orlando Scandrick
of the Dallas Cowboys and Stedman Bailey of the St. Louis Rams were eligible
to return to their teams this week.
=== FSU suspends QB Winston for entire Clemson game ===
Tallahassee, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Upon further review, Florida State
quarterback Jameis Winston will not play against Clemson on Saturday.
Florida State announced late Friday night that the reigning Heisman Trophy
winner will sit the entire game. The school had originally suspended Winston
for just the first half after he made a lewd comment about women on campus
earlier this week.
"Based upon the results of our continuing investigation of Tuesday's incident
involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game
against Clemson on Saturday night," the school said in a release.
Several students tweeted on Tuesday that Winston shouted an obscene phrase
from an Internet video. Winston apologized for his actions.
Tuesday's incident was the latest in a growing list of off-the-field news for
Winston, who was investigated in 2013 for sexual assault -- a Florida State
Attorney declined to press charges. He was also suspended from the baseball
team after being cited for stealing crab legs and crawfish in April.
Backup quarterback Sean Maguire will start in Winston's place for the NO. 1
Seminoles against the 22nd-ranked Tigers.
=== Cubs activate Jackson to start vs. Dodgers ===
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Cubs activated right-hander
Edwin Jackson from the 15-day disabled list to start Friday's game against
the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jackson had been out since Aug. 21 with a right lat strain.
The 12-year veteran is 6-14 with a 6.09 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 139 innings
in 26 starts this season.
=== Pirates' Morton to skip next start ===
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Charlie
Morton won't make his next start, the announced on Friday.
Morton pitched Tuesday for the first time since being sidelined for a month by
a sports hernia. He held Boston scoreless over five innings, but experienced
increased discomfort near the end of his outing and again in Thursday's
The team said Morton will undergo a medical examination next week.
Vance Worley will start in place of Morton on Sunday against Milwaukee.
=== Giroux hurt as Flyers open camp ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude
Giroux is expected to be sidelined approximately two weeks after suffering an
undisclosed lower-body injury on the first day of training camp.
Giroux exited the ice around 15 minutes into Friday's practice. Flyers general
manager Ron Hextall later said the star center's injury is a new occurrence
and he entered camp in good health.
"This just happened today. It's the first day of camp and guys go 100 miles
per-hour and things happen," Hextall said. "Obviously its not the way you want
to start. That's the hand we were dealt and we're going to deal with it."
The Flyers open their regular season in just under three weeks with a matchup
at Boston on Oct. 8.
=== Ole Miss extends Bianco's contract ===
Oxford, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Ole Miss has extended the contract of head
baseball coach Mike Bianco through the 2018 season.
Bianco's four-year extension starts at a base salary of $640,000 plus
"Mike Bianco has set the tone for ultimate success for Ole Miss baseball since
his arrival in 2001," athletics director Ross Bjork said. "I have had the
fortune of working with many high level coaches over the years and I have not
seen a head coach operate a complete program in all phases exactly like Coach
Bianco. He believes in competing at the highest level just as much as he
believes in the academic and social success of our student-athletes and for
that we are grateful of his leadership."
Bianco, who is the all-time winningest coach in Ole Miss history, led the
Rebels to their fifth College World Series appearance in 2014. They tied the
school record for wins in a season with 48.
During his 14-year tenure at the school, Bianco has compiled a 557-323-1
record. He has guided Ole Miss to 12 NCAA Tournaments, three SEC Western
Division Titles (2005, 2009, 2014) and the SEC Championship (2009).
"We're very excited about the future of Ole Miss Baseball," Bianco said.
"We've had a lot of success over the years and it's been a team effort."
=== Reto takes 3-shot lead in Alabama ===
Prattville, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Paula Reto fired a 6-under 66 on Friday
and she grabbed a 3-stroke lead after two rounds of the Yokohama Tire LPGA
Reto, who is a tour rookie, finished 36 holes at 13-under-par 131. Her total
of 131 matched the tournament's 36-hole record that Stacy Prammanasudh set in
Mi Jung Hur posted a 2-under 70 and is alone in second place at minus-10.
World No. 1 Stacy Lewis, who shared the first-round lead with Hur, managed a
71 and is alone in third at 9-under 135.
Sydnee Michaels fired a 7-under 65, the low round of the day on Friday on the
Capitol Hill Course at the RTJ Capitol Hill Golf Club. She soared into a tie
for fourth at minus-7. Michaels was joined there by Alison Walshe (68) and
Moriya Jutanugarn (69).
Jane Park (70), Christina Kim (71) and Cydney Clanton (72) are tied for
seventh at 6-under 138.
Reto started her second round on the back nine and stumbled out of the gate
with a bogey on the 11th. She bounced with a birdie on No. 12 and followed
with birdies at 13 and 14.
After a par on the 15th, Reto notched back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17 to
move to 11-under. She ran off four straight pars around the turn.
Reto made birdie at the fourth and another at the sixth. However, she tripped
to another bogey on the par-3 seventh. Reto atoned for that mistake with a
birdie on the ninth, her last.
"I was just really patient with myself. I hit a couple good irons especially
early in the round. I hit a couple close, so that was nice, got the momentum
going pretty early," Reto said. "It was nice to birdie the last hole yesterday
as well as today, that was really nice. Just trying to stay patient and not
think too much, just simple things."
Hur stumbled to a bogey on the second, but got that shot back when she birdied
the par-5 fifth. Hur tripped to another bogey at seven. She atoned for that
mistake with a birdie on the ninth to make the turn at 8-under.
Around the turn, Hur birdied the 13th and 16th to move into second place.
Lewis parred the 10th, her first, but followed with bogeys at 11 and 12. She
bounced back with birdies on the next two holes to get back to minus-8.
The world No. 1 ran off four pars in a row from the 15th. Lewis converted
back-to-back birdie chances at the first and second. However, she bogeyed two
of the next four holes to drop to even-par for her round.
Lewis birdied the seventh and closed her round with a pair of pars.
"I mean obviously a bad start so anything under par today was a pretty good
score. Just got in trouble a couple times off the tee and made some bogeys
that I shouldn't have," Lewis stated. "Really just got in some bad places
where I couldn't make par."
NOTES: This is the first time Reto has had the overnight lead after any round
in her brief LPGA Tour career ... The cut line fell at 2-over-par 146 and 76
players advanced to the weekend ... Among those missing the cut were Laura
Diaz and Lexi Thompson.
=== Lowry jumps into 36-hole lead at Wales Open ===
City of Newport, Wales (SportsNetwork.com) - Shane Lowry fired a second-
round, 6-under 65 on Friday to take a 1-shot lead heading into the weekend at
the Wales Open.
Lowry, who has two career wins on the European Tour, finished 36 holes at 9-
under 133. Lowry's last victory came at the Portugal Masters in 2012.
"I felt like coming over that I could give it a go this week," said Lowry. "I
was around 10th going into the back nine on Sunday last week, and similar the
week before in Switzerland. If I can get myself in a good position come the
back nine this weekend, again, hopefully I can give it a go."
First-round leader Joost Luiten, who entered the day three shots ahead of
Lowry, shot a 2-under 69 at The Celtic Manor Resort and he is one shot back
at 8-under 134 along with Nicolas Colsaerts (68).
Edoardo Molinari made the biggest move up the leaderboard on Friday with an 8-
under 63, putting him a tie for fourth with Thongchai Jaidee (67) at 7-under
Gregory Havret and Patrik Sjoland shot matching 67s, while Tommy Fleetwood and
Ricardo Santos carded 68s and they are all tied for sixth at minus-6. European
Ryder Cup team member Jamie Donaldson (67) finished 36 holes tied for 10th at
5-under 137 with Phillip Price (66) and Marc Warren (67).
Defending champion Gregory Bourdy (71) finished at 3-over 145 and he missed
After recording three bogeys in the first round, Lowry was very consistent on
the second day. After starting with a par on the first, Lowry poured in his
first birdie on the par-5 second. Following three straight pars, he added
another gain on No. 6, getting Lowry to 2-under.
Lowry's third birdie came at the par-4 eighth and he made the turn at minus-3
after a par on No. 9. Lowry added three more birdies on the back nine as well
on Nos. 10, 13 and 15. He closed things out with three straight pars to end
with a bogey-free 65.
"There is still a long way to go in the tournament, but I'm really looking
forward to the weekend," Lowry said. "I didn't drive it that good yesterday,
but still shot a decent score. I drove it a lot better today, drove it a lot
straighter and gave myself a lot of chances and rolled in a few putts, so it
Luiten, beginning his day on No. 11, started off with a birdie at the par-5.
After three straight pars from 12, Luiten made his second gain on No. 15 and
he made the turn with another birdie on 18.
It was a slow final stretch for Luiten, however, as he made bogey on No. 2 and
closed out his round with all pars the rest of the way.
Colsaerts, who was one shot behind Luiten in second place at the start of the
day, made three birdies on the front nine at one, five and seven. A slow start
to the back nine with bogeys on 10 and 11 had Colsaerts at just 1-under for
The Belgian rattled off six straight pars before finishing strong with an
eagle on the last. It was the second straight day Colsaerts eagled the par-5
Molinari also shot a bogey-free round, which included three birdies on the
front nine and five more on the back nine.
NOTES: Lowry's other victory on tour came at the 2009 Irish Open ... In his
last two events, Lowry finished tied for 13th and tied for 28th ... Luiten has
already made nine birdies on the back nine through two rounds ... Andrew
McArthur, who started the round tied for second with Colsaerts, shot a 3-over
74 on Friday to fall into a tie for 22nd at 2-under ... With the cut falling
at 1-over-par 143, 73 players advanced to the weekend.
=== Blair leads suspended Tour Championship ===
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Zac Blair was three strokes clear
of the field on Friday when play was suspended for the day at the Web.com Tour
Blair was 5-under par through 15 holes, and stood at 12-under par for the
tournament. Blair is well down the money list, and likely needs at least a
top-five finish to get inside the top 25 on the finals series money list and
earn his PGA Tour card for next season.
There was a 1-hour, 22-minute weather delay earlier in the day. Play was later
called for the day due to darkness.
Derek Fathauer carded a 4-under 66 and was the clubhouse leader at 9-under-par
131 on the Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass.
Sung Joon Park is alone in third place at minus-7 after carding a 2-under 68
in round two.
Jason Gore (65), Tom Gillis (67), James Nitties (68) and Whee Kim (66) share
fourth place at 6-under 134. They were joined there by Chad Collins, who is 1-
under through 17 holes of the second round.
Blair played the back nine first on Friday and he got off to a quick start as
he made eagle on his opening hole. He ran off seven consecutive pars from the
11th before making birdie at No. 18.
Around the turn, Blair followed with birdies on one and two to make it three
in a row. He carded four straight pars from the third before play was called
for the day.
"It's a little difficult not knowing when you're going to have to stop and
come back. You just have to take (it) in stride. Everyone this afternoon has
to," said Blair, who is bogey free through 33 holes. "I've made some good
putts the last couple of days. I've been getting chances and capitalizing on
Fathauer, who lost in a playoff at the Nova Scotia Open, also had a steady
round. He started with birdies on the 10th and 11th, then recorded six pars in
a row from the 12th.
The 28-year-old dropped in back-to-back birdie chances at the 18th and first
to get to 9-under. Fathauer reeled off eight consecutive pars to close out his
"I thought about hitting 3-wood there, but there's really no need to push it
further down," Fathauer said of No. 9. "You're going to hit hybrid and an 8-
iron at the most. It's just an unnecessary risk. Not just the last hole, but
all the holes out here."
NOTES: The second round is slated to resume at 7:40 a.m. ET on Saturday, with
the third round to follow at about 9 a.m. with players going off in threesomes
of the first and 10th tees ... Blair is the only player that is bogey-free.
=== Pernice fires 60, leads by 4 in Hawaii ===
Oahu, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - Tom Pernice, Jr. fired a course-record, 12-
under 60 on Friday and soared into the lead after one round of the Pacific
Links Hawaii Championship.
Pernice earned his third tour win earlier this year at the Principal Charity
Classic. His 60 bettered the previous course record of 64. Mark Wiebe set that
mark last year at Kapolei Golf Course en route to winning the title.
"Well you know, I got off to a good start. I hit two good shots into 10 and
11, and made the putts. I was just kind of moving along nicely and kind of
caught fire a little bit there on the (front) nine," Pernice said. "My iron
play really held up and was just spectacular."
Michael Allen posted an 8-under 64 and is alone in second place. Joey Sindelar
and Scott Dunlap share third at minus-7.
Vijay Singh, who tied for sixth place last year, and Jay Haas opened with 6-
under 66s. They were joined in fifth place by Paul Goydos, Jim Carter and Mike
Fred Funk and Mark Calcavecchia are among 10 players tied for 10th at minus-5.
Davis Love III made his Champions Tour debut. He posted a 3-under 69 and is
tied for 28th.
Pernice played the back nine first on Friday and he started with back-to-back
birdies at 10 and 11. After a pair of pars, he birdied the 14th and made it
two in a row with another birdie on No. 15.
The three-time Champions Tour winner birdied the par-5 17th, then parred the
18th as he made the turn at minus-5.
Around the turn, Pernice stayed hot. He birdied the first two holes on the
front nine and moved to 8-under with a birdie on the par-4 fourth.
Pernice followed a birdie on No. 6 with an up-and-down birdie at the par-5
seventh. His tee ball at the par-3 eighth went over the green, but he chipped
in for birdie.
Needing an eagle at the par-4 ninth to shoot 59, Pernice spun his approach
inside three feet and kicked that in for a closing birdie.
"I really got fortunate on seven. I pulled it left of the green in the rough
there. I hit a pretty good shot through some palm trees and made the putt,"
Pernice explained. "Eight, I hit it just over the back edge there and pitched
it in. Other than that, I hit a lot of good quality iron shots."
Allen got off to a flying start with three birdies in the first four holes. He
ran off six straight pars from the fifth.
The Allianz Championship winner ended his run of pars with a birdie at the
11th. He dropped in back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15. Allen jumped into
second place with an eagle on the par-5 17th. He parred the last to end four
"I putted awfully well. I've been a little sick and under the weather, and I'm
just playing one shot at a time (because of that). It brings you back to
playing the shot you're on," Allen stated.
NOTES: Pernice's other two tour wins were at the 2009 SAS Championship and the
2013 3M Championship ... This is the third time Pernice has led after one
round on the Champions Tour ... Kevin Sutherland fired the lone 59 in
Champions Tour history last year at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open ... Last
year's winner Mark Wiebe withdrew from the event earlier in the week.
=== Keselowski on pole with track record at New Hampshire ===
Loudon, NH (SportsNetwork.com) - Brad Keselowski's winning momentum in the
Sprint Cup Series continued on Friday, as he claimed the pole for the Sylvania
300 with a new track qualifying record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Keselowski made a lap around this flat 1.058-mile track at 140.598 mph for his
fifth pole of the season and the eighth of his Sprint Cup career. It's the
19th time in the series this season that a new track record has been set. This
is the fourth track record for Keselowski in 2014 -- Phoenix, Dover, Kentucky
and New Hampshire.
The previous track record at New Hampshire was 138.130 mph, set by Kyle Busch
Keselowski, the driver of the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske and the 2012 Sprint
Cup champion, has won five races this year, including the Sept. 6 regular-
season-finale at Richmond and then last Sunday's opening round in the Chase
for the Sprint Cup championship at Chicagoland. He also scored the victory in
the July race at New Hampshire.
"This kind of track is kind of right in my wheelhouse, right in our team's
wheelhouse," Keselowski said. "We had this race circled before the Chase
started, and we felt decent about Chicago. But really felt like this was a
race of emphasis for us to get a win and get out of the first bracket. With
last week considered, it's even a stronger position for us to be pushing hard.
It's good. We just want to keep it going."
Jamie McMurray, a non-Chase driver, will start alongside Keselowski on the
front row after posting a lap at 140.437 mph.
"We brought a fast car, a brand new car this weekend," McMurray said. "(Crew
chief) Keith (Rodden) has done a really good job again. We qualified second.
The pit selection here is also a big deal, getting blocked in because you do a
lot of two tires. The fact that we qualified well, you get to have that
opening leaving is going to be really valuable especially if you are running
Kevin Harvick qualified third, followed by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Jimmie
Johnson, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman. All of those drivers are
in the Chase. Rookie Kyle Larson, not in the playoffs, was 10th.
Other Chase drivers and their starting positions include: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
(11th), Jeff Gordon (13th), Kurt Busch (15th), Matt Kenseth (16th), Kasey
Kahne (17th), Aric Almirola (21st), Greg Biffle (26th) and A.J. Allmendinger
All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field for Sunday's
300-lap race at New Hampshire.
=== Goffin ousts Tsonga; Monfils into Metz SFs ===
Metz, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will not reach a
fourth straight final in Metz after losing to rising Belgian David Goffin,
while former champion Gael Monfils easily avoided a quarterfinal upset Friday
at the Moselle Open tennis event.
The eighth-seeded Goffin came from behind to upend the top-seeded two-time
champion Tsonga 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 on the indoor hardcourts at Metz Arena.
Tsonga dominated the first set, smacking five aces and converting both of his
The players traded breaks in the third before Tsonga saved two break points at
15-40 down in the 11th game. But he missed a chance to win it and Goffin
ultimately served out victory on his second match point.
Gilles Simon beat a then reigning two-time titlist Tsonga in last
year's all-French finale.
Frenchmen have won five straight and seven of the 11 titles in Metz.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded Monfils cruised past 6-foot-8 seventh-seeded Pole
Jerzy Janowicz 6-3, 6-4 on Day 5.
Monfils titled here in 2009 and was the runner-up in 2005. His semifinal
opponent will be sixth-seeded Portuguese Joao Sousa, who outlasted French wild
card Paul-Henri Mathieu 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in Friday's nightcap. Mathieu was
a Metz runner-up in 2008.
Jan-Lennard Struff was leading fellow German Philipp Kohlschreiber 5-0 in the
first set when the third-seeded 2009 Metz runner-up Kohlschreiber retired
after just 20 minutes on Friday. Struff will face Goffin in Saturday's semis.
The 2014 Metz titlist will earn $100,000.
=== Lepchenko ousts Radwanska in Seoul ===
Seoul, Korea (SportsNetwork.com) - American Varvara Lepchenko stunned top-
seeded and defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska in Friday's quarterfinals
at the Korea Open.
The fifth-seeded Lepchenko outlasted Radwanska 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2 on the
hardcourts at Seoul Olympic Park Tennis Center.
Radwanska defeated Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in last year's final in
Seoul. The Polish star has never successfully defended a title.
Lepchenko's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be fellow American Christina
McHale, who was leading fourth seed Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 2-0 when the
Slovak retired on Day 5.
The other semi will pit second-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova against Russian
Maria Kirilenko, as Pliskova handled American qualifier Nicole Gibbs 6-3, 6-4
and the wild card Kirilenko upended sixth-seeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-7
(3-7), 6-2, 6-3. Kirilenko captured the Seoul title in 2008 and was the
runner-up in 2007. Kanepi was a runner-up here two years ago.
This week's champion will claim $111,389.
=== Kerber, Wozniacki, Ivanovic reach Tokyo semis ===
Tokyo, Japan (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seeds Angelique Kerber, Caroline
Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic led the charge into the semifinals at the $1
million Pan Pacific Open tennis event.
The top-seeded Kerber whipped sixth-seeded Australian Open runner-up Dominika
Cibulkova 6-3, 6-0, while the second-seeded former world No. 1 Wozniacki
waltzed past eighth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-3 and
the third-seeded former top-ranked Ivanovic cruised past seventh-seeded Czech
Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-2 on the hardcourts at Ariake Coliseum.
The German Kerber was last year's Tokyo runner-up to fellow left-hander
Petra Kvitova, while this month's U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki was the Pan
Pacific champ in 2010 and Ivanovic was the runner-up in Tokyo in 2007.
Another quarterfinal result saw rising Spaniard Garbine Muguruza overcome
Aussie Casey Dellacqua 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
Saturday's semis will pit Kerber against Ivanovic and Wozniacki versus
The resurgent Wozniacki has won 21 of her last 25 matches, including a
title in Istanbul.
This week's champion will collect $196,670.
=== Cornet, Niculescu to meet in China final ===
Guangzhou, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Second seed Alize Cornet and Monica
Niculescu were semifinal winners Friday and will meet for the title at the
Guangzhou International Open tennis event.
The French Cornet bested Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) on the
hardcourts at Guangzhou International Tennis Center.
The Romanian Niculescu cruised past wild card Wang Yafan of China 6-0, 6-2.
The 24-year-old Cornet will appear in her ninth career final, seeking a fifth
title. She was a winner in Katowice, Poland, and runner-up in Dubai earlier
The 26-year-old Niculescu is 1-2 in her career WTA finals, with her lone win
coming in Brazil last year.
Saturday's champion will pocket $111,163.
09/20 02:14:49 ET