|Today|| Cowboys topple Rams, tie biggest comeback ever|
ST. LOUIS (AP) Terrance Williams scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and Bruce Carter returned an interception 25 yards for a TD on the next snap, capping the Dallas Cowboys' comeback from a 21-0 deficit to stun the St. Louis Rams 34-31 on Sunday.
DeMarco Murray's 1-yard run late in the first half began the rally for Dallas (2-1). Dez Bryant caught a 68-yard scoring pass in the third quarter, and Carter's first career interception and touchdown came not long after he was evaluated for concussion-like symptoms on the bench.
The comeback matched the largest in Dallas history, the other two coming in overtime in 1984 against New Orleans and 1999 against Washington. It tied the second-largest lead blown by the Rams, who slowed Murray but got burned everywhere else.
St. Louis is 0-2 at home and was whipped 34-6 by Minnesota in the opener.
|Today|| Logano wins at N.H. to advance in Chase|
LOUDON, N.H. (AP) Joey Logano pulled away on the restart to win a green-white-checkered finish Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and advance to the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
Logano and Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski have both advanced to the next round. Four drivers will be eliminated drivers after every third race, and a win guarantees a driver an automatic berth into the next round. The first cutoff race is next week at Dover International Speedway.
Logano raced to his fourth victory of the season, leading 73 laps and surviving a NASCAR season-high 15 cautions that wrecked results for several Chase drivers.
Keselowski led 78 laps, hit the wall, and still was in the hunt for a win. He failed in his bid to win a third straight Cup race, though he salvaged a seventh-place finish.
Team Penske has won four of the last five races dating to Bristol.
|Today|| Eagles hold off Redskins as brawl mars rivalry game|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Rookie Jordan Matthews, the receiver who replaced DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia, caught two touchdown passes, and the Eagles beat Jackson and his Washington Redskins 37-34 on Sunday in a nasty game marred by a fourth-quarter brawl.
Jackson had his own big play, an 81-yard TD that tied it at 27. But it was not enough to offset Matthews and Jeremy Maclin, whose 27-yard scoring reception gave Philadelphia (3-0) the lead. Rookie Cody Parkey's third field goal, a 51-yarder with 5:55 remaining, put the game out of reach.
Philadelphia's Chris Polk had a 102-yard kickoff return. Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns for Washington (1-2).
The game was slowed by several injuries and disrupted by a sideline brawl with about 10 minutes remaining. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was blindsided by Chris Baker during an apparent interception return by Bashaud Breeland. Baker and Philly left tackle Jason Peters were ejected.
|Today|| Man United implode in 5-3 loss to Leicester|
LEICESTER, England (AP) Manchester United surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 5-3 to Leicester in a wild Premier League game on Sunday, with the promoted side scoring four times in 20 minutes to cap its thrilling comeback.
Angel Di Maria's exquisite chip put United 2-0 ahead in the 16th minute but it proved in vain as Leicester exposed the visitors' defensive frailties to come from 3-1 down with 28 minutes left.
Penalties by David Nugent and Leonardo Ulloa - the second after Tyler Blackett's sending-off - came either side of goals by Esteban Cambiasso and Jamie Vardy as United's defense imploded at King Power Stadium.
Robin van Persie and Di Maria scored to give United a great start before Ulloa reduced the deficit in the 18th with a third goal in a five-minute span. Ander Herrera regained the two-goal lead with a deft flick before United collapsed, leaving the team with five points from its opening five games despite a summer spending spree of $250 million.
"We have too many players who want to seek for the goal," United manager Louis van Gaal said.
"It is not good," he added, "because we have the game in our pocket and gave it away."
After beating Queens Park Rangers 4-0 last weekend, United's all-star attack looks in good shape, with Radamel Falcao making his first start and setting up Van Persie's deflected header for the 13th-minute opener. Di Maria repaid even more of his $99 million price tag by producing another effervescent display and his goal - a scoop over the goalkeeper from about 15 yards (meters) out - would have been the highlight on another day.
But United continue to look vulnerable defensively, with Blackett's upcoming suspension and a first-half foot injury to Jonny Evans, who left the stadium on crutches, not helping. Leicester could have won by even more as it created chance after chance in the final minutes.
"It was absolutely brilliant," said Vardy. "We exploited their weaknesses and
|Today|| Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime|
SEATTLE (AP) Marshawn Lynch scored on a 6-yard TD run on the first possession of overtime and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 26-20 on Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch that lived up to expectations.
Seattle (2-1) blew a 17-3 fourth-quarter lead, watching Denver tie the game at 20 on Peyton Manning's 26-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme with 18 seconds left in regulation and his 2-point conversion pass to Demaryius Thomas.
But Manning never saw the ball in overtime thanks to Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. After nearly getting sacked for a safety and throwing an interception in the fourth quarter, Wilson was brilliant in overtime. Wilson rushed for 21 yards and was 4 of 6 passing in overtime. Lynch went the final 6 yards.
Manning led the rally for Denver (2-1) helped by a number of Seahawks mistakes.
|Yesterday|| LeBron banner approved to hang in Cleveland|
CLEVELAND (AP) A larger-than-life LeBron James will again tower over downtown.
The city's planning commission approved artwork on Friday for a new 10-story-high banner of the NBA superstar, his arms outstretched and "Cleveland" across the back of his jersey.
It will hang across the street from Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cavaliers.
The Nike-sponsored banner is similar to the black-and-white "Witness" that adorned an outside wall of Sherwin-Williams Co.'s headquarters for years. It was removed after James left for the Miami Heat in 2010.
The new banner is expected to be installed before the Cavs' home opener on Oct. 30 against New York.
James signed as a free agent with the Cavs this summer, returning to his home state to attempt to win Cleveland's first major pro sports championship since 1964.
|Yesterday|| Sprint car driver killed in Wisconsin|
BEAVER DAM, Wis. (AP) Sprint car driver Scott Semmelmann was killed in a wreck during practice for a race Saturday night at Beaver Dam Raceway.
Beaver Dam Raceway general manager Carolyn Mueller and Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car Series President Steve Sinclair confirmed the death.
Beaver Dam police later confirmed that a 47-year-old driver was killed, but did not provide a name.
Semmelmann's car made contact with another car during the second practice session, flipped three times and hit the outside concrete wall. The 47-year-old Semmelmann, from Brookfield, was racing for the first time this season.
"This incident appears to be (a) tragic accident at this time," the police statement said.
The race was canceled.
Beaver Dam Raceway is a 0.33-mile clay oval about 75 minutes northwest of Milwaukee. Mueller said it was the first on-track fatality at the track since the facility re-opened in 1993.
Last month, Kevin Ward Jr. was killed in a sprint car race at a dirt track in upstate New York when he left his car and was struck by a car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart.
|Yesterday|| Estimated 7,000 fans trade in Ray Rice jerseys|
BALTIMORE (AP) More than 7,000 fans showed up to exchange their Ray Rice jerseys for those of other Ravens players during a two-day event at Baltimore's home team officials said Saturday.
The Ravens handed out 5,595 new jerseys before running out before midday Saturday, then issued more than 2,400 vouchers for fans to pick up their jerseys once new shipments arrive in October.
Team spokesman Kevin Byrne said the Ravens spent "six figures" on the trade-in. He declined to disclose an exact figure.
"We anticipated over the two days getting about 5,000 people, so we got about 2,000 more," Byrne said. "We just felt it was the right thing to do, and that's why we did it."
Byrne said the jerseys collected by the team will be given to companies that deal in scrap materials.
"The NFL licensed jerseys are not recyclable because of certain materials in parts of the jersey, so what we're going to do is offer them to companies who deal in scrap," Byrne said. "We're not getting paid for it. We'll just give it to them, and they can do with it as they please."
Approximately 15 percent of those who showed up had their jerseys rejected because either they were not officially licensed by the NFL or hadn't been available through the team's online or stadium store. The team offered them token gifts in exchange.
"It's clearly an unusual time for the franchise," Byrne said. "I think the one thing that we've tried to be, historically . is that we've been transparent. So this is new territory for us. We're learning as we go."
Fans began lining up as early as 4 a.m. on the first day of the exchange Friday. By the time gates opened at 8 a.m. on Friday, there were estimated to be more than 1,000 people in a line that stretched at least halfway around the stadium.
The most requested jerseys, according to the team, were those of quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receiver Torrey Smith. Five other player jerseys also were available.<
|Yesterday|| No. 1 Florida St survives against No. 22 Clemson|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) With Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston watching from the sideline, No. 1 Florida State come back to beat No. 22 Clemson 23-17 in overtime on Karlos Williams' 12-yard touchdown run Saturday night.
Winston was suspended for the game against No. 22 Clemson after making "offensive and vulgar" comments earlier this week on campus.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney declined to attempt a 33-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime and Adam Choice was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-1. Two plays later, Karlos Williams bounced outside and went untouched into the end zone.
Sean Maguire made the first start of his career with Winston sidelined. He was regularly pressured by a loaded Clemson defensive line and completed 21 of 39 passes for 305 yards with two interceptions and a 74-yard touchdown to Rashad Greene to tie it at 17 with 6:04 left in the fourth.
|Yesterday|| Mississippi St. stuns No. 8 LSU, 34-29|
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) Dak Prescott highlighted a dynamic performance with two touchdown passes and 56-yard scoring run, and Mississippi State held off a wild rally by No. 8 LSU for a 34-29 victory Saturday night that snapped the Bulldogs' 14-year losing streak in the series.
MSU led 34-10 in the fourth quarter, but LSU scored three late touchdowns. That set up a last-second desperation heave by LSU backup quarterback Brandon Harris, which was intercepted by Will Redmond at the goal line.
Prescott, a Louisiana native, finished with 268 yards passing and 105 yards rushing while helping the Bulldogs (4-0) not only beat LSU (3-1) for the first time since 1999, but win in Tiger Stadium for the first time since 1991 - about two years before Prescott was born.
His touchdown passes went for 74-yards to Jameon Lewis and 9 yards to De'Runnya Wilson. Josh Robinson rushed for 197 yards and a touchdown.
|Sep 20, 2014|| 2-time Grand Slam winner Li Na retires from tour|
BEIJING (AP) Relying on fitness and a strong baseline game, Li Na reached the pinnacle of tennis and lifted the level of the sport in Asia to unprecedented heights.
A sense of humor along the way certainly helped.
The legs that carried Li to two Grand Slam titles ultimately couldn't get her through another season, with the 32-year-old Chinese tennis star citing recurring knee injuries as the reason she needed to quit when she announced her retirement in an open letter posted to social networks on Friday.
It ended weeks of speculation and hype on the Chinese social networking sites about Li's career coming to an end.
The WTA, which governs women's tennis, has described Li as a trailblazer after becoming the first player from Asia to win a major title - the 2011 French Open, beating four top 10 players in succession to wrap up the title - a few months after becoming the first from the region to reach a Grand Slam final, at the 2011 Australian Open.
In her third trip to the final at Melbourne Park, Li won the Australian Open title in January to reach a career-high No. 2 ranking, another continental milestone.
"Winning a Grand Slam title this year and achieving a ranking of World No. 2 is the way I would like to leave competitive tennis," she said in a letter that thanked fans, supporters, sponsors and fellow players. "As hard as it's been to come to this decision, I am at peace with it. I have no regrets.
"I've succeeded on the global stage in a sport that a few years ago was in its infancy in China."
Li, who hasn't played since a third-round loss at Wimbledon, will face a news conference on Sunday in Beijing. Until then, her open letter laid out her reasons for a seemingly premature retirement.
"Most people in the tennis world know that my career has been marked by my troubled right knee," Li said. "After four knee surgeries and hundreds of shots injected into my knee weekly to alleviate swelling and p
|Sep 20, 2014|| Police visited 49er McDonald's home before arrest|
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Police say they responded to an argument at 49ers lineman Ray McDonald's home in San Jose three months before his arrest there on suspicion of domestic violence.
According to a police report released Thursday, an engaged couple got into an argument at the home on May 25 during which the woman grabbed the man's gun and held it at her side.
Police do not identify the couple by name. McDonald is known to live at the address with his fiancee.
The report says the woman did not make any threats or point the firearm at the man.
San Jose police officer Albert Morales tells the San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/1yjr8hc) the May case was closed, and no charges were filed.
McDonald was arrested in August. He has not been charged.
Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com
|Sep 20, 2014|| Browns' Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games|
BEREA, Ohio (AP) Josh Gordon's tangled ordeal, full of legal twists and turns, has finally been straightened out.
He can run a route back to the Browns this season.
Cleveland's star wide receiver was reinstated into the NFL and had his one-year suspension reduced to 10 games Friday after the league announced changes to its drug policy. The decision ends months of personal torment for the Pro Bowler, who had been banned for repeated drug violations.
Gordon will be eligible to play in Cleveland's final six games after the league and NFL Players Association agreed on revisions to the substance abuse program two days after announcing changes on performance enhancing drugs.
"I'm happy that the NFLPA and NFL worked hard to agree on a new substances of abuse policy," Gordon said in a statement. "I'm very thankful to my union for fighting for a significant reduction in my suspension. I'm glad I can go to the facility during my suspension. I look forward to going to meetings, working out individually, and learning from my coaches and teammates. I can't wait until game 11 to get back on the field!"
Because he has already served two games of the suspension, Gordon will be eligible to play Nov. 23 when the Browns visit Atlanta. Gordon's 10-game suspension will cost him more than $800,000. He'll be paid over $300,000 if he plays in those last six games.
Gordon's complicated saga has hung over the Browns for months. He spent training camp with the team and played in some exhibition games as his case remained in limbo while he and the Browns waited for the league to rule. Gordon didn't speak to reporters for months, and only recently disclosed in an interview that he was depressed.
Now, there's some closure and it may have saved Gordon's career.
Along with Gordon, free agent LaVon Brazill also had his suspension lessened to 10 games.
Gordon was suspended by the league earlier this year for one season for another fa
|Sep 20, 2014|| Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5|
CHICAGO (AP) Clayton Kershaw became the majors' first 20-game winner and A.J. Ellis hit a pair of two-run homers, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 14-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Kershaw (20-3) pitched five shaky innings in his shortest start in 3 1/2 months, but the NL West-leading Dodgers roughed up Edwin Jackson on their way to a 13-hit attack that included four homers. Matt Kemp hit a three-run shot in Los Angeles' six-run first, and Yasiel Puig added another three-run homer in the sixth.
The Dodgers improved baseball's best road record to 48-31 and will clinch a postseason berth if Milwaukee loses in Pittsburgh on Friday night. They began the day with a 2 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the division.
Jackson (6-15) recorded just two outs in his first appearance since he was placed on the disabled list last month with a right lat strain. He was charged with four hits and five runs in his fourth consecutive loss.
|Sep 20, 2014|| Florida State suspends Winston for entire game|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State has suspended Jameis Winston for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday, extending its initial punishment of one half after the quarterback made "offensive and vulgar" comments about female anatomy earlier this week.
Interim President Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox announced the decision late Friday night. There had been criticism that the original punishment for Winston's latest embarrassing off-field incident was too light.
The statement released by the university Friday read, "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."
Several students tweeted Winston stood on campus and shouted a lascivious comment that may have derived from an internet meme.
A university spokeswoman told The Associated Press Friday night Stokes was not available for comment; Wilcox could not be reached.
The university also had initially announced that Winston would face internal discipline. Officials did not say why Winston was only benched for just a half and they did not provide details of the internal punishment.
Coach Jimbo Fisher was asked about the half-game suspension after practice Thursday and said, "We're in charge. It's our team. That's what we thought. We went with the consequences and we're ready to move on."
Fisher also said after that practice that the president and athletic director are always involved in university policy, but declined to answer when asked if it's normal for them to be involved in team discipline.
"It was wrong and he made a mistake," Fisher said Thursday. "He made a bad error in judgment. But that's water under the bridge. We have to move on and get ready for this game. We're 48 hours out and I'm going to focus on this football game."
The 20-year-old Winston addressed his inappropriate
|Sep 20, 2014|| Petition filed seeking to block Peterson from son|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Authorities in Minnesota filed a petition Friday seeking a protective order for the 4-year-old son of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
In the petition, Hennepin County Human Services asked a judge to block Peterson from using corporal punishment or physical discipline on the boy. It also would block unauthorized or unsupervised contact, and require Peterson to complete a parenting assessment.
Peterson faces a child abuse charge in Texas for using a wooden switch to spank the boy in May. He has said he meant only to discipline the boy and not hurt him. The order says Peterson told investigators in Texas that he also used a belt to spank his son.
Peterson has been dropped from the Vikings' active roster while the criminal case against him is pending in Texas, where he has an Oct. 8 arraignment.
"This petition reflects that a conscientious government agency wants to work with the parent to protect a child and to ensure that alternative methods of discipline are adopted," Rusty Hardin, Peterson's attorney, said in a statement.
"Adrian is very willing to continue cooperating with authorities in every way in order for them to conclude he is a good parent. The facts stated in the petition have been known to investigators from the beginning. They will be carefully considered in a courtroom by a judge and jury. We look forward to that day."
According to the petition:
The child visited Peterson in Montgomery County, Texas, from about May 6-22. His mother reported possible abuse to Hennepin County Child Protection services on May 22. Separate exams by a doctor May 22 and a nurse practitioner May 23 documented injuries "clinically diagnostic of child physical abuse."
A follow-up exam May 29 found the boy still had traces of the injuries "10 days after the last known time he was physically abused."
"His injuries are significant and may cause some scarring," a summary of the exam said.
|Sep 20, 2014|| Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion|
NEW YORK (AP) Procter & Gamble is canceling an on-field breast cancer awareness promotion it had been planning with the National Football League, the latest sponsor to respond to the NFL's growing problems.
The consumer products maker is the latest major sponsor, following PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch, to show concern over the NFL's handling of domestic abuse allegations against several players. The move came as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference to say that the NFL needs to change its policies and will implement new personal conduct policies sometime before the Super Bowl early next year.
"I made a mistake. I'm not satisfied by the process that we went through. I'm not satisfied with the conclusions," he said during the conference.
Women make up 35 percent of the average audience of 17.4 million during a regular season NFL game, and the NFL has made it a point to reach out to women in recent years.
The league has made Breast Cancer Awareness month in October a particular focus. Part of its NFL Pink "Crucial Catch" campaign, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, features players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, on-field pink ribbon stencils, special game balls and pink coins.
P&G's Crest brand had been working on a program with players from each of the NFL's 32 teams to wear pink mouthguards and participate in other activities.
But on Friday the Cincinnati-based company said Crest would no longer be part of on-field activities and joined the chorus of sponsors voicing disapproval of the NFL's actions. It remains a sponsor but said it will "determine future actions as needed."
"The brand has decided to cancel on-field activation with NFL teams," said spokesman Paul Fox in a statement. "Domestic violence is completely unacceptable and we have strongly urged the NFL to take swift and decisive action to address this issue... Our decision to cancel this on field act
|Sep 20, 2014|| Goodell: 'Same mistakes can never be repeated'|
NEW YORK (AP) More defiant than contrite, Roger Goodell announced no sweeping changes in his first public statements in more than a week of turmoil surrounding the NFL's handling of players accused of crimes.
The commissioner was definitive about one thing: He has not considered resigning.
Goodell was short on specifics Friday as he discussed how he would address the rash of domestic violence incidents in the league. He said the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl.
"Unfortunately, over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong," he said in his opening statement. "That starts with me."
The league has faced increasing criticism that it has not acted quickly or emphatically enough. The commissioner reiterated that he botched the handling of the Ray Rice case.
"The same mistakes can never be repeated," he said.
Goodell said he would meet with NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith next week, and they would work with outside experts to evaluate the league's policies.
Among the areas that will be examined is Goodell's role in discipline. The commissioner now oversees all personal conduct cases, deciding guilt and penalties.
He will establish a committee to review NFL personal conduct, seeking experts in the area of domestic abuse and violence to serve on it. Goodell's role with such a committee was not directly addressed.
"Nothing is off the table," he said.
One of the key questions is how to balance the league's desire to take a stance against violent acts with the due process requirements - and the sometimes slow pace - of the legal system. Goodell indicated the league is considering becoming "engaged" in the investigation process while law enforcement is still handling its probes.
Goodell said he believes he has the support of the NFL's owners, his bosses.
"That has been clear to me," he said.
|Sep 18, 2014|| Peterson's mom: Whipping not abuse, it's about love|
HOUSTON (AP) Adrian Peterson's mother is defending the Minnesota Vikings running back in the wake of child abuse allegations against him, saying that he is "trying hard to be a good parent."
Bonita Jackson said she and Peterson's father, Nelson Peterson, were "big disciplinarians" who used hands, switches and belts to occasionally spank all six of her children. An indictment by the Montgomery County grand jury accuses Adrian Peterson of felony child abuse for swatting his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch and his team has taken him off the active roster while the case plays out.
"I don't care what anybody says. Most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes," Jackson, 50, told the Houston Chronicle in an interview from her home in suburban Houston. "But we were only trying to prepare them for the real world."
Seated with her current husband, who is a Baptist minister, Jackson said: "When you whip those you love, it's not about abuse, but love. You want to make them understand that they did wrong."
Adrian Peterson is getting help to learn other ways of disciplining since the incident that led to the criminal charge, such as having the child stand in the corner for five minutes, Jackson said.
Jackson said she loves her grandchildren more than her own children and would be "so angry with anybody who willfully hurt her grandbabies." She said she believes, however, that her son was only trying to discipline his son she same way he was disciplined when he was growing up.
She said things are complicated by orders barring Peterson from any contact with the boy, whose mother is a nursing student in Minnesota.
"But when we talk to her," Jackson said of the child's mother," we can hear him laughing and playing in the background. He sounds happy. I know his mother has much respect for Adrian. She knows he's a good father, no matter how much people attack his character. Only God can judge us."
|Sep 18, 2014|| To 'get it right,' Vikings put Peterson on leave|
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was declared out, back in, then out again as he faces a felony child-abuse charge in Texas.
This time, he could be gone for the season.
"We made a mistake," Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said, "and we needed to get this right."
Vikings executives emerged Wednesday from a late-night deliberation to voice regret of their initial decision to let Peterson play this week after sitting him for a game once he was charged with injuring his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a wooden switch. Now Peterson is back on paid leave through a special roster exemption granted by the NFL, the same protocol cited by the Carolina Panthers as they sat defensive end Greg Hardy a few hours later while he deals with his own domestic violence case.
"We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe this is the right decision," said Wilf, the team's co-owner with younger brother Mark Wilf.
During a 17-minute news conference at Vikings headquarters, the word "right" was used a total of 34 times by the Wilfs, vice president Kevin Warren and general manager Rick Spielman. They expressed concern about child welfare, recognized their role as public figures and reminded the audience of the community service work done regularly by players.
The most emphatic responses, though, came to questions from reporters about external pressure.
Did the NFL strong-arm the decision? Did the loss of sponsorships drive it?
"Absolutely not," Mark Wilf, the team president, said on both subjects.
He added: "We appreciate our fans, men and women alike, our sponsors and the community. We hear their input."
Backlash was swift to the announcement Monday that Peterson would rejoin the Vikings after being held out Sunday. The Radisson hotel chain suspended its team sponsorship. Prominent NFL advertisers, including Anheuser-Busch, raised concern a
|Sep 18, 2014|| FSU benches Winston for 1st half of Clemson game|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston will be a spectator in the first half of Florida State's showdown against Clemson Saturday after making "offensive and vulgar" comments about women - the latest embarrassment in a growing list of poor decisions off the field.
Florida State interim President Dr. Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox announced in a joint statement Wednesday that the quarterback also will undergo internal discipline, but did not provide details of the punishment.
Several students tweeted Winston stood on campus Tuesday and shouted a lascivious comment about female anatomy that may have derived from an internet meme.
The 20-year-old Winston addressed his inappropriate comments before Wednesday's practice at his weekly press conference, saying: "I have to tone it down."
The Heisman Trophy winner has made similar comments after previous incidents and Florida State seems to be growing less tolerant of his discretions.
While playing for the Florida State baseball team, he was suspended for three games and completed 20 hours of community service after acknowledging he stole $32 worth of crab legs from a local grocery store in April. Before the football season, he said he had matured, learned what it takes to be a leader and understood that he needed to be more careful in his personal life.
The school president and AD admonished him Wednesday for doing just the opposite.
"As the university's most visible ambassadors, student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches, teammates, the Department of Athletics and Florida State University," their joint statement said. "Student-athletes are expected to act in a way that reflects dignity and respect for others."
Winston's latest poor judgment comes when Florida State is under scrutiny.
The university is currently un
|Sep 18, 2014|| Panthers remove DE Hardy from active roster|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Panthers finally made a decision on Greg Hardy: the Pro Bowl defensive end will not play anymore games for Carolina until his domestic violence case is resolved.
The team removed Hardy from its active roster Wednesday, ending three weeks of indecision regarding his playing status. He played Week 1, sat out Week 2 and there was uncertainty about this week.
So the Panthers placed Hardy on the exempt-commissioner's permission list just hours after the Vikings took a similar disciplinary approach with Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota running back is addressing child abuse charges in Texas.
Hardy was convicted July 15 of assault on a female and communicating threats after the victim said the 6-foot-4, 275-pound player threw her in the bathtub and onto a sofa covered with guns before threatening to kill her. Hardy is appealing the ruling and a jury trial is set for Nov. 17.
He will continue to be paid his weekly salary of $770,588.23. Hardy also is allowed to be at the team facility, but will not practice.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said it was a tough decision given the changing climate in the NFL.
"Our overriding goal has always been to do the right thing," Gettleman said.
The GM said he expects Hardy to be out at least through November.
Hardy said he understands he needs to step away from football and take care of his legal problems.
"I am entitled to due process and my day in court, and that's where my focus should be," Hardy said in a statement. "I appreciate the Panthers for giving me this opportunity and look forward to being back with my teammates. I am disappointed to leave my teammates and the Carolina Panthers during our season. My decision to take a leave of absence allows me to focus on my family until the legal process has run its course."
Had Hardy not taken a the leave of absence with pay, he likely would have faced an unpaid suspension from the lea
|Sep 18, 2014|| Cardinals' Dwyer arrested on assault charges|
PHOENIX (AP) Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Wednesday on aggravated assault charges in connection with two altercations at his home in July involving a woman and their 18-month-old child, the latest in a string of such cases involving NFL players.
The Cardinals said they became aware of the situation Wednesday and are cooperating with the investigation.
"Given the serious nature of these allegations we have taken the immediate step to deactivate Jonathan from all team activities," the team said in a statement.
The NFL said the case will be reviewed under the league's personal-conduct policy.
One of the counts was "aggravated assault causing a fracture" involving the 27-year-old victim, whom they did not identify. Police said they were carrying out a search warrant of Dwyer's residence in pursuit of more evidence.
Police said that in interviews with detectives, the 25-year-old player denied committing any assault.
There was no reply to telephone message left for Dwyer's agent, Adisa Bakari, seeking comment Wednesday.
Authorities depicted a stormy relationship between Dwyer and the woman that escalated into violence on July 21, four days before the Cardinals reported to training camp.
Neighbors heard a fight and called police, who showed up at the residence but left without making an arrest because Dwyer hid in the bathroom and the woman said no one else was at the home, Sgt. Trent Crump said.
"She said she was in an argument on the phone only," Crump said.
The next day, Crump said, Dwyer snatched the woman's cellphone and threw it from the second floor of their residence to prevent her from calling police about another dispute.
Crump confirmed there was an allegation that Dwyer threw a shoe at or toward his son. Crump said he couldn't elaborate on it.
Crump said the woman moved out of state with the child, but came forward last week and provided police w
|Sep 18, 2014|| Angels clinch AL West after Rangers top A's|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Angels clinched the AL West title Wednesday night, getting seven dominant innings of one-hit ball from C.J. Wilson in a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
C.J. Cron hit a three-run homer for the major league-leading Angels (95-57), who wrapped up their first division crown since 2009 when Oakland lost to Texas about an hour after Los Angeles' game ended.
The Angels had already secured a playoff spot Monday. They have won 12 of 14.
Howie Kendrick sparked the Angels' five-run rally in the seventh by scoring from first base when Chris Denorfia misplayed David Freese's single to right for an error.
Los Angeles' surge broke up a pitchers' duel between Wilson and Seattle rookie James Paxton, who traded zeros until the seventh.
Wilson (13-9) earned his third straight victory in intimidating fashion, striking out seven and allowing just four baserunners in a major improvement from recent starts. He escaped his only jam in the seventh, stranding two runners.
Paxton (6-3) yielded four hits and had eight strikeouts for the Mariners, who have lost six of eight. Seattle managed just one hit and is two games behind Kansas City and Oakland for the second AL wild card.
Paxton kept the Mariners in contention until his teammates made two errors and reliever Danny Farquhar flopped in the seventh inning.
After Kendrick's one-out single, Denorfia thought about diving to catch Freese's drive, but instead pulled up and allowed it to roll past him to the right-field wall. Austin Jackson then double-clutched the ball while retrieving it, and Kendrick scored easily.
Farquhar relieved Paxton with two outs and two runners on, but Cron mashed his 11th homer into the fake rock pile behind center field. Kole Calhoun followed with an RBI double as the Angels batted around.
Paxton was even more dominant than Wilson, retiring 17 of the Angels' first 18 hitters. Paxton allowed only two bo
|Sep 17, 2014|| Union appeals Rice's indefinite suspension by NFL|
BALTIMORE (AP) The NFL players' union appealed Ray Rice's indefinite suspension Tuesday night, saying that he shouldn't be punished twice for punching his fiancee in a casino elevator.
Rice was originally handed a two-game suspension in July under the NFL's personal conduct policy after he was charged with assault for the Feb. 15 attack.
The Baltimore running back had already served the first game of that suspension when, on Sept. 8, a video surfaced showing Rice punching Janay Palmer, now his wife, in that elevator.
Within hours, the Ravens released Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell extended the suspension to indefinite based on the "new evidence."
Goodell and the Ravens say they never saw the video before Sept. 8. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that he had sent the video to a league executive.
"This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players," the NFL Players Association said in a statement. "The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators."
The NFLPA said that the collective bargaining agreement requires a hearing date be set within 10 days of the appeal notice. It also said the hearing will require a neutral arbitrator to determine what information was available to the NFL and when it was available.
The union, which had until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to file the appeal, added that under governing labor law, an employee can't be punished twice for the same action when all of the relevant facts were available to the employer at the time of the first punishment.
"The erratic and illogical system of ad hoc punishments is a paltry subst
|Sep 17, 2014|| Vikings bar Peterson from all team activities|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) After a day of public pressure from angry fans and concerned sponsors, the Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.
The Vikings made the announcement early Wednesday morning, about a day and a half after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out. Peterson is charged with a felony for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son and now could miss the rest of the season while the case proceeds through the court system.
The Vikings came under heavy criticism for their initial stance. Several sponsors responded by either suspending their deals with the Vikings or severing ties with Peterson, prompting Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf to revisit the situation on Tuesday.
"While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian," the Wilfs said in a statement. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community."
Peterson was indicted last week in Montgomery County, Texas, after admitting to authorities that he struck his son with a tree branch. Peterson said he was disciplining his son the same way his own father disciplined him while growing up in Palestine, Texas, and didn't intend to hurt him.
The Vikings deactivated him for the 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday while they gathered more information. But on Monday they announced that Peterson was being reinstated and expected to play this weekend at New O
|Sep 17, 2014|| Seattle wins US Open Cup, beating Philadelphia|
CHESTER, Pa. (AP) Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins teamed to give the Seattle Sounders their fourth U.S. Open Cup title - at the expense of the Philadelphia Union.
Dempsey and Martins scored in overtime in the Sounders' 3-1 victory Tuesday night.
Dempsey, the U.S. national team captain, scored in the 101st minute on a left-footed blast off Martins' feed. Martin scored in the 114th minute after speeding around Union defender Ray Gaddis and poking one past goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
"They just find each other," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said about Dempsey and Martins. "They know where each other is on the field at all times. The combination they have is fantastic."
Seattle also won three straight titles from 2009 to 2011. The Sounders earned one of the United States' four spots in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League.
Chad Barrett tied it at 1 on a header in the 47th minute for the Major League Soccer-leading Sounders.
Stefan Frei made four saves in net for the Sounders, and MacMath stopped three shots.
"From a fans' standpoint, it was probably a very, very entertaining game," Schmid said. "We equalized in the second half, and I thought we had some very good chances after that. And obviously they had some good chances in the last 15 minutes and they were unlucky to not win the game."
Maurice Edu opened the scoring for Philadelphia in the 38th minute, heading home a free kick from Cristian Maidana.
The Union, playing the first title game in their five-year history, nearly scored at the end of regulation, but Vincent Nogueira's shot hit off the post. World Cup star DeAndre Yedlin also made a big defensive play for Seattle late in the game, running 30 yards down the field to thwart a breakaway attempt from Maidana.
"I've never been proud of anything in my life that's ended in a loss before," said Union interim manager Jim Curtin, who took charge of the team just before Philadelphia's Open Cup run b
|Sep 17, 2014|| Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt list|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Vikings have placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges.
The Vikings made the announcement early Wednesday morning after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out. Peterson is charged with a felony for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son.
The Vikings came under heavy criticism for their initial stance. Several sponsors responded by either suspending their deals with the Vikings or severing ties with Peterson.
"While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian," owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a statement. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community."
The stunning reverse course comes after a harrowing day on Tuesday that included the Radisson hotel chains suspending its sponsorship with the Vikings.
Castrol Motor Oil, Special Olympics Minnesota and Mylan Inc. all severed ties with Peterson, and Twin Cities Nike stores pulled Peterson's jerseys from its shelves.
In addition, Anheuser-Busch issued a strongly worded statement that said it was disappointed in the way the NFL was handling all of the negative attention surrounding former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's assault of his then-fiancee, and Peterson's arrest for child abuse.
Peterson has said he was disciplining his son and didn't intend to hurt him.
AP NFL websites: www.pro3
|Sep 16, 2014|| Seattle wins US Open Cup, beating Philadelphia|
CHESTER, Pa. (AP) Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins led the Seattle Sounders to their fourth U.S. Open Cup title Tuesday night, scoring in overtime in a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union.
Dempsey, the U.S. national team captain, scored in the 101st minute on left-footed blast off Martins' feed. Martins scored on a breakaway in the 114th minute.
Seattle also won three straight titles from 2009 to 2011. The Sounders earned one the United States' four spots in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League.
Seattle's Chad Barrett tied it at 1 on a header in the 47th minute.
Maurice Edu opened the scoring for Philadelphia in the 38th minute, heading home a free kick from Cristian Maidana. The Union were playing in the first title game in the five-year history of the franchise.
|Sep 16, 2014|| Warner, Seau among 113 Hall nominees|
Super Bowl-winning quarterback Kurt Warner and linebacker Junior Seau are among 15 first-year eligible modern-era candidates nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also nominated for the class of 2015 in their first year of eligibility are receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, tackle Orlando Pace, and placekicker Jason Elam.
A total of 99 players and 14 coaches comprise the 113 nominees. A modern-era player or coach must be retired at least five consecutive seasons to be eligible.
The selection committee will choose 25 candidates as semifinalists in late November. That list will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists in early January. The 2015 class will be voted on the day before the Super Bowl.
One senior committee nominee, former Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff, also will be on the ballot.
Between four and eight new members will be selected. Inductions will be in August at Canton, Ohio, site of the Hall of Fame.
Some other familiar names who have been nominated are running back Jerome Bettis, receivers Tim Brown and Marvin Harrison, guard Will Shields, defensive end/linebackers Charles Haley and Kevin Greene, safety John Lynch, and placekicker Morten Andersen. All were finalists in 2014.
Coaches Tony Dungy, a finalist last January, Bill Cowher, Don Coryell and Mike Holmgren also are among the 2015 nominees.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL