|6 hours ago|| LeBron: Health, family will determine 2016 Olympic plans|
LAS VEGAS (AP) LeBron James said Wednesday his health and his family will determine whether he tries for a record third basketball Olympic gold medal next summer.
James took part in USA Basketball's minicamp, satisfying chairman Jerry Colangelo's mandate that anyone wanting to be considered for the 2016 roster show up this week in Las Vegas.
James suited up in a No. 27 jersey and worked out, though he won't play in the Americans' intrasquad exhibition Thursday because of a previous commitment back in Ohio.
The Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star could join Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul as the only three-time gold medalists, and he and Anthony would be the first American men to appear in four Olympics. James says he's "not penciling it in, as of now, for next summer" and that his decision may not come until after next season.
"All my decisions go through my family. We'll see how my family feels about it," James said. "And then with my health, going another NBA campaign season, as far as my team back home in Cleveland, and I'll go from there."
He first played for the Americans in the 2004 Olympics, when he and Anthony were part of the disappointing bronze medalists following their rookie seasons. That duo and Paul, all close friends, are the only players in camp this week who competed in both 2008 and 2012, and could decide together whether they will try to make history.
"It'll probably be a joint decision," James said. "Pretty much everything that we do, for the most part, especially with Team USA, we kind of do together. We'll see what happens."
James also played with the Americans in the 2006 world basketball championship and the 2007 Olympic qualifying tournament. He said he enjoyed being back Wednesday and reconnecting with coaches and teammates.
"LeBron's made an amazing commitment to our country's basketball program, huge positive impact besides just winning," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
|6 hours ago|| EA Sports drops Patrick Kane from NHL 16 promotional plans|
EA Sports dropped Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane from promoting and appearing on the cover of its NHL 16 video game because he is under police investigation.
The popular video game company announced its decision on its Twitter account Wednesday.
"In light of the ongoing investigation involving Patrick Kane, he will no longer be a spokesperson for the launch of EA Sports NHL 16," the company said. "He will not appear on the EA Sports NHL 16 cover nor participate in other EA Sports NHL 16 promotional activities."
Kane was to appear alongside Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in what was supposed to be the first time two NHL players have been featured on the cover. In June, the two stars were key players in leading the Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup championship in six years.
Kane's lawyer, Paul Cambria, and agent, Pat Brisson, did not return messages seeking comment.
EA Sports' decision comes less than a week after Hamburg police announced Kane is under investigation for something that may have happened at the player's offseason home outside Buffalo on Aug. 2.
Police Chief Gregory Wickett would only say that police are gathering information and awaiting forensic results.
Police are looking into something that happened between Kane and a woman in her 20s, a person familiar with the investigation said earlier this week on condition of anonymity because authorities have not revealed that detail.
It's unclear how much Kane was to be paid for promoting NHL 16.
Kane maintains a sponsorship commitment with Bauer Hockey Equipment, but that could come under review, Performance Sports Group spokesman Steve Jones said in an email to The Associated Press.
"Patrick Kane is currently a Bauer athlete," Jones wrote. "But we are obviously aware of the investigation announced late last week by the Hamburg Police Department, and we are closely monitoring the situation."
The EA Sports website on
|Aug 20|| Eli Manning not looking to be the NFL's top paid quarterback|
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Eli Manning didn't ask the New York Giants to make him the NFL's highest-paid quarterback.
A perplexed and slightly miffed Manning on Wednesday shot down a report that he wants to be the league's top-paid quarterback, insisting that was not the goal in contract talks.
"Never been said, never come out of my mouth," Manning said Wednesday.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP is in the final year of a contract that will pay him a $17 million base salary. His agent, Tom Condon, has been negotiating a new deal, but the two sides are not close to an agreement, Giants co-owner John Mara said Monday.
Manning insisted neither he nor Condon told the Giants to make him the highest-paid quarterback. He said he speaks with Condon occasionally, but he isn't looking for constant updates on the talks.
"If something comes up, I ask him to call me and keep me updated or send me a text, but that's it," Manning said.
Aaron Rodgers of the Packers currently is the NFL's highest-paid quarterback, earning $22 million annually.
The 34-year-old Manning has spent all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Giants, so he knows how people in the New York-area react to headlines.
For those who know him, it's totally out of character to make such a demand.
Manning even received a telephone message from his father asking what was happening.
"I don't know how all negotiating goes and what is being asked," Manning said. "I don't think I want to know. That was never said by him, claiming that this is the goal of what we are trying to do."
Manning said he does not compare himself to other quarterbacks by salary, and right now he is not thinking or concerned about his contract.
"My focus is on practice and getting the best out of our practices and getting better," Manning said. "That's all I am focused on. Nothing has changed. Nothing is different. Reports are all wrong. I don't know where they are getting
|Aug 20|| Woods hopes to push for unlikely playoff spot at Wyndham|
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) It's now or never for many players at the Wyndham Championship - the last chance to qualify for golf's postseason.
That group includes Tiger Woods.
The biggest name in the sport is playing the final event of the PGA Tour's regular season for the first time.
He's trying to get his game back on track and make a highly improbable, last-gasp push for the playoffs.
Woods said Wednesday that he needs to find consistency and "start stringing together not just holes, not just rounds but tournaments."
He missed the cut at the PGA Championship last week. He beat last Friday's deadline to enter the Wyndham but didn't finalize his commitment until Monday.
He says he had "a blast" playing a pro-am round Wednesday with NBA All-Star Chris Paul.
|Aug 20|| Red Sox bring in ex-Tigers boss Dombrowski to run club|
BOSTON (AP) New Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski thought enough of the team to pick Boston over other suitors.
Now he's going to spend the next six weeks trying to figure out what's worth keeping - in the front office, on the field at Fenway Park and in the minor leagues.
"I'm not here to blow up the organization," Dombrowski said at a Fenway Park news conference Wednesday, a day after he was hired. "They have a lot of good people here."
Speaking to reporters a day after a mid-game shake-up that left general manager Ben Cherington on the outs, Dombrowski said he would be hiring a general manager but was in no rush. He did not discuss the future of manager John Farrell, who is on leave from the team after being diagnosed with what he said was a treatable form of cancer.
Dombrowski said he spoke to Farrell on Tuesday night - after he underwent his first chemotherapy session - but just told him they would meet after the manager was healthy again. In Farrell's absence, bench coach Torey Lovullo is managing the team, which entered Wednesday night with a 53-66 record, 14 games behind the rival New York Yankees in the AL East.
Red Sox owner John Henry began the news conference with a statement that acknowledged the team's failures in finishing last two of the last three seasons. (In 2013, the club won the World Series for the third time in a decade, but the first in Cherington's tenure.)
"As owners, we're all responsible for the poor results we've had, and for results going forward," Henry said. "Dave Dombrowski is an architect of team-building the right way. For almost three decades now, he's earned the respect of almost everyone in the game."
The general manager of the Montreal Expos at the age of 32, Dombrowski won the 1997 World Series with the Florida Marlins and led the Tigers to the Series twice. But he was let go on Aug. 8 with Detroit languishing below .500.
Henry said he decided t
|Aug 20|| Panthers WR Benjamin has torn ACL, sidelined for the season|
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin suffered a torn ACL in his left knee Wednesday, an injury that the team announced will sideline him for the season.
"Obviously, we feel awful for Kelvin," general manager Dave Gettleman said in a press release. "He's worked tremendously hard to put himself in a positon to have a strong year. We're confident he will attack his surgery and rehab with the same determination he has met all challenges before."
It's a major blow to the Panthers in their quest to win a third straight NFC South championship. Benjamin had developed into Carolina's No. 1 receiver after setting franchise rookie records in 2014 with 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters earlier in the day Benjamin had a sprained knee and remained hopeful everything would be fine. However, Benjamin was taken back to Charlotte, North Carolina where an MRI revealed the tear.
The injury occurred during a joint practice with the Miami Dolphins.
Benjamin was running a one-on-one route against Dolphins safety Reshad Jones when he made a cut toward the sideline and his knee buckled. He crashed to the ground and screamed in pain as he grabbed for the knee.
"He went to plant and make a swim move and without any contact just kind of went down," Rivera said. "It was unfortunate and it's one of those things that could have happened in any drill."
As Benjamin lay on the ground, players from both teams gathered around him and took a knee.
Trainers attended to Benjamin and quickly called for the cart to take him into the locker room. Quarterback and close friend Cam Newton helped Benjamin into the cart. Newton appeared disturbed by the events as trainers carted his top target off the field.
While wide receiver is considered one of Carolina's deeper positions, it will be difficult to replace Benjamin.
To make matters worse, rookie wide recei
|Aug 20|| 'Deflategate' judge says Brady suspension in jeopardy|
NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge made clear Wednesday that the NFL's four-game suspension of Tom Brady over "Deflategate" is in jeopardy as the star New England quarterback returned to practice.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, who's been asked by the NFL Players Association to void the suspension, warned a league lawyer during oral arguments in the scandal over underinflated footballs that there was precedent for judges to toss out penalties issued by arbitrators.
Berman continued to push for a settlement in the dispute - a potential result he called "rational and logical." But throughout the hearing, he also cited several weaknesses in the way the NFL handled the controversy that could become the basis for handing a victory to Brady and his union.
After the hearing, Berman met behind closed doors with both sides for more than an hour before the lawyers left court, saying the judge asked them not to discuss the negotiations publicly. If there is no deal, the Manhattan judge has said he hopes to rule by Sept. 4, six days before the Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL's season-opening game.
Neither Brady nor NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in court Wednesday. Brady returned to his team after participating in negotiations along with Goodell and lawyers on both sides a day earlier.
Berman ordered Brady and Goodell to return to court if they can't settle, scheduling a tentative Aug. 31 hearing.
The league announced in May that it was suspending Brady over allegations he conspired with two Patriots equipment employees to deflate footballs below what league rules allow, to give him a competitive edge in New England's victory over the Indianapolis Colts in January's AFC championship game. Goodell, who by contract with the players' union can act as an arbitrator for labor disputes, upheld the suspension, touching off the legal battle.
During more than two hours of arguments by attorneys, the judge no
|Aug 15|| UNC uncovers potentially more violations in academic scandal|
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina uncovered possible additional NCAA violations in women's basketball and men's soccer while preparing the response to its long-running academic scandal, the school announced Friday.
Its response to the NCAA, due next week, has been delayed. The NCAA will set a date after a review of the new information, school officials said.
During a 20-minute conference call with reporters, athletic director Bubba Cunningham twice referred to the school's ongoing effort to "earn back trust."
"As painful as it is, it's part of the Carolina culture that we want to know what happened, we want to understand it, we want to fix it," he said.
Cunningham said the new information in women's basketball was discovered when officials prepared to release emails from former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein's eight-month investigation. In their review of up to 6 million pages of information, they uncovered more examples of possible improper academic assistance to players.
They also discovered potential recruiting violations over two years in men's soccer that were unrelated to the current NCAA probe.
"I'm very disappointed in the timing. I'm very disappointed in the impact it's going to have on the institution, on the program and how it delays where we were," Cunningham said. "But I'm proud of the fact that people owned up to the mistakes that happened."
He said those possible violations came to light when the school administered a compliance test to its men's soccer coaches and one of them got a question wrong.
The AD didn't identify the coach and declined to disclose additional details because the investigation is ongoing.
"We came to understand the coaches misunderstood the rules, and we immediately turned that in," Cunningham said.
Under NCAA procedures, if those are determined to be Level I or II violations, the notice of allegations must be amended to include the
|Aug 15|| Packers QB Rodgers follows McIlroy-Spieth pairing at PGA|
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took advantage of his day off from training camp to play golf fan.
The state's best-known athlete spent some time following the Rory McIlory-Jordan Spieth-Zach Johnson group Friday, but mostly took in the view of the PGA Championship from a hospitality tent.
"I only noticed him on the last couple of holes," the top-ranked McIlroy said. "Obviously, this is a big area (for football) with Green Bay. It was cool to see him out here."
Even though Rodgers is one of Spieth's favorite athletes, the world's second-ranked golfer didn't find out the Green Bay QB was a fan until afterward.
"But I think it's really cool that ... that he would come down to watch considering they (the Packers) had a game last night," Spieth said.
Rodgers threw 19 passes in Green Bay's preseason win at New England on Thursday.
"I don't really get star struck," Spieth added. "But it would be cool to meet him."
SPEAKING OF FOOTBALL: Billy Horschel is at even par and has plenty on his plate, especially if he plans to contend on the weekend.
But he's also got the fantasy football season to start preparing for.
He plays in a league run by fellow golfer Chris DiMarco "and I got to see when they're having the draft and all that.
"I'm keeping an eye on things, and I haven't done a ton of research," Horschel said. "But next week my wife and my little girl are going home, so I'll have early in the week to research and be prepared to draft well."
SHOULDN'T HAVE SAID THAT: Justin Rose opened his mouth too soon. With storm clouds gathering, he finished the 17th hole and figured his group would make it.
"I opened my big mouth to the boys playing with us," Rose said. "I said, `The end is in sight.' And 30 seconds later, they blew the horn. So my name is mud all over here."
That means Rose will have to get up at 5 a.m. to get ready to complete o
|Aug 15|| NASCAR sticking with original rules package for Chase|
BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) NASCAR is sticking with its original 2015 rules package for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer, announced the decision Friday after a meeting with drivers at Michigan International Speedway. This choice comes after NASCAR put track-specific packages in place for a handful of races recently - including this weekend at Michigan.
But when the 10-race Chase begins Sept. 20 at Chicagoland, the original rules will be used.
"We've seen some good things with that package," O'Donnell said. "A lot of work has been done by the race teams already, leading up to the final 10 races. Feel like that's the best decision for the sport."
A special high-drag aerodynamic package was used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month and will be in place again this weekend at Michigan, and it received some criticism from drivers. But a low-downforce package put in place at Kentucky was more popular, and it will be used again at Darlington next month.
"A ton of positives we saw from Kentucky, but we've got to take the time to dial those things in and make sure that everybody's on the same page, we've got the best package to put forth, especially as we look to `16," O'Donnell said. "That does have a lot of momentum and a lot of positives that we can apply to Darlington, and then make some calls post-Darlington as well."
Friday's announcement came shortly after Matt Kenseth won the pole at MIS. Joe Gibbs racing swept the top three spots in qualifying, with Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards finishing second and third.
JGR recently won four consecutive races - three by Kyle Busch and one by Kenseth. Busch's wins came at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis, meaning he won under three sets of rules.
That left Kenseth understandably confident about his team's ability to adapt.
"Our cars have been really fast in all three configura
|Aug 15|| NFL issues memo reminding players to avoid fighting|
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The NFL warned teams about fighting during games in response to inter- and intra-team altercations that have erupted in training camp, including the one that left New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith with a broken jaw.
In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, executive vice president Troy Vincent reminded all 32 teams on Friday that "fighting will not be tolerated." Vincent asked coaches, general managers and club executives to remind players of the rules, and noted that the prohibition of fighting will be a point of emphasis for officials.
"These rules are in place for the protection and safety of our players and to keep them on the field," Vincent wrote. "As professionals, no matter how emotional the game becomes, there is nothing that should resort to fighting."
The memo cited Article 12 of the NFL rules, which prohibits "striking, kicking or kneeing opponents." The penalty for a violation is 15 yards, with the official given the discretion whether to also eject the player from the game in the case of a flagrant violation.
The memo also cited the 2015 League Policy for Players, which says: "Don't fight, and if a fight breaks out involving other players, stay away."'
Training camp fights are a long tradition, with young players or others trying to make the roster attempting to impress coaches with their intensity but sometimes taking it too far.
Washington and Houston had several fights during a joint practice, one of them devolving into a bench-clearing brawl that caused no injuries but forced the coaches to separate the teams for the rest of the day. Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant and cornerback Tyler Patmon threw fists at each other in practice; Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin exchanged words and punches; the Titans had three scuffles in a night practice; and Carolina quarterback Cam Newton scuffled with cornerback Josh Norman.
Smith is out 6-10 weeks after he was punched by Jets lineback
|Aug 15|| Yankees to honor A-Rod's 3,000th hit in pregame ceremony|
TORONTO (AP) The New York Yankees will honor Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit with a pregame ceremony before hosting the Blue Jays on Sept. 13.
Rodriguez homered off Detroit's Justin Verlander on June 19, becoming the 29th player to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.
Rodriguez said he was "in disbelief" upon learning of the planned celebration.
Manager Joe Girardi said he was pleased to see the Yankees pay tribute to A-Rod's achievement.
"All relationships are going to have rocky moments and you like to see things get righted and repaired," Girardi said before Friday night's game in Toronto. "I think both sides have made a lot of gestures to do that."
Rodriguez missed all of last season while serving a drug suspension. Last month, Rodriguez and the Yankees settled a dispute over a marketing payment with a deal that gave $3.5 million to charitable groups.
Rodriguez is batting .264 with 24 homers and 63 RBIs in a resurgent season. He began the day in an 0-for-11 skid.
|Aug 15|| Red Sox manager Farrell says he has 'highly curable' cancer|
BOSTON (AP) Fighting back tears, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said Friday that he had a "highly curable" form of cancer and has taken a medical leave for the rest of the season to deal with lymphoma.
The 53-year-old Farrell said bench coach Torey Lovullo will run the team in his absence. Farrell said he planned on being back with the team for spring training.
Farrell said the cancer of the lymphatic system was discovered when he had hernia surgery in Detroit earlier this week.
"I know we usually start out with the injury report. I'll start out with myself on this one. Monday's surgery for the hernia revealed that I have lymphoma," he said before Friday night's game at Fenway Park against Seattle.
"Thankfully, it was detected in the hernia surgery. I can honestly tell you I'm extremely fortunate that it was found. Treatment will begin in the coming days," he said.
Farrell said a mass was completely removed during the procedure and no additional surgery was necessary. He said chemotherapy would start early next week.
Red Sox stars David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia stood along a wall to Farrell's left when he made the announcement. Vice President Sam Kennedy, general manager Ben Cherington and Lovullo also were in the room.
"A little bit of a shocker to be told later that afternoon that this was going on. Like I said, I'm fortunate," Farrell said. "Stage 1. It's localized. It's highly curable. I'm extremely fortunate to not only be with people with the Red Sox, but access to MGH (Massachusetts General Hospital) and world class talent that can handle this."
The Red Sox are in last place in the AL East with a 50-64 record. In February, Farrell's contract was extended through 2017 with a club option for 2018.
"When they mentioned the word `cancer,' it's something that it doesn't matter where it comes from, it kind of impacts you," Ortiz said.
Farrell guided Boston to the World Series championshi