8:00 PM WDTV reports witness intimidation charges against West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwoodhave been dropped. Smallwood faced the charges involving a 2012 shooting death in Wilmington, Delaware.
7:45 PM Former pro wrestler & Minnesota governor Jesse Venturawon a $1.8 million defamation lawsuit against the estate of former Navy SEAL turned author Chris Kyle. Kyle claimed in his book "American Sniper" that he punched out Ventura at a bar, an incident Ventura denied ever happened.
7:30 PM A jury on Monday found Ed Thomas not guilty in the October 18 shooting death of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed. A second suspect, Kristopher Pratt, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Reed's death.
Rachel McCoy, wife of Colt McCoy, called in to ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd today to comment - in part - about the problems NFL agents presented at the University of Texas when her husband was a member of the squad.
“I know he was approached quite a bit (by agents), but you know how Colt is, he can brush it off, move on and not go down that road.
“But I saw so many of his teammates who didn’t have the self control (of her husband Colt) to be able to say no to somebody.”
Ominous comments from someone very close to the highest profile University of Texas football player in recent memory. Especially in lieu of the other major college football programs recently found to be fraught with NCAA violations involving players taking extra benefits.
Randy Stevens of the SAN MARCOS (TX) DAILY RECORD reports this week that a billboard advertising a cable television service featuring an image of Colt McCoy has been taken down after numerous complaints from San Marcos residents.
San Marcos is the home of Texas State University and residents were reportedly offended by the image of ex-Texas Longhorn McCoy and the slogan “Get Hooked” being included in the ad.
Hutch Bass is the VP of Grande Communications, the company that put up the billboard:
“We went over the input we received and we decided to change the billboard. We apologize if we offended in Texas State fans. Certainly, that was never our intent. We listened to the market and we are going to change the ad to something more appropriate.”
The backdown was a mere 48 hours after Bass attempted to justify the billboard to Stevens of the Daily Record: Read more…
Tim Tebow probably never wanted to see the day when he’d be lumped in with such damaged goods as LeGarrette Blount, Michael Vick, and - ugh - Jeff Fisher. But here it is and here we are, Tebow: Tony Dungy has come rushing to your aid. Yes, the St. Jude of sports, the patron saint of lost causes and dog killers. Dungy. Accept it.
Dungy’s latest comments came to Dan Patrick this morning when talking about drafting a quarterback for a team with a Top 10 pick. Patrick threw out alternative choices like Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, and Jake Locker. Nnnnnope. Because Tebow’s a winner, you see. Winners win games. Oh yeah.
It’s been almost 9 months since the 2008 Heisman was awarded, which should tell you what a nightmare the college football offseason is. That one went to Sam Bradford, who’s on the Oklahoma sidelines and ruefully eying Matt Stafford’s mammoth rookie contract as we speak. And hey, Bradford set a record for passing efficiency, and anyone who watched the season knows the performance wasn’t exactly a fluke; kid can ball.
(Enjoying the pregame ritual by getting CBS’s feed: “You’re great, Tim… you’re the best, Tim… If I had a daughter, I’d personally hand her to you, Tim…”)
But that, of course, means the Heisman didn’t go to eventual champion Tim Tebow, and after the shameless, near-fellatial fawning that Tebow enjoyed, some broadcasters obviously thought Tebow deserved the trophy in what was a remarkably close ballot race. One broadcaster for CBS - who held the rights to most of the Gators’ games last year - still hasn’t forgiven the voters for, in his mind, robbing Tebow of the Heisman.
We all know how this story is supposed to go. Texas blows Ohio State out of the water, Oklahoma scrapes by Florida and the Longhorns join the slew of teams through history that have a huge beef about how they deserved to win a national championship.
(Theo! Give this man a sweater vest already!)
Only it didn’t turn out that way. OK, the second half of that equation may still come true, but Texas did anything but blow Ohio State out of the water. Instead, it took a 26-yard touchdown pass from late-game maestro and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy to 26-year-old going on 35-year-old Quan Cosby with 0:16 left, giving the ‘Horns a miraculous come-from-behind, 24-21 win in the Fiesta Bowl.
So what now for the BCS? The OU-Florida winner will officially hoist the crystal trophy that allegedly signifies the national champ on Thursday night, but that only guarantees the champion of the Harris and Coaches polls. The Associated Press, meanwhile, can name its own champ, so its plausible — if still extremely unlikely — that Texas, Utah or USC could steal some share of the crown.
Of course, the Fiesta Bowl wasn’t the only thing going on; the Big East hosted the latest in what is sure to be a season-long string of all top-15 tussles, with Notre Dame taking control of a matchup with fellow Catholic crew Georgetown. Luke Harangody outdueled super freshman Greg Monroe, and probably took a strong early lead in the race for Big East player of the year in the process. It sent the Hoyas to a second loss against a Top-15 team, which just might have some in the nation’s capital worrying. Oh, wait, they’re preoccupied with some inauguration thing? Never mind.
Who knew that Jack Del Rio and Mike Tice were boys? Well, not only do the two coaches “hang”, they do so with copious amounts of alcohol … in very public places. This video comes via Boston site BARSTOOL SPORTS, documenting the pairs successful run and Tice’s rendition of God Bless America while he’s completely wasted. Weird, funny, quirky and a little disturbing, all rolled into one. Then again, should we really be surprised? After all, Tice is the man who practically invented the Super Bowl ticket scalping scandal. Still, if there was ever any chance for a second head coaching go-round for Tice, it seems hard to assume that’s still in play after that video.
And then there’s the Jeff Jagozinski scenario. Where to begin on that. Boston College — at least officially — is still claiming that “Jagz” is out of a job as soon as he goes for an interview with the Jets. The Jets say they plan to speak to him and Jagodzinski says he’ll go for the interview. So BC is about to look for a new coach, right? Well, maybe not. Eagles athletic director Gene DeFillipio softened his stance some today and seemed to leave the door slightly ajar for a Jagodzinski return, assuming that the two-year head coach with 20 wins at the ACC school doesn’t land the New York job. Still, it seems likely that Jagz will be out of a job if he did interview Monday night … or if he’s talking with Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum as you read this. The one thing that seems certain is that the entire situation has become completely surreal, especially for a mid-pedigree college football school like Boston College.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand has some interesting “things to watch for in 2009“. The highlights: NFL Network will merge with a media company, the NCAA Tournament will expand and both NBA and NHL TV will be on your regular cable lineup sooner rather than later. For the most part, we like it.
Kurt Warner’s conception of God is so defined that he likes to draw him. But when he screws up, he can’t decide whether to brush it off as Jesus or someone else. Whatever. This video just proves that he can’t draw:
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole famously cheated on British pop star wife Cheryl last year with a woman universally declared a trampy blonde while being so drunk that he eventually vomited all over her. Cheryl is finally responding a year later, and her take is … “I know the circumstances.” I.e., no big deal.
(Don’t worry, Colt, your options are still wide open.)
But then again, we’re (clearly) not quarterbacks of a top 5 football team, and Colt McCoy is, so we begrudge his tee-totaling instincts at our own peril. But still, if he doesn’t want to partake in the devil water, fine, but dude, learn to diversify your portfolio a bit: Read more…
After last week’s less-than-epic Houston vs. Jacksonville Monday Night Football tilt, just about anything would have been an improvement (short of a “dream pairing” of Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser). But last night was a great way to cap any week: two 9-3 teams in Tampa Bay and Carolina battling for first place in the NFC South.
And honestly, if you would have told me that Jeff Garcia was going to throw for more than 300 yards, I would have given the Bucs a pretty fair shot at winning the game. But the trump card turned out to be the Panthers’ RB duo of Smash & Dash, i.e. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, who helped the Panthers combine for almost 300 yards of rushing and a crucial 38-23 victory.
The person on Tampa Bay I feel sorry for is Antonio Bryant, who had a huge game in defeat, as in 200 yards of receiving. (How many fantasy football owners are cursing themselves this morning because they left him on their bench this week.) This included one of the most amazing touchdown catches you’ll see all year:
Speaking of amazing…USA TODAY has a breakdown of the final ballots for the college football Coaches’ Poll, and some of the votes are pretty unbelievable. Like that Utah’s Kyle Whittingham voted his team ahead of USC (I’d like to see that game on the field), or that Ty Willingham voted Missouri 11th despite getting killed in the Big XII Championship Game. But my favorite? Texas Tech’s Mike Leach voting the Red Raiders second - ahead of Florida and Texas. At least he had the decency to place the team that beat him by 44 ahead of Tech.
Some more sports insanity to brighten up your day:
Things just keep getting worse for Petty Enterprises: WTVD-TV says that the legendary NASCAR organization has laid off 39 employees while awaiting a merger or acquisition to save them. Meanwhile, a disgruntled Kyle Petty tells NASCAR.COM that he’s been shown the door and is no longer with the organization.
CC Sabathia in Dodger Blue? MLB.COM reports that the free-agent hurler ran into GM Ned Coletti at the lobby of Bellagio during Winter Meetings and told him he wants to pitch in LA next season.
You think you have pressure in your job? Try being Wil Collins, who needed to sink a 18-foot par putt to earn his PGA Tour card on the final hole of Q-School. ESPN.COM tells you if he made it or not.
Then again, Collins could have it worse: he could have been playing for the Detroit Lions since 2001. Which is why center Dominic Raiola isn’t sorry for giving the finger to heckling Lions fans during last week’s loss to the Vikings. In fact, he tells the AP that he’d give them his home address if they’d only fight fair.
So you’re a Texas fan. You’re mad at the world because, despite beating your biggest rival by 10 points on a neutral field, they’re going to the Big 12 Championship and, in all likelihood, the BCS Championship instead of your Horns. You’re looking for a scapegoat. Well, we’ve got one for you: His name is Mack Brown.
(Mack Brown giveth, and he unintentionally taketh away.)
That’s right, the very coach who helped put Texas in this position is also partly responsible for keeping them from holding the No. 2 spot. Brown has a vote in the Coaches’ Poll, one of two polls balanced against the BCS computer rankings to determine the overall BCS Standings. Instead of voting for his Longhorns as the nation’s No. 1 team, Brown picked someone else (we’re betting undefeated Alabama). Two voters picked Oklahoma No. 1. The result? The Sooners end up with a one vote edge in the Coaches’ Poll … and with an edge of less than two-tenths of a poll in the BCS Standings.
Of course, that means Oklahoma is headed to the Big 12 Championship Game, with a serious inside track on the BCS Championship. Meanwhile the Longhorns will have to settle for a date in the Fiesta or Orange Bowl, barring a stunning upset by a Missouri team that looked more cooked than Thursday’s turkey throughout most of a loss to Kansas.