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Column: NFL makes very hypocritical statement on Browns owner Jimmy Haslam

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4:43 PM

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is given the authority by the collective bargaining agreement to wield unyielding power in any way he sees fit when punishing players but a recent NFL statement shined a bright light on the hypocrisy of their ways on Monday.

According to a report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the NFL released a statement about Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s role in the Pilot Flying J scandal and any intention they might have of punishing him for conduct detrimental to the league for his behavior surrounding that case. And it lacked all self-awareness.      


St. Louis claims Rams owner Stan Kroenke lied about ever intending to keep the Rams in Missouri.

“No prosecuting authority has found reason to bring charges against Mr. Haslam,”             an unnamed official said. “So that’s where we leave it.”         

Yet, Goodell routinely doles out punishment to players for their roles in legal matters where they’re not charged or found guilty of any criminal offense. And this could be the slipperiest stepping stone yet for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.         

Jones is furious with Goodell over how the investigation into alleged domestic violence by Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was handled. Elliott wasn’t charged by the Columbus City Attorney’s Office, but the NFL saw fit to suspend him for six games anyways.         

Meanwhile, executives at Pilot Flying J, a truck stop chain that Haslam’s father founded and he currently operates as CEO, have been federally indicted on charges of fraud for a phony rewards program the company implemented and those executives claim that Haslam knew about the scam. However, the federal government hasn’t charged Haslam in connection with the alleged crimes yet.         

However, Haslam’s behavior surrounding the case has undoubtedly been detrimental to the overall perception of the league and the NFL is now taking legal cover when questioned about why Haslam hasn’t been punished. And that puts Jones in the precarious situation.         

Jones would love to do just about anything to discredit Goodell, but attacking his decision not to punish a fellow owner with any success would expose his own flank and the flanks of the other league owners in the process. It proves that Elliott was treated unfairly but it could lead to Jones being punished by the NFL for something somewhere down the road.         

The NFL has rules in place to punish owners and preserve the so-called integrity of the shield, but unlike the players, they can actually bite back if Goodell oversteps his boundaries. So he’s steering clear.         

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Iowa-Ohio State wrestling: Live update, scores, statistics

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

The No. 4-ranked Iowa wrestling team faces its greatest challenge of the season when it travels to No. 2 Ohio State for a pivotal Big Ten dual at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT in Columbus, Ohio.

Both teams are 9-0 overall and 4-0 in Big Ten duals. Iowa has won the last three meetings, including last year’s dual 21-13 in Iowa City. But Ohio State national champion Kyle Snyder did not wrestle in that meet. The Hawkeyes have won 37 of the last 38 duals between the teams. It’s the final home dual for the Buckeyes.

But the past doesn’t matter in this dual. Ohio State boasts six top-5 ranked wrestlers, while Iowa has four. The Buckeyes join Penn State as favored NCAA title contenders. Iowa is perhaps the top challenger outside those top, especially after beating Oklahoma State 20-12 in a dual last Sunday.

“This is the next step and that’s why Oklahoma State was so important because this one follows that one quickly,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said. ” I’m not the type of guy that shoots from the hip, and I’m not the type of guy who goes back to the drawing board. I believe in steady progress with nose-to-the-grindstone-type mentality.

“They’re [Ohio State, Penn State] the two that are flip-flopping. Nobody else is in that category.”

Ohio State heavyweight Kyle Snyder hoped the dual breaks the school’s attendance record of 15,338, which was set Feb. 3, 2017 against Penn State.

“I think the good part of having Iowa at home, especially at the Schott, is that we have an opportunity to break the attendance record that we set last year,” Snyder told reporters. “Other than that, since I’ve been here, we’ve pretty much beaten Iowa. I know their history is strong, but I think Ohio State is a better team.”

Iowa wrestling vs. Ohio State live updates

184 — Ohio State’s No. 2 Myles Martin (19-0) vs. Iowa’s Mitch Bowman (10-3). Martin won the national title two years ago as a freshman. Martin took Bowman down 10 seconds into the match and turned Bowman over twice for 4-point near fall. Iowa coach Tom Brands is challenging the second 4-point near fall. The call stands. Bowman escapes but Martin is up 10-1. Martin scores again to lead 12-1. Bowman escapes to open the second period but Martin takes down Bowman to lead 14-2. Martin let up Bowman with an optional start but Bowman fought to take down Martin, who then escaped. Entering the third, Martin leads 15-5 and took the down position.

Attendance — 15,117 at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center

174 — Tough match for Iowa with redshirt freshman Caleb Young battling No. 3 Bo Jordan. Jordan three times took down Young in the first period and leads 6-2 with more than a minute of riding time. Entering the third, Jordan starts down and leads 8-3 with one more point of riding time headed his way. Jordan escaped but Young took a nice shot and pulled it in for a takedown with 2 seconds left to avoid a major decision. Jordan won 10-5, but the Hawkeyes still lead the dual 12-10 with four matches left.

165 — Iowa freshman Alex Marinelli is wrestling in his home state against No. 13 Te’Shan Campbell (14-4). Marinelli pulled down Campbell with a single and nearly put him to his back. Marinelli led 2-0 and took down position to start the second. Both wrestlers have been hit with stalling. Campbell was a transfer from Pittsburgh. Campbell rode out the second and chose down to start the third. Marinelli took down Campbell again and erased all of the riding time to win 4-1. Iowa is now up 12-7.

Intermission — It’s going to be difficult for Iowa to pull out this dual. Iowa will need Alex Marinelli to dominate his match at 165 and score a big upset in one of the heavier weights.

157 — Another tough one with No. 2 Michael Kemerer and No. 6 Micah Jordan. Kemerer attacked off the whistle and scored a takedown 6 seconds into the match to lead 2-0. Kemerer has just battered Jordan and built up 2:54 in riding time. Jordan chooses neutral to start the second period but Kemerer took him down again to go ahead 4-0. Kemerer chose down to start the third and has locked up riding time. Kemerer escaped  but Jordan took him down shortly afterward. Kemerer escaped and now leads 6-2. Jordan kept pressing and gained another takedown. But Kemerer pulled out a 8-4 win with riding time and the Hawkeyes up 9-7 through five matches.

149 — Iowa’s No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (14-0) battles No. 6 Ke-Shawn Hayes. This is a must-have for Iowa. Neither wrestler scored in the first period and Sorensen starts the second period down. Sorensen escaped after 11 seconds to lead 1-0. After a break, Hayes shot with a double leg, switched to a single and pulled in the match’s first takedown. Sorensen quickly escaped to tie the match at 2-2 going into the third. Hayes chose neutral to start the third. With about 50 seconds left in the match, Sorensen shot and took down Hayes to lead 4-2. Sorensen rode out Hayes to win 4-2. Ohio State still leads the dual 7-6.

141 — Freshman Carter Happel (10-6) takes the spot for Iowa against No. 11 Joey McKenna (6-1). This is a big one if Iowa wants to battle for a dual win. McKenna shot fast and got in on a single leg and scored a takedown just 12 seconds into the match to lead 2-0. Happel gained an escape on an optional start to trail 2-1. McKenna is too fast for Happel and quickly took him down again and is up 4-1. McKenna scored a late takedown in the second period and took Happel to his back to lead 10-2 entering the third with 1:28 in riding time. The wrestlers started in neutral position entering the third and McKenna picked up another takedown. Coupled with riding time, McKenna earned a major decision 13-2. Ohio State now leads 7-3.

133 — No. 2 Luke Pletchter of Ohio State battles Paul Glynn. This is a tough match for Iowa. Pletcher is 19-0 while Glynn is 6-5. Pletcher took down Glynn twice in the first period and leads 4-1 entering the second. Glynn escaped and Pletcher scored another takedown to lead 6-2 entering the third. Pletcher escaped to start the third to lead 7-2 plus riding time. Glynn battled throughout the third period to avoid losing by major decision in an 8-2 win win for Pletcher. The dual is tied 3-3 heading to 141 pounds.

125 — Starting off the top with Iowa’s Spencer Lee against Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello at 125 pounds. This will tell us where Lee fits in. Tomasello is more powerful, a former national champion, ranked No. 1 and 86-6 overall. Lee is the young phenom and ranked No. 6. Tomasello twice had two good shots but was unable to score in the first period. Tomasello took down to start the second, and Lee nearly turned him for points while Tomasello tried to sit out. Lee has been doing an excellent job of riding Tomasello for the entire second period. Lee was down to start the the third, escaped via optional start and has 1:59 in riding time. Tomasello took down Lee, but Lee escaped. The score is 2-2. Lee survived several solid attacks from Tomasello and pulled out a 1-0 upset. Iowa leads 3-0.

Iowa wrestling vs. Ohio State meet time, details

Time: 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET

Date: Sunday, Jan. 21

Location: Schottenstein Center , Columbus, Ohio

Rankings: Iowa (9-0, 4-0) is ranked No. 4; Ohio State (9-0, 4-0) is ranked No. 2

How can I watch Iowa wrestling vs. Ohio State on TV?

BTN will air the dual live. Tim Johnson and Jim Gibbons call the action from the Schottenstein Center.

How can I watch Iowa wrestling vs. Ohio State  online?

BTN  will stream the meet on BTN-Plus and the BTN2GO app. also streams the dual.

How can I listen to Iowa wrestling vs. Ohio State on the radio?

For Iowa wrestling, 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) is the flagship station.

Who is calling the Iowa wrestling vs. Ohio State State meet?

Steven Grace handles play-by-play while two-time NCAA champion Mark Ironside adds analysis for KXIC.

Iowa wrestling vs. Ohio State key matchups

125: Spencer Lee (Iowa) vs. Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State)

Spencer Lee (8-1) pinned a decent wrestler in his Iowa debut then knocked off No. 6 Nick Piccininni of Oklahoma State last week. Now he gets his ultimate test against No. 1 Nathan Tomasello.

Tomasello was the top-ranked wrestler entering the 2017 NCAA Tournament at 133 pounds. He lost his semifinal match to Iowa’s Cory Clark, who won the national title. Tomasello has struggled on the national stage against Iowa wrestlers, including a 125-pound semifinal loss to Iowa’s Thomas Gilman in the 2016 semifinals. Tomasello, who has returned after missing three months with injuries, now wrestles at 125.

“We’ve got to be ready,” Brands said. “It’s similar to both the other matches the preparation. Both of those guys were capable. We have to figure some things out. The thing about Spencer Lee is he’s moving forward in his head and he’s always thinking. It’s not like, ‘Man I made it through that.’ It’s like, ‘I’ve got work to do.’ That’s the way you want to go forward.

“This is another opportunity. We know how capable our guy is. If we just focus on doing the things that we do best, I feel good about that matchup.”

HWT: Sam Stoll (Iowa) vs. Kyle Snyder (Ohio State)

One pivotal match is at heavyweight where No. 3 Sam Stoll (12-0) of Iowa faces two-time NCAA champion, defending Olympic champ and top-ranked Kyle Snyder (5-0).

“[Stoll is] going to have to wrestle physical, and timid cannot be an ingredient in any way during that seven-minute match,” Brands said. “When that clock starts and the whistle’s blown and you’re going back to the center of the mat, you’d better be ready. There’s no let-up.”


Iowa wrestling vs. Ohio State probable lineups

Weight: Ohio State vs. Iowa

125: No. 1 Nathan Tomasello (2-0) vs. No. 6 Spencer Lee (8-1)

133: No. 2 Luke Pletcher (19-0)  vs. Paul Glynn (6-5)

141: No. 11 Joey McKenna (6-1) vs. Vince Turk (6-5)/Carter Happel (10-6)

149: No. 6 Ke-Shawn Hayes (19-2) vs. No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (14-0)

157: No. 6 Micah Jordan (17-2) vs. No. 2 Michael Kemerer (15-0)

165: No. 13 Te’Shan Campbell (14-4) vs. No. 8 Alex Marinelli (8-0)

174: No. 3 Bo Jordan (16-2) vs. Joey Gunther (11-3)

184: No. 2 Myles Martin (19-0) vs. Mitch Bowman (10-3)

197: No. 1 Kollin Moore (15-0) vs. No. 5 Cash Wilcke (13-1)

HWT: No. 1 Kyle Snyder (5-0) vs. No. 3 Sam Stoll (12-0)

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo says he used the ‘wrong words’ in original Larry Nassar statement

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 11:51 AM

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo on Sunday walked back his original comments on the Larry Nassar scandal, saying he used the “wrong words” to describe the former Spartans and USA Gymnastics physician who has been accused by more than 100 women of sexual misconduct. Izzo initially said he hoped the “right person was convicted,” after Michigan State’s 85-57 win over Indiana on Friday, a statement that’s been ripped by many, including the mother of Aly Raisman, a former American gymnast who said Nassar “inappropriately” touched her .

“On Friday night in my postgame press conference, I used the wrong words when trying to express my belief that Larry Nassar and anyone else who broke the law should be held accountable for their crimes. My overall message was, and remains, that I have tremendous admiration for the courage the survivors have shown, and that Larry Nassar has permanently damaged the lives of so many people and deserves all the punishment that he receives,” Izzo said in a statement.

The Michigan State administration has been accused of enabling Nassar’s behavior, and on Saturday MSU trustee Mitch Lyons called for Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon to resign. Izzo also said Friday he has the “the utmost faith and respect in the leadership of our president.”

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Inside Arizona State’s spark from the bench against Cal

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 11:48 AM

Going into last night’s game against Cal, the Arizona State Sun Devils had lost 4 of its 6 games in Pac-12 play. The matchup against the Golden Bears felt like a must-win.

Well, Arizona State got their victory by a score of 81-73. While it wasn’t always pretty, the Sun Devils’ much-needed spark came from Mickey Mitchell and the rest of the bench.

A transfer from Ohio State, Mitchell had started each of Arizona State’s previous 7 games. However, against Cal, he was moved to the sixth man role.

From AZCentral:

“I didn’t even think about (coming off the bench),” Mitchell said after sparking the Sun Devils with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 25 minutes. “I knew when I got in there I was going to do what I do.”


“You can’t be a Top 25 team if you don’t have a bench,” California coach Wyking Jones said. “It’s not possible.”

Heading into Saturday, Arizona State had been outscored 88-33 on bench points in their previous three losses. Against Cal, the Sun Devils poured in 41 points from their sixth men.

“Mitchell came off the bench and he was spectacular,” Jones said. “He was the difference in the game. Even the stuff from a hustle standpoint, some of the plays he made on the defensive end and crashing the offensive boards (were big.)”

The Sun Devils improved to 15-4 overall and 3-4 in Pac-12 play. They face Utah on Thursday.

Arkansas gets commitment from 2018 DE Courtre Alexander

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 11:30 AM


Defensive end Courtre Alexander has announced his commitment to Arkansas, making him the 11th projected member of the Razorbacks’ 2018 class.

Alexander made the announcement after officially visiting Fayetteville over the weekend. He chose the Hogs over Texas. From Owasso (Okla.), he is a 3-star prospect according to the 247Sports composite.

Arkansas signed three defensive linemen — DT Billy Ferrell, DE Nicholas Fulwider and DE Isaiah Nichols — in December. The Hogs are now expected to sign Alexander on National Signing Day (Feb. 7), and could potentially add a fifth defensive lineman in the class if they find another good fit.

Bolstering the defensive line has obviously been a major point of emphasis for Arkansas in this recruiting class. The Hogs are shifting from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 under new defensive coordinator John Chavis. As a result, more traditional defensive ends like Alexander are desperately needed in this class.

Alexander helped lead Owasso to Oklahoma’s Class 6A-I state title with 53 tackles, 4½ sacks and 2 interceptions last season. The Rams became the first team since 1995 other than Jenks or Tulsa Union to win the championship in Oklahoma’s largest classification. They defeated Jenks in the semifinals and Tulsa Union in the title game.

Owasso is coached by Bill Blankenship, who led Fayetteville (Ark.) to a state championship in 2016. Former Arkansas wide receiver Keon Hatcher also attended Owasso.

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