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Former NFL star Dwight Clark announces he has ALS

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 5:49 AM

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2013, file photo, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark is honored at halftime of an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
Tony Avelar/AP
FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2013, file photo, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark is honored at halftime of an NFL football game between the 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)(Tony Avelar/AP)

Dwight Clark, a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers during the team’s heyday in the 1980s, disclosed Sunday that he has a debilitating illness.

The Mercury News said Clark was diagnosed in 2015.

The newspaper said Clark, a two-time Super Bowl winner, said in a note: “I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Those words are still very hard for me to say.”

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and was one of Joe Montana’s favorite targets. He had 6,750 receiving yards in his career, which is third on San Francisco’s all-time list, behind Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice.

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In the 1982 NFC Championship game, with less than a minute to go, Montana rolled to his right and threw a ball that most thought he was trying to throw away. But Clark jumped high and hauled it in, and the play was immediately anointed, “The Catch.” Sports Illustrated ranked it No. 33 on the list of 100 greatest plays of all-time.

The news comes on the same day the family of football legend and Hall-of-Famer Gale Sayers announced he has dementia.

NCAA champion South Carolina women decline White House invitation

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 4:29 AM

Univ. of South Carolina Women’s Basketball Team Decline White House Invite

South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley said the only invitation that interests her is one to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

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That was one of the reasons why Staley declined an invitation from the White House to attend a ceremony Friday to honor college sports’ championship teams, ESPN reported.

“We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow's event, but we will not be able to attend,” Staley said in a statement. “As I've been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.”

The White House did not provide a list of the teams attending, ESPN reported.

The Gamecocks won their first national championship in April. At the time, Staley said the team would go to the White House because “it's what it stands for. It's what national champions do.”

However, Staley told The Associated Press in September that the South Carolina squad had yet to receive an invitation.

“That in itself speaks volumes,” she said, adding that she was not sure the Gamecocks would accept an invitation after “some things transpired over the last few months,” ESPN reported.

President Donald Trump hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers at the White House in June. The University of North Carolina's 2017 national championship men's basketball team said earlier this year it could not agree on a date for a visit.

Hope Solo accuses former FIFA president of sexual assault

Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017 @ 12:47 AM

Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter announce Abby Wambach as FIFA women's player of the year during the Ballon d'Or Gala in 2013.
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images
Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter announce Abby Wambach as FIFA women's player of the year during the Ballon d'Or Gala in 2013.(Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

United States women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulting her in 2013, ESPN reported.

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Solo told Expresso that Blatter grabbed her buttocks before the pair went on stage in 2013 to present an award to Solo’s teammate, Abby Wambach.

“It's been normalized,” Solo said of such behavior.

A representative for Blatter called the allegation “ridiculous” in a statement to Expresso and The Guardian.

Solo and Blatter walked onstage together in January 2013 to present the 2012 women's world player of the year award to Wambach.

“I was in shock and completely thrown off," Solo told The Guardian on Friday. “I had to quickly pull myself together to present my teammate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby.”

Solo said she never saw Blatter again after the ceremony, ESPN reported. 

“That was kind of bad,” she told Expresso. “I didn't get to tell him directly. ‘Don't ever touch me!’ That's the way I've always handled things. Directly.”

Blatter, now 81, was banned by FIFA in 2015 over a conflict of interest case.

“While in this instance it was Sepp Blatter, who was the most powerful man in football at the time, sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior are rampant at every level in women's sport, and it needs to stop,” Solo said.

 

Tennessee State player expelled after punching coach on sideline

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 4:59 PM

College Football Player Expelled For Punching Coach

After punching his coach on the sideline, a Tennessee State University football player has been dismissed from the team and expelled from school, according to a report by the Tennessean.

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Senior defensive end Latrelle Lee hit the Tigers strength coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head Saturday and then knocked him to the ground on the sideline.

The Tennessean reported Tennessee State athletics director Teresa Phillips said Lee was kicked off the team by head football coach Rod Reed.

The 22-year-old from Dothan, Alabama, was expelled from the college on Monday, according to the Tennessean.

Report: 3 UCLA basketball players to return to US after Chinese officials drop charges

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 2:25 PM

FILE - UCLA NCAA college basketball players, Liangelo Ball, left, and Cody Riley are shown in these file photos. The UCLA basketball team is heading back to Los Angeles without three players arrested on shoplifting charges in China, according to a report. Citing sources, ESPN reports freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were to remain in Hangzhou, China. UCLA won its season-opening game 63-60 over Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday. (AP Photo/File)
AP
FILE - UCLA NCAA college basketball players, Liangelo Ball, left, and Cody Riley are shown in these file photos. The UCLA basketball team is heading back to Los Angeles without three players arrested on shoplifting charges in China, according to a report. Citing sources, ESPN reports freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were to remain in Hangzhou, China. UCLA won its season-opening game 63-60 over Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday. (AP Photo/File)(AP)

The three UCLA basketball players previously detained by Chinese police on shoplifting allegations were being allowed to return to the United States on Tuesday, according to a report by The Washington Post.

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LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were questioned and arrested by police after being accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store next to their hotel in Hangzhou, China. The three players were released on bond Wednesday and did not play in Friday’s game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai, China.

>> Related: LiAngelo Ball, UCLA teammates arrested in China could get 10 years in prison if convicted

The report of the players’ release comes hours after President Donald Trump said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the players’ case.

“They’re working on it right now... Hopefully everything is going to work out,” Trump told reporters on his tour of Asia, according to the Washington Post.

China Sports Insider reported Tuesday the charges of shoplifting were officially dropped for all three players.