Browns to be featured on Hard Knocks

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 10:10 AM

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns is seen in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns is seen in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Browns will be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer, the team announced today. 

The Browns are coming off an 0-16 season and are 1-31 the last two years, and new general manager John Dorsey previously said he did not want the team to appear on the Emmy award-winning series.

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But the franchise did not meet any of the required exceptions to turn down the show, and for the first time since Hard Knocks debuted in 2001, no team volunteered to appear.

This will be the first time the Browns have been featured on the show, and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and first overall pick Baker Mayfield figures to be a central figure.

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“The storylines in Cleveland are compelling, which make the Browns an ideal partner on Hard Knocks,” NFL Films senior executive Ross Ketover said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to showing NFL fans around the world what the Haslams, John Dorsey, Hue Jackson and the coaching staff are doing to rebuild the team and reboot one of the most iconic franchises in sports.”

The six-week series will debut in August, and the obvious opening scene would be to show head coach Hue Jackson jumping into Lake Erie after saying last year he would do so if the team went 0-16, which it did.

This will be Jackson’s second experience with Hard Knocks. He was a Cincinnati assistant when the Bengals appeared on the series in 2013.

“I’ve been a part of Hard Knocks and when you experience it first hand, you come to appreciate the inside look it really gives fans,” Jackson said. “We are excited about what we are building within our organization and feel good about the progress we have made this offseason. Being able to bring our fans in so they can get to know our players and our organization in a different way will be a huge positive for us. I want people to see how much our players and coaches care, how hard they work and how badly they want to win for Cleveland. This will be a great opportunity for our team.”

Dorsey, who took over as general manager after last season, addressed his initial comments that he would be opposed to appearing on the show.

“Like many, I was reluctant about being the featured team on Hard Knocks but once we sat down and talked about it as an organization, I feel a lot better and understand why the time is right,” he said.  “Hue and I both feel like this team is in a good place and that we are in the process of building something that will lead to success. Being a part of Hard Knocks will give our fans the opportunity to see how passionate the people in our building are about winning and how excited we are about getting to work and preparing for the 2018 season.”

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UD provides inside look at arena renovation

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 12:54 PM

The $72 million renovation of UD Arena is in phase 2 with two shifts of construction workers tackling the big project

The University of Dayton shared a video updating the progress of phase two of the three-year, $72 million UD Arena renovation on Friday.

The video shows the seats in the 300 and 400 levels have been removed. They will be replaced by padded seats with cupholders.

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Phase two of renovation may be busiest

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UD Arena Director Scott DeBolt walked fans through the changes going on inside and outside the arena. 

“The main concentration of phase two is expanding the north side and east side of the building,” DeBolt said.

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DeBolt mentioned the expanded concourse area, improved restrooms and an elevator that will provide access to a new landing at the top of the east side 400 level. That area will contain restrooms, expanded handicap seating and concession options.

“The area will provide guests with a dynamic view of the playing floor and the river,” DeBolt said, “all while maintaining the intimacy of the arena.”

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Tony Sparano, former Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders head coach, dead at 56

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 1:39 PM

Tony Sparano, head coach of the Miami Dolphins during the Thanksgiving Day game at Cowboys Stadium on November 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Sparano died unexpectedly in 2018. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Tony Sparano, head coach of the Miami Dolphins during the Thanksgiving Day game at Cowboys Stadium on November 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Sparano died unexpectedly in 2018. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Offensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings Tony Sparano died Sunday morning at age 56.

The Vikings said in a statement Sunday that Sparano died unexpectedly.

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Before coaching with the Vikings, Sparano was the head coach for the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. He started his NFL career in 1999 as an offensive quality control coach for the Cleveland Browns. Throughout his career, Sparano has coached with the Redskins, Jaguars, Cowboys, Jets and 49ers, according to NFL.com.

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“Our hearts go out to Jeanette and the entire Sparano family as we all mourn the loss of Tony,” Vikings Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf said in a statement. “Tony was a passionate and driven individual who cared deeply about his family, and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Tony's presence within the Vikings organization will be deeply missed. We are only thinking of Tony’s family during this incredibly difficult time. We ask that the entire NFL and Vikings family keep the Sparanos in their thoughts.”

Sparano is survived by his wife, Jeanette;  his two sons, Tony and Andrew; his daughter, Ryan Leigh; and four grandchildren.

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Riggleman confirms Reds will use six-man starting rotation

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 12:04 PM

The scene at Great American Ball Park before the Reds play the Pirates on Sunday, July 22, 2018, in Cincinnati.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
The scene at Great American Ball Park before the Reds play the Pirates on Sunday, July 22, 2018, in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

The Cincinnati Reds will use a six-man starting pitching rotation at least until the trade deadline July 31, though interim manager Jim Riggleman hopes the Reds hang onto Matt Harvey, the player most likely to be dealt.

“I’ve got no indication that he’s going to be traded,” Riggleman said Sunday.

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Harvey (5-5, 4.63 ERA) makes his 13th start with the Reds on Sunday, facing the Pittsburg Pirates in the finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park. He would make one more start with the Reds if he stays with the team until the trade deadline.

Entering Sunday, the only question with the rotation was who would start Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals after Homer Bailey (1-7, 6.68) returns to the rotation Tuesday. Riggleman confirmed that starter will be Sal Romano (5-8, 5.19).

“If we absolutely need (Romano) today in the bullpen,” Riggleman said, “he would pitch today, but we would really try to limit that and see if he would then be able to pitch Wednesday as a starter.”

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The six-man rotation could test the bullpen if the Reds stick with it for long because it means the Reds will have one fewer reliever than normal.

“We would not say with six for a long period of time,” Riggleman said. “I guess we could if we run into a period of very few off days and those guys are giving us six innings because if they’re not then we’re really putting a strain on the bullpen.”

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Two Dayton Flyers legends part of 2019 Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame class

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 3:31 PM

University of Dayton basketball legend Roosevelt Chapman in the 1980s.
Staff Writer
University of Dayton basketball legend Roosevelt Chapman in the 1980s.(Staff Writer)

Two of the top-10 leading scorers in Dayton Flyers men’s basketball history will join the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.

Roosevelt Chapman and John Horan will be honored on May 18, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus.

Chapman is Dayton’s all-time scoring leader. He scored 2,233 points between 1980 and 1984. Horan (1951-55) ranks 10th with 1,757 points.

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» LOOKING BACK: Chapman led Dayton to Elite Eight in 1984

Among the other inductees are:

• Beavercreek's Alison Bales, who won two state championships in high school and was a 1,075-point scorer at Duke.

» RELATED: Archdeacon on Bales in 2017

• The late Lauren Hill, who inspired people around the country while battling a brain tumor during her career at the College of Mount St. Joseph.

• Mike Pratt, a Dayton native who attended Meadowdale High School and starred for the Kentucky Wildcats.

• Larry Baker, a St. Paris native who ranks sixth in career scoring at Wittenberg (1,627).

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• Steve Moore, a Wittenberg graduate who has turned Wooster in a Division III national powerhouse and ranks second in career victories (822-239) at that level.

• The 1952 and 1953 Middletown High School boys teams that won Class A state championships.

• The 1952 and 1955 Lockland Wayne teams that won Class B state titels.

• Gary Walters, who won 407 games at Newark High School from 1972-1999.

• James Houdeshell, who had 21 winning records in 30 seasons at Findlay College.

• Reginald Lee, who won 434 games Brookhaven High School.

• Muskingum College’s Donna Newberry, the fifth-winningest active women’s coach in NCAA Division III.

• Eastlake North High School’s Kaayla Chones, Ohio's Ms. Basketball in 1998 and 1999.

• Larry Nance, who played seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

• Charlie Slack, who starred at Marshall University in the 1950s.

• Former Ohio State Buckeyes Dave Sorenson, Scoonie Penn and Jodi Roth Korbas.

• Official Mike Sanzere, of Cincinnati.

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