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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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Jason Gesser resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations

Jason Gesser

Former Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser has resigned from his job as the school’s assistant athletic director amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

Gesser submitted a letter of resignation to the school on Tuesday. In his letter, Gesser apologized to the school for the distraction he caused, and to the women who have accused him of inappropriate behavior. Gesser said he had a different recollection of the events than what the women described, but nonetheless recognized he should have never been in the position he was in in the first place.

Last week, The Daily Evergreen published an expose about Gesser that accused him of making multiple advances on both student interns and coworkers, as well as other inappropriate conduct. He was placed on home assignment Monday amid an investigation into a new claim of sexual misconduct.

Gesser played quarterback for the Cougars from 1999-2002 and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame after putting together one of the best football careers in Washington State history. He tried to play professionally after college and went on to coach from 2006-2013 before taking a job in the athletic department with Washington State.

Chip Kelly responds to criticism from QB’s father

Chip Kelly

If Chip Kelly was bothered by the criticism he faced from the father of UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, he certainly did not show it.

Kelly was asked on Tuesday about the criticism from DTR’s father and said he had “no response,” while adding that everyone is entitled to an opinion.

“I have no response. I mean, everybody’s entitled to their opinion; that’s what’s the great thing about sports. When you win, people say good things and when you don’t win, people don’t say good things. That’s life, you know?” Kelly said, via the Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch.

Kelly was also asked whether the comments put Dorian in a tough spot. He said that was a question for the quarterback to answer, and added that he enjoys coaching the QB.

Kelly is in his first season as UCLA’s head coach, and the season has gone terribly. The team is 0-3 and in danger of experiencing one of the worst seasons in school history. Graduate transfer quarterback Wilton Speight suffered a back injury in the opener against Cincinnati, leading UCLA to go with Thompson-Robinson, a true freshman.

Thompson-Robinson, who was a highly-ranked recruit coming out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, has served as the Bruins’ quarterback since Speight got hurt, and he has not performed well. He has completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 522 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing for 21 yards. Thompson-Robinson has struggled with his accuracy and command of the offense and has looked very much like an inexperienced true freshman.

After the Bruins got blasted 38-14 at home by Fresno State, a game in which DTR completed just 10 of 24 passes and was even off the mark on some of the passes he did complete, his father criticized Kelly via Twitter.

Yes, that’s Robinson calling Kelly’s time at Oregon a “fluke,” even though Kelly was 46-7 over four seasons and went to four straight BCS games there. That is consistent top-notch performance and very much the opposite of a fluke. As for the “duped” claim, Thompson-Robinson was recruited by previous Bruins coach Jim Mora, but stood by his commitment to the school even after the change to Kelly.

Robinson should realize how lucky his son is to have an opportunity to start as a true freshman for a major program and to play for such an accomplished coach. The tweets come across as nothing more than the selfish, bitter rantings of a frustrated father who is blaming the coach for everything and not assigning any responsibility to his son, who has not played well.

Robinson is doing himself and his son no favors with his comments. If he’s trying to follow in LaVar Ball’s footsteps, he should rethink his strategy.

Yasiel Puig explains why he licks his bat

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig is known for his often unconventional behavior on the field, which includes licking his bat in between pitches during his at-bats.

What’s Puig’s reason for doing so? The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder was asked that question during an interview with MLB Network on Tuesday and gave his response.

“Sometimes my bat does not taste the way I want. Sometimes I think it’s going to taste like ice cream. Strawberry, vanilla, something like that. Couple days of a lot of foul balls, it’s not tasting that great. I go inside between innings and clean my mouth. I’m not trying to say that my tongue gives me the hit, but … when I see (success), that’s the reason I want to make love with my bat to pay him back for the good job he do,” Puig said.

So there you have it. Puig licks the bat as superstition and because he’s humanizing the item and wants to reward it. He also seems to have an oral fixation in general, as evidenced by his maniacal tongue wag last year.

Hey, as long as it keeps working, Dodgers fans will be all for it, while baseball fans will continue to enjoy his unconventional ways.

Jameis Winston sued by Uber driver over alleged groping incident

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston is now facing a lawsuit from the woman who says she was groped by the quarterback while driving him for Uber’s service in March 2016.

Winston is currently serving a three-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s conduct policy with his involvement in the matter. Winston has not been criminally charged, but the NFL investigated the matter and found the woman’s account to be consistent and credible.

Apparently upset over Winston’s seemingly flippant dismissal of the matter, the woman hired an attorney to file a lawsuit in hopes of getting him to understand the extent of his wrongdoing.

“She is unimpressed by his continued lack of honesty or awareness into his behavior,” the woman’s attorney, John Clune told the Tampa Bay Times. “Maybe a more direct financial penalty will get his attention. He needs to learn from this and have some genuine insight or pay the penalty.

“She knows that she might be just a speed bump for him in his football career, but she is not going to be a small one.”

The woman is seeking damages for “emotional distress as well as future therapy expenses” and that she is due “exemplary or punitive damages to punish and deter such conduct,” the Tampa Bay Times says.

Winston was at a club with friends in Scottsdale, Ariz. in March 2016 and they called an Uber for him to be driven home. He was said to have been intoxicated at the time. Winston told the driver he wanted a burrito, so she drove him to a Mexican fast food restaurant. She says he leaned over and put his hand/fingers on her genitals while they were in the drive through line. The woman immediately challenged him over his violation, saying, “what’s up with that?” He removed his hand after that. She contacted Uber to report the incident the following day.

Winston originally strongly denied the allegation. He even had a friend back him by saying they were in the Uber together and that nothing happened. However, another friend claims there were two separate Uber rides — one earlier and one later in the night — and that the alleged violation occurred in the later one where Winston was alone with the driver.

Winston was also the subject of very public sexual assault allegations when he was in college at Florida State. He was not criminally charged in that case, but he ended up settling a civil suit and countersuit with the woman out of court.

76ers promote Elton Brand to GM

Elton Brand 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers have finally found their new general manager, and it’s a name familiar to NBA fans: Elton Brand.

Brand is being promoted internally by the Sixers from his previous post as the team’s VP of Basketball Operations. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the news, says Brand made a strong impression on ownership and head coach Brett Brown.

Brand, 39, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Chicago Bulls. He spent most of his prime with the Los Angeles Clippers, though he played with the 76ers from 2008-2012 and again in 2016. He last played in the NBA for the 76ers at the end of the 2016 season, so his rise to GM happened quickly.

The 76ers had been looking for a new GM since late May/early June after former GM Bryan Colangelo was investigated for allegedly using secret Twitter accounts to criticize the team and divulge strategies. The job was said to be highly desirable due to Philly’s abundance of young talent, but the team reportedly was turned down by at least one high-end candidate before deciding on Brand.

Texas fans feel TCU coach slighted QB Sam Ehlinger

Sam Ehlinger

Some Texas fans feel that TCU coach Gary Patterson was slighting Sam Ehlinger with a comment made about the Longhorns quarterback on Tuesday.

Texas and TCU will face off on Saturday, with the Horned Frogs entering the series having won four in a row between them. Texas has won two in a row since dropping their opener against Maryland. Ehlinger has thrown for two touchdowns in each game, and he’s also rushed for a score in each of the last two games.

Talking about Ehlinger, Patterson called the quarterback Texas’ X-factor because he’s like a running back playing quarterback.

Texas has often let Ehlinger run the ball on keepers and RPOs. He even was the team’s leading rusher last year, though that had a lot to do with the team’s inability to find a consistent rushing option (five players had over 250 yards rushing).

The reality is that Ehlinger runs a lot and can run the ball, as Patterson noted. That’s probably not shade from the coach but rather an accurate observation. Of course, most believe a quarterback should be known for his passing first and any other skills second, which is why some Texas fans did not like the comment.

Chargers DT Corey Liuget suing ex-trainer for $15 million over PEDs

la-chargers

Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget is suing his former trainer for $15 million over a failed performance-enhancing drugs test.

Liuget is currently serving a four-game suspension after testing positive for PEDs. In his lawsuit, Liuget claims that his trainer, a former Canadian bobsled member, injected him with a substance last year that triggered the positive test, according to ESPN. Liuget says he was led to believe the substance was an over-the-counter product. Liuget also says he was injected with a prescription substance despite him not having a prescription.

The suit says the trainer administered the injections in California, where he does not have a license to give injections.

Liuget was a 2011 first-round pick by the Chargers. He is recovering from foot surgery and restructured his contract to remain with the team. He had 21 tackles in 12 games last season.

Aaron Judge returns to Yankees’ lineup to face Red Sox

Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees are beginning an important three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, and they will finally have their best power hitter back in the lineup.

After he took part in a simulated game for the second straight day, the Yankees inserted Aaron Judge back into their lineup. He will bat second against Boston.

Judge took batting practice over the weekend and said he was getting very close to returning, but there was some belief that he would be held out until later in the week and possibly the weekend. The slugger was hit on the hand by a pitch on July 23 and was initially supposed to miss three weeks, but he ended up missing two months.

Judge is hitting .285 with a .947 OPS this season. The Yankees are currently 11.5 games back in the AL East with 13 games remaining, but they are looking to secure home-field advantage for the wild card game. They have a 1.5-game lead over the Oakland Athletics in the wild card heading into Tuesday night.

Bryce Love to play against Oregon after missing game with injury

Bryce Love

Bryce Love sat out Stanford’s game against UC-Davis last week with an undisclosed injury, and he was not needed in an easy 30-10 win over the FCS opponent. Fortunately, he will be available in a much tougher matchup against Oregon on Saturday.

Stanford head coach David Shaw confirmed on Tuesday that Love will be ready to face the Ducks.

“Bryce is great,” Shaw said in a conference call with reporters, via ESPN’s Joel Anderson. “He’s ready to go and fired up for this weekend.”

Love originally left in the fourth quarter of Stanford’s 17-3 win over USC on Sept. 8 after taking a big hit, and there has been speculation that he may have suffered a concussion. However, Shaw said after that game that the star running back would have been able to return if he was needed.

It makes sense that Stanford decided to give Love rest against an easy opponent last week, but he must have been dealing with some sort of ailment. The dynamic tailback, who was one of our top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates coming into the season, has rushed for just 165 yards this year after piling up 2,118 yards on the ground and averaging an incredible 8.1 yards per carry a season ago.

Report: Trevor Story could be dealing with significant elbow injury

Trevor Story

Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story left Monday night’s game with what was described as elbow soreness, and it sounds like that may have been putting it lightly.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that Story may have suffered UCL damage to to his right elbow.

Elbow issues are obviously much more concerning with pitchers than hitters, as we recently saw with Shohei Ohtani. The Los Angeles Angels phenom is unable to pitch for the remainder of the season because of a UCL injury, but he already had one monster game while playing through it and should be able to play as a full-time hitter next season.

Even if Story doesn’t need to be shut down, the injury could not come at a worse time for the Rockies. The 25-year-old has had an outstanding season with a .288 batting average, 33 home runs and 102 RBI. He’s a big part of the reason Colorado is just a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West and the same back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the wild card.

Story showed us the type of power he has with a monster home run earlier this month, and replacing his production down the stretch would be nearly impossible for the Rockies.

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