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Friday, October 31, 2014

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Todd Gurley suspended two more games, reportedly was paid $3,000

Todd Gurley Georgia

The NCAA announced on Wednesday that Georgia running back Todd Gurley will be suspended for two more games after an investigation revealed that he accepted more than $3,000 in cash from multiple individuals for autographed memorabilia.

Georgia released a statement after the ruling was made official saying the school plans to appeal the decision “immediately.”

The NCAA claims Gurley received payments for signing various items over the past two years. He has been ordered to repay a portion of the money to the charity of his choice and complete 40 hours of community service before he can be reinstated.

Gurley has already missed two games, and the NCAA noted that punishing him with a four-game ban is consistent with precedent that has been set in similar cases. The NCAA considered harsher punishment since the violations took place over multiple seasons, but Gurley’s “full disclosure of his involvement” apparently helped his cause.

A previous report indicated that Gurley was paid $2,000 for two autograph sessions, but the NCAA has determined that there were more signings. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that Gurley was known to “proactively arrange deals” with autograph brokers through social media, so he was doing more than just accepting money.

Assuming the remainder of Gurley’s suspension holds up, he’ll be eligible to return against Auburn on Nov. 15. The Bulldogs have gone 2-0 during his absence, with freshman running back Nick Chubb rushing for 345 yards on 68 carries during that span.

Pablo Sandoval: Yordano Ventura is probably jealous of my World Series rings

In case the drama of Game 7 of the World Series isn’t enough simply for the fact that it’s, well, Game 7 of the World Series, Pablo Sandoval provided a little extra spark when speaking to reporters about Yordano Ventura after Game 6 on Tuesday night.

Ventura, who led the Kansas City Royals to a 10-0 blowout win by tossing seven innings of three-hit ball, made a nice play to snag a Sandoval ground ball in the fourth. The right-hander appeared to stare Sandoval down for a few seconds as the Giants third baseman was jogging to first. Sandoval was asked about it after the game.

I highly doubt jealousy was flowing through Ventura’s mind at that particular moment, as his team is now one win away from completing a comeback and winning a ring of its own. So why was he staring?

“I was pitching normal to him,” Ventura said, per David Brown of Big League Stew. “Pablo didn’t say anything to me, and I didn’t say anything to Pablo. I was just looking at his shoes, watching him run down to first base. There was nothing behind it.”

There was probably a little Pedro Martinez mixed into the look Ventura gave Sandoval. The 23-year-old was in the zone, and things like that can happen when you’re in the zone on the biggest possible stage. Don’t expect it to have any carryover into Game 7.

Yordano-Ventura-Pablo-Sandoval

Rulon Gardner selling Olympic memorabilia to pay off $3.9 million debt

Rulon-Gardner

Olympic wrestling legend Rulon Gardner is still struggling financially.

Gardner, who won a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, will reportedly be auctioning off his Olympic memorabilia and several other items at a bankruptcy auction on Saturday. The 43-year-old is seeking to pay off a $3.9 million tax debt.

Life after the Olympics has not gone well for Gardner. He filed for bankruptcy two years ago, claiming he was the victim of investment fraud. He battled depression after competing in the Olympics in 2000 and 2004 and his weight later ballooned to 474 pounds. In 2007, Gardner was involved in a plane crash that left him swimming in 44-degree water for an hour and then spending a night in the cold without fire or shelter. He tried to make a wrestling comeback in 2012 but failed to make weight.

Gardner hopes Saturday’s auction will give him a chance to start fresh.

“Before the Olympics in 2000, I didn’t have any stuff,” he told The Associated Press. “Some of that stuff is really cool to have, but, at the end of the day, I have a great wife, and I have a chance to start my life over.”

Gardner is best known for defeating Russian wrestler Aleksandr Karelin at the 2000 Olympics. Before losing to Gardner in the gold medal match, Karelin had been undefeated for 13 years.

High school football player Rashaun Anderson reportedly stabs teammate

Rashaun-Anderson-mug-shot

An alleged fight on Tuesday between two football players at Athens High School in Alabama ended with one person being stabbed.

According to WBRC in Birmingham, 16-year-old Rashaun Tyree Anderson was taken into custody after he allegedly stabbed 18-year-old teammate Tarik Malone. Anderson was charged with second degree assault.

Malone’s family told WAFF that the victim lost a kidney and part of his colon after he was stabbed in the side by a pocket knife with a three-inch blade. Malone was flown to a nearby hospital and is said to be in stable condition.

Malone, a senior, currently leads Athens High in yards and carries.

The incident occurred at the school’s football stadium. Several students reportedly wrestled the knife away from Anderson after he attacked Malone. The school was not placed on lockdown as officials felt the stabbing was an isolated incident and other students were not in danger.

Police say Anderson will be charged as an adult.

H/T USA Today

Tony Dungy responds to fan who asks about Michael Vick killing dogs

Tony-Dungy

Typically fans are wasting their time when they send mindless tweets to celebrities, athletes and analysts, but we don’t want to discourage anyone from asking Tony Dungy dumb questions on Twitter. He just might respond.

Earlier this week, some guy on Twitter asked Dungy a ridiculous question. In most instances, the tweeter would have been ignored. Not this time.

The good news for Jets fans is Dungy would know. The former Indianapolis Colts head coach became a mentor for Vick after Vick went to prison on dog fighting charges.

[Related: Tony Dungy has a hilarious run-in with autocorrect]

Vick is starting against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, and the last thing the New York Jets need are ghosts of his past haunting the team. If Dungy says there are no ghosts, there are no ghosts.

H/T Matt Ufford

Julius Randle suffers broken leg in NBA debut (Video)

Julius Randle suffered a broken leg during the fourth quarter of his NBA debut on Tuesday night.

Randle was injured after landing awkwardly on a drive to the hoop late in the Lakers’ blowout loss to the Houston Rockets in their season-opener.

Randle, who was the Lakers’ first-round pick in the draft, registered two points in 14 minutes in his first career game. He was the No. 7 overall pick and looked like he would be one of the few bright spots in what is expected to be a disappointing season for the Lakers. Now that is out of the question.

Julius Randle injury

Randle was taken to the hospital with what the team believes is a fractured tibia. The outlook for the Lakers’ season is even more miserable than before.

Video via @cjzero

Kobe calls Dwight Howard ‘soft’ after thrown elbows (Video)

The moment we all were waiting for finally happened on Tuesday night: Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard got into it.

Dwight grabbed a rebound during the fourth quarter of the season-opening game between the Lakers and Rockets and began swinging his elbows to back Kobe away. Kobe was right on top of Dwight like an irritant, which is why Howard began swinging. He actually caught Kobe in the face.

The two were quickly separated and a double-technical was handed out. Kobe got a personal foul while Dwight was handed a flagrant-1 foul.

Dwight could be seen pointing at Kobe when they were separated:

Dwight Howard Kobe Bryant

Bean could be seen calling Dwight “soft” and saying “try me” to his former teammate:

The friction between them goes back to when they were teammates on the Lakers. The two had different approaches to the game, with Kobe being much more serious than Howard, who is a jokester. Dwight was definitely getting the last laugh as his team blasted the Lakers despite being on the road.

Kelvin Benjamin posted slow 40-yard time at combine on purpose

Kelvin-Benjamin

Kelvin Benjamin enjoyed a fine season last year with Florida State that put him in the conversation to become a first-round draft pick in the NFL. The Carolina Panthers selected him No. 28 overall, but it sounds like he could have gone even higher.

Benjamin claims that he didn’t give his best effort at the NFL combine because he wanted to be drafted by the Panthers.

The former FSU receiver was clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.61 seconds. He chose not to run at Florida State’s pro day and apparently did not showcase all of his speed at the NFL Combine.

Benjamin told ESPN that he held back in Indy because, “I wanted to play for the Carolina Panthers.”

Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., and Brandin Cooks were all drafted ahead of Benjamin, though he is doing better than nearly all of his fellow rookie wide receivers. Through eight games, Benjamin leads all rookies with receiving touchdowns (5), ranks second in receiving yards (571) and is third in receptions (38). He was also named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month in September.

The “plan” worked out well for Benjamin, who was assured of ample playing time with Steve Smith Sr., Brandon LaFell, Domenik Hixon and Ted Ginn Jr. no longer on the Panthers roster. Those four accounted for 156 receptions, 1,983 yards, and 15 touchdowns last year. Someone had to be on the other end of Cam Newton’s passes this season, and Benjamin envisioned he would be the one to catch them all.

H/T Eye On Football

Jose Canseco shot his finger off while cleaning his gun

Jose Canseco shirtJose Canseco underwent surgery after accidentally shooting his finger off while cleaning his gun on Tuesday.

13 Action News in Las Vegas says police were called to Canseco’s home Tuesday afternoon after being told the former AL MVP shot himself in the hand.

Canseco’s fiancee, Leila Knight, told TMZ that Canseco was cleaning his gun on a table and did not realize it was loaded. He accidentally shot the middle finger off his left hand.

Canseco was transported to University Medical Center in Las Vegas to be treated.

Knight later tweeted that they were doing well. She hopes they will not have to amputate.

Nick Saban doesn’t care about first playoff rankings

Nick Saban Alabama

Tuesday was momentous day of sorts in the college football world. The college football playoff selection committee released their first rankings.

Mississippi State held the top spot, followed by Florida State, Auburn, and Ole Miss. Then came 13 one-loss teams in the 5-17 spots. With the top four of the final rankings earning a spot in the playoff, the teams sitting just outside (for now) are Oregon and Alabama.

Both the Ducks and Crimson Tide in position to leapfrog the schools ahead of them should any slip up along the way. The head coach of one of those two teams could care less about the initial rankings. If you guessed Nick Saban, you would be correct.

There is obviously a lot of time between now and the when the final rankings are released on December 7, so it’s unrealistic to expect Saban to give them more than a quick glance. That said, saying he doesn’t care is about as Nick Saban as you can get.

As far as getting to hear what Lou Holtz thinks, understanding what he says isn’t always the easiest so the possibly exists we won’t know what he thinks at all.

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