Miami LBs JaWand Blue, Alex Figueroa admit to drugging and raping 17-year-old

Alex-FigueroaTwo University of Miami football players were arrested and charged with sexual battery on Tuesday morning after they admitted to police that they gave a 17-year-old girl alcohol and raped her. The players, linebackers JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa, have been dismissed by the team and suspended from school.

According to an arrest affidavit which was obtained by the Miami Herald, the incident occurred early Saturday morning at Pearson Hall on the Miami campus. Blue and Figueroa allegedly gave the victim a narcotic (or knew of someone who did) without her consent that made her “physically helpless to resist.” The two 20-year-olds admitted to buying the victim drinks and bringing her back to Figueroa’s dorm room, where they performed sexual acts on her without consent.

The victim reported the crime to campus police and Blue and Figueroa came forward on Tuesday. They were arrested and held without bond. Both former players were scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Tuesday.

Miami athletic director Blake James released a statement on Tuesday condemning the behavior.

“Earlier today, I permanently dismissed JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa from the UM football team,” James said. “The University has also suspended the students from school and barred them from all campus facilities while the University conducts an internal investigation and continues to cooperate with local law enforcement.

“Any allegation of a sexual assault is extremely serious, and the University will not tolerate conduct that threatens the sanctity and safety of our students and our campus. We hold all of our students — especially student athletes — to the highest standards of moral conduct. The University is committed to maintaining a safe campus environment for all.”

College kids make mistakes. When those mistakes amount to something like underage drinking, we tend to forgive them. What James and Figueroa have admitted to doing is disgusting. They should end up in jail.

H/T Bruce Feldman

Yankees fan Andrew Robert Rector suing ESPN for showing him sleeping on TV

Andrew-Robert-RectorA New York Yankees fan who fell asleep during a game at Yankee Stadium earlier this year has filed a $10 million lawsuit against ESPN. According to the New York Post, Andrew Robert Rector specifically named ESPN anchors John Kruk and Dan Shulman in the lawsuit and has accused them of taunting him.

Rector alleges that Kruk and Shulman spewed an “avalanche of disparaging words” against him and insulted him with words like “stupor, fatty, unintelligent and stupid.” The video above shows Kruk and Shulman mocking Rector, but none of those words were said in that particular clip.

Rector, who admits that he “briefly” fell asleep during the game between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox on April 13, said the play-by-play team taunted him knowing that millions of viewers were tuning in. He claims Kruk and Shulman made “false statements” against him and suggested he “is a fatty cow that need two seats at a time” and “is a confused individual that neither understands nor knows anything about history and the meaning of rivalry between Red Sox and New York Yankee.” Yes, the typos come directly from the lawsuit.

The suit names ESPN, MLB and the Yankees as defendants. The entire complaint can be read at The Smoking Gun.

In all likelihood, Rector’s lawsuit will be dismissed. Just a gut feeling.

H/T Sporting News

LeBron James’ wife reportedly wants him to sign with Cavs

LeBron-James-endorsement-money-after-championshipWe know how out of hand NBA free agency can get when players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are involved, but it may actually be time to consider the legitimately possibility of LeBron returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Amid various reports that the Cavs are pushing to sign LeBron and LeBron is listening, Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com adds that Mrs. LeBron James wants her husband to return to Cleveland.

According to Sheridan, LeBron’s wife Savannah and most of the others within his “inner circle”  believe it is time for him to go back home. And the King just might agree.

Various reports say James will give serious consideration to returning to the Cavs, who he met with Sunday in south Florida. James is traveling today to Las Vegas, and a source who has been briefed on James’ free agency maneuverings told SheridanHoops that James’ inner circle, from his wife, Savannah to his agent, Rich Paul, to his best friends, Maverick Carter and Randy Mims, are unanimous in their belief that James’ best move is a return to the team he played for from 2003-2010.

My source believes there is a 75 percent chance James returns to Cleveland.

Sheridan, who used to cover the NBA for ESPN and worked for the Associated Press for 18 years, said James is “more likely than not” to sign with the Cavs if Pat Riley is unable to present him with a plausible plan for upgrading the Miami Heat in the coming days.

While I always do my best to tune out the noise, sometimes it is just too loud to ignore. All indications are that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert met with LeBron in South Florida on Sunday. The two may have used the meeting to patch up their differences. After all, the Cavs removed their open letter to LeBron from the team’s official website on Monday after it had been up for four years.

It’s hard to not get wrapped up in the rumors and gossip. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, who reported that LeBron’s agent is urging the Cavs to clear cap space, says the Heat are still confident they’ll keep LeBron despite what his wife or agent want. Credible sources like Sheridan, Wojnarowski and Chris Broussard all seem like they’re leaning toward James returning to Cleveland. When should we believe them?

Dan Gilbert’s plane increases speculation about LeBron James returning to Cavs

Dan-GilbertOnly in 2014 could the tracking information for an NBA owner’s private jet lead to speculation about free agency.

On Sunday morning, Cleveland sports radio host Joe Lull tweeted that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was on his way to South Florida. Naturally, everyone took that to mean he was going to meet with LeBron James.

Gilbert could have been going to meet with another free agent like Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade. He also could have just felt like taking a trip to Florida, and he wouldn’t be the first tourist to do so.

Shortly after Lull’s tweet went viral, Gilbert claimed he was home in his backyard.

That didn’t put an end to the buzz. Somehow, various resourceful Twitter users got a hold of Gilbert’s plane registration info and were able to track it using the website FlightAware.com. While there is no way to prove that Gilbert was actually on the plane, it can be confirmed that the plane did indeed fly to Florida on Sunday.

Not only that, but SB Nation pointed out that another savvy interneter took note of the fact that the plane flew to Indiana when the Cavs reportedly met with Gordon Hayward and to New Jersey, where Kyrie Irving grew up, when Irving signed his extension.

[Read more...]

Roy Hibbert quietly being shopped in trade talks by Pacers?

Roy Hibbert benchThe Indiana Pacers are quietly shopping center Roy Hibbert following the big man’s disappointing second half of the season, according to a report.

Sporting News’ Sean Deveney quotes a source saying the Pacers are quietly looking to deal Hibbert, who has two years and $30 million left on his contract. Hibbert went from being considered a project when drafted in 2008 to developing into a very strong center and two-time All-Star. However, he started disappearing in March, April and during the playoffs and looked like a totally ineffective player.

The Pacers are trying to re-sign guard Lance Stephenson and reportedly are offering him $44 million over five years. Stephenson has not yet decided his future.

Deveney says the Pacers — no surprise — consider Paul George untouchable, and almost have David West in the same category. If they do trade Hibbert, Deveney says they would prefer to send him to the Western Conference.

Ultimately, what Indiana does depends on what happens with Miami. If the Heat maintain their core or strengthen it, Pacers exec Larry Bird would be motivated to change his roster. If the Heat break up, he might be more inclined to keep the roster intact considering they reached the Eastern Conference finals.

This is a clear example of the Pacers trying to sell low. Maybe some teams will see value in Hibbert, but it’s hard to imagine any team being eager to pay him the $30 million he is due.

John Lackey brings up Nelson Cruz’s PED use after Cruz shells him

John-Lackey-beer-drinking-reports-retardedNelson Cruz had a huge night for the Baltimore Orioles in their 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night. Cruz went 5-for-5 including a homer, single and double of Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey. When Lackey was asked about Cruz’s performance after the game, he conveniently hinted at Cruz’s history of performance-enhancing drug use.

“I’m not going to comment on him,” Lackey said, via ESPN.com. “I’ve got nothing to say about him. There are some things I’d like to say, but I’m not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”

Nice try, John, but you already said plenty. Players who have never cheated have every right to feel bitter toward Cruz in the wake of his 50-game suspension last season. The 34-year-old slugger accepted his punishment and served the ban, but that doesn’t mean everyone is forced to forgive him.

That said, Lackey made himself look bad by pulling the “yeah, but he’s a cheater” card after Cruz teed off on him. Had Cruz gone 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against Lackey, we all know there would have been no mention of his involvement with Biogenesis.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was later asked about Lackey’s comments on ESPN Radio’s “Mike Lupica Show.”

“There’s so many insinuations, quite frankly, about people in every club. You usually don’t hear those comments after a shutout or something,” Showalter said. I mean [Lackey's] doing really well. He’s up throwing 93, 95 again and he’s got one of the top ERAs in the American League, which with the DH means all of baseball. He’s a good pitcher, so God bless him. He was good yesterday.”

Lackey has always been outspoken about PED use. Last year, he said Alex Rodriguez should not be allowed to play while he appealed his 211-game suspension. This time around, Lackey’s comments just reeked of sour grapes.

Carmelo Anthony to Lakers? LA reportedly in the mix

Carmelo AnthonyAre the Los Angeles Lakers legitimate contenders to sign Carmelo Anthony? That’s the word on the street.

Carmelo met with the Lakers in Los Angeles Thursday. That was his third day of free agent meetings, which began with a visit in Chicago on Tuesday, and meetings with the Rockets and Mavericks on Wednesday. He also met with the Knicks in LA Thursday night.

ESPN writer/personality Bill Simmons, who isn’t known for being a reporter but has had some scoops in his day, had this to say on Twitter Saturday:

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski expressed the same sentiment shortly thereafter:

In their meeting, the Lakers reportedly told Carmelo that they were offering him a max contract of $97 million for four years. One reason returning to the Knicks is so appealing is because they can offer Carmelo $129 million deal for five years.

The Knicks have been the favorite to retain ‘Melo according to most chatter. Reports say his wife, LaLa, wants to stay in NY and that Anthony is reluctant to uproot his family. Carmelo also is said to be on board with new team president Phil Jackson’s plans and that he liked the decision to hire Derek Fisher as head coach.

I still believe ‘Melo will return to the Knicks, but this certainly is making things much more fun.