Latest Ohio sports

BROWNS-UNWANTED WEEDEN

Browns QB Brandon Weeden blocking out critics

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden joked that he felt 40 on his 30th birthday.

Weeden, trying to put an embarrassing interception in Sunday's loss to Detroit behind him, said Monday that he feels he has the support of his teammates despite the gaffe that came one day before he turned 30. Weeden has been vilified outside of Cleveland's locker room following his inexcusable, backhanded flip that was picked off by the Lions in the final minutes of a 31-17 loss.

Browns fans have been particularly tough on Weeden, who said the criticism is just part of being an NFL quarterback and that he has "very good earmuffs on."

Browns Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas said Weeden's teammates still believe in him and are confident he will bounce back this week when Cleveland travels to Green Bay.

PACKERS-FILLING HOLES

Packers keeping calm amid injury woes

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The hits keep on coming for the injury-ravaged Packers.

Outside linebacker Mike Neal sat out practice Wednesday with a bruised shoulder. He was already starting for pass-rushing specialist Clay Matthews.

Coach Mike McCarthy hopes Neal will be available Friday. Green Bay also lost its other starting outside linebacker, Nick Perry, to a foot injury.

McCarthy also hopes to know more about the status of receiver James Jones and his knee injury on Friday. The Packers have already lost receiver Randall Cobb for a minimum eight games after he was placed on injured reserve this week with a possibility for return.

The Packers host Cleveland on Sunday.

LIONS-SUH

AP source: Suh fined $31,500 for hit on Weeden

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press the NFL has fined Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh $31,500 for a hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden.

The person spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the fine had not been announced.

Earlier in the day, Ndamukong Suh insisted he was unaware the NFL was reviewing his hit on Weeden on Sunday. Suh wasn't penalized for the play, but it was shown on a video posted on NFL.com as vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said he wanted to look at it more for "potential helmet to the body."

Suh was fined $100,000 for an illegal block on Minnesota center John Sullivan in Week 1.

T25-OHIO ST-RUN GAME

Meyer loves to run yet no tailback has 1,000 yards

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer encounters the question, he says, as much as 200 times a year from recruits, fans and reporters: Why haven't you ever had a running back rush for 1,000 yards?

In Meyer's 11½ years as a head coach, he's had quarterback Braxton Miller go for 1,271 yards rushing a year ago. But no running back has ever turned the trick.

Meyer's tired of being asked — and particularly weary of having it used against him in recruiting. Other schools tell blue-chip backs that they will not flourish in Meyer's spread offense.

Heading into the fourth-ranked Buckeyes' game Saturday against Iowa, Meyer knows running back Carlos Hyde must have a big game if Ohio State is to extend its nation's best winning streak to 19.

T25-OHIO ST-SCHEDULES

Buckeyes play 5 B1G games at home in '18, 4 in '19

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State has announced its 2018 and '19 football schedules, part of the Big Ten's release of its schedules for the next six years.

The Buckeyes' 2018 Big Ten schedule includes home games against Rutgers, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan, and road games at Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State and Maryland. The Buckeyes will also play at TCU and host North Carolina in 2018 with one home game yet to be finalized.

In 2019, Ohio State will play host to Michigan State, Wisconsin, Maryland and Penn State while travelling to Indiana, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. Ohio State has non-conference home games set against Cincinnati and TCU, with a date to be filled on Aug. 31.

AAC-MEDIA DAY

AAC commish speaks out against paying players

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The commissioner of the American Athletic Conference says his league is willing to consider providing player stipends to offset the rising cost of attending college, but Mike Aresco says he is against paying athletes.

Aresco said Wednesday paying athletes would constitute an employer-employee relationship and that's not what college is about. He says that would be the "road to ruin" for college athletics.

The commissioner spoke at the start of the league's media day for basketball. Aresco says the amateur model may be strained but revisions can help it work. He says the relationship between schools and players must be strengthened and not abandoned.

College athletic directors are exploring ways to compensate athletes for the full cost of attending college with officials across all three NCAA divisions discussing the topic.

HORIZON LEAGUE-POLL

Green Bay edges Wright State as Horizon favorite

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Green Bay, led by Alec Brown and Keifer Sykes, edged Wright State by a single point as the Horizon League's preseason men's basketball favorite in voting by coaches, media and sports information directors.

Wright State took 22 first-place votes to the Phoenix' 21, but Green Bay won the overall voting 390-389. Cleveland State, with two first-place votes, was picked third, followed by Oakland and Youngstown State (one first-place vote each). Valparaiso, Illinois-Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee rounded out the voting.

Joining Brown and Sykes on the first-team preseason all-league team were preseason player of the year Kendrick Perry of Youngstown, Oakland's Travis Bader and Wright State's Cole Darling.