Thursday, October 8
NCAA meets with former Louisville recruit JaQuan Lyle
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The NCAA has talked with Ohio State freshman JaQuan Lyle, whose recruitment by Louisville is mentioned in a book by an escort alleging that strippers danced and had sex with Cardinals players and prospects.
OSU spokesman Dan Wallenberg confirmed via email that Lyle met Tuesday with the NCAA, as first reported Wednesday by Yahoo Sports. The email did not mention Louisville, but noted there were no issues at Ohio State.
Former Cardinals forward Chane Behanan didn't have must to say Wednesday about allegations in Katina Powell's book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," that he participated in shows paid for by former basketball staffer Andre McGee.
Behanan says, "all I know is what I've heard" in the book, in which he is pictured with Powell.
MANZIEL'S GRANDFATHER-HOUSE FIRE
Fire at Texas home of Johnny Manziel's grandfather probed
WHITEHOUSE, Texas (AP) — Fire officials say a blaze that destroyed an East Texas home belonging to the grandfather of Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel appears to be suspicious.
Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks says crews were called early Wednesday morning to the fire at a house near Lake Tyler that's owned by Paul Manziel, Johnny Manziel's grandfather.
Brooks says no one was at the house at the time. He says no one had been there for the past two days.
He says evidence indicates foul pay may have been involved. Brooks says — in his words — "We have recovered evidence that points to suspicion."
He says the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives is joining the investigation, assisted by an accelerant-sniffing dog.
Ravens QB Flacco won't need to adjust without Smith, others
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The absence of two veteran receivers and his go-to tight end won't change a thing for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
Facing the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in an important AFC North matchup, the Ravens (1-3) will be without leading receiver Steve Smith and speedy Michael Campanaro, both of whom were injured last Thursday night in a win over the Steelers.
Tight end Crockett Gilmore, who has 10 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, missed practice Wednesday with a strained calf.
That leaves Flacco with less-heralded wide receivers Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown and Chris Givens. The primary tight ends are rookies Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle.
Flacco says, "It's my job to see whoever the guy is that's open and give him a chance to make the catch."
Browns coach calls criticism of Joe Haden 'unwarranted'
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns coach Mike Pettine called the criticism directed at Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden for not playing in Sunday's game because of a broken finger "unwarranted."
Pettine said he spoke with Haden, who tested his finger during pregame warmups before choosing not to play. Pettine said he's partially responsible for the condemnation toward Haden because he didn't do an adequate job explaining why his top defensive player decided to sit out Cleveland's 30-27 loss.
Pettine said he misspoke and that Haden "wanted to be out there, he wanted to play," but felt he wasn't 100 percent and would have put the team at risk. Pettine called Haden "one of the faces of our franchise."
The Browns have provided a written explanation to the NFL, which is investigating why Haden didn't play after being listed as "probable" on the injury report.
Bills shuffle kickers by signing Cundiff, releasing Gay
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have shaken up their special teams by signing veteran kicker Billy Cundiff and releasing kickoff specialist Jordan Gay.
The Bills also released returner Marcus Thigpen and signed receiver Denarius Moore on Wednesday.
Cundiff replaces Gay on kickoff duties, and his arrival poses a threat to veteran kicker Dan Carpenter. Carpenter has been erratic since the start of the preseason while nursing assorted injuries.
He has missed two of seven field-goal attempts, including a 30-yarder in a 24-10 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. Carpenter has also missed an extra point.
Cundiff is a 12-year NFL veteran who spent the past two seasons in Cleveland. He was cut by the Browns after missing seven of 29 field-goal attempts, including three from within 39 yards.
Cleveland appeals 'jock tax' ruling to US Supreme Court
CLEVELAND (AP) — The city of Cleveland says it is within its rights to tax visiting professional athletes based on the number of games they play a year because taxation is a matter of local jurisdiction.
In a filing Tuesday, the city asked the U.S. Supreme Court to back its position after the Ohio Supreme Court struck down Cleveland's system earlier this year.
The state court ruled that Cleveland's method for taxing athletes violates players' due process rights. It ruled the city must assess taxes based on the total number of days each visiting player works in a year, as is common elsewhere.
At issue were challenges by former Chicago Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and retired Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday.
Contest to choose artwork for new Buffalo sports arena
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Part of the exterior of a new hockey and hotel complex in Buffalo will become a canvas for the winner of an art competition.
The HarborCenter complex on Tuesday announced a contest inviting members of the area's art community to come up with designs to cover three loading dock doors on the front of the building.
Entrants are urged to produce artwork that pays tribute to Buffalo's history, especially its role in the Erie Canal.
Designs are due by November 30th.
HarborCenter officials will pick the top designs and a public vote will follow.
The winning artist will receive $1,500 cash.