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Aug 18, 2022

Browns QB Deshaun Watson settles for 11-game suspension

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson has reached a settlement with the NFL and will serve an 11-game unpaid suspension and pay a $5 million fine rather than risk missing his first season as quarterback of the Cleveland Browns following accusations of sexual misconduct. Watson was accused of sexual assault and harassment by two dozen women while he played for the Houston Texans. The league had sought to ban him for at least one year for violating its personal conduct policy. As part of the settlement, Watson may return for the Browns’ game on Dec. 4 in Houston.

 

B1G deal: Big Ten lands $7 billion, NFL-style TV contracts

The Big Ten has announced its new, seven-year media rights deal with Fox, NBC and CBS that is believed to be the richest ever struck with a college sports conference. A person familiar with the contracts tells The Associated Press that the conference’s soon-to-be 16 member universities eventually will share more than $1 billion in revenue per year. Starting in 2024, when USC and UCLA join the conference, Big Ten football Saturdays will be structured similar to the NFL. That means three marquee games being carried in consecutive time slots on three different major TV networks.

 

FIU football player Knox, brother of Bills TE, dies at 22

MIAMI (AP) — Florida International University says football player Luke Knox has died. The university announced the player’s death Thursday and said police do not believe foul play was involved. The school did not reveal the cause of death. Knox was the brother of Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox. Luke Knox appeared in 23 games at Mississippi before joining the Panthers. Mike MacIntyre is in his first year as coach at FIU. He coached Luke Knox at Ole Miss as well and says he will remember the player’s “genuine love for his family and teammates.” Knox was 22 years old.

 

Usyk fighting for Ukraine, Joshua for future in rematch

Oleksandr Usyk is fighting for much more than his world heavyweight belts in his rematch with Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia. Usyk was patrolling the streets of Kyiv with an automatic rifle six months ago as part of his capital city’s Territorial Defense Force following Russia’s invasion of his native Ukraine. On Saturday he’ll serve his country in a very different way by attempting to retain the WBA, IBF and WBO titles he claimed from Joshua in London in September last year. Joshua is looking to become a three-time heavyweight champ and has changed trainers for what looks to be a defining fight in his career.

 

How a pair of Hollywood stars powered a Welsh soccer team

LONDON (AP) — Two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, document their takeover of lower-league Welsh soccer team Wrexham AFC in the new Netflix series, “Welcome to Wrexham.” Reynolds says he has fallen head-over-heels in love with the beautiful game — so much so that he schedules his life around Wrexham matches. Luckily, his wife, Blake Lively, shares his new interest — despite her initial worries about Reynold’s purchase. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star McElhenney sees “sports as storytelling,” and the pair wanted to put Wrexham on the world stage.

 

PICK SIX: Freshmen with high expectations to watch in 2022

Highly touted blue-chip prospects often arrive on campus with fans’ expectations very high, almost to the point of unfairness. Some relish the pressure, and meet those expectations, and others bide their time and await their chance to shine. The player under the most scrutiny, perhaps, didn’t even go to a Power Five school. Travis Hunter instead picked Jackson State, where he plans to play cornerback and receiver for coach Deion Sanders. And Hunter welcomes the opportunity to show the skills that made him the top recruit in the country.

 

Dodgers TV reporter injured sliding down Bernie’s Chalet

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Dodgers television and radio reporter David Vassegh said he broke two bones in his right wrist and cracked six ribs when he tumbled and crashed into the padding at the end of his slide down “Bernie’s Chalet.” He was injured going down the same slide Milwaukee mascot Bernie Brewer uses to celebrate home runs by the home team. Vassegh says he went down the slide twice Wednesday. The first time, he was filmed at the top of the slide, and everything went fine. The second time, he was filmed at the bottom, and that’s when his right arm crashed into the padding.

 

Kimi Raikkonen hits pause on retirement to race NASCAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kimi Raikkonen will take a break from his retirement to return to racing this weekend in the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York. The 2007 Formula One world champion will drive for TrackHouse Racing and its Project91, which is a program to give top international drivers exposure to NASCAR. Sunday’s race with the Raikkonen is the debut of Project91. The Finnish driver has tried NASCAR racing once before. In 2011, he ran the Xfinity and Truck Series races at Charlotte. This will be his Cup debut. There are a NASCAR-record seven countries represented in Sunday’s field.

 

BMW Championship a pivotal playoff event on unfamiliar turf

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The BMW Championship is something new for everyone. The PGA Tour goes to Delaware for the first time. Wilmington Country Club is the site for the second of three FedEx Cup playoff events. Justin Thomas is among those with limited experience. He played the Palmer Cup at Wilmington in 2013 when he was 20. Thomas doesn’t recall much. The advantage in course knowledge probably goes to Rory McIlroy. He missed the cut last week and came to Delaware. McIlroy has been at the course every day since Saturday. It’s a big week. The top 30 advance to the Tour Championship.

 

Players-only private meeting was all about a better PGA Tour

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Tiger Woods felt strongly enough about a private meeting of top PGA Tour players that he flew from Florida to Delaware to attend. What’s emerging from that players-only meeting is unity against a rival league funded by Saudi money and how to make the PGA Tour better. There was another form of unity. No one is willing to share details on the best way forward. Xander Schauffele says there was a code to keep tight lips. Rory McIlroy says the ideas are for tour executives to hear as they forge a path. As for Woods? McIlroy says he remains the biggest voice.