The growing number of targeting ejections in college football

The Panthers have to do better than this. And this includes sending him out to start the rest of the season when the team was 5-8 and had the slimmest possibility of making the playoffs … and when it already had an important piece of their foundation, Luke Kuechly, out injured.

Kuechly, by the way, sat the final two games even after he was cleared of the concussion protocol from an ugly head injury a month earlier.
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Look at Manfred’s choice of one particular word, which wasn’t an accident. He used the word integrity multiple times during his appearance on stage. He talked about regulations that help protect the integrity of sports, about ensuring integrity of the competition.
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What Rose did by betting on his own team undermined the integrity of baseball. Sometimes he bet on his Reds. Sometimes he didn’t. He says he never bet against his own team, and he maintains that should matter. But did he manage games differently when he had money on them? Did he save his best relievers for those contests? Did he give his best players days off when he didn’t have money on the game? We don’t know. We can’t know. By betting on some games and not others, he compromised the integrity of the sport.

Baseball could not — and cannot — sanction that practice, which is why Rose is still banned.

The growing number of targeting ejections in college football — 144 in 2016 compared with 72 in 2014, per CBS Sports — is due to awareness and enabled officiating more so than it is to an increase in the frequency of illegal hits.

And in college football, the frequency of the ejections has not been the issue. It’s the inconsistency of the targeting rule’s interpretation (not to mention the harsh nature of the repercussions) that has people such as American football coaches association executive director Todd Berry fired up.

Three reasons why Steelers drafting Pitt’s James Conner is perfect

The Steelers selected Pitt’s James Conner with the No. 105 pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday, a heart-warming conclusion to one of the best stories of the 2016 college football season.

It’s a miraculous path indeed. Here are three reasons why the Steelers’ selecting Conner made for the best story of Day 2 of the draft.

Conner suffered a season-ending injury in 2015, and was diagnosed with Hodgkins’ lymphoma shortly afterward. Conner, however, managed to participate in winter workouts while undergoing chemotherapy and managed to return to the team cancer-free in 2016. Conner rushed for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, and that included 189 total yards in the 43-42 upset against No. 3 Clemson.

Conner is an Erie, Pa., native and will be received as a fan favorite with the Steelers as a rookie. That seems like a given, considering his career with the Panthers, where he finished with 3,733 yards and 30 touchdowns and earned first-team All-ACC honors last season. When Conner scores his first touchdown with the Steelers, it’s guaranteed to go viral.

Pittsburgh loves the big, bad power running back. That’s part of a tradition that includes Franco Harris, Jerome Betts, Barry Foster and Rocky Bleier. Conner adds depth to a backfield that features stud running back Le’Veon Bell, who has played in 16 games only once the last four seasons. There’s nothing wrong with picking Conner in the third round.

They have one of the top offenses in baseball.

Twins veteran Ervin Santana leads the bigs with a 0.77 ERA, thanks in large part to opponents batting just .129 on balls in play (that is, by far, the lowest for any qualified starter in baseball). His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.60 is right at his career average (2.56).

Limited Mens DeMarco Murray Jersey The worst opponent’s BABIP? That belongs to unfortunate Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright; opponents are hitting .439 against Waino when they put the ball in play. His ERA is 6.12, which obviously is much worse than Santana’s, but check this out: Santana’s FIP (fielding-independent pitching) is 3.14, just a shade better than Wainwright’s 3.34. Expect both extremes to normalize as the season rolls on.

This. Mike Trout is really good.

Ivan Nova leads MLB in strikeout-to-walk ratio (22.0). You probably knew that. On the other end of the spectrum, though, is Rays lefty Blake Snell, who has 18 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Fast-forward to now: With the tied-for-first Yankees (15-8) outperforming almost all expectations to this point, the Mets have completely blown their chance to take New York. There isn’t much of a debate at this point. Even with Sanchez on the disabled list and Greg Bird scuffling mightily. Even with the Yankees falling to the Orioles in extra innings Sunday. There’s too much optimism with the new-look Bronx Bombers for anything to derail them now.

They have one of the top offenses in baseball. The oft-criticized Jacoby Ellsbury is seemingly reinvigorated. Masahiro Tanaka has pitched like an ace. Luis Severino is pitching like the top-of-the-rotation starter he was projected to be.
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Meanwhile, the injuries and question marks continue to mount for the Mets: Cespedes, David Wright, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo have all spent time on the shelf this season. Syndergaard likely will join them soon.

Nationals activate Trea Turner from DL, not in Friday’s lineup

The Nationals activated shortstop Trea Turner from the 10-day disabled list Friday.

Youth Curt Schilling Jersey Turner had been out since April 8 with right hamstring tightness. He has seven strikeouts and just three hits (.158) in a little more than four games played this season.

Despite being activated, Turner will not be in Washington’s starting lineup Friday against the Mets. Instead, Wilmer Difo will start at shortstop.
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Turner captivated audiences last season by hitting .342 with 13 home runs and 33 stolen bases in just 73 games. He will likely bat leadoff once he returns, though Adam Eaton has excelled in that spot since Turner’s injury.

Despite the ubiquitous presence of the crew, and despite Turner’s pledge for full access, and despite Torre’s general enthusiasm for the project, it took time for Diamond & Co. to fully embed itself with the team. That required the building of trust, the building of relationships.

You have to learn the protocol of the sport 鈥?what to do and what not to do, and when to do it, Diamond said. We learned that very quickly.

In baseball, the protocol governs a number of seemingly routine matters: which bus to ride from the stadium to the hotel, when to board the team plane, where to sit, knowing where cameras are welcome 鈥?and, more importantly, where they’re not.

Cincinnati is celebrating its 50th year anniversary.

Game Kids Craig Robertson Jersey Howard totaled five receptions for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s 45-40 win on Jan. 11, 2016, and he finished with four catches for 106 yards and a score in the 35-31 loss on Jan. 9, 2017.

Now, he’s the first tight end drafted and gives Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston — another Alabama native — a giant target across the middle to work with in an offense that also features Mike Evans. This is a great landing sport for Howard, who expects to be able to showcase those pass-catching skills in 2017.

I think there will be more pass-catching in the NFL for sure. More movement, Howard said. Getting the ball to me and letting me make some plays.

Howard shared his journey as part of a promotion with Hyundai before the NFL Draft. Howard finished his high school career at Autauga Academy in Prattville, and he said he graduated with a class of around 30.

Cincinnati is also celebrating its 50th year anniversary. Will that come with a return to the playoffs?

Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of the Bengals’ 2017 regular-season schedule, and how we see it playing out.

The home opener against the Ravens should be a good barometer for where the season is headed. Cincinnati is 6-2 against Baltimore the last four seasons, and that includes win in five of the last six meetings. Houston, however, has won seven of the last eight against the Bengals. The road trip to Lambeau Field in Week 3 won’t be easy, but this is still a month where Cincinnati could emerge with a 2-2 record or better.
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Remember we talked a day or two ago about Dylan Strome possibly needing a change of scenery?

So, let’s start from a baseline here. Montreal are going to need a stopgap if they’re trading their franchise net-minder. Mike Smith gives them that, for less money than they’re paying Price. It seems silly to put the Yotes starter in as a “makeweight” but that’s what we’re doing here.

Remember we talked a day or two ago about Dylan Strome possibly needing a change of scenery? Sending Strome to Montreal, a team that’s always looking for goalscoring and skill, might soften the blow of losing Price a little more. It also provides cover for the (potential) issues the Habs might face with Alex Galchenyuk. Issues that could be solved by putting him in with Price to the Coyotes, by the way, but we said we were remaining relatively realistic).

And then there’s Duclair. He’s a player who can score but has had…patchy play in the last season, being sent back down to the AHL. But he’s a player the Habs will love. So…he’s in there.

So, so far the Yotes are getting nike_steelers_3008 back to fill the gap with Price, a 3rd overall pick, and a 21-year-old who’s already a 20-goal NHL scorer. That’s…not a bad deal, considering they were ready to trade a generational defenseman for an older, slightly more broken version, straight up.

But if they need more, then there’s Anthony DeAngelo… a player who has had a rocky road in Arizona and might need a change of environment of his own.

The Seahawks felt they had a third-round steal with Wilson, and the Super Bowl ring a couple years later proved them correct. Now most teams wish Wilson was on this list as an actual first rounder; their first-rounder.

Whaley’s personnel choices range from troublesome to solid.

If the game was supposed to be over with the score being 11-4 after the top of the seventh, nobody told the Yankees. Instead, the Bronx Bombers just kept on dropping bombs. Jacoby Ellsbury picked a great time to hit the first grand slam of his career, but all that did was bring the Yankees within three runs. However, an RBI single from Ellsbury combined with a two-run dinger from Starlin Castro improbably sent this game into extras. Then in the 10th inning, Matt Holliday sent Yankee Stadium into delirium with a walk-off three-run homer to complete an absolutely insane comeback.

Whaley’s personnel choices range from troublesome to solid. He missed on quarterback EJ Manuel. And he paid a high and deserving price for receiver Sammy Watkins, whose injuries have made that move more frustrating. But, unquestionably, the Bills roster is not the least talented in the NFL. In fact, in Whaley’s last draft -鈥?highlighted by cornerback Tre’Davious White — it just got stronger.
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The Bills are such a mess, though, that we don’t know if these were Whaley’s picks or new head coach Sean McDermott’s.

I think Doug became the victim of some pretty poor coaching here by Rex Ryan in the last two seasons,” said a Bills executive, requesting anonymity. Those teams were just not coached well, and then Rex adds his brother, Rob, to the staff, and I think he lost some players with that move. I think Rex stepped back and lost his fastball, too. Doug tried to give Rex the players he wanted. His staff preached they needed Jerome Felton at fullback last year. Doug went and made it happen, retained him. Then they hardly used him. This was just one example of how the coaches made a lot of excuses for a staff that was, itself, dysfunctional.”
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Once Ryan was booted by the Pegulas last December, Whaley led the new coaching search. Or did he?

LeBron James has won his last 21 1st-round games

The Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Sunday, sweeping the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 with a 106-102 victory. They did it thanks to LeBron James, whose laborious effort produced 33 points on 13-of-25 shooting, nine rebounds, four assists, four steals, and two blocks to deliver the Pacers their first four-game sweep in franchise history.

James’ performance against the Pacers was a microcosm of his sheer dominance in playoff first rounds.

Winning a Game 7 on the road means something, no matter who you are or which juggernaut awaits in the next round. It especially means something when it’s your first series win in the playoffs since 2010.
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The Jazz’s postseason success is a carryover from their regular-season success. They finished with 51 wins led by Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert, something they had not done since Jerry Sloan was coach. The last time the Jazz were this good, Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Paul Millsap were on the team. Let that sink in.

The Jazz got off to a great start in the offseason by acquiring George Hill, Joe Johnson, and Boris Diaw. Hill was brought on to fill their hole of a veteran starting point guard. Despite injuries, he has just done that. Johnson has provided veteran leadership and a player to help spread the floor, while Diaw is a low-post player who moves the ball beautifully on his own. Add this with Hayward, Gobert, and Derrick Favors and you can quickly see how this team was so successful.

From missing the playoffs to reaching the second round in a year, this is something the Jazz and their fans can smile about all summer. They’ll have to face the Warriors next, but no matter what happens in that series, this season can already be considered a success.

Dion Bailey Womens Jersey If this is enough to convince Hayward to stay and the Jazz can keep this core together, even better things are on the horizon.

Colin Kaepernick donates custom made suits to parolees looking for jobs

Colin Kaepernick still hasn’t signed a contract with an NFL team this offseason, but he’s been plenty busy with charitable work.

On Sunday, Kaepernick was passing out suits in front of the New York State Parole office for people who have been released from prison and are looking for jobs. According to the 100suits Instagram account, the suits were custom made.
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It continues what’s been a highly productive offseason for Kaepernick. In March, he helped get an airplane to fly food and water to Somalia. A GoFundMe page was raised to purchase water, food, and other supplies to send. The page surpassed its $2 million goal in just four days.

Not long after making the donation, Donald Trump criticized Kaepernick, saying that teams wouldn’t sign him because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Just a few days later, the quarterback donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels.

All of these donations link back to his pledge from back in September, when he promised to donate $1 million, along with the proceeds of his jersey sales from the 2016 season.

Koa Misi Authentic Jersey In December, Kaepernick received the 49ers’ team award for courage and inspiration for his help in the community and work raising awareness to the oppression minorities in the United States can face. A few months later, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the team.

Whether he signs with a new team or not, it appears the charitable work is here to stay.

At Michigan’s pro day, he was a little more specific.

Butt lost money for every pick that went by without him going off the board. But he’s got an insurance policy that will reportedly pay him handsomely for his troubles.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that Butt has up to a $2 million “loss-of-value” policy to compensate him for falling down draft boards. The policy took effect in the middle of the third round and pays out $10,000 for every non-Butt pick, Rovell said.

Policies of this nature are common, and they often lead to legal challenges when players go to collect. It’s not clear how much Butt will actually collect, or what specific rules might come into play. But if Butt turns out to get $10,000 per pick from the middle of the third round onward (a total of 60 picks), he’d get $600,000.
We were holding our breath these last few picks hoping to get Michigan TE Jake Butt. A top-notch TE we’re fortunate to select in the 5th.

Although Peppers plans on being a safety in the NFL, as his college days proved, he’s capable of much more. He said during the combine that teams had inquired about him playing some offense, including slot receiver and running back.

At Michigan’s pro day, he was a little more specific.

“I’ve had one team tell me they want me to play linebacker,” Peppers said in March at Michigan’s pro day via the Associated Press. “One team told me they thought I should play offense. Other than that it’s, ‘you’re a safety.’ … No one’s come into a room and said, ‘Jabrill, we don’t know what to do with you.’”

One thing is to be expected, and that’s he will be on special teams. “Absolutely. They don’t have to assume,” Peppers said. “I will.”