NFL: Haslam gives up stake in Steelers
PITTSBURGH (AP) — New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam no longer has a stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers announced Thursday that Haslam’s minority share in the team has been bought by existing stockholders and new investors Scott and Russ Swank.
Haslam purchased the Browns in October and directed Steelers President Art Rooney II and Morgan Stanley to find suitable buyers for the shares he acquired in 2008.
Haslam spent $1.05 billion last October to buy a 70 percent stake in the Browns from Randy Lerner. Haslam — who made his fortune as president and CEO of Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas — will receive the remaining 30 percent owned by Lerner in 2016.
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions are giving a Norwegian Internet kicking sensation a shot to make the team.
Detroit signed kicker Havard Rugland, declining to disclose details of the deal. With the move, the Lions seem to be giving newly acquired kicker David Akers some competition or at least provide some depth at the position for practice. Detroit recently signed Akers after Jason Hanson retired.
A trick-shot video — called “Kickalicious” — Rugland posted in September has more than 2.7 million views. The video shows him kicking and punting a football through uprights from as far away as 60 yards, from straight on and also from incredible angles.
Hurd pleads guilty, faces 10 years
DALLAS (AP) — Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd pleaded guilty to trying to buy cocaine and marijuana to set up a drug-distribution network, leaving a once-promising career in tatters as he faces a prison sentence of at least 10 years.
Hurd, 27, pleaded guilty in federal court in Dallas to one count of possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute.
He pleaded guilty days before his trial was scheduled to begin, without any promise of a more lenient sentence.
He faces 10 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in July.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years of probation for assaulting a police officer outside a Lincoln bar last year.
In court, Dennard apologized to his coaches, supporters, police and his family and promised to abide by the terms of the probation. He declined comment after leaving court. The jail sentence is set to begin next March.
Revis starts running amid rumors
NEW YORK (AP) — Darrelle Revis has started to run again as he rehabilitates from a torn knee ligament while his future with the New York Jets remains uncertain.
The star cornerback, sidelined most of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, is shown running on a treadmill and doing a variety of drills in a segment on NFL Network. Revis, the subject of trade rumors, will report to the team’s practice facility in Florham Park, N.J., on Monday for the start of voluntary workouts.
NFL changes video prompt rule
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL will allow teams to use video scoreboards to encourage crowd noise in stadiums during entire plays.
Although the scoreboards can only use audio prompts until 20 seconds remain on the play clock — down from 30 seconds — video prompts now can be used any time. Those videos also were limited to the final 30 seconds on the play clock until the 2013 season.
Report: MLB paid for documents
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball paid a former employee of a Florida anti-aging clinic linked to performance-enhancing drugs for documents, The New York Times reported on its website.
The newspaper reported that two unidentified people briefed on the matter said at least one player linked to now-closed Biogenesis of America purchased documents from a former clinic employee in order to destroy them, and that other players made efforts to buy potentially incriminating documents.
In January, the Miami New Times, an alternative weekly newspaper, reported that New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was among the big leaguers listed in Biogenesis of America’s records.
Wade to return for tonight’s game
MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade plans to return to the Miami Heat lineup today, after missing six straight contests because of right knee soreness.
Wade told The Associated Press that his knee is healthy enough for him to play again and that he expects to play in both today’s game against the Boston Celtics and Sunday’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls, barring any setbacks.
Rutgers hires new top lawyer
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers University took steps to publicly address the fallout from the scandal over its men’s basketball coach, announcing an expected independent review and hiring a respected former state attorney general as the new top lawyer for the school.
The measures, announced at the first board of governors meeting since coach Mike Rice was fired last week, were intended to get the university back on track during a time of transformation.
Rutgers is absorbing most parts of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, including two medical schools, and is working on a strategic plan for how to catapult the school to be among the highest-regarded public universities in the nation.
NHL, union to fight homophobia
TORONTO (AP) — The NHL and its players’ union are partnering with an advocacy organization fighting homophobia in sports.
The You Can Play Project will conduct seminars at the NHL’s rookie symposium and make its resources and personnel available to teams. Players will be able to seek counseling or ask questions regarding sexual orientation.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the venture underlines that “the official policy of the NHL is one of inclusion on the ice, in our locker rooms and in the stands.”
Union head Donald Fehr says the project “will foster an inclusive hockey environment from the grassroots level to the professional ranks.”