…I don’t see the NFL moving in to Las Vegas any time soon. While an enclosed state of the art stadium would surely find teams interested, it doesn’t make sense for reasons that go far beyond gambling. Who would actually go to the games? Is there a big enough population of fans willing to support a Las Vegas team? Maybe – and if the team is a California import there would be those who would drive to see the games. But who would likely attend? Probably a good amount of people from the visiting team’s city! Why wouldn’t you want to plan a vacation to Las Vegas to coincide with seeing your home town team play football? Having a strong home field advantage in fans isn’t likely.
…Would you like to fly your team into Vegas on Wednesday or Thursday for a Sunday or Monday night game? I think not. Johnny Manziel might like the idea. I’d love to see an NFL team in Vegas and think that it might even be successful. But the NFL is way too conservative to make that move in my opinion. The NFL would much rather wait and see if the much hyped NHL franchise makes it in Vegas. But that is no sure thing either.
…Speaking of Manziel, Johnny Football has become Johnny Jackass. Yet another mishap with his girlfriend resulted in a visit from the local authorities. At least he wasn’t immediately arrested. Police were called to investigate an incident involving Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel in Fort Worth, Texas, early Saturday. Fort Worth police said in a statement Saturday that officers were called to an apartment building around 2 a.m. about a possible assault. Police talked to a 23-year-old woman, who was not the caller, who said she had been involved in an incident earlier in the evening with her ex-boyfriend in Dallas. A preliminary investigation determined that a possible assault had occurred, though the woman refused to cooperate with officers and there was no evidence of a crime scene in Fort Worth. The woman also told officers she was concerned about her ex-boyfriend’s welfare. Police officers attempted to locate him, including by helicopter, and later determined that he was safe and not in danger. Fort Worth police confirmed the man in the report was Manziel. They said they are working with Dallas police to determine if any criminal offenses occurred, which Dallas police confirmed in a statement.
…The Giants’ Jay Bromley also made the police blotter. Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley will not be charged at this time following a Saturday morning incident in which a woman said he tried to sexually assault her and then struck her with his car while fleeing, a police source told ABC News. Bromley, 23, interacted with the 26-year-old woman on Instagram, according to multiple media reports. They went out together and then went to a Manhattan hotel, where Bromley got a room, and they engaged in some physical activity. When Bromley attempted to engage in further sexual activity, she refused, a police source told ABC News. Bromley left the hotel, and the woman followed him, demanding a ride home. She climbed on the roof of Bromley’s car, but he kept driving, and she fell off, injuring her leg and knee, according to reports. The woman was taken to a hospital, where she made the allegations of assault and attempted sexual assault, reports said. A rape kit was scheduled, and the police department’s Special Victims Unit became involved in the investigation. The New York Daily News first reported that the police had been investigating Bromley. Hotel surveillance video and the credit card used to pay for the room link Bromley to the site of the alleged incident, according to reports.
,,, Steve Smith, a former Carolina wide receiver, believes race plays a part in why Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is such a polarizing figure. “I think it has to do with a little bit of arrogance and also, I hate to say it this way, possibly the color of your skin playing quarterback,” Smith said Thursday on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “I think it does.” Smith pointed to the reaction Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman received for his emotional postgame interview two years ago as an example of how black athletes can be inappropriately labeled. Former Panthers receiver Steve Smith thinks Cam Newton is a polarizing figure in part because he “brings another element that genetically — I hate to say it this way — but Peyton Manning has never had. He is changing the quarterback play as we know it. Automatically people started calling him a thug,” Smith said. “They don’t call Aaron Rodgers [a] thug. They don’t call other guys of other colors thugs, but as soon as an African-American athlete does it, they say, ‘thug.’ ”
…Personally, I’ve never heard anybody anywhere refer to Newton as a “thug.” I’ve known people who believe that he took money illegally to play college football. I know people who find his over the top touchdown celebrations childish and a little self-serving. But I’ve never heard him referred to as a “thug.” I think most older generation folks find his celebrations annoying at best. I know I find them almost disgusting. But I’m an old goat and would prefer that everybpdy just toss the ball to the ref. I’d feel the same way if Peyuton Manning or Carson Palmer acted like Newton. He’s proven himself to be the best QB in the league.
…In an effort to protect players and referees, the NBA has banned midcourt sideline television cameras effective immediately, sources said. The edict comes a little more than a week after referee Scott Wall rolled his ankle when he tripped over a midcourt cameraman in the Memphis Grizzlies’ 102-101 win over the Nuggets in Denver on Jan. 21. And LeBron James suffered an ankle injury tripping over a midcourt camera during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals last season in Atlanta. Referee Scott Wall rolled his ankle during a game in Denver earlier this month when he tripped over a midcourt cameraman. The ban will affect national television games where cameramen were permitted to sit on each side of the floor at midcourt. Those positions were able to get high-quality, low-angle shots of both the floor and the benches.
…Ole Miss may be in trouble. Outside counsel for the University of Mississippi received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA – another step in a more than three-year process. Included in the notice are alleged violations of NCAA bylaws in women’s basketball in 2012; track and field in 2012-13; and in football, with many of the allegations dating back to the former football staff in 2010 and the withholding and reinstatement process around Laremy Tunsil in fall of 2015. The University A.D. responded “to be clear, the NCAA has only brought allegations, and as part of the NCAA process, the University and others have 90 days to issue a response. We’ve been transparent throughout this process, and it is important to note that most of the football allegations are based upon facts that have been publicly disclosed perviously in “self-reports” and reinstatement requests or have been reported publicly in connection with another NCAA case. Out of fairness to the individuals involved and the integrity of the NCAA process, we will not provide further details or comment until everyone has had an opportunity to review the allegations and respond. Once they do so, we will release the official notice and the university’s response. In all three sports, I am confident in the leadership of our current head coaches and the manner in which they operate their programs.”
…As much as Baylor would like, allegations that continue to significantly stain the university’s image simply won’t go away. Over the past four years, at least two Baylor football players, Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, are known to have been accused of committing sexual assaults while they were members of the Bears. Both players, who continue to maintain their innocence, were ultimately convicted of sexually assaulting female BU students, with Elliott sentenced to 20 years in prison and Ukwauchu to 10 years felony probation. Elliott’s conviction, ESPN‘s Outside the Lines is reporting, came after he was accused of either rape or assault five other times from October of 2009 to April of 2012 while he was still a member of the football program. Ukwuachu’s conviction came after an internal university investigation cleared the defensive lineman of any wrongdoing in the alleged rape of a fellow BU student-athlete in October of 2013.
…An investigation by Outside the Lines found several examples in Tanya’s case, and others at Baylor, in which school officials either failed to investigate, or adequately investigate, allegations of sexual violence. In many cases, officials did not provide support to those who reported assaults. Moreover, it took Baylor more than three years to comply with a federal directive: In April 2011, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to all colleges and universities outlining their responsibilities under Title IX, including the need for each school to have a Title IX coordinator. Baylor didn’t hire a full-time coordinator until fall 2014. “They didn’t just not respond; they responded by turning me away and telling me that it was not possible for me to receive help from them,” said one victim, whose identity is being kept private by Outside the Lines because she was the victim of a sexual assault.
…One of the more disturbing portions of the OTL report is that, two weeks before “Ms X” was raped by Elliott, another woman, identified as “Kim,” had filed a police report accusing Elliott of sexually assaulting her. The woman — Kim — and her mother said they also reported the assault to Baylor’s ombudsman office and were sent to meet with the school’s chief judicial officer, Bethany McCraw. Both women said McCraw’s response noted that Kim, also a Baylor athlete, was the sixth woman to report such an incident involving Elliott. “I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, six?’ ” Kim said. “We essentially asked, ‘Well, why are there six?’ and, ‘Well, does the football team know about this? Does Art Briles know about this?’ And she said, ‘Yes, they know about it, but it turns into a he said-she said, so there’s got to be, actually a court decision in order to act on it in any sort of way.’ “
…In an interesting side note, The university made no coaches, including head coach Art Briles, or administrators available for OTL‘s report. The program makes note that “[o]ne of those administrators w[is] university president Ken Starr, the former judge and independent counsel who led the investigation into President Bill Clinton‘s intern-sex scandal.”
…At a time when many think Lions receiver Calvin Johnson is thinking about whether to retire, ESPN reports that the thinking stage ended months ago. According to ESPN, Johnson previously told his family and a close circles of friend that 2015 would be his final season of football. The day after the season ended, Johnson reportedly told coach Jim Caldwell the same thing. Per the report, Caldwell told Johnson not to rush his decision, and to take some time with it. Johnson agreed to do that. If Johnson indeed retires, he’ll owe the Lions $3.2 million in previously paid signing bonus money. (And if you think the Lions won’t recover that money, you should ask Barry Sanders for his opinion.)
…Baltimore Orioles minor league infielder Ramon Ramirez died in a motorcycle crash in the Dominican Republic on Saturday night. He was 23 years old. The accident occurred when a vehicle struck Ramirez’s motorcycle while he was leaving a softball game. His girlfriend, who was on the back of the bike, survived the crash but suffered a broken leg, according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko. “Our entire organization is deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic death of Ramon Ramirez,” Baltimore’s executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said in a statement, via MiLB.com. “As a member of the Orioles organization, Ramon worked tirelessly to make the most of his opportunity to play professional baseball. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, teammates and coaches as we mourn this unimaginable loss.”
…The most polarizing man in hockey is going to be the commissioner of the NHL for a little while longer. Gary Bettman will remain at the helm of the NHL into 2022 after signing a seven-year contract extension, according to TSN The Reporters’ Michael Farber. He is 63 and will have just turned 70 at the expiration of this deal.
…Former Texas quarterback Vince Young was arrested early Monday morning in Austin on a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated. Young was booked into Travis County Jail at 12:46 a.m. Monday after a traffic stop two miles north of the Texas campus. The arrest warrant said that a police cruiser witnessed Young’s car idling for 10 seconds at a green light, then not signaling for a lane change and drifting in the lane while driving. After stopping the car, the officer believed that Young was intoxicated, saying he had glassy eyes, slurred his speech, had a strong odor of alcohol and was swaying while walking. According to the report, Young refused a breathalyzer.
…Former NFL wide receiver Jabar Gaffney was arrested on Friday (January 22, 2016) in Jacksonville, Florida. According to TMZ Sports, Gaffney was arrested after he was pulled over due for failure to maintain a single lane and illegally tinted windows. During a search of his vehicle, police allegedly found 6.5 grams of marijuana. Gaffney, 35, played in the NFL with the Houston Texans (2002-05), New England Patriots (2006-08), Denver Broncos (2009-10), Washington Redskins (2011) and Miami Dolphins (2012).
…Eastern Washington player LaShawn Jameison was arrested for his involvement in a fatal shooting, police confirmed Monday. The incident took place following an altercation at the Palomino Club in North Spokane, Wash. on Jan. 18. The junior, who transferred to EWU from Southern Oregon University, was taken into police custody after the drive-by shooting of 21-year-old Eduardo Villagomez, who was pronounced dead at a Spokane hospital after being hit in the head by a bullet. According to court documents discussed in the report, the victim was caught in the crossfire as he was attempting to flee the scene, and was shot multiple times.
…Patriots practice squad player Jimmy “J.J.” Worton was arrested early Saturday morning in Foxborough, MA after police said he assaulted a man and two women. Worton was charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 and over and one count of assault and battery. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Wrentham District Court At around 1 a.m. on Saturday, police officers responded to a report of an assault at Waxy O’Connor’s Irish Pub. Witnesses said two men fled in a sedan after one of the men accosted two women and assaulted a man. When officers pulled over the sedan, Worton was in the back seat. Police say Worton told them he accidentally brushed against one of the women when he was leaving the bar. Worton told police he tried to run away but that he was confronted by the woman’s boyfriend. Worton said he punched the man in the face in order to defend himself. Two female victims ID’d Worton as the man who had assaulted them.