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Ex-West Virginia football star cut by Falcons faces child sex charge

A former college football standout who briefly signed with the Atlanta Falcons was arrested Saturday by police in Columbus, Georgia, for allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old girl, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.

Justin Crawford, 23, who played running back at Georgia's Hardaway High School and West Virginia University, faces charges of incest, sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes, according to Muscogee County Jail records.

At a preliminary hearing on Monday, Columbus Detective Mark Scruggs said Crawford’s wife, Chakeya, woke up Saturday around 5 a.m. and walked into her living room to find her husband with an erection as he stood over the child, the newspaper reported.

However, she told the Ledger-Enquirer she objected to Scruggs’ account, saying her husband’s penis was exposed but not erect. She said she confronted her husband about it, that he denied any wrongdoing and she decided to go back to bed.

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She took the 12-year-old to the child’s mother later, and that’s when the girl said she had been asleep in the living room when Crawford came in and had her perform oral sex on him before they had intercourse, Scruggs said.

The newspaper reported that Scruggs said Crawford initially denied any sexual contact with the girl to police, but he later admitted to having oral sex and intercourse with her but claimed it was her idea.

Crawford remains in the Muscogee County Jail without bond, according to jail records.

As a senior in high school, Crawford rushed for 825 yards and seven touchdowns, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.

He spent two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he rushed for over 3,000 yards and six touchdowns, putting him in the national spotlight. He then transferred to West Virginia, where he rushed for 2,237 yards and 11 touchdowns over two seasons.

Crawford signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 1, but he was among 36 players released in September during the preseason.

He was on the roster for the Atlanta Legends in the new Alliance of American Football league but was suspended by the team after being arrested, according to The Associated Press.

11-year-old suffering from rare genetic disorder scores TD for Massachusetts college

Touchdowns are always a good thing for any football team, but a recent score on a Massachusetts’ college gridiron had a little extra meaning.

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A local Nichols College fan, an 11-year-old girl named Alana Inslee, who suffers from acrodysotosis and hydrocephalus, was honored on her birthday with a special moment on her favorite team's field.

Acrodysostosis causes growth delays and small hands and feet with fingers and toes that are shorter than usual.

Meanwhile, hydrocephalus increases the size of ventricles deep within the brain, putting pressure on the brain and leading to a larger head than usual.

While the Nichols College football team battles various opponents throughout the season, Alana battles her disorders, and sticks around as a fan of the team.

>> Related: Recruits call Nichols College home after surviving Parkland school shooting

In honor of her dedication, the team honored her by letting her score a touchdown at practice, and had everyone sign a jersey as a gift before taking pictures and videos with her.

The team tweeted out the special moment, saying, "We've had some great touchdowns scored this season on the field, but we think this is the best one!"

University of Georgia baseball player kicked off team for alleged racial slurs

A University of Georgia baseball player was dismissed from the team Wednesday after being investigated for allegedly making racial slurs during the university’s football game Saturday.

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In a statement, the university announced that first baseman Adam Sasser was kicked off the squad. The slurs were directed toward Bulldogs quarterback Justin Fields, the university said.

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart addressed the situation Tuesday.

“If what I read and heard is true, it’s really unacceptable behavior that’s not who we are at Georgia,” Smart said. “We’re trying to build a program on tolerance and mutual respect. You can’t control what other people say, but the expectation is that people that are part of our program and come to our games share the same beliefs that we do. It’s sad that something like this would happen. I’m disappointed. But it doesn’t affect our family, our unit here and our kids have been great. It’s not something I’ve had to address with them. I’ve addressed it with Justin. That’s the most important thing.”

On Monday, University of Georgia student Klarissa Gulebian, who told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she heard the racial remarks, took to social media with the complaint. Using a Facebook public group page called “Overheard at UGA” as a forum, Gulebian, a junior from Lawrenceville, told the newspaper that her initial post had been deleted by page moderators so she posted it a second time and also shared it on Twitter. The second post remains on the page.

Gulebian was attending the game with her friends, Africa Buggs of Wisconsin and Sierra Buckner of Lawrence. 

In a Twitter message, Buggs said Sasser was the offending party and that he was yelling, ‘Put the (N-word) in the game,’ throughout the fourth quarter.”

Last season, Sasser was one of Georgia’s top hitters. He batted .317 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI. He was a second-team All-SEC selection.

Ex-Alabama coach Mike Dubose accidentally shoots himself in hunting accident

Former University of Alabama football coach Mike DuBose accidentally shot himself while hunting, WDHN reported.

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The Covington County Sheriff’s Office said DuBose, 65, was transported to a hospital but did not say if his injuries were life-threatening, AL.com reported.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, DuBose accidentally shot himself once in the abdomen just before 2 p.m. Monday, WSFA reported.

DuBose drove himself to Mizell Memorial Hospital in his hometown of Opp, Alabama. Then he was airlifted to a hospital in Dothan, WDHN reported.

DuBose coached the Crimson Tide from 1997 to 2000 and went 24-23 with two bowl losses. He was named Southeastern Conference coach of the year in 1999 when Alabama went 10-3 and won the SEC title.

The Tide went 3-8 in DuBose’s final season and the coach resigned amid a scandal involving an inappropriate relationship with his secretary, WDHN reported.

DuBose has coached at several Alabama high schools since leaving the Crimson Tide program, WDHN reported.

Tennessee State player has emergency surgery after head injury at college football game

Hearts are heavy in Nashville, Tennessee, after a Georgia native suffered a head injury in the second quarter during the Tennessee State vs. Vanderbilt football game Saturday afternoon.

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TSU Tigers middle linebacker Christion Abercrombie, who remains in critical condition, was taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center to undergo emergency surgery.

Players from Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University gathered at midfield when Saturday’s game was over to pray for the sophomore, according to the Tennessean. 

Abercombie transferred to TSU from Illinois, according to the TSU Tigers official website

Tennessee State Football released the following statement: 

He graduated from Westlake High School in Atlanta in 2016. Abercombie helped lead WHS to a 10-3 record in 2015 and earned the title of Defensive Player of the Year for Georgia Region 3 (AAAAAA).

– Visit WSBTV.com for the latest on this developing story.

Julius Whittier, Texas Longhorns football trailblazer, dead at 68

Julius Whittier, the first black athlete to letter in football at the University of Texas, died Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported. He was 68. His death was announced by the university on Thursday.

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Whittier, a San Antonio native, was among the first blacks to receive a scholarship at Texas, KSAT reported.

Whittier came to Austin in 1969 and starred for three seasons for the Longhorns (1970-72), playing the offensive line his first two years before moving to tight end, the Dallas Morning News reported. He also played linebacker. During his time at Texas, the Longhorns won three straight Southwest Conference titles and were named the 1970 national champions by United Press International.

The first black player for the Longhorns was walk-on E. A. Curry in 1967, while the first black scholarship football player was Leon O'Neal a year later, KXAN reported. Both failed to earn a varsity letter, the television station reported.

Whittier was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2013 and the San Antonio San Antonio Independent School District Hall of Fame in August, the Chronicle reported.

Whittier earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Texas, then a graduate degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 1976, KSAT reported.

He earned his law degree at Texas and worked as a senior prosecutor in Dallas before retiring in 2012 because of failing health, the Chronicle reported.

Whittier was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and his sister, Mildred, filed a class-action lawsuit on his behalf against the NCAA in 2014. The suit in U.S. District Court sought up to $50 million in damages for players from 1960 to 2014, who did not play in the NFL, who have been diagnosed with a brain injury or disease, the Chronicle reported.

’Country over company': Missouri college removes Nike logos from uniforms

A private Christian college in Missouri said it would “choose its country over company” and remove all athletic uniforms bought from Nike or those that contain the Nike logo, KMBC reported.

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The College of the Ozarks, which is an NAIA school in Point Lookout, made the announcement in a release Wednesday. The college was responding to Nike’s 30th anniversary advertising campaign that features former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee before the national anthem during the 2016 season to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

>> Colin Kaepernick face of Nike’s 30th anniversary ad campaign

“In their new ad campaign, we believe Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America," College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement. "If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them.

“We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform."

>> Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick sparks boycott

Nike has retained Kaepernick on its endorsement roster since signing him in 2011. He has not appeared in any of the brand's ads since 2016, KTRK reported.

"We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward," Gino Fisanotti, Nike's vice president of brand for North America, told ESPN.

Kaepernick is suing the NFL for allegedly colluding to keep him out of the league, KTRK reported. An arbitrator sent Kaepernick's grievance with the NFL to trial, the television station reported.

>> Critics suggest Pat Tillman was better choice for Nike campaign

In October 2017, the College of the Ozarks changed its contracts for all sports, adding a stipulation that all players and coaches show respect for the American flag and national anthem. KMBC reported.

2 Florida International University football players hurt in drive-by shooting

Two Florida International University football players were shot and injured in what police said was a drive-by shooting, the Miami Herald reported.

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The players were visiting friends in the Opa-locka section of Miami when they were shot, police said.

Anthony Jones, a junior running back, and Mershawn Miller, a freshman offensive lineman, were taken to a hospital, WFOR reported. 

The injuries were not life-threatening, Opa-locka Police Chief James Dobson said.

Jones was shot in the face and the back and Miller was shot in the arm, the Herald reported.

Alabama's Nick Saban apologizes to reporter after combative answer

University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban called ESPN reporter Maria Taylor to apologize after his combative answer to her question on the sidelines after the top-ranked Crimson Tide defeated Louisville 51-14 in their season opener, ESPN reported.

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Saban has been peppered with questions about which quarterback would start for the Tide -- Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa -- and his frustration boiled over when Taylor, ESPN’s sideline reporter, asked him a question after the game. 

"What answers did you have about your quarterbacks after watching them play tonight?" Taylor asked Saban.

"I still like both guys,” Saban said. “I think both guys are good players. I think both guys can help our team. All right, so why do you continually get me to say something that doesn’t respect one of them? I'm not going to, so quit asking.”

Tagovailoa completed 12 passes in 16 attempts for 227 yards and two touchdowns against Louisville. Hurts went 5-for-9 for 70 yards.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer apologizes, says he takes 'relationship violence' seriously 

Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer released a statement of apology Friday evening, two days after his three-game suspension was announced. Meyer also issued a direct apology on Twitter to the ex-wife of a former Buckeye assistant coach who said the head coach failed to act when she sought help for an allegedly abusive relationship.

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Meyer’s apology said he takes relationship violence seriously, and said it’s been “a real learning experience.”

Ohio State announced Wednesday that Meyer would be suspended for the first three games of the season after an independent investigation found he “did not exhibit the kind of leadership and high standards” the university expects. In a news conference that day, Meyer did not acknowledge Courtney Smith, the wife of then-assistant coach Zach Smith. 

>> Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer suspended

Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave after a report surfaced that he knew about allegations against Zach Smith and abuse against his wife. 

In his statement, Meyer said he was “taught at a very young age that if I ever hit a woman, I would be kicked out of the house and never welcomed back.”“I have the same rule in my house and in the football program at Ohio State,” he said.

Meyer said he intended to “use my voice more effectively to be a part of the solution,” and he also issued a direct apology to Courtney Smith and her children.

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