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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 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.
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.
Two Florida International University football players were shot and injured in what police said was a drive-by shooting, the Miami Herald reported.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
An assistant basketball coach at Wake Forest University was arrested in New York City on Thursday and charged in an assault that resulted in the death of a Florida man who was in town for a wedding, The New York Post reported.
Jamill Jones, 35, turned himself in to police Thursday, WABC reported. He was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday night and was charged with a third-degree assault charge, which is a misdemeanor in New York, according to CNN.
He was ordered to return to court on Oct. 2.
Early Sunday morning, Sandor Szabo, 35, of Boca Raton, was knocking on a car window because he thought it was his Uber ride, the television station reported.
Szabo was banging on multiple cars, including Jones', before the incident, the Post reported. When a resident came outside to investigate, Szabo allegedly punched him in the face, the newspaper reported.
According to police, Jones then got out of the vehicle and punched Szabo in the face and then drove away. Szabo lost consciousness when his head hit the pavement and died in a hospital Tuesday afternoon, according to the Post.
Szabo was treated for fracture on his face and the back of his head, and also for bleeding on the brain, according to the complaint filed against Jones.
The medical examiner's office said it had not determined a cause of death, CNN reported.
Steve Shutt, a spokesman for the Wake Forest athletics department, issued a statement Thursday, The Winston-Salem Journal reported..
“We have just been made aware of this matter and we are gathering information," Shutt said. "We will make a further statement after we learn more about the matter.”
Jones' attorney, Alain Massena, told CNN that the incident with Szabo was "a tragic accident and we will deal with it in the courts."
Jones is about to begin his second season as an assistant to Danny Manning at Wake Forest, according to the team’s website. He has been an assistant coach at the University of Central Florida, Virginia Commonwealth University and Florida Gulf Coast University, ESPN reported.
Jones, a native of Philadelphia, graduated from Arkansas Tech in 2008, according to his biography on the Wake Forest website.
Police arrested a 17-year-old girl in connection with a burglary last month at the home of University of Nebraska football coach Scott Frost, The Lincoln Journal Star reported.
The juvenile, whose name was not released, was found with an Oregon Ducks shoe that was reported to have been stolen from Frost’s home on July 29, the newspaper reported.
The home of Frost had been under renovation for four months and was empty when the break-in occurred, ESPN reported.
Frost initially reported that memorabilia estimated at more than $165,000 had been stolen, but he said July 30 that 14 championship rings from his days at Nebraska, the University of Oregon and the University of Central Florida were found in his garage.
Five pairs of shoes, a signed UCF helmet and other memorabilia valued at approximately $50,000 was still missing, ESPN reported.
Lincoln police found that some of the shoes were listed for sale online, Officer Angela Sands told the Journal Star.
Sands would not say what led police to the girl, the newspaper reported.
Credit an assistant college hockey coach in southwest Florida with a stick save for the environment.
Bob Wasno, a marine biologist at Florida Gulf Coast University who helps coach the university’s club hockey team, has turned broken hockey sticks into a design that becomes an oyster hotel, the News-Press of Fort Myers reported.
“Before, the sticks would go from the rink to the Dumpster and from the Dumpster to the landfills,” Wasno told the newspaper. “Now, our hockey players, who didn’t know a lick about oysters other than they’re delicious with cocktail sauce, have also have learned they’re filter feeders.”
Because oysters help purify the water, the hotels -- which are actually reef habitats -- are helping to keep the mollusk population strong. One oyster is capable of filtering 50 gallons of water in a day, the News-Press reported.
Wasno has already placed 30 of his oyster hotels in southwest Florida and as far south as the Florida Keys, the News-Press reported. Up to 400 oysters can reside in the hotels, the newspaper reported. It takes 12 sticks to make the habitat, which measures 18 inches high.
The idea came from hockey players who told Wasno they had broken sticks that were worthless, Michael Parsons, the facilities manager at the university’s Vester Marine and Environmental Science Research Field Station in Bonita Springs, told the newspaper.
“Bob was sitting with hockey players and they were lamenting broken sticks not being able to be used for anything,” Pearson said. “Bob recalled using large concrete pilings for artificial reefs. He said, ‘If we can build these large ones, maybe we can build small ones with hockey sticks.’”
Wasno has a master’s degree in environmental sciences and degrees in aquaculture and fisheries science. He is amazed that his idea has attracted national attention.
“It’s snowballed,” Wasno told the News-Press. “It’s a natural repurposing. We’ve taken something that had become useless and was filling up landfills and turned it into something that helped students learn about the oysters’ role in the environment.
“We’re offering Mother Nature assistance.”
Freshman Kevin Abel tossed a two-hit shutout and struck out 10 Thursday night, leading Oregon State to its third national championship in baseball with a 5-0 victory against Arkansas in the third and deciding game of the College World Series finals, ESPN reported.
The Beavers (55-12-1), who were one pitch away from elimination Wednesday night, roared back Thursday to win their first title since back-to-back championships in 2006-2007.
Abel won his fourth game of the tournament and second in the championship series.
Sophomore catcher Adley Rutschman was named the CWS Most Outstanding Player, ESPN reported. He had three hits Thursday night to raise his average to .567.Oregon State got new life Wednesday night when three Arkansas fielders converged on a foul pop fly by Cadyn Grenier with two outs in the ninth inning, only to allow the ball to drop to the turf. Grenier followed with a game-tying hit, and the Beavers forced a third game when Trevor Larnach hit a two-run homer.
Arkansas (48-21) was shut out for the first time in 100 games, ESPN reported.
The Kansas City Royals are considering signing Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich, who pleaded guilty as a 15-year-old to molesting his 6-year-old niece, The Kansas City Star reported.
“We continue to seek information that allows us to be comfortable in pursuing Luke,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said.
In 2012, Heimlich pleaded guilty to child molestation in Washington, Sports Illustrated reported.
Heimlich and his Oregon State teammates advanced to the College World Series championship series on Saturday, beating Mississippi State 5-2.
For the second straight year, Heimlich was not selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Even though Heimlich is a two-time Pac-12 pitcher of the year, activist Brenda Tracy told the Star the 22-year-old should not be signed.
“I’m sorry, but Luke does not deserve to be on that platform and pedestal, (potentially) looked up to and adored by millions of people, including young kids,” Tracy, a survivor of a gang rape in Corvallis, Oregon, said Saturday. “We should never normalize, we should never minimize (what Heimlich pleaded guilty to). If the Royals bring him on their team, they are complicit in normalizing and minimizing.”
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Heimlich denied touching his niece despite his guilty plea.
“I pled guilty to it, but ever since that day and even before that, in court records and everything, I’ve denied ever committing the offense,” Heimlich told the magazine. “I stand by that.”
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