New England coach Bill Belichick shed little light Friday in his first public remarks since the report was issued on the Patriots’ use of deflated footballs.
Belichick sidesteps questions
New England coach Bill Belichick shed little light Friday in his first public remarks since the report was issued on the Patriots’ use of deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game.
He avoided direct answers to most of the 10 questions he was asked about Tom Brady, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and how the team was handling the fallout from the investigation.
Brady, who is appealing his four-game suspension, did not speak with media after New England’s organized team activity or at a charity event Friday.
A person familiar with the situation said quarterback Brady’s appeal will be heard June 23.
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft has accepted the team penalty of a $1 million fine and loss of two draft picks.
Did the deflated-footballs issue detract from the team’s enjoyment of its 28-24 Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks?
“That’s a long time ago,” Belichick said. “We’re on to next year.”
Atlanta waives LB Shembo
The Atlanta Falcons waived linebacker Prince Shembo, shortly after he was charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
Police in suburban Gwinnett County said Shembo, 23, was charged after his then-girlfriend’s dog died from blunt-force trauma last month.
The case was especially sensitive to a franchise that lost standout quarterback Michael Vick after he was charged with running a dogfighting ring in 2007. Vick wound up serving federal-prison time and never played again for the Falcons.
Denicia Williams called police April 19 to report her ex-boyfriend had killed her dog, police said in a news release. Williams told investigators she had taken her Yorkie, Dior, to Shembo’s apartment April 15.
Williams told police Shembo told her over the phone the next day he had kicked the dog, and she ended their relationship.
A necropsy showed injuries including a fractured rib, abdominal hemorrhage, head trauma, eye injuries and extensive bruising in the muscles of the dog’s front leg and shoulders.
Shembo surrendered at the Gwinnett County jail Friday night and his bond was set at $16,700. Attorney Jerry Froelich told reporters the 6-foot-2, 254-pound Shembo said he kicked the dog after it bit his hand.
“When you’re a small dog, it doesn’t take much with the size he (Shembo) is,” said Froelich, adding the dog’s death was accidental.
Ex-player Sharper pleads guilty
Former All-Pro safety Darren Sharper pleaded guilty in federal court in New Orleans in connection with allegations he drugged and assaulted women in four states.
Sharper, 39, was first arrested in January 2014 in Los Angeles on rape charges and has been jailed since February of that year. Allegations of drug-related rapes in other states — Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana — eventually followed.
A plea deal was announced in March to resolve the charges in all jurisdictions. He is expected to serve a total of nine years in all the cases he faces.
Eligibility rules are criticized
A new organization of minority coaches sharply criticized NCAA eligibility standards set to take effect in 2016 for incoming freshmen, saying they will deny too many athletes the opportunity to go to college.
The National Association for Coaching Equity and Development, a group led by Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith, Georgetown coach John Thompson III and former Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, issued a statement to The Associated Press saying the standards disproportionately target minority and less-affluent students in “an unintended consequence beyond acceptability.”
The new rules require high-school athletes to have a grade-point average of at least 2.3 in 16 core courses (up from 2.0 in 13 courses).
Former UIndy guard drowns
Former Indianapolis guard Dai-Jon Parker, 22, drowned after he fell into an Indiana reservoir without a lifejacket Thursday, investigators said. Parker, a transfer from Vanderbilt, averaged 9.4 points last season as a senior for the Greyhounds.
• Old Dominion basketball coach Jeff Jones, 54, has prostate cancer and is scheduled to have surgery Monday in Baltimore.
• Six Pac-12 schools played opening games in the 64-team NCAA Division I baseball tournament and four of them won.
UCLA, the No. 1 national seed, beat Cal State Bakersfield 7-2; Oregon State edged Texas 5-4; California beat Coastal Carolina 9-3; and Arizona State defeated Clemson 7-4.
Oregon lost to Iowa 3-1 and USC lost to Virginia 6-1.
• In softball, Kelsey Susalla went 4 for 4 and drove in three runs to help Michigan beat UCLA 10-4 in the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. UCLA will play Saturday against the winner of the Oregon-Alabama game.
• Denny Hamlin turned a lap of 160.121 mph at Dover International Speedway in Delaware to win his first pole of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was seventh and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw will start in 25th of 43 cars in Sunday’s FedEx 400.
• British Olympic champion Mo Farah won the 10,000 meters in 26 minutes, 50.97 seconds at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. Ethiopian teenager Yomif Kejelcha won the 5,000 meters in 13:10.54.
• Spaniard Alberto Contador of the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team had 38 seconds sliced off his overall lead in the 19th stage of the 21-stage Giro d’Italia.
Italian Fabio Aru of the Astana team won the mountain stage and is second overall, 4 minutes, 37 seconds behind Contador. Contador finished 1:18 behind Aru in the stage.
• Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive, 74, unexpectedly stepped down, minutes after announcing record revenue.
Slive had been scheduled to officially retire July 31, but decided to hand the reins of the SEC to Greg Sankey beginning Monday. The conference generated an NCAA-record $455.8 million in revenue in 2014-15.