Panthers Center Guarantees Super Bowl, Penn State Penalized
Weekly Sports Roundup
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 19:07
Here are some of the most recent headlines from around the sports world:
Penn State Penalized: The NCAA finally announced their punishment on Penn State this week which included a $60 million fine – equivalent to one year of gross revenue generated by the football program. They also enforced a four-year postseason ban which includes the Big Ten conference championship game.
Due to the recent news of Joe Paterno knowing about Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse yet staying quiet, JoePa was also penalized and blanked of all his victories from 1998 through 2011. That sanction reduces Paterno’s record from 409 victories to 298, no longer making him college football’s all-time leader in wins as a coach. And because of that and the surrounding chaos, Penn State has removed Paterno’s statue from outside of Beaver Stadium.
On the more administrative side, the NCAA has also stripped the school of 20 scholarships per year until 2018 and limited the incoming classes to 15 scholarships, instead of 25, for the next four years. Obviously the current Penn State football players are extremely affected by this punishment, but the sanctions obviously hurts incoming students, not just athletes. Admission rates will most likely drop as the image of the school will remained tarnished for as long as Paterno walked up-and-down that sideline. It’s an unfortunate situation for the university, but no punishment is fair enough to erase the events that took place to get us to this point.
Rick Nash to Big Apple, Shea Weber staying put: New York really is the city that never sleeps. Despite a Vezina-winning season by goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, and finishing first in the Eastern Conference last year, the Rangers still fell a couple games short of a Stanley Cup Final appearance. However, New York improved their team this week by acquiring star winger Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forwards Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, defensive prospect Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick in 2013.
In other related hockey news, Shea Weber is getting P-A-I-D! On Tuesday the Predators matched the Philadelphia Flyers’ 14-year, $110 million offer sheet which will keep the 26-year-old defenseman in Nashville. The organization acknowledged in a press release that this is the biggest contract in their history.
MLB superstars on the move: As if having the best record in baseball wasn’t enough, the Yankees, --ironically another New York team as mentioned above -- shocked the MLB by acquiring 10x gold-glover Ichiro Suzuki from Seattle in return for minor league pitchers D. J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. According to reports, Suzuki had previously approached the Mariners about a trade earlier this season. Ichiro isn’t as productive as he used to be as a hitter, but his speed and defensive skills will be a huge factor for the Yanks who intend to primarily play him in left field.
The Dodgers were also busy this week as they acquired infielder Hanley Ramirez and reliever Randy Choate from the Marlins for pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough. In Miami, Ramirez was batting .246 with 87 hits and 14 home runs this season. The Dodgers will be his third MLB team.
A-Rod to DL: Count July 24 as one of those days that Alex Rodriguez would rather not remember. In 2004, A-Rod was involved in that memorable -- for some -- fight with Jason Varitek of the Red Sox which led to a rally win for Boston that night. Exactly eight years later, Rodriguez was drilled in the hand by Felix Hernandez with an 88-mph changeup. The diagnosis? A-Rod was placed on the disabled list and will miss 6-8 weeks due to a fracture in his left hand. Assuming he rehabs successfully and the Yankees continue their winning ways, Rodriguez will be back on the field sometime in September - just in time for the postseason.
Bold prediction from Carolina Panthers: There’s absolutely no problem when athletes show confidence in their team. In fact, they should. It’s a bit different in this case, though. Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil used a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer to declare that the Panthers would win the Super Bowl this season. Why? Because according to him they “have to.” Sorry to spoil your fun, Ryan, but you guys went 6-10 last year - the eighth worse record in the league. The only reason the Panthers didn’t finish last in their division is because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saved them with an abysmal 4-12 season. Cam Newton is a great athlete but he’s not leading that team to the Super Bowl this year. Actually, it’ll be surprising if Carolina even makes it to the playoffs. As the ESPN team would say – C’mon man! Read the full newspaper ad here.
Payday for Cole Hamels: If you pitch well you’ll get paid well. Although the Philadelphia Phillies are at the bottom of the NL East, Cole Hamels is 11-4 this year so his new deal should come as no surprise. On Wednesday, Philly signed Hamels to a six-year, $144 million contract extension. His deal is the second largest signed by a starting pitcher since CC Sabathia’s seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees in 2008.
Mike Tomlin Staying in Pittsburgh: The Steelers and Coach Mike Tomlin agreed to a contract extension on Tuesday that will keep him in Pittsburgh through at least 2016. Since taking over the team in 2007, Tomlin has a 55-25 record, has won a Super Bowl and two AFC Championships with the Steelers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.