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NHL superstar Kane investigated for sexual assault

The Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, often called “the face of hockey,” is under investigation by police for alleged sexual assault of a woman in her 20s at his home in Hamburg, suburb of Buffalo, on Aug. 2.  Kane, 26, was born in Buffalo and was a key player in the Blackhawks’ three Stanley Cup championships in six years.  The accuser said Kane invited her and a friend to his home for a private party and that subsequently he overpowered and raped her.  Police said that after the alleged assault, the woman had bite marks on her shoulder and a scratch on her leg.  Investigators are awaiting forensic reports – DNA testing – to determine if charges will be filed.  If Kane is charged and convicted of rape, his NHL career is likely over.  Kane is the most prominent American athlete to face sexual assault accusations since Kobe Bryant in 2002.  A mere arrest, without conviction, could be enough to bring a lengthy suspension for Kane, given that LA Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has not played since being arrested Oct. 20 on suspicion of domestic violence.


QB’s scuffling with teammates, Geno out for opener

NFL quarterbacks are under attack.  By their teammates.  New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the regular after his jaw was broken by reserve linebacker Ikemeluna Enemkpali in a locker-room dispute Tuesday that coach Todd Bowles said was not football-related.  Geno was sucker-punched,” Bowles said. The Jets immediately released Enemkpali.  A few days earlier, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton scuffled with cornerback Josh Norman following an interception in a training camp scrimmage.  Newton, who had been jawing with Norman during several previous practices, chased him down following the pick, and the two players shoved each other.  Training camp altercations are common, but it’s not considered a good thing for the franchise quarterback to be risking a hand injury.


Marshall says relationship with Cutler deteriorated

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall was a close friend of quarterback Jay Cutler in Denver and later in Chicago but said their relationship deteriorated last season as the Bears skidded to 5-11.  Marshall, who was traded to the New York Jets in the off-season, told ESPN: “We didn’t talk much during the year.  We still haven’t talked.  That is sad.  I don’t think there’s anybody in the league that had more chemistry than us.”  Marshall criticized Cutler’s performance last season and said, “I don’t know if he’s been hit too many times.  He’s been one of the most hit quarterbacks.  That can take a toll on you.”


Gore says Luck is first QB he’s had who ‘runs the huddle’

Frank Gore, 32-year-old running back who left the San Francisco 49ers to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, is rarely a cause of controversy.  But he made headlines in a recent interview with NFL Network.  “I’m not knocking my other quarterbacks,” he said, before issuing a very hard knock against them.  He called Andrew Luck “a different breed. . . . He runs the huddle.  I never had that.”  It’s no secret that Colin Kaepernick, for all his obvious talent, is close to clueless in the huddle and in the pocket.  But what about Alex Smith, Kaepernick’s predecessor who has been praised by Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid for his leadership?  This was also a shot at Shaun Hill and Super Bowl winner Trent Dilfer, among others.


Calipari says Wildcats were ‘relieved’ to lose in Final Four

The burden of winning 38 consecutive games in search of a perfect season may have been too much for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team to bear.  Coach John Calipari, sensed that some of the players were relieved, more than saddened, by a loss in the Final Four semifinals to Wisconsin.  “When we lost to Wisconsin, some guys were relieved in that locker room.  When I walked in, I thought they’d be devastated.  A few of them were relieved, like ‘Whew!’”

Just wondering: Why would Calipari say this?  Surely he realizes his broad-brushing comment reflects poorly on the mental toughness of all his players.


Boeheim regrets saying ball boys lied about molestation

Basketball coach Jim Boeheim apologized for saying Mike Lang and Bobby Davis lied about being sexually abused by former assistant coach Bernie Fine when they were ball boys at Syracuse.  The apology was related to settlement of a defamation suit filed by Lang and Davis against Boeheim, who had said the plaintiffs made their accusations against Fine as a ploy to extort money.


Schilling wants chewing tobacco banned from Boston sports

Former Red Sox All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling endorsed a proposal by Boston mayor Martin Walsh to ban chewing tobacco from all sporting events throughout the city.  Schilling, now an ESPN analyst, said, “This is about our kids.  We have to accept the responsibility that we impact the decisions and choices they make.”  Schilling, 48, has recovered from cancer of the mouth that he believes was caused by smokeless tobacco.  “It was more painful than anything you can imagine,” he said.  “I couldn’t swallow.  I had to eat from a tube.  I was sick every single day.  And if it came back, I don’t know if I would go through the treatment again.”


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