WASHINGTON (AP) An NFL official has acknowledged a link between football and the brain disease CTE for the first time.
Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety, spoke about the connection during an appearance at a congressional committee's roundtable discussion about concussions.
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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Martavis Bryant's blossoming NFL career took another significant hit when the NFL suspended the talented but troubled wide receiver for at least one year following another violation of the league's substance abuse policy.
This is the second league-mandated discipline for Bryant. The 24-year-old sat out the first four games last season following a violation during the offseason.
Bryant caught 50 passes for 765 yards and six touchdowns when he returned in Week 6 and was dynamic in the playoffs.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – Defensive tackle B.J. Raji said he is taking a hiatus from the NFL and will not play in 2016 following seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
Raji said in a statement that he made the decision after hours of conversation with family members and mentors. He did not rule out a return to the field.
The statement was provided by Raji's agents.
Raji was a free agent after having a good season in 2015 with 22 tackles in 15 regular-season games.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) – The Baltimore Ravens and safety Eric Weddle agreed to terms on a four-year contract.
An All-Pro in 2011 and 2014, Weddle has spent his entire nine-year career with the San Diego Chargers. But that ended in an ugly manner last season.
In 137 career games, he has 813 tackles and 19 interceptions – three of which were returned for touchdowns.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UConn's run at an unprecedented fourth straight national championship will begin at home.
The Huskies were the top overall seed in the women's NCAA Tournament. UConn (32-0) potentially won't have to leave the state until the Final Four which is in Indianapolis this year. The Huskies are in the Bridgeport Regional.
Joining them as the other No. 1 seeds are South Carolina, Notre Dame and Baylor. UConn has already beaten the Gamecocks and Irish this season. The Huskies would face Baylor on April 3 in the national semifinals if both teams advance that far.
UConn and Tennessee have both won three straight women's titles, but no women's team has four consecutive championships. The UCLA men's team won seven in a row. A title this year would give UConn coach Geno Auriemma 11 in his career, breaking a tie with celebrated UCLA men's coach John Wooden.
MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) – Johnny Dawkins was fired after eight seasons as Stanford coach.
Dawkins guided the Cardinal to the Sweet 16 of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and NIT championships after the 2012 and `15 seasons, but Stanford went 15-15 this season and finished ninth in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-10. Dawkins was 156-115 during his Stanford tenure.
Dawkins came to Stanford after working as a top assistant at alma mater Duke under coaching mentor Mike Krzyzewski.
Athletic director Bernard Muir has begun a national search for a new coach.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Trent Johnson was fired as TCU's basketball coach after the Horned Frogs won only eight Big 12 Conference games in his four seasons.
TCU finished 12-21 overall this season, its first in a completely renovated campus arena. Johnson had two seasons left on his contract.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Former Yale basketball captain Jack Montague was expelled over a sexual assault allegation and plans to sue the school, his attorney said.
Attorney Max Stern issued a statement saying Montague had a relationship with the woman. He said the dispute is about the last of four sexual encounters, occurring in October 2014.
The lawyer said the woman claims she didn't consent to the sex but Montague said she did and also asserts she later came back to his room to spend the night.
Stern said a Title IX official filed a complaint on the woman's behalf on Nov. 18, a university panel ruled against him and the provost upheld that ruling. Montague was expelled on Feb. 10.
Stern said Montague participated in the hearing process.
Yale went 7-1 in his absence, finishing 22-6 and winning the Ivy League championship with a 13-1 league record. The team plays Baylor on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the school's first appearance in the event since 1962.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) – The NHL will put cameras on the blue lines beginning in the playoffs to aid officials on offside calls when games matter most.
The decision was announced on the first day of meetings among the league's general managers. Executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said the tweak should lead to more consistency and give officials another angle to review if an offside call is challenged following a goal.
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) – Andy Murray was upset in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open, losing 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) to 53rd-ranked Federico Delbonis of Argentina.
Also advancing was No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka, a 6-4, 7-6 (5) winner over Andrey Kuznetsov; No. 8 Richard Gasquet, a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 winner over Alexandr Dolgopolov; and No. 10 Marin Cilic, who beat Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-3. No. 12 seed Milos Raonic moved on when 17th-seeded Bernard Tomic retired trailing 6-2, 3-0 because of a wrist injury.
In women's third-round matches, No. 7 seed Belinda Bencic was upset by Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and 2008 winner Ana Ivanovic lost 6-2, 6-0 to 18th-seeded Karolina Pliskova.
Victoria Azarenka, the 2012 winner, defeated wild card Shuai Zhang of China, 6-4, 6-3.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) – Former WTA CEO Stacey Allaster was hired as the U.S. Tennis Association's chief executive for professional tennis. Allaster stepped down as head of the women's tennis tour last year.