BALTIMORE (AP) Ray Rice was let go by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video was released showing the running back striking his then-fiancee in February.
The grainy video, released by TMZ Sports, shows Rice and Janay Palmer in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. Each hits the other before Rice knocks Palmer off her feet and into a railing. Months ago, a TMZ video showed Rice dragging Palmer, now his wife, from the elevator at the Revel casino, which closed Sept. 2.
The Ravens said earlier Monday that they never saw the new video. Hours later, they sent out a one-sentence release:
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”The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon.”
The NFL also took action. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that, based on the new video evidence, Rice has been suspended indefinitely.
Rice was suspended for two games by the NFL in July for domestic violence. The punishment at the time that received widespread criticism in different circles.
Rice’s lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.
The 27-year-old Rice was charged with felony aggravated assault in the case, but in May he was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time and could lead to the charge being purged from his record.
First-time offenders now face a six-game suspension.
The NCAA lifted the on-the-field sanctions placed on the Penn State football team for the Jerry Sandusky scandal, including immediately eliminating the postseason ban and restoring scholarships.
Penn State was halfway through a four-year postseason ban handed down during the summer of 2012. The NCAA rescinded some of the scholarship sanctions last year.
In a news release Monday, the NCAA said that in addition to the postseason ban being lifted, Penn State will be allowed to have the full complement of football scholarships in 2015.
The school still must pay a $60 million fine, 112 wins under Joe Paterno remain forfeited and the school will remain under monitoring.
The decision by the NCAA’s Executive Committee followed a recommendation by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, whose second annual report as Penn State’s athletics integrity monitor concluded the university was in compliance with a 2012 agreement and consent decree.
Mitchell said the school had made progress toward implementing a new human resources system, ”fostering an ethical culture” and improving security at its sports facilities.
Mitchell said his recommendation was focused on aspects of the penalties that affect student-athletes, many of whom stayed at Penn State despite the ability to transfer without penalty.
DALLAS (AP) – SMU coach June Jones resigned Monday only two games into his seventh season at the school, citing unspecified personal reasons for the decision.
The resignation, effective immediately, came after the Mustangs scored only one touchdown while losing their first two games this season.
”It was a very difficult decision for me to make, as you can imagine. I have devoted my life for the last 50 years to playing and coaching this game and it has been a great journey,” Jones said in a statement released by the school. ”This job has a lot of demands, as you know, and along with that journey comes a price that is paid. I have some personal issues I have been dealing with and I need to take a step away so I can address them at this time.”
The 61-year-old Jones, who was 36-43 at SMU after nine seasons at Hawaii, didn’t elaborate on what those personal issues were. The former NFL coach didn’t return a phone message left by The Associated Press.
Jones’ agent, Leigh Steinberg sent out a tweet on Monday in which he wrote that Jones ”had felt for some time he had accomplished the mission to turn around the program, and needed a break.”
Defensive coordinator Tom Mason, who was Jones’ associate head coach, was elevated to the top job for the rest of the season.
Athletic director Rick Hart said a national search for the next coach would begin at the appropriate time. He said Mason could be considered in that search.
The Mustangs are off this week, providing some extra time to make adjustments after Jones’ departure. Their next game is the home opener Sept. 20, against seventh-ranked Texas A&M.
The Mustangs went to four consecutive bowls under Jones, a streak that ended last season when they were 5-7 after losing their last two games. Even after missing a bowl, Jones was given a three-year contract extension after the season through 2017.
NEW YORK (AP) – Unable to play in the U.S. Open a year ago because of a doping suspension, Marin Cilic is now the tournament’s champion.
Croatia’s Cilic won his first Grand Slam title by beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday at Flushing Meadows, using 17 aces – including four in one game – and the same powerful groundstrokes that helped him eliminate Roger Federer in the semifinals.
The 14th-seeded Cilic prevented the 10th-seeded Nishikori from becoming the first man from Asia to win a major singles championship.
There hadn’t been a matchup between players making their Grand Slam final debuts at Flushing Meadows since 1997, and this hardly qualified as a classic, lopsided and lasting less than two hours.
Twelve months ago, Cilic missed the U.S. Open while serving a four-month ban after testing positive for a stimulant at a tournament in Germany in May 2013. The International Tennis Federation initially sought a two-year punishment, but Cilic wound up with a shortened suspension on appeal. He said he ingested the substance unintentionally via a glucose tablet bought at a pharmacy and calls the process that led to his penalty unfair.
Cilic, whose only previous trip as far as the semifinals at a major came at the 2010 Australian Open, used the forced break from competition to improve his game.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NHL has decided to keep Stephane Quintal in his role as the league’s senior vice president of player safety, dropping the interim tag for the former defenseman.
Quintal replaced Brendan Shanahan when he left the position in April to become president of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The league said on Monday that it interviewed many qualified candidates and decided the player safety department would be ”served best under Quintal’s continued leadership.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Quintal ”has demonstrated over the last several months that he is uniquely suited to lead the department going forward.”
Quintal played 16 seasons in the NHL with the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, He had 1,320 penalty minutes in 1,037 career games.