NEW ORLEANS (AP) People across Louisiana sought to process the news that one of the Saints' much-loved players, former defensive end Will Smith, was shot in the back Saturday night in what police called a deadly act of road rage.
Smith, 34, arrived in New Orleans in 2004 as a No. 1 draft pick and played with such passion and power that he quickly became a defensive captain. Off the field, he won hearts in his adopted city, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and rejuvenated when the Saints won the Superbowl in 2009.
Police said Cardell Hayes, a former semi-pro football player, rear-ended Smith's Mercedes G63 with his Humvee H2, pushing Smith's big, blocky SUV into a Chevrolet Impala carrying Smith's acquaintances, before Hayes opened fire.
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A defense attorney for Hayes, John Fuller, said there's more to the story: He said Hayes himself had been rear-ended moments earlier by a hit-and-run driver, and called 911 to describe the car he was following before he ran into the back of Smith's Mercedes. It remains unclear whether the car he was pursuing was the Mercedes, the Impala or some other unrelated car.
The NCAA is prohibiting the creation of new bowl games for the next three years after three teams with 5-7 records were needed to fill the record number of bowls last season.
The NCAA's football oversight committee last week recommended a three-year moratorium on sanctioning new postseason games and it was approved by the Division I Council. The oversight committee started a task force to study the Bowl Subdivision postseason after there was not enough six-win, bowl-eligible teams last season to fill the 40 games.
The committee, led by Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, will deliver a full set of recommendations on reforming the postseason in June, including determining what should qualify as a deserving team and how a 5-7 team should be placed in a bowl if necessary.
HONOLULU (AP) – A Hawaii judge has approved dismissing a domestic abuse charge against Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes.
Deputy Maui Prosecuting Attorney Kerry Glen said that the judge signed off on the move but will give prosecutors about two years to refile charges if Reyes' wife cooperates.
Glen says it's impossible to move forward with prosecution without cooperation from Reyes' wife, who refuses to speak with prosecutors.
The former New York Mets shortstop was arrested Oct. 31 at the Wailea Four Seasons Resort.
Reyes was released after posting $1,000. The bail will be returned now that the charge is dismissed.
Reyes can still ask the judge to dismiss the case outright, taking away prosecutors' ability to refile charges. So far, defense attorney David Sereno hasn't filed a motion requesting that
COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) – A former Xavier University women's basketball assistant coach who was accused of groping a player was acquitted of misdemeanor charges on.
Bryce McKey was found not guilty of sexual abuse and unlawful transaction with a minor in a bench trial in Covington. The 29-year-old ex-assistant coach pleaded not guilty last year.
The woman's attorney said he was saddened by the decision.
''No one should have to endure sexual assault in the first place but in particular when the perpetrator is a person in a trusted position,'' attorney Walter Madison said.
A Xavier player who McKey coached said he asked her to go to his Covington home to help him prepare to move on May 2, 2015, and repeatedly touched her inappropriately.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Von Miller says he and Johnny Manziel are homies but not roomies.
The Super Bowl MVP posted an Instagram photo to let the world know that he's not in fact rooming with Manziel as the troubled quarterback told TMZ.
Miller superimposed the two players' heads on the ''Step Brothers'' moving poster starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly – Miller's face on Ferrell's and Manziel's on Reilly's.
He wrote: ''Lol, you guys are HILARIOUS!!! Haha, I love it. Johnny's not staying with me but he is my BROTHER! Like I've said a thousand times, I got his back no matter what! (hash)LOVE (hash)gigem (at)jmanziel2''
Miller, who was franchise tagged after starring in Denver's 24-10 win over Carolina in the Super Bowl, has been staying in the Los Angeles area while competing on ABC's ''Dancing With the Stars.''
KEARNS, Utah (AP) – Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno is being inducted into the U.S. Speedskating Hall of Fame next month.
Ohno is the most decorated American in Winter Olympics history, having earned his medals in three games during his career.
He says he feels ''proud, blessed and humbled'' about the honor.
The ceremony will be May 13 in Park City, Utah.
U.S. Speedskating President Mike Plant says Ohno is one of the ''great ambassadors'' of the sport and credits him with raising speedskating's profile off the ice.
Ohno won ''Dancing With the Stars'' in 2007, and has worked as a game-show host and NBC commentator at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
ELKHORN, Wis. (AP) – Students will be disciplined for yelling at high school soccer players about Donald Trump's vow to clamp down on illegal immigration from Mexico during a varsity game in Wisconsin, a school district official.
Elkhorn Area School District administrator Jason Tadlock said officials who investigated the incident found that three elementary school girls who were sitting near Beloit Memorial fans during the game Thursday night chanted ''Trump, build a wall.'' He said two male high school students yelled ''Trump'' back and forth four to five times.
Beloit coach Brian Denu told WISC-TV that some Elkhorn students directed racial slurs and shouted ''Donald Trump, build that wall'' at Beloit's minority players during the game. Tadlock said there was no evidence of students shouted racial slurs.
Denu said some of the players left the game, saying the taunts may have come from a small number of students, but that they made a huge impact.