AP Sports Summary Brief for Tuesday Morning
Browns QB Watson suspended 6 games, NFL weighs appeal
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games after being accused by two dozen women in Texas of sexual misconduct during massage treatments, in what a disciplinary officer said was behavior "more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL." The punishment handed out by the game's disciplinary officer, former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, fell well short of what the NFL had asked for: an open-ended suspension of at least a year for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Watson, who played for four seasons with Houston before being traded to Cleveland in March, recently settled 23 of 24 lawsuits filed by women alleging sexual harassment and assault during the treatments in 2020 and 2021.
EXPLAINER: Watson discipline didn't require legal charges
Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns found out the severity of the quarterback's punishment when he was suspended for six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson made the decision after the NFL pushed for an indefinite suspension of at least one year and Watson's legal team argued for no suspension during a three-day hearing. A player doesn't have to be convicted or even charged with a crime to be disciplined for conduct detrimental to the league, per the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players' Association. Ezekiel Elliott, Ben Roethlisberger, Jameis Winston and Kareem Hunt are among players who have received suspensions despite not being charged criminally.
Analysis: No winners in Deshaun Watson's case
Deshaun Watson's six-game suspension will stand only if the NFL allows it. The punishment given to the Cleveland Browns quarterback by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy fell far short of the one-year suspension the league wanted. But because of the collective bargaining agreement, the league can appeal Robinson's decision and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or a person he designates could then increase the suspension and impose a substantial fine. The league has three days to file an appeal and is mulling its options. Still, the NFL Players Association could then try to challenge Goodell's ruling on an appeal in federal court.
Brittney Griner back in Russian court on cannabis charge
KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — American basketball star Brittney Griner is back in court for her trial for cannabis possession amid U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure her release. The WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist returned to court on Tuesday, a month after her trial began. She could face 10 years in prison if convicted. As her trial has progressed, the Biden administration has faced growing public pressure to get her released. In an extraordinary move, Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week spoke to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, urging him to accept a deal under which Griner and Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia on an espionage conviction, would go free.
Montas to Yankees, Mancini to Astros ahead of trade deadline
NEW YORK (AP) — The trade market got busy ahead of Tuesday's deadline, with the New York Yankees acquiring pitcher Frankie Montas from Oakland for four prospects. As contenders bulked up ahead of stretch runs and possible postseason appearances, San Diego got All-Star closer Josh Hader from first-place Milwaukee, and Houston obtained DH and first baseman Trey Mancini from Baltimore as part of a three-team trade that included Tampa Bay. World Series champion Atlanta brought back infielder Ehire Adrianza from Washington, the Yankees got reliever Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox obtained left-hander Jake Diekman from Boston.
Browns get some clarity on Deshaun Watson, await closure
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The Browns now know how long they'll be without Deshaun Watson. More than four months since Cleveland signed him to a $230 million contract, Watson was suspended six games without pay after an independent arbiter ruled he violated the NFL's personal conduct policy after being accused of sexual misconduct. The Browns had been bracing for a much longer suspension and now must wait to see if the league will appeal. If there's an appeal, the case will go to Commissioner Roger Goodell or someone he designates to either shorten, lengthen or maintain the punishment. As of now, Watson's debut for the Browns will come on Oct. 23 at Baltimore.
Norman says Tiger Woods turned down $700-800M Saudi offer
Tiger Woods turned down a Saudi offer Greg Norman says was in the neighborhood of $700 million to $800 million. Norman confirmed a figure he previously told the Washington Post. Norman was speaking to Fox News' Tucker Carlson for an interview aired Monday night. The interview took place Sunday at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. That's where the third LIV Golf Invitational was held. Norman says he wasn't the CEO of LIV Golf when Woods got the offer. Woods has spoken out against the Saudi-funded league. He says players who sign are turning their backs on the PGA Tour.
Saudi-funded Newcastle on inexorable path to soccer's summit
Newcastle is entering its first full season in the Premier League since being bought by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. There's no sign of players of the caliber of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland joining Newcastle quite yet. But the team from northeast England is a growing force and one that will likely soon be competing for the top trophies. Change is happening at Newcastle even if it might be slower than widely predicted. With that will come added scrutiny on the source of Newcastle's new-found wealth and concerns about sportswashing.
Mourinho calls and players come running to join him at Roma
ROME (AP) — José Mourinho is excelling as a pitchman in his latest coaching job at Roma. Players come running to the Italian capital when "Mou" calls. It all started a year ago when Mourinho lured Tammy Abraham away from European champion Chelsea to join him in Rome. Paulo Dybala is this season's big signing with the former Serie A MVP turning down interest from Champions League clubs Inter Milan and Napoli to join Mourinho at Roma. Dybala says Mourinho's phone calls "got me excited." The Argentina international adds that "now I can work with one of the best coaches in soccer history."
SHR restructures as Frood leaves NASCAR team for lacrosse
Stewart-Haas Racing has restructured its leadership department of the NASCAR team. Team President Brett Frood is leaving after 14 years to become commissioner of the National Lacrosse League. Brian McKinley moves from vice president of sales to chief commercial officer for SHR. Greg Zipadelli has been named chief competition officer. Current team co-president Joe Custer will continue his role. Frood was recruited by Stewart 18 years ago upon graduation from Harvard Business School. He led Brown to Ivy League lacrosse titles in 1994 and 1995 as captain of the team that also advanced to the 1994 NCAA Final Four.