League tried to help former Lion
The NFL attempted to reach out to troubled Titus Young well before his bevy of off-the-field incidents, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports.
Troy Vincent, the NFL’s director of player engagement, told Yahoo! that a member of Young’s inner circle phoned the league last year expressing concern about the then-Detroit Lions wide receiver.
“It was someone very, very close to him who was just concerned – really concerned,” Vincent said. “Once we got the call, we sent someone out to meet with him.”
Young’s problems have been well-documented. The 23-year-old has been arrested three times in just the past month in California, including twice in one day. He remains jailed in Orange County and faces up to 10 years in prison on 11 counts of burglary, attempted burglary and assaulting officers. He also may face prosecution for a DUI charge.
Vincent, according to Yahoo!, said his department “tried multiple” times to work with Young without any success.
The Lions drafted Young in 2011 but released him in February after a drop in productivity and disputes with teammates and coaches.
• St. Louis Rams running back Isaiah Pead has been suspended without pay for the season opener for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound second-round draft pick played in 15 games in his rookie season, carrying 10 times for 54 yards.
He’s expected to challenge for more carries with Steven Jackson now playing for Atlanta.
Pead is eligible to take part in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
Governing body makes changes
World soccer’s governing body Friday put in place tougher measures on racism, introduced integrity checks on senior officials and welcomed a woman to its ruling board.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter was gratified by the steps following the scandals of the last few years.
“I am happy to say that FIFA has weathered the storm. We have emerged from troubled waters,” he told delegates at the organization’s annual congress on the Indian Ocean island.
FIFA said teams will now face much tougher penalties for serious racist abuse, including point deductions and relegation.
The measures were approved overwhelmingly and follow recent problems in Italy and England.
According to the new regulations, serious or repeat offenses by a club or its fans could also lead to team bans from tournaments, including the Champions League.
Storm leads to postponements
In Oklahoma City, the NCAA postponed the two games scheduled at the Women’s College World Series on Friday night because of severe weather. Plans to make up the games were not immediately announced.
Tennessee had been scheduled to play Washington, with top-seeded Oklahoma facing rival Texas on Friday night in winner’s bracket games.
The original plans called for four elimination games to be played today , which also will play into the rescheduling plan.
The teams involved were staying away from Hall of Fame Stadium and sought shelter in a downtown parking garage near their hotels.
Washington team spokeswoman Alyssa Olveda said six of the eight teams gathered in the same hotel tunnel and parking garage downtown to ride out the storm.
IOC president defends system
IOC President Jacques Rogge defended the process that led to the removal of wrestling from the Olympic program and the sport’s quick return as a candidate for inclusion in the 2020 Games.
“I don’t see any shortcoming in the system,” Rogge said Friday. “I don’t see an error in the system.”
Wrestling was eliminated from the list of core sports by the IOC in February but, after revamping its structure and adopting new rules, was selected Wednesday as a possible additional sport on the 2020 program.
Wrestling made a shortlist along with baseball-softball and squash for a single opening in 2020. The IOC will vote in September on which sport to include. If wrestling wins, it means no new sport will be brought in as originally planned.