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  • Ravens RB Rice receives 2-game suspension from NFL Jul 24, 2014 5:19 PM
    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a two-game suspension from the NFL on Thursday following his offseason arrest for domestic violence. Rice will miss the season opener against AFC North champion Cincinnati on Sept. 7 and the Sept. 11 game on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The six-year veteran was arrested following a Feb. 15 altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which he allegedly struck then-fiancee Janay Palmer. The 27-year-old Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being expunged. Rice met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last month after joining the diversion program. Goodell ultimately decided to suspend the running back for two games without pay and fine him an additional game check “for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.” Despite the court’s decision not to impose criminal punishment, “the Commissioner determined, as he advised Rice, that the conduct was incompatible with NFL policies and warranted disciplinary action.” In a letter to Rice, Goodell wrote: “As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.” Rice’s suspension will begin on Aug. 30. He will be eligible for reinstatement Sept. 12 after the Pittsburgh game. Rice may participate in all aspects of training camp and preseason games. “It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said in a statement issued by the Ravens. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.” Rice is the team’s career leader in total scrimmage yards and ranks behind only Jamal Lewis in total yards rushing. Bernard Pierce is expected to start for Rice in Baltimore’s first two games. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement: “We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice. The time the Commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league’s decision and believe it is fair.” He added, “We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.” Rice’s teammates were not stunned by the news of the suspension. “You knew something was going to happen,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “I’ll be glad when those two games are up.” Coach John Harbaugh said, “It’s part of the process. There are consequences when you make a mistake; we’ll move forward.” Rice participated Thursday in Baltimore’s first full-squad practice. Before that session began, the Ravens lost cornerback Aaron Ross for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, a mishap that occurred during his conditioning

     
  • Arlington trainer Catalano hospitalized with pneumonia Jul 25, 2014 1:35 PM
    Longtime Arlington Park trainer Wayne Catalano is hospitalized in critical condition after being diagnosed with pneumonia, his wife said Thursday. Catalano was admitted Tuesday to the intensive care unit at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates.

     
  • U of I gives basketball coach a raise Jul 24, 2014 4:51 PM
    University of Illinois trustees have boosted the size of the budget for the State Farm Center renovation and given basketball coach John Groce a raise and contract extension. Groce’s annual pay was increased by $100,000 a year to $1.7 million. The coach’s contract was extended by a year through 2018-19.

     
  • 31 special things about Greg Maddux Jul 25, 2014 3:35 PM
    Did you know Greg Maddux led the National League in innings pitched for five consecutive seasons? With Maddux heading into the baseball hall of fame this weekend, we look back at his career with 31 thoughts, facts, moments and memories of No. 31.

     
  • 35 special things about Frank Thomas Jul 25, 2014 3:53 PM
    White Sox beat writer Scot Gregor lists 35 facts, moments and Memories for No. 35, White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. The Big Hurt is going to be inducted into the Hall on Sunday.

     
  • Cutler knows he can trust O-line Jul 25, 2014 12:16 AM
    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has every right to feel secure behind an offensive line that returns every starter from last year's group that showed substantial improvement in pass protection.

     
  • Kristufek’s Arlington selections for July 25 Jul 25, 2014 12:48 AM
    Joe Kristufek's selections for July 25 racing at Arlington International.

     
  • Bears have 4 position battles worth watching Jul 25, 2014 6:44 AM
    Several critical position battles will be worth watching, including linebacker and safety, when the Bears' training camp practices begin Friday morning. By the time the Bears break camp Aug. 13, some outcomes may be decided, while others could go right up until the season opener. Following are four of the more entertaining competitions.

     
  • Noesi, Eaton lead White Sox past Twins, 5-2 Jul 25, 2014 12:12 AM
    An impressive start from Hector Noesi was just a couple of pitches away from being something really special. Noesi allowed three hits over 7⅔ innings, and Adam Eaton had three hits and two RBIs to lead the White Sox to a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.

     
  • Cubs' struggles continue in 13-3 loss Jul 24, 2014 11:50 PM
    Things went from bad to ridiculous for the Cubs on Thursday night at Wrigley Field. Facing the worst-hitting team in baseball, Cubs pitchers allowed 14 hits in a 13-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. Before the game, manager Rick Renteria talked of needing veteran pitchers Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood to step up in the wake of the July 4 trade of starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland. The Cubs are 3-13 since that trade.

     
  • Renteria says Castillo miscue out of character Jul 24, 2014 9:29 PM
    Cubs catcher Welington Castillo heard boos from the Wrigley Field crowd Wednesday night, when he failed to run out a ground ball back to the pitcher in the sixth inning. The pitch jammed Castillo and seemed to startle him, but it also looked like he gave up once it went to the pitcher. Castillo has not been a player known for those kinds of plays.

     
  • Maddux reflective as Hall induction nears Jul 25, 2014 8:20 PM
    As he looked around the hotel the last 24 hours, running into Hall of Famer after Hall of Famer, Greg Maddux was struck by the comparison. He never threw 97 mph and never employed the devastating breaking pitch that could leave hitters buckled and beaten. Maddux did it with his mind.

     
  • Hampshire star's major-league dream comes true with Padres Jul 24, 2014 6:26 AM
    There's talking about living the dream, and then there's actually doing it. Jake Goebbert is doing it. After over 2,000 at-bats in the minor leagues the Hampshire graduate finally got his opportunity to wear a major league baseball uniform a little over a month ago wtih the San Diego Padres. “For every child who has a dream I can say chase it and believe in yourself,” said Goebbert.

     
  • Mike North video: Bulls look like contenders in East Jul 23, 2014 10:21 AM
    As Mike North reviews the Bulls roster, he ranks them as the best team in the Eastern Conference.

     
  • NBA player seeks tips on suspect in aunt’s death Jul 23, 2014 6:59 PM
    Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes is asking for the public’s help to track down the man police say killed his aunt in Northern California. Barnes took to his Twitter and Instagram accounts Tuesday, asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of 51-year-old Michael Williams of Sacramento to call police.

     
  • Playful Pole wins Tour stage, as Nibali marches on Jul 23, 2014 5:43 PM
    On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna. Even this late in the Tour de France, the Polish rider made winning look easy as he took Stage 17 on Wednesday. For Vincenzo Nibali, the second ride in the mountains on France’s border with Spain was more serious. “The Shark” nibbled yet more seconds away from several of his closest challengers, and the yellow jersey that he’s worn for all but two days of this race seemed to fit just a little more tightly ahead of Sunday’s race finish in Paris.

     
  • White Sox drop ball in 2-1 loss to Royals Jul 23, 2014 4:48 PM
    Mike Moustakas scored the tiebreaking run in the top of the ninth inning when White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers couldn’t handle a throw home and the Kansas City Royals beat the Sox 2-1 Wednesday in the rubber game of a three-game series.

     
  • Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer’s Jul 23, 2014 5:36 PM
    Even as dementia began to rob him of some of his fondest memories over the past few years, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen reported to work every day to oversee multimillion-dollar upgrades to the team’s training facilities and roster. So his absence from Dove Valley headquarters on Wednesday as players reported for physicals on the eve of training camp was as jarring as the announcement that the 70-year-old Bowlen was giving up control of the team because of Alzheimer’s disease.

     
  • Hawkeye dominates Illinois Open...again Jul 23, 2014 9:13 PM
    Lake Forest resident Brad Hopfinger held off Medinah teaching pro Travis Johns to win the biggest tournament of the year for Illinois residents, the Illinois Open. Finishing the 54-hole competition with a 71 in winds that gusted up to 28 miles per hour, Hopfinger posted a 6-under-par 210 to claim a $13,500 first prize.

     
  • Joliet Catholic stops Prospect’s summer surge Jul 24, 2014 12:07 AM
    Summer ended a day to soon for Prospect. Joliet Catholic’s Drake Fellows had a two-out single to left in the bottom of the seventh to eliminate the Knights 3-2 in the semifinals of the Lawler Summer Classic on Wednesday at Benedictine University in Lisle.

     
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