JordanHallStarting Ohio State tailback Jordan Hall was lost to the team for at least ten weeks following surgery on injuries to his foot. School officials said Hall was walking barefoot in the grass, and cut the bottom of his foot. He is expected to wear a cast for six weeks, and rehab the foot for at least another four weeks after that. A ten-week rehab would cost Ohio State the services of Hall for the first two games of the season (Miami and Central Florida). Here is the full release from OSU spokesman Jerry Emig:


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jordan Hall, the senior running back who figures to be a key go-to player in coach Urban Meyer’s offensive attack this fall, will be out of commission for approximately 10 weeks while recovering from surgery Friday to an injured foot.

 Hall, who enters his senior season with 2,513 all-purpose yards to rank 26th all-time at Ohio State, suffered an accidental cut to the bottom of his right foot Wednesday afternoon while walking in grass outside his residence in Columbus. He had surgery Friday at the Ohio State University Medical Center.

 “This is an unfortunate accident to a really fine young man,” Meyer said. “He’s handling things well, though. He’ll be in a non-weight bearing cast for about six weeks and then he’ll rehabilitate the injury for at least four weeks after that.”

 Ohio State opens its fall camp in about five weeks – the first week of August – with the first game of the 2012 season set for Sept. 1 against Miami of Ohio.

 Hall has 817 career rushing yards with five touchdowns and has also caught 21 passes out of the backfield for 202 yards and four more TDs. He came out of spring drills No. 1 on the depth chart at running back. Junior Carlos Hyde (707 career rushing yards and six touchdowns), sophomore Rod Smith (116 and one, respectively) and true freshman Bri’onte  Dunn were also competing in the mix at running back throughout spring.

2012 06 ben watsonCleveland Browns tight end Ben Watson suffered three concussions during the 2011 NFL season - the third one landing him on the injured reserve list - but he says he's not worried about it.

“I don’t believe that every single player who had a concussion is feeling the effects of them — like many other injuries they affect people in different ways,” Watson told NBC Sports Talk. “It’s something you definitely research. If those guys are feeling the effects of concussions it’s definitely important that they get the treatment they need.”

Before being placed on IR, Watson caught 37 passes for 410 yards and two touchdowns.

Watson also talked about new quarterback Brandon Weeden and the Browns chances of competing in the AFC North - aka the NFL's Group of Death. Check out the video here.

2012 06 joe haden revisNew York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is considered by many to be the best cornerback in the National Football League.

Entering his third year in the league, is Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden ready to join Revis on his level? Pro Football Focus thinks so.

The website looked at a group of cornerbacks - both veterans and youngsters - that they believe can rival Revis' spot as the game's best. Of Haden, they wrote:

Joe Haden is the youngest of the three and led the NFL last season in passes defensed with 17. He didn’t manage to intercept a pass, so there were corners with more total pass-breakups, but even so he held receivers under 50% completion percentage and played the run very well. Haden didn’t track receivers in the same way Revis does, but he has played both left and right corner as well as the slot, and has spent the majority of his time at left corner–the tougher position because most quarterbacks are right handed and thus favor that side. Haden has an elite break on the ball and can read a receiver’s body very well, anticipating throws and getting into position to defend them quickly, a skill he shares with Revis. The leap from Haden’s rookie year to his second was significant, and a leap of similar size would see him vault right into Revis air.

Not bad for a player that some thought was too slow for the NFL and who wasn't deemed worthy of being a starter by the Browns former coaching regime until midway through his rookie season.

(Photo by Getty Images)

2012 06 cbsThe National Football League is battling a surprising problem given its stature as the top sport in America – declining ticket sales.

According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, ticket sales have dropped in each of the past five years, with last year’s average game attendance down 4.5 percent since 2007. The biggest problem? The fact that the games are shown in HD, the growth of fantasy football and the availability of NFL Sunday Ticket make staying home to watch a game better than going to the stadium for many fans.

“The at-home experience has gotten better and cheaper, while the in-stadium experience feels like it hasn’t,” said Eric Grubman, the NFL’s executive vice president of ventures and business operations. “That’s a trend that we’ve got to do something about.”

The NFL will try to lure fans back to the stadium by offering better replays at the stadium, offering wireless Internet (so you can check your fantasy players), as well as access to the NFL Red Zone channel.

One of the biggest changes comes to the TV blackout rule. Starting this fall, local broadcasts will be allowed even when as few as 85 percent of the available tickets are sold. Individual teams can set its own seat-sales benchmark as long as it is 85 percent or higher of the stadium’s capacity.

The change to the blackout rule is one that Browns fans should be very interested in as, according to a chart accompanying the article, the Browns played to 89 percent capacity for their eight home games last season – the seventh-lowest in the NFL. There were four teams below the 85 percent mark – the Dolphins, Bills, Bengals (lowest in the league, hah!) and the “win now” Redskins.

The Browns have a strong home schedule this year – in addition to the division games they host Philadelphia, San Diego, Washington and Kansas City, with Buffalo being the only “bad” game. The addition of Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden also gives the team an NFL-caliber offense for the first time since 2007, which should reward fans who had to endure two years of Eric Mangini’s prehistoric offense and last year’s injury-fueled mess.

So while it may not seem likely that the Browns could face their first blackout since returning in 1999, how the NFL tackles the stadium experience is worth watching.

(Photo by The Plain Dealer)

McAllister defeats White SoxDespite recent struggles motivating the fans to call for big moves from the Front Office, the Indians are keeping things in house.  This time, they've recalled Zach McAllister (the pitcher) from Columbus  He is expected to start in Baltimore tonight, his fifth start at the big league level this season, but the first time he will ever see the Orioles.  He's 1-1 and the proud owner of a 3.96 ERA for the Indians in spot starts this season.  It will be interesting to see if the Tribe bats can offer him any run support, as Buck Showalter will counter with the left-handed Wei-Yin Chen.

Like many other young players that don't pan out once they start seeing the white baseballs used for batting practice, McAllister has had a pretty good go at AAA this season.  He's 5-2 with 52 strikeouts in 63+ innings with a 2.98 ERA, which is 8th best in the International League.  With Zach back in the fold, Scott Barnes was red-tagged, and will be returning to the Columbus Clippers after registering 8 outs in the Bronx on Monday night.  The brief call-up was the second of the season, but the young southpaw reliever will be returning to AAA, where he's allowed opponents to earn 13 runs in 31+ innings with just a .188 batting average.

McAllister registered his first Major League win at home against the White Sox on May 7, but has taken a loss and a couple of no decisions since.

andyvJason Lloyd Tweets, "With about 5 hours to go, #Cavs still actively pursuing another top 10 pick tonight. Talks with the Warriors for #7 have stalled, but Rockets pick at #12 is in play. Don't see how Cavs do a deal that high without including Varejao."  

Earlier on Thursday, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Cavs are giving much thought to taking Syracuse's Dion Waiters, a 6-5 shooting guard at No. 4.  It's more likely, though, that the Cavs acquire another pick to take Waiters; that's only if they don't get Bradley Beal and instead take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes with the fourth pick.  According to Chad Ford, "The Cavs covet Beal, but are convinced the Washington Wizards will select him with the third overall pick."  

Doing so, they might be able to fill out their starting five.  But as Lloyd says, it's hard to imagine any trade happening without it including Anderson Varejao.  However though, according to a source familair to Sam Amico, "there is no way [the Cavs trade Varejao] considering the pittance they'd have to take back in return, wouldn't be worth it."  It's possible the Cavs do it by virtue of trading this year's #24 and #33 and/or #34 as well as next year's first round pick (they have 2 of them).  Keep in mind, the presumed 2013 draft class is expected to be highly inferior to this class and the Cavs have shown the propensity to make bold deals in the past.  Don't be surprised to see them swing a deal to get a second lottery pick. 

2012 06 dion waitersCavs fans have been focusing on a group of players that includes Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Thomas Robinson as possibilities for the Cavs when they pick at No. 4 in tonight's NBA Draft.

But Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowksi's has a new contender: Syracuse guard Dion Waiters.

According to Wojnarowski:

The Cavaliers haven’t been able to get Waiters to visit Cleveland for a workout and meeting with officials, but it hasn’t extinguished management’s ever-evolving fascination with choosing Waiters at No. 4 – especially if the Cavaliers are unable to secure Florida guard Bradley Beal.

Cleveland has intensified its background checks on Waiters, and sources in direct contact with Cavs officials believe Waiters would be the franchise's choice over Kansas’ Thomas Robinson should the Charlotte Bobcats select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at No. 2, and the Washington Wizards take Beal at No. 3.

Because Waiters, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, had a promise later in the lottery, he stopped making visits to teams highest in the lottery. Nevertheless, Cleveland still believes it has strong intelligence on Waiters, an explosive scoring guard the Cavs can pair with Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. Cleveland still has a strong desire to move to No. 2 to get Beal, but has resisted Charlotte’s attempts to attach Tyrus Thomas to a trade. Thomas has three years and $26 million left on his contract and has become unproductive and largely uncaring as a pro.

According to his draft profile on NBA.com:

Waiters has been projected as a mid first-round pick, no small accomplishment given the fact he’s had to prove what he can do by coming off the bench for two seasons. He’s got NBA-level scoring ability and has continued to improve his defense. Though Syracuse played a zone, Waiters was a key because of his length and strength.

You have wonder how much of this is legitimate and how much is the Cavs putting up a smokescreen to try and get the Bobcats to make a deal that is more in the Cavs favor.

vizquel copyOmar Vizquel, speaking with NESN in Boston, told reporters that he will call it quits following the 2012 season to pursue other opportunities. The 45-year-old Vizquel has 13 singles in 58 at bats this season for the Toronto Blue Jays, serving as the team's utility infielder. He is currently the oldest player in Major League Baseball, with Jamie Moyer playing for Toronto's AAA team, the Las Vegas 51s. Vizquel has played 24 seasons in the bigs and will fall short of the 3,000-hit mark by around 100 or so.

Vizquel said about life after retirement: "I've enjoyed this game a lot, but I think it's time to pursue a new career as a coach or manager, and hopefully I'll get that opportunity in the future."

Much will be made about Vizquel's chances at being a Hall of Famer when he hangs up the spikes. He's likely to be in the all-time top 40 in hits and he's just 19 hits behind Babe Ruth for his career. He's also an 11-time Gold Glove award winner at shortstop.

Vizquel was acquired by the Indians in one of the franchise's best trades. On December 20, 1993, Vizquel was traded from Seattle to Cleveland in exchange for Felix Fermin, Reggie Jefferson, and cash considerations. Amazingly, it was the only time Vizquel was traded in his 24-year career, though he has played for six different teams.


426px-Anthony Parker Cavs2

This must be the official Retirement Day of Cleveland Sports.  Shortly after Omar Vizquel announced his impending retirement, former Cavalier great Anthony Parker announced his.  To be fair, it was an unofficial retirement in January when he shot 34.7% in fifteen games in the month of January. 

Parker was signed as a free agent on July 13, 2009.  Parker was brought in to add length to the perimeter and to match up better with the Orlando Magic.  In his first season with the Cavs, the 34 year old scored 7.3 PPG in 81 games.  He was a consistent presence at the shooting guard position during the period when Delonte West had his biggest personal struggles.  Parker signed with the Cavs to presumably come off the bench and he found himself starting all but one game. 

Things took a turn for the worse in his second season with the Cavs.  The departure of LeBron James and age caught up to the veteran and he shot 39.9% from the floor.  Parker was a free agent after the 2010-2011 season ane general manager Chris Grant made it a priority to re-sign the veteran to a one year deal.  In his last year with the Cavs, Parker rebounded on his shooting percentage and scored 7.2 PPG on 43.3%. 

Anthony Parker will retire with a career average of 9.1 PPG.  He played 494 regular season games in the NBA.  Parker was drafted 21st overall by the New Jersey Nets in 1997.  He played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Quad City Thunder of the CBA, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Lottomatica Roma, Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers.  Parker was a three time Euroleague champion and a 2 time Euroleague MVP. 

Anthony Parker made his announcement in an email.  "I wanted to make that decision after the season and make sure that is what I wanted to do.  I'm at peace with it and excited for whatever the future has for me," said Parker.


bcs2A committee of college presidents has agreed to a new college football playoff format , a 4-team playoff to begin after the 2014 regular season. Here's the meat of it:

 No. 1 will play No. 4, and No. 2 will play No. 3 on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. The sites of those games will rotate among the four current BCS bowls - Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar - and two more to be determined.

The winners will advance to the championship on the first Monday in January that is six or more days after the last semifinal. The first championship Monday is set for Jan. 12, 2015.

The site of the title game will move around the way the Super Bowl does, with cities bidding for the right to host.

The teams will be selected by a committee, similar to the way the NCAA basketball tournament field is set. The men's tournament has 68 teams, and 37 at-large bids.

The football committee will have a much tougher task, trying to whittle the field down to four. Among the factors the committee will consider is won-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results and whether a team is a conference champion. This season, 125 schools will play at the highest level of college football.

Edit:  Must read Dan Wetzel


If there is one decision that Jared Sullinger would probably like to take a mulligan on, it would be to not declare the draft in 2011.  Sullinger was a consistent high pick in every single mock draft and he chose to stay in Columbus presumably because of the looming lockout and to work on his game under Thad Matta.  Instead of being a high pick with one year under his belt, Sullinger's stock is falling quicker than the shares in Facebook.sullinger 2

According to Andy Katz of ESPN, Sullinger's career hit a new low when he was not invited to attend the draft.  Invitations are typically given to players who are likely to be selected in the top 15.  The cause for concern over Sullinger is the medical red flag that he received in connection with his back.  Sullinger suffered from back spasms for part of the Buckeyes' season.

Being drafted high is almost always better than slipping past the lottery, but this could be a blessing in disguise for the ex-OSU power forward.  He could slip to a team that is a playoff contender instead of ending up in a place with shoddy management and coaching.  The biggest factor in this turning out well for him is health.  Where he ends up is a moot point if his back is as bad as people think and it affects his ability to play in the NBA.

It is highly unlikely that the Cavs will draft Sullinger.  There simply is not a lot of smoke in regards to the prospect of Sullinger being selected by the Cavs.  In addition, he does not fill a position of need for Cleveland since they currently have Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao on the roster. 


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