FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots acknowledged on Monday night that a video crew working for the team filmed the Cincinnati Bengals sideline during Sunday's game, a violation of league rules that echoed the team's 2007 Spygate scandal.
In a statement posted on Twitter and the team website, the Patriots said that a three-person crew for a web series titled “Do Your Job” “inappropriately filmed the field from the press box” as part of a feature on the scouting department. The filming took place “without specific knowledge of league rules,” the statement said.
The team also said that while it was granted credentials for the crew from the Browns, the home team, “our failure to inform the Bengals and the League was an unintended oversight.” When confronted, the team said the crew “immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully.”
“The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road. There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose,” the statement said. “We accept full responsibility for the actions of our production crew at the Browns-Bengals game.”
The Patriots were fined $250,000 and docked a first-round draft pick in 2007 for violating NFL rules against using video to steal signals. Coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri will finish this season on injured reserve with an injured left knee.
The 46-year-old Vinatieri hopes his stellar career ends differently.
The Colts announced Monday that Vinatieri will have season-ending surgery for an injury he attempted to play through all season after first experiencing soreness in the knee at training camp.
Coach Frank Reich said team doctors had monitored Vinatieri throughout the season and that it didn't affect Vinatieri's performance at practice. And the NFL's career scoring leader repeatedly refused to say that the injury played any part in an uncharacteristic season in which he missed a league-high 14 kicks — six extra points and eight field goals.
Reich said when the knee flared up again last week, Vinatieri had a scan that revealed he needed surgery.
FRISCO, Texas (AP) â€” The Dallas Cowboys have waived struggling kicker Brett Maher and replaced him with eight-year veteran Kai Forbath.
Maher is the only kicker in NFL history with three field goals of at least 60 yards, but the Cowboys couldn't count on him for the shorter ones that are often more critical.
In his second season, Maher was just 1 of 5 in the 40 to 49-yard range and had two more misses in the 30 to 39-yard range. The 30-year-old has an NFL-high 10 misses this season.
It's the second time Forbath has replaced a struggling kicker midseason. The 32-year-old did it with Minnesota in 2016, taking over for Blair Walsh and making all 15 field goals before going 32 of 38 in 2017.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russia was slapped Monday with a four-year ban from international sports events, including next summer's Tokyo Olympics, over a longstanding doping scandal, although its athletes will still be able to compete if they can show they are clean competitors.
The ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency's executive committee means that Russia's flag, name and anthem will not appear at the Tokyo Games, and the country also could be stripped of hosting world championships in Olympic sports.
The sanctions are the harshest punishment yet for Russian state authorities who were accused of tampering with a Moscow laboratory database. Russia's anti-doping agency can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days — an action it has signaled it would take.
Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in major events only if they are not implicated in positive doping tests or if their data was not manipulated, according to the WADA ruling.
For soccer's 2022 World Cup, WADA said the Russian team will play under its name in the qualifying program in Europe. If it qualifies for Qatar, the name will have be changed to something neutral that likely would not include the word “Russia.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts and Ohio State teammates quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young will join LSU quarterback Joe Burrow as Heisman Trophy finalists.
The top vote-getters for college football's most famous player of the year award were announced Monday, and three of them were quarterbacks who transferred to their current schools.
Burrow is the clear front-runner to win the Heisman on Saturday night in New York after a record-breaking season, leading the Tigers (13-0) to the top seed in the College Football Playoff. He would be LSU's second Heisman winner and first since running back Billy Cannon in 1959. The 60-year gap between Heisman winners would be the longest for any school with multiple winners.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Stephen Strasburg is returning to Washington with a record contract.
The World Series MVP and the Nationals agreed to a $245 million, seven-year contract Monday, the first significant announcement at this week's winter meetings.
A 31-year-old right-hander, Strasburg received the highest deal for a pitcher in both total dollars and average annual value at $35 million. The largest contract for a pitcher had been David Price's $217 million, seven-year deal with Boston that began in 2016. The highest average value had been Zack Greinke's $34.4 million as part of a $206.5 million, six-year agreement with Arizona prior to the 2016 season.
“We would not have won the 2019 World Series or accomplished everything we have these last 10 seasons if not for Stephen’s many contributions,” Nationals owner Mark Lerner said in a statement.
Strasburg gets $35 million annually, with $80 million deferred — about $11.4 million a year. The deferred money is payable from 2028-30.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has resumed throwing bullpen sessions, and new pitching coach Mickey Callaway is impressed.
Ohtani got back on the mound last week and pitched a bullpen in front of Callaway in Anaheim on Monday, general manager Billy Eppler told reporters at the winter meetings.
Eppler shared the contents of a text message he received from Callaway: “Shohei looked pretty darn good today. He does it very easy and we worked on some things in regards to his tempo. Everything synced up very well. I like this guy."
Eppler said he didn't know how many pitches Ohtani threw Monday. Eppler said Ohtani threw 25 pitches during one session last week.
Ohtani had Tommy John surgery after the 2018 season and didn't pitch in any games in 2019.
MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday that the league will work swiftly to make changes to better deal with personnel conduct issues in the wake of incidents that surfaced in recent weeks.
Speaking at the end of the first day of the Board of Governors meeting at the Inn at Spanish Bay resort in Pebble Beach, Bettman told reporters that NHL personnel will be required to attend mandatory counseling regarding racism and anti-bullying. Bettman also talked about the formation of a hotline for people to call to report any such incidents.
“Inclusion and diversity are not simply buzz words. They are foundational principles of the NHL,” Bettman said. “Our message is unequivocal: We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind.”
BOSTON (AP) — Celtics forward Gordon Hayward started Monday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers and scored 14 points, returning to the Boston lineup ahead of schedule in his return from a broken hand.
Hayward received a loud ovation when he was introduced and got his first basket on a fast-break layup nearly halfway into the opening quarter. He also grabbed his first rebound and had his initial assist on Jayson Tatum’s 3-pointer from the left wing in the first 4 1/2 minutes of action.
Hayward finished with five rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes as Boston beat the struggling Cavaliers 110-88.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said during his pregame media session that Hayward wasn’t on any minutes restriction but expects him to need time to build up his stamina.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State is challenging NCAA charges based on allegations that an Adidas representative paid $40,000 to the family of former basketball star Dennis Smith Jr. through a former Wolfpack assistant coach to ensure Smith's commitment to the school.
N.C. State is arguing that the NCAA has not proven money was actually provided to Smith or his family, noting that Smith — who entered the NBA draft after one year in Raleigh — denied receiving money in an interview with the school earlier this year.
The school released its response Monday to four violations filed in July by the NCAA in the wake of college basketball’s corruption scandal. A key element of those charges was court testimony last year by government witness T.J. Gassnola that he delivered $40,000 to former Wolfpack assistant coach Orlando Early intended for Smith’s family in 2015.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. national team star Megan Rapinoe has been named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated.
Rapinoe, FIFA Player of the Year and a two-time World Cup winner, including this year's tournament in France, was selected for dominating “the world's game, on the world's stage, under attack by a world leader."
The magazine says Rapinoe, who is a lesbian, is just the fourth woman in the award’s 66-year history to win the honor unaccompanied, calling it “a remarkable athletic achievement and a reflection of entrenched gender biases."
Her pose, arms outstretched, chin up, head tilted back slightly after scoring the World Cup winning goal against the Netherlands, represents one of the signature sports images of 2019.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Championship winning crew chief Cole Pearn of Joe Gibbs Racing is leaving NASCAR to spend more time with his family.
Pearn won the 2017 NASCAR championship with Martin Truex Jr. and guided Truex to the title race the last three years. Truex was the championship runner-up the last two years, including last month when a rare mistake in the pits cost the No. 19 team a shot at the title.
Pearn and Truex joined JGR this year when Furniture Row Racing closed. The move required Pearn, a Canadian, to relocate from Colorado to North Carolina and he made no secret of the outdoor time he missed with his family.
Pearn and Truex had a series-best seven wins this season. In five years together, the duo qualified for the title-deciding finale four times. They won 23 races since the start of 2016, best among all driver-crew chief combos over that time.
BOSTON (AP) — Pete Frates, a former college baseball player whose determined battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped inspire the ALS ice bucket challenge that has raised more than $200 million worldwide, died Monday. He was 34.
Frates died peacefully, surrounded by his family, they said in a statement. “Today heaven received our angel," it said.
The ice bucket challenge began in 2014 when pro golfer Chris Kennedy challenged his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease after the New York Yankees great who suffered from it.
ALS patient Pat Quinn, of Yonkers, New York, picked up on it and started its spread, but when Frates and his family got involved, the phenomenon exploded on social media.
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