January 07, 2016



AP Sports Writer 


The San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams filed for relocation to the Los Angeles area on Monday night, trying not to be left out in the race to return the NFL to the nation’s second-largest market after a 21-year absence.


The Chargers want to partner with the AFC West rival Raiders on a stadium in Carson.


Chargers chairman Dean Spanos has had the right to leave San Diego since 2008, but the team’s long, contentious efforts to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium became more aggressive after Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build a stadium in Inglewood.


The NFL confirmed it received the applications to move for the 2016 season. They will be reviewed by league staff and three committees of owners that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday. All owners will meet in Houston next week and are expected to vote on whether to allow any of the teams to move. A team wanting to move needs 24 of 32 votes.


Los Angeles has been without the NFL since after the 1994 season, when the Raiders moved back to Oakland and the Rams moved to St. Louis. The Rams had been in the L.A. area since 1946.


The Chargers and City Hall have been at odds since 2000, when team owner Alex Spanos said the team needed a new stadium. That was just three years after the stadium was expanded to accommodate the Chargers and Super Bowls.


The stadium saga turned nasty this year as Mark Fabiani, an attorney for Dean Spanos, attacked Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his proposals to keep the team.


In a video posted on the team’s web site, Dean Spanos blamed “the inability of the city at the political level to get any kind of public funding or any kind of vote to help subsidize a stadium.”


The Chargers’ filing came hours after Spanos’ son, John, the team’s president of football operations, thanked fans for “your unwavering support and passion” in a statement in which he expressed support for beleaguered coach Mike McCoy and general manager Tom Telesco. McCoy will return despite the Chargers going 4-12, their worst record in 12 seasons. Telesco had his contract secretly renewed last summer.


The Raiders and Rams were both 7-9.


The Chargers walked away from negotiations with the city and county in mid-June.


In the three brief negotiating sessions between the Chargers and city and county officials, the team mostly focused on what it called a flawed environmental impact report for a new stadium. The team did not negotiate finances, but it has said in the past that it expects a public contribution of at least 60 percent.


Under the city and county’s proposal, public funding would be capped at 32 percent, with the team being responsible for overruns.


The Chargers claim 25 percent of their fan base comes from north of San Diego County, although they've declined to offer proof.


Oakland has expressed interest in building a new stadium for the Raiders at the Coliseum site but has no funding plan as of yet.


The Rams currently have a year-to-year lease with the Edward Jones Dome.


Kroenke has ignored efforts by a St. Louis task force that is proposing a $1.1 billion stadium along the Mississippi River, not far from the Rams' current stadium built in 1995.


The Rams have had 12 consecutive non-winning seasons, including a 15-65 record from 2007-11 that is the worst five-year stretch in NFL history. Out of 21 seasons in St. Louis, they've fielded four winners, including the 1999 Super Bowl title team and 2001 team that lost to Patriots in the Super Bowl.


The St. Louis stadium task force said in a statement it had anticipated the filing “for more than a year” and was “extremely confident” its proposal would be “well received as the league weighs its options in the weeks ahead.”


Rams coach Jeff Fisher was head coach of the Houston Oilers when they relocated to Tennessee in the 1996, and that could happen again.


“I shared with the team today, I’ve been through this experience before,” Fisher said earlier Monday. “We have to take the approach and with the assumption that everything’s taking place here in St. Louis until we’re told otherwise.”


Safety T.J. McDonald’s father, Tim McDonald, was a rookie defensive back on the Cardinals in 1987 in their final year in St. Louis before owner Bill Bidwill moved the franchise to Phoenix.


“That’s kind of crazy,” said T.J. McDonald, who’s rehabbing from shoulder surgery. “He’s told me a lot of stories, too many to try to remember.”


Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said the demands of the season kept it from being too big of a distraction.


“Really, it’ll become a big distraction now as you sit with nothing to do and you realize it’s what, two weeks or not even (that) away from the decision,” Laurinaitis said. “Everyone’s just kind of fatigued about it, to be honest. Everyone wants closure to it all, just wants to know one way or another.”

Category: Sports

January 07, 2016 

By Amanda Scurlock 

Sports Writer


NBA All-Star and Clippers guard Chris Paul will collaborate with GoBowling.com and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) to host the 2016 CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational on Feb. 23 at Lucky Strike at LA Live.


The proceeds from this event will go to the Chris Paul Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes education and social responsibility. Established as the CP3 foundation in 2005, the organization was created to give scholarships to students attending Paul’s Alma Mater, Wake Forest University.


Since its’ inception, the Chris Paul Family Foundation has partnered up with organizations like the Make a Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and Feed the Children.


General admission is $25, premium seats are $150 and the VIP experience is $350. Premium seat tickets include a signed bowling pin and two drink tickets; the VIP package includes an open bar, a meet and greet, dinner and premium ticket amenities.


In the past, an array of actors, comedians, artists, and athletes have competed in the Invitational including Football star Michael Strahan, Clippers forward Blake Griffin, and TV star Jesse Williams. Winners of the Invitational include NBA Champion LeBron James, comedian Chris Hardwick and rapper French Montana.


PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber, women’s international bowling star Clara Guerrero, and two-time PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte confirmed to compete in the Invitational in February.


The professional bowlers will pair up with the celebrities to compete. Another event that will go on is the “Celebrity Clash,” an event where the celebrity with the smallest number of pins falling during a frame will be eliminated until one person remains.


Paul is currently averaging 17.6 points and 9.2 assists per game, which has helped the Clippers earn a 22-13 overall record, according to the NBA.

Category: Sports

December 31, 2015 

City News Service 


Running back Tyrone Wheatley and quarterback Mark Brunell, opponents in the 1992 and 1993 Rose Bowl Games, were among four men inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Tuesday. Joining Wheatley and Brunell in the induction class are Fritz Pollard, who in 1916 became the first black player to play in the Rose Bowl Game, and Jim Muldoon, who was the Rose Bowl Game’s media director from 1979-2007, when the then-Pacific-10 Conference handled all media relations for the game. Wheatley was selected as the 1993 Rose Bowl Game Player of the Game, running for 235 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries in Michigan's 38-31 victory over Washington.


Brunell completed 18 of 30 passes for two touchdowns and a college career high of 308 yards for the Huskies. Brunell was the Player of the Game in the 1991 Rose Bowl Game, when he threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores in Washington's 46-34 victory over Iowa. Brunell completed seven of eight passes for 89 yards as a backup quarterback in the Huskies' 34-14 victory over Michigan in the 1992 Rose Bowl Game.


Wheatley ran for a game-high 65 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Pollard ran for 47 yards on 13 carries in Brown’s 14-0 loss to Washington State in the 1916 Rose Bowl Game, which marked the return of football after a 13-year interruption following Michigan's 49-0 victory over Stanford in the inaugural Rose Bowl Game in 1902. Pollard was the first black quarterback and first black coach in the NFL. In 1954, Pollard became the first black elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.


Pollard died in 1986 at the age of 92. The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to honor individuals connected with college football's oldest bowl game. This year's class increases its membership to 117.


Inductees are selected by a committee of representatives from the Tournament of Roses, media professionals and leaders in college football. The luncheon induction ceremony will begin at noon at the Pasadena Convention Center and is open to the public. Tickets are $60 and are available at tournamentofroses.com/events.




Category: Sports

December 24, 2015


Special to the NNPA News Wire from the Houston Forward Times Staff


On December 2, The Heritage Group Sport Business Academy, Inc. (THGSBA) held its inaugural Ben L. Cavil, Sr. “Big Ben” Awards dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Houston-Medical Center, in conjunction with the HBCU-Athletic Research Consortium (HBCU-ARC) Conference.


The Ben L. Cavil, Sr. “Big Ben” Award is an award presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding HBCU Football Player of the Year who meets the THGSBA, Inc. selection criteria and who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Ben L. Cavil, Sr., which are: determination, diligence, integrity, performance, familial, teamwork, fraternal, and community engagement. The Ben L. Cavil, Sr. “Big Ben” Award recognizes a football player attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the State of Texas or was born or played high school football in the state of Texas and/or played at a Texas-based junior college and continued their career playing for an HBCU. 


Known as the “Galloping Fullback,” Ben L. Cavil, Sr. helped grow the sport in Texas among the SWAC fans and the greater African American community, until it transcended into the fabric of the HBCU cultural identity as part of the growing legendary sporting HBCU Diaspora.


The finalists of the inaugural award this year were:


  • Corey Carter, Kicker/Punter  Senior, Texas Southern University (SWAC), Callaway High School - Raymond, MS

  • Trey Green, Quarterback  R-Junior, Prairie View A&M University (SWAC), Ozen High School - Beaumont, TX

  • John Gibbs, Jr., Quarterback  Senior, Alcorn State University (SWAC) , Booker T. Washington High School - Houston, TX

  • Johnta Hebert, All-Purpose/RB Senior, Prairie View A&M University (SWAC), Glen Oaks High School - Baton Rouge, LA

  • Cornelius Henderson, Defensive Lineman  Junior, Jackson State University (SWAC)  Duncanville High School - Duncanville, TX


The winner of The Ben L. Cavil, Sr. “Big Ben” Award for 2015 was Johnta Hebert of Prairie View A&M University.  Hebert led Prairie View in rushing, receptions and was tied for most scoring TDs in SWAC. 


Several other awards and recognitions were handed out during the evening.


Cornelius Henderson of Jackson State University and John Gibbs, Jr. of Alcorn State University were both battling neck-and-neck to become the winner of the Online Fan Vote.  Henderson was able to hold off Gibbs by securing 12,433 votes or 52 percent of the vote. Gibbs finished a close second, garnering over 10,000 votes for the honor.


In recognition of HBCUs that have made a significant impact, the 1952 Texas Southern University Black College Football National Champions were honored at the event. Texas Southern University claimed the nation’s Negro college football championship in 1952, after defeating Prairie View 13-12 on Thursday in the annual Prairie View Bowl game.


The Community Service Award was also given out to an individual who over an extended period of time tirelessly gives of himself/herself to the HBCU community in order to help others obtain equal access, equity, and inclusion in those that influence our lives.  The winner of this year’s Community Service Award was none other than radio veteran personality Ralph Cooper.  It was announced that the Community Service Award would be named annually after Cooper because of his many contributions to the world of sports, in particular the HBCU community.


On hand to celebrate the inaugural event were the two sons of Ben L. Cavil, Sr. (Ben L. Cavil, Jr. and William Campbell Cavil) and a host of other family members.


Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil, Executive Director of THGSBA, is excited about the response to this year’s inaugural kickoff of The Ben L. Cavil, Sr. “Big Ben” Award, and is looking forward to an even greater response next year. 

Category: Sports

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