- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2015


NEW YORK (AP) - The family of Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford says signs of the degenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy were found in his brain after his death.

In a statement released through NBC News, the family said he had “experienced firsthand” symptoms associated with CTE but did not offer specifics. Gifford died of natural causes at his Connecticut home in August at age 84.

His widow, Kathie Lee Gifford, is a host for NBC’s “Today.”

The statement said that the family “made the difficult decision to have his brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury.”

“Our suspicions that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma were confirmed,” the Giffords added.

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns coach Mike Pettine benched Johnny Manziel because the quarterback violated the team’s trust with his behavior during the bye week.

Manziel was demoted from starter to third string by Pettine, who was upset after a video emerged of the second-year QB partying last week in Texas while the Browns were off. Before Manziel left town, Pettine said he made it clear to Manziel that he needed to act in a responsible manner.

Pettine said he hopes Manziel has not played his last game with the Browns. He praised the 22-year-old’s improvement this season, but reiterated that Manziel still has a lot of work to do off the field.

The demotion will make it difficult for the Browns to assess Manziel’s skills and future, but Pettine said the move was necessary and “best for Johnny.”

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Stedman Bailey was in intensive care and in stable condition at a Miami area hospital after undergoing a surgical procedure that Rams coach Jeff Fisher said lasted 4-6 hours.

Fisher said he didn’t anticipate Bailey, who is eligible to return from a suspension in two weeks, would play again this season.

Fisher did not have specifics on the amount of times the 25-year-old Bailey was shot or the circumstances of the shooting, or why the operation took so long. Fisher mentioned “two or three shots and an injury to the hip.”

Fisher twice updated players Wednesday about Bailey, who had gotten permission to work out in Florida at least part of the time since being suspended in early November for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

LONDON (AP) - The Washington Redskins could become the first NFL team to play two games in London in one season - in consecutive weeks, no less.

The Redskins will face the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 30 at Wembley Stadium, the NFL announced. Washington also could wind up facing the St. Louis Rams a week earlier at Twickenham Stadium, depending on the Redskins’ finish in the NFC East this season.

“Really? Two? In one year? Really? Hmmmm. I never heard of that,” Redskins safety Dashon Goldson said after practice in Ashburn, Virginia, on Wednesday.

While some of Washington’s players sounded eager to play a game in Britain, including those who’ve never been overseas, the prospect of a pair of weeks there did not sound all that enticing to everyone.

“I don’t want to be out there that long, man,” cornerback Will Blackmon said.

In the first of the three London games scheduled for next season, the Indianapolis Colts will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley on Oct. 2.


MONACO (AP) - An anti-doping roadmap that Russia will have to follow to be allowed back into international competition will be discussed Thursday by track and field’s governing body.

The meeting in Monaco of the IAAF council could also throw up difficult questions for its president, Sebastian Coe.

The former two-time Olympic 1,500-meter champion is battling suggestions that his commercial ties to Nike are inappropriate and a possible conflict of interest now that he heads the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Coe’s first months as IAAF president - he was elected in August - could hardly have been more challenging. Revelations of systematic doping in Russia and alleged corruption at the very top of the IAAF have undermined trust in the sport and its leadership and forced Coe onto the defensive.

Russian track and field athletes could miss next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro if their athletics federation, ARAF, fails to demonstrate to the IAAF that it has permanently dismantled the allegedly state-supported program of widespread doping and cover-ups exposed by a commission appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.


NEW YORK (AP) - A judge said he would not take long to rule on a motion by New York’s top law enforcement official to stop the country’s two biggest daily fantasy sports companies from operating following two hours of arguments in a packed Manhattan courtroom.

Justice Manuel Mendez, of state Supreme Court, told lawyers for FanDuel, DraftKings and an assistant attorney general that his decision would “come very soon.”

Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent both companies cease-and-desist letters after declaring their businesses illegal gambling operations that should be shut down. The companies have countered that their contests are skill-based, have been around for years and have attracted investments from media companies, sports teams and other others who have deemed them legal.

The games - in which customers pay to put together rosters of real-life professional athletes in order to compete against others in online leagues - have come under heavy scrutiny this year after both companies spent millions of dollars on advertisements pitching the games to casual sports fans ahead of the 2015 NFL season.

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