- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Cam Newton wants any discussion of black quarterbacks in a Super Bowl put away.

For good.

Newton emphatically tried to lay to rest any relevance of an African-American quarterback appearing in the NFL’s championship game. During a series of questions by a media member that bordered on confrontational, Newton finally said to the reporter: “It’s not an issue. It’s an issue for you.”

Carolina’s All-Pro quarterback, seemingly tired of the topic, added: “I think we shattered that a long time ago.”

This was the third time Newton had to deal with the subject since the Panthers made the Super Bowl. He didn’t need to point out that several other black quarterbacks have led their teams to the big game, including Seattle’s Russell Wilson the past two years.

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Browns issued a strong statement condemning quarterback Johnny Manziel’s actions and pointing to his release in March, a move that has seemed inevitable for months.

The conduct by the 23-year-old player - rampant partying, two domestic incidents and a general lack of commitment - have been a major problem almost from the day Cleveland drafted the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner in the first round two years ago.

Last weekend, Manziel was involved in a disturbance with his ex-girlfriend in Dallas that is being investigated by police and the NFL.

New Browns vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said in the statement that Manziel’s “continual involvement in incidents” run counter to expectations for players. Brown said Manziel’s status will “be addressed when permitted by league rules.” It was not immediately clear when the team can make a move with Manziel.

The Browns, who drafted Manziel with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 draft, can release him as early as Monday, the day after the Super Bowl. But salary-cap implications point to the move happening March 9, when the league’s new year begins.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart was hospitalized with a back injury and Stewart-Haas Racing said the team was unsure of the extent of his injuries just a week before he is expected in Daytona to prepare for his final season in Sprint Cup.

The 44-year-old Stewart was injured Sunday during an accident while he was riding an all-terrain vehicle somewhere on the West Coast, SHR spokesman Mike Arning told The Associated Press. He was being evaluated at an undisclosed hospital and able to move all extremities.

Arning indicated Stewart’s condition will not be updated again until Thursday. Stewart was in Arizona on Saturday night at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale and interviewed on live television from the event.

Stewart is retiring at the end of this NASCAR season, and he was due to report next week to Daytona International Speedway to begin preparing for the Feb. 21 Daytona 500.


ATLANTA (AP) - Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was not with the Blue Devils for a game at Georgia Tech, skipping the Atlantic Coast Conference contest after becoming ill.

School officials issued a statement about an hour before tipoff saying Krzyzewski “was feeling under the weather” after the team meal Monday night and stayed in Durham, North Carolina.

Doctors at the university’s hospital checked out the Hall of Fame coach and told him to remain home.

Associate head coach Jeff Capel was in charge during Coach K’s absence. The school said Krzyzewski - the winningest men’s coach in Division I history - is expected to return to the team soon.

Krzyzewski - who turns 69 on Feb. 13 - missed his first game at Duke since he was out for the final 19 games of the 1994-95 season due to back surgery and exhaustion. The Blue Devils went 4-15 in those games, and that record was attributed to then-assistant Pete Gaudet.


NEW YORK (AP) - A former vice president for world soccer’s governing body has been released from U.S. custody in New York and will be subject to house arrest as he awaits trial on bribery and other charges related to a sprawling corruption case.

An attorney for former FIFA official Alfredo Hawit said the 64-year-old Honduras native was released. Court records show Hawit posted a $1 million bond package Monday after an appearance at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Hawit was interim president of North and Central American and Caribbean governing body CONCACAF from June until his Dec. 3 arrest in Switzerland.

Prosecutors allege that in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes he and other top CONCACAF officials awarded marketing rights to the Gold Cup and other events. He has pleaded not guilty.

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) - The former president of the German soccer federation can continue to refer to Qatar as a “cancerous growth of world football” - at least until a final ruling by a German court.

A Duesseldorf court ruled that Theo Zwanziger was within his right to free speech. But the judge said he wanted more time to study opposing arguments before making a final ruling on April 19.

The Qatar Football Association filed a civil lawsuit against Zwanziger after he made the statement in a radio interview in June, calling the description “unacceptable slander and vilification” of Qatar and its citizens.

Zwanziger has argued he never intended to insult the people of Qatar but wanted to criticize the FIFA process which awarded the 2022 World Cup to the gas-rich country.

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