- Associated Press - Friday, February 10, 2017


NEW YORK (AP) - Charles Oakley maintains he did nothing wrong before he was surrounded by Madison Square Garden security officials.

Something has happened, though, to turn him from popular player to persona non grata within his former franchise.

Oakley blamed his strained relationship with the Knicks and owner James Dolan on Thursday for the altercation that led to his ejection and arrest from New York’s 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Oakley said during an ESPN Radio interview that he had been in his seat for just a few minutes when he was surrounded by security, denying that they approached him after he shouted at Dolan. Oakley said he has been told that Dolan must be informed by security whenever he is in the arena, and that MSG staff follows him when he leaves his seat to go the bathroom.

But the Knicks said in a statement that he was causing trouble Wednesday even before security reached his seat.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Bucks star Jabari Parker has suffered a season-ending left knee injury for the second time in three years.

Parker will need surgery after tearing the ACL in the third quarter of the Bucks’ 116-88 loss to Miami on Wednesday. The Bucks say the recovery and rehabilitation period will take about a year, meaning he will miss the beginning of next season.

Parker was averaging a career-high 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds as one of the Bucks’ franchise cornerstones and the team’s second-leading scorer. Until Wednesday, he showed no signs that the knee was giving him trouble, consistently making explosive drives to the bucket.

Parker went down with 6:34 left in the third quarter after making minimal contact with a defender with his body on a drive to the lane. His left knee did not make contact but buckled.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Carson Palmer is coming back for a 15th NFL season.

The 37-year-old quarterback made the commitment in a statement.

“My intent was to take some time after the (2016) season to get away and see where I was physically and mentally,” Palmer said. “On both fronts, I can say I’m ready to get back to work and prepare for the 2017 season.”

There had been speculation about Palmer and receiver Larry Fitzgerald for next season. Fitzgerald said last week he was returning.

Palmer and Fitzgerald each agreed to one-year contract extensions last year. Palmer’s deal put him under contract through 2018.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts released 33-year-old linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, a move that will save the Colts about $5.5 million under the salary cap.

It’s the first significant decision made by new general manager Chris Ballard.

Jackson started all three seasons he was in Indy and was the defensive signal caller and leading tackler - before missing the final four games of last season to serve a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - The Seattle Seahawks have signed former Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh.

Walsh spent five seasons with the Vikings before being released midway through last season.

Walsh is infamously remembered for missing a 27-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds of a 2015 NFC wild-card game against Seattle that could have given Minnesota the victory. Walsh was 12 of 16 on field goals and 15 of 19 on extra points last season before being released.

The signing of Walsh could signal a kicking change for the Seahawks. Steven Hauschka is a free agent and had his own struggles last season. Hauschka has been Seattle’s kicker for the past six seasons, but was 33 of 37 on field goals and 29 of 35 on extra points during the 2016 regular season.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers president Danny Morrison announced he has resigned to pursue other career opportunities at the college level.

Morrison has served as Panthers team president since 2009. He was hired after Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson abruptly let go of his sons Mark and Jon Richardson when the brothers couldn’t get along at work. Richardson hired Morrison despite the fact he had no experience at the NFL level at the time.


CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) - A Stony Brook basketball player from California has been arraigned on charges of raping a minor.

Sophomore Blair Mendy is accused of engaging in sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl at a campus apartment on Dec. 20.

The 22-year-old from San Jose faces third-degree rape and other charges. A judge set bail at $2,000. His attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment.


MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Marlins are for sale, and owner Jeffrey Loria may have a buyer.

Loria has a preliminary agreement to sell the team to a New York businessman, but the deal could fall through because the final purchase price hasn’t been determined, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Marlins have not commented publicly on the negotiations.

The preliminary agreement was for a purchase price of about $1.6 billion, the person said, but added that was before the prospective buyer did due diligence. The final offer by the potential buyer could be much lower, the person said.

The person declined to identify the prospective buyer but said other parties are also interested in purchasing the team, and negotiations with them might eventually be reopened.

Forbes reported earlier Thursday, citing two unidentified sources, that Marlins President David Samson has said that there is a $1.6 billion handshake agreement for a sale.


NEW YORK (AP) - Mike Tirico is taking over from Bob Costas as the prime-time host of NBC’s Olympics coverage starting next winter in South Korea.

Costas, who has been the on-air concierge to NBC’s Olympics 11 times starting in 1992, said he decided on his own a year ago that the time was right for a change.

“This is entirely on my terms and I like it that way,” Costas said. He said he wants to do some commentary on special events - maybe even the Olympics - and long-form programming, likening his new role to what former news anchor Tom Brokaw does at NBC. He also wants to broadcast more baseball to get his fastball back, saying he listened to old tapes and realized he wasn’t doing that as well as he used to.

“I’m not retiring, I’m just transitioning,” he said.

The 50-year-old Tirico had been considered an heir apparent since joining NBC Sports from ESPN last year. He helped with the network’s coverage of the Rio Olympics last summer.


DETROIT (AP) - Three Michigan State University football players have been suspended from team activities and removed from on-campus housing as part of a sexual assault investigation.

A staff member associated with Michigan State’s football program also has been suspended, school spokesman Jason Cody said in a release.

Police are expected to forward reports in the case to the Ingham County prosecutor’s office for possible criminal charges.

“As part of the criminal investigation, detectives are interviewing members of the coaching staff and other relevant individuals regarding their response since the complaint was made in late January,” Cody said.

Names of the players were not released, but Cody said the school is retaining a law firm to conduct an investigation into “football program staff members’ compliance with university policy in connection with the allegations.”

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