In Brief: Following Outcry, NFL Increases Domestic Violence Bans
New York — Acknowledging he “didn’t get it right” with a two-game suspension for Ravens running back Ray Rice, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced tougher penalties for players accused of domestic violence, including six weeks for a first offense and at least a year for a second.
In a letter sent to all 32 team owners Thursday and obtained by The Associated Press, Goodell never mentions Rice by name but makes clear references to the Baltimore player who was charged with assault after being caught on video dragging his then-fiancee off a casino elevator.
“My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values,” Goodell wrote. “I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”
Since January 2000, 77 players have been involved in 85 domestic violence incidents with six being cut by their teams, according to USA Today’s NFL Arrests Database. The NFL suspended six players for one game each, and Rice was the second player to be suspended for two games.
No. 21 Texas A&M 52 No. 9 S. Carolina 28
Columbia, s.c. — Kenny Hill broke Johnny Manziel’s single-game passing record with 511 yards and Texas A&M beat South Carolina, ending the Gamecocks’ 18-game home win streak.
Hill’s performance in his first career start proved there is plenty of life in the Aggies’ offense without Manziel, a Heisman Trophy winner and first-round selection in the NFL draft. Hill finished 44 of 60 with three touchdowns.
Hill was steady and confident in the pocket, leading Texas A&M (1-0, 1-0 SEC) to a 31-14 halftime lead and finishing up with the most passing yards allowed in Steve Spurrier’s 10 seasons with the Gamecocks (0-1, 0-1).
The Gamecocks played their first game since the departure of star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney — and it showed. South Carolina gave up seven TDs on A&Ms first 11 possessions.
USC Coach: Shaw Could Return
Los Angeles — Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian says he shares blame with the athletic department for publicizing cornerback Josh Shaw’s bogus story about injuring his ankles while saving his nephew from drowning.
Sarkisian also said Thursday that the suspended Shaw could “potentially” return to the Trojans at some point this season.
“Obviously there’s some other things that need to take place,” Sarkisian said Thursday after USC’s practice. “But in the meantime, he’s got to take care of his health and take care of himself, and when the time is right to bring him back, we will.”
The first-year coach said Shaw still hasn’t told the Trojans exactly how he sprained both of his ankles last weekend.
Shaw admitted his elaborate story of heroism was a lie Wednesday in a meeting with USC officials, but offered no alternative explanation. Shaw was accompanied by attorney Donald Etra, who said Shaw’s injury involved no criminal activity.
Kim Leads LPGA Event
Portland, Ore. — I.K. Kim birdied the first four holes on the back nine Thursday and finished with a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Portland Classic.
The South Korean player birdied seven of the first 13 holes and closed her afternoon round with five straight pars. She won the last of her three LPGA Tour titles in 2010.
Amelia Lewis and Jennifer Song were a shot back in ideal conditions at Columbia Edgewater.