Sports Briefs

Published 11:35 pm Monday, July 13, 2015

350 fans pay $125 to meet with Manziel

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — About 350 fans paid at least $125 each to meet former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel as he prepares for his second NFL season.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner appeared Sunday at Aggieland Outfitters in College Station. The Eagle newspaper reports Manziel hosted his first public autograph signing session since being drafted last year by Cleveland. The paper said Manziel’s licensing agent, Panini Authentic, oversaw the sold-out event that cost fans between $125 and $155 per ticket, depending on the size of the item being signed.

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Manziel threw for 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns for Texas A&M. He was suspended for the first half of the 2013 opener against Rice for what the school called an “inadvertent” violation of NCAA rules by signing autographs, allegedly for memorabilia brokers.


UK’s Blue Madness scheduled Oct. 16

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness tipoff for its men’s and women’s teams is set for Oct. 16 at Rupp Arena.

Free tickets will be distributed on Oct. 2 at 10 p.m. to allow fans to attend the Wildcats’ home football game against Eastern Kentucky the next day. Campout and more ticket information for the highly popular workouts will be released later.

Kentucky’s men’s squad will be replacing seven players from last year’s record-setting squad that began 38-0 before losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four. Forwards Marcus Lee and Derek Willis and guards Tyler Ulis and Dominique Hawkins return for the Wildcats, whose highly rated recruiting class includes Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe and Skal Labissiere.

Guard Linnae Harper returns for Kentucky’s women, who are coming off a sixth straight NCAA tournament appearance.


Bryant wants deal before he will play

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is sending another signal that he won’t play without a long-term contract.

Bryant posted a message on Twitter to Dallas fans Monday, apologizing while saying he “will not be there” if he doesn’t have a new deal by Wednesday’s deadline.

The All-Pro, who led the NFL with 16 touchdowns receiving last season, has a one-year offer of $12.8 million under the franchise tag. Because he hasn’t signed a contract, Bryant can’t be fined for missing training camp, which starts July 30. He would lose about $750,000 for each regular-season game he skipped.

“As much as I love football … I apologize (hash)cowboynation but I will not be there if no deal,” wrote Bryant, who skipped offseason workouts and has said he would consider missing games.


Thomas’ mom gets out of prison early

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Demaryius Thomas received some good news Monday and it had nothing to do with his contract stalemate with the Denver Broncos: his mother is getting out of prison early.

President Barack Obama cut the prison sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders, and one of them was Katina Smith, who has been incarcerated in Georgia since 2000.

She and her mother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, were arrested on drug trafficking charges in 1999 when Thomas was 11 years old.

Smith was scheduled to be released in 2017. Now, she’ll be released on Nov. 10.

Smith had declined to testify against her mother in exchange for a reduced sentence. Her mother received a life sentence as a multiple offender.


Ex-NFL receiver missing in lake

WYLIE, Texas (AP) — Authorities are searching for a former Houston Texans receiver who fell out of a rented boat during a family outing at a Dallas-area lake.

The Collin County Sheriff’s Office says 37-year-old JaJuan Dawson wasn’t wearing a lifejacket Sunday night when he fell into Lavon Lake, near Wylie.

Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Havey says it’s unclear why Dawson fell overboard, but alcohol isn’t considered a factor. Havey says murky waters are hindering the search.

Dawson was a 6-foot-1, 197-pound receiver from Houston’s Bourgeois High School by way of Tulane who went on to a three-year NFL career. He spent the 2000 and 2001 seasons with Cleveland and 2002 with Houston. He had 52 catches for 664 yards and two touchdowns in his pro career.