NFL pulls side judge for being Saints fan
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The NFL has removed a replacement official from the New Orleans-Carolina game because it discovered he’s a Saints fan.
Side judge Brian Stropolo has been replaced by an alternate, Tim Keese. The NFL made the decision Sunday morning just hours before kickoff.
“He was replaced because of the information that surfaced disclosing that he is a Saints fan,” league spokesman Michael Signora said.
The league will look further into the matter. It received several phone calls and emails about Stropolo, who is from New Orleans and posted several photos of himself in Saints gear tailgating at a preseason game on his Facebook page.
Stropolo’s Facebook page has since been taken down.
Stropolo worked the Week 1 NFL opener, a nationally televised game between the Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.
ESPN was first to report the news.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined comment on the situation, calling it “a league matter.”
US coach placed on administrative leave
U.S. speedskating coach Jae Su Chun was placed on administrative leave Sunday, hours after his spokesman released a statement denying claims of verbal, physical and psychological abuse brought by current and former members of the national team, including five Olympic medalists.
Nineteen short-track skaters filed a wide-ranging grievance against U.S. Speedskating and 14 signed a code of conduct complaint with the U.S. Olympic Committee on Aug. 30.
“In light of a statement released today by Jae Su Chun — along with the on-going investigation — the U.S. Speedskating Board of Directors has voted today to place Mr. Chun on administrative leave. Mr. Chun will be on leave until the outcome of this investigation is complete,” U.S. Speedskating said. “Until further notice, the practice sessions for all U.S. Speedskating athletes will be closed. We request that the media respect the privacy of our athletes as they prepare for the start of the upcoming season.”
A USOC spokesman confirmed Friday the organization is investigating charges that include accusations Chun slammed an athlete against a wall and repeatedly hit him, threw bottles and chairs at skaters, and repeatedly told female skaters they were “fat” and “disgusting.”
Morgan gives US women 2-1 win against Australia
CARSON, Calif. — Alex Morgan scored a goal and set up another as the U.S. women’s national soccer team rallied from a first-half deficit to beat Australia 2-1 Sunday in the second game on a post-Olympic tour.
Morgan scored the tying goal in the 55th minute and won the penalty kick fellow Southern Californian Shannon Boxx converted eight minutes later as London gold medalists shook off a rough first 45 minutes.
The U.S. improved to 2-0 on the 10-game tour. The match drew 19,851 to the Home Depot Center.
Australia went ahead in the 34th minute when Lisa DeVanna beat Hope Solo after outsprinting two defenders on a run from midfield.
U.S. coach Pia Sundhage will guide the team for the final time in Wednesday’s rematch with Australia in Commerce City, Colo.
Notre Dame’s defense loses Slaughter for the year
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Notre Dame’s defense has taken a hit.
Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly announced Sunday that safety Jamoris Slaughter will miss the rest of the season. Slaughter tore his left Achilles tendon in a 20-3 win over Michigan State on Saturday night. The senior started the first three games this year and 19 in his career.
Matthias Farley is expected to start in Slaughter’s place when No. 11 Notre Dame hosts No. 18 Michigan on Saturday night.
Kelly says plans are being made for linebacker Manti Te’o to go home to Hawaii during the team’s bye week after playing the Wolverines. Te’o was sensational against the Spartans just days after the deaths of his grandmother on Tuesday and then on Wednesday, his girlfriend, who had a long battle with leukemia.
Spain back in Davis Cup final with win over US
GIJON, Spain — John Isner and the U.S. Davis Cup team saw firsthand that Spain’s dominance isn’t limited to Rafael Nadal.
Ferrer beat Isner 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday to give the five-time champions an insurmountable 3-1 lead and a shot at a fourth title in five years. They’ll face the Czech Republic on the road in the final.
Helped by Isner’s 70 unforced errors, the fifth-ranked Ferrer rallied to stay unbeaten on clay in the competition with his 16th straight win.
Isner was left slamming his racket in frustration.
“Spain is the high water mark in the Davis Cup in the last 15 years. We always knew it was going to be close,” U.S. captain Jim Courier said. “They have great individual players, great depth and great passion for Davis Cup. It’s not rocket science. You have great ingredients and you have to blend them together, and they do a great job.”
Ferrer and Nadal had both said they would scale back Davis Cup availability after helping clinch last year’s final title against Argentina. While Nadal has since been limited by injury, Ferrer decided to return to make this his team now.
Home rider Tiernan-Locke wins Tour of Britain
GUILDFORD, England — Jonathan Tiernan-Locke became the first home winner of the Tour of Britain in 19 years after finishing safely in the main pack in Sunday’s final stage won by compatriot Mark Cavendish.
Tiernan-Locke, who will compete in the road world championships in the Netherlands next week, kept out of trouble to maintain the 18-second lead he held from Saturday over the 90-mile trek from Reigate to Guildford in southeast England.
Nathan Haas of Australia was second overall and Damiano Caruso placed third.
Cavendish, the road race world champion, claimed his third stage win of the race.