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Sports briefs for Feb. 19, 2014

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Dolphins fire trainer implicated in bullying

The Miami Dolphins fired longtime head trainer Kevin O’Neill, who was implicated in the bullying scandal report, according to multiple media outlets Wednesday.

O’Neill is the first person to lose his job over bullying in the Dolphins’ locker room. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen first reported the dismissal.

The 144-page Ted Wells report released Friday said Richie Incognito, who was suspended by the team in November, and fellow offensive linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey harassed Jonathan Martin, while another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer also routinely came under attack, the investigation found.

According to the report, O’Neill stood by and did nothing while players hurled racial insults at an assistant athletic trainer. The report also says O’Neill was not cooperative with the investigation.

D-League to experiment with flopping technicals

The NBA Developmental League will start calling technical fouls on players during games for flopping in an attempt to curb the practice, the NBA announced Wednesday.

D-League president Dan Reed said technicals will be assessed starting Thursday and continue through the end of the season. The hope is that the in-game penalty will discourage the practice of faking contact in an attempt to draw a foul on an opponent.

“There isn’t a better place to experiment with NBA rules than in the NBA D-League, and we are pleased to test this experimental rule that, for the first time, creates an in-game penalty for flopping,” Reed said. “The NBA D-League is the research and development laboratory for the NBA and both leagues are always evaluating ways to further the game.”

Officials will assess the technicals to any player whom they judge to be flopping. The referees will be required to confirm the flopping calls on instant replay monitors at the first timeout after an infraction or a quarter break. The technical will be assessed after replay confirmation.

In the final two minutes of a game, flopping calls will be reviewed and technicals assessed immediately after the infraction.

Kings, Nets complete three-player trade

The Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets completed a trade on Wednesday that shipped shooting guard Marcus Thornton to the Nets in exchange for shooting guard Jason Terry and power forward Reggie Evans.

The Nets were looking for scoring help off the bench and ESPN reported that they were interested in Cleveland’s Jarrett Jack. But the Cavaliers hesitated on taking Terry as part of the deal and the Nets then turned their attention to landing Thornton.

No cash or draft picks were involved in the deal, Yahoo! Sports reported. Thornton will make $8.6 million next season, Terry $5.4 million and Evans $1.8 million.

Thornton is having a down year for the Kings, averaging 8.3 points and shooting 38.1 percent from the field. In the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, Thornton averaged 21.3 and 18.7 points, respectively.

The 36-year-old Terry is averaging 4.5 points in 35 games for the Nets, who acquired him from the Boston Celtics last summer in the trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Police: Rice knocked out fiancee

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice “struck Janay Palmer (his fiancee) with his hand, rendering her unconscious” according to the summons issued in Atlantic City Municipal Court on Wednesday.

The couple was arrested early Saturday morning following an altercation at a casino, according to Atlantic City, N.J., police.

Rice, 27, and Janay Palmer, 26, were spotted on security cameras engaging in a physical struggle. Both were charged with simple assault-domestic violence, and they were released with a summons to appear in court. Rice allegedly is seen on the footage removing Palmer from the elevator while she remained unconscious.

“The complaint summons indicates that both Rice and Palmer struck each other with their hands,” according to a previous police statement. No injuries were reported at the time of the arrest.

Rice’s attorney, Michael Diamondstein said this week, “There was an argument that included Ray. I can’t give any specifics because we haven’t seen the document yet. Once we’re able to go through the evidence, it should wind up to be little more than a misunderstanding.”

RHP Jimenez signs four-year deal with Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles finalized a four-year, $50 million contract with right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old Jimenez has an 82-75 career record with a 3.92 ERA in 212 career games, including 211 starts, with the Colorado Rockies and the Cleveland Indians. The deal became official after Jimenez passed a physical.

Last season with the Indians, Jimenez went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 182 2/3 innings. He finished strong, winning American League Pitcher of the Month for September after posting a 4-0 record with a 1.09 ERA in his final six starts. He ranked among the AL’s top 10 in strikeouts per nine innings (9.56), road ERA (2.95), strikeouts (194) and ERA during the 2013 season.

With the Rockies, Jimenez was the National League’s starting pitcher in the 2010 All-Star Game and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting that season after posting a 19-8 record with a 2.88 ERA.


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