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Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson dies at age 26

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson has died at age 26.Ferguson, nicknamed “Sack Daddy,” played three NFL seasons, all with Baltimore. He set the career sacks record in the college Football Bowl Subdivision (45) when he played at Louisiana Tech. Police said the cause of death is still to be determined.“On June 21, 2022, at approximately 11:25 p.m., Northern District patrol officers responded to a home in the 400 block of Ilchester Avenue for a report of a questionable death,” Baltimore police said. “Once there, officers located 26-year-old Jaylon Ferguson, unresponsive, being treated by medics. Ferguson never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on the scene by medics. No signs of trauma was found or foul play suspected at this time.”Ferguson was drafted by the Ravens in the third round in 2019, and played in 38 games as a pro with 4 1/2 sacks.“We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson,” the Ravens said in a statement. “He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and infectious personality. We express our heartfelt condolences to Jaylon’s family and friends as we mourn a life lost much too soon.”Born Dec. 14, 1995, in St. Francisville, Louisiana, Ferguson played high school and basketball at West Feliciana. At Louisiana Tech, his 45 sacks were one better than another Ravens linebacker, Terrell Suggs, achieved at Arizona State.Ferguson was a third-team AP All-American in 2018.“The LA Tech Family mourns this morning’s tragic news of the sudden death of former Bulldog great, Jaylon Ferguson,” the Louisiana Tech program tweeted. “We will remember his God-given talents on the field and his infectious personality off of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”———Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister———More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

Gold for teenage stars McIntosh, Popovici at swimming worlds

BUDAPEST, Hungary — The kids are all right.Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh won the women’s 200 butterfly for her first title at the world swimming championships on Wednesday before 17-year-old Romanian David Popovici claimed his second.They still have some way to go to match Katie Ledecky, who claimed her 18th gold at a worlds by helping the United States win the women’s 4×200 freestyle. The 25-year-old Ledecky now has 21 medals, extending her record for the most among female swimmers in the competition.Popovici won the men‘s 100 freestyle to add to the 200 freestyle he won on Monday. He is just the second man to achieve the double at a worlds, after Jim Montgomery of the United States in 1973.The 15-year-old McIntosh clocked 2:05.20 – a world junior record – in the 200 butterfly to pip the three Olympic medallists to the title.McIntosh finished 0.88 seconds ahead of American Hali Flickinger and 1.12 ahead of China’s Zhang Yufei. American Regan Smith was 1.59 behind in fourth.Popovici, who set a world junior record of 47.13 in qualifying for the 100, had to fight hard to edge France’s Maxime Grousset by 0.06 seconds in the final with a time of 47.58.Canada’s Joshua Liendo Edwards, who was leading at the halfway stage, took the bronze.Two-time defending champion Caeleb Dressel didn’t race after withdrawing from the rest of the competition with an unspecified medical condition earlier Wednesday.The Americans had to wait until the women’s 4×200 freestyle for their 11th gold of the championships as Claire Weinstein, Leah Smith, Ledecky and Bella Sims finished 2.41 seconds ahead of the Australian team and 3.31 ahead of the Canadians.McIntosh showed no ill effects from the 200 butterfly earlier as she set a junior record of 1:54.79 over her 200 meters. Only Ledecky and Sims were faster on the night.Kylie Masse claimed Canada’s second gold on the fifth night of racing at the worlds by winning the women’s 50 backstroke in 27.31 – 0.08 ahead of American Katharine Berkoff and 0.09 ahead of French swimmer Analia Pigree.Masse became the first swimmer from Canada, male or female, to win three golds at a worlds.The 20-year-old Léon Marchand then continued his remarkable competition by winning the men’s 200 individual medley in 1:55.22, lowering the French record he set in the semifinals. Marchand finished 0.49 ahead of American Carson Foster, 1.00 ahead of Japan’s Daiya Seto and 1.21 ahead of Chase Kalisz.It was Marchand’s second gold at this worlds after the men’s 400 medley on Saturday, when he almost took Michael Phelps’ world record, and his third medal after silver in the 200 butterfly on Tuesday.“I was a little tired this morning,” Marchand told journalists.———More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

NBA Draft 2022 odds: Paolo Banchero quickly rising to be No. 1 pick

The NBA Draft buzz has just increased following a major odds shift in the past week. Duke’s Paolo Banchero has been gaining momentum to become a strong favorite to go No. 1 overall at multiple sportsbooks. Per FOX Bet sports trader Martin Pascual, Banchero’s odds to be chosen first reached +2500 (bet $10 to win $260 total) and have now shortened all the way to +225 (bet $10 to win $32.50 total). This means that the Orlando Magic, who will select first, might be bringing some Blue Devil hocus pocus down to the land of Mickey Mouse. This also means that Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren — the former stronger contender for the top pick — is extremely unlikely to hook up with his former AAU and high school teammate, Jalen Suggs, down in Florida. Banchero, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound small forward, averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 boards, and 3.2 assists in his sole season at Duke. After battling fatigue issues early in his freshman season, he became the focal point of a formidable team that could see five players selected on Thursday. Draft bettors largely expected him to be selected behind Auburn’s Jabari Smith and Gonzaga’s Holmgren. After the holders of the third pick, the Houston Rockets, traded Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks, many took this as a signal that Banchero was a lock to team up with Jalen Green in the land Hakeem built. However, as we always say around these parts: things change fast in the Association.First, there have been rumors that Holmgren has his sights set on being selected second by Oklahoma City and, therefore, hasn’t been too cooperative with the Magic’s requests.”There are reports that Holmgren doesn’t want to end up in Orlando and has refused to share his medical records,” Pascual shared. On the surface this is curious because of the aforementioned strong relationship with Suggs — Orlando’s first pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. However, with Mo Bamba, Wendall Carter Jr, Jonathan Issac, Bol Bol and the Wagner brothers (Franz and Moritz) on the roster, perhaps Holmgren simply feels there are too many big men in the paint for his particular style. Second, generally speaking, the top pick is usually determined at this point. The weeks leading up to the 2020 draft everyone knew Anthony Edwards was going first overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves, just like everyone knew Cade Cunningham was headed to the Detroit Pistons as the top pick in 2021.  However, with under 36 hours to go until draft time, the Magic have been quiet as a church mouse and with that comes unrest, speculation and a boost to Banchero’s odds.”With Orlando not having publicly declared who they will pick, it is assumed that it is now down between Banchero and Smith,” Pascual said.  “CBS also came out with a mock draft where they had Banchero going to Orlando.”On top of both of these factors remains the fact that many prognosticators view Banchero as not only the best player in the draft but the most NBA ready. With his build, size and skills, he projects to be Tobias Harris at worst and a modern-day Chris Webber at best. Given the events surrounding Holmgren, Orlando and his skill set, is there any surprise that the bettors have adjusted their wagers so quickly? “We had him as high as +2500 last week, but then the odds gradually decreased to where it is now.” Pascual shared. “The biggest decrease we saw was Monday where he dropped from +900 to +300. We currently have him at +225.”  Smith remains the overall favorite at -250, with Banchero at +225 and Holmgren at +275.For what it’s worth, FOX Sports Betting Analyst Jason McIntyre likes Paolo intangibles, but ultimately believes Orlando will go with Smith. “When I wrote about Smith going first after the Magic won the lottery, he was +100. He’s now sitting at -154 [these odds are now -250] to be the first pick,” McIntyre wrote. “I have maintained that I’d take Paolo Banchero first overall, as his relentless motor is always on display and he’s more diverse offensively. But the Magic are going to ride measurables and Smith’s 3-point shooting and grab him first.”So what do you think? Is this all conjecture from the sharps or could Banchero pull off one of the biggest surprises since Anthony Bennett went first overall in 2013? When it comes to the NBA Draft’s next No. 1 pick, what’s your wager? Head over to FOX Bet to get in on the actions now!Play FOX Super 6 every week for your chance to win thousands of dollars every week. Just download the Super 6 app and make your picks today! Get more from National Basketball Association Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more. in this topic share story

NFL seeks arbitration for Flores' racial discrimination suit

NEW YORK — The NFL and six of its teams have filed for arbitration in the lawsuit that alleges they engaged in racial discrimination. If the league’s request is successful, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would be the arbitrator. The league and the teams filed papers late Tuesday with a judge presiding over a lawsuit that was filed by Brian Flores after he was fired in January as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. The NFL said employment agreements with teams signed by Flores and other coaches contain provisions that require the arbitration of all disputes.Flores now works as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Two other Black coaches in the league — Steve Wilks and Ray Horton — joined Flores’ lawsuit, in which he alleges that the league engages in racist hiring practices despite its claims to the contrary.The NFL has insisted the lawsuit is “without merit,” although Goodell said before the Super Bowl that “all of the allegations, whether they were based on racism or discrimination or the integrity of our game, all of those to me were very disturbing.”A Manhattan federal judge is unlikely to rule on the arbitration issue until late summer at the earliest.David Gottlieb, a lawyer for the coaches, said Wednesday that moving the case to the secrecy of arbitration was, in effect, “stripping our clients of their rights.”“Arbitration is privatizing the judicial branch,” Gottlieb said. “All we’re asking for is an open and fair process.”He said lawyers for Flores and the other two coaches will argue that the lawsuit belongs in federal court because any agreements calling for arbitration were signed with the teams rather than the league.In March, Flores’ attorney Douglas Wigdor wrote a letter to Goodell, saying “arbitration is not transparent” and urging him to let the lawsuit stay before a judge.In its papers, the NFL argued that the discrimination lawsuit’s claims were not properly before the Manhattan court because multiple arbitration agreements signed by the coaches require arbitration. The league also defended its record on fighting discrimination, saying “diversity, equity and inclusion are core NFL values.” It cited its implementation nearly two decades ago of the “Rooney Rule,” which now requires teams to interview at least two minority candidates for any head coaching opening and at least one candidate in person.In his February lawsuit, Flores said the league remained “rife with racism” and continues to deny Black coaches positions for racial reasons, making it difficult for them to become general managers, head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators and quarterbacks coaches in particular.His lawsuit sought class-action status and unspecified damages. In their papers, the league — along with the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals and the Tennessee Titans — insisted that arbitration agreements will require the coaches to assert their claims individually.The filing came hours before a House committee released a document alleging Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” to discredit former employees who claimed workplace sexual harassment. The document said private investigators were hired to intimidate witnesses and an overseas lawsuit was used as a pretext to obtain phone records and emails.———More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

USFL Awards 2022: Gamblers' Chris Odom is Defensive Player of Year

Chris Odom was a menace to opposing quarterbacks all season long. Now, the Houston Gamblers defensive end has been rewarded for his efforts with the USFL’s inaugural Defensive Player of the Year award.Odom, a 27-year-old out of Arkansas State, was a driving force behind a vicious Gamblers defense that was tied for the league in interceptions (13), was first in forced fumbles (14) and second in sacks (26).Gamblers’ Chris Odom season highlights
Check out the 2022 highlights of Houston Gamblers’ defensive end Chris Odom.
The 6-4, 260-pound Odom was a big reason for those numbers, as he led the USFL in both sacks (12.5) and forced fumbles (six) by wide margins. In fact, no other player had more than nine sacks or three forced fumbles on the season.Other USFL 2022 awards: — MVP: KaVontae Turpin, Generals— Offensive Player of the Year: Darius Victor, Generals— Coach of the Year: Mike Riley, Generals Get more from United States Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more. in this topic share story

USFL Awards 2022: Generals' Victor is Offensive Player of the Year

Darius Victor earned acclaim this season for his massive thighs and straight-ahead running style. Now, he will also be known as the USFL’s Offensive Player of the Year. The running back was an unstoppable force for New Jersey this season, helping guide the run-first Generals to a 9-1 regular-season record. Generals’ Darius Victor season highlights
Check out highlights of New Jersey Generals star Darius Victor.
Victor led the USFL with nine rushing touchdowns this season and ranked third in rushing yards (577) and fourth in yards per game (57.7). And he did all of this without starting a single game, as he backed up Trey Williams.The 5-8, 209-pounder out of Towson also has a remarkable personal story, having come to the U.S. as a child after being born in a refugee camp in Africa. He shared his story with RJ Young on “The Number One Ranked Show.” Darius Victor on his journey from a refugee camp to the USFL
RJ Young sits down with Generals RB Darius Victor. In their conversation, Victor details his incredible journey from being born in a refugee camp in Africa to playing professional football in the USFL.
Other USFL 2022 awards: — MVP: KaVontae Turpin, Generals— Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Odom, Gamblers— Coach of the Year: Mike Riley, Generals Get more from United States Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more. in this topic share story

USFL Awards 2022: Generals WR KaVontae Turpin named MVP

Usually, the Most Valuable Player in any football league ends up being a quarterback. In the inaugural season of the USFL, however, the all-around greatness of KaVontae Turpin was impossible to ignore.The New Jersey Generals receiver was named MVP for the 2022 season on Wednesday, and when you look at the numbers, you can see why.Turpin, a 25-year-old product of TCU, was a force both as a receiver and kick returner. Playing for one of only two teams that went 9-1 this season — with the Birmingham Stallions being the other — Turpin led the league in receiving yards (540) and Yards After Catch (316). He accomplished this despite being targeted only 53 times, well behind league-leader Lance Lenoir of Michigan (88 targets).He also led the USFL in punt return average (15.3) and was the only player to score a touchdown on a kick return this season, dashing 71 yards for a score against Michigan in Week 9.Generals’ KaVontae Turpin season highlights
Check out highlights of New Jersey Generals’ star KaVontae Turpin.
Other USFL 2022 awards: — Offensive Player of the Year: Darius Victor, Gamblers— Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Odom, Gamblers— Coach of the Year: Mike Riley, Generals Get more from United States Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more. in this topic share story