An arbitrator reportedly ruled the University of Southern California does not owe former head football coach Steve Sarkisian any money after he sued the school for wrongful termination. TMZ Sports reported the news, noting Sarkisian—who is now the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons—sued the school for $30 million and said USC fired him for alcoholism instead of helping him. The coach said alcoholism was a disability going by California law, but the arbitrator ruled the laws "[do] not insulate the failure to control a controllable disability nor afford an employee a second chance to control a disability in the future." According to TMZ, a "booze-fueled rant at a Salute to Troy event in August 2015" led USC to require Sarkisian to attend counseling sessions. The school also said it gave the coach an agreement stipulating he could be immediately fired after another similar incident. While the coach signed the agreement, he denied having an alcohol problem at the time. The school then fired him in October that year, a day after placing him on indefinite leave after he appeared inebriated when arriving for meetings and practice. The ESPN.com report at the time cited a player who said Sarkisian "showed up lit to meetings again today" and noted USC's staff suspected he was under the influence during a game against Arizona State. TMZ cited the arbitrator who said "Sakisian must bear sole responsibility for having actively concealed from USC his claimed disabilities" after the coach initially said he didn't suffer from alcoholism after the incident at the Salute to Troy event. Since then, Sarkisian has publicly spoken about his struggles with alcoholism and served as an assistant on the University of Alabama's staff before accepting the role with the Falcons.
Diallo, the former redshirt freshman Kentucky guard, was taken with the 45th overall selection by the Hornets, but was then traded to the Thunder in exchange for a 2019 second-round draft pick. While a player being traded on draft night isn’t uncommon, the two teams could not complete the trade until the beginning of the league year on July 6 due to NBA rules. So, Diallo could not participate with the Thunder during practices leading up to the start of the Summer League until the trade was eventually made official on Friday. “I haven’t got to practice with the team on the court,” Diallo said on Saturday after the team’s win over the Nets. “[Friday] was my first time with the team on the court. Since he could not practice with the team, it isn’t much of a surprise then to assume it wasn’t a good situation to be in as he could have been in the gym with the team learning the system, but couldn’t due to league rules. “Now that we’re going up and down, I feel like this game is for me. 45 overall pick, but is ready to move on and make the most of his time with the Thunder. “I went 45th in the draft, but I feel like the draft is over now,” Diallo said. So you just got to go out there and work hard and just always know that it’s not about your pick, it’s all about fit and how bad do you want it?” After getting back on track on Saturday, the team will surely be looking to see if he can continue to be consistent and turn in another solid outing for the Thunder on Monday at 12:30 p.m. CT. As a player that feels like he still has a lot to prove, it appears as though he is highly motivated to be great.
Oklahoma football’s new era of style is underway. OU launched images of its new Jordan Brand uniforms Monday morning, with linebackers Kenneth Murray and Caleb Kelly, quarterback Kyler Murray, running back Rodney Anderson and offensive lineman Bobby Evans among players used as models. Inspired and built on the foundation of basketball icon Michael Jordan, OU is the third college football program to don the Nike-owned Jordan Brand, joining Michigan and North Carolina. For the most part, OU retained its traditional look. Noticeable changes include a switch from the school’s Yearbook font to one called “Sooner Born,” which was developed by Nike’s Graphic Identity Group and is exclusive to OU. This is a good comparison between the fonts: Side-by-side comparison of the updated #Sooners helmet decals. pic.twitter.com/HRTyThIid5 — Sooner Tracker (@SoonerTracker) July 9, 2018 The Jumpman Jordan logo — a venerable, highly recognizable sleek cutout of Jordan skying for a dunk — is embroidered on the jerseys’ left breast, as well as the gloves and pants. The cleats received a makeover, too. OU announced last November that the football, women’s basketball and men’s basketball teams will begin wearing the uniforms in 2018-19. With the recruiting dead period in full swing, the release puts OU’s new digs directly in front of prospects.
SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports' Steve DiMeglio discusses Tiger Woods' ascension this season. USA TODAY Sports On the heels of his bizarre breach of conduct last month at the U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson was hit with another penalty during Sunday's final round of this week's PGA Tour event in West Virginia. Mickelson was on the seventh tee at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier when he tamped down some grass in front of the tee box. Mickelson was forced to call a two-stroke penalty on himself. Mickelson said he "wasn't really thinking." However, he could have avoided the issue altogether. Since he hadn't yet hit his shot, he could have simply moved the ball somewhere else in the tee box where the grass wouldn't have been in his line. The penalty resulted in Mickelson carding a double-bogey instead of a par on the hole. At the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills last month, Mickelson used his putter to stop a ball that was about to roll off the 13th green, a move he called "clearly not my finest moment." He was assessed a two-stroke penalty and ended up shooting an 81.
Longtime OU pitching and catching coach Melyssa Lombardi has accepted the job as the new head softball coach at Oregon. In 2017 Coach Lombardi was named the NFCA Assistant Coach of the Year after her great work with the Sooners pitchers and catchers. Under the guidance of Coach Lombardi, the Sooners have turned out some of the best pitchers and catchers in collegiate softball history. Following Stewart and Moran, Kami Keiter took over in 2003 and lead the Big 12 in wins with 47. In 2007 Lauren Eckermann earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors. Eckermann earned All-American honors and tied a Sooner record with 37 wins. In 2004 and 2005 catcher Heather Scaglione earned two All-American first team honors becoming the first Sooner catcher to earn back-back-back All-American honors. Parker was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year for four straight years and was named the Women’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player in 2017. Lombardi guided one of the deepest staffs in the country in 2017 with Parker leading the way flamethrower Paige Lowary became the dominant closer in collegiate softball and Mariah Lopez went 18-1 on the season leading the Sooners to a National Championship. In all, while Lombardi has been part of the OU staff the Sooners have had 20 All-American pitchers and catchers and OU has won NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year Award four times.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is reportedly seeking a five-year contract extension before the July 16 deadline to extend players who received the franchise tag. On Friday, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic reported the sides are expected to talk about a new deal before the deadline, but Lawrence is willing to play under the one-year, $17.1 million tag if a long-term agreement can't be reached. The 26-year-old Boise State product is coming off a breakout year for the Cowboys. He racked up 58 combined tackles, 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries while playing all 16 regular-season games. His sack total was tied for the second-highest in the NFL behind only the Arizona Cardinals' Chandler Jones (17). Lawrence, a second-round pick in 2014, had nine sacks across his first three seasons. After signing the franchise tag in early March, the South Carolina native told NFL Network's Jane Slater he was prepared to show the 2017 campaign was no fluke. "I feel like they have given me the opportunity to really break the bank next year," Lawrence said. He's not the only marquee pass-rushing superstar seeking a new deal. The Oakland Raiders' Khalil Mack, Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald and Houston Texans' Jadeveon Clowney are in the same boat.
WATCH: Daniel Cormier calls out Brock Lesnar at UFC 226 LAS VEGAS -- It may have been just a glimpse but Anthony Pettis is starting to look like the UFC champion of old again. The former 155-pound king and Wheaties box cover boy recorded his most impressive victory in years on Saturday when he submitted Michael Chiesa in the second round of their lightweight bout at UFC 226 inside T-Mobile Arena. Pettis (21-7) dealt equally well with the constant scrambling and steady trash talk from Chiesa (14-4) to force the tap via triangle choke at 52 seconds of Round 2. Can't get enough UFC? Subscribe to my podcast In This Corner with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon. The 31-year-old Pettis continued a trend of alternating victories with losses over the past two years and improved to 3-4 since losing his title to Rafael dos Anjos in 2015. But it was the quality of the performance, which included a well-rounded blend of striking and grappling, that provided flashes of his prime years. "I'm excited for the fans. This is what we do," Pettis said. The second round so more taunting Chiesa, but Pettis instantly countered with a stiff right hand that staggered him into the cage wall.
If you prefer Apple Podcasts for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies — Talking Summer League and Thunder offseason with Fred Katz of MassLive.com — Las Vegas Summer League is underway, and Brett Dawson was at the Thomas and Mack Center for the Thunder’s season opener. Archives Thunder Buddies – Digging into Nerlens Noel, DeMarcus Cousins and NBA free agency – The Thunder has a backup center at a low cost. The Warriors have an (injured) All-Star center at a discount. Brett Dawson, Erik Horne and Berry Tramel discuss. Thunder Buddies — OKC cleans up as free agency opens — Before the free agency period even opened, the Thunder had an agreement from Paul George, and Jerami Grant followed suit soon after. Erik Horne and Brett Dawson capped a long day with a late-night pod on those big decisions, what happens next for Oklahoma City in free agency, how this all might impact Carmelo Anthony and an inside look at chasing PG news. Thunder Buddies — Happy Free Agency Eve — With the free-agent period opening at midnight Eastern on Sunday, Erik Horne and Brett Dawson sit down with guest Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports for a wide-ranging talk about the race to sign Paul George and the future of the Thunder with or without him. Thunder Buddies — Looking back at the draft and ahead to free agency — With the NBA Draft in the books, Erik Horne and Brett Dawson talk about the two players the Thunder picked, and the one who’s on his way next month. Then they look ahead to Summer League and talk free agency, with a deadline looming for Carmelo Anthony.