Thursday's Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) The two NFL owners overseeing the investigation into how the league pursued and handled evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence case pledged to make the findings of the probe public, and said their goal was ''to get the truth.''
New York Giants co-owner John Mara and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney, both close confidants of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, said they would not be conducting or directing the investigation. They said it would have no timeline, and that former FBI director Robert Mueller was set to begin work immediately.
They said the inquiry's focus will be on what efforts were made to obtain video evidence of the three-time Pro Bowl running back striking his fiancee; if the video arrived at the league office; and what happened to it after it was delivered.
The probe - which the league has called independent - was announced Wednesday hours after The Associated Press reported that a law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, sent a video to an NFL executive in April of Rice striking Janay Palmer at an Atlantic City casino.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Music blared from the purple bus, and Baltimore Ravens fan Racquel Bailey stood with drink in hand amid her usual tailgate buddies while making a bold fashion statement: a black, rhinestone-decorated jersey with the white No. 27.
A Ray Rice jersey.
Ravens fans male and female, young and old, arrived for the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers debating the events that have affected their team over the last few days.
All condemned Rice's actions, but there was little consensus as to what his punishment should be. The NFL did the right thing by suspending him, some said, but the Ravens shouldn't have terminated his contract as well. Or maybe the suspension should have remained at two games, where it stood before the punch video became public.
Meanwhile, those who wore Rice jerseys were getting heckles and high-fives.
NEW YORK (AP) - At least six television networks said they plan to stop or minimize airings of video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his then-fiancee and knocking her unconscious, footage that has called into question how the NFL disciplines players involved in domestic violence.
The move comes after the video from a casino elevator showing Janay Palmer crumpling to the floor after a punch has already been seen many times on TV since TMZ released it Monday: During the 7 a.m. EDT news hour on Tuesday, the video clip aired 37 times on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, according to a count by Media Matters for America. In addition, the networks aired an old video showing Palmer outside of the elevator nine times, the group said.
Media Matters did not have a count on how many times the clip was aired on sports networks.
ESPN, CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox News Channel and Fox Sports all said they would no longer show the video unless there are compelling news reasons to bring it back.
ATLANTA (AP) - Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel have little in common except a clean card of 4-under 66 at the Tour Championship and their chances at the biggest payoff in golf.
Kirk and Horschel, the top two seeds going into the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake, played in the final group and traded birdies - neither of them made a bogey - over four hours in steamy weather to share the lead.
They need only to win the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus.
Masters champion Bubba Watson made seven birdies to offset a few mistakes, finishing with a 67 to leave him tied with Patrick Reed, Jim Furyk and Jason Day.
Rory McIlroy wasn't at his best, though he made enough birdies and key par saves for a 69 that kept him very much in the hunt.
Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart will find out no later than next week whether authorities will pursue charges in the death of a driver he struck during a sprint car race in upstate New York last month.
Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said his office has completed its investigation and submitted it to the district attorney's office for review. He did not release the findings.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton sustained multiple facial fractures, dental damage and cuts that needed stitches after being hit in the face by a pitch.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he expected Stanton, the major league RBI leader and a top candidate for the NL MVP award, was finished for the season.
The team said Stanton would return to Miami on Friday.
Stanton was hit under the left eye by a fastball from Milwaukee's Mike Fiers in the fifth inning of a 4-2 loss. Stanton was driven off the field in an ambulance.
MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida businessman pleaded not guilty following his arrest for his alleged role in a human smuggling venture that brought Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig out of Cuba.
Gilberto Suarez, 40, entered the plea to a charge of alien smuggling conspiracy during a brief hearing in Miami federal court and was granted release on $120,000 bail. He was arrested Wednesday by agents with Homeland Security Investigations, an arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The indictment includes few details and only identifies Puig by his initials. But it does seek forfeiture of any money obtained by Suarez from Puig's $42 million contract as well as just under $3 million in cash, a condominium, a Miami house, a 2014 Mercedes-Benz and a 2013 Porsche.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Livestrong cancer charity is reporting a sharp drop in donations and revenue after founder Lance Armstrong admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs during most of his record-setting cycling career.
In federal forms released this week, Livestrong noted its 2013 donations dipped 34 percent, from nearly $23 million to $15 million after Armstrong's televised admission to Oprah Winfrey in January 2013. Total revenue also took a 38 percent dive after commercial sponsorships were canceled or not renewed.
Without specifically referring to Armstrong, Livestrong blamed the financial downturn on fallout from ''revelations and disclosures'' made in January 2013.