Monday's Sports In Brief


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Brock Osweiler was so excited to be back in Denver he swore he would have signed for a buck, played in bare feet or even been the Broncos' water boy.

Of course, he's getting $16 million this season, all but $775,000 of it from the Cleveland Browns, so he's good for a round of drinks, and he had his pick of shiny white cleats in his locker next to starter Trevor Siemian .

The Broncos brought Osweiler back 18 months after he bolted to Houston in free agency because Paxton Lynch sprained his throwing shoulder four days after losing the starting QB job to Siemian for the second straight summer.

After passing his physical, signing his contract, diving into the playbook and hitting the practice field, Osweiler held an extraordinary nine-minute news conference Monday stuffed with honesty, humility and humor - but no heartache.

He said he has no regrets for leaving Denver in the first place but ''I'm ecstatic to be back here'' after an odyssey that included a playoff win, a benching, a blow-up, a trade, the birth of his daughter and a release to go with all those fat paychecks.

Well, maybe he'd think better of declaring the Texans gave him the best opportunity to win. But Osweiler's not one to look back.

He is one to take stock, though.

''It's kind of like that old deal when you're a little kid and your mom tells you don't touch the hot stove,'' Osweiler said. ''So, what do you have to do as a curious kid? You have to go touch the hot stove and you learn real quick how nice that stove is when it's not hot.

''Needless to say, I'm very thankful to be back here. My wife and I, we miss Colorado every single day. This is a special place, special organization and a special city.''


Mississippi State football players Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones have, according to court documents, told the NCAA they received free merchandise from a clothing store while on recruiting trips to Ole Miss, something that would violate NCAA rules.

They did so after being granted limited immunity by the NCAA, which protects them from being declared ineligible for wrongdoing as long as they told the truth.

Ole Miss officials vehemently dispute the claims that have been used as part of a major infractions case against the Rebels' football program. So does Oxford, Mississippi, clothing store Rebel Rags, which has filed a lawsuit against the players, alleging they gave false statements to the NCAA.

The use of limited immunity is somewhat uncommon in NCAA enforcement cases, but it is an option available to investigators who have no subpoena power to pursue information. They avoid using words such as witness and testimony, which have meanings in a court of law that are not applicable in an NCAA case - just one example of why the use of limited immunity has a host of critics.

''If there were due-process safeguards that were built into the system, I might feel different,'' said Donald Jackson, a Birmingham, Alabama, attorney who regularly represents athletes and coaches in NCAA infractions cases. ''There are no due-process safeguards built into this system.''

Charles Merkel, an attorney for Rebel Rags, added: ''I would characterize it probably as far away from the American justice system as possible.''

Ole Miss is facing 21 allegations in its NCAA case that will be heard on Sept. 11 in Covington, Kentucky. School officials have conceded some of the allegations of improper benefits and recruiting inducements came from members of its football staff and boosters to players.

If the lawsuit by Rebel Rags plays out, Lewis and Jones could eventually face the type of cross-examination under oath that doesn't happen during the NCAA's process. A Sept. 25 motions hearing is planned in north Mississippi.


NEW YORK (AP) - Jon Atkins was once so overcome by anxiety and depression that he would barely even leave his house. Now he has taken to tennis so much that he found himself hitting on the main stadium at the U.S. Open.

The retired Marine's outlook and health have turned around through a partnership the USTA developed with the Orlando VA Medical Center in Lake Nona, Florida.

Atkins suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome, so severe that he said he had become ''isolated'' before deciding to give tennis a try.

''I was just kind of in a dark place and that allowed me to open my eyes to something new,'' he said Monday while sitting next to his rescue dog. ''I didn't really have a good direction.''

Now he has such a passion for the game that he traded in the mountain bike he had stopped riding to get himself two new rackets.

He joined fellow veterans Marc Spittler and Henry Pruitt for the morning hitting session on Labor Day, part of the celebration of the sixth annual U.S. Open Military Appreciation Day. They later watched from a suite above Ashe and were recognized during American CoCo Vandeweghe's victory in a fourth-round women's match.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.