Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Bills release painter Matt Ariza after being accused of gang rape. CBC Sports

WARNING: This article contains graphic material and may affect people who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.

In a major public backlash, coupled with graphic details contained in a lawsuit alleging Matt Ariza’s involvement in the gang-rape of a teenager, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Bean has had the time Saturday to release the team’s rookie punter. There is no option left but.

The decision to cut ties with the 22-year-old represents a major reversal for the Bills, two days after they backed the player based on the findings of a “thorough investigation” of the allegations the team filed in the lawsuit.

And it comes less than a week after the Bills — while knowing he was the target of a police investigation — cleared the way for Ariza to take over punting duties by cutting veteran Matt Hacke, who returned on Monday.

“The last 48 hours have been very difficult for a lot of people. It’s been tough. And we sympathize with this whole situation, all the parties involved, this young lady, which she passed.” conference, while sitting with coach Sean McDermott.

“But at this point in time, we think moving on from Matt is the best move for everyone and he has to take care of this situation and focus on that. So, we’re going to split from there,” Bean said. Told.

Bean said the Bills were not aware of the allegations leveled against Ariza in the sixth round of the draft in April. And if they knew, he said, they would have removed it from thought.

Ariza’s release seems to ease a crisis that has rocked the two-time AFC East champion. McDermott was clearly upset when discussing the situation after a 21-0 pre-season loss to Carolina on Friday night.

“I’m hurt,” McDermott said. “It’s not easy to hear about everything I’ve heard over the past several hours. Haven’t slept much, to be honest with you.”

The Bills began to distance themselves from Ariza early Friday after she was barred from playing. Instead he watched the game with his teammates from an undisclosed location in the stadium rather than on the sidelines.

On Saturday, Ariza was not present for practice, although the Bills said she was on their roster, while at the same time her number 19 jersey was not available for sale on the Bills’ online store, having been listed earlier in the day. Was.

Ariza’s only comment since the lawsuit was filed came in a statement released by her agent during the game on Friday.

“The facts of the incident are not what has been shown in the trial or in the press. I look forward to setting the record at the earliest,” Ariza said.

In a text to the Associated Press, Ariza’s attorney, Keri Armstrong, defended her client, writing: “I’m sure she is deeply upset and disappointed that her career with the Bills ended not because she played poorly, but because Because of the false allegations leveled against him. Him by a young woman and his lawyer. I hope he returns to the NFL soon.”

Statement issued by the lawyer of the alleged victim

Dan Gillian, the alleged victim’s attorney, issued his own statement, saying the Bills ignored concerns raised about Ariza when they contacted the team in late July.

“The Buffalo Bills had no choice but to cut off their young punter after failing so badly in their response to our claim,” Gillian said. “They ignored us, [when] I had warned them that they could be avoided if they put their heads in the sand. That’s what supporters do.”

Bean said the team did its best to obtain as many details as possible, while noting many allegations were unavailable because the results of the San Diego police investigation had not been released. He said the team decided not to “make a decision too hasty” based on the information they had, while Ariza never changed her version of what happened.

“You want to give everyone as much due process as possible. Again, we’re not the judge and jury,” Bean said.

The lawsuit, filed in San Diego County Superior Court, accused Ariza and two San Diego state accomplices of raping a then 17-year-old girl at a Halloween party at an off-campus home where Ariza was staying.

The results of a police investigation are in the hands of the district attorney, although there is no timeline as to when a decision will be made on whether to charge or not.

Officials from two different teams told The Associated Press that they learned of Ariza’s involvement in an incident during the drafting process, but neither person knew the extent of the allegations. Officials from three other teams said they had no knowledge of the allegations against Ariza before the draft and only came to know about the incident on Thursday. Given the sensitivity of the matter, everyone spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Bean said it was unclear who — Araiza or the victim’s lawyer, Gillian — first informed the team of the allegations. As for the decision not to contact Gillian for more information, Bean said the team’s attorney, Catherine D’Angelo, “had heard what she had to say, and that’s when we began our process.”

Bean said that Ariza’s version of what happened never changed.

“We’re not perfect. But I can tell you, we tried to do what was right,” Bean said. “In the heart of our hearts, I can keep my head up at night knowing that I’ve tried to do what’s right.”

A person familiar with the situation told the AP that the Bills also informed the NFL about the incident. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case, was not sure of the timeline.

The NFL declined to comment other than being aware of the matter.

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Friday, August 26, 2022

The alleged victim was not involved in the investigation of Punter Ariza's bill. CBC Sports

WARNING: This article contains graphic material and may affect people who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.

Lawyers for a California teen who has accused a Buffalo Bills rookie and two of her former college teammates of gang rape said Friday that the NFL team has not contacted her for details, despite saying that He has done a “thorough investigation”.

The Bills picked Matt Araiza from San Diego State in the sixth round of the NFL Draft in April, and named him their starting punter this week. A person familiar with the matter told the AP that the Bills were not aware of the allegations against Ariza in April. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting publicly about the allegations.

Officials from two different teams told the AP that they learned of Ariza’s involvement in an incident during the drafting process, but no one knew the extent of the allegations.

Dan Gillian, who represents the California teenager, said he had not heard from team officials since first notifying him of the allegations against Ariza in late July, when he said his team’s attorney, Catherine D’Angelo. Had a phone conversation with.

“She looked like she was worried. She says she’ll get back to me, and then she never did,” said Gillian, who posted a screenshot of the email to social media and then deleted, He says that he sent D’Angelo. “I even followed up and said, ‘Hey, you guys didn’t talk to me and called me back like you said. And they ignored it,’ too.”

lack of transparency

The Bills declined multiple requests for comment on Friday, a day after releasing a short statement saying they were aware of the allegations and had conducted their own investigation.

Ariza, 22, was with the Biles for their pre-season finale in Carolina on Friday night, but was not expected to play.

It was unclear whether the Bill’s investigation had ended before he was named to his opening day roster and the statement provided no details, a familiar lack of transparency that looms large over how NFL teams conduct internal reviews into allegations of misconduct. Checked this out again.

It also comes as the NFL and Cleveland Browns are grappling with a scandal involving quarterback Deshan Watson. Cleveland acquired Watson in a trade with Houston and signed him to a league-record US$230 million contract while facing civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct against two dozen women.

Watson will serve an 11-game unpaid suspension this season, pay a $5 million fine and undergo a professional evaluation. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has also been sharply criticized by members of Congress for not releasing details of the Washington Commanders’ investigation following allegations of workplace misconduct.

A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that Bill informed the NFL about the incident. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case, was not sure of the timeline.

Officials who had limited knowledge of the allegations against Ariza during the drafting process said it did not affect his position on his drafting board as he was not interested in selecting a punter. Officials from three other teams said they had no knowledge of the allegations against Ariza before the draft and only came to know about the incident on Thursday. Given the sensitivity of the matter, everyone spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

filed suit

Gillian filed a lawsuit this week in San Diego County Superior Court accusing Araiza and two other San Diego state football players of raping a 17-year-old girl at a Halloween party at an off-campus home where Araiza was living A San Diego police investigation has been turned over to the district attorney’s office to determine whether to pursue the charges. DA spokeswoman Tanya Sierra said Friday that there was no timeline for when a decision would be taken.

Ariza’s lawyer, Kerry Armstrong, said the player knew he could be the target of allegations from October onwards. It was unclear whether he had informed the NFL about the allegations prior to the draft. Armstrong denied the allegations, citing the findings of his investigation, saying: “I don’t believe 100 percent that he ever forcibly raped or had sex with this girl while she was unconscious or intoxicated or It was anything like that.”

Armstrong said he shared the findings of his investigation with the Bills over the past month, before the team honored Ariza, known as the “punt god” for his booming kicks in college. Yes, early work on Monday. He also said that he had asked Ariza six weeks ago, when he was retained, to tell bill officials about the allegations.

“I told him, obviously, that whenever you try to keep something a secret like this, they’re going to find it anyway, so be very honest with them,” he said. “He has been. And I think that’s why he’s on the team right now.”

The NFL declined to comment other than being aware of the matter.

At San Diego State, one of the two remaining accused players remains on the roster but the other is not listed. The school said it did not investigate at the request of San Diego police in October.

The university said, “After careful consideration, SDSU determined that cooperating with the criminal investigation was an appropriate action to help ensure the highest likelihood of actual consequences for anyone found responsible.” ” A Title IX investigation launched in July is ongoing.

settlement prospects unclear

Bill appears to be following the same approach he took four years ago when LeCine McCoy was accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend during a break-in at a home outside Atlanta. Despite calls to cut ties with the player, Biles stood behind McCoy, who was never charged in the case and eventually led to an undisclosed settlement in the lawsuit filed against him.

The prospect of a settlement against Ariza was unclear as Gillian and Armstrong exchanged public charges.

Armstrong said Ariza was against the settlement, but the lawyer said the player’s parents told him to contact Gillian about the possibility. Armstrong said Gillian never responded, although Gillian has posted several text exchanges on her Twitter account that she said she had with Armstrong in late July.

He told the AP that he did so in response to Armstrong saying that his client was “committed to a cash grab because he’s a Buffalo Bill.”

“My client refuses to entertain the idea of ​​a monetary settlement,” Gillian wrote in a text to the AP. “It takes an apology, psychological counseling, charity for charity, etc., but once Kerry A starts her Joker show, I realized it was useless to try to reason with her and to talk to a civil defense attorney.” Withdrew the motion of Rs. before filing the suit.”

Gillian said the decision to file the lawsuit three days after Ariza was awarded the punting job was a result of her growing frustration at the lack of response she received from police on the progress of their investigation.

“They’re blowing us up,” Gillian said. “By filing a suit, we have the power of summons and so I can force them to do what they should.”

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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Dallas Cowboys cut former ticket, Argo, bomber kicker Lirim Hazrullahu. CBC News

The Dallas Cowboys forgave former CFL kicker Lirim Hazrullahu on Tuesday, leaving Brett Maher as the only kicker on the roster going into the final preseason game against Seattle on Friday.

Hazrullahu of St. Catharines, Ont., and unfinished rookie Jonathan Garibe began training camp on the Dallas roster, but the kicking contest in California did not go down well.

Hazrullah spent six years in the CFL from 2014 to 2019 with Winnipeg, Toronto and Hamilton. He was named an East Division All-Star twice and helped the Argonauts win the 2017 Gray Cup.

He has bounced around the NFL since moving south in 2020, but has failed to stay with the team long enough. This was his second stint with the Cowboys.

Dallas added Maher, pardoning Garybe, two weeks ago. Maher was a 29-year-old rookie for Dallas in 2018, but a year later he was let go after 13 games for 30 to 49 yards in just 7 of 13. He was 20 out of 30 overall in 2019.

Maher didn’t kick off the 2020 season during the pandemic-reversed season before going 16 of 18 in eight matches with New Orleans last season. The Cowboys decided not to bring Greg Zuerlein back in 2021 after a shaky second season with him. Zurlein is with the New York Jets.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Hall of Fame Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson dies at 87 CBC Sports

Whether it was during the early days of the AFL or behind the microphone as the NFL evolved into the behemoth today, Len Dawson carried himself with an unmistakable swagger and self-assurance that earned him the well-worn nickname “Lenny ” Earned. cold.”

He was a Hall of Fame quarterback who led Kansas City to its first Super Bowl championship, then a Hall of Fame broadcaster who brought football into the homes of millions on the iconic HBO show “Inside the NFL.”

Team owner Clark Hunt said: “Lane was my first sports hero and he continues to be someone I’ve admired and respected for the rest of my life.” “His Impact on Kansas City [organization] And everyone who has worked for the organization cannot be overstated.”

Dawson’s family announced his death on Wednesday at the age of 87. No cause was given, although Dawson had had prostate cancer and quadruple heart bypass surgery over the years. He was in hospice care since August 12.

Hunt said the team intends to honor Dawson during their pre-season finale against Green Bay on Thursday night, though details are still to be decided. Other memorials will be arranged as per the wishes of his family.

“With wife Linda, it is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved Lane Dawson,” his family said in a statement released by KMBC, the TV station where he served as an anchor was. “Lane was always grateful and at times overwhelmed by the countless bonds he created during his football and broadcasting careers.”

3 AFL titles, Super Bowl triumph

Dawson’s career was going nowhere when he joined the Hunt family’s nascent AFL franchise, which was then based in Dallas. But with Hall of Fame coach Hank Strom, Dawson made it to three AFL titles and two Super Bowls; Kansas City would lose to Green Bay in the opening three years later, before defeating Minnesota at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

He was the MVP of that 23–7 victory over the Vikings in January 1970, then went on to set several franchise records now surpassed only by Patrick Mahomes. Dawson was inducted as a player at Canton in 1987, then received the Pete Rozelle Radio-television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to do what I have,” Dawson told The Associated Press in 2017. “I couldn’t have achieved so much without my teammates and allies, and I’m grateful for each and every one of them.”

Len Dawson walks through practice with his receivers in New Orleans in preparation for the Super Bowl against the Minnesota Vikings in January 1970. (AP)

Dawson remained a loved one in Kansas City even as his health declined and he cut back on public appearances. He used to go out of his way to make time for fans, be it a picture or a signature. The latter was often sketched on a seminal picture from the halftime of the first Super Bowl: the exhausted quarterback, the white uniform covered in haystack, sitting in a folding chair with a cigarette in his mouth and a bottle of Fresca at his feet.

It perfectly captured a time and place. And it captured “Lenny the Cool” perfectly.

“He was always in control,” Straum recalled years later. “I told him once, ‘Leonard, make sure you never let him see you sweat.’ And they said, ‘Coach, quarterbacks don’t sweat. Quarterbacks sweat.’

Sophisticated yet blue-collar to his origins, Dawson was born on June 20, 1935, the ninth of 11 children to James and Annie Dawson in the Alliance’s manufacturing city, Ohio. He was a three-sport athlete at Alliance High School, setting records in both football and basketball, but turning his attention to the gridiron with a scholarship to Purdue.

Dawson led the NCAA in passing proficiency as a sophomore while playing defense and kicking. And by the end of his college career, he had thrown more than 3,000 yards in an era defined by ground-and-pound football.

He was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 1957 draft, but was injured while riding the bench behind Earl Morall as a rookie and then failed to defeat Bobby Layne at the start of the next season. When the Steelers trade him to the Browns, Dawson was unable to defeat Milt Plum for the job and was summarily released.

With a sudden freedom to play anywhere, Dawson leapt to the upstart AFL and the Texans, lured by the chance to play for one of his old Purdue coaches. It was Straum who managed to harness his talent, helping Dawson to become one of the league’s prolific passers, as the Texans went 11-3 in 1962 and won the first of three titles at once.

face the mighty packers

The second came in 1966, when Dawson beat Kansas City to an 11-2-1 record and a 31-7 blow to the Bills in the AFL title game. This gave Kansas City the opportunity to face coach Vince Lombardi’s powerhouse Packers in the inaugural Super Bowl, where Dawson threw for 210 yards and scored a touchdown in a 35–10 loss.

It was the 1969 season, which however proved to be the most memorable of Dawson’s career. He hurt his knee against the Patriots in Week 2, forcing him to miss the next five games, but to reach the final Super Bowl before the AFL–NFL merger of Kansas City over the defending champion Jets and rival Raiders. returned to lead.

“It was overwhelming,” Dawson said after the win over Minnesota. “It’s just, you know how this relief comes with you now, and we’ve been successful? That was the feeling when I came off the field.”

Dawson played six more seasons in Kansas City, setting several records that remained until Mahomes came along. The two became fast friends, and Dawson was overjoyed when the young quarterback propelled Kansas City to their second Super Bowl title in February 2020 with a behind-the-scenes win over the 49ers.

“Rip to legend Lane Dawson,” Mahomes tweeted on Wednesday, along with photos of him. “The legacy and impact you have made on Kansas City will live on forever.”

While many fans know Dawson for his playing days, others think first about his career in broadcasting. It began as a publicity stunt in 1966, when then-Kansas City general manager Jack Steadman was trying to build local support for the team. Steadman persuaded Dawson to anchor a nightly sports segment on TV, and his charisma and charming charm made him a natural.

After his playing days ended, Dawson turned to broadcasting full-time, working in local TV and doing national sports analysis for NBC. But he’s perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work with Nick Buoniconti on the HBO staple “Inside the NFL,” helping the burgeoning league reach millions of fans.

Dawson served on Kansas City’s radio broadcast team for more than three decades before retiring in 2018.

Kansas City coach Andy Reid said at the time, “I did all those games with him and I think he has a world.” “He’s been there, he’s done it — it doesn’t matter the age difference or the time gap. He just gets it. I love that part of it. He’s a Hall of Famer all the way around.”

Dawson was married to his high school sweetheart, Jackie, from 1954 until his death in 1978, and had two children, Lisa and Lane Jr. Dawson’s second wife, Linda, remained with him after he entered hospice care.

“Lane was really the first big sports personality in Kansas City,” Hunt said. “He was the undisputed leader of the team that won the Super Bowl, and I think not only me but anyone who cheered for the team during that era has a very good memory and a very special bond with him.” Is.”

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Hiring Minority Coaches in the NFL Comes Down to the Owners CBC Sports

No matter how much the NFL pushes teams to hire minority coaches, owners have the final say.

The league established the Rooney Rule in 2003 and has expanded it several times over the years to encourage teams to hire more minority coaches. It introduced the Quarterback Coaching Summit in 2018 to create more opportunities for many of them to coach.

Earlier this year, the NFL implemented an initiative that requires all 32 clubs to employ a woman or member of an ethnic or racial minority as an offensive assistant coach.

In May, the league launched an accelerator program, bringing 60 minority coaches and officials to Atlanta to meet with owners over short seasons to get acquainted.

Progress has been made. After hiring only three black coaches from 2018-21, three black coaches were hired in the last cycle. There are now six minorities in head coaching positions: Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh, Lavi Smith of Houston and Todd Bowles of Tampa Bay, who is black; Mike McDaniel of Miami, who is biracial; Jets Robert Saleh, of Lebanese heritage; and Ron Rivera of Washington, who is Hispanic.

Also, after last season, three out of five positions for general manager were filled by minorities, bringing the total to eight minority general managers.

Still, many people want to see reform, especially after Brian Flores’ trial alleging racial discrimination.

Led by Troy Vincent, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations, and Jonathan Bean, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the league is doing its part to increase opportunities. But everyone knows it all comes down to the owners making the decision.

Vincent said, “It’s not about forcing someone to hire someone. It’s about exposing good coaches to callers.”

lack of opportunities

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemi is often cited as a worthy candidate who hasn’t landed a head coaching job. Bieniemy has an impressive resume, leadership qualities and strong backing from head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He has interviewed 15 times with 14 teams over the past four years but is still waiting for a team to give him a chance. He doesn’t blame the NFL.

“He’s done an excellent job of putting it together,” Bynemey said of the annual Quarterback Coaching Summit. “Every year, I’m more and more impressed.”

Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is still looking forward to a second chance to head coach after going 21-32-1 with the Vikings nearly a decade ago.

“League with the Commissioner [Roger] The work that Goodell and Troy Vincent are doing with their employees, I think there are people who are trying to escalate the situation, but at the end of the day, it still comes down to ownership,” Frazier said. . “I don’t know. If the league can do much more than continue with events like quarterback summits to prepare people and position them and hopefully someone will give them a chance.

“I was very impressed with the number of young candidates who are able to one day be the coordinator in our league, the quarterback coach in our league, the head coach in our league. Looks like they can lead a team.”

Are NFL’s Programs Helping?

Bienemy was impressed by the accelerator program in May. He hopes it will prove to be the building block.

“The one thing owners are going to do is they’re going to hire whom they want to hire,” Bienemi said. “They want to hire the best candidate. I thought they did a great job in the accelerator program. It gave coaches like me and a lot of people who are behind the scenes who are in personnel or different in this industry. working, it gave us a chance to connect with people.It also gave us a chance, a front seat, to just sit and have a normal conversation with the owners.

“And, I thought it was a big deal because when it’s all said and done, you want to make sure that you’re comfortable with the people you’re working with. I thought they just had a Did a great job of creating an environment. That accelerator program where everyone felt comfortable. Now, I’m still going to reevaluate who I am. Yes, the owners are going to hire whom they want to hire I want to. My job is to make sure that I can be the best candidate I can be. He’s ready when that special moment strikes.”

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