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#SportsReport: Steelers Down Bengals; CA To Let College Athletes Make Money

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Mason Rudolph was outstanding in helping the Pittsburgh Steelers get their first win of the season. Rudolph was 24 of 28 for 229 yards and two touchdowns as the Steelers whipped the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-3. 

Most of his passes were quick hitters that allowed Pittsburgh to control the clock and continue long drives. The Bengals led 3-0 until Rudolph connected with James Conner on a delayed screen for a 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Pittsburgh broke the game open with Rudolph’s 43-yard heave to rookie Diontae Johnson midway through the third. Jaylen Samuels added new wrinkles to Pittsburgh’s offense, running for 26 yards and a touchdown and grabbing eight passes for 57 yards. Samuels also was credited with three completions on "pop" passes to teammates in motion that traveled all of three feet. The Steelers sacked Andy Dalton eight times, picked him off once and forced a second-quarter fumble of the Cincinnati quarterback. Dalton was 21 of 37 for just 171 yards. The Steelers avoided their first 0-4 start in 51 years and beat the Bengals for the ninth straight time. Cincinnati is 0-4 under new coach Zac Taylor.

In NFL news, the NFL has run out of patience with Vontaze Burfict and his overly-aggressive hits. The Oakland Raiders linebacker has been suspended for the remainder of the season by the league for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle. The hit came in the first half of Sunday’s 31-24 victory over the Colts. Burfict will miss the final 12 games of the season and any playoff games for "repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules." He has been suspended three times in his career for hits violating the league's player safety rules. Burfict had served two three-game suspensions already in his career and had been warned about severe punishment for future infractions.

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has been cleared by doctors for non-contact activities, but his availability for New York's game at Philadelphia remains uncertain. Coach Adam Gase says Darnold can begin throwing footballs at practice this week but can't yet lift weights as he continues to recover from a bout with mononucleosis that has sidelined him the past two games.

Giants veteran wideout Golden Tate III is back after a four-game suspension for using performance-enhancers in the offseason. The 31-year-old signed a four-year, $37 million contract with the Giants in the offseason.

Bills coach Sean McDermott says there’s plenty of “internal belief” in Matt Barkley should he be named the starting quarterback against the Titans on Sunday. Starting QB Josh Allen has been placed in the league’s concussion protocol after taking a vicious hit in Sunday’s 16-10 loss to the Patriots. McDermott provided no other updates on Allen's status.

Broncos rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb is done for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. The fifth player taken in this year’s NFL draft was injured during yesterday’s 26-24 loss to Jacksonville, although he finished the game and forced a fumble on the last series. Broncos coach Vic Fangio says Chubb was surprised by the extent of the injury when he woke up Monday morning.

The Cardinals have released starting safety D.J. Swearinger after a disappointing start to the season. The seven-year veteran played in all four games this year and was fourth on the team with 28 tackles, but his coverage has been spotty.

Browns coach Freddie Kitchens says he wishes the league's officials were more consistent calling penalties. He made the statement in the aftermath of Odell Beckham Jr. being choked by Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey during Cleveland's 40-25 win on Sunday. Beckham got into a heated fight with Humphrey, who pinned the three-time Pro Bowler to the ground and had his hands around his throat before being pulled away.


Hitters smashed a record 6,776 home runs in 2019, soaring past the previous high of 6,105 from two years earlier. The seismic home run spike has been attributed to changes in the baseballs. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has acknowledged the ball has less drag and is seeking more "consistent performance from the baseball," but no changes are planned until at least after the World Series. This postseason could be the juiciest yet, bad news for pitchers like Astros ace Justin Verlander.

Another major league team is in the market for a manager. Angels skipper Brad Ausmus has been dismissed after going 72-90 in his lone season at the helm. He took over for Mike Scioscia, who led Los Angeles to its only World Series title in 2002 and lasted 19 years at the post. The Angels have made the playoffs just once since 2009 and struggled this year despite the presence of star outfielder Mike Trout, two-way player Shohei Ohtani and others. The dismissal has sparked speculation that former Angels bench coach Joe Maddon will take over. Maddon and the Cubs parted company on Sunday. Six big league ballclubs are currently looking for managers.

Pitching coach Mike Butcher will not return to the Diamondbacks next season. Butcher's departure is somewhat surprising considering Arizona ranked seventh in the 15-team National League with a 4.25 ERA.

Mariners third base and outfield coach Chris Prieto and bullpen coach Jim Brower will not be back next season. Seattle also reassigned pitching coach Paul Davis within the organization.


California will defy the NCAA and will let college athletes hire agents and make money from endorsements. The move is likely to set up a legal challenge that could reshape amateur sports in the U.S. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom says he has signed the law that will let athletes at California universities make money from their images, names or likenesses. The law also bans schools from kicking athletes off the team if they get paid. The law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. It does not apply to community colleges and bans athletes from accepting endorsement deals that conflict with their schools' existing contracts. California is the first state to pass such a law.

The NCAA Board of Governors had asked Newsom to veto the bill, saying it "would erase the critical distinction between college and professional athletes." The board also warned that the law would give California universities an unfair recruiting advantage, which could prompt the NCAA to bar them from competition.


A group of former Louisville men's basketball players have reached a confidential settlement of a lawsuit with the NCAA. The settlement did not restore the Cardinals' vacated 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four, but it retains the players' statistics and honors "without an asterisk." The five players sued the governing body in July 2018 seeking restoration of the school's NCAA title, wins, honors and awards vacated among sanctions for violations discovered during an escort scandal investigation.

North Carolina State has suspended forward DJ Funderburk for a violation of team policy. The redshirt junior averaged 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 55% off the bench last season.

Washington State will retire the No. 1 worn by Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson when he played for the Cougars. The school said Monday that the ceremony will take place on Jan. 18 during halftime of a game against Oregon State. Thompson played three seasons for Washington State, draining a school-record 242 3-pointers from 2009 to 2011 and averaging 17.9 points per game.

© The Associated Press 2019. All Rights Reserved.