Heisman finalist Mathieu booted from LSU football
BATON ROUGE, La. – Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu was kicked off LSU’s football team Friday for breaking an athletic department rule, a blow to the Tigers’ national championship hopes three weeks before their season opener.
Last year, the defensive back was a sleeper Heisman candidate as the Tigers won the Southeastern Conference championship and reached the BCS title game.
At a news conference Friday, coach Les Miles would not specify the reason Mathieu was dismissed. but Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Mathieu, who also was suspended for a game in 2011 after failing a drug test, had his scholarship revoked.
The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, citing an unidentified person close to the player, reported that he failed another drug test.
With two years of eligibilty, Mathieu would have to sit out this season if he transfered to another school in major college football. If he moved down a level to FCS, he could play right away.
Keough wins Stage 4; Danielson second overall
SALT LAKE CITY – Jake Keough broke free during a late sprint to win the fourth stage of the Tour of Utah on Friday, while fellow American Christian Vandevelde retained the overall lead.
Keough finished the 134.3-mile stage in 4 hours 47 minutes, 6 seconds. Italy’s Marco Benfatto was second, and U.S. rider Tyler Farrar finished third.
Vandevelde had a 3-second lead over Fort Lewis College alumnus Tom Danielson. David Zabriskie was third, also 3 seconds behind.
A group of six riders broke from the peloton just seven miles into stage. The group featured Yann Huguet, Craig Lewis, Jasper Stuyven, Peter Velits, Jeremy Vennell and Thomas Leezer. They led by as much as 10 minutes before the peloton finally gave chase over the final few miles. The peloton didn’t catch the six riders until inside the final mile, setting up for an exciting sprint to the finish.
The fifth stage Saturday is a 102-mile leg that begins in Park City and cuts through four counties before finishing at Snowbird Ski Resort just outside Salt Lake City.
Judge sides with Vilma but makes no bounty ruling
NEW ORLEANS – A federal judge questioned the fairness of the NFL’s bounty investigation of the Saints, then held off on making any rulings, urging all sides to settle the matter on their own.
U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan also said the season-long suspension of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was excessive and that she would be inclined to rule in his favor if she were certain she had jurisdiction to do so.
The judge potentially could rule at any time on Vilma’s request to be allowed temporarily to return to the Saints while the case proceeds, but during Friday’s hearing, Berrigan urged all parties to come to an agreement rather than wait a court decision.
Gabe Feldman, a sports law professor at Tulane University, said the judge clearly believed the NFL was “in the wrong,” but said the big issue is wheter she has the power to do anything.
Good on the pitch but not so much on the stock exchange
NEW YORK – Soccer club Manchester United made a disappointing debut on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, even after opening at a discounted price, with enthusiasm for the celebrated team overshadowed by its debt load and financial track record.
Manchester United shares were flat at $14 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the level they were priced at by the underwriters late Thursday.
Under the ticker symbol MANU, it had been expected to sell for between $16 and $20 a share.
The $14 per share price still valued the club at $2.3 billion, slightly higher than the record $2 billion paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team earlier this year.
The 134-year-old soccer club expects to make $110.3 million from its offering of 8.3 million shares.