COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Attorney: Wisconsin doesn’t want Cephus back

University of Wisconsin-Madison officials are sending a “clear message” they don’t want former Badgers wide receiver Quintez Cephus to return despite his acquittal in a sexual assault case, his attorney said Monday.

wCephus’ attorney Stephen Meyer said Monday that discussions with the university have collapsed.

“They sent us a clear message that they don’t want Quintez as a student at the University of Wisconsin this semester,” Meyer said. He wouldn’t give details about what happened or why he thought the university would not look favorably on the readmission request.

The university says in a statement posted on its website that Meyer is false. It says that the university is working to gather information, including all relevant court records, and will complete its review “as quickly as possible.”

The university also notes that its code of student conduct is separate from criminal law and students may be held responsible for violations regardless of whether they are also criminal.

A valuable wide receiver, the 6-foot-1 junior played a combined 23 games in 2016 and 2017. He amassed 501 yards receiving in the 2017 season and led the Badgers with six touchdown catches despite breaking his right leg in November of that year, missing the final five games of the season.

Badgers football head coach Paul Chryst said last week that he would love to have Cephus return to the team, if that’s what’s best for him. Cephus and current Badger players planned a news conference Monday to plead his case. Players have sent a letter supporting Cephus to UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Meyer said.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NCAA changes agent rules

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA has backtracked on its new agent certification standards and will no longer require a bachelor’s degree for those who will be permitted to represent a student-athlete.

The degree requirement drew criticism last week when the certification standards were first revealed, including a social media blast by NBA star LeBron James. It was quickly dubbed the “Rich Paul Rule” in reference to James’ agent, who does not have a college degree.

The NCAA announced Monday it would amend the standards so bachelor’s degrees would not be required for agents currently certified and in good standing with the NBA players’ association. The NCAA modeled its certification requirements after the NBPA’s, but added the degree requirement.

Agent certification and access was among the recommendations made last year by the Rice Commission on College Basketball.

NFL

League stands firm on helmet rule

ALAMEDA, Calif. — While Raiders star receiver Antonio Brown fights to use his old helmet, the NFL reiterated its stance that players aren’t allowed to practice or play with unapproved equipment.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted out a statement Monday without mentioning Brown by name that said players can only use helmets that have been certified by experts to be safe to use.

“The player can’t practice or play in games with equipment that’s not approved,” McCarthy wrote. “If he doesn’t play or practice he is in breach of his contract and doesn’t get paid. NFL policy is that helmets have to be certified by NOSCAE. They don’t certify equipment that’s (older) than 10 years.”

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment sets performance and test standards for equipment. Brown’s Schutt Air Advantage helmet is no longer allowed because the NFL follows the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA) rule that helmets 10 years or older cannot be recertified.

Schutt discontinued making the helmet three years ago because current technology had moved past it, according to the company.

VIKINGS NAME NEW COO: After an extensive external search, the Vikings have named former Toronto Blue Jays executive Andrew Miller as new chief operating officer, the team announced Monday. He takes over for Kevin Warren, who was named the Big Ten Commissioner a couple of months ago, and his first day on the job will be Sept. 1.

“I am honored to join an organization with such a deep tradition as the Minnesota Vikings and work with the Wilf family, who have demonstrated such a strong commitment to the community,” Miller said in a release. “I am excited to be a part of the Vikings organization and positively impact our fans, who are among the most passionate in all sports.”

Miller led the business operations of the Blue Jays for the past four seasons with a focus on understanding and enhancing the fan experience. He also led the capital improvements for Rogers Centre and oversaw the organization’s spring training facility renovations.

US WOMEN’S SOCCER

Markgraf becomes GM

A person with knowledge of the hiring says former defender Kate Markgraf has been named general manager of the U.S. women’s national team.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Monday because the appointment had not yet been formally announced by U.S. Soccer.

Yahoo Sports was the first to report it.

Markgraf will oversee the search for a new coach following Jill Ellis’ planned departure in October. Ellis is stepping away from the job after leading the United States to back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles.

Markgraf appeared in 201 games during a playing career that spanned 12 years. She was a starter on the 1999 team that won the World Cup at the Rose Bowl, and also was part of the 2003 and 2007 World Cup teams. She played on three Olympic teams.

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