Report: Guice told Washington of his 'anger issues'

Report: Guice told Washington of his ‘anger issues’

Running back Derrius Guice told the Washington Football Team he had “anger issues” months ago, well before his Aug. 7 arrest on domestic violence charges, The Washington Post reported Friday.

According to a search warrant filed in connection with the case, the former girlfriend of Guice said the team referred him to counseling after his revelation and that he attended three sessions early in 2020, The Post said.

Guice, a second-round draft pick in 2018, was released by Washington after being arrested on a felony count of strangulation and other domestic-violence charges. Subsequently, two former LSU students accused him of raping them in 2016 when he was a freshman for the Tigers, USA Today reported on Aug. 19.

Guice was arraigned in Loudoun County, Va., court on Friday on three counts of assault and battery, strangulation and destruction of property.

He appeared via video and waived his right to have the five charges against him read. A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 1.

On Friday, the team released a statement when asked about the search warrant, The Post said.

“We will refer you to our August 7th statement on the release of Derrius Guice which stated that the Washington Football Team learned of domestic violence-related allegations against Derrius on the day prior to his release. … We cannot confirm or deny any information regarding a private health-related matter for one of our current or former players.”

Guice’s attorney, Peter Greenspun, previously has said his client is innocent of both the Loudoun County and LSU allegations.

–Field Level Media

Austin Peay, Central Arkansas to kick off 2020 season

Austin Peay, Central Arkansas to kick off 2020 season

It isn’t the schedule the NCAA planned, but the college football season will begin Saturday night.

The slate of games in Week 0, as the early opening week is known, originally included three Pac-12 teams in action, along with Navy and Notre Dame playing in Ireland.

But with the coronavirus pandemic creating chaos around college football, the honor of playing the first game of the season belongs to FCS opponents Austin Peay and Central Arkansas.

ESPN will televise the game, which is scheduled for a 9 p.m. kickoff from the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. Attendance at the 25,000-seat venue is being limited to 25 percent, and the tickets are sold out.

In 2019, Central Arkansas (9-4) and Austin Peay (11-4) both qualified for the FCS playoffs. Austin Peay advanced to the quarterfinals, Central Arkansas to the second round.

Central Arkansas athletic director Brad Teague recognizes the significance of the game.

“This is different,” he said, per USA Today. “And certainly because we’re the only game on Saturday and the first game of the college football season, the first NCAA contest since COVID shut it down in the spring, there is a lot more excitement.”

The players are thrilled to appear in the standalone game on ESPN, he said.

“They’re very motivated and very excited. For our brand and for our national recognition and publicity, we’re very excited about that. We know it’s going to be very positive for us.”

The schools have taken a number of steps to keep the players safe from the possible spread of COVID-19 on the trip. Austin Peay, for example, is traveling in more buses than normal to limit the number of people in each bus.

“We also understand the scrutiny that’s going to come with us playing while many others are not and being the first game when many have pushed back to September. We understand that,” Teague said. “We’re ready to face those questions and talk about our safety protocols that have been in place really since June.”

–Field Level Media

Report: Big Ten could shift to Thanksgiving kickoff

Report: Big Ten could shift to Thanksgiving kickoff

Big Ten football season could begin around Thanksgiving.

According to multiple reports, the conference is contemplating alternatives to a spring season, as first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The coaches were set to hold a conference call on Friday.

CBS Sports reported the plan could focus on using domed stadiums — including those in Minneapolis and Indianapolis — and limit or eliminate overnight stays for teams, who could arrive and depart on game day.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed their 2020 seasons due to safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said the conference has “no interest” in revisiting the plan to play football in the spring.

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm outlined a detailed plan for playing a spring season while also returning to a regular schedule in the fall of 2021.

Shifting the start of the season to November could keep the Big Ten in the conversation for the College Football Playoff. However, the playoff committee plans to release the final standings for the postseason on Dec. 21.

Under that timeframe, the Big Ten would have time for only four or five games before the final standings are released.

Players and their parents have pushed back on the decision to move the season.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields started an online petition to have the season played as scheduled, gaining more than 300,000 signatures in support. Eight Nebraska players were in court Thursday to file a suit against the Big Ten for postponing the season.

The Associated Press Preseason Top 25 poll, released a week ago, has two teams — Ohio State and Penn State — in the top 10 and six in the top 25.

–Field Level Media

Clemson football to allow 19,000 fans in stadium

Clemson football to allow 19,000 fans in stadium

Clemson football will play its home games this fall with about one-quarter of the usual number of fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The university announced it will limit attendance at 81,500-seat Memorial Stadium, known as “Death Valley,” to about 19,000 fans. They will be scattered in small clusters of two or four people, and all fans must wear masks.

“Clemson sought input from external medical, public health and facility planning experts during the process, as well as the University Strategic Operations Group,” athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a news release. “With the information available today, we are confident in our ability to safely allow fans at games, which is incredibly important to our student-athletes, coaches, fans and local community. We’ll continue to monitor guidance and make adjustments if necessary.”

The announcement was welcomed by players.

“We thought it was just going to be us out there. To be able to have just that amount of people is a huge blessing,” defensive back Andrew Booth said. An empty stadium “would feel like we were out there doing scrimmages. This is going to be beautiful.”

Clemson, the No. 1 team in the nation in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, is scheduled to open its home season on Sept. 19 against The Citadel.

–Field Level Media

Ravens cancel practice, call for police officers' arrest

Ravens cancel practice, call for police officers’ arrest

The Baltimore Ravens will not practice on Friday and instead will meet for what franchise called a “team unifying session surrounding social justice reform.”

Nine NFL teams called off practice on Thursday, a day after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game, leading to a temporary shutdown of the NBA playoffs.

The teams are protesting the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, in Wisconsin last Sunday.

The Ravens issued a statement on Thursday that called for an end to racial injustice, as well as the arrest of the police officers involved in both the shooting of Blake, who is hospitalized, and the death of Breonna Taylor. She was shot and killed when officers executed a no-knock search warrant at her home in March.

“With yet another example of racial discrimination with the shooting of Jacob Blake, and the unlawful abuse of peaceful protesters, we MUST unify as a society,” the Ravens began their team statement. “It is imperative that all people — regardless of race, religion, creed or belief — come together to say, ‘Enough is enough!’

“This is bigger than sports. Racism is embedded in the fabric of our nation’s foundation and is a blemish on our country’s history. If we are to change course and make our world a better place, we must face this problem head-on and act now to enact positive change.”

–Field Level Media

Matsuyama grabs early lead at BMW Championship

Matsuyama grabs early lead at BMW Championship

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama birdied his final hole Thursday to finish at 3-under par 67 and take a one-stroke lead at the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields, Ill., in the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Tyler Duncan was alone in second place after firing a 2-under par 68 early Thursday, missing out on a share of the lead when Matsuyama delivered a birdie on the 469-yard par-4 ninth hole. Matsuyama started his round on the back nine.

Playing in the late afternoon, Matsuyama opened with an erratic back nine, collecting three bogeys and two birdies. He closed with four birdies on the front side at hole Nos. 1, 2, 7 and 9.

Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes was alone in third place at 1 under, with just three players below par in the opening round on a course that had high rough and a setup similar to a U.S. Open. Olympia Fields was, in fact, the site of the 2003 U.S. Open, which was won by Jim Furyk.

Only four players in the BMW Championship field played in the 2003 U.S. Open. Tiger Woods, who was one of the four, shot a 3-over 73 in the opening round Thursday, tied for 35th place.

Only the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings after this weekend’s tournament outside of Chicago will advance to next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

A total of 10 players were in a logjam at even par, including Tony Finau and Rory McIlroy. Dustin Johnson, who blew away the field last week at The Northern Trust, the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs, was 1 over in his opening round and in a seven-way tie for 14th place.

Spain’s Jon Rahm, who moved atop the world golf rankings multiple times this season, shot a 5-over 75 in the opening round and was tied for 51st, while Collin Morikawa, who has won twice since the PGA Tour’s restart in June, shot a 6-over 76.

–Field Level Media

49ers sign former first-round WR White

49ers sign former first-round WR White

The San Francisco 49ers addressed their ailing wide receiver corps by signing Kevin White and River Cracraft to one-year contracts, the team announced Thursday.

White, 28, played in just 14 games after being selected by the Chicago Bears with the seventh overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. He collected 25 receptions for 285 yards in his career, including four catches for 92 yards in 2018.

White signed with the Arizona Cardinals in March 2019 but was released five months later. He did not play for an NFL team during the 2019 season.

Cracraft, 25, does not have a reception in nine career NFL games. He returned 12 punts for 40 yards and three kickoffs for 43 yards in eight games with the Denver Broncos in 2018.

San Francisco’s receiver corps has taken a hit with Deebo Samuel (foot) and rookie Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) nursing respective injuries.

The team released wide receiver Jaron Brown and waived/injured defensive lineman Jonathan Kongbo on Thursday.

–Field Level Media