Sam Cooper

  • CB KeiVarae Russell says he’s back at Notre Dame

    Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday 4 hrs ago

    KeiVarae Russell says he’s finally back at Notre Dame.

    Russell, a senior defensive back, was one of five members of the Fighting Irish football team involved in an academic fraud investigation last year and was suspended from the university.

    More than nine months after news of the investigation emerged, Russell posted a simple message on his Instagram account: “#ThankYouNotreDame I’m back…”

    Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said earlier in the offseason that Russell had been taking classes in order to return to school. He also mentioned that defensive end Ishaq Williams, who was also suspended in the investigation, could return as well. 

    For more Notre Dame news, visit

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    Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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  • Ohio State players show off softball skills, or lack thereof (Videos)

    Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday 5 hrs ago

    Being a great football player doesn’t always translate to other sports, so when several members of the Ohio State football team played in an exhibition softball game, the results were mixed.

    We’ll show you both the good and the bad.

    GOOD: All-Big Ten defensive end Joey Bosa hits a home run… in bare feet.

    REALLY BAD: Safety Erick Smith’s attempt at catching the pop up.

    For more Ohio State news, visit

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    Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

    Follow @SamDCooper

  • Falcons LB Prince Shembo accused of killing ex-girlfriend's dog, waived (Update)

    Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner 7 hrs ago

    Update: 5/29 - 5:35 p.m. ET

    Hours after news of his arrest emerged, the Falcons waived linebacker Prince Shembo. 

    “We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo," the team said in a statement. "We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo.”

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    Atlanta Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals for allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend’s dog.

    According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Shembo’s ex, Denicia Williams, called police on April 19 saying that Shembo had killed her Yorkie, named Dior. 

    From the AJC:

    Williams told police she had taken Dior to Shembo’s home at a Mall of Georgia apartment complex four days earlier, according to police.

    The dog had an array of serious injuries.

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  • Bill Belichick, predictably, had nothing to say about deflate-gate

    Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner 8 hrs ago

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    New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick met with reporters on Friday, making his first public comments since the NFL handed down harsh penalties for deflate-gate.

    In true Belichick fashion, he didn’t have much to say about the ordeal.

    “That was a long time ago. We’re on to next year,” Belichick said per the Boston Globe. “This is 2015. You can forget about last year. That was last year.”

    While Tom Brady is appealing his four-game suspension, Patriots owner Robert Kraft opted not to appeal the $1 million fine and loss of two draft picks levied by the league as a result of the deflated football controversy. Belichick said he’s on board with that move.

    “Yeah, [Kraft] made a statement on that last week,” Belichick said.

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    His answer was a classic Belichick non-answer.

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  • Maryland WR Marcus Leak no longer with program

    Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday 9 hrs ago

    Maryland wide receiver Marcus Leak is no longer with the program.

    Leak left the school “to tend to personal matters” and won’t be back with the team, an athletic department spokesman told the Washington PostFriday.

    Leak was third on the team in 2014 with 20 catches for 297 yards and three touchdowns. Previously, Leak had 12 catches for 85 yards and a score as a true freshman in 2011 and caught 23 passes for 393 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. Leak missed the entire 2013 season with what was termed a “leave of absence.”

    With Leak out of the picture, the Terps’ top four receivers from 2014 are no longer on the roster. Stefon Diggs declared early for the draft, Deon Long graduated and Jacquille Veii also decided to transfer earlier this offseason.

    Leak caught three touchdowns in the Terps’ spring game and was slated to start alongside Levern Jacobs, a senior who led the team in receiving (47 catches, 640 yards, 3 TDs) in 2013, but was suspended for the 2014 campaign.

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  • Backup QB John Franklin transfers from Florida State

    Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday 10 hrs ago

    Coming out of spring practice, John Franklin sat at No. 2 on Florida State’s depth chart at quarterback. A week after the Seminoles added Everett Golson as a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, Franklin has decided to transfer.

    Doug Gatewood, Franklin’s high school coach, confirmed the news to the Orlando Sentinelon Friday. Franklin informed the staff this week, Gatewood said, and is unsure where his next stop will be.

    “He doesn’t know where yet,” Gatewood told the Sentinel. “He is just looking for an opportunity.”

    Franklin, a 6-foot, 183-pound redshirt sophomore, sat behind redshirt junior Sean Maguire in the race to replace Jameis Winston at the conclusion of spring practice. Now that Golson, who threw for 5,850 yards, 41 touchdowns and 20 interceptions during his time at Notre Dame, is in the mix, Franklin’s chances for playing time in 2015 looked slim.

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  • Byron Maxwell guarantees Super Bowl 50 appearance for Eagles

    Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner 10 hrs ago

    Byron Maxwell was one of the most sought-after defensive backs in free agency and landed with the Philadelphia Eagles on a lucrative, six-year, $63 million deal after four years with the Seattle Seahawks. Not only is Maxwell looking to provide a big boost to Philly’s secondary, he brings a track record that includes back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

    Make it back-to-back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, Maxwell says.

    “I’ve been there before. Knowing what it’s like if we go that far. Because we’re gonna go that far this year—meaning the playoffs and the Super Bowl,” Maxwell told Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB. “We’re gonna go that far. Hopefully that experience I already had, I can help them.”

    Maxwell said his big contract and responsibility as a team’s top corner won’t change his mindset on the field.

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    From the MMQB:

    MAXWELL: We will, though.

    VRENTAS: That sounds kind of like a guarantee.

  • Titans strength coach returned to work a day after having 3 surgeries

    Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner 12 hrs ago

    Football strength coaches often have a reputation for being a little crazy. Take Steve Watterson of the Tennessee Titans for example.

    According to, Watterson has never missed a day of work, so why would three surgeries in one day stop him?

    On May 20, he lifted a 242-pound strongman stone from the ground onto a 54-inch high platform. Late that afternoon, he had surgery on both of his knees (repairs to each meniscus as well as surfaces) and his right shoulder (torn rotator cuff). On May 21, he reported to team headquarters for work.

    #Titans strength coach Steve Watterson has three surgeries last Wednesday. Went to work on Thursday.

    Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt knows Watterson is a little crazy, but says that’s part of what makes him good at his job.

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  • Darren Sharper enters another guilty plea, this time in New Orleans

    Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner 12 hrs ago

    Two months after pleading guilty to sexual assault in Arizona, former NFL safety Darren Sharper entered another guilty plea in federal court in New Orleans on Friday morning.

    According to the New Orleans Advocate, Sharper, a six-time All-Pro, pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to distribute drugs with intent to commit rape. Sharper has now pleaded guilty or no contest to sexual assault charges in California, Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana in a “global plea deal” his attorneys have reached with prosecutors around the country.

    Per the Advocate, Sharper is next expected to plead guilty to three rape charges on June 15.

    Sharper, 39, was accused of drugging and raping nine different women across four states in 2013 and early 2014. He was arrested in Los Angeles in January 2014.

    As part of Friday’s plea, nine more years are expected to be added to Sharper’s sentence. He also faces interviews with New Orleans investigators.

  • Heavy rains briefly left Texas Tech's field under water (Photo)

    Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday 13 hrs ago

    Heavy rains swept across West Texas on Thursday, causing flooding in the Lubbock area. The rain directly hit Texas Tech and briefly left the playing surface at Jones AT&T Stadium under water.

    Heavy rain turning Texas Tech's Jones AT&T Stadium into Jones AT&T Stadium Lake. Photo credit: Deneise Smith

    Matt Dowdy, Texas Tech’s assistant director of athletic communications, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the photo was taken just after a major storm hit early Thursday afternoon. By 4:20 p.m., Dowdy said, the water was cleared.

    “The photo that was taken earlier was a photo from immediately after the storm,” Dowdy said Thursday. “Our drains on the stadium have worked the entire time. I’m actually looking out at the stadium turf right now and it’s almost all clear.”

    For more Texas Tech news, visit

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