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Rick Pitino FBI's Fall Guy ... Says Ex-Louisville Star

10/22/2017 12:05 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Former Louisville basketball star Kevin Ware is standing up for Rick Pitino amid his suspected involvement in the NCAA recruiting sting ... saying his ex-coach is being unfairly fingered by the feds.

"What are you doing a full FBI investigation on? ... That don't make a lot of sense to me unless you were already digging, trying to make Rick to be that culprit and take that fall," Ware told TMZ Sports.

Kevin says he didn't notice anything fishy when he was playing for the Cardinals from 2011-2014 ... including any sign of Katina Powell -- the escort whose prostitution scandal rocked the university last year.

Ware told us he's got nothing but respect for the man Pitino is off the court  ... calling him "a very loving and caring person." 

But even Kevin can see Coach P's days in college hoops are done -- which he says is for the best.

Ware also weighed in on Gordon Hayward's gruesome injury since he suffered a brutal leg-break while he was at Louisville ... telling us why the NBA superstar should be A-OK.

Ex-NFLer Gerald Sensabaugh I'm Lawyerin' Up!! After Suspended From H.S. Coach Gig

10/19/2017 12:35 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-Dallas Cowboys safety Gerald Sensabaugh tells TMZ Sports he wants to sue the Tennessee high school that put him on administrative leave ... claiming allegations he violated school policies are BS. 

Sensabaugh -- who played 8 seasons in the league -- was in his first year as head coach of the David Crockett H.S. football team (and doing well) when things suddenly took a turn. 

School officials fired off 2 letters to Gerald claiming he was using foul language in front of players and had unsafely forced an injured player to practice. He was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 10.

But Gerald says none of the allegations are true -- and claims school officials only turned on him after he started blowing the whistle about concerning classroom conditions and disappearing monetary funds. 

Sensabaugh -- who made millions in the NFL -- says the job was never about money ... he was genuinely trying to make an impact on the kids and feels he got screwed by the administration. 

Now, he's looking for a lawyer to sue the school district to clear his name so he can get back to helping  kids. 

As for the school, officials say they are still investigating Sensabaugh and he'll remain on leave until the investigation is concluded.

Master P To Colin Kaepernick Screw The NFL ... Let's Start Our Own League!!!

10/18/2017 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Master P has a message for Colin Kaepernick ... WHO NEEDS THE NFL ... telling TMZ Sports if the league won't let Kaep ball, he's down to help Colin start up his own shop, and take down the shield.

P knows about sports startups, his Global Mixed Gender Basketball league is off to an incredible start, attracting big name talent like the Gonzalez Twins, Glen "Big Baby" Davis, and Metta World Peace.

When we got him out in L.A. we had to ask P what he thought about Kaep's situation, and P had a very simple answer, if you can't join 'em, beat 'em.

"I'll help him start his own league. I think he should, I mean he's a great football player. I think the NFL should have some competition."

P's point is that the only way Colin can ensure his right to demonstrate any way he wants is to have some ownership, and that's exactly what he wants to do with his upstart league.

Someone get "He Hate Me" on the phone.

Odell Beckham Jr. Somber in Crutches and Walking Boot

10/17/2017 4:20 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Odell Beckham Jr. hopped out of bed a week after undergoing ankle surgery and the look on his face says it all -- it ain't no fun.

The New York Giants WR was seen for the first time since suffering a horrific left ankle injury last weekend against the San Diego Chargers. He was leaving his crib in crutches and a large walking boot and on his way to physical therapy.

OBJ underwent season-ending surgery and posted a pic on Instagram from his hospital bed thanking everyone for their prayers ... but it's pretty clear he'd rather be prepping for the Seahawks on Sunday.

#GetWellSoon

Thank u all for your prayers. You better believe I'll be back better than ever. God Speed

A post shared by Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) on

Jermichael Finley Packers Should Call Brett Favre ... Not Colin Kaepernick!

10/17/2017 12:45 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-Packers star Jermichael Finley says Colin Kaepernick is NOT the answer to the Green Bay Packers QB problem, but knows a guy who could be ... Brett Favre

Finley used to be one of Aaron Rodgers' top targets ... so we got him to weigh in on who should take the job now that A-Rod might be (most likely is) done for the season.

Jermichael straight up blew up the Kaepernick option, saying there's no way it's possible, because cheesehead land is just too conservative to embrace the controversial QB.

"That would never happen in the state of Wisconsin," Finley told TMZ Sports.

But when we brought up Brett, Finley's eyes lit up, and he told us the 48-year-old gunslinger is actually the perfect guy to step in and steady the ship.

"He looks really good, he knows the playbook, he knows the city. I think Brett would be a better fit then Colin Kaepernick. Brett Farve is the best decision for the Packers."

FYI, we talked to Brett earlier this year, and he told us he definitely feels like he could still play, but has no interest in taking NFL hits again.

Colin Kaepernick Files Grievance Against NFL ... For Alleged Collusion

10/15/2017 3:28 PM PDT
Breaking News

4:56 PM PT -- Colin's lawyer, Mark Geragos, released a statement saying ... "We can confirm that this morning we filed a grievance under the CBA on behalf of Colin Kaepernick. This was done only after pursuing ever possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives." The statement goes on to say Colin shouldn't be punished for his peaceful protest, and that he just wants to get back to playing.

Colin Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL alleging the league colluded to keep him out because of his National Anthem protests ... according to a new court filing. 

The filing, obtained by ABC News, alleges the league's owners "colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick's leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice."

Kaepernick has also hired celeb attorney Mark Geragos for representation as opposed to going through the NFL Players Association.

As we reported ... Kaep's protest has ignited a national debate about kneeling for the flag. 

Pro Football Hall of Fame Plants 300 U.S. Flags ... On Front Lawn

10/15/2017 12:35 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is clearly trying to send a message when it comes to the flag -- the more, the better.

TMZ Sports has learned ... organizers at the HOF in Canton, OH recently planted more than 300 U.S. flags on the lawn as part of a campaign called "Huddle Up, America."

The HOF says the flags are "a sign of unity to bring all Americans together" -- and the campaign was designed to help the football community "work through issues that are important to our families, community and country."

Guessing Trump approves. 

Kroy Biermann Advice to Ezekiel Elliott: 'Don't Do Dumb Sh*t'

10/13/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

If Ezekiel Elliott really wants to help the Dallas Cowboys, he'd abide by one simple rule -- "Don't do dumb sh*t."

That's the advice NFL linebacker Kroy Biermann had for Elliott when we told him all about the RB's suspension going back into effect on Thursday. 

Biermann doesn't think the 6-game ban will kill the Cowboys -- but it definitely doesn't help. 

The bigger issue for Kroy ... Zeke needs to make better life choices -- and he gives him a step-by-step guide on how to stop screwing up off the field. 

Ex-USC Linebacker Osa Masina Pleads Guilty To Sexual Battery Faces 3 Years In Jail

10/12/2017 10:55 AM PDT
Breaking News

Ex-USC football player Osa Masina pled guilty to 3 counts of sexual battery -- all misdemeanors -- in a Utah courtroom today ... and faces up to 3 years behind bars.

Back in 2016, a 19-year-old woman said she fell asleep after partying with Masina, now 20, and friends. She told police when she woke up Masina was anally raping her. She also said Masina engaged in oral sex with her while she was asleep.

The ex-USC linebacker was initially charged with rape and two counts of forcible sodomy -- both 1st degree felonies.

This morning, Masina appeared in a Salt Lake City court and pled guilty to reduced charges -- 3 counts of misdemeanor sexual battery. He faces a year in jail for each count.

Masina will be sentenced in December.

Colin Kaepernick Willing to Stand for Nat'l Anthem? ... Uh, Not So Fast

10/8/2017 11:20 AM PDT
Breaking News

1:00 PM PT -- Colin just tweeted about the misinformation over him being willing to stand for the national anthem with a quote from Winston Churchill. His girlfriend, Nessa, also tweeted an outright denial of the news.

11:48 PM PT -- Jason La Canfora is now saying reports about Colin standing for the anthem are NOT true ... adding he and the ex-QB only talked about wanting to play again. Multiple media outlets cited CBS and La Canfora for the original news ... but that story about Colin being willing to stand has now been removed from CBS' site. It appears Jason was only relaying earlier reporting about Colin standing in the future.

Colin Kaepernick is apparently over his National Anthem protest ... just as long as it means he can play professional football again. 

Kaepernick reportedly told reporter Jason La Canfora that he would indeed stand for the National Anthem if he was signed to an NFL team this year. 

La Canfora said Sunday that he'd sat down with Kaep and his GF Saturday night, and explained that Colin's primary goal right now is to be a pro QB ... as he's been living in NYC and training privately in Jersey.

La Canfora also says Colin spends a fair amount of time working with youth in Harlem ... as we've recently seen.  

Still ... the alleged statement on standing is shocking if true -- especially in light of the recent national debate that President Trump himself has weighed in on and gotten tremendous backlash from the NFL.

Gotta wonder if this will change any NFL owners' minds about Kaep.

Christian Ponder I Blamed God ... For Sucky NFL Play

10/4/2017 2:53 PM PDT

Former NFL QB Christian Ponder says he had a pretty powerful excuse for some of his bad NFL Sundays, 'cause when he had a tough day at the office, he'd blame God.

Ponder and his wife, sports reporter Sam Ponder, sat down at Liberty University Convocation when Christian opened up about how far he's come in his walk with the lord.

"With my faith going into the NFL, I honestly would think if I pray and get into the bible I'm gonna play well on Sunday."

What happened when Christian didn't cut it on the field? Best to let him explain ... 

"When I played well I was like, 'God's awesome.' When I didn't play well it was almost like I blamed him for not playing well."

Christian went on to say he's in a better place spiritually now, a more even and fulfilled place with his maker and thanks Sam in part for that awakening.

Still, let's hope his fantasy team does well this weekend, just in case.

Terrelle Pryor Incident: Ohio State Insults Set Him Off ... New Video

10/4/2017 1:16 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

TMZ Sports has obtained new video of Terrelle Pryor's post-game blowup from Monday night ... revealing the Redskins star got heated over insults about his alma mater.

In the new video, you can hear the fan say, "Hey Terrelle, you bitch! F*ck you! F*ck Ohio State!!"

Of course, Pryor played for the Buckeyes from 2008 to 2010 -- right before he was hit with a 5-year ban from OSU football amid an NCAA investigation into players receiving improper benefits.

Clearly, he's still proud of his school -- and launched his middle finger and an F-bomb after the Ohio State insults.

Pryor was also upset because his Skins lost to the Chiefs in Kansas City. 

Boomer Esiason Signs On for 'Kitten Bowl V' ... Meow

10/4/2017 9:33 AM PDT
Breaking News

Good news, America ... Boomer Esiason is coming back for another Kitten Bowl

The Hallmark Channel announced the former Cincinnati Bengals QB will return to call the play-by-play on Feb. 4 as several rescued cats vie for the "national championship of feline football."

Beth Stern -- Howard Stern's wife -- will host the show with correspondents Dean Cain and Alison Sweeney

In all seriousness, organizers say the 2018 Kitten Bowl "features countless displaced kittens rescued from the country’s most recent natural disasters" ... and will help them find homes. 

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