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LaVar Ball Didn't Give LiAngelo a Voice ... Says Rockets Player

12/5/2017 12:24 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

No matter how you feel about LiAngelo Ball ditching UCLA, leave 'Gelo out of it ... 'cause LaVar Ball didn't let his son call his own shot -- so says Rockets PG Briante Weber.

"Daddy rules, so he probably had no say-so," Briante told TMZ Sports outside Poppy in L.A. "He's really just following what his pops said."

Maybe, maybe not. In an interview on Tuesday, LaVar essentially said he made the decision for LiAngelo ... but added that they were "on the same page."

Briante obviously thinks LaVar's pulling all the strings ... just like he's been doing with Lonzo Ball -- which Weber says has doomed 'Zo to a career of NBA beatdowns.  

O.J. Simpson I Still Got My Heisman Vote ... Hell Yeah I Used It!!!

12/5/2017 10:33 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Fun fact for you ... O.J. Simpson will have a say in this year's Heisman race, because he's still allowed to vote and, according to the Juice, he exercised that right.

Simpson was out in Las Vegas Monday night celebrating his daughter Arnelle's birthday when he broke down the race for the Trophy, which will be handed out Saturday night.

He seems to be up on all the leading candidates -- which is a little surprising, considering he's had a lot on his plate this fall. Y'know, getting out of prison and all.

O.J. was never forced to forfeit his Heisman winning status a la Reggie Bush. So, even though his '68 trophy was sold at auction to pay the Goldman family -- Simpson still gets a vote, by virtue of being a former winner.

Tom Izzo The Happiest Man on Earth ... in 'Judge Mathis' Cameo

12/5/2017 10:15 AM PST
Breaking News

Tom Izzo's won the NCAA tournament and been to 7 Final Fours ... but from the looks of it, the happiest moment of his life was being on the set of "Judge Mathis."

The legendary Michigan State basketball coach was a special guest on the courtroom reality show ... and dude was cheesin' like it was his damn wedding day. 

Mathis was presiding over a diehard Ohio State fan (from Michigan!!), so he had to throw shade and shout out Coach Izzo -- who couldn't get enough. 

Fun fact: Judge M says his daughter was a student assistant for Izzo ... so it's no surprise that they bro'd out backstage during the taping.

Mathis even dropped the gavel on rival Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, captioning their pic: "I hear you are a Judge Judy fan. Izzo wins!"

Georgia Tech Football Player KO's Teammate AGAIN ... Round 2, Baby!!

12/4/2017 12:55 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The Georgia Tech football player who knocked his teammate out cold earlier this year ... fought and KO'd HIM AGAIN later that SAME DAY ... and we have the video.

TMZ Sports obtained video that we're told was taken only hours after the original fight -- where starting CB Step Durham landed a perfectly placed hook on the chin of Lance Austin -- turning his fellow CB's lights out.

Unlike the first fight vid, it's hard to make out the players' faces ... but we are told it's Step and Lance.

A witness to the 2nd scrap tells us that Austin wanted to run the fight back ... and redeem himself for takin' an L the first time around.

But, the 2nd round ended just like the 1st ... with a right hook sending Austin crashing to locker room floor.

We sent GT the video ... and they told us it was "All part of the same incident that our coaching staff was aware of."

Last week the university told us they disciplined the players ... but would not reveal the punishment.

FSU QB Deondre Francois Blindsided By Jimbo Fisher Resigning ... 'No Call, No Text'

12/1/2017 3:32 PM PST
Breaking News

FSU quarterback Deondre Francois says Jimbo Fisher didn't do him the courtesy of giving a heads up before bailing for the Texas A&M coaching job ... and he's clearly pissed.

Jimbo resigned from his job in Tallahassee on Friday to accept a 10-year, $75 MILLION fully guaranteed deal with the Aggies, according to reports.

The redshirt sophomore -- who suffered a season-ending knee injury back in September -- sent out a subtweet directed at his former coach ... saying "No call, no text, you could of said something ..."

Current NFL star Deshaun Watson noticed the tweet and gave a word of advice to the young baller.

Rick Pitino Sues Louisville ... You Owe Me $38 MILLION!!

11/30/2017 3:02 PM PST
Breaking News

Rick Pitino is suing the University of Louisville Athletic Association for 38 MILLION DOLLARS ... claiming they breached his contract when they gave him the ax in October.

In the lawsuit -- filed in U.S. District Court -- Pitino's attorney is attempting to recoup the $4.3 million his client was to make each year through 2026 ... 9 seasons worth of salary.

The suit states that the ULAA -- the part of the University that oversees athletics -- didn't give Pitino a 10-day notice prior to firing him -- as his attorney says was mandated by his contract.

This ain't the first suit Pitino's team has fired off ... last month they sued Adidas for terminating their multi-million dollar deal with the coach.

 

Florida State Kicker Frat Fight Video Xmas Brawl Revealed

11/29/2017 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

TMZ Sports has obtained footage of the street fight involving Florida State kicker Ricky Aguayo and several members of an FSU fraternity ... and one thing's clear -- he was NOT jumped.

It all went down on Dec. 2 2016 -- you can see Ricky square up to fight a Pi Kappa Phi frat bro in a Santa hat ... while a spectator roots him on, "Hey Aguayo, f*ck him up bro!"

The two proceed to trade blows in front of the frat house -- each landing some decent shots. At one point, one of the spectator frat bros throws a cheap shot at Aguayo ... but the brawl continues. 

After Aguayo lost his shoe in the fight, one of the frat bros starts to heckle him saying, "You wanna do shit on our campus when you're a fucking kicker?!"

"Your brother never did this shit ... that's why i respected your brother ... not you, you little bitch."

FYI, Ricky's brother is former FSU kicker Roberto Aguayo, who was later drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs. 

The fight continued ... and at one point, Ricky's teammate Ryan Izzo (tight end) tries to save Ricky and physically breaks up the fight. The frat boys want a piece of Izzo, who at one point shoves a PKP bro like a rag doll. 

Eventually, Izzo grabs Aguayo and they leave. 

Cops were called to the scene and Aguayo told police he was "jumped" by the frat guys -- but the video looks far from a "jumping" situation. Looks like mutual combat to us.

No one pressed charges ... but Ricky -- an NFL prospect -- is lucky he wasn't seriously hurt. 

Florida State Kicker Told Cops He Was Jumped By Frat ... After '16 Florida Game

11/28/2017 8:53 AM PST
Breaking News

FSU kicker Ricky Aguayo told police he was attacked by several Florida State frat guys after the 2016 Florida game ... and it's all detailed in newly surfaced police report obtained by TMZ Sports. 

The Tallahassee Police Dept. was called to the Pi Kappa Phi frat house around 3 AM on Dec. 2, 2016 and found Aguayo and teammate Ryan Izzo (tight end) walking down the street. 

Aguayo told cops several Pi Kappa Phi members had been heckling him about missing field goals during the Nov. 26 Florida game ... in which he missed 2 kicks. 

"He said that he was rushed by several members of the fraternity and that they had 'jumped' him," the police report said.

"He said he was punched in the face and various other places on his body."

Cops say Aguayo had blood on his face and shirt and that his shirt was ripped. 

When cops spoke with Izzo, he told police he wasn't there for the fight -- but was called afterward to help Aguayo. 

But there's another side to the story ... one of the frat members told police Aguayo had called him a "sorority f**got" and punched him in the face 4 times. He also claims Izzo also attacked him and threatened another fraternity member. 

In the end, neither side wanted to press charges. 

The story was first reported by the Tallahassee Democrat

Matt Leinart Baker Mayfield's Probably Gonna Win the Heisman

11/28/2017 8:25 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

It's not a done deal ... but Matt Leinart says he'd really like Baker Mayfield to join him in the Heisman House. 

"He's probably gonna win the Heisman, but we'll see in a couple of weeks," the USC legend told us at LAX. 

As for Mayfield, the Oklahoma QB is wrapping up a pretty solid season -- he's thrown for more than 4,000 yards with 37 passing TDs and only 5 interceptions. 

Leinart also weighed in on the college football playoffs -- and said he's a strong fan of EXPANDING from just 4 teams. 

#Agree #Agree #Agree

Georgia Tech Football Player KO's Teammate In Training Center Fistfight

11/28/2017 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

A Georgia Tech football player straight-up KNOCKED OUT his teammate during a fight in the GT athletic facility ... and TMZ Sports has the video. 

The players are GT starting defensive backs Step Durham and Lance Austin -- who got into a heated altercation earlier this year, before Spring Practice began. 

As a shirtless Lance walks towards his teammate, Step ... he gets hit with a quick right hook on the chin -- instantly putting Lance to sleep. 

Lance collapsed into a chair and appears to be completely unconscious. You can hear multiple voices in the room instructing Step to pick Lance up off the ground. 

We reached out to Georgia Tech -- and we were told, "Georgia Tech’s football coaching staff became aware of the incident between teammates and friends shortly after it occurred. Discipline was handled internally."

Sources tell us neither players missed any playing time during the 2017 season as a result of the incident. It's unclear what the punishment was exactly. 

We're told both players told the coaching staff about the fight and insisted things were cool -- there were no hard feelings. 

10:15 PM PT -- Step Durham, who threw the punch, released the following statement:

First off, I would like to start by apologizing to Georgia Tech, my teammates – especially Lance Austin – and my coaches, fans and family for bringing a negative light on the school, the football program and my name.

My actions in the video that was made public today were unacceptable and the dispute should have been handled in a more adult manner. Taking disputes to a physical level is never the answer and I hope my peers take note of my mistake.

The incident occurred during the spring, which gave Lance and me an opportunity to discuss the matter and put it aside a long time ago. Lance and I have always had a brother-like relationship and brothers sometimes fight but, as I said before, the situation should have been handled in a more mature manner. I’m glad that even after the incident, our friendship remains strong.

I’m deeply sorry for my actions and, being an adult, I understand that consequences and judgment come with the actions shown. I hope to prove to those who don’t know me that I’m not a violent person whatsoever.

I would respectfully ask those that have viewed the video not judge or categorize Lance or me based on what they saw in the video alone. Thank you.

Lance Austin, the player who was KO'ed, also released a statement:

A lot has been made today of an incident that happened months ago. The video snippet of that incident is not beneficial to anyone. Step Durham apologized and we long ago put that incident behind us.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no further need for an apology. I forgave him already and we have since played well together as teammates this season.

Like Step said, as brothers, we have put our aside our differences and our friendship remains strong.

J.T. Barrett Camera Collision Aftermath Caught On Video

11/27/2017 4:14 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

TMZ Sports has obtained a video shot seconds after a photographer collided with Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett on Saturday ... and you can see Barrett limping away in pain. 

The person who shot the video had great seats for the OSU vs. Michigan game and had been recording Barrett as he warmed up in the early minutes of the game. 

The witness says he didn't record the collision -- but managed to capture the direct aftermath ... and you can see Barrett limping. 

The witness also says the perpetrator had already run away from the collision site by the time he got his phone back up and running ... but ID'd the photog as a white guy in gray and yellow gear who was carrying a "medium-sized camera."

OSU coach Urban Meyer initially called for an "all out investigation" into finding the photog -- but later walked that back and said the program is just trying to find out what happened, so the NCAA can help make better sideline procedures. 

Hope this video helps ... 

Albert Haynesworth Tennessee Won't Hire Tee Martin ... Because He's Black

11/27/2017 12:13 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Albert Haynesworth says his ex-teammate Tee Martin would be the perfect fit to take over as head coach at Tennessee ... but says it'll never happen because he's black.

Martin isn't just a legend at UT -- he's also been a rising star as the offensive coordinator at USC ... with both Yahoo! Sports and Sports Illustrated naming him on lists of best candidates for a head coaching job. 

Haynesworth tells TMZ Sports ... the QB who brought a national championship to Tennessee would be the right move -- but says he's highly doubtful it'll actually happen. 

"I don't think it's necessarily racism, but I think it's more like placism. They don't think a black candidate can lead UT or maybe they just don't want a black candidate leading UT."

Haynesworth is calling for his alma mater to consider more black coaches in their search -- but says he'd still be happy with several white coaches including Jon Gruden and Chris Petersen.

Haynesworth says he's had discussions with his other teammates on his 1998 national championship team ... and says they all want a proven coach who can help bring them back into title contention.

Univ. of Tennessee We Don't Believe Greg Schiano Protected Sandusky

11/27/2017 9:16 AM PST
Breaking News

The University of Tennessee says they found no evidence that Greg Schiano helped cover up child rape during his time at Penn State ... but they're still not explaining why they backed out of hiring him as the Vols head football coach. 

FYI, Schiano was reportedly signed to be the next head coach -- but some students and supporters lashed out over the decision due to claims Schiano knew about the horrific things Jerry Sandusky was doing to children and didn't report him to police. 

Schiano has denied covering up anything -- and said he never had any knowledge about Sandusky's disturbing crimes. Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel explained where the allegation stems from. 

Still, many have speculated that outrage over the Penn State connection is what led to Tennessee backing out. 

Now, UT athletic director John Currie has issued a statement essentially saying the school vetted Schiano and determined he had no role in protecting Sandusky. 

"Coach Schiano worked at Penn State from 1990-1995. Consequently, we, of course, carefully reviewed the 2012 investigation report by Louis Freeh. Coach Schiano is not mentioned in the Freeh report and was not one of the more than 400 people interviewed in the investigation."

"We also confirmed that Coach Schiano was never deposed and never asked to testify in any criminal or civil matter. And, we conferred with our colleagues at The Ohio State University, who had conducted a similar inquiry after the 2016 release of testimony."

"I know that Coach Schiano will continue to have great success in his coaching career and wish him and his family well."

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