Colin Cowherd no longer will appear on ESPN, the network announced late Friday afternoon, abruptly severing ties with a staple of its radio lineup.
The move came in the wake of a controversy over remarks he made on his show Thursday that appeared to disparage Dominicans —remarks that led to sharp criticism from both Major League Baseball and its players union.
Cowherd was in his final days at the network anyway. Sports Business Journal reported his final show was scheduled to be next Friday. He is headed for Fox Sports, which plans to give him a show on its cable television network, Fox Sports 1.
The trouble began Thursday, when he was talking about baseball. ‘‘The game is too complex? I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball’s just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic.”
He added the country “had not been known, in my lifetime, as having, you know, world-class academic abilities.”
Cowherd apologized on Twitter, writing: “I did not intend to offend anyone with my comments. I realize my choice of words was poor and not reflective of who I am. I am sorry.”
NCAA going after So. Mississippi
The NCAA has outlined serious rules violations committed at Southern Mississippi, finding multiple infractions by the men’s basketball program during former coach Donnie Tyndall’s tenure.
The charges, which include arranging fraudulent academic credit, impermissible financial aid and obstructing the governing body’s investigation, were outlined in a notice of allegations released by the university Friday. There were seven alleged Level I violations — which are judged the most serious by the NCAA — in the 43-page notice.
Tour de France
Quintana cuts into Froome lead
Vincenzo Nibali won an exhausting Alpine stage of punishing ascents and steep descents Friday to rescue the otherwise disappointing defense of his Tour de France title. Behind the Stage 19 winner at the La Toussuire ski station, Nairo Quintana launched his most sustained and telling attack against race leader Chris Froome, and this time got the better of the 2013 champion.
Froome’s lead of 2 minutes, 38 seconds over Quintana, down from 3:10 at the start, should be enough to get the British rider through the last competitive day in the Alps on Saturday. Still, the smaller cushion will force Froome to watch Quintana very carefully on Stage 20 and means he cannot afford a bad day.
Bucs put Wilson on reserve list
Tampa Bay cornerback C.J. Wilson was placed on the reserve/retired list while he recovers from losing two fingers on his right hand in a July 4 fireworks accident. Wilson’s agent said when the 25-year-old is “fully healed” he hopes to resume his NFL career.
... Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe will miss the first month of the season after being suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. ... The Orleans Saints cut Junior Galette, who had 10 sacks last season but has dealt with off-the-field issues. ... Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was put on six months of probation for stealing $123 worth of cologne and underwear from a Texas mall. ... The Dolphins cut former Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman. ... The Cardinals signed free-agent tight end Jermaine Gresham to a one-year contract.
Rain soaks Senior British Open
Torrential rain wiped out most play at the Senior British Open with more than half the field still to start their second round.
Colin Montgomerie is one of eight players on 5 under at the top of the leaderboard but six of them have yet to play a hole in the second round. Defending champion Bernhard Langer, Americans Michael Allen, Marco Dawson, Lee Janzen and Jeff Sluman, plus Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, will start their second rounds when play resumes at 8 a.m. Saturday.
... Chad Campbell shot a 9-under 63 in the Canadian Open to take a two-stroke lead over Brian Harman. Campbell birdied all four par 5s at Glen Abbey in his bogey-free round to reach 14-under 130. Harman followed his opening 65 with a 67. Canada’s David Hearn was tied for third at 11 under after a 64.
... Lexi Thompson birdied six of the first eight holes and finished with a 7-under 64 for a share of the Meijer LPGA Classic lead with Alison Lee and Lizette Salas. Thompson matched Lee and Salas at 9-under 133. Lee, the 20-year-old former UCLA player in her first season on the tour, had a 66, and playing partner Salas, a former Southern California star, shot a 69.
Around the horn
NHL: The Capitals signed goaltender Braden Holtby to a $30.5-million, five-year contract. ... The Canadiens signed Alexander Semin to a one-year contract for $1.1 million. The forward who once scored 40 goals with Washington has spent the last three seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.
NBA: The Trail Blazers signed guard Phil Pressey and forward Cliff Alexander.