Wisconsin Sports Briefs: Packers open camp with 7 on unable-to-perform list...
The Green Bay Packers will open their Training Camp today with seven players on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
The biggest surprise is that defensive end Mike Neal failed his physical Thursday. The fourth-year defensive player was a full participant in the Packers’ off-season workouts and he scrimmaged at outside linebacker for the first time.
Also on the unable-to-perform list for failing physicals are running back DuJuan Harris, offensive tackle Derek Sherrod, offensive lineman J.C. Tretter, defensive end Jerel Worthy, and safeties Sean Richardson and Chaz Powell.
Inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore was put on the non-football illness list.
Last year, the 26-year-old Neal was suspended for the first four games for taking the drug Adderall. He came back strong to have his best season as a pro, with four and a half sacks and 19 quarterback pressures.
Harris, who came on strong at the end of last year, was hoping to be ready for camp after having a cyst operation in one of his lungs during the off-season.
At training camp, players can be removed from the unable-to-perform list at any time. Once the regular season begins, those on the list must stay sidelined for at least six weeks before they can start practicing with their teams.
On Thursday, Coach Mike McCarthy said his biggest goal is to avoid the injuries that plagued last year’s camp. Over two dozen players missed games and practices last year. Many of those missed at least a third of Training Camp.
Badger coach agrees with crackdown
Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen says he generally agrees with the new NCAA crackdown on hard hits to defenseless players.
At the Big Ten meetings in Chicago this week, Andersen said conference officials would visit the University of Wisconsin and the other league schools during their pre-season camps to explain the rule and answer questions about it.
The rule bans the targeting of defenseless players with hits above the shoulders. Andersen says he’s most concerned about borderline calls, especially because of the punishment involved.
If the violation is in the first half, an offender misses the rest of the game. For second-half violations, the player also misses the first half of the next game.
Those hits will continue to carry a 15-yard penalty.
Badgers senior linebacker Chris Borland, who’s made his share of hard hits, does not believe the new rule will change his game.
Braun says he’ll talk when he can
Ryan Braun says he’ll talk more about his drug suspension when he’s “legally allowed” to. The Brewers outfielder was widely criticized for making a vague apology this week when he accepted a season-ending suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
That was after he made numerous denials that he ever took any PED, despite contacts with the Bio-Genesis clinic in Miami which reportedly provided the drugs.
Yesterday, Braun left a message with the Brewers media relations department which said he’s not legally allowed to address the subject yet.
On Wednesday, owner Mark Attanasio said Braun agreed not to talk publicly about the matter until Major League Baseball completes its full investigation.
Over 20 players were said to have taken PEDs from Bio-Genesis. One media report said the clinic put Braun on a regimen for “high-end clients.”
Attanasio said Braun would do the right things and say the right things to get back in fans’ good graces.
Bucks releases forward
The Milwaukee Bucks have released forward Gustavo Ayon. The NBA’s only Mexican-born player would have been guaranteed $1.5 million dollars for next season had he stayed on the Bucks roster after today. He injured a groin at the recent NBA Summer League.
The Bucks acquired the 28-year-old Ayon in February as part of the deal with Orlando that brought J.J. Redick to Milwaukee. Ayon played in 12 games for the Bucks, averaging almost 4.5 points and five rebounds.
He’s been in the NBA since 2011 with New Orleans and the Magic, as well as Milwaukee.