WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: UW's Stave out indefintely with bad shoulder
MADISON - University of Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave is out indefinitely, with lingering pain in his right throwing shoulder.
In a statement released today, head coach Gary Andersen said Stave had "some issues" with the shoulder over the past couple of weeks. The coach said the best thing to do is to "shut it down, and give him some rest." Back-up tight end T.J. Watt was also ruled out indefinitely, with a right knee injury. Andersen said it required surgery, but there's still a chance Watt can return before the Big Ten season ends. Stave missed the final week of spring practices due to the shoulder pain, from an injury he suffered in last January's Capital One Bowl. In the Big Ten's teleconference today, Andersen said redshirt sophomore Bart Houston would be the backup behind Tanner McEvoy when the Badgers play their home opener on Saturday against Western Illinois. Freshman D.J. Gillins will be the Number-three quarterback. McEvoy completed 8-of-24 passes last Saturday in the loss to LSU for 50 yards and two interceptions. It was his first start at quarterback, after playing safety a year ago. Houston completed his only pass attempt in 2013 for eight yards.
Former Badgers' pass rusher J.J. Watt has become the highest-paid defender in the NFL. The Houston Chronicle was the first to report that the Texans' defensive end has signed a six-year deal worth $100-million, which includes a total of almost $52-million in guaranteed money. That includes a $10-million dollar signing bonus to go with his $907,000 salary for his fourth NFL campaign this fall. The extension begins in 2016 and runs through 2021, when Watt turns 32. The Pewaukee native has a news conference planned late this afternoon to talk about his new deal. Watt was the NFL's 11th overall draft pick in 2011. He's considered by many to be the league's best defensive player, after he amassed 31 sacks in his previous two seasons. Watt started all 48 regular season contests in his first three years with Houston with 27 pass break-ups, eight forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries. The new contract comes a couple weeks after Watt gingerly mentioned his lack of a new deal, while others in his draft class were starting to get huge extensions and rookies were getting more than him -- like his new line partner Jadeveon Clowney.
Green Bay Packers' coach Mike McCarthy is looking for big things from Randall Cobb in his contract year. The fourth-year receiver is coming off an extended leg injury from a year ago. Today, McCarthy told reporters that Cobb has had an excellent off-season and training camp -- and as he matures, Cobb is probably stronger than he's ever been. The coach also said Cobb will handle punt returns on Thursday night, when the Packers open the new season at Seattle.
The Milwaukee Brewers are looking for three big things tonight, when they play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. First, the Brewers need to win -- and Saint Louis needs to lose to Pittsburgh -- for the Crew to regain a share of first-place with the Cardinals in the National League Central. Second, Brewers' starter Yovani Gallardo is looking for his sixth straight winning decision on the Cubs' home diamond. He's 5-0 in his last seven starts at the Friendly Confines, with a 1.77 ERA. Gallardo is also 5-0 in his last eight road starts overall. Finally, the Brewers' offense is looking to tee off against Cubs' right-hander Jake Arietta. The Milwaukee offense is only batting .193 during its current six-game losing streak. They've scored just under two runs during the skid. The Brewers have not lost seven in a row since July 6th-through-12th. Milwaukee is 7-7 this year against the last-place Cubs.
The Brewers announced three more September call-ups today. They're adding infielders Jason Rogers, Matt Clark, and Hector Gomez from Triple-"A" Nashville, which ended its season yesterday. The 26-year-old Rogers moved from first base to third for the Sounds this year. He led the team with a .316 batting average with eleven homers and 39 RBI's. The 27-year-old Clark came over from the New York Mets' farm system in July. He batted .313 for Nashville with a .976 on-base plus slugging percentage. The 26-year-old Gomez had his best year in 2014 with Nashville. He batted .282 with 15 homers and 49 RBI's -- and he hit .385 in his final ten contests. To make room on the Brewers' 40-man roster, the team designated outfielder Caleb Gindl for assignment -- and they released right-hander Hiram Burgos. Gindl was an occasional Milwaukee call-up. He hit .227 at Nashville. Burgos had shoulder issues and made just four starts this year.
A criminal contempt charge will not be filed against a former friend of Milwaukee Brewers' outfielder Ryan Braun. Ralph Sasson was arrested in July, after he posted parts of his own deposition on You-Tube in his lawsuit against Braun. Circuit Judge Paul Van Grunsven said the video went against a previous order that all evidence in the case be sealed. In June, Van Grunsven dropped Sasson's lawsuit, which alleged that Braun defamed Sasson and failed to pay him for helping defend Braun against allegations that he violated Major League Baseball's anti-drug rules. After the district attorney's office decided not to prosecute the contempt matter, Sasson -- a law student -- told the Journal Sentinel he spent an "extraordinary amount of time" making sure his video was legal. Sasson said he believes the contempt matter was dropped because he disclosed information from a deposition by Braun's agent -- which he said was made to the players' union and therefore not part of his lawsuit. He also made it clear that the dismissal of his suit will be appealed.
The UW-Green Bay men's soccer team is 1-1, after losing at home to DePaul 4-3 in overtime on Labor Day. The Phoenix were a man short on the field for over 50 minutes, after goal-keeper Dani Alvarado was given a red card. He went off his line to prevent a goal in a one-on-one situation. DePaul scored three times under the one-man advantage. Jordan Dover had two goals for Green Bay. His teammate Audi Jepson had a goal and two assists. Anthony Hunter scored the game-winner for the Blue Demons in the 93rd minute, as DePaul improved to 1-1 on the young season.
Wisconsin players won three-of-the-four weekly honors in Midwest Conference soccer. In men's play, Sam Lamers of Saint Norbert was named the offensive player-of-the-week -- while Ripon College goal-tender Cody Messerschmidt won the league's defensive honors. Kaitlyn Lueck of Ripon was given the women's weekly award on defense. Lamers, a sophomore forward, had one goal and one assist when Saint Norbert blanked Platteville 2-0 on Sunday. It was the Green Knights' first victory over a WIAC school since 2006. Messerschmidt, a senior goal-tender, did not allow a goal in 155 minutes of play. Lueck, a senior defender, helped the Ripon defense allow just six shots in a 6-nothing shut-out at Lakeland. Cornell College forward Emily Snider won the Midwest offensive women's soccer award.
The North Dakota State football team has high praise for northeast Wisconsin native Brian Schaetz. The junior nose guard played virtually every snap on defense and made some key tackles in the Bison's 34-14 season-opening victory over Iowa State. Assistant coach Tom Polasek, who recruited Schaetz, said he takes a lot of pride in his player's development -- and his hard work has rubbed off on other North Dakota State players. NDSU is ranked first in the Championship Sub-division.