Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Five players to sit out Pack's preason home openerWisconsin Sports
-- Head Coach Mike McCarthy says at least five Packers will definitely sit out tomorrow night, when Green Bay plays Arizona in its home exhibition opener.
GREEN BAY - Head Coach Mike McCarthy says at least five Packers will definitely sit out tomorrow night, when Green Bay plays Arizona in its home exhibition opener.
Safeties Brandon Underwood and Anthony Levine will wear street clothes – and so will tackle Chris Campbell, guard Adrian Battles, and defensive lineman Lawrence Guy. McCarthy also said linebacker Clay Matthews has a tight hamstring. That indicated he might sit out as well. The coach also said defensive end Mike Neal is still possible for some playing time against the Cardinals, as gets over a strained left knee suffered at practice this week. McCarthy said Neal indeed had an MRI yesterday, after reporting earlier that he didn’t. Also, T.J. Lang will start at left guard, after rookie Derek Sherrod auditioned at that spot against Cleveland a week ago. The Packers had a light workout earlier today – and the team tossed T-shirts into the stands as a gesture of appreciation to the fans. Also, the coach arranged a little fun for the players. They splashed each other with water balloons after their workout.
The Packers officially “broke camp” today, which means the players are no longer staying at Saint Norbert College. Rookies and undrafted free agents are temporarily moving into hotels until they find out whether they’ll make the Packers’ regular season roster. The final cuts will be made two weeks from Saturday. Practices will stay open to the public through August 30th.
Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy is not ruling out defensive end Mike Neal for tomorrow night’s second exhibition game of the pre-season. The second-year pro hurt his left knee earlier this week, when his cleats got stuck in the ground during a pass-rushing drill with a tackling dummy. Coach Mike McCarthy said the injury was not serious enough to warrant a medical scan – and for now, he’s listed as day-to-day. The coach also says that safety Anthony Levine is undergoing the NFL’s protocol for concussions, after he collided with corner Pat Lee at practice on Tuesday. And defensive end Lawrence Guy missed yesterday’s practice after his concussion symptoms from two weeks ago came back. The Packers are holding a final practice today before hosting the Arizona Cardinals tomorrow.
University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is among those who say they lost money in a Ponzi scheme run by Nevin Shapiro. He’s the former University of Miami booster at the center of the scandal sweeping through the Hurricanes’ athletic department. The Alvarez family has filed claims against Shapiro’s company for more than a million dollars. Shapiro is serving 20 years on a federal sentence for his role in the $930 million conspiracy. The NCAA is currently investigating claims by Shapiro that he provided athletes at the university with cash, prostitutes, cars and other gifts.
The Milwaukee Admirals will see a lot of their new division opponents in the upcoming season. The team's schedule was announced today. And 44 of the Admirals' 76 contests will be against teams in their newly-realigned Midwest Division. Those teams are Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, and Charlotte. Milwaukee will open its season on October eighth at Peoria. Their home opener is October 14th against the Chicago Wolves. More games will be played on the weekends, and the Admirals will have 32 weekend home contests -- the most since they joined the American Hockey League in 2001. The Admirals have a new coach, Kirk Muller. They'll play 12 games apiece against Chicago, Peoria, and Rockford -- and eight against Charlotte. The AHL reduced each team's schedule by four goals from the previous 80.
In the Midwest League, the Beloit Snappers will try to get their second straight win tonight at division-leading Kane County. Beloit crushed the Cougars 10-1 last night. And it dropped Kane County into a tie with Quad Cities for the Western Division lead. Both are 30-21 in the second half, while Beloit is fourth at 24-27. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will go for their second straight victory at Peoria. The fifth-place Rattlers won 7-4 last evening. Quad Cities is at Clinton tonight. Burlington hosts Cedar Rapids. Eastern Division leader Dayton hosts Great Lakes. Lake County is at South Bend. Lansing plays at Bowling Green. And Fort Wayne entertains West Michigan.
Wisconsin did not make the Top-Six in a preseason volleyball poll of Big Ten coaches. They projected Penn State to win the conference title for the ninth year in a row. The Nittany Lions have won four straight NCAA championships – and they’re still Number-One in the national coaches’ poll. The Big Ten coaches projected Illinois and Nebraska to tie for second, followed by Purdue, Minnesota, and Michigan State. One Badger player made the 17-member all-Big Ten pre-season team – middle blocker Alexis Mitchell. She received an all-league honorable mention a year ago.
Green Bay is the nation’s Number-One fantasy football city. That’s according to Yahoo Sports, which said that one of every 29 Green Bay residents was in a Yahoo Fantasy Football league last year. That’s the biggest percentage in the country. Cincinnati had the second-highest ratio of fantasy players compared to its total population. Minneapolis-Saint Paul was third.