Afternoon Sports Briefs: Packers Anthony Hargrove suspended eight gamesWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers’ defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove was suspended for eight games today, for his previous role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove was suspended for eight games today, for his previous role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program.
He was one of four players punished by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, for the system in which Saints’ defensive players were paid for vicious hits and knocking offensive players out of games. The NFL said Hargrove actively participated in the program starting in 2009, when he was with New Orleans. He submitted a signed declaration to the league, in which Hargrove said he knew about the bounty program and took part in it. Hargrove got the second biggest punishment among the four players affected. Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire season. Will Smith was given a four game suspension, and Scott Fujita was ruled out for three games. Hargrove, Smith, and Fujita can take part in all off season activities and exhibition games before sitting out, in Hargrove’s case, for half the 2012 regular season.
The 28 year old Hargrove played in Seattle last year, and was a free agent when the Packers signed him just over a month ago to bolster their pass defense. But Green Bay did not invest a lot in Hargrove. He signed a one year deal for the veterans’ minimum of $825,000 dollars. There’s no signing bonus or guaranteed money, and technically, the Packers could cut him without hurting their salary cap. But the players can appeal the suspensions and there’s been talk that the players’ union will use what legal tactics are possible to fight them. Hargrove is the second Packers’ defensive lineman under suspension. Mike Neal was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
The Milwaukee Brewers will try to get their bats going again tonight, when they play the rubber match of their three-game series at San Diego. The Brewers managed only three singles last night, when they fell to the Padres 2-0. And on Monday night, Milwaukee only got three hits outside of Ryan Braun’s monster game with three homers and a triple. The Brewers are 2-3 on their 9 game road trip and they’ll try to avoid giving San Diego its first series win of the year. The Padres are 8-17, and they’ve won eight of their last 12 contests against the Brewers at Petco Park. Milwaukee is 11-13. Right hander Yovani Gallardo will start for the Brew Crew. Former Brewer Jeff Suppan will start for San Diego in place of Cory Luebke, who’s out with shoulder tightness.
A Racine County native has been named the softball freshman of the year in the Northern Athletics Conference. Natalie Zanella from Caledonia pitches for Aurora University near Chicago. She led the league with 110 strikeouts this season while going 15-10. Zanella is one of 13 players with Wisconsin ties who were named to the NAC’s all conference teams. She was picked to the all league first team, as well as the all freshman squad. Freshman designated player Jessica Liszka of Concordia-Mequon also received both honors. Two players from Marian of Fond du Lac led the all conference first team pitcher Cherise Waltz and second baseman Emilie Jansen. Also named to the top squad were shortstop Jessica Spitzer of Madison Edgewood, and catcher Stef Wilmore of Alverno. Second team selections were Chelsie Strosina and Abbie Goetsch of Concordia-Mequon, Heather Haeflinger of Lakeland, and Autumn Peotter of Maranatha Baptist. Also on the all freshman team are Erin Dulek of Alverno, and Molly Sippel and Liz Schaller of Marian. Benedictine’s Kate Keller was named the coach of the year, after leading her team to its third straight NAC title. Brittany Adcox of Benedictine is both the player of the year and the pitcher of the year.
The Midwest Conference has delayed its softball tournament by a day. It will take place on Saturday and Sunday instead of opening on Friday. The location has not been set yet, because the playoff qualifiers remain uncertain. That’s after several regular season conference games were rained out during the past few days. They’re being now scheduled today and tomorrow, weather permitting. More rain is in the statewide forecast into the weekend.
Wisconsin athletes took three of the four Midwest Conference weekly track and field honors. Ripon College junior Matt Wood was named the men’s track performer of the week, after he won the 200 and 400 meters at the Wisconsin Private College Invitational. Wood also ran a leg in Ripon’s winning 400 meter relay event. Senior Randy Hill of Saint Norbert won the weekly award for field athletics, after claiming the high jump and triple jump titles at the Private College meet. Lexie Schaffer of Ripon was named the top women’s track athlete. The sophomore won the 200 and 400 meters, and she ran a leg on Ripon’s winning 1600 meter relay team. Missy Norville of Illinois College is the women’s top field athlete. Also, the Midwest Conference named senior Sam Luedtke of Carroll in Waukesha as the men’s golfer-of-the-week. He had Top Five finishes at both the Carthage and Monmouth invitationals.