Saturday, November 9, 2013

Former Miami Dolphin Mark Duper tests positive for signs of CTE

Former NFL All-Pro receiver Mark Duper said he was diagnosed with a brain disease likely caused by blows to the head he received during his playing days.

Duper, who was a star with the Miami Dolphins for 11 seasons in the 1980s, told ESPN he was feeling the effects of cognitive dysfunction and had been diagnosed just this week with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

"It was shocking," Duper told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" Friday. "I hoped nothing was wrong."

But something was wrong, said.

Duper admitted to bouts of depression and forgetfulness, and damage to his brain was confirmed by advanced medial scans.

"I have had memory things where I would go to the store and forget what I went for," he said. "And I have emotional swings and panic attacks."

Duper is the ninth living NFL veteran to be diagnosed with CTE, said. In addition, autopsies on more than 50 former players found buildups of a protein that causes CTE in their brains.

Duper said he was holding his own, and hoped his diagnosis would build further momentum for large-scale testing of NFL players.

"I think this test will show the damage we are doing to our bodies and how to prevent it," he said. "People have to speak up about CTE. I hope me speaking out will show that people should be tested."

Devils' Jaromir Jagr vows to play until 'he cannot walk'

Don't count out Jaromir Jagr just yet. He isn't ready to give up the game of hockey.

The New Jersey Devils winger is saying that this won't be his final year. Whether it's playing in the NHL or elsewhere, Jagr says he'll be playing.

“I’ll tell you one thing, as long as I don’t die, it’s not my last year of playing hockey,” said Jagr, who will turn 42 in February. “I don’t know where I’m gonna play. I don’t know if I’m gonna play U.S. or somewhere else. I’m gonna play. I’ll play until I cannot walk. I love the game too much to leave it.”

Jagr wasn't singing the same tune last August when he said this would be his last season.

Jagr is leading the Devils in scoring and he has no regrets on signing in Jersey despite the team's struggles.

“I’m happy right now, don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy,” said Jagr, who signed a one-year, $2 million pact with the Devils this offseason. “I love Lou (Lamoriello, the team’s general manager). He’s honest. If you play bad, he’ll tell you. If you play good, he’ll tell you. He’s an honest guy. I have no complaints after signing with the Devils.”

Even though he's past his prime, Jagr will play for whoever wants him.

Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers prospects facing off ice criminal charges

CKNW is reporting that Vancouver Giants defenseman Brett Kulak and forward Jackson Houck are facing criminal charges from an incident at an Aug. 18 house party in Delta.

Kulak, 19, a Calgary Flames prospect, and Houck, 18, a Edmonton Oilers prospect, are each charged with assault causing bodily harm. Kulak faces a second charge of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

According to CKNW, both players have had three court appearances so far.

Both are continuing to play for the Giants.

Kulak is Vancouver’s leading scorer, with 20 points, including seven goals, in 20 games. Houck tops the team in goals, with eight, and has 14 points in 20 games.

Former Michigan State center Derrick Nix signs with Latvian team VEF Riga

When Derrick Nix exhausted his eligibility for the Michigan State basketball team last spring that wasn't the end of his career.

Even though Nix didn't get picked up by a NBA team, he has made a living playing in Europe.

Nix signed with the Latvian pro team VEF Riga.

"I made the team today and this is my new home," Nix tweeted. "I like it here it's bigger and better, and I've been playing really well!"

Nix started his professional career in Slovenia but parted ways with the team in the preseason. 

Even though it's not the NBA, Spartans coach Tom Izzo sounds proud of his former player throwing in a joke along the way..

"Tell Nixer to take care of his business over in Europe, and I'd like to weigh him in
right now though," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said last month. "I would like to weigh him in right now."

Eastern Michigan's Ron English fired for 'inappropriate comments'

Ron English failed to turn the Eastern Michigan Eagles into a competitive football team in the Mid American Conference. More than likely he probably would've been fired but the ax came down earlier than expected for English after an audio tape surfaced of English using 'inappropriate language' to his players during a tirade.

Explained Heather Lyke, the school’s athletic director: “I received a tape of a situation in which Coach English had addressed the team and used wholly inappropriate language. We hold our coaches and staff to high standards of professionalism and conduct and there is no place, particularly in a student environment, where this language is appropriate. The statements made by Coach English are absolutely unacceptable. My decision to make a change in leadership of our football program was the culmination of a lot of factors including the comprehensive review of our program, the competitive performance and this tape.”

The timing was pretty odd since Eastern was scheduled to play their cross state rival Western Michigan. With the combined team performance and offensive remarks Lyke figure it was time for English to go.

Two years ago it looked like English had the program on the right track when the team finished 6-6.

English was 11-46 and 7-30 in the MAC. Offensive coordinator Stan Parrish will take over on an interim basis until the end of the season.