Dem's Report: NFL sought influence on brain study
WASHINGTON — NFL officials improperly sought to influence a government study on the link between football and brain disease, according to a senior House Democrat in a report issued Monday.
New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone said the league tried to strong-arm the National Institutes of Health into taking the project from a researcher who the NFL feared was biased.
The NFL had agreed to donate $30 million to the NIH to fund research but backed out after the institutes granted $16 million to Boston University researcher Robert Stern. He's a top expert on the link between football and brain diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Taxpayers are instead bearing the cost.
"The NFL rejects the allegations," spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement.
Fowler back: Jaguars defensive lineman Dante Fowler Jr., a former Lakewood High and Florida star, practiced for the first time since tearing his left ACL last year in rookie minicamp. He missed last season.
Saints: Former Bucs kicker Connor Barth and veteran receiver Vincent Brown signed.
FSU golf ousted
Florida State finished last among the 15 teams who made the three-round cut at the NCAA women's golf championships in Eugene, Ore., and did not advance to today's match-play quarterfinals. The Seminoles shot 5-over 293 for a four-day total of 1176.
Baseball: USF sophomore second baseman Kevin Merrell, the Bulls' leading hitter (.309) entering this week's American Athletic Conference tournament, was named to the coaches' all-conference first team. Bulls junior pitcher Brandon Lawson of Hernando High made the second team. … Florida junior Logan Shore was named SEC pitcher of the year and joined fellow Gators pitcher Shaun Anderson on the all-conference first team. … FSU's John Sansone was named first team all-ACC.
Football: Pitt running back James Conner said he is cancer-free, less than six months after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
Basketball: Liberty forward Evan Maxwell is transferring to Kansas, where he'll sit out next season under NCAA rules.
Autos: Josef Newgarden led the last full practice for Sunday's Indianapolis 500. Newgarden, who qualified second, ran a lap of 227.414 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pole-sitter James Hinchcliffe was 17th at 224.602.
Horses: Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist did not ship from Baltimore to New York to begin preparations for the Belmont Stakes as planned because the colt had a 102-degree temperature, trainer Doug O'Neill said.
Soccer: FIFA fired deputy secretary general Markus Kattner after allegedly uncovering financial wrongdoing in an internal investigation. He had replaced the fired Jerome Valcke.
Golf: Paulina Del Rosario and Princess Mary Superal of the Philippines won their opener, 3 and 2, in the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball in Bowling Green in Hardee County.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer; Times wires