Maryland Terps

McElroy has concussion, Sanchez to start for Jets

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McElroy has concussion, Sanchez to start for Jets

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Rex Ryan stepped to the podium, looked out at the cameras and opened his news conference with a warning.

``You're not going to believe this one,'' the New York Jets coach declared without any hint of a smile.

In what has been a bizarre season, the Jets' wacky quarterback situation took yet another twist. Greg McElroy has a concussion - which he didn't reveal until Thursday - and will be replaced by Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback in the season finale at Buffalo on Sunday.

``We've come to find out that Greg wasn't exactly truthful with our training staff after the game,'' said Ryan, who acknowledged he was ``stunned'' to hear the news. ``He never disclosed that he had symptoms after the game to our trainers. Right now, he's being evaluated for a concussion.''

McElroy, preparing to make his second NFL start in place of the benched Sanchez, was lifting weights Thursday morning and started experiencing headaches, Ryan said. McElroy went to the team's training staff and then revealed he was suffering concussion-like symptoms after being sacked 11 times in the Jets' 27-17 loss to San Diego last Sunday.

McElroy and head trainer John Mellody then went to Ryan to tell the coach the news. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano said he was ``pretty silent'' when he found out a few minutes after Ryan.

``It's another bump in the road here,'' Sparano said, ``and it's something we've become a little accustomed to dealing with.''

Ryan was not certain exactly when McElroy suffered the concussion, but said there was no way he would play McElroy against the Bills and the third-stringer will ``definitely be out.'' McElroy had been listed on the injury report Wednesday with a mild abdominal strain, but was a full participant in practice and was expected to play without any issues.

``I admire his courage and everything else, but you have to be truthful and I think that's the lesson learned here with the medical staff,'' said Ryan, who spoke to the entire team about concussions after practice. ``The fact he really wanted to play, I understand the competitive side of Greg and all that, but the most important thing is the health of the players.

``Obviously, I feel fortunate that something like this showed up without him going out there and putting himself in harm's way.''

While Sanchez wouldn't comment on whether players choosing to play through head injuries is common in the NFL, Tebow acknowledged that it probably does happen around the league because of job security.

``You fight hard to earn something and you don't want to jeopardize that with an injury, for sure,'' said Tebow, who added that he has never been in McElroy's situation. ``I think that's definitely something guys will think about.''

Ryan chose to start Sanchez over Tim Tebow because the team has just two practices and a walkthrough to prepare before the game. He also cited Sanchez's success against the Bills in the season opener, when he threw three touchdown passes in the Jets' 48-28 win.

Sanchez appeared to be on his way to a solid season, but it ended up being his best game. He was benched for the first time in his four-year career after turning over the ball five times at Tennessee on Dec. 17.

``I'm excited to play, obviously,'' Sanchez said. ``You just never want to see something like that happen to a teammate, somebody I really respect. You feel for Greg and I'll be ready to play.''

Sanchez was a bit surprised when Ryan told him he'd be starting because he thought McElroy just wasn't feeling well.

``I guess I didn't expect it,'' Sanchez said. ``I wasn't coming into today thinking he had a concussion. I never would've known.''

McElroy leapfrogged Tebow on the depth chart to start against the Chargers. After finding out about McElroy's condition, Ryan spoke with both Sanchez and Tebow to tell them of his decision.

``Obviously, Tim's not happy with that, as you'd expect,'' Ryan said.

The news came on the heels of some tension between Ryan and Tebow last week, when the popular backup quarterback told the coach he was ``disappointed'' at not getting the start and wanted to play ``regular quarterback.'' ESPN New York first reported Sunday that Tebow asked out of the wildcat, and a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed that to The Associated Press. The two met again last Friday to clear the air, and Tebow reiterated that he was willing to do anything the team asked him to do.

Tebow insisted Wednesday that he did not refuse to do anything and acknowledged that Ryan might have misinterpreted what he said. Ryan said he understands that Tebow is frustrated at the situation and by not starting, but again would not disclose anything said between the two in their conversations last week.

Tebow said he didn't think Ryan's choice to play Sanchez was in any way punitive, and added that he and the coach have a ``great'' relationship.

``When you're a competitor, you want to play,'' Tebow said. ``But I understood his decision and I just let him know, just like always, that I'll do whatever I can to help the team.''

Tebow will be the No. 2 quarterback on Sunday at Buffalo, and could play - but it won't be as the starter.

``Obviously, he'd like a shot at it,'' Ryan said, ``but with the situation the way it is, it's a short window, really, to get the preparation time in and I just think it's best for our football team.''

With the way the season has played out, from the quarterback controversies to the injuries suffered by key players, Ryan was asked if this is the strangest year he has ever experienced in the NFL.

``Yeah, I would say that's pretty accurate,'' Ryan said, laughing. ``And, we've had some strange ones.''

Added Tebow, chuckling: ``It's been interesting.''

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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USA Today Sports Images

Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a long-term FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND

Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.