NCAA

Congressmen write NFLPA's Smith about HGH testing

Congressmen write NFLPA's Smith about HGH testing

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Chastising the NFL Players Association for standing in the way of testing for human growth hormone, two members of Congress told union head DeMaurice Smith in a letter sent Monday that they might ask players to testify before their committee.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland asked Smith to turn over documents connected to HGH negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA.

``We are disappointed with the NFLPA's remarkable recalcitrance, which has prevented meaningful progress on this issue,'' the letter said. ``We intend to take a more active role to determine whether the position you have taken - that HGH is not a serious concern and that the test for HGH is unreliable - is consistent with the beliefs of rank and file NFL players.''

The 10-year labor contract approved by the league's owners and players in August 2011 paved the way for HGH testing once certain parameters were set. But the union wants a new population study to assess the validity of the test for NFL players; it is used currently by Olympic sports and Major League Baseball.

Issa and Cummings also wrote that the NBA and its players have ``made significant progress toward implementing an HGH test.''

``Despite being the first of the major professional sports leagues to agree to test for HGH, the NFL has now fallen far behind its counterparts in implementing the agreement,'' the lawmakers wrote.

The letter added: ``The Players Association's resistance to implementing an HGH test has led us to question whether the NFLPA leaders actually believe that HGH is a problem in the sport. For that reason, we intend to pursue a fact-finding agenda to determine whether NFL players consider HGH a problem in the league.''

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said in a telephone interview that the letter was received Monday and that the union intends ``to fully cooperate with the committee's requests, as we have done from the beginning of their interest in this issue. ... If the committee decides to hold a hearing, we would look forward to participating this time.''

In December, the House Oversight panel did not invite the league or union to participate in a hearing to examine the science behind HGH testing. Experts testified that the test is reliable.

Issa and Cummings both said at the time they expected additional hearings.

Even once scientific issues are resolved, there will be other matters the league and union need to figure out, including who administers the test and what the appeals process will be.

``The players' union takes our direction from the players, and we have been consistent in our desire for a fair, effective and transparent implementation of an HGH test,'' Atallah said.

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Virginia Tech survives marathon 6OT game thanks to a two-point conversion

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Virginia Tech survives marathon 6OT game thanks to a two-point conversion

In a vacuum, the final play wasn’t anything to write home about. But the journey to get there sure was.

The Hokies needed a whopping six(!) overtimes to complete the task, but they were in fact able to record a win over the visiting UNC Tar Heels Saturday evening in Blacksburg.

There was an amazing one-handed catch to help keep their hopes alive, a missed field goal to shatter them in the fourth overtime period, and everything in between. 

The fact that it ended on such a simple two-point conversion almost seems anticlimactic.

The marathon game itself was anything but anticlimactic, however. The two programs traded great plays and failed opportunities all afternoon long, but ultimately it was Virginia Tech who managed to come away with a big win.

It was an instant classic, and something students and fans alike in attendance won’t soon forget.

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Virginia Tech requires 6 OT periods to take down visiting UNC in wild finish

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Virginia Tech requires 6 OT periods to take down visiting UNC in wild finish

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Quincy Patterson's two-point conversion run in the sixth overtime lifted Virginia Tech a wild 43-41 victory over North Carolina on Saturday in the longest game in ACC history.

Both teams squandered opportunities to win the game in earlier overtime periods, as Virginia Tech kicker Brian Johnson missed game-winning attempts from 41 and 42 yards and North Carolina kicker Noah Ruggles missed from 35 yards and had a 44-yard attempt blocked.

The game marked the debut of college football's new overtime rules, which now call for going for two points after the fourth overtime. In the fifth overtime, Virginia Tech (5-2, 2-2 ACC) had the ball first, but Patterson's pass to Damon Hazelton was broken up by the Tar Heels' Storm Duck, giving the Tar Heels an opportunity to win the game.

North Carolina (3-4, 2-2 ACC), though, couldn't convert. Virginia Tech's Khalil Ladler read an option play perfectly and tackled Michael Carter for a loss, sending the game into a sixth overtime. The Tar Heels received the ball first, but quarterback Sam Howell was tackled for a loss, setting up Patterson's game-winning conversion.

The loss spoiled an outstanding game by Howell, who completed 26 of 49 for 348 yards and five touchdowns.

Patterson played the majority of the second half for the Hokies after starting quarterback Hendon Hooker went down with an injury late in the first half. He rushed for 122 yards on 21 carries and threw for 54 yards to pace the Hokies.

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