Here is an early look at my Confidential for Wednesday August 17th. Enjoy and remember if you have a story that is Confidential worthy email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @realmattlanta.
Robert Griffin III is trying to rebuild his football career in Cleveland, while starting a new chapter in his life as well.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Griffin has separated from his wife and is in the process of filing for divorce.
He’s far from the first quarterback to go down this road, after the Seahawks announced that Russell Wilson had filed for divorce in 2014. Many more people do the same thing outside the glare that comes with being an NFL quarterback, and the attention that follows a difficult decision.
Griffin has reportedly told coaches and teammates of the decision and they’ve been supporting him.
Ray Lewis’ son indicted on sexual assault charges:
The son of retired Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has been formally charged, after allegations of sexual assault earlier this year.
According to Emily Weaver of the Myrtle Beach Sun-News, an Horry County grand jury indicted Ray Lewis III with third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Lewis III, a former Coastal Carolina football player was accused of engaging in sexual battery of an 18-year-old who was mentally incapacitated or physically helpless to defend herself due to drugs or alcohol during an incident in January. The initial complaint involved two women who say they were assaulted.
After the Conway Police Department compiled records from the hospital and statements from witnesses, the case was turned over to the solicitor’s office for review. Lewis III was charged, he turned himself in and was released on a $10,000 bond.
Lewis III played in 12 games at Coastal Carolina last year after transferring from Miami (his father’s alma mater), but he was suspended indefinitely from the team following the charges.
Arians to remain hospitalized overnight:
The Cardinals traveled from Arizona to San Diego for joint practices. Before Tuesday’s session could begin, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians became ill.
Per an update provided by Cardinals spokesman Mark Dalton, Arians underwent tests Tuesday evening, and the next update on his condition should come on Wednesday.
According to team spokesman Mark Dalton, Arians told the team’s medical staff that he was experiencing stomach pain shortly after the team arrived at Qualcomm Stadium. After an evaluation by medical personnel at the venue, Arians was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
One person who was present at the stadium said Arians was taken out on a stretcher, and that he appeared to be disoriented.
Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians will remain in a San Diego area hospital until at least Wednesday morning.
Arians is 63 years old.
Marcell Dareus, Manny Lawson reportedly facing suspensions:
Marcell Dareus said last month he “would hate” if Tom Brady was suspended for the New England Patriots’ Week 4 matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
Now, it appears both Brady and Dareus will be watching that game from home.
Dareus, one of the Bills’ best defensive players, is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport both reported, citing league sources, that Dareus’ violation was the result of a positive marijuana test. This would be the second suspension of his six-year pro career, following a one-game ban last season.
The Bills also could be without Manny Lawson to begin the season, as the defensive end is facing a one-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, league sources told the Buffalo News on Tuesday. Both players can appeal their suspensions.
These are just the latest dominoes to fall in what has been a disastrous month for the Buffalo defense, which already lost linebackers Reggie Ragland and IK Enemkpali to season-ending ACL tears. Top draft pick Shaq Lawson also is expected to miss at least the first few weeks of the season after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.
Rams’ L.A. Return Earns Low Overnight Opposite the Olympics:
Facing the Olympics on the lowest rated night of the week, the Rams’ return to Los Angeles was not much of a draw in the metered markets.
Saturday’s Cowboys/Rams NFL preseason game earned a 2.1 overnight rating on ESPN, down 25% from the network’s first preseason game last year, Bills/Browns on a Thursday night (2.8). Cowboys/Rams was not intended to be ESPN’s preseason opener, but its scheduled Hall of Fame Game telecast was canceled.
Ratings were obviously affected by competition from the Olympic Games, which pulled a 16.4 overnight on NBC alone Saturday night.
ESPN’s telecast pulled a 2.8 rating in Dallas-Ft. Worth and a 1.7 in Los Angeles. As is always the case for ESPN NFL games, coverage was simulcast on local affiliates in both markets, earning a 7.3 on Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA and a 5.2 on L.A. ABC affiliate KABC.
In St. Louis, former home of the Rams, Saturday’s game earned a 2.3 rating — ranking 24th out of the 56 metered markets.
The Dolphins will play their games at Hard Rock Stadium:
The Dolphins are ready to rock.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Hard Rock International has purchased the naming rights to the newly refurbished Dolphins stadium.
It’s the eighth name since 1987 for the artist formerly known as Joe Robbie Stadium, joining the hallowed ranks of Dolphin Stadium, Dolphins Stadium (apparently the singular Dolphin got lonely), Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Landshark Stadium, and Sun Life Stadium.
Salguero reports the deal is for more than 12 years, which could attach some degree of permanence to the place.
While the company is owned by the Seminole Indian tribe, the name will not reference the casino of the same name they own 15 miles up the road.LeBron James funds trip to amusement park for 5,000 families:
LeBron James continues to put his money where his mouth is — literally — when it comes to giving back to the community that raised him.
Thanks to James, 5,000 kids and their families were treated to a day at Sandusky, Ohio’s Cedar Point Amusement Park on Tuesday.
The trip was put together to help kids put an emphasis on their educations.
“The annual trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio encourages Akron kiddos to focus on their education before entering LBJ’s “I Promise” initiative — which offers a free college education after high school,” Per TMZ Sports. “LeBron teamed up with Chase Bank to help pay for the shindig … which also offers an opportunity to attend a sit-down convo with the King himself.”
The cause is certainly a noble one. Plus, for kids in Northeast Ohio, it would be hard to imagine a bigger thrill than a meeting with LeBron James. If it comes with a fun day at an amusement park and a free college education, that’s even better.
Univision is buying bankrupt Gawker Media:
The owner of the leading U.S. Spanish-language TV broadcaster is set to take over Gawker Media, the blog network founded by Nick Denton.
Univision Holdings Inc. is buying Gawker Media, the online media and blog network in bankruptcy.
A person familiar with the proceedings said the only other bidder for Gawker, Ziff Davis, withdrew its $90-million bid Tuesday. The sale to Univision, the leading Spanish-language TV broadcaster, will need the approval of a U.S. bankruptcy court judge.
A Univision spokesperson did not comment on several reports that put the company’s winning bid at $135 million.
A takeover of Gawker Media contributes to Univision’s efforts to expand its digital media properties aimed at reaching younger consumers, though Univision could soften the sharp tone that has come to define Gawker’s properties.
Gawker Media’s properties include the flagship gossip site Gawker, the female-oriented Jezebel, the sports site Deadspin, and a few other online publications.
At times, though, Gawker Media pushed the envelope.
Denton’s company was forced into bankruptcy this spring after a Florida jury awarded $140 million to Terry Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, who had sued Gawker for invasion of privacy.
In October 2012, Gawker posted a two-minute excerpt of a sex tape featuring Bollea and a friend’s wife without his permission.