In addition to the suspension of USC’s Josh Shaw, here is a look at the other big sports stories we’re following today, Thursday, Aug. 28.
Royals rally to pad lead
The Kansas City Royals continue to pad their division, even while local fans continue to stay away from Kauffman Stadium.
Fewer than 18,000 fans showed up on Wednesday to watch the Royals erupt for six runs in the eighth inning of a 6-1 comeback victory against Minnesota. Jarrod Dyson tied the game with a bunt single before Nori Aoki lined an RBI single to put the Royals in front. Billy Buttler added a two-run single and scoring on a two-run triple by Salvador Perez.
Wade Davis picked up the victory for the second straight night after Liam Hendricks held the Twins to a run and four hits in seven innings.
The win puts the Royals 2 ½ games ahead of second-place Detroit in the AL Central. Meanwhile, manager Ned Yost is imploring fans to show up for their remaining home games. Kansas City entered the game with the fifth-worst average attendance in the league.
The New York Yankees dropped the Tigers another game behind the Royals while pulling within six games of AL East-leading Baltimore.
The Yanks chased David Price with nine straight hits in an eight-run third inning that led to an 8-4 romp in Detroit. Derek Jeter doubled home the Yankees’ first run and capped the outburst with a sacrifice fly.
Shawn Greene gave up just two runs and five hits while striking out eighth in seven innings.
Drew Smyly helped the Yankees by limiting the Orioles to two hits in seven innings of Tampa Bay’s 3-1 win at Baltimore. He and the Rays’ bullpen blanked the O’s after Chris Davis homered in the second inning.
Elsewhere in the majors:
Gordon out the season
Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy again. He missed two games last season due to another violation of the policy but still let the team with 1,646 yards in receptions.
Gordon will have to apply for reinstatement following the season.
The 23-year-old had appealed his yearlong suspension for marijuana use and met with a league arbitrator in New York on Aug. 4. Arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld the suspension.
Newton says he’ll be ready to go
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton says he feels great and “there’s no doubt” in his mind he’ll be ready to play in the Panthers season opener Sept. 7 against Tampa Bay. The fourth-year quarterback is recovering from a hairline fracture to multiple ribs and says he’s improving with each day.
Newton has never missed a start in three seasons of pro ball.
Burfict gets extension
Bengals Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict has signed a three-year extension on that runs through the 2017 season and will pay him a maximum of $20.05 million. Burfict is entering the final year on his original deal that will pay him a salary of $570,000. Under his extension, he’ll make $10 million through next summer in salary and bonuses.
Burfict is the leader of a defense that finished third in the NFL last season in yards allowed.
Platini won’t challenge Blatter
Michel Platini will not challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.
Iceland football association president Geir Thorsteinsson says Platini told officials at a closed-door UEFA meeting Thursday that he will not be a candidate in FIFA’s election in May.
Thorsteinsson says “we went for peace. I think it is the logical decision.”
Platini was expected to avoid a contest against Blatter after a successful World Cup strengthened the FIFA president’s position.
The UEFA president has long been favored to succeed Blatter, his mentor in football politics.
Blatter, who is 78 and has led FIFA since 1998, pledged to fight for a fifth term after previously promising UEFA he would step aside in 2015.
Third day of play
Fifth seed Maria Sharapova was able to advance to the third round of the U.S. Open despite dropping her opening set on Wednesday. Fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska wasn’t as fortunate.
Radwanska was ousted by China’s Peng Shuai, 6-3, 6-4 to join Sloane Stephens on the sidelines. Stephens has been knocked out in a second round by 96th-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Sharapova overcame nine double-faults and 46 unforced errors to knock off 95th-ranked Alexandra Dulgheru 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Venus Williams won in straight sets to reach the tournament’s third round for the first time since 2010
Others advancing to Round 3 were second seed Simona Halep, sixth seed Angelique Kerber, No. 9 Jelena Jankovic and No. 10 Carolina Wozniacki.
Over to the men’s bracket, where third seed Stan Wawrinka moved into the third round with a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 win over Thomaz Bellucci after sixth seed Thomas Berdych, No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 11 Ernests Gulbis won their first-round matches. Berdych ousted Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets and Dimitrov bounced American Ryan Harrison from the tournament.
New deal for Doc
In his first big move since taking over ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Ballmer has worked out a new contract with coach Doc Rivers. The pact keeps the former Boston bench boss in L.A. for another five years, through 2019.
Rivers joined the team in June 2013 and added president of basketball operations to his responsibilities two months ago.
He guided the Clippers to the best record in franchise history at 57-25 and a second straight Pacific Division title last season.