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FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 file photo then FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke listen to questions during a news conference to present the world cup song at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has been banned from all soccer-related activity for 12 years by the governing body's ethics committee. The ethics chamber says Friday Feb. 12, 2016 Valcke was found guilty of misconduct related to the use of private jets for personal use, destroyed evidence and the sale of World Cup television rights. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter's long-time right-hand man, was banned from all soccer-related activity for 12 years Friday for misconduct during his term as FIFA secretary general. Valcke was found guilty by FIFA's ethics committee of wide-ranging offenses, including taking private jets for personal use, destroying evidence and trying to force through an undervalued sale of 2018 and 2022 World Cup television rights for the Caribbean. ''Mr. Valcke acted against FIFA's best interests and caused considerable financial damage to FIFA, while his private and personal interests detracted him from his ability to properly perform his duties,'' the ethics committee said in a statement.

Posted: February 12, 2016, 5:12 pm

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Chicago. The Lions won the game 24-20. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

Matt Forte won't be returning to the Chicago Bears for a ninth season. The two-time Pro Bowl running back announced on Instagram Friday morning that the team informed him this week it will not offer him a contract for next season. Drafted in the second round by the Bears in 2008, Forte emerged as one of the most successful running backs in franchise history.

Posted: February 12, 2016, 5:08 pm

FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2015, file photo, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Prosecutors are reviewing a police file as they decide whether to charge Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy in a Philadelphia nightclub brawl that left two off-duty police officers injured. The 27-year-old McCoy has retained a high-profile criminal defense lawyer while prosecutors review the police findings on the fight early Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert, File)

An attorney for Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy says he's been told no decision will be made until next week on charges over a Philadelphia nightclub brawl that left two off-duty police officers injured. Defense attorney Larry Krasner says authorities told him a decision won't be made until at least Wednesday. The 27-year-old McCoy is one of four men under investigation in the Sunday fight over a bottle of champagne.

Posted: February 12, 2016, 4:11 pm

California basketball players including Ivan Rabb (1) and Kingsley Okoroh (22) celebrate in the final minute of play during an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Ducks coach Dana Altman felt it, too, all the way through his team's worst loss of the season. Bird scored 16 of his season-high 24 points in the first half and punctuated his big night with a reverse dunk in the final seconds, leading California to an 83-63 victory over No. 11 Oregon on Thursday night. Bird got the Bears going early, Jaylen Brown kept them rolling through a mid-game slump and Tyrone Wallace helped close things out in his first game in nearly a month.

Posted: February 12, 2016, 3:02 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 11: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks against the New Orleans Pelicans on February 11, 2016 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

Basketball didn't matter much to Kevin Durant on Thursday night. Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams' wife, Ingrid, was involved in a car crash Tuesday night in Oklahoma City and died Wednesday. Monty Williams coached the Pelicans last season before coming to Oklahoma City to help new coach Billy Donovan, so as his two most recent teams met, both played with heavy hearts.

Posted: February 12, 2016, 7:01 am
Thompson: Warriors will try to beat Bulls' 72-10
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RB Forte, Bears parting ways after 8 seasons
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Ex-Premier League footballer Marcus Bent receives a suspended prison sentence after admitting affray and possession of cocaine.
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Former world champion super-middleweight Carl Froch hopes to play Jason Statham's "wing man" in a new crime series.
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3 Most Popular Spartacus’ Articles

Schwartzel surges into contention at Tshwane Open

Four birdies and an eagle helped propel home favorite Charl Schwartzel to within two shots of the lead after a flawless 64 in the second round of the European Tour’s Tshwane Open on Friday. Schwartzel is two shots behind leader and compatriot Anthony Michael, whose score of 69 from a roller-coaster second round left him seven under par for the tournament. Michael managed four birdies but also dropped three shots as he battled to find consistency on a difficult day on the Pretoria Country Club course. Golf-Schwartzel surges into contention at Tshwane Open

Four birdies and an eagle helped propel home favourite Charl Schwartzel to within two shots of the lead after a flawless 64 in the second round of the European Tour's Tshwane Open on Friday. The 2011 Masters champion produced the outstanding golf on a day when the average score was two over par and play was extended into the evening due to a weather delay. Schwartzel is two shots behind leader and compatriot Anthony Michael, whose score of 69 from a roller-coaster second round left him seven under par for the tournament. Thunder down Pelicans as both teams play with heavy hearts

Russell Westbrook helped Oklahoma City Thunder roll into the NBA's All-Star break with a 121-95 victory over the New Orleans PelicansWestbrook was one rebound shy of his ninth triple double of the season as he collected 10 assists and nine rebounds. Durant connected on 10 of 17 from the field and also handed out six assists as Oklahoma City improved to 40-14. The Thunder are one of three Western Conference teams heading into the All-Star break with at least 40 wins, behind the Golden State Warriors (48-4) and San Antonio Spurs (45-8).

Padres hire Nomo to bolster Pacific Rim presence

(Reuters) - The San Diego Padres have hired Japanese pitching pioneer Hideo Nomo as an advisor for baseball operations to strengthen their presence in the Pacific Rim, the National League franchise said on Thursday. The Padres already have four full-time scouts in the Pacific Rim and expect the 47-year-old Nomo to help them gain a stronger foothold in terms of finding talent in the region. "We are proud to welcome Hideo to the Padres organization," San Diego general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement. Bucks pull away from Wizards down the stretch

NBA: Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks(The Sports Xchange) - Khris Middleton scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter as the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away from the Washington Wizards down the stretch for a 99-92 victory on Thursday at the Bradley Center. Middleton hit 9 of 17 shots but also set his teammates up well, notching nine assists while grabbing six rebounds and five steals. Forwards Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 17 apiece for Milwaukee, which also got 12 points and nine rebounds from center Greg Monroe.

Thunder down Pelicans in Oklahoma

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder(The Sports Xchange) - Oklahoma City and New Orleans came into their matchup Thursday with heavy hearts. The death of Ingrid Williams, wife of Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams affected both franchises. Monty Williams was the Pelicans head coach before being fired last season and had been like a second mother to most of the current players.

Reavie grabs Pebble Beach first-round lead

Chez Reavie plays a shot from the fairway on the 12th hole during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club on February 11, 2016 in Pebble Beach, CaliforniaAmerican Chez Reavie fired an eight-under-par 63 on Thursday to upstage major champions Jordan Spieth and Jason Day in the first round of the PGA Tour Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Reavie fired an eagle and seven birdies with one bogey on the par-71 Monterey Peninsula course, one of three in use for the tournament along with Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill -- both par-72 layouts. World number one Spieth, winner of the Masters and US Open last year, opened with a one-under 71 at Spyglass Hill, as did reigning PGA Champion Day of Australia.

Reavie leads at Pebble Beach as Spieth, Day battle

(Reuters) - American Chez Reavie rebounded superbly from missed cuts in his last two PGA Tour starts to fire an eight-under-par 63 and grab a one-shot lead in the opening round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Thursday. While some of the biggest names in the game battled hard to post sub-par scores, Reavie covered his final nine holes in a sizzling seven-under 30 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, the easiest of the three venues being used for this week's event. Oakland Raiders to stay put for 2016 season

NFL: Pro BowlOfficials for the Oakland Raiders said on Thursday that they have reached a one-year lease extension agreement, keeping the team in the San Francisco Bay Area city for the upcoming National Football League season. Raiders Owner Mark Davis told a news conference that its agreement with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority also includes one-year extension options for the following two years to stay at Coliseum. "My heart is here in Oakland, and if we can get something done, that's what I'm trying to do," Davis said, when asked about the team's long-term plans.

NBA Heat's Whiteside banned one game for elbowing

Hassan Whiteside (L) of the Miami Heat posts up Boban Marjanovic of the San Antonio Spurs during a game on February 9, 2016 in Miami, FloridaMiami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, the NBA's top shot blocker, has been suspended one game without pay for elbowing San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanovic, the league announced Thursday. Whiteside, who honed his game for two years in China and Lebanon, averages 3.9 blocks a game, ranks as the NBA's second-most accurate shooter by hitting 61.7 percent from the floor and is fifth in the league in rebounds with 11.0 a game. The 26-year-old American 7-footer (2.13m) was whistled for a flagrant 2 foul and ejected with 9:35 remaining in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 119-101 Miami home loss to the Spurs.

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