Around the Nation (June 17): Wide receiver Earl Bennett released by Browns

Associated Press Published:

FOOTBALL

Browns quickly cut ties with WR Bennett

CLEVELAND — The Browns have released wide receiver Earl Bennett about a month after signing him to a free agent contract.

The team announced the move Tuesday on Twitter. No explanation was given for the release.

Cleveland signed Bennett on May 15 to help ease the blow from the potential loss of wide receiver Josh Gordon, who could be facing a potential lengthy suspension for failing a drug test.

The 27-year-old Bennett started 29 games and has 185 career receptions for 2,277 yards and 12 touchdowns during his six seasons with the Chicago Bears. He was released this past offseason in a salary cap move. He had 32 receptions for 243 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Dolphins get OK from county on stadium renovation

MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins have received final approval on a stadium renovation plan, boosting South Florida’s chances of hosting future Super Bowls.

The Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday approved the deal, which will pay incentives to the Dolphins for hosting the Super Bowl and other major events.

In exchange, team owner Steve Ross will pay for $350 million in renovations to the stadium, with help from the NFL and possibly from a state subsidy. The team will continue to pay property taxes on the stadium.

Renovations will include a canopy over the stands but not the field, and upgrades of lights, sound system and seats. Work is expected to begin this summer.

Goodell, Steeler greats honor Hall of Famer Noll

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll is being remembered at a funeral mass by dozens of former players and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Noll is the only coach in NFL history to win four Super Bowls while leading the Steelers from 1969 to 1991. He died last week at 82.

Steelers President Art Rooney II and Hall of Fame defensive lineman Joe Greene were among Noll’s pallbearers Tuesday.

Greene credits Noll as the biggest reason the Steelers were transformed from one of the league’s biggest losers into the “City of Champions” during the 1970s.

“If he hadn’t chosen me, maybe I wouldn’t have been a Pittsburgh Steeler,” Greene said. “Maybe I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be coached by Chuck Noll. And that probably would not have fared very well for me.”

Hall of Fame safety Mel Blount says “Steeler Nation has lost one of its pillars,” but Noll’s legacy will live on through the lives he touched.

Police: Oklahoma State player stabbed

STILLWATER, Okla. — Police say an Oklahoma State football player has reported being stabbed, kidnapped and robbed.

Stillwater police Capt. Randy Dickerson says the player told officers he was attacked Monday night. He says the player was treated at a Stillwater hospital for knife wounds to his abdomen and his right arm.

Dickerson declined to release the player’s name.

Oklahoma State athletic department spokesman Gavin Lang said it is too early for the university to comment and referred questions to police.

Dickerson says the player told detectives he was trying to walk to a friend’s house when witnesses saw him and called police.

BASEBALL

Red Sox designate OF Sizemore for assignment

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox have designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment.

The move comes as Sizemore struggles after injuries sidelined him between September 2011 and this season. He made the All-Star team three times with the Cleveland Indians then had seven operations since 2009, including surgery on both knees, his back and elbow.

Sizemore hit .333 in spring training and started in center field on opening day when he homered in Boston’s 2-1 loss at Baltimore. But in 52 games, he hit .216 with two homers and 15 RBI.

The Red Sox recalled third baseman Garin Cecchini From Triple-A Pawtucket. He played one game with Boston on June 1, going 1-for-2 with an RBI double in a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay.

AUTO RACING

Panasonic strikes sponsorship deal with Gordon

CONCORD, N.C. — Panasonic Corp. has reached a deal with Hendrick Motorsports that will make the company the primary sponsor for Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 team for two races each year for the next three seasons in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series.

Gordon’s No. 24 Panasonic Chevrolet will debut this weekend at Sonoma Raceway and will again appear Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Panasonic will be featured as an associate-level partner in all other events. It will mark the first on-car branding for Panasonic since joining Hendrick Motorsports as a technology partner in 2007. The agreement runs through the 2016 season.

Gordon is a four-time NASCAR champion and his 89 victories rank third on the career wins list.

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  • Chuck Noll was one of the ALL TIME greats! His legacy will live on, and he will be missed.