TIME NBA

Police Confirm Dwight Howard Child Abuse Investigation

Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets shoots from the free throw line during the Los Angeles Lakers first regular season NBA game against the Rockets on Oct. 28, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets shoots from the free throw line during the Los Angeles Lakers first regular season NBA game against the Rockets on Oct. 28, 2014 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"Dwight Howard will continue to act in the best interest of his children and do whatever is necessary to protect their welfare and best interests"

Police in Cobb County, Ga., confirmed to SI.com on Tuesday that there is an active child abuse investigation involving Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard.

TMZ first reported the allegations against Howard, and NBC News reported earlier Tuesday that Cobb County Police were re-opening an investigation of Howard.

A Cobb County Police sergeant told NBC News that the investigation stems from an incident from this summer. Originally, police said they did not have enough evidence to proceed past an initial investigation, but new information came to light to trigger renewed interest from authorities in the case, according to NBC.

In response to earlier reports about child abuse allegations against Howard in Florida, the eight-time All-Star released a statement to The Orlando Sentinel through his attorney rejecting accusations of abuse.

“It is troubling to see a mother use her son as a pawn against his father, which is what is happening in this case,” the statement reads. “Dwight Howard will continue to act in the best interest of his children and do whatever is necessary to protect their welfare and best interests.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Soccer

FIFA Alleges Misconduct in World Cup Selection

The organization has faced allegations of bribery in previous years

FIFA filed a criminal complaint in Switzerland Tuesday against unnamed individuals, alleging “international transfers of assets” that “merit examination” in connection with the selection process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The international soccer organization, now in the accuser seat, has in the past faced accusations of a lack of transparency and corrupt practices in choosing World Cup venues.

“There are indications of potential illegal or irregular conduct in certain areas, which must now be followed up both internally by FIFA and by the relevant national criminal prosecution authorities,” said Hans-Joachim Eckert, co-chair of FIFA’s ethics committee, in a question and answer.

The complaint follows the completion of an internal investigation into the selection processes. While the report has not been released in its entirety, Eckert admitted that it contained some evidence of wrongdoing.

TIME Football

NFL Suspends Adrian Peterson For Season

Peterson pled no contest to charges of reckless assault

Minnesota Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson has been suspended from the National Football League without pay for the remainder of the 2014 season, the league announced Tuesday. Peterson pled no contest this month to charges of reckless assault after he was accused of hitting his son with a switch.

In an open letter, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told Peterson that the player’s ability to return to the field would depend on his completion of counseling and treatment.

“You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy,” said Goodell, who has come under criticism in recent months for turning a blind eye to player misconduct.

Peterson will not be permitted to return to play before April 15, Goodell said.

TIME olympics

Olympics Committee Broadens Rules for Host Cities

OLY-2014-NORDIC-MEN
Alberto Pizzoli—AFP/Getty Images Skiers compete past the Olympic Rings in the Men's Cross-Country Skiing 15km + 15km Skiathlon at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia on Feb. 9, 2014.

40 recommendations were made that can change the games

The list of prospective Olympics host cities may soon grow, as the International Olympics Committee announced 40 new recommendations for the 2020 games that include allowing some events to take place outside of the city itself or even, “in exceptional circumstances,” largely due to sustainability reasons, outside of the host country.

This would mostly impact the summer games, as the winter Olympics already allows events to take place in bordering countries.

“These 40 recommendations are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement. “When you put them together, a picture emerges that shows the IOC safeguarding the uniqueness of the Olympic Games and strengthening sport in society.”

The “Olympic Agenda 2020″ also put forth recommendations that would decrease the seven-year approval timeline to allow new sports to enter the games, and the introduction of an official Olympic broadcast TV channel.

TIME Baseball

Marlins Sign Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton in the Largest Contract in U.S. Sports History

Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers
Mike McGinnis — Getty Images Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins makes some contact at the plate during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 11, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The 25-year-old slugger is set to make more than $300 million over 13 years

The Miami Marlins spared absolutely no expense this week to ensure that their star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton stayed with the franchise.

Late on Monday, the baseball club announced through their website that the team and Stanton had agreed on a new, record-setting 13-year contract worth $325 million — making the deal the largest in North American sports history, according to CBS Sports.

“This is a landmark day,” said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, according to MLB.com. “I’m happy for the city. I’m happy for him. And I’m thrilled for baseball. We have a player who is committed to us, and we’ve committed to him for the life of his career.”

Miami’s all-out financial offensive to keep one of baseball’s best sluggers on their roster is likely designed to inject new momentum in the franchise’s fan base, after years of disappointment. The Marlins have failed to reach the playoffs since 2003 and recorded the lowest payroll in the league in 2014.

The team is scheduled to hold a formal press conference later this week in Miami to announce the finer details of their new contract with Stanton.

TIME Basketball

Derrick Gordon Opens Up About Troubled Family History

Massachusetts guard Derrick Gordon playing against Ohio in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Athens, Ohio on Dec. 18, 2013.
Ty Wright—AP Massachusetts guard Derrick Gordon playing against Ohio in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Athens, Ohio on Dec. 18, 2013.

The first openly gay Division I men's basketball player describes coming out to his family and his twin brother Darryl's jail time

University of Massachusetts basketball player Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay man to play Division I basketball, opened up about coming out to his family and his twin brother Darryl’s jail time in an Sports Illustrated profile.

Darryl was recently released from prison after a five-year sentence for shooting a man several times after an altercation, SI reports. “There was nothing that anyone could have said. My parents tried everything they could think of to help me. But I wasn’t listening to anyone,” Darryl told the magazine. “No one other than me could have stopped what happened.”

Derrick came out to his family while his brother was in prison — and eventually came out publicly, becoming the first college basketball star to do so.

You can read the full profile at SI.com.

TIME tennis

Back Injury Forces Roger Federer Out of ATP World Tour Final Match

Roger Federer looks up during his singles ATP World Tour Finals semifinal tennis match against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka at the O2 Arena in London on Nov. 15, 2014.
Tim Ireland—AP Roger Federer looks up during his singles ATP World Tour Finals semifinal tennis match against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka at the O2 Arena in London on Nov. 15, 2014.

Novak Djokovic has now won his third consecutive title, the first player to do so since Ivan Lendl did from 1985-87

Novak Djokovic won his third consecutive ATP World Tour title after Roger Federer dropped out before the finals because of a back injury.

33-year-old Federer, who who has won the tournament six times, confirmed his exit after the doubles presentation ceremony on Sunday, the BBC reports.

“I tried everything I could last night and today — painkillers, rest — until the very end, but I can’t compete at this level with Novak,” he said at the O2 Arena. “In a final like this and at my age, it would be too risky. I hope you understand.”

On Saturday Federer defeated Stan Wawrinka in the semifinal match, though he began showing signs of the injury toward the end. He later did not show up for a scheduled Sunday practice.

[BBC]

TIME How-To

How to Turn Your iPhone into an Eagle-Eyed Fantasy Football Scout

Professional football running back running through defenders crowded stadium in background
Thomas M Barwick—Getty Images

Blitz your league opponents with this mobile playbook

When the first iPhone was launched in 2007, it had more computing heft than all of NASA had in 1969. So, if a bunch of giant, whirring supercomputers can help mankind land on the moon, your tiny pocket-sized smartphone can certainly rocket your fantasy football team into contention.

But it doesn’t take an astronaut or a football expert to make all the right picks—someone with a good understanding of the Xs and Os of Apple iOS can stiff arm the competition. Try these tips to turn your iPhone into your secret fantasy football weapon:

Tip 1: Throw a Flag on Your Notifications

If you’re like most people, your iPhone’s notifications are like Wes Welker in the offseason: out of control. Go into Settings and then Notifications, and look at the effect of your haphazard app adds—you do not need alerts from Candy Crush Saga. So, for the rest of these tips to work, start by nuking your iPhone’s current alerts in order to start fresh.

Apps can have three kinds of notifications. Badges (the little red numbered dots on the corner of the app) are great for things that you can blast through later, like work email. Banners (small strips that come and go up on the menu bar) work well if you’re always eyes-deep in your phone, and want to know what’s happening outside the app you’re in. Alerts, meanwhile, are like a solid defensive tackle — they’ll stop you in your tracks (until you press “OK”). Set up your apps keeping these differences in mind, giving alerts to the programs with the most crucial information and putting badges on the good-to-know news apps.

In addition, swiping down from the top of the home screen reveals the Notification Center, a great place to quickly zip through alerts across your apps. Most apps display items in Notification Center, but the best way to ensure you don’t get hit with the same information twice is to allow notifications for apps you want to display info here, but then turn off their sounds, badges, alerts, and lock screen options. This app offensive might take a while to run, but at least it gives you something to do while watching this week’s Tampa Bay game at Washington.

Tip 2: IFTTT the NFL

Yes, your phone is your team’s MVP, but there’s a whole world of digital smarts that can also lead you to victory, and IFTTT (pronounced “ift”) is the playmaker that can make them play like a team. An online service that links web-based data with web-based services, this easy-to-use interface can do everything from flash your Internet-connected lightbulbs when your team scores to text-message taunt your league opponents when their players get injured — all automatically.

If you haven’t heard of IFTTT yet, you will soon, because it’s starting to attract users outside the geek-o-sphere. But more importantly, IFTTT has heard of the NFL, and they even have their own list of winning fantasy football plays. For instance, if you want send breaking ESPN fantasy news to your phone via text message, this service can make that happen. League operators are even starting to pile onto IFTTT too. For instance, by using IFTTT with Yahoo Fantasy Sports, you can receive a daily digest email of your players’ health changes, among other things.

Tip 3: Be A Social Media Sleeper

In today’s always-on information age, there’s a tremendous amount of news to digest — and that’s just what gets published. Sometimes the meatiest scoops are solitary posts on Twitter. If you want to be an expert on your roster, you have to gather social media news like a pro, and professionals use Hootsuite. Free to use (though you can pay for enhanced options), Hootsuite connects to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others, all within one application, allowing you to better organize your feeds. You can create lists of writers and outlets who cover football or report on your favorite teams individually, and you can even track hashtags and search terms (like your players’ names) to make sure you’re gobbling up every bit of news they’re making.

If that’s too involved for you, or you’re a rookie to the fantasy football scene, Reddit also has excellent analysis, with user-generated topics that get up-voted by other users. Specializing in injury rumors, the board can alert you to impending roster problems. The forum website has a great official app, though you might have a hard time finding it because it’s called Alien Blue. Just keep in mind that anyone can post here, including your opponents, so take every “day-to-day” with a grain of Gronk-sized salt.

Tip 4: Tap That App

Of course, when you think iPhone, you think apps, and when it comes to fantasy football there are enough iOS offerings to choke a linebacker. As far as free apps go, Team Stream is an excellent way to stay on top of the latest news with a customizable interface that stretches beyond football even into college sports. Combining popular Twitter feeds with news stories (even scouring the local papers) the app hits hard for fantasy football fanatics.

But don’t dismiss paid apps. Some 33 million people will spend more than $100 each on fantasy football this year, so at $9.99, RotoWire Fantasy Football Assistant is a bargain worth looking into. RotoWire has been in the fantasy game for more than 15 years, typically providing subscriber-based insight to guys who are mopping it up in their leagues. But this app is subscription-free, giving you all the numbers you need, as well as the ability to view depth charts, make watch lists, and project statistics. If you’re looking for an app to tell you who to add and who to start, this guy could quickly become your new best friend.

TIME Crime

Report: Florida State Football Star Got Traffic Tickets After Hit-and-Run

A public police database did not contain any record of the crash

A Florida State University football player who allegedly left the scene of a car crash in which he was a driver received traffic tickets for what normally would qualify as a crime, the New York Times reported. A public police database did not contain any record that the player, starting cornerback P. J. Williams, was involved in the crash.

The report is the latest scandal to draw attention to preferential treatment of the school’s athletes by local authorities. The Tallahassee police failed to conduct a thorough investigation of quarterback and Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston after he was accused of rape last year. That story prompted outrage and accusations of bias by local officials.

Read the full story in the New York Times.

TIME royals

Brooklyn Is Officially Over: Will and Kate Will Catch a Game at Barclays Center

Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge And Prince Harry Visit Tower Of London's Ceramic Poppy Field
Max Mumby—Indigo/Getty Images Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge walk through a poppy field art installation entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins, in the moat of the Tower of London, to commemorate the First World War on August 5, 2014 in London, England.

It doesn't get more square than British royalty

Brooklynites, hold on to your hats: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced a New York trip from Dec. 7 to 9, including a Monday night NBA game. Since there are no Knicks games scheduled for Mon. Dec. 8, that can only mean one thing: Will and Kate are headed for the Barclays Center, where the Brooklyn Nets will host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tickets currently start at $77.65 (get ’em while they’re hot).

This can only mean one of two things:

1. Will and Kate are secret hipsters at heart.

2. Brooklyn is officially over.

Whether we start to see the royal duo in vintage prints and cat sweaters, or the citizens of Brooklyn in Harris tweeds (fresh, not secondhand), you can bet your bottom dollar there will be fewer died-in-the-wool basketball fans and more Anglophiles who are positively chuffed to see their favorite couple courtside.

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