Latest Illinois sports


Michael Jordan calls for peaceful demonstration in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Michael Jordan has called for peaceful demonstration and conversation in the wake of the violent protests in Charlotte.

Jordan expressed condolences to the family of Keith Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man who was killed by a black police officer, and to those injured in the ensuing protests in a statement Thursday.

The Hornets owner said, "In light of the tragic events of the past three days, it is more important than ever that we restore calm and come together, as a community, in peaceful demonstration and conversation, and in constructive and non-violent ways."

The Hornets team store was looted on Wednesday during the protests.

Jordan says the Hornets are committed to working with "elected leaders and law enforcement to foster more trust, transparency and understanding so we can heal and grow together as a community."


Cubs' elephant in room is pressure. Bring it on, they say

CHICAGO (AP) — Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ferguson Jenkins. Ron Santo and Ryne Sandberg, too. Hall of Famers for the Chicago Cubs, but no championship rings.

They all tried. Some got closer than others, but the famed drought got the best of them all. And decades of empty Octobers eventually took on a life of their own.

Now, as a new group of Cubs prepares to take aim at a lifetime of free drinks on the North Side, Sandberg, for one, believes this team might be uniquely positioned to succeed where so many others failed.

"I think when it's talked about in that regard and you don't have a game plan for that, you know, that that can be talked about on a daily basis," Sandberg said, addressing the elephant in the room — the 108 years since the Cubs last won the World Series. "It can be brought to the players' attentions, but I think this team here focuses on other things.

"They focus on their teammates, themselves, winning the game, having fun, somebody come up big and let's celebrate in the room in there, and I think that's their mentality. It seems to work."


Bears promoted Barkley to active roster, place Houston on IR

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have promoted quarterback Matt Barkley to the active roster and placed linebacker Lamarr Houston on injured reserve.

Barkley, the former USC star, figures to back up Brian Hoyer at Dallas on Sunday night after starter Jay Cutler sprained his right thumb in Monday's loss to Philadelphia.

Although the Bears haven't said Cutler is out, Hoyer has been practicing with the first team.

Houston tore the ACL in his left knee against the Eagles.

The Bears also signed fullback Paul Lasike to the practice squad on Thursday after releasing him this week.


Back home, Packers look to get timing back against Lions

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers need to get their timing back in the passing game.

At their best, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and the other receivers break at just the right points in precisely run routes to catch perfectly thrown balls from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

But for whatever reasons so far this season, the Packers' once-prolific passing attack isn't in sync. They'd like to correct that on Sunday in the home opener against the Detroit Lions.

Fortunately for the Packers, Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league in extending plays outside the pocket. He has rushed for two touchdowns this year after being forced to scramble. Rodgers would rather get those points with completions.

The Packers lost all their divisional home games last season. They'd need to re-establish themselves at home against NFC North foes, while Detroit would like to build on its breakthrough last year at Lambeau Field. The 18-16 win on November 15th snapped the Lions' 23-game regular-season road losing streak against Green Bay.


Judge: Some St. Louis seat-license holders have rights in LA

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the NFL's Rams must grant season tickets to some people who bought personal seat licenses while the team was still in St. Louis, even though the team is now in Los Angeles.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Junior also said Wednesday that the Rams must refund deposits for other people who bought PSLs in St. Louis.

NFL owners in January approved the Rams' move back to Los Angeles after 21 seasons in St. Louis.

It wasn't immediately clear if the Rams would appeal. Messages left Thursday with the team and its attorneys were not immediately returned.

About 46,000 fans had PSLs, which give the holder the right to purchase season tickets, for the St. Louis Rams, some at a cost of up to $1,000.


Dave Ryan wins US Senior Amateur at Old Warson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Dave Ryan won the U.S. Senior Amateur on Thursday for his first USGA championship, holding off Matthew Sughrue 2 up at Old Warson Country Club.

The 62-year-old Ryan, from Taylorville, Illinois, won the Illinois Senior Amateur by nine strokes last week. He beat two-time Senior Amateur champion Paul Simson in the round of 16 and two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Tim Jackson in the semifinals. Against Simson, Ryan had the third known hole-in-one on a par-4 hole in a USGA championship, acing the 270-yard 14th.

The 57-year-old Sughrue is from Arlington, Virginia.

Sughrue won the opening hole, and Ryan took the next five, making a 12-footer for birdie on Number 2, a two-putt par to Sughrue's bogey on Number 3, a 7-footer for birdie on Number 4, a 20-footer for birdie on Number 5 and a 15-footer for birdie on the par-5 sixth.

Sughrue rallied to tie, taking the par-4 11th with a par, the par-5 12th and par-3 13th with birdies and the par-4 15th with a par.