iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- Big 12 Football will make another bit of history when the college football season kicks off this fall. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Monday that the first female referee in league history has been assigned to work one of its games.
Bowlsby said Catherine "Cat" Conti will be on the field during Kansas' home opener on Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State. Conti had previously worked as an official with the Southland Conference.
The league commissioner noted that Conti has paid her dues and earned a chance to be on the field. Bowlsby also explained that Walt Anderson, Big 12 officiating supervisor, assigned Conti to the game because, "she is just a darned good official."
Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Atlanta Dream head coach and former Los Angeles Lakers guard Michael Cooper has been diagnosed with early stage tongue cancer. Cooper has taken a leave of absence from the team and will have surgery this week, the Dream said on Monday.
Assistant coach Karleen Thompson will fill in for the 58-year-old, who is expected to miss two weeks. Cooper will have surgery at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta and is expected to make a full recovery.
"I'm fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection," said Cooper. "I know the team will be in good hands with Coach Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon."
Cooper won five NBA titles while playing for the Lakers during the "Showtime" era. He also won consecutive WNBA titles as the coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. This is Cooper's first season with the Dream, which currently holds a 15-6 record.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- During his annual state of the league address at the Big 12 media day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby proclaimed Monday that "cheating pays" in intercollegiate athletics.
"Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn't had a hearing in almost a year," said Bowlsby. "It's not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions."
Bowlsby continued by saying he does not believe cheating is a widespread epidemic, but that he fears for the future of the NCAA and its student-athletes.
"We certainly are operating in a strange environment in that we have lawsuits," explained the commissioner. "I think all of that in the end will cause programs to be eliminated."
While slamming college sports' governing body, Bowlsby did come to the defense of the collegiate model, saying that he was against the unionization of student-athletes.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- Defending national champion and Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston is ready for another season of proving to others that last year wasn't a fluke.
The Florida State quarterback spoke on Sunday at the ACC's preseason kickoff and said he's ready to show his doubters that he can have a repeat of last year's success.
"I know I have to live up to the hype," Winston said. "If I'm even an inch below that standard, it'll be chaos."
The 20-year-old will be a redshirt sophomore this season and could be a high first-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft, if he decides to leave after this season.
"It comes with the territory," Winston said. "You always have to have a smile on your face. Leadership isn't just on the field. It's off the field, too, and I know I have a lot of young guys looking up to me, and I know I have a lot of support from my teammates as well."
Winston isn't worried about the team having a target on their back either this season and understands that it will be a challenge repeating as national champion.
"We're not defending anything," Winston said. "We're trying to go get another championship. It's a clean slate."
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Giants running back David Wilson has been cleared for all activities when the Giants open training camp on Tuesday.
"Just got cleared ..... #cleared for everything now the story continues," Wilson tweeted on Monday following his examination.
Wilson suffered a neck injury during Week 5 last season and missed the rest of the year in a difficult season in which the team failed to make the playoffs.
Wilson had surgery during the offseason to repair the neck injury and participated in a couple OTA's and minicamp in May.
The Giants signed veteran running back Rashad Jennings during the offseason to fill the void they had at the position. New York also has veteran Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox to go along with fourth-round pick Andre Williams at the running back position.
Texas Rangers/MLB (NEW YORK) -- They may share the same first name, but Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus have two entirely different opinions on what transpired during the 5th inning of Saturday's contest between their respective teams.
Lewis and Rasmus exchanged words after Rasmus laid down a bunt single with two outs and the Blue Jays leading 2-0. The Rangers were playing the shift, but Lewis still wasn't too pleased with Rasmus' decision to bunt.
"I told [Rasmus] I didn't appreciate it," Lewis told MLB.com. "You're up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don't think that's the way the game should be played."
After the contest, Rasmus said he was not sure why Lewis would take offense to his decision to lay down a bunt.
"I'm just trying to help my team and he didn't like it -- so sorry about it," Rasmus said to MLB.com. "I'm not here to try to please the other side, I'm here to help my team, and I had an opportunity where I could, and I took advantage of it."
Lewis took the loss for the Rangers Sunday and fell to 6-7 on the year. Rasmus is hitting just .223 for the Blue Jays this season.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(PITTSFORD, N.Y.) -- The Buffalo Bills opened their 2014 training camp over the weekend, but one of their best defensive players did not come prepared.
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus failed a conditioning test when he reported to camp, the team has confirmed. Dareus remained on the active/non-football injury list as the Bills held their first training camp practice Sunday evening.
"He's not the only one, but obviously you want your players to come in and be ready to go," coach Doug Marrone said Sunday. "We're here for a long period of time and we'll make up for it."
Dareus reportedly will not re-take the conditioning test until Thursday, at the earliest.
The Pro Bowler was also arrested twice this offseason and could face a suspension from the NFL. Nonetheless, Marrone expects him to play at a high level this season.
"He'll be in shape and ready to play," Marrone said. "Right now he needs to focus on getting himself ready, getting himself on the field, and focus on football.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Chris Snee is reportedly ready to hang up his cleats and shoulder pads. A source close to the New York Giants lineman says he has scheduled a meeting for Monday morning with team officials to tell them he's considering retiring.
While his final decision is not 100% made, the 32-year-old would not be able to start the season on time anyway thanks to a longer than expected recovery from elbow surgery in November.
After missing the team's minicamp in June because of the extended rehab, New York and Snee each began weighing their options. The Giants gave the majority of reps to third-year player Brandon Mosley while also letting their second-round pick, Weston Richburg, see some time.
Snee, a four-time Pro Bowler, could be entering his 11th season as an offensive lineman for the Giants.
Snee played just three games in 2013 and was placed on injured reserve on October 4 due to an ailing hip injury. The 2004 draft pick out of Boston College helped the Giants to two Super Bowls in his 10-year career. He is also the son-in-law of Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.