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Free drop: Alligator 'catches' Florida golfer's errant tee shot

Alligators on Florida golf courses are not unusual, but reptiles helping players avoid a penalty stroke is rare.

>> Read more trending news 

According to a couple playing in a tournament Saturday at Bonita National Golf Club, a gator “jumped up and caught” an errant tee shot, the Naples Daily News reported.

Joanne Sadowsky sliced her tee shot on the second hole during the couples tournament, and the ball headed toward one of the 17 lakes on the course, the newspaper reported.

“I shanked the ball to the right, and it was heading to the water,” Sadowsky told the Daily News. “It was close to the gator’s head. He saw it, jumped up and caught it.”

Sadowsky’s light pink golf ball was “caught” by the alligator, meaning she was entitled to a free drop.

“It saved me from a hazard penalty,” Sadowsky, told the Daily News.“We’ve seen them with a fish or a turtle in their mouths, but never a golf ball.”The lucky break did not help Sadowsky and her husband, Len, as they finished out of the money in the tournament, the newspaper reported.

Duke's Zion Williamson sprains knee after Nike shoe blows out; Obama tweets well-wishes

A Duke University basketball star sprained his knee after one of his Nike shoes ripped apart Wednesday during the Blue Devils' rivalry game against North Carolina.

>> Read more trending news 

According to The Associated Press, the bizarre incident happened less than a minute into the widely watched game as famous faces, including former President Barack Obama, watched from the stands. Duke freshman Zion Williamson slipped, his shoe splitting as he fell to the ground.

>> Watch the moment here

No. 1 Duke eventually lost to No. 8 North Carolina, 88-72.

After the game, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Williamson had suffered a mild sprain. Krzyzewski wasn't sure how long Williamson would need to recover, the AP reported.

Nike released the following statement overnight, according to Des Bieler of the Washington Post:

"We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery," the statement read. "The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue."

>> See the tweet here

Obama, whose reaction to the moment was caught on cameratweeted well-wishes to Williamson late Wednesday.

>> See Obama's reaction here

"Zion Williamson seems like an outstanding young man as well as an outstanding basketball player," Obama wrote. "Wishing him a speedy recovery."

>> See the tweet here

Read more here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Former NFL player killed by neighbor in parking dispute, Colorado police say

A former Seattle Seahawks defensive back who went on to become an assistant high school principal was fatally shot Sunday morning in a parking dispute with his neighbor, police said. 

Former Seattle Seahawks safety Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham, 46, of Centennial, was gunned down in the parking lot of a high school near his home, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. Marcus Alan Johnson, 31, who lived across the street from Cunningham, has been charged with first-degree murder. 

>> Read more trending news

A GoFundMe page set up to help Cunningham’s wife and five children alleges he died trying to protect his family. 

“T.J. always stood up for what was right and looked out for people who could not speak up for themselves,” states the fundraising page, which raised more than $58,000 for the family in a day. “It’s not a coincidence that his career path led to helping children through education as the assistant principal at Hinkley High School (in Aurora). His warm presence and generous spirit has profoundly impacted the lives of countless relatives, friends, colleagues and kids.”

Cunningham was also a prominent alumnus of the University of Colorado’s Buffaloes football program. 

Sheriff’s Office officials said dispatchers received a 911 call around 9:20 a.m. Sunday from a woman who said she found a man lying on the ground, bleeding, at Eaglecrest High School in Centennial. CBS4 in Denver reported Sunday evening that the shooting took place at the athletic fields between the high school and the neighboring Thunder Ridge Middle School. 

Two minutes later, Johnson called and said he had shot his neighbor, but was now at his own home about a half-mile from the school. 

Johnson was taken into custody outside his home. The gun he said he used to kill Cunningham was found in plain sight in his car, according to an arrest affidavit in the case.

The affidavit states that neighbors and other witnesses told investigators Johnson and Cunningham, who was an assistant principal at Hinkley High School in Aurora, were involved in an ongoing parking dispute. A Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, Deborah Sherman, told CNN Cunningham texted Johnson about the issue hours before the shooting. 

“It was a dispute that morning, they were texting back and forth, and then they said let’s settle this at the school," Sherman said.

Cunningham’s brother told detectives he went with Cunningham to the school, where the two men planned to “box it out,” according to the affidavit. He said they got out of their respective vehicles and walked toward each other, yelling expletives and calling one another names.

Read the affidavit detailing the slaying of former Seattle Seahawk T.J. Cunningham below. 

The shouting quickly turned deadly. 

Johnson, who told investigators Cunningham had a bottle, shot the former football player three times, striking him in the head and chest. According to the arrest affidavit, Cunningham was taken to a hospital, where he died after being declared brain-dead Monday afternoon. 

Cunningham’s brother told investigators he was unarmed when he was shot, the affidavit said. 

Johnson, who CBS4 reported has a criminal history that includes assault and weapons possession charges, was being held at the Arapahoe County Jail without bond Wednesday. 

“I expect him to remain in place,” 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler told the news station. “There isn’t any amount of money on the planet Earth at this moment that could get him out of custody.”

Cunningham, an Aurora native who was a receiver and defensive back at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was drafted by the Seahawks in 1996. His career as a defensive back lasted nine games, according to the team website

According to ESPN, injuries ended Cunningham’s NFL career.

Aurora Public Schools issued a statement Monday expressing the school district’s grief over Cunningham’s death. 

“Our hearts are broken for Mr. Cunningham’s family,” the statement read, according to Denver7. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this tragic time.” 

Extra counselors are going to be on hand at Hinkley High all week to help students, faculty and staff process the loss, the statement said.

An electronic billboard in front of the school memorialized Cunningham on Tuesday. 

“Forever a Thunderbird. Forever in our hearts,” the sign read. 

Rick George, athletic director for the Colorado Buffaloes, said university officials were “deeply shocked and saddened” to learn of Cunningham’s death. 

“He was a good family man and had a strong passion for working with young people, as evidenced by serving as an assistant high school principal,” George said in a statement. “He was also a good alum, an active alum and took great pride in being a Colorado Buffalo.

“Our hearts go out to T.J.’s family on their tragic loss. We will miss him.”

Neighbors told CBS4 they were surprised Cunningham was involved in any dispute, let alone one over a parking space. Current Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator and former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, who was a college teammate of Cunningham’s, also expressed shock that Cunningham was involved in a fatal argument. 

“He was always a great person, a smart person. He got along with everyone. He was never a troublemaker,” Joseph told Denver7. “I am shocked that this came to his doorstep. He was a great person with a big heart. Anyone who needed help in life, he was always there for them.”

Manny Machado agrees to record $300M deal with Padres, reports say

Manny Machado, one of major league baseball’s most coveted free agents this offseason, has agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres, multiple sources reported Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news 

Machado's deal is the biggest free-agent contract in baseball history, surpassing the the 10-year, $275 million deal Alex Rodriguez signed with the New York Yankees after the 2007 season, KNSD reported.

While Ron Fowler, the Padres’ executive chairman, told The San Diego Union-Tribune Tuesday morning that “we do not have a deal with any free agent,” two sources who did not want to be identified confirmed the agreement to the newspaper. The deal will allow the third baseman to opt out of the agreement after five years.

Machado is a four-time All-Star and has won two Gold Glove Awards. He made $16 million last season, ESPN reported, splitting time between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Baltimore Orioles,

Machado, 26, batted .297 in 2018 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI. In his seven-year career, Machado has a lifetime .282 average with 175 homers and 513 RBI. He has hit 30 or more home runs in each of the last four seasons.

Men who attacked fellow golfers at Oregon club get jail time

It has been said that golf is a good walk spoiled, but two Oregon men allegedly took it too far.

>> Read more trending news 

The two golfers, charged with attacking two fellow players with their clubs at a north Portland club last year, were sentenced to jail terms ranging between 30 and 45 days, The Oregonian reported.

Matthew Leo and Jacob Ryan Self, both 37, were accused of assaulting the father-son golfing tandem of Henning Larsen and Roland Larsen on May 5, 2018, at the Rose City Golf Course, the newspaper reported.

In September, Leo pleaded no contest to attempted second-degree assault and was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of probation, the Oregonian reported. He was ordered to pay a $642 fine. On Wednesday, Self pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years of probation, the newspaper reported. He was fined $1,921.

The newspaper reported that the Larsens suffered welts and lacerations, plus broken fingers from holding down their attackers until authorities arrived.

According to an arrest affidavit, Leo and Self were golfing in the wrong direction on the course. The Larsens, who were golfing in the proper direction, spoke to the men about their interference, the Oregonian reported.

When the four men crossed paths again later in the day, Leo and Self allegedly hit the Larsens with their golf clubs, investigators said. Leo swung at Roland Larsen, who deflected the blow with his forearms, while Self hit Hanning Larsen in the back, the newspaper reported.

According to Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hermann, Leo and Self were heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident, the Oregonian reported.

Self’s lawyer, Dylan Potter, told the newspaper his client “recognizes that he was not justified in his actions and took it too far.” 

Michigan weightlifter uses muscle to help rescue man injured in SUV

A Michigan weightlifter used his power to move a two-ton SUV to help paramedics reach a man trapped inside the vehicle, MLIve reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Ryan Belcher, 29, of Belleview, heard a “big smash” Thursday while he was in Ypsilanti and went outside to investigate, the website reported.

He discovered a black Jeep Cherokee on its roof in melting snow, with a 36-year-old man trapped inside the vehicle. The man was lying out of the driver’s side window, but could not move and was blocked in the SUV by a sign pole, MLive reported.

“He was talking about his legs, how he couldn’t feel his legs,” Belcher said.

The 350-pounder sprang into action. In competition, Belcher excelled as a weightlifter, squatting 950 pounds, bench-pressing 500 pounds and dead-lifting 800 pounds. He had never moved two tons of weight, however.

“From there, I just kind of got tunnel vision," Belcher told MLive. “And then I grabbed the back, where the window was smashed out and lifted up and started pushing.”

Belcher was able to move the SUV about three feet, allowing paramedics to reach the injured man. He was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition, the website reported.

“If I could describe it in one word, It would be humbled,” Belcher told MLive. said about his feelings a day after the rescue. "This could have been anybody, it could have been me. And just getting home to my children after that is all I thought about.

‘I’d hope if it was me in there, somebody would help me the way I did them.”

Pro golfer Matt Kuchar apologizes after caddie-tipping furor

PGA Tour pro Matt Kuchar, criticized by golf fans for not paying his fill-in caddie an industry-standard 10 percent after winning a tournament in November, apologized Friday and said he wanted to make amends, Golf.com reported.

>> Read more trending news 

After play was suspended in the second round at the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club, Kuchar said in an official statement Friday that his earlier comments in a Golf.com interview were “out of touch” and “insensitive.” Kuchar apologized and said he plans to immediately resolve his issue with the caddie, ESPN reported.

Earlier this week, Kuchar defended the $5,000 he paid David Giral Ortiz after winning $1,296,000 at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico. After Kuchar won the event, Ortiz had requested $50,000, ESPN reported. By industry standards, Ortiz could have expected to be paid approximately $130,000.

In an interview with Golf.com on Wednesday, Kuchar, 40, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, said he thought “Someone got in (Ortiz’s) ear.”

“I was very clear and very upfront on Tuesday (of the tournament week in Mexico),” Kuchar told the website. “And he said, ‘OK.’ He had the ability, with bonuses, to make up to $4,000.”

Kuchar confirmed reports he told Ortiz he would pay him $1,000 if he missed the cut, $2,000 if he made the cut, $3,000 if he had a top-20 finish and $4,000 if he finished in the top 10, ESPN reported. 

“The extra $1,000 was, ‘Thank you — it was a great week.’ Those were the terms. He was in agreement with those terms,” Kuchar told Golf.com. “That’s where I struggle. I don’t know what happened. Someone must have said, ‘You need much more.’”

Kuchar struck a much more conciliatory tone in his Friday statement.

“I plan to call David tonight, something that is long overdue, to apologize for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested,” Kuchar said. “My entire Tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity,” he continued. “In this situation, I have not lived up to those values or the expectations I’ve set for myself.”

Ortiz, 40, is a regular caddie at the Mayakoba Resort near Cancun, ESPN reported.

"Matt is a good person and a great player,'' Ortiz told Golf.com through a translator. "He treated me very well. I am only disappointed by how it all finished.''

John Cena will host Nickelodeon reboot of 'Are Your Smarter than a 5th-Grader'

Pro wrestling star John Cena has never had difficulty projecting to an audience. His long and varied resume will now include game show host.

>> Read more trending news 

Cena will serve as host and executive director of the reboot of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th-Grader,” Nickelodeon announced in a news release Thursday.

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy hosted 111 episodes of the show from 2007 through 2015, according to the IMDb website.

According to Nickelodeon’s news release, the new version of the show will follow the same format as the original series, with adults answering questions taken from fifth-grade curriculum. The reboot will add an additional “cheat” option, new ways contestants can get help from their grade school classmates, and a “final exam” that will pit participants against the clock.

Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins said the company was “very happy to go back to school with an amazing talent like John Cena.”

“Today’s kids and parents are laser-focused on their family time together, so we want to give them shows and series that appeal to every member of the household,” Robbins said in the Nickelodeon news release.

Cena, the World Wrestling Entertainment star, said he was “excited” to partner with Nickelodeon again. He previously hosted the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards program and also was the host of the Fox reality show, “American Grit,” according to Bleacher Report.

“I can’t wait to see kids defeat grownups who find themselves back in the classroom,” Cena said.

Gordon Banks, 1966 World Cup hero for England, dead at 81

Gordon Banks, the goalkeeper for England’s 1966 World Cup soccer championship team, died Tuesday, the BBC reported. He was 81.

>> Read more trending news 

"It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon passed away peacefully overnight," Banks’ family said in a statement. "We are devastated to lose him but we have so many happy memories and could not have been more proud of him."

Banks was named FIFA goalkeeper of the year six times. He was in the net when England defeated West Germany 4-2 at Wembley Stadium in the 1966 World Cup final on July, 30, 1966.

>> Photos: Notable deaths 2019

His signature moment came during the 1970 World Cup, when he made a “wonder save” against Brazil soccer great Pele, the BBC reported.

Born Dec. 30, 1937, in Sheffield, England, Banks won the League Cup with Stoke and Leicester before retiring in 1973, the network reported.

"Gordon was a fantastic goalkeeper, without doubt one of the best England has ever had. I was proud to call him a teammate,” Sir Bobby Charlton told the BBC. “Obviously, we shared that great day in 1966 but it was more than that.

"Even though I was on the pitch and have seen it many times since, I still don't know how he saved that header from Pele."

Cleveland Browns sign controversial RB Kareem Hunt

The Cleveland Browns on Monday signed controversial running back Kareem Hunt, WOIO reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Hunt, a Cleveland native, was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 30 when he was caught on video kicking and shoving a woman at a Cleveland hotel in February 2018, the Plain Dealer reported.

>> Chiefs release RB Kareem Hunt after violent video surfaces

Browns general manager John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt in the third round of the 2017 draft out of Toledo when Dorsey was the Chiefs’ GM, signed the running back to a one-year deal worth approximately $1 million, the newspaper reported. That figure will depend on how long his suspension from the NFL will be.

Hunt will be a restricted free agent after the 2019 season, the Plain Dealer reported.

Hunt will enter the new season on the NFL’s Commissioner Exempt list, which means he cannot play or practice with the Browns and cannot attend their games until his suspension is over, WOIO reported.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to announce a punishment for Hunt, who was not criminally charged after the incident, the television station reported. 

In 2017, Hunt led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards as a rookie and was voted to the Pro Bowl, the Plain Dealer reported.

Hunt rushed for 824 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games before he was cut, the newspaper reported.

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