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The Journal Gazette

Friday, May 04, 2018 1:00 am

NFL

Cheerleader allegations probed

Staff, news services

Washington says its concerned by allegations made by cheerleaders in a New York Times article about a trip to Costa Rica for a photo shoot in 2013.

Team president Bruce Allen said in a statement the organization is immediately looking into the situation. Allen says if the investigation shows any employees acted inappropriately, “those employees will face significant repercussions.”

The New York Times reported the cheerleaders had their passports collected, were forced to be topless for a calendar photo shoot that included male spectators and were asked to be escorts for sponsors at a nightclub. The story, published Wednesday, quoted cheerleaders on condition of anonymity because they signed confidentiality agreements.

Allen says team officials have had dialogue with a number of current and former cheerleaders and have “heard very different firsthand accounts that directly contradict many of the details” of the article. Allen says the Redskins “will continue to take all necessary measures to create a safe and respectful work environment for their cheerleaders.”

Dallas TE retires to join ESPN

Jason Witten is retiring after 15 years with the Dallas Cowboys, choosing the TV booth just as friend and longtime teammate Tony Romo did a year ago.

Witten says the “time has come to pass the torch.”

Just days from turning 36, Witten walks away as the leader in games, catches and yards receiving for a franchise with five Super Bowl wins, but none since the 1995 season. He and Tony Gonzalez are the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards.

Witten is tied with Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Bill Bates and the late Mark Tuinei for most seasons by a Dallas player. He's the only one of those four without a Super Bowl.

Arians joins CBS

Bruce Arians is joining CBS as an NFL game analyst. Arians, a two-time winner of the AP's Coach of the Year award, retired as coach of the Arizona Cardinals in January. He will work with play-by-play announcer Greg Gumbel and analyst Trent Green.

Arians won the top coaching award in 2012 filling in for Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who was recovering from battling leukemia. He also took the honor in 2014 when the Cardinals went 11-5.

League looks into Bills president

The NFL plans to contact the Buffalo Bills regarding team president Russ Brandon's abrupt resignation amid allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.

The league released a statement saying it will discuss the matter with the Bills and “make a decision in the next few days about what, if any, further steps we will take.”

Brandon was also president of the TBuffalo Sabres.

NHL spokesman Gary Meagher tells The Associated Press the league has determined Brandon's resignation is “appropriately a club matter” after consulting with Sabres officials.

Brandon resigned Tuesday after spending 20 years working up the Bills' executive ranks, and spending the past three years overseeing the Sabres.

Extra points

Defensive tackle Akeem Spence has been acquired by Miami from Detroit for an undisclosed 2019 draft pick. ... Cleveland is discussing long-term plans for a major downtown development project that could include major stadium renovations – or a new facility. ... The NFL and the players' union will host a symposium on mental health on May 14. Entitled “Beyond The Physical: A Symposium on Mental Health in Sports,” the aim is to raise awareness of mental health and promote a culture in which people, including athletes, are encouraged to seek help and support to achieve overall wellness.