Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Friday, highlighted by Antonio Brown being released by the New England Patriots amid the NFL’s investigation into his off-field allegations.
We’ll also take a look at a third-string QB delivering USC to a huge upset win over No. 10-ranked Utah and the Atlanta Braves popping champagne to celebrate their second consecutive division title.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Saturday!
Patriots Release Antonio Brown Amid Allegations
In the end, the Antonio Brown tenure in New England lasted only one game, as the Patriots released the mercurial wide receiver on Friday amid the ongoing NFL investigation into his off-field allegations.
The defending champions cut Brown loose less than two weeks after signing him.
“We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time,” the Patriots said in a statement on Friday.
A report documented by Sports Illustrated on Thursday of Brown sending text messages while he was with the Patriots that were described as threatening to a woman who recently accused him of sexual misconduct was the last straw for some in the organization, sources told ESPN.
Brown practiced on Friday with the team before the news dropped later in the day that he had been released.
The 31-year-old thanked the Patriots on Twitter shortly before the move was made public.
The NFL is currently looking into the allegations of sexual assault and rape that Brown was accused of by his former trainer Britney Taylor in a civil lawsuit that was filed on Sept. 10.
In addition to that lawsuit, Brown also faces another allegation of sexual misconduct by a female artist who was hired by Brown to work on a mural at his home in 2017. The lawyer of the artist reached out to the league on Thursday after Brown allegedly sent the threatening text messages to her client.
Will the Patriots end up paying Brown the $9 million signing bonus they had agreed on? That’s a question that remains to be answered. A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Brown is unlikely to receive the bonus because of a representation warranty clause that requires a player to disclose situations that may prevent continued availability.
Meanwhile, Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus says that his star client is looking forward to his next opportunity.
“It’s unfortunate things didn’t work out with the Patriots,” Rosenhaus said. “But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon.”
Will another team take a chance on Brown? Stay tuned to the ever-evolving saga.
MORE FROM HEAVY.COM:
*Does Brown Keep Signing Bonus Money After Release?
*Best Fits Where Brown Could Sign Next
*Patriots Players React to Brown’s Release
*Josh Gordon Fantasy: Start-Sit Outlook After Brown Release
USC’s Third String QB Leads Trojans to Upset of No. 10 Utah
USC’s Matt Fink was the team’s third-string quarterback to begin the season and could never have imagined the type of night he would have against No. 10 Utah on Friday at the Coliseum.
Fink was pressed into action after USC’s starting QB Kedon Slovis was knocked out of the game during the first possession and would ultimately lead the Trojans to a huge win over the undefeated Utes, 30-23.
USC, who had fallen out of the top 25 after being taken down in overtime by BYU last week, has had to dig deep into the depth chart early on this season after their first string QB J.T. Daniels went down for the year with a knee injury in the opener and second-stringer Slovis was removed from Friday’s game after taking a huge hit that drove him into the ground.
Fink was stellar in relief of Slovis, tossing three touchdown passes while throwing for 351 yards.
USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. shined brightly on the Friday night stage, catching 10 passes for 232 yards that included a spectacular 77-yard TD.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD ON SATURDAY
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 7 Notre Dame (2-0) at No. 3 Georgia (3-0)
The first real marquee game of the college football season takes place tonight as the No. 3-ranked Georgia Bulldogs take on the No. 7-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in prime-time. The highly anticipated matchup between the two top ten teams is expected to be played in front of a record Georgia crowd of more than 93,000.
WHEN: Tonight, 8 p.m. ET
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 11 Michigan (2-0) at No. 13 Wisconsin (2-0)
A matchup of two top 15 teams takes place today at high noon when Big Ten rivals No. 11 Michigan faces No. 13 Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium
WHEN: Today, 12 p.m. ET
NASCAR: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway
The second race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs takes place tonight at Richmond Raceway. Martin Truex Jr. won the Playoff opener last week at Las Vegas.
WHEN: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.