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NCAA facing 43 concussion lawsuits after latest filings

CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA is now facing 43 class-action lawsuits related to the handling of concussions by Division One football programs after 18 more were filed this week.

The complaints also name college conferences and in some cases schools. The Chicago-based law firm Edelson PC has been filing the lawsuits in batches since May.

The latest were filed Tuesday on behalf of former players from Texas A&M, UCLA, Maryland, Richmond, Idaho, South Carolina, Mississippi, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Alabama and Iowa.

On Monday, former players from Memphis, Ball State, Rutgers, Eastern Michigan and Florida A&M filed lawsuits.

The players are seeking damages for injuries they claim are the result of mishandled concussions they suffered while playing college football.

A judge in a previous case ruled one large class-action concussion lawsuit could not be filed against the NCAA.


Coach suggests Oregon’s Herbert, Prukop competing for start

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon coach Mark Helfrich suggested that quarterbacks Dakota Prukop and Justin Herbert are competing to start against Number 5 Washington on Saturday.

Prukop has started this season for the Ducks, who have lost their last three games. Last week in a 51-33 loss at Washington State, Herbert led Oregon on its final drive, capping it with a 4-yard keeper for a touchdown.

Helfrich commented on the competition during his weekly press conference Tuesday, following a report on that Herbert, a freshman, would start against the Huskies.

When asked whether Prukop remained the team’s starter, Helfrich said, “Um, yeah, I mean we’re still competing, we’re still competing.”

Prukop, a graduate transfer from Montana State, has thrown for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns this season with two interceptions.

Prukop completed 14 of 22 passes for 132 yards and one interception against Washington State. The week before, he threw an interception in the end zone on the final drive of Oregon’s 41-38 loss at Autzen Stadium to Colorado.

A local prospect out of Sheldon High School in Eugene, Herbert worked his way up the depth chart in fall camp. He beat out Terry Wilson and Travis Jonsen for the backup job.


Pac-12 pecking order shifting so far this season

PHOENIX (AP) — The Pac-12 may be going through a geographical shift in its pecking order.

Oregon and Southern California, once the power centers of the conference, have dropped to the bottom. Washington and Colorado, typically near the cellar, have shifted toward the top.

It’s still too early to know if this movement is permanent; there’s nearly two months until the Pac-12 Championship game in Santa Clara.

Even if the changes aren’t for good, it’s sure made for an interesting season in the Pac-12 so far.

A look at how the divisions stand heading into this weekend’s games:


Jets’ Pryor fined nearly $25K for hit on Seahawks’ Baldwin

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets safety Calvin Pryor plans to appeal his nearly $25,000 fine by the NFL for a hit on Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin.

Pryor posted his displeasure on Instagram on Wednesday with a post that included a picture of the hit and: “25k really?? Cmon man.”

The NFL deemed that Pryor struck the head and neck area of Baldwin, who made a 38-yard catch on the play in Seattle’s 27-17 win last Sunday.

A first offense, which Pryor says this is, for hitting a defenseless player is $24,309 — likely the amount the Jets safety will have to pay the league.

Pryor says he isn’t sure if the hit was clean or dirty, but insists it shouldn’t warrant a fine so high. He adds that it was a “bang-bang” play and the hard-hitting safety won’t change his style.


Bumgarner, Gillaspie lead Giants over Mets 3-0; Cubs next

NEW YORK (AP) — Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hitter in his latest postseason gem, Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer off Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning, and the San Francisco Giants beat the defending NL champion New York Mets 3-0 Wednesday night in the wild-card game.

Trying to follow their World Series titles in 2010, ’12 and ’14, the Giants open the NL Division Series on Friday at the best-in-the-majors Chicago Cubs.

Bumgarner has pitched 23 consecutive scoreless innings in winner-take-all postseason games — all on the road — following a four-hitter at Pittsburgh in the 2014 wild-card game and five innings of relief at Kansas City to save Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the sixth and gave up two hits in seven innings. Addison Reed escaped bases-loaded trouble in the eighth.

Brandon Crawford doubled leading off the ninth against Familia, who walked Joe Panik with one out.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.