Wisconsin Sports Headlines – 6/8/2020

The Latest Sports Headlines: 

>>UW-Green Bay Signs Will Ryan To Coach Phoenix Basketball

(Green Bay, WI)  —  The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has signed Will Ryan to be the next head coach for Phoenix basketball.  Ryan comes to Green Bay from Wheeling University and he is the son of retired Wisconsin Badgers coach Bo Ryan. The new Phoenix coach was interviewed for the first time last Wednesday and agreed to the terms of the contract Saturday.  Ryan grew up in Platteville, played college basketball at U-W-Platteville and U-W-Milwaukee, was a volunteer assistant for the Badgers, then helped form the Wisconsin Swing AAU team.


>>Former Closer Knebel Getting Ready For Return

(Milwaukee, WI)  —  The Brewers say former closer Corey Knebel is just about ready to return to action.  Knebel is recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Lefty Josh Hader has been getting all the attention in the Milwaukee bullpen, but Knebel was very effective as the team’s closer in 2017 and 2018, with a two-point-54 earned run average, 55 saves and a strikeout rate topping 40 percent.  Team President David Stearns tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Knebel is progressing on his throwing program and hasn’t seemed to have any setbacks.


>>Packers Coach LaFleur ‘I Don’t Know What It’s Like to Be Black Man Living in America’

(Green Bay, WI) —  Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur used a media Zoom call to discuss police brutality, social injustice and protests around the country.  The second-year head coach told reporters, “there are things that are bigger than football and this is one of those things.”  He said seeing the video of the ex-Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck “was appalling, man.”  LaFleur called it totally unacceptable.  During the video interview from Lambeau Field, he made it clear that the staff and players have had multiple conversations about what his team can do to take real action.  LaFleur said, “I don’t know what it’s like to be a black man living in America and I don’t pretend to know. What I do try to do is listen and show empathy.”  He says “we’re gonna support our players and what they do, provided that it’s peaceful.”


>>NFL Commissioner Goodell Encourages Players To Protest

(New York, NY)  — The NFL is changing its tune on players speaking out and protesting.  Commissioner Roger Goodell shared a message on the league’s social media accounts, saying, “We the National Football League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”  The league was criticized for not supporting Colin Kaepernick in 2016 when he knelt during the National Anthem in order to protest police brutality.  Goodell says the league supports the Black Lives Matter movement.  He said, “I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”  The commissioner also sent condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.


>>Za’Darius Smith Named To NFL “All-Analytics Team”

(Green Bay, WI)  —  The numbers confirm what the eyes saw last N-F-L season – edge rusher Za’Darius Smith had an excellent, award-winning season.  The Packers defender was named to the league’s “All-Analytics Team” by the NFL Network.  He scored at the top in a category called the “individual contribution metric” – a stat developed to measure a player’s impact on his team’s ability to win games for every snap of the ball.  Smith’s four-year, 66-million-dollar free agent contract looks like one of the best deals by any team in league history, according to the experts at N-F-L-dot-com.


>>Bucks Player Sterling Brown Leads Chants At Sunday Protest

(Milwaukee, WI)  —  Bucks player Sterling Brown was leading the chants as protesters marched in Milwaukee Sunday.  Police officers took Brown to the ground in 2018, hit him with a Taser and took him into custody for a parking violation at a Walgreens.  He was an NBA rookie at the time.  One of the officers involved in that arrest has since been fired for making racist social media postings.  Brown’s civil rights lawsuit against the city is still pending and he has rejected one offer of 400 thousand dollars.  Brown’s father worked as a Chicago police officer for 30 years before retiring.


>>Wisconsin Football Program Tackles 2 More 3-Star Prospects

(Madison, WI)  —  Recruiting efforts for the Wisconsin Badgers football program are surging as the team just received commitments from a pair of three-star defensive end prospects.  Six-foot-three and 235-pound Darryl Peterson of Akron, Ohio chose the Badgers over West Virginia and Alabama.  Six-five, 250-pound Mike Jarvis of Medford, New Jersey then became the 13th player to commit from the class of 2021.  Jarvis had offers from Florida State, Nebraska, Duke and Virginia.  The Badgers recruiting class is now ranked 16th in the nation.