From Comcast SportsNetINDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- No. 1 Indiana will open its season Friday night without two key freshmen players.On Tuesday, the NCAA suspended 6-foot-8 forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea and 7-foot center Peter Jurkin for the first nine games this season and will require them to repay a portion of the impermissible benefits they received to a charity of their choice.Enforcement officials at the governing body officials found the players' AAU coach Mark Adams provided them with 9,702 and 6,003 in plane tickets, meals, housing, a laptop computer, a cellphone and clothing. Mosquera-Perea must pay back approximately 1,590. Jurkin must repay 250 to be reinstated.The NCAA said in a statement Tuesday night both players were qualified to receive the benefits from the nonprofit organization Adams used to help international players obtain travel documents and cover travel costs to the U.S. The problem was that Adams also was considered an Indiana booster because he donated 185 to the Varsity Club from 1986-92, and boosters cannot provide benefits to players.Adams had been involved in a previous eligibility case that involved an additional 2,655 to former Indiana basketball player Tijan Jobe."Despite the minimal nature of Mr. Adams' donations, and the fact that the last donation he made was more than 15 years before he provided expenses to a prospective student-athlete who enrolled at the institution," the NCAA wrote in its letter to the school. "Mr. Adams must be considered a representative of the institution's athletics interests."The NCAA considers these secondary infractions and credited the university for taking "substantial and meaningful" corrective actions. Those actions included paying a 5,000 fine for failing to properly certify one player before he started competing, suspending communications with Adams and disassociating the program from Adams.Indiana plans to file appeal the length of the two suspensions later this week, though schools usually win those cases. The players cannot play while the appeal is heard, though they can continue to practice and participate in other team functions.University officials were informed of potential eligibility concerns for both players in April 2011, the NCAA said, and school officials have been trying to resolve the situation since then.Indiana officials, said in a statement, that it filed the original case June 22.The NCAA reinstatement staff made its decision Oct. 29. Indiana then provided additional information Nov. 1, which the NCAA said did not change the original facts that were agreed to by both sides.Mosquera-Perea is considered one of Indiana's top recruits and is expected to play a big part in this season's push for a national championship. Jurkin is also expected to provide depth on the front line.If the NCAA ruling stands, neither player could return until Indiana's game Dec. 15 against Butler in Indianapolis."This matter was discovered internally and promptly reported to the NCAA," Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement released by the school. "At the NCAA's direction, we conducted an extensive and thorough review in cooperation and consultation with the NCAA Basketball Focus Group. While I am very disappointed with these circumstances, I am very pleased with the way we have responded and appreciative of the NCAA's professional guidance and assistance. I would also like to thank Mark Adams for his forthright candor and cooperation in this matter."
NEW YORK -- Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside the headquarters of the National Football League on Wednesday.
More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices.
Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent.
Chants at the demonstration included "Boycott! Boycott!" Women's March organizer Tamika Mallory, addressing football fans, said, "I don't care how long you've been watching football, if they don't stand up for your children, turn the damn TV off."
Political commentator Symone Sanders said, "We are all standing with Kaepernick. It is time for the NFL to put up or shut up."
Earlier Wednesday, the NAACP called for a meeting with the NFL to discuss the fate of Kaepernick, who was born to a white woman and a black man but was adopted by a white couple. The civil rights organization's interim president, Derrick Johnson, said in a letter to the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, that it's apparently "no sheer coincidence" that Kaepernick isn't on a roster.
"No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech - to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL's own regulations," Johnson said.
The NAACP's state president in New York, Hazel Dukes, said: "Right now, the action of the league seems to imply to young black men that this league, which is comprised of 70 percent African-Americans, only values black lives if they are wearing a football uniform."
Goodell has said the league isn't blackballing Kaepernick.
Some other players followed Kaepernick's actions last season, and some are doing so in this year's pre-season. On Monday, a group of Cleveland Browns players prayed in silent protest during the national anthem. Among those kneeling was a white player, Seth DeValve. Another white player, Britton Colquitt, did not kneel but kept his hand on the shoulder of a teammate who did.
That protest earned the ire of an Ohio Supreme Court justice, the lone Democrat holding an Ohio statewide office. Justice Bill O'Neill wrote on Facebook that he wouldn't attend any games at which "draft dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on that field."
"Shame on you all," he said.
The A's traded veteran center fielder Rajai Davis to the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon, clearing yet another veteran from their roster.
In return they receive 18-year-old outfielder Rafael Rincones, a Venezuela native currently playing in the Dominican Summer League.
The move doesn't come as a shock in the grand scheme of things. Davis, 36, is signed only through this season and didn't fit in the plans of Oakland's current youth movement. He did, however, have to clear waivers before this move could happen. And he joins Yonder Alonso as the second veteran the A's have shipped off after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The move opens up the possibility of Chad Pinder getting some playing time in center field against left-handers, as manager Bob Melvin has said he'd like to get Pinder some starts out there.
With recently promoted Boog Powell playing well in center, there's the chance he could draw some starts against lefties too, so it may not be a straight platoon. Pinder also sees playing time in right field, shortstop and second base.