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Latest Gulf Coast Sports

ALCORN PLAYERS ARRESTED-FIGHT

Authorities: 11 Alcorn players arrested after campus brawl

LORMAN, Miss. (AP) - Eleven Alcorn State University football players have been arrested after authorities say a fight broke out on the school's Mississippi campus.

News outlets reports Claiborne County Sheriff Frank Davis says charges have been filed against each of the players by other students, and more arrests are likely to be made Thursday.

Davis says the charges against the players are all misdemeanors and range from malicious mischief to simple assault.

The fight started April 10 in the school's cafeteria. Officials say the event was captured on several cellphone cameras and widely circulated last week.

It's not clear if any of the accused has an attorney.

MISSISSIPPI-CRAWFORD

Mississippi adds Memphis graduate transfer Markel Crawford

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi has added graduate transfer guard Markel Crawford, who should bolster the Rebels' backcourt next season.

The 6-foot-5 Crawford comes to Ole Miss after three seasons at Memphis. He averaged 12.8 points per game last season and led the team with 42 3-pointers. He will be eligible to play immediately.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said in a statement that Crawford is "a versatile guard capable of playing either backcourt position. He is big, strong and athletic with the ability to make plays both on the offensive and defensive ends."

Crawford will join an experienced Ole Miss backcourt that returns Cullen Neal, Terence Davis, Deandre Burnett and Breein Tyree. Ole Miss finished with a 22-14 record last season, advancing to the quarterfinals of the NIT.

GIANTS-MANNING

Eli Manning insists he did nothing wrong in memorabilia suit

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - An angry Eli Manning denies providing fake game-used memorabilia to a collector.

A 2014 lawsuit accuses the New York Giants quarterback of doctoring jerseys, helmets and other equipment to make it look as if they had been used during play. Giants owner John Mara is among those named in the suit.

The former Ole Miss star insists he has done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide. The two-time Super Bowl MVP predicts he will be vindicated.

A plaintiff has filed a motion to compel testimony that included an email from Manning to a team equipment manager asking for two helmets that could pass as game-used.

Manning spoke Thursday at an offseason availability. He refused to answer specific questions because the lawsuit is pending. The trial is scheduled for September.

COWBOYS MOVES

Cowboys sign veteran Robert Blanton for depth at safety

FRISCO, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys have signed veteran safety Robert Blanton for depth after losing five-year starter Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox in free agency.

Blanton's addition Thursday puts him in a group that includes likely starters Byron Jones and Jeff Heath, although next week's draft could alter that outlook. Blanton is going into his sixth season as a fifth-round choice by Minnesota in 2012.

The 27-year-old Blanton spent his first four seasons with the Vikings before going to Buffalo last year. He has 19 starts in 70 career games, including a career-high 13 starts in 2014 when the former Notre Dame player had his only interception. Blanton also plays special teams.

BILLS-KOUANDJIO

Police discover Bills lineman Kouandjio wandering in field

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Bills offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio was taken to the hospital for observation after police found him without any pants on in a suburban Buffalo field.

Erie County Sheriff's spokesman Scott Zylka said deputies were responding to a complaint of a suspicious person when they came upon Kouandjio around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Zylka said the player was cooperative in answering deputies' questions, and added no charges have been filed.

It's unclear what Kouandjio was doing or how he got into the field, located about a 5-minute drive from Bills headquarters. Zylka said the player's car was discovered abandoned on a nearby highway by New York State troopers later in the day.

The former Alabama offensive lineman was not present for the team's voluntary veteran minicamp Thursday. The Bills said they are monitoring Kouandjio's condition and still gathering information.

Buffalo took Kouandjio in the second round of the 2014 draft. He's had seven starts in 24 games over the past two seasons.

SAINTS-WILL SMITH SHOT-SENTENCE

Former Saints DE Smith's killer sentenced to 25 years in prison

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Racquel Smith says she and her family are "extremely disappointed" with what she calls a lenient sentence for the man who killed her husband, New Orleans Saints star Will Smith. Cardell Hayes was sentenced Thursday to 25 years for manslaughter.

She says they were hopeful Judge Camille Buras would impose a stronger sentence to "more justly reflect" her family's pain and loss.

"There are no winners here today," her statement says. The "sentencing does not bring back Will and leaves another child, (Hayes' son), to grow up without a father."

Smith praised prosecutors and police, and said she and their three children, Willie, Lisa and Wynter, will carry on his legacy of love for his community.

As she puts it, "I will continue to shine my light for my Superman."

JOE MCKNIGHT KILLED

May hearing: Battery charge evidence in McKnight killing?

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Defense attorneys say prosecutors want to use a 10-year-old misdemeanor battery charge as evidence against the man who fatally shot former NFL player Joe McKnight.

Matthew Goetz (GETZ) said after a status conference Thursday that a hearing May 25th will discuss whether the earlier case qualifies as a "bad act" that can be used against 55-year-old Ronald Gasser of Terrytown.

Goetz describes it as a "misdemeanor, unadjudicated battery charge that he got a ticket for."

Gasser has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in McKnight's death.

He was arrested on a manslaughter charge after the Dec. 1 shooting, but a grand jury charged him with murder. The charge carries a mandatory life sentence if Gasser is convicted.

Defense attorney Gerard Archer has called the shooting justifiable homicide.

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