BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference on Tuesday announced its 2017 SEC Football Legends class, a collection of former football standouts who will be honored at events surrounding the SEC Football Championship Game in Atlanta in December.

South Carolina's Legend is John Abraham, outside linebacker from 1996-99. Abraham earned All-Southeastern Conference honors his senior season and went on to become a first-round pick by the New York Jets in 2000, the 13th selection overall. He logged 15 seasons in the NFL with the Jets, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals, earning five trips to the Pro Bowl. The four-time All-Pro selection is the Falcons’ all-time career leader in quarterback sacks.

Other Legends include Gene Stallings of Alabama, Danny Wuerffel of Florida and "Champ" Bailey of Georgia.

Bosox fire Farrell after 2nd straight ALDS defeat

BOSTON (AP) — John Farrell racked up a lot of wins and World Series title with the Boston Red Sox. But past success wasn't enough to save his job after consecutive early playoff exits.

Boston fired Farrell on Wednesday after the team's second straight loss in the AL Division Series.

Legal experts split whether NFL can punish for anthem protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jerry Jones may want to bench Dallas Cowboy players who don't stand for the national anthem, but NFL owners could find themselves facing a First Amendment lawsuit if they punish football players or coaches for their protests after taking government money into the private business of professional football.

The NFL is a private business — and the First Amendment only protects Americans from free speech abuses from the government. But legal experts differ on whether pro teams who play in publicly funded stadiums or who accepted government money in exchange for patriotic displays like the national anthem could find themselves legally exposed if they punish kneeling players.

Highlights

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tara VanDerveer has a new three-year contract extension that takes the Hall of Fame Stanford coach through the 2019-20 season.

CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Ditka has apologized for saying he wasn't aware any racial oppression over the last 100 years in the United States.

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