Two days after Rob Parker went on a Detroit television show and attempted to convince people his comments about Robert Griffin III were taken out of context and that he was not questioning RGIII's "blackness," ESPN announced that it was parting ways with the "First Take" panelist.

"Rob Parker's contract expired at year's end," a statement from the network read. "Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew his deal."

On the same day it was revealed that Dwight Howard has a torn labrum and will join Pau Gasol (concussion) on the sideline for at least a week, Lakers star Kobe Bryant tried to downplay rumors of discontent on the team.

Responding to a report that he and Howard did not get along and almost got into a fistfight, Bryant on Monday tweeted a picture of the two pretending to square off in the trainer's room with coach Mike D'Antoni smiling between them.

The Seahawks rallied from a 14-0 deficit for a 24-14 victory over the Redskins on Sunday, and loud-mouthed Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman continued his brash ways after the game ended. Sherman, who gave Patriots quarterback Tom Brady an earful following their game in Seattle on Oct. 14, didn't get away unscathed this time, as Washington lineman Trent Williams shoved his hand in Sherman's face and smacked him away.

While Jets coach Rex Ryan tried to escape the media in the Bahamas (and was photographed displaying an arm tattoo of his wife wearing only a Mark Sanchez Jets jersey), Giants coach Tom Coughlin talked Thursday about how distraught he is over his team missing the playoffs.

An anonymous Saints player blasted first-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in a New Orleans Times-Picayune story than ran Wednesday, and that did not sit well with Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

"I'm bothered you reported it," Vilma told the paper. "We're not the Jets, who run to the media for everything."

Under Spagnuolo, the Saints defense was ranked last in the NFL in total defense and allowed the most yards ever in one season (7,042). The unnamed player criticized Spagnuolo for his performance and his personality.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett plans to sue the NCAA for the penalties it imposed on Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Corbett scheduled a press conference Wednesday at Penn State to announce the antitrust filing in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa.

The school was fined $60 million (with the money targeted for child-abuse prevention grants) and the football team faces a four-year ban from bowl games along with reduced scholarships and the forfeiture of 112 wins.

The Jets began their long offseason by firing general manager Mike Tannenbaum on Monday, and more changes to the organization are expected after a disappointing 6-10 season.

However, Mark Sanchez might still be the team's quarterback, as his contract -- he's owed $8.25 million for 2013 -- makes him difficult to move. Sanchez said Monday that he's eager for another opportunity to prove his worth to New York fans.

The Jets plan to fire offensive coordinator Tony Sparano following the team's dismal offensive performance this season, according to an ESPN report. Sparano was hired last offseason after being fired as head coach of the Dolphins, but the Jets finished 30th in total offense and were unable to produce much from the wildcat package Sparano had success with in Miami.

Resolutions.

It’s the time-honored tradition of making promises for the coming year. Some resolutions we intend to do our very best to keep. For others, we just go through the motions of recognizing the need to improve but know deep down there isn’t enough resolve to carry them through to fruition.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


A couple of Boston sports antagonists were in the news Thursday, one receiving a suspension and the other escaping punishment on an apparent technicality.

The NBA suspended Heat guard Dwyane Wade one game for his kick to the groin area of Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions during Wednesday night's game in Charlotte. Wade, who in the past has been accused of dirty play by Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, flailed his left leg upon being fouled, but he continues to insist it was an accident.