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iStock/Thinkstock(CLINTON, North Carolina) -- Ex-NFL player Rae Carruth was released from prison Monday morning after spending nearly two decades behind bars on charges stemming from the murder of his pregnant girlfriend.

Carruth, a former wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, was sentenced to 18 to 24 years in 2001 after a jury found him guilty of conspiring to murder Cherica Adams.

"I'm excited about just being out of here. I'm nervous just about how I'll be received by the public,” Carruth said in an phone interview with ABC affiliate WSOC-TV on Sunday. "I still have to work. I still have to live. I have to exist out there and it just seems like there is so much hate and negativity toward me. I'm actually some what frightened."

Prosecutors said Carruth hired Van Brett Watkins and Michael Kennedy to kill Adams in November 1999, when she was eight months pregnant.

Adams, 24, was following Carruth in a separate vehicle after a movie when Watkins and Kennedy pulled up beside her. Prosecutors said Carruth used his vehicle to block Adams' car while Watkins opened fire on her.

She died four weeks after the shooting. Her son, Chancellor Lee Adams, was born via a cesarean section and had severe injuries.

Chancellor Lee Adams, now 18, has been living with his maternal grandmother, Saundra Adams, and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Carruth said he hopes to "make things right" with both of them once he's released.

"I've apologized to Ms. Adams for the loss of her daughter and taken responsibility for what happened," Carruth said. "I don't want to harm Ms. Adams. I guess, honestly, I just want to truly be forgiven."

Saundra Adams told the Charlotte Observer earlier this year that she would "leave the door open" for a potential relationship with Carruth.

"I've forgiven Rae already, but to have any type of relationship with him, there does have to be some repentance," Adams said in February. "And I think this opens the door. But I can say definitively he's not ever going to have custody of Chancellor.

"Chancellor will be raised either by me, or, after I'm gone, by someone else who loves him and who knows him. He will never be raised by a stranger -- someone he doesn't know and who tried to kill him."

Carruth, a 1997 first-round draft pick, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, discharging a firearm into occupied property and attempting to destroy an unborn child, court records show. He's set to be released from Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton, North Carolina, later today.

Watkins, who plead guilty to second-degree murder, was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison. Kennedy, who drove the car, was released in 2011.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Saturday’s sports events:

NATIONAL LEAGUE
L.A. Dodgers 5, Milwaukee 1

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Toronto 117, Washington 113
Indiana 132, Brooklyn 112
Philadelphia 116, Orlando 115
Boston 103, N.Y. Knicks 101
Detroit 118, Chicago 116
Charlotte 113, Miami 112
Dallas 140, Minnesota 136
Denver 119, Phoenix 91
Portland 121, San Antonio 108
Houston 124, L.A. Lakers 115

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Colorado 3, Carolina 1
Philadelphia 5, New Jersey 2
Buffalo 5, L.A. Kings 1
Winnipeg 5, Arizona 3
St. Louis 4, Toronto 1
Chicago 4, Columbus 1
OT Ottawa 4, Montreal 3
OT Detroit 4, Florida 3
OT Minnesota 5, Tampa Bay 4
Nashville 3, Edmonton 0
OT Vancouver 2, Boston 1
Vegas 3, Anaheim 1
San Jose 4, N.Y. Islanders 1

TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL
(1) Alabama 58, Tennessee 21
Purdue 49, (2) Ohio St. 20
(3) Clemson 41, (16) NC State 7
(5) LSU 19, (22) Mississippi St. 3
(6) Michigan 21, (24) Michigan St. 7
(9) Oklahoma 52, TCU 27
(10) UCF 37, East Carolina 10
(25) Washington St. 34, (12) Oregon 20
(14) Kentucky 14, Vanderbilt 7
(15) Washington 27, Colorado 13
(18) Penn St. 33, Indiana 28
(19) Iowa 23, Maryland 0
OT Temple 24, (20) Cincinnati 17
(21) South Florida 38, UConn 30
(23) Wisconsin 49, Illinois 20

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Friday’s sports events:

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Milwaukee 7, L.A. Dodgers 2

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Charlotte 120, Orlando 88
Brooklyn 107, N.Y. Knicks 105
Minnesota 131, Cleveland 123
Toronto 113, Boston 101
New Orleans 149, Sacramento 129
Memphis 131, Atlanta 117
Milwaukee 118, Indiana 101
Golden State 124, Utah 123
L.A. Clippers 108, Oklahoma City 92

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
SO Florida 6, Washington 5
Minnesota 3, Dallas 1
Nashville 5, Calgary 3

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Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Cleveland Browns are trading running back Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Hyde has rushed for 382 yards and five touchdown through Cleveland's first six games. He will now help fill a hole for a Jacksonville team that has been without its star running back Leonard Fournette for much of the season.

Fournette has already been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. It will be the third consecutive game Fournette will not play.

The move will give Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb more opportunities to show his talent. Chubb has tallied 173 yards and two touchdowns on just 16 carries this season.

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Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- After a hot start, LeBron James' first game as a Los Angeles Laker ended in a loss, but not one that has the superstar worried.

James opened the game with a pair of jaw-dropping dunks in a 19-second span. And though he scored 26 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists, the Lakers dropped their season opener to the Portland Trail Blazers, 128-119. Asked how long it will take for the team's chemistry to develop, James said simply "not as fast as you guys think  it's going to happen."

"I always kind of compare it to like instant oatmeal," James continued. "It is not that fast. It takes a while to get to where you can close your eyes and know exactly where your guys are."

James is no stranger to teams that take time to gel. When he joined the Miami Heat in 2010, Miami struggled to a 9-8 start despite three of the league's best players. And his return to Cleveland in 2014 saw the Cavaliers open the season by losing 20 of their first 39 games.

James' teams made the NBA Finals in each of the last eight seasons -- including his first years in Miami and his return to Cleveland.

The Lakers don't catch a break in game two, facing the Houston Rockets and James Harden.

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artisteer/iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- After their offense sputtered through the first seven weeks of the season, the Arizona Cardinals have decided to make a change.

The Cardinals fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Friday, one day after a 45-10 loss to the Denver Broncos dropped Arizona to 1-6. Nearing the halfway point of the season, Arizona has not yet gained 300 yards in a single game, and hasn't had a 100-yard rusher. That despite drafting highly touted quarterback Josh Rosen in the spring, and returning running back David Johnson.

This is the second consecutive year that McCoy has been fired during the season. The Broncos fired McCoy after Week 11 of last year.

McCoy will be replaced by quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich. Leftwich played nine seasons in the league for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Leftwich joined the team as an intern in 2016 and was later promoted to quarterbacks coach. He has never called plays at the NFL level.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:

   AMERICAN LEAGUE
   Boston   4  Houston   1

   NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
   Philadelphia  127  Chicago      108
   Miami         113  Washington   112
   Portland      128  L.A. Lakers  119

   NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
   Colorado        5  New Jersey     3
   Columbus        6  Philadelphia   3
   Pittsburgh      3  Toronto        0
   Tampa Bay       3  Detroit        1
   Winnipeg        4  Vancouver      1
   Arizona         4  Chicago        1
   OT  Edmonton        3  Boston         2
   San Jose        5  Buffalo        1
   N-Y Islanders   7  L.A. Kings     2

   NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
   Denver   45  Arizona   10

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U.S. Marshals Service(GATLINBURG, Tenn.) -- Steve Penny, former president of USA Gymnastics, was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly tampering with evidence in the case of disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar.

Penny was arrested by the U.S. Marshals service in Tennessee on a warrant issued by the state of Texas. He was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of tampering with evidence, a felony, on Sept. 28.

He allegedly removed documents from the Karolyi Ranch, the U.S. gymnastics' training facility in Huntsville, Texas, related to Nassar's activity at the gym.

"The indictment further alleges that the removal of the documents was done for the purpose of impairing the ongoing investigation by destroying or hiding the documents," the U.S. Marshals said in a press release. He allegedly ordered the documents be sent to him at USA Gymnastics headquarters in Indianapolis. Those documents have never been recovered, authorities said.

Penny was taken into custody at a cabin in rural Gatlinburg, Tennessee, by the U.S. Marshals and Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force, according to authorities. He is awaiting extradition to Texas.

He faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.

The Karolyi Ranch was operated by Bela Karolyi and wife Marta Karolyi, the two people tasked with selecting and developing athletes for the U.S. national team. It served as the national team's training facility from 2001 until earlier this year. Nassar worked at the facility and several of his accusers said they were abused by him at the facility.

Penny resigned as USA Gymnastics president in March 2017 amid allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar. Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of child molestation, but more than 130 women and girls, including Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, have accused him of assaulting them. Many of those accusers testified at a hearing in January when he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. He pleaded guilty in two other cases — one pertaining to assault and another possession of child pornography — as well.

Rhonda Faehn, Penny's former deputy, testified to the Senate in June that she brought up allegations of misconduct to him and she was told to keep quiet. Penny, who appeared before the same committee, chose to plead the Fifth and not testify.

In a statement, USA Gymnastics said that it had "learned of the charges filed against its former CEO Steve Penny, who resigned in March 2017. We support law enforcement's efforts and have fully cooperated with the investigations by the Texas Rangers, Congress and others, and will continue to do so to help the survivors and our community heal from this tragedy."

USA Gymnastics has been in near-constant turmoil since the Indianapolis Star broke the story in September 2016 of Nassar's abuse of gymnasts under his care, both with the U.S. national team, where he was the team doctor, and at Michigan State University, where he was a faculty member. Nassar had been dismissed from his job with the U.S. national team in 2015, but only said it was done due to "athlete concerns."

After Penny's departure in March 2017, he was replaced by Kerry Perry in November 2017. But Perry's tenure was marked by consistent criticism over the handling of the Nassar scandal as well. She resigned less than a year after being named as Penny's replacement.

Perry was criticized by stars, like Raisman, over her lack of transparency about how the organization planned to protect athletes going forward. She resigned days after she hired Mary Lee Tracy, in part to replace the Karolyis, as the sport's top coach. The hiring of Tracy received condemnation from athletes because she supported Nassar in the immediate wake of accusations against him.

But the neverending parade of presidents didn't end with Perry's ouster.

Just this week, former Congresswoman Mary Bono, who was tasked with replacing Perry as interim president of USA Gymnastics, was forced out for a pair of scandals -- less than a week since her hiring. A day after her hiring, Biles criticized Bono, a Republican, for a photo posted on Twitter in which she was shown blacking out a Nike logo over the company's hiring of Colin Kaepernick as spokesperson. She publicly apologized for the photo.

A few days later, Raisman joined calls for Bono's ouster after discovering that Bono worked for the same law firm that worked with USA Gymnastics during the Nassar scandal and crafted excuses for his absences.

Bono was not directly involved in the law firm's representation of USA Gymnastics, but she stepped down nonetheless on Tuesday.

Penny is one of at least three people arrested in connection with the handling of the Nassar scandal. Debbie Van Horn, a trainer who worked with Nassar, was arrested last month in Walker County, Texas. She has denied charges, according to her lawyer, who spoke to the Houston Chronicle.

William Strampel, the former dean of Michigan State University's osteopathic medical school and boss of Larry Nassar while he was a sports doctor there, was charged March 27 with neglect of duty and criminal sexual conduct. His case will go to trial at a yet-to-be-scheduled date.

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iStock/ThinkstockBY: DR. TAMBETTA OJONG

(NEW YORK) -- Team sports build character, teach discipline and keep your kids healthy, but for some sports, like soccer and football, they could also increase their risk of brain injuries. Helping to prevent these injuries, a new neck collar has shown promising results in protecting the brain.

The specialized collar, developed by researchers at the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, applies pressure to the back of the neck. This pressure allows the artery in the neck to safely backfill the brain with blood, turning the blood into a cushion that makes it less likely for the brain to move upon impact.

The idea for the collar was born out of “biological mimicry,” Dr. David Smith, a visiting research scientist at the Children’s Hospital who led a study that tested the collar, told ABC News.

Essentially, Smith and his colleagues looked to nature to solve a medical issue. “If a woodpecker could repeatedly hit its head and not sustain any head injury, why couldn’t this be applied to humans,” Smith said.

The study involved 75 teen girls ages 14 to 18 who played for two local high school soccer teams. Only one team received the collars, and then they played soccer. Both teams were asked to undergo brain scans at the beginning and end of the season, as well as during the off-season.

The scans showed that while the brains of the team that hadn’t worn the collars showed signs of damage from head impacts, the brains of the team that had worn the collars remained the same.

The results are encouraging considering that even minor impacts over the course of an athlete’s career can have long-lasting effects on their cognitive functioning.

Concussions have emerged as a major health concern across the United States, according to the American Academy of Physicians. Emergency departments report more than a million visits annually for traumatic brain injuries, most of which are concussions.

Women’s soccer is the third most common cause of concussion in the U.S., and it’s estimated that 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year.

There is a debate as to whether the changes shown in the brain scans can result in long-term cognitive decline. However, the areas of the brain that were affected in this study are involved in behavior, personality, expression, decision-making, and long-term memory.

The Academy of Family Physicians states that a concussion is a functional injury rather than a structural one, meaning that it can correlate with symptoms such as changes in sleep, confusion, depression, inability to focus and headache, to name a few. If you’ve experienced a blow to the head and feel some of these symptoms, then see a doctor and ask about concussion.

The study did not account for hormonal fluctuations in the girls, which could affect intracranial pressure. It also didn’t look more deeply into whether or not the observed in the brain led to behavioral or physical symptoms.

That said, if wearing the specialized collar can protect the brain from injuries while athletes continue to enjoy competitive sports, it may be a small price to pay for long-term protection. In the near future, a neck collar may be just another part of your child’s uniform along with cleats and knee pads.

Dr. Tambetta Ojong is a family medicine resident at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.


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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- She's only 3 years old, but LeBron James' daughter Zhuri is already making a name for herself online.

The King has been posting about her a lot recently, whether it be style, her ability to be sassy, or just her doing a "Frozen" duet with dear-old dad.

On Tuesday, the NBA Champion and all-time great wrote, "She controls the music when she rides with me. The Boss aka Baby 'Love is an Open Door' from Frozen soundtrack #MyPrincess."

In the ridiculously adorable clip, little Zhuri sings along with the soundtrack, while dad bobs his head and smiles.

In just about a day, it's gotten more than 5 million views.

But she's not just a good singer! Zhuri wowed at the "Smallfoot" premiere last month, rocking a denim dress on the blue carpet.

Around the same time, James added another post, boasting about his little girl.

"How is my 3 year old this fashionable though?!?! She asked if she could dress herself today for school. Man what!! She’s AMAZING!! #PrincessZ," he wrote.

He's right, how is a 3-year-old so fashionable? Someone call "Project Runway."

Zhuri isn't new to the spotlight though. In 2016, after James won the NBA Finals, he brought her to the media room and the reporters saw how much of a doting father he was.

It's very reminiscent of Riley Curry's rise to fame.

So, while their dads battle it out on the court, Riley and Zhuri will just be hanging out, bringing the cute comic relief.

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