Thursday links: Ben Garland, Big East, Army baseball, concussion study, J.J. Avila and more

Ben Garland

1st Lt Ben Garland, right, is officially sworn in as a member of the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard by Brig Gen Trulan A. Eyre, 140th wing commander, at the Denver Broncos training facility. (US Presswire photo by Ron Chenoy)

A Thursday tour around the Web for military-themed sports goodness:

Ben Garland update. We promised we’d keep you informed, and here’s the latest: Garland, a first lieutenant, ditched his Denver Broncos uniform Wednesday for some traditional cammies, being sworn in as a member of the Colorado Air National Guard in front of the team’s training facility. Get the whole story from our good friends at USA Today here. Garland will do public relations work for the Guard while trying to make the Broncos as a defensive lineman.

J.J. Avila update. In April, we told you the ex-Naval Academy hoopster and 2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Year was headed to Richmond. But first, a detour: The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Avila will spend a year at a Texas community college — one without a basketball team — to get his academics in order before joining the Spiders. Avila was suspended by the academy in early February and resigned shortly thereafter.

Track Army baseball. The Black Knights (41-13) begin NCAA tournament play tomorrow at 4 p.m. against Virginia, the top seed in their four-team, double-elimination regional played in Charlottesville, Va. Click here for a cool interactive bracket, or follow the Army athletics Twitter feed for all the latest.

Top enlisted visits WCAP. We told you when Army Secretary John McHugh lunched with the Army’s top athletes, so we didn’t want you to miss this report on a recent visit by Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler with members of the World Class Athlete Program. A summary: The sergeant major isn’t familiar with the intricacies of the steeplechase event, he’s appreciative of the efforts of all WCAP members … and Sgt. 1st Class Dremiel Byers, America’s top Greco-Roman wrestling heavyweight, once cut down to 264 pounds for a competition, then weighed 295 pounds the next day. Key quote: After the weight cut, “the wrestling is the easy part.”

Quick hits. Big East TV contract a bonanza for Navy? Maybe not. Researchers studying military headgear look to prep football helmets for answers. Some late changes to the big UFC on Fox 4 card, which will feature former Marine Brian Stann.


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