Aaron Hernandez loses endorsement deal amid homicide investigation

Aaron Hernandez's endorsement deal with CytoSport, which makes products like Muscle Milk and other supplements for athletes, was terminated Friday amid the Patriots tight end's involvement in a homicide investigation.
(Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

At least one company yanked an endorsement deal from New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Friday as puzzled family members of a friend found slain a mile from Hernandez’s home sought answers about how he died.

Police have searched in and around Hernandez’s sprawling home in North Attleborough, not far from where the Patriots practice. Amid some media reports that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, a court clerk said that as of Friday afternoon no arrest warrants had been issued in the case. The Bristol County district attorney has not released any information, other than saying the death of semipro football player Odin Lloyd, 27, was being treated as a homicide.

A jogger found Lloyd’s body in an industrial park Monday. Family members said Friday that Lloyd had been dating Hernandez’s fiancee’s sister for about two years. They said the two men were friends who were together the night Lloyd died.


Attleboro District Court clerk magistrate Mark E. Sturdy said three search warrants were issued in the investigation earlier in the week but had not been returned, meaning they were not public. He said no arrest warrants had been filed in state courts by the time court closed at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Patriots spokesman Stacey James has said the team does not anticipate commenting publicly during the police investigation.

CytoSport, a Benicia, Calif.-based company that makes Muscle Milk and other supplements for athletes, said Friday it was ending Hernandez’s endorsement contract, effective immediately, because of the investigation.


Bubba Watson leads Travelers

Bubba Watson shot a 67 to take a two-stroke lead over Patrick Reed and Padraig Harrington after two rounds of the Travelers Championship at Cromwell, Conn.


Watson was at 10-under 130 after two days of play at TPC-River Highlands. Reed and Harrington were at eight under after each shot 66 in the second round.

Four players — including 2007 champion Hunter Mahan — were tied for fourth at seven under.

Ernie Els shot a three-under 69 in the second round of the BMW International Open at Munich, Germany to maintain his one-stroke lead.

The South African made six birdies, a double bogey and a bogey, leaving him at 12-under 132 halfway through the European Tour event.

He is followed by Matthew Baldwin of England (69) and Alexander Levy of France (68).

Craig Stadler birdied five of his first 11 holes to jump into a share of the lead with Duffy Waldorf and Bernhard Langer at five-under-par 67 in the rain-delayed Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club at Glenview, Ill.

There were 23 players left on the course when play on the 54-hole tournament was suspended by darkness.



Mika Miyazato birdied six of 10 holes in the middle of her round to shoot a six-under 65 for the first-round lead at LPGA Tour’s NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers.

She is one shot ahead of So Yeon Ryu and Angela Stanford. Ten golfers are two shots back, including local favorite Stacy Lewis, who played collegiately at Arkansas.


Alain Vigneault was named head coach of the New York Rangers, replacing John Tortorella.

Vigneault brings a welcoming demeanor away from the rink and a more offensive philosophy on it — in contrast with the feisty Tortorella’s way of working in the defensive zone and putting a premium on blocking shots in front of star goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Vigneault, 52, was given a five-year deal. In 11 seasons as an NHL head coach with Montreal and Vancouver, Vigneault is 422-288-35-61 in 806 games.



Lindy Ruff is the new coach of the Dallas Stars. Ruff coached 15 seasons for the Buffalo Sabres before being fired in February, when he was the NHL’s longest active-serving coach with one team.


Jamie Hampton reached the first final of her career when she defeated Caroline Wozniacki, 6-7 (8), 7-5, 6-3, in the Aegon International tournament at Eastbourne, England. She faces Elena Vesnina of Russia in Saturday’s final.

Vesnina beat Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, 6-2, 6-0, in 51 minutes and will be bidding for her second title of the year after winning Hobart in January.

In the men’s semifinals, Feliciano Lopez of Spain defeated Igor Dodig of Croatia, 7-6 (3), 6-1, and Gilles Simon of France beat Andrea Seppi of Italy, 6-4, 6-3.



At the U.S. track and field championships in Des Moines, Iowa, American sprinter Tyson Gay overcame a slow start to win the 100 meters, surging past Justin Gatlin halfway through the race. Gay finished in a time of 9.75 seconds, the fastest in the world this season.

Gay also beat the time put up Friday by Usain Bolt, who clocked 9.94 seconds in the 100 to win the finals of the Jamaica national championships.


New Jersey state police said that a mechanical problem was to blame for the dirt-track racing crash that killed NASCAR driver Jason Leffler.

The state police released some findings from a not-yet-complete report on the June 12 crash at Bridgeport Speedway in Logan Township.

The report finds that a torsion stop came off, causing part of the sprint car’s suspension system to become lodged between a wheel and the steering system. As a result, the report found, Leffler was unable to control the car’s steering as he came out of the fourth turn and spun out, slamming into the concrete wall along the side of the track.


The report does not say how fast Leffler was going, but says cars in the race were averaging 135 mph and hitting 150 mph on straightaways.

Blunt-force neck injuries were cited as his cause of death.

The 37-year-old Long Beach native was a two-time winner on the NASCAR Nationwide Series and a one-time winner in the Truck Series. Leffler, who had a 5-year-old son, raced in both the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 over his 14-year career.


Former All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra was released from a California prison after serving time for bankruptcy fraud.

Dykstra, 50, who had a 12-year career with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was freed, according to federal Bureau of Prisons records, but no other details were available.

Dykstra was sentenced in December to 61/2 months in prison for hiding baseball gloves and other heirlooms from his playing days that were supposed to be part of his bankruptcy filing. He already had served seven months in custody awaiting sentencing.