Patriots sign OL Asper, TE Brodine

The New England Patriots signed offensive lineman Mark Asper and tight end Mason Brodine on Thursday while releasing offensive lineman Harland Gunn.

Asper, 29, a sixth-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2012, played in one game for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012 and six games for the Bills in 2013. He also has spent time on the practice squad of the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins.

Brodine, 27, spent the 2012 and the 2013 seasons on the St. Louis practice squad and was on injured reserve last season.

Gunn, 25, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots from Atlanta on Monday. He had spent the past three seasons with Atlanta, playing in 13 games.

Sea Dogs’ Goodwill night set Aug. 12

PORTLAND — The Portland Sea Dogs have partnered with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England to host Goodwill Night and Donation Drive at Hadlock Field on Wednesday, Aug. 12 when the Sea Dogs take on the Erie SeaWolves at 7 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to bring bags of gently used clothing, books and other household items to Hadlock Field to donate to Goodwill. Goodwill will have a donation center at Hadlock Field to collect the items. For a list of acceptable donations, please visit Goodwill’s website:

Donations help fund Goodwill services that strengthen local communities by getting people back to work and receiving the support they need to lead more stable lives.

Vanderbilt football team apologizes for tweet

Vanderbilt University’s football team apologized for tweeting on Thursday “we don’t need your permission,” a phrase that raised concerns about its attitude toward sexual assault two years after four former players were first accused of rape.

The full tweet, which has since been removed from the team’s Twitter account, read: “We are relentless, tough and intelligent and …” above a graphic that read, “We don’t need your permission.”

“We apologize for today’s tweet. It’s not a comment about sexual assault. Sex without permission is always wrong and not accepted,” the team later said on its account.

Former Vanderbilt football players Cory Batey, Brandon Vandenburg, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie were charged with raping an unconscious woman in June 2013.

Batey and Vandenburg were convicted of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery in January but the conviction was set aside because a juror had fail to disclose that he was himself a rape victim, according to court documents. Prosecutors have said they would ask for a new trial.

The other two ex-players are awaiting trial.

Warriors-Cavs to face off on Christmas Day

A rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals is expected on Christmas Day when the Golden State Warriors play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

ESPN reported Thursday that the game between the defending champions and runner-up, which will feature stars LeBron James and Stephen Curry, is tentatively set.

The game will not be official until the NBA releases its 2015-16 schedule next week. The Christmas Day slate also is expected to include a Miami Heat-New Orleans Pelicans matchup, the Miami Herald reported earlier.

The defending NBA champions are now guaranteed a home game on Christmas after James complained when he was with the Heat that Miami had to play on the road for the holiday.