Sports News

Latest Sports Headlines

33 minutes ago
The NFL logo on the field, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio.
1 hour ago

Indiana football coach Tom Allen gets new 7-year deal with $1 million annual raise

Indiana football coach Tom Allen has agreed to a new seven-year contract through the 2027 season that will pay him an average salary of $4.9 million per year, the school announced Monday. Allen, who was signed through the 2026 season, had an additional year added to his contract after Indiana's Gator Bowl appearance. His average annual salary had been $3.9 million but will climb by $1 million in the new agreement. The increases come in Allen's outside marketing and promotion income, which is added to $500,000 in annual salary and $500,000 in deferred compensation. The 2020 Big Ten Coach of the Year and American Football Coaches Association national coach of the year will make $4.3 million in 2021. His salary will increase by $200,000 per year throughout the contract, topping out at $5.5 million. He will continue to receive an extra year on his contract for every future bowl appearance, at a salary of $100,000 more than the final year of the agreement. Allen, 50, is 24-22 at...
1 hour ago
2 hours ago

Novak Djokovic breaks Roger Federer's record for most weeks as ATP world No. 1

Novak Djokovic has broken Roger Federer's record for most weeks as the ATP world No. 1, holding the top spot for the 311th week in Monday's rankings. Djokovic's record-breaking ranking was guaranteed last month when he won the Australian Open for the ninth time in his career. Djokovic, 33, has held the ATP's top ranking for 36 consecutive weeks since claiming the spot from Rafael Nadal in February 2020, and is in his fifth separate stint as world No. 1. "It really excites me to walk the path of legends and giants of this sport," Djokovic said in a statement released Monday by the ATP. "To know that I have earned my place among them by following my childhood dream is a beautiful confirmation that when you do things out of love and passion, everything is possible." The 18-time Grand Slam champion has finished the season as the world No. 1 six times, tied with Pete Sampras for the most all time. "Novak's many achievements in tennis are nothing short of...
2 hours ago
March 07

Giannis Antetokounmpo, perfect in Team LeBron win, nabs NBA All-Star Game MVP

Thanks to a perfect 16-for-16 performance from the field -- including banking in multiple jump shots -- Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo won his first NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, as Team LeBron cruised to a 170-150 victory over Team Durant on Sunday night in Atlanta. "You know, usually it is closed [on Sundays]," Antetokounmpo said with a smile, when asked about the banked-in jumpers, "but for me, it was open extended hours." According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Antetokounmpo shattered the previous record of most makes without a miss in an All-Star Game, set by Hal Greer when he went 8-for-8 in 1968. But Antetokounmpo said his perfect shooting night wasn't something that was on his mind during the game. "It actually wasn't," he said. "I was just trying to just play. When you're around guys like [ Damian Lillard] and [ Stephen Curry] and Chris Paul, it's just easy. Nobody is worrying about me. I'm...
March 07
March 07

Portland Trail Blazers' Anfernee Simons blows a kiss to rim in winning NBA dunk contest

Portland's  Anfernee Simons was all smiles as he became the first Trail Blazers player to win the NBA dunk contest, which took place during halftime of Sunday night's All-Star Game in Atlanta. Simons bested rookies Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks and Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers to bring home the trophy, which Simons called "a dream come true." Simons won the contest over Toppin in the final round via a new rule called the "Judge's choice." Simons and Toppin had one dunk each in the round, and instead of a score, the five judges selected a name, with Simons receiving three votes to Toppin's two. The contest was judged by five former dunk champions: Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins (1985, 1990), Spud Webb (1986), Dee Brown (1991), Jason Richardson (2002, 2003) and Josh Smith (2005). "Having a chance to come in and be a part of it and win it, it's surreal," Simons said. There was some early controversy when Stanley's first dunk, a...
March 07
March 07

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry wins NBA 3-point contest; Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis takes skills challenge

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry won his second 3-point contest, while  Indiana Pacers forward  Domantas Sabonis outdueled the  Orlando Magic's  Nikola Vucevic in the final round of the skills challenge prior to Sunday's NBA All-Star Game.  Curry scored 28 points in the final round of the 3-point contest, nailing his last "money ball" shot (worth two points) to beat Utah Jazz guard  Mike Conley's total of 27.  "I could hear the temperature rise a little bit,'' Curry said of the reaction from the small crowd allowed in State Farm Arena.  "It was some awesome competition,'' Curry said. "I'm glad I got it done.'' Curry became the seventh player to win multiple 3-point contests -- his first title came in 2015 -- and the first to do so in nonconsecutive contests. Larry Bird (1986-88), Craig Hodges (1990-92), Mark Price (1993-94), Jeff Hornacek (1998, 2000 -- no contest in 1999), Peja Stojakovic (2002-03) and Jason Kapono...
March 07
March 07

Phil Mickelson falls out of top 100 in World Golf Ranking

Phil Mickelson has fallen out of the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time since 1993, when he won the International tournament for his second PGA Tour victory. He stayed in the top 100 for a record 1,425 weeks. Mickelson, 50, who did not play this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, fell to 101 after starting the year at 66. In four official worldwide starts this year, Mickelson has missed two cuts and finished tied for 53rd in the other two events. He also played one PGA Tour Champions event, where world-ranking points are not earned. Mickelson, a 44-time PGA Tour winner who has five major championships and is in the World Golf Hall of Fame, is scheduled to play this week's Players Championship. He first entered the world rankings as an amateur in 1990 when he finished 19th at the Northern Telecom Tucson Open. That put him at 540th in the world. The following year, Mickelson won that tournament as an amateur while a junior at Arizona State. He entered...
March 07
March 07

Payne Stewart's family selling items from late golfer's collection

Tracey Stewart, the widow of PGA Tour golfer Payne Stewart, is selling more than 200 items from her late husband's personal collection with The Golf Auction, available now through March 14. Stewart died in a plane crash in 1999 at the age of 42. He was survived by Tracey and their two children, Aaron and Chelsea, and the family is now sharing some golf artifacts they have been holding onto since Stewart's death. "Over the years so many people have reached out to share how much Payne impacted their lives or the lived of their loved ones," Tracey said in a statement. "I am pleased to share these items as a reminder of how much Payne enjoyed golf, but even more, how much he enjoyed people. I hope these will become treasured mementos that will inspire and encourage people in the same way Payne lived his life." Some of the items for sale include Stewart's player's badge from the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, where Stewart famously made a 15-foot putt on the 18th hole on Sunday to win...
March 07
March 07

Former NBA All-Star forward Blake Griffin agrees to deal with Brooklyn Nets

Six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin has agreed to a deal to join the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season, his agent, Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports, told ESPN on Sunday night. The Nets are using one of their veteran-minimum-contract slots to sign Griffin, sources said. Griffin informed Nets general manager Sean Marks of his decision to join Brooklyn's championship chase on Sunday evening, a reunion of sorts with his former Los Angeles Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan. Griffin had interest from most of the NBA's top playoff contenders and cleared waivers on Sunday night after agreeing to a buyout on the remaining $56.5 million left on his contract with the Detroit Pistons on Friday. The Nets imagine Griffin, 31, as a small-ball center alternative off its bench. Brooklyn has solidified itself as a championship contender with the addition of James Harden to a roster that includes Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Because...
March 07
March 07

Texas Longhorns' Charli Collier, projected top pick, declares for WNBA draft

Texas Longhorns junior Charli Collier declared for the 2021 WNBA draft on Sunday. Collier is the projected No. 1 pick by the Dallas Wings in ESPN's mock draft. Collier, a 6-foot-5 center/forward, is averaging 21 points and 12.2 rebounds this season for the Longhorns (16-8). She is draft-eligible as a junior because she turns 22 this calendar year, in September. "After long consideration, thought and prayer, I've decided to fulfill my lifelong dream and declare for the 2021 WNBA draft," she told ESPN's Holly Rowe. "I feel like it's just time for me to fulfill the next step in my life. You know, it's God's plan. I'm ready." She also announced her intentions via a statement on social media. If Collier is chosen first, she would be the first WNBA No. 1 pick from Texas, and just the second from the Big 12 conference, following Baylor center Brittney Griner in 2013 by the Phoenix Mercury. Collier was ranked No. 2 by ESPN HoopGurlz for the prep class of...
March 07
March 07

Texas Longhorns Charli Collier, projected top pick, declares for WNBA draft

Texas Longhorns junior Charli Collier declared for the 2021 WNBA draft on Sunday. Collier is the projected No. 1 pick by the Dallas Wings in ESPN's mock draft. Collier, a 6-foot-5 center/forward, is averaging 21 points and 12.2 rebounds this season for the Longhorns (16-8). She is draft-eligible as a junior because she turns 22 this calendar year, in September. "After long consideration, thought and prayer, I've decided to fulfill my lifelong dream and declare for the 2021 WNBA draft," she told ESPN's Holly Rowe. "I feel like it's just time for me to fulfill the next step in my life. You know, it's God's plan. I'm ready." She also announced her intentions via a statement on social media. If Collier is chosen first, she would be the first WNBA No. 1 pick from Texas, and just the second from the Big 12 conference, following Baylor center Brittney Griner in 2013 by the Phoenix Mercury. Collier was ranked No. 2 by ESPN HoopGurlz for the prep class of...
March 07
March 07

After yet another double-double, star center Luka Garza finds out his No. 55 will be retired by Iowa basketball

After No. 5 Iowa's 77-73 win over No. 25 Wisconsin on Sunday, the school announced it would retire Luka Garza's No. 55. Garza, a Wooden Award contender who finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds against the Badgers, said he was emotional after Fran McCaffery told him the news after the game. "I honestly didn't expect that at all," Garza said after the game. "I didn't realize that was a plan or that was going to happen. I was just really happy we won the game. For Coach to tell me that, it was a surreal feeling. Time slowed down, as I heard those words." Garza has helped Iowa, which has won seven of its past eight games, build key momentum entering this week's Big Ten tournament. The win also solidified the 3-seed in the Big Ten tournament for the Hawkeyes. Garza, a 6-foot-11 big man, has made 43% of his 3-pointers this season. "It was a pretty emotional moment for both of us," McCaffery said. "Incredibly heartwarming for me to watch what he's accomplished." Sunday's...
March 07
March 07

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker hopes Tiger Woods can be part of team

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Steve Stricker wore red and black in honor of Tiger Woods on Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and said he hopes to have his longtime friend at the Ryder Cup this fall "in one way, shape or form.'' But the U.S. Ryder Cup captain would not go so far as to say this early that Woods would be a vice captain when the United States Ryder Cup team takes on Europe at Whistling Straits in September. Woods is recovering from multiple serious injuries suffered in a single-vehicle crash in Southern California on Feb. 23. "I'm not going to go down that road now,'' Stricker said. "Obviously we're all pulling for him. We're thankful that he's alive. I don't know who said it, but that his kids continue to have a father. Something even more tragic could have come from that. "I'd love to have him around [at the Ryder Cup]. I'm hoping in one way, shape or form. But it's too early to kind of commit to anything.'' Stricker has two vice captain openings after...
March 07
March 07

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons out of All-Star Game due to contact tracing

Philadelphia 76ers teammates  Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been ruled out of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, the league has announced. The two had contact with a barber who has since tested positive for the coronavirus, sources told ESPN. The barber, located in the Philadelphia area, tested positive after undergoing additional testing Sunday because of an inconclusive positive test, sources said.  Embiid is on Team Durant, while Simmons is on Team LeBron. Though sources said there are no plans to replace Embiid and Simmons on the All-Star Game rosters at this point, New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will take Embiid's place in the starting lineup for Team Durant. Both Embiid and Simmons traveled to Atlanta on Saturday night in private planes and have remained in quarantine, which was the protocol for every All-Star participant. The NBA has feared an outbreak involving the league's best players in Atlanta and has significant...
March 07
March 07

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons out for All-Star Game due to contact tracing

Philadelphia 76ers teammates  Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been ruled out of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, the league has announced. The two had contact with a barber who has since tested positive for the coronavirus, sources told ESPN. The barber, located in the Philadelphia area, tested positive after undergoing additional testing Sunday because of an inconclusive positive test, sources said.  Embiid is on Team Durant, while Simmons is on Team LeBron. There are no plans to replace them in the All-Star Game at this point, a source told ESPN. Both Embiid and Simmons traveled to Atlanta on Saturday night in private planes and have remained in quarantine, which was the protocol for every All-Star participant. The NBA has feared an outbreak involving the league's best players in Atlanta and has significant precautions in place to isolate the players on the way in and out of Atlanta for the game.
March 07
March 07

Sources: Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons uncertain for All-Star Game due to contact tracing

Philadelphia 76ers teammates  Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are uncertain for Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta after having contact with a barber, who potentially has contracted the coronavirus, sources told ESPN. The barber, located in the Philadelphia area, tested positive for the coronavirus after undergoing additional testing Sunday because of an inconclusive positive test, sources said.  The league must make a decision still, but it is highly unlikely Embiid and Simmons will be cleared to play today. Sixers coach Doc Rivers, who is coaching Team Durant in the All-Star Game, said it was "not looking great" that either would play on Sunday night. Both Embiid and Simmons traveled to Atlanta on Saturday night in private planes and have remained in quarantine, which was the protocol for every All-Star participant. The NBA has feared an outbreak involving the league's best players in Atlanta and taken significant precautions to isolate the players on the way in...
March 07
March 07

Kobe Bryant rookie card, in 'pristine condition,' sells for nearly $1.8 million at auction

A Kobe Bryant rookie card sold for $1.795 million late Saturday on Goldin Auctions, an online auction house and repository for sports memorabilia, making it one of the most expensive basketball cards ever sold. The "1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractors #138 Kobe Bryant Rookie Card -- BGS PRISTINE/Black Label 10" is just one of two in the world "at its level of perfection," according to Goldin Auctions. The card's condition report had perfect 10s across the board, qualifying it for the prestigious "black label" recognition. Goldin Auctions had not released the name of the buyer as of Sunday morning. Bryant was one of the most revered athletes in the world before his death last year. The five-time NBA champion died with his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 26, 2020, at the age of 41. Within weeks after his death, Bryant cards were everywhere online, increasing in value by 600%, according to eBay sales data. "Kobe Bryant was one of...
March 07
March 07

Jan Blachowicz wins, halts Israel Adesanya's bid to become 2-division champion

LAS VEGAS -- Israel Adesanya's meteoric rise to UFC superstardom hit a rather large obstacle Saturday night. Jan Blachowicz beat the previously undefeated Adesanya by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45) to retain his light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 259. Adesanya, the UFC middleweight champion, was attempting to become just the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold two titles concurrently. "It didn't go exactly the way I wanted it to go, but dare to be great," Adesanya said. "You know, the critics are the ones on the sideline, but I'm the one putting it on the line." Adesanya added: "If I was gonna lose to anyone, I'm glad I lost to him. Credit to him. He's a great champion." The story of the fight leading in was that Blachowicz would have a significant size advantage. Adesanya tipped the scales at 200.5 pounds during Friday's weigh-in, 4.5 pounds under the 205-pound limit for a light heavyweight title fight. Blachowicz weighed 205 pounds and said he...
March 07
March 07

Los Angeles Dodgers' Trevor Bauer pitches shutout inning vs. San Diego Padres with one eye closed

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Trevor Bauer immersed himself into a budding rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres with one eye closed. The Dodgers' prized offseason acquisition navigated through his first inning against the Padres on Saturday afternoon by pitching mostly with his right eye closed, a training method he said he uses frequently as a means to make himself uncomfortable. "I figured if they can't score off me with one eye open, it's gonna be difficult to score off me with two eyes open," Bauer said after throwing three scoreless innings from the Dodgers' facility. "Just having a little bit of fun." Bauer didn't go into specifics for why he occasionally chooses to keep an eye closed, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts mentioned that it had something to do with recalibrating his command. "I think there might have been one curveball I think he did with both eyes closed," Roberts said while holding his laughter. "I don't know, but...
March 07
March 07

Aljamain Sterling wins UFC bantamweight title after Petr Yan disqualified for illegal knee

LAS VEGAS -- Aljamain Sterling unhooked the UFC belt from around his waist and let it fall to the Octagon mat with a thud. Sterling then got on his knees and put his head to the canvas. It was not the behavior of someone who had just achieved a longtime dream of becoming UFC champion. But those were the extremely bizarre circumstances of Saturday's UFC bantamweight title fight at UFC 259. Sterling won the title by disqualification at 4 minutes, 29 seconds of the fourth round after  Petr Yan landed an illegal knee to Sterling's head. The ringside physician determined that Sterling, who was visibly rocked by the knee, could not fight on. Referee Mark Smith ruled the foul intentional, making the result a disqualification. Sterling was transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons, according to the UFC.  "Everything I worked for to this point, and to have the fight go like that," Sterling said. "I thought the fight was very close; I thought I was down two...
March 07
March 07

Amanda Nunes submits Megan Anderson via armbar in first round to defend women's featherweight title

LAS VEGAS --  Amanda Nunes, the most dominant female fighter in mixed martial arts history, did her thing again on Saturday in an absolute thrashing of No. 1 featherweight contender Megan Anderson. Nunes (21-4) forced Anderson (10-5) to tap to an armbar at 2:03 of the opening round of their featherweight title fight at UFC 259 inside the Apex. In all likelihood, she could have finished the fight any way she wanted. She rocked Anderson with a right hand in the opening minute, a shot that had the challenger on skates. Anderson was so hurt, she actually shot a takedown on Nunes, which led to a finish on the ground. With the victory, Nunes defended her 145-pound title for the second time. She is also still in control of the 135-pound bantamweight title. She is one of only three champions in UFC history to defend titles in multiple weight classes, and she holds UFC records for the women's divisions in wins (14), finishes (10) and wins in title fights (9). "The plan was...
March 07
March 06

Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson suspended seven games by NHL for hit on Boston Bruins' Brandon Carlo

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson was suspended seven games on Saturday for his hit that sent  Boston Bruins defenseman  Brandon Carlo to the hospital. Under terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Wilson will forfeit $311,781.61. The NHL suspended Wilson under its rule against boarding, saying that Carlo was in a defenseless position. In its video explaining the suspension, the NHL acknowledged the validity of the Capitals' argument that players can deliver legal hits on vulnerable opponents. However, it was the direct contact with Carlo's head that led to the suspension. "While there are aspects of this hit that may skirt the line between suspendable and non-suspendable, it is the totality of the circumstances that caused this play to merit supplemental discipline. What separates this hit from others is the direct and significant contact to a defenseless player's face and head, causing a violent impact...
March 06
March 06

Bryson DeChambeau gets 'chills' after nearly driving Bay Hill's par-5 6th hole

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Bryson DeChambeau has relished the opportunity to try to drive the green at the Bay Hill Club's par-5 sixth hole and celebrated as if he had done so Saturday during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. DeChambeau's drive, which cut across a huge lake, ended up 50 yards to the right of the green but traveled 370 yards and rolled through the fairway and into the rough. The hole measures 555 yards, and no player in the field has hit his tee shot that close to the green. He ended up hitting a wedge shot from the rough to the front of the green and then two-putting for an easy birdie from about 35 feet. "I felt like a kid again, for sure. It was exciting," DeChambeau said after a 68 left him one shot behind 54-hole leader Lee Westwood. "Especially when you pull it off. It was almost like winning a tournament. I got the same chills and feeling when I saw it clear and there was no splash. I gave the fans what they wanted." DeChambeau, the...
March 06
March 06

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says 'most players' will get COVID-19 vaccine, but aren't required to do so

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday the NBA will not require anyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but he believes "most players" will ultimately choose to do so. "We're seeing this now, both in the actual numbers of people getting vaccinated in the United States and opinion polls, that people are becoming more willing to get vaccinated," Silver said during his All-Star Weekend virtual news conference from Atlanta. "I think, as to those who have been hesitators, as tens of millions of people now in the United States have gotten the vaccine, that people are seeing, at least in the short term, what the impact is, and they're hearing about how incredibly effective these vaccines are. "My hunch is that most players ultimately will choose to get vaccinated. They have to make personal decisions at the end of the day -- and I take that very seriously, and I take concerns very seriously. But my sense is most [players] will, ultimately, decide it is in their interest to get...
March 06
March 06

Vegas Golden Knights scramble to switch lodging after a San Jose landmark hotel declares bankruptcy

In the midst of a two-game set against the Sharks, the Vegas Golden Knights had to scramble and switch hotels in San Jose because the league's designated place of lodging suddenly filed for bankruptcy, according to multiple reports. Citing financial difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairmont Hotel, a landmark in downtown San Jose, closed its doors, but said it will reopen and resume operations in two to three months, according to the San Jose Mercury News. That puts a dent in the NHL's plans to house visiting teams in San Jose, and the Golden Knights, not long after their 5-4 overtime win over the Sharks on Friday night, had to gather their belongings and switch their place of lodging. "It was a surreal experience," Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer told the Las Vegas Sun. "Hopefully this is the end of the COVID year, but it was almost the topping on the cake for what the last year has been for everybody in the world. Just another thing thrown at...
March 06
March 06

Jake Odorizzi reaches 2-year deal with Houston Astros, source says

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi and the Houston Astros have agreed to a two-year deal with a player option, a source familiar with the deal told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Saturday. The Astros have already lost starter Framber Valdez for an indefinite period of time after the left-hander suffered a fractured left ring finger during his spring training debut on Tuesday. Houston also is without ace Justin Verlander, who likely will miss the entire season after having Tommy John surgery on Sept. 30. Odorizzi will join a rotation that likely includes Zack Greinke, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Urquidy. After accepting a one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer from the Minnesota Twins last offseason, Odorizzi, who turns 31 on March 27, was limited to four starts in 2020 due to bruised ribs and a blister, going 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA in 13⅔ innings. His lost season began when he was drilled in the side by a...
March 06
March 06

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid donates $100,000 in All-Star winnings to homeless shelters

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has committed to giving his winnings from Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta to several Philadelphia homeless shelters, meaning $100,000 will go to the various organizations. Later Saturday, the Sixers said they will donate an additional $100,000 to the same groups. "So many have fallen on such hard times during the pandemic," Embiid said in a statement released by the team announcing his donation. "I felt it was important to provide more support for individuals and families struggling with homelessness and food insecurity. I'm continually grateful for all of the support that Philadelphia and the fans have given me not just around All-Star but all my years in the league. I will continue to help in any way I can." Embiid, who is playing for Team Durant in what will be his fourth All-Star appearance, is donating to Project HOME, Sunday Breakfast Mission and Youth Service Inc. His donation will provide 15,000 meals; 4,000 essential...
March 06
March 06

UConn Huskies star Paige Bueckers only freshman on Wooden Award top-15 list for women's college basketball

UConn's Paige Bueckers is the only freshman among the 15 women's college basketball players on the Wooden Award national ballot, which was released Saturday. South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston and Stanford guard Haley Jones were the only other underclassmen on the list. Stanford was the only school with multiple representatives, as senior guard Kiana Williams also was included in the top 15. The Pac-12 led the way with four players on the national ballot, including conference player of the year Aari McDonald of Arizona and fellow senior Michaela Onyenwere of UCLA. The SEC and Big 12 each had three players on the ballot. Louisville's Dana Evans, who earlier this week was named the ACC player of the year for the second consecutive season, is one of seven seniors in the top 15. Kentucky's Rhyne Howard, the SEC player of the year for the second season in a row, is one of five juniors. Bueckers has led UConn to a 21-1 record and the No. 1...
March 06
March 06

Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson gets in-person hearing for hit on Boston Bruins' Brandon Carlo

Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson will have a hearing with the NHL department of player safety for a hit that sent Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo to the hospital on Friday night. While there are no "in-person" hearings due to COVID-19, Wilson was technically offered one on Saturday. While phone hearings typically indicate that the NHL is considering a suspension of five games or fewer, an "in-person" hearing means it's considering one of a greater length. Carlo was released from the hospital Saturday, after spending the night. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Carlo was back home and did not attend practice, the day after the game. Wilson is the NHL's player-safety lightning rod. From September 2017 to October 2018, he was suspended four times for illegal hits in a 105-game span, culminating in a 20-game suspension for a hit to the head of St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist that was eventually reduced to 14 games by an arbitrator. With...
March 06
March 06

UConn Huskies star Paige Bueckers only freshman on Wooden Award top 15 list for women's college basketball

UConn's Paige Bueckers is the only freshman among the 15 women's college basketball players on the Wooden Award national ballot, which was released Saturday. South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston and Stanford guard Haley Jones were the only other underclassmen on the list. Stanford was the only school with multiple representatives, as senior guard Kiana Williams also was included in the top 15. The Pac-12 led the way with four players on the national ballot, including conference player of the year Aari McDonald of Arizona and fellow senior Michaela Onyenwere of UCLA. The SEC and Big 12 each had three players on the ballot. Louisville's Dana Evans, who earlier this week was named the ACC player of the year for the second consecutive season, is one of seven seniors in the top 15. Kentucky's Rhyne Howard, the SEC player of the year for the second season in a row, is one of five juniors. Bueckers has led UConn to a 21-1 record and the No. 1...
March 06
March 06

Iowa's Luka Garza, Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham among finalists for men's basketball's Wooden Award

The national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award -- awarded to college basketball's top player -- was revealed Saturday, with 15 players including Iowa's  Luka Garza and Oklahoma State's  Cade Cunningham among those featured on the list. Garza, the runner-up for the Wooden Award last season to Obi Toppin, has delivered on his status as the Wooden front-runner throughout the 2020-21 campaign. The 6-foot-11 center enters the final weekend of the regular season averaging 23.9 points per game, best in the Big Ten, to go along with 8.4 rebounds per contest. Garza's fifth-ranked Hawkeyes have spent most of the season in the AP top 10 and are a No. 2 seed in Joe Lunardi's most recent NCAA tournament projection heading into Sunday's regular-season finale with Wisconsin.  Also in the mix for the award is Cunningham, whose sensational freshman season has helped establish him as a prime candidate for the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft. The...
March 06
March 06

Claressa Shields routs Marie-Eve Dicaire, becomes two-division undisputed champ

FLINT, Mich. -- Claressa Shields wanted to make history on Friday night on multiple levels. The first part she handled before she even stepped in the ring, headlining an all-women's pay-per-view card. The second part she took care of in the ring in a way similar to all of her fights before. Shields defeated Marie-Eve Dicaire by unanimous decision to become the first boxer in the four-belt era (since 2004), male or female, to be an undisputed champion in two divisions. Shields retained her WBC and WBO junior middleweight titles while claiming Dicaire's IBF crown and the vacant WBA world title. "I did it," Shields said in the ring after the fight, which marked the first time in 20 years a women's boxing match was the main event of a pay-per-view. All three judges scored the fight 100-90, a clean sweep for the fighter who calls herself the greatest of all time. Shields landed 116 of 409 punches, and Dicaire landed 31 of 263. Shields landed double-digit punches in seven of the 10...
March 06
March 06

Liberty Flames make NCAA men's basketball tournament even before playing in Atlantic Sun finale

Liberty will face North Alabama in the Atlantic Sun tournament championship game Sunday, but it already has clinched a spot in the NCAA men's basketball tournament even before stepping on the court. The Flames beat Stetson 77-64 in the semifinals Friday in Jacksonville, Florida, and since North Alabama -- a school transitioning to Division I athletics -- is ineligible for the NCAA tournament, Liberty was granted the league's automatic berth.  North Alabama joined the Atlantic Sun and commenced its move from Division II to Division I in the 2018-19 season. Per NCAA rules, a Division II program making the jump to Division I cannot compete in the NCAA tournament until it has completed the four-year transition requirement. The potential scenario that unfolded for Liberty was anticipated entering the tournament, but most assumed the conference's regular-season champion ultimately would have to go through a different ineligible team -- Bellarmine, not North Alabama,...
March 06
March 06

Liberty Flames make NCAA men's tournament before even playing in Atlantic Sun finale

Liberty will face North Alabama in the Atlantic Sun tournament championship game Sunday, but it already has clinched a spot in the NCAA men's basketball tournament before even stepping on the court. The Flames beat Stetson in the semifinals Friday in Jacksonville, Florida, and since North Alabama -- a school transitioning to Division I athletics -- is ineligible for the NCAA tournament, Liberty was granted the league's automatic berth.  North Alabama joined the Atlantic Sun and commenced its move from Division II to Division I in the 2018-19 season. Per NCAA rules, a Division II program making the jump to Division I cannot compete in the NCAA tournament until it has completed the four-year transition requirement. The potential scenario that unfolded for Liberty was anticipated entering the tournament, but most assumed the conference's regular-season champion ultimately would have to go through a different ineligible team -- Bellarmine, not North Alabama, which...
March 06
March 05

Boston Bruins' Bruce Cassidy calls Tom Wilson's shot on Brandon Carlo 'a predatory hit'

Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy ripped Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson for what he called "a predatory hit" on defenseman Brandon Carlo in Friday night's game at TD Garden. Carlo went down after Wilson went hands-high to his head in the corner behind the Boston net, smashing the defenseman's head into the glass with 90 seconds left in the first period. Carlo absorbed a cross-check from Jakub Vrana on his way to the ice and remained there for several minutes. Cassidy said Carlo left the arena in an ambulance and went to a hospital but could not confirm that he suffered a concussion. "Clearly looked to me like he got him right in the head. A defenseless player, a predatory hit from a player that's done that before," Cassidy said of Wilson. "I don't understand why there wasn't a penalty called on the ice. They huddled up, but I did not get an explanation why." During his eight-year career with the Capitals, Wilson has been one of the most...
March 05
March 05

Arizona Wildcats men's basketball faces allegations of five Level I rules violations

The NCAA has charged  Arizona with five Level I rules violation allegations, including two alleged instances of academic misconduct within the men's basketball program, according to a notice of allegations the university released to ESPN on Friday through an open records request. Arizona released the notice of allegations in response to a Maricopa County judge's order issued Monday. The school had denied requests from ESPN and other media outlets last fall to release the record, and the network sued in January. Among the charges, former Wildcats assistant coaches Emanuel "Book" Richardson and Mark Phelps are charged with violating the principles of ethical conduct, engaging in preenrollment academic misconduct and/or providing an impermissible recruiting inducement "when they knowingly arranged for false academic transcripts for two then men's basketball prospective student-athletes." Among the Level I allegations, the NCAA charged men's basketball coach Sean Miller for...
March 05
March 05

California to allow limited return of fans to MLB parks, other outdoor sporting events

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California on Friday lifted some coronavirus restrictions on outdoor sports and entertainment venues, clearing the way for fans to attend games on Major League Baseball's Opening Day and for theme parks like Disneyland to reopen for the first time in more than a year. The rules, announced Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration, take effect April 1, but they apply only to people living in California. Baseball teams, event organizers and theme parks are not allowed to sell tickets to anyone living out of state as public health officials try to limit mixing while continuing to roll out coronavirus vaccinations. The San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's all announced they will have fans in the stands for Opening Day on April 1. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants both start their seasons on the road and said they would announce their plans later. Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's top public...
March 05
March 05

Kansas Jayhawks place football coach Les Miles on leave after conduct at LSU investigated

Kansas has placed head football coach Les Miles on administrative leave and the university will conduct a full review to determine the appropriate next steps on his future, Jayhawks athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement Friday night. The decision came after reports of Miles' conduct while he coached at LSU in 2013 were made public this week.  "Even though the allegations against him occurred at LSU, we take these matters very seriously at KU," Long said in the statement. "Now that we have access to this information, we will take the coming days to fully review the material and to see if any additional information is available. I do not want to speculate on a timeline for our review because it is imperative we do our due diligence." On Saturday, Miles' attorney Peter Ginsberg described Kansas' decision to put Miles on leave as being based on "media blowback" and categorized it as being "disturbing and unfair." "Bending to the winds of media blowback, Kansas has now...
March 05
March 05

Drake Bulldogs reach MVC men's basketball semifinals after game vs. Northern Iowa Panthers canceled

Friday's Missouri Valley Conference quarterfinal men's basketball game between Drake and Northern Iowa was canceled, the league announced. Drake, currently on the bubble for the NCAA tournament, automatically advanced to the semifinals in St. Louis. The league tweeted its announcement, later saying that Northern Iowa had a positive COVID-19 test result Thursday night among Tier I personnel, which consists of student-athletes, coaches, managers and staff. Subsequent contract tracing left them without enough players to compete Friday.  It's a particularly notable decision due to Drake's status on the bubble. The Bulldogs, the 2-seeds in the conference tournament, entered Friday as one of the "last four byes" in Joe Lunardi's latest bracket, with the ESPN analyst saying Drake needed to win Friday's quarterfinal and likely Saturday's semifinal to remain in the at-large discussion. The Bulldogs will face Missouri State in a Saturday semifinal. It marked the second...
March 05
March 05

Kansas Jayhawks place football coach Les Miles on administrative leave

Kansas has placed head football coach Les Miles on administrative leave and the university will conduct a full review to determine the appropriate next steps on his future, Jayhawks athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement Friday night. The decision came after reports into Miles' conduct while coaching at LSU in 2013 were made public this week.  "Even though the allegations against him occurred at LSU, we take these matters very seriously at KU," Long said in the statement. "Now that we have access to this information, we will take the coming days to fully review the material and to see if any additional information is available. I do not want to speculate on a timeline for our review because it is imperative we do our due diligence." Mike DeBord, who was hired last month as Kansas' offensive coordinator, will oversee the football program with Miles on leave, sources told ESPN. Miles was not in the KU football offices Friday. The Jayhawks hired him in November 2018,...
March 05
March 05

Denver Broncos placing franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons

The Denver Broncos are placing the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons for the second consecutive season, it was announced Friday. Simmons, who was poised to become an unrestricted free agent, becomes the first player to be tagged this offseason. The Broncos now have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. "Designating Justin with the franchise tag is a procedural move that allows us to continue working on a long-term deal," general manager George Paton said in a statement Friday. We are completely focused on making sure Justin remains a big part of the Denver Broncos for many years to come.'' NFL teams have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to place the franchise tag on their most valuable player. Simmons, the Broncos' third-round pick in the 2016 draft, played on the franchise player tag in 2020, worth $11.4 million. He finished with 96 tackles and five interceptions. It was his third consecutive 90-tackle season. He has consistently been an active player in...
March 05
March 05

Mark Pavelich, member of 'Miracle on Ice' Olympic hockey team, found dead

Mark Pavelich, a member of the "Miracle on Ice" 1980 Olympic hockey team, was found dead at a treatment facility in Minnesota, USA Hockey confirmed on Friday. The cause of death was not immediately known. Pavelich was 63. "We are saddened to hear about the passing of 1980 Olympic gold medalist Mark Pavelich," USA Hockey tweeted. "We extend our deepest condolences to Mark's family & friends. Forever a part of hockey history."   The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune first reported details about Pavelich's death. According to the newspaper, police were called to Pavelich's residence at the facility at about 8:30 a.m. local time on Thursday where he was found dead. He was last seen on Wednesday at about 8 p.m. at the facility, where he was receiving mental health treatment. Pavelich was living at the facility after a court ruled he was unfit to stand trial for an August 2019 assault on his neighbor. Pavelich was charged with four felony counts for the assault, which left the victim...
March 05
March 05

Detroit Pistons, Blake Griffin agree to contract buyout

Six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin has agreed to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons and will become an unrestricted free agent, the team announced Friday. The Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are expected to be among the teams Griffin will be considering for his next stop, sources tell ESPN. Griffin, 31, is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams, sources said. "Blake has been a great representative for our franchise and for the city of Detroit," owner Tom Gores said in a statement Friday. "His work ethic and his approach to the game contributed a lot to our culture. He has been a consummate pro and we wish him continued success. "I'm grateful for everything he did for our team and for our community." Finding a trade for Griffin -- who was owed a remaining $36.6 million this season and $39 million in 2021-22 prior to the buyout --...
March 05
March 05

District attorney declines to charge Denver Broncos LB Von Miller after investigation

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller will not face criminal charges after an investigation by the Parker (Colorado) Police Department earlier this year, according to the district attorney's office for the 18th Judicial District. The office declined to file charges "based on our review of information that is currently available," according to a statement Friday. The district attorney's office said the case did not meet the standards of probable cause of admissible evidence "to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the decision to charge is in the interests of justice.'' The office said it would not comment further on an investigation "in which there was never a citation, arrest or filing.'' Police in Parker, a suburb southeast of Denver, had acknowledged that Miller was the subject of an investigation. Miller has not publicly commented on any part of the investigation, nor has he responded to requests for comment.  Neither...
March 05
March 05

No charges filed against Denver Broncos LB Von Miller

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller will not face charges in regards to an investigation by the Parker Police Department, the district attorney's office said in a statement Friday.  Police in Parker, Colorado, submitted a criminal case against Miller but the district attorney in the 18th Judicial District declined to file charges. Police confirmed that Miller was the subject of an investigation back in January but declined to specify for what.  Miller's attorney, Harvey Steinberg, was unavailable for comment. Miller missed the 2020 season after he suffered an ankle injury in practice just days before the opener. He has an option clause in his contract that if the Broncos pick up would guarantee $7 million of his $17.5 million base salary and engage the final year of a six-year, $114.5 million deal he signed in 2016. Broncos general manager George Paton said Thursday that the team wants Miller back for the 2021 season, but that they were still waiting to hear more about the...
March 05
March 05

Denver Broncos placing franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons, source says

The Denver Broncos are placing the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons for the second consecutive season, it was announced Friday. Simmons, who was poised to become an unrestricted free agent, becomes the first player to be tagged this offseason. The Broncos now have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. "Designating Justin with the franchise tag is a procedural move that allows us to continue working on a long-term deal," general manager George Paton said in a statement Friday. We are completely focused on making sure Justin remains a big part of the Denver Broncos for many years to come.'' NFL teams have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to place the franchise tag on their most valuable player. Simmons, the Broncos' third-round pick in the 2016 draft, played on the franchise player tag in 2020, worth $11.4 million. He finished with 96 tackles and five interceptions. It was his third consecutive 90-tackle season. He has consistently been an active player in...
March 05
March 05

Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter denies abuse allegations from 2019

Calgary Flames coach Darryl Sutter denied allegations made by former NHL winger Daniel Carcillo that he saw Sutter kick a player on the bench and mentally abuse another player who was suffering from a concussion during his time coaching the  Los Angeles Kings. Sutter was hired as the new head coach of the Flames on Thursday. Carcillo played 26 games with the Kings in 2013-14 when Sutter was the head coach in Los Angeles. In November 2019, Carcillo claimed that he saw Sutter kick a player in the lower back on the bench and that the coach berated Kings defenseman Matt Greene out of the dressing room before a team meeting, specifically because Greene had a concussion.   "Sutter said, I quote, 'what the f--- are you doing here? I don't want your negative energy in here. You're injured. Get out,'" Carcillo told the Global News back in 2019. His accusations were not corroborated at the time, and Sutter did not comment on them. Sutter was asked...
March 05
March 05

Investigation into LSU football reveals firing recommended for coach Les Miles in 2013

Former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva recommended in 2013 that Les Miles be fired as head coach of the football program after accusations of inappropriate behavior with female student workers, according to a scathing investigative report released Friday that detailed systemic failures by LSU to appropriately report incidents of athletic-related sexual misconduct and abuse. According to the investigation by Husch Blackwell, Alleva sent an email on June 21, 2013, to LSU's legal counsel and incoming LSU president F. King Alexander. Alleva wrote, "one more time I want us to think about which scenario is worse for LSU. Explaining why we let him go or explaining why we let him stay." "I believe he is guilty of insubordination, inappropriate behavior, putting the university, athletic dept and football program at great risk," Alleva wrote in the email, which was included in the report. "I think we have cause. I specifically told him not to text, call or be alone with any student workers...
March 05
March 05

Aaron Boone better with pacemaker, hopes to return to New York Yankees this weekend

TAMPA - New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he "can't believe" the improvement to his health after having surgery Wednesday to implant a pacemaker, and that he would have rejoined the club on Friday if not for COVID protocols. "I feel great. I can't believe how good I feel," Boone said in a videoconference call ahead of the Yankees-Tigers exhibition game Friday at Steinbrenner Field. "It makes me really glad that I got this done because, certainly in the last couple of months, I have not felt anywhere close to how I felt this morning. Really excited about it; excited to get back." Boone addressed the media for the first time since taking an immediate medical leave of absence to undergo the procedure after symptoms of lightheadedness, low energy and shortness of breath over several weeks. Further testing indicated he had a low heart rate, necessitating the pacemaker. He underwent surgery on Wednesday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa and was released Thursday. "I can...
March 05
March 05

Israel Adesanya much lighter than Jan Blachowicz for light heavyweight title bout at UFC 259

LAS VEGAS -- Israel Adesanya will be significantly lighter than Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, although not by as much as he indicated earlier this week. Adesanya weighed 200.5 pounds Friday morning at the official UFC 259 weigh-ins at the UFC Apex. He didn't strip down, as athletes usually do. He just wore sweats, and he had a cornerman bring him a box of pizza afterward. No one has ever weighed as light as Adesanya did Friday and won the UFC light heavyweight title, per ESPN Stats & Information research. Fighters who weighed in lower than 202 pounds are 0-2. On Saturday, the UFC middleweight champion is moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight title against champion Blachowicz. Earlier in the week, Adesanya told ESPN's Ariel Helwani that he could weigh as little as 193 pounds at weigh-ins. That was not the case. But Blachowicz weighed right at the 205-pound light heavyweight limit for a title fight and told ESPN he'd weigh about 220 pounds Saturday. Adesanya...
March 05

Suggested Interests