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2 hours ago

Jim Harbaugh to give all bonus money to Michigan Wolverines athletic department staffers who had pay cut due to COVID-19

Jim Harbaugh will donate any bonus money earned from his contract this season to University of  Michigan athletic department employees who had their pay reduced due to COVID-19 issues. Harbaugh said on the "Inside Michigan Football" radio show that he and his wife, Sarah, would give the money back no matter the amount in order for it to be distributed within the department. The Michigan athletic department implemented salary reductions of 5-10% for most of its employees in 2020 to help offset revenue loss from the pandemic as well as salary freezes. The way Harbaugh's contract is constructed, he has the ability to earn bonuses up to $3.475 million. That includes $500,000 for winning the Big Ten East, which the Wolverines did on Saturday by beating rival Ohio State. Harbaugh would trigger $1 million if Michigan wins the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday against Iowa, and another $500,000 if it makes the College Football Playoff semifinal. Any employee who took a...
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2 hours ago

Lincoln Riley calls landing USC job 'surreal,' says leaving Oklahoma was tough but 'right thing'

All Lincoln Riley had to do was say yes, take a three-hour flight, change the shade on his red tie -- from crimson to cardinal -- and he was suddenly in sunny, 75-degree late November weather, standing inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Monday afternoon being introduced as the 18th head coach in USC football history. "Wow, is this real? Unbelievable," Riley said, turning around to take in the Los Angeles skyline on one side, the Hollywood sign on the other. "It's a surreal moment, to be honest." The overnight hire of Riley away from Oklahoma that reverberated throughout the sport gave way to a celebratory shock Monday. While Riley pinched himself, USC's administrators and power brokers basked in the glory of a statement hire while remaining surprised they found themselves here in the first place. "It was never our goal to change the landscape of college football with one of the biggest moves in the history of the game," USC athletic director Mike Bohn said. "But we did...
2 hours ago
November 29

Oklahoma 'surprised, disappointed' over Lincoln Riley's move to USC, but excited for future

A day after being shocked by Lincoln Riley's abrupt departure for the USC job, Oklahoma president Joe Harroz and athletic director Joe Castiglione held a news conference to discuss Riley's exit and reintroduce a familiar face in interim coach Bob Stoops. "We're here today, surprised by yesterday, but with unlimited excitement for tomorrow," Castiglione said. All three spoke of their disappointment in Riley's decision, but indicated there was nothing he said that led them to believe he was leaving because of any dissatisfaction at Oklahoma or with the impending move to the SEC. "He made a personal decision," Harroz said. "Were we disappointed? Absolutely. And that disappointment lasts until you realize you've now got to move forward. I mean, we'd like more notice."   Castiglione said that when Riley was told of the SEC move, he didn't share any reservations.  "He was engaged in our thoughts about it. He was definitely on board with it. And in many conversations since that...
November 29
November 29

Source: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers not expected to have surgery to repair broken toe during bye week

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are expected to use rest -- not surgery -- to help the quarterback's fractured pinkie toe heal. Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Monday that Rodgers is "gathering other opinions, so we'll see where that goes," but a source said those opinions are not expected to lead to surgery during this week's bye. The Packers (9-3) are off until Dec. 12, when they'll face the Chicago Bears in a Sunday night prime-time game. "The most important thing is healing and taking care of my toe," Rodgers said Sunday when asked about his bye-week plans. NFL Network reported earlier on Monday that Rodgers does not plan to have surgery. Rodgers said he fractured the toe during his COVID-19 quarantine earlier this month, and he has played in the past three games since with almost no on-field practice preparations. The only full-fledged practice he took part in during that stretch was on Nov. 19, two days before the...
November 29
November 29

Source: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers not expected to have surgery to repair broken toe during bye week

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are expected to use rest -- not surgery -- to help the quarterback's fractured pinky toe heal. Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Monday that Rodgers is "gathering other opinions, so we'll see where that goes," but a source said those opinions are not expected to lead to surgery during this week's bye. The Packers (9-3) are off until Dec. 12 against the Chicago Bears in a Sunday night prime-time game. "The most important thing is healing and taking care of my toe," Rodgers said Sunday when asked about his bye week plans. NFL Network reported earlier on Monday that Rodgers does not plan to have surgery. Rodgers said he fractured his toe during his COVID-19 quarantine earlier this month, and he has played in the last three games since with almost no on-field practice preparations. The only full-fledged practice he took part in during that stretch was on Nov. 19, two days before the Packers' loss at ...
November 29
November 29

Fresno State's Kalen DeBoer hired as head football coach at Washington

Fresno State football coach Kalen DeBoer has been named the new head coach at  Washington, the school announced on Monday.  DeBoer replaces Jimmy Lake, who was fired Nov. 14 after serving just 13 games as head coach over two seasons. DeBoer will head to Seattle after spending just two seasons at Fresno State, where he compiled a 12-6 record -- including a 9-3 mark this season. "My family and I are so grateful for the opportunity to lead such a storied program and be part of this prestigious institution," DeBoer said in a statement. "The tough, hard-nosed tradition of Washington football speaks for itself, and it was obvious throughout this process that UW is committed to competing at the highest level." Prior to becoming the head coach at Fresno State, DeBoer spent the 2019 season as the offensive coordinator at Indiana, which followed a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator under Jeff Tedford at Fresno State. DeBoer was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year...
November 29
November 29

Dallas Cowboys DT Trysten Hill suspended two games for punching Las Vegas Raiders OG John Simpson

The NFL suspended Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill without pay for two games on Monday for punching Raiders guard John Simpson following Dallas' Thanksgiving Day loss to Las Vegas. The suspension was issued by NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan for violations of unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules. "After the Las Vegas Raiders-Dallas Cowboys game on November 25, you engaged in conduct that this office considers unnecessary roughness and displays a lack of sportsmanship. Specifically, as both teams were shaking hands, you waited more than 50 seconds for your opponent at the 50-yard line. When you located him, you then walked toward him in the opposite direction of your locker room. You both engaged in a verbal chest-to-chest confrontation which you escalated by throwing an open hand punch to his facemask, forcible enough to cause your opponent's helmet to come off," Runyan wrote in the letter to Hill. Hill...
November 29
November 29

Sources: Fresno State's Kalen DeBoer to become head football coach at Washington

Fresno State coach Kalen DeBoer is set to become the head coach at Washington, sources told ESPN on Monday. DeBoer will replace Jimmy Lake, who was fired Nov. 14, after serving just 13 games as head coach over two seasons. He will head to Seattle after spending just two seasons at Fresno State, where he compiled a 12-6 record, including a 9-3 mark this season. Prior to becoming the head coach at Fresno State, DeBoer spent the 2019 season as the offensive coordinator at Indiana, which followed a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator under Jeff Tedford at Fresno State. DeBoer was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year three times during a five-year run as the head coach at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, where he had a 67-3 record. Fresno State had a team meeting scheduled for 2:30 p.m. PT, during which the players were expected to be informed of the move.
November 29
November 29

MLB retroactively suspends Atlanta Braves OF Marcell Ozuna for 20 games for violating domestic violence policy

Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was retroactively suspended for 20 regular-season games on Monday by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred for violating the league's domestic violence policy. The suspension is retroactive to Sept. 10 and covers the final 24 days of the regular season while he was on administrative leave, costing him approximately $1.55 million of his $12 million salary. "My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Marcell Ozuna violated Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Having reviewed the totality of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Ozuna violated our Policy and that discipline is appropriate," Manfred said in a statement. Ozuna, 31, was arrested May 29 after police officers in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs said they witnessed him attacking his wife, Genesis, while the officers were responding to a 911 call. The original charges included...
November 29
November 29

Hoping for return, Tiger Woods admits 'unfortunate reality' he likely won't be same player again

In his first extensive interview since a February car crash, Tiger Woods said his hope is to return to competitive golf, but that he never expects to compete again at the highest level. "I think something that is realistic is playing the Tour one day -- never full-time ever again -- but pick and choose, just like Mr. [Ben] Hogan did," Woods said during a Zoom interview with Golf Digest. "Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that. "You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that's how I'm going to have to play it from now on. It's an unfortunate reality, but it's my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it." That thought process has come a long way from his days in the hospital, when his focus was more on his leg. "There was a point in time when, I wouldn't say it was 50/50, but it was damn near there if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg," he said. "Once I [kept it], I wanted to test and see if I...
November 29
November 29

Sources: Corey Seager, Texas Rangers agree on 10-year, $325M deal

Shortstop Corey Seager and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a 10-year, $325 million deal, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Monday. The Rangers, looking to capitalize on their new ballpark and return to prominence after five consecutive losing seasons, have committed $556 million to three players in a span of hours. Seager's deal came one day after the Rangers signed second baseman Marcus Semien to a seven-year, $175 million contract and starting pitcher Jon Gray to a four-year, $56 million contract. In Texas, Seager will be reunited with Chris Woodward, who spent three seasons as the Los Angeles Dodgers' third-base coach before being named the Rangers' manager in November of 2018. Seager will also play his home games at Globe Life Park, the retractable-roof stadium where Seager was named MVP of the National League Championship Series and World Series during the 2020 postseason, which was played in a bubble because...
November 29
November 29

Blake Griffin, out of Brooklyn Nets' rotation, preaches patience, knows 'that's not my decision'

NEW YORK -- Falling completely out of the Brooklyn Nets' rotation was not something Blake Griffin saw coming. After starting 17 games this season, Griffin has sat the past two games after Steve Nash inserted LaMarcus Aldridge into the starting lineup. "No, I mean listen, [Aldridge] has been playing unbelievable," Griffin said. "So, I totally get starting him, especially Joe [Harris] has been out, and I totally get that. "Being completely out of it, though, I didn't necessarily see that coming. But that's not my decision. As players it's our job to do whatever coaches see best, so at this point that's what it is." Griffin, a six-time All-Star, was averaging a career-low 5.5 points to go with 4.9 rebounds while shooting just 16.1% from behind the 3-point arc. The power forward is shooting a career-low 31.8% overall from the field. Last season with the Pistons and Nets, Griffin averaged 11 points, 4.9 rebounds, 42.3% shooting overall and 34.1% 3-point...
November 29
November 29

Sources - Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners finalizing $115 million contract

Reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and the Seattle Mariners are finalizing a five-year, $115 million contract with an opt-out after the third season, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN's Jeff Passan. Ray joins a Mariners team that surprised many last season by finishing second in the American League West with a 90-72 record. He becomes the ace of a Mariners pitching staff that includes Marco Gonzales, Chris Flexen and Logan Gilbert in its rotation. Ray went from one of the worst starting pitchers in the majors in 2020 to the best in the American League in 2021, winning American League Cy Young honors after going 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA for the Toronto Blue Jays and leading the AL in ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts and WHIP. Ray had been a free agent after the 2020 season, but after leading the majors with 45 walks in 51⅔ innings between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Blue Jays and posting a 6.64 ERA, he re-signed with...
November 29
November 29

Coach Tom Thibodeau removes struggling Kemba Walker from New York Knicks' rotation

New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters Monday afternoon that he is removing guard Kemba Walker from not only the team's starting lineup but also the rotation as a whole, beginning with Tuesday's showdown with the crosstown-rival Nets in Brooklyn. "It's a tough decision to make, but you always have to do what you think is best for the team," Thibodeau said after practice Monday in explaining his decision. "I view Kemba as a starter, and so it'd be tough to play three small guards together. I gave it consideration, and I've got great respect for who Kemba is as a person and all he's accomplished in this league. "But I have to do what I think is best for the team." In this case, Thibodeau decided that meant benching Walker in favor of Alec Burks. Walker, a four-time All-Star and New York City basketball legend, returned home this past summer on a two-year, $20 million deal after being bought out by the Oklahoma City Thunder following a...
November 29
November 29

Sources: New York Mets, Max Scherzer agree to three-year, $130 million contract

Star right-hander Max Scherzer and the New York Mets have agreed to a three-year, $130 million contract, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN's Jeff Passan. Scherzer can opt out of the contract after the second season of the deal, the sources said. The $43.33 million average annual salary of the deal sets a record, surpassing the $36 million New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole is averaging after signing a nine-year, $324 million contract in 2019. Scherzer, 37, becomes the oldest player in MLB history to sign a $100 million contract, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Kevin Brown was 33 when he signed the first $100 million deal in MLB history in 1998. The Mets have gone on a spending spree over the weekend, signing center fielder Starling Marte, infielder Eduardo Escobar and outfielder Mark Canha to deals worth a combined $124.5 million. And after seeing starters Noah Syndergaard and ...
November 29
November 29

Brooklyn Nets' Joe Harris to undergo ankle surgery, out 4-8 weeks, agent says

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris will undergo surgery on his injured left ankle and is expected to miss four to eight weeks, with optimism he can return on the shorter end of that timeline, Harris' agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday. Nets head coach Steve Nash said Harris' surgery will address "a little bone particle" in the ankle and hopefully allow the shooter to move forward from the injury. Harris has missed the past six games since injuring the ankle in a win at Oklahoma City on Nov. 14. "He is going to have a scope and then we'll see what that means once they've had the procedure," Nash said after Nets practice on Monday. "We think this is a really positive thing that can put this situation behind him long term rather than risking reoccurrences or uncertainty with the injury." Harris is averaging 11.3 points and shooting 46.6% from behind the 3-point arc this season. "There's a little bone particle...
November 29
November 29

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey to miss rest of NFL season with ankle injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will miss the remainder of the season because of a left ankle injury suffered in the first half of Sunday's 33-10 loss at the Miami Dolphins. Initial X-rays on Sunday indicated the injury didn't appear to be too severe, coach Matt Rhule said Monday morning. But an MRI later in the morning revealed the damage was enough to place McCaffrey on season-ending injured reserve because of the time it would take for him to recover. McCaffrey will not need surgery provided the ankle heals properly, a source said, and he is expected to be ready for the 2022 season. The Panthers (5-7) are on a bye this week, so McCaffrey will miss the final five regular-season games. He already has missed five games this season with a hamstring injury suffered in Week 3. He missed 13 games last season with multiple injuries. Since signing a four-year, $64 million extension that made him the highest-paid...
November 29
November 29

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury staying focused on current season, not Oklahoma Sooners' coaching vacancy

TEMPE, Ariz. --  Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury deflected a question about his interest in the University of Oklahoma job on Monday morning, a day after a report said the Sooners were targeting him for their vacant head coaching position, when he spoke to reporters on a Zoom call. "I don't get into those things," Kingsbury said. "My sole focus the last couple weeks has been the Chicago Bears and, after watching them on Thanksgiving, it needs to be, because they're a really good football team and had a big win, and so that's where my focus has been." When asked why he didn't just deny interest in the Sooners job, Kingsbury responded: "We're in-season, we're 9-2, Just not a topic I want to touch on right now." On Sunday afternoon, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that Oklahoma had targeted Kingsbury to replace Lincoln Riley as the Sooners' next head football coach after Riley left for the head coaching job at Southern California. Kingsbury said he...
November 29
November 29

Oklahoma Sooners QB Spencer Rattler, preseason Heisman favorite, enters NCAA transfer portal

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, the preseason Heisman favorite who was benched early in the season, announced on Monday that he is entering the NCAA transfer portal. "Sooner Nation: Thank you for allowing me to be a student-athlete at this prestigious institution," he wrote, while also thanking teammates and coaches. "We won several games together and made memories that I will cherish forever." "Thank you again, Oklahoma," he concluded. "I will miss you." Rattler started all 11 games as a redshirt freshman last season, throwing for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns with seven interceptions. He was the AP first-team and All-Big 12 quarterback. Coming into this season, he was a heavy favorite for the Heisman, following in the footsteps of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, who won Heisman Trophies under Lincoln Riley, and Jalen Hurts, who was a Heisman finalist with Rattler as a backup. But Rattler was benched for the second straight year during...
November 29
November 29

Source: Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook dislocated his shoulder during Sunday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The team still is figuring out how long Cook will be sidelined, and an indication will come from whether it places him on injured reserve, which would sideline him a minimum of three weeks, according to the source. Cook was carted off the field late in the third quarter and ruled out for the remainder of the game. Coach Mike Zimmer did not have an update on Cook's condition following the Vikings' 34-26 loss to the 49ers but said the running back would undergo an MRI on Monday. Cook was injured after being brought down by Niners defensive tackle Kevin Givens following a handoff. The running back lost the ball in the process of being tackled and immediately grabbed for his chest with his right arm when he hit the ground. He remained down on the field for several minutes as athletic trainers tended to him....
November 29
November 29

Sources: SMU Mustangs hiring Miami Hurricanes OC Rhett Lashlee as new head coach

SMU is hiring Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee as its next coach, sources told ESPN. An agreement has been finalized. Lashlee will replace Sonny Dykes, who is leaving to become TCU's coach, according to sources. TCU has scheduled a news conference Tuesday to introduce Dykes, who went 30-18 in four seasons at SMU. Lashlee, 38, spent 2018 and 2019 as SMU's offensive coordinator under Dykes before leaving for the same role under coach Manny Diaz at Miami. At SMU, he worked with quarterback Ben Hicks, the team's all-time passing leader, and then oversaw the nation's No. 7 scoring offense in 2019, as SMU won 10 games for the first time since 1984 and set a team record with 35 rushing touchdowns. As Dykes quickly emerged as the leading candidate to replace Gary Patterson at TCU, Lashlee became the favorite to replace Dykes at SMU. Lashlee played quarterback at Arkansas and immediately entered coaching, where he became a protégé of Gus Malzahn's, later working under...
November 29
November 29

Denver Nuggets' Michael Porter Jr. to undergo back surgery, be out indefinitely

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. will undergo a surgical procedure on his lower back Wednesday and miss an indefinite period, his agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, told ESPN on Monday. Porter is expected to make a full recovery, and a timetable for his return will come after surgery, Bartelstein said. Porter, who signed a five-year, $172 million max contract in September, has been searching for a nonsurgical option since injuring his back on Nov. 6, but multiple opinions landed on surgery. Porter, 23, had back surgery prior to the 2018 NBA draft, spent his first season recovering and became one of the top young forwards in the league. He averaged 19 points a season ago, and he formed a partnership with MVP Nikola Jokic and guard Jamal Murray that represents one of the league's top young cores. Murray is recovering from a torn ACL, and Jokic is expected back soon from a wrist injury. Denver (9-10) has lost six straight games and begins...
November 29
November 29

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy in COVID-19 protocol, will miss Thursday night game

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' COVID-19 outbreak has now reached head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy was placed in COVID-19 protocols Monday and will not coach Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini that McCarthy tested positive for the virus. In a statement, the team said McCarthy "will continue to direct, and be in involved in, all meetings and game preparations on a virtual basis for the remainder of the week, including Thursday's meetings in New Orleans." The team will conduct all of its Monday meetings virtually and proceed with its regularly scheduled practice. The Cowboys will also be without offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant offensive line coach Jeff Blasko, strength and conditioning coordinator Harold Nash and assistant strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith. So far, right tackle Terence Steele is the only player not playing this week because of COVID-19. A league source...
November 29
November 29

Howard University men's basketball team signs NIL deal with moving company, College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk

The moving company College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk has been active in the name, image and likeness space with college athletes, signing Miami quarterback D'Eriq King to a sizable endorsement deal and recently signing the entire San Diego State football team to a contract. The company has once again made a big splash by signing the  Howard University men's basketball team to an endorsement deal on Monday. This is believed to be the first deal of its kind with an entire team from an HBCU. "College H.U.N.K.S. is an iconic brand, and Howard University is an iconic institution, so it makes sense to align our mutual passions for building leaders," Howard men's basketball player Tai Bibbs said. "My teammates and I are looking forward to partnering with College H.U.N.K.S. to promote their amazing employment opportunities for frontline staff, their moving and hauling services for clients, as well as their franchise opportunities for aspiring business...
November 29
November 29

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy tests positive for COVID-19

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' COVID-19 outbreak has now reached head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy was placed in COVID-19 protocols Monday and will not coach Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini that McCarthy tested positive for the virus. In a statement, the team said McCarthy "will continue to direct, and be in involved in, all meetings and game preparations on a virtual basis for the remainder of the week, including Thursday's meetings in New Orleans." The team will conduct all of its Monday meetings virtually and proceed with its regularly scheduled practice. The Cowboys will also be without offensive line coach Joe Philbin, assistant offensive line coach Jeff Blasko, strength and conditioning coordinator Harold Nash and assistant strength and conditioning coach Kendall Smith. So far, right tackle Terence Steele is the only player not playing this week because of COVID-19. A league source...
November 29
November 29

Lee Elder, first Black golfer to play in Masters, dies at age 87

PGA Tour pioneer Lee Elder, the first Black player to compete in the Masters, has died at age 87. The tour confirmed his death on Monday morning. Elder, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, made his groundbreaking appearance at Augusta National in 1975. He was celebrated at the Masters this past April when he was named an honorary starter alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. "My heart is very soft this morning, not heavy soft, soft because of the wonderful things that I have encountered since arriving here on Monday and being able to see some of the great friends that I have made over the past years, especially like these two gentlemen that are here," Elder said at the time of Nicklaus and Player. "We have competed against each other, and we have certainly enjoyed a lot of pleasant moments. I just want to say thank you so very much to have me here. It's a great honor, and I cherish it very much, and I will always cherish it, and I want to thank the chairman for extending me...
November 29
November 29

Howard University men's basketball team signs NIL deal with moving company, College HUNKS Hauling Junk

The moving company, College HUNKS Hauling Junk, has been active in the name, image and likeness space with college athletes, signing Miami quarterback D'Eriq King to a sizeable endorsement deal and recently signing the entire San Diego State football team to a contract. The company has once again made a big splash by signing the entire Howard University men's basketball team to an endorsement deal on Monday. This is believed to be the first deal of its kind with an entire team from an HBCU. "College HUNKS is an iconic brand, and Howard University is an iconic institution, so it makes sense to align our mutual passions for building leaders," Howard Men's basketball player Tai Bibbs said. "My teammates and I are looking forward to partnering with College HUNKS to promote their amazing employment opportunities for frontline staff, their moving and hauling services for clients, as well as their franchise opportunities for aspiring business owners." The players will receive a...
November 29
November 29

Sources: Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy tests positive for COVID-19

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has tested positive for COVID-19, sources tell ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini. McCarthy will miss Thursday night's game against the New Orleans Saints, sources tell Schefter. The Cowboys are dealing with a COVID outbreak that had already knocked out starting right tackle Terence Steele, three offensive coaches and two of their three strength coaches for this week's game. A league source tells Schefter there are "up to eight positives in Dallas. Details still rolling in." The Cowboys are doing daily testing for players, coaches and staff and will continue through Tuesday. The league imposed stricter protocols this week, but the Cowboys were in that mode before Thanksgiving. They will have virtual meetings Sunday and Monday and could continue to do so on Tuesday as well. Wide receiver Amari Cooper missed the past two games while on the reserve/COVID-19 list but is expected back in the building Monday. The...
November 29
November 29

Temple Owls football coach Rod Carey out after going 12-20 over 3 seasons

Temple coach Rod Carey is out after three seasons, the school announced Monday. Carey went 12-20 with the Owls, including 3-9 this season. He recorded eight of his 12 victories at Temple in his first season. Wide receivers coach/pass game coordinator Thad Ward will serve as interim coach. Temple last month hired a new athletic director in Arthur Johnson, who had previously been a senior associate athletic director at Texas. Carey, 50, came to Temple from Northern Illinois, where he went 52-30 with two conference titles and two division titles. "It's never an easy decision to replace a head coach," said Johnson in a statement. "The past two seasons have not been easy with the challenges of the pandemic. I want to thank Rod for staying committed to our student-athletes and wish him and his family well in their next chapter." He is the first Owls coach to be fired since Bobby Wallace in 2005. Temple's next four coaches -- Al Golden, Steve Addazio, Matt Rhule and Geoff Collins --...
November 29
November 29

Oklahoma loses two more ESPN 300 commits in wake of football coach Lincoln Riley's departure

After suffering four decommitments Sunday, Oklahoma received more bad news on Monday when ESPN 300 defensive end Derrick Moore and offensive lineman Demetrius Hunter both announced they were decommitting from the Sooners. The exodus is coming after head coach Lincoln Riley accepted the same position at USC, and the Oklahoma recruits are now reevaluating their positions. Moore is the No. 23 recruit in the 2022 class and was the second-highest-ranked commit for the Sooners behind five-star defensive tackle Gabe Brownlow-Dindy. Moore is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive lineman from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore who had offers from some of the top programs in the country, including Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan, among others. Hunter said he believes it's in his best interest to consider other options. He is the No. 281 recruit out of West Orange-Stark High School in Orange, Texas, and one of the top interior offensive linemen in the...
November 29
November 29

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to expand his MMA promotion in the U.S. in 2022

Khabib Nurmagomedov might be retired from the UFC, but he's as busy as ever. The undefeated former UFC lightweight champion told ESPN this weekend that his MMA promotion, Eagle FC, is planning an expansion into the United States. Nurmagomedov said Eagle FC will hold an event January in Miami and there is another event being targeted for that city in March. Nurmagomedov, 33, bought the promotion formerly known as Gorilla Fighting Championship late in 2020. Since December 2020, the rebranded Eagle FC -- named after Nurmagomedov's nickname "The Eagle" -- has run 15 events, mostly in his home country of Russia. One was in Kazakhstan and another in Kyrgyzstan. The January show will be Eagle FC's debut in the United States, which will give way to several more in the U.S. in 2022, per Nurmagomedov. Eagle FC officials are working with media company FLX on a production facility in Miami that will be called FLX Arena. The Eagle FC events in the U.S. will be run out of that venue and...
November 29
November 29

Five-star QB Malachi Nelson among Oklahoma football decommits following Lincoln Riley's move to USC

Five-star quarterback  Malachi Nelson, the No. 3-ranked football prospect in the ESPN Junior 300 for the class of 2023, decommitted from Oklahoma on Sunday night, one of four commitments the  Sooners lost in the hours following the news that Lincoln Riley had accepted the head-coaching job at USC. Nelson, out of Los Alamitos High School in California, committed to Oklahoma in July but wrote on Twitter that he was decommitting "in light of the recent events and changes." Riley had been instrumental in Nelson's recruitment and a big part of why he chose the Sooners in the first place. "One of the things that attracted me most to OU, other than the rich history and amazing fans, was the stability in the coaching staff and their ability to develop the QB position," Nelson wrote.  Also decommitting on Sunday were class of 2022 linebacker  Kobie McKinzie, and ESPN Jr. 300 receiver  Brandon Inniss and running back Treyaun Webb,...
November 29
November 29

Oscar Pistorius in prison transfer ahead of Reeva Steenkamp parole meeting

Convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius has been transferred to a prison closer to the parents of Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot to death in 2013, to allow for a face-to-face meeting as part of his parole process. Pistorius, the former South Africa Olympian and Paralympian, has served half of his 15-year sentence for the murder of Steenkamp at their home eight years ago, and is thus eligible for parole. He must, as part of the conditions of his release, participate in a restorative justice programme, and an element is to meet with the family of the parolee's victim(s). June and Barry Steenkamp, Reeva's parents, live in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), so Pistorius has been transferred there from Pretoria, which is 1,200 kilometers (700 miles) away. Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said in a statement: "The transfer is necessitated by the need to commence with the processes of a victim-offender dialogue as the victims are based in...
November 29
November 29

Oscar Pistorius in prison transfer ahead of Steenkamp parole meeting

Convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius has been transferred to a prison closer to the parents of Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot to death in 2013, to allow for a face-to-face meeting ahead of his being released on parole. Pistorius, the former South Africa Olympian and Paralympian, has served half of his 15-year sentence for the murder of Steenkamp at their home eight years ago, and is thus eligible for parole. He must, as part of the conditions of his release, participate in a restorative justice programme, and an element is to meet with the family of the parolee's victim(s). June and Barry Steenkamp, Reeva's parents, live in Gqeberha [formerly Port Elizabeth], so Pistorius has been transferred there from Pretoria, which is 1200km [700mi] away. Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said in a statement: "The transfer is necessitated by the need to commence with the processes of a victim-offender-dialogue as the victims are based in...
November 29
November 29

Five-star QB Malachi Nelson among Oklahoma decommits following Lincoln Riley's move to USC

Five-star quarterback  Malachi Nelson, the No. 3-ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300 for the class of 2023, decommitted from Oklahoma on Sunday night, one of four commitments the  Sooners lost in the hours following the news that Lincoln Riley had accepted the head-coaching job at USC. Nelson, out of Los Alamitos High School in California, committed to Oklahoma in July but wrote on Twitter that he was decommitting "in light of the recent events and changes." Riley had been instrumental in Nelson's recruitment and a big part of why he chose the Sooners in the first place. "One of the things that attracted me most to OU, other than the rich history and amazing fans, was the stability in the coaching staff and their ability to develop the QB position," Nelson wrote.  Also decommitting on Sunday was class of 2022 linebacker  Kobie McKinzie, and ESPN Jr. 300 receiver  Brandon Inniss and running back Treyaun Webb, both of the...
November 29
November 28

Shocked Jalen Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams 'way too good' to be mired in three-game skid

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Los Angeles Rams retreated into the visitors locker room Sunday following a 38-26 loss to the Green Bay Packers as "Go Pack Go" chants echoed throughout Lambeau Field. Shortly afterward, cornerback Jalen Ramsey stood at a podium and fielded questions for 10 minutes, confirming what quickly became apparent after the Rams dropped a third straight game. "It's not a good mood," Ramsey said. "I can say that." The Rams have gone all-in to build a roster capable of a Super Bowl run that includes quarterback Matthew Stafford, three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, Ramsey and the recent additions of outside linebacker Von Miller and receiver Odell Beckham Jr. However, with six games remaining, the Rams find themselves in the midst of only the second three-game losing streak in Sean McVay's five seasons as coach. Ramsey admitted he felt shocked that a previously 7-1 team could slip to 7-4, as...
November 28
November 28

Five-star QB and No. 3 prospect Malachi Nelson among Oklahoma decommits following Lincoln Riley's move to USC

Five-star quarterback  Malachi Nelson, the No. 3-ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300 for the class of 2023, decommitted from Oklahoma on Sunday night, one of four commitments the  Sooners lost in the hours following the news that Lincoln Riley had accepted the head-coaching job at USC. Nelson, out of Los Alamitos High School in California, committed to Oklahoma in July but wrote on Twitter that he was decommitting "in light of the recent events and changes." Riley had been instrumental in Nelson's recruitment and a big part of why he chose the Sooners in the first place. "One of the things that attracted me most to OU, other than the rich history and amazing fans, was the stability in the coaching staff and their ability to develop the QB position," Nelson wrote.  Also decommitting on Sunday was class of 2022 linebacker  Kobie McKinzie, and ESPN Jr. 300 receiver  Brandon Inniss and running back Treyaun Webb, both of the...
November 28
November 28

Texas Rangers reach deals with Marcus Semien, Jon Gray, sources say

Infielder Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a seven-year contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Sunday. The deal is worth $175 million, a source said. The Rangers were not done there, however. They also were finalizing a four-year, $56 million contract with right-hander Jon Gray, pending a physical, sources familiar with the deal told Passan. And they came to terms with outfielder Kole Calhoun on a one-year deal with a team option for 2023, according to multiple reports. The contract is worth $5.2 million, according to MLB.com. After a 102-loss season, the Rangers had indicated they were willing to spend as needed and could be active in free agency this offseason to improve the team. They went into the offseason with only about $28 million committed to salaries for 2022. Semien struggled in the shortened 2020 season with the Oakland Athletics, and he bet on himself last offseason,...
November 28
November 28

Kevin Gausman finds new home, agrees with Toronto Blue Jays on $110 million contract, sources say

Right-handed starting pitcher Kevin Gausman and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a five-year, $110 million contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Sunday night. Gausman was a reliable back-end starter early in his career, posting a 4.22 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 3.02 strikeout-to-walk ratio while averaging 146 innings per season for the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds from 2014 to 2019. But his career truly took off upon joining the San Francisco Giants, who helped him fine-tune his splitter to form a devastating combination with his four-seam fastball. Gausman, originally obtained on a one-year, $9 million contract, posted a 3.62 ERA with 79 strikeouts and only 16 walks in 59⅔ innings during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. The 30-year-old returned to the Giants after accepting the qualifying offer and was even better in 2021, combining a 2.81 ERA with 227 strikeouts and...
November 28
November 28

Stephen Curry 'let my emotions go,' then sparked Golden State Warriors to eighth straight win

Stephen Curry was angry at the officials during Sunday's 105-90 victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles, then made the other team pay for it. The Golden State Warriors star scored 13 of his team-high 33 points in the fourth quarter and caught fire with just over nine minutes left, after a drive toward the basket in which he thought he got fouled by Clippers small forward Terance Mann. Curry did not get the benefit of the whistle and let his frustrations fly, earning a technical foul, while displaying more outward anger than at any other point this season. "I thought I got fouled, so I let my emotions go," Curry admitted after the team's eighth straight win. "And definitely fired me up, fired our team up -- you have to be able to direct that energy into just putting the ball in the basket, obviously, after that. So that's where I feel like we do it well, where you don't let it become a distraction for the rest of the game, and it obviously helped...
November 28
November 28

Lincoln Riley leaving Oklahoma to be USC head football coach

Lincoln Riley said he wasn't leaving Oklahoma for LSU. He didn't say he wasn't leaving the Sooners for USC. In a stunning move on Sunday, Riley, 38, accepted the head-coaching position at USC. "Leaving OU was probably the most difficult decision of my life," Riley said in a statement released by Oklahoma. "OU is one of the best college football programs in the country, and it has been forever. ... This was a personal decision solely based on my willingness to go take on a new challenge, and I felt like it was the right opportunity for me and my family to do that." At USC, Riley replaces former Trojans coach Clay Helton, who was fired in September after posting a 46-24 record in seven seasons. "Lincoln is the rarest combination of extraordinary person and elite football coach," USC athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement announcing the hire. "His successes and offensive accolades as a head coach the past five years are astonishing. ... Lincoln is...
November 28
November 28

Lincoln Riley leaving Oklahoma to become USC head football coach

Lincoln Riley said he wasn't leaving Oklahoma for LSU. He didn't say he wasn't leaving the Sooners for USC. In a stunning move on Sunday, Riley, 38, accepted the head-coaching position at USC. He replaces former Trojans coach Clay Helton, who was fired in September after posting a 46-24 record in seven seasons. Riley guided the Sooners to four consecutive Big 12 titles and three College Football Playoff appearances in his first four seasons. Oklahoma was eliminated from the Big 12 championship game following a 37-33 loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday night. Following the Bedlam loss, after there was widespread speculation that he was LSU's choice to replace the departing Ed Orgeron, Riley said, "I'm not going to be the next head coach at LSU." Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 7, will coach the Sooners' bowl game, a university source told ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, confirming...
November 28
November 28

In rivalry's 'changing of the guard,' Cincinnati Bengals complete sweep of Pittsburgh Steelers

CINCINNATI -- Down three scores with 30 seconds until halftime, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense tried to capitalize on Minkah Fitzpatrick's interception of quarterback Joe Burrow a play earlier. Roethlisberger targeted wide receiver  James Washington on an out route, but  Cincinnati Bengals veteran -- and former Pittsburgh -- defensive back Mike Hilton cut inside, picked off his former quarterback and ran it back 24 yards for a touchdown and an exclamation point in the eventual 41-10 Steelers loss. It was a microcosm of what's becoming clear more than halfway through the season. Once the untouchable kings of the AFC North, the Steelers (5-5-1) have been all but dethroned as their flaws become further exposed every week. "It's a big changing of the guard, in our opinion," Hilton said of the Steelers-Bengals rivalry. "It's giving us a lot of confidence and guys are excited to see how the rest of...
November 28
November 28

In AFC North 'changing of the guard,' Cincinnati Bengals cap sweep of Pittsburgh Steelers

CINCINNATI -- Down three scores with 30 seconds until halftime, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense tried to capitalize on Minkah Fitzpatrick's interception of quarterback Joe Burrow a play earlier. Roethlisberger targeted wide receiver  James Washington on an out route, but Cincinnati Bengals veteran -- and former Pittsburgh defensive back -- Mike Hilton cut inside, picked off his former quarterback and ran it back 24 yards for a touchdown and an exclamation point in the eventual 41-10 Steelers loss. It was a microcosm of what's becoming clear more than halfway through the season. Once the untouchable kings of the AFC North, the Steelers (5-5-1) have been all but dethroned as their flaws become further exposed every week. "It's a big changing of the guard, in our opinion," Hilton said of the Steelers-Bengals rivalry. "It's giving us a lot of confidence and guys are excited to see how the rest of...
November 28
November 28

Leonard Fournette stars on field, in locker room as Tampa Bay Buccaneers rally past Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette not only had four touchdowns that propelled the team to a 38-31 road victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday -- including a gashing 28-yard TD run with 29 seconds left -- he also gave an impassioned halftime speech that resonated with teammates after they were down 24-14 at the half. The Bucs already had lost three games on the road this year -- at the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3, at the New Orleans Saints in Week 8 and at Washington in Week 10 -- a major hurdle they've had to try to clear as they seek to repeat as Super Bowl champions. "I was like, 'You have to have a will and a want,'" said Fournette, who rushed for 100 yards on 17 carries and added seven catches for 31 yards. "'You have to be willing to risk everything. Play by play, you have to want to win, you have to want to fight, each and every play.' I think they understood that message and played their...
November 28
November 28

Nick Sirianni fails Jalen Hurts for passing performance in Philadelphia Eagles' loss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni implied quarterback Jalen Hurts earned a failing grade for his performance in a 13-7 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. "It's never going to be an A, B, C or D if you turn it over three times, right? Obviously, he didn't play good enough," Sirianni said. "And we didn't coach good enough. And it's all of us. It's never just one guy. We're going to look through that tape and we're going to have to make those corrections from that tape, but when you turn the ball over three times -- again, there are different things at play there -- but not a winning performance. Running the ball was good." Hurts entered the game with the top QBR (75.0) in the league over the previous five weeks, using his arm and legs to carve up opposing defenses. While his success on the ground (8 carries, 77 yards) continued against New York, he was 14-of-31 for 129 yards with zero touchdowns and three interceptions...
November 28
November 28

Grizzlies' Ja Morant avoided significant knee injury, expected to miss at least 'couple weeks,' Taylor Jenkins says

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant avoided a serious knee injury but is expected to miss at least a "couple of weeks," coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters ahead of Sunday's game against the Sacramento Kings. Jenkins said Morant avoided any tears or ligament damage to his left knee but added that there was no official timetable for his return. "We're so thankful we avoided a significant injury," Jenkins said. "We expect a full recovery, and this is nothing long term that we're worried about." Morant suffered the left knee sprain in the first quarter of Friday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
November 28
November 28

Houston Texans bench safety Justin Reid for violating team rules

HOUSTON -- Texans safety Justin Reid did not play in Sunday's 21-14 loss to the New York Jets for violating team rules. "It was [for] disciplinary reasons, it was a coach's decision and we'll keep that internal," Texans coach David Culley said after the game. Reid was suspended for the game after he challenged Culley's coaching in a team meeting, team sources told ESPN. During the meeting, Reid got into a very public argument with a teammate. When asked if Reid would be suspended for only one game, Culley said, "We'll talk about it tomorrow." "We have rules and when the rules are broken ... it doesn't matter who it is," Culley said. This is not the first time Culley has held players out for disciplinary reasons. Earlier this season, linebacker Zach Cunningham and cornerback Desmond King were benched in similar situations. As the Texans have been working on rebuilding a team that went 4-12 in 2020 and is without quarterback ...
November 28
November 28

Ja Morant avoided significant knee injury, expected to miss at least 'couple weeks,' Taylor Jenkins says

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant avoided a serious knee injury but is expected to miss at least a "couple of weeks," coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters ahead of Sunday's game against the Sacramento Kings. Jenkins said Morant avoided any tears or ligament damage to his left knee but added that there was no official timetable for his return. "We're so thankful we avoided a significant injury," Jenkins said. "We expect a full recovery, and this is nothing long term that we're worried about." Morant suffered the left knee sprain in the first quarter of Friday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
November 28
November 28

Struggling Cam Newton benched by Carolina Panthers in fourth quarter of blowout loss

MIAMI -- Cam Newton's storybook beginning to his second stint with the Panthers came to a crashing halt Sunday when he was benched in the fourth quarter of Carolina's 33-10 loss to the  Miami Dolphins. Newton was replaced by P.J. Walker with just over 10 minutes remaining and the Panthers trailing by 20. Coach Matt Rhule said he told Newton the switch was made because the Panthers (5-7) were in hurry-up mode and Walker had a better grasp of the two-minute offense. Rhule said he doesn't expect a quarterback change after Carolina returns from its bye. "At the end of the day, we weren't protecting the quarterback at all,'' he said. "It wouldn't be fair to keep Cam in there and keep getting him hit.'' Also, Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey suffered a left ankle injury in the second quarter and played only one snap in the second half. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that McCaffrey was wearing a walking boot as he left...
November 28

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