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March 02

Kyrie Irving reacts to James Harden's 7th triple-double since joining Brooklyn Nets: 'Get used to it'

After James Harden recorded his seventh triple-double since joining the  Brooklyn Nets in a 124-113 overtime win over the  San Antonio Spurs on Monday night, his teammate Kyrie Irving didn't bat an eyelash. "We have to implement the phrase 'get used to it,'" Irving said with a smile. It didn't faze Irving that -- according to Elias Sports Bureau research -- Harden became the first player to record 30 points, 15 assists and at least 10 rebounds with zero turnovers since individual turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78. Harden finished with 14 rebounds on the night.  "When James is being James," Irving said, "it makes our job a lot easier. And so we got to get used to somebody special like that, things like that in terms of breaking records. So, I can't wait to be right alongside of him, my name in Nets history -- and all the guys on our team where we're just breaking records as a team, and then individually we're stacking up with some of...
March 02
March 02

Alabama Crimson Tide plan for full-capacity college football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium in fall

Alabama is moving ahead with plans to host full-capacity college football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium this coming season, athletic director Greg Byrne announced Monday.  Byrne tweeted a short statement after news earlier in the day that the school would be returning to in-person instruction without restrictions on classroom capacity in the fall. Byrne said they will continue to monitor medical guidelines "as we have all along." Alabama reduced its capacity to 20% last season as COVID-19 spread, infecting millions of Americans. Infections have dropped significantly of late. Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control reported a seven-day average of 66,348 infections in the United States, which was down roughly 10,000 from the previous week. According to data from the New York Times, Alabama has among the lowest vaccinations rates in the country, with 13% of people receiving one shot. Bryant-Denny Stadium, which boasts a capacity of 100,077, is scheduled to host seven...
March 02
March 01

Mike Pearl, former ESPN production executive, dies at 77

Former ESPN production executive Mike Pearl, a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame who had a major influence on a wide range of high-profile events over four decades and multiple networks, died at the age of 77, according to Sports Video Group. Pearl spent two stints at ABC Sports during his long career and brought his expertise to ESPN before retiring in 2014. He won 17 Sports Emmy Awards. Pearl started his career as an on-air reporter in local news in Miami in the late 1960s, and he made his mark at CBS Sports in the 1970s producing "The NFL Today" with Phyllis George, Brent Musburger, Irv Cross and Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. His first stint at ABC Sports in the early 1980s included producing Super Bowls, Monday Night Football, the Olympics, multiple editions of the Indy 500 and ABC's "Wide World of Sports." In the mid-1990s, Pearl joined Turner Sports, overseeing production of events that included NASCAR, the Olympics, figure skating, golf, Wimbledon and the NBA on...
March 01
March 01

Andy Hoffman, father of Nebraska football fan Jack Hoffman, dies of brain cancer at 42

Andy Hoffman, the father of Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and brain cancer patient Jack Hoffman, died Monday at his home in Atkinson, Nebraska. He was 42. The Team Jack Foundation announced his death. Andy Hoffman, an attorney, spent the last decade of his life raising more than $8 million for Team Jack, a fundraising juggernaut to end pediatric brain cancer, only to succumb to brain cancer himself. His diagnosis in July 2020 seemed unfathomable, that two people from the same family could have brain cancer; that Andy, who ran marathons and worked nonstop, had Glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and very aggressive cancer, with a survival rate of roughly one year. "This is such a horrible disease," his wife, Bri, wrote in a Facebook post last week. "Even though Andy's diagnosis was 7 months ago, we are still in denial that this is happening." Hoffman sought second and third opinions and rallied from two strokes to make it home from the Mayo Clinic early last fall. He had...
March 01
March 01

Alabama Crimson Tide plans for full-capacity college football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium in fall

Alabama is moving ahead with plans to host full-capacity college football games at Bryant-Denny Stadium this coming season, athletic director Greg Byrne announced Monday.  Byrne tweeted a short statement after news earlier in the day that the school would be returning to in-person instruction without restrictions on classroom capacity in the fall. Byrne said they will continue to monitor medical guidelines "as we have all along." Alabama reduced its capacity to 20% last season as COVID-19 spread, infecting millions of Americans. Infections have dropped significantly of late. Last Friday the Centers for Disease Control reported a seven-day average of 66,348 infections in the United States, which was down roughly 10,000 from the previous week. According to data from the New York Times, Alabama has among the lowest vaccinations rates in the country with 13% of people receiving one shot. Bryant-Denny Stadium, which boasts a capacity of 100,077, is scheduled to host seven...
March 01
March 01

Atlanta Hawks fire coach Lloyd Pierce

ATLANTA -- Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce was fired on Monday, given the hook less than halfway into a season that carried heightened expectations before being hampered by injuries. Atlanta president and general manager Travis Schlenk announced the move in a short statement released by the team. Assistant Nate McMillan will serve as the team's interim coach, Schlenk also announced Monday evening. McMillan, who was added to Pierce's staff in the offseason, has extensive experience as a head coach, boasting a 667-591 (.530) record in 16 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics,  Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers. McMillan has been fiercely loyal in his support of Pierce, and McMillan met with him and the rest of the Hawks' coaching staff shortly after Pierce was fired. Pierce voiced his support for McMillan accepting the interim job, which was important to McMillan, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.  The Hawks are 14-20 and 11th in the Eastern...
March 01
March 01

NIT downsizes to 16 teams, will hold entire tournament in Dallas-Fort Worth area

The National Invitation Tournament is downsizing and moving its annual tournament this month, the NCAA announced Monday. The NIT will feature 16 teams all playing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, with games being held at Comerica Center in Frisco and at UNT Coliseum on North Texas' campus in Denton. In previous years, the tournament has featured 32 teams with games being held at campus sites until the semifinals and championship game at Madison Square Garden in New York. One other notable change is the invitation process. Since 2017, all regular-season champions who didn't win their conference tournament received an automatic bid to the NIT, with the rest of the field filled by at-large selections. Due to the reduced field, all 16 teams will be at-large selections, with no automatic qualifiers. There was no tournament last season due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Texas as the defending champion. The Longhorns beat Lipscomb in the 2019 title game....
March 01
March 01

J.J. Watt agrees to two-year contract with Arizona Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Free-agent pass-rusher J.J. Watt has agreed to a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, the team announced Monday. Terms were not disclosed, but a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter the deal is worth $31 million and includes $23 million guaranteed. Before the Cardinals announced the agreement, Watt broke the news by sharing a photo on Twitter:  Watt later indicated he and his wife, Kealia, were traveling to Arizona on Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill's plane. He tweeted two photos, one of himself posing with Bidwill and the other of himself and his wife sitting in Bidwill's plane. "I'm excited to get started," Watt said on the tarmac after the plane landed. "Very excited to get started, get to work, get to know the people of Arizona."  Watt, 31, was released by the Houston Texans, who granted his request on Feb. 12, ending his 10-year run with the franchise. Four days later, Watt's former Texans teammate and current...
March 01
March 01

Will Brown out as Albany men's college basketball coach after 20 years

ALBANY, N.Y. --  University of Albany men's basketball coach Will Brown is out after two decades. Brown said in a news release issued Monday that he and the school had agreed "to mutually part ways." The 2020-21 season was the final year of his contract extension. "Anyone who knows me knows this decision was extraordinarily difficult," Brown said in the release. "But I leave the University at Albany with an enormous sense of pride in the positive impact that my staff, my family and, most important, the student-athletes I had the honor of coaching, have had on UAlbany basketball and the greater Albany community." The university, which plays in the America East Conference, said it will begin a national search for a successor immediately. Brown, who was hired in December 2001, took a team that had recently become a Division I member (1999) and built it into a solid mid-major. His teams posted a record of 315-295 and earned five NCAA tournament berths. The Great Danes'...
March 01
March 01

Leonard Hamilton agrees to five-year extension at Florida State

Florida State men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton agreed to a five-year extension through the 2024-2025 season that will pay him $2.25 million annually plus bonuses, the school announced Monday. Hamilton, 72, is the winningest coach in school history and has the Seminoles on the verge of winning back-to-back ACC regular-season titles. Florida State is currently 14-4 and in first place in the ACC, and is the highest-ranked team in the league at No. 11 in the latest AP poll. In his 19th season at Florida State, Hamilton has won ACC Coach of the Year three times, two ACC titles and taken the Seminoles to seven NCAA tournament appearances. Hamilton's contract expired last year, but given the coronavirus pandemic and financial constraints inside the Florida State athletic department, the two sides have been working to get a deal done. Although his salary stays the same as his previous contract, Hamilton has a bonus structure in place that would allow him to make more than $2...
March 01
March 01

Texas A&M Aggies reach best-ever ranking of No. 2 in women's AP poll; UConn Huskies remain No. 1

Texas A&M moved up to No. 2, its highest ranking ever in the Associated Press women's college basketball poll, a day after winning its first SEC regular-season title. The Aggies (22-1) beat then-No. 5 South Carolina on Sunday to win the conference title and then moved up a spot in the Top 25. "We needed to win this game to solidify who we were and what we've earned," said Texas A&M coach Gary Blair, whose team received two first-place votes Monday from a 30-member national media panel. UConn remained the top choice in the poll, getting 27 first-place votes. The Huskies finish off their regular season Monday night against Marquette. NC State fell to No. 3, with Stanford and Louisville rounding out the top five. Baylor, South Carolina, Maryland, UCLA and Indiana were the next five. Texas A&M has reeled off 10 consecutive wins since its overtime loss at LSU. The Aggies snapped a seven-game losing streak to South Carolina on Sunday. "We're the two best teams in the SEC, and we...
March 01
March 01

Kansas City Chiefs hoping QB Patrick Mahomes (toe surgery) will be ready for June minicamp

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs are hopeful quarterback Patrick Mahomes will have recovered from recent toe surgery to participate in the team's June minicamp. The expectation is that he will be ready to go by the start of training camp later in the summer. Mahomes had surgery for turf toe on Feb. 10 "It's a three-month recovery, so we're hopeful [Mahomes returns] somewhere around that mandatory minicamp, if we have it," general manager Brett Veach said. "We certainly think by training camp he'll be ready to go and we'll be smart with him." Veach said the Chiefs were also hopeful starting tackles Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher would be ready for the start of training camp. Schwartz underwent back surgery last week and Fisher had surgery for a torn Achilles tendon on Jan. 29. "I would probably say Pat's ahead of them just because of that type of injury and a quicker recovery," Veach said. "Hopefully we'll have all three ready to go by training...
March 01
March 01

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers gives $1 million to small businesses in hometown of Chico, California

Aaron Rodgers' philanthropic ways have now added up to more than $1 million given to small, locally owned businesses in and around his hometown of Chico, California, the North Valley Community Foundation announced Monday. The Green Bay Packers quarterback created the Aaron Rodgers Small-Business COVID-19 Fund last month. Nine of those business were personally notified by Rodgers and North Valley Community Foundation president/CEO Alexa Benson-Valavanis in video calls, which can be viewed on Rodgers' Instagram account. "Small, locally owned businesses are the heart and soul of a community," Rodgers said in a statement. "In the applications and the videos, it was heart-wrenching to hear about all the obstacles facing restaurants and retail establishments. So many of them are struggling just to stay in business but remain hopeful that there's an end to this." Rodgers, a native of Chico who also began his college career there at Butte College before he transferred to...
March 01
March 01

Sandy Alderson says New York Mets were 'shortsighted' in vetting process to hire Mickey Callaway

New York Mets president Sandy Alderson says his organization was shortsighted in its hiring process while vetting former manager Mickey Callaway, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women in a recent report by The Athletic. "When we hired Mickey, Mickey was the hot commodity," Alderson said Monday. "There were a number of teams that were anxious to talk to him and possibly sign him to a contract. We felt very fortunate at the time to get him based on his reputation in the game. "Now, was that shortsighted on our part and too narrow a focus? I think the answer is probably yes." Callaway was hired by the Mets in October 2017 and spent two seasons as their manager before becoming the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels in October 2019. The Angels suspended Callaway last month in the wake of the report from The Athletic and is working with Major League Baseball on conducting a full investigation. Callaway has denied wrongdoing, which prevents the...
March 01
March 01

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

Novak Djokovic tied Roger Federer's tennis record for most weeks as ATP world No. 1 on Monday, holding the top spot for the 310th week. Djokovic's ninth Australian Open title last month guaranteed that he will surpass Federer's record on March 8. Having reached another career milestone, Djokovic had said he would look to adjust his calendar and make passing Federer's and Rafael Nadal's record of 20 Grand Slam titles his top priority. "Now, after achieving the historic No. 1 for the longest weeks at No. 1, it's going to be a relief for me because I'm going to focus all my attention on Slams mostly," Djokovic said after his title triumph at Melbourne Park. "When you are going for No. 1 ranking, you kind of have to be playing the entire season and you have to be playing well, you have to play all the tournaments. "My goals will adapt and will shift a little bit, which means that I will have to adjust also my calendar -- not have to, but I will have an opportunity...
March 01
March 01

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

Novak Djokovic tied Roger Federer's record for most weeks as ATP world No. 1 on Monday, holding the top spot for the 310th week. Djokovic's ninth Australian Open title last month guaranteed that he will surpass Federer's record on March 8. Having reached another career milestone, Djokovic had said he would look to adjust his calendar and make passing Federer's and Rafael Nadal's record of 20 Grand Slam titles his top priority. "Now, after achieving the historic No. 1 for the longest weeks at No. 1, it's going to be a relief for me because I'm going to focus all my attention on Slams mostly," Djokovic said after his title triumph at Melbourne Park. "When you are going for No. 1 ranking, you kind of have to be playing the entire season and you have to be playing well, you have to play all the tournaments. "My goals will adapt and will shift a little bit, which means that I will have to adjust also my calendar -- not have to, but I will have an opportunity to do...
March 01
March 01

Novak Djokovic ties Roger Federer's record for most weeks as ATP world number one

Novak Djokovic has tied Roger Federer's all-time record for most weeks as ATP world number one on Monday, holding the top spot for the 310th week. Djokovic's ninth Australian Open title last month guaranteed that he will surpass Federer's record on March 8. Having reached another milestone in his illustrious career, Djokovic had said he would look to adjust his calendar and make passing Federer and Rafael Nadal's joint-record of 20 Grand Slam titles his top priority. "Now, after achieving the historic number one for the longest weeks at number one, it's going to be a relief for me because I'm going to focus all my attention on Slams mostly," Djokovic said after his title triumph at Melbourne Park. "When you are going for number one ranking, you kind of have to be playing the entire season and you have to be playing well, you have to play all the tournaments. "My goals will adapt and will shift a little bit, which means that I will have to adjust also my calendar...
March 01
March 01

Sources: Anfernee Simons, Cassius Stanley expected to join Obi Toppin in NBA's slam dunk contest

Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons and Indiana Pacers rookie Cassius Stanley are expected to join New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin in the NBA's slam dunk contest, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday. The NBA is continuing a recent trend of highlighting some of the league's younger players in the contest, with the 21-year-old Simons competing alongside two rookies. This year's dunk contest will take place at halftime of the All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta. Toppin was selected with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft out of Dayton, while Stanley was selected late in the second round out of Duke. While neither rookie has yet made his mark as a dunker in the NBA this season, both boast impressive highlight reels from their time in college. Toppin has played limited minutes with the Knicks this season. Stanley has averaged 12.4 points in nine games for the Pacers' G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad...
March 01
February 28

Irv Cross, pioneering Black sports analyst, dies at 81

PHILADELPHIA -- Irv Cross, the former Pro Bowl defensive back who became the first Black man to work full time as a sports analyst on national television with CBS, died Sunday. He was 81. The Philadelphia Eagles, with whom Cross spent six of his nine NFL seasons, said Cross' son, Matthew, confirmed his father died near his home in Roseville, Minnesota. The cause of death was not provided. "All of us at CBS Sports are saddened by the news of Irv Cross' passing," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. "Irv was a pioneer who made significant contributions to the storied history and tradition of CBS Sports and, along with Phyllis George and Brent Musburger, set the standard for NFL pregame shows with THE NFL TODAY. "He was a true gentleman and a trailblazer in the sports television industry and will be remembered for his accomplishments and the paths he paved for those who followed." Cross spent 23 years at CBS and won the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete...
February 28
February 28

Sources: Anfernee Simons, Cassius Stanley expected to join Obi Toppin in slam dunk contest

Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons and Indiana Pacers rookie Cassius Stanley are expected to join New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin in the slam dunk contest, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday. The NBA is continuing a recent trend of highlighting some of the league's younger players in the contest, with the 21-year-old Simons competing alongside two rookies. This year's dunk contest will take place at halftime of the All-Star Game on March 7. Toppin was selected with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, while Stanley was a late second-round draft pick out of Duke. While neither rookie has yet made his mark as a dunker in the NBA this season, both boast impressive highlight reels from their time in college. Toppin has played limited minutes with the Knicks this season. Stanley has averaged 12.4 points in nine games for the Pacers' G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Simons is in his third season...
February 28
February 28

Tiger Woods tweets appreciation as several PGA Tour golfers wear red in his honor

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Tiger Woods, in a tweet Sunday night, said it was "touching" to see so many players wearing his trademark Sunday red for the final round of the WGC-Workday Championship, just days after a serious car accident left him hospitalized and needing emergency surgery. "It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts," Woods wrote in the tweet. "To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time." Woods, 45, suffered several injuries in the single-car crash. He underwent a lengthy surgery, and he remains hospitalized in Southern California. Collin Morikawa planned to join other players in honoring Woods by wearing a red shirt and black pants. But the gear from his apparel company didn't arrive in time, so Morikawa paid tribute in a better way: He converted a 54-hole lead into a victory at Concession Golf Club, shooting a final-round 69 to win his fourth PGA Tour title by 3...
February 28
February 28

Collin Morikawa wins Workday Championship by 3 strokes, says 'Thank you' to Tiger Woods, late grandfather

BRADENTON, Fla. -- PGA champion Collin Morikawa shook off an early mistake, regained control around the turn, delivered two clutch putts and then played a steady hand on a Concession Golf Club course known for calamity, closing with a 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory in the Workday Championship. Morikawa picked up a few short-game tips from major champions --  Mark O'Meara on his putting, Concession member Paul Azinger on the chipping -- and he says it carried him to another big win. And there was a tribute to Tiger Woods, his golf idol growing up. Morikawa choked up ever so slightly when it was over talking about Woods and what he has meant to the game, and his paternal grandfather, who died last month. "You don't get to say thank you enough,'' Morikawa said. "So , 'Thank you, guys.''' Morikawa won by three over Brooks Koepka (70), Viktor Hovland (67) and Billy Horschel (70). "With how good the field was, how good my...
February 28
February 28

Collin Morikawa wins Workday Championship by 3 strokes, says 'Thank you' to Tiger Woods

BRADENTON, Fla. -- PGA champion Collin Morikawa shook off an early mistake and played a steady hand on a Concession golf course known for calamity, closing with a 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory in the Workday Championship. Morikawa picked up a few short-game tips from major champions - Mark O'Meara on his putting, Concession member Paul Azinger on the chipping -- and he says it carried him to another big win. And there was a tribute to Tiger Woods, his golf idol growing up. "We don't say 'Thank you' enough," Morikawa said, referring to how much Woods has raised the profile and prize money in golf. He also mentioned his grandfather dying a month ago and began to get emotional. Morikawa won by three over Brooks Koepka (70), Viktor Hovland (67) and Billy Horschel (70). He finished at 18-under 270 and became the 24th player to win a major and a World Golf Championship title since this series began in 1999. He joined Woods...
February 28
February 28

Sources: Victor Oladipo turned down 2-year, $45.2 million extension from Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo recently turned down a two-year, $45.2 million maximum contract extension, the most the franchise could offer him before the end of the regular season, sources told ESPN. As expected, Oladipo is pursuing a longer-term deal, sources said, something that the collective bargaining agreement doesn't allow the Rockets to offer him until the offseason. Oladipo is in the final year of a four-year, $85 million contract, which leaves the Rockets with decisions to make prior to the March 25 trade deadline -- including whether they'll make him available in trade talks. The transitional state of the Rockets' roster makes it likely they'll listen to overtures as they continue to get to know Oladipo -- and he gets to know them -- since the mid-January trade that brought him from the  Indiana Pacers as part of the James Harden blockbuster. For the Rockets, amid a post-Harden and Russell Westbrook era, there are a number of...
February 28
February 28

Baltimore Orioles' Trey Mancini gets standing ovation, singles in return from cancer

Trey Mancini received a standing ovation and applause from both dugouts Sunday during his first live at-bat after missing the 2020 season while recovering from Stage 3 colon cancer. When the Baltimore Orioles' first baseman came up in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he drew a nice round of applause as he approached the batter's box and waved to the crowd. The cheers kept growing, with pitcher Chad Kuhl stepping off the mound and umpire Will Little cleaning the plate to prolong the salute. After tipping his cap in acknowledgement of the applause, Mancini then punctuated his return with a single to center. "It was amazing," Mancini told reporters when asked about the ovation. "I almost teared up a little bit, I'm not going to lie, when I was up there and everybody gave me a standing ovation and I saw all the guys on the field clapping on the Pirates, clapping in the dugout, our team and all our fans. It meant the world to me. It was a really,...
February 28
February 28

UConn, Stanford, Texas A&M, South Carolina top four in early peek at NCAA women's basketball tournament seeding

The NCAA has announced the second reveal of the projected top 16 seeds in the Division I women's basketball tournament, plus the fact that the regionals -- all held in San Antonio -- will be named after famous sites in the city: the Alamo, the Hemisfair, the Mercado and the River Walk. The seed projections are through Saturday's games and don't take into account games on Sunday. The selection show is Monday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. UConn is the overall top seed, followed by No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 South Carolina. Those are the No. 1 regional seeds. In the first reveal on Feb. 15, the top four were UConn, South Carolina, Stanford and Louisville. The Cardinals have fallen from the No. 4 seed overall to No. 9. Only one team fell out of the top 16 from the first reveal: West Virginia, which was replaced by Arkansas. That gives the SEC six teams in the top 16 -- Texas A&M, South Carolina, No. 11 Georgia, No. 13 Tennessee, No. 14 Kentucky and No. 16 Arkansas --...
February 28
February 28

TE Arik Gilbert back in transfer portal after brief time with Florida Gators football

Tight end Arik Gilbert is back on the market after announcing he is re-entering the transfer portal on Sunday. Gilbert entered the transfer portal while enrolled at LSU and eventually chose Florida as his next destination on Jan. 31. Four weeks later, Gilbert took to Twitter to say he's backing off that decision and will not enroll with the Gators. "I have decided to decommit from the university of Florida and re-enter the portal," Gilbert tweeted. "I will not be announcing my final decision until i am enrolled into school and on campus." Gilbert was the No. 6-ranked recruit, a five-star, in the 2020 class and played in eight games as a true freshman this past season. He accounted for 368 receiving yards and two touchdowns but opted out of the remainder of the season on Dec. 9. At the time Gilbert opted out, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he had hoped Gilbert would be back with the program. But Gilbert never played another down for the Tigers and...
February 28
February 28

TE Arik Gilbert back in transfer portal after brief time with Florida Gators

Tight end Arik Gilbert is back on the market after announcing he is re-entering the transfer portal on Sunday. Gilbert entered the transfer portal while enrolled at LSU and eventually chose Florida as his next destination on Jan. 31. Four weeks later, Gilbert took to Twitter to say he's backing off of that decision and will not enroll with the Gators. "I have decided to decommit from the university of Florida and re-enter the portal," Gilbert tweeted. "I will not be announcing my final decision until i am enrolled into school and on campus." He was the No. 6-ranked recruit, a five-star, in the 2020 class and played in eight games as a true freshman this past season. He accounted for 368 receiving yards and two touchdowns but opted out of the remainder of the season on Dec. 9. At the time Gilbert opted out, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said he had hoped Gilbert would be back with the program. But Gilbert never played another down for the Tigers and...
February 28
February 28

Michigan football secures commitments from QB transfer Alan Bowman, elite Class of 2022 recruit

Michigan's offense is adding a veteran presence at quarterback in Texas Tech transfer Alan Bowman, who announced his decision to commit to the Wolverines on Sunday. Bowman entered the transfer portal on Jan. 25 and is a graduate transfer, so he will be eligible immediately for Michigan. He threw for 1,602 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season for Texas Tech and brings three years of experience to the table. The Wolverines saw quarterback Joe Milton enter the transfer portal on Feb. 18, after Dylan McCaffrey entered the portal on Jan. 21. That left Michigan with only Cade McNamara, who threw for 425 yards and five touchdowns last season, and incoming freshman J.J. McCarthy, the No. 25-ranked recruit overall and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the class. Bowman gives Michigan another option and some experience to help an offense that ranked 78th in offensive yards per game and 44th in pass yards per game. The Wolverines also added to the defense on Sunday...
February 28
February 28

Busy Michigan Wolverines secure commitment from Texas Tech QB transfer, elite Class of 2022 recruit

Michigan's offense is adding a veteran presence at quarterback in Texas Tech transfer Alan Bowman, who announced his decision to commit to the Wolverines on Sunday. Bowman entered the transfer portal on January 25, and is a graduate transfer, so he will be eligible immediately for Michigan. He threw for 1,602 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season for Texas Tech and brings three years of experience to the table. The Wolverines saw quarterback Joe Milton enter the transfer portal on February 18, after Dylan McCaffrey entered the portal on January 21. That left Michigan with only Cade McNamara, who threw for 425 yards and five touchdowns last season, and incoming freshman, J.J. McCarthy, the No. 25 ranked recruit overall and the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the class. Bowman gives Michigan another option and some experience to help the offense that ranked 78 in offensive yards per game and 44 in pass yards per game. The Wolverines also added to the defense on...
February 28
February 28

Several PGA Tour golfers wear red in honor of Tiger Woods

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Collin Morikawa planned to honor Tiger Woods by wearing a red shirt and black pants on Sunday at the WGC-Workday Championship, as many other players did.  But the gear from his apparel company didn't arrive in time, so Morikawa paid tribute in a better way: He converted a 54-hole lead into a victory at the WGC-Workday Championship, shooting a final-round 69 to win his fourth PGA Tour title by 3 strokes over Brooks Koepka, Billy Horschel and Viktor Hovland. Woods was involved in a serious car accident on Tuesday and was on the minds of all the players this week, several of whom showed up at the Concession Golf Club wearing a red shirt and black pants in honor of Woods for the final round. Woods' trademark has been to wear red on Sundays. Woods tweeted his appreciation on Sunday night, writing: "It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer and every...
February 28
February 28

Toronto Raptors' virus issues worsen as game vs. Chicago Bulls postponed

Two days after the Toronto Raptors beat the Houston Rockets with several coaches -- including head coach Nick Nurse -- and star forward Pascal Siakam sitting out due to the NBA's health and safety protocols, the Raptors had Sunday night's game against the Chicago Bulls postponed because they couldn't field the required eight players. It is unclear whether Toronto will be able to return to the court before the All-Star break this coming weekend. The Raptors are scheduled to host the  Detroit Pistons on Tuesday before taking on the Celtics in Boston on Thursday. There is no word as to whether the Rockets' game Sunday night in Houston against the Memphis Grizzlies will need to be postponed as a result of the Raptors' issues. After it was announced that Nurse, his coaching staff and Siakam would all be unavailable for Friday's game, Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said that the NBA -- which determines whether games will be played...
February 28
February 28

Sources: Kansas City Royals, 3B Hunter Dozier agree on 4-year, $25M extension

Third baseman Hunter Dozier and the Kansas City Royals are in agreement on a four-year, $25 million contract extension that includes a fifth-year option for $10 million, sources told ESPN. The deal buys out two potential free-agent years for the 29-year-old and starts this season. The contract has escalators and bonuses that could max it out at $49 million over the five years. Dozier missed the start of the season last year after testing positive for COVID-19. He made his season debut on Aug. 9. In 44 games, Dozier posted a .228/.344/.392 slash line with six home runs and 12 RBIs. He had a breakthrough 2019 season in which he hit 26 homers, tied for the American League lead in triples (10) and had 84 RBIs. Dozier is a clear part of a Royals team that's looking to make noise in a suddenly ascendant AL Central. Earlier this offseason, Kansas City acquired outfielder Andrew Benintendi in a trade with the Boston Red Sox, and signed veteran...
February 28
February 28

James Harden sings praises of Luka Doncic: 'Mavs got a special one'

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has inspired comparisons to legends such as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson less than 2½ seasons into his NBA career. Among active superstars, Doncic's game might be most similar to that of perennial MVP candidate James Harden, who acknowledged Saturday night that he considers those comparisons legitimate. "There are some similarities," Harden said after the Mavs' 115-98 road win snapped the  Brooklyn Nets' eight-game winning streak. "He never lets anyone speed him up, and he gets what he wants. That's rare for a guy at a young age. I think he's 21 years old. And to be able to dictate the game and control the game like he does, we all know he has a very, very bright future. "The Mavs got a special one." Harden's comments weren't necessarily a reaction to Saturday night's game, in which he was the lone All-Star available for the Nets with Kevin Durant (hamstring) and Kyrie Irving (injury maintenance)...
February 28
February 28

Canelo Alvarez dominates Avni Yildirim by third-round TKO as corner throws in towel

From the opening bell, Canelo Alvarez appeared destined for a knockout victory against mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim. Alvarez didn't have to wait long for it. Yildirim's corner threw in the towel at the end of the third round, and Alvarez picked up a TKO victory to retain his WBC and WBA super middleweight belts Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. After the fight, Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn confirmed that Alvarez will face WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders in a unification bout on May 8 at a location to be determined. "I wanted to have a great fight here," Alvarez, speaking through an interpreter, told the crowd, which was capped at 15,000 because of COVID-19 restrictions. "I needed to knock [him] out, and that's what I did. That's what I had to do." Alvarez (55-1-2) was the lone fighter in the ring pressing the action in the first three rounds. Early in the fight, Alvarez threw looping hooks around Yildirim's high guard and pelted the...
February 28
February 28

Scott Drew says No. 2 Baylor lacking rhythm, conditioning in loss to Kansas after COVID-19 pauses

Following No. 2  Baylor's first loss of the season on Saturday night, a 71-58 defeat at No. 17  Kansas, coach Scott Drew acknowledged the COVID-19 protocols that sidelined the Bears for 21 days are his basketball team's "kryptonite." "We were the No. 1-shooting team in the country, and we'll get back to that," Drew said. "But even Superman has kryptonite. And I guess COVID protocols is ours." Baylor, which entered the game shooting 43.2% from 3-point range, went 6-for-26 from behind the arc. The Bears shot just 8-for-25 from behind the arc in their first game back, a come-from-behind win at Iowa State on Tuesday. This was Baylor's first week back after six consecutive postponements due to COVID-19 issues within the program and the Big 12's protocols. The Bears practiced last Sunday for the first time in nearly three weeks. "Anyone that's had COVID would know when you come back you're probably not 100 percent," Drew said. "For people that didn't...
February 28
February 27

Saying he 'just wanted to manage,' Ciryl Gane controls Jairzinho Rozenstruik in ho-hum fashion in main event of UFC Fight Night

Ciryl Gane, the UFC heavyweight contender, picked up a critical notch in his belt. Ciryl Gane the budding UFC star? Maybe not so much. Gane completely controlled Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a one-sided, unanimous decision win (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas. But a lack of aggression and his conservative strategy could work against Gane when it comes to future UFC matchmaking. "I don't make a real big show for the fans," Gane said in his postfight interview. "I got a big win, so I'm really happy for that. The guy was really tough. I just wanted to manage, and I did it." No, Gane didn't get the highlight-reel knockout that will go viral on social media. Nor did he engage in the kind of back-and-forth war that might make him a box-office favorite. But he did stay undefeated in the UFC against one of the top heavyweights in the world, showing his continued trajectory as a legitimate prospect. "[My coach] said, 'You did very well," Gane...
February 27
February 27

Ex-Notre Dame football star Louis Nix, 29, found dead after reported missing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former Notre Dame football and NFL player Louis Nix, who had been reported missing earlier this week, was found dead on Saturday. He was 29. No cause of death was announced. Nix's family reported him missing on Wednesday to police. After several days of searching, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office tweeted at 8 p.m. ET Saturday that Nix had been located but did not report Nix's condition.  Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly shared a video on Twitter of some of his fond memories of Nix.  According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Nix was last seen at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, leaving his father's Jacksonville residence. Kelly sent out a tweet Saturday morning asking for the public's help in finding Nix. Nix was injured in a shooting in December while filling his car's tires at a gas station near the Jacksonville airport. He said on social media that he spent 10 days in the hospital and that a bullet ricocheted off his sternum and went into his...
February 27
February 27

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant remains NBA All-Star Game captain despite not playing

NEW YORK -- The  Brooklyn Nets'  Kevin Durant will still serve as an NBA All-Star Game captain despite a hamstring injury that will keep him from playing.  Durant and fellow All-Star Game captain LeBron James of the  Los Angeles Lakers will each draft a roster out of the pool of selected All-Stars. The All-Star draft will air on TNT on March 4. It remained unclear whether Durant will travel to Atlanta for the game on March 7. Durant has missed the Nets' past seven games with a hamstring strain and has been ruled out through the All-Star break. NBA commissioner Adam Silver named Domantas Sabonis as Durant's replacement in the game, and  Jayson Tatum was elevated to be an All-Star starter in Durant's absence. An 11-time All-Star, Durant is averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists for Brooklyn this season.
February 27
February 27

Ex-Notre Dame star Louis Nix, 29, found dead after reported missing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former Notre Dame and NFL football player Louis Nix, who had been reported missing earlier this week, was found dead on Saturday, family members told two Jacksonville television stations. He was 29. Nix's family reported him missing on Wednesday to police. After several days of searching, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office tweeted at 8 p.m. ET Saturday that Nix had been located but did not report Nix's condition. CBS/Fox affiliate Action News Jax reported that Nix's mother confirmed that Nix had died. WJXT TV-4 reported Nix's death via another family member. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Nix was last seen at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, leaving his father's Jacksonville residence. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly sent out a tweet on Saturday morning asking for the public's help in finding Nix. Nix was injured in a shooting in December while filling his car's tires at a gas station near the Jacksonville airport. He said on social media that he...
February 27
February 27

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant remains All-Star Game captain despite not playing

NEW YORK --  Brooklyn Nets'  Kevin Durant will still serve as an All-Star captain despite a hamstring injury that will keep him from participating in the game.  Durant, alongside LeBron James, will draft a roster out of the pool of selected All-Stars. The All-Star draft will air on TNT on March 4. It remains unclear whether or not Durant will travel to Atlanta for the game on March 7. Durant has missed the Nets' last seven games with a hamstring strain and has been ruled out through the All-Star break. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver named Domantas Sabonis as Durant's replacement in the game. Jayson Tatum was elevated to an All-Star starter in Durant's absence. An 11-time All-Star, Durant is averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists for Brooklyn this season.
February 27
February 27

Milwaukee Bucks expect guard Jrue Holiday back in lineup on Sunday, sources say, after 10-game absence

After missing 10 consecutive games, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday is likely to return to the lineup against the visiting  LA Clippers on Sunday, sources told ESPN. The Bucks have been largely inconsistent without Holiday, who has been out for three weeks as part of the league's health and safety protocols. Holiday practiced on Saturday with the Bucks, and he has progressed in ramping up his conditioning this week. After starting the season 15-8, the Bucks have struggled to a 5-5 record without Holiday. The Bucks are down in points per game (121.2 to 117.6), point differential (9.8 to 2.5) and assists per game (27.2 to 23.7). Holiday has averaged 16.4 points, 5.4 assists and 4.8 rebounds, including shooting 50% from the floor and 38.7% on 3-pointers. The Bucks acquired Holiday from the  New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster four-team trade during the offseason.
February 27
February 27

North Carolina Tar Heels' Roy Williams reaches 900 wins

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina's Roy Williams became the fifth Division I men's basketball coach to reach 900 wins on Saturday, and he was able to celebrate the milestone in front of home fans for the first time this season. Down 16 points to No. 11 Florida State shortly before halftime, the Tar Heels rode a 20-point performance from freshman Walker Kessler to mount a comeback against the ACC's top team. UNC celebrated the longtime coach at midcourt after the game, raising a framed No. 900 jersey in his honor. Williams joins Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun and Bob Knight as the only Division I men's basketball coaches to hit 900 wins. He's the fastest coach in Division I to reach the milestone, doing it in just his 1,161st game as a head coach. Williams said he was just focused on getting North Carolina to its 15th win this season, but he admitted after the game that it was a nice accomplishment. "It's neat, and I appreciate all the players that have ever...
February 27
February 27

Troubled receiver Josh Gordon joins Johnny Manziel on team in Atlanta-based startup league, owner says

Former NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon will return to the sport in the startup Fan Controlled Football league as a member of the FCF Zappers, team owner Bob Menery told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Saturday. Gordon will join former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel -- who was Gordon's teammate with the  Cleveland Browns -- on that team's roster. The league, which began play this month, features 7-on-7 games in which fans set rosters, call plays and interact in a blend of traditional and esports environments. Gordon's on-again, off-again NFL career ran into another roadblock last month when, as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, he was suspended indefinitely after the league rescinded his conditional reinstatement. An NFL spokesperson told ESPN at the time that the decision stemmed from Gordon, 29, violating terms of his conditional reinstatement under the league's substance-abuse policy. No other details were provided from the league. The league suspended Gordon...
February 27
February 27

Brooklyn Nets to be without Kyrie Irving (shoulder) vs. Dallas Mavericks

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving will miss Saturday's game against the Dallas Mavericks for what the team has said is "right shoulder injury recovery." The Nets were already without Kevin Durant, who has been ruled out through the All-Star break as he rehabs a hamstring strain. Irving had surgery on his right shoulder last March to relieve an impingement. Prior to getting surgery, Irving had gotten a cortisone shot in December 2019. Saturday will be the 11th game missed this season by Irving, who was out for an extended personal absence in January. He is averaging 27.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game this season. Brooklyn enters Saturday's matchup against the Mavericks (ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET) on an eight-game winning streak.
February 27
February 27

Sources: Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam expected to remain in protocol through All-Star break

Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is expected to remain in the league's health and safety protocol through the All-Star break, missing the final three games of the first half, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Siakam sat out Friday's victory over  Houston in the protocol. The Raptors were without Siakam and six coaches, including head coach Nick Nurse, on Friday night because of health and safety protocols. Siakam will miss games vs. the  Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics in the coming week. Raptors assistant Sergio Scariolo slid over into the head coach's chair, leading the team to a 122-111 win over the Rockets in Tampa, Florida. Siakam is averaging 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season.
February 27
February 27

Source: Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam expected to remain in protocol through All-Star break

Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is expected to remain in the league's health and safety protocol through the All-Star break, missing the final three games of the first half, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Siakam sat out Friday's victory over Houston in the protocol. The Raptors were without Siakam and six coaches, including head coach Nick Nurse, on Friday night because of health and safety protocols. Siakam will miss games vs. the  Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics in the coming week. Raptors assistant Sergio Scariolo slid over into the head coach's chair, leading the team to a 122-111 win over the Rockets in Tampa, Florida. Siakam is averaging 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season.
February 27
February 27

Source: Former champion Regis Prograis to face Ivan Redkach on April 17

Former junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis will be featured on a unique boxing card. Prograis will face Ivan Redkach on the undercard of the Jake Paul- Ben Askren event on April 17 that will be produced by Triller, a source confirmed to ESPN on Saturday. The recent development comes on the heels of Triller's winning $6 million bid to promote Teofimo Lopez's IBF welterweight title defense against George Kambosos. Prograis (25-1, 21 KOs) won the WBA's 140-pound belt in April 2019 when he stopped Kiryl Relikh. He suffered his first career loss six months later when he dropped a majority decision to Josh Taylor in the finale of a World Boxing Super Series Tournament. Redkach (23-5, 18 KOs) hasn't been in the ring since he lost a unanimous decision against Danny Garcia in January 2020. The Prograis-Redkach bout, which was first reported by The Athletic, gives Triller another notable fight on its platform. The business made its big splash last year when it...
February 27
February 27

Jeremy Lin says he's 'not naming or shaming anyone' in wake of claim he was called 'coronavirus' on court

A day after a league official told ESPN's Marc J. Spears that the G League is investigating a claim made by Jeremy Lin that he was called "coronavirus" during a game, Lin tweeted that he's "not naming or shaming anyone." "I know this will disappoint some of you but I'm not naming or shaming anyone," Lin tweeted Saturday. "What good does it do in this situation for someone to be torn down? It doesn't make my community safer or solve any of our long-term problems with racism." In a Facebook post Thursday, Lin, the former NBA guard now playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League, spoke out about the racism he believes the Asian American community continues to deal with and offered examples that he said he has experienced. "Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn't protect me from being called 'coronavirus' on the court," he wrote. Lin didn't specify when he was called that, and it was unclear if the incident occurred in the G League bubble in Orlando, Florida,...
February 27
February 27

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James to Zlatan Ibrahimovic: No way I'll ever 'stick to sports'

LeBron James on Friday dismissed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's criticism of his social activism and said the AC Milan star's comments were hypocritical. Ibrahimovic, whose time playing for his former team, the LA Galaxy, coincided with James' first season with the Lakers, criticized James on Thursday in an interview with UEFA for Discovery+ in Sweden, saying it was a "mistake" and "doesn't look good" when James and other "famous" people get involved in politics. "He was the same guy who said when he was back in Sweden ... because his last name wasn't a certain last name, that he felt there was some racism going on when he was out on the pitch," James said. "I speak from a very educated mind, so I'm kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework." Several years ago, Ibrahimovic said he was subject to "undercover racism" in his native Sweden because his Bosnian roots gave him a surname that doesn't sound traditionally Swedish. "I am not Andersson or...
February 27

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