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2 hours ago

Minnesota Vikings name Phil Rauscher new O-line coach because of COVID-19 protocols; Rick Dennison still with team

EAGAN, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday that Phil Rauscher will replace Rick Dennison as the team's offensive line coach this season. Dennison, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, will remain with the team as a senior offensive adviser. Ben Steele, who was hired earlier this year by Auburn as special teams analyst, will be Minnesota's assistant offensive line coach, filling the role Rauscher held since 2019. On Friday, ESPN reported that Dennison was out as offensive line coach/run game coordinator because he was not vaccinated. The Vikings later said they were in discussion with Dennison on the NFL's COVID-19 protocols while stating that he did not have an exemption to the vaccination requirement. The vaccine is required for all Tier 1 staff, including coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers and scouts. Players are not required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but will face strict protocols during training camp and throughout the season...
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Minnesota Vikings name Phil Rauscher new O-line coach due to COVID-19 protocols; Rick Dennison still with team

The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday that Phil Rauscher will replace Rick Dennison as the team's offensive line coach this season. Dennison, who isn't vaccinated against COVID-19, will remain with the team as a senior offensive advisor. In addition, Ben Steele has been added by the team as assistant offensive line coach. ESPN had reported last Friday that Dennison was out with the team because he wasn't vaccinated but the Vikings later said they were in discussions with him on the NFL's COVID-19 protocols. Dennison had served as the Vikings' offensive line coach/run game coordinator the past two seasons. The vaccine is required for all Tier 1 staff, including coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers and scouts. Players are not required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but will face strict protocols during training camp and throughout the season that vaccinated players will be able to forgo. In a memo released by the league this summer, the NFL said any...
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich to follow all polices 'for the unvaccinated'

Washington State coach Nick Rolovich says the school's administration respects his decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and that he intends to follow all policies "for the unvaccinated." Rolovich on Tuesday spoke at Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles from Pullman, Washington, via Zoom, since the event required all coaches to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The second-year coach said about 75% of Washington State's roster has been fully vaccinated or soon will be, and he praised both the state and the university for their efforts in getting residents and students vaccinated. "I'm not against vaccinations, and I wholeheartedly support those who choose to get vaccinated, including our players," Rolovich said. "I urge everyone to consider being vaccinated." Rolovich, 42, reiterated that the reasons for his vaccination decision are personal and will not be shared publicly. Washington State has a vaccination mandate for all employees, but also policies for employees who...
2 hours ago
2 hours ago

Chicago Blackhawks acquire goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in trade with Vegas Golden Knights

The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired reigning Vezina Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender  Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights, it was announced Tuesday. The Golden Knights received minor league forward Mikael Hakkarainen in return. Fleury's agent, Allan Walsh, said his client hadn't been informed of any potential deal by Vegas. "While Marc-Andre Fleury still hasn't heard from anybody with the Vegas Golden Knights, he has apparently been traded to Chicago," Allan said on Twitter. "Marc-Andre will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time." Sources had said there was chatter that Fleury, 36, might retire if he was traded from Vegas. Fleury, a 17-year NHL veteran, won his first Vezina Trophy in 2021 with Vegas. He went 26-10-0 with a career-best .928 save percentage and 1.98 GAA as the Golden Knights had the league's second-best record in the...
2 hours ago
3 hours ago

Alex Ovechkin signs five-year, $47.5 million deal to return to Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin has signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal to return to the Washington Capitals, it was announced Tuesday. "I'M BACK DC!!!!!" he wrote on Twitter, with a source close to Ovechkin saying he wanted to pay homage on social media to Michael Jordan's famous "I'm back" statement. The 35-year-old has played his entire career with the Capitals since they took him with the first overall pick in the 2004 draft. After leading the NHL in goals for three straight seasons, Ovechkin had a team-high 24 goals in 45 games this shortened season, tying for 13th in the league. He missed an NHL-career-high 11 games this year, including four while in COVID-19 protocol and seven because of a groin injury. Ovechkin represented himself in negotiations, just as he did for his prior deal -- a 13-year, $124 million contract signed in 2008. "Alex is a world-class athlete who will forever be regarded not only for leading the team to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup,...
3 hours ago
3 hours ago

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson wants to win Super Bowl, then change jersey to No. 1

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- If Lamar Jackson has his way, he won't be wearing No. 8 for much longer. On the Ravens' team podcast "The Lounge," Jackson said he has a personal reason to change his jersey number, although he has to achieve something in order to make the switch. "If we win the Super Bowl, I'm going to No. 1," Jackson said. "I want the No. 1. That's my first number ever. My dad told me, 'Get No. 1 because that's the best. You're the best.' And it always stuck with me." Jackson, who wore No. 7 in high school, was given No. 8 when he got to Louisville. He kept No. 8 because his mother said the number represented "new beginnings." Jackson's No. 8 has become a hot commodity among the Ravens. Inside linebacker Patrick Queen wore that number at LSU and jokingly tried to pry it away from Jackson this offseason, when rules changes allowed more options for players. But Jackson made it known he has his sights set on owning two numbers. "I want to retire No. 8...
3 hours ago
3 hours ago

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson wants to win Super Bowl then change jersey to No. 1

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- If Lamar Jackson has his way, he won't be wearing No. 8 for much longer. On the Ravens' team podcast "The Lounge," Jackson said he has a personal reason to change his jersey number, although he has to achieve something in order to make the switch. "If we win the Super Bowl, I'm going to No. 1," Jackson said. "I want the No. 1. That's my first number ever. My dad told me, 'Get No. 1 because that's the best. You're the best.' And it always stuck with me." Jackson, who wore No. 7 in high school, was given No. 8 when he got to Louisville. He kept No. 8 because his mother said the number represented "new beginnings." Jackson's No. 8 has become a hot commodity among the Ravens. Inside linebacker Patrick Queen wore that number at LSU and jokingly tried to pry No. 8 away from Jackson this offseason when single digits opened up. But Jackson made it known he has his sights on owning two numbers. "I want to retire No. 8 and No. 1," Jackson said....
3 hours ago
4 hours ago

Key moments from the Olympic Games: Day 4

Here's what you missed from Day 4 of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
4 hours ago
Simone Biles talks with Jordan Chiles of Team United States during the Women's Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
4 hours ago

After dropping out of Tokyo Olympics team final, Simone Biles uncertain she'll continue

TOKYO -- Simone Biles arrived in Tokyo as the star of the U.S. Olympic movement and perhaps the Games themselves. She convinced herself she was prepared for the pressure. That she was ready to carry the burden of outsized expectations. Only, as the women's gymnastics team final approached on Tuesday night, something felt off. And the athlete widely considered the Greatest of All Time in her sport knew it. So rather than push through the doubts that crept into her head as she's done so many times in the past, Biles decided enough was enough. She was done. For now. The American star withdrew from the competition following one rotation, opening the door for the team of Russian athletes to win gold for the first time in nearly three decades. Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum guided the U.S. to silver while Biles cheered from the sideline in a white sweatsuit, at peace with a decision that revealed a shift not only in Biles but perhaps the sport she's...
4 hours ago
July 27

Chicago Blackhawks to get goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in trade with Vegas Golden Knights, sources say

The Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to a deal that would send three-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to Chicago, sources told ESPN on Tuesday. Pending a trade call, the Golden Knights will receive minor league forward Mikael Hakkarainen, sources told ESPN. Fleury's agent, Allan Walsh, said his client hadn't been informed of any potential deal by Vegas. "While Marc-Andre Fleury still hasn't heard from anybody with the Vegas Golden Knights, he has apparently been traded to Chicago," Allan said on Twitter. "Marc-Andre will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time." Sources had said there was chatter that Fleury might retire if he was traded from Vegas. Fleury, a 17-year NHL veteran, won his first Vezina Trophy in 2021 with Vegas. The 36-year-old went 26-10-0 with a career-best .928 save percentage and 1.98 GAA as the Golden Knights had...
July 27
July 27

Tokyo Olympic Games: Day 4 key moments

Simone Biles’ injury is just one of the key moments on day 4 of the Tokyo Olympic games.
July 27
Simone Biles’ injury is just one of the key moments on day 4 of the Tokyo Olympic games.
July 27

Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns formally notify SEC of membership request for 2025

Oklahoma and Texas have formally notified the SEC they are seeking "an invitation for membership" beginning July 1, 2025, according to a joint statement from the flagship programs of the Big 12. According to the release, OU and Texas sent SEC commissioner Greg Sankey their request Tuesday morning. "The two universities look forward to the prospect of discussion regarding the matter," the statement read. According to the letter, which was dated July 27 and made public, Texas president Jay Hartzell and Oklahoma president Joseph Harroz Jr. wrote, "We believe that there would be mutual benefit to the Universities on the one hand, and the SEC on the other hand, for the Universities to become members of the SEC." Sources said the SEC presidents and chancellors are meeting Thursday to consider OU and Texas for official membership in what would become the first 16-team superconference. In spite of the formal notification from the Big 12 schools, a source familiar with the...
July 27
July 27

Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns formally notify SEC of membership request in 2025

Oklahoma and Texas have formally notified the SEC they are seeking "an invitation for membership" beginning July 1, 2025, according to a joint statement from the flagship programs of the Big 12. According to the release, OU and Texas sent SEC commissioner Greg Sankey their request this morning. "The two universities look forward to the prospect of discussion regarding the matter," the statement read. In a statement, Sankey said the SEC presidents and chancellors would consider the requests, noting that at least three-fourths of the SEC's 14 members schools is required to extend an invitation.  "While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses," he said in the statement. Sources said SEC presidents and chancellors are expected to...
July 27
July 27

Projected No. 1 NBA draft pick Cade Cunningham signs multiyear endorsement deal with Nike

Ahead of the 2021 NBA draft, projected top overall pick  Cade Cunningham has signed a multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Nike. After a COVID-19-impacted market found a majority of last season's rookies playing out the 2020-21 season without a sneaker deal, brands are now returning to aggressively sign top players heading into this week's draft. Nike had its eyes set on Cunningham, who starred at Nike-sponsored Oklahoma State University and has long had an affinity for the brand. "More than anything, they show that athletes are more than just athletes," Cunningham told ESPN. "They really put the right message out for people to see. That was important to me. ... I felt like it was a perfect match for me." Cunningham, a dynamic 6-foot-8 point guard who completed his lone freshman season as Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus All-American, is looking to build his marketing profile early on with Nike. "We all can tell a Nike commercial...
July 27
July 27

Simone Biles withdraws from gymnastics team competition early, US comes in 2nd

The women's team has medaled at every Olympics since 1992.
July 27
Simone Biles of Team United States looks on during the Women's Team Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
July 27

Projected overall NBA draft pick Cade Cunningham signs multiyear endorsement deal with Nike

Ahead of the 2021 NBA draft, projected top overall pick  Cade Cunningham has signed a multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Nike. After a COVID-19-impacted market found a majority of last season's rookies playing out the 2020-21 season without a sneaker deal, brands are now returning to aggressively sign top players heading into this week's draft. Nike had its eyes set on Cunningham, who starred at Nike-sponsored Oklahoma State University and has long had an affinity for the brand. "More than anything, they show that athletes are more than just athletes," Cunningham told ESPN. "They really put the right message out for people to see. That was important to me. ... I felt like it was a perfect match for me." Cunningham, a dynamic 6-foot-8 point guard who completed his lone freshman season as Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus All-American, is looking to build his marketing profile early on with Nike. "We all can tell a Nike commercial as soon...
July 27
July 27

Aaron Rodgers shows up for first day of Green Bay Packers training camp

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mark it down: Aaron Rodgers returned to the Green Bay Packers at exactly 8:28 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 27. A little more than eight hours after his private plane touched down at Austin Straubel Airport, Rodgers reported for work for the first time since his exit interview following last season's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game. The Packers took to Twitter to let everyone know their QB had arrived. Rodgers showed up less than 24 hours after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported a likely end to Rodgers' offseason of disgruntlement. Schefter on Monday detailed an agreement that would include several concessions to Rodgers, including a void of the final year of Rodgers' contract (2023) that essentially sets up a possible trade after this season. That makes the 2021 a possible last-dance situation for Rodgers in Green Bay. By showing up on Tuesday, when veterans were mandated to report for training camp, Rodgers will...
July 27
July 27

Source: Breakout TE Logan Thomas agrees to 3-year NFL extension with Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team and tight end Logan Thomas have agreed to a three-year extension months after his breakout season, a source confirmed. Thomas caught a career-high 72 passes in 2020, finishing third among all tight ends. He also had 670 yards receiving, which was seventh, and six touchdown receptions. Before last season, Thomas' career-best totals were 16 catches and 173 yards. Thomas also flourished in the red zone. He was second among tight ends with 15 catches in the red zone and first with 117 yards. His position coach Pete Hoener, pointing out Thomas' improvement as a blocker, has called him one of the top "six or seven" all-around tight ends in the game. That's quite a change for a guy who played quarterback at Virginia Tech. Arizona drafted him in the fourth round in 2014 to play quarterback, but he lasted one season. After stops with the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants, Thomas converted to tight end in 2016 with Detroit. He...
July 27
July 27

New players' association aims to represent college football players amid changing NCAA landscape

A new players' association launched Tuesday with a goal to organize and represent college football players as they push for more rights. The College Football Players Association (CFBPA), led by former University of Minnesota professor Jason Stahl, has assembled an advisory group of attorneys, academics and athletes. They plan to start recruiting and signing up dues-paying members this week. Their announcement is the most recent push in an ongoing effort to organize college athletes, which advocates see as the next logical move during a summer of transformative change in collegiate sports. "This is the next step," Stahl told ESPN. "If players don't get organized now, it's never going to happen. There's so much we can do right now." Stahl said the association will be open to all active college football players. They also plan to have membership groups for graduated players, parents of players and high school players who think they will eventually play at the college level. At a...
July 27
July 27

Source: Breakout TE Logan Thomas agrees to 3-year extension with Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team and tight end Logan Thomas have agreed to a three-year extension, one year after his breakout season, a source confirmed. Thomas caught a career-high 72 passes in 2020, finishing third among all tight ends. He also had 670 yards receiving, which was seventh, and six touchdown receptions. Before last season, Thomas' career best totals were 16 catches and 173 yards. Thomas also flourished in the red zone. He was second among tight ends with 15 catches in the red zone and first with 117 yards. His position coach Pete Hoener, pointing out Thomas' improvement as a blocker, has called him one of the top "six or seven" all-around tight ends in the game. That's quite a change for a guy who played quarterback at Virginia Tech. Arizona drafted him in the fourth round in 2014 to play quarterback, but he lasted one season. After stops with Miami and the New York Giants, Thomas converted to tight end in 2016 with Detroit. He signed with...
July 27
July 27

Japan blanks United States 2-0 to win gold in softball at Tokyo Olympics

YOKOHAMA, Japan -- There hasn't been a lot of storybook endings for American teams thus far at these Tokyo Olympics. And what had all kinds of potential to be an emotional victory for USA Softball ended bitterly Tuesday night. Japan beat the Americans 2-0 to take the gold medal in a special one-off event for these games, magnifying the importance of the near miss for the U.S. players, many of whom wiped away tears after settling for silver. As with any high-stakes softball game, there were many little moments that ultimately proved crucial. But the entire game was summed up in the bottom of the sixth. With two on and one out and slugger Amanda Chidester up, a moment that will be remembered for a long time by the players in this game unfolded. Chidester hit a rocket down the third-base line that smashed into Japan third baseman Yu Yamamoto's arm. At that point, the ball could've gone anywhere, and it seemed certain the Americans were going to get one run and maybe even two. But the...
July 27
July 27

Source: SEC to meet Thursday to discuss adding Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns

SEC presidents and chancellors have scheduled a meeting for Thursday, in which they will discuss expansion and whether to add Oklahoma and Texas to what would be college football's first super-conference of 16 teams, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ESPN. The Longhorns and Sooners could formally ask the SEC to consider them for membership as early as this week, another source said. A three-fourths majority vote of SEC presidents and chancellors -- 11 of 14 -- would be required for invitations to be extended. Sources previously told ESPN that it's believed enough SEC schools will vote to add the two new members. A source told ESPN on Tuesday morning that he wasn't sure whether the league's presidents and chancellors would vote on Thursday because there was still much work to do in terms of existing TV contracts. "There's a lot to do in a short amount of time in order to get to a vote by Thursday," the source said. The board of regents for both...
July 27
July 27

Refugee Olympic Team features 29 athletes from across the globe

The team first debuted at the 2016 Rio Olympics and has since tripled in size.
July 27
Three members of the Olympic refugee team, Abdullah Sediqi (L), Ahmad Alikaj (C) and coach Alireza Nassrazadany arrive at Narita international airport in Narita, Chiba prefecture on July 14, 2021.
July 27

Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon says star Shohei Ohtani should win the AL MVP award: 'It's not even close'

Shohei Ohtani's 99th pitch in the  Los Angeles Angels' win Monday against the visiting  Colorado Rockies was clocked at 100 mph. It ended the top of the seventh inning and registered as his 100th strikeout of 2021, a year in which he has also accumulated a major-league-leading 35 home runs before the end of July. No pitcher who has ever recorded triple-digit strikeouts added more than nine home runs in the same season. It was merely the latest example of Ohtani's unprecedented greatness -- and yet another reason why Angels manager Joe Maddon sees him as an easy choice for the American League's Most Valuable Player Award. "To me, it's not even close," Maddon said after a 6-2 victory from Angel Stadium. "When people talk about it being close -- it's not. It's not. What he's doing is so unique. It's just so different compared to anybody else right now." Ohtani pitched seven innings of one-run ball in the opener of a three-game series against the worst road...
July 27
July 27

Naomi Osaka ousted from Olympic tennis tournament in 3rd round by Marketa Vondrousova

TOKYO -- It wasn't the ending that tennis superstar  Naomi Osaka -- nor her fans across Japan and worldwide -- had expected for the Tokyo Olympics. Osaka lost to former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4 in the third round of the Olympic tennis tournament on Tuesday. "I'm disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others,'' said Osaka, who called lighting the Olympic cauldron during last week's opening ceremony in Tokyo "undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life.'' As the highest-paid female athlete in the world and the host country's face of the Games, the huge expectations were hard to handle. "I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this," Osaka said. "I think it's maybe because I haven't played in the Olympics before and for the first year [it] was a bit much.'' The second-ranked Osaka, who was born in Japan and grew up in the...
July 27
July 27

Chicago Cubs send Andrew Chafin to Oakland Athletics for two prospects

CHICAGO -- The Oakland Athletics acquired left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin from the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, the teams announced.  In return, the Athletics sent minor leaguers Greg Deichmann and Daniel Palencia to Chicago. "Oakland is getting a really nice pitcher and a really nice human being who goes out and does his job. And a really good teammate," Cubs manager David Ross said.  Chafin, 31, is having a stellar season. In 43 appearances, he has given up nine runs, including just one home run. He is 0-2 overall with a 2.06 ERA and a 0.839 WHIP. Chafin, though, has struggled recently, failing to record an out while giving up three runs on two hits and two walks in his last outing, on Saturday, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It snapped a 24⅓-inning scoreless streak for the veteran. Deichmann, a 26-year-old outfielder, was hitting .300 with four home runs and 34 RBIs for Las Vegas this season, his first in Triple-A. He has a .432 on-base...
July 27
July 26

Russian swimmers deal U.S. men first backstroke loss at Olympics since '92 as Ryan Murphy settles for bronze in 100m

TOKYO -- For the first time since 1992, the American men have lost a backstroke race at the Olympic pool. Russian swimmers swept the top two spots in the 100-meter back Tuesday in Tokyo, with Evgeny Rylov claiming the gold medal in 51.98 seconds and teammate Kliment Kolesnikov taking the silver in 52.00. Defending Olympic champion Ryan Murphy settled for the bronze in 52.19. "Winning an Olympic gold medal means you're the best in the world,'' Murphy said. "Being third in the world is no slouch.'' It was the first backstroke defeat for the U.S. men at the Olympics since the Barcelona Games. They won 12 straight golds at the past six Olympics, including Murphy's sweep of the 100 and 200 back at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But the streak finally ended at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. It was a good morning for Australia and Britain. World record-holder Kaylee McKeown gave the Australian women another gold medal with a victory in the women's 100 backstroke, setting...
July 26
July 26

Chicago Cubs poised to send Andrew Chafin to Oakland Athletics for prospects, sources say

CHICAGO -- The Oakland Athletics are finalizing a trade for Chicago Cubs left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin, sources confirmed to ESPN's Jeff Passan on Monday night. The trade is pending the review of medical records. Once finalized, the Cubs are expected to get two prospects from the Athletics in return. Chafin, 31, is having a stellar season. In 43 appearances, he has given up nine runs, including just one home run; and overall, he is 0-2 with a 2.06 ERA and a 0.839 WHIP. Chafin, though, has struggled recently, failing to record an out while giving up three runs on two hits and two walks in his last outing, on Saturday, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It snapped a 24⅓-inning scoreless streak for the veteran. MLB.com first reported that the trade was being finalized.
July 26
July 26

Lydia Jacoby, 17, becomes first Alaskan swimmer to win Olympic gold, capturing medal with major upset in 100-meter breaststroke

Lydia Jacoby became the first Alaskan swimmer to win Olympic gold, securing the medal in the 100-meter breaststroke in a major upset on  Tuesday at the Tokyo Olympics. Jacoby, 17, surprised everyone by finishing ahead of South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker and the United States' defending gold medalist, Lilly King. Schoenmaker took the silver. And King captured bronze, her first defeat in a 100-meter breaststroke final since December 2016. "I was definitely racing for a medal. I knew I had it in me," Jacoby said. "I wasn't really expecting a gold medal, so when I looked up and saw the scoreboard, it was insane." As she touched the wall and glanced up, Jacoby appeared stunned. King swam over, holding her hands and slapping the water in joy. Jacoby became one of the youngest American swimmers to win an Olympic gold medal, joining elite company. The only younger U.S. swimmers to collect an individual gold in the past 20 years were Katie Ledecky and Missy...
July 26
July 26

Flora Duffy wins women's triathlon at Tokyo Games to give Bermuda first gold medal in Olympics history

TOKYO -- Flora Duffy won the women's triathlon on Tuesday, becoming the first Bermudian in Olympics history to take home a gold medal. The 33-year-old Duffy crossed the finish line with a time of 1 hour, 55:36 minutes, more than a minute ahead of second-place finisher Georgia Taylor-Brown of Great Britain. Katie Zaferes of the United States earned bronze. Duffy's gold marks just the second Olympic medal for Bermuda, an island territory with a population of 64,000. Clarence Hill won a bronze medal in boxing in 1976. "I think (the medal) is bigger than me. It's going to inspire the youth of Bermuda and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible," Duffy said. It was the fourth Olympic appearance for Duffy. Her previous best result was an eighth-place finish in 2016. She won the ITU World Triathlon titles in 2016 and 2017, and she has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the world. "I tried to just keep my composure and not allow...
July 26
July 26

Chris Hogan reaches deal with New Orleans Saints, source says

METAIRIE, La. -- After moonlighting as a lacrosse player this summer, veteran wide receiver Chris Hogan will return to the NFL and try to help the New Orleans Saints make up for the absence of injured star Michael Thomas. Hogan, 33, agreed to a deal with the Saints on Monday, a source told ESPN's Mike Reiss, confirming an NFL Network report. As expected, Thomas was officially placed on the physically unable to perform list Monday to start training camp. He is expected to miss time at the start of the regular season after having ankle surgery in June. Hogan (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) will compete for a roster spot along with Saints receivers Tre'Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway and others in a position group that is thin on proven talent after New Orleans released veteran Emmanuel Sanders this offseason. Hogan won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots during a nine-year career that also saw him play...
July 26
July 26

Missouri Tigers AD Jim Sterk to step down after five years; will remain until replacement found

Missouri and athletic director Jim Sterk announced on Monday that they have mutually agreed he will step down once the school is able to find his replacement. The announcement comes during a turbulent time in collegiate athletics, as Missouri's former Big 12 brethren Oklahoma and Texas are considering a move to the SEC. Missouri and Texas A&M departed the Big 12 for the SEC in 2011. In a statement, Sterk said he was leaving the Missouri athletic department "well positioned for future success." Sterk helped raise funds for the department and was of particular help with the football program, which opened a new facility in the south end zone in 2019 and is on pace to break ground on a $34 million indoor football practice facility in the fall of 2021. "We are grateful for the dedicated leadership Jim has provided over the last five years to position Mizzou for even greater success," Missouri President Mun Choi said in a statement. "We recognize his many contributions and appreciate...
July 26
July 26

Green Bay Packers craft list of concessions to entice Aaron Rodgers to return at least one more season, sources say

To ensure the return of their reigning NFL MVP quarterback, the Packers now are offering concessions to try to persuade  Aaron Rodgers to return to Green Bay for at least one more season, per league sources. Over the past weekend, the two sides were able to reach mutually agreed-upon terms that are close to persuading Rodgers to abandon plans he had to skip training camp and instead return for it. It is not done yet, but according to multiple reports, Rodgers has arrived in Green Bay. Both sides are hoping to finalize the agreement shortly, per sources. The agreement in principle would include an approximation of the following conditions that the two sides now are finalizing to alleviate and address some of Rodgers' issues before the opening of Tuesday's training camp: * The 2023 year in Rodgers' contract -- the last one in his current deal -- would be voided, with no tags allowed in the future. * The Packers would agree to review Rodgers' situation at the end of this...
July 26
July 26

Oklahoma State Cowboys president Kayse Shrum blasts Oklahoma Sooners in statement

Oklahoma State president Kayse Shrum said Monday that Oklahoma's intentions to explore leaving the Big 12 are "the result of months of planning with the SEC" and a "clear breach" of the conference bylaws. Shrum made the comments in a statement and in a series of tweets. In the statement, she called Oklahoma's actions "strategic" and "deliberate." "It is difficult to understand how an Oklahoma institution of higher education would follow the University of Texas to the detriment of the State of Oklahoma," added Shrum, who took over as president on July 1. The breach claim is in reference to Section 3.2 of the Big 12's bylaws, which references third parties attempting to induce a member institution to leave. It requires schools to inform the conference no later than 12 hours afterward, and to "immediately and unconditionally reject that offer in a form and manner reasonably acceptable to the Commissioner." Earlier Monday, Oklahoma and Texas said in a joint statement released by both...
July 26
July 26

Katie Ledecky competing in historic Olympic swim

This race has previously only been available to men at the Olympics.
July 26
Katie Ledecky of the USA competes in the women's 1500m Freestyle Heats during the Swimming events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, July 26, 2021.
July 26

Welterweight champ Kamaru Usman to defend his belt in rematch with Colby Covington in UFC 268

A rematch of one of the best title fights in UFC welterweight history is on deck. Kamaru Usman, ranked as ESPN's top pound-for-pound MMA fighter, will defend his UFC welterweight title in a second fight with Colby Covington in the main event of UFC 268 in November, UFC president Dana White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Monday. The date and location are not finalized yet, but the UFC is hoping for the fight to headline at New York's Madison Square Garden. Usman and Covington met for the first time at UFC 245 in December 2019, an all-action fight that Usman won by TKO in the fifth round. Covington disputed that result, saying it was an early stoppage. Covington has been Usman's toughest opponent yet as champion. ESPN has Usman ranked No. 1 and Covington ranked No. 3 in the world at welterweight. Usman (19-1) has won 14 straight fights in the UFC, the second-longest streak in promotion history behind all-time great Anderson Silva (16). The Nigeria native and Florida...
July 26
July 26

Why Russian athletes are competing under the ROC at Olympics

The country's ban over the doping cover up lasts until 2022.
July 26
Flag bearer Sofya Velikaya, of the Russian Olympic Committee, leads her contingent during the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, July 23, 2021.
July 26

Memphis Grizzlies to trade Jonas Valanciunas to New Orleans Pelicans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, sources say

The New Orleans Pelicans are finalizing a trade to send Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe and two future first-round picks -- including the 10th overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft -- to the  Memphis Grizzlies for center Jonas Valanciunas and the 17th overall pick, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Determined to create significant financial flexibility in free agency next week, the Pelicans are including the  Los Angeles Lakers' 2022 first-round pick -- protected to 10 -- in the trade, sources said. Memphis (51) and New Orleans (40) are also exchanging second-round picks in Thursday's draft, sources said. The deal moves the Grizzlies into the lottery at No. 10 of a deep 2021 draft and allows them to add another significant piece to an already playoff tested core of young players. Memphis could have three first-round picks in 2022, including protected picks via the  Utah Jazz and the Lakers. New Orleans has the salary-cap...
July 26
July 26

Lawyer: Two women with new allegations among 10 to file police complaints against Texans QB Deshaun Watson

Ten women have now filed complaints with Houston police about Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin. Hardin spoke with ESPN on Monday about the progress of the criminal and civil cases involving his client. "There are 10 women that have made complaints to the [Houston] police," Hardin said. Eight of the women, according to Hardin, are among the 22 women who have alleged in lawsuits that Watson sexually assaulted them or engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior during massage sessions. Two of the women who have filed complaints with Houston police, Hardin said, have not filed lawsuits against Watson. "There are a couple of women who we don't know anything about," Hardin said. Hardin acknowledged knowing the names of the 10 women who have filed criminal complaints, including the two who are not involved in civil litigation, but declined to provide those names to ESPN. Houston police would not comment when reached...
July 26
July 26

Jonathan Allen, Washington Football Team agree to $72 million extension

The Washington Football Team took a big step toward achieving continuity on its defensive line, signing tackle Jonathan Allen to a four-year extension. The contract, announced by Team IFA, his agency, on social media Monday, is worth $72 million with a $30 million signing bonus. Allen, a first-round draft pick in 2017, has anchored the interior of Washington's defensive line, a group that provides the franchise its most hope in a while to build a consistent winner. Allen now becomes the fourth-highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL. It also allows Washington to keep its starting defensive front intact for the next two seasons if it desires. Both Allen and the franchise had said they wanted to get a deal done all offseason. But, according to a source, talks had moved at a slow pace until Monday, as Allen's side had made it clear that an extension had to be at least $18 million per season. Allen, whom the organization considers a team leader, had recently...
July 26
July 26

Joe Burrow unlikely to play in preseason, Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown says

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is fully cleared for football activities. However, don't expect the team to rush its franchise quarterback back into action as he continues recovering from a devastating knee injury. During the team's annual media luncheon Monday, Bengals owner and president Mike Brown said the team will likely withhold Burrow from the team's three preseason games. "We probably aren't going to put him out there until we get to the season because we don't want to risk anything with him," Brown said in his first news conference since 2019. "But his effort rehabbing was A-plus." Burrow was not listed on the team's physically unable to perform list as the Bengals prepared for the first official training camp practice on Wednesday. That exclusion, along with his participation in every organized team activity during the offseason, indicates he will be ready for the team's season opener against the  Minnesota Vikings on...
July 26
July 26

UCLA Bruins, Gonzaga Bulldogs to play in rematch of epic Final Four game Nov. 23 in Las Vegas

Jalen Suggs might be off to the NBA, but preseason top-five teams Gonzaga and UCLA are set to square off in November in a rematch of their Final Four game from early April that ended on Suggs' buzzer-beater from just inside half court. The Zags and Bruins will meet on Nov. 23 in Las Vegas as part of the Empire Classic. Gonzaga, ranked No. 1 in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25, and UCLA, ranked No. 3, will each play two games at T-Mobile Arena in late November. On Nov. 22, UCLA will face Bellarmine, while Gonzaga will battle Central Michigan, before the two powerhouses square off two nights before Thanksgiving. "We look forward to presenting the most anticipated game of the season," Gazelle Group president Rick Giles said. "The opportunity to have a rematch of a historic Final Four game with teams expected to be ranked No. 1 and No. 2 entering the season is unprecedented. Both teams are returning many players from that game and Gonzaga also welcomes Chet Holmgren, the...
July 26
July 26

Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst 'remains hopeful' for positive resolution with QB Aaron Rodgers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers haven't said whether they think Aaron Rodgers will show up Tuesday when veteran players are required to report for training camp, but they talked Monday like they believe there's a chance he will play for them this season. In his annual state-of-the-football-department address to Packers' shareholders at Lambeau Field, general manager Brian Gutekunst included Rodgers in the "strong returning nucleus" while acknowledging there may still be things to work out with the reigning NFL MVP. "We have been working tirelessly with Aaron and his representation to resolve the issues he has raised this offseason," Gutekunst said. "And we remain hopeful for a positive resolution." Following the meeting, Packers president Mark Murphy was asked by reporters whether he knew if Rodgers would report for training camp on time. "No, I don't know," Murphy said. The same man who led the Packers through the transition from Brett Favre to Rodgers...
July 26
July 26

Coach Eugene Chung, who alleged discrimination, says NFL is being 'a little misleading' about his case

Former NFL offensive lineman and assistant coach Eugene Chung called the NFL's statement on its review of his claims that he was told during a job interview he " wasn't the right minority" "a little misleading." Chung, who is Asian American, said that he has had only one short, "almost perfunctory" conversation with the NFL back in May and that "every single" coach and personnel executive he has reached out to regarding this matter has said they hadn't been contacted by the NFL during its review process. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has declined to meet with Chung to this point, despite a request from Chung's representation, Chung said. "I've had one conversation with them. I'd love to work with them hand in hand, but, when it's being written that I'm going to be working with them, and I had only one very brief conversation, I think that's a little misleading," Chung said. The NFL released a statement in early July saying it was "unable to confirm the precise...
July 26
July 26

Americans make their mark in Olympic surfing

'Now it’s time to have fun," said Team USA surfer Carissa Moore.
July 26
Kolohe Andino of the United States is shown in action during Heat 2 of the Men's Shortboard Surfing competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, July 26, 2021, Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, Tokyo.
July 26

Tokyo Olympic Games: Day 3 key moments

U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky’s medal-winning performance is just one of the key moments on day 3 of the Tokyo Olympic games.
July 26
U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky’s medal-winning performance is just one of the key moments on day 3 of the Tokyo Olympic games.
July 26

Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooners tell Big 12 they will not renew grant of media rights

Oklahoma and Texas officially notified the Big 12 on Monday that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights after their expiration in 2025, according to a joint statement released by both schools. "Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference's current media rights agreement," the statement said. "The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements. However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future." Big 12 sources told ESPN on Monday that the statement leaves some "wiggle room" and doesn't fully guarantee that the flagship schools would remain in the league through 2025. The possibility remains that they will pay the $75-80 million penalty for leaving early, while also giving the required 18 months' notice, per Big 12 bylaws. Some have speculated that this...
July 26
July 26

Former USC football assistant Todd McNair, NCAA settle defamation lawsuit

The NCAA has settled a defamation suit filed by former USC football assistant coach Todd McNair, whom it accused of violating ethical conduct rules during its investigation into whether former Trojans star Reggie Bush and his family received improper benefits while playing in college, the sides announced on Monday. The settlement was reached through mediation. The agreement comes more than a decade after McNair sued the NCAA in a California court, alleging NCAA officials "arbitrarily and capriciously decided to ruin [his] career to further their own agenda." He sought damages for libel, slander, breach of contract and negligence. "After ten years of litigation, both sides have come together to resolve this matter to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved," attorneys for McNair and the NCAA said in a joint statement on Monday. Financial terms of the settlement weren't immediately available. McNair, 55, is now the running backs coach for the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The...
July 26
July 26

Pop singer Pink supports Norwegian women's beach handball team protest over fines for 'very sexist' uniform rules

The Norwegian women's beach handball team has a fan in international pop star Pink, who is focused on promoting equality in a sport that is under consideration to debut in the 2024 Olympics. Pink took to Twitter this past weekend to commend the Norwegian team for "protesting the very sexist rules about their 'uniform'" by wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms and offered to pay their fines. Last week, the team was fined €1,500 (about $1,768) for donning "improper clothing" during its bronze-medal match against Spain in the 2021 European Beach Handball Championships, according to a statement from the European Handball Association's disciplinary commission. While the Norwegian Handball Federation announced it was prepared to pay the fines, the team expressed gratitude for Pink's backing on its Instagram account, writing, "Wow! Thank you so much for the support." The women wore spandex shorts -- like their male counterparts -- rather than the regulation bikini-bottom design...
July 26
July 26

Coach Eugene Chung, who alleged discrimination, says NFL is being "a little misleading" about his case

Former NFL offensive lineman and assistant coach Eugene Chung called the NFL's statement on its review of his claims that he was told during a job interview he "wasn't the right minority" "a little misleading." Chung, who is Asian American, said he has only had one short, "almost perfunctory" conversation with the NFL back in May and that "every single" coach and personnel executive he has reached out to regarding this matter has said they hadn't been contacted by the NFL during its review process. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has declined to meet with Chung, to this point, despite a request from Chung's representation, he said. "I've had one conversation with them. I'd love to work with them hand in hand but, when it's being written that I'm going to be working with them, and I had only one very brief conversation, I think that's a little misleading," Chung said. The NFL released a statement in early July saying it was "unable to confirm the precise statement that was made or...
July 26

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