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3 hours ago

Bill Belichick, Joe Burrow favorites for top coach, rookie awards

As he enters a season full of unknowns, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is still considered a constant by oddsmakers. Caesars Sportsbook has posted Belichick as a 7-1 favorite to win the Coach of the Year award. Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason after a 20-year run with Belichick, leaving the Pats with inexperienced options or possibly a free agent at quarterback. "If [Belichick] takes that roster and wins that division, and no other team goes 16-0, how do you give it to somebody else?" Caesars Sportsbook director of trading Jeff Davis told ESPN. "The only way he doesn't get it is if one of the teams that was terrible last year makes the playoffs." The Dallas Cowboys were not terrible last season but did underachieve, finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs, which led to the firing of coach Jason Garrett. Mike McCarthy now grabs the reins for the odds-on NFC East betting favorite (-105), and he is the second favorite to...
3 hours ago
4 hours ago

Judge sides with U.S. Soccer in equal pay lawsuit

A federal judge in California ruled in favor of the United States Soccer Federation on most of the key points in the ongoing wage discrimination lawsuit brought by members of the U.S. women's national team player pool, dealing a potentially fatal setback to the players in the high-profile case. Players based the lawsuit filed last year on two grounds: first, that U.S. Soccer violated the Equal Pay Act (EPA) by paying them less than members of the men's national team; and second, that the federation discriminated against them under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically with regard to workplace conditions. Judge R. Gary Klausner on Friday ruled for U.S. Soccer's motion for summary judgment with regard to the Equal Pay Act, stating in his decision that the players "have not demonstrated a triable issue that WNT players are paid less than MNT players." Some prominent members of the women's national team reacted to the decision on social media on Friday. Klausner's...
4 hours ago
May 01

Jaguars aren't picking up Leonard Fournette's 5th-year option

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have declined the fifth-year option on running back Leonard Fournette for the 2021 season. It's an unsurprising and expected move considering the team was attempting to trade the former fourth overall pick for a month before and during the recent NFL draft. Fournette will make $4.168 million in 2020 and then become a free agent, unless the team changes its mind and uses the franchise tag. It has been an eventful month for Fournette. In addition to being on the trade block, he said on social media and on ESPN's First Take that he wanted the team to sign quarterback Cam Newton. "It's no disrespect to [Gardner Minshew]," Fournette said on First Take. "I'm just trying to get in the best position as a team as we can [to] win." Fournette is coming off his best season as a pro, rushing for a career-high 1,152 yards and totaling 1,674 yards from scrimmage. He led the Jaguars with 76 receptions, but he scored only...
May 01
May 01

Chiefs' Laurent Duvernay-Tardif working as orderly during coronavirus pandemic

Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a medical school graduate and volunteered to help recently when his hometown of Montreal experienced a shortage of medical personnel during the coronavirus pandemic. He was assigned to assist in a long-term care facility. Shortly before his first shift, he was hit by the gravity of what he was about to do. "It's one thing to want to go work,'' Duvernay-Tardif said Friday. "When you actually get the date of your first shift and everything, that's kind of when everything hits you and you think, 'How am I going to protect myself? How am I going to manage that with football and everything?' "Everybody is concerned; everybody is kind of scared a little bit. I got my training for proper PPE (personal protective equipment) measure and usage, which is really important to me, just refreshing how to put on a gown, how to put on a visor, how to wash everything and just kind of putting in place kind of a process that makes you feel...
May 01
May 01

Source: Jaguars aren't picking up Leonard Fournette's 5th-year option

The Jacksonville Jaguars are not picking up the fifth-year option of former first-round pick Leonard Fournette, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday. Fournette ran for a career-high 1,152 yards and caught a team-high 76 passes last season while scoring only three touchdowns. His 1,674 yards from scrimmage ranked sixth in the NFL in 2019. After missing 11 games in his first two campaigns, Fournette proved last season that he could stay on the field, missing only Week 17 because of an illness. After questions arose about his work ethic, commitment and maturity following his first two seasons with the Jaguars, Fournette showed signs last season that he had matured. He worked out in the offseason with a strength coach, and he reported to training camp in good shape and didn't miss a practice. Also on Friday, the Jaguars signed running back Chris Thompson, with a source telling ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that they had reached a one-year deal.
May 01
May 01

Sources: NBA discusses delaying start of 2020-21 season until December

As ownership support grows for the idea, commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA board of governors continued discussions Friday about delaying the start of the 2020-2021 season until December, sources told ESPN. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA's thinking and planning has progressed on the idea independent of whether the 2019-2020 season is resumed and completed, sources said. The NBA board of governors on Friday voted to postpone two May events set for Chicago -- the draft lottery and the draft combine. The league hasn't yet voted to delay the NBA draft on June 25, but there's an increasing belief that it's just a matter of time, sources said. For the NBA, the crux of the idea to delay the start of next season centers on the ability to buy more time to get fans back into arenas for the most possible games next season, sources said. There are no imminent plans to make a decision on the calendar, and this discussion will continue, sources said. As the uncertainty around the...
May 01
May 01

Chiefs' Laurent Duvernay-Tardif working as orderly during pandemic

Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a medical school graduate and volunteered to help recently when his hometown of Montreal experienced a shortage of medical personnel during the coronavirus pandemic. He was assigned to assist in a long-term care facility. Shortly before his first shift, he was hit by the gravity of what he was about to do. "It's one thing to want to go work,'' Duvernay-Tardif said Friday. "When you actually get the date of your first shift and everything, that's kind of when everything hits you and you think, 'How am I going to protect myself? How am I going to manage that with football and everything?' "Everybody is concerned; everybody is kind of scared a little bit. I got my training for proper PPE measure and usage, which is really important to me, just refreshing how to put on a gown, how to put on a visor, how to wash everything and just kind of putting in place kind of a process that makes you feel safe.'' As the COVID-19 virus...
May 01
May 01

Dana White announces UFC Fight Night lineups for May

UFC president Dana White announced on Friday the official lineups for UFC Fight Night events on May 13 and May 16 in Jacksonville, Florida. The two cards are part of the UFC's effort to resume normal operations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic shutting down much of the sports world. The plan includes three live events in an eight-day span, beginning with UFC 249 on May 9. A light heavyweight matchup between former title challengers Anthony Smith (33-14) and Glover Teixeira (30-7) will headline UFC Fight Night on May 13. A heavyweight bout featuring another former title challenger in Alistair Overeem (45-18) and Walt Harris (13-7) will headline the UFC Fight Night on May 16. Both headliners were originally scheduled for different dates and locations, before the postponements due to COVID-19. Smith was supposed to face Teixeira on April 25 in Smith's home state of Nebraska, while Overeem and Harris were slated to headline an...
May 01
May 01

NBA postpones draft lottery, draft combine

The NBA has postponed the draft lottery and draft combine, the league announced Friday. Both events had been set to take place in Chicago, with the lottery scheduled for May 19 and the combine May 21-24. Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the NBA held off on pushing back the June 25 draft during a board of governors conference call Friday, though the sources expect that will eventually happen. Also among the discussion topics on the call: the merits of moving back the start of the 2020-21 season until December, sources told ESPN. Part of that ongoing conversation involves whether a delay could allow NBA teams to get more fans in arenas for more games next season. The NBA said in a release that more information on a new date for the lottery and combine would be shared at a later date. The lottery cannot occur until the regular season is completed or is declared over, because team records determine the odds that the 14 non-playoff teams will have of securing the right to...
May 01
May 01

Tennessee QB Brian Maurer planned suicide in January, seeking treatment

Tennessee quarterback Brian Maurer, hoping to bring awareness to the importance of mental health, on Friday detailed in an Instagram post that he was planning to kill himself on Jan. 22 before receiving a phone call from his mother that day. "I thought I lost my battle with depression and my pain had come to an end," Maurer wrote on Instagram about the events of Jan. 22. "As I was going to do it I looked up and said 'god if this isn't your plan for me please send me a sign.' "2 minutes later my mom called me with my baby nephew Jeremiah and she said she was just calling to say she loved me, I then knew by ending my pain I would be causing so much more to the people who loved me." Maurer said he has struggled with depression and anxiety since the seventh grade, when his father was sentenced to 25 years in prison and his mother and stepfather separated. He moved in with his grandmother when he was in the ninth grade and said one of his best friends killed himself when he...
May 01
May 01

MLB reaches deal on pay structure with umpires during pandemic

Major League Baseball and its umpires have reached a deal to cover a 2020 pay structure during the coronavirus pandemic, the union announced. "We are pleased we reached this agreement with the Commissioner's office.," Bill Miller, president of the Major League Baseball Umpires Association said in a statement. "We love the great game of baseball. We look forward to being part of bringing it back to the fans as America and the world recover. "We also recognize that many people, including many baseball fans, are experiencing great economic hardship now. Our membership appreciates the opportunity to return to our jobs when it's time to play ball." The umps will be paid a pro-rated share of their salaries based on games over a 182-day season, according to a copy of the four-page term sheet obtained by The Associated Press. Umpires have already been paid from January through April and will be paid at a 50% rate in May, according to the AP. If even one regular-season game is...
May 01
May 01

Jeremy Lin 'floored' by Knicks' week of Linsanity TV

Jeremy Lin says he was surprised, humbled and ultimately grateful after the New York Knicks reached out to propose taking a week on MSG Network to showcase interviews and 2012 games related to the brief but memorable phenomenon that was "Linsanity." In an interview with Rachel Nichols for ESPN's The Jump that aired Friday, Lin said the discussions about this week's programming were especially meaningful, given the circumstances New York City has faced during the coronavirus pandemic. "When I first got the call from my agent like, 'Hey, they want to do this,' I was floored," Lin said. "Because with COVID, right now, New York is going through one of the toughest times that it has seen in decades. It is a very, very tragic time. And the Knicks were like, 'Hey, we need to do something to uplift everybody.' "They have a whole history of footage and games that they can air, and they chose my games." Lin spoke to The Jump from China, where he continues to wait for the...
May 01
May 01

Patrick Mahomes confident long-term deal gets done with Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes doesn't yet have a long-term contract extension from the Kansas City Chiefs but said he's confident an agreement will eventually be reached. "I want to be a Chief for a long time," Mahomes said Friday. "I want to have a contract that says that and then I can go out there and know I have that security and everything like that. I understand and trust the Chiefs' organization and everybody in it will handle it the right way. I trust my representation that they're going to ease my mind and let me go out there and just love the game that I've loved playing. "Whenever it happens, it happens." The Chiefs this week exercised the fifth-year option they held on the contract Mahomes signed as a first-round draft pick in 2017. He is now under contract with the Chiefs through the 2021 season. The Chiefs have sent mixed signals recently regarding their urgency to do a contract extension for Mahomes. They've called the extension a priority but chairman Clark Hunt...
May 01
May 01

Sources: Titans declining fifth-year option for Corey Davis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans declined to pick up the fifth-year option for wide receiver Corey Davis, sources confirmed to ESPN on Friday. The fifth-year option would have carried a $15.68 million salary for Davis in 2021. NFL Network was first to report that the option would not be picked up. In three seasons with the Titans, Davis, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, has 142 receptions for 1,867 yards and six touchdowns. In 2019, he scored two touchdowns during the regular season -- one each from quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill -- and another in the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens on a pass from running back  Derrick Henry. Tannehill said on a conference call last week with the local media that he would like to get Davis more opportunities this season. "I definitely think my chemistry will grow with Corey this year. Such a talented guy," Tannehill said. "Looking forward to building on what we...
May 01
May 01

Adidas files suit against Brian Bowen II's father, 2 others

Adidas has filed cross-claims against former five-star recruit  Brian Bowen II's father, one of its former grassroots consultants and a financial advisor, alleging they conspired with some of its employees to misappropriate the apparel company's money to pay players' families to steer them toward Adidas-sponsored schools. The cross-claims against Brian Bowen Sr., former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola and financial planner Munish Sood were made in the sneaker company's answer to an amended complaint by Brian Bowen II, who alleges Adidas and others derailed his career by causing the NCAA to rule him ineligible. Adidas accused the cross-defendants of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by committing wire fraud, conspiracy and fraud, and the shoe company is asking for damages, forfeiture, attorney's fees and court costs. "Throughout Brian Bowen Jr.'s high school career, his father, Brian Bowen Sr., solicited and accepted money in return for...
May 01
May 01

Giannis Antetokounmpo on 'Last Dance': Chasing greatness a life mission

Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was up until the wee hours Wednesday night asking his Twitter followers, "What was your biggest takeaway from the Jordan Documentary thus far?" After receiving around 4,000 comments on the post, the Milwaukee Bucks superstar shared his response on Friday morning. "My MJ takeaway from the Last Dance documentary is that chasing greatness is a life mission," he tweeted. Antetokounmpo hasn't been shy in his pursuit of greatness. In fact, during Milwaukee's Nov. 18 win at Chicago, with Jordan's No. 23 and Scottie Pippen's 33 dangling from the rafters of the United Center, he told ESPN: "I definitely want to be one of the best players to ever play. "I try to lock in and focus on what I've got to do. But yeah, previous years, like when I saw No. 23 -- and not just 23, when I saw 33 -- that was a guy I used to talk to a lot, Scottie," Antetokounmpo said. "It definitely motivated me. [Chicago is] a great basketball city. It's...
May 01
May 01

Giannis Antetokounmpo's on 'Last Dance': Chasing greatness a life mission

Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was up until the wee hours Wednesday night asking his Twitter followers, "What was your biggest takeaway from the Jordan Documentary thus far?" After receiving 3.9 thousand comments on the status, the Milwaukee Bucks superstar shared his response on Friday morning. "My MJ takeaway from the Last Dance documentary is that chasing greatness is a life mission," he tweeted. Antetokounmpo hasn't been shy in his pursuit of greatness. In fact, during Milwaukee's November 18 win at Chicago with Jordan's No. 23 and Scottie Pippen's 33 dangling from the rafters of the United Center, he told ESPN: "I definitely want to be one of the best players to ever play." "I try to lock in and focus on what I've got to do. But yeah, previous years, like when I saw No. 23 -- and not just 23, when I saw 33 -- that was a guy I used to talk to a lot, Scottie," Antetokounmpo said. "It definitely motivated me. (Chicago is) a great basketball city....
May 01
May 01

Sudden vanishing of sports due to coronavirus will cost at least $12 billion, analysis says

The sudden disappearance of sports will erase at least $12 billion in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs, an economic catastrophe that will more than double if the college football and NFL schedules are wiped out this fall by the coronavirus pandemic, an analysis conducted for ESPN shows. The meltdown is a fraction of the crisis spreading across the country, but it is nonetheless historic, touching every sector of the $100 billion United States sports industry. From stadium authorities to youth sports complexes, from rec centers to global TV networks such as ESPN, the scale of devastation is only now coming into view. Some organizations, especially at the lower levels of sports, say they'll be lucky to survive. The pain is especially acute among the army of low-wage service workers who support pro and college sports and are now unemployed. The losses are draining tax revenue that helps support local services such as police and firefighters and contributes to the...
May 01
May 01

NBA advises no coronavirus tests for players, staff without symptoms

The NBA issued a memo Thursday night advising teams not to arrange coronavirus tests for asymptomatic players and staff, league sources told ESPN. The memo states that, "for the time being, it is not appropriate in the current public health environment to regularly test all players and staff for the coronavirus." In the wake of the NBA's season being suspended in March, some teams were criticized when they were able to arrange for testing of their entire teams at a time during the early days of the pandemic when tests were difficult to obtain. Teams were instructed to make any decisions on testing any players or staff "in consultation with an infectious disease specialist, and in consideration of the patient's individual circumstances and guidance on testing related to COVID-19 from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and from the local health authority in the team's market." The memo also said the NBA is still looking at opportunities for leaguewide testing...
May 01
May 01

Jordan Spieth denied hole-in-one due to spacer placed in cup for safety

The coronavirus pandemic has forced golf courses to get creative in order to stay open and safe. Jordan Spieth became a high-profile victim of the rules in place at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, on Thursday when he watched his tee shot fly into the cup for an apparent ace, only to see it bounce back out and roll into nearby water. For safety purposes, as is the case at many golf courses now open around the country, foam or plastic slats were placed within cups at Maridoe so players would not have to reach far into the hole to retrieve their golf balls. Under normal circumstances, the ace would have been negated, but Spieth, who was playing in a group along with former NFL quarterback  Tony Romo but not competing in the Maridoe Samaritan Fund Invitational, said he's counting it as a hole-in-one anyway. "Sure, why not?" he said in an interview with tournament organizers afterward, figuring it was the seventh or eighth ace he has made.  Spieth, a...
May 01
May 01

Will Ferrell sits in for Greg Olsen on Seahawks' video conference

With NFL facilities shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Seattle Seahawks are holding video conferences in lieu of in-person meetings that would normally take place at the suburban Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington.  Coach and noted prankster Pete Carroll, whose team began its virtual offseason program this week, wanted to introduce some of the incoming Seahawks to their new teammates during Thursday's meeting. That was the setup for a gag that had comedian/actor Will Ferrell impersonating veteran tight end Greg Olsen, who signed a one-year, $7 million contract with Seattle in February. It begins with "Olsen" sharing his deep affection for Russell Wilson, telling the quarterback: "I mean, I love you. Let's make a baby." He makes it clear to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer that he didn't come to Seattle to block and shows off one of his own hand-drawn plays, "90 go flywheel Kanye starburst." He...
May 01
May 01

Jordan Spieth denied hole-in-one due to spacer placed in cup for safety Jordan Spieth denied hole-in-one due to spacer placed in cup for safety Jordan Spieth denied hole-in-one due to spacer placed in cup for safety

The coronavirus pandemic has forced golf courses to get creative in order to stay open and safe. Jordan Spieth became a high-profile victim of the rules in place at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, on Thursday when he watched his tee shot fly into the cup for an apparent ace, only to see it bounce back out and roll into nearby water. For safety purposes, as is the case at many golf courses now open around the country, foam or plastic slats were placed within cups at Maridoe so players would not have to reach far into the hole to retrieve their golf balls. Under normal circumstances the ace would have been negated, but Spieth, who was playing in a group along with former NFL star Tony Romo but not competing in the Maridoe Samaritan Fund Invitational, said he's counting it as a hole-in-one anyway. "Sure, why not?" he said in an interview with tournament organizers afterward, figuring it was the seventh or eighth ace he has made.  Spieth, a three-time major...
May 01
May 01

Jordan Spieth denied hole-in-one thanks to spacer placed in cup

The coronavirus pandemic has forced golf courses to get creative in order to stay open and safe. Jordan Spieth became a high-profile victim of the rules in place at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, on Thursday when he watched his tee shot fly into the cup for an apparent ace, only to see it bounce back out and roll into nearby water. For safety purposes, as is the case at many golf courses now open around the country, foam or plastic slats were placed within cups at Maridoe so players would not have to reach far into the hole to retrieve their golf balls. Under normal circumstances the ace would have been negated, but Spieth, who was playing in a group along with former NFL star Tony Romo but not competing in the Maridoe Samaritan Fund Invitational, said he's counting it as a hole-in-one anyway. "Sure, why not?" he said in an interview with tournament organizers afterward, figuring it was the seventh or eighth ace he has made.  Spieth, a three-time major...
May 01
May 01

Big 12's Bob Bowlsby fears virus may come 'roaring back,' disrupt season

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Thursday that he's optimistic about college football starting on time or close to it, but is skeptical of being able to go through the entire season without disruption because of the coronavirus pandemic. Bowlsby, in a 28-minute interview on SiriusXM Big 12 radio, discussed his concerns, potential scenarios and the adjustments schools need to make to play the season. Among his top concerns is whether it's possible to make it all the way to the College Football Playoff without having to stop the season. "I worry more about the end of the season and the postseason than I do the beginning parts of the season," Bowlsby said. "If the virus comes roaring back in the traditional flu and virus season in November, December, through March, I wonder if we're going to get basketball seasons in, I wonder if we're going to get the [College Football Playoff] in, I wonder if we're going to get the NCAA tournament in." Bowlsby said he thinks "we will be...
May 01
May 01

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller says he's now 'negative' for the coronavirus

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller tweeted Thursday that he is negative for the coronavirus, two weeks after announcing he had been diagnosed with it.  On April 16, Miller announced his diagnosis, saying he went public to emphasize that anyone can be afflicted with the virus. He was under the care of the Broncos' doctors and remained in isolation in the area. Miller, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, told ESPN that he had tried to take every precaution over the past month, but he still contracted the virus. Miller, who has asthma, said he elected to get tested after he had started to have a cough about six days prior and his inhaler "wasn't working like it normally should." "It's very, very serious," Miller, 31, added. "It's my job to keep my body in tiptop shape, and I feel my body is in tiptop shape. If I can get this, anybody can get this."
May 01
May 01

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller says he's now 'negative' for coronavirus

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller tweeted that he was negative for coronavirus on Thursday, two weeks after announcing he had been diagnosed with the virus. On April 16, Miller announced his diagnosis, saying he went public to emphasize that anyone can be afflicted with the virus. He was under the care of the Broncos doctors and remained in quarantine in the area. Miller, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, told ESPN that he had tried to take every precaution over the past month, but he still contracted the virus. Miller, who has asthma, said he elected to get tested after he had started to have a cough about six days ago and his inhaler "wasn't working like it normally should." "It's very, very serious," Miller added. "It's my job to keep my body in tiptop shape, and I feel my body is in tiptop shape. If I can get this, anybody can get this."
May 01
April 30

Gary Bettman considers December start for 2020-21 NHL season

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that starting the 2020-21 season as late as December is on the table as the league considers all options for finishing this season and beginning the following one. "We have a great deal of flexibility in terms of when we can start," Bettman said in an interview with NHL Network on Thursday. "There's no magic for next season of starting in October as we traditionally do. If we have to start in November or December, that's something that will be under consideration. We're going to try to make good, prudent, careful judgments. This isn't a race to be first back." The NHL paused its regular season on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league and the NHLPA said this week they're looking at Phase 2 of a "return to play" plan, following the current period of "self-quarantine" by players and team staff. Phase 2 involves small group activities in NHL team training facilities, something the league hopes can happen in mid-to-late...
April 30
April 30

NASCAR goes green in May with four Cup Series races in 11 days

NASCAR will return to action at Darlington Raceway on May 17, kicking off a packed two-week schedule announced Thursday. The races themselves will look familiar, but the schedules and routines around those races will not, crafted with the intent of keeping competitors safe from the coronavirus. The 400-mile Cup Series event on May 17 will be the first of seven events in 11 days involving all three NASCAR national series. The revised schedule has a pair of Wednesday races, fulfilling fans' longtime plea for midweek events. Three of those races -- two Cup Series races and an Xfinity Series event -- will be held at Darlington, NASCAR's oldest superspeedway. "Darlington is one of the most iconic and historic tracks in the sport and will be a tremendous backdrop when NASCAR returns to racing,'' track president Kerry Tharp said of the South Carolina venue. The other four races -- two Cup Series events, an Xfinity Series event and a Gander Trucks race -- will be held at Charlotte...
April 30
April 30

Sources: Talks underway for possible Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua unification fight

Negotiations are underway for a potential blockbuster heavyweight title unification fight between champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, sources told ESPN's Mark Kriegel. Fury's adviser, MTK, which is based in Dubai, is negotiating for Fury on behalf of his co-promoters, Top Rank and Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions. MTK is awaiting an offer from promoters in Saudi Arabia, sources told Kriegel for ESPN's State of Boxing (8:30 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN+). Sources told Kriegel that MTK is handling negotiations because of a rift between Warren and Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. Sources said the offer to Fury would have to be large enough to pay Deontay Wilder, who is coming off surgery, to waive his contractual right to an immediate rematch. Fury knocked out Wilder in the seventh round in February, and the third fight is tentatively planned for late this year. Sources told Kriegel that Wilder's team is aware of negotiations...
April 30
April 30

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey: Room for leagues to handle football resumption differently

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey hopes there will be unity among the FBS conferences when it comes time to resume college football activities, but he cautioned that it's not a necessity that everyone move forward as one. Appearing on Jacksonville radio station 1010 XL on Thursday morning, Sankey said that unlike pro leagues, "There is room for different conferences to make different decisions." "If there's a couple of programs that aren't able, does that stop everyone? I'm not sure it does," he said. "But the ability for us to stay connected will remain important." Many states in the SEC's footprint are reopening for business during the coronavirus pandemic, including the partial openings of Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. In Missouri, Texas, Florida and Alabama, stay-at-home orders are expected to end soon. Elsewhere within the conference, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky have restrictions in place. Sankey didn't say whether all 11 states would...
April 30
April 30

Sean Payton: Saints beat Panthers to punch for unsung QB late in draft

METAIRIE, La. -- The rivalry between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers extended into the late seventh round of this year's NFL draft. Coach Sean Payton gave a behind-the-scenes breakdown to The Athletic of how the Saints decided to swoop in and draft quarterback/flex player Tommy Stevens before he had the chance to sign with Carolina as an undrafted free agent. "There's no way I was going to lose this kid," Payton said of the former Mississippi State and Penn State quarterback who was often compared to the Saints' versatile Taysom Hill leading up to the draft. "We know the role. We invented the role." The Saints originally did not have a seventh-round pick. In fact, they didn't have any picks in Rounds 4-7 after trading up to select Dayton tight end Adam Trautman at the end of Round 3. So they spent most of their Saturday trying to identify and recruit the undrafted rookies they wanted to sign. Stevens was high...
April 30
April 30

Little League World Series canceled for first time because of coronavirus

The Little League World Series will not be played this year for the first time since the organization began because of the coronavirus pandemic. Little League International, which announced the move Thursday, also canceled regional tournaments and the championship tournaments in other Little League divisions, including softball, but said the events would return in 2021. The organization has not, however, called off the 2020 regular season. Little League president Stephen Keener said there was reason for optimism that teams could play this spring and summer, depending on restrictions in states and localities. The Little League World Series has been played each year since the first tournament in 1947. The next iteration was to be the 75th playing of the tournament; that milestone has been pushed back to 2022. Keener announced the cancellations in a Facebook Live broadcast Thursday afternoon from league headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, saying it would be...
April 30
April 30

Brandin Cooks: Being traded three times shows 'I'm wanted'

HOUSTON -- Despite being traded for the third time in his six-year NFL career, new Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks said he doesn't see the moves "as a negative." "The way that I look at it, I take it as a positive and that I'm wanted, and that I'm valued at a high level still," Cooks said Thursday in his first public comments since he was traded to Houston from the Los Angeles Rams on April 9. "You look at all of the trades, they all were for a first-rounder, and this one, going for a second-rounder. To be honest with you, I'm blessed to be able to go around and play with so many different teams and different quarterbacks and different organizations. "... So I don't think of it as a negative. I look forward to it. I'm a guy that adjusts pretty quick, and wherever I go, like I tell people, I'm going to ball. So I'm not worried about that." Last month, the Texans traded a 2020 second-round draft pick (No. 57 overall) to the Rams for Cooks and a...
April 30
April 30

LeBron James retorts to shutdown chatter: 'We would like to finish our season'

As the NBA's hiatus in response to the coronavirus pandemic has pushed past seven weeks, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James remains steadfast in his commitment to salvaging some sort of conclusion to the season. "As soon as it's safe we would like to finish our season," read part of a tweet James posted Thursday in response to speculation that some in league circles are divided about the goal of resuming play. "I'm ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything." Earlier this month on a Zoom call with reporters, James said " I don't know if I will be able to have any closure," when asked how he would react to the 2019-20 season being abandoned for good because of the coronavirus. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has spoken on the possible resumption of play a number of times during the NBA hiatus, was among the front-office executives to address a potential return Thursday, telling CNN that he was "cautiously optimistic we'll be...
April 30
April 30

Source: Bears reach one-year deal with free agent Ted Ginn Jr.

The Chicago Bears have reached a one-year deal with free-agent wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., a source confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. Ginn ranks 25th in NFL history with 15,685 all-purpose yards -- including 5,702 receiving yards, nearly 10,000 kickoff and punt return yards and 42 total touchdowns. His agreement with the Bears was first reported by NFL Network. Ginn, 35, became expendable with the  New Orleans Saints after they signed Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. But after 13 NFL seasons, Ginn said earlier this month that he had no intention of retiring, adding, "I've still got a few years left in me." Chicago had a clear need at receiver after releasing veteran Taylor Gabriel this offseason. He was fourth on the club in receptions last year, but he missed a large portion of the season because of multiple concussions. In 2018, Gabriel caught a career-high 67 passes for 688 yards. Bears receivers Allen Robinson, Anthony...
April 30
April 30

How to enjoy the Kentucky Derby at home this weekend

Enjoy the 1st-ever virtual Kentucky Derby with homemade mint juleps and more.
April 30
Mike Smith rides Justify to victory during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., May 5, 2018.
April 30

Wake Forest names Steve Forbes its basketball coach

Wake Forest has named  East Tennessee State's Steve Forbes the Demon Deacons' next head coach, the school announced Thursday. Forbes replaces Danny Manning, who was fired on Saturday after six seasons at the helm. Wake Forest never finished above .500 in the ACC under Manning, who had a 14-42 conference record over the past three seasons. Last season, the Deacons went 13-18 overall and 6-14 in the ACC, finishing in a tie for last place in the conference. "I'm extremely excited for the opportunity," Forbes said in a statement. "Coming to Wake Forest presents an opportunity to be a part of a special brand and a chance to impact our student-athletes' lives in a positive way while competing for championships." Forbes has been one of the most successful mid-major coaches in the country the past several years. He has won 130 games in five seasons at East Tennessee State and two Southern Conference regular-season titles. The Bucs went to the NCAA tournament in...
April 30
April 30

NCAA board does not recommend change to transfer waiver process

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors said Thursday that it does not recommend potential changes to the transfer waiver process. The Division I Council is expected to vote on a one-time transfer waiver in May that would allow student-athletes in football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and men's ice hockey to transfer and compete immediately at their new school. As it stands, student-athletes in those five sports have to sit out one year before competing. The Transfer Waiver Working Group recommended waiver guidelines change to allow the one-time transfer waiver, but while the Board of Directors recommended lifting the moratorium on transfer legislation, it disagreed on changing the waiver process. "The board agreed to lift the moratorium on transfer legislation for the 2020-21 legislative cycle but recommended to the Council that changes to the waiver process as suggested by the working group are not appropriate at this time," the NCAA's statement said. "Board members...
April 30
April 30

Cowboys give revered No. 88 to rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb

With a nod to history, Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick CeeDee Lamb will wear No. 88. Lamb's number choice was up for debate since the Cowboys selected him, and he told 105.3 The Fan on draft night that he would wear No. 10 in Dallas after wearing No. 2 with the  Oklahoma Sooners. According to the NFL Pro Shop, however, fans can purchase Lamb's No. 88 Cowboys jersey. The Cowboys are hoping Lamb can track along the same lines as some of the previous 88s -- Drew Pearson, Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant. Pearson wore No. 88 from 1973 to 1983 and is in the Cowboys' Ring of Honor. Irvin, a Hall of Famer, wore No. 88 from 1988 to 1999 and left as the franchise leader in receptions. Bryant wore No. 88 from 2010 to 2017 and is the franchise leader with 73 touchdown receptions. "I can't feel no way but be supportive of lamb and the rest of these young stars that's entering the league," Bryant said Thursday on Twitter. "I believe it's my job to...
April 30
April 30

Heat's Udonis Haslem pays tribute to hospitals, fire station with food

Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem delivered food Wednesday to two area hospitals and a fire station that hold a personal connection to him, including one that helped save his life. Haslem said he wanted to give back to the first responders in the coronavirus pandemic at the hospital in which the Miami native was born, the hospital that helped save his life when he had blood clots in 2010, and the fire station next to the community college where his father played semi pro basketball. "Everybody knows that I had a run in with blood clots years ago, could have lost my life," the power forward said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, during a visit to Memorial Hospital West. "Blood clot was on the way to my heart, and once it gets to your heart, if anybody knows about the medical side of things, that's it. So I was close to losing my life, came here, they got me back. And they pretty much saved my life. "Without you guys, a lot of people say they...
April 30
April 30

Udonis Haslem pays tribute to hospitals, fire station with food

Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem delivered food to two area hospitals and a fire station Wednesday that he said he holds a personal connection to, including one that helped save his life. Haslem said he wanted to give back to the first responders at the hospital in which the Miami native was born, the hospital that helped save his life when he had blood clots in 2010 and the fire station next to the community college where his father played semi pro basketball. "Everybody knows that I had a run in with blood clots years ago, could have lost my life," the power forward said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, during a visit to Memorial Hospital West. "Blood clot was on the way to my heart, and once it gets to your heart, if anybody knows about the medical side of things, that's it. So I was close to losing my life, came here, they got me back. And they pretty much saved my life. "Without you guys, a lot of people say they wouldn't be here. But without you...
April 30
April 30

Bengals release Andy Dalton after drafting Joe Burrow

CINCINNATI -- Andy Dalton's run with the Bengals is over, as the veteran quarterback was released Thursday. Dalton had been the Bengals' primary starter since they selected him in the second round of the 2011 draft. Dalton, 32, led Cincinnati to the playoffs five times, though the Bengals lost in the wild-card round each time, and is the franchise's career leader in touchdown passes. The move comes one week after the Bengals drafted former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the top overall pick. Burrow threw 60 touchdowns in 2019, an FBS record, and won the Heisman Trophy as he led the Tigers to the national championship. Dalton was set to earn $17.7 million in the final season of a six-year contract worth $96 million. After the Bengals went on a spending spree this summer, Cincinnati did not have the salary-cap space to keep Dalton and sign its incoming rookie class. "Andy will always hold a special place with this franchise, and I know that he...
April 30
April 30

Udonis Haslem pays tribute to hospitals, fire station with food delivery

Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem delivered food to two area hospitals and a fire station Wednesday that he said he holds a personal connection to, including one that helped save his life. Haslem said he wanted to give back to the first responders at the hospital in which the Miami native was born, the hospital that helped save his live when he had blood clots in 2010 and the fire station next to the community college where his father played semi pro basketball. "Everybody knows that I had a run in with blood clots years ago, could have lost my life," the power forward said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, during a visit to Memorial Hospital West. "Blood clot was on the way to my heart, and once it gets to your heart, if anybody knows about the medical side of things, that's it. So I was close to losing my life, came here, they got me back. And they pretty much saved my life. "Without you guys, a lot of people say they wouldn't be here. But without you...
April 30
April 30

Source: Todd Gurley doesn't plan to file grievance against Rams

Atlanta Falcons running back  Todd Gurley does not plan to file a grievance against the Los Angeles Rams over an unpaid roster bonus, a source told ESPN on Thursday. Gurley, who was released by the Rams in March, is owed a $7.55 million roster bonus, but offset language can reduce the payment by $2.5 million. He signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Falcons that is still pending a physical. Gurley took to Twitter on April 8 to tell the Rams the money was past due and to "send me my money ASAP.'' He later said he was just playing around with the tweet but made it clear he still wants his money. "I still need my money. That's what I'm waiting on," Gurley said April 10. "I've got so much time on my hands, so I'm having fun, man. If you know me, you know how I am. Always joking and laughing with the Rams teammates. They know how I am. It's all fun and games. I still do need my money, though. I am serious about that part. But it's all fun and...
April 30
April 30

Wake Forest, ETSU coach Steve Forbes agree to deal

Wake Forest has agreed to a deal with East Tennessee State's Steve Forbes to become the Demon Deacons' next head coach, sources told ESPN. Forbes would replace Danny Manning, who was fired on Saturday after six seasons at the helm. Wake Forest never finished above .500 in the ACC under Manning, who had a 14-42 conference record over the past three seasons. Last season, the Deacons went 13-18 overall and 6-14 in the ACC, finishing in a tie for last place in the conference. Forbes has been one of the most successful mid-major coaches in the country the past several years. He has won 130 games in five seasons at East Tennessee State and two Southern Conference regular-season titles. The Bucs went to the NCAA tournament in 2017 and would have gone last season after winning 30 games and the SoCon tournament. Forbes also has power-conference experience as an assistant coach at Texas A&M, Tennessee and Wichita State. Forbes was an assistant coach under Bruce Pearl at...
April 30
April 30

Bengals releasing Andy Dalton after drafting Joe Burrow

CINCINNATI -- Andy Dalton's run with the Bengals is over, as the veteran quarterback is being released, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Thursday. Dalton had been the Bengals' primary starter since they selected him in the second round of the 2011 draft. Dalton, 32, led Cincinnati to the playoffs five times, though the Bengals lost in the wild-card round each time, and is the franchise's career leader in touchdown passes. The news comes one week after the Bengals drafted former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the top overall pick. Burrow threw 60 touchdowns in 2019, an FBS record, and won the Heisman Trophy as he led the Tigers to the national championship. Dalton was set to earn $17.7 million in the final season of a six-year contract worth $96 million. After the Bengals went on a spending spree this summer, Cincinnati did not have the salary-cap space to keep Dalton and sign its incoming rookie class. Prior to the decision to release Dalton,...
April 30
April 30

Bucs' Rob Gronkowski says playbook comment made in jest

Rob Gronkowski isn't joking around this time. He has his Tampa Bay Buccaneers playbook and said it arrived after last week's trade from the New England Patriots. That's according to a social media post Wednesday from the star tight end, who went on Twitter to clarify that a comment he made over the weekend suggesting that he had received the playbook before the trade was in jest. "This is seriously a story?" Gronkowski wrote. "LOL." On Saturday night, Gronkowski was part of a Bud Light-sponsored draft after-party, during which one of the guests, ESPN's Sage Steele, spoke about how Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall selection by the Bengals, had been working with Cincinnati's playbook weeks before the team officially made its selection. Gronkowski then jumped in and said, "I was in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' playbook four weeks ago, and I wasn't even on the team." That comment took on a life of its own when some outlets questioned if Gronkowski was...
April 30
April 30

NCAA sued by 7 women for failure to protect in alleged sexual assaults

Seven women, including three female athletes, are suing the NCAA, alleging that the organization failed to protect them from alleged sexual assaults by male college athletes, despite having an obligation to do so. The women allege that they were sexually assaulted by male athletes at three institutions: Michigan State, Nebraska and one unnamed Division I college from the America East Conference, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The lawsuit accuses the NCAA of negligence, fraud and breach of contract. It argues that the NCAA, as a regulatory body for college athletics, had a duty to the women "to supervise, regulate, monitor and provide reasonable and appropriate rules to minimize the risk of injury or danger to student-athletes and by student-athletes." The NCAA "knew or should have known that their actions or inaction in light of the rate and extent of sexual assaults reported and made known to [the NCAA] by...
April 30
April 30

Players need the 'emotional flicker' fans provide, Buck Showalter says

With Major League Baseball mulling its options on returning to play amid the coronavirus pandemic, Buck Showalter, who managed the only game in MLB history played without spectators, said fans are a critical component, and having games without them would affect players. "You need people there and saying, 'Hey, it's important what you're doing. We're counting on you,'" Showalter said Wednesday on Spain and Company on ESPN Radio. "You need that emotional flicker, so to speak, that makes you realize why you do all these things, especially in baseball, where you play 162 games, seven days a week. That's what I have trouble getting across to football coaches and even basketball coaches. We play every day. We need that emotion." On April 29, 2015, Showalter managed the Baltimore Orioles to an 8-2 win over the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards -- a game played without fans because of safety concerns following several days of unrest in Baltimore. "I think what...
April 30
April 30

Will college athletes get paid?

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas discusses the NCAA recommending moving toward allowing forms of compensation for student-athletes.
April 30
VIDEO:Will college athletes get paid?

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