Here's how long it takes college basketball coaches to win their first NCAA Tournament championship

Winning it all makes you a legend, but the road to get there normally takes well over a decade. Here’s the data.
Source: CBS Sports

Boras to clients: Don't 'bail out' MLB owners

Agent Scott Boras told clients that players should not alter terms of a March 26 agreement between MLB and the MLBPA concerning prorated salaries for a shortened season. “Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners,” Boras said.
Source: ESPN

Gophers limit ties with police after man's death

The University of Minnesota announced it will “no longer contract the Minneapolis Police Department” for large on-campus events, including football games, following an incident Monday in which a man died in police custody.
Source: ESPN

Conn. transgender policy found to violate Title IX

A Connecticut policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in girls sports violates the civil rights of female athletes, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has ruled.
Source: ESPN

Italy's Serie A given green light to resume on June 20

Italy’s top soccer league will resume on June 20
Source: Fox Sports

The Premier League Has a Firm Plan to Return

If all goes according to plan, June 17 will mark the return of the Premier League with a pair of games to get the league even on matches played before a full sprint to end the season begins days later.

Premier League football will return on June 17, so long as all safety requirements are in place, the clubs decided at a meeting on Thursday. That a resumption was imminent and had been expected after Wednesday’s vote to allow full-contact training, but the later meeting confirmed plans. All 92 remaining games will be broadcast in some form, including at least 29 on BBC and Sky, shown free-to-air. That marks the first time Premier League games will have ever been broadcast live on free-to-air television in the UK. (NBC Sports remains the viewers’ choice in the USA). As expected, all fixtures to close this season will be behind closed doors.

The Premier League does still need government go-ahead before it can restart, and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden warned that “green light” was not guaranteed. As the lockdown is gradually lifted, though, it seems all but certain that will be granted.

The Premier League has acknowledged the possibility of a second lockdown and has stipulated that if the season cannot be finished, positions will be determined by unweighted points per game.

An initial proposal had been for the first games to be played on the weekend of June 20-21, but Manchester City will now play Arsenal and Aston Villa will play Sheffield United on June 17 so that every club will have played 29 games. A full slate will then be undertaken that weekend, with Tottenham possibly playing Manchester United on Friday, June 19–a match with significant implications in the race for Champions League places. Were Man City to lose to Arsenal, Liverpool could then seal the title by beating Everton in that first full round of games. The Merseyside derby is one of the games Sky will be showing free.

The weekly schedule will feature one game on Fridays, four on Saturdays, four on Sundays and one on Mondays, while there will also be two midweek rounds with games at two kickoff times on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The full schedule has yet to be released, but the season should be over by early August, which in turn means the 2020-21 season can begin in early September–perhaps even late August.

Given all of the obstacles that had been raised over the past three weeks of discussion, the decision seems to have been passed with remarkably little difficulty. The reasons for that appear twofold. Firstly, the return of the Bundesliga three weeks ago has offered a practical example of how the various regulations will work in practice. And, secondly, the Football Association’s clear statement that it would not permit relegation to be waived this season removed any incentive for the sides currently in the bottom three to try to curtail the season.

Some questions still remain about what have been termed “high-risk” games, where there is a perceived danger of fans congregating near the stadium, with a suggestion that they may still be staged at neutral venues. Police are concerned by Liverpool home games, at least until the title has been secured, and by other fixtures such as the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham. Discussions are ongoing.

Numerous players had expressed their reservations about a return, but after a concerted attempt by the authorities to explain how they will be protected, that opposition to a restart appears to be diminishing. Troy Deeney, the Watford captain whose young son has respiratory difficulties, had initially refused to train. Despite his teammate, Adrian Mariappa, subsequently testing positive, he has been persuaded to return following a meeting with England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam.

“He’s been doing very, very good research,” Deeney said, “And there is a lot of goodwill on his part to tell me, ultimately, that I’m going to be looked after as best as they can, and, ultimately, there is going to be some form of risk for all of us going back to work.” 

There is a general acceptance that, given the level of testing, footballers will be among the most protected professions, and there is little doubt that the Bundesliga’s return to action has convinced many.

Not all, though. N’Golo Kante, who had been given “compassionate leave” not to train with Chelsea over his virus fears, has returned to the club’s Cobham training ground, but as of yet is running alone.

The oddity is that after all the worries and the queries, by the time the decision to resume was take it had come to feel inevitable. In part, that is because the daily death toll, horrifying as it is, continues to fall. But mainly it’s because, for Premier League clubs, players and broadcasters–and indeed a government in desperate need of something to draw the attention away from its own problems–self-interest dictates that football should restart. It’s not ideal, but as the Bundesliga has shown, it’s a lot better than nothing.

Source: Sports Illustrated

NHL awards regular-season trophies for season cut short

The NHL is handing out its regular-season trophies after saying it would go straight to playoffs if it can return
Source: Fox Sports

LA Kings hope late-season surge indicates brighter future

The Los Angeles Kings were the NHL’s hottest team before the coronavirus pandemic ended the regular season prematurely
Source: Fox Sports

'This or That' with Bucks forward DJ Wilson

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to play “This or That?” with Milwaukee Bucks forward D.J. Wilson. How do you stack up?
Source: Fox Sports

UFC Fight Night — Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns: Fight card, odds, start time, date, location

Woodley and Burns will battle with massive ramifications for the welterweight division
Source: CBS Sports

Scott Boras Urges Clients to Refuse Pay Cut Amid Return-to-Play Negotiations

Boras: “Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners.”

NEW YORK – (AP) — Agent Scott Boras recommends his clients refuse Major League Baseball’s attempt to cut salaries during negotiations with the players’ association, claiming team financial issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic have their origin in management debt financing.

In an email obtained by The Associated Press, Boras wrote that players should not alter terms of the March 26 agreement between MLB and the union that called for players to reduce their salaries to a prorated rate based on a shortened season. MLB on Tuesday proposed a series of tiered reductions that would cause top stars to receive the biggest cuts.

“Remember, games cannot be played without you,” Boras wrote. “Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated.”

Boras is baseball’s best-known agent and represented 71 players on active rosters and injured lists as of Aug. 31, the most among player representative firms. His Newport Beach, California-based company negotiated more than $1.2 billion in contracts during the offseason.

Salaries were set to range from $563,500 for players at the major league minimum to $36 million for Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole, the latter a Boras client. Under the March agreement, the range would be cut to roughly $285,000 to $18 million for the 82-game regular season MLB has proposed. Under the economic proposal made by MLB this week, the range would be reduced to about $262,000 to $8 million, including shares of a bonus all players would receive if the postseason is played.

“Owners are asking for more salary cuts to bail them out of the investment decisions they have made,” Boras said. “If this was just about baseball, playing games would give the owners enough money to pay the players their full prorated salaries and run the baseball organization. The owners’ current problem is a result of the money they borrowed when they purchased their franchises, renovated their stadiums or developed land around their ballparks. This type of financing is allowed and encouraged by MLB because it has resulted in significant franchise valuations.”

“Owners now want players to take additional pay cuts to help them pay these loans. They want a bailout,” he added. “They are not offering players a share of the stadiums, ballpark villages or the club itself, even though salary reductions would help owners pay for these valuable franchise assets. These billionaires want the money for free. No bank would do that. Banks demand loans be repaid with interest. Players should be entitled to the same respect.”

Commissioner Rob Manfred has said 40% of MLB’s revenue is related to the gate. Teams told the union on May 12 that MLB would lose $640,000 for each game played in empty ballparks without fans. MLB claimed that playing with prorated salaries in empty ballparks would cause a $4 billion loss and give major league players 89% of revenue.

Washington pitcher Max Scherzer, among three Boras clients on the union’s eight-man executive subcommittee, issued a statement late Wednesday night saying “there’s no need to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions.”

Boras cited the purchase of the Chicago Cubs by the Ricketts family and the redevelopment of Wrigley Field. Debt financing was key to both, he said.

“Throughout this process, they will be able to claim that they never had any profits because those profits went to pay off their loans,” he wrote. “However, the end result is that the Ricketts will own improved assets that significantly increases the value of the Cubs — value that is not shared with the players.”

Boras asked clients to “please share this concept with your teammates and fellow players when MLB request further concessions or deferral of salaries.”

“Make no mistake, owners have chosen to take on these loans because, in normal times, it is a smart financial decision,” Boras wrote. “But, these unnecessary choices have now put them in a challenging spot. Players should stand strong because players are not the ones who advised owners to borrow money to purchase their franchises and players are not the ones who have benefited from the recent record revenues and profits.”

He added salaries have been flat for several years. The opening day average has been in the $4.4 million range since 2016.

Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer addressed Boras on Wednesday on Twitter.

“Hearing a LOT of rumors about a certain player agent meddling in MLBPA affairs,” Bauer tweeted. “If true — and at this point, these are only rumors — I have one thing to say … Scott Boras, rep your clients however you want to, but keep your damn personal agenda out of union business.”

Boras declined to comment on Bauer’s remarks.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Director of 'One Man and His Shoes' discusses the documentary, Michael Jordan's sneaker legacy

‘One Man and His Shoes’ tells the story of the phenomenon of Air Jordan sneakers
Source: CBS Sports

Patrick Peterson says he hasn't started extension talks with Cardinals ahead of contract year

This despite GM Steve Keim saying just the opposite earlier in the offseason
Source: CBS Sports

Prince William urges men to open up on mental health issues

Prince William urges men to open up on mental health issues
Source: Fox Sports

Scott Boras cautions clients not to 'bail out' MLB owners during 2020 season negotiations

‘Games cannot be played without you,’ Boras said in a memo obtained by the AP
Source: CBS Sports

Browns stay interested in Clowney while building solid line

The Browns remain interested in free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney
Source: Fox Sports

Conference USA sets bowl lineup for 2020-25

Conference USA has secured its bowl lineup through the 2025 season with seven guaranteed postseason appearances each year
Source: Fox Sports

Roundtable: What Is the Best Format for the NBA to Complete the Season?

Plenty of experimental ideas have been tossed around for the NBA to finish the season, but should the league really alter the playoff format?

As the NBA season remains suspended due to the coronavirus, it appears Adam Silver and the league is nearing a decision to return and complete the season.

In a report, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said the league has begun “exploratory conversations” with the Walt Disney Corporation about having games take place at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The NBA is reportedly targeting a late-July start.

While the location is not locked in, there has been much speculation about the possible format ranging from a “World Cup style” group stage or a play-in tournament. The Crossover asked its writers to explore what is the best possible format to finish the season.

Mark Bechtel

I’d like to steer clear of anything too gimmicky, because if you’re going to crown a champion you don’t want the trophy you present to come with an asterisk because they took advantage of the five-point supershot you rolled out. On the other hand, this is a great opportunity to experiment. The idea of a play-in tournament is intriguing, but tricky. From a safety standpoint, you want to limit the number of people in the bubble, so do you really want to bring everyone inside to play a handful of games? Would teams on the outside really want to fall all over themselves for a chance to get curb stomped in the first round?

So what would I do? Follow the NHL lead and call it a season. It’s conceivable that if the rest of the season were played out that someone could catch an eight seed: The Pelicans have been a solid middle-of the pack team since Christmas, but they’d still have to make up 3.5 games on the Grizzlies. For that to happen, you’d have to have a full schedule of at least 10 games per team, which seems like a colossal risk. So just freeze the standings, play out the postseason as usual and work toward a 2020–21 season that can approach what we all want: normalcy.

Jeremy Woo

I don’t personally see the point in forcing eliminated teams to report, apart from the matter of having to fulfill TV contracts. In a perfect situation (which this inherently is not), I like the concept of the 20-team round-robin group stage that opens up opportunities for a range of teams to qualify for a smaller playoff bracket. Granted, it’s asking for some weird things to happen, and there will be good teams left in the lurch. But a big part of why the NCAA tournament works is that its format leans into that. And playing a longer group schedule should make it harder for top teams to complain. If anything, just don’t crown an official champion and make this a one-time (for now) tournament setup with a different trophy. But honestly, as long as there’s basketball to watch and closure on this season, I don’t really care how they do it.

Michael Shapiro

The NBA has a fine line to walk to conclude the 2020 season. Plenty of experimental ideas have been tossed around, from group play similar to the World Cup to an expanded play-in tournament involving up to 24 teams. Some modicum of creativity is encouraged, but let’s not act like the previous playoff system was completely broken. The NBA can certainly find a happy medium.

Not all 30 teams should be invited to Orlando, and a small play-in tournament (perhaps extending to the No. 10 seed in each conference) would be prudent. That structure is ultimately less important than the final playoff bracket.

The conference system has been antiquated for over a decade giving the Eastern conference powers what amounts to a free ride to the Finals. Let’s scrap the conferences and move to 1-16 seeding once and for all, providing a more equitable playoffs. The time is right for experimentation. The NBA has a great opportunity to shape its future for the next decade in the 2020 playoffs.

Ben Pickman

Nothing will be normal about the 2020 NBA postseason (if as increasingly expected, it does take place.) That doesn’t mean a potential champion is undeserving or should be discredited, but just that, similar to in a lockout season, the 2019-20 playoffs will forever carry a COVID-19 caveat. While possible format changes could lead to an enjoyable experience, I’m more intrigued about potential broadcast and additional entertainment avenues that playing games in a campus environment could provide. The league will likely be forced into experimenting with different camera angles, but what if, as an example, we could more accessibly also watch games on TV or online using a virtual reality experience, much like its NextVR games that the league had aired weekly during the regular season. That NextVR experience is unique and employing it this postseason could be a way for fans to experience games in a more personal and intimate way.

One other thing I’d personally want to see is what broader reality TV or off-court entertainment content comes out of hosting at least half the NBA in one place for weeks on end. As an example, will we see off-night poker games between players on various teams streamed on Instagram Live? Or will there be other kinds of indoor entertainment that spontaneously pops up and is streamed via social media? With players presumably living together (even in a series of hotels), I’m excited to both see and hear what player down-time looks like and also inevitably hear conversations of how a major free-agency decision was born during the bubble environment postseason.

Elizabeth Swinton

When I first think of the NBA and Disney World, I can’t help but think of the Lopez brothers. Brook owns a house in the Orlando resort and is nicknamed “Splash Mountain,” after all.

While Brook will have to cut down on the rides in a potential return-to-play plan at Disney World, he and the Bucks may benefit from a reconfigured playoff format to complete the season. It may be best for the league to follow the NHL’s lead by advancing straight to the playoffs and expanding the field rather than completing the regular season. Instead of including an equal number of teams from each conference in the postseason, though, it may make sense for the bracket to include the overall top 20 teams in terms of record. The lower-seeded teams can then participate in shorter series to determine who will take on the top seeds in full seven-game series.

There will be no perfect answer on how to give teams equal opportunities in a potential season resumption, but expanding the playoff field to the best overall records would help give teams on the fringe a chance at further contention. Removing conferences in terms of seeding would also make for some fun match-ups in a time that can be ripe for experimentation.

Robin Lundberg

My initial reaction is that the NBA should just go right into the playoffs. But that doesn’t make logical sense on a few levels. First, players need time to adjust and can’t go right into that sort of action without ramping up. Second, that keeps any team that did have a chance to qualify out. And lastly, it also limits the number of teams traveling to the site which could be good from a health standpoint but might impact the economic picture.

So, the more I think about it, I actually really like the World Cup Group Stage idea. Change is hard but if there was ever a time to go for it, it would be now. And it could be what leads to a format overhaul overall. Let’s be honest, the first round of the playoffs are generally not the best. And when the NBA returns all eyes will be on the league, therefore something fresh, new and exciting is very intriguing.

Ultimately, however, I think the league lands on some sort of play in tournament for the final playoff seeds with a more traditional postseason. 

Source: Sports Illustrated

Watch the most legendary basketball games of Eddie Sutton's coaching career

ESPNU will re-air four of Eddie Sutton’s most memorable victories after the legendary coach died last week.
Source: ESPN

Premier League Plans for June 17 Restart to Complete Season

The Premier League will be returning next month if all goes according to plan.

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Premier League is planning to return on June 17 after a 100-day shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The league’s official broadcasters in Britain — Sky Sports and the BBC — said Thursday that English football will return with a doubleheader featuring Manchester City playing Arsenal and Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United.

The league, which last staged a game on March 9, declined comment saying a meeting was ongoing. Approval from authorities is required for sporting events to resume with strict medical protocols to try to prevent COVID-19 being spread.

Football has already resumed in Germany, with three rounds of the Bundesliga played in empty stadiums. The Spanish league has government approval to restart after June 8.

But lockdown measures have only just been eased to allow full practice sessions to resume at Premier League clubs.

The two matches set for Wednesday, June 17, are both make-up games from previous rounds. The full 30th round of games are set to be contested the following weekend.

Liverpool is on the verge of winning the Premier League, sitting 25 points in front with nine games remaining.

It’s still unclear where games will be played when the league resumes. Police have said only neutral venues should be used over concerns fans would congregate outside, but that plan was opposed by the 20 clubs.

“I would think that the vast, vast majority of people would respect what the football club tells them to do,” said Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool area. “If it said, ‘Do not come to Anfield and congregate,’ then they wouldn’t do that.”

Source: Sports Illustrated

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