May 29th, 2019
Welcome back, even politics can’t compete with NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB daily news.
1. What’s New
About 14.77 million people went to Broadway shows last season. That’s five million more people than went to Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Islanders, Giants and Jets games combined.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent a letter Tuesday to all certified NFL player agents asking them to encourage their players to save money in the event of a work stoppage in 2021.
Oakland health care giant Kaiser Permanente and the Golden State Warriors announced a deal Tuesday to name the 11-acre plaza surrounding the team’s new Chase Center arena “Thrive City” — after Kaiser’s “Thrive” health and wellness slogan.
English soccer heavyweights Manchester City have partnered with JNC to become the club’s official baijiu partner on a multi-year, global deal. Baijiu is a clear Chinese liquor made from grain, with JNC being one of the leading liquor manufacturers in China.
The U.S. Golf Association announced it has increased the total purse for both the U.S. Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston and the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links by $500,000 each. The purse for the June 13-16 U.S. Open with be $12.5 million, making it the largest prize pool among all of golf’s major championships.
According to some of the latest Nielsen Ratings research, MLB ranks 2nd among the four major sports when it comes to drawing interest from the 18-24 age group.
R.J. Hampton, a Texas high school basketball player who was recruited by the nation’s premier programs, has decided to skip college and turn professional on the other side of the world, meaning he’ll be paid while awaiting the 2020 National Basketball Association draft.
When a Power 5 school is hiring a football or men’s basketball coach, it usually isn’t using a search firm to identify candidates. Most athletic directors already have a list of candidates in mind. The search firm may suggest one or two names that aren’t on the AD’s list, but that’s not why that AD is paying that search firm between $50,000 and $125,000.
A Honus Wagner baseball card has been sold privately for $1.2 million. SCP Auctions in Southern California says the 1909-11 T206 card was graded in Good 2 condition on a scale of 1 to 10 by Professional Sports Authenticator. The auction house says this example of the Wagner card sold twice before at auction, garnering $657,250 in 2014 and $776,750 in 2016.
Get ready for a major primetime dose of Stephen A. Smith during the NBA Finals. ESPN is doubling down on the daytime star of First Take by planning up to eight potential primetime specials starring Smith during the 2019 Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.
Metta World Peace credits intense therapy with helping him shed his anger and become not only a better person but a much better teammate. And he looks at the championship he won in Los Angeles at the defining moment of his career, not the brawl in Detroit that cost him $5 million, a one-year suspension and the scorn of fans everywhere.
The former Atlanta Braves outfielder and current broadcaster Jeff Francoeur launched a beer Tuesday with Athens, Georgia-based Terrapin Beer Co. called Frenchy’s Blues, made with blueberries from his Southern Georgia blueberry farm. Francoeur played 12 seasons in the majors, including time with the Mets, Rangers, Royals, Giants, Padres, Phillies and Marlins.
With the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing approaching, the NHL is amping up its efforts to grow a fanbase in China, the world’s most populous nation.
Arsenal and Chelsea are gearing up to play a London derby far from home in the Europa League final. Playing three time zones and 2,460 miles (4,000 kilometers) from London in Azerbaijan, the game offers Arsenal coach Unai Emery the chance to win a record fourth Europa League title.
Many professional and college sports teams all over the globe are constantly looking for creative ways to generate ticket sales and drive fan engagement. Innovative and flexible technology, such as Radio-frequency identification (RFID), can be leveraged to boost season pass sales and increase overall fan engagement. The Connect&GO FastPass is a prime example of this.
Bianca Andreescu, the No. 22 seed from Canada, has withdrawn ahead of her second-round match against Sofia Kenin at the French Open due to a right shoulder injury. Andreescu, who won the Indian Wells title in March, also missed the previous two months with the same injury.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver this morning appeared on ESPN’s “Get Up” to discuss a wide range of topics regarding the league. He said the Raptors’ first appearance in the NBA Finals “clearly demonstrates what an international sport we are.”
The 2018-19 NBA season saw the comeback of headbands. It began on opening night, when a black bandana-clad Kyrie Irving freelanced as an estranged Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. It continued when the Philadelphia 76ers underwent the most comprehensive makeover of any team, leading to the formation of a headband club that head coach Brett Brown credited with helping his backcourt bond. It seems the entire league is enamored with an outmoded 2-inch strip of fabric originally designed to keep sweat out of the eyes.
MGM Resorts International was honored at the 12th annual Sports Business Awards as the “Breakthrough of the Year” recipient by the Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily, a division of Street and Smith’s. The award was presented to MGM Resorts at the Sports Business Awards Ceremony in New York.
2. Off season men’s college basketball is always clutter with rule changes and player coach movement.
Players who wish to retain any remaining college eligibility must submit paperwork to the NBA as formal withdrawal intentions by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday night, else they’ll be stuck in the draft for good.
The appeal of Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa to the NCAA has been approved. In a ruling handed down Friday afternoon, regarding a potential reinstatement, the NCAA said it will reverse its original decision on De Sousa, allowing him to regain eligibility immediately beginning in 2019-2020 after sitting out all of 2018-19.
The University of Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin was placed on 10 days of administrative leave following a consultant’s report that college officials said found potential NCAA violations.
The new NCAA rule designed to help players explore their NBA draft potential by allowing them to sign with an agent and still return to school surprisingly doesn’t apply to all college players.
The number of transfers has increased significantly over the past few years, and with the introduction of the transfer portal, the practice has moved to a different level. One week after the NCAA tournament ended, there were already more than 700 departures from Division I schools.
Former Marquette forwards Sam Hauser and Joey Hauser are splitting up for their next destination. Sam, the older brother by 19 months, is going to Virginia, while Joey has committed to Michigan State. Both players announced their decisions on Twitter.
LSU coach Will Wade expressed regret Tuesday for the actions that led to his suspension during the SEC and NCAA tournaments while categorically denying allegations levied by Emanuel “Book” Richardson during the college basketball corruption trial in federal court in New York City.
Emmitt Williams told the LSU basketball program is returning to school. Sophomore guard Javonte Smart announced May 25 on social media he was returning and senior guard Skylar Mays confirmed Monday he’ll be back as well.
The Red Storm’s first choice for their new head coach had St. John’s pursuing a number of other candidates prior to the hiring of Mike Anderson. they included Arizona State‘s Bobby Hurley, Loyola Chicago‘s Porter Moser, Iona‘s Tim Cluess and UMBC‘s Ryan Odom.
Former Louisville coach Denny Crum has been released from the hospital after suffering a stroke last week, Crum will continue his recovery in an inpatient rehab facility.
Toronto will host a college basketball tripleheader featuring three teams that reached the NCAA tournament this past season. The inaugural James Naismith Classic on Nov. 16 has Tennessee facing Washington, Buffalo meeting Harvard, and Rutgers matching up with St. Bonaventure. The event will take place at Scotiabank Arena.
Wisconsin men’s basketball assistant coach Howard Moore is recovering from injuries suffered in an automobile accident early Saturday that claimed the lives of his wife and daughter.
The son of former NBA star Dennis Rodman has committed to play at Washington State. DJ Rodman, a 6-foot-6 forward from San Juan Capistrano, California, is the latest player to join new coach Kyle Smith’s team.
The NCAA on Tuesday released a lengthy report detailing infractions committed by Florida A&M including a “lack of institutional control” and “failure to monitor” its athletic programs, resulting in a five year probation period and a postseason ban — self-imposed by the university in football, baseball, men’s basketball, track and field, women’s basketball and volleyball — effective for the 2019-20 postseason.
3. Art Briles hired as a high school head coach leads the college football news.
Former Baylor coach Art Briles has returned to coaching football in the United States, landing a gig at a mid-sized East Texas high school. The hiring of Briles by the Mount Vernon Independent School District was surprising to many. On the latest edition of the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News joins AP’s Ralph Russo to discuss Briles’ return.
Dabo Swinney won a national title by upending the Alabama for the second time in three years. He’s on track to give Clemson the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class. He just signed a 10-year, $93 million contract that makes him college football’s highest-paid coach. I would say he is a roll!
Attorneys representing more than three dozen former Ohio State male student-athletes, including at least 26 Buckeyes football players, filed a Title IX lawsuit against the university Wednesday, alleging OSU officials didn’t do enough to stop a sports medicine director who allegedly sexually assaulted the men while conducting preseason physical exams and treatment for injuries.
The SEC’s athletic director merry-go-round continues to spin. Texas A&M hired Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork to the same role with the Aggies. Bjork replaces Scott Woodward, who left to take the same position at LSU last month.
Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn’t want his quarterback, Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua Tagovailoa, to get comfortable this offseason. Tagovailoa, who threw for 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns overall, struggled during the SEC and national title games.
Former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has joined the Arizona State football program as a special advisor to Herm Edwards.
The Southeastern Conference hired international accounting firm Deloitte to conduct a review of its football officiating, reacting in part to what commissioner Greg Sankey called the intense, often opinionated view of referees by the public and media.
According to Forbes, the September 21 clash between Georgia and Notre Dame has the most expensive seats in the country. Per the report, the cheapest seats available on secondary market site Vivid Seats is currently $407 as of last night.
Notre Dame football remains independent and there is no reason for them not to stay that way. And for whatever reason, this angers some people.
For the first time since 2010, LSU-Alabama isn’t scheduled to air in primetime on CBS. The Southeastern Conference announced Wednesday that the television network’s annual day-night doubleheader will be Sept. 21, the day that Notre Dame plays at Georgia.
Georgia freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis was released from the hospital on Monday after undergoing emergency brain surgery.
Texas Longhorns wide receiver Bru McCoy, who from USC in January, was strongly considering heading back to the Trojans. While nothing is official on that front yet, Texas is apparently sending in the big guns to, in essence, re-recruit McCoy to stay at UT.
Jalen Hurts almost certainly transferred to Oklahoma believing he would be the program’s starting quarterback. And while that may happen, the Sooners are not going to just hand him the job. Hurts and redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai are battling for the job in a competition. Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley insists the competition is real and not for show.
J.J. McCarthy grew up a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. “I used to love them (Ohio State),” McCarthy said, “Now I want to kill them.” Why the change of heart?Two weeks after committing to Michigan, McCarthy notes that Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and his staff lied to him about their plans for the 2021 recruiting class.
While most of the ACC disappointed in 2018, Bronco Mendenhall’s Virginia Cavaliers surged to an 8-4 record. They were a couple of close, late-season losses from a 10-win season.
Pitt Panthers have a division title and top-five wins under Pat Narduzzi; the Panthers have also regressed pretty significantly in each of the last two seasons.