Breaking Real Bad: Inside the Sam Hurd Drug Case: On Wednesday, former Cowboys and Bears receiver Sam Hurd will likely be sentenced to life in prison for drug trafficking. Is he the cocaine kingpin the government has made him out to be, or the victim of an overzealous prosecution and excessively harsh narcotics laws? An exclusive 22-month investigation reveals how it all went wrong for one of the NFL’s most promising and well-liked young talents—and why there’s more to Hurd’s downfall than we’ve been led to believe.
Russell Westbrook to have meniscus repair.: Westbrook injured his knee during the second quarter of the Thunder's Game 2 win over the Rockets Wednesday night but continued to play in that game. No timetable is set for his return. To date, Westbrook has never missed a game in his professional, college, or high school career.
The Miami Marlins fire-sale continues.: In a multi-player deal, the Toronto Blue Jays have landed three former All-Stars from the flailing fish - Pitchers Mark Buerhle and Josh Johnson and shortstop Jose Reyes. In exchange, the Marlins receive pitcher Henderson Alvarez and shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria.
Thunder, Rockets swap big names.: Unable to agree on a contract extension with James Harden, OKC sends him to Houston along with Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Haywood. In return, the Thunder acquire Kevin Martin, rookie and 12th overall draft pick Jeremy Lamb, and three future draft picks. The Rockets have already announced plans to offer Harden a 4-year, $60 million extension.
"Worst. Uniforms. Ever.": "Inspired" by another Florida High School's fancy uniforms, "rapper" Flo Rida contacted the same "design firm" to make new uniforms for his old stomping grounds, Miami-Carol City. Response has been "mixed".
Honey Badger gets cut: Tyrann Mathieu, a Heisman Trophy finalist a year ago and the most dynamic player on LSU’s preseason No. 1-ranked football team was permanently dismissed from the team Friday. Coach Les Miles said the dismissal of Mathieu, a junior defensive back/punt returner from New Orleans, was for “violation of team policy.” Neither Miles nor athletic director Joe Alleva would say which policy was violated by Mathieu
North Dakota voters overwhelmingly decide to do away with UND's 'Fighting Sioux' Nickname: As a part of yesterday's primary election, more than two-thirds of voters cast "yes" for Measure 4, overturning the Legislature-passed code from 2011 which required UND to use the Fighting Sioux nickname. The measure also passed in Reservation County, which encompasses most of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation.
Derrick Rose tears left ACL in game one of the playoffs: is out for the remainder of the season.
Larry Brown officially hired as SMU men's basketball coach.: One year before moving to the Big East, the Mustangs have hired the Hall-of-Famer for an undisclosed salary. This is Brown's first college coaching gig since he lead the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks to a national title.
Mavericks Cut Ties with Lamar Odom: The Dallas Mavericks have made Lamar Odom inactive for the rest of the season, cutting their ties to the veteran forward after his spectacularly dismal year. Odom was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers before the season for a 2012 first round pick and the $8.9 million trade exception the Mavericks received in Tyson Chandler's sign-and-trade deal with the New York Knicks.
Volleyball's Wizard of Westwood to retire at the end of this season: "The era of Al Scates coaching UCLA is a special era in collegiate athletics that, maybe because it's men's volleyball, most people don't appreciate." This will be Coach Scates 50th and final season as the head coach at UCLA, highlighted by 19 NCAA titles, 44 USMNT members, 27 Olympians, and 42 seasons of "mutually agreed-upon one-year contracts".
All-Star Shake-up.: Pending approval and physicals, a three-way trade is underway in the NBA that would send Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets, and Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom-Kardashian and Goran Dragic to New Orleans.
Mikey Mo hangs 'em up.: After 22 years in the NHL, all but one spent with the Stars franchise (both pre- and post-move), Mike Modano has signed a one-day contract with Dallas and will formally announce his retirement tomorrow. With career totals of 561 goals and 1,374 points, Modano retires as the most prolific US-born scorer in NHL history.
Houston Rockets hire Kevin McHale as new head coach: The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Rockets have agreed to a three-year deal with McHale, selecting him over Celtics Assistant (and former Nets head coach) Lawrence Frank and Mavericks Assistant Dwane Casey. The Chronicle's Jerome Solomon offers his thoughts on the hire here.
Five former University of Kansas officials have been charged: by a Federal Grand Jury in a scheme allegedly involving the theft and sale of over 17,000 KU Basketball tickets and 2,000 KU Football tickets. In addition to a possible 30-year prison sentence, prosecutors are aiming to recover between three- and five- million dollars from the accused. The Lawrence Journal-News provides an interactive timeline for your perusal.
That's just Manny being Congressman Manny.: Manny Pacquiao has won his bid for election Congress in the Phillipines.
Among job interview questions I'd hate most, : Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant if his mother "was a prostitute". Bryant's mother, Angela, was fifteen years old when he was born, and has admitted to selling drugs to provide for her family. Yahoo columnist Mike Silver has written a scathing column condemning Ireland.
Guilty: A Denver jury has 26 year-old Willie Clark guilty of 21 charges, including two for first-degree murder in the New Year's Day 2007 shooting death of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams (prev. on SpoFi). Clark's sentencing is scheduled for April 30, when Judge Christina Habas is expected to give him life in prison.
Federal Authorities seek: former NBA player Alvin Robertson (wiki, career stats) in a Texas sex trafficking case. Authorities announced charges against seven people in the investigation. Of those seven, Robertson is the only person whose whereabouts are unknown. Robertson played in the NBA for ten seasons, was a four-time All-Star and was part of the 1984 Gold-Medal winning US Olympic Basketball Team.
Star Search: The Tulsa World takes a look at geographical recruiting trends among FBS programs. Infographical geo-porn ahoy.
Eating the Dinosaur: Chuck Klosterman breaks down (American) football.
Cuban Lefthander Aroldis Chapman Defects: Aroldis Chapman, perhaps the "best left-handed pitching prospect in the world" has left the Cuban National Team hotel in the Netherlands."I walked out easily, right through the hotel door, and I hopped into a car and left," Chapman told cubaencuentro.com. "It was easy. Now the plan is to sign with a major league team." Chapman is 21 years old and has a fastball that has been clocked at 102 mph.
The San Antonio Spurs send three players to Milwaukee, get Richard Jefferson in return.: The Bucks receive Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto, and Kurt Thomas, all of whom are entering the final year of their contracts.