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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees’ Derek Jeter hit by pitch in first at-bat of final season

04.02.14 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Phillies at Rangers, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Bruins at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Coyotes at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Celtics at Wizards, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nets at Knicks, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: CBI, Fresno State at Siena, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Chelsea at Paris, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico vs. United States, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)


– The Derek Jeter farewell tour got off to a rocky start Tuesday, as the Yankees captain was hit in the arm by a pitch in the first at-bat of his final season and his team suffered a 6-2 loss to the lowly Astros in Houston.

“That woke me up,” Jeter said of getting hit in the left forearm by an 0-1 fastball from Scott Feldman. “Opening Day, I think everyone’€™s always a little nervous, anxious. You have butterflies. I was probably a little more nervous because I hadn’€™t played in a while. And then when I got hit, it hurt, so I wasn’€™t nervous anymore. It probably helped me out a little bit.”

Jeter, who earlier in the day had lunch with ex-teammate Roger Clemens, former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush at Katch 22, the Houston restaurant owned by Clemens’ son Kory. hit an opposite-field single in the eighth inning and finished 1-for-3 with a run scored.

The game featured slimmed-down Yankees starter CC Sabathia continuing his trend of struggling on Opening Day, surrendering six runs on eight hits in six innings. He allowed four runs in the first and two more in the second.

“It got out of hand early,” Sabathia said. “I’€™ve got 34 more starts left. I’€™m definitely not going to pitch like I did tonight in the first two innings. I know I can pitch and I know I can get guys out. I feel great. I’€™m not going to beat myself up about this.”

Joked manager Joe Girardi: “I had a feeling we were going to lose a game at some point this year. Good thing we got it out of the way early.”

– Kings center Demarcus Cousins revealed his foray into R&B music to be an April Fools’ joke, much to the relief of his team.

On Sunday Cousins had tweeted a picture of the cover of the “Misunderstood” CD he purportedly was releasing under the name “Boogie Smooth.”

But on Tuesday Cousins posted a video showing him at the piano and demonstrating his lack of musical ability.

“I was hoping that it wasn’€™t true, because I don’€™t know if anybody would even buy that album,” Kings coach Mike Malone told the Sacramento Bee. “I guess April Fools’€™ came a few days early, but DeMarcus keeps everybody on the edge of their seat.”

– Two players in the Federal Hockey League who staged a fake fight — they dropped the gloves and circled each other only to stop and hug before one of them pulled out a beer from his pants — found that their stunt was not well received by the league.

Danville Dashers forward Matt Puntureri said he was behind the act, while his former teammate, Dayton Demonz center Jesse Felten, agreed but would not join in the beer part because his team is headed to the playoffs and he wanted to avoid punishment. No such luck, as the league suspended Felten for the entirety of the postseason.

“I wouldn’€™t take back what happened, even if it meant not getting suspended, I guess,” Felten said. “Punts has been a real good friend of mine, and it’€™s kind of upsetting to see what happened. But at the same time, it was all in good fun. It wasn’€™t meant to piss the league off or make them look bad, even though they maybe took it that way.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 2, 2000, the Red Sox signed which free agent infielder who was at the tail end of his memorable career?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Brewers fans welcome back Ryan Braun with standing ovation

04.01.14 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Yankees at Astros, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Indians at Athletics, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Rockets at Nets, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NIT, Clemson vs. SMU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: CIT, Yale at VMI, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: NIT, Florida State vs. Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: CIT, Pacific at Murray State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Flyers at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions League, Bayern Munich at Manchester United, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


– Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun might not be well received around the major leagues this season, but Milwaukee had a warm welcome back for the disgraced slugger.

Making his first appearance since being suspended for the final 65 games of last season for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, Braun received a standing ovation prior to his first at-bat.

“It was special,” he said. “It was an emotional moment for me. … It’s something that I’m very thankful for and very appreciative.”

Commissioner (and former Brewers owner) Bud Selig was at Miller Park for the game.

“Fans are fans,” Selig said. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be. He’s their hometown players and it was a wonderful reaction. I wish everybody well.”

Braun went 1-for-4 in Milwaukee’s 2-0 win. He became the first victim of baseball’s expanded replay system as his infield single in the sixth inning was changed to an out after a challenge by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Braun’s first game at a visiting park comes Friday when the Brewers travel to Fenway Park for the Red Sox‘ home opener.

– Opening Day at Angel Stadium on Monday got off to a bizarre start when new Angels hitting coach Don Baylor broke his leg catching the ceremonial first pitch from Vladimir Guerrero.

Baylor’s right leg gave out on him as he squatted and reached over to catch the ball. Guerrero jogged in from the mound to help him get up, but Baylor could not stand on the leg, and he had to be helped off by members of the team’s medical staff. The 64-year-old Baylor, a cancer survivor, was taken to the hospital and is scheduled for surgery Tuesday on his right femur.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Don right now,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Obviously it’s a freak [injury]. We’ll see how it turns out.”

Baylor, a key member of the Red Sox‘ 1986 American League championship team as part of a 19-year MLB career, and Guerrero, who signed a one-day contract so he could retire as an Angel, are the only two AL MVPs in Angels history.

– Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was either surprisingly candid or he’s trying to throw off other teams regarding Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Zimmer, in an interview in Texas on Monday, said the Vikings brass met with Manziel a day after the player’s pro day and had some concerns after the meeting.

“We asked him all kinds of questions. ‘€¦ There are some flags that come up,” Zimmer said, noting that in today’s NFL a quarterback has to “be a totally football-minded guy” and not give in to distractions.

Said Zimmer: “I guess the thing you have to figure out is, is this just another part of the things that happened a couple of years ago after he won the Heisman Trophy or is he just a different person as far as wanting the limelight or just wanting to prove that he can do things the right way. I guess it maybe brings a few questions marks in. Is he going to conform to typically what the NFL is or what everyone else has done before him including what the great players in the game have done before him, or is he going to try to be the celebrity man guy that he was maybe a year-and-a-half ago?”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 1, 2003, in the second game of the season, which Red Sox newcomer hit a home run in the 16th inning for a 9-8 victory over the Devil Rays in Tampa?

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Daisuke Matsuzaka ‘shocked’ at demotion to Triple-A by Mets

03.31.14 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 3:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN2; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 1 p.m. (ESPN, WGN)
MLB: Cardinals at Reds, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Rockies at Marlins, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Mariners at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Pacers, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: CBI, Siena at Fresno State, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Panthers at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Wild at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Sunderland vs. West Ham, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


Daisuke Matsuzaka struggled for the third straight time since joining the Mets. (AP)

Daisuke Matsuzaka will start the 2014 season in Triple-A despite a solid spring training. (AP)

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched well at Mets spring training, including five scoreless innings Saturday against the Blue Jays, and the former Red Sox hurler was surprised to be sent to Triple-A to start the season.

“I always knew there was a possibility I would be going to the minors, but with what I have been doing in the past few games, I have had confidence in what I am doing,” Matsuzaka said through his interpreter (via the New York Daily News). “But I am definitely shocked at this.”

Matsuzaka, who was in camp on a minor league contract, had a 1-1 record with a 3.04 ERA and 1.27 WHIP at spring training, allowing nine runs (eight earned) and 26 hits in 23 2/3 innings. He struck out 25 and walked only four — three coming in his previous start against the Cardinals. He had no walks and eight K’s in Saturday’s game.

He pitched in seven games for the Mets last season, going 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.

Jenrry Mejia, a 24-year-old right-hander who was limited to 50 innings between the majors and minors last season last season due to surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow, grabbed the No. 5 spot in New York’s rotation and is slated to start Friday against the Reds.

‘€œThe situation with Dice-K was very difficult. He pitched very well,” general manager Sandy Alderson said. “Jenrry Mejia also pitched very well.”

– The Los Angeles reunion between former Celtics coach Doc Rivers and forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis doesn’t appear to be going so well.

Rivers had Davis removed from the bench during the Clippers’ victory over the Rockets on Saturday in Houston after the two exchanged words.

Davis, who joined the Clippers last month after being cut by the Magic, was taken out of the game in the second quarter when he yelled something at Rivers. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rivers responded by saying, “Sit your big [expletive] down.”

Associate head coach Alvin Gentry talked to Davis before Rivers had team security escort Davis to the locker room. Davis did not return in the second half.

“I thought Baby was just too emotional, and for me, if you’re too emotional I always send you back to the locker room and keep you back there until the next game,” Rivers said (via ESPNLA.com). “I love Baby. I just didn’t think emotionally he was ready to play tonight, so we told him to go to the locker room.”

Davis was known to be emotional during his time with Rivers in Boston, but the coach never sent him off as he did Saturday.

“No, I haven’t, but I’ve talked about emotional hijacks,” Rivers said. “If you have one, I’ll send you back. We’ve talked about that as a group. I didn’t make a big deal, didn’t address it halftime and it’s not a big deal. We needed him tonight, but he wasn’t here emotionally, so you tell him to go and sit.”

– Boys basketball player Pat Welch, a guard at Pembroke Academy in Concord, N.H., was stripped of his NHIAA Division 2 Player of the Year award after he sent out a tweet following his team’s state title win over Portsmouth in which he sent an obnoxious tweet capped by an obscenity.

Wrote Welch on March 15: Shout out to Portsmouth, you may have won in the regular season’€¦’€¦ But we won the ship you suck #[expletive]yourself

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Welch deleted the post shortly after writing it, and he apologized in person to the Portsmouth administration. But the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization still stripped Welch of his honor (giving it instead to Bishop Brady’s Jourdain Bell) and rescinded his invitation to two all-star games.

NHBCO president Gary Noyes said in a statement that the organization could not tolerate the “flagrant unsportsmanlike behavior.”

“It is with great sadness that this committee has to act on this situation, but we strive to uphold the tenet that this award is not based solely on a basketball player’s ability but also on that player’s character and demonstrated sportsmanship,” Noyes said.

“I don’t believe the punishment fits the crime,” Pembroke coach Matt Alosa said, adding: “They basically took away Pat’s body of work this season because of a tweet that ended up online for 15 minutes.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 31, 2003, the Red Sox opened the season with a game in Tampa and unveiled their “closer by committee” to disastrous results. The bullpen gave up five runs in the ninth in a 6-4 loss as Boston wasted a seven-inning, one run effort from which starter?

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Eagles release WR DeSean Jackson less than hour after report of gang connection

03.28.14 at 2:09 pm ET
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The Eagles announced via a post to the team’€™s Twitter on Friday that they have decided to release six-year veteran DeSean Jackson. The move comes just a few months after one of the top seasons of Jackson’€™s career, as the wide receiver had 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.

Philadelphia’€™s decision was also posted less than an hour after NJ.com published an exclusive piece saying that the Eagles were concerned about Jackson’€™s gang connections.

According to the piece, sources close to Jackson that are also part of the Eagles’€™ organization stated that the Philadelphia has become concerned about having Jackson on the team because of his have poor attitude, inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a struggling relationship with coach Chip Kelly. The sources added that, upon a closer look into what may have caused Jackson to miss meetings, the team found that the 27-year-old’s friends had become a negative influence.

In fact, Jackson has had an association with Los Angeles street gang members who were connected to two homicides since 2010.

“They are concerned about having him around the younger players,” a source within the Eagles organization said.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: MLB execs reportedly ‘appalled’ at Tigers’ massive Miguel Cabrera deal

03.28.14 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Raptors, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Division 2 final, Bentley vs. West Texas A&M, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Tennessee vs. Michigan, 7:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, UConn vs. Iowa State, 7:27 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Kentucky vs. Louisville, 9:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Michigan State vs. Virginia, 9:57 p.m. (TBS)
College hockey: NCAA tournament, Vermont vs. Union, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: NCAA tournament, Providence vs. Quinnipiac, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: NCAA tournament, North Dakota vs. Wisconsin, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Twins, 1 p.m. (NESN)
MLB preseason: Mets at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Preseason)


– Two-time American League MVP Miguel Cabrera reportedly agreed to a 10-year contract worth $292 million with the Tigers — the largest contract in the history of American pro sports — and it’s creating shockwaves around baseball.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, MLB executives are “appalled” at Detroit’s decision to give Cabrera — who turns 31 next month — so many years. He already was under contract for two more seasons. The new deal extends him for eight more.

Tweeted Olney: Haven’t hears as much disgust over a contract from rival execs since the Jayson Werth contract. Industry is in shock over the Cabrera deal.


An eight-time All-Star in 11 seasons with the Marlins and Tigers, Cabrera has a career line of .321/.399/.568 with 365 home runs and 1,260 RBIs. The Venezuelan slugger won the Triple Crown in 2012, and last year he led the majors with a .348 batting average while finishing second to Orioles first baseman Chris Davis with 44 home runs and 137 RBIs. However, he missed 13 games last year with a handful of injuries and had offseason surgery due to a groin tear.

The previous biggest contract in MLB history was the 10-year, $275 million deal the Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez in 2008.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer and the Tigers apparently have mended fences after the team made a public announcement early this week that Scherzer and agent Scott Boras had turned down their long-term deal that would have made Scherzer one of the game’s highest-paid pitchers.

“[General manager Dave Dombrowski] and I had a meeting and a chance to talk,” Scherzer told the Detroit News. “He expressed regret over how things had been portrayed in the media. He said he needed to let fans know [the Tigers] were doing their job. He regretted any negative light it might have placed on me. He also said he didn’t give out any numbers and that he was upset over numbers that had been released.”

– Ravens running back Ray Rice was indicted Thursday by a grand jury on a charge of aggravated assault for an incident involving his fiancee at an Atlantic City casino last month.

Video cameras showed Janay Palmer apparently knocked out and being dragged out of an elevator by Rice, who initially was charged with simple assault after the Feb. 15 confrontation. That complaint was dismissed.

Rice’s attorney said the player denies the charge, telling The Press of Atlantic City, “Both Mr. Rice and Miss Palmer are together, they are happy and they’re in counseling.”

The Ravens issued a statement supporting their player, saying: “This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident.”

Owner Steve Bisciotti had said Monday that Rice would return.

“He’ll be back with the team. He’ll definitely will be back,” Bisciotti said. “I know how terribly disappointing it is to Ray and his fiancee, how embarrassing it is for them. I have to have compassion towards him.”

– Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,000 in cash in his wallet, metal briefcase and two laundry bags when he was arrested for DUI on March 16, according to the police report (as reported by the Indianapolis Star).

Irsay, who acknowledged having an addition to painkillers in the past, also had bottles of prescription drugs of various colors. Police in Carmel, Ind., additionally indicated that the 54-year-old was so disoriented that he was made to sit on the hood of a patrol car so that he would not fall.

Irsay’s family said he is undergoing treatment at a facility outside the state.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 28, 1986, the Red Sox made a trade with the Yankees to acquire designated hitter Don Baylor, who helped the Red Sox win the 1986 American League pennant. Which player did the Sox trade to New York?

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Warriors demote assistant coach Brian Scalabrine to D-League

03.27.14 at 11:00 am ET
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Brian Scalabrine might be a legend to fans in Boston and Chicago, but he’s apparently worn out his welcome with Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

Scalabrine, who earlier this week was removed from the bench by Jackson, was assigned to the team’s D-League affiliate in nearby Santa Cruz due to a “difference in philosophies.”

“I made the decision,” Jackson said after Tuesday’s practice (via the San Francisco Chronicle). “I’m fortunate enough to have an ownership group and a management group that allows me to pick my staff. We’re just going in a different direction. That’s that.”

Added Jackson: “I made a decision and wish him nothing but the very best. This is my decision and we move forward.”

Scalabrine, 36, played 11 seasons in the NBA, including five with the Celtics, winning an NBA title in Boston in 2008. He joined the Warriors last offseason, after a year in broadcast media (including analyzing the Celtics for CSNNE).

Jackson, who last season had an issue with assistant coach Mike Malone (now head coach of the Kings), has coached the Warriors for three years and has one year remaining on his contract. According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Jackson showed interest in the Clippers and Nets vacancies last year, and his future with Golden State is in doubt due in part to his issues managing his staff.

Jackson denied the report that the Warriors, who are 44-27 and in sixth place in the Western Conference, have a dysfunctional working relationship.

“The culture, the environment has no dysfunction at all. That’s comical,” Jackson said. “It’s a fun time, and we are looking forward to finishing up the season. It’s a time to be smiling and joyful.”

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National Labor Relations Board rules that Northwestern football team can unionize

03.27.14 at 10:34 am ET
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College athletics are changing, and, after the most recent battle, one university’€™s team has received a green light to create a union.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on Wednesday that a union can represent the Northwestern University football team, and the athletes can bargain with the school as employees. Although the decision will not immediately impact the way college athletics operate, it will continue the recent surge of pressure on the NCAA to compensate its athletes in some way.

“This is a colossal victory for student-athletes coming on the heels of their recent victories,” said Marc Edelman, an associate professor of law at City University of New York who specializes in sports and antitrust law. “It seems not only the tide of public sentiment, but also the tide of legal rulings has finally turned in the direction of college athletes and against the NCAA.”

The decision comes at an inopportune time for the NCAA after recent revelations that one coach — Florida’€™s Billy Donovan – received a $3.7 million-a-year contract, and that Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith received an $18,000 bonus when one of the school’€™s wrestlers won an NCAA title. It also comes in the middle of the NCAA‘€™s basketball tournament that brings in close to $1 billion each year.

“Fifty years ago the NCAA invented the term student-athlete to try and make sure this day never came,” said former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma, who has been designated as the president of Northwestern’€™s would-be football players€™ union. “Northwestern players who stood up for their rights took a giant step for justice. It’€™s going to set a precedent for college players across the nation to do the same.”

Northwestern is appealing the NLRB’€™s decision and the NCAA likely will continue to fight the idea of student-athletes as university employees.

“We frequently hear from student-athletes, across all sports, that they participate to enhance their overall college experience and for the love of their sport, not be paid,” the NCAA said in a statement.

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Manhattan places basketball coach Steve Masiello on leave after resume flap

03.27.14 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Blackhawks at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN, NHL Network)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Dayton vs. Stanford, 7:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Baylor vs. Wisconsin, 7:47 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, UCLA vs. Florida, 9:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, San Diego State vs. Arizona, 10:17 p.m. (TBS)
MLB preseason: Twins at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Nationals at Mets, noon (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Reds at Brewers, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: White Sox at Cubs, 7:05 p.m. (WGN)
MLB preseason: Athletics at Giants, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: Missouri at Auburn, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)


– Manhattan basketball coach Steve Masiello, who lost his $5 million deal with South Florida after USF discovered he never graduated from Kentucky as he indicated, was put on leave by Manhattan administrators as the school examines the “question of validity.”

Masiello, a protege of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, was a communications major at Kentucky in the late 1990s but apparently never completed his studies. Nonetheless, he became an assistant to Pitino and was hired by Manhattan three years ago. After leading the Jaspers to a 60-39 record over three seasons, including the team’s first NCAA tournament appearance in a decade (and a close loss to Pitino’s Cardinals last week), Masiello was headed to South Florida until the resume issue surfaced.

“Through the verification process it was determined the candidate’s credentials could not be substantiated and therefore he did not meet the requirements for the position,” South Florida said in a statement.

Masiello laid low Wednesday as the controversy swirled around him and his future hung in the balance.

“I was actually watching the Manhattan and Iona game, and he’€™s done a terrific job over there,” former UConn coach Jim Calhoun told the New York Daily News. “He has a bright coaching future, but it’€™s an awful thing. Obviously, in this day and age, anything that you put down, you have to make sure 100 percent it’€™s there because we’€™re so inundated with all kinds of media, Twitter and Facebook. But trust me, he can coach.”

– A goalie’s walkout during an Ontario Hockey League playoff game and the coach’s handling of the situation have led to a discussion about the mental health of athletes.

Part of the reason for concern is the recent death of Saginaw Spirit player Terry Trafford, who took his own life after being sent home for a violation of team rules.

Dalen Kuchmey left the Windsor Spitfires’ 10-2 loss to the London Knights on Tuesday night after his team fell behind 8-1 in the second period. The 19-year-old netminder, who appeared to motion to the bench that he wanted to be replaced earlier in the period but was left in because starter Alex Fotinos was sick, skated off the ice, changed in the locker room and left the arena.

Windsor coach Bob Boughner reacted angrily after the game, telling reporters Kuchmey “quit on our team, quit on his teammates.”

Kuchmey later tweeted: Nobody knows what happens behind the scenes.

After speaking with the league commissioner, Boughner softened his stance, acknowledging in a statement, “Emotions were high and I should have chosen my words more carefully. Having spent my career in hockey, playing my fair share of challenging games and coaching under some difficult situations, I would never embarrass a player.”

Boughner said team officials, “myself included,” have reached out to Kuchmey’s family to offer assistance.

– The Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews will vote in September whether to allow women to join for the first time in its 260-year history.

“It’s an exciting day for the club,” R&A club secretary Peter Dawson said Wednesday. “There will be quite a bit of internal discussion between now and the September vote. It’s a matter for the members to determine. All indications are very supportive.”

The club, which has 2,400 members from around the world, has an official policy banning women. Dawson said R&A is not feeling pressure from corporate sponsors, despite it being a much-discussed issue at the British Open.

Said Dawson: “You can always ask that question: ‘Why now? Why not 10 years ago?’ The R&A have been considering this. It’s been on our agenda, on our radar, for quite some time. The feeling is as society changes, as sport changes, as golf changes, it’s something the R&A needs to do, and is doing now as being forward-looking as we can.”

Members actually belong to a club, not a golf course. The seven courses at St. Andrews are open to the public.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 27, 1984, which Bruin scored a goal in a 6-4 victory over the Quebec Nordiques to give him 100 points on the season?

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Former Vikings DE Jared Allen to stay in NFC North, join Bears

03.26.14 at 10:05 am ET
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Defensive end Jared Allen has agreed to a four-year deal with the Bears, the team announced Wednesday.

Shortly after the deal was announced, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted: Bears gave DE Jared Allen a 4-year, $32M deal that voids down to three years of $24M, of which $15.5M is fully guaranteed.

Allen previously had visits with the Cowboys and Seahawks. Last Thursday, while Allen was visiting Seattle for a second time, Ed Werder of ESPN reported that Allen and Seattle were close on a deal.

Two weeks ago, NFL.com’€™s Ian Rapoport reported that Allen was willing to retire if he was not paid “fair value.”

Allen has 128.5 career sacks, 12th most all-time. He has been to five Pro Bowls and voted a first-team All-Pro four times. He led the NFL in sacks in 2007 and 2011.

The 31-year old defensive end was drafted in the fourth round in 2004 by the Chiefs. After four seasons, he was traded to the Vikings in exchange for a first-round pick and two third-round selections. The teams also swapped sixth-round picks.

Upon being traded to the Vikings, Allen signed a six-year deal worth a reported $72.36 million. During his six years with the Vikings, Allen started every game, recording at least 11 sacks every season.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Navy RB Will McKarney dies after collapsing at practice

03.26.14 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Raptors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Heat at Pacers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Grizzlies at Jazz, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Louisiana Tech at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: California at SMU, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Flyers at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Nationals at Cardinals, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Reds at White Sox, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Orioles at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Premier League, Sunderland at Liverpool, 3:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


– Navy running back Will McKarney, who was in a coma after collapsing at practice three days ago, died Tuesday at a Baltimore hospital. The freshman from Knoxville, Tenn., was 19.

“We are all so very heartbroken by the death of Midshipman Will McKamey,” Naval Academy superintendent VADM Mike Miller said in a statement. “This is devastating news for his family, his classmates, his teammates and the entire Naval Academy family. We offer our deepest condolences to Will’s family, friends and shipmates in the wake of this tragedy.”

McKarney collapsed at Saturday’s practice, but coaches did not see a hit that led to his distress.

“The Navy coaches have poured through the films of practice and seen nothing more than Will carrying the football normally, doing what he truly loves,” the family said earlier in the week.

McKarney played for his father, Randy, in high school, rushing for more than 2,000 yards as a senior at Knoxville’s Grace Christian Academy. He was hospitalized late in the season after suffering a head injury during a game but was cleared to return to football. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder did not appear in a game for Navy last fall.

– Former NBA player Quinton Ross woke up Monday morning to a surprise: People were calling to find out if he was dead.

Ross, 32, who last played in the NBA for the Nets in 2010-11, was identified in a New York Post story as the Quinton Ross whose body was found stuffed in a garbage bag and buried on the beach in Far Rockaway. The story was later corrected to reflect that it was a different Quinton Ross, but not before word spread.

“My phone was going crazy,” Ross told an Associated Press reporter Monday night while attending an NIT game at his alma mater, SMU. “I checked Facebook. Finally, I went on the Internet, and they were saying I was dead. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Ross, who played in France this past season, made some calls and put up a post on Facebook to let people know he was alive.

Said Ross: “A couple [of relatives] already heard it. They were crying. I mean, it was a tough day, man, mostly for my family and friends.”

– The Urawa Reds, a soccer team in Japan’s professional J-League, were forced to play a game in an empty stadium Sunday after some fans took their nationalism too far. The supporters hung a “Japanese only” banner in an entranceway during a game March 8 to discourage foreigners from sitting in their rooting section, and security guards said they later heard discriminatory remarks toward foreigners.

Team officials, who did not remove the banner until after the game, apologized and said they banned about 20 members of the support group. This is not the first display of such behavior. In 2010, the team was fined about $50,000 because fans taunted foreign players from an opposing team. The Reds are one of the few teams in the J-League without a foreign player.

Although the team president offered to return three months salary as punishment, league officials ruled that fans would not be allowed into the Reds’ next home game. During the game, signs were displayed promoting the United Nations’ Sports for Peace program. In a ceremony before the game (a 1-1 draw vs. S-Pulse), team captain Yuki Abe promised that the players would “stamp out racism, be it discrimination against race, skin color, gender, language or religion or background, and will not tolerate any discriminatory or insulting language or behavior.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 26, 1974, the Red Sox released which two future Hall of Famers?

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