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NCAA approves changes to college basketball rules

05.27.11 at 9:57 am ET
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The NCAA‘€™s Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced on Thursday a series of rules changes that had been approved three days earlier.

Future college basketball games will feature a protected arc three feet from the basket, similar to the four-foot arc that marks the restricted area on an NBA court. As with the NBA’€™s restricted areas, players will not be able to draw charges from within.

The panel also approved moving the women’€™s 3-point line to 20 feet, 9 inches, the same distance as in the men’€™s game. Women’€™s teams will also use a 10-second halfcourt rule during exhibition games next season.

In both the men’€™s and women’€™s game, intentional fouls will now be called Flagrant 1 fouls, and flagrant fouls will be called Flagrant 2. This matches the terminology used in the NBA.

Read More: College basketball, ncaa, Rumor Mill, women's basketball

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Tiki Barber under fire for joke about Anne Frank

05.27.11 at 7:21 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY FRIDAY:
NHL Playoffs: Lightning at Bruins, 8 p.m. (VERSUS)
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

SATURDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLS: Galaxy at Revolution, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Former Giants running back Tiki Barber, who plans to make a comeback this fall, is taking some heat for a comment he made comparing himself to Holocaust victim Anne Frank.

Barber explained that he lived in the attic of his agent, Mark Lepselter, in an effort to hide from the media after leaving his pregnant wife to move in with girlfriend Traci Johnson last year. Because his agent is Jewish, Barber referred to the situation as “a reverse Anne Frank thing.” Frank was a teenage girl who went into hiding from the Nazis before eventually being discovered and taken to a concentration camp, where she died. Her diary became an iconic book.

“The analogy to Anne Frank is not funny, it is outrageous and perverse,” said Abraham H. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

‘™¦ Oft-fined Steelers linebacker James Harrison reacted to the NFL’s tougher player-safety rules by calling the rules-makers “idiots.” In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ron Cook writes that Harrison’s remarks were out of line, especially considering Harrison’s boss, Steelers owner Art Rooney II, voted for the changes.

‘™¦ The New York Post has the story of a 58-year-old retired policemen and Jets fan who has silently been maintaining the gravesite of legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi in New Jersey for the past 25 years after finding it in neglect.

‘™¦ Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth, who has not lived up to the seven-year $126 million contract he signed in the offseason, made some comments implying the struggling Nats have deeper problems. In The Washington Post, Jason Reid writes that Werth should focus his criticism on himself instead of looking for others to blame.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 27, 1985, which Celtic set an NBA playoff record by hitting all 11 of his shots in a 148-114 rout of the Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA finals?

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Read More: James Harrison, Jayson Werth, Tiki Barber, Vince Lombardi

Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski retires after 11 seasons

05.26.11 at 10:07 pm ET
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Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski has retired from the NHL after playing 11 seasons and winning three Stanley Cups.

“There are more important things now,” the 37-year-old Rafalski said. He has battled knee and back injuries the past few seasons which limited him to a career-low 63 games last season.

“How much fun is it to come to the rink when you can hardly walk?” Detroit coach Mike Babcock asked. He said he was pleased that Rafalski left the game on his own terms.

Rafalski helped the Devils win two Stanley Cups and the Red Wings one.

Read More: Brian Rafalski, Mike Babcock,

Rays season ticket holder in trouble for Yankees-hating shirt

05.26.11 at 11:07 am ET
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Tampa Bay Rays season ticket holder Melton H. Little was a bit surprised last week when he was sitting in his seat, watching the Rays take on the Yankees, and a member of the Rays staff told Little he needed to get a new shirt because the one he was wearing constituted profanity according to Major League Baseball.

He was wearing a “Yankees Suck” t-shirt.

“The security guard says Major League Baseball has determined that the shirt constitutes profanity,” Little said. “He tells me to get another shirt, cover it up, turn it inside out or leave the stadium.”

Little said he got the t-shirt outside of Fenway Park about 10 years ago. “There were about 10,000 Red Sox fans wearing them inside,” he said.

Read More: Tampa Bay Rays,

Report: Mets agree to minority share sale

05.26.11 at 11:02 am ET
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According to ESPN New York, the Mets have agreed to sell less than 49 percent of the team for approximately $200 million to David Einhorn, who is the president of Greenlight Capital Inc.

The sale will not include any part of SNY, which is the television network owned by the Mets.

Mets owner Fred Wilpon is facing a multimillion dollar lawsuit from a court trustee, wanting to recover money for Bernie Madoff victims. In November the Mets received a loan from Major League Baseball to help cover expenses.

Read More: Bernie Madoff, Fred Wilpon, NY Mets,

Former Ohio State wide receiver admits to selling rings for cash

05.26.11 at 10:29 am ET
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Former Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small has admitted to selling his Big Ten championship rings, as well as other memorabilia for cash. He also said he got special car deals while he was an athlete at Ohio State.

Small was on the team from 2006-10 and told the Ohio State student newspaper that “everyone was doing it.”

He was asked about what the biggest advantage was. “It was definitely the deals on the cars. I don’t see why it’s a big deal,” said Small.

Five Buckeyes are suspended for the first five games of the upcoming season for selling memorabilia to a local tattoo parlor. That is considered an improper benefit according to NCAA rules. Coach Jim Tressel is also suspended five games and being investigated by the NCAA for knowing of the violation and not coming clean for more than nine months.

Read More: Jim Tressel, Ohio State University,

Mark Sanchez says Jets can keep all three free agent wide receivers

05.26.11 at 10:28 am ET
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When free agency starts the Jets will have three big name free agents at the wide receiver position — Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith. Quarterback Mark Sanchez says the Jets can re-sign all three.

“I honestly do [believe Jets can sign all three],” Sanchez said on NFL Network. “I think that’€™s what Mike Tannenbaum does best and he’€™s the best GM in football. Mr. [Woody] Johnson, that’€™s part of his job. And Rex [Ryan], that’€™s keeping all of us together. He wants the offense to run smooth, he wants us to pick up where we left off and to do that, we need all of our guys back. I think that would be the best-case scenario.’€

Read More: Mark Sanchez, New York Jets, Rex Ryan,

USC’s appeal of sanctions gets rejected by NCAA

05.26.11 at 8:38 am ET
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USC lost its appeal to the NCAA to reduce the sanctions against its football team. The Trojans wanted to reduce their two-year postseason ban to just one year and get lesser penalties in regards to scholarships.

The Trojans were told that they must serve the second year of being ineligible for postseason play, meaning they cannot be eligible for the first Pac-12 title game this fall. USC also will lose 30 scholarships over three years.

Coach Lane Kiffin wants to move on. “We can’t do anything other than to say we received the decision,” Kiffin said. “We’re happy that it’s over, so we can move forward and deal with it.”

The violations are surrounding the improper benefits that football star Reggie Bush and basketball star O.J. Mayo received while they were at the school. The basketball program was put on four years of probation.

Read More: Lane Kiffin, O.J. Mayo, Reggie Bush, USC

Amar’e Stoudemire wants to produce horror flick

05.26.11 at 8:36 am ET
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Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire is keeping busy this offseason. The forward is in discussions to become the executive producer of the horror film, “The Strangers 2,” which is a sequel to the creepy 2008 film “The Strangers.”

Stoudemire is also heading to the west coast to film a cameo in “Entourage,” and already has filmed a cameo in the comedy “New Year’s Eve.”

In addition to being involved in film, Stoudemire is a fashion designer and plans on launching a women’s clothing line in September with Rachel Roy.

Read More: Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Barry Bonds funds college tuition for children of beaten Giants fan

05.26.11 at 7:49 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Controversial Giants legend Barry Bonds apparently has formed a bond with the family of Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten after a game in Los Angeles. Bonds visited Stow in the hospital and wrote on his website: “I look forward to taking Bryan and his kids to a Giants game when he recovers.” Bonds also indicated that he will be funding a college tuition fund for Stow’s two children.

And in a note from The New York Times, former Bonds trainer Greg Anderson, a convicted felon who sat in jail rather than testify against his longtime friend, is a coach for a youth baseball team outside of San Francisco. Some parents aren’t happy about this situation.

‘™¦ The Lakers hired former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown to succeed Phil Jackson. In The Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke writes that the team made the wrong hire. At Yahoo! Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Lakers should have consulted Kobe Bryant, who had no comment on the hiring after offering his support for assistant Brian Shaw.

‘™¦ In the latest from Charles Barkley‘s feud with the Heat, the TNT analyst said that he got a call from Nike questioning his criticism of LeBron James. These athletes today are all wussified,’€ Barkley said. ‘€œI’€™ve been saying LeBron’€™s been the best player in the league for three years. And I say one thing criticizing “The Decision,” and I get a phone call from Nike saying why don’€™t I like LeBron? It’€™s interesting how this [expletive] works. These groups today, if you don’€™t say 100 percent positive about their guy or their team, they overreact.”

‘™¦ Forbes magazine has a piece on how sports attendance figures speak lies, with an explanation of how teams fudge the numbers to work to their benefit.

‘™¦ In The Washington Post, Sally Jenkins writes about 61-year-old Diana Nyad, who is preparing to swim from Cuba to Key West.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 26, 1987, Celtics legend Larry Bird stole Isiah Thomas‘ inbounds pass and fed which teammate for the game-winning layup to beat the Pistons, 108-107, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals?

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Charles Barkley, Diana Nyad, Greg Anderson