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Nebraska AD denies reports that Bo Pelini and U. of Miami discussed position

12.09.10 at 1:17 pm ET
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The University of Miami will continue its search for a new football head coach after Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne denied reports detailing that Bo Pelini was a candidate for the position, The Associated Press reports. Osborne told the Lincoln Journal Star on Thursday that he has not given Pelini permission to speak to Miami about the position.

Pelini, on the same page as Osborne, said that he did not ask for permission from Osborne to speak to Miami officials. Pelini led the Cornhuskers to a 10-3 record this past regular season, and are ranked No. 17 in the nation heading into their Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl against Washington (6-6).

The position became available after Randy Shannon was fired last month. The Hurricanes went 7-5 under Shannon in 2010. The Miami Herald cited an unidentified source from the university, and reported on Thursday that officials planned on talking to Pelini, the third-year Nebraska coach.

Read More: Bo Pelini, Randy Shannon, Rumor Mill, University of Miami

Knicks could target Andre Iguodala before February trade deadline

12.09.10 at 11:52 am ET
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Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that the Knicks believe the 76ers would be willing to discuss deals involving swingman Andre Iguodala as the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches. The team has its eyes set on acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets, but if the deadline approaches and no deal has been set for Anthony, then Iguodala would be a player the Knicks would be interested in.

The Knicks, according to Berger, are one of the teams in a position to absorb salary in the labor environment, and would be looking for another superstar player to team with Amare Stoudemire.

Anthony’s contract will be up following the 2010-2011 season.

Read More: Andre Iguodala, Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, Rumor Mill

Duke freshman phenom guard Kyrie Irving could miss remainder of season with toe injury

12.09.10 at 11:51 am ET
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Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said on Thursday that, after suffering an injury in Duke’s 83-48 victory over Bradley on Wednesday night, freshman phenom guard Kyrie Irving may be out for the season with a toe injury that appears to be much more serious than originally thought, UWIRE reports.

Irving left last night’s game with a toe injury that was thought be be relatively harmless, but after evaluation from Duke’s medical staff, it was announced that Irving would be out indefinitely. Irving was seen in a walking boot around campus when the Blue Devils returned back to Durham n Wednesday night.

“Kyrie’s injury is a serious one,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s being evaluated by our medical team here at Duke and medical people from different parts of the country who are good with foot injuries.”

Krzyzewski went on to say that Irving “could be” out for the remainder of the season. Irving had his first collegiate 30-point game several nights ago against Michigan State.

Read More: Kyrie Irving, Mike Krzyzewski, Rumor Mill,

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre unsure if he will play Sunday

12.09.10 at 10:23 am ET
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Vikings quarterback Brett Favre said on Wednesday that he is unsure if he will be physically ready to play on Sunday against the Giants after injuring his right shoulder in the first quarter against the Bills last weekend, The Associated Press reports.

Favre said that he hopes to make a decision on Friday about his playing status. If he does not start, his NFL-record 297 consecutive regular-season starts will end. But Favre and interim coach Leslie Frazier both said that the streak will not factor into the decision of whether or not he will play.

“The most important streak right now is we’ve won two in a row,” Favre said on Wednesday. The Vikings defeated the Bills 38-14 on Sunday. Backup quarterback Tavaris Jackson threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Favre. Jackson also was picked off three times by the Bills defense.

Read More: brett favre, Minnesota Vikings, Rumor Mill, Tavaris Jackson

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: New York Times drops ball on Patriots’ ‘demise’

12.09.10 at 7:51 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:
NHL: Islanders at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Celtics at 76ers, 8 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ It’s not uncommon for a sports writer to pen a column before a game so that it’s ready to be published right when the contest ends. It is uncommon, however, for a newspaper to put the story on its website before the game is played. And that’s something you certainly wouldn’t expect from a publication as revered as The New York Times, but it happened Monday when William C. Rhoden‘s column noting the demise of the Patriots and the rise of the Jets was made available to the public before the Pats rolled to a 45-3 victory.

Rhoden blamed Spygate for the Patriots’ demise in a story that was headlined: “The day the Patriots’ empire began to crumble.” The Times altered the column later in the evening to reflect what happened in the game, but the second half of the column remained an analysis of how Spygate brought down the Pats. The new headline: “Patriots romp stirs questions, and not just for Jets.”

Explained Times sports editor Tom Jolly: “As is common practice when games are played at night, Bill wrote an early column for the first edition and the Web and then updated it to reflect the outcome. This column obviously needed more updating than usual, since Bill went out on a limb in his early version.”

‘™¦ Urban Meyer retired again as University of Florida football coach. In the Orlando Sentinel, Mike Bianchi writes that Meyer should have stayed retired the first time, because he wasn’t the same coach this season.

‘™¦ Business Insider ranks the worst sports cities according to income taxes. Boston, with a 5.3 percent state income tax and no city income tax, checks in at No. 32. The worst? New York City, with an 8.97 percent state income tax and a 3.648 percent city income tax.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 9, 1992, which future Hall of Famer signed as a free agent with the Red Sox?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Urban Meyer, William C. Rhoden,

Titans RB Chris Johnson wants more carries, 2,500-yard goal becoming unlikely

12.08.10 at 2:34 pm ET
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Titans running back Chris Johnson set the bar high for himself this season, saying that he would rush for 2,500 yards by season’s end. Earning the nickname “CJ2K,” Johnson hyped himself up to a point that was almost impossible to live up to.

Through 12 games this season, the third-year back out of East Carolina has 1,026 yards on 236 carries. But Johnson, according to the Tennessean, wants more carries.

“We are just not running it,” Johnson said on Tuesday. “It is easy for a defensive coordinator to stop the run when you are running the ball seven times. We need to stay on the field and execute plays.”

In the last two weeks, Johnson has 58 yards on 20 carries against the Jaguars and the Texans. Through the first 12 games last year, Johnson had 1,509 yards 244 carries, an average of 6.2 yards per touch. His average this season is almost two yards less per carry, at 4.3 yards.

“It is tough to deal with,” Johnson said. “But the frustration that comes is not the team stopping the run game, it is ourselves stopping us.”

Read More: Chris Johnson, Rumor Mill, Tennessee Titans,

Dolphins could target Vince Young if QB becomes available in offseason

12.08.10 at 2:33 pm ET
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The Dolphins have had some quarterback troubles this season, starting three different players behind center in their so far disappointing 6-6 season. But, according to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins could be doing some quarterback shopping this offseason, and Vince Young may be at the top of the list.

After suffering injuries, Dolphins original starter Chad Henne has underperformed, and newcomer Brandon Marshall has been plagued by an ailing hamstring. The Herald reported that if the Titans get rid of the troubled former first-round Young, the Dolphins may take that risk.

The Herald also stated that Miami probably wouldn’t be willing to offer a first-round draft pick to the Eagles for Kevin Kolb, since the Dolphins don’t have a second-round pick in 2011.

This season, Young has passed for 1,255 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games. He has not played each of the last two weeks, and will not play again this season due to a thumb injury.

Read More: Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins, Rumor Mill, Vince Young

Urban Meyer steps down as University of Florida football coach

12.08.10 at 2:31 pm ET
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University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer is retiring. The 46-year-old Meyer quit a year ago for health reasons but reconsidered and returned to lead the Gators to an Outback Bowl berth this season.

“I have been a Division I football coach for the last 25 years and, during that time, my primary focus has been making a difference in the lives of the young men I have been so fortunate to have coached and building championship programs,” Meyer said in a statement. “At this time in my life, however, I fully grasp the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field.

“The decision to step down was a difficult one. But, after spending more than two decades motivating and celebrating the young men I’ve been so proud to coach, I relish the opportunity to cheer for my three terrific kids as they compete in their own respective sports. I know how fortunate I am to be in a position to make this choice and to have a family that is as loving and supportive as my amazing wife and children have always been. My family has shared both the commitment and the sacrifice required to coach at this level for so long and I would not have enjoyed the success I have had without their support.”

Read More: Rumor Mill, Urban Meyer,

UConn football player arrested on charges of child pornography

12.08.10 at 1:42 pm ET
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University of Connecticut offensive lineman Greg McKee was arrested on Wednesday on charges of child pornography, The Associated Press reports. McKee turned himself in to state police on Wednesday morning.

McKee, 18, was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday night from the team, but it was not specified as to why the redshirt freshman was punished. McKee was being held on $75,000 bond and was to be arraigned in court on charges of obscenity, importing child pornography and promoting a minor in an obscene performance.

Connecticut state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said on Wednesday that the state’s computer crime’s unit received information that led investigators to McKee’s dorm room last month, and some computer equipment was seized.

“We’re part of a network, if you will,” Vance said. “The information was credible, so we initiated a criminal investigation, identified a target and executed a search warrant.”

Vance added that no other football members were arrested or are believed to be involved. UConn will play Oklahoma on Jan. 1 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Read More: Greg McKee, Rumor Mill, University of Connecticut,

Randy Moss might lose starting spot this week

12.08.10 at 11:57 am ET
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Receiver Kenny Britt, out since injuring his hamstring on Oct. 31, is set to make his return to the Titans lineup this week. Coach Jeff Fisher told the media Tuesday that he has not decided if Britt or Randy Moss will start opposite Nate Washington when the Titans host the Colts on Thursday.

Moss took the team-first approach. “I don’t really know how it’s going to work,” he said. “Hopefully, Kenny can come out there and pick up where I left off.”

Moss has just five catches for 62 yards in his four games with the Titans.

“Alternating [with Britt] or whatever is going to help the team win a game, man, that’€™s what it’€™s going to be,” Moss said. “I really just wanted to come out and make some plays, and last couple weeks ‘€” well, since I’€™ve been here ‘€” nothing has happened.”

Read More: Jeff Fisher, Kenny Britt, Randy Moss,