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Free agent QB Brian Hoyer reportedly fielding offers from Jets, Texans

03.09.15 at 12:47 pm ET
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Free agent quarterback Brian Hoyer is considering an offer to join the Jets in 2015, according to ESPN.com. He is expected to sign with the Texans, but New York apparently has entered the sweepstakes for the former Browns and Patriots signal-caller.

Current Jets QB Geno Smith has been prone to turnovers. Hoyer, who has a 20-6 career record, would challenge Smith for the starting job.

Hoyer beat out Johnny Manziel to become Cleveland’s starter in training camp last season, and finished the year with 3,326 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions

The Jets, along with the Bills and Dolphins, have been adding pieces to their teams over the past few days in an effort to challenge the Patriots for the AFC East title. On Friday, it was reported that the Bears reached an agreement to send receiver Brandon Marshall to the Jets.

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Reports: 49ers LB Patrick Willis will announce retirement

03.09.15 at 12:44 pm ET
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Patrick Willis

Patrick Willis

According to multiple reports, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis will announce his retirement Tuesday.

Willis, 30, missed the final 10 games of the 2014 season with a toe injury that he said was chronic and had been affecting him for years.

Willis played eight seasons with San Fransisco and was a Pro Bowl linebacker in each of his first seven years. He was an integral part of the 49ers team that appeared in three consecutive NFC championship games from 2011 to 2013.

At the time of the injury, Willis said that he believed he had “five or six more years left in my body.” He was expected to rejoin San Fransisco as a defensive leader in 2015.

 

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Defiant Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim tells fans, ‘I’m not going anywhere’

03.09.15 at 8:04 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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Grizzlies at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Pepperdine vs. Gonzaga, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Manhattan vs. Iona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Portland vs. BYU, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Penguins at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB exhibition: Braves at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Indians at Mariners, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Women’s Algarve Cup, Brazil vs. Germany, 1:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: FA Cup, Arsenal at Manchester United, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim

— After years of rumors and reports of transgressions at Syracuse, Jim Boeheim and his basketball program were punished by the NCAA on Friday, although the longtime coach defiantly told a group of supporters Sunday, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Speaking to about 700 Syracuse fans at a Hardwood Club dinner, an emotional Boeheim briefly addressed the situation after refusing to appear at a postgame press conference Saturday, following the Orange’s final game of the season at NC State (Syracuse last month imposed a ban on postseason play, including the conference tournament).

“There’s a lot of things to be said,” the 70-year-old Boeheim told his fans Sunday, according to Syracuse.com. “It’s difficult right now.”

Boeheim reportedly plans to appeal his suspension.

“I think there’s a hell of a battle ahead of us,” he said Sunday.

Boeheim, who received a long standing ovation from Sunday’s crowd after being taunted by NC State fans a day earlier, will have to sit out the first nine ACC games next season. The program will lose 12 scholarships over the next four seasons, must vacate 108 wins in which ineligible players participated during from 2004-07 and 2010-12, and is on probation for five years.

The violations, which were self-reported by Syracuse to the NCAA, included academic misconduct, extra benefits, impermissible booster activity and failure to follow the school’s drug-testing policy.

The Hall of Fame coach was 34 wins away from 1,000 but now drops to 858.

— Jets running back Chris Johnson is on the mend after being shot in the shoulder in a drive-by shooting early Sunday in Orlando, Florida.

Johnson was shot at an intersection while riding in a Jeep. Two other men in the car with Johnson were also hit by gunfire, including the driver, 28-year-old Dreekius Oricko Johnson, who was killed.

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Thinking Out Loud: Kris Dunn, LaDontae Henton have Providence primed for postseason

03.06.15 at 3:13 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering who this guy “Old Man Winter” really is.

— Wednesday night’s second half at Seton Hall was the best half of hoop Providence has played this season. There was a sense of urgency, and a sense of pride in the way the Friars (21-9) hung half-a-hundred on the Pirates, like a Top 25 team should be able to do. Like an NCAA team should do. Kris Dunn willed his team to the finish line, with huge assists from LaDontae Henton and Ben Bentil. Best move of the game? Ed Cooley keeping in the unit of Dunn-Lomomba-Henton-Bentil-Desrosiers and opting not to sub out, since there was a clear rhythm that the Pirates could not break with that unit.

— Thoughts on the All-Big East team next week: There are a dozen players who probably deserve first-team mention, which is a tribute to the overall caliber of play in the league this year. It’s been a great season and should be an outstanding tournament next week at Madison Square Garden. IMO, the first-teamers will feature two Friars, Henton and Dunn, for the first time, with Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard, Georgetown’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Butler’s Kellen Dunham and St. John’s Sir Dominic Pointer. Six get the nod, with the Player of the Year also on the squad, and that will be Hilliard.

— Coach of the Year? Butler’s Chris Holtmann, narrowly over Villanova’s Jay Wright. But that’s my choice, and the coaches may very well give the nod to Wright as the Wildcats dominated in the regular season. Pointer is the Defensive Player of the Year, and the Rookie of the Year should be Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado. The Big East coaches vote on all of the postseason awards. Let’s see how well they’ve been paying attention.

— History in the making: If Kris Dunn finishes as the Big East leader in assists and steals (he’s currently No. 1 in both categories), he’ll be the first player in conference history to accomplish the feat in a single season. Henton can become the sixth Friar in the 37-year history of the league (and third in the last five years) to lead the conference in scoring. Can you name the other five? The answer is below.

— Oh, and one more from the “Did you know?” department: Henton’s 2K/1K career marks put him in an exclusive class within the Big East as well. The only other players to accomplish 2,000-plus career points and 1,000-plus career rebounds? Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning at Georgetown, along with PC’s Ryan Gomes. THAT is great company.

— FYI, we’ll be updating the proceedings from the Big East Tournament next week at Madison Square Garden in New York right here on WEEI.com, with daily reports and posts covering the games and the stories that will make the headlines.

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Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman on D&C: ‘We all fight our battles every day’

03.06.15 at 10:13 am ET
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Jeff Bauman (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jeff Bauman testified Thursday in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Friday morning to talk about the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial, what it was like being on the stand Thursday and his life now. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

For some of the survivors, being able to take the stand in the trial and face Tsarnaev was something they had been waiting to do for a long time. For Bauman, he said he was nervous, as he had never been on a stand before. He also said he was most scared of seeing the pictures.

Tsarnaev did not make eye contact with many of the witnesses who took the stand and would not look at them during their testimonies. Bauman caught his gaze briefly when he was stepping onto the stand.

“We kind of locked eyes and he looked kind of, his little smug look, but what can you do, that’s his only move at that point,” Bauman said.

But after that, according to Bauman, he did what he did with everyone.

“He just [sits] around and rolls his pen on the table and kind of just sits there,” he said.

For Bauman, he wasn’t thinking about facing Tsarnaev in the same way that some of the other survivors were because doing so doesn’t put a cap on the situation for him. In fact, he said if he could bypass the whole trial, “it would be awesome,” because he has his “life to live and stuff to do.”

“I wasn’t thinking about that,” he reiterated. “I fight this war every day. It’s a constant battle for me and same with Bill [Richard] and all the other survivors, it’s a war. This doesn’t end, putting on your legs every morning doesn’t end, and thinking about the people that you lost doesn’t end.

“It’s a constant war, and this is a battle that I think that we won and we still have to fight our war,” Bauman continued, “and you know what, every hour I think of it and I think about Bill all the time and his family and it rips me up, but you just kind of have to use it as strength and keep on carrying on. I think that’s what it’s all about, I think about it all the time, more than twice a day. It’s my life.”

Bauman stressed again that what he and the other survivors go through doesn’t begin and end with the trial, but that it’s nice to see them and be able to talk with them.

“We all fight our battles every day and, like I said, we’re winning this war and we’re all doing great,” he said. “It’s just really fun to see everybody and talk, and with my daughter, it’s really great when people get to hold her and see her. She really brightens up the room. It’s just really fun to see everybody and we all have a very cool connection. We have kind of like a love connection, we have like certain love for each other and it’s very cool to see everybody.”

Life with his wife, Erin, and daughter, Nora, has been “amazing” and “wonderful” for Bauman. They bring him so much joy, he said.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Bauman added.

Read More: Boston Marathon bombing, Jeff Bauman,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Gabby Schilling supports father’s campaign against Twitter harassers

03.06.15 at 8:04 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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Pelicans, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Suns at Nets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Yale at Harvard, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Akron at Kent State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Morehead State vs. Murray State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Belmont vs. Eastern Kentucky, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Minnesota at Ohio State, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: North Dakota at Miami (Ohio), 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: Denver at Saint Cloud State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB exhibition: Yankees at Phillies, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Women, United States vs. Norway, noon (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Curt Schilling acknowledged he was concerned how his daughter would feel when he decided to go after the Twitter trolls who made vulgar comments about her. Any hesitation on her part, however, appears to have subsided.

“It means a lot that [my dad] defended me, but that’s just what father do for their daughters,” Gabby told People.com. “He has been, and always will be, there for me no matter what.”

Schilling’s wife, Shonda, said it was “devastating” to see Gabby return home from school in tears Monday after learning of the comments.

“I was stunned that anyone would say these things, knowing people would see them,” Shonda told People.com. “Then angry they ever felt it was OK to ever say those things to my daughter. … No one deserves this! It’s never OK to speak to anybody like that, especially a 17-year-old girl.”

The backlash against the Twitter harassers has been severe, with suspensions and widespread humiliation for the offenders, allowing the Schillings to take some solace that a strong message has been delivered.

“I’m very glad that this all happened,” Gabby said. “The amount of awareness that’s being spread right now about cyberbullying and bullying in general from this situation is incredible. I’ve had girls and parents and adults reaching out to me saying, ‘Thank you so much for what you and your dad are doing, spreading awareness to these kids about what their words can do and what consequences they have.’ ”

Gabby said she has mixed feelings about how much the harassers have been punished.

“I do and I don’t feel bad,” she said. “It’s really sad that one thing they said could cost them their entire career on a sports team or their job, but I think it’s even sadder that they don’t think that should have happened. … They think, ‘Oh, it’s just social media. It’s just a tweet.’ People don’t realize how serious social media is.”

— The NBA acknowledged Thursday that its on-court officials erred in not calling a foul with four seconds remaining in Wednesday’s game in Houston, when Rockets guard James Harden was hit on the arm as he drove to the basket by Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph.

On the Grizzlies‘ ensuing possession, Marc Gasol hit a 10-footer with less than a second remaining to give his team a two-point victory.

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Read More: Craig Sager, Curt Schilling, James Harden,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez grateful for supportive fans after hitting ‘rock bottom’

03.05.15 at 8:09 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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Flames at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Thunder at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Arkansas at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Temple at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Southern Mississippi at Louisiana Tech, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Memphis at UConn, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: California at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: VCU at Davidson, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Colorado at Washington, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Utah at Washington State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Stanford at Arizona State, 11 p.m. (FS1)
MLB exhibition: Red Sox at Twins, 7 p.m. (MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB exhibition: Dodgers at White Sox, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

Alex Rodriguez singled in his first spring training at-bat, finished 1-for-2 with a walk and even heard some cheers mixed among the boos at Steinbrenner Stadium in Tampa as he made his return to baseball following his one-year suspension.

Rodriguez expressed gratitude with the fans who have remained supportive of him even after he embarrassed his team and the game with his behavior.

“Once you hit rock bottom, any time you hear a few cheers these days is a pleasant surprise,” he said.

Said manager Joe Girardi of the fans’ reaction: “It was mixed and it’s probably going to be that way. It’s nothing new for him. He’s had to deal with it for a long time now. He knows how to block it out and prepare himself.”

Rodriguez was in the lineup as designated hitter, not his preferred position of third base, when he swung and missed a pair of pitches from Phillies starter Kevin Slowey before lining a single to left field in the bottom of the first inning.

“I felt like I was swinging under water,” he said. “I was like, man, it’s been a long time.”

Added Rodriguez: “It’s going to take two or three weeks for me to kind of get a gauge where I am.”

Ray Allen, who reportedly had been courted by the Cavaliers, Clippers and other contenders, announced Wednesday that he will not play in the NBA this season but might come back in 2015-16.

“Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me,” Allen said in a statement. “I’ve ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season.”

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Lauren Hill, Ray Allen,

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s attorney admits client’s guilt in Boston Marathon bombing as trial opens

03.04.15 at 1:17 pm ET
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The attorney for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted her client participated in the Boston Marathon bombing, saying, “It was him,” during her opening statement Wednesday in a Boston courtroom.

Judy Clarke said the issue is why Tsarnaev committed the “senseless, horribly misguided acts.” She blames Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed during a shootout with Watertown police three days after the bombing, for influencing Dzhokhar to follow him.

The prosecution, meanwhile, detailed the carnage the Tsarnaevs caused — three dead, 260 injured at the race, plus an MIT police officer shot to death later that week — and said Tsarnaev was a holy warrior committed to violence. U.S. prosecutor Bill Weinreb noted that Tsarnaev appeared to show no remorse or concern immediately after the bombings, returning to UMass-Dartmouth to socialize with friends.

“While victims of the bombing lay in the hospital and learned that they would have to have their limbs chopped off to save their lives, the defendant pretended that nothing had happened,” Weinreb said.

 

Read More: Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez ‘a little nervous’ for return to game action

03.04.15 at 8:27 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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Jazz at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Lakers at Heat, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Providence at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Central Florida at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: La Salle at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Houston at Tulane, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: USC at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: TCU at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Cincinnati at Tulsa, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon at Oregon State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego State at UNLV, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Rangers at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB exhibition: Phillies at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Women, United States vs. Norway, 2 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Premier League, Chelsea at West Ham, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Alex Rodriguez is set to play his first spring training game Wednesday, marking his return to the majors after his one-year suspension that cost him the entire 2014 season.

“I’ll be a little nervous,” Rodriguez admitted. “I haven’t been in front of my — our — fans for a long time. I’m excited about that. I have some challenges ahead.”

Added Rodriguez: “I am excited for [Wednesday]. I’m not sure how ready, but I’ll give it a shot.”

The Yankees are anticipating about 9,000 fans for the game, and it’s unclear what kind of reaction Rodriguez will get. Manager Joe Girardi said he expects the Tampa crowd to support him.

“He was caught. He paid his time, and now he’s back, and he’s a Yankee and we’re going to cheer for him,” Girardi said. “Some people are going to say, ‘You know what, I might have a hard time cheering for him,’ And some people are just fans and they fall in love with a player, and no matter what they do, it doesn’t matter.”

— The Panthers, chasing the Bruins for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, found themselves scrambling for a goalie during Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.

Following injuries to starter Roberto Luongo and backup Al Montoya, the team considered having center Derek MacKenzie play as management contacted the league office to sign an emergency contract with 41-year-old goaltending consultant Robb Tallas, who last played an NHL game in 2001.

“It’s rare. Doesn’t happen very often,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. “You’re in constant communication with the league to do the right thing, and you have to have him be legal and it has to be cleared by central registry.

“It’s hard to do that at 11 o’clock or 10:30 at night. … If we couldn’t get him cleared, it would have had to be a player.”

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees fire ticket-seller involved in Curt Schilling Twitter controversy

03.03.15 at 7:56 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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Rhode Island at Dayton, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Iowa at Indiana, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: North Carolina at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgetown at Butler, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Kentucky at Georgia, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: West Virginia at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Texas A&M at Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPNU
College basketball: Villanova at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Sabres at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB exhibition: Red Sox vs. Boston College/Northeastern, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
MLB exhibition: Pirates at Blue Jays, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Premier League, West Bromwich at Aston Villa, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

The Yankees announced Monday afternoon that they have fired the part-time ticket-seller who posted vulgar tweets about Curt Schilling’s daughter, saying they have “zero tolerance for anything like this.”

A number of individuals made vile comments on social media after Schilling tweeted congratulations to his 17-year-old for committing to play for the Salve Regina University softball team next year. Sean MacDonald was one of the most offensive tweeters, and Schilling called him out.

Yankees director of communications Jason Zillo said MacDonald worked a few days for the team in January, but, “We’ve terminated him.”

MacDonald is a former vice president of the Theta Xi fraternity at Montclair State University, from where he recently graduated. The fraternity acknowledged his “inappropriate and offensive tweets” and posted that “cyberbullying is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.”

Another tweeter, identified as Adam Nagel, a student at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey who hosted a one-hour show on his school radio station’s student radio streams, was suspended by the school and is being investigated by local police.

Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to discuss the situation.

— More details are emerging about why Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski dismissed Rasheed Sulaimon in January, making him the first player kicked off the team in the coach’s 35-year tenure.

According to a report in The Duke Chronicle, the school’s newspaper, two students accused Sulaimon of sexual assault last school year, and the team was aware of the allegations for at least a year before Sulaimon was dismissed. According to a statement from Krzyzewski at the time, Sulaimon “has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Curt Schilling, Mike Krzyzewski, Rasheed Sulaimon