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ESPN’s ‘The Six’ with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith is a boring flop

02.23.17 at 12:27 pm ET
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Michael Smith and Jemele Hill previously hosted "His & Hers" on ESPN2. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jemele Hill and Michael Smith previously hosted “His & Hers” on ESPN2. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

When ESPN first launched “The Six” with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith, it was billed as a hipper version of “SportsCenter,” set to reclaim weeknight viewers who have fled the network’s outdated signature program. But in reality, the show is unimaginative and boring. There’s nothing edgy about it, unless you consider Smith’s proclivity to wear sneakers with his suit jacket to be wacky instead of forced.

Despite weeks of incessant on-air promotion, including a corny video that features Hill and Smith boogying to the 1988 hit, “It Takes Two,” ratings for the refurbished “SportsCenter” leave much to be desired. On Monday, three weeks after its debut, the show drew 568,000 viewers. That’s less than the 574,000 people who tuned into the 6:00 p.m. airing of “SportsCenter” on the same date one year ago.

Ratings for other ESPN programs are suffering as well. The audience for “Pardon the Interruption” was down 16 percent over the first two weeks of February compared to last year, giving “The Six” a depressed lead-in. But still, with all of the effort spent publicizing the show, the numbers are underwhelming –– just like the product.

At the start of Wednesday’s episode, Hill and Smith spent some time discussing DeMarcus Cousins’ debut press conference with the Pelicans. The most notable tidbit from the conversation was their insistence on calling him “Boogie,” as if they’re close pals. Smith went on to say he’s president of the “Free Boogie Fan Club,” while Hill giggled awkwardly.

Following a staid segment about Paul George’s future with the Pacers –– Smith kept calling him “PG” in a contrived attempt at informality –– the two moved on to Magic Johnson, who didn’t interview a black candidate for the Lakers’ general manager position before hiring agent Rob Pelinka. On The Undefeated, ESPN’s black-interest website, columnist Marc Spears quoted a couple of league executives who criticized Johnson for bypassing potential African-American applicants. Instead of responding with their own takes, Hill and Smith equivocated. They both said they “understand the frustration,” but also believe Johnson must do what he thinks is best for the organization.

“Jeanie [Buss] fired her blood brother. So if you don’t win enough games, she will fire her brother from another mother in a second,” Smith said.

It’s insulting to expect black sports commentators to feel strongly about race relations. But both hosts, especially Hill, have spoken passionately about the subject in the past. Last year, she hosted a televised town hall on ABC with President Barack Obama about race in America.

One of the apparent reasons why Hill enjoys a prominent role on ESPN is her willingness to engage on social issues. But yet, on “The Six,” she plays it down the middle.

And therein lies the biggest problem with the program: there’s nothing memorable about it. The discussions are stale, with Hill and Smith regurgitating talking points that are heard on ESPN throughout the day. Neither take a particularly strong stand on anything, and when they do, they usually side with the athlete in question. Somewhere along the line, ESPN decided to become a promotional vehicle for the players it covers. Hill and Smith, with their insistence on referring to NBA stars by their carefully branded nicknames, feed into that.

Hill and Smith don’t need to turn into screeching hyenas to have a successful talk show. But there must be some elements of provocation. The demonization of “hot take culture” has caused people to forget that nearly every popular sports pundit in history, from Howard Cosell to Michael Wilbon, has routinely shared strong opinions. Hill, who once said cheering for the Celtics is akin to calling Adolf Hitler a victim, is no stranger to controversy. While nobody is clamoring for Nazi analogies, it’s bizarre to see her play an even-tempered role. The show desperately needs a shot of adrenaline.

In order to generate interest, programs must give their audience something to reach to. Tedious segments, like Wednesday’s interminable discussion with analysts Jeff Goodman and Ryen Russillo about NBA trade rumors, don’t accomplish that. Those kinds of dry interviews are staples on indiscernible sports talk shows across the country. They shouldn’t be featured on a supposedly groundbreaking show that ESPN is counting on to help resurrect its “SportsCenter” franchise.

“The Six” is billed as innovative. But the truth is, you’ve seen it a million times before.

Read More: ESPN, Jemele Hill, Michael Smith,

New ‘West Mass’ tourism promo is must-see, but must be stopped

02.23.17 at 9:57 am ET
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Boston Globe Some residents in the Pioneer Valley have taken umbrage with a new rebranding effort that strips the three-county region of its longtime moniker in favor of an ostensibly hipper alternative — “West Mass.”

A petition on Change.org titled, “Stop ‘West Mass’ and Keep The Pioneer Valley!” contends that there’s no benefit to renaming the area, which includes Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

“West Mass is awkward on the tongue,”one person wrote on the petition, which has been signed by 165 supporters. “Pioneer Valley is a name that reminds tourists and citizens just how historic the area is. Don’t waste your money or time.”

The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts teamed up last year to hire a creative agency from Oklahoma to come up with a new name, part of a broader marketing campaign to attract new visitors, residents, and businesses to the area.

This is the worst tourism campaign video I’ve ever seen in my life.

It stars Michael Jordan, auto-tune, touts the area’s “fertility” and tells people to “develop and visit!” and “find your first” there.

Find your first what??????

Holy moly is this a mess. Calling the area “West Mass” is the least of the Pioneer Valley people’s problems.

It’s like a mix of public access television and the Yankee Doodle song in the Always Sunny in Philadelphia beauty pageant.

With this as your inspiration, how can you go wrong?

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Rick Pitino goes insane on UNC fan; Aaron Hernandez lawyers reportedly look to use pot defense

02.23.17 at 8:40 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NHL: Washington at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Boston at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Michigan at Rutgers, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: TCU at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UCF at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Minnesota at Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Butler at Villanova, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Louisville at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UConn at Houston, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Fresno State at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon State at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Louisville coach Rick Pitino had a heated exchange with a UNC fan during halftime of North Carolina’s 74-63 win over his team Wednesday night.

As Pitino walked to the locker room tunnel, a fan reportedly yelled “Pitino, you suck!” at him.

He “got in my face and said something I didn’t like,” Pitino said afterward.

Pitino had to be restrained by his coaching staff and the fan was ejected.

“I take it from the students all the time; you expect it from the students. But from an adult? And then to turn his back on me like he’s a coward?” Pitino said. “And he is a coward, but North Carolina is a classy place and he doesn’t speak for the rest of the people.”

“I’ve always said this is the classiest place in college basketball, until I met a fan on the way out,” Pitino then said. “It always reminded me of a class place, but they’re getting just like some of the other places now.”

North Carolina coach Roy Williams apologized to Pitino after the game.

“I don’t like that. We’re North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else,” Williams said. “You can raise Cain, you can boo, but you don’t have to say stuff that we as coaches have to put up with on the road. I hope that never happens again at North Carolina.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Rick Pitino,

Chris Christie reportedly being considered to take over for Mike Francesa on WFAN New York

02.22.17 at 4:25 pm ET
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Chris Christie is a regular on WFAN in New York. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Christie is a regular on WFAN in New York. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is fat, loud, opinionated and ignorant. He was made for sports talk radio, and apparently, is considering it as a career.

According to NorthJersey.com, Christie is a candidate to replace Mike Francesa in afternoon drive on WFAN when the iconic host’s contract expires at the end of 2017. Francesa said last year he plans to move on from the New York sports talk behemoth once his deal is up.

“I would certainly at least want to consider [Christie],” WFAN’s program director Mark Chernoff said. “If he’s interested and we’re interested, it’s worth pursuing.”

Christie, who’s one of the least popular governors in the nation, frequently fills in on WFAN’s morning show, Boomer & Carton. In an appearance last week, he said President Donald Trump forced him to eat meatloaf when they dined together at the White House, continuing his yearlong emasculation.

In a recent interview, Christie said he would consider making the move to sports talk.

“As my son said — ‘I can’t believe I’ve been listening to you talk about sports my entire life and that someone might actually pay you to do that. He said, ‘I can’t imagine how great that would be for you,’ ” he said on SportsNet New York. “And so, yeah, that’s certainly one of the things that I hope I’ll have a chance to consider when I get out and stop being governor.”

With his term ending in January 2018, the timing would be perfect for Christie to take over Francesa’s chair. He apparently is already focused on the possible career change, too. On SNY recently, he lambasted Phillies fans, calling them “bitter” and “awful people.” A sizable number of folks in southern New Jersey, of course, follow the Phillies. Christie seems to want the job so badly, he’s willing to burn bridges with his own constituents.

In a lot of respects, it seems as if Christie has been training to be a talk radio host for some time. As governor, he shot to viral fame for his blistering attacks on public school teachers. He would be able to spew that same kind of vitriol on WFAN, except it would be directed towards callers.

After an insipid presidential bid and losing out on a job in Trump’s White House, Christie’s political career appears to be over. But he’s got the goods to make it big in the sports talk radio world. Or, at least, he has the bombast.

Read More: Chris Christie,

Isaiah Thomas tweets out another mysterious emoji, is almost certainly trolling us

02.22.17 at 2:52 pm ET
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Isaiah Thomas is a great point guard. But he’s an even better Internet troll.

Two days after his eyeball emoji sparked chaos across the basketball world, Thomas is back at it again. On Wednesday, he tweeted out an hourglass. No word on whether this message will propel 20 reporters to contact Celtics general manager Mike Zarren, like the last one did.

With the NBA trade deadline coming up Thursday, the Celtics remain immersed in rumors. General manager Danny Ainge is reportedly still considering a deal for Carmelo Anthony, and the team has been linked to forwards Paul George and Jimmy Butler as well. With that in mind, perhaps Thomas’ hourglass means a blockbuster acquisition is imminent. Or, more likely, it means nothing. NBA players have taken to trolling the media recently.

Last week, Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving told reporters he thinks the earth is flat. The inane assertion dominated headlines throughout All-Star Weekend, with every major sports blog publishing stories on the matter. When Irving was asked about his comments Saturday, he hinted he was trying to prove a point about contemporary media coverage.

“I think that there’s just so much, I guess — I don’t know if you can even call it news — there are so many real things going on, actual, like, things that are going on that’s changing the shape, the way of our lives,” he said, via ESPN. “And I think it sometimes gets skewed because of who we are in the basketball world, and, ‘Oh man, what does he actually think? Oh, no, I don’t like hearing … the world is flat, or he thinks the world can’t be round.’ You know, I know the science, I know everything possible — not everything possible — but the fact that that actually could be real news, that people are actually asking me that — it’s a social phenomenon.”

Whenever a famous person does something, it will get covered, regardless of how silly the action is. Pistons center Andre Drummond proved this Tuesday, when reporters swarmed him after he had retweeted Thomas’ eyeball emoji and –– get this –– tweeted his own, too.

Since there’s a small chance Drummond’s emoji sharing was a covert message, Pistons reporters can’t be blamed for asking him questions about it –– just like Celtics beat writers rightfully followed up with Zarren Monday. NBA players seem to know they have a captive audience on social media. They’re proving it one tweet at a time, with Thomas leading the charge.

(By the way, for more coverage of Thomas’s mystery tweet, check out John Tomase on the Green Street Blog.)

Read More: Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas,

Jimmy Garoppolo’s future with Patriots is currently biggest Boston sports story –– bar none

02.22.17 at 12:42 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo might be the most valuable trade commodity in the NFL this offseason. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo might be the most valuable trade commodity in the NFL this offseason. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The Boston Globe says baseball still owns our hearts in the Hub, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Despite the hoards of cargo shorts-wearing beat writers who have descended upon Red Sox Spring Training, the biggest Boston sports story of the season is happening more than 1,000 miles away from the confines of JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. Somewhere in the bowels of Gillette Stadium, Patriots staffers are planning out their offseason. They’re evaluating draft prospects, free agents and, most importantly, whether to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s where the action is.

It wasn’t too long ago that Red Sox hot stove talk routinely wrestled attention away from the Patriots. This most infamously happened in December 2003, when the Red Sox were on the verge of acquiring Alex Rodriguez. Excitement about the possibility of A-Rod playing in Boston dwarfed the interest surrounding Tom Brady chasing a Super Bowl title. Nowadays, trade talk about Brady’s backup dominates the airwaves. It’s been quite a turn of events.

In less than two months’ time, the Red Sox will be gearing up for Opening Day and the Celtics will be on the verge of beginning what could be their longest playoff run since 2012. But the daily drama, the kind that fuels talk radio and draws website traffic, will likely be Garoppolo’s status with the Patriots. It’s already sparked endless rumors, and even a feud between ESPN colleagues.

In December, Adam Schefter told Kirk & Callahan the Patriots expect to receive at least a first-round and fourth-round pick in return for Garoppolo. This statement prompted Trent Dilfer to call his co-worker a pawn during an appearance with Dale & Holley later that day.

“I can promise you nobody is trading a first and a fourth for Jimmy. Now, it’s smart that the brass in New England is using Adam [Schefter] to get that headline out there because now they are starting the market there,” he said.

Schefter fired back the following week, which prompted Dilfer to apologize. But that will probably be far from the last media squabble centered around Garoppolo’s availability or status. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport insists the Patriots are open to dealing Garoppolo, much like Schefter. The MMQB’s Peter King and ESPN’s Ed Werder, meanwhile, think he’s staying put. On Wednesday, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman poured kerosene on the fire, reporting several teams are preparing to make blockbuster offers for Garoppolo.

The Garoppolo story has it all: mystery, debate and big stakes. Since the Patriots are perhaps the most tight-lipped and unpredictable organization in sports, it’s a genuine question about how they’ll proceed. There’s a real argument, to be had, too. With Tom Brady still at the top of his game, it seems prudent to trade Garoppolo for a haul this offseason. He’s entering the final year of his contract and is fresh off the glow from playing one-and-a-half sterling games in Brady’s absence. If the Patriots want to cash in, this will probably be their best chance to do it.

Then again, Brady will be 40 years old in August. He says he wants to play five more years, but his football mortality will eventually catch up to him. Assuming Garoppolo will be a successful NFL starter, maybe the Patriots should try to sign him to an extension. They would be tying up a lot of money in the quarterback position, but that’s a short-term hit. The security of having their next QB under contract may be worth it.

In this case, one single personnel decision could alter the course of the franchise for the next decade. If the Patriots trade Garoppolo and Brady falters over the next two years, Bill Belichick would have difficulty defending the move. It would be maybe the biggest blemish on his resume, the one time in which he lacked foresight.

But if Brady continues to defy age, and the Patriots recoup their lost first-round pick in a Garoppolo trade, then the move would be heralded as Belichick’s greatest coup. The future of the organization is on the line.

With all due respect to the Red Sox, there’s no decision they can make in sleepy Fort Myers that carries the same kind of importance. Even the Celtics, barring a blockbuster deadline trade, seem to be engaging in little more than a fun sideshow. Yes, they’re only three games behind the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. But if the two teams were to meet in the postseason, the Celtics’ defeat seems inevitable.

From September-February, the Patriots were the best story in town. That won’t change this spring, as long as Garoppolo trade rumors continue to swirl.

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen to co-chair 2017 Met Gala; Sammy Sosa denies PED use, compares himself to Jesus

02.22.17 at 9:01 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NHL: Washington at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Boston at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Michigan at Rutgers, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: TCU at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UCF at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Minnesota at Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Butler at Villanova, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Louisville at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma St. at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UConn at Houston, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Fresno St. at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon State at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB: 

— It was announced on Tuesday Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen will serve as co-chairs for the 2017 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Gala on May 1.

The power couple will join Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Anna Wintour as chairs of the annual event.

Brady and Gisele are no strangers to the Met Gala and have made many memorable appearances on the red carpet there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Sammy Sosa, Tom Brady,

With a single tweet, Isaiah Thomas exposed the stupidity of sports news in 2017

02.21.17 at 2:41 pm ET
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All it took was one emoji to expose the soul-sucking nature of covering sports today, where grown men and women with college degrees are forced to chase after inanity.

In a cryptic tweet Monday, Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas shared an eyeball emoji. Chaos ensued, with assistant general manager Mike Zarren saying roughly 20 reporters contacted him to ask whether the team was acquiring a new player. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday.

The journalists who reached out to Zarren were doing their due diligence. In 2017, a player’s social media activity can serve as a harbinger of major trades or free agent signings. Last summer, Thomas tweeted out the same two-eye emoji before the Celtics inked Al Horford to a five-year contract.

Though it’s possible Thomas was sending out a covert signal –– the Celtics also followed Carmelo Anthony on Instagram Monday night, along with Taylor Swift and Nike –– he may have been trolling the media. That appears to be what Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was doing last week when he told reporters he thinks the earth is flat. In today’s hyperactive news cycle, seemingly anything a famous person says is considered news, regardless of how absurd it is. Even though the science definitively says the earth is round, Irving’s comment was perhaps the biggest story during NBA All-Star Weekend.

“I think that there’s just so much, I guess — I don’t know if you can even call it news — there are so many real things going on, actual, like, things that are going on that’s changing the shape, the way of our lives,” Irving said Saturday, via ESPN. “And I think it sometimes gets skewed because of who we are in the basketball world, and, ‘Oh man, what does he actually think? Oh, no, I don’t like hearing … the world is flat, or he thinks the world can’t be round.’

“You know, I know the science, I know everything possible — not everything possible — but the fact that that actually could be real news, that people are actually asking me that — ‘It’s a social phenomenon. What do you think about it? Are you going to try to protect your image?’ I mean, it really doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter. The fact that it’s a conversation? I’m glad that it got people talking like this: ‘Kyrie actually thinks the world is flat.'”

Sure enough, Thomas’ possibly innocuous tweet sparked headlines on countless sports blogs. We content curators are parasites, prepared to cultivate page views from meaningless drivel. It’s part of the feeding frenzy.

This phenomenon is nothing new. People have long been interested in what celebrities say and do. In today’s world, stars are more accessible than ever before. It makes sense for websites to report on nearly every detail of their social media activity. Thomas’ emoji may have meant absolutely nothing, but now, it’s a part of the Celtics trade deadline narrative. It doesn’t matter whether it actually is indicative of a forthcoming trade. He typed it with his thumbs, and that’s good enough.

Next thing you know, we’ll have a president who’s capable of controlling entire news cycles by firing off insane and erratic tweets. Oh, wait…

Read More: Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas, Twitter,

Curt Schilling tries to defend Milo Yiannopoulos, then apologizes after hearing his pedophilia comments

02.21.17 at 10:00 am ET
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Curt Schilling was hired by Breitbart News in October. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

Curt Schilling was hired by Breitbart News in October. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

Breitbart News radio host Curt Schilling appeared ready to defend his colleague, Milo Yiannopoulos, for supporting sexual relationships between young boys and men. Then he heard Yiannopoulous’ comments, and took everything back.

In a series of tweets Monday, Schilling first attempted to point out a double standard when it comes to how pedophilia is viewed. He cited Woody Allen and Roman Polanski as examples of stars who remain revered despite their sordid pasts.

But then Schilling apparently watched video of Yiannopoulos’s appearance on the “Drunken Peasants” podcast, which was posted on Twitter Sunday by a conservative group called the Reagan Battalion. In it, the senior Breitbart editor seems to dismiss the seriousness of pedophilia –– even joking that he performs better sexually because he was molested as a child.

“We get hung up on this child abuse stuff. … This is one of the reasons why I hate the left, the one size fits all policing of culture, this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent,” he said. “I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”

Yiannopoulos, who’s spouted inflammatory views against Muslims, immigrants and transgender people, also attempts to differentiate between pedophilia and pederasty.

“Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody who is 13 years old and sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty, who do not have functioning sex organs yet, who have not gone through puberty,” he said. “In the gay world, some of the most important enriching, and incredibly life-affirming, important, shaping relationships are between younger boys and older men. They can be hugely positive experiences very often for those young boys.”

Schilling apologized once he became aware of Yiannopoulos’s actual comments, saying he’ll accept any criticism that comes his way.

Schilling is far from the only conservative who’s distanced himself from Yiannopoulos this week. The alt-right megastar and prominent Donald Trump supporter was disinvited Monday from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, where he was slated to give the keynote address. His book deal with publisher Simon & Schuster was cancelled as well.

Read More: Curt Schilling,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Brad Bates, BC athletic director, won’t return next year; DeMarcus Cousins says goodbye to Sacramento

02.21.17 at 9:42 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Chicago at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Purdue at Penn State, 6 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: URI at La Salle, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Clemson at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oklahoma at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: South Carolina at Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Davidson at Richmond, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Northwestern at Illinois, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: St. John’s at Marquette, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: East Carolina at Tulane, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Indiana at Iowa, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Mississippi at Mississippi State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Colorado State at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Boston College athletic director Brad Bates announced on Monday he won’t return to the school after  his contract is up at the end of the school year. He plans to join Collegiate Sports Associates, an executive search and consulting firm in North Carolina as the vice president.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Boston College and am especially grateful for the opportunity to serve the University,” Bates said in a statement. “I will forever be an Eagle and a fan of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, and will cherish the great relationships that I have made here.”

Both the Boston College basketball and football teams saw some of their worst seasons in history during his tenure. In the 2015-2016 season, neither team won an ACC game for the first time in over 70 years.

However, other BC teams found success under his leadership. The men’s soccer team reached the Elite Eight in 2015, the women’s hockey team made it to the national championship game in 2016, baseball got to the Super Regional in 2016 and men’s hockey reached the Frozen Four in 2014 and 2016.

“The Jesuit, Catholic education offered at BC is distinctive in higher education and epitomizes the very best of college athletics,” the statement also read. “I feel privileged to be a part of this community.”

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Read More: boston college, DeMarcus Cousins,