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Report: Browns unlikely to pursue Colt McCoy trade 04.30.12 at 1:06 pm ET
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Despite previous reports and rumblings indicating otherwise, it is “very unlikely” that the Browns will actively pursue a trade of their incumbent starting quarterback Colt McCoy, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Tom Heckert, the team’s general manager, said last Thursday night that the team was considering moving McCoy after the Browns spent the No. 22 overall pick in the NFL draft on Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden. The Browns’ selection of the 28-year-old Weeden came after the team told McCoy on draft day that it would not select a quarterback in the first round, according to Schefter’s sources. The Browns denied that report.

Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur told ESPN that McCoy, given the circumstances, is “doing fine” and that “he gets it, we’re all grown-ups.”

McCoy is a former third-round pick who has made 21 starts over the last two seasons. In 2012, McCoy completed 57.2 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He is 6-15 in his career as a Browns starter.

Read More: Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Pat Shurmur, Rumor Mill
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau: Derrick Rose injury ‘not a death sentence’ 04.30.12 at 1:04 pm ET
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One of the early stories of the 2012 NBA playoffs has undoubtedly been the news that Bulls point guard and reigning league MVP Derrick Rose tore his ACL in Game 1 of Chicago’s first-round series against the 76ers, a move that has led many to count the Bulls out of title contention.

However, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau does not see it quite the same way, as he said that while Rose’s loss certainly doesn’t help the Bulls, it’s premature to count his team out just yet.

“I think we all feel awful for him,” Thibodeau said Sunday. “Derrick’s not only a great player, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great person, but it’s not a death sentence. It’s not a death sentence for him, it’s not a death sentence for our team. He’s going to come back. He’ll come back better than ever. It’s just the way it is and we’ve got to deal with.”

Rose injured his knee landing on a jump stop with 1:22 remaining in the Bulls’ 103-91 Game 1 victory. Bulls general manager Gar Forman said that there was “absolutely no issue at all” with Thibodeau leaving Rose in the game at such a late juncture.

Over the regular season, Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists per game in helping lead Chicago to the Eastern Conference’s best record for the second consecutive season.

Read More: Derrick Rose, Gar Forman, Rumor Mill, Tom Thibodeau
Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu victim of draft night prank call 04.27.12 at 4:33 pm ET
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For many growing up playing the game of football, getting a call from an NFL team on the night of the draft is a dream come true, a life-long goal realized. It is then that they are informed that they have been selected by a team and now have the chance to play the game they love on the professional level.

But for one draft prospect, Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, that dream moment quickly turned sour. Watching the draft from his home in South Brunswick, N.J., Sanu received a call telling him the unexpected news that the Bengals had drafted him with the 27th overall pick. Sanu then called his agent, Mike McCartney, who tweeted “SANU to Bengals!!!!!!” along with an additional tweet about how happy he was for his client.

However, the call turned out to be a prank, as the Bengals used their pick on Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler. McCartney called the number, which had a northern New Jersey 908 area code.

“It was some kid from Rutgers who said his friend got his phone and played a practical joke. He was apologetic,” McCartney told the Newark Star-Ledger. “He said he doesn’t work for the athletic department and wouldn’t tell me how he got Mohamed’s number, wouldn’t tell me his name.”

Added McCartney: “I just said to the kid, ‘Do you understand how much pain you just caused? And it’s not just him, it’s his family. Do you understand what you did?’ At that point, there was nothing more I could do.”

McCartney said that neither Sanu nor his family was angry at the young man who made the call.

“I’ll be all right — it’s meant to be that I’ll be with another team,” McCartney told the Star-Ledger, recalling what Sanu told him. “If it happens tonight, great, if not it’ll happen [Friday].”

Sanu is coming off a junior season at Rutgers in which he caught 115 passes for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns. He is widely projected to be a second- or third-round pick.

Read More: Kevin Zeitler, Mohamed Sanu, Rumor Mill,
Kentucky starters headline group of early NBA draft entries 04.18.12 at 11:42 am ET
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The University of Kentucky put together a historically dominant 2011-12 season, one complete with a national championship spearheaded by an uber-talented collection of freshmen and sophomores. Now, two weeks removed from cutting down the nets in New Orleans, all five members of the Wildcats’ starting lineup have announced that they will forgo their remaining years of eligibility and declare for the 2012 NBA draft.

The group of early entrants is one stocked with projected first-round talent that includes freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague along with sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb.

The headliner of the group is Davis, who just completed one of the more decorated seasons in the history of college basketball, particularly for a freshman. Davis, a center, captured several major national player of the year awards and was the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. Noted for his remarkable presence on the defensive end, Davis is almost universally projected as the No. 1 overall pick.

“It’s been a great opportunity playing here. I’ll miss this team, the way we played together. We all love each other,” Davis said in a team press conference Tuesday night. “I’m just going to miss this place. We won an NCAA championship here and did a lot. We all did a lot for this school and I’m going to miss it.”

Kidd-Gilchrist, a dynamic and play-making small forward, also is widely projected as a top-five pick, with many mock draft boards listing him as the No. 2 prospect available, just behind Davis. Jones was viewed as a potential lottery pick after his freshman season and is still viewed in that same light after an impressive end to his sophomore season.

Teague, the younger brother of Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, struggled throughout much of his freshman season but still is seen as a likely first-round pick along with Lamb, who scored a game-high 22 points in the national championship game. If all five Kentucky players are selected in the first round, it would tie the record for most first-round picks from a single school in a given draft, a mark set by Kentucky in 2010.

The Kentucky starters are the most high profile of the early entrants, but several of the projected top picks in the draft are coming out early. Following is a list of other players who have declared for the draft.

Thomas Robinson, Kansas junior forward
Andre Drummond, UConn freshman center
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina sophomore forward
Jeremy Lamb, UConn sophomore guard
Bradley Beal, Florida freshman guard
Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State junior forward
Austin Rivers, Duke freshman guard
Damian Lillard, Weber State junior guard
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State sophomore forward
Dion Waiters, Syracuse sophomore guard
Will Barton, Memphis sophomore guard
J’Covan Brown, Texas junior guard
Dominic Cheek, Villanova junior guard
Jared Cunningham, Oregon State junior guard
Moe Harkless, St. John’s freshman guard/forward
John Henson, North Carolina junior forward
John Jenkins, Junior, Vanderbilt
Perry Jones III, Sophomore, Baylor
Meyers Leonard, Sophomore, Illinois
Kendall Marshall, Sophomore, North Carolina
C.J. McCollum, Lehigh junior guard
Fab Melo, Syracuse sophomore center
Khris Middleton, Texas A&M junior forward
Terrence Ross, Washington sophomore guard
Renardo Sidney, Mississippi State junior forward
Hollis Thompson, Georgetown junior forward
Maalik Wayns, Villanova junior guard
Royce White, Iowa State sophomore forward
Tony Wroten, Jr., Washington freshman guard

Read More: Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb, Jeff Teague, Marquis Teague
Bernie Fine accuser from Maine sentenced for abuse 04.11.12 at 1:07 pm ET
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Zach Tomaselli of Lewiston, Maine, who accused former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him, has been sentenced to three years and three months in prison for sexually abusing a boy.

Tomaselli was sentenced Wednesday in Auburn, Maine, and had previously pleaded guilty to the offense in December.

The victim attended a camp at which the 23-year-old Tomaselli was a counselor. The boy was 13 and 14 when the abuse took place.

Tomaselli was one of several people who accused Jim Boeheim‘s long-time assistant coach of molestation and his case is the only one of the group that falls within the statute of limitations. Fine, who was fired in November, has denied Tomaselli’s allegation, one that the U.S. Attorney’s office is investigating.

Read More: Bernie Fine, jim boeheim, Rumor Mill, Zach Tomaselli
Baylor basketball programs facing possible NCAA sanctions 04.09.12 at 12:57 pm ET
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The 2011-12 season was a banner one for the Baylor men’s and women’s basketball teams, but after a season filled with good news, it looks like bad news may be on the way for the Bears and Lady Bears. Both of the school’s basketball programs are facing possible NCAA sanctions after an investigation uncovered that between the two teams, more than 1,200 impermissible phone calls and text messages were made during a 29-month span, according to an ESPN report.

Along with their respective assistants, men’s basketball coach Scott Drew and women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey were involved in the impermissible phone calls and texts, as detailed in the NCAA enforcement committee’s summary disposition. Baylor had already implemented self-imposed penalties, which were a result of the NCAA enforcement staff’s probe.

The 66-page NCAA report documented a series of secondary violations against several of Baylor’s programs, but the sanctions centered around the phone calls and texts. The sanctions, while minor in nature, were deemed to be “major violations” by the NCAA because of the frequency at which they occurred.

The NCAA probe began in 2008 when Brittney Griner, then a high school senior, and her father reported information regarding their contacts with Baylor coaches that was possibly impermissible.

Read More: Brittney Griner, Kim Mulney, Rumor Mill, Scott Drew
Report: Mavericks, Lamar Odom parting ways 04.09.12 at 11:21 am ET
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Lamar Odom's season appears to be done in Dallas. (AP)

After the Mavericks lost several key players in the offseason, including Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler, the team’s acquisition of Lamar Odom was viewed as a key move in the right direction for the reigning NBA champions. But with not even a full condensed NBA season complete, the Mavericks and the struggling Odom have agreed to part ways, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told Stein that while Odom’s departure from the team will be immediate, the Mavericks intend to list him as inactive for the rest of the season instead of releasing him, thus leaving open the possibility of trading him after the season. Another source told Stein that the decision allows Odom a chance to “clear his head and start getting ready for next season.”

In a statement to ESPN.com, Odom announced that he and the Mavericks had come to a decision to part ways and also expressed remorse that his time in Dallas did not go as well as he and others expected.

“The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team,” Odom said in the statement. “I’m sorry that things didn’t work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs’ organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship.”

This season, statistically, has been the worst of Odom’s 13-year career, as he is averaging career lows in scoring (6.6 points per game), rebounds (4.1 per game), field goal percentage (35.2 percent), assists (1.7 per game) and minutes (20.5 per game).

Read More: Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Rumor Mill, Tyson Chandler
Tom Coughlin near contract extension with Giants 03.28.12 at 4:40 pm ET
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After leading the Giants to their second Super Bowl title in five years, Tom Coughlin is in the process of working out a contract extension with the team, according to the New York Post.

In the report, based on the Post’s conversations with Giants owner John Mara, it was noted that the deal should get done in a month to six weeks.

“We’ve had a lot of good discussions since the Super Bowl, and I have no doubt it’s going to get done very soon,’’ Mara told the Post. “As I’ve said, Tom is our guy, and we think we have the best coach in the league.”

Upon winning his first Super Bowl with the Giants in 2008, a 17-14 victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Coughlin received a four-year, $21 million extension. At 65 years old, Coughlin was the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl when the Giants again beat the Patriots, this time in Super Bowl XLVI.

Regardless of how long the extension is for, Coughlin knows he still has to perform in order to remain in good standing with Giants ownership and fans alike.

“No matter many years you sign a contract, it’s a one-year deal,” Coughlin told the Post. “I’m going to go forth with the idea of enjoying each season as it comes and rallying the troops. I want to be a motivator for our staff, our players and our organization.”

Read More: John Mara, Rumor Mill, Tom Coughlin,
Colts GM: Team to work out Andrew Luck 03.26.12 at 4:09 pm ET
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Just a week removed from seeing the face of the franchise for the last 14 years, Peyton Manning, join the Broncos to much fanfare, the Colts are prepared to take a look at what many presume to be the team’s quarterback of the future.

New Colts general manager Ryan Grigson informed reporters in a conference call Monday that the team is planning on bringing in Andrew Luck for a workout sometime in the next few weeks.

While Luck will be making the trip to Indianapolis, one player who will not be doing so is Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. Grigson said that team officials did travel to see Griffin work out at Baylor’s pro day but were not able to schedule an individual workout.

Luck, the former Stanford quarterback, is widely presumed to be the Colts’ selection as the first pick in the draft, with Griffin expected to be taken right behind him with the second pick. With Manning sidelined by a series of neck surgeries, the Colts finished 2-14 last season. The team released Manning on March 7.

In his senior season with the Cardinal, Luck completed 71.3 percent of his passes for 3,517 yards and 37 touchdowns, leading his team to an 11-2 record and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.

Read More: Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III, Rumor Mill
Slain teen Trayvon Martin’s dad thanks Heat for photo 03.26.12 at 1:31 pm ET
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Tracy Martin, the father of Trayvon Martin — the unarmed 17-year-old whose death has become a widely discussed national issue — said that he and his family have been moved from professional athletes speaking out about the case and doing tributes in his son’s honor.

In particular, Martin thanked members of the Heat for a photograph that the team took with 13 of the Heat’s players donning black hooded sweatshirts with their heads bowed. Trayvon Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla. Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman saw Martin and deemed him as suspicious and worthy of pursuit. The two fought before Zimmerman shot the teen. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense and has not been arrested.

“I saw a post that [Dwyane Wade] had saying, ‘I am Trayvon Martin,’ ” Tracy Martin told The Associated Press. “To see all these athletes put Trayvon in the same sentence with them, it feels real good. Trayvon was an excellent athlete, and if he could hear them saying his name, he would be so moved by it.”

Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire of the Knicks also made similar gestures in Trayvon Martin’s honor.

A large rally will be held in Sanford, Fla., the site of the killing, on Monday and several prominent sports figures are expected to attend, including former NBA star Patrick Ewing and Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Read More: Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, George Zimmerman