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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Raptors’ Amir Johnson subject of strange NBA ejection 12.11.12 at 7:50 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: Knicks at Nets, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Bulls, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Binghamton at Michigan, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: St. Joseph’s at Villanova, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Dakota State at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ In one of the strangest NBA ejections ever, normally mild-mannered Raptors forward Amir Johnson was thrown out of Monday night’s game against the Trail Blazers when he tried to take the ball from referee David Jones after a Portland free throw and wouldn’t let go. After his ejection, an incensed Johnson fired his mouthguard at Jones and hit him in the back.

“I think [it was childish] between both of us,” Johnson said. “We were both wrestling with the ball. That was kind of childish. We both either could of let it go or anything. That part was childish. Plus, on my part for reacting that way. … It was something that didn’t need to happen. I lost my cool. I apologize on that part. I’ve never been kicked out of a game before or been T’d up like that.”

There were no actions that precipitated the incident and Johnson said no words were exchanged, making it all the more bizarre.

“He turned his back, I really wanted to know what happened,” Johnson explained. “Nothing was said. I lost my cool right there. I never had any problems all the eight years I’ve been in the league. I never argued with a ref or did anything wrong. From there, I just lost my cool.”

♦ The 49ers suspended running back Brandon Jacobs on Monday after he complained on social media about his lack of playing time. Jacobs, in his first season in San Francisco after seven years with the Giants, will miss the final three games of the regular season.

Jacobs recently posted a series of photos of himself playing for the Giants and wrote on Instagram:

I am on this team rotting away so why would I wanna put any pics up of anything that say niners. This is by far the worst year I ever had, I’ll tell you like I told plenty others.

On Monday night, following the announcement of the punishment, Jacobs tweeted:

Thank you all for all your support, I am doing wonderful it’s not a big deal things happen, I am strong enough to get through this, again thank all of you for your support. #IWILLBEBACK.

Jacobs, 30, has five carries for seven yards in two games this season. He ran for 571 yards and seven touchdowns last season in New York, winning his second Super Bowl.

Bobby Petrino, fired as Arkansas football coach in April after his motorcycle accident that exposed an affair he was having with an athletic department employee, was introduced as Western Kentucky’s coach on Monday.

“At this point in my career, it’s about getting back and coaching players,” said Petrino, who has a four-year deal with an annual base salary of $850,000. “It just happened to open up at a place we love. I hope it can be as long as possible.”

Petrino, 51, said he won’t shy away from discussing his mistakes he’s made, especially when talking to recruits.

“I’m going to be able to sit down with mom and dad and the student-athlete and make them understand how this experience has made me a better coach, a better person and will make me understand their son better,” Petrino said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity I’ll be able to give student athletes when they make a mistake.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 11, 1954, which Bruins goalie recorded his 27th and final career shutout with a 3-0 victory over the Canadiens?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy calls UConn tournament ban ‘outrageous’ 04.06.12 at 8:03 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: Pistons at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Rockets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NHL: Coyotes at Blues, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Yankees at Rays, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Diamondbacks, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Royals at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)

SATURDAY:
NBA: Celtics at Pacers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Magic at 76ers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Nuggets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Sabres at Bruins, 4 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Red Wings, 1 p.m. (NBC)
NHL: Flyers at Penguins, 4 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Capitals at Rangers, 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Kings at Sharks 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: NCAA final, Ferris State vs. Boston College, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 4:05 p.m. (Fox; WEEI)
MLB: Yankees at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)

SUNDAY:
NBA: 76ers at Celtics, 6 p.m. (NBA TV; WEEI)
NBA: Bulls at Knicks, 1 p.m. (ABC)
NBA: Rockets at Kings, 9 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: White Sox at Rangers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Coach Jim Calhoun and UConn won't appear in the 2013 NCAA tournament after losing their final appeal. (AP)

♦ The NCAA on Thursday denied the UConn men’s basketball team’s final appeal of its ban from the 2013 NCAA tournament due to its failure to meet academic standards. UConn argued that it has shown improvement over the past two seasons, but the NCAA wouldn’t budge.

The school said it’s hoping the rule will be changed in time for it to submit more recent test scores.

“While we as a university and coaching staff clearly should have done a better job academically with our men’s basketball student-athletes in the past, the changes we have implemented have already had a significant impact and have helped us achieve the success we expect in the classroom,” coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. “We will continue to strive to maintain that success as we move forward.”

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy called the NCAA’s rejection “absolutely outrageous.”

“It’s as if they’ve decided to get UConn, one way or the other,” he told The Associated Press. “UConn should have done a better job. But in point of fact, they are doing a better job. The results are already there. You know, grade the test.”

Dwight Howard might remain in Orlando after this season, but if he does it seems highly unlikely that Stan Van Gundy will be his coach.

In a strange situation Thursday after the Magic’s morning shootaround in New York, Van Gundy told reporters that he learned from high-ranking team officials that Howard has asked for the coach to be fired.

“I know he has,” Van Gundy said. “That’s just the way it is. Again, I’ve been dealing with that all year. It’s not anything real bothersome. You go out and do your job.”

Howard then arrived on the scene and put his arm around the coach and the two men shared an awkward moment, promising to focus on winning games. Howard, as he has done before, denied requesting his coach’s removal.

“Whatever happens at the end of the season is not under my control,” Howard said. “I am a player for the Magic. I am not the GM. … I haven’t said anything to anybody about anything. Our main concern is winning. So, all the other stuff should stop.”

Van Gundy said later that he, Howard and general manager Otis Smith met Thursday afternoon and “are ready to move forward.”

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

♦ The University of Arkansas put football coach Bobby Petrino on administrative leave Thursday night after learning that the 51-year-old married coach was riding with a 25-year-old female employee of the football program when he crashed his motorcycle over the weekend.

“I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said, I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell‘s name being revealed,” Petrino said in a statement released by the school. “In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.”

Added Petrino: “I will fully cooperate with the university throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my athletic director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 6, 1973, the designated hitter made its major league debut in the Opening Day game between the Red Sox and Yankees. Ron Blomberg of the Yankees was the first DH to get a plate appearance. Who was the Red Sox’ first-ever DH?

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Arkansas shocked by death of tight end Garrett Uekman 11.21.11 at 10:45 am ET
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Garrett Uekman died from unknown causes Sunday. (AP)

The No. 3 University of Arkansas football team was stunned by the death of 19-year-old redshirt freshman Garrett Uekman Sunday, just one day after the Razorbacks topped Mississippi State, 44-17.

Uekman, a 6-foot-4, 254-pound backup tight end, was found unconscious in his dorm room by a teammate at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday. He was in cardiac arrest when emergency services personnel arrived and was pronounced dead at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Ark., at 12:10 p.m.

Uekman was seen playing video games an hour before he was found unconscious. University police lieutenant Mat Mills said Uekman’s body will be sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy. There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Uekman’s death.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino spoke to the media Sunday night as he fought back tears while addressing Uekman’s death.

“Garrett Uekman was a special member of our family, and we are all saddened by his passing,” Petrino said. “His loss is a terrible shock, and it makes you realize how precious life is.”

University athletic director Jeff Long said the school had no knowledge of any preexisting medical condition that could have caused Uekman’s death. He also said the school will hold a candlelight vigil Monday night in honor of Uekman, whose parents said they wanted the team to play Friday night’s game at No. 1 LSU despite Sunday’s tragedy.

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