Weise's OT goal lifts Canadiens over Lightning 5-4 (Yahoo Sports) - Dale Weise scored 18:08 into overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening game of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series on Wednesday night. Daniel Briere passed from behind the net to Weise in the right circle, and he beat Anders Lindback for the winning score. Carey Price stopped 21 shots for the Canadiens, who blew a pair of third-period leads. Brian Gionta had a short-handed goal and Tomas Plekanec, Lars Eller and Thomas Vanek also scored for Montreal. Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111 (Yahoo Sports) - Kevin Durant scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Oklahoma City Thunder secured the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference, rallying from 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Detroit Pistons 112-111 Wednesday night. Oklahoma City (59-23) had lost two straight to put itself in the must-win situation in the regular-season finale to earn the No. 2 seed. He drove for the go-ahead dunk with 16.5 seconds left, and after a scramble for a loose ball resulted in a jump ball in Detroit's end with 1.8 seconds left, he won a tip over Greg Monroe. Detroit's Brandon Jennings managed a 30-foot heave at the buzzer that banged off the rim. White wash: Yanks sweep Cubs 3-0, 2-0 (Yahoo Sports) - Michael Pineda followed an overpowering outing by Masahiro Tanaka with one of his own, pitching six innings of four-hit ball as the New York Yankees beat the Chicago Cubs 2-0 on a bitterly cold Wednesday night to complete its first doubleheader shutout sweep since 1987. Carlos Beltran homered for a third straight game, off Jason Hammel in the first inning of the Cubs' first regular-season game at the current Yankee Stadium. Brett Gardner and Scott Sizemore had RBI singles off Travis Wood (0-2) in the nightcap, helping the Yankees win for the fifth time in six games and handing Chicago its fourth straight loss. Teheran 3-hits Phillies; Braves win 1-0 (Yahoo Sports) - PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Julio Teheran pitched a three-hitter, Evan Gattis homered among a career-best four hits, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 Wednesday night. Real Madrid wins 19th Copa del Rey title (Yahoo Sports) - VALENCIA, Spain (AP) -- Gareth Bale raced down the field, avoided a defender and rolled the ball under goalkeeper Jose Pinto in the 90th minute, giving Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Barcelona on Wednesday night and its 19th Copa del Rey title. Knicks sign Lamar Odom (Yahoo Sports) - NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Knicks have signed former NBA champion Lamar Odom, who was out of the league this season. Bale winner sees Real lift Copa del Rey - Gareth Bale scores a brilliant late goal as Real Madrid defeat Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final in Valencia. Scott earns Arsenal point in opener - Alex Scott's goal ensures FA Cup holders Arsenal opened their Women's Super League season with a 1-1 draw at Notts County. Officer: Sharper's DNA found on 1 Arizona victim (Yahoo Sports) - PHOENIX (AP) -- Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper's DNA was found in an examination of one of two women who accuse him of drugging and sexually assaulting them at a Tempe apartment, a detective said Wednesday. AP Source: Giants sign QB Josh Freeman as backup (Yahoo Sports) - A person familiar with the deal says quarterback Josh Freeman has agreed to terms with the New York Giants. Freeman was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October after a messy split. The 17th pick in the 2009 draft, Freeman started 59 games for the Bucs over four-plus seasons before the relationship soured.

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New Illinois football uniforms feature an all-white set (Photos) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 7:17 pm]
Illinois revealed its new football uniforms for 2014 on Wednesday night and we like the all-white look. The uniforms are part of a rebranding for the entire athletic department, which showcased different looks for all of its sports. The three football uniform sets paraded around were all monochromatic and included a blue, an orange and a white set. New look for @IlliniFootball. #Illini @Nike pic.twitter.com/kkun14vCps— Illinois Athletics (@IlliniAthletics) April 17, 2014 New @IlliniFootball uniform set from the #Illini @nike #rebrand. #hot pic.twitter.com/VYLUt48zRj— Illinois Athletics (@IlliniAthletics) April 17, 2014 New orange unis. #Illini @Nike pic.twitter.com/81mY5KWhLk— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) April 17, 2014 New all white unis. #Illini @Nike pic.twitter.com/OiYIY2lDYJ— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) April 17, 2014 New @IlliniFootball helmets. #Illini @Nike #Rebrand pic.twitter.com/LWivKKzPPz— Illinois Athletics (@IlliniAthletics) April 17, 2014 We're going to guess the all-one-color groups are not the only options for the Illini, which would mean there are 27 different possible uniform combinations among helmets, jerseys and pants. So yes, if Illinois wanted to, it could mix and match for two years and not wear the same combination twice. The rebranding is part of a "respect the past, represent the future" campaign from the school and Nike, which is similar to the theme Syracuse invoked when revealing its new uniforms earlier Wednesday. The edge to in the orange-and-blue battle goes to Illinois and it's not even close. Unlike Syracuse, the Illini did a good job of utilizing all three colors and the numbers don't look deformed. If we do have a quibble, it's that the new font featured in the posed pictures above looks very similar to the font utilized by Mizzou, its state-school neighbor to the west and another Nike school. But the football version of the rivalry is on ice after the schools last played in 2010. We won't be having a gr

After coach gets his job back, Minnesota State Mankato players boycott practice [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 6:03 pm]
The drama isn't over at Minnesota State Mankato. A day after Todd Hoffner announced he was taking his old job back as coach of Minnesota State's football team, "several dozen" players walked out of practice demanding answers and supporting Aaron Keen, who was serving as the interim coach. Keen was Hoffner's offensive coordinator until Hoffner was suspended in August 2012. The players, clad in sweatshirts instead of football equipment, went across the street shortly after Hoffner's return to the job on Wednesday. From USA Today: Junior defensive back Samuel Thompson read a prepared statement saying the Mavericks players wanted interim coach Aaron Keen to continue in the head coaching role. "Throughout this process, our voice has been silenced. It's time our voice was heard. We want information, we want answers, because this is our team. As a unit we have decided not to practice because of the changeup in the coaching situation." According to the Mankato Free Press, only three players were in uniform for the practice. Hoffner was suspended after videos of his children dancing naked after a bath were found on his school-issued phone. He was charged with possession of child pornography, but the charges were dropped three months later. However, Hoffner's suspension remained and he was reassigned before being terminated in May. An arbitrator ruled last week that Hoffner, who was hired as Minot State's coach in January, was wrongfully terminated. In documents obtained by the Free Press, the school's reason for terminating him stemmed from pornography viewed on his school-owned laptop and that others used his computer. The arbitrator ruled it was impossible to prove who viewed the explicit material and allowing others to use his laptop wasn't a fireable offense. Keen, who was 24-2 in his two seasons as acting head coach, is now the associate head coach. He said Wednesday that he was happy to be at Minnesota State. Hoffner declined comment after practice and a meeting is

NCAA approves new roughing the passer penalty to protect quarterbacks from hits below the knee [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 4:22 pm]
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a new rule designed to “better protect passers from low contact at or below the knee.” If you’re an NFL fan, this might sound similar. When a quarterback is “in a passing posture with one or both feet on the ground,” defensive players cannot hit the quarterback “forcibly at or below the knee.” Additionally, a defender “may not initiate a roll or lunge” and hit the quarterback in the knee or below. Of course, when a quarterback takes off and runs a low hit is fair game. Also, if a defender is blocked into the quarterback, it won’t be ruled a foul. Violating this new rule will result in a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty. The proposal for this rule was discussed when the Football Rules Committee met in February. No action was taken at that time, but since then all 10 FBS commissioners “expressed support” for the rule. The Rules Committee “unanimously recommended” the rule. Coaches were also consulted via surveys. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

Florida State issues response to the New York Times report [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 3:33 pm]
Florida State has issued a lengthy response to Wednesday morning’s New York Times report that said that “there was virtually no investigation at all” by Florida State or the Tallahassee Police Department into the accusations of sexual assault involving star quarterback Jameis Winston. “The university expresses its deep disappointment in today's New York Times story alleging FSU officials did not properly investigate a rape allegation against Jameis Winston ‘in apparent violation of federal law,’” the response reads. “It also vigorously objects to the newspaper's characterization of the university as being uncooperative in explaining its actions.” The university stated that it gave a general statement to the Times and “numerous written answers over a period of weeks” and that “most of the responses were left out of the story, giving readers an incorrect impression of the university’s efforts on behalf of sexual assault victims under Title IX.” The university’s response then laid out a number of issues it had with the Times article while also providing the general statement it initially provided to the paper. The university made it clear that it does not tolerate sexual assault and took umbrage with the Times' assessment of its perceived silence on the Winston case.  "FSU does not tolerate sexual assault. Even one sexual assault is a problem. Like other colleges and universities that are grappling with this issue, we actively provide programs and educate students on safe behavior, the meaning of consent and how to properly report cases of sexual misconduct. Contrary to the article's over-arching theme, FSU takes this matter seriously. "State and federal privacy laws govern the university's ability to comment on a particular student or disciplinary matter. This is particularly crucial in cases of sexual assault, where victims may request privacy to heal. To interpret the university's silence as a lack of interest or an insufficient 'level

Kentucky QB Jalen Whitlow, who started 15 games in last two seasons, opts to transfer [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 3:08 pm]
Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow, who started 15 games for the Wildcats in two seasons on campus, will transfer from the school. Head coach Mark Stoops confirmed the news on Wednesday. “We respect Jalen and his decision as we want the best for him,” Stoops said. “I thank Jalen for his contributions to the team during his time at Kentucky. I want everyone to understand how hard he has worked and the effort he has given since our staff has been here.” Whitlow started seven games as a true freshman in 2012 and in 2013, Stoops’ first season at Kentucky, Whitlow started another eight games. Whitlow, who will finish the semester before transferring to another school for his final two seasons of eligibility, threw for a combined 1,834 yards and eight touchdowns in his two seasons in Lexington. He also added 663 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. “I appreciate the University of Kentucky and what the coaching staff and administration have done for me,” Whitlow said. “I also thank the community and the fan support I have received here. I wish the coaches and my teammates the best of luck.” According to the Courier-Journal, Stoops met with Whitlow and fellow quarterbacks Drew Barker, a freshman, and Patrick Towles, a sophomore, to discuss the ongoing competition for the starting role between the three. Stoops asked Whitlow to make a position switch to wide receiver, but Whitlow decided that he wants to continue playing quarterback. Whitlow split time at quarterback with Maxwell Smith last season. Smith, who is currently recovering from a shoulder injury, is also in the running for the quarterback spot. Redshirt freshman Reese Phillips is also in the mix. Each quarterback will showcase his skills when Kentucky holds its spring game on April 26. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

After five-win jump in 2013 and a bowl win, North Texas looks to establish a new standard [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 1:47 pm]
DENTON, Texas – The Heart of Dallas Bowl trophy sits in North Texas coach Dan McCarney's office on a coffee table near the door. It's impossible to miss. All two-plus feet of it tall, it takes up most of the table's surface. Its prominent location isn't on accident either. North Texas' 36-14 win over UNLV on January 1 was the program's third bowl win. When something happens for just the third time in 100 years, you get the right to soak it all in. The win gave North Texas its first nine-win season since 2003 and solidified the program's first winning season since 2004, a season that seems much further away than 10 years ago for North Texas fans. "We set a goal last January ... and all we said was 'hit six' (wins). But what the hell is that, hit six?" McCarney told Yahoo Sports. "We said this, let's hit six, and we talked to our football team about it. Frank Winter, my strength and conditioning coach and I were the two that really kind of came up with it." "If we can hit six, which means you're bowl eligible in Conference USA, anything after that is going to be gravy and it's going to be really, really good gravy." It must have tasted like mom's homemade Thanksgiving gravy. 2013 was McCarney's third season at North Texas. When he was hired at the school before the 2011 season, the past six seasons had produced 13 wins. Total. After winning five and four games respectively in his first two seasons, McCarney's 14th win at the school was, coincidentally, also the Mean Green's sixth win of the season. It came on Halloween against Rice. The original goal was accomplished before the calendar had flipped to November. To drive home the goal of reaching a bowl game, McCarney and members of his staff who had been to bowl games before brought all their swag to the football complex after a session of two-a-days in August. With a roster full of players who hadn't gone to a bowl, he wanted them to see some of the incentives up-close. "I didn’t do it my first two years here bec

Syracuse unveiled new Nike uniforms for the 2014 season (Photos) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 1:46 pm]
Syracuse football unveiled its brand new Nike uniforms for the 2014 season on Wednesday which were designed to “connect the team’s past and present.” The uniforms feature custom “taller and more narrow” numbers, which were designed to resemble the height of New York City’s skyline, which goes along with that "New York's College Team" campaign they've been running. At home, the Orange will wear a navy blue uniform with an orange helmet. On the road, the squad will wear white jerseys and pants with navy stripes and a white matte-finish helmet. An alternate grey look is also available with orange stripes and a navy helmet. Wait. There's more. @CuseFootball reveals new 2014 uniforms: http://t.co/AXimxXdPVg pic.twitter.com/ww6YwELKS3— Syracuse Athletics (@Cuse) April 16, 2014 It's a new era!!! #Syracuse #BeBold pic.twitter.com/y3MxH1lfT5— Eric White (@EricWhiteCuse) April 16, 2014 .@Coach_Shafer explains the features of the new uniforms, including recognizing #44 & the military. #OrangeNation pic.twitter.com/Z1CewqEb5z— Syracuse Athletics (@Cuse) April 16, 2014 Close up of the back of the new white road uniform. Jerome Smith modeling. pic.twitter.com/MrHNOAsM4R— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) April 16, 2014 Close up of the new helmet. pic.twitter.com/LIq68kus8V— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) April 16, 2014 Close up of the new road white helmet. pic.twitter.com/kpENsdN3rh— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) April 16, 2014 The color schemes and helmets are really sharp, but the long, thin numbers are pretty ugly in my opinion. And iff you didn't already notice, none of the uniforms are Orange either, and fans don't seem too happy about it. Syracuse fans were not too fond of the all-blue uniforms and two-tone helmets that were introduced last season either. The Orange, who are coming off a 7-6 season which was capped off by a Texas Bowl victory over Minnesota, will debut the new uniforms on August 29 against Villanova. Head coach Scott Shafer announced that for ev

Art Briles said he doesn't get hit on by recruits' moms like Kliff Kingsbury, but 'maybe their grandmothers' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 1:06 pm]
Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury admitted on the Dan LeBatard Show earlier this month that some moms of players he is recruiting flirt with him. “You’ve got to play to your strengths,” the 34-year-old Kingsbury said. “So I kind of encourage that a little bit. It’s part of the deal, man.” Baylor head coach, 58-year-old Art Briles, told KTTX-FM 104.9 radio in Austin that he doesn’t necessarily attract the moms like Kingsbury does, but he does attract other family members. “I don’t seem to have that problem,” Briles said. “Maybe their grandmothers.” Even though the Bears are coming off a Big 12 Championship, the school's first since 1980, Briles played it off modestly saying that he's not a great catch and a grandmother wouldn't actually want to flirt with him. “I’m not that great of a catch, plus I’ve been a happily married man for 30-something years. I’ve never had anything happen along those lines,” Briles said with a laugh. You can listen to the interview here and Briles talks about Kingsbury around the 8:00 mark. (H/T Fox Sports) - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

VOD: Temple football players do the Nae Nae [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 11:32 am]
As the first half of the team’s second scrimmage of the spring came to an end, the Temple Owls football team decided to have a little fun. With the team in a circle, several players came into the middle and dropped the "NaeNae." Even defensive backs coach Fran Brown got in on the action. Everyone showed off their skills, but the best was saved for last. Redshirt sophomore defensive back Nate Hairston, who just made the move from wide receiver, really brought some heat. The Owls will play their annual Cherry and White Game on Saturday. Hopefully some more dance-offs will be a part of the game. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

Random offseason tweet of the day: Jared Lorenzen comments about the NCAA's unlimited food ruling [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 10:19 am]
With real games still months away, coaches and players will be tweeting about non-football-related things as the season approaches. In this space, we'll try to find the funniest and goofiest tweets of the day. If you see something, don't hesitate to send it to us. How much bigger could the Hefty Lefty have been if he was in school now? Former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen cracked a joke about his weight Tuesday evening after the NCAA's decision to allow unlimited meals and snacks for athletes. Lorenzen was listed at 6-4, 260 when he played quarterback at Kentucky from 1999-2003, but he might have played at closer to 300 pounds. I'll tell u what the NCAA really lucked out that I don't have any eligibility left. — jared lorenzen (@JaredLorenzen22) April 15, 2014 Now 33, Lorenzen has gotten heftier after his brief NFL career, but he made a comeback to competitive football earlier in 2014. He played quarterback for the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Continental Indoor Football League in February at a listed weight of 320 pounds. However, his comeback was a short one after he suffered a broken leg. Because of his stature, Lorenzen developed somewhat of a cult following in his years at Kentucky and in the NFL. If you're looking for a college sequel to Lorenzen, there may be one in the SEC. Jeremy Liggins enrolled at Ole Miss this spring after spending time at Northeast Mississippi Community College. Listed at 6-3, 296 on Ole Miss's roster, Liggins is officially classified as an athlete. However, he played both quarterback and defensive end in junior college and has gotten reps at quarterback for the Rebels. While Bo Wallace is the incumbent starter, we could see Liggins in a short-yardage role in 2014. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Texas A&M QB Matt Joeckel decides to transfer; competition to replace Manziel down to two [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 9:59 am]
The competition to replace Johnny Manziel as Texas A&M’s starting quarterback is down to two. Texas A&M announced Wednesday morning that senior Matt Joeckel has decided to transfer and play his final season of eligibility at another school. Joeckel, the younger brother of former A&M All-American tackle Luke Joeckel, graduated from the Mays Business School in December and will be immediately eligible at his next school. “Matt is a great Aggie and he has decided to transfer,” A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said in a release. “We wish him all the best.” Joeckel appeared in eight games in his Aggies career. He completed 27-of-48 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns. “I have loved my four and a half years at Texas A&M,” Joeckel said. “I am glad I had the opportunity to play for Coach Sumlin, Coach (Jake) Spavital and the rest of the coaches. I am proud to have my degree from the Mays Business School and I’ll always consider myself a member of the Aggie family.” With Joeckel out of the equation, the quarterback battle comes down to Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen. Hill appeared in four games as a true freshman for the Aggies, completing 16-of-22 passes for 183 yards and one touchdown. He also showed his mobility with 37 rushing yards on seven attempts, but had a setback this offseason when he was arrested and charged with public intoxication on March 28 after passing out in a planter of full of rocks and plants where police found him at 3 a.m. Hill was indefinitely suspended from the team following the incident. Allen, an early enrollee from Scottsdale, Ariz., was the No. 7 overall recruit and the top pro-style quarterback in the class of 2014 according to Rivals. Beyond Hill and Allen, the Aggies have walk-ons Conner McQueen and Jordan Traylor on the depth chart at quarterback. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

We salute Alabama, our College Football Madness Champion [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 9:28 am]
Welcome to Dr. Saturday's College Football Madness. Ever wondered how the 2013 college football season could have turned out with a 68-team playoff? Now you have an answer. While 68 teams participate in the NCAA tournament, we're ran an expanded college football playoff. Let's talk about the winner. This title certainly erases the sting of the Iron Bowl loss to Auburn and the Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma. In fact, we're sure it surpasses the joy Alabama had from beating Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS Championship Game. College Football Madness is a big deal. The Crimson Tide stormed through the championship game of our inaugural tournament against upstart Fresno State. Derek Carr may get drafted higher than AJ McCarron, but McCarron now has three championships while Carr lost his chance at one. Perhaps Alabama's victory was a statement towards the tempo debate that engulfed the college football offseasonin the early months of 2014. Alabama coach Nick Saban isn't the biggest fan of high-speed offenses and his team has struggled against them in the past. Alabama had no issues with tempo throughout the tournament, though. On the way to the Final Four, the Tide played Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Clemson. All three of those teams were in the top 35 in plays per game in 2013. And Fresno State plays fast too. The Bulldogs were fourth. However, this isn't a referendum on tempo in college football. Until the last week of the college football regular season, Alabama was widely considered to be one of the best two college football teams in the land. With its passionate and large fanbase and that reputation, it's no surprise the Tide took the title. Congratulations Alabama. You have the right to call yourself "defending champions" for the third straight season. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Steve Sarkisian names Cody Kessler USC's starting quarterback [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 9:06 am]
Steve Sarkisian's first starting quarterback in his head-coaching tenure at USC isn't much of a surprise. Tuesday, Sarkisian announced that Cody Kessler would be the Trojans' starting quarterback in 2014. Kessler was officially competing with Max Browne and Jalen Greene, though he was the only one of the three with starting experience. "We can go out and win a lot of football games with Cody Kessler as our quarterback," Sarkisian said after practice Tuesday (via the Los Angeles Times). Browne was seen as Kessler's biggest competitor. He was a five-star quarterback according to Rivals and the No. 7 recruit in the country in the class of 2013. Kessler was in a quarterback competition with Max Wittek to be USC's starter before the 2013 season. After the two split duty in the first two games of the season – a win over Hawaii and a loss to Washington State – Kessler became the team's primary quarterback. He threw for 2,968 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2013. After the 2013 season, Wittek announced his intention to transfer. However, he still hasn't chosen a new school. Wittek is reportedly "leaning" towards Texas, though he's said he doesn't want to make a decision on a new school until May. Wittek will have two years of eligibility at his new school. Texas QB David Ash, who missed most of 2013 because of lingering symptoms from a concussion, broke his left foot and is out for the remainder of the spring. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Report: 'Virtually no investigation at all' by police or university in Jameis Winston case [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 16, 2014, 8:05 am]
A New York Times report says the police inquiry into the accusations against Florida State quarterback  Jameis Winston was "flawed" and "there was virtually no investigation at all" by either the university or Tallahassee Police Department into the claims of sexual assault involving Winston. The  Times, after speaking with Florida state prosecutor Willie Meggs and others involved in the case, also states that the investigation by the detective assigned to the case was "halting at best." “They just missed all the basic fundamental stuff that you are supposed to do,” Meggs told the Times, while also saying a better investigation may have turned up no other information to bring charges against Winston. Winston was ultimately not charged by Meggs in December 2013 after the prosecutor cited a lack of evidence in the case, which stemmed from the allegations on Dec. 7, 2012, nearly a year earlier. Winston didn't miss a game in 2013 as he won the Heisman Trophy and Florida State went 14-0 and beat Auburn in the BCS Championship Game. According to the report, TPD detective Scott Angulo, who has also requested to work private security for FSU booster functions, waited two weeks to contact Winston after his accuser identified him as the suspect approximately a month after the incident. When Angulo did contact Winston, he did so by phone rather than in person. When Winston was reached, the quarterback told Angulo he had baseball practice and he'd call Angulo back. Winston never returned the phone call and Angulo was instead contacted by Winston's lawyer, who said his client wouldn't be speaking. “It’s insane to call a suspect on the phone,” Meggs told the Times. “First off, you don’t know who you are talking to. If you walked up to Jameis Winston in the middle of baseball practice and said, ‘Come here, son, I need to talk to you,’ he would have said, ‘Yes, sir.’” “He’s not in custody, you don’t have to read him his rights. He might have said, â€

Todd Hoffner returning to Minnesota State Mankato after ruling says he can have job back [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 15, 2014, 4:42 pm]
Todd Hoffner is Minnesota State Mankato's coach once again. After he lost his job at the Division II school in 2012 over pictures of his children on his phone, an arbitrator ruled last week that Hoffner was wrongfully dismissed. On Tuesday, Hoffner announced his intention to return to the school despite taking the head coaching position at Minot State in January. "I'm eager to return to the game and the program that I helped build," Hoffner said (via Fox 9). "This is what I wanted from day one, and now I have that opportunity to go back, and I believe it is the right thing to do." Minnesota State issued a statement apologizing to Hoffner. "We have learned that Mr. Hoffner intends to return to Minnesota State Mankato tomorrow and we welcome him back to his position as head football coach," the statement said. "This has been a difficult journey for all involved. We extend our apologies to Mr. Hoffner and deeply regret the difficulties he and his family have experienced this past year and a half. It is our sincere hope that all concerned can now find ways to move forward for the sake of the Hoffner family, student athletes, the university, and the community." In 2012, Hoffner's school-issued phone broke and he took it to the IT department to get it fixed. A member of the IT department saw a video of his three children dancing around naked after a bath and reported the video. Hoffner was subsequently suspended from his position in August, 2012 and charged with possession of child pornography. The charges were dropped, but Hoffner was reassigned and eventually dismissed. While we understand Hoffner's desire to go back to the school he invested so much time at, though it looks like an awkward situation for all involved. Minnesota State could have brought him back without an arbitrator but chose not to do so. Meanwhile, Minot State, understanding Hoffner's situation, hired him and gave him a second chance on his coaching career. But now Minot State is without a head coach

NCAA votes to allow student-athletes to have 'unlimited meals and snacks' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 15, 2014, 4:38 pm]
In a decision that is probably long overdue, the NCAA Legislative Council decided Tuesday that Division I student-athletes will now be able to receive “unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with their athletics participation.” Prior to this change, student-athletes on scholarship received on three meals per day or a food stipend. Now, students will have access to as many meals as they’d like and the rule applies to walk-ons too. “Today we took action to provide meals to student-athletes incidental to participation,” said council chair Mary Mulvenna, associate commissioner of the America East. “I think the end result is right where it needs to be.” The Division I Board of Directors meets on April 24 where the rule is expected to be finalized. The council also passed four other rules to: *Require strength and conditioning coaches to be certified from a nationally accredited certification body *Require a school staff member certified in CPR, first aid and arterial external defibrillation to be present at all physical, countable athletic activities *Reduce the penalty for a first positive test for street drugs during championships; and *Require football players to rest for at least three hours between practices during the preseason. Film review and team meetings will be allowed during this period. Additionally, the penalty for testing positive for “street drugs,” including marijuana, will be reduced from a full season to half a season. “Street drugs are not performance-enhancing in nature, and this change will encourage schools to provide student-athletes the necessary rehabilitation,” the release said. All proposals, except the strength and conditioning coach certification, go into effect on August 1. Strength coaches will be allowed time to achieve certification before the rule goes into effect August 1, 2015. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCoop

The top premium ticket package for the 2015 National Championship starts at $4,500 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 15, 2014, 4:02 pm]
If you want prime seating and a VIP experience for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, be prepared to spend a lot of cash. Premium ticket package details and pricing for the title game of the first College Football Playoff at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas were released Tuesday and range in price from $1,899 to $5,999 each. Ticket packages in the 100 and 200 levels between the 20-yard-lines for the game on January 12 start at $4,499 per person. That Gold Level Package price is for the game only, which includes field access postgame, pregame hospitality, an open bar, and the promise of appearances of "collegiate football legends." Each package also includes a gift bag and a voucher for a program and the right to park in the preferred parking lots. However, you still have to pay for parking. But if you're spending that much on a ticket, what's another $100 or so for parking, right? If you want to add three nights in a hotel room to your tickets, you can split a room with someone for $750 more or have your own room at one of nine hotels for $1500 more. Some other details: • If you're looking to sit in a suite, you can choose from a suite that seats 15-59 people. Suite packages start at $4,000 a person, which means if you're looking for the smallest suite at the lowest price point, be prepared to spend $60,000. • Sitting in the 300 levels of AT&T Stadium in the Gold Level will save you $600 on each game-only or hotel package. If you move between the 20s and goal lines on the lower levels, you'll save over $1,000 with the Black package. However, you won't get field access after the game, a gift bag and your three hotel choices  are different than the nine offered in the Gold option. Is that a sacrifice you're willing to make? • The $1,899 option is the White (H) Level, which is a seat between the 20s in the lower section of the 400 level of the stadium. It includes the entire experience the Black option does, but instead of a $100 merchandis

The University of Texas is the latest school to get its own fragrance [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 15, 2014, 3:44 pm]
The University of Texas now has a new set of men’s and women’s fragrances. Seriously. For only $39.50 you can own the “Passionate, Triumphant & Strong” brand of Masik collegiate fragrance. Both the cologne and perfume were created “to capture the essence of The University of Texas,” whatever that means. Per the product description, the perfume "opens with a sparkling top note of Bergamot, and Ruby Redcurrant,” but “the heart of the fragrance is an addictive floral blend of Orange Blossom, Mimosa and Jasmine. Aromatic Patchouli, Creamy Vanilla and Musks round out the background ensuring a long lasting fragrant appeal." Somewhat surprisingly, Masik’s website offers numerous other University-themed fragrances that represent schools across the country. There are 20 in total, and Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Penn State and several others are all represented. (H/T The Oklahoman) - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

Arizona QB Jesse Scroggins threw a ball 75 yards at Wildcats spring game [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 15, 2014, 2:58 pm]
During Arizona’s spring game a few fans got the opportunity to set foot on the field at Arizona Stadium and even got the chance to take home some cash. One fan got the chance to win $500 if he managed to make a 50-yard field goal. Despite a seriously impressive effort, he came up just short. Another fan got the chance to try to throw the ball further than the Wildcats quarterbacks. That didn’t go too well. The fan had a decent toss of about 40 yards, but quarterback Jesse Scroggins, a USC transfer who is competing for the starting job, launched a pass into the end zone – a 75-yard toss. Other fans had the opportunity to help coach Rich Rodriguez pick a few goal line plays that were drawn up on a poster board. Most were unsuccessful, but a few managed to get the Wildcats into the end zone. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

Quarterback Jesse Scroggins threw a ball 75 yards at Arizona's spring game (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: April 15, 2014, 2:58 pm]
During Arizona’s spring game a few fans got the opportunity to set foot on the field at Arizona Stadium and even got the chance to take home some cash. One fan got the chance to win $500 if he managed to make a 50-yard field goal. Despite a seriously impressive effort, he came up just short. Another fan got the chance at $250 if he threw the ball further than the Wildcats quarterbacks. That didn’t go too well. The fan had a decent toss of about 40 yards, but quarterback Jesse Scroggins, a USC transfer who is competing for the starting job, launched a pass into the end zone – a 75-yard toss. Other fans had the opportunity to help coach Rich Rodriguez pick a few goal line plays that were drawn up on a poster board. Most were unsuccessful, but a few managed to get the Wildcats into the end zone. - - - - - - - Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper

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