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Todd Grantham Turns Down Raiders to Stay at Louisville

Todd Grantham Turns Down Raiders to Stay at Louisville

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Despite an offer to join the Oakland Raiders coaching staff as their defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham has decided to stay at Louisville.

In Grantham's first season as the Cardinals defensive coordinator, the team was sixth in the country in total defense.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to have interviewed for the defensive coordinator position with the Oakland Raiders, but I'm committed to the University of Louisville," Grantham said. "I said when I came to Louisville that I thought we could win a national championship, and we are building toward that goal with the success we had this season."

"Coach Petrino and Tom Jurich have given me a great opportunity and I'm grateful for their commitment,: he continued." "My family loves it in Louisville, and I think we are establishing something special here with head coach Bobby Petrino and our staff. Our main objective over the next week is to finish strong in recruiting and continue to bolster this signing class."

Earlier in the offseason, the Raiders hired Jack Del Rio as their new head coach.

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Report: Reliever Casey Janssen Signs with Nationals

Report: Reliever Casey Janssen Signs with Nationals

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Reliever Casey Janssen signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Washington Nationals, MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal tweeted Wednesday.The 33-year-old Janssen has played eight major league seasons, all with the Toronto Blue Jays. During that time he's pitched 493 innings, compiling 90 saves, a 3.52 ERA, 368 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP.Janssen served the last three seasons as the Blue Jays closer, saving 81 of his 91 opportunities.Janssen is expected to serve as a set-up man for closer Drew Storen.Janssen joins a bullpen that lost Ross Detwiler and Tyler Clippard to trades and Rafael Soriano to free agency this offseason.

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Irving Nets 55 to Lead Cavs to 8th-Straight Win

Irving Nets 55 to Lead Cavs to 8th-Straight Win

Chris Chambers/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 55 points, offsetting the absence of Lebron James, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Portland Trail Blazers 99-94 Wednesday night.The Cavaliers (27-20) have now won eight straight. Irving was on fire most of the game, scoring 29 of Cleveland's 54 first-half points. He also hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Cavaliers the win.Portland (32-14) received an admirable performance from LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge scored 38 points and grabbed 11 boards in the loss.Irving's 55 points is the most scored by any player in a game this season, and also breaks the Quicken Loans Arena scoring record that was held by Allen Iverson.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/28/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/28/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers 99 (27-20) – Portland Trail Blazers 94 (32-14)

Philadelphia 76ers 89 (9-37) – Detroit Pistons 69 (17-30)

Toronto Raptors 119 (31-15) – Sacramento Kings 102 (16-28)

Atlanta Hawks 113 (38-8) – Brooklyn Nets 102 (18-27)

Houston Rockets 99 (32-14) – Dallas Mavericks 94 (30-17)

Minnesota Timberwolves 110 (8-37) – Boston Celtics 89 (16-28)

Denver Nuggets 93 (19-27) – New Orleans Pelicans 85 (24-22)

New York Knicks 100 (9-37) – Oklahoma City Thunder 92 (23-23)

San Antonio Spurs 95 (30-17) – Charlotte Hornets 86 (19-27)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (8) Notre Dame 77 (20-2) – (4) Duke 73 (17-3)

(9) Kansas 64 (17-3) – TCU 61 (14-6)

(10) Louisville 81 (17-3) – Boston College 72 (9-10)

(12) Wichita State 58 (19-2) – Loyola of Chicago 47 (13-8)

(18) Northern Iowa 59 (19-2) – S. Illinois 52 (9-13)

Purdue 83 (13-8) – (22) Indiana 67 (15-6)

Georgia Tech 70 (10-10) – (23) Miami 50 (14-6)

(24) Oklahoma 81 (13-7) – Texas Tech 36 (11-10)

NHL: Washington Capitals 4 (25-14-9; 59pts) – Pittsburgh Penguins 0 (27-13-8; 62pts)

New Jersey Devils 2 (18-22-8; 44pts) – Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (22-23-4; 48pts) SO

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Charlotte Hornets G Kemba Walker Has Knee Surgery

Charlotte Hornets G Kemba Walker Has Knee Surgery

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker underwent successful surgery on Wednesday in New York to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, the team announced. He is expected to miss a minimum of six weeks.

The 24-year-old Walker is averaging a team-high 18.8 points, 5.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season. He has scored 20 or more points in 14 of his last 21 games he has played.

Charlotte originally selected Walker out of Connecticut with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. In four seasons with the Hornets, he has averaged 16.5 points, 5.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

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Two Former Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty of Rape

Two Former Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty of Rape

iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tn.) -- Corey Batey and Brandon Vandenburg were found guilty on all charges related to a rape case from 2013. 

The two former football players at Vanderbilt University were convicted by a Nashville jury after a little more than three hours of deliberation.

The two were accused of raping a female student in a dormitory.

Batey, 21, was found guilty on five charges of aggravated rape and two charges of aggravated sexual battery. While Vandenburg, 21, was found guilty on the same charges plus evidence tampering as well as unlawful photography.

Two other players are currently awaiting trial on similar charges.

The victim released a statement after the verdict:

"You are my heroes and I am so proud of and grateful for each of you," the statement read. "I am also hopeful that the publicity this case has received will lead to a discussion of how we can end sexual violence on college campuses. Finally, I want to remind other victims of sexual violence: You are not alone. You are not to blame."

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Report: Colts to Sign WR Duron Carter

Report: Colts to Sign WR Duron CarterTom Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS, In.) -- The Indianapolis Colts are in the final stages of signing wide receiver Duron Carter, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The 6'5" Carter is the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter,...

Red Sox, Rangers Complete Pitching Swap

Red Sox, Rangers Complete Pitching Swap

Major League Baseball(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers have swapped pitchers struggling to find their role.

Rangers vice president of communications John Blake announced via Twitter Tuesday that Boston has sent right-hander Anthony Ranaudo to Texas in exchange for left-hander Robbie Ross, Jr.

Ranaudo, 25, displayed fantastic play in Triple A, compiling a 14-4 record in 2014 with a 2.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts over 138 innings pitched. He made his Major League debut last season, but struggled to find the same groove as his ERA ballooned to 4.81 in 39.1 innings of work.

Ross, 25, struggled last season after a transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Posting a 6.20 ERA in 78.1 innings, Ross failed to find a role in the Rangers injury-riddled rotation.  He will likely resume his role as a left-handed reliever with Boston, a role he excelled in during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In his career, he has a 53.8 percent ground ball rate.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/27/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/27/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Men's Top 25 College Basketball: (14) VCU 72 (17-3) - George Washington 48 (16-5)

(17) West Virginia 65 (17-3) - Kansas State 59 (12-9)

Xavier 66 (14-7) - (21) Georgetown 53 (14-6)

NBA: Toronto Raptors 104 (30-15) - Indiana Pacers 88 (16-31)

Cleveland Cavaliers 103 (26-20) - Detroit Pistons 95 (17-29)

Milwaukee Bucks 109 (23-22) - Miami Heat 102 (20-25)

NHL:  Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (21-22-3, 45pts) - Washington Capitals 3 (24-14-9, 57pts)

Pittsburgh Penguins 5 (27-12-8, 62pts) - Winnipeg Jets 3 (26-15-8, 60pts)

New York Islanders 4 (32-14-1, 65pts) - New York Rangers 1 (27-14-4, 58pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 4 (20-22-7, 47pts) - Arizona Coyotes 3 (16-25-6, 38pts) - SO

Carolina Hurricanes 4 (17-25-5, 39pts) - Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (30-15-4, 64pts)

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Patriots Owner Wants Apology if No Findings in Deflate-Gate

Patriots Owner Wants Apology if No Findings in Deflate-Gate

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says the NFL will owe the team an apology if its investigation into deflated footballs doesn't find any wrongdoing on his team's part.

"If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure on the footballs, I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team and, in particular, coach [Bill] Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure this past week," Kraft said during an news conference on Monday.

Attorney Ted Wells, along with NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash, are heading up the investigation.

The league found that 11 of the 12 footballs used during the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game were not inflated by the minimum level of 12.5 pounds per square inch, according to ESPN. In that game, Brady passed for 226 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

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Reds Agree to 4-Year Contract with C Devin Mesoraco

Reds Agree to 4-Year Contract with C Devin Mesoraco

Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) -- The Cincinnati Reds and catcher Devin Mesoraco agreed to a four-year contract extension, the club announced late on Monday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Reds selected Mesoraco with the 15th overall pick in the 2007 MLB amateur draft. Last season, the 26-year-old batted .273 with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs in 440 at-bats. He was named to his first All-Star team in 2014.

"This is another example of rewarding a player we drafted and developed," Cardinals president of baseball operations and general manager Walt Jocketty said in a statement. "We are pleased to be able to sign him for the next four years and expect him to be an integral part of the team."

Mesoraco was set for arbitration this off-season, but his new contract will keep him in Cincinnati through the 2018 season.

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Former NFL Commissioner Tagliabue Critical of Goodell

Former NFL Commissioner Tagliabue Critical of Goodell

NFL Shield (NFL)(NEW YORK) -- Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue provided a candid view of the NFL under the leadership of current Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL ownership.

Tagliabue expressed concern for the league and of Goodell in a GQ article that profiles the current commissioner. Among the chief concerns Tagliabue noted was Goodell's obsession with the NFL gaining profit and finding larger revenue streams; even at the expense of the game itself. Goodell has stated that he would like the NFL to be a $25 billion industry by 2027.

There has been an increasingly hostile relationship between Goodell and NFL players. Goodell has handed out uneven punishment to players for on-field and off-field infractions, depending on his attitude towards the offending party. 

Where Goodell handed out Draconian punishments to the New Orleans Saints in the wake of the Bountygate scandal, he seemingly did a favor to the Baltimore Ravens organization by suspending Ray Rice after a domestic violence incident with his now wife, Janay Palmer.  

Tagliabue, who was appointed by Goodell to hear appeals for Bountygate, sees this as a major flaw.

"If they see you making decisions only in economic terms, they start to understand that and question what you're all about," he said. "There's a huge intangible value in peace. There's a huge intangible value in having allies."

Tagliabue served as commissioner from 1989, succeeding Pete Rozelle, through 2006, when Goodell took over.

"We haven't talked much since I left. It's been his decision," said Tagliabue. "Bountygate didn't help."

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Berdych Upsets Nadal In Quarterfinals

Berdych Upsets Nadal In Quarterfinals

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AUSTRALIA) -- The 2015 Australian Open has had a major upset.

In straight sets, Tomas Berdych defeated No. 3 ranked Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-0, 7-6, Tuesday to move on to the semi-finals.

"I was ready for everything and I think that was the difference," Berdych said. "I started pretty well, but when you're playing Rafa you have to keep going to the last point."

Berdych, a 29-year-old from the Czech Republic, had lost 17-straight times to Nadal.  The 18th time, Berdych was focused, showing little emotion during the match and kept Nadal off balance.

"I'm feeling ok, just was not my day," said Nadal, the 2009 winner of the Australian Open. "I didn't play with the right intensity, the right rhythm and the opponent played better than me."

Berdych will face Andy Murray in the next round. 

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Lance Armstrong: I Would Dope Again

Lance Armstrong: I Would Dope Again

Gary Miller/FilmMagic

(NEW YORK) -- Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted he would cheat again if the circumstances were right.

"If I was racing in 2015, no, I wouldn't do it again because I don't think you have to do it again," Armstong said in an interview with the BBC. "If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive, I would probably do it again."

Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, after years of denying any wrongdoing, that he did dope while winning seven straight Tour de France championships.

Armstrong blames the culture of racing back in the 2000s, during which time he claims the vast majority of cyclists were using some sort of performance-enhancing substance to get an advantage.

"When I made that decision, when my teammates made that decision, the whole peloton made that decision, we get it," Armstrong said. "It was a bad decision in an imperfect time, but it happened."

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and was removed as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation, the charitable organization he founded, after evidence proved he cheated.

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Raiders Bring Back Woodson

Raiders Bring Back Woodson

Jeff Gross/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Ca.) -- The Oakland Raiders are bringing one of the most recognizable names in franchise history back for another season.

The Silver and Black announced via Twitter Monday that Charles Woodson had signed a one-year deal that will see him play his 11th season in Oakland. 

Woodson, 38, left the Raiders in 2006 to spend seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers.  He earned his first Super Bowl ring with Green Bay in 2010.

Last season, Woodson led the Raiders with four interceptions.

Woodson was drafted fourth overall in 1998 by the Raiders after winning the Heisman Trophy at the University of Michigan.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/26/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/26/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Top 25 Men's College Basketball: (13) North Carolina 93 (17-4) - Syracuse 83 (14-7)

(15) Iowa State 89 (15-4) - (19) Texas 86 (14-6)

NBA:  Sacramento Kings (16-27) @ New York Knicks (8-37) - Postponed

Portland Trail Blazers (32-13) @ Brooklyn Nets (18-26) - Postponed

Oklahoma City Thunder 92 (23-22) - Minnesota Timberwolves 84 (7-37)

New Orleans Pelicans 99 (24-21) - Philadelphia 76ers 74 (8-37)

Memphis Grizzlies 103 (32-12) - Orlando Magic 94 (15-33)

Boston Celtics 99 (16-27) - Utah Jazz 90 (16-29)

Los Angeles Clippers 102 (31-14) - Denver Nuggets 98 (18-27)

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Report: N.Y. Yankees Preparing to Challenge A-Rod

Report: N.Y. Yankees Preparing to Challenge A-Rod

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees are preparing to contest the validity of a marketing contact with third baseman Alex Rodriguez, according to ESPN.

In 2007, Rodriguez entered into a deal with the Yankees that would pay the 14-time All-Star a bonus for each milestone home run he reached.

Rodriguez is six homers away from tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list, which will make him eligible for a $6 million bonus. The bonus is part of the 10-year, $275 million extension he signed with New York.

The Yankees are devising legal arguments against paying the bonus, because of Rodriguez's steroid revelations and year-long ban he received from Major League Baseball.

Rodriguez will also receive an extra $6 million each if he ties Babe Ruth at 714 home runs, Hank Aaron at 755 home runs, and Barry Bonds at 762 home runs, and breaks Bonds' all-time record.

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Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict Recovering from Microfracture Surgery

Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict Recovering from Microfracture Surgery

David Lee/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It is unknown when one of the NFL's top linebackers will see the field again as Vontaze Burfict of the Cincinnati Bengals is recovering from microfracture surgery.

Microfracture surgery is a procedure performed on knees that have suffered cartilage damage. It is viewed as a serious surgery that has derailed the careers of various athletes in other sports, including football.

Still, the surgeon who performed the procedure, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, is hopeful Burfict will be ready to go by training camp.

"I don't see any reason, if this thing heals like we want and we think it will, why he won't be back like he was," ElAttrache told the NFL Network. "Microfracture has a bad connotation, but there are plenty of guys who have come back and been able to play like before. But it's not really news when it works out."

Burfict was limited to just five games in 2014, but in 2013 he recorded an NFL-high 171 tackles.

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Suns’ Goran Dragic Looking Forward to Free Agency

Suns’ Goran Dragic Looking Forward to Free Agency

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic will be one of the top free agent names on the market this summer as he has the opportunity to opt out of his contract after this season. And he's embracing the chance to explore his playing options.

“Every team in the NBA is an option to me, because it is a privilege to play for any team in the NBA," he told the Houston Chronicle. "When the time comes I’m going to sit down with my family and my agent and try to make the best decision for myself.”

Now in his seventh NBA season, the 28-year-old Dragic has flourished in his second tenure with the Suns. In 44 games this season, Dragic is averaging 16.5 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game in the guard-heavy Suns rotation. Last season, Dragic averaged a career-high 20.3 points per game.

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Team Toews Tops Team Foligno in NHL All-Star Game

Team Toews Tops Team Foligno in NHL All-Star Game

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- If you're a fan of low-scoring hockey, then the NHL All-Star Game isn't for you. On Sunday, Team Toews came out on top over Team Foligno, 17-12.

It was the highest-scoring All-Star Game in NHL history.

New York Islanders center John Tavares scored four goals in the game, which matched a record for the game.

There was so much offense that Tavares didn't even win the MVP Award. That honor went to Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, who was playing in front of the Blue Jacket fans. He was given the award after the fans voted him the winner on Twitter.

"It's meant a lot, being a part of it -- seeing the fans and how much they've been enjoying all the festivities," he said. "We did a two-hour (autograph) signing. Everybody just seemed to be having a great time. All the kids were laughing and having a lot of fun."

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jake Voracek had a memorable game as he tied another record with six points.

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