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Top WR Nate Craig Commits to Auburn

Top WR Nate Craig Commits to Auburn

BananaStock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) –  Nate Craig, the No. 1 wide receiver and No. 6 player overall in the ESPN Junior 300, verbally committed to play football for the University of Auburn on Monday night.
Craig chose the Tigers over USC, Ohio State, and Alabama.
“I just thought Auburn was the best fit for me,” Craig said. “I got to go up there this weekend and spend some time with coach [Dameyune] Craig and coach [Gus] Malzahn and that just sealed the deal for me.”
“I was at Alabama for the whole week, but just building a relationship with the Auburn coaches and coach Craig was a big impact on my recruitment and did a great job. With coach Malzahn I got to spend some time with him and then I sat down with my mom and decided to make a decision,” he continued.
The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Craig caught 37 passes for 502 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore for Tampa Catholic High School this past season. 
Auburn now has three commits for the class of 2016.
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Dan Uggla Signs with Giants

Dan Uggla Signs with Giants

Tony Firriolo/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Just three days after being released by the Atlanta Braves, Dan Uggla signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants on Monday. The second baseman reported to Triple-A Fresno upon signing the deal.
“This is a chance for us to take a look at him and evaluate him, and a chance for him to go down and get his timing and get some playing time,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. “At some point we’re going to have to make a call. I can’t say he’s going to be up here in the next few days, no. He needs some playing time right now.”
A three-time All-Star, Uggla was in his fourth season with Atlanta, but was hitting an abysmal .162 with just 10 RBI and two home runs in 48 games. The 34-year-old struck out 495 times in 451 games with the Braves from 2011-13 while also putting together a franchise record 33-game hitting streak.
Uggla underwent eye surgery last summer and was left off the Braves postseason roster before being reinserted in Spring Training.
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First Female Referee Assigned to Big 12 Football

First Female Referee Assigned to Big 12 Football

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Big 12 Football will make another bit of history when the college football season kicks off this fall. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Monday that the first female referee in league history has been assigned to work one of its games.
Bowlsby said Catherine “Cat” Conti will be on the field during Kansas’ home opener on Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State. Conti had previously worked as an official with the Southland Conference.
The league commissioner noted that Conti has paid her dues and earned a chance to be on the field. Bowlsby also explained that Walt Anderson, Big 12 officiating supervisor, assigned Conti to the game because, “she is just a darned good official.”
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Michael Cooper Diagnosed with Cancer

Michael Cooper Diagnosed with Cancer

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Atlanta Dream head coach and former Los Angeles Lakers guard Michael Cooper has been diagnosed with early stage tongue cancer. Cooper has taken a leave of absence from the team and will have surgery this week, the Dream said on Monday.
Assistant coach Karleen Thompson will fill in for the 58-year-old, who is expected to miss two weeks. Cooper will have surgery at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta and is expected to make a full recovery.
“I’m fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection,” said Cooper. “I know the team will be in good hands with Coach Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon.”
Cooper won five NBA titles while playing for the Lakers during the “Showtime” era. He also won consecutive WNBA titles as the coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. This is Cooper’s first season with the Dream, which currently holds a 15-6 record.
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Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(DALLAS) — During his annual state of the league address at the Big 12 media day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby proclaimed Monday that “cheating pays” in intercollegiate athletics.
“Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year,” said Bowlsby. “It’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”
Bowlsby continued by saying he does not believe cheating is a widespread epidemic, but that he fears for the future of the NCAA and its student-athletes.
“We certainly are operating in a strange environment in that we have lawsuits,” explained the commissioner. “I think all of that in the end will cause programs to be eliminated.”
While slamming college sports’ governing body, Bowlsby did come to the defense of the collegiate model, saying that he was against the unionization of student-athletes.
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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/21/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/21/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Boston Red Sox 14 (47-52) – Toronto Blue Jays 1 (51-49)
Los Angeles Dodgers 5 (56-45) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (52-47)
San Francisco Giants 7 (55-44) – Philadelphia Phillies 4 (43-56)
Texas Rangers 4 (40-59) – New York Yankees 2 (50-48)
Miami Marlins 3 (46-52) – Atlanta Braves 1 (54-45) – 10 Innings
Chicago White Sox 3 (48-52) – Kansas City Royals 1 (48-50)
Milwaukee Brewers 5 (55-45) – Cincinnati Reds 2 (51-48)
Minnesota Twins 4 (45-53) – Cleveland Indians 3 (50-49)
Washington Nationals 7 (54-43) – Colorado Rockies 2 (40-59) 
Detroit Tigers 4 (55-41) – Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (43-56)
Seattle Mariners 5 (53-46) – New York Mets 2 (46-53)
Baltimore Orioles 4 (54-44) – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2 (59-39)
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Colby Lewis Angry After Bunt from Colby Rasmus

Colby Lewis Angry After Bunt from Colby Rasmus

Texas Rangers/MLB (NEW YORK) –  They may share the same first name, but Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus have two entirely different opinions on what transpired during the 5th inning of Saturday’s contest between their respective teams.
Lewis and Rasmus exchanged words after Rasmus laid down a bunt single with two outs and the Blue Jays leading 2-0.  The Rangers were playing the shift, but Lewis still wasn’t too pleased with Rasmus’ decision to bunt.
“I told [Rasmus] I didn’t appreciate it,” Lewis told MLB.com. “You’re up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don’t think that’s the way the game should be played.”
After the contest, Rasmus said he was not sure why Lewis would take offense to his decision to lay down a bunt.
“I’m just trying to help my team and he didn’t like it — so sorry about it,” Rasmus said to MLB.com. “I’m not here to try to please the other side, I’m here to help my team, and I had an opportunity where I could, and I took advantage of it.”
Lewis took the loss for the Rangers Sunday and fell to 6-7 on the year.  Rasmus is hitting just .223 for the Blue Jays this season.
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Florida’s DeVon Walker Out for Season with Knee Injury

Florida’s DeVon Walker Out for Season with Knee Injury

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) –  Florida guard DeVon Walker is expected to miss all of next season with a knee injury.
The Junior tore his right ACL last Friday. 
Walker played in 35 games for the Gators last season, averaging 2.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in just over 12 minutes per game. 
Despite coming off the bench and playing limited minutes, Walker was fourth on the team in blocked shots, with 13, and in three-pointers made, with 19. 
Walker’s role was expected to increase this next year with fellow guard Scottie Wilbekin having graduated.
With Walker sidelined, former Rutgers guard Eli Carter and freshmen Chris Chiozza and Brandone Francis all could see more playing time for the Gators in 2014-15.
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Bills DT Marcell Dareus Fails Conditioning Test

Bills DT Marcell Dareus Fails Conditioning Test

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(PITTSFORD, N.Y.) –  The Buffalo Bills opened their 2014 training camp over the weekend, but one of their best defensive players did not come prepared.
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus failed a conditioning test when he reported to camp, the team has confirmed.  Dareus remained on the active/non-football injury list as the Bills held their first training camp practice Sunday evening.
“He’s not the only one, but obviously you want your players to come in and be ready to go,” coach Doug Marrone said Sunday. “We’re here for a long period of time and we’ll make up for it.”
Dareus reportedly will not re-take the conditioning test until Thursday, at the earliest. 
The Pro Bowler was also arrested twice this offseason and could face a suspension from the NFL.  Nonetheless, Marrone expects him to play at a high level this season.
“He’ll be in shape and ready to play,” Marrone said. “Right now he needs to focus on getting himself ready, getting himself on the field, and focus on football.
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Chris Snee Reportedly Set to Announce Retirement

Chris Snee Reportedly Set to Announce Retirement

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Chris Snee is reportedly ready to hang up his cleats and shoulder pads. A source close to the New York Giants lineman says he has scheduled a meeting for Monday morning with team officials to tell them he’s considering retiring.
While his final decision is not 100% made, the 32-year-old would not be able to start the season on time anyway thanks to a longer than expected recovery from elbow surgery in November.
After missing the team’s minicamp in June because of the extended rehab, New York and Snee each began weighing their options. The Giants gave the majority of reps to third-year player Brandon Mosley while also letting their second-round pick, Weston Richburg, see some time.
Snee, a four-time Pro Bowler, could be entering his 11th season as an offensive lineman for the Giants.
Snee played just three games in 2013 and was placed on injured reserve on October 4 due to an ailing hip injury. The 2004 draft pick out of Boston College helped the Giants to two Super Bowls in his 10-year career. He is also the son-in-law of Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
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Angels Walk-Off for 30th Comeback Win

Angels Walk-Off for 30th Comeback Win

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — The Los Angeles Angels scored two runs off former teammate Fernando Rodney to walk-off against Seattle (52-46) for the second time in three days.
The 6-5 victory was the 30th time this season that the Angels (59-38) have come from behind to get a win.
What made the win a little more intriguing was the back-and-forth between the Angels and their old closer. Rodney, who entered the game with one out in the eighth, used his trademark “bow-and-arrow” celebration after Kole Calhoun flew out to end the inning.
That stirred up the LA dugout as Albert Pujols doubled to score Mike Trout and tie the game off of Rodney. The two then traded arrows before Grant Green singled home the winning run, handing Rodney the loss.
“That’s his thing,” Pujols said of the celebration. “I’ve known Rodney for 15 years, so we go way back. And every time I see him, I tell him I’m going to do that to him if I get a big hit against him.”
Rodney said after the game that he was directing the arrow towards the Angels fans who booed up him upon entering the game. The 12-year veteran spent two seasons with Los Angeles and was just 17-for-28 in save opportunities. 
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Sources: Cavaliers to Sign Top Pick Wiggins

Sources: Cavaliers to Sign Top Pick Wiggins

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Despite the rumored talks between Minnesota and Cleveland that include trading Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love, sources now say the Cavaliers plan to sign their top draft pick later this week. Those same sources also say the delay in signing Wiggins has nothing to do with the apparent trade talks.
Instead, the Cavs have been reportedly weighing how to use the remaining $1.4 million available to them after signing the Kansas forward. Wiggins’ contract will net him in the neighborhood of a reported $5.5 million as a rookie. Once signed, Cleveland must wait at least 30 days before they can trade him. 
After the Cavs sign Wiggins, they are expected to ink Mike Miller to a two-year $5.6 million deal.
Cleveland has also been rumored to have interest in Ray Allen, a teammate with Miller in Miami. However, the Cavaliers would only be able to give Allen the league minimum of $1.4 million.
All of these front office moves have been to try and build the best possible team around returning forward LeBron James.
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Red Sox Sweep Royals Behind Lester’s Gem

Red Sox Sweep Royals Behind Lester’s Gem

Lisa Blumenfield/Getty Images(BOSTON) — Jon Lester tossed eight shutout innings, striking out eight batters in a 6-0 Red Sox win over Kansas City on Sunday. The win was the fourth in a row for Boston (46-52), giving them a sweep over the Royals (48-49) at Fenway Park.
The Boston ace dominated, allowing no earned runs for the third time in four starts.
Throughout the 2014 season, the talk about Lester off the field has been surrounding his impending free agency. The southpaw can become a free agent at the end of the season and has been pitching without negotiating a new contract during the year. In his last seven starts, Lester is 4-0 with a 0.85 earned run average.
“You’ve got to take each one as an individual,” Lester said. “If I’m out there thinking about what I did last time, I’m not worried about the right things.”
His offense gave Lester more than enough run support, beginning in the first with an RBI groundout from Dustin Pedroia. Daniel Nava drove in three runs on the day, including a two-run double in the third. The game was blown open in the fourth after David Ross’ two-run home run made it a 5-0 Red Sox lead.
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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/20/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/20/14

Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) — MLB:  Miami Marlins 3 (45-52) – San Francisco Giants 2 (54-44)
New York Yankees 3 (50-47) – Cincinnati Reds 2 (51-47)
Washington Nationals 5 (53-43) – Milwaukee Brewers 4 (54-45)
Toronto Blue Jays 9 (51-48) – Texas Rangers 6 (39-59)
Pittsburgh Pirates 5 (52-46) – Colorado Rockies 3 (40-58)
Detroit Tigers 5 (54-41) – Cleveland Indians 1 (50-48)
Boston Red Sox 6 (46-52) – Kansas City Royals 0 (48-49)
Atlanta Braves 8 (54-44) – Philadelphia Phillies 2 (43-54)
Houston Astros 11 (41-58) – Chicago White Sox 7 (47-52)
Tampa Bay Rays 5 (47-53) – Minnesota Twins 3 (44-53)
Los Angeles Angels 6 (59-38) – Seattle Mariners 5 (52-46)
Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (43-56) – Chicago Cubs 2 (40-57)
San Diego Padres 2 (43-55) – New York Mets 1 (46-52)
Oakland Athletics 10 (61-37) – Baltimore Orioles 2 (53-44)
Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (55-45) – St. Louis Cardinals 3 (54-45)
Golf:  Rory McIlroy wins the 2014 Open Championship.
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Giants Place First Baseman Brandon Belt on the DL with a Concussion

Giants Place First Baseman Brandon Belt on the DL with a Concussion

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — It’s been a tough season for San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt. His latest injury will land him on the disabled list as the team is holing him out due to a concussion he suffered on Saturday.
Belt suffered the injury when he was struck by a ball in the face while fielding during batting practice . Tests Sunday confirmed the concussion, manager Bruce Bochy said.
It’s not clear yet whether that will be the 15-day disabled list, or the new 7-day disabled list that is specifically designed for players displaying concussion symptoms.
Belt was off to a scorching start to the season, finally living up to the expectations many had for him that made him one of hte top hitting prospects in the organization.
Belt missed over a month earlier in the season with a broken thumb, and his concussion is just the latest setback for him.
Still just 26, Belt is hitting .242 with 10 home runs and 23 RBIs in 46 games played.
Infielder Adam Duvall will likely be recalled from Triple-A Fresno to take Belt’s place on the roster.
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Report: Bucks Plan on Claiming Kendall Marshall Off Waivers

Report: Bucks Plan on Claiming Kendall Marshall Off Waivers

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In an effort to save salary cap space, The Los Angeles Lakers waived point guard Kendall Marshall with hopes of re-signing him. Instead, ESPN is reporting that the Milwaukee Bucks will put a claim in on him and his rights will become the team’s property.
Marshall started 45 games for the Lakers last season and resurrected his career after he spent time in the NBA Developmental League after he was drafted 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns back in 2012.
The Lakers were hoping that no one would put in a claim on him, and would then re-sign him to a more team-friendly deal.
Even though he has trouble shooting the ball, Marshall has proved himself to be a more that reliable point guard at the NBA level.
In 54 games this past sesaon, Marshall averaged 8.0 points and 8.8 assists per game.
With the Bucks having rookie Jabari Parker and sophomore Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marshall will likely be counted on to be a distributor and lock down the point guard position.
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Rory McIlroy Wins The Open Championship

Rory McIlroy Wins The Open Championship

Stuary Franklin/Getty Images(MERSEYSIDE, England) –  Rory McIlroy held on to win the 2014 Open Championship on Sunday to capture the third leg of the career Grand Slam.
McIlroy, 25, led by six shots heading into the final round.  The lead was down to two shots at one point, but he wound up closing with a 1-under 71 for a two-stroke victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.
“It feels incredible,” McIlroy said. “Today wasn’t easy. A few guys were making runs at me. I just needed to stay focused and stay in the present and really concentrate on what I was doing out there.”
After winning the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2012 PGA Championship, McIlroy joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players with three different majors at age 25 or younger.
Woods shot a final-round 75 to tie for 69th, capping off his worst 72-hole finish in a major as a pro.
“I just had to get more game time,” Woods said.  “I think we did the smart thing by not playing too much leading into this event, just want to assess how my back was. And where I need to strengthen, how I need to go about it, how to gain my explosiveness again, and all that’s come along.”
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ESPN: Bulls to Sign G Aaron Brooks

ESPN: Bulls to Sign G Aaron Brooks

Sacramento Kings/NBA(NEW YORK) –  The Chicago Bulls are finalizing a contract with free agent guard Aaron Brooks, according to ESPN.
The addition of Brooks gives the Bulls another scoring option off the bench.  Chicago has retooled its roster during the offseason with the additions of former All-Star Pau Gasol, European forward Nikola Mirotic, and rookie guard Doug McDermott in hopes of competing for the Eastern Conference crown.
The 29-year-old Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 26th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft out of the University of Oregon.
Brooks averaged 9.0 points and 3.2 assists per game last season while playing for the Rockets and Denver Nuggets.
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Mariners Hold Off Angels 3-2 in 12 Innings

Mariners Hold Off Angels 3-2 in 12 Innings

Rob Carr/Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) –  It’s been just two games since the All-Star break, but the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels have already played a combined 28 innings.
Logan Morrison hit a go-ahead RBI double in the 12th inning as the Mariners held on to beat the Angels 3-2 on Saturday night.  Los Angeles won 3-2 in 16 innings on Friday night.
“I don’t think our guys are tired. They’re resilient,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It’s hard to win games at this level regardless of who you’re playing. We just happened to be playing the team with the second-best record in baseball.
“It was tough, but just like last night, in about five minutes, we’ve got to turn the page and get ready for (Sunday).”
Kyle Seager hit a leadoff double in the 12th inning off of Angels reliever Joe Thatcher (0-1). Morrison lined a single to left to drive him in.  Pinch-hitter Justin Smoak added an RBI single to give the Mariners a two-run cushion.
After taking the loss Friday, Dominic Leone (3-2) pitched one-plus inning for the Mariners to earn the victory.  Leone gave up a leadoff home run to David Freese in the bottom of the 12th inning and was pulled from the game.  Charlie Furbush stepped in and recorded the final three outs for the save.
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Elliott Victorious at Chicagoland

Elliott Victorious at Chicagoland

Todd Warshaw/Getty Image(JOLIET, Ill.) — Chase Elliott needs no adjustment period to new tracks. In his rookie season, the 18-year-old has already won three times on the Nationwide circuit, including a dominating win at Chicagoland on Saturday.
Elliott led 85 laps, taking the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 ahead of Trevor Bayne and Kyle Larson. The win puts the rookie back atop the points standings, leading Reagan Smith by seven points.
“We had an awesome race going,” Elliott said. “I try to make the most of my practice laps. They gave me a good car. That gives me time to learn the track in practice.”
The son of former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, Chase has also picked up victories at Texas and Darlington, his first trip to either track. 
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