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RB Todd Gurley To Enter NFL Draft

RB Todd Gurley To Enter NFL Draft

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

(ATHENS, Ga.) -- Georgia tailback Todd Gurley will forego his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt confirmed Friday that the early season Heisman favorite will be "moving on."

Gurley is currently rehabbing from a torn ACL that he suffered on November 15 against the Auburn Tigers. It was Gurley's first game back after serving a four game suspension for violating the NCAA's amateurism rules in which he was discovered to have been paid for of his own signature.

Before the suspension, Gurley racked up 773 rushing yards and eight touchdowns over five games.

The 6'1", 226lb tailback was touted by some scouts as a "rare" prospect who could be drafted high in the first round.  Many of his highlighted strengths include, soft hands out of the backfield, aggressive quickness to the hole, excellent agility and a player who finishes runs. 

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Devils Fire Coach DeBoer

Devils Fire Coach DeBoer

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEWARK, N.J) --  What a difference a few years makes.

In 2012, Pete DeBoer, had New Jersey fans re-energized about Devils hockey with a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals.  Friday, the team confirmed that it has fired DeBoer. Bob McKenzie of TSN was first to report the story. 

The Devils have struggled in 2014, they are 12-17-7 and ranked 7th in the metropolitan division.  The Devils have also struggled in shootouts as they lost all twelve attempts last season and lost six of eight attempts this season.

Granted, all of the team's struggles cannot be laid on the shoulders of DeBoer.  The team has not been the same since Zach Parise signed with the Minnesota Wild before the 2013 season and Ilya Kovalchuk returned to play hockey in Russia. 

DeBoer was 114-93-41 in 3 1/2 seasons with New Jersey.

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Hiroki Kuroda To Return To Japan

Hiroki Kuroda To Return To Japan

Elsa/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Hiroki Kuroda has decided to sign with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League.

Kuroda, 39, spent seven seasons in Major League Baseball, the last three with the New York Yankees.

After spending most of his career in the NBP, Kuroda came over to the United States at age 33 to join the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He owns a 3.45 career ERA with 6.7 K/9 in seven seasons of Major League Baseball.

The loss leaves the Yankees with more questions in their rotation as Kuroda was one of their most dependable pitchers last season.  C.C Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova are returning from injury while Michael Pineda and newly acquired Nathan Eovaldi will seek to prove their consistency.

Last season Kuroda finished 11-9 with a 3.71 ERA and a 4.17 SO/BB ratio over 199 innings.  

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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/26/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 12/26/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- College Football: Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl - Louisiana Tech 35 (9-5) - Illinois 18 (6-7)

Quick Lane Bowl - Rutgers 40 (8-5) - North Carolina 21 (6-7)

NBA: Brooklyn Nets 109 (13-15) - Boston Celtics 107 (10-17)

Cleveland Cavaliers 98 (18-11) - Orlando Magic 89 (11-21)

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Chiefs Lose QB Smith to Lacerated Spleen

Chiefs Lose QB Smith to Lacerated Spleen

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has a lacerated spleen that will keep him out of Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers.It's tough news for a Chiefs team that earns a playoff berth with a win and a Ravens loss coupled with a Texans loss or tie on Sunday.Apparently Smith suffered the injury in the third quarter of the team's game against Pittsburgh when he took a shot to his abdomen."Generally (lacerated spleens) take six weeks (to heal) but everybody is different,'' Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said. "He's a young, healthy guy that's got a high metabolism. If we're playing three, four weeks from now, we'll rescan him and see where he's at."With Smith out, Chase Daniel becomes the starter. This will only be Daniel's second start in five NFL seasons.

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NFL Fines Lynch After Touchdown Run

NFL Fines Lynch After Touchdown Run

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- While many football fans were impressed by Marshawn Lynch's 79-yard touchdown run against the Arizona Cardinals; the NFL was not.

The NFL fined Lynch $11,050 for grabbing his groin as he flipped backwards into the end zone at the culmination of the impressive charge.

Many titled the latest run by Lynch as "Beast Quake 2" after his magnificent dash reminded fans of the famous moment in which he ran 67 yards and broke seven tackles in the 2011 wild card playoff game against the Saints.

Interestingly, Lynch grabbed his crotch after the 2001 run, but was not fined. This time, the NFL took notice.

ProFootballTalk first reported the fine.  

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Bulls Beat Up Kobe-Less Lakers

Bulls Beat Up Kobe-Less Lakers

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill.) -- Tuesday night, as Kobe Bryant sat out, the Lakers continued their mediocre season, losing to the Chicago Bulls.

On Christmas Day, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles 113-93.

Bulls forward Pau Gasol led Chicago with 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against his former team.

Gasol signed a three-year contract with the Bulls this past offseason after spending the previous seven seasons with Los Angeles.

Derek Rose also showed flashes of his MVP caliber talent as he dropped 20 points on the way to Chicago's fifth straight victory.

Kobe sat out again as he rested from general soreness in his knees, Achilles tendons, back and feet.

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Cardinals Change Course, Will Start Lindley Sunday

Cardinals Change Course, Will Start Lindley Sunday

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

(PHOENIX, Az.) -- As the week began, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians planned to start rookie Logan Thomas at quarterback against the 49ers. After a week of practice, Arians has had a change of heart and chosen Ryan Lindley to steer Arizona; a move he said would be a possibility when he first announced his thoughts about Thomas.

Thomas, a fourth round pick out of Virginia Tech, has all the physical tools sought after in a quarterback. The trouble for the 6'6", 260-pound signal caller has been consistency, footwork and accuracy. 

Lindley, got the start for the Cardinals last week in the 35-6 drubbing at the hands of Seattle. The third-year pro from San Diego State struggled mightily against the Seahawks completing 18 of 44 passes for 216 yards and one interception. He was also sacked four times.

Monday, at the time of the initial quarterback decision, Arians defended the play of Lindley stating that, "the stadium wasn't too big for him. He just missed some throws."

Lindley will have the chance to reward his head coaches’ faith Sunday against a reeling 49ers team. 

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Nationals Pitcher Fister Buys Everyone Free Starbucks Coffee

Nationals Pitcher Fister Buys Everyone Free Starbucks Coffee

Rob Carr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister creatively embraced the Christmas Spirit.

On Christmas Eve, Fister posted a barcode on his Twitter page offering his followers a free cup of coffee from Starbucks -- his treat. 

He also requested that people not rob from Santa's Sleigh, so to speak, and use the barcode only once. 

Fister earned $7.2 million in 2014 with Washington. He also has over 24,000 Twitter followers. 

There's no word on how many coffees ended up on his bill.

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Scoreboard Roundup 12/25/14

Scoreboard Roundup 12/25/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Washington Wizards 102 (20-8)- New York Knicks 91 (5-26)

Miami Heat 101 (14-16) - Cleveland Cavaliers 91 (17-11)

Oklahoma City Thunder 114 (14-16) - San Antonio Spurs 106 (18-12)

Chicago Bulls 113 (20-9) - Los Angeles Lakers 93 (9-20)

Los Angeles Clippers 100 (20-10) - Golden State Warriors 86 (23-5)

NCAAM: George Washington 60 (9-3) - (11) Wichita State 54 (10-2)

 

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NFL Pro Bowl Selections Announced

NFL Pro Bowl Selections Announced

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NFL has announced its annual list of all-star players who will participate in the Pro Bowl.

The collection of players who were voted on by current players, fans and league executives contained a few surprises and a couple notable snubs -- particularly New York Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Continuing with last season's format change, players no longer represent their conference, but instead are chosen by notable former players. This season Hall-of-Fame wide receivers Chris Carter and Michael Irvin are the captains who will choose from the Pro Bowl roster to create the two teams.

The list of players below are listed by position grouping.

Quarterback: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo Running back: LeVeon Bell, Jamal Charles, Arian Foster, John Kuhn, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, DeMarco Murray, Marcel Reese Wide Receiver: Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, T.Y Hilton, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Jordy Nelson, Demaryius Thomas Tight End: Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen, Julius Thomas Offensive lineman: Ryan Clady, Jahri Evans, Travis Frederick, Mike Iupati, Jason Kelce, Kyle Long, Nick Mangold, Zach Martin, Jason Peters, Maurkice Pouncey, Josh Sitton, Tyron Smith, Joe Staley, Joe Thomas, Trent Williams, Marshal Yanda Defensive lineman: Calais Campbell, Marcel Dareus, Aaron Donald, Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Robert Quinn, Ndamokung Suh, Cameron Wake, DeMarcus Ware, J.J. Watt, Kyle Williams, Mario Williams Linebackers: Connor Barwin, Elvis Dumervil, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Luke Kuechley, Clay Matthews, C.J. Mosley, Von Miller, Lawrence Timmons, Bobby Wagner Defensive backs: Kam Channcellor, Vontae Davis, Brent Grimes, Tashaun Gipson, Joe Haden, Chris Harris, Patrick Peterson, Glover Quin, Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, Earl Thoms, T.J Ward, Eric Weddle Special Teamers: Justin Bethel, Stephen Gostkowski, Devin Hester, Kevin Huber, Pat McAfee, Matthew Slater, Darren Sproles Adam Vinatieri.

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Lakers Stun Warriors 115-105

Lakers Stun Warriors 115-105

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

(LOS ANGELES, Ca) -- The Los Angeles Lakers took down the Golden State Warriors 115-105, Tuesday night in impressive fashion.

Most noteworthy was that the Lakers were dominating the Warriors while Kobe Bryant rested on the bench for a scheduled day of rest. 

Seven players on the Lakers scored 11 points or more. Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis, Wayne Ellington, Jeremy Lin, Ronnie Prince, Wesley Johnson and Nick Young all reached double digits in a game that wasn't as close as the final score would appear.

"I thought our guys came out really focused on what we had to do on both ends of the floor and we did a great job," said Lakers coach Byron Scott.

"We've been saying this all along to our players, if we compete and can play with energy, we have that second and third effort every single night then we give ourselves a chance to win," Scott added.

The Lakers led by as much as 22 points in the fourth quarter in what was certainly their most impressive win of the season.

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Marshall Tops Northern Illinois in Boca Raton Bowl

Marshall Tops Northern Illinois in Boca Raton Bowl

iStockphoto

(BOCA RATON, Fl.) -- The Marshall Thundering Herd concluded the best season in university history with a 52-23 thumping of the Northern Illinois Huskies. 

The Herd finished with a 13-1 record Tuesday behind a masterful effort from senior quarterback Rakeem Cato.  Marshall's signal caller completed 25 of 37 passes for 281 yards and three passing touchdowns. Cato also ran for two more.

Cato has been one of the most dynamic players in the history of the Marshall Football program. He has thrown for 131 touchdown passes and joins the rank of notable Thundering Herd quarterbacks such as Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich.

"That was my dream to bring the fun and excitement back to Marshall University," Cato said. "I just tried my best and Coach [Doc] Holliday and this coaching staff put me in the best position where I could make plays.

According to the Charleston Daily Mail, Holliday and Marshall University have agreed in principle to a contract extension that will keep the 2014 Conference USA Coach of the Year around through the 2018 season. 

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Florida State Signs Fisher to New Eight Year Contract

Florida State Signs Fisher to New Eight Year Contract

ThinkStock(TALLAHASSEE, Fl.) --  The Florida State Seminoles are intent on keeping head coach Jimbo Fisher around for a long time.

On Tuesday, the University locked up Fisher through the 2022 season where he will earn $5.5 million per season, according to ESPN's Chris Low.

"I am honored to be the head coach at Florida State University, which I've said many times before," Fisher said in a statement. "I appreciate that FSU believes in what we are doing and supports our goal of maintaining one of the best programs in the country. It is a privilege to coach the young men in our program. It is truly a family."

Last year, Florida State signed Fisher to an extension that ran through the 2018 season.  

After winning a National Championship and repeating an undefeated regular season, Florida State felt they needed to lock up Fisher for the long term. The Seminoles head coach is 58-10 since taking over the program from Bobby Bowden in 2010. 

Florida State's next game is against Oregon in the Rose Bowl on January 1.

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NFL Suspends Lions Center Dominic Raiola for Final Game of Season

NFL Suspends Lions Center Dominic Raiola for Final Game of Season

Scott Boehm/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The Detroit Lions will be without one of their most vital veteran lineman Sunday when the team takes on the Green Bay Packers in their most important game of the season.

After stomping on Chicago Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson's ankle in the team's Week 16 game, the NFL suspended Dominic Raiola for the regular season finale. 

Raiola was suspended as much for the stomp, supported by visual evidence, as he was for being a repeat offender.

Merton Hanks, the NFL's vice president of football operations was the one who handed down the suspension.  According to the league, this is Raiola's sixth "safety-related rules violation since 2010."

Rookie Travis Swanson will likely get the nod to start in Raiola's absence.

The Lions (11-4) and Packers (11-4) will face off in Green Bay for the NFC North title this week.  The Lions could potentially lock up the No.1 seed in the NFC playoffs with a win and a Seattle loss.

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Miami Beach Bowl Brawl

Miami Beach Bowl Brawl

American Football Field Yard Lines IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock

(MIAMI, Fl) -- The Miami Beach Bowl between BYU and Memphis would likely have been remembered solely for the entertaining 55-48 double overtime thriller that saw the Tigers victorious. 

After the victory Monday, many will likely remember the brawl that devoured the field after BYU players took umbrage with the Memphis celebration. 

"It was an onslaught of celebration coming at us and so who knows from there," said Bronco Mendenhall, head coach of BYU. "One excited team, one frustrated team and when you put those two together after the game, hard to know where and when that all starts."

Punches were thrown and several players were left bloody. That's not who we are and I'm upset." said Memphis head coach Justin Fuente. "We've got to learn how to handle success, too and act the right way." 

What shouldn't be lost in the brawl were the performances of both quarterbacks. BYU's Cristian Stewart tossed 348 yards and three touchdowns, while leading his team back from two 10-point deficits.

 Tigers QB Paxton Lynch threw for 306 yards, four passing touchdowns and ran for three more touchdowns. 

"This is probably the craziest game, most emotional game I've ever been a part of," Lynch said.

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ESPN: Jets Prepared To Hire Charley Casserly as Consultant

ESPN: Jets Prepared To Hire Charley Casserly as Consultant

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(FLORHAM PARK, N.J.) -- In the eyes of some, the 2014 New York Jets season is coming to a merciful end next week.

Black Monday, however, may be a merciless day at One Jets Drive, as owner Woody Johnson may clean house of the football operations department -- notably Head Coach Rex Ryan and General Manager John Idzik.

 According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Jets will hire Charley Casserly to be a, "consultant in the event [Woody Johnson] decides to make major changes."

"I know one thing for sure: Woody is going to do what he thinks is going to help this organization win. Whether it's Charley Casserly or whoever, that's what he'll do," Ryan said when asked about the potential hiring of Casserly.

Casserly, 66, was formerly the general manager of the Washington Redskins.  He oversaw the drafting of notable players including Brian Mitchell, Stephen Davis, Champ Bailey, Mark Schlereth, and Frank Wycheck.

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Packers Pace Buccaneers

Packers Pace Buccaneers

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(TAMPA BAY) -- The Green Bay Packers took care of business Sunday with a 20-3 win over the Buccaneers.

Aaron Rodgers continued his magnificent season, picking apart the Bucs secondary, completing 31 of 40 passes for 318 yards and a touchdown.

Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson proved to be the reliable targets that Rodgers has trusted all seasons. Cobb caught 11 passes for 131 yards and Nelson 9 passes for 113 yards and the one Packers aerial touchdown.

Eddie Lacy provided balance for the Packers offense, rushing for 99 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. 

The Packers' defense clamped down on Tampa Bay, as they held Bucs running back Doug Martin to 17 yards on the ground and kept Josh McCown in check. McCown threw for just 147 yards and tossed an interception.

The Packers host the Detroit Lions next week, with the winner earning the NFC North title.

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Cowboys Crush Colts, Capture NFC East Crown

Cowboys Crush Colts, Capture NFC East Crown

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

(DALLAS, Tx) -- The Dallas Cowboys beat down the Indianapolis Colts Sunday with a 42-7 victory to capture their first NFC East title since 2009.

Tony Romo was magnificent as he completed 18 of 20 passes for 218 yards and 4 touchdowns. Romo also surpassed Troy Aikman to become the franchise leader in passing yards.

Tony has obviously been a great quarterback for this franchise for a long time," head coach Jason Garrett said. "I think we've done a good job, organizationally making the team better around him. 

I think the way he has played this year is the way great quarterbacks in this league have played for a long time.  I know that's the way Troy played."

Romo's supporting cast was equally impressive.  Jason Witten, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Dez Bryant all caught a touchdown pass from Romo. Williams would add another after the rout was on and Brandon Weeden came on in relief.

The Colts (10-5) did not have much to play for as they had already sewn up the AFC South, but the effort was far from what they would likely desire heading into the playoffs.  

Andrew Luck was lackluster, completing 15 of 22 passes for 109 yards and tossing two interceptions before being replaced by Matt Hasselbeck.

Dallas (11-4) now has an opportunity to earn a first round bye as they travel to Washington for the regular season finale against the Redskins. 

 

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Falcons Sweep Saints; Set Up NFC South Title Bout with Panthers

Falcons Sweep Saints; Set Up NFC South Title Bout with Panthers

Leon Halip/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS, La) -- With the season sweep of the New Orleans Saints, the Atlanta Falcons guaranteed that the winner of the NFC South will have a losing record.

The Falcons defeated the Saints 30-14 Sunday, giving both teams a 6-9 record on the season.

Matt Ryan led the Atlanta charge, completing 30 of 40 passes for 322 yards and one touchdown pass to Eric Weems. 

Julio Jones returned from injury and looked in fine form, as he caught seven passes for 107 yards.

Drew Brees and the Saints offense continued their season-long inconsistencies. Jimmy Graham fumbled on the Falcons' 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, and Drew Brees threw two interceptions, including one to Robert McClain that set up an Atlanta field goal.

The Falcons will host the Carolina Panthers (6-8-1) next week in Atlanta, with the winner earning the NFC South crown. 

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