Review Category : National Sports

New York Giants reach new deal with Jason Pierre-Paul, expected to sign QB Geno Smith

Allen Kee/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The New York Giants have signed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to a four-year contract extension worth $62 million according to an ESPN report. The contract contains $40 million guaranteed and could reach $66 million if all incentives are met.

The team is also expected to sign ex-Jets quarterback Geno Smith, barring he passes his physical over the weekend. Smith suffered a torn ACL in his knee on Oct. 23.

Pierre-Paul discussed his new deal:

“This is where I wanted to be… I couldn’t imagine me being anywhere else. I’m back for four years, and I’m ready to get after it… It means a lot to me, because I started here, and obviously I want to finish here. I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go, especially in my [draft] class. I’m the only one left in my class here. It means a lot. We won a Super Bowl here, and I’m looking forward to putting a fifth trophy in the case.”

The 28-year-old star defensive end, who is entering his eighth season in the NFL, wanted a long-term contract coming into the offseason, but he was assigned the team’s franchise tag last month. Being tagged allowed him and the team more time to negotiate a long-term deal.

Pierre-Paul re-established himself as one of the league’s top defensive linemen following a fireworks accident on July 4, 2015. That incident cost him his right index finger and parts of several others.

The Giants could be looking for Geno Smith to serve as one of quarterback Eli Manning’s backups this season. ESPN adds that Smith, 26, could be viewed as a long term project with Manning entering his 14th NFL season. Quarterback Josh Johnson agreed to terms with the team on Friday.

A second-round pick in 2013, Smith was involved in a physical altercation with then-teammate IK Enemkpali in the Jets locker-room in 2015 that left him with a fractured jaw.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus celebrating her son’s NCAA win is all you need to see today

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — After Northwestern narrowly pulled off a 68-66 win over Vanderbilt in the first round the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, proud mom Julia Louis-Dreyfus celebrated the win.

The Emmy winner and Veep star was on hand to root for her son, Charlie Hall, who plays for Northwestern.

Breaking down a bit in happiness, she mouthed “Oh my God” as her son’s team pulled off the nail-biter.

When they finally call your name at the Chinese restaurant. #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/eMhjjewMgG

— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 16, 2017

Louis-Dreyfus, 56, has been very vocal about her baby boy and his “March” to greatness.

Who can forget her breaking out the “Elaine dance” after the team was selected to the field.

We’re going to the dance, boys! @NUMensBball making history! #proud #B1GCats #poundtherock #NCAA @marchmadness pic.twitter.com/TpuoqtvxRV

— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) March 12, 2017

“We’re going to the dance, boys! @NUMensBball making history! #proud #B1GCats #poundtherock #NCAA @marchmadness,” she wrote.

It’s going to be an exciting two weeks for sure! The Wildcats next play the top seed in their region, Gonzaga, on Saturday.

💦💦💦💦💦#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/AF2pCxsyOb

— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 16, 2017

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Scoreboard roundup — 3/16/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Detroit 5, Atlanta 3
St. Louis 2, Minnesota 1
Kansas City 12, San Diego 3
L.-A. Angels 8, Colorado 7
Philadelphia 2, Baltimore 2
Boston 4, Pittsburgh 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE

N.-Y. Yankees 11, Toronto 5
Cleveland 6, Oakland 5
Seattle 9, Kansas City 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Washington 3, N.-Y. Mets 1
Milwaukee 8, Arizona 5
Chi. Cubs 4, L.-A. Dodgers 0


NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Golden State 122, Orlando 92
Cleveland 91, Utah 83
Oklahoma City 123, Toronto 102
Brooklyn 121, New York 110
Memphis 103, Atlanta 91
Denver 129, L.-A. Clippers 114


NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

New Jersey 6, Philadelphia 2
Winnipeg 4, N.-Y. Islanders 2
OT/Nashville 2, Washington 1
Carolina 3, Minnesota 1
Columbus 2, Florida 1
Chicago 2, Ottawa 1
Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 0
Edmonton 7, Boston 4


NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

(3) Florida State 86, (14) Florida Gulf Coast 80
(5) Iowa State 84, (12) Nevada 73
(2) Arizona 100, (15) North Dakota 82
(8) Wisconsin 84, (9) Virginia Tech 74
(1) Villanova 76, (16) Mount St. Mary’s 56
(1) Gonzaga 66, (46) South Dakota State 46
(4) West Virginia 86, (13) Bucknell 80
(5) Notre Dame 60, (12) Princeton 58
(4) Purdue 80, (13) Vermont 70
(4) Flordia 80, (13) East Tennessee State 65
(4) Butler 76, (13) Winthrop 64
(7) St. Mary’s 85, (10) VCU 77
(5) Virgina 76, (12) UNC Wilmington 71
(12) Middle Tennessee 81, (5) Minnesota 72
(8) Northwestern 68, (9) Vanderbilt 66
(11) Xavier 76, (6) Maryland 65

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President and CEO of USA Gymnastics resigns amid sex abuse scandal

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images for Hilton(NEW YORK) — The president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, resigned on Thursday following criticism of the organization’s handling of a sex abuse scandal.

According to a statement from USA Gymnastics, Penny informed the Board of Directors of his decision on Thursday, during a conference call. That just one week after the U.S. Olympic Committee recommended Penny should step down. The governing body plans to search for a new president and CEO, but will be led in the meantime by Board Chair Paul Parilla.

Parilla said in his own statement that USA Gymnastics thanked Penny “for his contributions and dedication…over the years.”

“The Board believes this change in leadership will help USA Gymnastics face its current challenges and implement solutions to move the organization forward in promoting a safe environment for its athletes at all levels,” Parilla added.

Penny joined USA Gymnastics in 1999 and was named president in 2005. While the U.S. has won the last two team and individual all-around gold medals in 2012 and 2016, the image of the organization has been hurt after an Indianapolis Star investigation found that it had been slow reacting to allegations of sexual abuse by a team doctor and coaches at member gyms nationwide.

Team coordinator Martha Karolyi retired last August.

The team doctor, Larry Nassar, was fired after Penny was informed of sexual abuse allegations against him. He is currently in prison in Michigan and faces federal and state charges.

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Record number of NCAA Tournament brackets submitted to ESPN, North Carolina must popular pick for championship

Pixfly/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With the NCAA Tournament underway, millions of Americans have their eyes on their brackets in hopes of bragging rights.

Nearly 19 million brackets were submitted on ESPN.com’s Tournament Challenge this year — a record number of submissions. On average, each user submitted 2.72 brackets.

No surprise, top seeds were the most popular picks to win the tournament. North Carolina was chosen as the eventual champ on 15.17 percent of brackets, while Villanova (12.98 percent) and Kansas (11.15 percent) were second and fourth most commonly picked. Number two seed Duke outlasted all others on 12.03 percent of brackets.

The most common Final Four combination? One seeds Villanova, North Carolina and Kansas, and two seed Arizona.

The biggest challenge during the tournament is usually selecting which lower ranked teams will pull off surprising wins. ESPN users think number nine seeds Seton Hall (50.47 percent) and Michigan State (51.41 percent) and ten seeds Wichita State (65.33 percent) and Marquette (55.89 percent) will be the first round shockers.

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Dwyane Wade to miss remainder of regular season with fracture in elbow

Photo by Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images(CHICAGO) — Dwyane Wade’s first season with his hometown team could also be his last after the team announced a fractured elbow would keep him out the remainder of the year.

The Chicago Bulls said an MRI showed Wade has a small fracture and a sprain in his right elbow. Wade said the injury “wasn’t the worst-case scenario” but “not a good scenario.”

“I told them that I heard a ‘pop, pop,'” Wade said.

Wade suffered the injury when his arm got twisted during Wednesday’s game between his Bulls and the Memphis Grizzlies.

“The biggest thing is about protecting it, making sure it heals the right way, so I can get back to my football passes on the basketball court,” Wade said.

The shooting guard had missed 11 games this season, and is now expected to miss 14 more. He says he would play in the postseason if the team makes it and if he is cleared by doctors.

Wade signed with the Bulls this past offseason and has a $23.8 million player option for next season. It’s unclear whether the team would pick up that option.

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Indiana parts ways with head basketball coach Tom Crean

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) — Indiana University and men’s basketball coach Tom Crean have parted ways, the school announced Thursday.

Crean spent nine years as the Hoosiers’ coach, taking his program to the NCAA Tournament seven times and reaching the Sweet 16 three times.

“After deliberative thought and evaluation, including multiple meetings with Tom about the future, I have decided to make a chance in the leadership of our men’s basketball program,” Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass said. He also said that the school will seek “more consistent, high levels of success” from their next coach.

Indiana is just the fourth school in history to achieve a top-three ranking in the Associated Press poll and miss the NCAA Tournament during the same season. The other three were Louisville in 1985-1986, Missouri in 2002-2003, and Kentucky in 2011-2012.

In 2008, Crean took the job at Indiana with a program in trouble. Former coach Kelvin Sampson had left with self-imposed sanctions and NCAA probation in place. He went 166-135 in his career, the second-worst winning percentage among coaches who lasted more than 100 games at IU.

Crean previously coached at Marquette, going 190-96 and reaching the 2003 Final Four.

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Scoreboard roundup — 3/16/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

NCAA BASKETBALL
Final Southern Cal 75 Providence 71
Final UC Davis 67 NC Central 63
INTERLEAGUE
Final Houston 8 Washington 2
Final Detroit 8 Atlanta 6
Final Minnesota 8 St. Louis 0
Final Pittsburgh 6 Baltimore 5
Final San Francisco 7 L.A. Angels 4
Final L.A. Dodgers 12 Seattle 7
Final N-Y Yankees 3 Philadelphia 1
AMERICAN LEAGUE
Final Boston 3 Tampa Bay 3
Final Chi White Sox 7 Kansas City 3
Final Texas 12 Cleveland 11
NATIONAL LEAGUE
Final Miami 6 N-Y Mets 2
Final Cincinnati 8 San Diego 7
Final Colorado 5 Milwaukee 4
Final Arizona 7 Chi Cubs 3
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Final Dallas 112 Washington 107
Final Indiana 98 Charlotte 77
Final Utah 97 Detroit 83
Final Miami 120 New Orleans 112
Final Boston 117 Minnesota 104
Final Portland 110 San Antonio 106
Final Houston 139 L.A. Lakers 100
Final Memphis 98 Chicago 91
Final Sacramento 107 Phoenix 101
Final Milwaukee 97 L.A. Clippers 96
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Final Philadelphia 4 Pittsburgh 0
Final Boston 5 Calgary 2
Final Colorado 3 Detroit 1
Final Anaheim 2 St. Louis 1

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Skee-Ball national champion’s heroic quest for the cream-colored jacket

Janet Weinstein/ABC News(AUSTIN, Texas) — Hinojosa, better known as “Brewbacca” in the Austin Brewskee-Ball League, became a fixture in the national Skee-Ball scene about eight years ago.

“In early 2009, I had the first sign-up part for the first skee season of Austin Brewskee-Ball and Roy and [his wife], Rachel, signed up with a friend,” fellow Skee-Ball roller, Eric Cooper remembers. “I want to say halfway through the first skee season, something clicked in Roy.”

Because of the sport’s relative newness, Hinojosa says he learned the basics to becoming the best from watching YouTube videos. “There’s no manual in playing Skee-Ball. There’s no coach. It’s you and the lane,” Hinojosa told ABC News. “The idea is to be consistent. If you’re a good forty roller or fifty roller, you’re going to be winning more times than not against a ‘hundo’ roller.” ‘Forty,’ ‘fifty’ and ‘hundo,’ meaning hundred, refer to the point cups dunked during a Skee-Ball game.

From there, Hinojosa started a years-long climb to the top.

THE QUEST FOR THE CREAM-COLORED JACKET

Every year, Skee-Ball leagues from cities across the country come together for the “Brewskee-Ball National Championship,” known more casually as “The BEEB.” The winner takes home a big, golden trophy and the champion’s cream-colored jacket.

In 2010, Hinojosa participated in his first tournament and said he wasn’t able to get far because he couldn’t hit enough 40-point cups. The following year, after training extensively on his “forty game,” he lost in the first round.

Then in 2012, he lost in the final four, but it helped establish his reputation.

“I made such an impression that everyone started to legitimize me as a good roller,” Hinojosa said. “It was a poignant moment for me and I’ll never forget it.”

Little did Hinojosa know one of his most memorable tournaments would actually happen the following year.

“We’re having The BEEB in Austin, Texas. I’m in my hometown and I’m feeling good about my chances,” he told ABC News.

By the 10th frame, the title is down to Hinojosa and another roller from New York City. They’re neck-and-neck. “I forget what I needed to win, but it was around a 390 or 400. I start missing some balls and I need to go for a hundo,” he said.

Then, he hit his stride.

“I roll the ball and it hits a hundo. The crowd goes crazy and I get amped and start feeding into the crowd,” he said. “I look at the score and it looks like all I needed to do was roll the remaining balls in the 40 pocket to win.”

He met the challenge.

“I do exactly that and the crowd goes crazy.”

Fellow Skee-Ball roller, Eric Panoy, shot video of the moment when the audience let out a deafening cheer. But, then, the video shows another Austin roller, Eric Cooper, walking into frame. He talks into Hinojosa’s ear.

“I hear that the lane malfunctioned and scored higher than I actually rolled,” Hinojosa said. “These machines are old. They’re not in the best condition. I hit it really hard. Sometimes when you do that, it double clutches and the score changes. Instead of registering as a 100, it registers at 150.”
Hinojosa’s teammates said the pain in the room was palpable.

“It was a heart-breaker,” Cooper said. “I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live.”

Hinojosa’s wife, Rachel, also took it hard. “I threw my beer on the ground and said some words. I was a little mad,” she said.

“I was so devastated,” says Hinojosa. “I thought I had won the thing. This is my year. I’m in Austin, Texas, with all my crowd, all my people. I lose in this incredible fashion. I was going to quit.”

But, Hinojosa didn’t quit. He went on to compete in the 2014 and 2015 BEEBs. However, he didn’t make it to the finals.

It wasn’t until 2016 when his luck changed.

In June, 2016 on the U.S.S. North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, Hinojosa went up against Jon “Snakes on a Lane” Ciuffreda — the same New York roller he faced in 2013 — in the BEEB.

“I lead throughout, the entire way,” he said.

And he won.

REALIZING THE DREAM

Skee-ball champion Roy “Brewbacca” Hinojosa wearing his cream-colored jacket and his trophy, Austin, Texas.

Hinojosa smiled as he puts on the cream jacket in his in-laws’ garage and reflected on that day in 2016.
“The idea that you’re the best at something,” he says. “No one can take that away from me.”

“I know from the outside looking in, it’s silly to a lot of people,” Hinojosa laughed.

His plan now is to keep playing in his local league and defending his title.

There’s no money in being the champion, unless rollers sell merchandise, but Hinojosa said his passion to continue is more out of love for the game and the people who play it.

“Throughout the whole process, we’ve met so many different people and made some lifelong friends,” he said. “I wouldn’t know what we would have done without Skee-Ball to be honest.”

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Cal men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin resigns, takes job at University of Missouri

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(BERKELEY, Calif.) — University of California-Berkeley men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has resigned from his position and will take the same job at the University of Missouri.

Cal announced Martin’s resignation on Wednesday, saying that assistant coach Wyking Jones will serve as the interim coach.

Important news regarding the future of our program. Thank you @CuonzoMartin for your leadership these past 3 years.https://t.co/VlepZhMucH

— Cal Men’s Basketball (@calmensbball) March 15, 2017

Martin went 62-39 in three seasons at Cal, with just one berth in the NCAA Tournament. His team’s season ended on Tuesday night with a loss of Cal State-Bakersfield in the first round of the NIT.

Martin has done a strong job recruiting players to Cal in his three years, bringing in five star prospects Jaylen Brown (third overall draft pick in last June’s NBA draft) and Ivan Rabb (an expected first-round pick this June.

ESPN said earlier Wednesday that Martin’s deal with Missouri would be for seven years.

Welcome to the #Mizzou Basketball Family, @CuonzoMartin, the 19th head coach in school history!#MIZ #ShowMe 🐯🏀 pic.twitter.com/nDygRg3K4l

— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouHoops) March 15, 2017

Cal Athletics Director Mike Williams said in a statement that the school would open a nationwide search for the team’s next permanent head coach.

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