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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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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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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Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Current 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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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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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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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The four EMTs who responded to the scene where New York City cops had taken a man named Eric Garner down with an apparent chokehold have been suspended without pay while their actions are being investigated. Garner died an hour after the controversial arrest.

On Sunday, the Fire Department of New York, which handles citywide emergency medical dispatch, barred the EMTs from responding to 911 calls. Richmond University Medical Center, which employs the first responders, made the decision to suspend them.

“The EMTs are suspended without pay while the investigation continues as they are placed on operational restriction,” the hospital said in a statement announcing the move. “This restriction means they are not working at this hospital or throughout the 911 system. Richmond University Medical Center continues to fully cooperate as this matter is under investigation.”

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters trailing him on vacation in Italy that — as a layman — he thought a chokehold had been employed by a cop during the controversial caught-on-camera incident on Staten Island on Thursday.

“As an individual who’s not expert in law enforcement, it looked like a chokehold to me. But I also emphasize you have a full investigation because all sides need to be heard and all evidence has to be looked at,” de Blasio said in the statement provided to reporters in New York by the mayor’s office.

The mayor left New York City for Italy on Saturday night, after postponing his departure for a day to deal with the developing firestorm over Garner’s death.

Garner, who stood at 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed about 350 pounds, died Thursday after police struggled to arrest him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island, according to the NYPD. Police said he appeared to suffer a heart attack.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, an 8-year veteran who was seen on video apparently putting Garner in the chokehold, was placed on “modified assignment” Saturday, meaning he was stripped of his badge and gun, pending the outcome of the dual probes by the district attorney and Internal Affairs.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had announced Friday that the cop and his partner were on “desk duty,” but at that point they still had their guns and shields.

A chokehold is a violation of NYPD policy, regardless of whether the move causes any damage. Beyond that, prosecutors and police investigators will be looking at whether it caused or contributed to Garner’s death about an hour after he was taken into custody.

The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said Sunday it had not reached any finding on Garner’s cause of death. Official preliminary results could come in the next few days.

Garner was arrested in Staten Island after he was allegedly seen selling “loosie” cigarettes, police said. Garner was known for selling individual cigarettes for 50 cents each in his Staten Island neighborhood.

Police said the cigarettes come from North Carolina and Garner is the end of the supply line. Because the Staten Island man allegedly sold cigarettes to children, the police called the cigarette sales a “quality of life” issue in the neighborhood.

Garner’s death has led to outrage, especially after video obtained by the New York Daily News appeared to show that the man was put into a chokehold as he was arrested.

The video shows officers approaching Garner, who initially denies that he’s selling loose cigarettes.

“I’m minding my business, why don’t you leave me alone?” Garner can be heard saying.

When police officers move in, Garner appears to not comply and at least five officers wrestle him to the ground as they attempt to handcuff him.

As Garner is being held down, he can be heard telling police that he “can’t breathe.” Eventually when officers realize he is not responsive, they called in an ambulance, which took Garner to a hospital where he died a short time later.

The apparent violence of the arrest led to outrage and the internal investigation. Online, numerous people tweeted #JusticeforEricGarner, calling attention to the deadly incident.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The four EMTs who responded to the scene where New York City cops had taken a man named Eric Garner down with an apparent chokehold have been suspended without pay while their actions are being investigated. Garner died an hour after the controversial arrest.

On Sunday, the Fire Department of New York, which handles citywide emergency medical dispatch, barred the EMTs from responding to 911 calls. Richmond University Medical Center, which employs the first responders, made the decision to suspend them.

“The EMTs are suspended without pay while the investigation continues as they are placed on operational restriction,” the hospital said in a statement announcing the move. “This restriction means they are not working at this hospital or throughout the 911 system. Richmond University Medical Center continues to fully cooperate as this matter is under investigation.”

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters trailing him on vacation in Italy that — as a layman — he thought a chokehold had been employed by a cop during the controversial caught-on-camera incident on Staten Island on Thursday.

“As an individual who’s not expert in law enforcement, it looked like a chokehold to me. But I also emphasize you have a full investigation because all sides need to be heard and all evidence has to be looked at,” de Blasio said in the statement provided to reporters in New York by the mayor’s office.

The mayor left New York City for Italy on Saturday night, after postponing his departure for a day to deal with the developing firestorm over Garner’s death.

Garner, who stood at 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed about 350 pounds, died Thursday after police struggled to arrest him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island, according to the NYPD. Police said he appeared to suffer a heart attack.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, an 8-year veteran who was seen on video apparently putting Garner in the chokehold, was placed on “modified assignment” Saturday, meaning he was stripped of his badge and gun, pending the outcome of the dual probes by the district attorney and Internal Affairs.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had announced Friday that the cop and his partner were on “desk duty,” but at that point they still had their guns and shields.

A chokehold is a violation of NYPD policy, regardless of whether the move causes any damage. Beyond that, prosecutors and police investigators will be looking at whether it caused or contributed to Garner’s death about an hour after he was taken into custody.

The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said Sunday it had not reached any finding on Garner’s cause of death. Official preliminary results could come in the next few days.

Garner was arrested in Staten Island after he was allegedly seen selling “loosie” cigarettes, police said. Garner was known for selling individual cigarettes for 50 cents each in his Staten Island neighborhood.

Police said the cigarettes come from North Carolina and Garner is the end of the supply line. Because the Staten Island man allegedly sold cigarettes to children, the police called the cigarette sales a “quality of life” issue in the neighborhood.

Garner’s death has led to outrage, especially after video obtained by the New York Daily News appeared to show that the man was put into a chokehold as he was arrested.

The video shows officers approaching Garner, who initially denies that he’s selling loose cigarettes.

“I’m minding my business, why don’t you leave me alone?” Garner can be heard saying.

When police officers move in, Garner appears to not comply and at least five officers wrestle him to the ground as they attempt to handcuff him.

As Garner is being held down, he can be heard telling police that he “can’t breathe.” Eventually when officers realize he is not responsive, they called in an ambulance, which took Garner to a hospital where he died a short time later.

The apparent violence of the arrest led to outrage and the internal investigation. Online, numerous people tweeted #JusticeforEricGarner, calling attention to the deadly incident.

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