Ex-NFL player charged with murder


Cierre Woods, a California native that was once a member of the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Houston Texans, appeared in court on Thursday in Las Vegas. He is facing first-degree murder charges after a five-year-old girl, whom he was accused of abusing, died.

Authorities said the 28-year-old was initially arrested on Wednesday at Summerlin Hospital on suspicion of first-degree child abuse. But then on Thursday, the first degree murder charges were added because La’Rayah Davis, the little girl, had died.

The girl’s mother, Amy Taylor, is Wood’s girlfriend and was also arrested and charged with firs-degree child abuse. However, it is not confirmed whether the 25-year-old will be charged with first degree murder as well.

According to the Associated Press, Las Vegas Metro police reported that La’Rayah had bruises on her abdomen, legs and torso. Prosecutors added in court that, while the cause of death is yet to be determined, an autopsy had revealed the existence of a large liver laceration.

La’Rayah’s father, Danaun Davis, traveled from California to be in the courtroom Thursday.

“She had so many people she touched, and she was only 5,” he said. “[The] most tragic thing is [that] I can’t call her. I just spoke to her on that Monday before. ‘Dad, I’ll see you in two weeks.’ The next day, I get a call that she’s gone.”

Woods was a former student-athlete at the University of Notre Dame and ran for almost 2,500 yards there and 16 touchdowns. He also appeared for three games in the NFL in 2013 and two games in 2015 for just five carries. According to Yahoo Sports, he most recently played in the Canadian Sports League, but is now currently a free agent.

All the reports I read on Woods were detailed with facts of the event and his former career. Likewise, most reports included a timeline of how the events transpired in the past week. It’s unfortunate that the La’Rayah passed and so I hope she gets justice.

Dwyane Wade’s last game memorable


Miami Heat star and shooting guard Dwyane Wade finishes his NBA career with a triple double against the Brooklyn Nets with good friends and NBA stars Chris Paul, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony watching court-side. Wade capped off the night with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

It was a story-book ending to the “One Last Dance” tour for Wade: He secured his triple double after long-time teammate and close friend Udonis Haslem knocked down the shot off of Wade’s assist.

“For me, I wanted to make that night memorable for him,” Haslem said. “What other way than to be the guy that knocked down that last shot to give him the triple-double. I shot the ball, it felt like a game winner. I felt the pressure, I felt the pressure of a game-winning shot.”

Watching the game on TV, it seemed like a home game. As Wade dribbled the ball as time went out, the Barclays Center erupted into cheers. Fans were decked out in Wade gear. It did not matter who won this game. It was about honoring an NBA legend.

Wade finishes a 16-year career as a three-time NBA champion and 13-time All-Star. The American Airlines Arena will definitely not feel the same next season with Wade on the bench. Not only was he an incredible player, but also, a great leader that touched many lives that was best captured in the recent Budweiser commercial.

Miami-Dade County will always be Wade-County. Wade’s legacy will forever be remembered as he helped transform the Miami Heat franchise and the city of Miami.

UNC coach accused of racist comments


A recent report in The Washington Post uncovered that Sylvia Hatchell, University of North Carolina’s women’s basketball, has made racist remarks directed at her players.

This discovery comes after the coaching staff for the team was placed on paid administrative leave after players raised concerns about how they were being treated. The university is conducting an investigation to further prove or deny these claims.

It is alleged from players and staff that Hatchell told players they would be “hanged from trees with nooses” if she did not see improvement in their skill. This also comes with allegations that Hatchell made her players continue playing despite having serious injuries that required medical attention.

These comments have opened up talks questioning Hatchell’s character and her views on race. Various stories have reported her use of the words “noose” and “hanged,” which have a clear racist connotation.

Reporting on this story has come in waves, but it is clear that there would be more coverage if this was the men’s basketball. Women’s sports often get underrepresented, and in times of a controversy, it is easier to brush things under the rug.

Further reports say that Hatchell also tried to get her team to engage in a “war chant” that was supposed to honor Native American assistant coach, but clearly just made her uncomfortable.

North Carolina’s women’s basketball team went 18-15 overall this season. It is difficult for many to see that this scandal is the reason they are getting attention, rather than for their talent and the games that they play. Many hope that this will open people’s eyes to women’s athletics and what they have to deal with playing at their high level.

Fan banned after slur against Cousins


Earlier today the Boston Celtics issued a statement concerning a two-year suspension of a fan that used racial slurs against Golden States Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins.

The incident occurred on Jan. 26, during a game where the Warriors faced the Celtics in Boston. A fan murmured a racial slur at Cousins while he was on the court. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, “During that game, there was a fan who muttered the n-word at DeMarcus Cousins.”

Cousins then went on to inform the security team and they took care of the fan. The fan, who was a minor, was ultimately removed from the game. Over the last two months, the team has held an investigation surrounding the incident, interviewing fans, officers and other witnesses.

This morning the Celtics finally released a statement in regards to the situation. Based off of the evidence, the team has decided to issue a two-year ban on the perpetrator. According to the statement, “the punishment for any corroborated discriminatory language used towards any player, employee, or fan at a Celtics home game is a lifetime ban.”

Earlier this week Cousins made a statement claiming that he has been referred to as a n-word on multiple occasions by fans. In a report that he made with Yahoo! he says, “It’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back and I was still punished for it.”

It doesn’t just stop there. Cousins is only one of many African American basketball players who have experienced similar cruelty from fans. Marcus Smart, a shooting guard on the Celtics, expressed disappointment about the incident in a conversation with Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. In the pregame statement, Smart stated “I’ve dealt with a lot of things, here in my own city, and out of this city … I get it. I’ve seen it. I’m not surprised, and it has to be fixed, plain and simple.”

Let’s not forget that just earlier this month; Russell Westbrook was all over the headlines when the Utah Jazz permanently banned a fan who belligerently mocked him with racial references. In Westbrook’s situation he raised controversy in his rebuttal to the offensive comments. However, Cousins argues that “our emotions are the same as yours. You somewhere walking down the street and someone says something crazy to you, you’re going to react.”

It appears that the NBA is making moves to hold fans more accountable for their inappropriate behavior at basketball games. These players are too often taunted by heckling, racial slurs etc. and are expected to remain calm. This is an issue that must be regulated and dealt with accordingly.

This story has been majorly reported by all of the top news networks. It seems that majority of the stories hold the importance of protecting athletes and holding fans accountable. This story also made television airwaves, being reported on CBS Sports, ESPN and many more networks.

Slovenian fans celebrate at Heat game


After Thursday night’s win over the visiting Dallas Mavericks, the Heat are back in the playoffs, sitting just above the Orlando Magic for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The Mavericks jumped out to a double digit lead in the first half and pushed the Heat to the brink in a tense battle that came down to the wire.

The Mavericks got another special performance from their prized rookie, Luka Doncic. Doncic threatened to achieve his seventh triple-double of the season, which would have tied the all time record for rookies in NBA history. Goran Dragic, his Slovenian counterpart, notched a triple double of his own, shredding the Mavs defense particularly in the third quarter.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the game, however, was the amount of Slovenian fans that attended the game. Both Doncic and Dragic were born and raised there, where they have become international sensations. Doncic played professional basketball in Spain for six years before coming to the NBA, and Dragic has been a star in the NBA for nearly 10 years.

During each sequence where either Dragic or Doncic scored, the entire crowd erupted into a frenzy, chanting their names so loudly that the typical chants of “defense” or “let’s go Heat” were completely drowned out. Both Doncic and Dragic returned to the court after the game to see the crowd and shake hands with the fans.

Gronkowski announces retirement


After nine remarkable seasons and three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots, the superstar tight end made the decision to retire.

Rob Gronkowski, better known as “Gronk,” announced his retirement in a lengthy Instagram post last Sunday.

“It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL Draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far,” Gronk wrote. “I will be retiring from the game of football today.”

Bill Belichick, the Patriot’s head coach, also released a statement that same day. He called Gronk one of the “most complete players at his position” and commented on the 29-year-old’s impact on the entire New England organization and football league.

“Rob’s impact on our team and organization was felt in many ways. In the ultimate team sport, Rob was a great, great teammate,” Belichick said. “His production spoke for itself, but his daily attitude, unmistakably positive energy wherever he went and toward whoever he touched will never be forgotten. Rob will leave an indelible mark on the Patriots organization and the game as among the best.”

Gronk had reportedly considered retiring prior to staring the 2018 season, but he decided to play one more season. Unfortunately, his multiple injuries caused him to miss three games and put up the worst numbers in his career. The tight end caught just three touchdown passes during the regular season, marking his personal career low.

During his recent Super Bowl win, however, Gronk caught six passes for 87 yards. His final career reception placed the ball at the Rams’ 2-yard line, leading to the only touchdown in the entire game.

Ever since being drafted second round at the 2010 NFL Draft, Gronk made the most Super Bowl receptions than any other tight end in NFL history (23) and tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns for any player in NFL playoff history (12). In the postseason, he had the most tight end receptions (81), most receiving yards (1,163) and most receiving touchdowns (12). As per receiving yards during the regular season, Gronk will also retire with the most per game (68.4) for any tight end.

In total, the 6-foot-6-inch tight end’s NFL career will end with 521 catches for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdown receptions — something truly legendary.

Perhaps in five years, once he would be eligible, Gronk will be inducted in the Hall of Fame. One person that undoubtedly believes he will is the Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft.

“In the nine years that I have known Rob Gronkowski, I have never known him to have a bad day,” Kraft said in a statement. “Gronk quickly became a fan favorite and the most dominant player at his position for nearly a decade. I look forward to honoring him in the near future as both a Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer.”

I will certainly miss watching Gronk play on Sunday nights. He was amusing, passionate and definitely one of the most driven players in the league. However, like most fans, I understand the reasons behind his retirement. He had suffered multiple injuries and underwent numerous surgeries which were inevitably reflecting on the field.

Likewise, I am pleased to see the majority of the news outlets to be reporting on his announcement with multiple highlights of his notable accomplishments on and off the field. I reckon its important to note that while he was a football player, he was also a person outside of that.

March Madness favorites open with wins


As March rolls around, college basketball fans find their spirit reignited after a long season. Hope stirs among crowds and people prepare for what lower-seeded teams hope will be madness.

Fans who have long awaited selection Sunday wait to see if their team made the most elite 68 teams in college basketball. As for those who have had their dreams cut short, they often hope for the excitement that comes with high-pressure games. Coming off a tournament where for the first time in history, a No. 1 seed fell to a No. 16 seed, fans were unsure with how much more exciting the tournament could get.

Based on solely the first day of competition, the answer is limited in excitement. It was smooth sailing in the first day of competition, as No. 1 seed Gonzaga and number two seed Michigan rolled past their competition, both coming out with wins with a large margin.

The upsets that did occur on the first day were far from surprising, with No. 10 University of Florida, a fairly consistent team throughout the season beating No. 7 seed University of Nevada, who rarely has tournament success.

These predictable tournament results are great for bracketologists who pride themselves on making the correct picks; however, this is not good for media outlets who are looking to write interesting stories about the “Cinderella teams” of the tournament. Media coverage is always plentiful for the tournament, but lacks an entertaining value when the tournament goes exactly as planned.

Day two holds three games for No. 1 seeds, leaving room for many surprising games, as well as many classic wins. The Duke Blue Devils, are likely to keep the classic trend going, as they are 26.5-point favorites to beat the North Dakota State Bison in the first round. Maybe there is hope for the No. 12-15 seeds — for a more interesting tournament than we have seen on opening day.

Kraft faces video evidence problem


New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is facing bigger problems than just getting charged with two misdemeanors of soliciting prostitution. Authorities say Kraft was recorded on video paying for and receiving sex acts. 

On Wednesday morning, Kraft and 14 other men who were charged in the scandal, filed a motion trying to prevent videos and any other evidence from being released to the public.

Antonio Williams, an associate professor at Indiana University’s School of Public Health who specializes in brand management in sports states, “If the footage shows what prosecutors and police claim it shows, it will be difficult for Kraft to deny engaging in illegal activity, and even harder for the NFL to minimize his alleged behavior when weighing possible sanctions.”

Kraft is the cases most famous defendant and could be facing a potential life time of humiliation if the video of him receiving an illicit massage goes public.

A complaint was filed on Feb. 25 in regard to the footage being illegally obtained in violation to the plaintiffs’ right of privacy.

Mark O’Mara an attorney based in Florida states, “Because the footage was obtained through a warrant, it’s likely to be upheld as legal, what’s in the defendants’ best interest is ensuring the footage doesn’t become public record. They can do that by keeping it out of the court file”.

In the motion filed on Wednesday Kraft, his lawyers, and the other plaintiffs mirrored the notion stating the evidence was completely confidential and discharged from disclosure due to the evidence not being produced in discovery.

Diana Moskovitz, a senior editor for sports website Deadspin, says the most serious consequence Kraft could face is losing his football team.

“For better or worse, he has such immense wealth and power it’s really hard to punish him,” she said. “He’ll still probably own the team. He’ll still have Tom Brady as his quarterback. Bill Belichick still gets to be his coach.”

Hearing a story like this is honestly not surprising. Rich and famous people are known for being involved in sexual scandals. I love Robert Kraft, but I think this situation could really take a turn for the worst. Even if you are billionaire, it doesn’t exempt you from being humiliated for the rest of your life.  

Mahomes signs historic deal with Oakley


It won’t be long until everyone in Kansas City will be sporting Oakley sunglasses.

Last Wednesday, Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes II signed an endorsement deal with Oakley making him the first professional football player to ever do so. Other athletes to be partnered with Oakley include skiiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn and snowboarder Chloe Kim.

Prior to signing the deal, the NFL MVP visited the Oakley headquarters in Southern California where he learned more about the optic technology and was dazzled with what he saw. He is currently the face of the sports performance brand’s Prizm optics line.

“I love the Prizm technology. It enhances the lights and colors you see when you wear the sunglasses, which can be super-effective for me,” said Mahomes. “You want to make sure you’re wearing the right type of glasses that will enhance the right colors when you’re going out to practice or working out or on the field playing.

“With this partnership, I can show what Oakley can do on and off the football field, and I think that’s the biggest thing,” Mahomes told Yahoo Lifestyle. “We both strive to be the best in our aspects.”

Likewise, the brand compared their mission with the 23-year-old’s vision.

“[Patrick Mahomes II] is always striving to be better on the field — his DNA fits with our DNA, which is all about being focused on performance.” said Gwen van Lingen, Oakley Senior Vice President of Marketing. “[Oakley] has always said if it’s not good enough for the world’s best athletes, it’s [simply] not good enough.”

However, this is not the only brand with which the Kansas City Star has recently partnered. The more notable companies have been Hunt’s Ketchup and Pizza Hut.

Coming off a great season and then being named MVP of the year, Mahomes is definitely having an equally great off-season. I think this is notable, and should be covered more, because this was his first season starting in the NFL after being drafted in 2017 from Texas Tech University.

Women’s basketball enters post season


March Madness is upon us and basketball fans everywhere are filling out their tournament brackets. It’s hard to be a fan of March Madness when your team didn’t even qualify, but there’s always the other side of basketball that people oftentimes are looking at: women’s basketball.

March Madness is always significantly more talked about than Sweet Sixteen. Women’s sports in general are typically talked about less than men’s sports. This is typically because people believe that men’s sports are more entertaining. Looking at it from the financial perspective, significantly more money goes into men’s sports than women’s. Even comparing sport to sport, the top paid men’s basketball player, Stephen Curry, made $33 million in the 2018-19 season compared to women’s basketball player, Sylvia Fowles, who made a mere $109,000. This is a huge discrepancy in the pay that bleeds into the fan attraction.

This isn’t just at the pro level, however. Men’s college basketball gets out way more fans and viewers than women’s basketball does. A lot of people say that they do not watch women’s basketball because they don’t respect the organization. A key example of this happened this past Monday. ESPN was holding a selection show for what seeds, brackets and locations were chosen for this year’s Sweet Sixteen. The show was set to be held at 7 p.m. Around 3 p.m. that day, someone leaked the entire bracket, locations and seeds for the tournament. ESPN quickly tweeted saying that selection would be pushed up an hour, however, did not address the leak.

Teams everywhere started preparing for their numbers and were not too surprised when the official announcement came at 6 p.m. Many people who watch women’s basketball cited this as a reason why people do not respect the organization. It is hard to watch when little mistakes like this happen, especially coming from a national organization. Steps are being taken each year to improve the attendance and viewers for women’s sports, but until the same effort is put into women’s athletics as it is men’s, even from a broadcasting perspective, there will not be any equality coming any time soon.

The Last Dance honored at Duke


For many, Dwyane Wade’s announcement that he was going to be leaving the NBA after his 2018-19 season did not come as a surprise, but still brought heartbreak. Wade has officially played for both the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, has touched more than just fans from these two cities.

His final season, which he refers to as his “last dance,” has been hard for fans of basketball everywhere. Wade’s last season in the league is being covered heavily by news outlets due to his extreme connections with fans.

On March 5, 2019, Duke University aired a tribute video to Wade during one of their basketball games, despite the fact that he was never a student at the university. The video was Blue Devil’s Coach K thanking Wade for all he did for basketball throughout his career.  Krzyzewski highlights especially Wade leading team USA to a gold medal in the Olympics, and emphasizes how important Wade is to basketball in America.

Duke’s tribute is not the first tribute to Wade that has happened this season or that will happen. The NBA made sure the Wade’s final All-Star weekend was not one to forget, hosting a tribute dinner for him. Guests at this dinner were some of Wade’s best friends from within the league, as well as others that have helped him throughout his journey.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls have all honored Wade during their games against the Heat, making it clear how much of an impact he has had since being in fifth first-round pick in the 2003 NBA draft. Wade indicated that it was very hard for him to make the decision to leave the game he loves behind, but he knows that it is the right decision for himself and his family at the current moment.

UM-UF football opener date changes


One of the most coveted games of the year is right around the corner. With basketball season getting into the deep end and baseball underway, fans are already talking about football. To be more specific, they are talking about the UM-UF football opener game.

The game is set to play in Orlando, Fla., or what some would call neutral territory. The date was originally supposed to be during Labor Day Weekend. However, recent news suggests that the date might be moved to a week earlier.

The reason the game might be moved is because of ESPN. The company is celebrating their 150th year in college football and this game would be big to kick things off.

The last time the University of Florida played the University of Miami was six years ago, in 2013. The game was played in Miami and the Hurricanes won 21-16. This game will prove to fans on both sides who really owns the state of Florida when it comes to football.

The date change is still pending NCAA approval and no one knows when the answer will come out. If the date is changed, the teams are guaranteed a prime time slot of 8 p.m. on ABC or ESPN. If approved, this will mean that the two schools will also be allowed to start practice earlier.

The decision would also impact people who have already bought tickets to event. People plan ahead of time to schedule flights, hotels and time off. The answer is still in the air for what would happen to those who already purchased tickets.

A lot of these articles about the subject are forgetting one key factor in this rivalry match-up: the context. This rival has deep roots and many new fans to the dynasties do not know about them. Articles explaining the change in date should also explain why so many fans are so eager for this match-up.

No one knows when the NCAA will release the official date, but fans and teams alike will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the answer.

Boeheim to coach despite legal trouble


Bleacher Report recently released a story that says Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim will coach the Orange as they take on the No. 1 ranked Duke University Blue Devils, despite his accident earlier this week that killed a pedestrian on I-690.

The accident occurred after Boeheim swerved into a group of people that were standing next to their vehicle that had just been driven into a guardrail. Boeheim passed a breathalyzer test and cooperated with police after the incident. It is not believed that Boeheim will face any criminal charges.

Many people are unsure if Boeheim should coach in this week’s game against the Blue Devils, while Syracuse fans want to win no matter what it takes.

Bleacher Report used information from ESPN to report on the actual occurrence as well as further highlighting the basketball team and its recent accomplishments. The article also expands on the situation that both teams are in, noting that Duke recently lost its star player Zion Williamson to a knee injury in a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Bleacher Report also addressed Boeheim’s reaction to hitting and killing the pedestrian, as well as adding a link to the statement that Syracuse’s director of Athletics made regarding the situation. It was made clear that the community is stronger together and that Boeheim coaching will bring more people together rather than ostracize him.

Boeheim will not likely face any criminal charges and will continue his coaching. The Syracuse community will need to rely on each other in this situation to be strong and to help their coach get through this hard time in his life.

NBA reveals high-tech jerseys


The National Basketball Association announced its “jersey of the future” this morning to kick off All-Star Weekend 2019. The jersey is cutting edge, with the ability to alter both the number and the player name at any time. This is something people have never seen before, as they are used to having to buy many jerseys to support all of their favorite players.

Bleacher Report publicized this release with a video that featured NBA commissioned Adam Silver showing people the functionality of the jersey, and even making it go from a Stephen Curry No. 30 jersey, to the classic Michael Jordan No. 23.

It is not surprising that the NBA is testing out technology among its clothing, as it is always trying to stay one step ahead of the game. Sports are driven by consumers who love the game, and this jersey will enhance the fans’ ability to support their favorite players without having to break the bank on a multitude of jerseys.

This jersey will not be able to withstand changes in style or players being traded, however, die hard fans of one team will be able to represent many players on a single jersey.

Sports illustrated also commented on the release of the new jerseys, adding that this was not the only technological advancement that was coming for the NBA. “Silver also announced plans for facial recognition ticketing, hologram mascots and virtual reality glasses to take fans from their couch into a virtual arena,” wrote Michael Shapiro of SI. NBA fans should be excited to see how the league keeps up with the ever-changing technology, especially in the near future.

News media react to Super Bowl


As the championship game of the NFL, the Super Bowl is easily the biggest sports event of the year. Not surprisingly, this results in a massive amount of attention from news media outlets.

This year, the big game saw the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3, making it the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever. Naturally, the sports media reported on the game and the athletes involved, especially Tom Brady. But, of course, there is more to the Super Bowl than just the game.

The halftime show sponsored by Pepsi saw pop band Maroon 5 performing alongside rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi. There was also a surprise appearance by the characters of SpongeBob SquarePants in memory of the show’s creator Stephen Hillenburg. The entertainment media widely reported on the performance, including several articles commenting on singer Adam Levine revealing his nipples on stage. Several articles also commented on the quality of this show, many discussing it in a negative light.

Most bizarrely, however, was the news media reporting on the various Super Bowl commercials. Several articles commented on the ads, including debating which ads they enjoyed and which ones did not work.

This may seem trivial, but there are reasons why the news media would want to report on both the halftime show and on the advertising. Not only are several news outlets connected to the corporations that provided the advertising, but these articles are also written with the awareness that these topics are of major interest to viewers.

Put it simply, the news outlets are simply writing these articles in order to generate revenue. While these topics may seem big now, they are soon quickly forgotten until next year’s Super Bowl and serve as nothing more than a distraction to bigger and more important issues.

Knicks trade Porzingis to Dallas


It was announced on Thursday that the New York Knicks traded, Kristaps Porzingis along with Trey Burke, Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Deandre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round picks.

Porzingis, a 7-foot-3 Latvian, first round draft pick, was once booed by Knicks fans when he took the court. However, upon realization of his undeniable talent, averaging 22.7 points per game, he soon became the King of New York.

So, why exactly did the Knicks trade New York’s golden boy?

Along with being out this entire season due to an ACL injury, rumors had been speculating that the All-Star athlete wanted out of New York. Having allegedly skipped meetings regarding his future on the team, management began to make moves for the removal of Porzingis. After all there was no agreement for an extension to his contract before this season.

A meeting was held this Thursday with management in which Porzingis expressed his disdain for the team’s future plans. General manager Scott Perry says he “no longer wanted to be a part of our group.” Upon what seemed to be an instantaneous meeting, the Knicks granted Porzingis’s wish to be traded to the Dallas Maverick’s.

Although management has faced serious backlash due to the block buster trade, Steve Mills, president of the Knicks, stated while on a conference call, “We feel like we did the right thing. When you try to think about how you want to build your team for the long term, you don’t want to commit a max [contract] to a player who clearly says to you he doesn’t want to be here. That would be a disservice for our organization and disservice to our fans.”

Hours after the announcement, Porzingis addressed fans on Twitter saying, “New York will always have a special place in my heart. Grateful for everybody who made this journey so special for my family and I.”“The Unicorn” left New York with a heartfelt message but also with many questions about the future of the franchise.

The Knicks haven’t had legendary athletes since the 1970s when Walt Frazier brought the city two rings and the 1990s when Patrick Ewing graced the court. Carmelo Anthony was also adored by the city but he tanked in his later years.

The team now desires to build itself around young players. Considering the team has the current lowest standing in the league, they may be a shoe in for Duke’s ultra-talented, Zion Williamson, who is presumed to be the No. 1 2019 NBA Draft Pick.

The Porzingis trade could possibly bring the Knicks into a new era of success, or this may simply be the Knicks running another talented player out of the city.

Super Bowl scammer goes missing


In Gwinnett County, Ga., police are looking for a distinguished businessman accused of swindling Super Bowl fans out of three quarters of a million dollars.

As Atlanta’s WSB-TV reports, nearly a dozen Georgians have notified authorities of the fraudulent Super Bowl ticket sales. Buyers were promised 100-level seating with access to the concierge lounge and a few pre-parties. Surprisingly, among those who filed police reports, is the businessman’s own mother. The same man has been reported as “missing” since the beginning of the new year by his wife.

Ketan Shah, the alleged scammer, owns a digital printing shop and is a member of various community boards.Thursday, however, marked the beginning of his dismissal from said boards. A statement on the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce’s website said Shah had been suspended from its board of directors and dismissed its connection to the alleged scheme.

“It’s just crazy, mind blowing,” said victim Alan Tartt to WSB-TV’s investigative reporter Nicole Carr. “Everything seemed legit.”

Tartt connected with Shah in November because of a mutual friend. He told police he soon began to make $5,000 payments to Shah — with two others — on $20,000 worth of tickets.

His mother claimed to have lost $36,000, but declined to press charges. Four other men filed charges against Shah and, as records show, they too lost similar amounts in ticket purchases, each.

The largest sum of money reported missing was made by a Columbus, Ga., business-man. He made a payment of $500,000 to Shah as he was told he would have the opportunity to host an arena Super Bowl event in addition to game-day tickets.

What is extraordinary of this situation is that the victims were not strangers to the accused. Shah knew these people for countless years and he still decided to disappear with payment amounts prior to delivering on his promises.

Bhavi Shah, Ketan Shah’s wife, told authorities that her husband also took out a half-million dollar loan against the business without her knowledge and is uncertain as to why he would do such a thing or where he might be located.

Overall, this story was reported with imperative sources and details. Had it not been done this way, it would not have been so interesting to read. Likewise, as a result of the writing style, it would surely be interesting to get Shah’s side of the story — if he is found.

Cannabis ad won’t air during Super Bowl


The Super Bowl is this Sunday and it’s something many people look forward to watching each year. It’s that special time when sports fans and non-sports fans can share a day together. Some people watch it to root on their favorite team, some to watch the halftime performance and thousands of others to see what creative commercials advertisers came up with this year.

So far, it has been said that companies like Pepsi, Doritos, Bumble, Budweiser, Kia, M&Ms and Olay are for sure advertising in this year’s match-up. There’s one company, however, that tried to advertise, but will not be offered the chance to do so.

Acerage Holdings attempted to buy an advertisement for this year’s Super Bowl. The company is different from many other advertisers, since this one sells medical marijuana. The company has offices in 15 states and was hoping to “create an advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue,” said Acerage President George Allen.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in more than 30 states. However, it is still federally illegal. News outlets titled their articles similar to Time, saying “CBS Blocked a Medical Marijuana Company.” Articles like these, however can come off as misleading.

The title makes it seem as though CBS is blocking the company due to moral values or relating it to their beliefs on medical marijuana. Farther down in these articles, you can find the statistics that point out the true reason CBS is “blocking” the advertisement is because of the legality of it.

While critics are attacking CBS for not allowing the ad to run, it might have been rejected by the FCC anyway. The FCC regulates all broadcast and radio air time. While in some states, you might see a marijuana commercial run on the air, the drug is still not federally legal. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched programs of the year, and to advertise something that is illegal in 20 states, would most likely not be allowed.

Before everyone goes to fight CBS for blocking this advertisement, they should think about the legality of the situation, and the true backlash that CBS will probably be avoiding with this decision.

UM forward Hernandez ruled ineligible


The NCAA announced Monday afternoon that University of Miami junior Dewan Hernandez is ineligible to play the rest of the college basketball season and must sit out 40 percent of next season’s games. The 6-11 forward has missed the first 19 games of the season.

“I am very disappointed in the outcome,” Dewan Hernandez said in a statement. “I don’t believe the NCAA treated me fairly and it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to withdraw from the University of Miami and prepare for the 2019 NBA draft.

After electing to forgo the NBA draft and return to the University of Miami for his junior season, Hernandez received a crushing blow to improve his draft stock after the NCAA ruled him ineligible prior to the season. After a lengthy appeals process, the NCAA officially rejected his request for eligibility.

According to the NCAA, Hernandez received monthly payments and benefits from the agent Christian Dawkins who was found guilty in October for conspiracy to commit fraud along with three other defendants. Dawkins was at the center of a FBI investigation into the alleged corruption in college basketball where there were reports of a dozen student athletes being provided improper benefits. Hernandez was one of the athletes listed in the report.

University of Miami’s athletic director Blake James wrote on Twitter, “Today’s decision by the NCAA regarding Dewan Hernandez is not only disappointing but unfair. Based on the totality of the facts the University is not in agreement with the decisions and interpretations of this case and made it well-known to the NCAA staff that we have many reservations about the reliability of evidence and ultimate conclusions.”

The NCAA claimed the punishment could have been much harsher considering the allegations, but the existence of particular factors lessened Hernandez’s chances of being ruled permanently ineligible.

Hernandez’s lawyer Jason Setchen said he felt frustrated and disgusted after hearing the ruling. “I was not expecting the decision to be that harsh. I certainly knew it was a possibility, but it did not think that would be ultimately how they would come down on Dewan given the record of the case,” Setchen said. “I think that were a lot of other mitigating factors that should have been considered or at least were not given enough weight.”

Hernandez, who formally changed his name from Huell this past offseason, signed with the Hurricanes as a McDonald’s All-American and a top 30 national recruit out of Miami Norland High School. The former five-start recruit averaged 8.6 points and 4.9 rebounds in two seasons at the U.

The Hurricanes are off to its worst start since 2007 at 9-10 and 1-6 in ACC play. The team most recently lost to in-state rival Florida State and now face a difficult opponent in No. 12 Virginia Tech on Wednesday night. Without Hernandez, head coach Jim Larrañaga has been left to use a seven-man rotation in a deep ACC conference where teams are able to go 10 players deep into the rotation. It was evident that the team lacks the depth to compete after the loss to the Seminoles Sunday night.

Through the whole process, Larrañaga has voiced his support for Hernandez and hoped the NCAA would do the right thing in reinstating him. After the ruling, Larrañaga said on 560 WQAM, “As excited as were about signing [Dewan], it was so much more enjoyable to just be around him these last three years. I just love the young man; a hard worker; a dedicated athlete; a good student who worked hard in the classroom. It is just a very, very sad day for me and our basketball program to lose a person of his caliber.

Now with Hernandez ruled ineligible, the Hurricanes are left with only seven players on scholarship and Larrañaga is left to figure out how to fill the void Hernandez is leaving behind.

The NCAA has been criticized for years for its rules and enforcement policy. In the interview, Setchen said, “There are rules and they are supposed to be followed and I respect that, but at the same time, they need to rewire the way things are done so that the rule violations are not so common and not so easy to come by. The arbitrary nature of the throwing out penalties to me is a problem that needs to be addressed for sure. The process is another thing that needs to be reviewed because I feel a lot of it is done in the darkness and they just come give you an answer and it is like how did you get there.”

After this whole ordeal, there is this ongoing debate to how student athletes should be viewed. The NCAA describes them to be amateurs who are not allowed to receive payments independent of the university for which they play for. More and more players are beginning to speak out against this as the universities and cable television networks are profiting millions off of student athletes, but they themselves do not receive any monetary reward for their hard work besides their scholarships.

Unfortunately, Hernandez’s college career was cut short, but this will serve as an example for how the NCAA treats students athletes and handles violations. Hopefully, changes are made within the NCAA.

Hall of Famer struggles early


As we all know, Lebron James is arguably the best basketball player in the NBA right now in his 16th season. It is already hard enough to be a 33-year-old man in the NBA with the average age being 25. But to be top 2 best in the game today is remarkable. But some of the 30 year olds from his class cannot say the same.

Dwayne Wade, who was drafted the same year as James, has already expressed that this season is his last season. Not a top player any longer, he is still a force in the game today. But there is one person part of that “Banana Boat Crew” that is not in the right place in his career.

Carmelo Anthony has just been released from the Houston Rockets after only just 10 games into the season. Rockets were held to a high scale after the success from last season in which they lost in the Western Conference Finals in Game 7 before the Finals. Melo was supposed to be the missing piece in the Rockets offense that they needed, but after a 4-6 start to the season it was determined Carmelo was not what they were looking for.

Melo, 34, is still highly motivated to win a championship and to be effective on someone’s team. Sources connected to him says he is not planning on retirement anytime soon at the moment. 

The Heat, Lakers, TrailBlazers, and Pelicans are the top teams that have shown interest in the 10-time all star. But can he help a team win a championship?