TIME College Basketball

Duke Dismisses Junior Guard Rasheed Sulaimon

Rasheed Sulaimon of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates against the Louisville Cardinals in the first half of the game at KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 17, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Rasheed Sulaimon of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates against the Louisville Cardinals in the first half of the game at KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 17, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. Joe Robbins—Getty Images

He's in good academic standing and expected to finish the spring semester

Duke has dismissed guard Rasheed Sulaimon, the school announced on Thursday.

Over 20 games this season, Sulaimon has averaged 7.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The junior was shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from three-point range.

His playing time has decreased since his freshman season, from 29.2 minutes per game to 19.3. Sulaimon had scored only seven points on 2-of-9 shooting combined over Duke’s last two games.

“Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a news release. “It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program.”

The release notes that Sulaimon is in good academic standing, and is expected to finish the spring semester.

The No. 4 Blue Devils lost at No. 8 Notre Dame on Wednesday and will face No. 2 Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Drew Brees on Deflategate: Air Pressure Imperceptible in Game

Brees was able to correctly guess the pressure levels of different footballs

Saints quarterback Drew Brees was on Conan on Wednesday, where he was inevitably asked about the NFL topic on everyone’s mind.

Brees briefly discussed Deflategate somewhat seriously before his appearance devolved into something more absurd.

Conan asked Brees if he can tell the difference between a ball that is properly inflated and one that is not.

“Throughout the course of a game, no,” Brees replied. “A ball will come up and you don’t even think about how it feels. You’re just programmed to go through your read, throw the ball, no excuses.”

Given a chance to sit and thoroughly examine some footballs, Brees was able to correctly guess their pressure levels. He wasn’t quite as successful when trying to throw those balls into the crowd, though.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME NFL

How the NFL Convinced Michael Jackson to Perform in the 1993 Super Bowl Halftime Show

The league was eventually able to make a convincing argument

Michael Jackson gave one of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime show performances when he rocked the stage in 1993.

But it wasn’t easy for the NFL to convince a star like the King of Pop to perform in the middle of a sporting event back then. As this Austin Murphy story about how halftime became “The Halftime Show” details, the league was eventually able to make a convincing argument to Jackson:

For a month they got nowhere. (The NFL’s Jim) Steeg sat down with the King of Pop’s manager, Sandy Gallin, 11 months before Super Bowl XXVII. “I remember pitching them,” he says, “and them not really having a clue what we were talking about.” At a subsequent meeting, producer Don Mischer pointed out that the Super Bowl would be broadcast in more than 120 countries. Now he had Jackson’s full attention.

Steeg recalls Jackson saying, “So you’re telling me that this show is going live to all those places where I’ll never do a concert?” A pause. “I’m in.”

“Michael worked harder than anybody [who’s done the halftime show], before or since,” says Steeg, who remembers seeing Jackson still rehearsing his act at seven the night before the game, in a tent outside the Rose Bowl.

And it showed. Jackson, rocking a bandolier-draped frock coat on loan, apparently, from Muammar Gaddafi, was sensational. The final moments of that show were the most viewed in the history of television at the time.

You can read more about Jackson and all the other star-studded performances here.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME super bowl 49

Seattle Seahawks Star Unsure if He’ll Skip Super Bowl for Son’s Birth

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks speaks during a Super Bowl XLIX media event on Jan. 28, 2015 in Chandler, Arizona.
Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks speaks during a Super Bowl XLIX media event on Jan. 28, 2015 in Chandler, Arizona. Christian Petersen—Getty Images

"We'll cross that bridge when we get there"

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said he has not thought about the possibility of skipping the Super Bowl for the birth of his son, ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss reports.

Sherman’s girlfriend, Ashley Moss, is pregnant with their first child and expected to give birth within the next week. She is in Arizona and Sherman did not say if he would miss the Super Bowl to be with her during labor if it overlaps with the game.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Sherman said. “We’re not thinking about the possibility.”

Sherman also said they have already picked a name, but aren’t ready to reveal it.

In 2013, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco skipped his son’s birth to play in a Week 2 game against the Cleveland Browns. Former NFL head coach Herm Edwards missed the birth of his son in 1981 to play in a game, but said he would understand if Sherman skipped the Super Bowl, NJ.com’s Randy Miller reports.

In baseball, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy skipped the first two games last season to see his son’s birth, and Mark McGwire didn’t play in the final two games of the 1987 season to see his son’s birth and finished with 49 home runs.

Sherman’s status for the game was temporarily in doubt after he injured his elbow during the NFC title game against the Green Bay Packers, but he completed treatment for the injury earlier this week.

The Seahawks will try to win their second straight Super Bowl on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Soccer

Former Portugal Star Luis Figo to Run for FIFA Presidency

UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League - Semi Final Draw
Luis Figo looks on during the UEFA Champions League semifinal draw at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on April 11, 2014 Harold Cunningham—Getty Images

Former Portugal star Luis Figo will challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA’s presidency, he told CNN on Wednesday.

The 42-year-old Figo won the Ballon d’Or as the world’s top player in 2000 and said he wants to repair the image of soccer’s governing body.

“I care about football, so what I’m seeing regarding the image of FIFA — not only now but in the past years — I don’t like it,” he told Alex Thomas in Madrid.

“If you search FIFA on the internet you see the first word that comes out: scandal — not positive words. It’s that we have to change first and try to improve the image of FIFA. Football deserves much better than this.”

Figo’s credentials include stints with Real Madrid and Barcelona, as well as two World Cup appearances for Portugal. He has worked for Inter Milan and Portugal in recent years, and he also confirmed that he has the required support of five FIFA member organizations to appear on the ballot.

Figo joins four other candidates who have announced they will challenge Blatter, who is seeking a fifth consecutive term. On Monday, Dutch football association president Michael van Praag announced he will run after securing the five declarations of support.

Three other candidates have declared their intentions to run against Blatter. FIFA’s former international relations director Jerome Champagne announced in September that he will run, and FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein confirmed his intentions to run earlier this month.

Former French midfielder David Ginola announced earlier this month that he will run. He is reportedly being paid $380,000 by a bookmaker to challenge Blatter.

Voting for the presidency will be held on May 29 in Zurich.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Basketball

Kobe Bryant Expected to Be Out 9 Months After Shoulder Surgery

at the Smoothie King Center on January 21, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Kobe Bryant grabs his shoulder during a game at the Smoothie King Center on Jan. 21, 2015 in New Orleans. Stacy Revere—Getty Images

Bryant injured himself during the third quarter of the Lakers' game last Wednesday

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant underwent successful surgery on his injured shoulder and will be out for nine months, the team announced on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Bryant would have surgery on his torn right rotator cuff and that he was likely done for the season. Bryant injured himself during the third quarter of the Lakers’ game last Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“I expect Kobe to make a full recovery and if all goes as expected, he should be ready for the start of the season,” said Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed Bryant’s surgery.

MANNIX: Kobe will be back next season, but will it be with the Lakers?

In 35 games this season, Bryant averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists. Not including the 2013-14 season, in which he was limited to just six games, Bryant’s 22.3 points per game is his lowest total for a season since 1998-99.

Bryant, 36, signed a two-year contract extension with the Lakers in November 2013.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Brett Favre: ‘I Was Wrong for Retiring Early’

He retired from the Packers in March 2008, then went to the Jets and Vikings

In an interview on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” airing this weekend, former NFL quarterback Brett Favre said he was wrong to retire from the Packers in March 2008.

Favre retired told Bensinger that when he retired in a press conference, he wasn’t fully committed to his decision but made it because the organization needed to know.

“I should have stood my ground and not retired early,” Favre said. “…Mike [McCarthy] wanted to know and that’s – as a head coach of a team or Ted Thompson’s job as a GM, I think, rightfully so, they need to know which direction they’re going to go in. But there was nothing in the rulebook that said I had to give them an answer until the day of the training camp.”

Favre went on to be traded to the New York Jets, where he played for a season, before spending the final two years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings.

Brett Favre, Lloyd from ‘Entourage’ star in Super Bowl ad

Bensinger asked Favre what advice he would give for Denver Broncosquarterback Peyton Manning, who is currently facing retirement rumors.

“I would ask him to ask himself, ‘Okay, do you think you still could play at a high level?’ No one else can answer that. Only he can. And if the answer is yes, what also I would say would be, ‘Do you think there’s any chance in November of next year or the following off-season that you will say, regardless if I don’t play that I know I’m going to say what if? What if? If I went back, we would have won it. You know, what if I’d just went back for one more?’ If you say that, then you need to go back.”

Favre was asked about his relationship with current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who took over the position after Favre left Green Bay. Favre said he never felt threatened by Rodgers, but he knew there would be a day when Rodgers would become the starter.

• ​BISHOP: Dan Marino’s one and only Super Bowl

Favre said he feels he was a good mentor to Rodgers, but believes it’s a misconception that the starting quarterback needs to be one to a backup.

“I think as a starter, my job’s hard enough to win ball games and be a leader,” he said. “You’re not a babysitter. And I’m not, by no means, talking about Aaron … Nowhere does it say that you have to take that guy under your wing and teach him the ropes.”

On Tuesday, Favre told Fox Sports 1 that he feels Rodgers is “by far” the best quarterback in the NFL right now.

Favre is set to be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in July, which he said will “mean as much as anything I’ve accomplished in my career.”

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Marshawn Lynch May Be Fined for Beast Mode Hat

NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks Team Media Availability
Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks sits at his podium during a Super Bowl XLIX media availability on Jan. 28, 2015 in Chandler, Ariz. Christian Petersen—Getty Images

Seahawks player has already been fined $100,000 by the league for refusing to speak to media after games

Even though Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch met his obligation and showed up at Media Day at the Super Bowl, he could still face a fine for wearing unsanctioned gear, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Darren Rovell report.

Lynch’s agent Doug Hendrickson said Wednesday he had not heard from the NFL regarding a fine, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported.

Lynch spent fewer than five minutes at the podium on Tuesday, repeating “I’m just here so I won’t be fined” almost 30 times.

But Lynch wore a hat with a Beast Mode logo on it, which is selling for $33 on the company’s website and drew the attention of the league.

According to the report, the league does not like when players wear gear or promote a brand that it has not already approved.

There is precedent for the league fining players for running afoul for not wearing approved brands. Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was fined $100,000 for wearing a Vitamin Water hat during Media Day at Super Bowl XLI in 2007.

Lynch has already been fined $100,000 by the league for refusing to speak to the media after games and has been fined twice this season for making an inappropriate gesture after touchdowns.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME tennis

Madison Keys Beats Venus Williams to Advance to Her First Slam Semifinal

TENNIS-AUS-OPEN
Madison Keys celebrates winning her women's singles match against Venus Williams at the 2015 Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 28, 2015 Manan Vatsyayana—AFP/Getty Images

MELBOURNE — Nineteen-year-old Madison Keys booked her spot in the Australian Open semifinals with a hard-fought 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Venus Williams in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The teenager from Rock Island, Ill., overcame a mid-match leg injury to rally from a break down in the final set and break Venus three times and win the last three games of the match. With the win, Keys could make her top 20 debut when the new rankings come out on Monday.

In the first All-American Slam quarterfinal since Sloane Stephens defeated Serena Williams in Melbourne in 2013, the big-hitting teenager took advantage of a poor serving day for Venus. She broke Venus’ serve seven times in the match and looked in full control in building a set lead. But a lapse in concentration early in the second set found her down a double break at 1-4 and she appeared to injure her left thigh. After taking an off-court medical timeout to get the leg evaluated and taped, Keys came out to level the set at 4-4 before getting broken in the ninth game. Venus stepped up to pocket the set in style, firing down an ace to finish off the set.

Venus, who won their only prior match last year on clay, continued to take advantage of the Keys’ flat form in the third set, building a 3-1 lead and looking like the stronger player. But on a day when Venus served at just 51 percent first serves in, her second serve took a pounding from the Keys forehand return. As time went on, Keys lifted her level and aggression in the final set, winning five of the last six games to win the match. She finished with 34 winners to 45 unforced errors, while Venus hit 10 winners to 38 unforced errors.

“I definitely didn’t serve as consistently as I wanted to,” Venus said. “I felt like just not as aggressive off the ground as I would have liked. So I think in this kind of match you have to be aggressive. I give a lot of credit to her because she really set her points up. She was swinging freely.”

Venus admitted to losing her concentration and momentum after Keys’ lengthy medical timeout, but refuted any attempt to imply the timeout played a part in the outcome of the match. “You have to give credit where credit is due,” Venus said. “She played really well. This is her moment today. I think it was pretty rare that I was able to string together three or four points without an error. That was unfortunate for me today.”

This is the third straight year a teenager has made the women’s semifinals in Melbourne (Stephens in 2013, Bouchard last year). Keys will play either No. 1 Serena Williams or No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova in the semifinals.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Marshawn Lynch on Media Day: ‘I’m Here So I Won’t Get Fined’

Super Bowl XLIX Media Day Fueled by Gatorade
Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks addresses the media at Super Bowl XLIX media day inside U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix on Jan. 27, 2015 Christian Petersen—Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch answered every question from reporters at Super Bowl Media day with a variation of “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”

Lynch began his session with “When does my time start? Oh, it’s started. Well, let me say, I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” He told reporters he would answer every question with the same answer.

Lynch was fined $100,000 for not complying with the league’s media policy earlier in the season and has since given very limited interviews, often repeating the same phrase. Last week, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said he was going to give Lynch advice heading into Media Day.

ESPN’s Ed Werder reports that the NFL said it would fine Lynch $500,000 if he failed to be available at Media Day.

On Monday, Lynch broke his silence with the media by giving a two-and-a-half minute interview in conjunction with Skittles.

The Seahawks face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

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