TIME remembrance

First Black NBA Player Earl Lloyd Passes Away Aged 86

Earl Lloyd
Edward Kitch—AP Earl Lloyd, Oct. 30, 1972.

The Virginia native was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003

Earl Lloyd, the first black professional NBA player, passed away Thursday at the age of 86.

Known as “the Big Cat,” the 6’5″ forward made his league debut in October 1950, playing for the Washington Capitals. During his legendary career, Lloyd averaged 8.4 points during 560 regular-season NBA games.

Lloyd was also twice included in the CIAA All-America team and was three-time all-conference selection. Lloyd retired in 1960, after serving in the U.S. army, playing for the Detroit Pistons and winning the 1955 NBA championship for the Syracuse Nationals. He was also the NBA’s first black assistant coach in 1968 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Born in Alexandria, Va., Lloyd is survived by a wife and three sons.

[Charleston Gazette]

TIME Football

Adrian Peterson Can Return to NFL After Suspension Overturned

Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson arrives for a hearing for the appeal of his suspension in New York on Dec. 2, 2014.
Seth Wenig—AP Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson arrives for a hearing for the appeal of his suspension in New York on Dec. 2, 2014.

But it's not yet clear if he'll return to Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson‘s suspension has been overturned by a judge.

In December, the NFL Players Association filed a 75-page lawsuit on Peterson’s behalf against the NFL in U.S. District Court in an attempt to get the suspension overturned. Judge David S. Doty heard arguments in the case on Feb. 6.

The NFL can appeal Judge Doty’s decision overturning the suspension. The league said it would review the ruling.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith issued a statement on Thursday following the judge’s ruling:

“This is a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness. Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players’ rights. This is yet another example why neutral arbitration is good for our players, good for the owners and good for our game.”

Peterson was suspended indefinitely for the remainder of the NFL season in November after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault for allegedly hitting his four-year-old son with a switch. The plea came after Peterson was indicted in Texas on charges of child abuse in September, after which he was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.

The running back only played one game in 2014.

Peterson appealed the NFL’s indefinite suspension to an arbitrator appointed by commissioner Roger Goodell, but the appeal was denied on Dec. 12.

Under the terms of the suspension, Peterson would not be reinstated until at least April 15, at which point he would have been required to petition Goodell for reinstatement.

Despite the judge’s ruling, Peterson’s future with the Vikings remains unclear. Though he is under contract for next season, the three-time first-team All-Pro running back told ESPN he is “still uneasy” about playing in Minnesota in 2015. Peterson’s agent reportedly had a dispute with Vikings executive Rob Brzezinski at the NFL combine.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME College Basketball

Former Louisville Guard Chris Jones Pleads Not Guilty to Rape and Sodomy Charges

Former Louisville guard Chris Jones in action during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Miami in Louisville, Ky. on Feb. 21, 2015.
Timothy D. Easley—AP Former Louisville guard Chris Jones in action during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Miami in Louisville, Ky. on Feb. 21, 2015.

Jones was dismissed from the team last Sunday

Former Louisville guard Chris Jones pleaded not guilty to charges of raping a woman and sodomizing another, according to a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

An arrest warrant was issued against Jones on Wednesday.

A judge released Jones to home incarceration and set his cash bond at $25,000 after Jones appeared in court on Thursday. Two others, Tyvon Walker and Jalen Tilford, were arrested and charged in the incident, according to the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

Walker was charged with one count of rape and held on $75,000 bond and Tilford is charged with one count of rape, one count of sodomy and has a $100,000 bail.

According to the Courier-Journal‘s report, one of the women identified Jones after she was hospitalized by the assault, which occurred on Saturday night. The warrant says one of the women is 19 and the other is 20.

Jones was dismissed from Louisville’s basketball program on Sunday and had been previously suspended by the team for violating its rules. No reason was given for Jones’ dismissal.

“He’s finished,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said on Sunday. “There won’t be any comment.”

In a separate incident, Jones reportedly threatened a female student in a text message, according to a Louisville police report, saying he would “smack” her after she “messed up” his room. The woman did not want Jones to be prosecuted.

Jones, a senior, was the team’s third-leading scorer (13.6 points per game) and leader in assists (94) this season.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Cricket

Afghanistan Has Just Won Their First Match at the Cricket World Cup

Cricket WCup Afghanistan Scotland
Dianne Manson—AP Afghanistan's Hamid Hassan is watched by his teammates as he performs a hand-stand after taking a catch to dismiss Scotland's Josh Davey during their Cricket World Cup Pool A match in Dunedin, New Zealand, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.

The feat is astonishing for a war-ravaged nation that only took up the sport 15 years ago

The Afghanistan cricket team created history on Thursday, winning its first match in the World Cup after a nail-biting finish.

Chasing 210 for victory against Scotland in a group match, the Afghans were in danger of collapsing when 7 of 10 batsmen got out for just 97 runs, the BBC reported.

But player of the match Samiullah Shenwari pulled the team through with a classy individual effort, adding 96 runs of his own to inspire a monumental victory with just three balls left in the game.

The feat is remarkable considering the Afghan team’s history. Cricket only began in the war-torn nation 15 years ago, and many of the players grew up in the refugee camps in neighboring Pakistan after their families were displaced by the Soviet invasion of the 1970s.

While simply qualifying for their first World Cup was a huge achievement, the maiden victory at the tournament caps a fairytale run from the sport’s lowest tier in 2008 to its biggest stage less than a decade later.

The win will no doubt have sparked wild celebrations in Afghanistan, with the country’s president Ashraf Ghani praising the team in a tweet. It also had the global cricket fraternity showing its admiration.

TIME

Chewing Tobacco Could Be Banned In California Ballparks

Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers
Jeffrey Phelps—Getty Images A baseball and chewing tobacco before Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers baseball game at Miller Park on April 20, 2012 in Milwaukee.

Lawmakers want the substance, linked to cancer and nicotine addiction, thrown out of the homes of America's national pastime

Two California lawmakers are teaming up to take on a classic trapping of American baseball: chewing tobacco.

At a baseball field near the state capitol, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond introduced first-in-the-nation legislation on Wednesday that would prohibit the use of smokeless tobacco—including electronic cigarettes—wherever organized baseball is being played. San Francisco supervisor Mark Farrell is slated to introduce a similar bill in the coming days, which could put at ban in place at the San Francisco Giants’ stadium even if Thurmond’s measure fails.

If Thurmond’s bill passes, that would mean no more chaw for fans, coaches or players at the state’s five major league stadiums, as well as smaller ballparks.

On Tuesday, the Washington D.C.-based Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids announced their support for legislation that “will send a simple and powerful message to kids as spring training gets underway: baseball and tobacco don’t mix.” Advocates behind the measure are calling it the “Knock Tobacco Out of the Park” campaign, saying that the substance linked to cancer and nicotine addiction has no place in the homes of America’s national pastime. “We have a great opportunity to protect our players and stand up for kids by getting tobacco out of the game,” Thurmond said in a statement.

“It’s time for San Francisco and California to lead by example by showing our youth and the public that tobacco is proven to be harmful and has no place where our children play or look up to their favorite sports hero,” said Farrell.

Major League Baseball officials endorsed the idea in a statement on Tuesday:

“Major League Baseball has long supported a ban of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level. We have sought a ban of its use on-field in discussions with the Major League Baseball Players Association. Currently, players, managers and coaches cannot use smokeless tobacco during interviews or Club appearances. Personnel may not carry tobacco products in uniform when fans are in the ballpark. The use of smokeless tobacco has long been banned in the Minor Leagues, where the matter is not subject to collective bargaining.”

An official ban would have to be decided in coordination with the major league players association, and some have already expressed skepticism. “Some players are probably going to fight it,” Oakland A’s outfielder Josh Reddick told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I know players who put in a dip every inning.”

TIME wrestling

Patricia Arquette’s Oscars Speech Inspired This Female Wrestler to Speak Out

AJ Lee
Jonathan Bachman—AP AJ Lee celebrates after winning the Divas Championship Invitational during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman—AP)

Women "receive a fraction of the wages... of the majority of the male roster," A.J. Lee said

Inspired by Patricia Arquette’s Oscars speech about the gender pay gap in Hollywood, prominent female wrestler A.J. Lee has spoken out against alleged inequality in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

After WWE executive Stephanie McMahon tweeted a message of support for Best Supporting Actress winner Arquette, Lee, who is a three-time WWE Divas champion, wrote back in a series of tweets, “Your female wrestlers have record selling merchandise & have starred in the highest rated segment of the show several times, and yet they receive a fraction of the wages & screen time of the majority of the male roster.”

As BuzzFeed notes, fans criticized the WWE on Twitter earlier this week for the disparity in screen time between male and female wrestlers using the hashtag #GiveDivasAChance. Both McMahon and WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon (her father) acknowledged Lee’s tweets within a few hours.

TIME Sports

The ‘Death Penalty’ and How the College Sports Conversation Has Changed

Mustangs Texas A&M Football
Bill Jansch—AP Photo Southern Methodist University tailback Erick Dickerson is all smiles on Nov. 2, 1982, in Texas Stadium.

On Feb. 25, 1987, the Southern Methodist University football team was suspended for an entire season. Nearly two decades later, the program has yet to recover

“It’s like what happened after we dropped the [atom] bomb in World War II. The results were so catastrophic that now we’ll do anything to avoid dropping another one.”

That’s how John Lombardi, former president of the University of Florida, described the so-called “death penalty” levied upon Southern Methodist University in 1987 after the NCAA determined that the school had been paying several of its football players.

Until the punishment came down—on this day, Feb. 25, in 1987—SMU had seemed like the opposite of a cautionary tale. The tiny Dallas university, with just 6,000 students, had finished its 1982 season undefeated, ranking No. 2 in the nation and winning the Cotton Bowl, and added a second Southwest Conference championship to its résumé two years later. The SMU of the early 1980s stood toe-to-toe with conference powers Texas, Texas A&M and Arkansas—and proved itself their equal.

Trouble was, SMU needed help standing with those giants. There aren’t many ways to build a dominant football program on the fly, but if you’re going to try, you need a coach who can convince a bunch of teenagers that they’re better off coming to your unheralded program than they are heading down the road to Austin or College Station or hopping a plane to Los Angeles or South Bend. That’s no easy task, even for a recruiter as gifted as Ron Meyer, who became SMU’s head coach in 1976. Sometimes promises of playing time or TV exposure aren’t enough—especially when your competitors are offering the same things, only more and better. Though the Mustangs weren’t caught till a decade after Meyer arrived in Dallas, there’s every reason to suspect SMU and its boosters had been bending the rules for years.

When the other cleat dropped, it dropped hard. The death penalty—part of the “repeat violators” rule in official NCAA parlance—wiped out SMU’s entire 1987 season and forced the Mustangs to cancel their 1988 campaign as well. So, when Lombardi compared the punishment to the nuclear option, in 2002, the analogy seemed like an apt one. For years, scorched earth was all that remained of the SMU football program, and of the idea of paying players.

Now, however, the conversation has changed.

Dallas itself played a major role in the rapid rise and ferocious fall of the Mustangs. By the 1970s, the northern Texas city was a growing metropolis, a hub for businessmen who had recently acquired their fortunes thanks to oil and real estate. Virtually to a man, each had a college football team he supported, and with that support came an intense sense of pride, not to mention competition. Combine that environment with the enormous success of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys during the 1970s as they assumed the title of “America’s team,” and it’s easy to see how so much pressure was placed on SMU.

With Ron Meyer’s arrival at the university, the goal became to dovetail the success of the Cowboys with the Mustangs’ performance—and he fit right in with the image that Dallas had begun to embody. He was brash, he was charming, he was dapper; the comparisons with Dallas’ J.R. Ewing came all too easily. And like Ewing, Meyer could be ruthless, pursuing recruits throughout eastern Texas with near-mythic fervor.

And the best myths have a dragon to slay. For Meyer, that dragon was Eric Dickerson. Dickerson was one of the nation’s top prospects—a high school running back so gifted he could have chosen any school in the country to play for in 1979. By all accounts, SMU wasn’t even in the running. They’d come a long way toward respectability since Meyer had arrived, but still weren’t on a level with Oklahoma or USC or Notre Dame. Plus, Dickerson had already committed to Texas A&M (and famously received a Pontiac Trans-Am that SMU supporters had dubbed the ‘Trans A&M’ right around the same time). But then, suddenly, miraculously, Dickerson had a change of heart. He decommitted from A&M and picked SMU shortly thereafter.

To this day, that decision remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma. There’s a section of ESPN 30 for 30’s excellent documentary about the SMU scandal, The Pony Exce$$—a riff on the SMU backfield, Dickerson and classmate Craig James, which was dubbed ‘The Pony Express’—about Dickerson’s recruiting process. No one involved, from Meyer to the boosters to Dickerson himself, would say how he really ended up at SMU. But none of them were able to contain the smirks that crept across their faces when they talked about the coup. There’s a reason that a popular sports joke in the early ’80s was that Dickerson took a pay-cut when he graduated and went to the NFL.

Dickerson changed everything for the Mustangs. With him powering SMU’s vaunted offense, the team became a force to be reckoned with in the Southwest Conference. Greater success, however, brought with it greater scrutiny. SMU was in a difficult position because Dallas had such a vibrant and competitive sports media scene (led by the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Times Herald) at the time—one increasingly focused on investigative journalism in the wake of Watergate. The school’s status as a relative neophyte in the world of big-time college football and lack of rapport with the NCAA also did them no favors. There’s little question that other programs in the Southwest Conference were engaged in recruiting practices that bent the rules when it was possible, but none had quite as many eyes on them as the Mustangs.

Bobby Collins took over in 1982 and led SMU to its undefeated season, after Meyer left to be head coach of the hapless New England Patriots, but the Mustangs would never again reach those dizzying heights. Despite a growing recruiting reach, Collins failed to lure top-caliber prospects to Dallas, even with the help of the program’s increasingly notorious group of boosters. Instead, SMU became better known for its damning misfires, the first of which was Sean Stopperich, a prep star from Pittsburgh. Stopperich was paid $5,000 to commit and moved his family to Texas, but SMU had failed to realize that Stopperich’s career as a useful football player was already over. The offensive lineman had blown out his knee in high school, spent little time on the field for the Mustangs and left the university after just one year. Upon his departure from SMU, Stopperich became the first key witness for the NCAA in its pursuit of SMU.

The first round of penalties came down in 1985, banning SMU from bowl games for two seasons and stripping the program of 45 scholarships over a two-year period. At the time, those were considered some of the harshest sanctions in NCAA history. In response, Bill Clements, chairman of the board of governors for SMU, hung a group of the school’s boosters—dubbed the “Naughty Nine” by the media—out to dry, blaming them for the program’s infractions and the university’s sullied reputations.

Shortly thereafter, the NCAA convened a special meeting to discuss new, harsher rules for cheating, the most severe of which was the death penalty. (Despite Texas’ reputation as a pro-death penalty state for felons, its universities were some of the new rules’ staunchest opponents.) Still, due to the sanction’s power, few believed it would ever be used.

If SMU had cut off its payments to players immediately, it might not have been. Instead, the school and its boosters implemented a “phase-out” plan, which meant they would continue paying the dozen or so athletes to whom they had promised money until their graduation. One of those students-athletes, David Stanley, came forward after being kicked off the team and gave a televised interview outlining the improper benefits he had received from SMU. His words alone may not have been enough to damn the university, but an appearance on Dallas’ ABC affiliate, WFAA, by Coach Collins, athletic director Bob Hitch and recruiting coordinator Henry Lee Parker sealed the program’s fate.

Their interview with WFAA’s sports director Dale Hansen is a mesmerizing watch. Hansen sets a beautiful trap for Parker involving a letter that the recruiting director had initialed, and the recruiting coordinator walks right into it, all but proving that payments to players came directly from the recruiting office. The fact that Parker, Collins and Hitch looked uncomfortably guilty the entire time didn’t help their case.

The NCAA continued gathering evidence, and on Feb. 25, 1987—a gray, drizzly day in Dallas—it announced it would be giving SMU the death penalty. The man who made the announcement, the NCAA Director of Enforcement David Berst, fainted moments after handing down the sentence, in full view of the assembled media. SMU football, for all intents and purposes, was dead. The team managed just one winning season from 1989 to 2008, in no small part because the rest of the university community had decided it wanted nothing to do with a program that had brought so much infamy to the school.

The initial reaction to the penalty—both in Dallas and throughout the country—was one of shock. The Mustangs had gone from undefeated to non-existent in just five years. Few, however, could deny that if the NCAA were going to have a death penalty, then SMU was certainly deserving of it. But the fallout from the penalty was worse than anticipated; perhaps not coincidentally, in the decades since 1987, the penalty has never once been used against a Division I school.

Over the last two decades, the conversation that surrounded SMU’s fall from grace has changed even more. These days, those in and around the world of college sports don’t talk much about what the penalties for paying players should be; instead, many are wondering whether there should be any penalty at all for paying college athletes. The arguments in favor of paying college athletes are manifold, especially considering they often generate millions on behalf of their universities. Few, however, would argue that players should be paid in secret (or while still in high school). Any sort of pecuniary compensation that student-athletes receive would, as in pro sports, require some sort of regulation.

Despite the recent groundswell of support, the NCAA appears reluctant to change its rules. At some point, the governing body of college sports may not have a choice, especially if wants to avoid further legal trouble.

Ron Meyer, the SMU coach who nabbed Eric Dickerson more than 25 years ago, would famously walk into high schools throughout Texas and pin his business card to the biggest bulletin board he could find. Stuck behind it would be a $100 bill. That sort of shenanigan may not be the future of college sports, but we may be getting closer to the day when money isn’t a four-letter word for student-athletes.

Read TIME’s 2013 cover story about the ongoing debate over paying college athletes, here in the TIME Vault: It’s Time to Pay College Athletes

TIME Cricket

Australia Cricketers to Test New Helmet Design Following Phillip Hughes’ Death

Cricket bats line the funeral procession route for Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes outside a primary school in his home town of Macksville
Jason Reed—Reuters Cricket bats line the funeral procession route for Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes outside a primary school in his home town of Macksville, Dec. 3, 2014

Innovative design intended to better protect batsmen

Australian cricket batsmen will over coming weeks test a new helmet design that features a protective attachment to guard the backs of players’ necks, announced Cricket Australia representative Pat Howard on Wednesday.

Upgrading existing helmet designs had become a priority following the tragic death of Australian professional cricketer Phillip Hughes during a match in November. The 25-year-old collapsed on the field after getting struck on the side of the neck by a bouncing ball, and died two days later in a Sydney hospital. His death was attributed to a brain hemorrhage, AFP reports.

British company Masuri is producing the new clip-on helmet attachments, which are constructed from hard plastic and foam. Howard called the new design “quite innovative” and said players “are very receptive to trying it” following Hughes’ passing.

“It’s got impact protection and comes down the side of the head,” said Howard. “Players will be given an opportunity to try it out in a game outside an international, but work our way up.”

Cricket Australia says it will work with the International Cricket Council to push the new helmet design into worldwide use should trials prove successful.

TIME Basketball

Bulls’ Derrick Rose to Undergo Right-Knee Surgery for Torn Meniscus

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls
Jeff Haynes—NBAE/Getty Images Derrick Rose shoots a free throw against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game at the United Center in Chicago on Feb. 12, 2015

The Bulls announced Tuesday that Derrick Rose will undergo surgery to address a medial meniscus tear in his right knee, marking the third time he’s undergone knee surgery since May 2012.

Rose reported feeling pain in his right knee, which led to an exam and an MRI, which confirmed the tear. A surgery date and a recovery timeline have not yet been set.

The 2011 MVP previously underwent ACL surgery in his left knee in May 2012 and a medial meniscus repair in his right knee in Nov. 2013. The first surgery sidelined Rose for the rest of the 2012 playoffs and the entire 2012-13 season. The second surgery sidelined Rose for the final five months of the 2013-14 season and the entire 2014 playoffs.

After returning to the court with USA Basketball last summer, Rose had played in 46 games this season, averaging 18.4 points, 5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Coach Tom Thibodeau will be forced to turn to backup point guards Aaron Brooks and Kirk Hinrich in Rose’s absence.

Rose, 26, is under contract through the 2016-17 season, earning $18.8 million this season and $20.1 million next season.

Chicago sits at the top of the Central Division standings with a 36-21 record, holding a one-game lead over Cleveland (35-22).

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Soccer

Barcelona, Juventus Win in Champions League

Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates during the Champions League round 16 match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium, in Manchester, England, Feb. 24, 2015
Rui Vieira—AP Barcelona's Luis Suarez celebrates during the Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, on Feb. 24, 2015

The Spanish club is in command to reach the quarterfinals for the eighth straight year

(MANCHESTER, England) — Luis Suarez marked his return to England by scoring both Barcelona’s goals in a 2-1 win over Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday night, putting the Spanish club in command to reach the quarterfinals for the eighth straight year.

Suarez, who transferred from Liverpool last summer, scored close-range goals in the 16th and 30th minutes.

Sergio Aguero got City’s goal in the 69th, and the hosts played a man short after defender Gael Clichy was given his second yellow card in the 73rd by German referee Felix Brych.

Lionel Messi could have boosted Barcelona’s lead, but City goalkeeper Joe Hart saved his penalty kick in the final seconds of stoppage time after a foul by Pablo Zabaleta. Messi sent a header wide off the rebound.

The second leg of the total-goals series is March 18 in Spain. Man City was knocked out by Barcelona on 4-aggregate at the same stage last season and had a player ejected in both legs.

In the night’s other first-leg, second-round match, Juventus beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in Turin.

Carlos Tevez put the hosts ahead in the 13th minute, but Marco Reus tied the score five minutes later when he came in alone on goal after defender Giorgio Chiellini slipped.

Alvaro Morata created the opener with a cross/shot that goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller parried into Tevez’s path and scored the tiebreaking goal in the 43rd.

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo got hurt and left in the 37th,

The Bianconeri have lost one of 15 European games since moving into Juventus Stadium in 2011, a defeat to Bayern Munich two years ago.

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