TIME College Basketball

Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim Announces Retirement

Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange at the game against the Virginia Cavaliers in Syracuse, N.Y. on March 2, 2015.
Rich Barnes—Getty Images Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange at the game against the Virginia Cavaliers in Syracuse, N.Y. on March 2, 2015.

The 70-year-old Boeheim has taken Syracuse to the 2003 NCAA title and four Final Fours

Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim will retire in three years, the school announced.

In 39 seasons at the school, Boeheim has taken his teams to 31 NCAA tournaments, and won 11 regular season conference championships and five conference tournament titles. Syracuse won the 2003 NCAA title and has been to four Final Fours under Boeheim.

As Syracuse coach, the 70-year-old Boeheim has compiled a record of 966-333​, though he will have 108 of his 966 victories vacated following an eight-year investigation by the NCAA​. The investigation found that the athletic program was complacent in academic misconduct, improper benefits and turning a blind eye to the school’s drug policy. As part of the school’s punishment, Boeheim was suspended for nine conference games next year.​

Last week, Boeheim seemed to address his future at a banquet for the program. “I came here in 1962,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

He was also an assistant on the 2008 and 2012 Olympic USA Basketball teams, both of which won gold medals.

The news comes the same day that it was reported that Syracuse and athletic director Daryl Gross are expected to part ways.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME College Basketball

See President Obama’s March Madness Bracket

President Barack Obama speaks at Georgia Tech in Atlanta on March 10, 2015
Jacquelyn Martin—AP President Barack Obama speaks at Georgia Tech in Atlanta on March 10, 2015

March Madness has made its way to 1600 Pennsylvania

President Obama is rooting for the Kentucky Wildcats.

The President met with ESPN’s Andy Katz on Tuesday to name his picks for the 2015 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, and he predicted Kentucky would complete its unbeaten season to triumph over Villanova in the final championship game. The Commander-in-Chief has completed the “Presidential bracket” since he took office in 2009.

Obama’s picks show very little love for the nation’s underdog teams, but he has some surprising upsets with No. 10 Davidson besting No. 2 Gonzaga to compete against No. 3 Iowa State in the Sweet Sixteen.

Obama’s Elite Eight features match-ups between Duke and Iowa State, Villanova and Virginia, Kentucky and Notre Dame, and Wisconsin and Arizona, with Kentucky, Arizona, Duke and Villanova proceeding to the Final Four.

ESPN notes the President’s odds are already off: on his bracket BYU beats Ole Miss., but BYU was knocked out in an opening round game on Tuesday.

As TIME’s Jack Dickey points out, the President has only picked the right men’s champion once: in 2009 when he tapped the North Carolina Tarheels to win.

The President’s picks for the women’s tournament are set to be released on Thursday.

TIME Football

Leah Still’s Doctors Believe She May Be Cancer-Free

Devon Still’s daughter, Leah, may be cancer-free, the Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman said on Instagram Tuesday.

“We still have to wait for her MRI and bone biopsy results later this week,” Still wrote. “But the doctors feel very optimistic about them because of the results from today.”

Leah was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma on June 2 and was given a 50/50 chance to survive. The Bengals cut still from their active roster but added him to the practice squad so that he could keep his health insurance and help pay for Leah’s treatments. The team began selling replicas of Still’s No. 75 jersey and donating the proceeds to pediatric cancer research.

Still was later added to the active roster and made 19 tackles in 12 games.

The pair announced in January that they had written a children’s book to help kids undergoing cancer treatments.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME College Basketball

Kentucky Wildcats Win Facebook’s Social Bracket

If popularity on the social network is an indicator of success

Do the most talked-about March Madness teams on Facebook also play the best? We’ll soon find out.

The social network released its own 2015 NCAA Tournament Bracket (here’s a printable version) on Tuesday that’s based on the Facebook mentions of all 68 schools in the month before Selection Sunday on March 15. If the most popular team on Facebook prevails in the tournament, then two No. 1 seeds—Kentucky and Duke—will face-off in the championship game, with Kentucky taking the title.

Check out Facebook’s complete bracket to see who the Wildcats would’ve defeated on their route to victory:

The company also compiled a list of the top 10 teams that added the most Likes to their official pages between last year’s championship game on April 7, 2014, and this year’s Selection Sunday:

  1. Kentucky
  2. Duke
  3. North Carolina
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Louisville
  6. Gonzaga
  7. Ohio State
  8. Arkansas
  9. Indiana
  10. Arizona

Other 2015 NCAA Tournament brackets have pitted the schools up using other metrics—here’s who wins March Madness in the classroom.

TIME NFL

Chris Borland Is the New Model NFL Player

San Francisco 49ers v New York Giants
Michael Zagaris—Getty Images Chris Borland #50 of the San Francisco 49ers tackles Odell Beckham Jr.of the New York Giants during the game at Metlife Stadium on November 16, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The 49ers linebacker, who just finished an excellent rookie year and was looking at possible NFL stardom, retires in fear of brain injuries. Is this the new football blueprint?

Chris Borland had at least five more lucrative years in him, maybe more. This was going to be his peak earning period. But he decided the rest of his life was worth more.

Borland, a San Francisco 49ers linebacker, just finished a productive rookie year, and was set to take on a bigger role with the team after fellow linebacker Patrick Willis, 30, announced his retirement last week. Willis, bothered by foot injuries, surprised many by leaving the game in his prime. But at least he had a prime. Borland, 24, is also retiring, sacrificing millions to preserve his brain.

It’s a newsworthy decision, but not all that shocking, given the rationale behind it. The brain science becomes more daunting year-by-year: by playing NFL football, you’re risking the quality of your life. A Borland was going to come along at some point: a promising player quitting, before he really gets started.

Is this a bit of a nightmare for the NFL? Sure. The league keeps losing PR battles; Borland’s retirement condemns the game. Yes, four NFL players age 30 or younger have retired during the past week. But don’t expect a flood of players to hand in their helmets. A decade ago, we weren’t even talking about the long-term dangers of concussions. A decade later, a young player staves off the damage. A decade from now? There will be other Borlands. Enough to cripple the league? Doubtful. Many, many decades from now? That’s another story. Fewer young kids are playing tackle football. The trends aren’t good.

Borland, who according to ESPN Stats & Information led the NFL in tackles from Weeks 7-15, when he filled in for Willis as a starter, did the research. He thought he sustained a concussion in training camp, but played through it, because he felt like that’s what he’d have to do to make the team. He called on concussion researchers to get the facts. Borland’s retired, but let’s see if he actually stays on the sidelines. At 24, he can always change his mind. If he follows through on his plan to go back to school and chase a career in sports management, and has a happy, successful life without football … Chris Borland might be the model NFL player, after playing a single season in the NFL.

TIME

Here’s Who Wins March Madness in the Classroom

A complete ranking of the NCAA basketball tournament field by academic success and graduation rates instead of wins and losses

Davidson’s men’s basketball team has won accolades this year for defying expectations on the court, finishing in first place in their inaugural season in the Atlantic 10 after being picked 12th, out of 14 teams, in the preseason poll. The Wildcats run an efficient, aesthetically pleasing offense, a welcome contrast to an otherwise rough college basketball season, where scoring was near all-time lows.

Basketball success is not new to the 1,850 student liberal arts college in North Carolina: Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is a former Wildcat. Nor is academic achievement: Woodrow Wilson is another prominent alum. Now, the two have come together: Davidson is the academic champion of the 2015 NCAA tournament.

According to new rankings generated by the New America, a non-partisan Washington, D.C. think tank, for all 68 teams in the tournament–and shared exclusively with TIME — Davidson cuts down the proverbial nets. Here’s how: we matched teams up in the classroom, using the tournament brackets to determine the games. If the on-court bracket results mimicked academic performance, the Final Four would look like this: Davidson wins the South, Maryland comes out of the Midwest, Baylor takes the West and Dayton wins the East. Davidson knocks off Baylor in one national semifinal. Maryland knocks off Dayton in the other semi, with Davidson taking the title game.

The full bracket is below.

 

The formula for New America’s March Madness mimics that of its College Football Playoff rankings released in December (TCU won that title). The base measure is a school’s most recent men’s basketball “Graduation Success Rate,” a figure measured by the NCAA that doesn’t dock schools for having players who transfer or go pro before graduating–as long as those players leave in good academic standing. The higher the school’s graduation success rate, the higher they start out in New America’s rankings. New America, however, did subtract points from schools that graduate men’s basketball players at a much different rate than the overall men’s graduation rate at the school. To compare students to athletes, New America used federal graduation rates, which take a cohort of students from 2004-2007, and measured if they graduated within six years. Even if a school graduated basketball players at higher rates than the overall male student population, the difference was counted as a penalty against schools that have low overall male graduation rates.

One important note: Harvard, the Ivy League champion, was excluded from the rankings because the Ivy League does not report federal graduation rates for athletes. So the University of North Carolina, Harvard’s first round opponent, moves on. Harvard was one of 13 schools, including Davidson, Maryland, Notre Dame, Butler and Dayton, that reported a perfect graduation success rate for basketball players.

Indiana was the easiest out, finishing last in New America’s rankings. Hoosier basketball players graduated at an 8% federal rate, according to the most recent numbers, fare below the overall male student graduation rate of 72%. That discrepancy killed their score. Indiana basketball spokesman J.D. Campbell points out that current coach Tom Crean was hired in April 2008, after the 2004-2007 cohort captured by the federal rate enrolled in the school. Indiana’s men’s basketball team does have a perfect Academic Progress Rate, an NCAA metric that measures the academic eligibility of current players, and Campbell says that every Crean recruit that hasn’t transferred or left early for the NBA has graduated (one of Indiana’s three early entries to the NBA, Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic, graduated in three years).

To see how the whole field stacks up, check out these rankings.

Read next: The Simple Free Hack to Watch NCAA March Madness Without a Cable Bill

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TIME celebrities

Mitt Romney to Fight Evander Holyfield in Charity Bout

Mitt Romney is greeted by fellow Republicans at a dinner during the Republican National Committee's Annual Winter Meeting aboard the USS Midway on Jan. 16, 2015 in San Diego.
Sandy Huffaker—Getty Images Mitt Romney is greeted by fellow Republicans at a dinner during the Republican National Committee's Annual Winter Meeting aboard the USS Midway on Jan. 16, 2015 in San Diego.

"It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious"

Forget about Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, the real fight of the century is scheduled for May 15 when Mitt Romney enters the ring to battle Evander Holyfield in Salt Lake City.

Yes, you read that right. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and Holyfield, the five-time heavyweight titleholder who smacked around the likes of Mike Tyson and George Foreman, are going to lace up gloves and duke it out in a charity exhibition.

However, Romney has no delusions about actually winning this contest.

“It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious,” Romney told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “It won’t be much of a fight. We’ll both suit up and get in the ring and spar around a little bit.”

A portion of the proceeds will help support Charity Vision, which provides doctors and facilities in poverty-stricken areas with equipment and resources to carry out eye operations.

[The Salt Lake City Tribune]

TIME Football

San Francisco Linebacker Chris Borland to Retire Due to Safety Concerns

San Francisco 49ers v Oakland Raiders
Thearon W. Henderson—Getty Images Latavius Murray of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2014

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland told Outside the Lines on Monday that he is retiring due to concerns over “the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.”

According to ESPN, the 24-year-old told the 49ers of his decision on Friday. Borland said he first began to think about the possibility of retiring early during training camp last season. The rookie said he thinks he sustained a concussion, but played through it, partly because he wanted to make the team.

From ESPN:

He said he made his decision after consulting with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates, and studying what is known about the relationship between football and neurodegenerative disease.

“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland told “Outside the Lines.” “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”

Last week, linebacker Patrick Willis retired because he thought the injuries he had sustained while playing football would keep him from playing at an “elite” level and he was worried about the quality of his life after football. Borland told ESPN that his former teammate’s decision did not play a role in his retirement.

In a statement on Monday, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Borland’s decision was unexpected.

“While unexpected, we certainly respect Chris’ decision,” said Baalke. “From speaking with Chris, it was evident that he had put a great deal of thought into this decision. He was a consummate professional from day one and a very well respected member of our team and community. Chris is a determined young man that overcame long odds in his journey to the NFL and we are confident he will use the same approach to become very successful in his future endeavors. We will always consider him a 49er and wish him all the best.”

Borland told ESPN that he plans to go back to school to pursue a career in sports management. Borland has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin.

ESPN notes that Borland is the fourth NFL player under the age of 30 to decide to retire in the past week.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Tim Tebow Works Out for Eagles, Leaves Without Signing

ESPN The Party - Arrivals
Robin Marchant—Getty Images for ESPN Former NFL player/broadcaster Tim Tebow attends ESPN the Party on Jan. 30, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Tebow hasn't played in the NFL since 2012

Tim Tebow worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, but the team will not sign him, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter first reported Tebow’s workout, which the Eagles later confirmed to the Philadelphia Daily News’ Les Bowen.

Tebow, 28 in August, last played in the NFL in 2012 as a member of the New York Jets. That season, he appeared in 12 games (two starts) and went 6-of-8 for 39 yards. He also rushed 32 times for 102 yards.

Tebow signed with the New England Patriots in June 2013 but was released two months later.

Though Tebow has begun a broadcasting career with ESPN, SEC Network and ABC’s Good Morning America, he reportedly maintained hopes of resuming his NFL career. Earlier this month, a report from The Boston Globe indicated Tebow was considering participating in the NFL’s veteran combine on March 22. The report said Tebow has worked out “diligently” with renowned quarterback coach Tom House in Los Angeles over the last two years.

The Eagles have been busy this offseason, most noticeably trading away running back LeSean McCoy, signing former Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray and sending quarterback Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for quarterback Sam Bradford.

The Eagles also re-signed quarterback Mark Sanchez, who spent 2014 with the team after five years with the New York Jets, where he was Tebow’s teammate in 2012.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Boxing

Manny Pacquiao’s Trainer Says Floyd Mayweather Is Not a Good Role Model

Zou Shiming Media Workout
Jonathan Moore — Getty Images Boxing trainer Freddie Roach talks with the media before a work out session at Wild Card Boxing Club on Feb. 17, 2015 in Hollywood.

Tensions continue to flare before their May 2 bout

Manny Pacquiao’s legendary trainer Freddie Roach says Floyd Mayweather is a bad seed and that he is looking forward to seeing the 38-year-old get knocked out when he squares off with the Filipino superstar in May.

During an interview with sports analyst Jim Rome over the weekend, Roach slated the undefeated welterweight for being “very insecure” and claimed he’s set a poor example for younger generations.

“I mean he’s not a good guy, he’s not a good person, he’s not a good role model,” said Roach, who added that the usually affable Pacquiao doesn’t have much love for Mayweather either.

“I’ve never seen him dislike an opponent in my life, but you know what, he doesn’t like this guy,” Roach added.

The trainer’s comments are just the latest tidbit of controversy to surface as both camps hunker down before their much-anticipated May 2 bout. Earlier this month, Roach told a Philippine news outlet that Mayweather’s advisors were paying Pacman’s potential sparring partners large sums of money to refrain from participating in his training camp.

Read next: The Money Behind ‘Pac-Man’ Pacquiao vs. ‘Money’ Mayweather

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