NCAA Women's Championship: UCONN vs. Louisville
April 9th, 2013
11:01 PM ET

UConn women blow out Louisville for title

Connecticut's powerful offense scored almost at will Tuesday night as the Huskies blew out Louisville 93-60 to win the NCAA women's Division I basketball championship in New Orleans.

The title is head coach Geno Auriemma's eighth at UConn, tying him for the most all time with Tennessee's recently retired Pat Summitt.

The 33-point margin is the largest in the history of the tournament final.

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Filed under: College basketball • Connecticut • Kentucky • New Orleans • Sports
April 8th, 2013
05:07 PM ET

Ex-Rutgers athletics chief gets $1.1M payout

Rutgers University will pay former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti more than $1.1 million after his resignation in the wake of a scandal involving the videotaped abuse of basketball players by the team's former coach.

CNN obtained the terms of Pernetti's separation package through a New Jersey Open Public Records Act request after Rutgers and Pernetti had agreed to keep the terms confidential.

The state university will pay Pernetti his annual $453,000 salary through June 30, 2014. In addition, he will get a lump sum equal to 18 months of salary  - $679,500 - payable by next month, according to the agreement.

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Filed under: Basketball • College basketball • New Jersey • Sports
April 3rd, 2013
10:37 AM ET

Rutgers coach fired after abusive video broadcast

Rutgers University fired head basketball coach Mike Rice on Wednesday after ESPN broadcast a video showing him physically and verbally abusing players.

"Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice," the school said in a tweet Wednesday.

"You f**king fairy ... you're a f**king fa**got," Rice appears to say during one session depicted on the video.

Brackets busted: Florida Gulf Coast defeats No. 2 seed Georgetown
Sherwood Brown of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles celebrates a 3-point basket against Georgetown on Friday in Philadelphia.
March 22nd, 2013
10:35 PM ET

Brackets busted: Florida Gulf Coast defeats No. 2 seed Georgetown

In an epic upset that will leave many fans crumpling their NCAA Tournament brackets in disgust, No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast laid a 78-68 thumping on No. 2 seed Georgetown on Friday night in Philadelphia.

The Eagles held a slim 2-point lead at halftime but went on a 21-2 run early in the second half, and the Hoyas could never recover.

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March 18th, 2013
09:21 AM ET

Monday's live events

The murder trial of Jodi Arias has captivated many.  Watch CNN.com Live for gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial.

Today's programming highlights...

11:00 am ET - 'March Madness' briefing - It's that time of the year where some workers slack off, take sick days and schedule vasectomies.  It's the NCAA Men's Division I college basketball tournament, and this year's "Final Four" takes place in Atlanta.  Officials from the city and Turner Broadcasting discuss festivities surrounding the games.

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Filed under: Basketball • College basketball • Courts • Crime • Justice • On CNN.com today • Sports
No federal criminal charges against ex-coach Fine, feds say
Syracuse fired assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine in November 2011.
November 9th, 2012
10:11 AM ET

No federal criminal charges against ex-coach Fine, feds say

Federal criminal charges will not be filed against former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernard "Bernie" Fine, who was accused of sexually abusing children, U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced Friday.

A yearlong investigation of Fine "revealed insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal charges," according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of New York. As a result, the office is closing its investigation, it said.

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UNC coach Roy Williams has surgery to remove tumor, school says
September 19th, 2012
01:07 PM ET

UNC coach Roy Williams has surgery to remove tumor, school says

University of North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams underwent surgery this morning to remove a tumor from his right kidney, UNC sports information director Steve Kirschner said in a statement.

“The surgery went well and according to plan,” Dr. Eric Wallen, professor of urology at UNC, said in a statement. “Coach Williams did great. I fully expect him to coach this season and for years to come. He could miss some practice time if we perform another procedure sometime in October, but he would be able to resume his coaching duties prior to the start of the regular season.”

The school said the tumor was found during a physical earlier this month. The surgery took three and a half hours, the school said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Williams and his family for a full recovery,” says UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. “Obviously his health and prognosis are my greatest concerns. He’s in great hands with the medical staff at UNC Hospitals. The basketball team is also in outstanding hands with Steve Robinson, CB McGrath, Hubert Davis and Joe Holladay. As Coach Williams frequently says, he has the best staff in the country and I know they will do an excellent job as Coach Williams recuperates. We will be ready for his return as soon as he is able to do so, but I have stressed to him that he returns only when he has been given the medical approval and he is ready to do that. Hopefully that will be soon and for a long, long time to come.”

Williams is set to begin his 10th season as the head coach of the UNC Tar Heels. He has the fourth highest winning percentage in college basketball and is first among active coaches.

 

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Anthony Davis files trademarks for unibrow phrases ahead of NBA draft
Former Kentucky star Anthony Davis is expected to be a top pick in the NBA draft.
June 26th, 2012
03:02 PM ET

Anthony Davis files trademarks for unibrow phrases ahead of NBA draft

If you don't know Anthony Davis from his crushing performances while playing basketball for the University of Kentucky, you likely recognize his face.

Okay, let's be honest, you likely recognize his unibrow.

At nearly any Kentucky game it was never hard to spot fans supporting and pulling for Davis while wearing unibrow T-shirts or even glasses with a unibrow attached - even his mom wore one.

SportsPickle.com: Ten best Davis unibrow tributes

Which is perhaps why Davis, who is a hot commodity and is expected to be picked first in the NBA draft on Thursday, is recognizing a moneymaking opportunity and seizing upon it.

Davis officially filed trademark requests with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the two best-known catchphrases associated with him: "Fear the Brow" and "Raise the Brow."

The trademark applications show he's filed trademarks for both phrases for practically everything from T-shirts to banners. Although it's normal for people to trademark slogans for everything under the sun, we had to chuckle when we saw that aftershaves, shaving preparation and skin cleansers were included on the list.

While Davis couldn't make any money off of the merchandise sold with his name or nicknames while playing in the NCAA, it's clear this likely top-choice player is making sure to get down to business ahead of the NBA draft and his likely stint on the U.S. Olympic team.

And it isn't a bad idea to get the ball rolling. Davis, if he plays anything like he did at Kentucky, is going to be a big draw wherever he lands. There's been plenty of speculation that he could get some top endorsement deals and be a Kevin Durant of sorts as he enters a stacked NBA field.

Many people over the course of his time at Kentucky have begged and pleaded with Davis to pluck away the unibrow. But in a way, it's come to define him and rally his fans behind him. So we're willing to bet that if he does get a big endorsement deal once he's in the NBA, it probably won't be with an eyebrow waxing company.

Judge tosses defamation suit against Syracuse's Boeheim
May 11th, 2012
05:36 PM ET

Judge tosses defamation suit against Syracuse's Boeheim

A New York State Supreme Court justice dismissed Friday a defamation lawsuit against Syracuse University and its longtime head basketball coach, Jim Boeheim.

The suit was filed in December by two former ball boys for the basketball team, who have accused Bernie Fine, a former assistant coach, of repeated sexual abuse when they were children.

Boeheim (pictured) initially supported Fine, a longtime friend and colleague, accusing Mike Lang and his stepbrother, Bobby Davis, of fabricating their accusations of Fine's alleged misconduct. The coach later apologized for his comments.

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Survivor of 2 plane crashes still intends to play college ball
Austin Hatch survived two plane crashes that, collectively, killed his parents and two siblings. He's recovering from serious injuries.
May 1st, 2012
07:14 PM ET

Survivor of 2 plane crashes still intends to play college ball

Things were looking bright for 16-year-old Austin Hatch as last summer began. The Indiana boy who had survived a plane crash that killed his mother and two siblings eight years earlier had just verbally committed to playing basketball for the University of Michigan in 2013.

Then the 6-foot, 6-inch high school basketball star boarded another small plane  piloted by his father, who also flew the 2003 flight  bound for the family’s summer home in Michigan.

That plane crashed as it approached a Michigan airport on June 24, 2011, this time killing his father and stepmother.

Austin survived again, but now with brain bruising and other injuries, and without any immediate family members. He was in a medically induced coma for weeks and underwent months of physical therapy.

This week, he told the Detroit Free Press that he’ll still be on Michigan’s team when the 2013-2014 season begins.

"I'm still going on a full basketball scholarship,” Austin told the Free Press for a story published Tuesday. “I'll still be on the team and all of that and go to practice and everything. But I just don't know if I'll be quite as good as I was before.

“But I still have over a year until then, so a lot can happen."

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April 19th, 2012
02:17 PM ET

Tennessee's Summitt: 'It has been a privilege'

Pat Summitt said Thursday it wasn't easy stepping down as University of Tennessee women's basketball coach, but nearly a year after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, it was time.

"It's never a good time (to step down), but you have to find a time that you think is a good time, and that time is now," she told reporters at Tennessee's Thompson-Boling Arena.

Summitt, whose 1,098 wins are the most in major-college basketball history, spoke to reporters a day after the school announced that she would now serve as "head coach emeritus," helping with on-campus recruiting and mentoring players. Her associate head coach, Holly Warlick, has been named Summitt's successor after being an assistant on the team's staff for 27 seasons.

Shortly before Thursday afternoon's news conference, the White House announced that President Barack Obama would award Summitt the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, CNN's Brianna Keilar reported.

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Pat Summitt steps down as Tennessee women's basketball coach
Summitt, seen here in 2011, announced she had early onset Alzheimer's disease last year.
April 18th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

Pat Summitt steps down as Tennessee women's basketball coach

[Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET] Eight months after revealing her diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer's, the head coach of the University of Tennessee's women's basketball team announced she was stepping down Wednesday.

Summitt, who led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and whose 1,098 wins are the most in major-college basketball history, will now serve as "head coach emeritus," helping with on-campus recruiting, mentoring players and serving as a liaison between the coaching staff and the athletics director, Tennessee said.

"I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role," Summitt, 60, said in a statement released by Tennessee.

Holly Warlick, an assistant on the Tennessee staff for 27 seasons and a former Lady Vols player, has been named Summitt's successor.

"I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward," Summitt said. "I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer's through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund."

Tennessee has scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon.

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Connecticut men's hoops team banned from next year's NCAA tourney
The Huskies, who won the 2011 men's title against Butler, will not be in the 2013 tourney.
April 5th, 2012
03:45 PM ET

Connecticut men's hoops team banned from next year's NCAA tourney

[Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET] The University of Connecticut men's basketball team cannot compete for next year's national championship after the NCAA denied the school's appeal of a postseason ban based on its athletes' academic performance, the university said Thursday.

The Huskies earlier had been ordered to sit out the 2013 NCAA tournament, because of its past players' sub-par academic performance rate. Led by longtime coach Jim Calhoun, the program had won that tourney last spring and, thus, captured the national title.

The University of Connecticut appealed that decision, but to no avail, NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson confirmed.

"It is disturbing that our current players must pay a penalty for the academic performance of students no longer enrolled," University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst said in a statement. "No educator or parent purposefully punishes young people for the failings of others."

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Baylor star center Brittney Griner leads team to 40-0 season, championship
Baylor's Brittney Griner cuts down the net after the Lady Bears thrashed Notre Dame 80-61 on Tuesday night.
April 4th, 2012
09:54 AM ET

Baylor star center Brittney Griner leads team to 40-0 season, championship

If she hadn't made the point already that she and the Baylor Lady Bears were the queens of women's hoops, Brittney Griner left no doubts Tuesday night.

With their 80-61 win over Notre Dame, the Bears did the unprecedented, winning 40 straight games in a season and planting themselves firmly in the debate over which is the best women's college team ever. In a game that was close before the Bears shredded the Fighting Irish 46-33 in the second half, Griner filled the stat sheet as she's done all season.

Playing all but one minute, the Naismith Trophy winner tallied 26 points, 13 boards and five blocks. Oh, and she tossed in an assist for good measure. Her shooting percentage in the second half? A lights-out 89%.

While all the talk after the men's championship revolved around the next level  who's going to the pros, who's staying for another year  Griner, a junior, has insisted she will forgo making upwards of $1 million, a fortune in women's hoops, to play for the Lady Bears her senior season. Yes, even if Baylor won the championship game, she has said.

The Lady Bears' performance made them only the 10th women's team to run the table since 1972, when the tournament era began.

Now, undefeated seasons in women's hoops aren't the shooting stars they are in the men's game. The Connecticut Huskies' women's team went 39-0 in 2002, 2009 and 2010, whereas the last men's team to run the table was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.

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Kentucky's Anthony Davis says he hasn't decided on NBA yet
Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis clutches the NCAA trophy after the Wildcats won the national championship Monday night.
April 3rd, 2012
12:03 PM ET

Kentucky's Anthony Davis says he hasn't decided on NBA yet

John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats are known as the "one-and-done" team because the squad's stellar young players are expected to go immediately from winning the NCAA National Championship into the NBA after one season.

But after Monday night's 69-57 win over Kansas, might Kentucky be a team that's one title down but not yet done? Is it possible that some players may surprise everyone and stick around for another season?

At a news conference after taking the national championship, the Wildcats were peppered with reporters' questions about the team's youth and whether their star athletes would say if they're ready to head to the big leagues. The team of big men and sharp shooters often has been compared to Michigan's famed Fab Five of the early '90s, who were all drafted in the first round of the NBA.

Anthony Davis has led Kentucky throughout the year. But Monday night, when he realized his shots weren't falling, he dominated on defense, racking up 16 rebounds, six blocked shots, five assists and three steals.

As the Naismith Player of the Year, Davis faced the most media inquiries about where he might be hitting the hardwood next year. One of the first questions was whether he was ready to come out for the NBA draft.

“No, I haven’t decided,” Davis said Monday night. “Coach (Calipari) says we have till April 29 to decide. I’m just going to wait till then, sit down with my coach, sit down with my family, see what the best decision is for me."

Davis is known as much for his tough play and dominating performances as his unibrow, which has become a rallying cry and point of pride for Kentucky fans.

SportsPickle.com: Ten best Davis unibrow tributes

It would be a big loss for Kentucky but a great gain for an NBA team, many analysts say, if Davis made the jump to the big leagues.

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From Anthony Davis' unibrow to the 'Boss Button': March Madness by the numbers
Anthony Davis is one of the tourney's most electrifying players. His Kentucky Wildcats are one of the most electrifying teams.
March 15th, 2012
11:25 AM ET

From Anthony Davis' unibrow to the 'Boss Button': March Madness by the numbers

March Madness is a time for numbers. The number one, for instance, represents the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats or, perhaps, the number of eyebrows that their star freshman forward, Anthony Davis, has.

You know you're good when you not only rock a unibrow with abandon, but your mom shows up to a game with a unibrow mask. Simply put, dude's a beast. If you want some more stunning numbers from the 6-foot-10 Davis, he averaged more than 14 points, 10 rebounds and almost five blocks per game during the season.

One more number: He celebrated a birthday Sunday. His 19th.

But the tournament is much bigger than one player, and there are several teams - especially in the loaded South region - that will be looking to take John Calipari's Wildcats down a notch.

The games tip off today at 12:15 p.m. ET. Here's a look at the tournament by the numbers, with big ups to Amy Roberts at the CNN Library for putting these together:

67 – Number of games in the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

68 – Number of teams invited to be in the tournament.

1 in 4,294,967,296Chances of creating the perfect bracket through the first round.

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Picking the teams to win NCAA tournament can be ... well, madness
Kentucky may be the No. 1 seed, but Vanderbilt walked away with the SEC Tournament title Sunday.
March 12th, 2012
12:30 PM ET

Picking the teams to win NCAA tournament can be ... well, madness

Geez, how am I supposed to get my bracket done with my bosses asking me to do all this work? Ridiculous.

March Madness, that magical season of underdogs and lost productivity, is again upon us, and folks across the nation will scramble from Web page to Web page for the next three days, hoping to get an edge in this year’s NCAA college basketball tournament.

Before you waste ludicrous amounts of your and your employers’ time, consider this: Butler and VCU composed half of last year’s Final Four. I feel pretty confident in the assumption that almost no one reading this picked that pair.

Call the Bulldogs and Rams sleepers or flukes if you like, but it was Butler’s second-straight Final Four, and VCU has made it back to the Big Dance this year, albeit as a 12 seed.

If last year taught us anything, it’s that the term Cinderella, given to no-name teams who enjoy unexpected success in the tournament, is overplayed. Way overplayed.

This year’s matches promise to be just as unpredictable. If you were paying attention over the weekend, you saw that Michigan State was the only No. 1 seed to win its conference tournament.

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December 7th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

DA: Bernie Fine accusers credible, but statue of limitations expired

[Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET] A district attorney in central New York says that despite credible allegations of sexual misconduct against minors, he cannot bring charges against a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach because the statute of limitations has expired.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick offered a personal apology to Bobby Davis, a former Syracuse ball boy who says he informed Syracuse police in 2002 that he was subjected to inappropriate sexual contact by Bernie Fine.

Davis, now 39, alleges the former coach touched him inappropriately beginning in 1984, before he entered seventh grade, and the abuse continued until he was 27.

Timeline of Bernie Fine case

Fitzpatrick said was forced to get a subpoena to compel Syracuse police to hand over records related to the case.

Mike Lang, a stepbrother of Davis, also accused Fine of inappropriately touching him at various locations, including university basketball facilities. Similar allegations made by Zach Tomaselli, 23, are still being investigated by federal authorities.

Fine has not been charged with a crime and has maintained his innocence, saying the allegations are "patently false in every aspect." Syracuse fired him last month after Davis reiterated his allegations in an interview with ESPN and Lang went public with his allegations.

The district attorney's announcement comes after federal agents searched the home and office of the former coach, looking for possible evidence of his alleged interactions with minors, according to unsealed court documents.

The investigation at Syracuse comes in the wake of a sex abuse scandal at Penn State University, in which former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexually abusing boys over a span of 14 years. Sandusky has maintained his innocence throughout the investigation saying he only "horsed around" with the disadvantaged boys in his care and is currently free on $100,000 bail.

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Syracuse basketball coach fired amid sex abuse investigation
November 27th, 2011
08:29 PM ET

Syracuse basketball coach fired amid sex abuse investigation

Syracuse University has fired Bernie Fine as an assistant men's basketball coach, a school spokesman announced Sunday night, hours after new reports arose regarding his alleged sexual abuse of boys.

"At the direction of Chancellor Cantor, Bernie Fine's employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately," Kevin Quinn said in a statement, referring to Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor.

Fine was placed on administrative leave earlier this month, after former Syracuse ball boy Bobby Davis and his stepbrother, Mike Lang, accused him of molesting them.

Police opened an investigation on the matter on November 17, Syracuse police Sgt. Tom Connellan said.

The Syracuse-based Post-Standard newspaper and ESPN both reported Sunday the existence of a recording of a 2002 phone conversation that they said Davis had recorded between him and the coach's wife.

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Roundup of sex-abuse allegations at Penn State, The Citadel, Syracuse
Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing boys.
November 18th, 2011
09:40 PM ET

Roundup of sex-abuse allegations at Penn State, The Citadel, Syracuse

As Syracuse University became the third U.S. college whose workers have faced high-profile allegations of child sex abuse this month, child welfare advocates say the accounts may be triggering a surge in reports of juvenile sex abuse.

The “Stop it Now!” group, which guides people who are concerned that a child may have been sexually abused, says its contacts have risen 130% since a former Penn State assistant football coach was charged on allegations that he sexually abused eight boys. Anne Bale, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that after the charges, its child abuse reporting hot line received twice the number of calls it normally does for five days.

That’s not to say child sex abuse has been on an upward trend. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year reported that incidences of child sex abuse declined by 38% from 1993 to 2006. But Stop it Now! executive director Deborah Donovan Rice said the college stories may be helping victims come forward.

“One of the things that having this story be so public and high-profile is doing, it’s making it more acceptable to talk about this very difficult issue,” Rice said Friday.

The Syracuse allegations are the latest of three child sex abuse cases at U.S. colleges that have gained national attention this month. Syracuse put longtime associate men’s basketball coach Bernie Fine on leave Thursday after two former ball boys, now in their 30s and 40s, told ESPN that Fine molested them years ago. Fine, who has not been charged, denies the allegations.

In the Penn State case, former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of 40 counts of sexually abusing boys over a period of more than 10 years, according to a grand jury's summary of testimony. Two Penn State officials stepped down after being charged with lying to the grand jury and failing to report the allegations of abuse to police. Longtime football coach Joe Paterno, who is not charged, was fired after reports that although he advised supervisors of allegations, he didn’t inform police.

In a third case a former cadet-turned-camp counselor at The Citadel military college in South Carolina was arrested last month on charges of molesting at least five children in alleged incidents in the Charleston area. Those cases weren’t linked to the Citadel, but the college this month revealed that in 2007, a former Citadel Summer Camp participant alleged that the man, his camp counselor, engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct.

The following is a roundup of some of the latest developments in these cases:

NCAA to examine Penn State’s handling of scandal

The NCAA says it will examine how Penn State University has handled its child sex abuse scandal.

"This unprecedented situation demands the NCAA evaluate the university's accountability" and the application of NCAA bylaws, said the group's president, Mark Emmert, in a letter to the university.

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