Archive for the ‘NCAA’ Category

Baker Mayfield spent the last three years proving every doubter wrong while at Oklahoma, cementing himself as a first-round pick in this year’s draft.

However, despite winning the Heisman trophy in his final year in college, the brash quarterback still has those who don’t believe in his abilities.

For those media members who he deems to have “crossed a line” with their criticisms, Mayfield is keeping a list of names as motivation, he told Russell Wilson during filming for ESPN’s QB2QB, according to Robert Klemko of the MMQB.

“It really doesn’t bother me that much because I know the people that say some of these things have never actually taken a snap behind center, never had a 300-pound lineman about to hit them while they have to read the defense downfield,” Mayfield said. “If I was worried too much about it, I’d be worried about the wrong things.

“But I do use some of it as motivation. I can listen to all the people patting me on the back, or I can listen to the people saying I need to get better. I know I need to get better, or else there would be nobody saying that.”

Mayfield is expected to be the third or fourth quarterback off the board on April 26, though he should still land in top 15 picks in what’s a stacked quarterback draft class.

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The Vancouver Canucks signed forward Adam Gaudette to a three-year entry-level contract.

Gaudette, 21, led the NCAA in scoring this season with 30 goals and 30 assists in 38 games for the Northeastern Huskies, and is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top college men’s player.

“Adam has had a remarkable season and college career playing at Northeastern,” said general manager Jim Benning. “He’s a very talented player and has shown an ability to score, make plays and contribute in all situations at the collegiate level. We’re excited to have him join our team and continue his development as a professional.”

Gaudette was selected by the Canucks in the fifth round of the 2015 draft.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is “firmly in the mix” to be taken No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns after dominating the combine, sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

He would be the first running back taken at the top of the draft since the Cincinnati Bengals took Ki-Jana Carter – also of Penn State – in 1995.

Barkley has long been considered the premier prospect at his position but helped force his way into the conversation – which has been dominated by quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen – by producing a great 40-yard dash time and vertical leap.

It remains a question of positional value for Cleveland, however. The Browns have been highly criticized for passing on quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz in years past, so taking a player like Barkley, who plays what’s perceived as one of the lesser-valued positions, could be a risk.

Barkley lit up his final year in college, racking up 1,271 rushing yards, 271 receiving yards, and 21 total touchdowns.

Baker Mayfield hopes to distance himself from Johnny Manziel, but he doesn’t mind following his path to the NFL.

Speaking Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Mayfield said he wouldn’t mind being selected by the Cleveland Browns, and even relishes the opportunity to help the downtrodden franchise.

“If anyone’s gonna turn them around, it’s me,” Mayfield said at his media availability. “They’re close.”

Manziel was a first-round draft choice by the Browns in 2014, but flamed out after two NFL seasons.

Mayfield believes he’s among the most talented quarterbacks available in this year’s draft.

“I’m the most accurate quarterback in this draft, by far,” he said.

Kentucky coach John Calipari is unapologetic about his reasons for recruiting many of the blue-chip players he does: to help get them to the NBA. As a result, Calipari’s views on allowing NCAA players to profit off their physical likenesses are little surprise.

“It’s their name and likeness,” said Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. “It’s not ours, it’s theirs. They should be able to make money.”

Players don’t currently receive payment for anything involving their likeness or signature, and NCAA scholarship athletes are forbidden from working jobs during the school year that pay over $2,500.

In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon and others who’d filed an antitrust class-action lawsuit against the NCAA over the use of their likenesses in video games and other platforms. The NCAA had successfully appealed a lower court’s previous ruling that preventing college athletes from receiving remuneration was a violation of antitrust law.

Most believe failing to pay NCAA athletes has allowed a widespread black market to flourish, as demonstrated by the ongoing FBI investigation into college basketball.

Calipari suggested that college players with legitimate NBA futures should be able to borrow against that.

“Let them take a loan,” Calipari said. “Let their family get a loan from the (National Basketball Players Association). … For travel to games and the NCAA tournaments. … So kids that have pro potential and want to take a loan so that their families don’t have to deal with it, why can’t you? But I’ve been saying this for six years.”

Kevin Durant thinks college basketball players and their families are motivated by the wrong thing, and the NBA could be to blame.

When asked about the recruiting scandal rocking the NCAA, the Golden State Warriors superstar went on a rant about why he believes NBA player earnings should be kept under wraps.

“First off, they gotta stop publicizing how much money we make as NBA players because it’s driving these parents and kids crazy. Crazy,” Durant said on ESPN.

“So now they’re saying such and such is making $200 million on a five-year deal, what you think these parents talking about? They’re not even worried about the game no more, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, you need to go make that.’ Whereas back in the day, I didn’t know what none of these dudes were making.

I just wanted to be them. I just wanted to be like them on the basketball court. So that’s one thing in my opinion – obviously it’s not gonna happen – but I think that’s one of the reasons why you’re going crazy around here with the cash.”

An FBI report purported that many programs provided illegal benefits to high-profile college basketball players – both past and present – and their families.

Durant, 29, was raised by a single mother under challenging conditions and spent one year at Texas before entering the 2007 NBA Draft, when he was selected No. 2 overall. Though he wasn’t named in the report, he said he would’ve skipped college if he could have because he needed money. That wasn’t possible because the NBA implemented a rule in 2006 that prohibits players from entering the league directly out of high school.

The 2014 MVP is averaging 25.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.9 blocks this season for the defending champs on a discounted $25-million deal. He has a $26-million player option for 2018-19.

Many other members of the NBA have spoken out about NCAA corruption, including LeBron JamesCarmelo Anthony, Stan Van Gundy, and Durant’s coach Steve Kerr, who said NCAA players should be able to profit off their likeness.

In the midst of the NCAA’s latest scandal involving a number of high-profile college basketball players – both past and present – receiving cash advances, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr feels it’s time for athletes to be allowed to make money off their likeness away from the game – just not from the NCAA itself, though.

“I think the NCAA needs reform, for sure, and it’s not just my reaction based on the news from yesterday. It’s needed reform for many years,” Kerr said prior to Golden State’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. “I don’t think the NCAA needs to pay the athletes. What I think the NCAA needs to do is allow the athletes to make some money if they’re able to do so off the floor.

” … College sports have become a billion-dollar industry, and you do have some key figures driving the economics. If there’s a guy who happens to be a dominant player, and Nike wants to pay him or Adidas wants to pay him … the school isn’t paying him.”

Kerr spent four years at the University of Arizona, which is currently in hot water after Wildcats head coach Sean Miller was heard on an FBI wiretap discussing a $100,000 payment to help land freshman standout Deandre Ayton, who now leads the Pac-12 in scoring with 19.6 points per game. Kerr added that he was “disappointed” by what’s taken place with his alma mater, but wouldn’t elaborate further.

A recent report from Yahoo Sports uncovered hundreds of pages of documents and bank statements from ASM Sports and decertified agent Andy Miller during a year-long probe. Over 25 players, including Dennis Smith Jr. and Markelle Fultz, were listed as having received payments and loans, which would be in violation of NCAA rules.

Andy Miller’s associate, Christian Dawkins, engaged in conversations with Sean Miller, with over 3,000 hours of their conversations being intercepted by the FBI.