Archive for the ‘NCAA’ Category


Kyler Murray is making the rounds on Radio Row during Super Bowl week, informing members of the NFL media that he’ll be making a decision on whether to pursue a career in professional football or baseball in the near future.

“Soon. Very soon,” Murray said to NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano on Thursday, per’s Nick Shook.

Murray was the ninth overall pick by the Oakland Athletics‘ in the 2018 MLB Draft. However, he was allowed to continue his collegiate football career and wound up winning the Heisman Trophy in December as the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.

If it were up to Murray, he wouldn’t limit himself to one sport.

“I wish I could play both,” Murray said to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I know it’s highly, highly, highly unlikely, but it’s not an easy decision.”

Murray has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft and is projected to go as early as the first round.


Rick Pitino, a Hall of Fame basketball coach who’s best known for leading collegiate powerhouses Kentucky and Louisville to NCAA tournament championships, has his eyes set on making the jump back to the professional ranks.

“I just want to be a part of an organization,” Pitino told ESPN’s Adrian Wojanarowski. “I want to develop young players. I want to be part of a team. I miss it terribly. I’m using this time to really study the NBA. If something opens up with a young basketball team, I’d have deep interest in it.

“I think the league is going to get younger and player development will become even more important to every organization,” he continued. “That’s my forte. I believe I can help an organization find a pathway to success.”

The 66-year-old was ousted from Louisville in the midst of a sport-wide corruption scandal last year, though an FBI probe appeared to back up Pitino’s claim of ignorance about payments made from the program and its stakeholders to potential recruits.

Pitino has a 192-220 regular-season record as an NBA head coach, which was accrued during stops with the New York Knicks (1987-89) and Boston Celtics(1997-01). With the Celtics, Pitino served as both head coach and team president – the sort of arrangement that’s fallen out of fashion in recent years as the scope of each role has expanded.

“I’m not looking for any of that (power/control) at this stage of my life,” Pitino said. “I want to develop teams and develop players and build a winner. I value analytics. I want to fit into an organization. At this stage, that’s all I’m interested in.”

Michael Jordan or LeBron James? It’s a debate that will rage on forever, but according to a recent survey, an overwhelming majority of college basketball coaches believe the title of GOAT belongs to Jordan.

CBS Sports college basketball writers Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander anonymously polled more than 100 coaches for their annual Candid Coaches series, asking them, among other things, to choose between Jordan and LeBron. Jordan easily won, receiving 82 percent of the votes.

“Not to take anything away from LeBron, but the game is so different now from when Jordan played,” one coach who picked Jordan said. “If Mike played in in this day and age, with freedom of movement, he’d average 40 points a game.

“LeBron’s done so many great things on and off the court. But if somebody put a gun to your head, and you had to go win a game, who are you going to go with? Michael Jordan or LeBron James? My money and my life is going to be with Jordan. He played both sides of the ball as good as anybody. He was the best offensive player and defensive player in the league every night.”

Another coach said they voted for LeBron primarily because of his off-court contributions.

“If we are going off the man as a whole, I’m taking LeBron. Basketball-wise he is not far off from Jordan – and the numbers he has put up year in and year out are absurd. Where I think LeBron has separated himself from Jordan is with his stances on what he believes in,” the coach explained. “The school he just opened is awesome and will change lives. And what he has stood for, and stood against, throughout his career is what puts him on my Mount Rushmore of Athletes.”

Quinn Hughes won’t be turning pro just yet.

The Vancouver Canucks‘ first-round pick in this year’s draft has announced he will return to the University of Michigan next season.

“My heart’s obviously still at Michigan,” Hughes told Steve Kornacki of “I was heartbroken when we lost to Notre Dame in the Frozen Four last year. I’ve never really been on a team that cares so much about each other, and I think that’s a big reason why I’m coming back, because I love my teammates.

“I think we have a good team this upcoming year, and I believe in the group. So, for me, I have a lot of goals in my mind. I want to be the best player in college hockey, and I want to win the national championship. I think we can do it with the group and the coaching staff we have, and we believe in each other.”

Canucks management backed Hughes’ decision to return to the Wolverines.

“We are in full support of Quinn’s decision to continue his university career as he further develops as a hockey player and student,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. “He now has an opportunity to be a leader at the University of Michigan and represent Team USA at the 2019 World Junior Championship in Vancouver.

“These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will only benefit Quinn’s future career.”

After collecting 29 points in 37 games in his first season with Michigan, the budding blue-liner also impressed against savvy veterans as part of the World Championship.

With Michigan, there is also the possibility that Quinn could play alongside his brother, Jack, a dominant center and the projected top pick in the 2019 NHL draft.

Oliver Luck, the father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, will be the first commissioner and CEO of the rebooted XFL.

Luck, who currently works for the NCAA in its eligibility department, will vacate his post and relocate from Indianapolis to Connecticut for the new job.

“The XFL will be a labor of love as I get to combine my experiences as a player and executive,” Luck wrote in an email to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I’m thrilled to have this unique opportunity to reimagine the game that has been a constant in my life for 40 years.”

The XFL is set for relaunch in 2020. Its founder, WWE chairman Vince McMahon, tried to get the league off the ground in 2001 but it folded after one season.

Luck has a wealth of executive experience in the sports industry and previously served as president of the now-defunct NFL Europe.

“Oliver and I share the same vision and passion for reimagining the game of football,” McMahon said in a statement. “His experience as both an athlete and executive will ensure the long-term success of the XFL.”

The 58-year-old Luck had a short playing career in the NFL, suiting up for the Houston Oilers from 1982-86.

The Los Angeles Clippers are armed with two lottery picks in the upcoming draft, but they may be looking to move up from their pedestrian slots at Nos. 12 and 13 to give themselves a better chance at drafting a blue-chipper.

The Clippers, who have their own first-rounder and the Detroit Pistons‘ pick (acquired in the Blake Griffin trade), are “open to moving up in the draft,” rival executives told The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

One player they would likely target with a higher pick is Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., a front-office exec. told O’Connor. Porter profiles as a fluid, scoring combo forward, not unlike the Clippers’ own Tobias Harris. He could make the team more dynamic and versatile on both ends of the floor.

It’s unclear, though, whether the Clippers – who have been reckless about tossing away first-rounders in recent years and have whiffed on just about everything since taking Griffin first overall in 2009 – would be willing to swap both their late-lottery picks for a crack at drafting Porter. Most mock drafts currently have him going in the top eight.

The New York Rangers will hire Boston University’s David Quinn as their next head coach, Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic reports.

There are still details to work out, however, and an official announcement isn’t expected until Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton returns from scouting the World Championship in Denmark, Carpiniello adds.

Quinn will replace the recently fired Alain Vigneault, and is expected to sign a five-year contract worth approximately $12.5 million for his first NHL head coaching gig.

The 51-year-old had spent the last five seasons behind the bench as coach of the Terriers, accumulating a record of 105-67-51 in that span while winning the Hockey East and finishing as NCAA runners up in 2014-15.

The Rangers missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009-10 this season, and formally announced an impending rebuild over the winter. With a head coach reported to be in place, the organizational focus will shift to the draft, where New York owns three first-round picks.