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    The network argues the school is subject to the Access to Public Records Act.

    The University of Notre Dame is being sued for refusing to release records after they were requested by ESPN, the South Bend Tribune reports.

    The University of Notre Dame is being sued for refusing to release records after they were requested by ESPN, the South Bend Tribune reports.

    Patrick Semansky / AP

    In September and November of 2014, ESPN reporter Paula Lavigne filed a public records request for incident reports involving Notre Dame student-athletes. The university did not comply.

    The school says they are exempt from the reach of the Access to Public Records Act because they are a private university. However, Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt does not agree with that claim. When ESPN expressed concern with the school's refusal to release the records, Britt advised Notre Dame to comply with the request, explaining that though the school is a private university, its campus police department qualified as a public institution.

    Reporters often file requests for public information, often to universities and police departments.

    The result of this lawsuit could define how and when private institutions are subject to public transparency.


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    His “Drive for Five” will last one more year. The driver won his four championships in a seven-year span from 1995-2001.

    In a statement, the 43-year-old Gordon, who has raced with back pain in recent years, said: "I won't use the 'R-word' because I plan to stay extremely busy in the years ahead, and there's always the possibility I'll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that."

    In 2014, Gordon won four of 36 races, and finished sixth in the standings.

    In 2014, Gordon won four of 36 races, and finished sixth in the standings.

    Jeff Gordon celebrates in Victory Lane after winning at Dover International Speedway September.

    Nick Wass / AP


    View Entire List ›


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    It happens to the best of us, bro.

    On Wednesday, ESPN National Recruiting Analyst Gerry Hamilton allegedly tweeted, then quickly deleted a link to a PornHub video.

    On Wednesday, ESPN National Recruiting Analyst Gerry Hamilton allegedly tweeted, then quickly deleted a link to a PornHub video.

    Via Twitter: @HamiltonESPN

    Fortunately, a Reddit user was able to take a screenshot before it was removed.

    Fortunately, a Reddit user was able to take a screenshot before it was removed.

    imgur.com / Via reddit.com

    It's OK, Gerry. We all make mistakes.

    It's OK, Gerry. We all make mistakes.

    NBCUniversal Television Distribution / Via onepoint21jigawatts.tumblr.com


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    He’s a four-time champion on the track, but over 23 years he’s made plenty of news off the track, too.

    Scare the crap out of car salesmen.

    "What are you driving now?" the unsuspecting dealer asks a disguised Gordon in this Pepsi-sponsored prank. "Oh, just a mini-van."

    youtube.com

    Learn mixed martial arts.

    They should really keep their helmets on during post-race fights.

    youtube.com

    Bring back the 'stache.

    Bring back the 'stache.

    The mustache, shown here in 1993 with Dale Earnhardt, returned in grayer form for 10 days in 2012. It still wasn't the best look. Said teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr: "If you look back at them pictures, I'm not sure why he decided to grow it back. Maybe he lost a bet or something."

    Peter Cosgrove / AP

    "Racing has provided a tremendous amount of opportunity that's been extraordinarily rewarding and fulfilling in my life. The work we're doing with the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation will continue to be extremely important to me. Outside the race car, my passion is pediatric cancer research, and my efforts will remain focused there when I'm no longer driving."

    Via hendrickmotorsports.com


    View Entire List ›


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    A data analyst crunched the numbers for games dating back to 2000.

    He analyzed each team in the league, then plotted them in a chart.

    The results are, to say the least, interesting:

    The orange line shows the average number of plays teams run between fumbles: The Eagles anchor the league with one fumble every 76 plays, the Patriots lead with one fumble every 187 plays. Their nearest competitor, the Houston Texans, fumble once every 140 plays.

    The blue plots show the total number of fumbles made by each team since 2010. The Broncos have fumbled the most, with 73 offensive fumbles, and the Eagles trail behind with 72. The Patriots again anchor the other end of the spectrum, with a total of 33 offensive fumbles since 2010. The Texans are once again just behind the Patriots, with 40 total offensive fumbles in that time.

    Warren Sharp / Via sharpfootballanalysis.com

    Sharp also analyzed when the Patriots began to record such low rates of offensive fumbles:

    Sharp also analyzed when the Patriots began to record such low rates of offensive fumbles:

    Warren cross-referenced these numbers with data he culled yesterday about how the Patriots perform in inclement weather:

    "The Patriots went 14-1 (93%) in Tom Brady’s home games played in wet weather since 2007."

    Warren Sharp / Via sharpfootballanalysis.com


    View Entire List ›


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    Or is this all a bunch of hot air?

    Following Sunday's AFC Championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots, it was determined that 11 of the 12 footballs used by New England were underinflated.

    Following Sunday's AFC Championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots, it was determined that 11 of the 12 footballs used by New England were underinflated.

    Jim Rogash / Getty Images


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    We’re all “gonna be fine” as long as Tom Brady is running the show.

    New England Patriots' Tom Brady summed up the recent #Deflategate saga in a matter of one sentence to a room full of reporters on Thursday afternoon.

    "You're gonna be fine... this isn't ISIS... no one is dying."

    vine.co

    LINK: The Best Of Tom Brady’s Unintentional Balls Innuendo At His #Deflategate Press Conference

    LINK: Data Shows The Patriots Have Fumbled The Ball Far Less Than Any Other NFL Team

    LINK: Tom Brady: "I Didn't Alter The Ball In Any Way"


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    “Some guys like them round. Some guys like them thin. Some guys like them tacky. Some guys like old balls.” - actual Tom Brady quote.

    New York Daily News

    Twitter: @si_vault


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    Back when the Buffalo Bills were good and everyone wore Zubaz.


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    The NFL also hired a forensic analysis firm to review video and digital evidence related to Deflategate.

    Jim Rogash / Getty Images

    The National Football League on Friday said that a preliminary investigation found that the New England Patriots used underinflated footballs during the first half of their AFC Championship victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

    "While the evidence thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were underinflated were used by the Patriots in the first half, the footballs were properly inflated for the second half and confirmed at the conclusion of the game to have remained properly inflated," the league said in a news release, its first on Deflategate.

    The NFL also said the investigation is being led by NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and attorney Ted Wells of the law firm of Paul Weiss. Wells was brought on to offer an independent perspective, according to the release.

    As part of the investigation, the NFL has already conducted 40 interviews, including Patriots personnel and game officials. The NFL has also hired Renaissance Associates, an investigatory firm with forensic expertise, to review electronic information obtained during the probe.

    The statement did not provide a timeline for when the investigation will conclude.

    On Monday, I received a letter from the league office informing me that they would be conducting an investigation into the air pressure of the game balls. Immediately after receiving the letter, I instructed our staff to be completely cooperative and transparent with the league's investigators. During the three days they were here, we provided access to every full- and part-time employee the league's representatives requested to speak with and produced every communication device that they requested to search. It is an ongoing process that the league and our team are taking very seriously. I very much support the league's desire to conduct a complete investigation and welcome the appointment of Ted Wells to lead the process. Competitive balance and the integrity of the game are the foundation of what makes our league so special and I have the utmost respect for those principles. Our organization will continue to cooperate throughout the league's investigation. Meanwhile, our players, coaches and staff will continue to focus on our preparations for Super Bowl XLIX and the many challenges we face as we prepare for the Seattle Seahawks.

    LINK: Tom Brady: “I Didn’t Alter The Ball In Any Way”


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    The Seahawks running back is locked in an expensive battle with the NFL that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. The NFL’s struggle with how to punish players for non-football behavior.

    Christian Petersen / Getty Images

    At least Marshawn Lynch is consistent.

    Marshawn Lynch again is being fined for grabbing his crotch after scoring a monster touchdown during the NFC Championship game and will be fined once again for refusing to speak to the media after a game. This time, he'll pay $20,000 for the "obscene gesture" and the NFL is threatening to fine him "significantly more" than the $50,000 Lynch has already paid twice for ignoring media obligations.

    His teammate, Chris Matthews, was fined $11,050 for what the league says was an "obscene gesture" that mimicked Lynch's signature crotch grab. However, Lynch and Williams say the latter was fined only for shaking Lynch's hand after a touchdown. Lynch then tweeted that he "feels embarrassed to work for a particular organization that fined a teammate of mine for shaking my hand after a touchdown."

    The NFL has spent much of the 2014 season scrambling to update policies after they've been revealed as weak and inconsistent, and the revised policies will benefit the players, teams, and leagues. But as the 2015 Super Bowl comes to conclude the NFL's craziest season, the NFL's predilection for highly subjective discipline at the hands of its commissioner remains evident in non-football fines.

    Marshawn Lynch's $100,000 fine for two combined incidents in which he refused to speak to the media stands as the highest fine during the 2014 season for a player who was not also suspended. Put simply, only players who used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) or assaulted their loves ones and subsequently lost weeks of their salary paid the league more than Lynch.

    Is a player's refusal to speak to reporters really worthy of a higher fine than a blindside block ($22,050) or a horse collar tackle ($16,537)?

    At the beginning of the season, the NFL releases its list of standard fines for on-field football violations. The amounts hover around three increments: $8,268, $16,537, and $22,050. How the NFL decided on those is unclear. Reflecting on the league's wonky personal conduct policy and PED/illegal substance policy, it seems the on-field football fines were once the NFL's strongest showing of consistent punishment.

    The Rice Saga

    The Rice Saga

    When Ray Rice was initially disciplined for his domestic assault incident last February, he was handed a two-game suspension and a $58,000 fine. Shortly after, when TMZ released a full surveillance video from the elevator, Rice was suspended from the league indefinitely and Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that they had gotten Rice's suspension wrong. As a result, the personal conduct policy under which Rice was punished has been highly revised, and players are now sent to the paid-leave purgatory known as the Commissioner's Exempt List. The new policy was pushed through without approval by the Player's Association, who have now filed a grievance with the league.

    Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

    Drug Fines

    Drug Fines

    Other notable fines this season include Wes Welker's $50,000 fine for taking ecstasy, and Josh Gordon's $81,746 fine for testing positive for trace amounts of marijuana for the second time in his career. These fines, and the subsequent suspensions, prompted the league to finally make a distinction between recreational drugs and PEDs.

    Ezra Shaw / Getty Images


    View Entire List ›


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    Over the years, photographers for the magazine have captured the greatest moments in sports.

    "There was a decision made through the company to restructure various departments, including at Sports Illustrated," Sports Illustrated director of photography Brad Smith told the National Press Photographers Association. "Unfortunately economic circumstances are such that it has cut the six staff photographers."

    Robert Beck, Simon Bruty, Bill Frakes, David E. Klutho, John W. McDonough, and Al Tielemans were told of the decision on Thursday.

    The magazine has been known for its iconic sports photography. Following is a sampling of the work staff photographers have done through the years:

    Babe Ruth in 1935.

    Jerry Cooke/Sports Illustrated / Getty Images

    John G. Zimmerman/ Sports Illustrated / Getty Images


    View Entire List ›


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    Banks was a legendary home run hitter and the first black baseball player on the Chicago Cubs.

    Chicago Cubs infielder Ernie Banks is pictured in 1967. (AP Photo/Harold Filan)

    AP

    Banks joined the Cubs in 1953 and went on to earn the nickname "Mr. Cub." His career was marked by an array of successes over 19 seasons: he hit 512 home runs and 1,636 RBIs; he was an 11-time all star; and in 1977, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Banks still holds Cubs records for the number games played and at-bats, among other things, ESPN reported. He also still holds the record for the second most home runs in Cubs history.

    Ernie Banks connects with the ball for his 2,500th base hit of his major league career on Sept. 19, 1969, in Chicago.

    AP

    Prior to joining the MLB, he played in the Negro leagues, joining the Kansas City Monarchs in 1950. He later spent two years in the army before joining the Cubs.


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    IT’S STILL REAL TO US DAMNIT!

    People are going to tell you it's fake the second they find out you're a fan.

    People are going to tell you it's fake the second they find out you're a fan.

    NBC

    No seriously, you're going to hear it a lot.

    No seriously, you're going to hear it a lot.

    "Oh you're a fan? You know it's fake right?"

    SONY

    Eventually you just act surprised when they tell you.

    Eventually you just act surprised when they tell you.

    "Oh really? Go on! Tell me more oh wise one!"

    WWE

    So to counter this you show them how "fake" it actually is...

    So to counter this you show them how "fake" it actually is...

    WWE


    View Entire List ›


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    New commissioner Rob Manfred has big ideas for how to make games quicker and more action-packed.

    Meet Rob Manfred, baseball's tenth commissioner. Manfred takes the helm from Bud Selig, who retired after 22 years in charge of the game.

    Meet Rob Manfred, baseball's tenth commissioner. Manfred takes the helm from Bud Selig, who retired after 22 years in charge of the game.

    Patrick McDermott / Getty Images

    • Make the pace of games quicker and make games shorter.

    • Bolster youth involvement in baseball to grow a new generation of fans and increase diversity in the sport.

    • Guide it back toward being a game focused on offense, which Manfred believes will be more exciting to casual fans.

    Yesterday, on ESPN, Manfred shared some of his thoughts on how to make America's favorite pastime more appealing to younger audiences:


    View Entire List ›


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    “I want to be out of time out,” the disgraced cyclist told the BBC.

    BBC News / Via bbc.com

    Lance Armstrong would choose to dope again if he were faced with the same drug culture he says existed in cycling in the 1990s, the disgraced cyclist told the BBC.

    In his first television interview since publicly admitting to Oprah Winfrey in Jan. 2013 that he used performance enhancing drugs extensively during his career, Armstrong told the BBC that he would change his combative behavior at the time, but not his decision to dope.

    "If I was racing in 2015, no, I wouldn't do it again because I don't think you have to," Armstrong said. "If you take me back to 1995, when doping was completely pervasive, I would probably do it again."

    "When I made that decision, when my teammates made that decision, when the whole peloton made that decision... It was a bad decision at an imperfect time, but it happened," he said.

    BBC News / Via bbc.com

    In 2012, the drug cheat was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles and banned from competitive cycling by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

    Armstrong, 43, told the broadcaster that his decision to return to competitive cycling was the "biggest mistake" of his life, saying it built a "bridge" for anti-doping agents to investigate his past doping.

    However, he also said he thinks it's time for people to forgive him for cheating.

    "I'm not going to lie to you. Selfishly, I'd say yeah we're getting close to that time. But that's me," he said. "Listen, of course I want to be out of time out. What kid doesn't? "


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    It’s unclear, though, if the person of interest committed any wrongdoing, sources told FOX Sports.

    David Butler Ii / Usa Today Sports

    The league determined that 11 of the 12 footballs the Patriots used while playing the Indianapolis Colts were underinflated by a significant amount. The Patriots ended up winning the game 45-7.

    Underinflated footballs can provide a competitive advantage because they're easier to grip and throw.

    The first underinflated ball was noticed when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a pass that was intercepted by a Colts defender, who notified an official.

    The NFL has since launched an investigation into who deflated the footballs. Teams provide 12 footballs bearing their logo that are tested two hours prior to kickoff.

    Sources told FOX Sports on Monday that there is surveillance video showing the locker room attendant taking the footballs from the official's room into another room at Gillette Stadium before bringing them out to the field.

    The league, though, is still trying to determine if any wrongdoing occurred.

    The investigation into the deflation remains ongoing.

    Twelve of the footballs were for the Patriots, and twelve were for the Colts. But as Florio reports, there is one confusing detail:

    "[T]he video shows the employee in the bathroom for approximately 90 seconds.

    Could the employee have fished 12 balls out of a fairly large bag, deflated each of them by two pounds, put them back into the bag, and exited the bathroom in roughly 90 seconds?"

    LINK: Patriots Cornerback Tells Deflategate Haters To “Inflate This”


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    Robert Kraft was a surprise opening act for the Patriots’ first press appearance for the Super Bowl.

    Shortly after landing in Arizona — and narrowly missing a blizzard in New England — the Patriots held a news conference in which they addressed the ball deflation scandal.

    Shortly after landing in Arizona — and narrowly missing a blizzard in New England — the Patriots held a news conference in which they addressed the ball deflation scandal.

    Elsa / Getty Images

    Patriots owner Robert Kraft — who made a surprise appearance before coach Bill Belichick — doubled down on the team's assertion that the footballs were underinflated as a result of the weather and other outside elements.

    On Saturday, Belichick headed an entire news conference in which he attempted to build that exact case. But scientists and even Wilson, the company that manufactures NFL footballs, have disputed Belichick's explanations.

    Kraft said he has seen nothing but integrity from Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady over the 15 years they've worked together. He also blamed "media leaks" for what he called a one-sided conversation about the controversy.

    He then — somewhat aggressively — suggested that if the NFL's investigation absolves the Patriots of wrongdoing, the league should apologize to the team, Belichick, and Brady. It was a bold demand.

    Yesterday, during a Super Bowl press appearance, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said he would be surprised if the NFL found the Patriots guilty of wrongdoing because of Kraft's close relationship with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He was largely referencing a photo of Goodell at Kraft's home after the AFC Championship that was (boldly) tweeted out by the official team account.

    Sherman continued: "You talk about conflict of interest. As long as that happens, it won't affect them at all. Nothing will stop them."

    When Belichick took the podium, he was quickly asked about the recent report that the NFL had obtained surveillance video of a locker room assistant carrying the footballs through Gillette Stadium during the AFC Championship game.

    The coach, though, quickly swerved around the question and stuck to asserting that his only focus this week is the Seattle Seahawks.

    Brady also largely stuck to discussing the upcoming game, saying only that Kraft had said "some very nice words" between getting off the plane — and presumably reading about the locker room attendant report — and the news conference.

    Maddie Meyer / Getty Images


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    This is not a drill: Bill Belichick wore a suit.

    During the AFC Championship, during which the NFL confiscated and investigated 12 footballs used by the Patriots, Bill Belichick stuck to his usual uniform of an ill-fitting sweatsuit and Dad Socks.

    During the AFC Championship, during which the NFL confiscated and investigated 12 footballs used by the Patriots, Bill Belichick stuck to his usual uniform of an ill-fitting sweatsuit and Dad Socks.

    Jim Rogash / Getty Images

    Multimillionaire and one of the greatest strategic minds of our generation? Or your grad school boyfriend braving the laundromat on a Sunday?

    Multimillionaire and one of the greatest strategic minds of our generation? Or your grad school boyfriend braving the laundromat on a Sunday?

    Getty Images Jim Rogash

    Victory was sweet. But then...

    Victory was sweet. But then...

    Elsa / Getty Images


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    The notoriously recalcitrant Seattle Seahawk stayed true to tight-lipped form on Tuesday. Money Lynch is fed up with the NFL treating him like an ATM.

    During Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday, Marshawn Lynch answered every question with the same response: "I'm just here so I won't get fined."

    During Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday, Marshawn Lynch answered every question with the same response: "I'm just here so I won't get fined."

    Twitter: @xmasape

    Lynch's teammates — especially Richard Sherman — have supported Lynch's refusal to bow to nonsensical NFL policies.

    Lynch's teammates — especially Richard Sherman — have supported Lynch's refusal to bow to nonsensical NFL policies.

    youtube.com


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