Archive for the ‘Football and basketball’ Category

Headline: UGA Blog has moved to a new page; come visit and remember to bookmark!

No, we didn’t quit covering Georgia. We’ve just had a little digital format change and our UGA Blog and daily coverage has shifted to another place.

Beginning now, this blog is moving to a new home within AJC Sports. In fact, we’ve already got news posted over there, such as THIS POST on what Virginia Tech’s recent overtures will mean for Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

We are making some other changes that we hope the members of this blog community will enjoy. Game stories, features and articles and player profiles will move from the blogs into our sports news pages. The blog will focus on the issues you and others are talking about, with opinion and analysis front and center.

Readers will now be asked to register before posting comments in the blogs and stories. We value the spirited discussion and debate, and believe this change will improve the interactivity for everyone.

Bookmarks and RSS feeds: If you visit the blog from a bookmark or use an RSS reader, …

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UGA Athletic Board moves $30M in search of better return

ATHENS – The University of Georgia Athletic Association’s board of directors voted Friday to invest $30 million from cash reserves through the UGA Foundation, which manages non-athletic donor funds for the school, in an attempt to get a higher rate of return.

The UGA Athletic Association currently has about $68 million in reserves, money that it says is in the bank drawing little interest.

The plan is to put slightly less than half of the reserves “to work for us in maybe a more aggressive stance to help us meet both current and future long-term needs of the association,” Tim Burgess, UGA senior vice president for finance and administration and Athletic Association treasurer, told the board before the vote.

Board member Jeffrey Dorfman, a UGA professor, spoke and voted against the action.

“I think before we move $30 million of Athletic Association money into a different form of investment, the people that are going to manage that investment ought to come here and make …

Continue reading UGA Athletic Board moves $30M in search of better return »

Raises coming for UGA football coaches Mark Richt, Todd Grantham

Georgia is expected to step up with more years and more money to keep Mark Richt and Todd Grantham together to lead the Bulldogs' football program.

Georgia is expected to step up with more years and more money to keep Mark Richt and Todd Grantham together to lead the Bulldogs' football program.

ATHENS – The Georgia Athletic Association end-of-the-year board meeting is scheduled to get started tomorrow morning at the Ritz Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee. Actually, current and emeritus members will gather there to socialize tonight, then commence with business first thing in the morning.

And I’m expecting a lot of business to be conducted. UGA so far has offered only a very vague agenda for the meeting, which lists things like “AD’s Report,” “New Projects” and “Financial Update” and the like. But the most important item of business isn’t spelled out there and we all know that it’s going to take place (likely during AD’s report).

Georgia is expected to finally reveal the details of football coach Mark Richt’s new five-year contract. Legal representatives for both Richt and the university have been dickering over the final …

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Florida influence apparent in management style of UGA’s Greg McGarity

ATHENS – There are some nervous coaches around Georgia’s athletic department these days. That tends to happen when the coach of perennial top 10 program abruptly resigns the week after finishing 11th.

Georgia gymnastics coach Jay Clark offered his resignation shortly after meeting with UGA athletic director Greg McGarity on May 4 and it served as an overture to his staff. Clark had two years remaining on a five-year contract he signed when he succeeded ultra-successful head coach Suzanne Yoculan in 2009.

The Gym Dogs weren’t awful under Clark, not by a long stretch. But they fell well short of the standards set by Yoculan’s teams, which won 10 national championships, including their last five in a row.

“We’re expected to win championships and we wanted to,” Clark said. “We just didn’t get it done.”

It didn’t matter that Clark was part of that run as an assistant coach for Yoculan or that of two of his gymnasts were crowned individual national champions. Three …

Continue reading Florida influence apparent in management style of UGA’s Greg McGarity »

What will Michael Adams’ legacy be in regard to UGA athletics?

UGA's athletic facilities saw dramatic improvement during the tenure of Dr. Michael Adams, seen here at the dedication of the expanded football complex in February of 2011. (AJC photo by Curtis Comption)

UGA's athletic facilities saw dramatic improvement during the tenure of Dr. Michael Adams, seen here at the dedication of the expanded football complex in February of 2011. (AJC photo by Curtis Comption)

ATHENS – One of the most successful — and tumultuous — periods in the University of Georgia’s long history will come to an end when Dr. Michael A. Adams officially retires as the school’s president 13 months from now. Adams will make that decision public on Thursday, The AJC has learned.

The question I want to pose is, what will Adams’ legacy be with regard to Georgia’s athletics?

Certainly, Georgia’s athletic teams continued to fare well and maybe even improved during his tenure. He took over for Charles Knapp in 1997, which was coach Jim Donnan’s second year as the Bulldogs’ football coach.

It was only a short time later that UGA supporters witnessed Adams’ willingness to weigh in on athletic matters. After Georgia lost to Georgia Tech for the third year in a row in Athens …

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Ten@10: UGA’s Richard Samuel advises not to forget about him at tailback

Georgia's Richard Samuel was a force to be reckoned with at tailback in the fourth quarter against Florida last October. (AJC photo by Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com)

Georgia's Richard Samuel was a force to be reckoned with at tailback in the fourth quarter against Florida last October. (AJC photo by Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com)

THE TEN AT 10:

1. There will be white-hot focus on tailbacks Isaiah Crowell and Keith Marshall when Georgia opens its spring football camp later this afternoon. But senior Richard Samuel made it clear he doesn’t plan on shrinking away in the background.

Asked if he felt like those other two are commanding all the attention heading into spring ball, Samuel said: “I feel like they do, but it doesn’t bother me. I feel like my work ethic and what I do on the practice field will carry over to the game field and show that I’m still there.”

Samuel (6-foot-2, 235 pounds) said he considers himself a leader among the running backs and plans on conducting himself that way.

“I feel like I’ll be able to show them what kind of practice and what kind of effort needs to go into preparation every day in order to get better,” …

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Ten@10: Buyout, compensation are sticky issues for Mark Richt’s contract

THE TEN AT 10:

1. Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity made a point to mention that football coach Mark Richt is not receiving merely a contract extension, but a whole new deal.

To say “extension” is to imply that additional years are simply being added to the the existing contract. That’s not at all the case. And the simple fact that UGA and Richt’s representation — Lonnie Cooper and Mark Carmony of Career Sports & Entertainment, Inc. — have been dickering over the details since the first week of December underscores that.

“It is a different contract,” McGarity said of the five-year deal that will pay Richt through the 2016 season. “In other words, we’re blowing up the old contract. I shouldn’t say blowing up, but we’re basically starting over with new terminology and things like that that will probably make it easier to read, easier to understand.”

The most important “terminology” in the new contract will be the buyout clause. In other words, what will Georgia owe Richt …

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Ten@10: TE Aron White makes most of opportunity at UGA Pro Day

Sporting a new beard and increased upper-body strength, Georgia tight end Aron White had a strong showing for NFL scouts at UGA Pro Day on Monday. (UGA photo by John Kelley)

Sporting a new beard and increased upper-body strength, Georgia tight end Aron White had a strong showing for NFL scouts at UGA Pro Day on Monday. (UGA photo by John Kelley)

THE TEN AT 10

1. One of the Georgia football players who may have significantly helped his cause during UGA’s Pro Day on Monday is tight end Aron White.

White, a fifth-year senior who played the last couple of seasons in the shadow of All-American Orson Charles, performed very well for the 40-something NFL coaches and scouts gathered at Woodruff Practice Fields. He ran the fastest 40 time of the tight ends in the blustery conditions (4.71, according to one scout), looked considerably bigger in his upper body and said he had gained about 10 pounds since the end of the football season while training with “GATA.”

“I feel like I had a really good day out here,” said White, who weighed in at 239 pounds. “I felt very well prepared and I had all the confidence in the world. I felt like I was as prepared or …

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Ten@10: Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones named Collegiate Player of Year

Georgia's Jarvis Jones (29) was named the Collegiate Player of the Year by the Atlanta Sports Council on Monday. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia's Jarvis Jones (29) was named the Collegiate Player of the Year by the Atlanta Sports Council on Monday. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

THE TEN AT 10

1. Months after the football season was completed, awards are still rolling in for Georgia’s Jarvis Jones. The latest honor for the Bulldogs’ star outside linebacker came Monday night during the Atlanta Sports Awards ceremony at the Fox Theatre as Jones was named Collegiate Athlete of the Year for the 2011 season. His was one of nine awards presented Monday night by the Atlanta Sports Council to athletes and sports personalities in Georgia.

In his first season with the Bulldogs, Jones led the SEC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) and recording 70 tackles. The sophomore from Columbus also two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and 49 quarterback pressures. After the season, he was named first-team All-American and All-SEC and won the CFPA Elite Linebacker Trophy. He was also a Butkus Award finalist.

Jones is a …

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Ten@10: Awards for Frank Sinkwich, Charley Trippi and Keith Marshall

They didn't come any tougher than "Flatfoot Frankie" Sinkwich, who played seven games of the 1941 season with a broken jaw. (UGA photo)

They didn't come any tougher than "Flatfoot Frankie" Sinkwich, who played seven games of the 1941 season with a broken jaw. (UGA photo)

THE TEN AT 10

1. Upon hearing Monday’s announcement that Georgia coach Mark Richt decided to create annual team awards named for Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi, I had two initial thoughts: One, good idea, Coach Richt; and, two, how did the Bulldogs not already have awards named for those guys?

Of course, they’re considered two of the greatest Bulldogs of all time. Sinkwich was the 1942 Heisman Trophy winner and was the star on the Bulldogs’ national championship team of that year. He is famous for playing most of the 1941 season with a broken jaw. And Trippi won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best back in 1946 and is generally considered one Georgia’s best overall athletes of all time. Appropriately, Richt announced that, starting with this coming season, the Sinkwich Award will be go to “Georgia’s toughest player” while the Trippi …

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Ten@10: VanGorder, Martinez, UGA’s last two DCs, reunite at Auburn

Willie Martinez coached alongside Mark Richt at Georgia for nine years. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Willie Martinez coached alongside Mark Richt at Georgia for nine years. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

THE TEN AT 10

1. Looks like Willie Martinez is coming back to the SEC. The former Georgia defensive coordinator, so vilified his last couple of years in Athens, is joining new Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder as defensive backs coach for the Tigers. Nothing is official yet but there are multiple reports Martinez was in Auburn on Monday, including THIS ONE by Charles Goldberg of The Birmingham News. It will be the fifth time the two men have coached together, including hitches at Boca Raton (Fla.) High School, Central Michigan, Central Florida and Georgia.  Martinez, 48, resigned as defensive backs coach at Oklahoma in January. He was fired as Georgia’s defensive coordinator in December of 2009.

Of course, this means the Bulldogs’ last two D-coordinators will be conspiring against them in November (and on the recruiting trail well before then). That …

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Jay Rome: Hoops will help in quest to become UGA’s next great tight end

The Bulldogs are expecting big things from 6-foot-6, 253-pound tight end Jay Rome after he gets through with basketball. (UGA photo by Chris Collins)

The Bulldogs are expecting big things from 6-foot-6, 253-pound tight end Jay Rome after he gets through with basketball. (UGA photo by Chris Collins)

ATHENS — With Marcus Thornton’s sudden and unexpectedly early return to the Georgia basketball team, we’re probably going to be seeing less of Jay Rome on the basketball court going forward

As it was, we were getting only tiny glimpses of the Bulldogs’ highly-touted tight end when it came to playing round ball. After joining the hoops squad following Georgia’s January 2 bowl game. The 6-foot-6, 253-pound forward played an average of 1.7 minutes in just three contests and hasn’t recorded a point.

But to use that as a measure of Rome’s athleticism and basketball-playing abilities would be missing the point. Regardless of minutes played or points scored, both Georgia football coach Mark Richt and basketball coach Mark Fox are glad Rome is doing what he’s doing.

Rome’s presence on the basketball team added front-court depth at a …

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Missouri officially accepted as 14th member of Southeastern Conference

Missouri has officially been accepted as a member of the Southeastern Conference. Along with new member Texas A&M, that means the SEC will compete as a 14-team conference starting next season.

Following is the official announcement sent out by the SEC Sunday morning:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (November 6, 2011) – The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors, acting unanimously, announced today that the University of Missouri will join the Southeastern Conference effective July 1, 2012, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year.

The addition of Missouri will increase SEC membership to 14 institutions. The additions of Texas A&M, announced on September 25, 2011, and Missouri, are the first expansions for the SEC since September of 1991 when the University of South Carolina joined the league. The University of Arkansas joined the SEC in August of 1991. With the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina, the SEC was the first conference to split …

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Notebook: Georgia TE Jay Rome decides to play basketball

Jay Rome (L) scored 33 points for Valdosta against Norcross in the playoffs as a senior last season. (AJC photo)

Jay Rome (L) scored 33 points for Valdosta against Norcross in the playoffs as a senior last season. (AJC photo)

ATHENS – Add another name to the list of football players planning to play basketball at Georgia.

Jay Rome, a freshman tight end from Valdosta, said he recently received the blessing of basketball coach Mark Fox to come out for basketball after the football season in over. Rome will join fellow freshman Nick Marshall on the hardwood.

“I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be able to start working with the team but me and my father talked with Coach Fox a week or so ago and basketball is definitely going to happen,” said Rome, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward. “In high school, I always thought basketball was my favorite sport, but I figured I’d have a better chance to play football in college. But over the past month or so, I decided I wanted to play basketball again because I missed it so much.”

Rome was a three-time player of the year at Valdosta, where he averaged 25 …

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Herschel Walker chimes in on the Dogs’ ‘Dream Team,’ and other notes

A few quick notes to start the day:

  • Herschel Walker became the latest to chime in on Georgia’s recruiting class. “How about that Dawgs ‘Dream Team’ Coach Mark Richt recruited?” Walker posted Thursday evening on Twitter. “We finally kept our Georgia boys at home. Nice job Coach.” Walker previously had expressed concerns about elite prospects leaving the state.
  • Georgia basketball signee Kentavious Caldwell-Pope received a high honor Thursday: He was chosen as a McDonald’s All-American. The shooting guard from Greenville (Ga.) will be one of 24 players in the prestigious all-star game March 30 at Chicago’s United Center.  According to the game’s website, 10 previous McDonald’s All-Americans went on to play for UGA: Terry Fair (a 1979 selection), Dominique Wilkins (1979), James Banks (1980), Vern Fleming (1980), Donald Hartry (1982), Melvin Howard (1983), Litterial Green (1988), Shaun Golden (1989), Carlos Strong (1992) and Damien Wilkins (1999).
  • Mark Fox will coach …

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Notes from Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club meeting

OK, here’s the final word (I think) on whether the Bulldogs will have any two-a-day practices this summer:

They’ll have one session of two-a-days.

Georgia’s original practice schedule called for no days of double drills, but the revised schedule calls for two practices on Aug. 9. Otherwise, the Dogs will have single practices almost every day in August except for Sundays, when they’ll be off.

“My goal with this whole thing was . . . instead of the old ‘let’s break them down and build them back up’ . . . was to just build them up from the get-go,” Mark Richt said Monday night before speaking to the Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club gathering at the Cobb Galleria Centre. “We get two more weeks of really good [weight-]lifting cycle. . . . When we start the season, I’m hoping we’ll be stronger and healthier. Plus, when you go a lot of two-a-days, you tend to fatigue, tend to pull muscles. I’m trying to keep that from happening if possible.”

Richt also noted that under current NCAA …

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UGA reports nine secondary violations

Georgia has self-reported nine secondary violations of NCAA rules this year — a list of transgressions that provides a glimpse into the minutiae of the NCAA rulebook.

The violations, revealed in response to an open-records request by the AJC, cover a range of sports — a football coach returning a call to a high school junior, basketball recruits sitting in the wrong seats in Stegeman Coliseum, a track-and-field recruit being reimbursed an extra 5 cents per mile.

All crossed the line of NCAA bylaws.

Schools routinely self-report secondary violations to the NCAA, which defines them as inadvertent missteps that don’t create a significant competitive advantage. Georgia’s nine violations since Jan. 1 are a typical number for that time period; UGA reported 10 in the final six months of last year.

“Not to make any excuses, but the NCAA manual is over 400 pages thick, with other interpretations out there too,” said Eric Baumgartner, Georgia’s assistant athletics director for …

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Vandy No. 1, UGA No. 2 in SEC football academics (Plus: APR for all UGA sports, all SEC football teams)

Georgia posted the second best score among SEC football teams in the Academic Progress Rate (APR) statistics released Wednesday by the NCAA.

UGA’s football team had an APR of 973 out of a possible 1,000, topped only by Vanderbilt’s 975 in the SEC. The national average for football teams was 944.

Georgia had the SEC’s highest scores in women’s basketball (1,000), men’s golf (1,000) and gymnastics (996). The baseball team posted Georgia’s lowest APR, 941.

The Bulldogs’ men’s basketball team recorded a score of 944, which ranked fifth among SEC teams. The national average for men’s basketball teams was 940.

All of Georgia’s 20 sports teams posted scores comfortably above the NCAA-mandated threshold of 925. Teams that post APR scores below 925 and have a player leave school ineligible can be assessed penalties, including loss of scholarships.

The APR is an NCAA-designed measure that assesses the eligibility, retention and graduation of athletes over a four-year period. The figures …

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Running game desperately needed

Athens -– So many things need fixing on Georgia’s football team right now, as you’ll glean from this mid-season report, but one thing that absolutely has to get fixed if the team is going to have any significant success in the second half of the season is the running game.

The Bulldogs are the only SEC team averaging less than 100 yards per game rushing (97.2). Heck, four SEC teams are averaging over 200 yards per game rushing. Florida is averaging almost 300 (284.6).  Nationally, only 16 of 120 major-college teams have run for fewer yards than Georgia this season.

I asked Mike Bobo on Tuesday night what has to happen to turn this around.

“We need to play with more passion up front. We need to finish blocks. And we need to have a sense of urgency when we’re running the football,” Georgia’s offensive coordinator answered. “That’s offensive linemen. That’s tight ends. And that’s running backs.

“You’ve got to take pride in it, and you’ve got to play hard and physical.”

The …

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Freshmen receivers catching on

Athens — Mark Richt really likes his freshmen receivers. The Bulldogs are really serious about reducing penalties. And the radio broadcast team is really large.

Those were my take-aways from Day 2 in Georgia’s preseason camp.

Only a small portion -– about 20 minutes -– of a two-hour practice was open to the media Wednesday, but Richt was pretty animated afterward in discussing his very, very early impressions of the incoming freshmen.

On WR Marlon Brown: “I saw him going up strong on a catch and guys were trying to rake the ball out of there and couldn’t do it because he’s got such strong hands.”

On WR Rantavious Wooten: “I saw [him] running routes, looking like he had been doing it for quite a while. Got outstanding hands.”

On TE Orson Charles: “He made some nice catches. He needs much more precision in his route-running, of course, but . . . he’s getting a pretty good feel for what to do.”

On TB Washaun Ealey: “I like how Washaun looks. He runs with a great center of …

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Team-by-team GPA’s

    University of Georgia athletes in all men’s and women’s sports had a cumulative grade point average of 3.01 for spring semester, the highest ever by the school’s athletes, the UGA Athletic Association announced Thursday.

   Of 508 student-athletes, 258 had GPA’s of 3.0 or higher for the semester.

   Thursday’s news release didn’t include a sport-by-sport breakdown, but that information was provided recently to the Athletic Association board of directors. Here, if you’re interested, are those details:

MEN’S SPORTS

Sport         No. of students     Spring semester 2009 GPA

Golf                       11                   3.28

Swimming              25                   3.13

Cross country        11                   3.05

Track                     52                   2.92

Football                122                   2.876

Baseball   …

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A busy, mostly good, weekend for the Dogs

    Hope everyone had a great weekend.

    Well, once again, the Georgia baseball team didn’t, getting swept at South Carolina to continue a late-season collapse that has reached 11 losses in 13 games.

    And the men’s tennis team didn’t have a great weekend, either, losing to Texas in the rain-interrupted quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships to end the Bulldogs’ quest of a third consecutive national title.

   But elsewhere, the weekend was good to UGA:

   Men’s basketball: Tennessee State’s top scorer announced plans to transfer to Georgia. Guard Gerald Robinson Jr., who averaged 17.8 points per game as a sophomore last season and 15.2 as a freshman, will have to sit out the 2009-10 season under NCAA transfer rules. The 6-foot-1 Robinson, from Nashville, then will have two years of eligibility remaining. ”I sat down and evaluated everything, put together a checklist, and Georgia offered all the things I was looking for,” Robinson told The Tennessean. “. . …

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Richt on travel, Jax, Cox, and more

   Columbus -– Caught up with Mark Richt’s speaking tour Thursday night.  His visit with the Columbus Bulldog Club was interesting and lively.

   He expressed some serious reservations about long road trips, such as Georgia’s to Arizona State last fall.  He scoffed at the notion that Jacksonville is a neutral site for the Georgia-Florida game. And he quantified the extent to which the Georgia players see Joe Cox as the team’s leader.

    Here’s Richt, responding to questions from the gathering:

   On Cox’s leadership:  “We had exit meetings where one of the things we asked the players on their exit-meeting sheet, I guess, was: Who do you think are the leaders of this football team? I think it was 110 guys who wrote down different names. And 107 times, Joe got his name mentioned. . . . So here’s a guy voted the No. 1 leader on the team who really hasn’t started a game in three years and only started one in his whole career.”

   On how the …

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Football! Basketball! Baseball! A Monday sampler …

  Athens – OK, before we start another week, let’s clean out an overfull notebook from last week. . . .

  – UGA President Michael Adams sat in on interviews with five candidates for the basketball coaching job and said he was extremely impressed with Mark Fox.  But Adams stressed that the hiring decision was purely athletics director Damon Evans’. “What I did was sit back and listen,” Adams said. “Damon conducted the interviews. I don’t think I asked any candidate more than two or three questions.” Adams said he was there to show the importance the institution places on the job.  ”I felt it was my role in this process to demonstrate the university’s commitment to basketball,” Adams said. “It’s why we built the [practice] facility we built, why we were willing to pay what it took to hire the right coach.”

  – There was no quibbling over salary when Evans made his offer to Fox.  “Six years at $1.3 million is not bad, is it?” Evans said. “I …

Continue reading Football! Basketball! Baseball! A Monday sampler … »