Report: Ben Howland Lost Control of His Program

Jeff Gross/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- According to Sports Illustrated, UCLA Mens Basketball coach Ben Howland lost control of his program, allowing star recruits to rebel without consequence resulting in the teams recent downturn in play.

"Obviously this is not a great day for our program or for me," Howland said on Wednesday. "I'm responsible for this program and everything that happens in it. If there's any need to make changes, I will make them."

Sports Illustrated says it interviewed more than 12 players and staff members from the last four teams to form the story. Many sources alleged that players were intentionally injuring others in practice and were drinking and smoking pot before practice.

"We'll go through the rest of the season, and then we'll sit down and talk about the situation like we always do," athletic director Dan Guerrero said. "The article certainly raised some issues, but believe me we were aware of some of the issues."

Howland has been with the program since 2003. He took the Bruins to three consecutive Final Fours between 2006-2008.

Copyright 2012, ABC News Radio




Scoreboard Roundup - 2/29/12

Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision(NEW YORK) -- NBA: The New York Knicks (18-18) downed the Cleveland Cavaliers (13-20), 120-103.

The Oklahoma City Thunder (28-7) bounced the Philadelphia 76ers (21-15), 92-88.

The Orlando Magic (23-13) vanquished the Washington Wizards (7-28), 102-95.

The Detroit Pistons (12-25) tamed the Charlotte Bobcats (4-29), 109-94.

The Golden State Warriors (14-18) took care of the Atlanta Hawks (20-15), 85-82.

The Boston Celtics (17-17) topped the Milwaukee Bucks (14-21), 102-96.

The Memphis Grizzlies (20-15) defeated the Dallas Mavericks (21-15), 96-85.

The Toronto Raptors (11-24) beat the New Orleans Hornets (8-27), 95-84.

The Chicago Bulls (29-8) bumped the San Antonio Spurs (24-11), 96-89.

The Utah Jazz (16-18) stopped the Houston Rockets (21-15), 104-83.

The Denver Nuggets (19-17) popped the Portland Trail Blazers (18-17), 104-95.

The Los Angeles Lakers (21-14) mashed the Minnesota Timberwolves (18-18), 104-85.

Top 25 Men's College Basketball: (6) North Carolina (26-4) pounded Maryland (16-13), 88-64.

(7) Missouri (26-4) edged Iowa State (21-9), 78-72.

Cincinnati (21-9) upended (8) Marquette (24-6), 72-61.

(10) Ohio State (23-6) was two points better than Northwestern (17-11), 75-73.

Colorado State (18-10) stunned (17) UNLV (24-7), 66-59.

South Florida (19-11) upset (19) Louisville (22-8), 58-51.

(21) San Diego State (23-6) bashed Boise State (13-15), 66-53.

In overtime, (23) Temple (23-6) were 90-88 winners over U-Mass (19-10).

NHL: The Pittsburgh Penguins (37-21-5) outlasted the Dallas Stars (33-26-5) in a shootout, 4-3.

The Chicago Blackhawks (34-24-7) one upped the Toronto Maple Leafs (29-28-7), 5-4.

The Buffalo Sabres (28-27-8) blanked the Anaheim Ducks (27-27-10), 2-0.

The Saint Louis Blues (40-17-7) defeated the Edmonton Oilers (25-32-6), 5-2.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


U.S. Soccer Team Defeats Italy 1-0

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images(GENOA, Italy) -- The United States men's soccer team defeated Italy 1-0 Wednesday night on a Clint Dempsey goal in the 55th minute. It’s the U.S. first victory against Italy in 11 tries, dating back 78 years.

The lone goal came when Dempsey scored off a pass from Jozy Altidore. The 28-year-old now has scored 25 goals in 83 international games.

Before the win, the United States was 0-7-3 against Italy, having been outscored 32-4.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NASCAR Penalizes The Number 48 Team

Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR(CHARLOTTE, N.C) -- It’s not the way the number 48 wanted to begin the season. NASCAR has docked five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson 25 driver points and suspended crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec six races for failing inspection before the Daytona 500. Knaus will also be fined $100,000.

NASCAR says Johnson’s car had modified sheet metal between the roof and the side windows illegally.

With the penalty, Johnson drops to 43rd place in the standings, 70 points behind points leader Matt Kenseth.

Hendrick Motorsports says they will appeal the ruling.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ryan Howard Sidelined After Treatment For Infected Wound

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(CLEARWATER, Fla.) -- Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard's recovery from a ruptured Achilles is becoming more and more complicated.

Howard had a procedure on Monday to clean out an infection around the sutures in his surgically repaired Achilles tendon, according to Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan.

"I think it's common for the skin behind the achilles to have trouble healing," Sheridan said. "I don't know that it's common for the infection to occur. But I do know that area is a tough area to heal. It doesn't have very good blood supply. And sometimes it becomes challenging for that area to heal."

The Phillies hoped Howard would return by May, but that is up in the air now. Howard is entering the first year of a five-year, $125 million contract.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Plaxico Burress Would Love to Play For the Eagles Next Season

Jed Jacobsohn/​Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When wide receiver Plaxico Burress was released from prison this past summer, many speculated that he would sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. He wound up signing a one-year contract with the New York Jets, but now Burress is once again sharing that he'd like to sign with Philadelphia once free agency begins.

"Nothing else would make me happier," Burress said on the Brian Baldinger and Harry Mayes Show on 97.5 the Fanatic ESPN Radio. "I mean obviously coming to Philadelphia, instituting myself into that offense it just adds a unique dynamic to what's already in place."

Even though Burress spent nearly two years in prison, Burress was productive in his first season with the Jets. He caught 45 passes for 612 yards, and caught eight touchdowns. It also doesn't hurt that Burrees is 6' 5". Still, the 34-year old Burress was once one of the most productive red zone wide receivers in the NFL.

Despite Burress sounding like he's ready to move on from the Jets, team general manager Mike Tannenbaum has not completely ruled out re-signing Burress.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cardinals Reward Catcher Yadier Molina With Contract Extension

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have locked up one their core players, who has helped the team to two World Series titles over the past six seasons.

According to CBS, the team has given catcher Yadier Molina a five-year contract extension worth $75 million.

Molina's extension is the second biggest deal ever for a catcher, behind the Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer, and will run through the 2017 season.

The 29-year old Molina is entering his ninth season in Major League Baseball, all with the Cardinals. This past season, Molina set career highs in batting average (.305), home runs (14), runs batted in (65), and runs scored (55).

Aside from his regular season success, Molina was a key member of the team's 2006 and 2011 World Series titles. Molina has a .309 batting average in 50 playoff games over his time with the team. Since the team was unable to sign first baseman Albert Pujols to a contract, the team was able to give the large extension to Molina as well as also adding outfielder Carlos Beltran in the off season.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Braun's Sample Collector Says He Followed Protocol

Robert Binder/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A man claiming to be the person who collected Ryan Bruan's sample, has come forward and said he followed protocol.

On Tuesday, Dino Laurenzi Jr. sent a statement to various media outlets to "set the record straight."

"I have worked hard my entire life, have performed my job duties with integrity and professionalism, and have done so with respect to this matter and all other collections in which I have participated," Laurenzi said in the statement.

Laurenzi claims he obtained a signature from Braun stating the samples were capped and sealed in his presence.

Braun's argument was that it took the sample collector 44 hours to ship out his sample, when there were multiple FedEX locations open till 9pm E.T. within 5 miles of Miller Park where he could have dropped off the specimen.

Laurenzi didn't dispute their were FedEx locations around the stadium, but in his statement said,"Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday. Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3rd."

Laurenzi said he has been a collector for Comprehensive Drug Collecting since 2005, conducting more than 600 samples during that time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kobe Has a Concussion 

Los Angeles Lakers/NBA(EL SEGUNDO, CA) -- Not only does Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant have a broken nose, he has a concussion.

The concussion was said to occur on the same play that broke Kobe's nose during Sunday's All-Star Game.

When Kobe went to get his nose checked, he was experiencing symptoms that led his doctor to send Bryant to a neurologist, Dr. Vern Williams, who diagnosed the concussion.

The question now is, when will Kobe come back?

He has played with all sorts of injuries in the past, but in the 2011-2012 season, the NBA made a rule for players returning from a concussion:

Any player diagnosed with a concussion will have to complete a series of tests to confirm he is healthy enough to return to game action. Once a player is free of symptoms related to the concussion, he must pass a series of physical challenges with increasing stages of exertion -- from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills -- while ensuring the symptoms don't return after each one. Before the player is ultimately cleared, the neurologist hired to lead the NBA's concussion program must be consulted.

The Lakers next game is Wednesday night against the Timberwolves.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio



Missouri and Texas A&M's Buyout Terms Are Set

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(IRVING, TX) -- Missouri and Texas A&M's Big 12 exit fee will cost each of program $12.41 million, the conference said on Tuesday.

"We are pleased to have these issues resolved and we wish the Big 12 and its continuing member institutions the best in the future," University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton said.

The Big 12's new television contract with Fox begins July 1st as well. Missouri has agreed to waive any benefits, while A&M will receive an unspecified portion of the contract benefits.

"On behalf of Texas A&M University and Aggies worldwide, I would like to thank the Big 12 and its member institutions for the many memories over the past 16 years," Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said. "We value our ongoing academic and athletic relationships with Big 12 members, and it is our hope to continue many of our longstanding athletic rivalries in the future."

TCU and West Virginia will join the Big 12 next season to take Missouri and Texas A&M's place.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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