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Thursday
Jul202017

Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(OXFORD, Miss.) -- Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze resigned the position on Thursday night, effective immediately.



Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said at a press conference Thursday that a pattern of phone calls made to a number associated with a female escort service was the reason for Freeze's resignation.

The school did announce that co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Matt Luke would be named interim head coach.

Earlier Thursday, Yahoo! Sports reported on a phone call made from Freeze's school-issued phone to a female escort service. That call was raised to the school's attention by former Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt, during a lawsuit.

Bjork told ESPN that as university officials looked deeper into the phone records for Freeze's school-issued phone, they found a pattern of calls. "It was troubling," Bjork said.

Bjork added that had Freeze not chosen to resign, the school would have exercised a "moral turpitude" caluse to fire him.

Ole Miss has been under NCAA investigation over possible recruiting violations. The school had stood firmly behind Freeze in that matter.

Freeze went 39-25 in five years at Ole Miss.

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Thursday
Jul202017

WNBA legend Sue Bird comes out as gay, opens up about relationship with soccer star Megan Rapinoe

Photo by Eddie Perlas / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- WNBA legend Sue Bird came out as gay in an article on ESPNW, and is dating U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe.

But, Bird says, those close to her won't find the revelations surprising.

"I'm gay. Megan's my girlfriend...these aren't secrets to people who know me." she said. "I don't feel like I've not lived my life. I think people have this  assumption that if you're not talking about it, you must be hiding it, like it's this secret. That was never the case for me."

Bird also said she considered coming out a year ago, but "chickened out."

As for talking about her sexual orientation now, Bird said it "feels right."

"Even though I understand there are people who think I should have done it sooner, it wasn't right for me at the time. I have to be true to that. It's my journey."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

ESPN: Derrick Rose in contract talks with Cleveland Cavaliers

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Free agent Derrick Rose is in talks with the defending Eastern Conference champions, ESPN says, on a contract that would bring the former MVP to Cleveland.

Sources told ESPN that Rose and the Cavaliers are discussing a one-year deal, but that Rose would also meet with the Los Angeles Lakers. Rose, a former first overall draft pick, has also met with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers since free agency began.

Rose spent the 2016-2017 season with the New York Knicks, but had an inconsistent season on the court, and some issues off it. Rose at one point left the team last year, without informing management, to tend to a family issue.

He did still average 18 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last year.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

Minnesota Timberwolves, Andrew Wiggins talking extension worth nearly $150 million

Pixfly/iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to lock up forward Andrew Wiggins, and a contract extension to keep him in Minneapolis could be worth nearly $150 million, according to head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Thibodeau spoke about the efforts to extend Wiggins' contract at a Thursday press conference to introduce free agent signing Jamal Crawford. "We're working on it right now," Thibodeau told reporters.

The deal could be for five years and $148 million.

The extension would begin in the 2018-2019 season and could start at $25.5 million for that year. The two sides could also agree to boost that number to $30.6 million in Wiggins makes an All-NBA team or is named Defensive Player of the Year in the upcoming season.

The 22-year-old scored 23.6 points per game and dished out 2.3 assists per game last year. He has started all but one game in his three-year career.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

Michael Phelps dives into the details about his race against a great white shark

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The most decorated Olympic athlete of all time competed against one of the world's top predators in the one thing both do best: swimming.

Michael Phelps stopped by ABC News' Good Morning America to discuss some of the amazing details from the day he raced a great white shark in open waters.

Phelps teamed up with the Discovery Channel for the race, which was held off the coast of South Africa as part of the channel's "Shark Week."

"This has been something I've wanted to do my whole life," Phelps told GMA. "This has been on my bucket list a long time and you know, being able to see these animals up close and personal in their own environment is something that was just such a treat."

Phelps tested the waters, so to speak, by taking a preparatory dive with the sharks ahead of the race.

"I had a white's nose come a little close to mine when I was in the cage, her mouth kind of just clamped right down on one of the bars. But I basically just sat down there for about an hour and just watched sharks swim right past me," he said.

Racing a shark is no easy task, Phelps said, as they can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour while swimming.

But the Olympian said his biggest challenge wasn't his animal competitor.

"The biggest thing for me is open water. Being in open water is so different from swimming in a swimming pool," Phelps said, explaining that the water temperature during the race was also very cold. "It was like 53 degrees, so that’s about like an ice tank, that added a little twist to the equation."

Phelps said he wore a monofin that strapped his feet into a tail-like attachment, allowing him to move through the water like a shark.

The 23-time Olympic gold medalist also told GMA about how he stayed safe during the race.

"Well, we're not in the water at the same exact time. I think that's the one thing we all wanted everybody to know -- I was safe, which is number one," he said.

Phelps said that during the race, there were between 12 and 14 divers below him who helped capture the shark's movements on camera.

"When you have an animal this size, you want to be able to see how fast they swim," he explained. "And it's tough to be able to go into their territory and swim as fast as they do."

The swimmer will also be featured in Shark School with Michael Phelps, which teaches people what to do if they find themselves in the vicinity of sharks.

"It's basically the dos and don'ts of what to do when you're in the ocean," he added.

Although Phelps is officially "done" swimming competitively, he said he has enjoyed an incredible career and was honored to have represented his country.

Now that he has fulfilled his lifetime dream of swimming with sharks, Phelps said he's considering commemorating the experience with fresh ink that would join the Olympic rings tattoo on his right bicep. He said he is thinking of getting a tattoo featuring a great white shark, a hammerhead shark or perhaps both.

"For me, it was an experience I'll never forget," Phelps said. "Being able to be on the bottom, basically, of the ocean floor and surrounded by a number of different species of sharks was one of the coolest things that I've probably ever done."

Shark Week begins Sunday, July 23, on the Discovery Channel.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul202017

Scoreboard roundup -- 7/19/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
San Francisco 5, Cleveland 4
L.A. Dodgers 9, Chicago White Sox 1, 8 innings
L.A. Angels 7, Washington 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Minnesota 6, N.Y. Yankees 1
Seattle 4, Houston 1
Oakland 7, Tampa Bay 2
Baltimore 10, Texas 2
Boston 5, Toronto 1
Kansas City 4, Detroit 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 10, Miami 3
Chicago Cubs 8, Atlanta 2
Colorado 18, San Diego 4
Pittsburgh 3, Milwaukee 2, 10 innings
N.Y. Mets 7, St. Louis 3
Cincinnati 4, Arizona 3, 11 innings

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul192017

Police suspend investigation into Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott

Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(DALLAS) -- Police have suspended an investigation into Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott due to a lack of witnesses and an inability to contact the victim of an alleged assault.

The Dallas Police Department says it has made "several attempts to contact the victim through various ways but at this time have not been able to make contact."

The incident occurred this past weekend at a Dallas bar. A 30-year-old man was left with a nose injury. No arrests were made.

An NFL official told ESPN that the league was aware of the incident and was "looking into it."

Elliott was already under investigation for an accusation of domestic violence made against him last year. His response to the league in that matter is expected to be submitted next week.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett expects to speak with Elliott about the latest incident on Friday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul192017

Chargers' Mike Williams could need back surgery

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(SAN DIEGO) -- Rookie wide receiver Mike Williams could require back surgery that could endanger his rookie season.

ESPN reports that Williams recently received a second epidural to help deal with a herniated disk.

Williams was drafted seventh overall by the San Diego Chargers. He showed up to the team's rookie minicamp with a bad back.

After one practice, he was diagnosed with a herniated disk.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn had publicly expressed hope that Williams could heal with rest. ESPN reports that Williams got some relief from the recent epidural, but that concerns about his back remain.

Williams suffered a fracture in his neck during his time at Clemson. He missed much of the 2015 season with that injury, but returned last year to play a major role in the team's first NCAA Championship in more than 20 years.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul192017

Chris Christie heckled after catching foul ball at Mets game

ABC/Randy Sager(NEW YORK) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's left-handed catch of a foul ball at a Mets game Tuesday night didn't earn him much admiration from the crowd.

The Mets were in a 4-0 hole playing the Cardinals on Tuesday when Christie caught the foul ball. Christie then got up, shook some hands and handed off the ball to a young boy a few rows back.

It was a pretty solid catch, but that didn't stop Fox Sports announcer Dan McLaughlin, who was calling the game, from poking a little fun at Christie's beach shutdown controversy from earlier this month.

"Nice to see him get from the beach here to the ballpark," he said.

Then, in a moment captured on video by sports pundits and fans, the crowd at Citi Field in New York booed him.

McLaughlin's comment refers to photographs of Christie enjoying one of New Jersey's beaches with his family during the Fourth of July holiday weekend when many were closed to the public due to a government shutdown.

The Mets went on to lose Tuesday night's game 5-0.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul192017

Lucky Whitehead 'very happy' after reuniting with puppy that was kidnapped

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead is using his saga to warn others about the potential dangers of posting about your pet on social media, after his puppy was kidnapped and held for ransom earlier this week.

"I take him everywhere," Whitehead told ABC News of his pit bull, Blitz, who he adopted about eight weeks ago at the age of approximately 9 weeks.

Whitehead said he immediately had "a great bond" with Blitz, saying "it's the off-season for me so we have plenty of time to just hang out constantly nonstop and play around and all that stuff."

The football star told ABC News that his beloved pup was dog-napped on Sunday, while Whitehead was out of town and Blitz was being watched by a close friend. Whitehead said he received a phone call from his friend saying that when he went back to Whitehead's house after running an errand, Blitz's cage was open and the dog was gone.

Whitehead said he soon got calls from blocked numbers asking for ransom.

"It was tough," Whitehead said of the dog-napping. "I was getting blocked calls asking for the dog, how much the dog means to me, how much am I willing to pay for the dog."

The football player, who often posted about Blitz on social media, immediately took to Instagram, asking his followers if they knew any details of where Blitz could be.

Brandi Hunter of the American Kennel Club told ABC News that posting information about your pet on social media may make your pet a target for dog-nappers.

"Posting a picture of your dog is totally fine, but you do want to make sure that you don't give any identifying information about where you live, where the dog can be found, or even the cost of the dog," Hunger said. "That opens up a world of options for thieves."

Fortunately for Whitehead, his pleas on social media and local media attention for his case allowed him to be reunited with Blitz on Tuesday, without having to pay ransom.

A man eventually saw his posts about Blitz on Instagram and contacted Whitehead through the app, saying he had recently bought the dog from an anonymous source not realizing that the puppy was stolen.

A spokesperson for the Addison Town Police Department told ABC News an investigation was ongoing.

Whitehead said he was thrilled to be reunited with Blitz, saying, "as far as me leaving his side, I'm not going to leave unless I got to leave."

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