USC's Byron Wesley, right, gets his hand on a shot by Colorado's John Hopkins during the Trojans' season-ending loss in the Pac-12 tournament. Wesley plans to graduate from USC this summer and use his final season of eligibility at another school.

USC basketball: Byron Wesley will transfer

USC guard Byron Wesley, the Trojans' leading scorer last season, announced Wednesday that he would transfer and play his final season at another school.

Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, smiles during a news conference Wednesday to announce that Atlanta will receive a Major League Soccer franchise. Blank will be the new team's owner.

Major League Soccer awards expansion team to Atlanta

Major League Soccer on Wednesday awarded an expansion team to Atlanta, which would begin play in 2017.

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon was among the plaintiffs who reached a concussion lawsuit settlement with the NFL.

Federal judge holds off decision on NFL concussion settlement

A federal judge in Philadelphia declined Wednesday to approve a proposed $765-million concussion settlement between the NFL and a group of retired players.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain speeds down the track during Formula One testing at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.

U.S. motor racing takes Easter break, but Formula One set for China

Major U.S. motor racing goes quiet this weekend for its traditional Easter break.

UC Irvine's Mamadaou Ndiaye turns pitching mound into mole hill

UC Irvine's Mamadaou Ndiaye turns pitching mound into mole hill

Baseball has seen many big pitches --Dennis Eckersly to Kirk Gibson for example -- but it is unlikely to have seen any bigger pitchers.

UCLA coach John Wooden holds the 1970 NCAA men's basketball championship trophy after beating Jacksonville. UCLA player John Vallely is at left.

Former Jacksonville coach claims UCLA had help in 1970 NCAA title win

A former Jacksonville University basketball coach claims in a new book that the school's 1970 NCAA title game against UCLA was -- how would one put this delicately? -- rigged.

Chris Johnson will play for the New York Jets next season.

Chris Johnson signs with the New York Jets

Chris Johnson has gone from the Tennessee Titans to the onetime New York Titans.

Chris Paul talks with Blake Griffin during a game against the Denver Nuggets on April 15.

Clippers wait on Oklahoma City results

Right about the time the Clippers tip off tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers, they’ll probably know if they have a chance at moving up in the Western Conference standings.

Frederik Andersen will start Game 1 of the playoffs for the Ducks.

Rookie Frederik Andersen to start in goal for Ducks in playoff opener

With grand postseason plans, the Ducks are expected to put a rookie in goal tonight when the Stanley Cup playoffs begin against the Dallas Stars at Honda Center.

Kyle Anderson (5) and Zach LaVine (14), shown conferring on the sideline this past season with teammate Travis Wear (24) and Coach Steve Alford, won't be wearing UCLA uniforms next season.

UCLA's Kyle Anderson, Zach LaVine formally announce for NBA draft

UCLA guards Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine made official what was already known: both will be available for theNBA draft.

Blake Griffin won't play against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Clippers' Blake Griffin, at technical foul limit, suspended one game

The NBA announced Wednesday that Clippers forward Blake Griffin was suspended one game without pay for getting his 16th technical foul of the season.

Aldon Smith

49ers might already be finished with Aldon Smith, report says

Could the San Francisco 49ers already be finished with troubled linebacker Aldon Smith?

San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami, who is very plugged in with that franchise, says several sources within the organization have indicated to him Smith has not only lost the benefit of the doubt with the club but probably won’t play for the 49ers in 2014.

Smith was arrested and booked Sunday on suspicion of making a false bomb report during a dust-up at Los Angeles International Airport. That’s merely the latest transgression for a player who had DUI arrests in 2012 and 2013, and felony weapons charges relating to an incident at a party in 2012.

Smith, who turns 25 in September, is in the last year of his rookie contract and is due to make $2.3 million this season. There’s no questioning his value on the field, as he’s had 42 sacks in three seasons, including 8 1/2 last season when he played in just 11 games because of a stint in rehab. The 49ers have to decide by...


UFC's Joe Rogan says Ronda Rousey would beat Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Who would win a fight between UFC women's champion Ronda Rousey and undefeated boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr.? It was a close contest in a reader survey we did recently, but UFC commentator Joe Rogan says Rousey would win.

“It’s all about how much time Floyd has to prepare, because he will really have to work on his takedown defense. That would be the big thing,” Rogan said on ESPN2′s “SportsNation.” “If Ronda got a clinch on him, it’s not just about worrying about being taken down to the ground, it’s worrying about knees to the body. It is worrying about her manipulating his body in ways that he doesn’t understand.”

Mayweather would need at least six months of training to be able to have a chance with Rousey, according to Rogan.

“It’s too hard to avoid the clinch. If you watch a Floyd Mayweather fight, they very rarely end in a one-punch knockout. He has brittle hands. His hands break. You are talking...

Felix Trinidad has reached a debt deal with his bank.

Felix Trinidad reaches debt deal after alleged $63-million loss

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico boxing star Felix Trinidad has reached a debt deal with a local bank following alleged losses of $63 million that he blames on a former financial adviser.

Tuesday's deal temporarily halts a $2.9 million payment that Banco Popular had sought from Trinidad.

Trinidad and his father had filed a complaint with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority last week accusing former adviser Jose Ramos of making investments without their consent. Ramos has said that the accusations are false.

Trinidad is scheduled to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on June 8.


Boston Marathon bombing anniversary is solemn, yet inspiring

NHL playoff preview: Breaking down the first-round matchups

Trainer Gary Vitti suffers through a painful season with the Lakers


Angels reliever Joe Smith throws during an exhibition game against the Texas Rangers.

Angels reliever Joe Smith on loss to Athletics: 'I was horrible'

Joe Smith didn’t mince his words late Tuesday night. The Angels right-hander came on to protect a one-run lead in the eighth inning and faced five batters. All of them reached base, and four of them scored -- the turning point in a game the Oakland Athletics went on to win, 10-9, in 11 innings.

“Man, I was horrible,” said Smith, who threw scoreless innings in each of his first six games. “I fell behind in counts. I had the first guy 0-and-2 and walked him -- that’s a no-no. I was absolutely terrible, there’s no other way to say it. That’s the worst I’ve thrown the ball in my career, and it doesn’t sit well with me.”

Smith, the former Cleveland Indians setup man who signed a three-year, $15.75-million deal with the Angels over the winter, walked Jed Lowrie to open the eighth. Josh Donaldson singled to left, and Brandon Moss hit a run-scoring infield single off the chest of first baseman Albert Pujols.

Yoenis Cespedes walked,...

Kole Calhoun, center, is helped off the field by Manager Mike Scioscia, right, and assistant athletic trainer Rick Smith during the 11th inning of the Angels' 10-9 loss to the Athletics.

Angels lose leadoff batter Kole Calhoun to a right ankle sprain

A frustrating 10-9, 11-inning loss to the Oakland Athletics grew even more painful for the Angels on Tuesday night when they lost Kole Calhoun to a right ankle sprain, an injury that will send their starting right fielder and leadoff hitter to the disabled list.

Calhoun was just starting to heat up at the plate with three consecutive multi-hit games, raising his average from .178 to .250. Tuesday night, he singled and scored in the first inning, hit a two-run homer to right field in the fourth and doubled ahead of Mike Trout’s score-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.

But after hitting a routine grounder to second to lead off the 11th inning, Calhoun twisted his right ankle in a divot beyond the first-base bag and had to be carried off the field. He was on crutches after the game, and Manager Mike Scioscia said Calhoun is “definitely” going to be put on the DL.

“I don’t know what happened, man, it wasn’t anything that special,”...

California hired Cuonzo Martin on Tuesday as the new men's basketball coach for the Golden Bears.

Cuonzo Martin is hired to be California basketball coach

California hired Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin as its basketball coach Tuesday, charging him with taking over another program after a successful run by his predecessor.

Martin replaces Mike Montgomery, who retired last month after six seasons in Berkeley. Martin was 63-41 in three seasons at Tennessee, including a 24-13 mark and an appearance in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament this season. He also was previously the coach at Missouri State.

He takes over for one of the most successful college coaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. Montgomery finished his career with a 677-317 record, having also spent 18 years at Stanford and eight at Montana.

Martin, 42, took over a Tennessee program under NCAA investigation in 2011 and has averaged 21 wins per year.


Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson are leaving Arizona for the NBA.

One of the top freshmen during the 2013-14 season, Gordon was widely expected to leave after one season in Tucson. Johnson built up his draft stock with a superb...

USC quarterback Cody Kessler looks to pass during a game against Arizona in October.

Cody Kessler named USC's starting quarterback

Cody Kessler, who led USC to 10 victories last season, was named the Trojans' starting quarterback, Coach Steve Sarkisian announced Tuesday.

Kessler, a fourth-year junior from Bakersfield, held off a challenge from redshirt freshman Max Browne.

Kessler passed for 20 touchdowns, with seven interceptions, last season. He finished the season with four touchdown passes in the Trojans’ 45-20 victory over Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

USC opens the 2014 season against Fresno State on Aug. 30 at the Coliseum.

Sarkisian has installed a fast-paced no-huddle offense this spring.

Browne showed great improvement from last season but could not unseat Kessler.

Freshman Jalen Greene will be the No. 3 quarterback.


Kobe Bryant doesn't stick around for Lakers' finale

Dodgers catch at least one break in 2-1 loss to Giants

Ducks make an opening statement, defeat Dallas Stars, 4-3

Connecticut star Shabazz Napier told reporters during the Final Four that he often goes to bed at night hungry because he can't afford food.

NCAA approves unlimited meals and snacks for players

Who said the NCAA can't respond in a timely fashion when it is under savage daily attack and facing several lawsuits that could put college's governing body out of business?

Only days after Connecticut basketball star Shabazz Napier complained that he sometimes went to bed hungry, an NCAA Legislative Council on Tuesday approved a rule that will provide unlimited meals and snacks to "student-athletes."

This even applies to walk-on players. The NCAA provision is in addition to the meal plan already provided to scholarship athletes. In the past, players received three meals a day or a food stipend.

“Today we took action to provide meals to student-athletes incidental to participation,” said Mary Mulvenna, America East Conference associate commissioner. “I think the end result is right where it needs to be.”

Of course, nothing just gets rubber-stamped in the NCAA. The rule still must be approved by the Division 1 Board of Directors when they meet April 24.


Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman celebrates a sack in 2007.

Shawn Merriman sues Nike over its 'Lights Out' clothing line

Shawne Merriman once knocked four opposing players unconscious during a single high school football game.

Can Nike make such a claim? Doubt it.

Yet, the company is using "Lights Out" -- the nickname Merriman says he earned after that game -- as the name of one of its athletic apparel lines.

That strikes a nerve with the former NFL star, who used the nickname throughout his career and performed a celebratory dance of the same name after sacks.

And he's doing something about it. On Monday a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of Merriman's Lights Out Holdings LLC against Nike for trademark infringement and unfair competition. It seeks an injunction as well as damages to be determined at trial.

According to the suit, Merriman acquired the federal trademark rights for Lights Out in 2007. The suit also claims that Merriman once negotiated with Nike about starting a line bearing his nickname in 2006 or 2007, but nothing came to fruition.

"I earned my 'Lights Out' nickname in...

Jackie Robinson, shown here in 1971, broke baseball's color barrier 67 years ago today.

Jackie Robinson Day to be celebrated through baseball

Tuesday is Jackie Robinson Day across baseball, honoring the 67th anniversary of the day Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The most prominent of the events planned to honor Robinson was to take place at Yankee Stadium before New York's game against the Chicago Cubs, but rain forced the game, and the ceremony, to be delayed until Wednesday.

Robinson's wife, Rachel, daughter Sharon, Commissioner Bud Selig and members of the Steinbrenner family are scheduled to be in attendance for the unveiling of a plaque to honor late South African leader Nelson Mandela. The plaque will be placed in Monument Park.

"It's a wonderful thing that they have Jackie Robinson Day. That goes without saying," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said Tuesday. "I've enjoyed getting to know his family over the years. I first met his wife that first year at the Baseball Writers' dinner in 1996. I've gotten to know her well, same thing with her daughter. We all look forward to having that game when...

Ticket sales are brisk for the World Cup.

Despite problems, demand high for World Cup tickets

If you're going to Brazil for the World Cup, you'd better start looking for a sports bar where you can watch the games on TV. Because for all the problems with stadium construction, transportation infrastructure and political protests, this World Cup has proved to be one of the bestselling ever.

Tickets for nearly two-thirds of the tournament's matches were snatched up just hours into the final online sales phase Tuesday, and 44 of the 64 games have already sold out.

FIFA, organizer of the World Cup, put 200,000 tickets on sale Tuesday on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Even before Tuesday's sell-off, demand for tickets in the U.S. was higher than in any country outside Brazil. Fans were reportedly paying $2,800 on average for tickets to the Americans' three group-play matches. That's more than 10 times face value for the lowest-priced ticket.

And the U.S. games aren't even the most popular ones. More fans in the U.S. have bought tickets for games involving Mexico than for ones with...


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