The Sports Report: Top college football receiver Jordan Addison transfers to USC

Sparks coach Derek Fisher
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Ryan Kartje: The top receiver in college football is on his way to USC in a seismic move that’s sure to send ripples through a sport still grappling with its new free-market reality.

After entering the transfer portal amid a cloud of controversy, Jordan Addison made official Thursday what many suspected since his exit from Pittsburgh last month. The junior receiver is heading to USC to be the top target in a Trojan offense that’s been entirely rebuilt through the transfer portal by new coach Lincoln Riley.

Addison chose USC over Texas after visiting Los Angeles last weekend and Austin before that. His arrival offers Riley a rare, ready-made replacement for top receiver Drake London, whose departure for the NFL was expected to leave a gaping hole in the Trojans’ offense.

Addison, however, should step seamlessly into that role, joining an already crowded class of Trojan transfers that includes the top transfer quarterback (Caleb Williams), one of the top transfer running backs (Travis Dye) and three more of the portal’s top receivers (Mario Williams, Brenden Rice and Terrell Bynum). If Williams was the most coveted transfer in the portal this offseason, Addison is a close second, an extraordinary playmaker capable of stretching the field like few in college football.


No position player was more coveted in the transfer portal this offseason than Addison, who caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns last season on his way to All-American honors and the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding receiver.

The notion that he would consider leaving Pittsburgh at all after such a standout season would leave some across college football reeling.

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From Bill Shaikin: The finish line was in sight. After nine years of trying to anchor the Angels in Anaheim for the long term, the city was days away from finalizing a deal. One judge, one signature, done deal.

What happened next could have come straight out of Hollywood, with only the slightest of embellishment: California bursts into the courtroom, waving a federal affidavit in the judge’s face: Look here, judge, the FBI might be onto big-time corruption in the city! Put a hold on this deal, your honor!

The judge did just that. In the end, perhaps the deal survives.

Or, since an FBI agent said the mayor slipped confidential information to the Angels as the city negotiated against them — in the hope of making a million bucks from them — perhaps the taint becomes too great for the city to stomach.

If the deal collapses, what happens? Maybe nothing — not for the Angels, not for the city, not for the fans, not for the taxpayers. It could be a lose-lose-lose-lose proposition.

On the surface, the solution appears simple: Redo the deal.

Here’s the problem: The Angels can just say no.

Read more here


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: Pitchers such as Megan Faraimo are the most visible symbol of sixth-ranked UCLA’s national championship hopes. The 6-foot right-hander leads a three-armed pitching staff that has combined for five no-hitters — including three perfect games — this season. Faraimo is the headliner with 164 1/3 innings pitched and a Pac-12 Conference-best 252 strikeouts entering the NCAA regionals Friday, when the Bruins host Grand Canyon at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Loyola Marymount faces Mississippi at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN+.

After waiting in the wings, Holly Azevedo is breaking through with career bests in ERA (1.15) and strikeouts (120). Lauren Shaw, a left-handed transfer from Iowa, leads the Pac-12 with a 0.89 ERA.

The pitchers own the spotlight, but they credit the work of their bullpen catchers for setting the stage. Sullivan and Sara Rusconi Vicinanza pore over game film to prepare scouting reports for their teammates. They catch hundreds of pitches a day in the bullpen while starting catchers work on hitting and defense. Then when the lights turn on for game day, they retreat into the dugout, holding clipboards and calling out signals for the pitchers.

“They’re the reason why [the pitching staff is] great,” assistant coach Lisa Fernandez said. “They are the glue that binds us.”


From Helene Elliott: Alexa Knierim had skated with her husband Chris as a pair for so long that no other touch felt like his. Theirs was a marriage of love and figure skating, a union that brought them three U.S. pairs titles and a bronze medal in the team event at the 2018 Olympics.

When bouts with depression led Chris to retire from competition in 2020, they decided she should continue — which meant she’d have to allow someone else to lift and twist and toss her in the air. The thought made her hesitate.

“Any time on the ice I would help another male pair skater and hold their hand it always felt weird, like it wasn’t the right fit. Like I was skating with somebody else, and it wasn’t Chris,” she said. “It was distracting.”

Then she met Brandon Frazier, an elite pairs skater whose previous partnership also had ended. They had a tryout at her training base, Great Park Ice in Irvine, just as the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down in March 2020.

Not everything went perfectly. It was good, she said, the rink was closed to the public and fans couldn’t see some of their stumbles. As rough as it sometimes was, Knierim still sensed something extraordinary was possible. “It just felt from the moment that we first started skating it was going to work, and that feeling took over,” she said.


From John Cherwa: If anyone can recognize a good story, it’s Wayne Lukas, the 86-year-old Hall of Fame horse trainer.

All week at Pimlico Race Course, Lukas has sat for hours in his usual folding chair at the end of the stakes barn answering the same questions as wave after wave of reporters comes to pay homage to someone who is always a good quote.

Most of the questions this year are about Secret Oath, the only filly in the nine-horse Preakness Stakes on Saturday. It’s not as crazy as it might sound to run a filly against colts. Six times a filly has won the Preakness. Lukas has won the Preakness six times, but only with males. He did win the Kentucky Derby with a filly, Winning Colors in 1988.

When the owner of Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike decided to bypass the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness needed an angle. And Lukas had one by bringing the Kentucky Oaks winner to Baltimore.

“If you want to be perfectly honest, this race right here was a little bit vanilla until she dropped into it,” Lukas said. “That stirs them up. Now half of America is on our side, we’ve got all the women. If we can get some of the guys to come over, we could be the favorite.”


Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Second round
Western Conference

Colorado (C1) vs. St. Louis (C3)
Colorado 3, St. Louis 2 (OT)
St. Louis 4, Colorado 1
Saturday at St. Louis, 5 p.m., TNT
Monday at St. Louis, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Wednesday at Colorado, TBD
*Friday, May 27 at St. Louis, TBD
*Sunday, May 29 at Colorado, TBD

Calgary (P1) vs. Edmonton (P2)
Calgary 9, Edmonton 6
Tonight at Calgary, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Sunday at Edmonton, 5 p.m., ESPN2
Tuesday at Edmonton, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
*Thursday at Calgary, TBD
*Saturday, May 28 at Edmonton, TBD
*Monday, May 30 at Calgary, TBD

Eastern Conference

Florida (A1) vs. Tampa Bay (A3)
Tampa Bay 4, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Florida 1
Sunday at Tampa Bay, 10:30 a.m., TNT
Monday at Tampa Bay, 4 p.m., TNT
*Wednesday at Florida, TBD
*Friday, May 27 at Tampa Bay, TBD
*Sunday, May 29 at Florida, TBD

Carolina (M1) vs. New York Rangers (M2)
Carolina 2, New York 1 (OT)
Friday at Carolina, 5 p.m., ESPN
Sunday at New York, 12:30 p.m., ESPN
Tuesday at New York, 4 p.m., ESPN
*Thursday at Carolina, TBD
*Saturday, May 28 at New York, TBD
*Monday, May 30 at Carolina, TBD

*-if necessary


From Andrew Greif: The most interesting basketball game in Atlanta on a Friday night in March wasn’t the one played in the city’s downtown NBA arena. It was happening three miles north, between six-figure-earning teenagers in a gym that opened only seven months earlier as part of a league that didn’t exist one year before and whose primary audience couldn’t watch the action unfold live.

Tipoff of the second game of a playoff series to determine the inaugural champion of Overtime Elite, a three-team league featuring some of the country’s top players from ages 16 to 18, was still hours away when Ausar Thompson stopped by an always open snack bar on the first floor of the league’s headquarters.

Emerging from his team’s shoot-around, he grabbed a bowl of proteins and grains on his way to rest and prepare in the league-provided apartment he shared with his identical twin, Amen, and another league player in the upscale Atlantic Station neighborhood nearby.

“I’m confident,” he said of his team’s chances.

A 6-foot-6 wing with preternatural playmaking and impeccable manners, whose skills one league staffer breathlessly compared to the athleticism of Russell Westbrook and passing of Jason Kidd, Thompson was raised in San Leandro, Calif., began high school in Florida and once considered taking the conventional route to reach his NBA dream. Kentucky was his school of choice, though Florida State had impressed as well.

Then last year, recruiters called the brothers touting an attractive yet unproven alternative known by its three initials: OTE.

Read more here.


Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Conference finals
Western Conference

No. 3 Golden State vs. No. 4 Dallas

Golden State 112, Dallas 87
Tonight at Golden State, 6 p.m., TNT
Sunday at Dallas, 6 p.m., TNT
Tuesday at Dallas, 6 p.m., TNT
*Thursday at Golden State, 6 p.m., TNT
*Saturday, May 28 at Dallas, 6 p.m., TNT
*Monday, May 30 at Golden State, 6 p.m., TNT

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Miami vs. No. 2 Boston

Miami 118, Boston 107
Boston 127, Miami 102
Saturday at Boston, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Monday at Boston, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Wednesday at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
*Friday, May 27 at Boston, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
*Sunday, May 29 at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

*-if necessary


1900 — The second modern Olympic games open in Paris.

1919 — Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox wins a game on the mound and at the plate as he hits his first career grand slam to beat the St. Louis Browns 6-4.

1941 — Ten days after his Preakness victory, Whirlaway races against older horses for the first time and defeats four rivals in the Henry of Navarre Purse at Belmont Park in New York.

1950 — Heavily favored Hill Prince, ridden by Bill Boland, wins the Preakness Stakes by five lengths over Middleground.

1967 — Damascus, ridden by Willie Shoemaker, wins the Preakness Stakes by 2¼ lengths over In Reality.

1972 — Bee Bee Bee, a 19-1 long shot ridden by Eldon Nelson, wins the Preakness Stakes by 1½ lengths over No Le Hace.

1972 — Indiana’s Roger Brown scores 32 points to lead the Pacers to 108-105 to win over the New York Nets and the ABA championship.

1978 — Affirmed, ridden by Steve Cauthen, continues the battle with Alydar and wins the Preakness Stakes by a neck.

1990 — Monica Seles ends Steffi Graf’s 66-match winning streak and takes the German Open with a 6-4, 6-3 victory. Graf’s streak is the second longest in the modern era of tennis. Martina Navratilova won 74 straight matches in 1984.

1990 — The 18th triple dead heat in modern thoroughbred history takes place in the ninth race at Arlington International Racecourse. All Worked Up, Marshua’s Affair and Survival are timed in 1:24 4-5 over seven furlongs.

2005 — Nextel Cup rookie Kyle Busch becomes the youngest winner in Craftsman Truck Series history, holding off Terry Cook and Ted Musgrave in a three-lap closing sprint at the Quaker Steak & Lube 200.

2006 — Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro breaks down at the start of the Preakness, galloping a few hundred yards while his eight rivals pass him. Bernardini wins the $1 million race, beating Sweetnorthernsaint by 5 1-4 lengths.

2007 — Roger Federer ends Rafael Nadal’s 81-match winning streak on clay with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 win in the final of the Hamburg Masters. It’s Federer’s first clay-court title in two years.

2017 — Cloud Computing, ridden by Javier Castellano, runs down Classic Empire in the final strides to win the Preakness by a head. The 13-1 longshot runs 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.98 and pays $28.80 to win. Derby winner Always Dreaming and Classic Empire duel throughout most of the race before Classic Empire jumps in front midway on the far turn.

2018 — Sweden beats Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout for the gold medal at the world ice hockey championship in Copenhagen, Denmark.

2018 — The Vegas Golden Knights punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final beating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on the road to win the Western Conference finals 4-1. The Golden Knights become the second expansion team in the NHL, NBA, NFL or MLB since 1960 to reach a championship series in their first season. The other team was the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Affirmed holds off Alydar to win the Preakness. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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