- Created on 15 November 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. — Johnny Rodgers, the Heisman Trophy winner for Nebraska in 1972, has been granted a pardon for his role in the holdup of a Lincoln gas station in 1970.
The Nebraska Pardons Board voted 3-0 on Thursday to pardon the 62-year-old Rodgers.
Rodgers has said he’s long regretted what he called a drunken prank. It was after the last day of his freshman year that he and two other men robbed the gas station. The holdup netted $90.
The crime was first investigated as an armed robbery. Rodgers pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony larceny and was sentenced to two years of probation. Rodgers has repeatedly denied that he had a gun during the holdup.
- Created on 14 November 2013
DALLAS (AP) — Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd has been sentenced to 15 years for his role in a drug-distribution scheme.
Hurd received the punishment Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Dallas.
He pleaded guilty in April to one count of trying to buy and distribute cocaine and marijuana, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Authorities say that while NFL teammates and friends knew Hurd as a hardworking wide receiver and married father, he was fashioning a separate identity as a wannabe drug kingpin.
He was arrested in December 2011 outside a suburban Chicago steakhouse after he tried to buy cocaine in what turned out to be a sting.
At the time, Hurd was a wide receiver with stints for the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys.
- Created on 13 November 2013
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls say Derrick Rose is day to day with a sore right hamstring.
Rose winced after he drove down the lane for a twisting layup with 3:39 left during Chicago's 96-81 victory over Cleveland on Monday night. He remained in the game for a short time before coach Tom Thibodeau called for a timeout to put in Kirk Hinrich.
Rose called it a minor sprain after the game, and the 2011 NBA MVP thought he would be able to play Friday night at Toronto.
- Created on 13 November 2013
Tuesday night in Chicago showcased college basketball's most-anticipated tipoffs of the season, with a scout from every NBA team attending, as ESPN noted. Kentucky boasts an NCAA-record six McDonald's All-Americans, Kansas is backing up its incessant Andrew Wiggins hype and Duke is highlighting Jabari Parker, the second-ranked player in the 2013 freshmen class. All of these players could become the top pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but while several freshmen made statements with their play Tuesday, it was Parker and Kentucky's Julius Randle who made the loudest ones with their performance.
Both Parker and Randle are NBA ready today -- right now, either one could step on a professional court and be effective.
Let's start with Parker, because despite Duke's 94-83 loss, he was sensational, totaling 27 points and 9 rebounds on 9-18 shooting. At 6-foot-8, Parker has remarkable versatility. He will gladly take you outside and bury a 3. He will jab at you from the high post and go right by you. And then, just when you think you've figured him out, he will go on the block and use his superior footwork and basketball acumen to beat you once more with his soft touch. And, as we saw Tuesday, he uses that deft handle on the ball, along with his big frame, to get anywhere he wants on a one-man break. While the comparisons to Carmelo Anthony may be overplayed, they aren't exaggerated. Parker doesn't possess Anthony's hyper-explosive element in his own game, but he's so smart, skilled and unselfish that it doesn't matter. I would argue that he's already a better passer than Anthony, not to mention a more committed defender.
As for Randle, he's only 18, but on the court, he's a beast. He tore up a monstrous Michigan State frontline -- including potential first-round draft choice Adreian Payne -- that prides itself on defense and rebounding under head coach Tom Izzo. Randle, at 6-foot-9, can control a game both on the glass (he had 13 boards against the Spartans), and also with his overall scoring game (he's averaging 24 points). He doesn't have the range of Parker, but he is clearly comfortable out to 16 feet where he will take you left with two dribbles, then put his head down and find a way to score or draw a foul. But what may be most impressive about Randle is how he repeatedly runs the floor and finishes in transition. He has great hands and will consistently beat other big men down the floor in the transition game, something most NBA bigs struggle with.