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Escobar’s big stick and the mystery of James Hardy

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rantnrave:// Nothing has affected college sports over the past decade more than TV. The boom in rights fees led to unprecedented revenue for conferences and athletic departments. It caused conference realignment — the tectonic plates of college sports shifting to chase the money. Without TV’s influence and dollars, would the Big East have avoided years of chaos and retained its prominence? The avalanche of TV money caused revenues to climb so quickly that it probably helped turn the tide against amateurism. It created the NCAA’s nonstop headache of having to explain why student-athletes aren’t paid. TV is college sports’ gift and its curse. John Calipari gets a wide audience for Kentucky games and fat paychecks because of the SEC’s TV deal. But he can rightly complain that it has caused him issues with scheduling. What will happen to college sports in five or 10 years when the nature of TV changes and networks are relying on bundles and fewer subscribers for their revenue? Colleges have given up a good deal of their autonomy over opponents and even what night they play in exchange for TV rights money. Will they get paid as much? And be as willing to bend to the whims of the networks? When the TV industry looks completely different, how will college sports look? … The Warriors aren’t just NBA champions; they’re the NBA vanguard. They have the most talented team and a front office thinking steps ahead of the rest of the league. Their sixth man might be a future Hall of Famer. The Dubs reimagined how NBA teams are built, and how they play. Let us count the ways. SportsSET: “The Warriors Are Basketball 2.0” … Always read Lee Jenkins. … The MLB draft began Monday night and it might not have been a coincidence that the top three picks were high school players. It could be evidence that one of the big lessons of Moneyball no longer applies. … No Tiger Woods. No Phil Mickelson. The U.S. Open will feel a little empty this month — a preview of what golf will feel like once the previous generation of stars is gone. A preview, that is, of the near future. … Get your dad a soccer phone for Father’s Day. Put it next to his football phone.

Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar wields a 36-inch, 34-ounce slab of wood cut from a maple tree, a relic of an earlier era, a monstrosity marveled at by teammates and opponents alike.
Pedro Moura | Los Angeles Times

James Hardy’s body was found in a Fort Wayne River on June 7. A few miles away, his mother is trying to cope with his mysterious death.
Clifton Brown | The Indianapolis Star

We had a correspondent in the stands at Oracle Arena for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. He didn’t always like what he saw or heard from Warriors fans who paid obscene prices to watch their team win a title.
Ed Zitron | Vice Sports

Story modes in sports sims shouldn’t shy away from the difficult truth.
Nick Capozzoli | Waypoint

The world’s largest sporting event has become a strange celebration of patriotism and sick drops.
Colin Joyce | Thump


“It’s not enough to be smart. You have to be curious.”

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