Duncan Keith Won’t Appeal Suspension for Vicious Hit

For the first time since being issued a six-game suspension, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith spoke about the incident following practice on Saturday, and confirmed that he will not appeal the decision.

That second hit perhaps played a role in the league’s decision to suspend Keith this time. Much like the Carter infraction, the Coyle hit came after Keith was hit by an opponent. Keith was upended by Coyle in the offensive zone, and as he rolled over on the ice he reached up and slashed his stick across the forward’s face, opening up a gash on the bridge of his nose that required the attention of trainers.

Keith was assessed a 10-minute match penalty for the play, which carried with it an automatic ejection from the contest and a suspension for the Blackhawks’ game Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets.

After the hit, Keith was offered an in-person hearing by DOPS, meaning that the league had the option to suspend him for six or more games. To expedite the process, Keith opted for a phone hearing instead, which took place on Friday afternoon according to the league.

Washington (26-11) was led by Talia Walton, who had 29 points and made a Final Four record eight 3-pointers. The previous record of six was set by Katie Steding in the 1990 title game and matched in 2013 by Antonita Slaughter. Kelsey Plum, the nation’s No. 3 scorer, had 17 points.

But Syracuse rode its defense and took a 23-12 lead after one quarter, extended the lead to 39-20 midway through the second quarter and never let the Huskies get within single digits again.

Reinsdorf has overseen many of the biggest advances in the history of the Bulls’ organization, including the decision to hire Jerry Krause as the team’s General Manager in the 1980’s and the joint venture with the Chicago Blackhawks to build the United Center in 1994. That arena, where the Bulls still play, was the largest in America at the time of its completion, and has seen the Bulls sell out most of their games since it opened for the 1994-95 season.

Michael Jordan Tells Jury He Values His Image ‘Preciously’

Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan testified Tuesday that his image is precious to him, which is why he filed a lawsuit against a grocery store chain that used it without permission.

“I have the final say-so on everything that involves my likeness and my name,” Jordan told jurors in Chicago. When his attorney asked him why he brought the case, Jordan said it was “to protect my likeness, my image … something I value very preciously.”

Dominick’s Finer Foods has acknowledged it wasn’t authorized to use Jordan’s image in a 2009 magazine ad. The jury will decide the fair market value of the infringement by the grocery chain, which has since gone out of business.

Frederick Sperling, Jordan’s attorney, has told jurors Jordan’s name was worth at least $480 million to Nike and that each commercial use of Jordan’s name is worth more than $10 million. A witness Monday testified Jordan made $100 million from his identity last year, even though he last played in the NBA in 2003.

Jordan stood with his hands behind his back and smiled at the jury when they left the courtroom. Jurors have been able to submit written questions to witnesses, which are reviewed by the judge and the attorneys out of hearing of jurors. Only one juror question was submitted for Jordan and there was laughter from the gallery when the judge said it was juror question “number 23” in the case (Jordan’s jersey number).

The juror wanted to know why Jordan had said he would never have entered into a deal with Dominick’s even if the chain had asked.

With jurors back in the courtroom Jordan said, “it didn’t fit the strategy we operated on in terms of signing and evaluating deals.”

The ad, which ran in a commemorative edition of Sports Illustrated, congratulated Jordan on his Hall of Fame induction and included a $2-off coupon above a photograph of a sizzling steak.

The edition didn’t sell as well as expected, according to a video deposition played in court by the defense. Damian Botteselle of Sports Illustrated’s parent company Time Warner, said fewer than 42,000 of the 149,000 printed copies were sold.

“It was not selling well across the board, which tells me it just wasn’t resonating with consumers,” Botteselle said.

Steven Mandell, a lawyer for Dominick’s, has suggested Jordan’s attorneys overvalued Jordan’s name. It might be worth $10 million in some contexts, he said, but not necessarily in a one-off ad.

Jordan, 52, displayed an amused discomfort with having to wear reading glasses while on the witness stand, jokingly saying “don’t look” when he put them on to read a page he was handed.

“No More” Super Bowl Ad Sparks Anti-Violence Discussion

The new ad has become a topic for discussion around the Super Bowl.

“I think anytime you talk about domestic violence it is going to have a meaningful effect, you want to eliminate that as part of society,” Sherman said.

Seattle linebacker Heath Farwell said the ad is key to better communication.

“Guys realizing this (is) an issue, and you know it’s not just football, it’s across this county, these are the issues we have to address and to get better at,” Farwell said.

Domestic violence has been a critical issue for the NFL for nearly a year since Ray Rice was arrested Feb. 15 over an altercation at an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino. The Baltimore running back initially was suspended two games, then indefinitely after video from inside an elevator surfaced showing him hitting his now wife, Janay.

An arbitrator threw out the indefinite suspension in December. He was released by the Ravens and has not signed with another team.

NFL players have been featured in ads from No More since October airing weekly.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said New England supports the league’s efforts against domestic violence. Belichick said it has been a priority for New England owner Robert Kraft since he was hired. The Patriots gave up their draft rights to defensive tackle Christian Peter a week after taking him in the fifth round in 1996 because of questions about his history with women

“So it’s always been that way for us, for our organization, and obviously we support everything in that area,” Belichick said. “But what the league decides to do relative to things like that, you know, it’s not really my pay grade.”

American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, daughter of former NFL player Phillippi Sparks, said what the NFL has gone through with domestic violence has helped publicize where women can call for help or find a safe haven. Sparks said it’s great that people aren’t being silent about domestic violence anymore.

“So it’s unfortunate all the way around for whomever is involved in those sorts of things and for the teams having to deal with the media and all of those different things,” Sparks said. “But at the same time for other domestic violence victims to know they can speak up that’s all that’s important, that’s all that matters.”

In the ad, the 911 call is a reenactment inspired by true stories of women using the tactic of disguising their calls while reaching out for help. No actors are seen in the stark ad; video shows only a house where a hole has been smashed in a wall, with books and photos knocked to the floor.

The ad concludes with the phrase: “When it’s hard to talk, it’s up to us to listen.” It had already more than 482,000 views on YouTube by Wednesday.

The ad will air Sunday just after the second quarter between Seattle and New England. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said it can only help by bringing more attention to the issue.

No celebrities or NFL players facing the camera, saying “No more.” This ad simply depicts a 911 call of a woman pretending to order a pizza while calling police with her attacker still in the house.

The Super Bowl commercial by No More, the group trying to end domestic violence and sexual assault, is a stark contrast to ads in recent months bringing attention to the issue that has become central for the NFL since Ray Rice was suspended for punching his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

Tuck and Stewart Lead UConn Back to The Title Game

“I don’t know what I can do to help them except keep reminding them all the time ‘this is your spot, you’ve owned this spot for the last three years’,” Auriemma said.

“Now there’s no guarantee you’re going to get it Tuesday night, but we’re not going in there Tuesday night hoping we win. Because these three (players) they’ve done more than that, it doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but I don’t have to help them with that mentality.”

The 29-point victory was the biggest margin of victory in women’s Final Four history, surpassing the 28-point win by Tennessee over Arkansas in 1998. It was UConn’s 74th consecutive victory, the second-longest winning streak in NCAA and school history.

Stewart wasn’t much of a factor for the Huskies in the opening 20 minutes. The three-time AP player of the year picked up two quick fouls and didn’t score her first points until she hit a turnaround jumper with 3 minutes left in the half. That basket came in the middle of a 15-2 run to close the opening 20 minutes.

She quashed any thoughts of an Oregon State rally, scoring 14 points in the second half for UConn (37-0). Just as they had done in the previous 73 games, the Huskies won by double digits.

Next up will be Syracuse. The Orange will have a very tall task in front of them to stop UConn’s historic run. The Huskies have never lost in an NCAA title game and Syracuse has lost the past 23 meetings with them.

Tuck was a big reason why UConn was able to build its big lead. Oregon State had 6-foot-6 center Ruth Hamblin guarding her for most of the first half. The Beavers’ center was playing off her, daring Tuck to shoot from the outside. She had 10 of the Huskies first 15 points as UConn jumped out to a 15-6 advantage.

UConn led 32-24 after Jamie Weisner hit a 3-pointer with 5:33 left in the half. Then the Huskies took over.

Breanna Stewart said she wanted to win four titles in her time at UConn.

Oregon State’s season came to an end. The Beavers won their first conference tournament title, and reached the Final Four for the first time. Not bad for a program that was in disarray six years ago.

Then coach Scott Rueck came in and the Beavers have been on the rise since.

“Hats off to UConn. They played a phenomenal game tonight,” Rueck said.

“I thought they obviously shot the ball extremely well. With a team like that, you’ve got to kind of pick your poison. And that team made us pay, no matter what we did. And that’s why they are who they are. You know, offensively they really made us work and kept us off balance. And credit them.”

Sydney Wiese scored 13 points to lead Oregon State (32-5). Hamblin finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks. She left with 1:25 left, getting a hug from Rueck.

Now, after a record rout, the Huskies are one victory away from a fourth consecutive national championship fulfilling Stewart’s goal. A feat never accomplished in women’s basketball.

Morgan Tuck scored 21 points and Stewart added 16 to help UConn beat Oregon State 80-51 on Sunday night in the women’s Final Four.

“I think it sunk in when we were going back to the locker room all excited,” Stewart said. “One game left and we’re exactly in the position we want to be in. Now it’s practice tomorrow. National championship game Tuesday.”

If UConn does win on Tuesday night coach Geno Auriemma will have an 11th national championship moving him past vaunted UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden for the most all time.

About the only negative for UConn was that freshman Katie Lou Samuelson broke the third metatarsal bone in her left foot in the first half. She missed practice Saturday because she was feeling under the weather. She started on Sunday, scoring seven points in the first half in 17 minutes. She didn’t come out of the locker room for the start of the second half, returning to the UConn bench early in the third quarter with a boot on her foot.

“I guess it happened on the very first possession we had when she drove it to the basket,” Auriemma said. “She said she felt something and didn’t really say anything. She continued to play on it.”

TIP-INS:

Oregon State: The Beavers 32 wins were the most in school history, shattering the previous record of 27 set last season. … They had won 22 of their past 23 games. … Oregon State finished the game with 18 baskets and 18 turnovers.

UConn: The Huskies’ biggest margin of victory in the Final Four before Sunday was a 27-point win over Stanford in 1995. … No team that hasn’t played UConn during the season or the year before has beaten them in the past decade.

TOP HELPER: Moriah Jefferson moved into first place on the school’s all-time assist list as she passed Diana Taurasi’s mark of 648. She had 10 points and seven assists.

“When I was on the floor, I completely forgot about it,” Jefferson said. “And then after, I was like, ‘Oh I got it.’ D is an amazing player and to have my name in any book that she’s in, it means a lot to me.”

Aaron Hernandez Trial: What to Know as Jury Selection Begins

Less than two years ago, Aaron Hernandez was one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL, a talented tight end who had signed a $40 million contract extension with the New England Patriots. The once rising star grew up in Bristol, Connecticut, the son of a locally acclaimed high school tailback, and starred at the University of Florida before being drafted into the NFL.

Hernandez is accused of killing three men after nightclub disputes

Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player, was found shot multiple times in an industrial park in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, less than a mile from Hernandez’s home. Lloyd, 27, was dating a sister of Hernandez’s fiancee and had been out with Hernandez two nights earlier at the Rumor nightclub in Boston. Prosecutors say that following a fight that night, sparked by one of Lloyd’s cousins, an incensed Hernandez decided to kill him.

After Hernandez became a suspect in Lloyd’s killing, authorities got an anonymous tip that he had been involved in the deaths of two men a year earlier. Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado died in a drive-by shooting in Boston after leaving the Cure Lounge. Authorities say one of the men had accidentally bumped into Hernandez inside the club, spilling his drink.

Were there other Hernandez shooting victims?

Hernandez, 25, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

With his trial set to begin on Friday in the first of the killings, here are five things to know about the former All-American and the grisly crimes he is accused of committing.

Alexander Bradley, who authorities say was with him the night of the double homicide, accuses Hernandez of shooting him in the eye during another fight at a Florida strip club. Bradley has brought a civil suit against Hernandez. Hernandez, in legal papers, has invoked his right not to incriminate himself under the Fifth Amendment.

Two other men, Corey Smith and Justin Glass, were wounded in Florida in 2007 after a dispute in a nightclub with University of Florida football players. The men were also shot while their car was stopped at a red light nearby. After Hernandez was arrested for the Massachusetts murder, the Florida state attorney, Bill Cervone, said investigators were interested in talking to Hernandez, who was a tight end for the Florida Gators at the time. According to a 2007 Gainesville police report, Hernandez was in the area, but when police tried to interview him he asked for a lawyer. The case remains unsolved.

The judge in the Fall River case, Susan Garsh, has ruled that there can be no references to the murders in Boston, which prosecutors have suggested might have contributed to Hernandez’s motive for killing Lloyd, nor to the shooting of Bradley.

Football notables could be on witness list

Kraft released a letter in which Hernandez wrote about his alleged use of marijuana while at the University of Florida and agreed to take biweekly drug tests if he were drafted.

Of the charges, Kraft said, “If this stuff is true, then I’ve been duped and our whole organization has been duped.”

Other potential witnesses: Former Florida teammates Brandon Spikes, who is a former Patriot and now plays for the Buffalo Bills, and Mike Pouncey, a center for the Miami Dolphins. Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins could also be called.

No football gear in the courtroom

Those planning to attend the trial must leave their football jerseys at home. Thejudge has specifically banned clothing and buttons that display logos of the New England Patriots or other NFL teams or any football-related insignia. Anyone in football gear will be barred from entering the Fall River Justice Center.

Hernandez wore Number 81.

But jurors will be able to see Hernandez’s trophies when they visit his home. The judge ruled that prosecutors will not be able to cover a trophy case. One of Hernandez’s lawyers, James Sultan, had argued that the house should be shown the way it appeared at the time of Lloyd’s death.

Clues in the tattoos?

But his fall was fast. On June 28, 2013, Hernandez was arrested in the killing of his friend, Odin Llyod, a semipro football player. Later that day, the Patriots released him. Within a year, a Massachusetts grand jury had also charged him in a double homicide from 2012 in Boston, and authorities in Florida announced they wanted to talk to him about two earlier unsolved shootings.

Hernandez’s upper body is covered in tattoos, including the face of a lion on his right bicep with the words, “It’s about the fight in you;” 1989, the year of his birth, on the fingers of his left hand; and a phrase his father likes, “If it is to be it is up to me,” on his left forearm. An Associated Press article in June said that prosecutors were interested in Hernandez’s right forearm but would not specify which tattoos.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and the team’s owner, Robert Kraft, could be called to testify in the trial, according to court documents. In an interview after Hernandez’s arrest, Belichick said he was disappointed and hurt.

“Having someone in your organization that’s involved in a murder investigation is a terrible thing,” he said.

Bears Draft WR Kevin White With Seventh Overall Pick

The Chicago Bears made an attempt to move up the draft board on Thursday night, but when that push didn’t come to fruition, they went ahead and drafted the best player on the board as they selected wide receiver Kevin White out of West Virginia.

“We’re really jacked about this,” Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said of the pick. “This is a dynamic playmaker for our offense. I love the fire and energy he plays with.”

White, a junior college transfer that ended up with the Mountaineers, had a stellar 2014 season, hauling in 109 catches for 1447 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was a standout at the NFL Combine as well, running a stellar 4.35 40-yard dash and did 23 repetitions in the bench press.

“I had a good feeling — a gut instinct,” White told reporters after the selection. “I said it one time to the media but I didn’t want to jinx it, but I had a good feeling. I’m glad my intuition was right. I’m glad an honored to be here.”

When the Bears traded Brandon Marshall to the New York Jets, the team found itself needing a wide receiver, and in White they’ve opted for a guy who will give them a speedy option on the outside to take pressure off Alshon Jeffery in the vertical passing game.

“There are some people who wait for the ball,” Pace said. “He’ll go up and attack the ball. This is a competitive, strong player.”

Pace said if he could pick just one word to describe White it would be competitive.

The Bears said late Thursday that White will wear jersey number 13.