Tone Time is over for the New York Jets. The Jets parted ways with wide receiver Santonio Holmes on Monday, cutting the talented but injury-plagued playmaker after four seasons. The move, which had been expected, saves the Jets $8.25 million, which Holmes was due to make as his base salary this season. The Jets also released cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Sunday, clearing $17.75 million of salary cap space before the NFL’s free agency period starts Tuesday.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall is retiring from the NFL at the age of 26. Agent Mike McCartney confirmed via Twitter on Sunday that Mendenhall had decided to end his playing career after six NFL seasons, all but one of them with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mendenhall, the Steelers’ first-round draft pick and 23rd overall selection out of Illinois in 2008, gained 4,326 career yards, averaging 3.9 yards per carry.
William Clay Ford was born into a fortune and spent much of his life staying away from fame as he steered the family business and owned an NFL franchise. The man reverently referred to as Mr. Ford, the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford and owner of the Detroit Lions, died Sunday. Ford Motor Co. said in a statement that Ford died of pneumonia at his home in Grosse Pointe. He bought a business of his own, the Lions, a half-century ago.
Its NCAA chances all but gone, West Virginia showed it still has some fight left in a lackluster season. West Virginia built a 25-point lead and had to withstand 41 points by freshman Andrew Wiggins and a furious comeback by No. 8 Kansas to upset the Jayhawks 92-86 in their Big 12 regular-season finale Saturday. ”We just had to stay composed, not get too down, don’t say, ‘dang, they’re going to come back,”’ said Eron Harris, who led West Virginia with 28 points. ”You’ve got to always have confidence in your team that you’re going to win.” The Mountaineers (17-14, 9-9 Big 12) could have finished with a thud like they had in losing four of their five previous games that reduced them to playing for a spot in the NIT.
Jason Calliste made the go-ahead jumper and free throw with 4:22 left and finished with 18 points as Oregon defeated No. 3 Arizona 64-57 Saturday for its seventh straight victory. Johnathan Loyd added 16 points for the Ducks (22-8, 10-8 Pac-10) who greatly improved their chances of a bid in the NCAA tournament. The Ducks won 13 straight to start the season and got ranked as high as No. 10, but then they lost five straight to tumble out of the poll and fall in the Pac-12 standings. But Oregon’s six-game winning streak put them back in the conversation for a possible NCAA tournament bid and gave them their fourth straight season with at least 20 victories.
A person familiar with the situation says Darren Sproles has been informed that the Saints will release him if they are unable to trade him before free agency begins. New Orleans’ decision to part with Sproles is the latest in a series of cost-cutting moves, including Friday’s release of receiver Lance Moore. The moves give the Saints more flexibility under the NFL’s salary cap as they try to sign free agent tight end Jimmy Graham to an extension. Before the Moore move was announced, Moore all but confirmed it with a note on Twitter, writing, ”Thank you New Orleans for an amazing nine years.
Harvard became the first team to reach the NCAA tournament, and the Crimson did it on rival Yale’s court. ”You couldn’t ask for much better,” said senior guard Brandyn Curry, who had 14 points in in the 70-58 win over the Bulldogs on Friday night that secured the outright Ivy League championship. ”It means a lot to come back after everything and win here, in this place.” Curry was on this same floor three years ago, when Harvard lost to Princeton on a buzzer-beater in a conference playoff game. That was the last time someone other than Harvard represented the Ivy League in the NCAA tournament.
The U.S. women’s soccer team’s two-year unbeaten streak ended at 43 games Friday with a 1-0 loss to Sweden and former coach Pia Sundhage at the Algarve Cup in Albufiera, Portugal. Lotta Schelin beat goalkeeper Hope Solo with a header in the 26th minute. The U.S. had been 36-0-7 since a 1-0 loss to Japan at the Algarve Cup on March 5, 2012, and 16-0-4 under Tom Sermanni, who took over as coach after Sundhage left in 2012 to lead her native Sweden. The U.S., which was eliminated, had a chance to take the lead in the 17th minute, but Abby Wambach’s penalty kick was pushed past a post by goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl after American midfielder Amy Rodriguez was fouled.
This could be it for Jabari Parker at Duke. His final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium could come Saturday night when No. 4 Duke hosts rival North Carolina – if the freshman phenom jumps to the NBA after the season, as most outsiders always assumed he would do. ”A deciding factor is where I’m going to grow the most, whether it’s in the NBA or even in college, the learning experiences that I need as far as (growing as) a basketball player.” The Wooden Award finalist has been the most consistent player for Duke (23-7, 12-5 Atlantic Coast Conference). He could become the first Duke freshman to lead the team in scoring and rebounds.
Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker scored 17 points apiece and No. 2 Wichita State set a Missouri Valley tournament record with 11 blocked shots, staying perfect for the season with an 80-58 romp over Evansville in the quarterfinals Friday. D.J. Balentine had 31 points with seven 3-pointers for ninth-seeded Evansville (14-19), which lost twice by an average of 15 points to Wichita State (32-0) in the regular season. Kadeem Coleby had six of the blocks for the Shockers, who are two victories shy of matching the NCAA record of 34 wins to start a season by UNLV in 1990-91. Wichita State beat every Valley school twice in the regular season and takes on the Missouri State-Illinois State winner in the semifinals on Saturday.