UCF Knights linebacker Shaquem Griffin received an invitation to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in March. Griffin announced his call Tuesday on Twitter. The combine features over 300 college football players trying out in front of NFL officials in Indianapolis. Griffin had his left hand amputated at four years old due to a congenital disability called amniotic band syndrome. If drafted, he would be the first player with one hand to make it to the NFL. Griffin, a two-time AAC Defensive Player of the Year, impressed many with his play Saturday at the Senior Bowl. At that time, he claimed he had not received a combine invitation. He recorded four tackles during the game.
The Cleveland Indians’ jerseys will look a bit different starting in 2019, with the team removing the Chief Wahoo insignia. Major League Baseball announced the decision on Monday. The Indians will discontinue the use of the logo on their uniforms after the 2018 season. The mutual decision was made by the Indians and the league, according to a news release from Major League Baseball. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred called the logo “no longer appropriate.” The Indians opted to go back to the Block C as their primary mark on apparel before the 2014 season. Cleveland removed Chief Wahoo from their road cap in 2011 and from their home batting helmet in 2013.
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After weeks of rumors, Ronda Rousey made her debut in WWE after the women’s Royal Rumble on Sunday night. Rousey, who just last week denied having a deal in place with Vince McMahon’s wrestling company, surprised the Philadelphia crowd after Asuka won the women’s Royal Rumble. “This is my life now. First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt,” Rousey said. “When I first met with Triple H, I told him, ‘There are other things I can do with my time that’ll make way more money, but I won’t enjoy nearly as much.’”
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Tiger Woods completed his first full PGA Tour event in nearly three years on Sunday, shooting an even par 72 and finishing the Farmers Insurance Open at 3 under. Woods shot 72-71-70-72 and was T-27 when his round ended on the Torrey Pines South course in La Jolla, California. Woods answered when he was asked to assess his weekend. “Playing a solid four days. I fought hard for these scores.” Woods struggled with his driver all four rounds, hitting just 17 fairways over the 72 holes. He tied the lowest number in his PGA Tour career in an event in which he made the cut. Woods said last week his focus is on Augusta and the Masters in April. He is scheduled to play again at the Los Angeles Open in three weeks (Feb. 15-18) at Riviera Country Club.
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Roger Federer has captured his 20th Grand Slam singles title, beating Marin Cilic in a back-and-forth Australian Open final 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. It’s the sixth Australian Open title of Federer’s career, going along with his eight titles in Wimbledon, five at the U.S. Open and one at the French Open. At the age of 36 years, 173 days, Federer also becomes the second-oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era after Ken Rosewall, who won the 1972 Australian Open at 37.
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WWE founder and chairman Vince McMahon announced Thursday he is giving a professional football league another go. It will be called the XFL, the same name of the league McMahon and NBC tried for one season in 2001, but it won’t rely on gimmicks as its predecessor did, he said. McMahon said he is the sole funding source for the league, which is slated to begin in January 2020. Its first season will have eight teams around the country playing a 10-week schedule. Over the next couple of months, the XFL will announce the eight cities, expected to be large and medium-sized markets, where the teams will play. Team names will follow. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN that the league will have no comment on McMahon’s upstart league.
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On Wednesday Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jones and Thome were both elected in their first year of eligibility. This is the fourth time that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America has elected four players in a year (1947, 1955, 2015). The four will join veterans committee inductees Jack Morris and Alan Trammell in entering the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 29 in Cooperstown, New York.
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Heading into Tuesday night’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James needed seven points to reach the 30,000 career point milestone. James became the seventh player with 30,000 career points when he hit a jumper with one second left in the first quarter. He finished the game with 28 points, though it was not enough for the Cavaliers to win the game as the Spurs went on to win 114-102. The 14-time All-Star is also the youngest person to join the prestigious point club, at the age of 33 years and 24 days. He bested Kobe Bryant, who was 34 years and 104 days when he reached the mark. In addition, James became the first NBA player to add 7,000 rebounds and 7,000 assists to his point total.
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Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison today by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina for 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The sentence came down following the seventh day of victim impact statements in the courtroom, after 156 women spoke in open court about the damage done by Nassar’s serial sexual abuse of them, done under the guise of providing them with medical treatment. Nassar, who already is serving time in prison after pleading guilty on child pornography charges, will have this sentenced added on to the 60 years he is currently already serving in federal prison. “Your decision to assault was calculated, precise, devious, despicable,” Aquilina said. “You do not deserve to walk outside a prison again,” she added. “I just signed your death warrant.”
Centerfielder Austin Jackson agreed to a $6 million, two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Monday, filling the club’s top remaining void just a few weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. San Francisco announced the acquisition Monday, a week after the Giants traded for right fielder Andrew McCutchen. “He is a talented and versatile player who will strengthen our roster and provide additional depth at all three outfield positions,” general manager Bobby Evans said. Jackson batted .318 with seven homers, 19 doubles, three triples and 35 RBIs while limited to just 85 games because of injuries for Cleveland last season. His .352 average against left-handed pitchers ranked fourth in the American League.
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