AP Sources: Seattle Storm hire Dan Hughes to be next coach

NEW YORK (AP) — Dan Hughes is coming back to the WNBA as coach of the Seattle Storm, multiple people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.The people spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the team has not announced the move.Hughes spent 11 years as the head coach and general manager for San Antonio, guiding the Stars to six postseason appearances before retiring after the 2016 season. The 62-year-old coach replaces Gary Kloppenburg, who was Seattle's interim coach after the team fired Jenny Boucek on Aug. 10. Kloppenburg helped guide the Storm to the playoffs as the No. 8 seed where they lost in the opening round to Dallas.Hughes will just coach the Storm as team president Alisha Valavanis is also the general manager.Seattle has a solid nucleus for Hughes to work with led by Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd. The Storm, who were 15-19 this year, also have the fifth pick in a loaded draft next April. They have a few key free agents like Crystal Langhorne they'll have to figure out what to do with.Hughes spent 2017 as a TV analyst and is the team's sixth head coach following Lin Dunn, Anne Donovan, Brian Agler, Boucek and Kloppenburg. Hughes, who previously coached the defunct Charlotte Sting and Cleveland Rockers, has coached more WNBA games (524) than anyone in league history and is 237-287 in his career. That's the third most wins all-time in the league. He won WNBA Coach of the Year twice garnering the honor in 2001 when he was with Cleveland and then again in 2007 in San Antonio.He told the AP in 2016 that he was retiring to spend more time with his family and watch his son play basketball for Air Force. Hughes will be able to do that still as well as spend time with his four grandchildren.___Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Continue Reading

UConn women a unanimous No. 1 in AP preseason hoops poll

NEW YORK (AP) — UConn is in a familiar spot to start the season — No. 1 in the poll.The Huskies were a unanimous choice in the top spot of The Associated Press women's basketball preseason poll on Thursday. It's the 12th time in school history that UConn has been No. 1 in the preseason poll, matching Tennessee for the most all-time."Being ranked number one in the AP preseason poll is something we certainly do not take for granted but I think those are the expectations, internally and externally, as it relates to this program," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "This is an honor and a testament to the hard work of our players, but we all know that what really matters is where you finish the season and not necessarily where you are when the season starts."UConn also was the preseason No. 1 in 1995, '99, 2000, '01, '03, '08, '09, '10, '13, '14 and '16. The Huskies open their season on Nov. 12 against No. 10 Stanford in Columbus, Ohio — site of this season's Final Four. UConn has gone on to win the national championship in seven of those years it was preseason No. 1.The Huskies, who saw their 111-game winning streak come to an end in the Final Four last season, return four starters from that team and add a stellar freshman class to go along with two solid transfers.The entire 32-member national media panel picked UConn first, marking the fifth time the team has been the lone choice atop the preseason poll.Texas is second — the Longhorns' best ranking since the second poll of the 2004 season. That was also the last year that the Longhorns were ranked second in the preseason Top 25."We appreciate the national media recognizing the hard work and dedication of our players and coaching staff in recent years to return our program back to a place where we have the expectation to compete for championships," Texas coach Karen Aston said.Big 12 rival Baylor is third followed by defending national champion South Carolina and Ohio State.Notre Dame, Mississippi Continue Reading

Fact check: Trump spins his first 100 days in AP interview

In an interview with the Associated Press, President Trump put some spin on what he has done — and hasn’t done — as he nears the completion of his first 100 days in office:The president also repeated several false and misleading claims, including taking too much credit for job creation.The Associated Press interviewed Trump in the Oval Office on April 21 and published a transcript of the interview on April 24. The interview comes as the president nears completion of his first 100 days in office — which will occur on April 29 — and dealt in part with the promises he made during the campaign.During the campaign, Trump issued a “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.” One of those promises dealt with China’s history of devaluing its currency to gain a trade advantage. In his action plan, Trump said on his first day in office he would “direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator.”That has not happened. In fact, the Treasury Department issued a report on April 14 that declined to label China a currency manipulator.The president told the Associated Press that “things change” and he needs “flexibility” once he takes office. He said the decision was in part political, as he is trying to convince China to lean on North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons program.But then he twisted the facts about China’s history of devaluing its currency.Trump said he decided not to label China a currency manipulator, in part, because it has not manipulated its currency since he took office. Trump claimed credit for that, saying “there’s a certain respect” that China’s President Xi Jinping has for him and “he knew I would do something” if China devalued its currency.In fact, China has not been devaluing its currency to create a trade advantage since 2014, years before Trump took office.As The Washington Postexplained, Continue Reading


TWO OF THE CITY'S most elite high schools - Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech - cheated their poorest students out of thousands of dollars by wrongly charging them for Advanced Placement exams, investigators revealed yesterday. A third top school, Bronx High School of Science, made the same mistake, but gave refunds to kids after discovering the error, its principal said. Bronx Science's decision was in stark contrast to Brooklyn Tech, where Principal Lee McCaskill - who quit his job amid an unrelated scandal in February - allegedly said refunding students' money would be too difficult. "I was horrified," said Peggy Blau, the Brooklyn Tech administrator who blew the whistle on McCaskill - launching a probe by special schools investigator Richard Condon. "For many of these kids, [test fees] are a tremendous hardship, especially in their senior year when they have many expenses like . . . the prom, the ring, the yearbook. To add to that a couple of hundred dollars for AP exams when they can't afford them is criminal." A high score on the tests can translate into college credit for many students. To make sure all kids can afford to take the exams, the state has a program to subsidize the $52 fee for low-income students. Last year, Blau already had collected fees from her students when she learned the state had written a check directly to the test maker for her low-income kids. When McCaskill refused to refund the money to the kids, she reported him, she said. Investigators said Brooklyn Tech owes $76,678 to low-income students who have taken 1,511 exams since 2002. At Stuyvesant, kids are owed $71,000 for tests taken since 2002, Condon said. A Stuyvesant administrator told investigators that the school needed the cash to pay for exam chairs and proctors. Stuyvesant officials referred questions yesterday to city Education Department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg, who said all eligible students will get refunds. "We will make sure that this doesn't happen Continue Reading

Accused killer Robert Durst misidentified in AP story as ‘former Limp Bizkit frontman’ Fred Durst

Wrong Durst. The Associated Press accidentally mixed up troubled millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst, 71, and 44-year-old Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. The misidentification came rollin’ in around 6:30 p.m. local California time Monday in the second paragraph of a story about drug charges filed against Robert Durst in New Orleans, according to the media blog Romenesko. The first line referenced Robert Durst by name, but the second referred to him as “the former Limp Bizkit frontman.” The AP later limped out a correction and told the blog in a statement that the mix-up was in “a brief that appeared solely on the California broadcast wire last night.” Robert Durst is awaiting extradition to Los Angeles to face a murder charge stemming from the 2000 killing of a close female friend. His arrest Saturday in the Big Easy came a day before the finale of a shocking, six-part HBO documentary called “The Jinx” in which the oddball suspect appeared to confess he “killed them all, of course.” “He did not kill Susan Berman, and he doesn’t know who did,” Durst’s high-powered lawyer Dick DeGuerin told the Daily News on Monday. Limp Bizkit, an alt-metal band that rose to fame in the mid-1990s with hits like “Nookie” and “Break Stuff,” is currently on tour in California. Continue Reading

Tennessee Volunteers agree to hire ex-Texas coach Rick Barnes, AP source

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Just two days after leaving Texas, Rick Barnes has landed at Tennessee. Tennessee announced the hiring Tuesday, calling Barnes an “elite basketball coach in every respect.” The agreement is for six years at $2.25 million annually. The school scheduled an afternoon news conference. Barnes succeeds Donnie Tyndall, who was fired Friday after one season amid an NCAA investigation of his two years at Southern Mississippi. RELATED: CHRIS MULLIN TO BECOME ST. JOHN'S BASKETBALL COACH Barnes went 402-180 in 17 seasons at Texas and reached the NCAA Tournament in 16 of his 17 seasons, including a Final Four appearance in 2003. Texas announced his departure Sunday, saying it was a mutual decision. Barnes said at his farewell news conference he was given the choice of firing his staff or being fired himself. “Rick brings an extremely impressive track record of excellence, as well as much-needed stability, to our men’s basketball program,” Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement. This is an exciting day for our Tennessee family.” The 60-year-old Barnes is 604-314 in 28 seasons overall with stops at George Mason, Providence and Clemson. He has reached the NCAA Tournament in 19 of his last 20 seasons. Hart said he fired Tyndall for cause after determining the NCAA would likely find the coach committed major violations while at Southern Mississippi from 2012-14. Tyndall went 16-16 in his lone season at Tennessee. Although Barnes’ only Southeastern Conference experience came during a brief stint as an Alabama assistant in 1985-86, Barnes has some familiarity with the area. He grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, about 200 miles east of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus. Barnes takes over a Tennessee program that has gone at least as far as the NCAA regional semifinals four of the last nine seasons despite Continue Reading

Kentucky’s John Calipari chosen AP Coach of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — John Calipari, whose Kentucky team is the first in 24 years to reach the Final Four undefeated, has been selected The Associated Press’ coach of the year. The Wildcats were the talk of the college basketball this season in winning the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament championships. They were ranked No. 1 the entire season and were a unanimous choice for 12 weeks. ISOLA: CALIPARI BUILDING AN EMPIRE AT KENTUCKY Many thought Kentucky had so much talent that it would be hard to instill a team-first attitude. Calipari started the season with two five-man units he substituted in groups. It worked well enough that eight players in the rotation are averaging between 5.6 and 11.0 points a game. Calipari is the third Kentucky coach to win the award, which started in 1967. Eddie Sutton won in 1986 and Tubby Smith in 2003. Calipari received 40 votes from the 65-member national media panel that picks the weekly Top 25. Tony Bennett of Virginia was second with nine votes while Mike Brey of Notre Dame got five. Continue Reading

AP study projects average MLB salary will top $4M for the first time in 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — Even before the first pitch of the 2015 season is thrown, an eye-popping baseball record will be set. The average salary when opening-day rosters are finalized Sunday will break the $4 million barrier for the first time, according to a study of all major league contracts by The Associated Press. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw tops players at $31 million and Los Angeles projects to open the season with a payroll at about $270 million, easily a record. “We’re enjoying a tremendously bountiful season in baseball,” said Toronto pitcher R.A. Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner with the New York Mets. Fueled by the largest two-year growth in more than a decade, the average salary projects to be about $4.25 million, according to the AP study, with the final figure depending on how many players are put on the disabled list before the first pitch is thrown. That is up from $3.95 million on the first day of last season and $3.65 million when 2013 began. “MLB’s revenues have grown in recent years, with the increase in national and local broadcast rights fees being a primary contributor,” said Dan Halem, MLB’s chief legal officer. “It is expected that player compensation will increase as club revenues increase.” Baseball’s average was approximately $50,000 in 1976, the last year before free agency. Back then, many players took offseason jobs to pay their bills. Now almost all of them do their heavy lifting in gyms, not warehouses. In a $9 billion industry propelled by ballpark luxury suites and premium tickets, regional sports networks and streaming video, more than half the major leaguers are millionaires. The average broke the $1 million mark in 1992, topped $2 million in 2001 and reached $3 million in 2008. By comparison, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers has risen slightly less than fourfold since the first class of Continue Reading

Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky chosen AP Player of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Kaminsky, the 7-footer who anchored Wisconsin’s run to a second straight Final Four, is the runaway choice as The Associated Press’ player of the year. Kaminsky averaged 18.7 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from 3-point range as the Badgers ran up a 35-3 record and won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. WEISS: BO RYAN HAS BADGERS BELIEVING THEY CAN BEAT KENTUCKY  “Frank the Tank”’ is the first Wisconsin player to win the award, which started in 1961. He is the third from the Big Ten in the last six seasons, joining Ohio State’s Evan Turner in 2010 and Michigan’s Trey Burke in 2013. Kaminsky received 58 votes from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor received five votes and Kentucky’s Wille Caulaey-Stein and Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant had one each. Continue Reading

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell suspended three games following DUI, pot arrest: AP source

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is facing a three-game suspension following his arrest on DUI and marijuana charges last August. A person with direct knowledge of the suspension told The Associated Press Bell is expected to appeal the suspension. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the disciplinary action had not been announced by the league. The suspension was first reported by ESPN. Bell was arrested last August following a traffic stop along with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount. The 23-year-old All-Pro ended up pleading no contest and was sentenced to 15 months of probation and entered into a diversion program. Blount, now a running back with New England, received a one-game suspension from the league last week. Bell and Blount were arrested Aug. 20, 2014 after a motorcycle officer in Ross Township, a suburb just north of Pittsburgh, smelled marijuana coming from a vehicle Bell was driving hours before a team flight to a preseason game in Philadelphia. Blount was released from the Steelers after complaining about insufficient playing time and walking off the field early in a loss to Tennessee in November. He signed with the Patriots days later and won a Super Bowl ring in February. As part of Bell’s plea deal he agreed to have a drug and alcohol evaluation, follow any recommended treatment and spend 12 hours one weekend at a safety school for those charged with drunken driving. Bell flourished in his second season with the Steelers in 2014. His 2,115 yards from scrimmage were a team record. His 83 receptions were the most ever by a Pittsburgh running back and his versatility keyed the team’s run to an AFC North title. The Steelers signed free agent DeAngelo Williams to a two-year contract in March as a backup to Bell. Williams is Carolina’s all-time leader in yards rushing (6,846) and career rushing touchdowns (46). Continue Reading