Soccer

It’s time to worry about U.S. men’s soccer team as World Cup nears | The wait for Aaron Judge’s 61st continues

Good morning to everyone but especially to…


USATSI

MEMPHIS MEN’S BASKETBALL

Nearly three years after the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) started investigating Memphis men’s basketball’s recruiting violations regarding James Wiseman, a decision has been handed down… and it’s little more than a slap on the wrist.

  • Before he was head coach at Memphis, Penny Hardaway gave the Wiseman family $11,500 to help cover moving expenses from Nashville to Memphis. Hardaway is a prominent alum and therefore was considered a booster, making the payment a violation.
  • Hardaway was not punished at all, and the program did not get a postseason ban. Instead, Memphis is on probation for three years, must vacate the three games Wiseman played and has to pay a fine.
  • Remember, the program faced seven total violations, three of which were tied to Hardaway.
  • The IARP cited Hardaway’s “long-standing philanthropic commitment… prior to becoming an athletics booster.”

It’s a big win for Memphis and a testament to its lawyers, writes college basketball reporter Gary Parrish.

  • Parrish: “Though the cases are related to different infractions, it appears Memphis more or less beat the NCAA with a similar defense to the one North Carolina used to beat the NCAA five years ago. … UNC successfully argued that because the fraudulent classes some athletes took to maintain their eligibility were also available to non-athletes, they could not be in violation of any NCAA rule because athletes and non-athletes alike both benefitted from them. In this case, Memphis successfully argued that because Hardaway has been philanthropic for decades, and financially assisted basketball players and non-basketball players alike, the $11,500 he admittedly gave to Wiseman’s family … should not be in violation of any NCAA rule.”

Here’s where the rest of the IARP’s cases stand.

Honorable mention

And not such a good morning for…


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THE UNITED STATES MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM

The countdown to the 2022 World Cup is officially on, and the United States can’t wait to put their last two matches behind them. After a dismal 0-2 loss to Japan last week, the U.S. looked completely uninspired yet again in a 0-0 draw against Saudi Arabia as the final tune-up window ahead of the World Cup came to a merciful close.

  • The U.S. are 1-3-3 this year against teams that qualified for the World Cup and were shut out in six of the seven matches.
  • The U.S. managed just two shots on goal combined against Japan and Saudi Arabia.
  • There are 54 days until the U.S. faces Wales in the World Cup group stage.

Perhaps the biggest question remains at striker, as that first bullet point indicates. Coach Gregg Berhalter called in three strikers for this pair of games:

  • Ricardo Pepi, who has scored just one goal in the last 360 days, started against Saudi Arabia and had a team-low 13 touches in the first half before being subbed out.
  • Jesus Ferreira, whose 18 goals rank fourth in MLS this season, started against Japan and replaced Pepi against Saudi Arabia. Despite his prowess for FC Dallas, Ferreira is yet to prove he can score consistently at the international level.
  • Josh Sargent has six goals in 10 games for Norwich City in the EFL Championship this season but hasn’t scored for the U.S. since 2019. He played in the second half against Japan.

Berhalter mentioned between matches that the U.S. was missing five starters, but given the opportunity, potential key depth pieces did not step up at all, soccer expert Chuck Booth writes.

  • Booth: “Over these two matches, it has become crystal clear that the depth options on the national team aren’t good enough if regulars go down. … When Berhalter’s plan relies on starting players that he has admitted that he may not have at the World Cup, it’s reasonable to be concerned if the team will make it out of the group stage. The best managers are able to tweak things when their system isn’t working but Berhalter has shown reluctance to make those shifts and the players won’t make them without him making the call.”

There are a few ways to look at this. The first is that if the U.S. is going to play this poorly, it’s better that it happens now, when they’re without several key players. If the U.S. does well at the World Cup, these results will be quickly forgotten. The second is that the U.S. looks pretty awful with time running out before the World Cup, and these games are signs of things to come. Or you can look at it as somewhere between the two. Regardless, it’s clear there is a ton of work for Berhalter — and his players — ahead.

Not so honorable mentions

NFL Power Rankings: New No. 1 as part of overhauled top five 👀


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Through three weeks of the NFL season, it’s still early but not too early to start forming solid opinions on teams, and that’s just what senior NFL writer Pete Prisco has done in his latest NFL Power Rankings. Here’s his top five:

  • 1. Eagles (prev: 4)
  • 2. Dolphins (prev: 8)
  • 3. Bills (prev: 1)
  • 4. Packers (prev. 5)
  • 5. Chiefs (prev. 2)

But the biggest riser — up from 22nd to ninth(!!!) — is the Jaguars, who Pete says, “can be nasty on defense and are improving on offense.” In his “One thing we learned about each team in Week 3” column, our NFL guru Jeff Kerr echoed those sentiments.

  • Kerr: “The defense can win Jacksonville the AFC South: The turnaround of the Jaguars defense has been incredible, as evidenced when they held the Chargers high-powered offense to just 10 points in Sunday’s win. Devin Lloyd is a playmaking linebacker in coverage while Josh Allen and Trayvon Walker are getting to the quarterback and forcing incompletions.”

How Hurricane Ian is affecting games at college, NFL levels 🏈


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Hurricane Ian is on track to devastate the western part of Florida, making landfall as early as Wednesday evening and eventually heading into Georgia and South Carolina. This has impacted the college football calendar significantly, and we’re tracking every affected game here.

  • South Carolina State at South Carolina was moved up from Saturday to tomorrow at 7 p.m. It will still take place at South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium.
  • East Carolina at South Florida was moved from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. to FAU Stadium, in Boca Raton, Fla. The game is now at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. FAU is at North Texas, which is why the Owls’ stadium is available.
  • Eastern Washington at Florida has been moved back from Saturday to Sunday. So has SMU at UCF.

There certainly could be more changes coming, so make sure to stay glued to our tracker

As for the NFL side of things, the Buccaneers have moved their practices to the Dolphins’ facilities in Miami ahead of Tampa Bay’s big showdown with the Chiefs, scheduled for Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium.

Whether that game can proceed as scheduled is to be determined. Tampa is expected to be one of the most significantly impacted areas, and the NFL is tracking the latest developments.

  • The game won’t be played at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, as the NFL doesn’t want to take away key resources that could be helpful in the wake of the hurricane.
  • According to reports, the NFL has considered moving the game to a neutral Midwest site such as U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Vikings are in London to take on the Saints, making this a possibility.
  • Our NFL writer Shanna McCarriston wonders why a different stadium — perhaps one more familiar to Tom Brady — isn’t being considered.

For the latest information on Hurricane Ian, CBS News has you covered.   

Aaron Judge watch: Walks piling up, but Yankees clinch AL East ⚾


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Aaron Judge‘s homerless streak is up to seven games, but the Yankees finished off a more important race — at least for the team — by clinching the AL East and earning a Wild Card bye in a 5-2 win over the Blue Jays.

  • Judge went 0-for-1 with four walks and two runs scored. He has walked 12 times in 31 plate appearances since hitting his 60th home run of the season.
  • The Yankees’ No. 2 and No. 3 hitters, Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres made the Blue Jays pay, combining for five hits and four RBI.
  • The seven-game home run drought ties Judge’s second-longest this season.
  • The Yankees will be the AL’s No. 2 seed behind the Astros.
  • Judge will take another swing (several swings, perhaps) at No. 61 tonight when the Yankees take on the Blue Jays in Toronto at 7:07 p.m. ET. 



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