Jay-Z giving up stake in Netsto represent players as agent
After helping the Nets relocate from New Jersey to his hometown of Brooklyn, rapper and entrepreneur Shawn Carter — better known as Jay-Z — will reportedly drop his stake in the franchise so that he can pursue a future representing NBA players as an agent.
Carter's Roc Nation Sports business will partner with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) on the new venture, which can't be undertaken as long as he is affiliated with an NBA franchise in an ownership role. The process is expected to be completed in time for Roc Nation to compete for players entering the June NBA Draft. Much like the arrangement with CAA's baseball side, Jay-Z will let the firm's basketball agents handle contract negotiations. The potential impact will come with athletes linking to Jay-Z's global reach in marketing, entertainment and business.
Forbes reported last week that Carter and CAA signed a deal to represent Yankees star second baseman Robinson Cano on a contract that is expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lawson UK's all-time winningest coach
Kentucky (30-10) beat Eastern Kentucky 6-2 in the opener of a softball doubleheader Wednesday in Richmond, giving sixth-year head coach Rachel Lawson her 182nd win at UK and making her the all-time winningest coach in program history.
Lawson has earned 27 or more wins in each of the last five seasons, including this season. Lawson has led the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments — the only appearances in school history. Lawson's 66 Southeastern Conference wins over the last six years are more than the program had overall from 1997-2007.
Lawson has 35 wins over ranked teams in her UK tenure, including 20 wins over top-10 teams and 12 over top-five teams.
EKU (23-16), looking for its first win over the Cats since 2006, was swept as Alice O'Brien, down to UK's final strike, drove in two runs with a high chopper up the middle in the seventh for a 4-3 victory. O'Brien's solo homer had tied it 1-all in the second inning.
Zeller leaving IU to join brothers in NBA
Indiana sophomore center Cody Zeller is heading to the NBA. Zeller is the second Hoosiers star to leave school early. On Tuesday, junior swingman Victor Oladipo announced he, too, was entering the NBA Draft. Both are projected to be lottery picks in June.
Zeller, a 7-footer, could have left school last year but decided to return for one more shot at a national championship. He led the Hoosiers in scoring (16.5 points) and rebounding (8.1), was a second-team All-American and is projected to be a top 10 pick in June's draft. Two of Zeller's brothers, Luke and Tyler, also played in the NBA this season.
■ Missouri point guard Phil Pressey, coming off a productive but erratic junior season, will enter the NBA Draft. The 5-foot-11 Pressey is the Tigers' career leader with 580 assists and broke his own single-season mark with 240 assists last season. He tied the school record with 196 steals. He had career highs with an 11.9-point average and seven assists per game, tying an SEC record with 19 assists in an overtime loss at UCLA. He was also was hampered by questionable decision-making in several close losses.
■ Four days after Syracuse lost in the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, point guard Michael Carter-Williams has decided to enter the NBA Draft. The 6-foot-6 sophomore started all 40 games this season. He finished fifth nationally in assist average (7.3) and fourth in steals (2.78) among Division I players, and also averaged 11.9 points and a team-best 35.2 minutes.
■ Joe Mihalich is leaving behind 15 successful seasons at Niagara to take over Hofstra's troubled men's basketball program.
Mihalich, 56, replaces Mo Cassara, who was fired March 22 following a 7-25 season. Four Pride players were arrested in November on burglary charges stemming from dormitory room break-ins.
Florida assistant resigns position
Florida defensive line coach Bryant Young is stepping away from football to spend more time with his family.
Young announced Wednesday that he is resigning after more than two decades of college and professional football. A four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle who spent 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Young joined Coach Will Muschamp's staff in 2011 after one year at San Jose State and another at Notre Dame.
"After heavy consideration and giving over two decades to the game of football, I have made a personal decision to resign from my position at the University of Florida in order to pursue more time with my family," said Young, a father of six who earned about $40 million during his NFL career.
Muschamp said in a statement, "This is strictly a personal decision and has nothing to do with NCAA compliance ... ."
■ Former Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel has found another landing spot — Cincinnati. The Indiana high school star originally committed to Indiana, then backed out and opted for LSU. When he backed out of that commitment, Kiel wound up enrolling at Notre Dame. But Everett Golson won the job and led the Fighting Irish to the national championship game.
Asheville turns back Legends 6-1
Matt Wessinger drove in two runs, one with a suicide squeeze bunt, and the Asheville Tourists roused early in a 10 a.m. start to earn a 6-1 victory over the host Lexington Legends Wednesday.
The Tourists scored in the first when Kyle Von Tungeln walked, moved around to third on two ground balls to the infield, and then came home on a single by Francisco Sosa.
Asheville bunted its way to its fourth run in the fifth. Michael Ramirez was hit by a pitch. Juan Ciriaco beat out a bunt single, and Von Tungeln followed with a sacrifice bunt, advancing the runners to second and third. With Wessinger at the plate, Ramirez broke for home on a pitch by Legends starter Bryan Brickhouse. Wessinger was able to get a bunt down on the first base side of the mound, and Ramirez scored as Brickhouse tagged Wessinger.
Lexington scored its only run in the third. Yowill Epsinal doubled with two outs and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Terrance Gore walked, and when Gore stole second base, Ramirez's throw went into center for an error, allowing Espinal to score.
Serena, Venus to headline Fed Cup team
Serena and Venus Williams will lead the U.S. Fed Cup team against Sweden on hardcourts at the Delray Beach (Fla.) Tennis Center on April 20-21. Serena is 8-0 in Fed Cup singles play and 3-0 in doubles. Venus is 14-2 in singles and 4-2 in doubles.
■ The Bengals have released cornerback Jason Allen, who was hurt and played in only four games in his one season with Cincinnati.
■ A judge in Virginia has ordered the arrest of Marcus Vick after he missed a hearing in a civil case. Vick also missed a February hearing. Vick signed a $40,000 promissory note in 2008 but hasn't paid anything. Vick is Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick's younger brother.
The last word
NBA star Kevin Durant, a first baseman in high school, and Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Nick Collison attended the San Francisco Giants game against Colorado Wednesday, a day off before playing at Golden State. Durant wanted to see NL MVP Buster Posey, who didn't disappoint with three hits and three RBI.
Said Durant: "My man, Buster. I just like his intensity."
Said Posey: "It's humbling. You don't even know if they know who you are to begin with."