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Bobby Bank/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Former NFL Hall of Famer and sportscaster Frank Gifford had signs of the progressive degenerative disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopahty (CTE), according to a statement from his family Wednesday.

Gifford, 84, died on Aug. 9 at his Connecticut home. His family emphasized in the statement that CTE did not lead to his death, but that he had "cognitive and behavioral symptoms" before he died.

The family said that it “made the difficult decision to have his brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury.”

Multiple NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE after their deaths in recent years and the league continues to face criticism that it has not done enough to protect players. Gifford, who was married to "Today" show host Kathie Lee Gifford, played for the New York Giants during his entire 12-year career, from 1952 to 1964.

“We decided to disclose our loved one’s condition to honor Frank’s legacy of promoting player safety dating back to his involvement in the formation of the NFL Players Association in the 1950s,” the family said in the statement. “His entire adult life Frank was a champion for others, but especially for those without the means or platform to have their voices heard.”

The degenerative disease involves a buildup of the abnormal protein called tao, which is also found in Alzheimer's patients and is associated with a breakdown of brain tissue. It's believed to be caused by repetitive trauma to the brain, according to the CTE Center at Boston University, and symptoms include memory loss, confusion, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety and progressive dementia. The disease can only be diagnosed after death when tissue samples can be examined for the tao protein.

Gifford's family said they would continue to support the NFL and new rules aimed at making the game safer.

"We miss him every day, now more than ever, but find comfort in knowing that by disclosing his condition we might contribute positively to the ongoing conversation that needs to be had," the family said.

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Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Syracuse University's men's basketball program has earned a small victory in its appeal of sanctions leveled by the NCAA over a number of infractions.

In March, the NCAA determined that Syracuse failed to control and monitor its athletics programs, particularly its men's basketball program. The infractions included academic impropriety, failure to follow drug-testing policy and impermissible booster activity. At the time, the NCAA levied sanctions including the loss of 12 scholarships over a four-year span, vacating over 100 wins from the program and head coach Jim Boeheim's records, a financial penalty, and a nine-game suspension for the coach.

After appeal, the NCAA says, the program will gain back four of those scholarships -- one per year.

The NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee upheld the decision on the more than 100 wins and the financial penalty, but said that the scholarship reductions were "a departure from precedent," and chose to alter them.

The school is also on five years of probation due to the infractions.

In a statement, Syracuse University's Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn said that the NCAA also corrected an error that had levied too significant a financial penalty against the school -- errantly taking an extra $1.23 million. That sum was returned to the school.

"The University is pleased with these two positive outcomes resulting from our appeal," Quinn said. "We strongly believed the original scholarship reduction penalty was too severe when compared to other infraction cases."

"We remain disappointed in the decision to vacate a significant amount of men's basketball wins," Quinn added.

While the school did not win all aspects of its appeal, Quinn said they "simply sought to be judged according to the same standards as other institutions." Regardless, the school maintains that its top priority is to "give our student-athletes the best possible education and teach them how to achieve their brightest potential in the classroom and on the playing fields."

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- Saint Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey was shot in the head twice on Tuesday night, ESPN reports.

The Rams issued a statement overnight, saying that they were aware that the wide reciever was "involved in an incident." Bailey, the Rams said, was in a hospital in "critical, but stable, condition."

Bailey was in a vehicle at the time of the shooting. The driver of the vehicle was also shot, and is believed to have sustained more serious injuries than Bailey.

The third-year player out of West Virginia University had been serving a four-week suspension for violating the National Football League's substance abuse policy.

Miami Gardens police said on Wednesday that Bailey was in the vehicle along with the driver Antwan Reeves, and three additional passengers -- including two minors. The gunfire came from a second vehicle.

Police are seeking a light colored, four-door sedan in their investigation. They believe the vehicle might be a Buick Regal.

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Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The Charlotte Hornets and head coach Steve Clifford have agreed to a three-year contract extension, ESPN reports.

Clifford is in the final season of a contract signed in 2013, and will now continue with the team through the 2018-2019 season. The news comes as the Hornets have gotten off to an 8-6 start.

Clifford has built an 84-94 record in just over two seasons with the team, including a playoff berth last year.

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Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- The Golden State Warriors made history on Tuesday night, dominating their in-state rival Los Angeles Lakers en route to the best start to a season in National Basketball Association history.


16-0. NBA History!

— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) November 25, 2015

Best start in NBA history. #DubNation

— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) November 25, 2015

With the 111-77 defeat of the Lakers, the Warriors won their 16th consecutive game to begin the year, besting the previous record start of 15-0 held by the 1948-1949 Washington Capitals and the 1993-1994 Houston Rockets.

The Warriors outscored Los Angeles 30-11 in the first quarter and never looked back. A 35-17 third quarter edge pushed the game into laugher status.

In his team's loss, Lakers star Kobe Bryant had arguably the worst game of his career. Scoring just four points on 1-of-14 shooting. Bryant has never attempted more than 10 shots in a game without making at least one. Tuesday's game tied his career high in shot attempts in games where he made only one.

Last season, Kobe had another 1-for-14 game, but tacked on seven free throws to total nine points.

Only five of the Warriors' 16 opponents have finished the game within 10 points of Golden State.

While some experts predicted a fall to earth for the 2014-2015 NBA Champions, the Warriors have shown that they aren't done yet.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners.

Indiana 123, Washington 106
Atlanta 121, Boston 97
Memphis 110, Dallas 96
L-A Clippers 111, Denver 94
Chicago 93, Portland 88
Golden State 111, L-A Lakers 77

Ottawa 7, Dallas 4
Anaheim 5, Calgary 3

(1) Kentucky 82 -- Boston U. 62
(2) Maryland 77 -- Illinois St. 66
(5) Kansas 92 -- UCLA 73
(7) Oklahoma 96 -- Incarnate Word   63
(9) North Carolina 80 -- Kansas St. 70
(13) Indiana 83 -- St. John's 73
(19) Vanderbilt 86 -- Wake Forest 64
NC State 83 -- (22) LSU 72 OT
(24) Cincinnati 64 -- SE Louisiana 49

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Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A pair of high profile teams dropped significantly in the latest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night.

The Ohio State Buckeyes, defending national champions, fell to number eight in the rankings, an expected decline after their disappointing loss to rival Michigan State on Saturday. Also dropping out of the top-four was Notre Dame, which won an unimpressive three-point game over Boston College last weekend.

Moving up into the third and fourth spots in the rankings were the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes and the 10-1 Okahoma Sooners.

Michigan State, on the strength of their win over Ohio State, jumped to number five.

The top four teams in the rankings will face off in the second-ever College Football Playoff. Much is still to be seen before the final rankings are released, however.

Michigan State and Iowa each need to win to ensure a matchup between the two in the Big Ten's championship game. The winner of that game would presumably claim a spot in the playoff.

Top-ranked Clemson faces in-state rival South Carolina on Saturday, and has a dangerous matchup with North Carolina in the ACC title game ahead.

Second-ranked Alabama must face arch-rival Auburn before a potential battle in the SEC title game.

Now-number six Notre Dame, which squares off with number nine Stanford this weekend, will likely need some help to make the playoff. As a conference-independent team, the Fighting Irish won't have a conference championship game to bolster their resume.

Also hanging on to playoff hopes is number seven Baylor, which squares off with rival Texas Christian University this weekend.

College Football Playoff Rankings:

1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma
4. Iowa
5. Michigan State
6. Notre Dame
7. Baylor
8. Ohio State
9. Stanford
10. Michigan
11. Oklahoma State
12. Florida
13. Florida State
14. North Carolina
15. Navy
16. Northwestern
17. Oregon
18. Ole Miss
19. TCU
20. Washington State
21. Mississippi State
22. UCLA
23. Utah
24. Toledo
25. Temple

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iStock/Thinkstock(CANTON, Ohio) -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame is one step closer to inducting its class of 2016.

On Tuesday, the hall announced 25 semi-finalists for 2016 which included 22 players and three coaches. Most of the potential people have been on the list before, except for two players, tackle Tony Boselli and linebacker Sam Mills.

Among the names on the list are three candidates who are eligible for the first time-- quarterback Brett Favre, guard Alan Faneca, and wide receiver Terrell Owens.

To be eligible for induction, "a nominated player or coach must not have participated as an active player or coach for five consecutive seasons," according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Fifteen finalists will be announced in January.

See the full list of semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016 below:

1. Morten Andersen

K – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2013-16)

2. Steve Atwater

S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2012-16)

3. Tony Boselli

T – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2016)

4. Isaac Bruce

WR – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2015-16)

5. Don Coryell

Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2005, 2010-16)

6. Roger Craig

RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2009-16)

7. Terrell Davis

RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 10 – 2007-2016)

8. Tony Dungy

Coach – 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2014-16)

9. Alan Faneca

G - 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2016)

10. Brett Favre

QB – 1991 Atlanta Falcons, 1992-2007 Green Bay Packers, 2008 New York Jets, 2009-2010 Minnesota Vikings | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2016)

11. Kevin Greene

LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 10 – 2007-2016)

12. Marvin Harrison

WR – 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2014-16)

13. Torry Holt

WR – 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars| (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2015-16)

14. Joe Jacoby

T – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins | (Times as a Semifinalist: 6 – 2005, 2008, 2013-16)

15. Edgerrin James

RB – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2015-16)

16. Jimmy Johnson

Coach – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2014-16)

17. Mike Kenn

T – 1978-1994 Atlanta Falcons| (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2015-16)

18. Ty Law

CB – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006- 07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos| (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2015-16)

19. John Lynch

FS – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2013-16)

20. Kevin Mawae

C/G – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans| (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2015-16)

21. Karl Mecklenburg

LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2012-16)

22. Sam Mills

LB – 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2016)

23. Terrell Owens

WR – 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2016)

24. Orlando Pace

T – 1997-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Chicago Bears| (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2015-16)

25. Kurt Warner

QB – 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals| (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2015-16)

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- What's in store for fantasy sports in New York?

On Wednesday, DraftKings and Fan Duel will head to court to fight for the industry to continue operation in the state as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman tries to shut them down.

According to Schneiderman, both fantasy websites are misleading the public with deceptive advertising and violating the state's gambling laws, while FanDuel and Draftkings argue that it's not gambling, but a game of skill.

New York law states gambling as when a person "stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent even not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome."

If the judge decides to keep fantasy sports out of New York, it would affect more than 600,000 players based in the state who spent at least $200 million in entry fees in 2015, according to ESPN.

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George Gojkovich/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- Wallace Gilberry knows the true meaning of the holidays.

The Cincinnati Bengals defensive end was seen at Target recently where an Instagram user said he was buying a young family he didn't know a PlayStation 4 and a variety of games.

"The kids and dad were going crazy and the mom was in tears," said the post. "I was big fan of him before but I'm a even bigger fan now. What a stand up dude."

The user later said he approached Gilberry about what he did for the family and he said, "Everyone needs to be blessed."

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