Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- University of Southern California Athletics Director Pat Haden announced Friday that he would retire from that role in June, after six years at his alma mater.
Haden's announcement came in the form of a letter released by school president Max Nikias. "It has been a tremendous honor serving my alma mater, a school I love so much," Haden said in the letter. "I am proud of what has been accomplished here the past six years and knowing that USC Athletics is on an upward trajectory."
Haden will remain at the school for another year, helping to guide the renovations of the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the Trojans play football.
Haden, 60, played football at USC, and was a member of the school's Board of Trustees from 1991 through 2010.
Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The Oakland Raiders believe that Las Vegas is a viable city if the team should decide to move.
In an interview with USA Today, Raiders owner Mark Davis said that Sin City is "absolutely an NFL city." Calling Las Vegas an "international city" and his team "a global brand," he said a marriage between the two has "potential."
Davis has visited Las Vegas and San Antonio in recent weeks after his bid to move the team to Los Angeles was put off by the NFL. The league decided to allow the Saint Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles, and to give the San Diego Chargers the option to follow suit.
No major American sports team plays in Las Vegas, and the leagues have historically opposed sports gambling, meaning there would be at least one complication. The league would most likely have to reach an agreement involving the team and the city's casinos if a move were to happen.
The Raiders have been unhappy with the current stadium situation in Oakland. This year, the team will play one fewer home game and play in Mexico City this November.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest sports scores and winners.
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION Atlanta 102, Indiana 96 L-A Clippers 107, Orlando 93 Miami 98, Charlotte 95 Washington 106, Philadelphia 94 Boston 104, Cleveland 103 Memphis 91, New York 85 Brooklyn 128, Sacramento 119 Denver 115, Chicago 110 Utah 84, Milwaukee 81 San Antonio 116, Dallas 90
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Tampa Bay 6, Pittsburgh 3 Carolina 5, Winnipeg 3 Columbus 2, Calgary 1 Anaheim 5, Arizona 2
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Dallas police have opened a criminal investigation into Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel after a domestic violence dispute.
In a statement Friday, the Dallas Police Department said police "received a complaint of a domestic violence assault that occurred in Dallas on January 30, 2016" involving the 23-year-old football player.
"Detectives will thoroughly investigate the case to determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed and victim services will be offered," said the statement.
On Thursday, police had said Manziel would not face charges for a domestic violence incident that happened on Saturday in which he allegedly hit his former girlfriend Colleen Crowley at a downtown Dallas hotel.
The news comes the same day a protective order was signed by a judge that stated the quarterback was not permitted to see his ex-girlfriend for two years. The order also required that Manziel pay $12,500 in legal fees.
Manziel and his girlfriend have been involved in previous allegations of domestic violence disputes before, including an incident in Ohio in October.
Manziel's agent announced on Friday as well he would be dropping the quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner as a client.
Paul Manziel, "Johnny Football's" father, told the Dallas Morning News, "I truly believe if they can't get him help, he won't live to see his 24th birthday."
Andy Lyons/Getty Images(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- As the NCAA investigates a potential scandal involving the University of Louisville's recruiting, the school has decided to impose a one-year post-season ban on its men's basketball team.
The ban comes after former escort Katina Powell claimed in a book that she and others were hired by former men's basketball staffer Andre McGee to strip and sleep with recruits and players at an on-campus dorm.
The decision was announced at a news conference on Friday afternoon when University president James R. Ramsey said it was "reasonable to conclude violations [had] occurred in the past."
"While this was a difficult decision, it was made in the best interest of the university," Ramsey said Friday.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said the news was "painful" and it came to him as a "complete shock" because he had been "kept in the dark" regarding details in the investigation.
"Painful probably would, I could characterize it is one of the best understatements I could make," he said.
Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images)(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- The spirited mascot for the Carolina Panthers, “Sir Purr,” makes his way to Super Bowl 50 this Sunday, where he will meet his match in Thunder III, the mascot for the Denver Broncos.
The feline will cheer on his team along with fans in Santa Clara -– purr-haps with plenty of hugs and belly shakes.
Watch the video below to learn about Sir Purr in a minute.
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is willing to put some products made in Colorado on the line in a friendly Super Bowl 50 bet with North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.
In a statement made by the governor’s office, Hickenlooper is offering to give the state of North Carolina the following products should the Broncos lose to the Panthers on Sunday:
50 Osprey backpacks filled with school supplies that will be donated to a North Carolina shelter
50 cases of Pueblo Salsa provided by Milberger Farms, Musso Farms, Pueblo County, and the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce
500 boxes of crackers from 34 Degrees Crackers
500 packages of sausages from Continental Sausage that will be donated to a food bank in North Carolina
Dog food that will be donated to an animal shelter
If the Panthers should lose, McCrory has offered to donate 50 cases of turkey burgers and turkey sausages, provided by North Carolina-based Butterball, LLC, to a Colorado food bank. He will also donate dog food to an animal shelter in Colorado.
"This Broncos team has proven time and time again that they know how to overcome challenges,” Hickenlooper said in the statement. “The Carolina Panthers are certainly a formidable foe, but they will simply be another challenge that our Broncos will overcome in Super Bowl 50. Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, Pat Bowlen and the entire Broncos team deserve a championship to cap a season that will be remembered as nothing short of magical."
“I predict the Panthers will win 33-10,” predicted McCrory. “The Broncos may have one of the best defenses in the league, but they haven’t faced Cam Newton and his offense yet. I fully expect the Carolina Panthers to be Super Bowl 50 Champions. I am good friends with Governor Hickenlooper, but his team will be on the losing end this time.”
Hickenlooper and McCrory will both be at the game at Levi’s Stadium cheering on their respective teams on Sunday.
ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says there is a “culture change” in the NFL when it comes to concussions and, if he had a son, would have no problem allowing him to play the sport.
“The number of concussions went up this year and they're going to go up and they're going to go down in any given season, but screenings went up by 108 percent and also we saw more self-reporting in the players and teammates,” Goodell told Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts. “That’s what I call the culture change.”
“It used to be, as you know, ‘It’s just a ding.’ Those days are long gone and that's a positive thing for our game,” Goodell said.
Goodell, who has two daughters, said he would encourage a son to play the sport because of the "tremendous values" that come from playing football.
"I would not only want him to play football, I would certainly encourage him to do it and I would let him do it," he said. “There is risk involved in anything in life but what we need to do is to make sure we show people how to get the most out of playing sports and do it safely.”
This week, as buzz for Sunday’s Super Bowl was building, it was announced that former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, who died last year, also suffered from the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
The issue of CTE has also been put in the public spotlight with the Will Smith-starring movie Concussion. Goodell says the league is now “leading the way” in protecting its players and investing in research.
“If I had known that I could have we could have done things different we could have made more changes but the league has a history of changing the game,” he said. “We're over 100 million dollars in research going not just to make football safer, this is going to make all sports safer, the military safer, and quite frankly will probably have an impact on brain disease in general.”
Goodell has also navigated the NFL in recent years through a series of high-profile domestic violence charges against some players, an issue Goodell says the league is addressing.
“When our policies haven't met the types of standards that we think should be upheld, we acknowledge that [and] in the domestic violence, and sexual assault area, we changed that,” Goodell said. “In this past 12 month cycle, we had the lowest amount of arrests in the history of the NFL.”
Super Bowl 50 will be played on Sunday at Levi's Stadium with the Carolina Panthers facing the Denver Broncos. Goodell sat down with Roberts Thursday in the San Francisco area just after attending the NFL’s first-ever “Women’s Summit.”
The commissioner announced Thursday the league will institute a “Rooney Rule” for women, meaning NFL teams will be required to interview women for executive positions.
The rule has previously been applied to minorities and the NFL now has five African-American coaches and one Latino coach, the Panthers Ron Rivera, who led his team to the Super Bowl this year.
“We want to make sure that when we have an opening we're making sure we not only have a diverse slate of candidates but we also have women we believe can do this job and give them the opportunity,” Goodell said. “I always think diversity is still an issue we're not finished we're not done and so much of what we do is incomplete so we're going to continue to make progress here.”
When the Panthers and Broncos kick off at Levi's Stadium in Sunday's Super Bowl, Goodell says he hopes the game can bring everyone together.
"When I see a world that we live in right now, there's so much division. There's so much discourse and concern," Goodell said. "The whole world is going to gather around their television sets this weekend, around NFL football and Super Bowl and celebrate the game, and celebrate everyone coming together."
"When you can be involved with that, that's a good moment."
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- When the Denver Broncos hit the field Sunday, they'll be dressed in their white uniforms instead of the orange ones they typically wear for home games.
And it may have been a superstitious choice on their part: the Broncos won their last Super Bowl in those white jerseys during the 1998 season. And this season, the Broncos were 6-2 on the road and tied a franchise record for the most away-game wins in a season.
"We've had Super Bowl success in our white uniforms, and we're looking forward to wearing them again in Super Bowl 50," John Elway, executive vice president of football operations and general manager of the Broncos, said in a press release about the decision.
Although there's no way to prove that superstitions really work, a number of players and even coaches on both teams will probably continue their game day rituals this Sunday.
Here are some of the pre-game rituals the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos have previously admitted to doing:
Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera always wears the same shoes on game days.
Rivera has admitted to being very superstitious before games. Rivera's wife Stephanie cooks him the same breakfast before every home game using bread from a local store called Great Harvest Bread Co. She also gives him a peanut butter and oatmeal cookie before every game, according to ESPN.
Before every game, Rivera said he walks to the 20-yard line during introductions, looks up at his wife in her seat and says "I love you" in sign language.
For the last three years Rivera has worn the same pair of black Nike shoes, which equipment manager Jackie Miles shines before every game, according to ESPN. He only wears the shoes on game days.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton chews gum.
Newton said he's superstitious about chewing gum during games.
"I just depend on Wrigley's Winterfresh chewing gum to get me through the adverse times in the game...and in a given game, the superstition comes. You made a big play? Even if the gum is rock solid, you can't take it out," Newton said in an interview with the Charlotte Observer in December 2013. "You got to keep fighting through it. You may put another piece of gum in, but that's that play-making gum. But if you're sucking, of course, you've got to toss that gum."
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning likes to sleep in.
At his last Super Bowl appearance in 2014, Manning said his Super Bowl ritual is sleeping late.
"Hopefully I'll sleep in," Manning said in an interview with the Denver Post in January 2014. "It ends up being a little bit of a longer day and you can shorten the time before the game by being asleep." Denver Broncos offensive lineman Louis Vasquez keeps his mouthpiece in the whole game.
At media day for Super Bowl 48, Vasquez admitted that he had a game-day superstition.
Vasquez said he never takes out his mouthpiece during the game. Carolina Panthers linebacker Ben Jacobs grows a beard.
Hair is pretty important to Jacobs.
"I kind of do a beard every year. Mostly because I'm lazy, and I don't want to shave it, and then half because I'm superstitious, I think it helps us win games," Jacobs told KLAS-TV on Super Bowl 50 opening night. "This has been about 14 weeks now, and I haven't had a haircut in 14 weeks. Just one more week, and then I'm shaving it off."
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders plays video games.
Sanders tweeted in September 2014 that his pre-game ritual is to play the Madden NFL video game "against the opposing team."
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly eats at a local restaurant before games.
Kuechly regularly eats at the Roasting Company in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"That's one of my go-tos before a game," Kuechly said in an interview with the Charlotte Observer on Wednesday.
The Roasting Company owner Doug Bell told the Charlotte Observer that when the Panthers lost on Dec. 27 to the Atlanta Falcons, Kuechly confessed to him that he broke his streak and hadn't eaten there the week before the game.
Before he left for California for Super Bowl 50, Bell said Kuechly ate at the restaurant. But just in case, Bell said he decided to send the restaurant's bottled "Tico" sauce so Kuechly could put it on whatever he eats while on the West Coast.
Denver Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware listens to music.
Ware's pre-game ritual consists of listening to calming music before kickoff.
"I have some type of nice music [playing]. I listen to more calming jazz music. I don't need pump-up music. I'm already pumped up for the game. I'm listening to Al Green, some type of B.B. King, or Jason Mraz — soft listening stuff; that's more me. I feel like if I'm listening to calm music, my body is more calm, and I can stretch and release," Ware said in an interview with Pop Sugar in February 2015.
Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Drew Brees and J.J. Watt are giving their pro insights on what to watch for Sunday.
The NFL superstars appeared on ABC News' Good Morning America Friday to reveal their predictions and discuss what Watt says is the "million dollar question": How do the Denver Broncos stop Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton?
"I think that [Bronco's coach] Wade Phillips and his guys have a tough task on their hands obviously," Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, told GMA co-anchor Jesse Palmer. "But, having played for Wade and seeing the guys that he has on his defense...I think they're going to put together a great plan, but you're not going to stop Cam. All you can hope to do is slow him down and find a way to at least minimize his impact on the game."
The Denver Broncos' loss to the Seattle Seahawks in 2014's Super Bowl will be an experience that will "serve them well," said New Orleans Saints' quarterback Brees.
As for winner predictions, Watt admits he hopes the Broncos are victorious.
"I do hope they get a championship under their belts because I think they're great guys and they deserve it," he said.
Brees said he also is leaning toward a winner.
"I feel like Carolina would win 8 out of 10,” he said.