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Conference realignment in college sports has been going on since 1984, when the Supreme Court invalidated the NCAA’s national television contract for football. The conference juggling has gone through ebbs and flows through the years since, from small schools bumping up to bigger leagues to power programs switching to other major conferences. The latest move, UCLA and USC bolting the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, could be part of a tectonic shift. Not just because of the marquee-named schools involved, but because it happened at a time when the NCAA is looking to take a more decentralized approach to governing college athletics, handing more power to schools and conferences.

Growing up as the son of a major league ballplayer, Terry Francona knew to speak only when he was spoken to. Baseball clubhouses are more welcoming now and not just to toddlers raiding the bubble gum bin. Some of those tykes turn out to big league ballplayers themselves. According to the Baseball Almanac, 252 sons of major leaguers have made it on their own. That runs from Cubs left-hander Jack Doscher in 1903 to Roger Clemens’ son Kody, who made his debut with the Tigers last month. There are more than two dozen sons of big leaguers on AL and NL rosters this year.

There are a lot of key story lines as Wimbledon gets set to return. There is the comeback of Serena Williams after a year away from singles action. There is the ban on players from Russia and Belarus because of the war in Ukraine with No. 1-ranked Daniil Medvedev among those affected. There is the unprecedented withdrawal of ranking points by the professional tennis tours in reaction to that ban. There are other missing players like Roger Federer and Naomi Osaka. There is Rafael Nadal's pursuit of a calendar-year Grand Slam and Iga Swiatek's 35-match winning streak. And more.


Former NFL wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who died last December at age 33, had CTE, his family said Tuesday. Boston University CTE Center researchers diagnosed the four-time Pro Bowler with stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy following a brain study through the Concussion Legacy Foundation. Thomas’ family released the findings of the study. Stage 2 CTE is associated with “progressive behavior, cognitive and mood abnormalities.” Family members say Thomas developed depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and trouble with his memory in the years before his death. Stage 4 is the most severe stage of CTE and is usually associated with dementia.


BOSTON >> The Boston Bruins are going to start the regular season without one of their top players. Center Patrice Bergeron is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and did not make the trip …

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