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The first year of the NIL era in college sports evolved into almost everything the NCAA didn’t want when it gave the green light for athletes to cash in on their celebrity. What was envisioned as a way for college athletes to make some pocket money has turned into bidding wars for football and men’s basketball recruits and transfers. Industry experts say something must be done to keep college sports from going off the rails. Possibilities are athlete unionization and giving athletic departments more control over NIL.

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The NFL insisted on an indefinite suspension while Deshaun Watson’s legal team argued there’s no basis for that punishment as both sides presented their cases in front of a retired judge in Delaware on Tuesday, two people in attendance told The Associated Press. The hearing will continue on Wednesday and Watson is scheduled to be there for the duration, according to the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the hearing isn’t public. Former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players’ Association, will determine whether Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline.

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A lawsuit alleges the Houston Texans had been told that their former quarterback Deshaun Watson was sexually assaulting and harassing women during massage sessions, but instead of trying to stop him, the team provided him with resources to enable his actions and “turned a blind eye” to his behavior. The lawsuit against the team was filed in Houston on Monday by one of the 24 women who had previously sued Watson over allegations of sexual misconduct when he played for the Texans. In a statement, the Houston Texans said the team would “take the necessary steps to address the allegations against our organization." Watson is set to have a hearing this week over whether he will be disciplined by the NFL.

AP

The IOC will not add a women’s Nordic Combined to the 2026 Winter Games. The decision on Friday confirms skiing as the only Olympic sport lacking gender equality. The long-term Olympic future of Nordic Combined was also put in doubt with no commitment to keep the men’s event on the program in 2030. Nordic Combined tests athletes in the contrasting disciplines of ski jumping and cross-country skiing. It was one of the original 16 medal events at the first Winter Games in 1924. The IOC cites concerns that Nordic Combined lacks a global audience and too few countries field women athletes.

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A U.S. House committee says Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former employees making accusations of workplace sexual harassment. The committee released a memo ahead of a hearing Wednesday. The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating the Commanders’ workplace culture following accusations of pervasive sexual harassment by team executives of women employees. Snyder declined to testify at the hearing, but the committee plans to issue a subpoena to compel a deposition. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the committee that Snyder “has been held accountable."

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A person familiar with the NFL's investigation tells The Associated Press that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's decision to settle 20 of 24 civil lawsuits filed against him for sexual misconduct may not dissuade the NFL from giving him a lengthy suspension. Watson has been accused by massage therapists of harassing or assaulting them during appointments when he played for Houston. The attorney for all 24 women said paperwork has been filed to close 20 of the cases. However, he still faces discipline from the league. An official told AP “settling doesn’t give someone a pass” and indicated a lengthy suspension remains in order. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation hasn’t concluded.

AP
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The final price tag for last year’s COVID-delayed Tokyo Olympics has been put at $13 billion (1.4 trillion Japanese yen). The Tokyo organizing committee announced the final cost before the body is dissolved at the end of the month. It was twice what was forecast in 2013 when Tokyo was awarded the Games. However, the final price tag presented by organizers is lower than the $15.4 billion they predicted when the Olympics ended just under 11 months ago. The University of Oxford in a study several years ago said Tokyo was the most expensive Olympics on record.

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At least 19 states have passed laws or adopted rules that either bar or limit participation in sports by transgender athletes. It has become a polarizing political issue even though only a fraction of America’s 8.5 million high school and college athletes are believed to be transgender athletes. Title IX was a landmark law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in programs that receive federal funding. As the 50th anniversary of Title IX approaches, The Associated Press provides an overview of the debate.

The law known as Title IX has influenced athletics in the United States for 50 years. Many wonder if the law should be reshaped to ensure participation for transgender athletes in sports in much the same way the statute enshrined rights for women. Without federal legislation to set parameters, officials in at least 40 states have adopted their own rules and laws. There are big differences. Some rules bar transgender athletes from girls and women's sports. Others define someone's sex as the one they are assigned at birth. It underscores how difficult it will be to reach a national consensus.

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PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is blasting the Saudi-based LIV Golf league as a series of exhibitions that spends billions to recruit players without getting a return on the investment. He also says players unaware they might face criticism for taking Saudi money are “living under a rock.” They're his first public comments since he suspended PGA Tour members who signed up for Greg Norman's new league and played in the first LIV event last week outside London. Monahan spoke during the CBS telecast of the Canadian Open and pointed out that was “pure competition" that creates stars.