Foreign and Commonwealth Office / Creative Commons

We’ve spent a lot of time considering whether it’s a good idea to build a new minor league ballpark in Hartford to lure a team up the road from New Britain.  

Peter Morenus / UConn Today

The Miami Heat hope that UConn's King can keep The King in South Beach. Shabazz Napier was drafted in the first round of the NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, who subsequently traded him to Miami.

Amateurism is dead, revealed so in the trial against the NCAA now in progress in Oakland, Calif., U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken presiding. Before her skeptical eyes, amateurism has been laid out naked on a courtroom slab for a jury of all fans to see that it has no beating heart.

Amateurism, Judge Wilken has been told in the case, commonly known as the O'Bannon trial, nobly protects college athletes from being exploited by evil outsiders — so the NCAA knighthood was created in order that colleges could tie up athletes all by themselves.

There are many ways to psych out an opponent. The Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson went the unconventional route last night, softly blowing into LeBron James' ear during a pause late in their playoff game.

"He didn't just do that," James' face seems to say.

"Yes I did," Stephenson's expression answers.

The first round of the NFL brought a few surprises Thursday, after No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina went to the Houston Texans, as many expected. For many, the story of the night was Heisman winner Johnny Manziel – and how the Cleveland Browns wound up with a new quarterback after skipping him with its first pick.

The Browns took a convoluted route to get Manziel: the team traded away its No. 4 pick, then made other trades that slightly shifted their other slots.

When I was a young, cocksure lad in this business, one thing I hated was for anyone in the Old Guard to preface an observation about sports by saying, "It used to be ... "

Invariably, the point was that it used to be better.

I promised myself that I'd never become a "used-to-be" guy. But for the benefit of today's young, cocksure lads in the business, here I go:

It used to be that people always asked me if athletes weren't making too much money. Nobody ever asks me that anymore. The only money issue I hear now is, "Why aren't college athletes paid?"

The 118th Boston Marathon took place today amid heavy security a year after the bombings near the race’s finish line that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

State and local police officers were highly visible—even positioned on the rooftops of some buildings.  Bomb-sniffing dogs checked trash containers. Spectators had to pass through metal detectors to get to some areas.  Authorities said the entire 26.2- mile race course was under video surveillance. Helicopters circled overhead.

The 118th running of the Boston Marathon was completed without incident yesterday and featured the first U.S. citizen in 31 years to win the event.

Former New York City Marathon champion and Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi won in a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds.

There is no doubt the bombings of last year cast a long shadow on the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

It was an inevitable backdrop: The signs on the buildings that line the course near the finish are usually covered in witty, encouraging posters. This year, they encouraged a greater kind of perseverance.

"Boston Strong," they exhorted.

Dave McGillivray likely knows the Boston Marathon better than anyone else.

McGillivray is the race's director — responsible for all the details of the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world. And for the past 41 years, he has also run all 26.2 miles of the course. For the past 27 years, he's done so after his work duties are done.

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

As a volunteer for the 2013 Boston Marathon, nurse Amelia Nelson thought should would be there to help runners as they came across the finish line.



Eight runners entered in the 2014 Boston Marathon are documenting their race preparations for NPR in a Tumblr blog. Demi Clark is one of the eight, and this is her story.

Weeks after finishing his sophomore season at the University of Massachusetts, Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay player in Division 1 men's college basketball.

Later this month is the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and this year’s race is especially significant because it’s the first time it’s being run since last year’s bombing at the finish line. Because of that attack, two people will be taking part in this year’s Boston Marathon who hadn’t intended to be there: Dick and Rick Hoyt.

Poetic Take On Black Boxer Lands Punches With Broad Appeal

Apr 11, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, and Code Switch is celebrating by writing about great poets of color and their poems that address issues of race, culture and ethnicity. We began the series with an invitation to our readers to help us build a collaborative poem.

In the wake of most tragedies, makeshift memorials fill up with flowers and teddy bears. After the Boston Marathon bombings last April, running shoes became potent symbols in the vast memorial there.

Now, after months in storage at the cavernous City Archives, a group of objects left at the site are in a new exhibition at the Boston Public Library.

Flickr Creative Commons/The U.S. Army

Earlier this week, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled that Northwestern University football players are employees of the university. That could have implications for other student athletes in private universities nationwide, including local schools like the University of Hartford.

This all started because the football players at Northwestern wanted to form a union so they could have collective bargaining rights and better health coverage.

We updated this post with the first shock of the day at 2:35 p.m. ET:

It's one-and-done for the Duke Blue Devils as their men's basketball team was beaten Friday by the Mercer Bears, 78-71, in the Division I men's basketball championship.

Mercer, a No. 14 seed in the Midwest region, was a huge underdog to the No. 3 seed Duke.

The win for Mercer, which has its main campus in Macon, Ga., is by far the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Heading into play, Duke was No. 8 in The Associated Press rankings. Mercer wasn't even among the nation's top 75 teams.

Jim Larrison / Creative Commons

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972  gave women the same rights to educational opportunities as men at every level of schooling.

While the law says that schools must give equal consideration to men and women when deciding who gets admitted to a school, who gets financial aid, and where a student lives while at school, the clause allowing women entrance to sports has long overshadowed the rest. 

Chion Wolf

Four women join us to talk about sports, mostly football. Two of them are sports journalists. A third is a journalist specializing in legal issues, and a fourth is a scientist and engineer.

There's something exciting about a critic who challenges your perceptions in a compelling way. I love the movie American Hustle but when I read Willa Paskin's take-down of it in Slate, she really got me thinking. 

The applause was warm and some fans stood Sunday night in Los Angeles when basketball player Jason Collins made history by walking onto the court during an NBA game.

By checking in during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the newest member of the Brooklyn Nets became the first openly gay man to play for a team in one of the nation's four major professional sports.

Germany's Sochi 2014 contingent is reeling from the news that Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, a former Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing who took fourth place in the biathlon Monday, has tested positive for banned substances at the Sochi Winter Olympics. An Italian athlete also tested positive, officials said Friday.

Forget about the men. There's only one Olympic hockey rivalry that matters today, and it's between the women.

The women's hockey teams of Canada and the U.S. will face off today for Olympic gold. It's the latest square-off in a tug of war that's been hot since 1998, when the U.S. team won the first Olympic gold in women's hockey, beating Canada.

Update at 6:30 p.m. ET: Canada Won, 3-2

The Roller Rink Where Olympians Are Born

Feb 19, 2014

At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. has collected no medals so far in speedskating, an uncharacteristic result.

The Americans’ best remaining hope for hardware rests with short track speedskater J.R. Celski and the men’s relay team. Celski began his career at a skating rink in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way, the same city where his former speedskating idol Apolo Ohno got his start.

Ted Ligety is now only the second American to ever earn two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing after finishing first Wednesday in the giant slalom at the Sochi Winter Games.

As USA Today writes:

Chion Wolf / WNPR

I was still digesting some of the lessons of the play "Freud's Last Session" -- a 90 minute conversation between Freud and C.S. Lewis -- when I stumbled upon Adam Gopnik's New Yorker essay about rise of polemical atheism -- that is atheism that takes an openly contemptuous tone toward faith.

When we imagine Olympic athletes at the table before the most important competition of their lives, we might picture a huge plate of pasta, with Gatorade to wash it down and a well-deserved ice cream sundae for dessert.

Turns out, they might be preparing with a salad, a glass of beet juice and some almonds.

In an event that came down to a dramatic final run, American snowboarder Shaun White finished in fourth place in the men's halfpipe Tuesday, falling just short of the podium with a score of 90.25. White needed a score of better than 94.75 to take gold.

The margin was close – the top four men all finished with scores above 90. But Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov moved from third to first place on his second run, in the event in which only the best score is counted.