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Roger Goodell Discusses Deflate-Gate


Christian Petersen/Getty Images (PHOENIX) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed 'Deflate-Gate' for the first time since news came out after the AFC Championship game that 11 of the 12 footballs that the Patriots used were under the league standard of 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch on Friday.

Goodell has let the investigation take place and said that an announcement would be after Ted Wells has come to a conclusion.

"It has been a tough year," Goodell said. "It's been a tough year on me personally. It's been a year of what I would say is humility and learning. We obviously as an organization have gone through adversity, but more importantly, adversity for me. It's an opportunity for us to get better. ... We've all done a lot of soul searching starting with yours truly."

"We don't know enough in this case to know who is responsible or if there was an infraction," he added.

The NFL has been under a microscope since the Ray Rice elevator incident when he knocked out his then fiancee in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"This is my job," Goodell said when asked if he would apologize to the Patriots if they weren't found guilty of deflating any of the 11 footballs. "This is my responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. I represent 32 teams. All of us want to make sure the rules are being followed."

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Both Super Bowl Coaches Not Worried About the Past


NFL Media(PHOENIX) -- Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held a joint press conference on Friday as the two teams near closer to Super Bowl 49 on Sunday.

"This is about an opportunity at this time to be special this year," Belichick said. "We care about what happens on Sunday.  It's really nothing about anything that has happened [in the past]."

Seattle had the fortune of being in this position last year and Carroll said his team did everything they had to do in order to be ready for kickoff on Sunday.

"We've had a great two weeks," Carroll said. "Everybody's in good shape for us, we're ready to go."

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will be the youngest quarterback to play twice in the big game since Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

"That has nothing to do with what is going on," Carroll said of Wilson.

The 'Legion of Boom' will be one of the toughest defenses that the Patriots will face all year. "They're strong in every area," Belichick said. "It's been a huge challenge, it's a tough team to prepare for."

"Each of us has a job to do," Belichick said of their team slogan, Do your job. "That's kind of the backbone of our organization."

Brady is seeking his fourth Super Bowl ring that will put him in the elite company of Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

"As a sixth rounder he's showed it isn't where you start, it's where you finish," Carroll said of Brady. 

New England is hoping to avoid losing a third straight Super Bowl. 

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NFL: Fewer Concussions Suffered in 2014 Season


NFL Shield (NFL)(NEW YORK) -- The NFL announced that concussions were down during the 2014 season as well as other injury findings.

According to the league, the number of recorded concussions dropped 25 percent during the regular season.

"Players are changing the way they're tackling," NFL Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Policy Jeff Miller said. "They're changing the way they play the game."

There were 111 concussions in games during the 2014 regular season. That number was down from 148 in 2013 and 173 in 2012. That equates to a 36 percent drop over that three-year span.

"It would have been nice if we had started this in 1930, but we didn't," said San Francisco 49ers chairman John York, who leads the owners' health and safety committee. "And as things came to our attention, we took more interest in looking at these questions."

Miller also went on to say that the drop in concussions has not resulted in more knee injuries.

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Top QB Recruit Kyler Murray Sticking with Texas A&M


Banana Stock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Texas A&M football fans and coaches can breathe a sigh of relief as Kyler Murray, the Gatorade National Player of the Year as well as the No. 1-ranked quarterback, has decided to commit to Texas A&M.

Murray was considering other options, and even visited with the Texas Longhorns last week, but decided College Station was the best fit for him.

"Texas A&M is where my heart is at," Murray said late Thursday night. "Coach [Charlie] Strong and Texas is a great opportunity, but I felt that A&M was the place for me. Not because of my dad having played there, but just the right place for me."

"It went well," Murray said when asked about a recent meeting with Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. "All my questions were answered. I just can't wait to get this all over with and get back to playing ball."

Murray was ranked 13th overall in the ESPN 300. As the starting quarterback at Allen High, Murray won his third straight state championship in Texas' highest classification in December.

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Bucks Sign Forward Kenyon Martin for the Rest of the Season


Christopher Trottman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Milwaukee Bucks are keeping Kenyon Martin around. The team announced they've signed the veteran forward through the rest of the season.

Martin had originally signed a 10-day contract with the team.

Now in his 15th NBA season, the 37-year-old Martin has added a big boost to the young Bucks. While his impact may not be felt on the stat-sheet, he's provided some much-needed veteran leadership to the team. He's also added solid front court depth after the injury to rookie Jabari Parker and the suspension of Larry Sanders.

Martin also has a connection with head coach Jason Kidd. The two were teammates when the New Jersey Nets made two back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. They also reunited when they both played for the New York Knicks during the 2012-2013 season.

A former number one overall pick, Martin has averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. In nine games this season, Martin is averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.

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Phillies Sign Billingsley to 1-Year Contract


Major League Baseball(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Philllies signed pitcher Chad Billingsley to a one-year, $1.5 million contract on Thursday.

Billingsley, a former All-Star, pitched only 12 innings in 2013 due to elbow injuries. He then missed all of last season after having Tommy John surgery.

"He's a bounce-back candidate," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We're cautiously optimistic that it's a good risk. If healthy and if he bounces back close to where he has been in the past, he's a very solid middle-to-upper-rotation-type pitcher."

Billingsley has spent his eight year major league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that time he pitched 1,175.1 innings, compiling an 81-61 record, 1,037 strikeouts, 3.65 ERA, and a 1.36 WHIP.

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Dwyane Wade Out with Hamstring Injury


Miami Heat/NBA(MIAMI) -- Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has a strained right hamstring and says the best-case scenario for his return would be two to three weeks

“You can’t put a time on it,” Wade said Thursday. “You can’t look at the hamstring and say you’re going to be out this amount of games. Like many muscle strains, you’ve got to go day by day.”

Wade suffered the injury during Tuesday night's loss to Milwaukee in the third quarter while trying to defend Brandon Knight on the fast-break.

The 33-year-old Wade has already missed nine games this season due to various leg injuries.

The three-time NBA champion has played in 35 games this season, averaging 21.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

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NBA Announces All-Star Reserves


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thursday night, the NBA announced the final players that were selected to play in the 64th NBA All-Star Game that will be held Feb. 15 in New York City.

The Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks led the way with three selections: Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford.

Chicago's Jimmy Butler and Golden State's Clay Thompson were both selected for the first time.  

Despite playing in only 21 of the Thunder's first 46 games, Kevin Durant earned a spot on the West squad. He will be joined in the front court by Portland's LeMarcus Aldridge and San Antonio's Tim Duncan.

Rounding out the West reserves are the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, and Houston's James Harden.

The East squad also includes Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Miami's Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

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Duke Dismisses Guard Rasheed Sulaimon


Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Duke dismissed junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon from the basketball program Thursday.

"Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a release. "It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program."

The news comes as a surprise considering Sulaimon wasn't publicly disciplined all season.

The 20-year-old from Houston started 50 games during his first two seasons with Duke but became a bench player this season when the blue devils brought in freshmen Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow.

Sulaimon played in all 20 of the team's games this season, averaging 7.5 points, two rebounds and 1.8 assists.

Sulaimon becomes the first player to be dismissed from Duke's basketball program since Krzyzewski took over as head coach.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 1/29/15


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Indiana Pacers 103 (17-31) – New York Knicks 82 (9-38)

Memphis Grizzlies 99 (34-12) – Denver Nuggets 69 (19-28)

Milwaukee Bucks 115 (24-22) – Orlando Magic 100 (15-34)

Los Angeles Lakers 123 (13-34) - Chicago Bulls 118 (30-18)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (1) Kentucky 69 (20-0) - Missouri 53 (7-13)

(3) Gonzaga 64 (21-1) – Portland 46 (12-10)

UCLA 69 (12-9) - (11) Utah 59 (16-4)

Ohio State 80 (17-5) – (16) Maryland 56 (18-4)

NHL: Boston Bruins 5 (26-16-7; 59pts) – New York Islanders 2 (32-15-1; 65pts)

Montreal Canadiens 1 (31-13-3; 65pts) – New York Rangers 0 (27-15-4; 58pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 5 (21-22-7; 49pts) – Winnipeg Jets 2 (26-16-8; 60pts)

Arizona Coyotes 3 (17-25-6; 40pts) – Toronto Maple Leafs 1 (22-24-4; 48pts)

Tampa Bay Lightning 5 (31-15-4; 66pts) – Detroit Red Wings 1 (28-12-9; 65pts)

Dallas Stars 6 (22-19-7; 51pts) – Ottawa Senators 3 (19-19-9; 47pts)

Florida Panthers 3 (21-15-10; 52pts) – Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (21-23-3; 45pts)

St. Louis Blues 5 (30-13-4; 64pts) – Nashville Predators 4 (31-10-6; 68pts) SO

San Jose Sharks 6 (26-17-6, 58pts) - Anaheim Ducks 3 (32-11-6, 70pts)

Minnesota Wild 1 (22-20-6, 50pts) - Calgary Flames 0 (26-20-3, 55pts)

Edmonton Oilers 3 (13-27-9, 35pts) - Buffalo Sabres 2 (14-32-3, 31pts)

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