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  • Mike Vorkunov for REDEF

Sports Redef

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rantnrave:// It's easy to see why the Olympics retain a foul stench. Richard McLaren uncovers an institutional doping program and faces backlash and attacks not only from Russia, the perpetrator, but also from the International Olympic Committee. Did the IOC think there was something wrong with McLaren's report or is it not really interested in anti-doping? Does it want just enough of an investigation to pat itself on the back for its efforts? That we have assumptions but don't know the answer is problematic for the organization. … Manny is still being Manny. In Japan, that means Manny Ramirez can get unlimited sushi and practice is optional. … I love the NCAA tournament but I don't forget that the NCAA and its universities are profiting from it, while the players aren't. The Nation's Dave Zirin makes the case that the student-athletes are being exploited. The NCAA would say they're getting scholarships and an education. You make your own judgment. Some (most?) colleges have more money than they know what do with. And when you can't (won't) pay the players, it has to go somewhere, and it usually pays for buildings and goes to the coaches. To football's coordinators. Basketball's assistants. And, at Kentucky, the tennis coach, who makes more than the average professor. There's no limit to who can can get rich in college sports anymore — except the players. … Want to win your bracket? Go with chalk. And don't pick a 16-seed. … But let your kids fill out their own brackets. No need to over-parent here. … If you fill out a bracket based on the coaches' Twitter accounts, Joe Favorito has you covered. … What is this going to do to The Chainsmokers' iTunes downloads? … What is Amazon's plan for esports? … The Loot Crate looks like a great idea. If you're a sports fan who craves surprises — I fit this demographic to a T — it seems worth trying.

LaVar Ball and his boys are here to change the world

Dad is grooming his sons, including UCLA's Lonzo, to become basketball stars and money-making machines.
Josh Peter | USA Today

Russell Martin on the art of pitch calling: A masters in communication

Catcher defense is an interesting thing. When trying to evaluate it, most of the talk has shifted toward pitch framing (or receiving), with cursory mentions of "controlling the running game" and blocking ability. This makes some sense, as we have data to quantify all of these things.
Joshua Howsam | BP Toronto

The enduring wisdom of a 1972 book about tennis

Why some sporting legends credit it with helping them stay cool under pressure.
Brad Stulberg | New York Magazine

The curious case of Amazon's deep plunge into the esports industry

Amazon has been busy building out an epic esports ecosystem, or empire, that is simply unprecedented. Just in case you haven't appreciated the reality of the situation, let's take a look at the timeline.
Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh | VentureBeat

As NCAA money trickles down, even tennis coaches are outearning professors

Most college teams lose money, but as basketball revenues soar, so do salaries for coaches of lower-profile sports.
Will Hobson | The Washington Post

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