CHICAGO Teams

Jeremy Crabtree RecruitingNation 

NCAA Division I Council chairman Jim Phillips confirmed the council will meet again on April 13-14 in Indianapolis, and it's during that session that the recruiting reform package that will create an early signing period in December and alter the official visit calendar for April-June trips is expected to pass.

Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer 

Interesting comment during the autonomy discussion on Proposal No. 2016-139 (banning offseason practice off campus) from Nandi Mehta of Northwestern women's soccer: "Why are we here?" Mehta, among 15 student-athlete reps on the autonomy committee, opposes the proposal. She says the point of college athletics is to create opportunity for student-athletes. "I don't think it's right to strip a student-athlete of this opportunity."

play
LeBron headlines a young Eastern Conference starting lineup (1:27)

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

The Bears officially announced changes to their coaching staff -- Jeremiah Washburn takes over as OL coach, Curtis Modkins RB coach and Roy Anderson assistant DB coach. Also, OLB coach Clint Hurtt did not renew his contract and left the team.

play
Rajon Rondo's incredible free-throw drought (1:15)
play
Northwestern may finally make the Big Dance (1:21)
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

Irish lucky to have Nelson returning

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranked Quenton Nelson as his No. 1 draft-eligible guard in the 2017 class, so Notre Dame is fortunate to have him back for another season, writes Adam Rittenberg. Top returning players: Nos. 26-50 (Insider)

Chris Haynes ESPN Staff Writer 

Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler has been voted a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Stars, league sources tell ESPN.

Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jackson poised for big 2017

Jackson's Pinstripe Bowl MVP performance (224 rush yards, three touchdowns) suggests that his best games are yet to come. Northwestern fans will have the chance to see when the running back returns in the fall. Top returning players: Nos. 26-50 (Insider)

play0:08

William Weinbaum ESPN 

5'8" Tim Raines said his idol, 5'7" Joe Morgan, inspired him as a young athlete to give up football for baseball when the Reds' second-baseman won two straight MVP awards. Until receiving a congratulatory call Wednesday, Raines said they hadn't been in touch for a few years and he was concerned about Morgan's health. "Just to hear his voice made this day so much more special."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Speaking before Boston Baseball Writers' Dinner, Terry Francona said Theo Epstein visited him after Cubs' Game 7 celebration. "He's in a suit and smells like champagne, yet he was comfortable enough to come over. I thought that was really, really nice of him."

Jeremy Crabtree RecruitingNation 

A point of clarification on NCAA Proposal 2016-16: Division I Council chair Jim Phillips confirmed when the proposal passes -- as it is expected to do in April vote -- sections of it such as the 10th assistant coach, the individuals associated with a prospect rule and satellite camp ban will be effectively immediately. Other parts of the proposal, such as the official visit calendar adjustment and mid-December signing period, would not start until the 2019 recriuting class.

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Taj Gibson, with a smile, describing Jimmy Butler: "You never know what you're going to get with Jimmy. He's like one of those patients in the hospital. One day he's going to be like, "Don't talk to me" and pissed off. The next day he's going to be like, "The sun is out." You never know what you're going to get from him, but I know definitely he wants to make the All-Star team. He's been putting a lot of work in for it."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Gibson on Butler saying he doesn't care about making the All-Star Game. "He's lying," Gibson says with a smile.

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Gibson says his ankle is feeling "a lot better." Wants to see how he's feeling in the morning before deciding about playing in Hawks game.

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Hoiberg says that for now the plan is for Dwyane Wade to play on both ends of a back-to-back. Friday in Atlanta. Saturday at home against the Kings.