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.

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)


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.

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Fred Hoiberg says Taj Gibson went through practice. They want to see how he goes through shootaround on Friday before making a final decision on his status for the Hawks game.

AP Photo/Mark Duncan

Early 2018 support for Jim Thome?

If Jayson Stark were to cast his 2018 Hall of Fame ballot today, he would include the first-timer. Stark calls Thome an "easy" pick, noting that his high character helps combat his poor defense and baserunning. Stark: My early 2018 HOF ballot

Stats & Info

Looking ahead to the 2018 HOF ballot

Among notable first-timers on the ballot will be Chipper Jones, Scott Rolen, Andruw Jones, Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Best player available for Bears at No. 3?

Chicago has needs all over the place, so taking the top talent out there might be the best move. Mel Kiper Jr. gives the Bears a versatile, disruptive defensive lineman. Mock 1.0 (Insider)

Kiper reveals initial top 3 (1:22)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Corey Pronman

Looking ahead to the future? Here are the best drafted players currently outside the NHL, led by Clayton Keller and Mathew Barzal. Ranking the top 50 NHL prospects