Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
On the heels of college basketball's recruiting scandal, in which college coaches paid off the parents of good high school athletes, we now have the rich parents of bad high school athletes paying off college coaches. Everything is going great.
What's happening: The FBI announced charges against dozens of people yesterday in a massive cheating and bribery scheme designed to help the kids of rich families get into elite universities by fabricating their academic and athletic credentials.
Details: The scandal centered around The Edge College & Career Network (known as "The Key"), a college prep business that targeted weaknesses in the admissions process.
Among the coaches charged: Former Yale women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith, former UCLA men's soccer coach Jorge Salcedo, former USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic, former Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer and former Georgetown tennis coach Gordie Ernst.
The bottom line: So that's why that dude was on my college lacrosse team...
Photo: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Former Pittsburgh Steelers stud RB Le'Veon Bell will sign a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the New York Jets, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Why it matters: Bell sat out all of last season — and sacrificed $14.5 million — in the hopes that he would cash in big-time as a free agent. This deal, which will pay him just $13.1 million annually, suggests that his ploy didn't pay off.
By the numbers: The NFL's highest-paid running backs, by average annual value (for reference, safety Landon Collins just got $14 million per year from the Redskins):
The bottom line: Le'Veon Bell took a stand last season, and the end result is a better contract in terms of guarantees yet worse in terms of yearly salary and total money.
Two days after the Oakland Raiders snagged Antonio Brown, the Cleveland Browns got a superstar receiver of their own, acquiring Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants. So much for the lack of blockbuster trades in football.
Why it matters: The Browns have stockpiled a vast amount of talent, and they appear to be building a legitimate contender (yes, you read that correctly) in Cleveland. They're already my favorite Madden team and the game isn't even out yet.
The bottom line: Trades often feature teams moving in opposite directions and this one is no exception.
Jordan Hunter (left) and Jordan Ford celebrate after knocking off Gonzaga in the WCC championship game. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The Saint Mary's Gaels punched their ticket to the Big Dance with a 60-47 upset of the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in the West Coast Conference championship game last night.
The big picture: The Gaels' win was the worst-case scenario for bubble teams all across America. Coming into last night, ESPN's Joe Lunardi had Saint Mary's as one of his "next four out." Now they're in, which means someone else just got booted.
10 tickets punched so far: Murray State, Gardner-Webb, Bradley, Liberty, Wofford, Iona, Northeastern (def. Hofstra last night), Northern Kentucky (def. Wright State), Farleigh Dickinson (def. St. Francis PA) and North Dakota State (def. Omaha)
Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
Last month in Madrid, Atlético Madrid dominated a sluggish Juventus side and won the first leg 2-0.
What's next: With the win, Juventus joins Manchester City (beat Schalke 7-0 yesterday to advance 10-2 on aggregate), Tottenham, Ajax, Manchester United and FC Porto in the quarter-finals.
The Toronto Arenas. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
101 years ago today, the Toronto Arenas beat the Montreal Canadiens 10-7 in a two-game series to win the National Hockey League's first championship.
What happened next: The NHL champion Arenas advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they faced the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champion Vancouver Millionaires. The Arenas won the best-of-five series, 3-2.
Go deeper: The story of Toronto's first Stanley Cup champion
Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham will reunite in Cleveland after catching a combined 27 touchdowns as teammates at LSU.
Kendall "I'll stick to the 10-foot climbing wall at the local YMCA" Baker
Trivia answer: Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Oregon State). Both were drafted by the Bengals in 2001.