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Morning Jolt: Spoelstra back on Heat hot seat?

Friday, March 4

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Spoelstra back on Heat hot seat?

Fair or not, Erik Spoelstra just reopened a conversation that LeBron James and Co. seemed hellbent on pushing this past November. Namely: Is the young head coach the right man to lead this basketball team? This latest letdown Thursday against Orlando was painful. Painful enough to unleash bad feelings, disabling doubt and talk of who?s to blame upon this team. That means Spoelstra is back on the hot seat, with fans, with the media and almost certainly with his players. (FOX Sports)Comment

Oregon: 'We have nothing to hide'

Oregon protested innocence Thursday after reports of payments by the school to two individuals closely connected to Ducks recruits surfaced on and Yahoo Sports. If either or both individuals steered recruits to Oregon while being paid by the school, it would violate NCAA rules. UO spokesman Dave Williford did not dispute that Oregon made the payments, but said both had been vetted by the school's compliance office and were within NCAA rules. "We have nothing to hide," Williford said. (The Oregonian)Comment

Teams tried to sign Packers' Hawk

An interesting point about the Packers' decision to release A.J. Hawk and then try to re-sign him is that a bunch of teams tried to get their foot in the door and sign Hawk on Wednesday. How much Hawk and McCartney used that leverage in negotiations isn't known, but it sure couldn't have hurt his cause. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)Comment

Must-See Photo

Toronto's Keith Aulie and Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell dropped gloves and exchanged blows in the second period of the Maple Leafs' eventual 3-2 win over the Flyers on Thursday. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

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This Day in Sports

  • 1996 -- Utah's John Stockton hands out 11 assists during a 110-87 victory over Phoenix, becoming the first NBA player to collect 11,000 career assists.
  • 1989 -- Javier Sotomayor establishes a world record in the high jump (2.43m).
  • 1984 -- Pee Wee Reese is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 1981 -- Montreal's Guy LaFleur scores his 1000th career point.
  • 1948 -- Stan Musial ends his holdout by signing a contract for $31,000 with the Cardinals.