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NASCAR’s point systems is flawed, and the Daytona 500’s results prove it

Without looking at the NASCAR points standings after the Daytona 500, take a guess as to who is first in the standings.

Most NASCAR fans would assume it’s Austin Dillon considering he won the Daytona 500, and the season is only one race old.

Wrong. Dillon isn’t even second. He’s third, behind Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano.

NASCAR fans can sometimes be frustrated with stage racing and the points system, and the results from last weekend justify their frustration.

Related: Winning the Daytona 500 wasn’t even enough for first place in the NASCAR championship standings

Dillon should be first, but instead he’s behind Blaney and Logano — the latter of which didn’t even win a stage. Blaney led for 188 laps at the Daytona 500, and he won the second stage of the race. He also won a Can-Am Duel, which propelled him over Dillon for first place in the points.

Logano had a solid showing at Daytona, but it doesn’t make any sense to have him ahead of Dillon. Sure, Dillon only led for one lap, but it was the lap that mattered most as he won the race.

The points system has its benefits, but it can be confusing for NASCAR fans. How is the race winner from the only official race this season not first in the standings?

Not only is Dillon third… he is 11 points behind Blaney and three points behind Logano. He’s also technically tied for third with Bubba Wallace at 47 points, but his win gives him the tiebreaker.

The points system doesn’t need to be complex and confusing. Stage points are a fun dynamic, and it’s a good thing to award drivers who had great races but didn’t win.

But come on. Race winners need to be rewarded for actually winning the race. Dillon should be first, and then he can be followed by the other drivers who ran well.

It shouldn’t be that complicated, and hopefully NASCAR can address the issue in the near future.

Cause of death finally emerges for former WWF, WCW standout

Former WWF and WCW wrestler Tom “Z-Man” Zenk, 59, passed away back in December, and the initial details around his death were scarce. There was no immediate cause of death, and the public was not made away of Zenk’s passing until almost a week after it occurred.

However, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer (subscription required) has now reported that Zenk’s cause of death was from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and an enlarged heart. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease has been linked to the deaths of several former wrestlers, including Eddie Guerrero and Zenk’s former tag team partner Brian Pillman.

Meltzer openly speculated that past use of steroids likely played a hand in Zenk’s premature death.

Zenk started his career in the Minnesota based AWA before joining the WWF in 1986 with Rick Martel. Zenk left WWF just a year later, and eventually emerged as “The Z-Man” in WCW in 1989, originally tagging with “Flyin Brian” Pillman. The Atlanta-based fed is where Zenk had his most success, as he won two separate tag titles and the NWA/WCW Television title in his tenure with the company.

Zenk retired as a full time wrestler in 1996.

Pac-12 POY candidate ruled ineligible, school will appeal

The NCAA has ruled that Allonzo Trier is ineligible after testing positive for a banned substance in January. Arizona will appeal the ruling.

Arizona's Allonzo Trier has been declared ineligible by the NCAA, per release. Trier tested positive for a banned substance in January. Arizona will appeal. — Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 22, 2018

This is actually the second time Trier has been ruled ineligible for alleged PED use. Trier missed the first 17 games of last season after a similar issue.

Last time, the NCAA agreed with Trier that he didn’t know what he was putting in his body, eventually allowing him to play last season.

NEWS: Allonzo Trier is ineligible as of today. Arizona is appealing. pic.twitter.com/AaN3la41t7 — Brian Hamilton (@_Brian_Hamilton) February 22, 2018

This is literally Trier’s statement from last year:

“The NCAA agreed that I had no knowledge of receiving the substance and my eligibility was restored. Although I can practice and travel with the team, I am not allowed to resume playing in games until the substance completely leaves my body even at a trace amount. Unfortunately, I am unsure of when that time will be, but I hope it is soon.”

And yet, here we are… again.

Related: Sean Miller’s rotation issues

Trier, who is a legitimately great player, is averaging 19.6 points per game for an Arizona Wildcats team that can’t afford to go without his service.

Arizona is currently 11-3 in the Pac-12, with an overall record of 21-6.

Five-star PF Jordan Brown giving one small school an official visit

Five-star power forward Jordan Brown has taken two official visits to UCLA and St. John’s and it appears he’s taking another one to a rather small school. His father told 247Sports that Brown plans on taking a visit to his dad’s alma mater in Louisiana Lafayette.

“We are going to take a visit to Louisiana-Lafayette next weekend,” Jordan’s father, Dion, said. After that we are still in the season, and we are playing this weekend and the weekend after that. After that we will start preparing for the McDonald’s game.”

The 6-foot-10, 195-pound power forward is ranked as the No. 4 recruit at his position and the top recruit in the state of California according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He had a top seven schools list of Gonzaga, Nevada, UCLA, St. John’s, Oregon, California and Louisiana Lafayette. He also has offers from Arizona and Kansas.

Here are some of his highlights:

SEC program hires former head coach responsible for major upset just two years ago

The Mississippi State Bulldogs have hired Joey Jones as the program’s new special teams coordinator. This is clearly the school taking the “if you can’t beat’em, hire’em” approach.

For those not familiar with Joey Jones, he was once the head football coach of South Alabama. In 2016, he led his ragtag group of directional-school heroes to Starkville, upsetting the Bulldogs in the season-opener.

Joey Jones: Legend.

For the sake of properly giving credit:

Steve Robertson of 247Sports was the first to report that Jones has been hired by Joe Moorhead. Roberston’s information has since been confirmed by Will Sammon of the Clarion-Ledger.

Mississippi State has hired former South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones to fill the special teams coordinator position. — Steve Robertson (@ScoutSteveR) February 22, 2018

In six years manning the helm at South Alabama, Jones went 29-46.

The rest of his coaching experience isn’t exactly going to blow you away, but he has been around a bit. Jones has other head coaching experience at Birmingham-Southern (a real place). Also, he did work coaching high school at Mountain Brook (Ala.) High and Dora (Ala.) High.

Since it is nearly March, most programs are filling out the ends of their staffs. Don’t expect too much more movement within any individual program’s staff, unless it is for positions with minimal impact.

Former NFL linebacker reportedly killed in grisly manner

Former NFL linebacker Robert Eddins was killed in 2016, but apparently it came under grisly circumstances. The former Buffalo Bill and Saskatchewan Roughrider was reportedly killed by three drug dealers in the basement of his grandmother’s home and it was done “execution style.”

Eddins only appeared in one game for the Bills between his 2011 and 2012 seasons. Official have charged three men in connection with the killings and they say the men were all part of a plan to deal more than 5 kilos worth of cocaine and heroin. Prosecutors are also saying that the men specifically traveled from Alabama to Detroit to kill Eddins and they ended up killing another man as well.

After failing to stick with the Bills, Eddins made his way to the Canadian Football League for the Roughriders before getting cut in June after injuring his hamstring. He played his college football at Ball State.

[h/t TMZ.com]

College coaching candidate suing school over alleged discrimination

Louisiana College is finding itself in hot water after Joshua Bonadona filed a lawsuit against it, alleging discrimination.

In the federal lawsuit claim, Bonadona says the president of the private Baptist college in Louisiana refused to approve the coach’s hiring because of what he called the applicant’s “Jewish blood.”

Bonadona put this into action on Wednesday.

Rick Brewer, is the school’s president. To put it bluntly, the coach is accusing them of violating his civil rights.

For some context (via ESPN):

“Bonadona says he applied for a job as defensive backs coach at his alma mater and was interviewed last May by Brewer and the Pineville school’s head football coach, Justin Charles. The head coach later told Bonadona that he had recommended him for the job, but the college didn’t approve his hiring because of his “Jewish descent,” the suit alleges.

It, at least allegedly, gets worse.

“Mr. Bonadona asked Justin Charles what that meant, and Justin Charles stated that Dr. Brewer refused to approve Mr. Bonadona’s hiring because of what Dr. Brewer called Mr. Bonadona’s ‘Jewish blood,'” the suit says.

Also alleged in the suit is the potential coach, who actually went to school at this university, was pressured to discuss his family’s religious background.

While a religious school is actually allowed to hire based on a person’s background in that specific area, according to the lawsuit, people of Jewish heritage are protected as a “distinct race” under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and federal law prohibits employers from failing to hire somebody on the basis of race.

Bonadona was born into a Jewish family, but converted to Christianity when he went to Louisiana College as a student-athlete.

Reason for Kyrie Irving’s trade request out of Cleveland reportedly revealed

Kyrie Irving’s request to be traded fro the Cleveland Cavaliers was reportedly due to a meeting between the franchise’s front office personnel regarding his future, according to ESPN‘s Dave McMenamin.

According to the report, the contingent held a “what if?” discussion was described as “small talk” and “less a formal straw poll of what the Cavs should do with their All-Star point guard should trade opportunities present themselves,” as well as analyzing the market for Irving.

Per ESPN’s report:

“The talk got back to Irving, multiple team sources told ESPN, and that served as the tipping point that led to Irving formally requesting a trade a little more than two weeks later. “‘It was sloppy,’ one league source familiar with the draft-day discussion told ESPN, adding that any talk about trading a player of Irving’s ilk — however informal it might be — should be handled strictly between the GM and owner, because of the sensitive nature of its content. Once a player feels expendable or undervalued from his own team, getting him to buy back in is a prickly proposition.”

The move itself was a head-scratcher as Cleveland shipped one of its best players to — even at the time — its biggest threat in the Eastern Conference for several players who are no longer with the team as of the trade deadline.

Clearly, the move has worked out a lot better for Irving than the Cavaliers, who didn’t seem to do enough analysis on his market value based on the outcome.

One of the top playmakers in the NFL has the most confusing free agent status ever

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon made his return to the NFL last season, and he started five games for the team after missing two years for a suspension related to substance abuse.

Gordon’s contract expired after the 2017 season, so he’s technically a free agent. But ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that Gordon is labeled as an “exclusive rights free agent,” which means he’s technically not a free agent.

Confused? Us, too.

Josh Gordon will be an "exclusive rights free agent." He didn't have enough games in 2017 for an accrued season. ERFAs are not allowed to negotiate with other teams. I don't understand why they're called "free agents" at all, since they're not. https://t.co/xjy13xpMe8 — Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 21, 2018

Related: Four-time Super Bowl champion reportedly re-ups with one team to break NFL record

So, basically Gordon didn’t play enough games in 2017, so he’s listed as an exclusive rights free agent. As a result, he won’t be allowed to negotiate with other teams.

Gordon will either be a Brown next season, or he won’t be in the league.

The NFL should rename it since players can’t re-sign with other teams if they are exclusive rights free agents.

Gordon caught 18 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown in five games last season. He had a breakout year his second season in the league as he caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns despite missing two games for suspension.

If Gordon can stay out of trouble and continue to produce at a high level, he will be highly sought after once he becomes an unrestricted free agent. He’s only 26, and he’s proven he is one of the most talented receivers in the league when he’s on the field.

Conor McGregor claims he had original plans for comeback squashed by UFC

Conor McGregor claimed he was ready to make his long-awaited UFC return during the promotion’s upcoming pay-per-view, but had his plans squashed due to time constraints.

McGregor posted a photo of himself on Instagram Thursday with a caption claiming that attempted to replace Max Holloway for his main event fight against Featherweight Champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 in March after Holloway was ruled out due to an injury.

However, the promotion denied his request because “there wasn’t enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need, according to his post.

Edgar’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, denied the Irish fighter’s claims, calling him “a liar” and saying he “should have fought Frankie two years ago,” according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

On McGregor's claim he offered to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 222, Edgar's manager @AliAbdelaziz00 tells me, "He's full a s—. He's a liar. He should have fought Frankie two years ago." — Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 22, 2018

In December, McGregor told TMZ Sports that he planned on making his return to MMA amid rumors of a potential boxing match against Manny Pacquiao.

“I think a true right is what I want to do next,” McGregor said. “MMA next.”

Earlier this month, acknowledged that he was in negotiations for his next UFC fight which could include a rematch against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather under mixed martial arts rules, among several other potential opponents.

“He’s engaging, we’re engaging, so we’ll see,” McGregor said. “I’m currently in negotiations to face my next opponent and we have many options. There’s the [winner of the upcoming fight to decide the] interim lightweight champion, there’s the undefeated Dagestani [Khabib Nurmagomedov], maybe it would be a big Russian event, there’s obviously the [Nate] Diaz trilogy, of course the Mayweather fight is there. There’s many options so we’re just at the table at the moment.”

As of now, McGregor doesn’t have a confirmed opponent or date scheduled for his official return to UFC.

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