11:40 LRN Sportscast June 21

LSU executive deputy athletic director and COO Stephanie Rempe is reportedly set to become the new athletic director at Nevada. Rempe plays a critical role in LSU’s athletic department and is considered to be one of the nation’s most respected deputy ADs. She came to LSU with Scott Woodward when he was hired as LSU’s athletic director in 2019 and has steadily risen through the ranks over a nearly 25-year career in athletics administration.

LSU baseball has added some strength to its middle infield with the announcement that Baylor shortstop Jack Pineda will be joining the Tigers. Pineda batted .300 with seven home runs as a junior for the Bears this past season, committing eight errors in 54 games, and earning All-Big 12 honorable mention recognition.

At the College World Series, all four SEC schools are still alive as Auburn beat Stanford 6-2 to avoid elimination. Ole Miss continued its roll with a 13-5 beating of Arkansas. A pair of elimination games today as Texas A-and-M faces Notre Dame this afternoon and Auburn takes on Arkansas in the nightcap.

The 2025 New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee is already hard at work. They have released a Request for Qualifications, or RFQ, for local graphic designers and firms to help create its logo and visual brand identity as it moves down the road to Super Bowl 59. While the RFQ does not require a design, Jay Cicero of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, says there’s a distinct flavor that the committee and the NFL will be looking for during the submission process once the field of applicants is narrowed.

Cut 15 (12) “…we can be proud of.”

For the second year in a row, LSU basketball will participate in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta, Georgia. The Tigers will take on Wake Forest on Dec. 10 in State Farm Arena.

The New Orleans Pelicans released their NBA Summer League schedule, which takes place from July 7-17 in Las Vegas. The Pels open against the Trail Blazers on July 9, followed by the Hawks, Wizards, and Lakers with a final opponent to be determined.

LRN AM Newscall June 21

You may be double-checking your calendar, but today is the first official day of summer. David Grubb has more on the rising temperatures that await…

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.”

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While folks are watching their wallet and their gas tank this summer, state tourism is adjusting its promotional campaigns also. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 

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Governor Edwards vetoes bills creating Education Savings Accounts to help kids behind in reading and with other learning challenges. Kevin Gallagher has more…:

Cut 3 (29) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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Though the temperatures may have indicated otherwise, today is the first official day of summer. State climatologist Barry Keim says get used to the sweltering temperatures because they aren’t going anywhere.

Cut 4 (10)  “…this past week.”

Keim says this month could be an all-timer when it comes to daily and monthly thermometer readings, and encourages people to stay safe by limiting their time outdoors, staying hydrated, and making sure that homes are properly insulated.

Cut 5 (12) “…be smart about it.”

Temps should top 100 several times over the next few days as the heat wave continues to roll on. Keim says high-pressure systems across the Eastern US have made it harder to sustain any cloud cover or generate the afternoon showers that help bring temperatures down, leading to Louisiana becoming one giant oven…

Cut 6 (13)  “…even dangerous.”

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Due to gas prices impacting summer travel, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says they’ve made a few marketing tweaks for tourism and so far, they appear to be working. He says they’ve scraped their One Tank Get Around Louisiana campaign and changed it to a half-tank of gas.

Cut 7 (07) “…tank of gas.”

And they’ve also been running promotions a bit closer to home in neighboring states. Nungesser says the campaigns include state parks and other great things to do and see in Louisiana. He says the Staycation promotion that worked so well during the pandemic is also in play this summer.

Cut 8 (07)  “…with that.”

But Nungesser says they are also putting long-term promotions into play, especially since COVID test requirements have been lifted for international travelers visiting the US.

Cut 9 (12)  “…as soon as possible.”

Nungesser says despite gas prices there’s still pent-up demand to travel and state parks are on track for another record-breaking year.

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Governor John Bel Edwards has vetoed bills to create so-called Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). The bills were intended to assist students who have special educational needs or are behind on reading skills. Daniel Erspamer (pronounced: ER-spay-mer), with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy calls the vetoes a disappointment…:

Cut 10 (13) “…be serving them.”

In his statement on the vetoes, Edwards says the bills labels are a “misnomer” and the bills don’t establish any accounts for parental savings at all. Edwards says they would potentially sap public school funding away to give to private school students, despite the authors’ good intentions. Erspamer says ESA’s are successful and beneficial to students who are a bit behind their peers…:

Cut  11 (14)  “…all over the country.” 

Louisiana is among the worst states in the U.S. for education, and literacy among kids is a particular problem. Erspamer says the Governor’s veto is a sad development, but he doesn’t see this as merely partisan politics…:

Cut 12 (15) “…kids…need…help.” 

Erspamer says the bills will be back in future legislative sessions and they’ll eventually become law, because ESA’s do help.

____________________________________________

Though the Super Bowl won’t be back in New Orleans for another two-plus years, the 2025 New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee is already hard at work. Now, the committee has released a Request for Qualifications, or RFQ, for local graphic designers and firms to help create the logo and visual brand identity as it moves down the road to Super Bowl 59. Here’s Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation CEO Jay Cicero…

Cut 13 (12) “…for this RFQ.”

All firms wishing to submit must do so before July 1st as the RFQ is just the first step of a multi-stage process which will end with one group or individual chosen to help brand the organization preparing for a record-tying 11th Super Bowl to be played in The Big Easy. With the amount of interest a job like this is sure to draw, Cicero says there’s no time to waste.

Cut 14 (11)  “…a lengthy process.”

While the RFQ does not require a design, Cicero says there’s a distinct flavor that the committee and the NFL will be looking for during the submission process once the field of applicants is narrowed.

Cut 15 (12)  “…we can be proud of.”

For more information visit g-n-o-sports-dot-com.

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4:45 LRN Sportscast June 20

In Omaha, Auburn managed to stay alive at the College World Series by beating number two seed Stanford, eliminating the Cardinal. Tonight, Arkansas faces Ole Miss. Sunday, Oklahoma beat Notre Dame, putting the Sooners one victory away from the final and Texas A-and-M sent arch-rival Texas packing. The Irish and Aggies play Tuesday in another elimination game.

LSU coach Jay Johnson says he began preparing for next season almost immediately following the Tigers’ loss to Southern Miss in the NCAA regionals. He says he’ll be consistent with the plan he’s laid out for the program while staying flexible enough to navigate the ever-changing world of college sports.

Cut 19 (17) “…adapt and go.”

An eighth baseball player from LSU has entered the transfer portal, with Will Safford adding his name to the list. The sophomore infielder from Baton Rouge appeared in 32 games over two seasons. So far just one player, infielder Brennan Holt, has found a new home…Holt is headed to Oklahoma State.

For the second year in a row, LSU basketball will participate in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta, Georgia. The Tigers will take on Wake Forest on Dec. 10 in State Farm Arena, home of the NBA’s Hawks. LSU defeated the Demon Deacons 75-61 last season in the championship of the Emerald Coast Classic. As of now, the Tigers have 11 of their 13 non-conference games scheduled.

The New Orleans Pelicans released their schedule for the NBA Summer League, which takes place from July 7-17 in Las Vegas. The Pels open against the Trail Blazers on July 9, followed by the Hawks, Wizards, and Lakers. Their final opponent is still to be determined. The teams with the best two records after four games will meet in the Summer League Championship Game on July 17.

11:40 LRN Sportscast June 20

Oklahoma is just one win away from the College World Series final after beating Notre Dame 6-2 on Sunday. Meanwhile, Texas was eliminated following a 10-2 loss to rival Texas A-and-M. Today in Omaha, Auburn faces Stanford in an elimination game at 1 pm, followed by Ole Miss versus Arkansas tonight at 7 pm.

Watching the SEC West invade Nebraska hasn’t been easy for LSU fans or Tigers head coach Jay Johnson. While he’d rather be competing for a championship this week, Johnson says LSU accomplished a lot of good things this past season.

Cut 18 (19) “…as we could.”

The Manning Passing Academy announced its lineup of counselors for the 26th edition of the camp for junior high and high school passers. This year’s crop is the biggest in camp history with 45 college signal-callers invited to Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. Included among them are seven projected first-round picks, like Alabama’s Bryce Young and Florida’s Anthony Richardson, as well as LSU’s Myles Brennan, Tulane’s Michael Pratt, and Kohen Granier from Nicholls. The only part of the academy open to the public is the college skills competition on Friday night at John L. Guidry Stadium. Admission is $15 per person. The camp is run, of course, by the first family of Louisiana football. Once again, Archie, Cooper, Peyton, and Eli Manning will all be on hand, with top prospect Arch Manning in attendance.

One of Manning’s top targets, Newman tight end Will Randle has turned down offers from LSU and Tulane among others, announcing his commitment to Texas this past weekend.

The Ragin Cajuns picked up a commitment from E.D. White offensive lineman Matthew Broussard, who made his announcement on Twitter Saturday. He also had offers from UL-Monroe, Nicholls, Southeastern, and Northwestern State.

6:45 LRN Sportscast June 20

Texas is the first team to be eliminated from the College World Series after the Longhorns fell to Texas A-and-M 10-2 on Sunday. The Aggies will face Oklahoma Tuesday afternoon following the Sooners 6-2 win over Notre Dame. Today in Omaha, Stanford takes on Auburn followed by Arkansas and Ole Miss.

Over the past week LSU baseball lost a pair of assistants as top recruiter Dan Fitzgerald and pitching coach Jason Kelly accepted head coaching  jobs at Kansas and Washington respectively. Coach Jay Johnson says they’ll be tough to replace but doesn’t expect the Tigers to miss a beat.

Cut 17 (16) “ …(x2) all will be well.” 

–BREAK

Newman tight end Will Randle has turned down offers from LSU and Tulane among others, announcing his commitment to Texas this past weekend. Randle made his visit to Austin with Greenies star quarterback Arch Manning, the top recruit in the 2023 class.

The Ragin Cajuns picked up a commitment from E.D. White offensive lineman Matthew Broussard, who made his announcement on Twitter Saturday. He also had offers from UL-Monroe, Nicholls, Southeastern, and Northwestern State.

The New Orleans Breakers lost to the Houston Gamblers 20-3 on Sunday night and will go into the USFL playoffs after finishing the regular season with a 6-4 record. The Breakers will face Birmingham this Saturday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio with a spot in the inaugural USFL championship game on the line.

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick won the US Open by one stroke; his first PGA Tour major championship. Fitzpatrick, who also won the US Amateur at Brookline in 2013, becomes the 13th player to win both, and just the second to do so on the same course.

4:45 LRN Sportscast June 17

It looks like a second assistant coach from the LSU baseball team will be taking a head coaching job. After losing lead recruiter Dan Fitzgerald to Kansas on Wednesday, today it was announced that pitching coach Jason Kelly has accepted the head job at the University of Washington. Kelly was an assistant at UW from 2013 to 2019 and was named National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2018. Tigers coach Jay Johnson says when you have a strong program, schools are going to come looking to take a piece for themselves.

Cut 17 (20) “…we have here.”

The 2022 College World Series is underway in Omaha. Oklahoma and Texas A-and-M got things started this afternoon, with Notre Dame and Texas playing the nightcap.

The Saints wrapped up minicamp yesterday by working indoors to escape the heat. The team had total participation in minicamp and Dennis Allen thinks they laid a great foundation heading into training camp next month.

Cut 16 (21)  “…2022 season.”

The Golden State Warriors are NBA Champions for the fourth time in the past eight seasons. Golden State beat the Boston Celtics 103-90 to close the Finals in six games. Steph Curry finished with 34 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists and earned his first Finals MVP. NBA Draft is up next on Thursday night. The New Orleans Pelicans hold the 8th selection in the draft.

LRN PM Newscall June 17

A consumer advocacy group once again observes an anniversary by sending a business lobby a tiki torch. Brooke Thorington explains.

Cut 1 (35) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Dads take center stage this Sunday, though a new survey shines a light on just how difficult it is for Louisiana’s working fathers. David Grubb has more…

Cut 2 (35) “…I’m David Grubb.”  

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In an effort to hold the president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry accountable for a promise he made two years ago, Eric Holl with Real Reform Louisiana sent Stephen Waguespack another Tiki Torch. Holl says in a radio interview Waguespack said tort reform would lower auto insurance rates.

Cut 3 (12) “…go down.”

Holl says since House Bill 57 passed two years ago, auto insurance rates have actually increased. He says in 2020 rates rose 19 percent and announced rates for 2022 could increase as much as 15 percent.

Cut 4  (12) “…for them.”

Because Waguespack was not amused with the personal delivery of a tiki torch last June 17th, Holl says he opted to have Amazon handle the delivery this year, but Waguespack has yet to deliver on his promise.

Cut 5  (09) “…that promise.”

Efforts to reach Waguespack have gone unanswered.

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This Father’s Day you may want to forget about getting Dad a tie or a wallet and instead maybe hand him a copy of the classifieds. A new survey by Wallethub-dot-com says that Louisiana is the worst state in the country for working dads. Communications director Jill Gonzalez says the rankings speak for themselves…

Cut 6  (14) “…struggled the most.” 

Just how bad do Dads have it here in the Bayou State? Gonzalez says Louisiana has almost a perfect storm of conditions to make a work-life balance nearly impossible and few support systems in place for getting it back, particularly in mental and physical health.

Cut 7 (10) “…in Louisiana.” 

The bottom of the survey rankings are dominated by Southern states, where insured rates are lower for workers, childcare costs exceed the quality of care, and men are being overworked, leaving too many in inactive lifestyles outside of their jobs. Gonzalez says Louisiana could learn from the states at the top of the rankings and start enacting policies more friendly to fathers.

Cut 8 (13) “…why not Louisiana.” 

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Choosing a major in college can be very stressful.  UL-Monroe VP of Enrollment Management Lisa Miller says the university is making that process easier by utilizing a new tool called MyMajors, which aligns students with degree programs based on their strengths, talents, and interests.

Cut 9 (12) “…versions of themselves.”

Incoming students take the MyMajors online assessment during their orientation and before exploring UL-M’s degree programs during breakout sessions. Miller says the response has been very exciting and the impact on students is easy to see.

Cut 10 (13) ” …something much greater.” 

Interest assessments aren’t new, though the MyMajors program is unique in that it provides students with a list of 10 majors at UL-M that might be good options for them, allowing academic advisors to provide additional information and guidance, which Millers says hopefully leads to greater confidence in degree paths, as well as higher retention and graduation rates.

Cut 11 (11)  “…degree programs.” 

MyMajors is free and is not only open to ULM students, but to anyone interested in pursuing a college degree. You can complete the quiz and get your own report at u-l-m-dot-mymajors-dot-com.

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Legislators have until Monday to submit a court-ordered congressional map that has two Black-majority districts instead of one that was passed by the Republican majority in February. On Thursday House Speaker Clay Schexnayder asked Federal Judge Shelly Dick for a deadline extension.

Cut 12 (09) “…we have.”  

Schexnayder says there are a number of new maps that have been submitted for consideration including three in the House.

Schexnayder says some of the maps submitted by Republican lawmakers do not have two Black minority districts as instructed by Judge Dick and they are merely placeholders and can be amended if needed. He says this is only the beginning of the judicial process because the map that passed in February has yet to be ruled on in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cut 13 (12) “…compare them.”

House Governmental Affairs is meeting now to consider four maps that have been filed and Senate Governmental Affairs meets at 1 pm to continue discussions on a bill that was debated in committee for almost five hours Thursday.

Cut 14 (12)  “…unnecessary.” 

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11:40 LRN Sportscast June 17

The Golden State Warriors are NBA Champions for the fourth time in the past eight seasons and the seventh time in the history of the franchise. Golden State beat the Boston Celtics 103-90 to close the Finals in six games. Steph Curry finished with 34 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists and earned his first Finals MVP award after averaging a career-high 31.5 points per game in the series. The Warriors are already the favorites to win next year’s championship. If you want to put a couple of bucks down on the Pelicans, they’re at 40-1 to hold the Larry O’Brien trophy next summer. The NBA Draft is up next on Thursday night.

LSU defensive end Soni Fonua has announced that he has entered the NCAA transfer portal. He had 6.5 tackles for loss in 2021 and started the final five games of the season, but did not participate in spring practice.

And Tulane outfielder Teo Banks has exited the portal, deciding to return to the Green Wave. Banks batted .267 in 18 games last season as a freshman.

The Saints wrapped up minicamp yesterday and Dennis Allen says while he’s excited about the talent on the field and the sidelines, he knows the Saints’ work has just begun.

Cut 17 (18) “…not satisfied.”

The expectations in New Orleans are high after last season’s disappointment. Allen knows where the bar is and says the Saints are keeping their focus on continuing to improve each day.

Cut 18 (20) “…in those areas.”

LRN AM Newscall June 17

Senate Governmental Affairs debated one of the two congressional map offerings for almost five hours on Thursday. As the court-imposed June 20th deadline to submit a new map looms. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (40) “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”

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Another property insurance company exits Louisiana; leaving thousands seeking coverage…with the hurricane season already underway. Kevin Gallagher reports…:

Cut 2 (30) “…I’m Kevin Gallagher.” 

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State offices are closed today for the first official observance of Juneteenth. David Grubb has more on the meaning of the day…

Cut 3 (34) “…I’m David Grubb.” 

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As the June 20th court-imposed deadline lingers, Senate Governmental Affairs debated one bill for almost five hours on Thursday. Committee members voted to hold Baton Rouge Senator Cleo Fields’ bill over for debate until Friday. Fields’ bill has two Black-majority districts instead of one. He says delaying the vote is a slippery slope on the existing timeline.

Cut 4 (08)  “…Federal court.”

Committee Chair, Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt, who also has a congressional map bill in the special session, countered when Fields when reminded members of the looming deadline

Cut 5 (07) “…our job.”

Amendments to Fields’ legislation were discussed in committee, one that will negate Field’s map if the courts ultimately rule that the enacted map with only one Black majority is legal. Fields voiced his frustration.

Cut 6 (08)  “…bad advice.”

House Governmental Affairs meets at 9 AM Friday where four congressional maps are on the docket.

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Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon addresses homeowners’ worries after another property insurance carrier cancels tens of thousands of policies, with hurricane season already  underway. Donelon says Lighthouse Excalibur is the latest in a series of companies to declare insolvency…:

Cut 7 (08) “…a new policy.”

Donelon says Lighthouse is the latest property insurer to cancel or non-renew policies in the wake of three strong hurricanes in 2020 and a major storm, Hurricane Ida, last fall. He says Lighthouse customers have until the end of the month to secure new coverage. Donelon says that’s not ALL of the bad news, though…:

Cut 8 (10)  “…Southern Fidelity Insurance Company.”

Donelon says Lighthouse Excalibur, and now Southern Fidelity, make five companies to exit the state…:

Cut 9 (12)  “…and Lighthouse.”

Donelon says displaced customers can seek assistance getting new coverage by calling the Department of Insurance, or visiting their website at “ldi.louisiana.gov.” He says some may need to use the state’s last-resort property insurer, Louisiana Citizens.

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State offices are closed today for the first official observance of Juneteenth, which became a legal holiday in Louisiana last year. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers reached Galveston, Texas, and relayed the news that the Civil War had ended and that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed all those enslaved there two and half years earlier. Baton Rouge Rep. Larry Selders sponsored the legislation and recalls its passage vividly.

Cut 10 (11) “…part of it.”

While Juneteenth celebrations have been held throughout the state for years, many still don’t know the history of the holiday. Selders says the importance of the Juneteenth lies in the awareness and education it generates for citizens of all races.

Cut  11 (09)  “…kids to know.” 

Selders says he’s proud that the state eliminated holidays celebrating the Confederacy through legislation during this past session. He says that many didn’t know they existed, just as they didn’t know the history of Juneteenth, and believes we can reckon with the worst of our shared past while working toward a better future.

Cut 12 (08) “…hopefully they will.” 

Federal offices will be closed on Monday.

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A bipartisan gun safety bill is up for consideration in the US Senate. The bill calls for background checks and billions in funding for community mental health centers. When asked about his thoughts on the legislation on his monthly radio call-in show “Ask the Governor” Governor John Bel Edwards applauds the legislation.

Cut 13 (09) “…Uvalde.”

The bill also calls for extensive background checks for those 18 to 21 wishing to purchase a gun so their juvenile records can be reviewed for violations that would prohibit them from owning a firearm. Edwards who supports Second Amendment Rights is in favor of background checks.

Cut 14 (10)  “…long ago.”

The gun safety bill however does not raise the age from 18 to 21 for those wishing to purchase AR-15 style rifles. Edwards believes the age limit to purchase certain types of guns should be raised.

Cut 15 (11)  “…then either.”

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The Saints wrapped up minicamp yesterday by working indoors to escape the heat. The team had total participation in minicamp and Dennis Allen thinks they laid a great foundation heading into training camp next month.

Cut 16 (21)  “…2022 season.”

Allen says overall he’s been very happy with how the organization has handled the offseason and while he’s excited about the talent on the field and the sidelines, he knows the Saints’ work has just begun.

Cut 17 (18) “ …not satisfied.” 

The expectations in New Orleans are high after last season’s disappointment. Allen knows where the bar is and says the Saints are keeping their focus on continuing to improve each day.

Cut 18 (20) “ …in those areas.” 

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4:45 LRN Sportscast June 16

The New Orleans Saints wrapped up minicamp today, working indoors to avoid the heat. Coach Dennis Allen says it was a productive week and now he’s looking forward to training camp.

Cut 21 (22) “…2022 season.”

The team will also debut a brand-new, alternative helmet for the 2022 season. In photos released today, defensive end Cam Jordan is seen modeling a black helmet with gold fleur-de-lis on both sides and a center stripe comprised of dozens of smaller fleur-de-lis. The Saints have not announced how many times or for which games they will wear the new lids. The last time the saints wore black helmets? The 1969 preseason, but those were scrapped because they weren’t cleared by the NFL.

Louisiana Tech announced today that Baseball Coach Lane Burroughs has signed a contract extension that will keep him in Ruston through the 2026-27 season. Burroughs has spent the last six seasons coaching the Bulldogs, leading them to their most successful run in program history with back-to-back NCAA regional appearances and 85 wins as well as Conference USA regular-season and tournament championships over the last two years.  Terms of the contract have not been announced as it awaits approval by the Board of Supervisors.

Six players from the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers have been named to the All-USFL team. Quarterback Kyle Sloter, the league’s leading passer, tight end Sal Cannella, center Jared Thomas, defensive end David Bellamy, linebacker Jerod Fernandez, and defensive tackle Reggie Howard were all chosen. The Breakers player their regular-season finale Sunday before opening the playoffs against Birmingham on June 25.

And tonight is Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The Boston Celtics are at home facing elimination, with the Warriors up in the series 3 games to 2.