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Passaglia, Cutler and other football alumni demand removal from SFU Hall of Fame



Canadian Football Hall of Famers Lui Passaglia, Dave Cutler and Doug Brown are among 11 football-only members of the Simon Fraser University Sports Hall of Fame who are demanding they be removed from the shrine over the school’s decision to cease its football program.

School president Joy Johnson announced April 4 that Simon Fraser was discontinuing its football program, effective immediately. Johnson added it wasn’t a financial decision but was based on the Texas-based Lone Star Conference’s announcement it would not renew its football affiliation with Simon Fraser past the 2023 campaign.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, CFL Players Association executive director Brian Ramsay and Football Canada president Jim Mullin all wrote letters to Simon Fraser, U Sports and Canada West officials and football coaches condemning the decision. They also asked that SFU be allowed to continue playing football in Canada.

On April 13, five football players – quarterback Gideone Kremler, defensive backs Kimo Hiu, Andrew Lirag and Ryan Barthelson and linebacker Dayton Ingenhaag – launched a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court against SFU to compel the school to reinstate its football program.


Last week, following a meeting between Johnson and SFU football alumni, the school reiterated the team won’t play this season. It added a “special adviser” would be appointed “to review and make recommendations regarding potential sustainable opportunities for football.”

On Wednesday, the 11 football-only members of the SFU Sports Hall of Fame demanded they be removed in a show of solidarity with the team’s players and coaches. They added they’d welcome returning “when the football program is reinstated after the administration’s sudden decision on the future of football on April 4.”

“I don’t wish to be affiliated with or have my prior football career ‘bring excellence’ to a university that no longer recognizes collegiate football as a worthwhile entity or endeavour for young amateur athletes throughout British Columbia,” Passaglia said in a statement.

Passaglia was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2004 following an illustrious CFL career with the B.C. Lions (1976-2000). At the time of his retirement, Passaglia held numerous league records, including most regular seasons played (25), regular-season games (408) and regular-season points scored (3,991).

Joining Passaglia, Cutler and Brown are: Sean Millington, Glen Jackson, Terry Bailey, Wayne Holm, Rick House, Neil McKinlay, Rob McLaren, and Orville Lee.

Cutler was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1998 following 16 seasons with Edmonton (1969-84). He earned six Grey Cup championship rings with the franchise, including five straight (1978-82).

The 6-foot, 237-pound Millington was the first player taken in the 1990 CFL draft by Edmonton. Over 12 seasons, he also spent time with B.C., Winnipeg and Toronto, winning two Grey Cups and twice being named the league’s top Canadian.

“My experience at SFU was formative and something I cherished,” Millington said. “It was a very special time.

“And because of that I can’t support the administration’s decision to take this opportunity away from the next generation.”

Brown echoed similar sentiments for his decision.

“The administration has eliminated half of the university football opportunities for our players in BC,” he said. “We all stand united in saying this is unacceptable and not representative of the Simon Fraser program we represented.”

Brown began his pro football career in the NFL with Buffalo and Washington before joining the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2001. During his 11 seasons with the Blue Bombers, Brown was a league all-star seven times and its top Canadian in 2001.

Brown was enshrined into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

Added Lee: “The manner in which this situation was handled was very underhanded and sends the message of great disrespect for all past, present and future student athletes.”

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Lee was taken first overall in the 1988 CFL draft by the then Ottawa Rough Riders. Lee made an immediate impact with the franchise, earning the league’s top rookie award after rushing for a league-high 1,075 yards.

Lee also spent time with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1990-91) and Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1991).



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Heat ride 17-5 run in 4th quarter to draw even with Nuggets in NBA Finals – CBC Sports



Staring down a 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals, as the visitors in a hostile arena where no road team had prevailed in more than two months, the Miami Heat decided to do what they’ve done throughout the post-season.

They found a way. Against all odds. Again.

The Heat tied the NBA Finals and had to overcome a monster 41-point effort from Nikola Jokic to do it. Gabe Vincent scored 23 points, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo each had 21 and Heat beat the Denver Nuggets 111-108 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

“Our guys are competitors,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They love these kind of moments.”



They were down by as many as 15 points, down eight going into the fourth, and those numbers signified they were going to lose. Denver was 11-0 in these playoffs when leading by double digits at any point in a game, and 37-1 this season overall when leading by at least eight going into the fourth.

The Heat didn’t care. They outscored Denver 17-5 in the first 3:17 of the fourth to take the lead for good, eventually went up by 12, then frittered most of it away and had to survive a 3-point try by Jamal Murray as time expired.

“This is the finals,” Adebayo said. “We gutted one out.”

Game 3 is Wednesday in Miami.

Max Strus scored 14 and Duncan Robinson had 10 — all of them in the fourth — for the Heat, who had a big early lead, then got down by as many as 15. They had no answers for Jokic, who was 16 of 28 from the floor, the last of those shots a 4-footer with 36 seconds left to get the Nuggets within three.

Denver elected not to foul on the ensuing Miami possession and it paid off. Butler missed a 3, and with a chance to tie, Murray missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“I just contested it,” Butler said. “Pretty glad that he missed it.”

‘Let’s talk about effort’

Denver lost at home for the first time since March 30, and for the first time in 10 home playoff games this year. And just as he did after a Game 1 win, Nuggets coach Michael Malone sounded the alarm after a Game 2 loss.

“Let’s talk about effort,” Malone said. “I mean, this is the NBA Finals and we’re talking about effort. That’s a huge concern of mine. You guys probably thought I was just making up some storyline after Game 1 when I said we didn’t play well. We didn’t play well. … This is not the preseason. This is not the regular season. This is the NBA Finals.”

The Kitchener, Ont., native Murray had 18 points and 10 assists for Denver, while Aaron Gordon had 12 points and Bruce Brown scored 11.

“They just played hard, and like I said, it was more discipline,” Murray said. “It’s defeating when you’re giving up mistake after mistake, and it’s not them beating you, you’re giving them open dunks or open shots. That’s tough to come back from.”

WATCH | Kitchener, Ont., cheering on Murray:

Canadian NBA star Jamal Murray gets hometown love in Kitchener, Ont.

14 hours ago

Duration 1:56

Fans in Canadian basketball star Jamal Murray’s hometown of Kitchener, Ont., are ecstatic as he and the Denver Nuggets drive for a historic NBA championship victory over the Miami Heat.

Strus, who was 0 for 10 in Game 1, had four 3-pointers in the first quarter of Game 2. Butler made a jumper with 4:56 left in the opening quarter to put Miami up 21-10, tying the second-biggest lead any opponent had built in Denver so far in these playoffs.

In a flash, it was gone — and then some.

The Nuggets outscored Miami 32-11 over the next 9 minutes, turning the double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead thanks to an absolute 3-point barrage.

In a 70-second span early in the second quarter, Denver got four 3s — more points than Miami got in that entire 9-minute stretch — and they came from four different players: Brown, then Jeff Green, then Murray, then Gordon.

Boom, boom, boom, and boom. Murray had five straight points to end the flurry, and Denver led 44-32 when it was over. It looked like everything was going Denver’s way.

Miami insisted otherwise. And for the 44th time this season, the Heat won a game by five points or less. None of them was bigger than this one.

“When it comes down to the wire,” Vincent said, “we’re strangely comfortable.”

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Montreal Canadiens sign Cole Caufield to eight-year contract extension – Habs Eyes on the Prize



The forward re-signs with the team for the maximum length.

Montreal Canadiens sign Cole Caufield to eight-year contract extension
Anton Rasegard

The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Cole Caufield to an eight-year contract extension, the team announced on Monday.

The contract will have an average cap hit of $7.85 million per season, just under the AAV for the same length of contract signed by team captain Nick Suzuki last year. The contract will last until the end of the 2030-31 season.

Caufield finished last season with 26 goals, and held the team lead in that category for most of the season despite playing only 46 games before undergoing shoulder surgery. He also had 10 assists.

The contract now locks in the two franchise cornerstones Caufield and Suzuki for the maximum length and cap hits under $8 million. It’s a good bit of business for Kent Hughes to get this done before free agency, and has the potential for great cap management as the years go by.

In the sixth year of the contract, per CapFriendly, there is a 15 team no-trade clause that drops to 10 teams in year seven and five in year eight.

Patrik Bexell, Matt Drake, and Jared Book discuss the contract in a special Habsent Minded Extra.

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Blue Jays’ Chris Bassitt announces birth of child to cap ‘perfect weekend’



The Toronto Blue Jays had a memorable few days in New York, thanks to a three-game sweep of the Mets, but that’s not the biggest reason starting pitcher Chris Bassitt is all smiles these days.

Bassitt and his wife, Jessica, welcomed their second child over the weekend, with the veteran right-hander reporting that both mother and baby are doing well.

“Perfect weekend complete,” Bassitt wrote on Twitter. “Momma and Colson are doing great.”

Jessica went into labour Friday, while her husband took his normal turn in the Blue Jays’ rotation. Bassitt channelled all of his “dad strength” in that outing against the Mets, firing 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball with eight strikeouts in a 3-0 Toronto win. In a cruel twist from the universe, the start of the game was delayed more than 90 minutes due to inclement weather.


Once his outing was over, Bassitt rushed back to Toronto via private plane to be with Jessica for Colson’s birth. He made it in plenty of time, tweeting Saturday morning that the baby hadn’t arrived yet.

The 34-year-old will now be able to enjoy a few days with his family, as the Blue Jays placed him on the paternity list Saturday. Reliever Jay Jackson took his place on the 26-man roster.

Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt dominated the Mets in his outing Friday. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt dominated the Mets in his outing Friday. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Bassitt’s Blue Jays teammates gave him even more reason to cheer by eking out a 2-1 victory Saturday before getting the brooms out with a 6-4 win in the series finale.

Brandon Belt was the hero Sunday, connecting for a go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh inning after Toronto squandered an early 4-0 advantage. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also went deep for the Blue Jays, while Whit Merrifield delivered a two-run double in the second inning.

Next up, Toronto welcomes the Houston Astros to Rogers Centre for a four-game series that begins Monday. Bassitt is listed as the probable starter for Wednesday’s contest.



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