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Clemson QB Tajh Boyd returning for senior season

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Clemson QB Tajh Boyd returning for senior season

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Tajh Boyd will return to Clemson for his senior season.

The junior quarterback announced his intention to hold off on the NFL. His return will help keep the Tigers record-setting, fast-paced attack moving forward in 2013.

``As explosive as we've been, there's more to attain,'' Boyd said Wednesday. ``There's more out there for us.''

Boyd has led the Tigers to a 21-6 record the past two seasons. He broke his own school records this past season with 3,896 passing yards and 36 touchdowns. He was also second on the team in rushing with 514 yards and led Clemson with 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Clemson defeated LSU 25-24 in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve to finish with at 11-2, its best mark since the program's 12-0, national championship season in 1981.

Boyd was the star of the bowl win, accounting for 368 yards of offense and three touchdowns. He said his strong showing had him pointed toward the pros. Then Boyd began talking with friends, including Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen - a former Clemson teammate - and Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick. Both urged him to be 100 percent with his decision if he chose to leave college. Boyd discovered he wasn't fully done at Clemson.

``I thought it was pretty clear at first,'' Boyd said. ``Then it got pretty cloudy the past five days.''

Boyd was told by NFL draft advisors he'd go anywhere from the second to the fourth rounds. Allen, who attended Boyd's announcement, was given a first-round grade last season when he decided to forego his senior season.

``I still wasn't picked until the third round,'' Allen said. ``Which turned out to be a blessing. You just have to aware of the business.''

Boyd was also buoyed by offensive coordinator Chad Morris remaining at Clemson. Boyd's improvement as a quarterback began with Morris' hire by Tigers coach Dabo Swinney after the 2010 season. Boyd was the perfect triggerman for Morris' high-flying attack. Morris, though, was the focus of several schools for head coaching openings and was interviewed by Texas Tech before Red Raiders selected Kliff Kingsbury.

Boyd said he and Morris have similar aspirations for the Tigers and hope to make those happen in 2013. It won't be easy. Clemson opens the season against Georgia and another quarterback in Aaron Murray who passed on the NFL for a final year of college ball.

Swinney said he was happy to have the player he nicknamed the ``Tajh Mahal of Football'' back for a final season.

``This is great for our program because I think he is the best quarterback in the country,'' Swinney said. ``He is not only the leader of the offense, he is the leader of this team.

Boyd holds 39 Clemson records.

Boyd acknowledged he has plenty of room to grow. He says he needs to improve his footwork and decision making to make himself into a first-round player. He believes one more year at Clemson is the best way to make that happen.

``We've got a lot of things left on the schedule'' to accomplish, Boyd said. ``I hope to see that out.''

By coming back, Boyd has a chance to be the first to win consecutive ACC player of the year awards since Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward accomplished the feat in 1992 and 1993. Boyd will also no doubt be talked about for the game's highest individual honor, the Heisman Trophy.

``It's great to be mentioned in that category,'' Boyd said. ``But those things rarely happen if a team isn't successful.''

Boyd hopes to increase his totals in all categories to keep the Tigers on track. When told he rushed for over 500 yards this season, Boyd answered, ``Why not go for 800?''

Clemson offense certainly loses some key pieces next season. Center Dalton Freeman, who's played more snaps than anyone in Clemson history, and two-time 1,000-yard rusher Andre Ellington both finished their eligibility.

The Tigers are also waiting to see if Boyd's favorite target in junior receiver DeAndre Hopkins returns. Hopkins set school records this past season with 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns receiving.

Boyd said there's lot of returning players with big-play ability to make his senior year his best yet with the Tigers. ``I'm just not ready to drop this right now,'' he said.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

Report: Former Terp Diamond Stone included in federal documents detailing NCAA violations

A bombshell article published Friday morning by Pat Forde and Pete Thaamel of YAHOO Sports details potential NCAA violations involving more than 20 schools and 25 players.

Among some of the biggest names and programs in college basketball includes former Maryland Terrapin, Diamond Stone.

According to documents and bank records that are part of an FBI investigation, Stone received $14,303 while a freshman at Maryland, a clear violation of NCAA rules. 

Former NBA agent, Andy Miller and his former associate, Christian Dawkins of ASM Sports were dishing out the incentives. Included were cash advances, entertainment expenses and travel expenses for high school and college prospects.

Other player's included in the documents include Dennis Smith who played at North Carolina State, Isaiah Whitehead from Seton Hall, DeMatha star Markelle Fultz who played at Washington and Edrice Adebayo who went on to play at Kentucky. 

Player's and their families from Duke, Michigan State, USC, North Carolina, Texas and Alabama are also included.

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season before declaring for the NBA draft. He was selected 40th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans and traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Stone did end up signing with a different agency.

While this is still under investigation, large consequences for the NCAA can be expected.

The NCAA released this statement following the news. 

These allegations, if true, point to systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now if we want college sports in America. Simply put, people who engage in this kind of behavior have no place in college sports. They are an affront to all those who play by the rules. Following the Southern District of New York's indictments last year, the NCAA Board of Governors and I formed the independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, to provide recommendations on how to clean up the sport. With these latest allegations, it's clear this work is more important now than ever. The Board and I are completely committed to making transformational changes to the game and ensuring all involved in college basketball do so with integrity. We also will continue to cooperate with the efforts of federal prosecutors to identify and punish the unscrupulous parties seeking to exploit the system through criminal acts.

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