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Sports world shaken by Connecticut school shooting

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Sports world shaken by Connecticut school shooting

Stars from several different sports took to Twitter on Friday to try and cope with the school shooting in Connecticut, and the NFL asked each of its teams to observe a moment of silence before this weekend's games to pay respect to the victims.

A man killed his mother at home and then opened fire inside the elementary school where she taught, slaying 26 people, including 20 children. The 20-year-old killer, carrying two handguns, then committed suicide at the school.

``It's awful, just an awful day. It really, really is,'' Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before their game at Houston. ``This is our jobs. This is not a game for us, it is what we do but when something like this happens, it supersedes job and everything else. As a parent - I don't know - this is just awful, awful what happened.''

Struggling to stay composed, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott paused a couple of times as talked about the tragedy in Newtown, a small community about 60 miles northeast of New York City.

``I have three healthy kids and a beautiful granddaughter,'' he said. ``When you hear about kids who are that young and don't get a chance to live because of something that's so senseless as somebody going in and doing the things that this person did, I think it affects everybody. It puts everything in the right perspective as well. As much as we love this game, this doesn't mean nothing.''

From the full slate of NBA games to high school and college football finals, there were moments of silences at sporting events of all sizes. The overhead videoboard at the Barclays Center showed a candle and the town seal of Newtown as the Nets and Pistons paused for reflection before their game in Brooklyn.

Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant wrote ``Newtown CT'' on both shoes for the Thunder's 113-103 victory over Sacramento.

``I wish I could do more,'' he said. ``But it hit me really hard. It's tough to see, especially kids that couldn't do anything for themselves. Words can't even describe it. I'm kind of at a loss for words right now.''

The NFL sent a memo asking for each of its teams to observe a moment of silence before this weekend's games.

``This shocking event has brought the nation together in grieving for the victims and their families as well as the survivors,'' the note read. ``We believe it is appropriate and important for us to collectively recognize and participate in the grieving process at our games this weekend, as we have done on other occasions.''

Many athletes took to social media websites to process what happened, discussing their shock and horror, and openly worrying about their kids at school.

``Innocent victims just gone,'' Miami Heat star LeBron James said in a series of posts on Twitter. ``This is really messing with my mind. Kids is everything to me! And of course i have 2 of my own in elementary school as well. I can't imagine it happening to my kids school. I and the rest of the families would be devastated! Something has to be done.''

Golfer John Daly talked about home schooling his children, and outspoken Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wondered about the road ahead.

``The way we deal with this tragedy in CT will tell us a lot about where we're headed as a society. Do we only address the symptoms (i.e. just gun control laws)? Or do we also address the disease - how we treat each other and those who need help,'' Kluwe said in a couple of posts on Twitter.

There also was some anger.

Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta tweeted: ``Not sure if there is anything lower than harming innocent children.'' He ended the tweet with a hashtag of ``coward,'' then was critical of the media interviewing young children outside the school.

``At some point, we've got to get past bureaucracy and all the nonsense and do something about this so our kids can be safe,'' said New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams, who has five children ranging in age from 2 to 14.

``If we can go to outer space and take care of trees and rivers and animals, we can do a better job of taking care of our kids. It's just a sad situation.''

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: What the Ramon Sessions signing means for Tomas Satoransky

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Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: What the Ramon Sessions signing means for Tomas Satoransky

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller offered their reaction to the Ramon Sessions signing and how it could affect Tomas Satoransky. Plus, how the Wizards match up with the new-look Cavs and how Kelly Oubre, Jr. broke out of his slump.

Chase also explained his epic fail with an Oubre interview and they revisited an Instagram post from months ago that foreshadowed much that has gone down this season.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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USA Today Sports Images

Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a long-term FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND

Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.