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Albany, Stony Brook to join CAA football

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Albany, Stony Brook to join CAA football

By Matt Dewhurst
CSNbaltimore.com

The last time Albany and Stoney Brook football headlined the same story, one team was celebrating a playoff win and one team was headed for the offseason. Thanks to the Colonial Athletic Association, this time around both schools have something to smile about.

The University at Albany and Stony Brook University have both accepted offers of membership into CAA football beginning July 2013, Commissioner Tom Yeager announced today.

This is certainly a momentous day for CAA football, Yeager said. The addition of Albany and Stony Brook bring playoff-tested programs from the Northeast into an already nationally-prominent league.

The Great Danes have won 30 games and two NEC championships dating back to the 2008, including one last season. Albany won eight of its final nine regular-season games in 2011, helping it earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Playoffs. The Great Danes offense was among the nations best last season averaging better than 33 ppg and holding a pass-efficiency mark of 148.4 which ranked 13th in the country.

"We are excited about being invited into the best conference in the country at this level of football," said Albany head coach Bob Ford. "Every team in the CAA has established themselves in one way or another with great football. There are some great coaches and some very good football players who have played professionally out of this conference. We are very excited to accept this invitation."

Stony Brook is also no stranger to success. The Seawolves are coming off three consecutive Big South championships and earned the programs first-ever NCAA Division I Football Championship berth in 2011. Ironically, Stony Brook defeated its new CAA rival Albany in the first round of the playoffs last season, 31-28. The Seawolves eventually lost to national runner-up Sam Houston State in the second round.

"Joining CAA football will surely raise the profile of our program as we will now compete against the best of the best in Football Championship Subdivision," said Stoney Brook head coach Chuck Priore. "Our coaches and student-athletes are eager for the challenge, and we expect that this opportunity will allow us to annually compete for a national championship each year."

Beginning in 2012, CAA football will kickoff a five-year agreement the Colonial Athletic Association inked with the NBC Sports Group in February. The broadcast agreement will provide CAA football a minimum of five national television broadcasts on the NBC Sports Network and continue its regional television coverage with an additional 13 broadcasts using the Comcast SportsNet regional networks. The CAA and CAA Football was the first collegiate athletic conference to sign a broadcast agreement with the NBC Sports Network, which launched on January 2, 2012.

Portions of this article were taking from CAASports.com

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Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

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USA Today Sports

Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

The Ravens have reportedly agreed in principle to a new contract extension with head coach John Harbaugh, a move already being praised by national pundits everywhere. 

It was nearly a month ago that the Ravens announced Harbaugh would be returning as the team’s head coach in 2019, which was noteworthy considering his status as a potential lame duck head coach.

In the same release, the team announced they were working towards a contract extension with Harbaugh, whose current deal was set to expire next year.

Despite reports from national NFL insiders, including Jason La Canfora and Peter King, that Harbaugh might prefer to hit free agency as a highly sought-after head coach after the 2019 season, it appears the Ravens will keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. 

This news comes on the heels of a busier-than-usual coaching carousel, with a quarter of the 32 NFL teams changing head coaches in the last month, including two AFC North rivals. Harbaugh almost certainly would have been the cream of the crop among coaching free agents no matter when he became available, so the Ravens were looking to lock him up long term.

After a tough November home loss to the Steelers that put the team at 4-5, Harbaugh was asked about his job security, and he remained steadfast and confident.

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

After that game, the Ravens rattled off six wins in seven games to make the playoffs, and many players credited Harbaugh with keeping the team together. It was prior to Week 16 when the front office announced Harbaugh would be returning no matter how the season ended, but the strong finish and AFC North title certainly made the decision easier.

A coach with a special teams background, Harbaugh is an anomaly in the current era of young, offensive-minded head coaches. He won Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, and holds a 104-72 career record in Baltimore.

The terms of the new deal have not yet been released, but it will be interesting how many years the team is committing to Harbaugh.

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

Bradley Beal, his agent Mark Bartlestein told Bleacher Report, would like to stay in Washington - even as he's a hot topic among front offices as the trade deadline approaches.

From Bleacher Report:

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, is not looking for a trade. "Brad wants to win, Bartelstein told B/R. "He wants to win at the highest level, and he wants to compete for championships. I think he's seeing progress, and he's going to do everything he can to lead this team. They got themselves into a huge hole, and he's going to do his best to get them out of it.

The Wizards are facing tough decisions when it comes to the future of the franchise as this season's trade deadline approaches. Beal, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig detailed this week, is among the most tradable assets they have, especially when it comes to their three major contracts. But owner Ted Leonsis took a firm stance against tanking while speaking to reporters in London, and Beal is integral to their playoff hopes with John Wall sidelined. 

This isn't the first time this season that Beal has denied wanting to be anywhere but DC. When drama swirled around the team earlier this season, Beal denied a report that he had requested a trade.

"That's nonsense," he said at the time. "I heard it earlier before the game and I was like, 'If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, it wasn't me.' I got this Washington jersey on and I come here and work everyday, you know, until otherwise. This is where I wanna be."

Earlier this season, it was reported that the Raptors were interested in Beal but couldn't afford what the Wizards were asking for him. According to the latest report on Beal from Bleacher Report, there are a number of teams who may still be interested. 

Again, from Bleacher Report:

There are so many teams in the mix trying to make that extra push that want Beal," a Western Conference executive told B/R.

But even if some fans are clamoring for a big trade at the deadline, the price tag for Beal - who had 26 points in the Wizards' comeback win over the Knicks this week - only seems to be rising. 

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