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Big East split complicates Notre Dame departure

Big East split complicates Notre Dame departure

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame's athletic director says the recently announced split between the Big East and seven schools that don't play major college football could complicate the Fighting Irish's exit from the conference.

``Those two parties have to divide assets,'' Jack Swarbrick told reporters Monday. ``It poses a question about who you're even talking to. Who is the Big East? Which of the two sides of that has the Big East name and rights, and who might lay claim to the Notre Dame affiliation going forward? It's an interesting dynamic to try and figure out where all that's headed. One of the real challenges we have right now is trying to assess when that might settle out.''

Notre Dame announced in September it is leaving the Big East to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, though its football program will remain independent.

Big East bylaws require 27 months' notice from departing members, which would put Notre Dame's arrival in the ACC at 2015. The Irish would like to get out sooner and the Big East has been willing to discuss an early exit.

Swarbrick said that Notre Dame, like the seven Catholic schools, is not on the hook to pay an exit fee to the Big East. He said Big East rules that allow groups of schools to leave without financial penalty apply to the Fighting Irish. But an early exit might require some type of compensation.

West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh have all paid millions of dollars, in addition to the Big East's exit fees, to leave the conference before the notification period.

But that was before the latest move to throw the Big East into disarray

``The challenge in this environment is, we're not the focus right now. We're the tail. That's a little but of the challenge for us: How do you accelerate the discussion? How do you get some clarity? I don't know where the point is, but there is a point where I can't have our teams at risk, of not knowing what they're doing. And that's probably sooner rather than later.''

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Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Following the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday, emotions were high. 

Many current and former players paid tribute to Bryant, including Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who dominated in the Hawks 152-133 win over the Wizards. 

He ended the night with a spectacular performance of 45 points, with 14 assists, making 13-of-24 FGs and 13-of-16 free throws as well as six 3-pointers, six rebounds and one assist. 

Young is the first player to have a 45-point double-double with under 25 field goal attempts against the Washington Wizards, since Kobe Bryant on December 17, 2006.

In honor of his mentor and favorite NBA player, Young wore a No. 8 jersey and took an 8-second-violation after the opening tip. 

He even wore his shoes with a tribute to Bryant as well. 

Young was able to channel his emotions into the game, leaving everything on the floor.

In an emotional night, Young was able to keep himself composed leading the Hawks past the Wizards. 

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Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

The news of Kobe Bryant's death shook the sports world to its core, and while there were NBA games scheduled throughout Sunday, some felt the league should have canceled the games in light of the tragic news. 

Isaiah Thomas was one of them. 

"It's hard to even talk about it," Thomas said. "The NBA should have just canceled all the games because that put a dent in everybody's life that he's touched."

Thomas looked up to Bryant, admired him from afar and found his love for the game of basketball because of Bryant's greatness. Spending 20 years as a Laker, Bryant won five championships, an MVP and two Finals MVP awards to go along with 15 All-NBA selections and 18 trips to the All-Star game. 

For Thomas, his relationship with Bryant started to grow when he broke out as an All-Star in Boston. When Thomas suffered the tragic loss of his sister, they grew closer. After his hip injury that cost Thomas over a year of his career, Bryant supported him throughout. 

"I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant," he said. "2017, I lose my sister, 2019 I lose one of my best friends in Nipsey Hussle, and then to lose a mentor of mine, like, that's bigger than basketball, that [expletive] hurts.

"He was one of the people that was there for me and in my corner," he said. "And then I got injured, he was one of those guys that was there for me the whole time, helping me through mentally."

The NBA had a difficult decision to make on whether or not to cancel games since there were two games already in progress.

But before, during and after the game, everyone's thoughts were with Bryant and his family and not on a basketball game. Because as Thomas said, it's bigger than basketball. 

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