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FCS title game to stay in Texas 3 more years

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FCS title game to stay in Texas 3 more years

FRISCO, Texas (AP) The FCS championship game is staying in North Texas for at least three more seasons.

The NCAA on Wednesday announced a three-year extension to stage its Football Championship Subdivision title game at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco. That will keep the game in the growing suburb north of Dallas through at least the 2015 season.

``The committee is excited to announce this extension,'' said Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb, chair of the Division I Football Committee. ``The entire local community, including the Southland Conference, has really embraced and supported this event. When you combine that enthusiasm with the quality of the stadium, it makes Frisco an outstanding environment for the participating student-athletes, coaches and fans.''

Defending champion North Dakota State (13-1) and Sam Houston State (11-3) will play in this season's title game on Jan. 5, a rematch of last year's game the Bison won 17-6. It will be the third FCS championship game in a row played in Frisco.

FC Dallas Stadium opened in 2005, a state-of-the-art soccer stadium that is home of Dallas' MLS team.

The game is sold out for the second year in a row, with a crowd of more than 20,000 expected again. The last time the championship game drew more than 20,000 fans in consecutive years was 1995-96.

``All of us in the Southland Conference are thrilled the NCAA has chosen to extend its relationship with Frisco,'' said Tom Burnett, the league commissioner. ``Since we began our hosting discussions with the NCAA in 2009, we were convinced our city had so many advantages for the NCAA, the participating teams, their fans, and the larger FCS community.''

The game was played in Chattanooga, Tenn., from 1997-2009. Before that, it was in Huntington, W.Va., from 1992-96 after being played in seven different cities from 1978-91.

Appalachian State was the last team to win consecutive FCS title games, with three championships in a row from the 2005-07 seasons.

Montana and Marshall were the last teams to play each other in back-to-back championship games, with Montana winning the 1995 title and Marshall the following season. Youngstown State and Marshall played three consecutive years (1991-93), with Marshall winning the middle game and Youngstown State winning the two.

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Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

After already making significant changes to their roster, the Wizards may not be done this offseason, as according to a new report by ESPN, they have been in talks with the San Antonio Spurs about a potential trade for superstar Kawhi Leonard.

Read this from Adrian Wojnarowski:

Still, the bidding war among Boston, Philadelphia and the Lakers never materialized. The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto and Washington are among teams who've talked with San Antonio, league sources said.

The Wizards certainly make sense as a Leonard suitor. They are in the East, meaning the Spurs could trade Leonard to them and not have to worry about facing him as often. Plus, they have a solid group of tradeable assets and ones that seem to fit the Spurs model.

Otto Porter is a versatile, young player under team control who plays an unselfish style and would likely embrace playing in a small market. He also has a salary ($26M in 2018-19) that isn't far off from Leonard's ($21M in 2018-19), so the money could be easily matched.

The Wizards also have Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre, Jr., two young and up-and-coming players. Plus, they have draft picks, though ones that are unlikely to convey as lottery selections.

The Spurs have reportedly been more interested in getting players that can help now rather than draft picks to rebuild. That makes sense, as they still won 47 games last year despite Leonard only playing in nine of them due to injury.

The question in any Wizards and Spurs talks would be whether they would want one of Washington's All-Stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal. It would be tough to imagine the Wizards parting with either guy for Leonard, who carries some risk not only because of his quadriceps injury but also because he can opt out of his contract and leave after next season.

Just because the Wizards have talked to the Spurs doesn't mean they are serious contenders for Leonard, but it does show they are serious about improving their roster this summer. If they got Leonard and didn't part with Wall and Beal, that would be some team.

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Orioles reportedly have deal in place to trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

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Orioles reportedly have deal in place to trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

When Manny Machado returns from the 2018 MLB All-Star Break, he will not be donning a Baltimore Orioles uniform. 

The All-Star shortstop is expected to be traded from Baltimore to the Los Angeles Dodgers, barring any last-minute changes, according to multiple media reports. 

That being said, the Machado trade talks remain fluid and both the Phillies and Brewers are still trying to work a trade for the 26-year-old third baseman, according to Jon Heyman. The Diamondbacks are also reportedly trying to lure the four-time All-Star to the desert, while the Yankees decided to pull out of the Machado sweepstakes just prior to the All-Star festivities in Washington, D.C. 

While the details of the trade have yet to be revealed, the Dodgers will reportedly include top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz in the Machado trade, according to Heyman.

According to Jim Bowden, when regular-season play returns, Machado will be in the National League, although which team he plays for is still up in the air.

With the Orioles sitting a historically awful 39.5 games out of first place at the All-Star Break, trading Machado is the first major step toward a complete overhaul. The Orioles drafted Machado out of Brito High School in Miami, Fla., with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Since then, Machado has drawn comparisons to iconic third basemen Brooks Robinson and Alex Rodriguez, despite being moved to shortstop full-time this past season, and is widely considered one of the three best position players in professional baseball.

Machado is currently batting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs.

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