Breaking News: Penn St. handed many singificant penalties by NCAA

589690.jpg

Breaking News: Penn St. handed many singificant penalties by NCAA

From Comcast SportsNet
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The NCAA has slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties, including a 60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno's victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, and the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years. NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions Monday at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the "death penalty" -- shutting down the Nittany Lions' program completely -- the punishment is still crippling for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook. Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was found guilty in June of sexually abusing young boys, sometimes on campus.

Quick Links

Raptors dealt big blow with Kyle Lowry's wrist injury, as Toronto chases Wizards in NBA's Eastern Conference playoff picture

Raptors dealt big blow with Kyle Lowry's wrist injury, as Toronto chases Wizards in NBA's Eastern Conference playoff picture

The Wizards have returned from the All-Star break with two consecutive losses and a very difficult schedule ahead of them, beginning with the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. But Washington doesn't have to search far to know that it could be much worse.

The Toronto Raptors, who are one seed behind the Wizards in the Eastern Conference at fourth, were handed a significant blow on Monday as All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry had surgery to remove loose bodies in his right wrist. The hope now is that he can return for the playoffs, meaning it's very possible he will miss the remainder of the Raptors' 23 regular season games.

Lowry, 30, is a key player for the 35-24 Raptors who are behind the 34-23 Wizards based on a slim margin in winning percentage. The Wizards are in third with a .593 winning percentage, while Toronto is just behind them at .593. The two teams square off twice in a back-to-back with a game in Toronto on Wednesday and a rematch in Washington on Friday.

[RELATED: NBA Power Rankings: Post trade deadline outlook]

Lowry is having his best year with career-highs of 22.8 points per game and a 46.3 field goal percentage. His loss is a major obstacle for the Raptors who will now turn to others. They have two backup point guards listed on their roster, Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet, but they have a combined one year of NBA experience.

The timing of Lowry's injury is also tough, given the NBA trade deadline just passed last Thursday. They added Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker through trades, but neither play the point guard position.

The Raptors losing Lowry doesn't guarantee anything for the Wizards or anyone else in the East, but it does weaken one of the biggest threats at the top as the season gets closer and closer to the home stretch where playoff seeding will become more important.

[RELATED: Beal on Durant: 'I didn't think he was going to come here']

Quick Links

This year's Nationals roster is stacked with glorious facial hair

This year's Nationals roster is stacked with glorious facial hair

The following is a list of things the 2017 Washington Nationals appear to have: A talented outfield led by Bryce Harper and Adam Eaton. A rising superstar at shortstop in Trea Turner. A possibly major hole at closer.

The following is a list of things the 2017 Washington Nationals appear to not have: Razors. Shaving cream. A desire to groom their faces.

A fun tradition at each team's spring training is the annual photo day, because photo day forces professional athletes to pose in front of cameras like they're being featured in the poster of an upcoming blockbuster movie. And after poring through the snapshots from the Nationals' photo day, a single trend emerged.

This year's team is a hairy bunch.

Among that bunch are the usual suspects, such as Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth:

But there are some surprises, most notably of which is Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander tends to keep his mug 100-percent clean-shaven, but for now, at least, he's allowed his face to become quite fertile:

Then there's newcomer Adam Lind, who has a goatee that Duke's Blue Devil logo would be forced to respect:

Shawn Kelley, meanwhile, who's pictured below, has a beard that looks like...

...Derek Norris' beard, before Derek Norris' beard hit puberty and grew up to be the strong, mature beard it is today:

There are scraggly ones, such as Daniel Murphy's:

And fuller, more complete ones, like Eaton's (full marks, by the way, for the trade acquisition's ability to seamlessly connect 'stache to beard):

The most wild photo of all, however, was this one of Turner. Is this the Nats stud, or a picture of Leonard DiCaprio from a scene in The Revenant? Hard to tell with all that stubble the infielder's cultivating:

One potential positive of this team-wide movement: If Turner and his teammates keep what they're growing down in Florida going throughout the season, their faces will be plenty warm by the time playoff baseball comes around. 

RELATED: HARPER GOES YARD IN FIRST AT-BAT OF THE SPRING