Today in sports: the 49ers and Raiders are calling off their annual preseason clash following shootings in the parking lot Saturday night and the drip-drop of the University of Miami booster scandal continues on.
- San Jose Mercury News sports columnist Tim Kawakami tweets that the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders will discontinue their annual preseason game after two men, one of whom was reportedly wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the message "[Expletive] the Niners," were shot and wounded in the Candlestick Park parking lot following Saturday's contest between the two teams. It's still unclear if the shootings stemmed from the Bay Area rivalry. The San Jose Mercury News, citing a source familiar with the investigation, suggests "friction between [northern California gangs] Nortenos and Surenos" prompted one of the shootings. [@TimKawakami and the San Jose Mercury News]
- Just how close was jailed University of Miami superbooster Nevin Shapiro to the athletic department's day-to-day operations? Close enough, according to phone records obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, that he was involved in the school's courtship of then-Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt back in 2006. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that the records, obtained under the Freedom of Information act back in 2007, reveal that "Nutt called Shapiro at 10:17 a.m. on Dec. 7, 2006 and the call lasted 30 minutes. Nutt then hung up and called his agent, Jimmy Sexton, before contacting Shapiro again that same day. Nutt also called Hernandez four times in a span of four hours that day." (Nutt stayed at Arkansas before ultimately jumping ship to the University of Mississippi in 2007.) It's not a smoking gun that the athletic department knew that Shapiro was providing improper benefits to players, but as the Sun-Sentinel's Steve Gorten writes, it is a "that Shapiro was "way too close to the program and had was more involved than he should have been." Last week, Yahoo! Sports broke a bombshell story in which Shapiro, now in jail for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme, claimed he provided "thousands of impermissible" benefits to "at least 72" Miami athletes over an eight-year period, all "with the knowledge or direct participation of at least seven coaches from the Miami football and basketball programs." [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
- ESPN columnist Rick Reilly is one of the nominees for this year's Thurber Prize for American Humor for his book Sports from Hell: My Search for the World's Dumbest Competition. This likely won't go over well with Reilly's critics in the sports blogosphere, which has taken issue over the years with Reilly's puns, fondness for teeth jokes, and overall anti-blogger sentiment, even though he has one of his own. [AP]