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TODAY'S THOUGHT

In a shocking contradiction to what we deserve, God offers grace that stretches further than all our sin. It is precisely that great scandal of grace that provokes us to bend our knee and live to glorify the Lord of grace.
 
- Paul Dunk
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 K-Heart Sports

K-HEART SPORTS - WEDNESDAY - 08/08/18 - PM EDITION

Defending national champion North Dakota State was ranked No. 1 in the STATS FCS Preseason Top 25 media poll...

    FARGO, N.D. (NDSU) - Defending national champion North Dakota State was ranked No. 1 in the STATS FCS Preseason Top 25 media poll released Monday. The Bison garnered 151 of the 157 first-place votes.

    No. 2 James Madison, the national runner-up a year ago, took the remaining six first-place votes. National semifinalists South Dakota State and Sam Houston State were ranked third and fourth, respectively, and Kennesaw State was fifth ahead of Jacksonville State, New Hampshire, Weber State, Eastern Washington and Wofford in the top 10.

    A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the STATS FCS Top 25.

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    MINNEAPOLIS - Jake Odorizzi (4-7, 4.60) starts for Minnesota tonight against Mike Clevinger (7-7, 3.48) for Cleveland as the teams continue their four game series. Mitch Garver's three-run homer in the second inning was enough offense for the Twins in a 3-2 victory last night. That followed a 10-0 blowout win by the Indians on Monday. Cleveland tops the American League Central by nine games over the Twins.

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     UNDATED (AP) - Devin Harris is returning to the Dallas Mavericks for the third time after signing a $2.4 million free agent contract. The Mavericks announced the deal with the 14-year veteran today. His contract is for the veteran minimum.
 
     Dallas originally acquired Harris from Washington, along with Jerry Stackhouse and Christian Laettner, in a draft-day trade for Antawn Jamison in June 2004. He played for the Mavericks until getting traded to New Jersey in February 2008, in a deal that brought Jason Kidd to the Mavericks. Harris first returned to Dallas as a free agent before the 2013-14 season, and stayed until the Mavericks traded him to Denver last February as part of a three-team deal at the trade deadline.
 
     The 35-year-old Harris has averaged 11.1 points, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals in his 917 career games, including 446 starts.
 
     In other NBA news:
 
     - Two people familiar with the situation say free-agent center Jahlil Okafor has agreed to a two-year contract with the New Orleans Pelicans that includes a team option in Year 2. Philadelphia made 6-foot-11 Okafor the third overall pick out of Duke in the 2015 NBA draft, but his production fell considerably last season. He appeared in only two games with Philadelphia last season before being traded to Brooklyn, where he played about 13 minutes per game as a reserve, averaging 6.4 points.
 
     - The NBA has released its TV schedule for the first week of the season, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. NBA fans will get a smorgasbord of LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, the All-Star laden lineup of the defending champion Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets and the up-and-coming Boston Celtics. The highlight of the coveted Christmas Day games is James facing a familiar foe - Stephen Curry and the Warriors - for a fourth straight year, only this time wearing Lakers' gold and purple.
 
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     INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - College basketball players who go undrafted by the NBA will be allowed to return to school and play as part of sweeping NCAA reforms in the wake of a corruption scandal.
 
     The rule changes include allowing players to work with an agent while declaring for the NBA draft. College players would have to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee on their draft prospects. The rules would also allow elite high school players to work with an agent if the NBA removes its one-and-done rule. The agent would have to be certified by the NCAA no later than August 2020. Until then, agents certified by the NBA players' union would qualify.
 
     The changes reflect the recommendations made in April by the Rice Commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was formed in response to an FBI nvestigation into payments from shoe companies to coaches for steering players to certain schools.
 
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     UNDATED (AP) - The Panthers have signed offensive lineman Tyler Larsen to a two-year contract extension. Larsen is now under contract through the 2020 season. Financial terms of the contract were not available today.
 
     Larsen has played in 23 games with 15 starts over the last two seasons with Carolina, working at center and guard. He played in 14 games with 10 starts last season in place of injured center Ryan Kalil.  Larsen is viewed by coach Ron Rivera as the team's long-term replacement for Kalil, who has already said 2018 will be his final NFL season.
 
     The extension comes after the Panthers lost starting offensive linemen Daryl Williams and Amini Silatolu to injuries in training camp.
 
     In other NFL news:
 
     - Browns rookie receiver Antonio Callaway had bullets and gun parts in his car when he was cited for marijuana possession, according to dash-camera video obtained by TMZ. The video shows an officer asking Callaway to step out of his vehicle after the officer smells marijuana following a routine traffic stop. Callaway cooperates, and later one officer tells his partner that he became "real nervous" when he found the bullets and a strap for a Glock handgun in the vehicle. There is no mention of the ammunition or gun parts in the report filed by Strongsville, Ohio police. The AP has requested the dash-cam video.
 
     - The San Francisco 49ers will honor former tight end Dwight Clark with a season-long celebration of his life that will include unveiling a statue of "The Catch." All 49ers players will wear 87 helmet decals throughout the season, and Levi's Stadium field bunting will pay tribute to Clark during all 49ers games. Clark died in June at age 61. He suffered from ALS.
 
     - Faye Spanos, the wife of Los Angeles Chargers owner Alex Spanos, has died. She was 92. Faye Spanos died late Tuesday night of undisclosed causes. She married Alex Spanos in 1948, and they raised four children in Stockton, California. Alex Spanos built a billion-dollar fortune in real estate and construction during their marriage, and he purchased a majority share in the San Diego Chargers in 1984. Faye and Alex Spanos became prolific philanthropists, donating to causes related to schools, children, the arts and hospitals.
 


   (Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

 

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