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Dabo Swinney has harsh comment about CFP expansion to 12 teams

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Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers have joined Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide as the two most dominant teams in college football. Since 2015, Clemson has played in four national championship games, winning two of them. Alabama has played in five of the seven national championship games, winning three of them. Ohio State, which has made it twice, is the only other school to make it multiple times.

So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Swinney does not support an expansion of the College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams. Why? Because not enough teams deserve to compete with them in a playoff.

“Our team wasn’t for it,” Swinney said of a 12-team playoff during an ACC Media Day on Tuesday. “They don’t want to play more games. And to be honest with you, I don’t think there’s 12 teams good enough.”

Swinney is right. 12 teams aren’t needed; that just weakens the regular season and gives more chances for the best teams to be upset.

Swinney shared further thoughts. He feels like other achievements will be minimized if the sole focus is on the playoff.

“I love the college game and I loved it when it was a big deal to be top 25, top 15, top 10, go win the bowl game,” Swinney said.

Unfortunately for him, the product almost always trends to more playoff games, because that typically results in more money. A 12-team playoff is probably coming at some point in the next few years.

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Ryan Murphy creates a doping firestorm in swimming with claims that Olympic races are ‘probably not clean’

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TOKYO — Ryan Murphy won a silver medal at the Olympics here on Friday, then spent the aftermath creating an international stir around doping by claiming that his races, and swimming in general, were not clean.

“I do believe there is doping in swimming,” Murphy, a 26-year-old American, said. And he said an executive at FINA, the international swimming governing body, had told him as much.

Murphy sat a few feet away from Evgeny Rylov, the Russian who beat him earlier in the week and again on Friday in the 200m backstroke. Shortly after the race, Murphy had been asked whether he had any concerns about his opponents doping.

“I’ve got about 15 thoughts,” he said. “Thirteen of them would get me into a lot of trouble.”

The ones he eventually gave sent him, hours later, walking down a sidewalk outside the Tokyo Aquatics Center, a few reporters trailing him, one telling him that he’d “completely ruined Evgeny’s moment.” He said that wasn’t his intention. “Congratulations, Evgeny,” he said. His voice wavered as he spoke. “I want Evgeny to get his due.”

But Murphy had said what he’d said, and although he’d said it through a blur of post-race emotions, he believed it. “It is a huge mental drain on me to know throughout the year that I’m swimming in a race that’s probably not clean,” Murphy explained in the initial interview. “And that is what it is. The people that know a lot more about the situation made the decision they did. It frustrates me, but I have to swim the field that’s next to me. I don’t have the bandwidth to train for the Olympics at a very high level and try to lobby the people who are making the decision that they’re making the wrong decisions.”

Ryan Murphy and Evgeny Rylov attend an awkward news conference together after the men’s 200m backstroke. (Yahoo Sports)

Murphy never explicitly accused Rylov of cheating, but never explicitly said he thought Rylov was clean, either. Rylov, when asked about Murphy’s comments, said, “I have always been for clean competition,” but declined to address Murphy’s claims.

And Murphy never explicitly mentioned Russia, which is supposedly “banned” from these Games for a years-long state-sponsored doping scheme, but which has sent hundreds of athletes in white-blue-and-red tracksuits and uniforms to Tokyo under the “Russian Olympic Committee” label. When asked whether he believed the Russian Olympic Committee should be competing at these Olympics, Murphy said he didn’t “have time to get involved in this situation. But there is a situation. And that’s a problem. I’m sorry that there is a situation, but I don’t – I don’t know enough about it to give a 100% certain answer there.”

Speaking at a news conference before Murphy and Rylov arrived, Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank, the bronze medalist in the event, also didn’t mention Russia, but connected the dots: “Obviously it’s frustrating, as an athlete, having known that there is a state-sponsored doping program going on.”

Rylov then arrived, and moments later Murphy did, and Rylov gave him a head nod, apparently unaware of what Murphy had said earlier, and thus began the most tense and awkward news conference of these Olympics.

Murphy was asked, specifically, whether he thought the 200-meter backstroke final that he’d just swum was clean.

“The thing that’s frustrating is that you can’t answer that question with 100% certainty,” he said. “And I think over the years, that’s kinda come out. And so yeah, I can’t answer that question, I don’t know if it was 100% clean. And that’s because of things that have happened over the past.”

Rylov was immediately asked: “Do you think they’re referring to you?”

“I have always been for clean competition,” Rylov said in Russian. “I’m always tested. I’ll fill out all the forms. So from the bottom of my heart, I’m for clean sport. … So I don’t know how to react to that. Ryan didn’t accuse me of anything, therefore I’d rather not react.”

Murphy then faced pressure to back up his allegations, and revealed that at U.S. Olympic trials last month, he’d had a conversation with new FINA executive director Brent Nowicki. Murphy said that Nowicki, a fellow American, told him: “It’s gonna be hard, and it’s gonna take a long time to clear this sport of doping.”

“So when you hear that from the top, that’s tough to hear,” Murphy said. “And so, that is — yeah, that’s what I believe.”

Yahoo Sports has reached out to FINA for comment.

Murphy was stoic and measured throughout the news conference. A foreign reporter asked him about Justin Gatlin, the American sprinter found guilty of doping. Murphy defended the U.S. anti-doping system, and said it wasn’t “apples to apples.” After a moderator thanked the three swimmers for their time, and as Rylov posed for selfies with a few Russian reporters, Murphy got up to leave, but almost looked, for a split-second, as if he had more to say.

Twenty seconds later, outside the venue, when asked if he did, he stopped, and that’s when the gravity of the sudden firestorm he’d created began to hit him. “I’m not accusing anyone of anything,” he clarified. He tried to reframe his original answer in a milder way. As he walked away, a reporter chased him and told him that his comments had “taken all the focus away from all of your victories,” and that “it’s just completely dominated everything now, and will dominate probably for the rest of the event.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” Murphy said.

And then he kept walking.

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Manchester United’s friendly at Preston called off after COVID-19 cases

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Manchester United cancelled its pre-season friendly at Preston North End on Saturday after a small number of suspected positive COVID-19 cases at the club, the Premier League side said on Thursday.

United drew 2-2 with Brentford on Wednesday and detected the cases following routine testing of the team.

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The game was called off as a precautionary measure based on COVID protocols, United said, with identified individuals now isolating pending further tests.

“At this stage, we do not expect further disruption around our forthcoming matches, but we will continue to follow Premier League protocols in this regard,” the club added.

United’s only remaining pre-season friendly is against Everton at Old Trafford August 7, a week before it hosts Leeds United in its Premier League season opener.

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“I have not thought of anything far ahead”: Rahul Dravid on coaching stint in future

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Xtra Time Web Desk: Former India captain Rahul Dravid, who was on a coaching role with the Indian team in Sri Lanka, has said he is not looking too far ahead as far as coaching is concerned. Dravid, who is also the Director at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) was appointed as the coach of the Indian team for the white ball tour to Sri Lanka. He was given the role because Ravi Shastri is now in England with the test squad.

 “I have enjoyed this experience but I have not thought of anything far ahead. I have been doing what I am doing. I have not given any other thought but this tour and getting through the tour. I have enjoyed the experience of working with these guys, it has been great. I have not given any other thoughts to anything else. There are a lot of challenges in doing full-time roles, so I really don’t know,” said Dravid during a virtual press conference after the series against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Thursday.

Shikhar Dhawan led India team started the tour with a bang, winning back to back matches to seal the ODI series against the hosts. But despite going 1-0 ahead in T20I series, the depleted looking side lost the 20 over format.

Commenting on the takeaways from the series for youngsters, Dravid said, It was quite challenging after the first game but I think there are always good opportunities and learning from games like these to the youngsters. It gives them an exposure to international cricket. It seems like a 130-140 game, so it is important to find a way it’s quite important. So how do we do that, learning how to do that. The great positive for me is the way guys have fought. ”

Talking about the challenges the team faced in quarantine, Dravid said, “It has not been easy. We have been here for 45 days and we have only played six matches for a variety of reasons. It has been challenging, the boys have been in quarantine and inside the bubble. We have only seen the ground and the hotel. We were not able to go everywhere even in the hotel, so it is challenging and credit to all the boys for the way they maintained their enthusiasm, worked really hard.”

The post “I have not thought of anything far ahead”: Rahul Dravid on coaching stint in future first appeared on XtraTime | To get the best and exclusive sporting news, keep watching XtraTime.

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