University of Hartford men’s basketball unveils America East schedule; will play 18 league games, starting Dec. 19

The University of Hartford will play 18 conference games in the America East this winter starting Dec. 19 at home against Maine, the school announced on Monday.



a person standing in front of a crowd: University of Hartford Hawks head coach John Gallagher talks to a referee during the second half.


© Richard Messina / Hartford Courant/Hartford Courant/TNS
University of Hartford Hawks head coach John Gallagher talks to a referee during the second half.

The Hawks’ league slate will pit them against nine conference foes. Each school will play each other in back-to-back games at the same location, with Hartford hosting Maine on Dec. 19-20.

The start time for each game has yet to be decided. The full league schedule is as follows:

Home vs. Maine, Dec. 19-20

At New Hampshire, Dec. 27-28

Home vs. Binghamton, Jan. 2-3

At UMass Lowell, Jan. 8-10

At University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Jan. 16-17

Home vs. Vermont, Jan. 23-24

Home vs. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Jan. 30-32

At Stony Brook, Feb. 18-19

Home vs. Albany, Feb. 27-28

Hartford, which finished with an 18-15 record, advanced to the America East championship game last spring, before it was canceled due to COVID-19. Information regarding the 2021 America East tournament will be released at a later time.

All Hartford home and league games will be aired on ESPN3 or ESPN-Plus.

Shawn McFarland can be reached at [email protected]

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Former Bulldogs and Dragons veteran James Graham calls time on 18-year rugby league career

2020 will be the last year of James Graham’s illustrious rugby league career after the St. Helens veteran forward announced his retirement.

The 35-year-old will hang the boots up having played over 400 games across an 18-year career in the Super League and NRL, as well as 44 Tests for England.

Graham debuted with the Saints in 2003 and played 224 games for the club before shifting to the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2012.

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The Englishman played 135 first grade games at Belmore and featured in the Bulldogs’ 2012 and 2014 grand final sides. He was named captain of the club in the 2015 season.

Graham then moved to the St. George Illawarra Dragons ahead of the 2018 season and played 52 matches across three seasons for the Red V, before gaining a release and returning to St. Helens midway through this season.

The fan-favourite front-rower retires a Man of Steel winner, three-time Challenge Cup winner and Super League grand finalist. 

“Playing for St Helens and over in the NRL has been an absolute honour. I am gutted this season will be my final one as a player, but I came to Saints saying I would have one last all in push for this season and nothing has changed there.

“Finishing my career at my boyhood Club was an opportunity that I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, I am gutted we have not been able to play in front of our fans as I know they feel every pass, every tackle and every run. I have even missed the opposition fans who would give me a piece of their mind!

“I have had so many fantastic memories throughout my career here at Saints, in the NRL and on the International stage representing my country. It has all been a huge honour. I would like to thank all my family and friends who have supported me throughout my career and all the people involved from community clubs Thatto Heath and Blackbrook to people in the St Helens Academy as well as everybody involved at Canterbury Bulldogs and St George Illawarra Dragons.

“Now that all has been said, the season has not finished yet and my intention now is completing the job I came here to do with St Helens. We are going to take things a game at a time, moment by moment and give ourselves the best possible opportunity to finish the job.”

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College football games, Week 8: As Big Ten kicks off 2020 season, rest of league looks up to Ohio State

If Michigan-Minnesota is the game of the week, geez, things really have changed. Suddenly, Minnesota is the hot, young program with a hot, young coach (P.J. Fleck). Michigan is … actually, what is Michigan right now?

It’s certainly not Ohio State’s equal. That’s really the only standard the program is judged by as we head into Year 6 of Jim Harbaugh. The ultimate Michigan Man is coming off a fifth straight loss to the Buckeyes with somewhat of a rebuilding project on his hands.

If you had to choose a trajectory between the two programs, which would you pick? Fleck is coming off an 11-win season during which he had the Golden Gophers in College Football Playoff contention well into November.

“We want to get back to those days of a being a blueblood,” Fleck said of Saturday’s game for the Little Brown Jug. “We’re not ever going to  just arrive on that day, but events like this back up what you’re saying, back up what’s going on.”

“Blueblood” and “Minnesota” in the same sentence. Drink that in with your virtual tailgate.

Fleck returns the Big Ten’s leading passer (Tanner Morgan) and his favorite target (Rashod Bateman). Michigan’s projected starter (Dylan McCaffrey) has opted out. Like Harbaugh, Fleck has won everywhere he’s coached. Like Harbaugh, he recruits well and is a perfect face of the program.

Sure, this is a one-game, opening-week assessment. But with Ohio State being head and shoulder pads ahead of the pack, it’s worth measuring which Big Ten team is second-best. It’s also worth asking when was the last time anyone said Minnesota had more upside than Michigan?

And could it be we’ve already witnessed Harbaugh’s ceiling in Ann Arbor, Michigan? If so, it’s one hell of a ceiling (.723 winning percentage), one that is still lacking that the proper headroom — a win over the Buckeyes.

Much was made this week of Harbaugh’s contract. An expected extension hasn’t yet arrived. Harbaugh’s deal is one of only six among FBS public schools that expire in the next 14 months (January 2022), according to USA Today’s coaching salaries database. Harbaugh is the only such Power Five coach at a public school in that space.

That’s where the Harbaugh dichotomy enters the discussion. Only 10 other FBS coaches have won at a higher rate at their current school. The nation’s fourth-highest paid coach ($7.8 million) says more with less than most coaches. When asked this week how recruits might view what appears to be a lack of job security, Harbaugh replied, “Go Blue.”

“Lack of a contract, I wouldn’t say it’s never important to recruiting,” said 247Sports recruiting analyst Bud Elliott, “but I think it’s only really relevant if a coach is really legitimately on the hot seat. Otherwise, this is the tool agents use to get athletic directors to cave to their demands for extensions.”

To say Harbaugh is in trouble would be overstating things. A Michigan legacy, a Wolverines legend and a direct connection to Bo

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Ozil’s Arsenal career all-but over after Premier League axe

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Mesut Ozil could have played his last game for Arsenal after he was left out of the club’s 25-man Premier League squad, sources have told ESPN.

The 32-year-old has not played a single minute for the Gunners since March 7 and was not registered with UEFA for their Europa League campaign which begins against Rapid Vienna on Thursday.

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Premier League clubs have until Tuesday at 2 p.m. BST (9 a.m. ET) to submit their final 25-man group after the closure of the domestic window in England and ESPN has learned Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have been left out.

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It means both players are now not eligible to play for the Arsenal first time for the rest of the year.

The only other competition the Gunners will play in before Christmas is the EFL Cup and the rules dictate “a registered player is one who would be registered and eligible to participate in a Premier League match” or is an under-21 player.

Therefore Ozil and Sokratis’ omission from the Premier League squad leaves them only available for U23 matches until the New Year at the earliest — clubs are able to revise their squads once the January transfer window opens — but in reality this latest snub will only put further pressure on both players to leave in January.

Sokratis was in talks over a move to Napoli but that deal collapsed as the Italians did not sell Kalidou Koulibaly and so the deadline passed without an agreement. The 32-year-old is expected to secure a transfer away in January although his destination is as yet unknown.

Ozil was told he could leave but the midfielder chose to stay and fight for his first-team place as he entered the final year of his £350,000-a-week contract.

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Gunners manager Mikel Arteta started Ozil in his first ten League games prior to the coronavirus pandemic but after the former Germany international refused to join the vast majority of the first-team squad in taking a pay cut during lockdown, he has not appeared for the first team since.

Ozil has received huge offers from the Middle East to leave but believed there was a chance he could force his way back into Arteta’s thinking. Sources have told ESPN there have been no talks to terminate Ozil’s

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