Sports

The action on and off Louisiana's playing fields.

The name John Anthony Brooks likely didn't ring a bell for many Americans before Monday.

But by minute 87 of the U.S. vs. Ghana game, John Brooks had become America's newest national hero.

Fifty years ago this week, teenager Jim Ryun of Wichita, Kan., ran a mile in under four minutes, the first high school boy to break the mythical barrier. But in the past few decades, the mile as a racing distance has fallen out of favor.

Ryan Lamppa is trying to bring it back.

The old saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans."

But in the case of the Roman numeral for 50, the National Football League has decided, at least for 2016 (and, admittedly in San Francisco, not Rome), to do as the Arabs.

The official explanation is that "Super Bowl L" just isn't as pleasing to the eye as its Arabic numeral equivalent, "Super Bowl 50."

Sixty years ago today, Roger Bannister accomplished something humans had only dreamed of decades earlier.

We play for each other, for our fans, and for our families — not Donald Sterling.

That was the general message that players for the Los Angeles Clippers reiterated, off-mic, when the Sterling fiasco blew up over the weekend. They were being buffeted by questions about how, exactly, they might respond to allegations that Sterling, the team owner, had been recorded saying that he did not want black people to attend his team's games. Would they boycott? Would they be focused enough to be able to play?

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Today, the NCAA announced what could be major changes in the way it operates. Among those potential changes, more autonomy for the five wealthiest Division 1 conferences and more benefits for student athletes. The board of directors endorsed the moves today at their headquarters in Indianapolis. Final approval could come in August, when the board meets next.

Would March Madness be terribly different if the players were paid?

Probably not. The college basketball tournament might become more professionalized, but it wouldn't look much different from what we're seeing right now.

"I don't see it changing one iota," says ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas.

There's this strange story about my family that doesn't often come up in casual conversation. We don't talk about it much. I had to prod them when I donned my headphones and stuck a microphone in their faces to do this story. But as soon as we share, people shout, "Why didn't you tell me about that before?"

Here it is: My great-great-great-uncle introduced baseball to Japan.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

A ruling by the National Labor Relations Board today could really shake up big-money college sports. The board took the first step in favor of allowing Northwestern University's football players to unionize. A regional director for the board ruled that these college athletes meet the definition of university employees under federal law.

Most people have heard of the Negro Leagues in baseball and of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in the late 1940s — but relatively few people have heard of the Black Fives, the African-American basketball teams that played up until the NBA was integrated in 1950.

An exhibit at the New-York Historical Society aims to rectify that.

Pages