Politics Biden won 2020 election, draft of Arizona's GOP-mandated review finds
Report: No COVID-19 vaccine mandate for NBA players
ESPN reports the NBA and NBPA are still negotiating health and safety protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated players for the 2021-22 season. As of now, unvaccinated players for the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors won't be permitted to participate in home games per laws in New York City and San Francisco unless they receive approved medical or religious exemptions. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported weeks ago visiting players are exempt from the vaccine policies in those cities. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports.
A lengthy hand recount of ballots conducted as part of the Arizona GOP-led Senate's review of Maricopa County's 2020 ballots and election equipment affirmed the results certified nearly 10 months ago: President Joe Biden won Arizona.
That outcome appears in a draft copy of the report about the ballot review, which was obtained by CBS News Thursday night via a public records request with the Arizona Secretary of State's office.
According to the draft, Mr. Biden's approximately 45,000-vote victory in the state's most populous county even expanded by a few hundred votes.
Dennis Schroder cracks joke about botching his contract
Brad Evans brings you three picks to give you a chance to earn big bucks in Monkey Knife Fight's Home Run Blast presented by Coors Light.
The report surfaced less than 24 hours before the Arizona Senate is set to go over the report with the contractors, led by cybersecurity firm Cyber Ninjas, who were hired to conduct the review.
Republican Arizona Senate President Karen Fann has not responded to a request for comment. An audit spokeswoman noted that more of the report will be released Friday. A separate audit spokesman told KJZZ, which posted similar documents of the draft report, that "it's not the final report, but it's close."
"This means the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters," Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, said in a statement. "That should be the end of the story. Everything else is just noise."
Jets DC explains why Patriots QB Mac Jones will be a 'difficult challenge' in Week 2
The Patriots are now preparing to face the New York Jets in Week 2 at MetLife Stadium, and Gang Green defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich knows Mac Jones will present a significant challenge for his unit. "He's way better than I wanted him to be," Ulbrich said during a press conference Thursday when asked about the scouting report on Jones. "You anticipate seeing a young, inexperienced quarterback making young, inexperienced quarterback-type of decisions. I didn't see a whole lot of that."Ulbrich added: "Part of that was he's got some real skill and poise.
While the draft report raises concerns issues with the election administration, it asserts that votes were counted accurately.
"What has been found is both encouraging and alarming. On the positive side there were no substantial differences between the hand count of the ballots provided and the official canvass results for the County," the draft report says.
Still, the authors criticized the county's recordkeeping, cited issues with some of its election systems and proposed some reforms to the state's election processes. The contractors who wrote the report chided Maricopa County for not fully cooperating with the process and said that this prevented "a complete audit."
"Had Maricopa County chosen to cooperate with the audit, the majority of these obstacles would have easily been overcome," the draft report says.
One of the biggest proponents of the ballot review, GOP state Senator Wendy Rogers tweeted that she had spoken with Doug Logan, Cyber Ninjas CEO, and he noted that the leaked draft is "only a partial report" and said "tomorrow's hearings will render findings of great consequence."
Saints down seven coaches following COVID-19 outbreak
The Saints confirmed Friday that seven coaches won't be available for this Sunday's matchup at the Carolina Panthers. Offensive analyst Jim Chaney, offensive assistant Declan Doyle, special teams assistant Phil Galiano, senior offensive assistant/receivers coach Curtis Johnson, offensive line coach Brendan Nugent, run-game coordinator/tight ends coach Dan Roushar and running backs coach Joel Thomas will all miss Sunday's contest because of the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The Saints added their responsibilities "will be divided among the offensive staff.
Sellers said in his statement, which was released before the draft report, "How could we cooperate with an inquiry that was led by people who have no idea how to run any election, let alone one in the second largest voting district in the United States?"
"The Board approved the election plan, we hired and supported our election experts, and they produced a well-run and accurate election in accordance with Arizona law," he added.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, called the review a waste of resources.
"The Cyber Ninjas embarrassed Arizona for months, violated voters' trust, refused transparency, and stuck AZ taxpayers with a multi-million dollar bill. What'd they find? Biden won," Hobbs. "The so-called leaders who allowed and encouraged this need to be held accountable in 2022."
Gregg Popovich could keep coaching beyond 2021-22 season .
The three-time Coach of the Year has been taking a season-to-season approach to his coaching future in recent years. If he does decide to stick around beyond the upcoming campaign, Popovich is under contract for the 2022-23 season. The Spurs do not really have a pathway to short-term contention, especially after the recent departures of both DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Still, it would definitely be nice to see Popovich continue to coach, even just for him to dunk on more reporters.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports.