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2019 football Hall finalists…Gleason to receive Congressional Gold Medal…Person trial on track

UNDATED (AP) – First-time eligibles Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed and Champ Bailey are among 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2019. They will be joined in the Feb. 2 balloting by Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Alan Faneca  and Tom Flores, along with Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae  and Richard Seymour. A maximum of eight new members can be elected, five from the modern-era group.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed legislation awarding former New Orleans Saints and Washington State football player Steve Gleason the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor awarded by Congress. The 41-year-old Gleason has ALS, and Congress sought to honor him for his work as an advocate for people with the paralyzing neuromuscular disease. Gleason is the first NFL player to receive a Congressional Gold Medal.

NEW YORK (AP) – A New York judge has given the go ahead to a trial next month over charges that former Auburn basketball assistant coach Chuck Person accepted bribes from a financial adviser working for the FBI to steer athletes his way. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska said there was enough evidence to let the case against Person and Atlanta clothier Rashan Michel to proceed. Prosecutors allege that Person solicited and accepted over $91,000 in bribes to steer Auburn players and their families to a federal cooperating witness, a former financial adviser.

UNDATED (AP) – Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love has been cleared to begin “select basketball activities” following left foot surgery. Love played in just four games this season before having surgery on Nov. 2 to repair an injury sustained during Cleveland’s exhibition opener. However, there is still no clear timeline on when Love will play again.

WACO, Texas (AP) – The UConn women’s basketball team has suffered its first regular-season loss in more than four years. The Huskies had won 126 straight regular-season games before Kalani Brown had 20 points and 17 rebounds to lead eighth-ranked Baylor past No. 1 Connecticut, 68-57. Chloe Jackson added 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Bears.

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