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Today in sports: Concussions sideline star Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby once again, history is not on Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun's side as he prepares to appeal his positive drug test, and the NFL coaching fates claim Todd Haley.

  • For the second time in less than a week, the NBA league office has put the kibosh on a trade involving New Orleans Hornets star point guard Chris Paul. Last night, paperwork was reportedly submitted to the league last night on a deal that would have sent Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers. Sources tell ESPN that "at the NBA's direction," New Orleans began "insisting upon the inclusion of both shooting guard Eric Gordon and Minnesota's unprotected 2012 first-round draft choice in addition to former All-Star center Chris Kaman and prospects Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Bledsoe." Various reports indicate Bledsoe wasn't included in the package New Orleans general manager Dell Demps offered. The NBA has been looking for someone to buy the Hornets since taking control of the club in 2010. Last Thursday, David Stern vetoed a trade that would have sent Paul --  a free agent at the end of the season -- to the Los Angeles Lakers after various owners complained the deal was unfair. [ESPN]
  • Milwaukee Brewers outfielder and reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun has already said he'll fight to have his 50 game ban for testing positive for a banned substance overturned. Everyone who follows sports knows that the appeals process is a longshot, but it's particularly a longshot in major league baseball. Baseball has never lost an arbitration case of this kind," notes The New York Times. Part of that is due to the verbiage in baseball's drug policy, which "states that a player cannot simply deny that he intentionally used a prohibited substance, but that he "'must provide objective evidence in support of his denial.'" In other words, players can't just offer a defense. They have to demonstrate why, exactly, a false positive was generated to begin with. [The New York Times]
  • Prosecutor in Hamilton County, Ohio say they're still deciding whether to file charges stemming from Saturday's ugly on-court brawl during the Cincinnati-Xavier men's basketball game that's already resulted in a total players from the two teams being suspended by their conferences. Along with being a serious black eye for both programs, the incident also likely spells the end of college basketball's last great cross-city rivalry games. [AP]

  • The Kansas City Chiefs have fired head coach Todd Haley after a 5-8 start to his third season as coach. The Chiefs to be fair, were a mess this year, but remember when NFL teams never used to make coaching changes mid-season, for fear of depriving a terrible teams of "continuity"? That's not happening anymore. Four -- Haley, Jack Del Rio, Brad Childress, and Josh McDaniels -- have down in-season over the past two years, a number that could rise as high as six if the Rams and Buccaneers decide to pull the plug early on Steve Spagnuolo and Raheem Morris. Whatever happened to letting bad teams spend their Decembers just kind of flailing around and giving teams easy roads to the playoffs? [Kansas City Star]
  • "Concussion-like symptoms" have once again sidelined Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby. The 24-year-old Crosby, who won the league's MVP award in 2007, sat out 10 months after suffering a severe concussion last January. He returned to the Penguins lineup less than a month ago. The team says Crosby will be out "indefinitely." [AP]

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