Tom Goldman

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In Brazil, tears of joy and relief as the World Cup home team won its quarterfinal against Colombia.

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SIEGEL: Brazil beat Colombia 2-1 in a hard-fought game between the two South American neighbors, but as we'll hear, it was a costly victory. An earlier game today - Germany defeated France 1-nothing to move on to the World Cup final four. NPR's Tom Goldman is in Rio de Janeiro, and he joins us now. And, Tom, first of all, Brazil won. But in a way, it also lost. Tell us about that.

The U.S. men's soccer team is out of the World Cup. For 90 minutes, the score was tied at 0-0, but the team lost in extra time to Belgium on Tuesday, 2-1.

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The U.S. plays Portugal in a key World Cup match on Sunday, and it is in the tournament's most exotic locale: Manaus.

Manaus is a teeming city of nearly 2 million in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. But it's not some remote outpost; it's the sixth richest city in Brazil, thanks to its Free Trade Zone designation bringing big business like Nokia, Honda and Harley-Davidson.

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The World Cup begins Thursday in Brazil. The U.S. team has its first match against Ghana the following week, the start of the so called "group of death."

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.

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The Donald Sterling case is far from over. Yes, the NBA has banned the L.A. Clippers' owner for life and the pro-basketball playoffs have continued. But Sterling has not revealed what he will do after being banned from the league for making racist remarks. He is expected to fight the forced sale of his team and that could have significant consequences.

NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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

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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.

The matchup is set for Monday's men's NCAA basketball championship. The Connecticut Huskies will take on the Kentucky Wildcats.

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It is the last day of March, but there's still another weekend of March Madness to come. Four teams gather in Dallas this weekend for the Final Four. If you go strictly by seeding, the University of Kentucky is the longest shot to win the men's college basketball title. In fact, though, the eighth-seeded Wildcats suddenly are a very hot favorite after yesterday's thrilling win over Michigan in the Elite Eight.

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Jack Everett sat on his living room couch wearing a back brace, eyes glued to a massive TV set playing his favorite video game, NHL 2013.

"I'm the Boston Bruins," the 10-year-old said as he deftly worked the video controls. "The guy that just shot was Milan Lucic. He's a really good guy on our team."

Whether at home or during recess at his elementary school in suburban Los Angeles, Jack's young life now is about sitting still.

"Well, I can eat lunch with friends, and I play cards," Jack says. But his classmates are out running and jumping outside.

Throughout the West, bone dry conditions are exacting a toll on places that rely on water to thrive. In southern Oregon, recreation plays an important role in the region's economy. The ongoing drought is drying up streams where fishing once was plentiful and it's left ski resorts wanting for snow.

The U.S. Olympic team is taking shape in the run-up to next month's Winter Games in Russia. This week, the Olympic cross-country ski team names the athletes who'll be going to Sochi, and veteran Kris Freeman is vying for another spot.

The 33-year-old Freeman already has been to three Olympic Games, and he's considered the country's best long distance racer over the past decade.

All that despite the fact that he has diabetes.

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A third of the NBA season is complete and the Portland Trailblazers are on a surprising run. Last night they beat the L. A. Clippers 116 - 112 in overtime. Portland has the league's best record - 24 wins, five losses. Now the tepid pre-season forecasts are turning into talk of how far the Blazers can go in the post-season. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

On Saturday night, there's a very good chance Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will win the Heisman Trophy, awarded each year to the best college football player in the country.

For Winston, family, friends, teammates and Seminole fans, undoubtedly it'll be a shining moment, but a discordant note continues to run through this tale of football glory.

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Tomorrow night, star quarterback Jameis Winston will lead the Florida State Seminoles against Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game. It's a big deal, mainly because Winston's participation was in doubt. Until yesterday. That's when a Florida prosecutor announced he would not charge Jameis Winston with a felony. A young woman had accused the player of rape after a sexual encounter a year ago. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Never has so much been said about something that didn't happen.

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The NBA begins a new regular season today with three games. Among the match-ups, the two-time defending champion Miami Heat play the Chicago Bulls. That game features the regular season return of Bulls' all-star point guard Derrick Rose. He hurt his knee badly a year and a half ago. As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, knee injuries are just one of the storylines of the new season.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Chicago's preseason began 24 days ago with a game in Indianapolis, and with Bulls fans holding their collective breath.

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A dark cloud hanging over the National Football League is a bit lighter today. There is a proposed settlement in a huge concussion lawsuit, brought by over 4,000 former players. The agreement was reached and announced yesterday, a week before the start of the new NFL season. If approved, the league will pay out $765 million to as many as 18,000 former players. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

There's concern the sport of swimming still may be dealing with a sexual abuse problem in the United States.

It's been three years since revelations emerged in the media. A number of in-depth reports in 2010 likened the situation in swimming to the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal: Coaches molesting under-age female swimmers; some of the abuse continuing for years without punishment.

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The sport of swimming is back in the news, with new questions being raised about whether swimming has effectively confronted a sexual abuse problem, a problem that's been revealed in recent years. USA Swimming - the sport's governing body in this country - announced an independent review of Safe Sport, their organization's program to protect athletes from sexual abuse. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: In the spring of 2010, swimming's secrets emerged in a flurry of media reports.

At the beginning of 2013 — with only a year before soccer's crown jewel event, the World Cup in Brazil — all was not rosy with the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. There was that 0-0 tie with Canada, and then a 2-1 loss to Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.

But now, the cry is, "Break up the Americans!"

As athletes age, participation in team sports seems to fall by the wayside in favor of more low-impact activities like swimming and walking. But that's not for everyone. The National Senior Games finishes a two-week run in Cleveland on Thursday. The players for She-Ca-Go, a women's basketball team in the 75-to-79 age division, are still in it for the camaraderie and competition.

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