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Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief


Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

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Tuesday Sports in Brief

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

MLB NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball issued a 60-game schedule Tuesday night that will start July 23 or 24 in empty ballparks as the sport tries to push ahead amid the coronavirus following months of acrimony. A dramatically altered season with games full of new rules was the final result of failed financial…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball issued a 60-game schedule Tuesday night that will start July 23 or 24 in empty ballparks as the sport tries to push ahead amid the coronavirus following months of acrimony.

A dramatically altered season with games full of new rules was the final result of failed financial negotiations. But for fans eager to see any baseball this year, at least now they can look forward to opening day.

One day after the players’ association rejected an economic agreement and left open the possibility of a grievance seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, the bickering sides agreed on an operations manual. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred then unilaterally imposed the schedule, his right under a March agreement with the union.

In a twist, the sides expanded the designated hitter to games between National League teams for the first time and instituted the radical innovation of starting extra innings with a runner on second base.

Playoff teams remain at 10 for now — there is still talk of a possible expansion. The rejected deal had called for 16 teams.

Players will start reporting for the resumption of training on July 1.

NASCAR

The noose found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway had been there since at least last October, federal authorities said Tuesday in announcing there will be no charges filed in an incident that rocked NASCAR and its only fulltime Black driver.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said an investigation determined “although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.”

A crew member for Richard Petty Motorsports discovered the noose Sunday at the Alabama race track. NASCAR was alerted and contacted the FBI, which sent 15 agents to the track to investigate. They determined no federal crime was committed.

The statement said the garage stall was assigned to Wallace last week in advance of the race scheduled for Sunday but held Monday because of rain. Through video confirmed by NASCAR it was discovered the noose “was in that garage as early as October 2019.”

The agencies said the evidence did not support federal charges.

NBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley has decided to sit out the NBA’s upcoming resumption of the season in Florida.

He told ESPN on Tuesday night that he wants to remain with his wife and three children, including a 6-year-old son with a history of respiratory illnesses. By sitting out, Bradley figures to lose a projected $650,000 in salary.

Bradley averaged 8.6 points and 2.3 rebounds while starting 44 games before the season was shut down in March due to the coronavirus. The Lakers are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference heading into the 22-team restart.

DENVER (AP) — All-Star forward Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has tested positive for the coronavirus and is quarantining in his native Serbia, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Jokic is expected to return to Denver long before the team leaves for the Disney complex for the restart of the NBA season next month, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because neither the player nor the team acknowledged the positive test publicly.

ESPN and The Denver Post previously reported Jokic’s positive test.

—By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.

TENNIS

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Novak Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia.

The top-ranked Serb is the fourth player to test positive for the virus after first playing in Belgrade and then again last weekend in Zadar, Croatia. His wife also tested positive.

Viktor Troicki said Tuesday that he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus, while Grigor Dimitrov, a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist from Bulgaria, said Sunday he tested positive. Borna Coric played Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said Monday he has also tested positive.

NFL

DETROIT (AP) — Martha Firestone Ford is stepping down as principal owner of the Detroit Lions.

The Lions announced Tuesday that Ford’s daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp, is taking over as the team’s principal owner and chairman.

Ford had been in charge of the Lions since 2014, when her husband, William Clay Ford, died.

Hamp, 68, has been one of the team’s vice chairmen during her mother’s ownership.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

West Virginia has placed defensive coordinator Vic Koenning on administrative leave after a player alleged in a social media post that the assistant coach made a series of insensitive remarks, including against Hispanics.

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West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons announced the move Tuesday after safety Kerry Martin posted the allegations on his Twitter account about Koenning.

“I want to thank Kerry Martin for having the courage to bring his concerns to light,” Lyons said in a statement.

Koenning, who was brought to West Virginia from Troy when coach Neal Brown was hired last year, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

WNBA

ATLANTA (AP) — Tiffany Hayes has become the second Atlanta Dream guard to announce plans to sit out the 2020 season.

The Dream announced Tuesday that Hayes, a 2018 all-WNBA first-team selection, said she will not play this season. Hayes did not mention social protests or the coronavirus pandemic in her statement released by the team, but she said sitting out the season “is in my best interest with everything going on right now.”

Hayes said she made her decision “after much thought and consideration.”

Earlier, Renee Montgomery said she will opt out of the season to focus on social injustice and voter registration.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BOSTON (AP) — Longtime Bentley University women’s basketball coach Barbara Stevens is retiring after a four-decade run that included more than 1,000 wins, the 2014 NCAA Division II national championship, and recent election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 65-year-old coach made the announcement Tuesday, ending a 34-year stint at Bentley in which she compiled a 901-200 record, made 31 Division II tournament appearances and 14 in regional championships.

Stevens retires as the fourth-winningest coach in NCAA women’s basketball history with a 1,058-291 career record. She trails only Pat Summitt (1,098), Tara VanDerveer (1,094) and Geno Auriemma (1,091) in career victories.

SOCCER

U.S. national team players Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Christen Press have opted out of the National Women’s Soccer League tournament kicking off this weekend in Utah.

Heath and Press, who played with Rapinoe on the champion World Cup team last summer in France, cited concerns about the coronavirus.

The Challenge Cup opens Saturday with a game between the Thorns and the defending champion North Carolina Courage. The league’s teams announced their rosters on Tuesday.

COURTS

A federal judge has denied a request by American women’s soccer players to allow an immediate appeal of his decision to throw out their claim of unequal pay against the U.S. Soccer Federation.

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles has scheduled a trial for Sept. 15 on the players’ remaining claim of discriminatory work conditions.

Lawyers for the women had asked him to enter a final judgment on his decision to dismiss the pay claim, which would have allowed them to take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

“The granting of an immediate appeal will not eliminate the possibility of two trials or the possibility of successive appeals involving interlocking facts,” Klausner wrote Tuesday. “The court has declined the parties’ request to stay trial pending the resolution of any appeal. And should a jury render a verdict unfavorable to plaintiffs on their remaining claims, there is no reason to think plaintiffs will not appeal that decision.”

NEW YORK (AP) — Fifteen minor league baseball teams have filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract by insurance providers after being denied claims for business-interruption insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Major League Baseball announced Monday that it will attempt to play a 60-game regular season, but its minor league clubs — many under threat of losing affiliations amid negotiations with MLB — are unlikely to play until at least 2021.

Minor league franchises said in the suit filed Tuesday that even though they continue to pay yearly premiums to insurance providers for business-interruption insurance, they have been denied coverage after Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred indefinitely suspended their seasons in March.

OBITUARY

BRIDGNORTH, England (AP) — Liam Treadwell, an English jockey who rode a horse with odds of 100-1 to victory in the Grand National Steeplechase in 2009, has died. He was 34.

Treadwell’s death was confirmed by horseracing trainer Alastair Ralph.

Police attended the home of Treadwell after his death, which is being treated as unexplained, Britain’s Press Association reported. Police said they did not suspect any third-party involvement.

Treadwell was riding in the Grand National for the first time when he guided Mon Mome to one of the most surprising wins in the history of the grueling race in 2009.

It was one of more than 300 winners in Treadwell’s career.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NBA Here’s some of what awaits NBA players going to Disney next month: game rooms, golf course access, cabanas with misters to combat the heat, fishing areas, bowling, backstage tours and salon services. It only sounds like vacation. The NBA described very specific plans to players and teams for the restart on Tuesday, doing so…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NBA

Here’s some of what awaits NBA players going to Disney next month: game rooms, golf course access, cabanas with misters to combat the heat, fishing areas, bowling, backstage tours and salon services.

It only sounds like vacation.

The NBA described very specific plans to players and teams for the restart on Tuesday, doing so in a memo and handbook both obtained by The Associated Press. With safety being of the foremost importance during the coronavirus pandemic, players were told they will be tested regularly — but not with the deep nasal swabs — and must adhere to strict physical distancing and mask-wearing policies.

The league and the National Basketball Players Association have been working on the terms of how the restart will work for weeks, all while constantly seeking advice from medical experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, perhaps the best-known physician in the country when it comes to the battle against COVID-19.

TENNIS

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the go-ahead Tuesday for the U.S. Open tennis tournament to be held in his state starting in late August — but without spectators — as part of the reopening from shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Now that the U.S. Tennis Association’s proposal to hold its marquee event has been accepted — including a “bubble” setup with designated hotels, limited player entourages and a facility closed to the hundreds of thousands of people who usually attend the U.S. Open — the key question becomes: Who actually will end up competing on the blue hard courts in Flushing Meadows from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13?

Some of the sport’s top names, including defending U.S. Open men’s champion Rafael Nadal along with No. 1-ranked players Novak Djokovic and Ash Barty, have expressed reservations about heading somewhere that was a hot spot for the COVID-19 outbreak. An indoor tennis facility at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center temporarily housed hundreds of hospital beds at the height of New York’s coronavirus crisis.

Others expressed an eagerness to return to action: Both the ATP and WTA tours have been suspended since early March because of the virus.

NHL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres fired general manager Jason Botterill on Tuesday in a dramatic change-of-course three weeks after co-owner Kim Pegula said his job was secure.

In announcing the decision, the Sabres promoted senior vice president of business administration Kevyn Adams as Botterill’s successor.

The cuts went deeper, with assistant general managers Randy Sexton and Steve Greeley also fired.

Later in the day, the Sabres announced the firing of minor-league coach Chris Taylor and his assistants, Gord Dineen and Toby Petersen.

And a person with direct knowledge of the decisions told The AP that 12 members of the team’s 21-member scouting staff, including assistant director of amateur scouting Jeff Crisp, were also let go. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the moves were not announced.

— By AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow.

SEATTLE (AP) — The arena for Seattle’s expansion NHL team is behind schedule by a couple of months but is still expected to open in plenty of time for the team to begin play in the 2021-22 NHL season.

Team President Tod Leiweke said there have been a few issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to the timeline being adjusted. The initial hope was for the building to be completed in June 2021. Lewieke said the expectation now is that the venue will be complete later in the summer.

The Seattle Times first reported the construction delay.

NFL

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Pro Bowl is headed to Las Vegas.

The NFL announced Tuesday that the 2021 all-star game will be played at the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, Jan. 31 — one week before the Super Bowl in Tampa.

Plans include what the league calls a week-long celebration of football, and will include NFL FLAG Championship games and a Pro Bowl skills showdown in which players compete in a variety of events. There will be community and charity initiatives as well.

NASCAR

All Dale Earnhardt Jr. needed was a chance to prove he could win in stock cars.

Turns out, he was a natural — on and off the track.

Power Efficiency Guide Will Change Your World Forever

Electric Companies Have Already Gathered An Army of Lawyers To Take this Down.

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Now the longtime fan favorite and two-time Daytona 500 winner will join his famous, late father in NASCAR’s Hall of Fame after being selected as one of three members of the 2021 class. The other inductees are Red Farmer and the late Mike Stefanik. Ralph Seagraves was chosen as the Landmark Award winner.

Earnhardt Jr. received 76% of the votes in his first appearance on the ballot.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Georgia cornerback Champ Bailey, Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney and Kansas State running back Darren Sproles will appear on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The National Football Foundation on Tuesday announced the 78 players and seven coaches from major college football who are up for selection to the Atlanta-based Hall of Fame. There also are 99 players and 33 coaches from outside the highest level of college football eligible for induction.

The College Hall of Fame class of 2021 will be announced early next year.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One day after Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard lashed out at coach Mike Gundy on social media for wearing a T-shirt promoting a far-right news channel, Gundy apologized.

Hubbard, who is black, suggested Monday he may boycott the program after Gundy was photographed wearing a T-shirt promoting the One America News Network, a cable channel and website that has been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement and praised by President Donald Trump.

On Monday evening, Hubbard and Gundy appeared in a video together, with Gundy saying he would make changes.

Gundy, who is white, took it a step further on Tuesday.

SOCCER

BREMEN, Germany (AP) — Bayern Munich secured its eighth successive German Bundesliga title Tuesday with two games to spare after beating Werder Bremen 1-0 with a goal from Robert Lewandowski.

With no fans in the stands on a wet night in Bremen, it was a subdued and strange celebration for Bayern’s players, who put on commemorative T-shirts and paid tribute to their supporters with cheers.

The win put Bayern 10 points clear of second-place Borussia Dortmund, which can earn a maximum nine points from its three remaining games.

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made an abrupt about-face Tuesday and agreed to keep funding meals for poor students over the summer holidays after young soccer star Marcus Rashford demanded that his government not forget the needs of hungry children.

The Manchester United and England player had pressed the government not to stop a meal voucher program at the end of the school term in July. The 22-year-old cited his own childhood experience of relying on free school lunches and food banks.

Rashford’s campaign drew support from celebrities, opposition politicians and even some members of Johnson’s governing Conservatives.

OLYMPICS

Reigning world champion Christian Coleman insists a simple phone call from drug testers while he was out Christmas shopping could’ve prevented the latest misunderstanding about his whereabouts — one he fears could lead to a suspension.

The 24-year-old American sprinter detailed his latest missed drug test Tuesday in a long post on his Twitter account. He said the Dec. 9 test was his third infraction in a 12-month period, which could result in a suspension. He also missed a test on Jan. 16, 2019, and another on April 26, 2019, due to a filing failure.

Coleman is a favorite for Olympic gold in the 100-meter dash heading into the Tokyo Games that have been postponed to next summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. He said in his post he’s been appealing the latest missed test for six months with the Athletics Integrity Unit, which runs the anti-doping program for World Athletics.

OBITUARY

CORNELIUS, N.C. (AP) — Longtime Giants pitcher Mike McCormick, who won the Cy Young Award in 1967, has died. He was 81.

The Giants say McCormick died Saturday at his home in North Carolina after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

McCormick played 16 years in the majors from 1956-71 with the Giants, Orioles, Senators, Yankees and Royals. He had a 134-128 record with a 3.73 ERA and his greatest accomplishments came with the Giants.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

MLB NEW YORK (AP) — The minor leagues are prepared to agree to Major League Baseball’s proposal to cut guaranteed affiliations from 160 to 120 next year, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press, a plan that would impact hundreds of prospects and cut player development expenses. The person spoke Tuesday on…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — The minor leagues are prepared to agree to Major League Baseball’s proposal to cut guaranteed affiliations from 160 to 120 next year, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press, a plan that would impact hundreds of prospects and cut player development expenses.

The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because no announcements were authorized. The development was first reported by Baseball America.

An electronic negotiating session is scheduled for Wednesday.

In informal talks, parties have discussed the possibility of a radical overhaul in which MLB would take over all of many of the duties of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, another person familiar with the negotiations said.

Instead of franchise affiliations, there would be licensing agreements similar to those of hotel chains, that person said. MLB would then sell sponsorship, licensing and media rights, a switch that may lead to decreased overhead and increased revenue.

—By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum.

NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez and fiancee Jennifer Lopez have retained J.P. Morgan to represent them in raising capital for a possible bid for the New York Mets. The move was first reported by Variety and confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was not announced.

A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez retired in August 2016 with 698 home runs, a .295 average and 2,086 RBIs in 22 years. He was suspended for the 2014 season for violations of Major League Baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.

A-Rod, now 44 years old, earned about $448 million as a player. The 14-time All-Star started his career with Seattle, signed a record contract with Texas in December 2000, and then moved from shortstop to third base when he was traded from the Rangers to the New York Yankees ahead of the 2004 season.

—By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum.

NFL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Four-time All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski has agreed to a reunion with Tom Brady.

The agent for the retired New England star confirmed Tuesday that pending completion of a physical Gronkowski has agreed to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are acquiring his rights from the Patriots.

A proposed trade that needs to be finalized before this week’s NFL draft reportedly would bring Gronkowski and a seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for a fourth-round selection.

The deal would reunite the 30-year-old Gronkowski with Brady, who signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Bucs last month.

Gronkowski retired in March 2019 after nine seasons with the Patriots, who drafted him in the second round in 2010. He has one year left on his contract at $10 million.

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers are going back to their past as they prepare to move into their new home at SoFi Stadium.

The Chargers unveiled their new uniforms Tuesday, which include numbers on the helmet and gold pants.

The Chargers wore gold pants from 1966-84 before replacing them with white. Los Angeles will have the choice of wearing either gold or white pants with its powder blue home jersey or white road jersey.

The team also unveiled two color rush jerseys in royal blue and navy.

The new look includes some modern touches with the franchise’s lightning bolt logo bigger on the shoulders and the italicized, sleeker numbers.

OLYMPICS

DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is bracing for cuts of up to 20% because of the coronavirus pandemic and warning that a cancellation of the Tokyo Games would be “devastating” to athletes and the organization.

The Associated Press received a copy of a letter CEO Sarah Hirshland sent to leaders across the U.S. Olympic world Tuesday, in which she said cuts of 10 to 20% are “necessary to balance both the current delay in revenue and anticipated decline” that’s expected over coming years.

The letter was accompanied by a Q&A that dealt with the possibility that the Olympics, now scheduled to start a year late, in July 2021, could be canceled altogether if the coronavirus isn’t curtailed by then.

INTERNATIONAL BASEBALL

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The South Korean baseball league announced it will start its delayed season on May 5, and wasted no time getting preseason games going.

It was a distinctly quiet start on Tuesday to two weeks of exhibition games and training for the 10 teams of the top-flight Korean Baseball Organization, with no fans allowed in the stadiums.

In one of the five games on Tuesday, the LG Twins beat defending Korean Series champion Doosan Bears 5-2 in an echoing stadium in Seoul, with more than 20,000 empty seats.

Umpires wore masks and gloves, and some coaches and team staff wore masks in the dugouts. Some of the players and a coach wore messages on their caps that read “Corona 19 Out.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Players ejected from football games for targeting will be allowed to remain on the sidelines, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

The Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the rules change no longer requiring players to head to the locker room after targeting is confirmed. All other aspects of the rule discouraging above-the-shoulders contact remain the same.

The panel also approved a pace-of-play guideline for instant replay officials to complete video reviews in less than two minutes. Reviews that are exceptionally complicated or involve end-of-game issues should be completed as efficiently as possible without a stated time limit.

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A clock rule regarding instant replay also was approved. If the game clock expires at the end of a half and replay determines there was time remaining and the clock should start on the referee’s signal, there must be at least 3 seconds left, when the ball should have been declared dead, to restore time. If less than 3 seconds remain on the game clock, the half is over.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team has been placed on one-year probation and agreed to other NCAA sanctions after a former assistant coach was found to have forged recruiting documents.

The decision was announced by the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference school as part of a negotiated resolution reached Tuesday. The school said it self-reported the infractions in October and cooperated with the NCAA investigation.

Buffalo also was fined $5,000, agreed to a two-week ban on communicating with potential recruits and reduced its recruiting days by five for the 2020-21 season.

The NCAA credited Buffalo for acting quickly and found no evidence of a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor the situation. The governing body said it would not reveal the coaches or athlete involved.

WNBA

NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA draft drew its second-highest television audience.

The draft, held virtually last Friday because of the coronavirus, averaged 387,000 viewers on ESPN, up 123% from last year’s draft. It was also up 33% from the last time it aired on the network in 2011.

Only the 2004 draft had more viewers.

SOCCER

Soccer’s international governing body says it will maintain funding for women’s soccer despite concerns about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the Women’s World Cup last year, FIFA President Gianni Infantino pledged to invest $1 billion in the women’s game over the next four years.

“In line with the FIFA Women’s Football Strategy and FIFA’s long-term vision for the development of women’s football, this funding will be invested into a range of areas in the women’s game including competitions, capacity building, development programs, governance and leadership, professionalization and technical programs,” FIFA said in a statement provided Tuesday to The Associated Press.

TRACK AND FIELD

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — USA Track and Field has rescheduled its Olympic trials for June 18-27, 2021, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

The national governing body for track announced the new dates Tuesday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic postponing the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.

USATF worked with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and TrackTown USA to secure the new dates for trials originally scheduled for this June. The competition schedule remains the same, but the timing windows could be tweaked.

OBITUARY

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Bob Lazier, the 1981 CART rookie of the year and father of 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, died Saturday from COVID-19. He was 81.

Lazier’s wife, Diane, confirmed the death in an interview with the Vail (Colorado) Daily, telling the newspaper her husband had spent 22 days in a hospital in Lakewood, Colorado, fighting the illness. They had been married for 58 years.

Lazier spent only full-time season on the CART circuit. He finished ninth in the standings that season, was the series top rookie and qualified 13th in his only Indianapolis 500 start. An engine failure forced Lazier to drop out of the race after 154 laps, dropping him to 19th.

He returned to Indy in 1982 but didn’t even attempt to qualify because of his family’s safety concerns following the death of Gordon Smiley in a crash during practice. Instead, Lazier focused on his successful career as a building contractor in Vail.

BALTIMORE (AP) — Mike Curtis, a hard-hitting, no-nonsense linebacker who helped the Colts win a Super Bowl during a 14-year NFL career spent predominantly in Baltimore, has died. He was 77.

Curtis died Monday in St. Petersburg, Florida. Son Clay said on Twitter his father died of “complications from CTE,” a degenerative brain disease.

Curtis earned the nickname “Mad Dog” because of his fierce play in the middle of a strong Baltimore defense.

Curtis was selected 14th overall in the 1965 draft by the Colts after starring as a fullback at Duke University. He started out with Baltimore as a fullback but rose to stardom in his second season when he played linebacker on full time.

Curtis was a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker.

LONDON (AP) — Neil Black, a British track and field official who worked closely with many of the country’s best athletes over the past three decades, including Mo Farah, has died. He was 60.

Black died suddenly over the weekend, British Athletics said Tuesday without disclosing any details.

Black was performance director of British Athletics from 2012 until last year, when he stepped down after coming under pressure because of the organization’s handling of a controversy involving Alberto Salazar, who was banned for four years for doping violations. Black stood by Salazar and the coach’s work as a consultant to the British team after a BBC investigation of the tainted Nike Oregon Project run by Salazar.

Since last year, Black has been working with Farah — whose Olympic gold medals came under the coaching of Salazar — and other athletes and coaches as an advisor.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NFL While planning to play a full regular-season schedule, the NFL has formulated a ticket refund plan for canceled games or those held without fans. In a memo sent to the 32 teams by Commissioner Roger Goodell and obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday, a uniform baseline for full refunds on any tickets purchased…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NFL

While planning to play a full regular-season schedule, the NFL has formulated a ticket refund plan for canceled games or those held without fans.

In a memo sent to the 32 teams by Commissioner Roger Goodell and obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday, a uniform baseline for full refunds on any tickets purchased directly from the clubs was prepared.

Goodell wrote that “all clubs will have in place a policy under which, if a game is cancelled, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, anyone purchasing a ticket directly from the club (i.e., season tickets, group sales and/or partial season plans) will have the option of either receiving a full refund or applying the amount paid toward a future ticket purchase directly from the club.”

As for the secondary market, the league received pledges from Ticketmaster and SeatGeek to make full refunds available for all ticket sales within no more than 30 days of cancellation. StubHub, however, will do so only where required by state law.

MIAMI (AP) — Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Miami Dolphins’ top draft pick, will wear uniform No. 1.

The Dolphins announced number assignments Tuesday. Tagovailoa wore No. 13 at Alabama, but the Dolphins retired that number after it was worn by Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

Tagovailoa will be the first Dolphins QB to wear No. 1, which was most famously worn by kicker Garo Yepremian.

NEW YORK (AP) — Running back Frank Gore has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Jets, agent Drew Rosenhaus announced.

Gore, who turns 37 next Thursday, will join a Jets backfield that also includes Le’Veon Bell and fourth-round draft pick La’Mical Perine. Gore is third on the NFL’s career rushing list with 15,269 yards.

The signing reunites Gore with coach Adam Gase, for whom he played in Miami in 2018. The two were also together in San Francisco in 2008, when Gase was an offensive assistant.

ESPN first reported the agreement between the Jets and Gore, who trails only Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726) in yards rushing.

Gore spent last season with Buffalo, where he ran for a career-low 599 yards in 16 games. He had two touchdown runs and also caught 13 passes for 100 yards.

He spent his first 10 NFL seasons with San Francisco after being selected in the third round out of the University of Miami in 2005. Gore then played three seasons with Indianapolis before playing one year each for Miami and Buffalo.

TENNIS

More than $6 million has been raised by the governing bodies of tennis for a relief fund aimed at helping 800 players deal with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The WTA and ATP tours, the International Tennis Federation and the groups that run the four Grand Slam tournaments announced Tuesday that they have formed the “Player Relief Programme.”

The Associated Press reported details of the plan Monday.

The seven groups said the money will be divided evenly among women and men, and will go to singles and doubles players. They also said the WTA and ATP will oversee the distribution of the money, based on eligibility requirements that “will take into account a player’s ranking as well as previous prize money earnings, according to criteria agreed by all stakeholders.”

MADRID (AP) — If given the option, Rafael Nadal said he would scrap this season entirely so tennis could resume normally in 2021.

The second-ranked Spaniard, who is 33 years old and has won 19 Grand Slam titles, said he hoped to resume playing this year but doubted it could happen because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would sign up right now just to being ready for 2021,” Nadal said in interviews with El País and other Spanish newspapers published Tuesday. “I’m more concerned with the Australian Open than with what happens later this year. … I’m hopeful of being able to start next year.”

Nadal said the logistical difficulties of having to move people from country to country for tournaments make it hard for tennis to resume safely amid the pandemic.

SPORTS BUSINESS/TELEVISION

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The ESPYS will shift focus from honoring athletic accomplishments to celebrating acts of heroism and humanitarian aid during the pandemic.

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ESPN said Tuesday its annual awards show will air June 21, about a month earlier than its usual July date. Details of the two-hour show are still being worked out, but it will be produced rather than air live, the cable network said. Comedian Tracy Morgan hosted last year’s show in its longtime home of Los Angeles.

The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance will be featured. The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award and the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award, both usually given out at a separate show the night before, will be added to The ESPYS telecast.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Davis is moving from the Fox Sports booth to CBS. The network announced on Tuesday that Davis will be an analyst for its NFL coverage and contributing to football coverage on CBS Sports Network.

Davis will join announcer Ian Eagle and reporter Evan Washburn on CBS’ No. 2 NFL crew. He replaces Dan Fouts, who was not retained by the network. Davis joined Fox in 2006 and had been the analyst on its No. 2 NFL team the past five seasons.

Davis and Eagle are likely to call at least one playoff game this season. CBS will have two games on wild-card weekend as part of the expanded playoffs.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sports Illustrated is branching out into movies and television.

Authentic Brands Group and 101 Studios announced on Tuesday that they will launch Sports Illustrated Studios as part of a joint venture between the two companies.

The studio’s first project will be a docu-series entitled “Covers.” It will explore the stories behind the magazine’s most memorable covers and what went into creating them. The project’s release date as well as five additional projects are expected to be announced over the next four weeks.

Authentic Brands Group — which also holds the licensing and trademark rights to celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley — acquired the licensing and marketing rights to Sports Illustrated last May from the Meredith Corporation. 101 Studios is best known for producing “Yellowstone” on the Paramount Network, which stars Kevin Costner, as well as recent films like “The Current War: Director’s Cut” and “Burden.”

COLLEGES

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Dan Butterly is the new Big West Conference commissioner, moving over from the Mountain West after 21 years.

He starts with the Irvine-based league on June 1 to work alongside Dennis Farrell, who will step down on July 1 after 40 years with the Big West, including 28 as commissioner. Butterly will be the league’s fifth commissioner.

Butterly has been senior associate commissioner of the Mountain West, working as the primary sport and championship administrator for men’s basketball. He is currently chairman of the College Football Playoff licensing committee and has served on the NCAA Division I men’s basketball issues committee.

OBITUARY

Roy Lester, who sandwiched a disappointing three-year stint as Maryland’s football coach between a highly successful career at the high school level, has died. He was 96.

Lester’s daughter, Amy Lester Greco, said on a Facebook post that her father died Sunday in Rockville, Maryland, due to complications from the new coronavirus.

Lester made a name for himself in Maryland during a 10-year run at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville during which the Rockets went unbeaten six times and had an 86-10-1 record.

That led to him being hired in 1968 to coach at Maryland, where he inherited a program that won only two of 19 games over the previous two years.

Lester guided the Terrapins to a 3-7 record in his first year and went 2-9 in each of the next two seasons before being fired.

CHICAGO (AP) — Eldred “Salty” Saltwell, who worked in a variety of roles including general manager and vice president over 30 years with the Chicago Cubs, has died, the team said Tuesday. He was 96.

The Cubs said his death Sunday was not related to the novel coronavirus.

Saltwell arrived in Chicago in 1958 and served as concession manager, traveling secretary, assistant secretary, assistant treasurer, secretary, general manager, vice president and consultant. He replaced John Holland as GM following the 1975 season and lasted one year in that role, drawing criticism for trading shortstop Don Kessinger and first baseman Andre Thornton as the Cubs finished fourth in the NL East at 75-87.

Saltwell worked as an usher, trainer, play-by-play announcer, traveling secretary and business manager for Sioux City of the Western League from 1947-54. He moved to the Western League office in 1954 and began work in the Cubs’ organization a year later with stops Des Moines, Los Angeles and Fort Worth before arriving in Chicago.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NHL NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman raised the possibility Tuesday of not completing the regular season in order to squeeze in time to award the Stanley Cup. Bettman also acknowledged during an interview with NBCSN the league is considering having games played at neutral sites in the event not all teams will be allowed into their…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NHL

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman raised the possibility Tuesday of not completing the regular season in order to squeeze in time to award the Stanley Cup.

Bettman also acknowledged during an interview with NBCSN the league is considering having games played at neutral sites in the event not all teams will be allowed into their home rinks.

Bettman, however, stressed these are among myriad options being considered with nothing determined because it will take at least two more weeks to gain a clearer picture on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the league’s 31 markets.

Bettman had not previously raised the possibility of shortening the regular season, which was halted on March 12 with 189 games remaining.

MLB

BOSTON (AP) — Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale says he has no regrets about the timing of his recent Tommy John surgery and is confident he can return as a stronger pitcher following his yearlong rehab.

Sale had the procedure on his left elbow on March 30, getting his ulnar collateral ligament replaced by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. The Red Sox said the surgery was a success.

Sale is expected to miss 14-15 months, which would put him on track to return in the middle of the 2021 season.

The Boston ace said having observed and interacted with several teammates and friends who had the surgery helped put his mind at ease about the road he has ahead of him to get back on the mound.

OLYMPICS

About 6,500 athletes who already have earned their spots for the Tokyo Games are in for 2021 under redrawn qualifying regulations published Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC released its rewritten roadmap for qualifying for the games, which were rescheduled due to the coronavirus. They’ll be held July 23 through Aug. 8 next year.

The new deadline for qualifying is June 29, 2021, and entry lists are due a week later. Individual international sports federations will still be in charge of their qualifying procedures.

Many sports allow athletes to qualify by compiling results over a series of events. The IOC urged the federations to find a balance “between protecting those athletes who were close to qualifying based on the previous 2020 deadlines and also ensuring the best athletes at the Olympic Games” by taking into consideration performances in 2021.

AUTO RACING

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards were among the new nominees for NASCAR’s next Hall of Fame class announced Tuesday under a revamped voting protocol.

The new process starting this year splits the nominees into three ballots; Modern candidates, Pioneer candidates and Landmark candidates. Two entries from the 10 Modern candidates will be elected, along with one entry apiece from the five-candidate Pioneer and Landmark categories.

Janet Guthrie, the first woman to run in the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600, returns as a nominee to the Landmark category after a one year absence.

Burton, Earnhardt, Edwards, Jake Elder and Banjo Matthews are all first-time nominees for the Hall of Fame.

Others on the Modern ballot include crew chief Kirk Shelmerdine, Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, Harry Hyde, Larry Phillips, Ricky Rudd, Kirk Shelmerdine and Mike Stefanik.

Sam Ard, Ray Fox, John Holman, Marvin Panch, Jim Paschal and Red Vogt did not carryover from the 2020 ballot.

The Pioneer ballot is: Elder, Matthews, Red Farmer, Hershel McGriff and Ralph Moody.

The Landmark ballot is: Guthrie, Alvin Hawkins, Mike Helton, Dr. Joseph Mattioli, Ralph Seagraves.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said Tuesday he hopes to have his team return to its facilities on May 1, a proposed timetable that would defy federal social-distancing guidelines and was quickly disputed by the university and its athletic director.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended against gatherings of 50 or more people through May 11 to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, which as of Tuesday had infected more than 380,000 people in the United States — more than any other country in the world — and killed 81,000 worldwide, including at least 12,000 in the U.S.

Gundy, who has been outspoken about his right-wing politics, also said in a conference call with reporters that the media has been too negative in its coverage of what he called the “Chinese virus.”

Gundy said he hopes there will be enough tests available in a few weeks that he could get his assistant coaches and support personnel tested for the virus, followed by the players, so his program can get back to business.

Following Gundy’s comments, OSU issued a statement saying, essentially, that the decision about when to bring the football team back together wouldn’t be up to the coach.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL AWARDS

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Obi Toppin of Dayton won the John R. Wooden Award as the nation’s outstanding college basketball player.

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Toppin, along with Saddiq Bey of Villanova, Luka Garza of Iowa, Myles Powell of Seton Hall and Peyton Pritchard of Oregon, also won positional awards from the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Toppin also received the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year.

Bey received the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year award. He averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and shot 45% from 3-point range.

Garza was named the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year. He averaged 23.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.

Powell earned the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year. He averaged 21 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

The Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year went to Pritchard, who averaged 20.5 points, 5.5 assists and shot 82% from the free-throw line.

SOCCER

GENEVA (AP) — Russian officials on Tuesday flatly denied bribing a FIFA voter with millions of dollars to support the country’s winning 2018 World Cup bid, after American prosecutors revealed new details about the alleged payments.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had no part in bribing FIFA executive committee members to win the World Cup hosting vote in December 2010. So did Russia’s top soccer official Alexey Sorokin, who led the bid.

The indictment said high-ranking FIFA official Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago received $5 million in bribes to vote for Russia from 10 different offshore shell companies, which used correspondent accounts in the U.S.

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Retired soccer star Ronaldinho was released from a high-security jail in Paraguay on Tuesday after more than a month, but was ordered to serve house arrest at a luxury hotel while he’s investigated for using a false passport to enter the country.

The Brazilian entered the hotel about four hours after the ruling. He was transported in a police van and was allowed in after sanitary precautions due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

Ronaldinho, the Brazilian former FIFA player of the year, and his brother Roberto de Assis were also told to pay bail of $800,000 each.

Ronaldinho, who helped lead Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, was jailed on March 6 after entering the small South American country with a false Paraguayan passport. He told local authorities in a hearing that the document was a gift from a Brazilian businessman, Wilmondes Sousa Liria, who was also jailed.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Real Salt Lake has announced it will cut the salaries of some employees and furlough others while play is suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The team said in a statement that it will reduce salaries of all executives and staff, and decrease staffing levels across the organization, which includes furloughs for some employees.

RSL said it would re-staff once the league returns. Major League Soccer suspended all play on March 12.

MUNICH (AP) — Thomas Müller signed a two-year contract extension with Bayern Munich, the German champions said Tuesday.

The 30-year-old attacking midfielder’s contract had been due to expire at the end of next season but he is now tied to the team until 2023.

Müller has been with Bayern for 20 years, winning eight German titles and the 2013 Champions League, and marked his 500th senior game for the club in November.

HORSE RACING

Days after raising hopes of a return by the start of May amid the coronavirus outbreak, British horse racing organizers announced the postponement of two of their biggest flat-racing festivals and added that the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting might only be staged without the public.

The Guineas Festival at Newmarket on May 2-3 and the English Derby Festival at Epsom on June 5-6 will not take place on those dates, The Jockey Club said Tuesday, removing two of the few remaining major events on a British sporting calendar otherwise wiped out by the pandemic.

Then came the announcement that Royal Ascot on June 16-20, an event typically attended by Queen Elizabeth II and other royals, would not be open to the public – if the event can take place at all.

OBITUARY

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Timmy Brown, a running back and kick returner who won an NFL championship with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1960, has died. He was 82.

The Eagles announced Tuesday that Brown died on Saturday.

Brown is sixth on the franchise’s all-time list for touchdowns (62), seventh in total yards from scrimmage (7,049), eighth in rushing (3,703 yards) and seventh in TDs rushing (29).

Brown is the team’s all-time leader in average yards per touch (6.52) and he still holds the franchise record for most kickoff returns (169), most kickoff return yards (4,483), and most kickoff returns for touchdowns (5). He was the first NFL player to return two kickoffs for TDs in the same game, doing it in a 24-23 win over Dallas on November 6, 1966.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NCAA CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago State University men’s basketball team will not travel for two regularly scheduled Western Athletic Conference games this week, and its women’s team will not host two games, the school said late Tuesday, citing the spread of the coronavirus. The school said in a statement that it was making the…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NCAA

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago State University men’s basketball team will not travel for two regularly scheduled Western Athletic Conference games this week, and its women’s team will not host two games, the school said late Tuesday, citing the spread of the coronavirus.

The school said in a statement that it was making the move with the “health and well-being of the campus community in mind.”

The cancellations are believed to be the first by a major sport in the United States due to the virus.

The university said the men’s team would not travel to Seattle University in Washington or Utah Valley University for WAC games on Thursday and Saturday. The school also said the women’s team would not host Seattle or Utah Valley at the campus’ Jones Convocation Center on the same days.

“Chicago State athletics views our decision as a reaffirmation of our commitment to the well-being, health and safety of our student athletes,” Chicago State athletic director Elliott Charles said in the statement.

MLB

Arbitrator Mark Irvings accepted Theo Epstein’s rationale for delaying Kris Bryant’s debut at the start of the 2015 season, concluding there was no proof of “a nefarious motive” by the Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations to delay the third baseman’s eligibility for free agency.

In a 42-page decision obtained by The Associated Press, Irvings accepted Epstein’s explanation that injuries to Mike Olt and Tommy La Stella prompted the timing of Bryant’s call-up to the Cubs in April 2015. Had Bryant been brought up one day earlier, he would have been eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. Instead, he will be eligible after the 2021 season.

Hearings were held last Oct. 21-23, with a final day on Nov. 6. Irvings issued his decision to the parties on Feb. 4, but it was not made public.

Now a three-time All-Star third baseman, Bryant hit .425 with nine homers in 40 at-bats during spring training in 2015. Hampered by a sore shoulder, he made three errors in eight games, a factor cited by Epstein as among the reasons for having Bryant start the season at Triple-A Iowa.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Injured Yankees outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are likely to miss New York’s opener at Baltimore on March 26.

Judge is having more tests to determine the cause of soreness in the right pectoral area near his shoulder. Judge has not hit on the field since spring training started, and the right fielder felt discomfort Friday when he took batting practice for the second straight day in an indoor cage.

Stanton strained his right calf on Feb. 26 during defensive drills. Cashman thinks Stanton will be back in April.

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale has soreness in his throwing elbow and has undergone an MRI, the team announced two days after the 30-year-old left-hander faced batters for the first time this spring.

Manager Ron Roenicke said Sale felt the soreness in his elbow Monday morning, the day after his 18-pitch batting practice session. Team doctors reviewed the MRI results and sent them to Dr. James Andrews.

Sale’s batting practice session Sunday was the first time he faced hitters since he gave up five runs over 6 2/3 innings in a win at Cleveland on Aug. 13. He went on the injured list with elbow inflammation, finishing 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts — his fewest wins and starts and highest ERA in a full season since 2012.

Sale avoided surgery on his elbow, receiving platelet-rich plasma injections in the fall instead.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Olympic minister said Tuesday the contract to hold the Tokyo Games only specifies the event has to be held during 2020.

Seiko Hashimoto’s response to a question in the upper house of parliament implies the Olympics could be held later in the year and would not have to start on July 24 as planned. The Paralympics open on Aug. 25.

The Tokyo Olympics are being threatened by a fast-spreading virus that has been blamed for 12 deaths in Japan and has shut down most schools, sports competitions and Olympic-related events in the country. The virus that started in China has been detected in at least 70 countries, with more than 90,000 cases and 3,100 deaths reported.

“The IOC has the right to cancel the games only if they are not held during 2020,” Hashimoto told parliament. “This can be interpreted to mean the games can be postponed as long as they are held during the calendar year.”

However, the suggestion of a possible change of plan was quickly batted back at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee’s executive board in Switzerland.

“We are going to have the games on the 24th of July,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said at a briefing.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Next week’s flame-lighting ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in Greece despite concerns about the virus outbreak, organizers said Tuesday.

The Greek Olympic committee said it is working closely with national health authorities and will hold meetings to re-evaluate the situation every two days. The committee, known as the HOC, also said the Greek leg of the torch relay will go ahead.

Greece has recorded seven cases of the virus, all linked with people who traveled from Italy.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The surfing events at the 2024 Paris Olympics will be held on the other side of the world in Tahiti.

The International Olympic Committee signed off Tuesday on Paris organizers’ wish to send surfing competitions more than 15,000 kilometers (9,000 miles) away to the Pacific island instead of using France’s Atlantic coast.

Olympic leaders were won over despite IOC President Thomas Bach initially saying last year that he preferred keeping athletes closer to the host city.

Paris officials told IOC executive board members Tuesday they found “overwhelming support” among the surfing community for going to Tahiti.

NBA

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NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving underwent surgery Tuesday to repair the injured right shoulder that ended his first season with the Brooklyn Nets after just 20 games.

The Nets said the procedure to relieve the impingement was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III at the Hospital for Special Surgery. The team said Irving is expected to make a full recovery.

Irving began having trouble with the shoulder as he worked to get back in shape after another injury in the preseason. The pain worsened in November, early in the regular season, and he missed 26 games before returning in January.

Irving got a cortisone shot on Dec. 24 but acknowledged that surgery still might be necessary. The decision to have it was reached last month on the night the Nets returned from the All-Star break.

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. had surgery Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and will miss at least four weeks.

The 6-foot-7 Oubre has missed the past three games because of the injury and the Suns lost all of them. Oubre ranks third on the team with 18.7 points per game. He’s also averaging 6.4 rebounds.

The Suns said Oubre will be re-evaluated in four weeks. The Suns are 24-37 going into their game Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors, six games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Coach Monty Williams said Oubre’s absence has hurt but the Suns but they must figure out a way to regroup.

NEW YORK (AP) — Spike Lee still has his courtside seat, though the New York Knicks had to tell their superfan to find another way to get there.

Lee said he won’t be sitting there the rest of this season, anyway.

The Oscar-winning writer-director told ESPN on Tuesday he wouldn’t be attending another Knicks home game this season after a disagreement with Madison Square Garden officials a night earlier over which elevator he could use.

A video circulated online during New York’s 125-123 victory over Houston on Monday showing Lee getting frustrated and yelling at Garden security outside an elevator, leading to confusion that he may have been thrown out of the building.

However, a Knicks spokesman said that was untrue and that it was simply an issue of Lee using the wrong entrance.

NFL

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Denver Broncos have agreed to acquire cornerback A.J. Bouye from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t be processed and the teams cannot comment on it until the NFL’s new league year begins March 18.

The fourth-round pick in the deal is the one the Broncos acquired from the San Francisco 49ers at the trade deadline last season for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who helped his new team reach the Super Bowl.

Bouye, who is due $13 million each of the next two seasons, has 14 interceptions in seven NFL seasons in Houston and Jacksonville. He made his only Pro Bowl in 2017.

—By Football Writer Arnie Stapleton.

INTERNATIONAL BASKETBALL

Concerns surrounding the coronavirus have forced the postponement of the inaugural Basketball Africa League season, which was to start later this month.

No rescheduling plan was announced.

A total of seven African nations — Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Angola, Tunisia, Morocco and Rwanda — were to play host to games during the inaugural season.

The virus, COVID-19, has been found in four of those countries so far: Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria. The first confirmed case in Senegal was announced just this week, and with the first BAL games to be played there, the league had little choice but to call off plans to play.

IDITAROD

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Emergency surgery has sidelined a four-time winner of Alaska’s famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race days before he was set to compete in his 30th race.

Jeff King withdrew Tuesday over concerns for his health, a spokeswoman for the Iditarod told The Associated Press. The race will start Sunday north of Anchorage.

Messages left with King at the hospital and his cellphone were not immediately returned.

The 64-year-old musher posted a picture of himself on Facebook in a hospital bed with the words, “Curve ball.”

A separate Facebook posting from his kennel, Husky Homestead Tours, said King began to feel ill Monday night shortly after an Iditarod-affiliated event in Anchorage and went to a hospital with abdominal pain. He later underwent emergency surgery for a hernia and perforated intestine.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NFL The NFL moved closer to labor peace for another decade early Wednesday when player representatives voted to send a new deal already approved by the owners to the full union membership. A simple majority of some 2,000 players must accept the agreement for it to go into effect this year. After nearly four hours…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NFL

The NFL moved closer to labor peace for another decade early Wednesday when player representatives voted to send a new deal already approved by the owners to the full union membership.

A simple majority of some 2,000 players must accept the agreement for it to go into effect this year.

After nearly four hours of meetings between player reps and members of the NFL’s negotiating committee Tuesday in Indianapolis, the 32 team reps spent several more hours discussing the deal. They then gave the nod for all NFL Players Association members to make the final decision.

George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs at the NFLPA, announced the move on his verified Twitter account after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

There was no immediate word when that vote would occur.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL’s video review system for pass interference calls could be scrapped after one season.

An offseason survey by the powerful competition committee, which recommends rules adjustments, shows strong opposition to the system installed last year.

The biggest complaint is that subjectivity has been added to the equation, which many owners believe has handcuffed officials. Several owners, as well as coaches, general managers and, of course, players, complained about inconsistencies in the calls. Rarely were calls on the field overturned when challenged.

The league extended video review to pass interference after the Los Angeles Rams benefited from a non-call in the NFC title game against the New Orleans Saints following the 2018 season.

The survey shows that bringing back for 2020 the video reviews on such calls (and non-calls) is opposed by 17 of 22 teams that responded to the survey. As for making the rule permanent, 21 are against and eight in favor.

The committee will have more meetings before presenting its recommendations to the full ownership in late March in Palm Beach, Florida. Three-quarters of the owners, 24 out of 32, are required to pass any rules.

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Pro Football Hall of Fame will hold two induction ceremonies this year.

The five modern-day players, plus the two coaches and three contributors elected separately as part of the NFL’s centennial celebration, will go into the Canton shrine on Aug. 8.

Ten senior players also chosen by a special committee as part of the centennial, will be inducted on Sept. 18 — the actual 100th anniversary of the league is Sept. 17.

MLB

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Luis Severino will miss the season with an elbow injury that requires Tommy John surgery, and the New York Yankees’ rotation no longer looks all that imposing.

New York announced Tuesday that the 26-year-old right-hander has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, a development that means the two-time All-Star will miss all of 2020 after being sidelined for nearly all of 2019.

Left-hander James Paxton already was projected to miss the first two months of the season following back surgery on Feb. 5. Domingo Germán must serve the final 63 games of an 81-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. He is eligible to return June 5, barring any postponements.

Severino’s injury leaves the AL East favorites with a rotation of newly signed ace Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and two openings. The usual recovery time for Tommy John surgery is a year or more.

NBA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons will miss at least two more weeks with nerve issues in his lower back.

The All-Star played just a few minutes in Saturday’s loss to Milwaukee before leaving with the back injury. He will undergo daily treatment for his nerve impingement and be evaluated in two weeks.

The Sixers are 36-22 as they head down the stretch without one of their best players. They are 27-2 but just 9-20 at home — and leave this week for a four-game West Coast trip that starts Sunday.

The 23-year-old Simmons averaged 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 54 games.

Shake Milton started at point guard for Simmons in Monday’s victory over Atlanta.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ryan Day, who led Ohio State to a 13-1 record and a College Football Playoff appearance in his first year as head coach, is being rewarded with a three-year contract extension and a raise, the university said Tuesday.

The 40-year-old Day is now under contract through the 2026 season.

Day, who made a base salary of $4.5 million plus bonuses in 2019, will be paid $6 million for the 2020-21 season, the university said. He’ll make $6.5 million for the 2021 season and $7.6 million for 2022. His salary for 2023-26 will be decided later.

Day wasn’t even in the top 20 of the country’s highest paid football coaches in 2019, but the raises are expected to move him up the list gradually. Clemson’s Dabo Sweeney was the highest-paid coach last season at more than $9.2 million.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) — A spokesman for the Japanese government on Wednesday said the International Olympic Committee and local organizers are going ahead as planned with the Tokyo Olympics despite the threat of the spreading coronavirus.

The comments from spokesman Yoshihide Suga follow the assertion by former IOC vice-president Dick Pound that organizers face a three-month window to decide the fate of the games.

The Olympics are set to open on July 24 with 11,000 athletes. The Paralympics open Aug. 25 with 4,400.

Pound told the Associated Press that the fast-spreading virus could cancel the Olympics. Suga says Pound’s opinion does not reflect the official view of the IOC, which has repeatedly said there are no plans to cancel or postpone the Tokyo Games.

GOLF

The British Open is returning to Royal Troon in 2023 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Open on the western Scottish links and to stoke memories of Henrik Stenson’s magnificent duel he won against Phil Mickelson.

Some 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the south, President Donald Trump’s course at Turnberry will have to wait.

The R&A announced the addition to the Open schedule on Tuesday. That extends a rotation of Royal St. George’s in England this year; St. Andrews next year for the 150th edition of golf’s oldest championship; Royal Liverpool in England in 2022; and then the return to Ayrshire coast for Royal Troon for the 10th time.

COLLEGE HOCKEY

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota says it is investigating allegations that a former men’s hockey assistant sexually abused players more than 30 years ago.

The move comes after The Athletic reported on sexual abuse allegations against former assistant Thomas “Chico” Adrahtas over many years, including the season Adrahtas spent with the Gophers in 1984-85. The website reported that several people had gone to the school’s athletic director at the time with reports of abuse.

In a statement, the university said it “takes this disturbing report seriously” and has retained a law firm to determine what happened.

“The University is committed to providing support for our former students consistent with our public responsibilities and dedication to a supportive, inclusive and safe environment for our entire community,” the statement said.

Adrahtas did not immediately respond to a message left Monday night by The Associated Press on a cell phone believed to be his. He denied to The Athletic that he had ever sexually abused anyone.

OBITUARY

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ken Peters, who covered multiple Olympics and other major events during a nearly 35-year career as a sports writer for The Associated Press, has died. He was 77.

His wife, Cathy, said Peters died Sunday in the Los Angeles suburb of Chino Hills after a long illness.

During his AP career, Peters covered several Super Bowls, Pro Bowls and World Series; championship fights in Las Vegas; football at Southern California and UCLA, in addition to the NFL’s Rams during their first stint in Los Angeles; and hockey, basketball, golf, tennis and track and field. He also wrote extensively about the Raiders‘ battle with the NFL over rights to the Los Angeles market.

Peters willingly jumped in to help on non-sports breaking news.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

COLLEGE BASKETBALL LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Third-ranked Kansas and Kansas State ended their bitter showdown Tuesday night with a wild melee in the disabled seating behind the Wildcats‘ basket that included punches, shoving and at least one player threatening to swing a stool. The Jayhawks were dribbling out the time on their 81-60 victory when…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Third-ranked Kansas and Kansas State ended their bitter showdown Tuesday night with a wild melee in the disabled seating behind the Wildcats‘ basket that included punches, shoving and at least one player threatening to swing a stool.

The Jayhawks were dribbling out the time on their 81-60 victory when Silvio De Sousa was stripped by DaJuan Gordon near mid-court. Gordon tried to go for a layup and De Sousa recovered to block his shot and send the freshman sprawling, then stood over the freshman and barked at him — triggering both benches to empty into what amounted to a rugby scrum.

At one point, De Sousa picked up a stool and held it over his head before Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard grabbed it from him from behind. The Jayhawks’ Marcus Garrett and David McCormick were also in the thick of the scrum along with the Wildcats’ James Love and David Sloan, who was the first player to come to Gordon’s defense.

It took both coaching staffs, the officials and Allen Fieldhouse security to separate the teams.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Walter McCarty has been fired as Evansville’s coach after an investigation revealed additional allegations of off-court misconduct, the university announced Tuesday.

McCarty was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 26 so university officials could investigate allegations of sexual misconduct and violations of the school’s Title IX policy.

In a statement announcing the decision, which is effective immediately, the school said it had received new reports of misconduct with members of the “campus community” during McCarty’s tenure of less than two seasons. It also noted that McCarty had previously participated in a training program about unacceptable behavior.

Interim coach Bernie Seltzer will continue to lead the team.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter came within one vote of being a unanimous pick for the Hall of Fame while Larry Walker also earned baseball’s highest honor on Tuesday.

The longtime New York Yankees captain appeared on 396 of 397 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, falling just shy of the standard set when longtime Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous selection last year.

It was not immediately known which voter didn’t choose Jeter.

Walker made it by six votes in his 10th and final appearance on the BBWAA ballot, up from 54.6% last year.

ATLANTA (AP) — Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves reached an $18 million, one-year deal Tuesday that puts him on the team he helped beat in the playoffs last October.

Ozuna hit .429 with two home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in their five-game win over the Braves in the NL Division Series.

The 29-year-old Ozuna hit .241 with 29 home runs and 89 RBIs last season. His low batting average was something on an oddity because he ranked among the major league leaders in the highest percentage of hard-hit balls, according to Statcast.

Ozuna is a two-time All-Star who spent his first five seasons with the Marlins, then was traded and played two years in St. Louis.

BOSTON (AP) — Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia had what the team called a “significant setback” while rehabbing his left knee, the latest blow to the four-time All-Star’s attempt to return to the field.

Boston spokesman Kevin Gregg confirmed the development Tuesday, which was first reported by The Boston Globe. It has left Pedroia’s status for spring training uncertain. The Globe reported that he was meeting with his family, team and agents to decide his future.

The 2008 American League MVP, the 36-year-old has been struggling since Baltimore’s Manny Machado slid into the surgically repaired knee at second base on April 21, 2017. Pedroia had surgery that Oct. 25, followed by a procedure to remove scar tissue the following July 20. He had another operation last Aug. 6 to remove bone spurs and preserve the knee joint.

A four-time All-Star, Pedroia has been limited to nine games over the past two seasons, three in May 2018 and six last April.

NBA

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas center Dwight Powell sustained what the Mavericks fear is a “severe” injury to his right Achilles tendon in a 110-107 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

Coach Rick Carlisle said the club would wait on an MRI exam to determine the extent of the injury, but said the injury was “feared to be severe.”

Powell went down with a non-contact injury with 2:57 left in the first quarter. He was helped to the locker room while putting no weight on his right leg. Teammate J.J. Barea — who tore his right Achilles tendon last season — was distraught as Powell was taken off the court.

NFL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A person familiar with the search says former Washington coach Jay Gruden is close to finalizing a deal to become Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the sides have not agreed to terms. The person said work remains, but a deal is expected Wednesday.

The Redskins fired Gruden in early October following an 0-5 start. Gruden, who previously served as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator (2011-13), was 35-49-1 in five-plus seasons in Washington and reached the playoffs once.

Gruden was one of four former head coaches who interviewed with Jaguars coach Doug Marrone, following former New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo, former Detroit coach Scott Linehan and former Arizona and Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt.

—By AP Sports Writer Mark Long.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii hired former Arizona State coach Todd Graham on Tuesday to lead the Rainbow Warriors.

Graham replaces Nick Rolovich, who left Hawaii after four seasons to become Washington State head coach. The Warriors are coming off a 10-5 season in which they appeared in the Mountain West championship game for the first time.

This will be Graham’s fifth head coaching job, including stints at Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh and Arizona State over the past 14 seasons. With the Sun Devils, Graham was 46-32 and 31-23 in the Pac-12 with five bowl appearances in six seasons. Overall, the 55-year-old Texas native is 95-61 in 12 seasons as a head coach.

Graham has no ties to the University of Hawaii or the state unlike most of the school’s recent head coaches such as Rolovich and Norm Chow.

SOCCER

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The biggest star in Mexican soccer is coming to the LA Galaxy.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernández announced his move to the five-time MLS champions on Tuesday, bringing the veteran striker back to North America after a lengthy career in Europe.

Hernández will participate in his first training session Thursday. His new team is already thrilled about the boost he will provide to a team in transition after the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Hernández is a designated player for the Galaxy and the effective replacement for Ibrahimovic, who signed with AC Milan this winter after two outstanding seasons stateside. Chicharito will also be a compelling — albeit friendly — rival to fellow Mexican star Carlos Vela, who won the MLS MVP award last season during a record-setting performance for Los Angeles FC, the Galaxy’s upstart crosstown foes.

The 31-year-old Hernández is the top goal-scorer in the history of the Mexican national team, which has a fervent following among Los Angeles’ expansive Latino population.

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Tuesday Sports in Brief

MLB BOSTON (AP) — The Red Sox have agreed to trade 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, packaging the star outfielder with left-hander David Price in a salary dump that is expected to save Boston tens of millions of dollars, according to two people with knowledge of the deal. The people…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

MLB

BOSTON (AP) — The Red Sox have agreed to trade 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, packaging the star outfielder with left-hander David Price in a salary dump that is expected to save Boston tens of millions of dollars, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the trade had not been announced.

The Dodgers are sending outfielder Alex Verdugo back to the Red Sox. The deal also involves the Minnesota Twins, who are getting right-hander Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers and sending pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to Boston.

Los Angeles will also get cash from Boston to offset some of the $123 million owed to Betts and Price, but the exact amount was not yet known.

—By AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen.

NEW YORK (AP) — The lone baseball writer who did not vote for Derek Jeter for the Hall of Fame chose to keep his or her ballot private.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America released the ballots of 314 Hall voters on Tuesday, and all public ballots included the longtime New York Yankees captain.

Jeter was on 396 of 397 ballots in voting announced Jan. 21, elected along with Colorado Rockies slugger Larry Walker. They will be inducted into the Hall at Cooperstown on July 26.

Mariano Rivera, Jeter’s Yankees teammate for five World Series titles, became the first unanimous pick last year when he was on all 425 ballots.

HOUSTON (AP) — James Click was introduced as the new general manager of the Houston Astros on Tuesday, joining a scandal-plagued team that scrambled to fill two major roles just before the start of spring training.

Click took over for Jeff Luhnow, suspended for a season by Major League Baseball and then fired for his role in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal. The Astros last week hired 70-year-old Dusty Baker to take over for AJ Hinch as manager.

The 42-year-old Click spent the last three seasons as the Tampa Bay Rays’ vice president of baseball operations. Click had been with Tampa Bay for the last 14 seasons.

Astros owner Jim Crane lauded the combined experience of Click and Baker, who have joined a team that lost a seven-game World Series to Washington.

NEW YORK (AP) —- Arbitrator Mark Irvings issued his decision Tuesday to deny the grievance filed by Cubs star Kris Bryant, ruling the players’ association did not prove Chicago’s reasons for holding the third baseman in the minors at the start of the 2015 season were a pretext to push back his eligibility for free agency.

The text of Irvings’ decision was not made public but its reasoning was described to The Associated Press by a person who had read it. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the release of the text had not been authorized.

Bryant hit .425 with nine homers in 40 at-bats during spring training in 2015. He started the season at Triple-A Iowa, where he batted .321 with three homers in seven games.

He made his major league debut on April 17, 2015, and the timing left him able to accrue 171 days of major league service that season, one day shy of a full year of service. That pushed back his free-agent eligibility by one year, until after the 2021 season.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies will retire the late Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay’s No. 34 this season.

The Phillies will pay tribute to Halladay on May 29, 2020, the 10th anniversary of his perfect game against the Marlins. It was the 20th perfect game in MLB history.

Halladay was 40 when he was killed in a plane crash in November 2017.

Halladay went 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA and 2,117 strikeouts over his career with Toronto and Philadelphia. He was 3-2 with a 2.37 ERA in five postseason starts, all with the Phillies.

He joined Don Larsen (1956) of the New York Yankees as the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter in the postseason.

NBA

The NBA is changing the format to this season’s 3-point contest at All-Star Saturday Night in Chicago by adding a pair of deep shots that will be worth three points apiece.

That change means each round will now be a total of 27 shots instead of 25, and competitors will now get 70 seconds to finish their shots instead of the customary 60. Competitors were told of the changes in the past few days, and the NBA announced the change Tuesday night.

The two additional shots will come from six feet beyond the 3-point line, between the racks located on the wings and the one at the top of the key. Those shots — only one from each spot called the MTN DEW Zone — will be taken with a special green ball.

All-Star Saturday is Feb. 15, one night before the All-Star Game.

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks fired President Steve Mills on Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

General manager Scott Perry will take over control of the basketball operations, according to the person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.

The shakeup comes two days before the NBA’s trade deadline and is the second major change for the Knicks this season. They fired coach David Fizdale after just 22 games.

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Mills’ firing was first reported by ESPN.

The Knicks are 15-36 this season, Mills’ third in charge after replacing Phil Jackson.

NFL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars will play consecutive home games in London next season, potentially strengthening the franchise’s foothold in an overseas market the NFL is eager to expand.

The Jaguars will play back-to-back games at historic Wembley Stadium to improve revenue during “a period of significant change within the league,” team President Mark Lamping said Tuesday. Dates and opponents were not announced. Jacksonville protected home games against Pittsburgh and Chicago, so those teams will play at TIAA Bank Field.

Lamping said the recent relocation of the Chargers, Raiders and Rams will move all three out of the bottom fourth of the NFL in local revenue. Jacksonville continues to look for ways to increase its revenue.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The NFL suspended Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Carl Davis without pay on Tuesday for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Davis’ contract is set to expire when the new league calendar begins in March, and it’s unlikely the Jaguars will re-sign him.

The 6-foot-5, 320-pound defender played in three games in 2019, including two for Jacksonville and one for Indianapolis.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mark Dantonio announced his retirement Tuesday, ending a 13-year run as coach in which he guided Michigan State to heights the Spartans hadn’t reached in decades.

The school announced Dantonio’s decision in a news release. Defensive coordinator Mike Tressel will be the acting head coach while Michigan State seeks a replacement for Dantonio.

Dantonio went 114-57 as Michigan State’s coach and won Big Ten titles in 2010, 2013 and 2015. The last of those three seasons included a trip to the College Football Playoff, but the Spartans declined after that. They went 7-6 this past season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Loyola Marymount plans to unveil a statue of Hank Gathers this month to mark the 30th anniversary of the school’s run to the Elite Eight after his fatal collapse on the court.

The statue will debut outside Gersten Pavilion on Feb. 29, before the Lions’ last home game of the season against San Francisco. Former coach Paul Westhead and members of the 1989-90 team will attend and be honored at halftime.

Gathers’ No. 44 jersey was retired by the school in 2000. The entire team was inducted into LMU’s Hall of Fame in 2005. He was the second player in NCAA history to lead the nation in both scoring and rebounding in the same season.

Gathers collapsed on March 4, 1990, in a West Coast Conference Tournament game. He was taken to a hospital where he died at age 23.

OLYMPICS

The World Anti-Doping Agency sent a letter to U.S. Senators explaining how a bill designed to deter drug cheats in international sports would, instead, “have the unintended consequences of shattering the anti-doping system” if it is passed without changes.

The document, obtained by The Associated Press, was sent this week at the request of a Senate committee that is holding a hearing Wednesday in which it will hear testimony about the Rodchenkov Act.

The House passed the bill last year, and WADA has hired a lobbying firm to engage Congress for changes in the legislation triggered by a Russia cheating scheme that has shaken the global Olympic movement for the past five years.

WADA director general Olivier Niggli told AP that “WADA favors governments using their legislative powers to protect clean athletes in the fight against doping and this Act is no exception.”

COURTS

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A legal fight by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo against a Nevada woman who wants more than the $375,000 she received in a rape case hush-money settlement in 2010 should be decided by an arbitrator, not in a courtroom, a U.S. magistrate judge said Tuesday.

Kathryn Mayorga, a former teacher and model who lives in the Las Vegas area, claims in a lawsuit that Ronaldo or his associates violated the confidential settlement by allowing reports of it to appear in European publications in 2017.

Mayorga met Ronaldo at a nightclub in 2009 and went with him and other people to his hotel suite where she alleges he assaulted her in a bedroom, according to her lawsuit.

Ronaldo, through his lawyers, maintains the sex was consensual.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

MLB BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora on Tuesday, a day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred implicated him in the sport’s sign-stealing scandal. Cora was the bench coach for the Houston Astros when they illicitly stole signs and won the 2017 World Series. He then led Boston to the title…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

MLB

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora on Tuesday, a day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred implicated him in the sport’s sign-stealing scandal.

Cora was the bench coach for the Houston Astros when they illicitly stole signs and won the 2017 World Series. He then led Boston to the title the following year in his first season as manager. Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired on Monday, an hour after Manfred suspended them for the 2020 season for their role in the cheating scheme.

Manfred’s nine-page report mentioned Cora 11 times, describing him as a key person in the planning and execution of the cheating scheme.

Cora met Tuesday with Red Sox management, less than a month before the start of spring training.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins and 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson have agreed to a $92 million, four-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the deal had not been announced. The contract includes an $8 million club option for 2024.

The 34-year-old third baseman returned after an injury-spoiled 2018 to bat .259 with 37 homers, 94 RBIs and a .900 OPS for the Atlanta Braves last season. He earned $23 million on a one-year deal.

—By AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell.

PHOENIX (AP) — David Peralta and the Arizona Diamondbacks have finalized a $22 million, three-year deal through 2022 that will keep the outfielder with the organization that signed him out of an independent league nearly seven years ago.

The 2019 Gold Glove Award winner in left field avoided his final year of salary arbitration by agreeing to the deal announced Monday. He will make $7 million during the upcoming season and $7.5 million each in 2021 and 2022. His 2021 and 2022 salaries would increase by $500,000 for 150 days on the active roster in the prior season, and he would earn a $150,000 bonus in 2022 for 150 days on the active roster.

The 32-year-old has been a regular in the Diamondbacks outfield and in the middle of the batting order over the past few seasons. He played in 99 games last year, batting .275 with 12 homers despite battling a shoulder injury that bothered him for much of the year and eventually required season-ending surgery. He hit a career-high 30 homers in 2018.

NFL

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio hired former New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur as his offensive coordinator on Tuesday.

Shurmur becomes the Broncos’ fifth offensive play-caller in five seasons and inherits an attack that features youngsters Drew Lock, Dalton Risner, Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton and Phillip Lindsay but also needs a major makeover to challenge Kansas City’s supremacy in the AFC West.

Shurmur replaces Rich Scangarello, who struggled in his first season as an NFL play-caller in 2019 although the Broncos (7-9) won games behind three different starting quarterbacks, including the rookie Lock, who went 4-1 down the stretch.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is retiring from the NFL after eight seasons.

The 28-year-old Kuechly made the surprising announcement Tuesday night in a video posted on the team’s website. He said, “I think now is the right chance to move on.”

Kuechly was selected to seven Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro five times. However, he suffered three concussions during his career, which may have led to his decision.

Kuechly was in tears when he was carted off the field after a concussion during the 2016 season, a striking moment that highlighted the NFL’s ongoing problem with brain injuries.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms on a contract to make LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady their new offensive coordinator.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the Panthers have not confirmed the move.

Brady worked closely with Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow, who led the Tigers to a win over Clemson in the national championship game.

Brady is the first significant hire for new Panthers coach Matt Rhule.

The 30-year-old Brady will become the youngest offensive coordinator in the NFL.

—By AP Sports Writer Steve Reed.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Antonio Gates, who became one of the most prolific tight ends in the NFL without playing a down of college football, announced his retirement Tuesday.

Gates spent his entire 16-year career with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers. His 116 touchdown catches are the most by a tight end in league history.

Gates, who did not play this season, will join the Chargers front office as a legends ambassador. He is the franchise leader in receptions (955), receiving yards (11,841) and touchdowns. His 220 regular-season games are second. He had eight seasons when he had eight or more touchdowns and 21 multi-TD games.

Among tight ends, Gates’ receptions and yards are third, and his games rank fourth.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson gave its weary fans something to celebrate a night after losing the national championship game in football, getting a career-high 25 points from Aamir Simms in a 79-72 upset of No. 3 Duke on Tuesday night.

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It was the highest-profile upset for the Tigers since beating No. 1 North Carolina on their home court in February 2001. And just like that day, students rushed the court at Littlejohn Coliseum.

It was the first Atlantic Coast Conference loss for the Blue Devils (15-2, 5-1), who came into the game leading the nation with an average margin of victory of 21.5 points.

The Tigers completed one of the rarest of ACC doubles. They beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the first time in program history Saturday, ending a 59-game losing streak on the Tar Heels’ home court.

Clemson (9-7, 3-3) has now beaten North Carolina and Duke in back-to-back games twice. The other time came in 1990, when the Tigers won their only regular-season title in 67 ACC seasons.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Nick Rolovich has left behind the beaches of Oahu for the wheat fields of the Palouse and the chance to see if his pass-happy, high-scoring style can work at Washington State.

Rolovich was hired by Washington State on Tuesday, completing a whirlwind week for the Cougars that saw Mike Leach depart for Mississippi State after eight seasons. It didn’t take long for the Cougars to settle on Rolovich as Leach’s replacement, giving the 40-year-old a chance to lead a Power Five program.

Rolovich agreed to a five-year contract that is expected to pay about $3 million per season. He will be introduced at a news conference on Thursday.

Rolovich has been in charge at Hawaii for the past four seasons and led the Rainbow Warriors to the Mountain West Conference West Division title this season. Hawaii went 10-5 overall, losing to Boise State in the MWC title game but rebounding to beat BYU in the Hawaii Bowl.

WNBA

NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA and its union announced a tentative eight-year labor deal Tuesday that will allow top players to earn more than $500,000 while the average annual compensation will surpass six figures for the first time.

The contract, which begins this season and runs through 2027, will pay players an average of $130,000 and guarantees full salaries while on maternity leave. The collective bargaining agreement also provides enhanced family benefits, travel standards and other health and wellness improvements.

The deal was overwhelmingly approved by players and must still be ratified by owners. It calls for 50-50 revenue sharing starting in 2021, based on the league achieving revenue growth targets from broadcast agreements, marketing partnerships and licensing deals.

SPORTS GAMBLING

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City’s casinos won almost $3.3 billion from gamblers in 2019, helped by surging sports and internet bets as the seaside resort continued to rebound from a mid-decade meltdown that saw five casinos close.

Figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show the nine casinos collectively won $3.29 billion in 2019, an increase of over 15% from 2018.

When an additional $300 million in sports betting revenue is added to the equation, the casinos and two racetracks that offer sports betting won $3.46 billion last year, a figure that does not include money from horse racing bets.

It marked the first year since 2012 that Atlantic City’s casinos had won more than $3 billion from gamblers.

OBITUARY

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Joseph “Joe” Roberson, the University of Michigan athletic director who served during the football team’s national championship season in 1997, died Monday, school officials said. He was 84.

Roberson died at his home in Grand Blanc, near Flint, the university announced Tuesday. No cause of death was given.

Roberson was Michigan’s athletic director from 1994-97, hiring football coach Lloyd Carr in 1995. Carr led the team to the championship two years later. University teams claimed 20 conference championships during Roberson’s tenure, officials said.

His stint as athletic director capped a 31-year career within the university system.

COURTS

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former Penn State football player claims in a lawsuit that Nittany Lions players hazed him and other younger teammates by imitating sexual acts in the shower and invoking Jerry Sandusky’s name.

The player, who The Associated Press is not identifying because he hasn’t spoken publicly on the matter, filed the lawsuit Monday in Pennsylvania federal court against the university, head coach James Franklin and one former teammate.

The school’s own investigation found the ex-teammate had committed “prohibited behavior,” the complaint said.

University police turned over results of their investigation to the local district attorney, who declined to prosecute, Penn State said in a statement.

The allegations include that older players said to younger ones, “I am going to Sandusky you.”

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NFL HOUSTON (AP) — J.J. Watt returned to practice with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, clearing the way for the star defensive end to play in the team’s playoff game in two weeks. Watt has been out since Oct. 27 after tearing a pectoral muscle, an injury which required surgery. “I feel really good,” Watt…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NFL

HOUSTON (AP) — J.J. Watt returned to practice with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, clearing the way for the star defensive end to play in the team’s playoff game in two weeks.

Watt has been out since Oct. 27 after tearing a pectoral muscle, an injury which required surgery.

“I feel really good,” Watt said. “We’ve worked extremely hard at rehab. We’ve had a very smooth process and everything’s been going extremely well. So I’m really, really excited to back in the field with everybody and to get back out there helping my team and playing for this city.”

The Texans will have 21 days from Tuesday to take him off injured reserve and add him to the active roster. If they plan to play him in their first playoff game during the weekend of Jan. 4-5, they’ll have to activate him by 4 p.m. EST the day before the game.

Watt has been working out with the team’s trainers and medical staff away for a while and said he has felt good during those workouts. He said he’s been wearing a harness during those workouts and that he’ll continue to wear that to protect himself during team practices. The harness keeps his arm from being pulled too far backward, but it will not restrict him from moving his arm forward or raising it up.

Watt said that he began thinking he might be able to return for the postseason not long after he was injured.

“When I got hurt I just assumed I was done,” he said. “I didn’t even know there was a possibility. And then literally a couple days after the surgery I was feeling so good that I asked — ‘is it remotely possible?’ We left the … door open for a possibility.”

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey will not play in the season finale against Arizona on Sunday because of a knee injury.

Coach Sean McVay said Ramsey is out after he got hurt during Saturday’s 34-31 loss at San Francisco that eliminated the Rams (8-7) from playoff contention.

“He had a Grade 2 sprain of the LCL and will be out for the game,” McVay said.

Ramsey should recover in four to six weeks and is not expected to require surgery, McVay said.

Ramsey had 33 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble in nine games with the Rams after being acquired from Jacksonville in a trade on Oct. 15.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets have reached an agreement with free-agent reliever Dellin Betances on a one-year contract with a player option for 2021.

The Mets announced the deal Tuesday. The four-time All Star is guaranteed $10.5 million under the deal.

The 31-year-old right-hander, who is from New York, is staying in his hometown after spending his first eight seasons in the majors with the Yankees.

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Betances missed most of 2019 because of injuries. He tore an Achilles tendon in his first appearance back from a lat injury that had sidelined him since spring training.

Betances was the first reliever in baseball history to have 100 or more strikeouts in five consecutive seasons (2014-2018). The right-hander led all major league relievers in strikeouts in each year from 2014-2016.

NBA

DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets have signed coach Michael Malone to a contract extension through the 2022-23 season.

Malone has steadily helped build the Nuggets into a Western Conference contender since taking over in 2015-16. Denver advanced to the second round of the playoffs last season.

“His tireless work ethic and passion are clearly reflected in the continued improvement of our roster,” Nuggets president of of basketball operations Tim Connelly said in a statement. “We are all extremely excited for him to continue to lead our team as we try to build a championship level organization.”

Malone guided the Nuggets to 33 wins in his first season at the helm. They jumped to 40 wins, then 46 and 54 last season, including the league’s best home record. Denver is off to a 21-8 start this season behind the play of versatile big man Nikola Jokic and point guard Jamal Murray.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

HONOLULU (AP) — Cole McDonald capped a stellar Hawaii Bowl performance with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Nick Mardner with 1:17 remaining, and Hawaii beat BYU 38-34 for the Warriors’ first 10-win season since 2010.

McDonald threw for 493 yards and four touchdowns against a BYU defense that was allowing an average of 203.8 yards passing per game.

Still, it took a late rally for Hawaii to beat BYU for the first time since 2001 when both were part of the Western Athletic Conference. Hawaii led 31-24 at halftime, but the Cougars (7-6) shut out the Warriors until the final part of the fourth.

McDonald scrambled for 9 yards. He found Mardner behind the defense for a 38-yard pass that at least put Hawaii in range to tie the game. And then he hit Mardner on a post route, and he tumbled into the end zone as Aloha Stadium erupted for its home team, even though the Warriors (10-5) were technically the visiting team.

BYU wasted a solid game by Zach Wilson, whose father grew up in Hawaii. Wilson threw for 274 yards and ran for 72 yards and two short TDs to help the Cougars rally from a 10-point deficit in the first half.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

COLLEGE BASKETBALL LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Sam Cunliffe scored 17 points, including two free throws with 6.8 seconds remaining, and Evansville silenced Rupp Arena with an improbable 67-64 victory over No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday night. K.J. Riley added 18 points as the Purple Aces — coached by Walter McCarty, who won a national title…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Sam Cunliffe scored 17 points, including two free throws with 6.8 seconds remaining, and Evansville silenced Rupp Arena with an improbable 67-64 victory over No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday night.

K.J. Riley added 18 points as the Purple Aces — coached by Walter McCarty, who won a national title with Kentucky in 1996 — pulled off the biggest upset in program history with their first win over a No. 1 team in three tries.

Evansville (2-0) led much of the game and answered each Kentucky rally with clutch baskets to grab the lead and then maintain it for the season’s biggest upset. The Wildcats (2-1) were a 25-point favorite.

Kentucky had been 39-0 at home against unranked, nonconference opponents when ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll. Evansville, meanwhile, got its first-ever road win over an AP-ranked team.

NFL

Colin Kaepernick plans to audition for NFL teams on Saturday in a private workout arranged by the league to be held in Atlanta.

The exiled former Pro Bowl quarterback posted on Twitter: “I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.”

The NFL hasn’t confirmed Kaepernick’s workout details.

A person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press the league’s decision to invite all 32 teams to watch Kaepernick “came out of the blue with no prior communication.” The person said Kaepernick’s team was given a 2-hour window to accept the invitation and was denied a request to schedule the tryout on a Tuesday or another Saturday.

Kaepernick’s representatives have asked the league to provide a rolling list of teams that plan to attend the workout to ensure it’s a “legitimate process,” according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because details haven’t been made public.

Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers. He helped start a wave of protests about social and racial injustice that season by kneeling during the national anthem at games.

The NFL in February settled a collusion grievance Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid filed against the league. Reid now plays for the Carolina Panthers.

—By AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi.

MLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Major League Baseball has expanded its investigation into the Houston Astros after The Athletic website reported the team stole signs during home games in 2017 by using a camera positioned in center field.

The report Tuesday quoted pitcher Mike Fiers, who played for the Astros that season, and three other unidentified people with the club. The Astros won the World Series that year — two sources told The Athletic that Houston used the system into the playoffs while another source said it ended before the postseason.

The website said the process was started by a struggling hitter and a coach, neither of whom was identified. The camera at Minute Maid Park was connected to a television monitor in the tunnel between the Astros’ dugout and clubhouse, The Athletic said, and team employees or players would communicate expected pitches by banging a trash can to signal off-speed pitches.

The Astros said in a statement the team “has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball” and declined additional comment.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gabe Kapler has been hired as manager of the San Francisco Giants, a month after being fired from the same job by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Kapler replaces Bruce Bochy, who retired at the end of the season following 13 years and three championships with San Francisco.

The Giants made the announcement late Tuesday and planned a formal introduction to follow. Kapler is the second big hire in a matter of days by Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi, who on Monday introduced new general manager Scott Harris, most recently an assistant GM for the Chicago Cubs.

The 44-year-old Kapler was fired Oct. 10 after going 161-163 over two seasons as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. With slugger Bryce Harper their blockbuster acquisition, the Phillies finished 81-81 this year for their first non-losing season since 2012.

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Zaidi and Kapler are now reunited from their time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where Kapler served as director of player development.

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals has edged out Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers to win NL Manager of the Year.

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli won the AL prize in a tight ballot over Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees.

Shildt earned the award in his first full season on the job. Counsell received more first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America revealed Tuesday night, but Shildt got more second-place votes and appeared on more ballots.

The club won 91 games and the NL Central crown this year, ending the franchise’s three-year postseason drought.

The 51-year-old Shildt became the first manager of the year who had never played pro ball at any level. Last week, the Cardinals gave him a contract extension through the 2022 season.

Baldelli and Boone received 13 first-place votes, but Baldelli got more second-place nods. The 38-year-old is the youngest to win the award and the eighth to take it in his first full season on the job.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright have agreed to a contract for the 2020 season, increasing the likelihood the veteran pitcher finishes his career with the only major league team for which he has ever played.

The 38-year-old Wainwright was drafted by the Braves in 2000 and traded to the Cardinals three years later. He made his major league debut in 2005 and has been a stalwart for St. Louis the past 14 seasons, going 162-95 with a 3.39 ERA and three All-Star game appearances.

He played last season on a $2 million deal and proved he was still effective, going 14-10 with a 4.19 ERA while helping the Cardinals reach the National League Championship Series.

Wainwright was especially valuable down the stretch. He had a 2.97 ERA in September and a 1.62 ERA in the postseason, where the Cardinals were ousted by eventual World Series champion Washington.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Alabama is fifth in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, behind LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia, which took over the fourth spot in the selection committee’s second top 25.

LSU replaced Ohio State as No. 1 after the Tigers won at Alabama on Saturday. The Buckeyes were bumped to No. 2. Clemson moved up two spots to No. 3 after two teams ahead of the Tigers lost for the first time last week, including Alabama.

The Crimson Tide fell to 46-41 to LSU and dropped two spots. Penn State, which had been No. 4, lost 31-26 at Minnesota and fell to ninth. The unbeaten Gophers jumped nine spots to eighth.

Georgia moved up two spots to give the Southeastern Conference two of the top four for the second straight week.

SOCCER

The sporting director of the U.S. Soccer Federation says Gregg Berhalter’s job as men’s national team coach is safe despite some disappointing results.

Berhalter was hired last December after the Americans failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The U.S. lost to Mexico 1-0 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in July, was beaten 3-0 by El Tri in a September exhibition and lost 2-0 at Canada last month in the CONCACAF Nations League. The Americans have nine wins, five losses and two draws this year.

“When I evaluate Gregg and the coaching staff and what I’ve seen to date, I’m a pleased man, and an individual result is not going to change that. It’s just not,” sporting director Earnie Stewart said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

Stewart, then the men’s national team general manager, made the recommendation to hire Berhalter, which was endorsed by the USSF board of directors. Stewart, who played in three World Cups for the U.S., was promoted to sporting director in August, in charge of the men’s and women’s programs.

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Sports

Tuesday Sports in Brief

COLLEGE BASKETBALL BOSTON (AP) — Move over, Nike. Call Under Armour, now. Boston College graduate transfer guard Derryck Thornton made a quick cut near the foul line driving toward to the lane and split the bottom of his left Under Armour sneaker during the first half of Wednesday night’s season opener against Wake Forest. When…

Tuesday Sports in Brief

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BOSTON (AP) — Move over, Nike. Call Under Armour, now.

Boston College graduate transfer guard Derryck Thornton made a quick cut near the foul line driving toward to the lane and split the bottom of his left Under Armour sneaker during the first half of Wednesday night’s season opener against Wake Forest.

When the 6-foot-3 guard backed out and dribbled out to midcourt, he looked down and the bottom of his sneaker was slightly hanging off. During a timeout, he took off the white sneakers and put on a pair of maroon ones and stayed in the game.

Last season, then-Duke star Zion Williamson made a quick move at the foul line against North Carolina and suffered a mild sprain of his right knee when his left Nike sneaker came apart, forcing him into an awkward-almost-split.

Williamson was the NBA’s first overall pick by New Orleans in June.

NFL

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Police in the Dallas suburb of Frisco say Cowboys defensive lineman Daniel Ross has been arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Frisco police Sgt. Evan Mattei said Ross was arrested Wednesday morning. He didn’t provide further details. The department didn’t respond immediately to a public information request.

The 26-year-old Ross is on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He played in 13 games in a backup role last season, recording 14 tackles and one sack. Ross joined the Cowboys off Kansas City’s practice squad in 2017.

The Cowboys declined to comment on Ross’ arrest. Information on an attorney for the third-year player wasn’t immediately available.

NHL

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little remained hospitalized Wednesday, a day after being struck near the ear by a puck.

Little was skating behind the net midway through the third period in a 2-1 home loss to New Jersey when teammate Nikolaj Ehlers fired a rising slap shot from the point. The puck hit Little on his left side and he fell to the ice, putting his head in his hands as blood dripped.

The Jets said Wednesday that Little was taken to St. Boniface Hospital and needed 25-30 stitches to close a cut, then was transferred to the Health Sciences Centre’s neurological unit for further observation.

The team said the 31-year-old center was alert at all times and in good spirits Wednesday morning. Little has two goals and three assists in seven games after sitting out the first nine of the season because of a concussion.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The football game between Air Force and New Mexico scheduled for this weekend was postponed following the death of a Lobos defensive lineman.

Air Force will travel to New Mexico on Nov. 23 instead, the Mountain West said Wednesday.

New Mexico announced the death of 21-year-old Nahje Flowers on Tuesday. The university didn’t provide a cause or other circumstances. Flowers was from Los Angeles, where he played football at Dorsey High School. He had been at New Mexico since 2016.

This season, Flowers had 13 tackles and 1 1/2 sack.

In a release, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said the focus should be on “the family, friends and teammates who have been affected during this difficult time.”

SPORTS BETTING

DENVER (AP) — Colorado became the 19th U.S. state to legalize some form of sports betting as election officials tallied Wednesday a surprisingly close vote in which ballots for the measure narrowly surpassed “no” votes.

More than 1.3 million Coloradans voted Tuesday on Proposition DD, a bipartisan ballot measure crafted by lawmakers that legalizes sports betting next year and taxes it to fund a state water conservation plan.

It led by a 51%-49% margin mid-afternoon Wednesday, according to unofficial returns.

Legal sports betting has spread since New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2018 allowing all 50 states to offer it. But most states have generated limited tax revenue.

An Associated Press analysis showed that seven states that reported on sports betting revenue for the fiscal year that ended in June generated just $74 million in state taxes.

Starting next May, Colorado’s 33 casinos can offer in-person and online wagering on professional, collegiate, motor and Olympic sports.

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