Monday Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — Cross off another milestone for Clemson, college football’s newest superpower.
For the first time, the defending national champion Tigers are No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 presented by Regions Bank .
Clemson won its second national title in three seasons behind freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence to claim equal standing with Alabama at the top of the sport.
The Crimson Tide, coming off a 44-16 loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship, is No. 2. Clemson received 52 first-place votes and Alabama received the other 10. Clemson snaps a record-tying string of three straight years in which Alabama was the preseason No. 1.
Georgia, Alabama’s Southeastern Conference rival, is No. 3, followed by No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 Ohio State.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State coach Ryan Day says Georgia transfer Justin Fields will be the starting quarterback when the Buckeyes open the season Aug. 31 against Florida Atlantic.
Day’s announcement Monday put a rubber stamp on what most figured was a foregone conclusion.
As Ohio State’s newly minted coach, Day lured Fields — one of the top-ranked prep prospects nationally in the 2018 recruiting class — to Columbus in January to succeed quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., who is now playing for the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Former Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus was cleared Monday to return to school after a jury acquitted him of sexual assault charges, though it was unclear when he will be eligible to play in a game.
The school announced Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s decision in a statement that said the university had obtained information that wasn’t provided during a student conduct review. The statement said sanctions against Cephus have been “reduced” and his expulsion had been lifted, though some conduct violations were upheld.
The statement didn’t elaborate. Wisconsin spokesman John Lucas said he had no information on what the school had learned and declined to comment on what conduct violations were upheld.
Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst has said he would welcome Cephus back and the athletic department confirmed Cephus had officially rejoined the team. But in its own statement, the department said it was “working through eligibility issues before he can participate in a game.” The opener for the 19th-ranked Badgers is Aug. 30 at South Florida.
JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson is taking a leave of absence while his wife fights cancer.
Athletic director Terry Mohajir said Monday in a statement that Anderson was taking the leave indefinitely to be with his family. Mohajir added: “We will continue to pray for peace for his family and provide assistance any way we can.”
Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator David Duggan will serve as interim head coach.
Anderson had spoken during Arkansas State’s Media Day on Aug. 1 about the possibility of stepping away at some point. He said at the time he had spoken with school officials about his family situation and “kind of always wanted to make sure we were super prepared, pray for the best but prepare for the worst.”
Anderson and his wife, Wendy, have one daughter and two sons.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Star receiver Antonio Brown has returned to training camp with the Oakland Raiders a day after being given an ultimatum by general manager Mike Mayock to be “all in or all out.”
Brown took part in meetings Monday with the Raiders in Napa before the team broke camp, a person familiar with the situation said on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t release details.
Brown didn’t attend practice Sunday as he works to find a helmet that he’s comfortable using and that meets safety standards set by the NFL and NFLPA. Agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN earlier Monday that they are looking into “all options right now to resolve the helmet issue.”
BOSTON (AP) — Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale is receiving treatment for inflammation in his elbow that will shut him down for the rest of the regular season.
Orthopedist Dr. James Andrews gave Sale an injection of platelet-rich plasma on Monday and said he will be re-evaluated in six weeks.
The treatment could be good news for the ballclub, who feared that Sale might need Tommy John surgery. That would likely have cost him all of the 2020 season. But losing Sale deals a blow to the defending World Series champions’ already slim hopes for a repeat.
Sale went on the injured list on Saturday, four days after facing the Cleveland Indians. If he does not pitch again this season, he will finish with a 6-11 record and 4.40 ERA — both by far the worst in his career.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco has returned to the mound in the minor leagues as he tries to come back after being diagnosed with leukemia.
Carrasco came on in relief Monday night for Double-A Akron against Harrisburg. He received a standing ovation from fans at Canal Park. It was Carrasco’s first appearance in a game since being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in June.
He finished his first inning with a strikeout.
The 32-year-old is scheduled to pitch again for Akron on Thursday, and he and the Indians will then decide his next step. Carrasco wants to return and help the Indians this season.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry is helping Howard University launch a Division I golf program.
The Golden State Warriors star guard and the school announced the six-year partnership Monday.
The specifics of his contribution were not disclosed.
Howard officials say they plan to have women’s and men’s golf teams for the 2020-21 academic year.
The school had a Division II golf program in the past, along with intercollegiate and intramural club teams.
The 31-year-old Curry, who has won three NBA championships with the Warriors, says he decided to get involved after meeting a Howard student who had been trying to get the university to have a golf team.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jim Hardy, the oldest living University of Southern California and Los Angeles Rams football player who was the MVP of the 1945 Rose Bowl, has died. He was 96.
The university said Monday he died Aug. 16 of natural causes at his home in the desert city of La Quinta, 130 miles east of Los Angeles.
Hardy was selected eighth in the first round of the 1945 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins. The quarterback spent seven seasons in the league and was part of the 1952 Detroit Lions team that won the NFL championship. He also played for the Rams (1946-48) and Chicago Cardinals (1949-51). He threw for 5,690 yards and 54 touchdowns.
Hardy played for the Rams in their inaugural season. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1950.
NEW YORK (AP) — Al Jackson, a tough left-hander who provided a rare glint of hope in the early days of the woebegone New York Mets, has died at 83.
His death was announced by the Mets, for whom he worked for 50 years as a pitcher, major league coach, minor league pitching coordinator and front-office adviser. He died Monday at a nursing home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, after a long illness.
The Mets said in a statement it would be “impossible to calculate the number of players and staff he touched and influenced during his career.”
Jackson pitched in the majors for 10 seasons, and no season was more challenging than the one in 1962 when the expansion Mets entered the majors and lost 120 games. “Little” Al Jackson, although he was 5-foot-10, had a record of 8-20 and 4.40 ERA. The next two years he went 13-17 and 11-16.