Monday Sports in Brief
LSU is hiring Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame, a stunning move by one of the most accomplished coaches in college football jumping from the sport’s most storied program to a Southeastern Conference powerhouse.
The move was confirmed Monday night by a person familiar with the decision who spoke to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity because neither school was prepared to make an official announcement. Yahoo! Sports first reported the hire.
It was the second bombshell in college football in as many days, coming a little more than 24 hours after Southern California pulled Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma. LSU might have topped it by luring Kelly from South Bend to Baton Rouge.
The 60-year-old Kelly became the winningest coach in Notre Dame history earlier this season, surpassing Knute Rockne. In 12 seasons with the Fighting Irish, Kelly is 113-40, including the current run of five straight double-digit victory seasons.
— By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Sonny Dykes landed as TCU’s coach Monday night, arriving at the purple-lit stadium in a helicopter that settled down near midfield.
After weeks of speculation, TCU announced his hiring when welcoming Dykes back to the Fort Worth campus to meet with his new team.
Dykes spent the past four seasons at SMU before his return to the other side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes had been considered a top candidate for the Frogs job since Gary Patterson and TCU mutually agreed Oct. 31 to part ways with four games left in the season.
SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) — Washington hired Fresno State’s Kalen DeBoer on Monday to lead the Huskies, handing a program that has struggled offensively to a coach with a track record of productive and creative offenses.
The 47-year-old DeBoer met with Washington officials in Fresno, California, early in the day and the deal was announced a few hours later.
DeBoer has spent the past two seasons at Fresno State, going 12-6. The Bulldogs went 9-3 this season, including a victory against UCLA. They lead the Mountain West in yards per play (6.34) and yards per game (463.6) and are second in scoring (33.6 points per game).
NEWARK, Del. (AP) — Delaware fired football coach Danny Rocco on Monday after the Blue Hens went 5-6 this season.
Rocco went 31-23 in five seasons at Delaware and reached the FCS semifinals when the tournament was played this past April and May — but that success was sandwiched between losing records in 2019 and this season.
Prior to taking over at Delaware, Rocco went 90-42 in 11 seasons as the coach at Liberty and Richmond.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Temple fired coach Rod Carey on Monday after three seasons with the school, ending a tenure that started with a bowl game and finished with a combined two conference wins in the last two seasons.
The Owls completed a 3-9 season on Saturday with their seventh straight lopsided loss, falling to Navy 38-14.
Thad Ward was named interim head coach.
Carey went 12-20 at the Philadelphia-based school after being hired away from Northern Illinois in January 2019. He went just 4-15 over the last two seasons. Carey was only 2-13 in the American Athletic Conference over the last two seasons.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, a preseason All-American who lost the starting job early in the season, announced on social media Monday that he will enter the transfer portal.
The decision came a day after coach Lincoln Riley’s decision to leave for Southern California.
Rattler was a five-star prospect and the top high school quarterback in the class of 2019. After a successful 2020 season, he struggled at times to move the team and was booed by the home fans during a close call against West Virginia.
He was benched after a slow start against Texas, and Caleb Williams took over and rallied the team to victory. Williams kept the starting job, though Rattler eventually regained favor with the fans. For the season, the Phoenix native completed 75% of his passes for 1,483 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
In 11 games last season, Rattler passed for 3,031 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He led the Sooners to a 55-20 win over Florida in the Cotton Bowl, setting up all the hype heading into this season.
NEW YORK (AP) — Right-hander Max Scherzer agreed to a record-setting $130 million, three-year contract with the New York Mets and shortstop Corey Seager struck a $325 million, 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers on Monday as players and teams rushed to reach agreements before an expected lockout.
The pair are among among eight players who in recent days have agreed to contracts totalling $1.268 billion in guaranteed pay.
Both Scherzer and Seager are leaving the high-spending Los Angeles Dodgers for free agent riches elsewhere with teams that have aggressively added players before what likely will be Major League Baseball’s first work stoppage since 1995.
The five-year collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. EST Wednesday, and owners are expected to announce a signing freeze.
New York also has pending deals with center fielder Starling Marte ($78 million for four years), outfielder/first baseman Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar, all contingent on successful physicals.
Texas committed $500 million over two days to middle infielders, following an agreement Sunday on a $175 million, seven-year contract with Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien, also subject to a successful physical.
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball and the players’ association stopped blood testing for Human Growth Hormone because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Blood testing for HGH began in 2012, and 412 samples with no positive results were collected in the year ending with the 2020 World Series.
MLB and the union never publicly announced the stoppage in blood testing but its absence was revealed Monday when Thomas M. Martin, the independent administrator of the joint drug program, released his annual report.
NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna received a retroactive 20-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Ozuna was arrested May 29 on charges of aggravated assault by strangulation and battery after police officers said they witnessed him attacking his wife. He was placed on administrative leave under the domestic violence policy.
The suspension is retroactive to Sept. 10 and covers the final 24 days of the regular season, costing him approximately $1.55 million of his $12 million salary.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Fergie Jenkins, Mike Schmidt and Ozzie Smith are among the 16 voters on the Hall of Fame’s Golden Days Era Committee.
Former Commissioner Bud Selig, former Atlanta general manger John Schuerholz and retired manager Joe Torre — all three also in the Hall — are also among the voters scheduled to meet Sunday in Orlando, Florida, to consider candidates whose primary contributions were from 1950-69.
Current executives Al Avila, Bill DeWitt, Ken Kendrick, Kim Ng and Tony Reagins also are on the panel along with media members/historians Adrian Burgos Jr., Steve Hirdt, Jaime Jarrin and Jack O’Connell.
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy has entered COVID-19 protocols and won’t be on the sideline for Thursday night’s game in New Orleans.
McCarthy will be involved in all meetings virtually and will direct game preparations, the team said Monday. McCarthy is the sixth Dallas coach or staff member to be sidelined for the game against the Saints.
A virtual news conference scheduled for Monday morning with McCarthy was canceled.
DALLAS (AP) — The NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill for two games Monday for confronting Las Vegas offensive lineman John Simpson and throwing a punch after the Raiders’ 36-33 overtime win on Thanksgiving.
Hill, who was sidelined the first eight games of the season while recovering from a torn knee ligament last year, will miss Thursday night’s game at New Orleans and the Dec. 12 game at Washington. He can return Dec. 19 at the New York Giants, the last of three consecutive road games.
NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said in a letter to the Hill that the third-year player spent nearly a minute at midfield after the game looking for Simpson and walked the opposite direction from the Dallas locker room to confront the Raiders’ left guard.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The injury bug has gotten Christian McCaffrey yet again.
The Carolina Panthers often-injured running back will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury, the team announced Monday.
McCaffrey had an MRI that revealed the injury was severe enough to put him on injured reserve. Because of his anticipated recovery time and given that it would be his second time on IR, the news means McCaffrey will miss out on Carolina’s final five regular-season games following its bye week.
McCaffrey missed five games earlier this season with a hamstring injury.
Tiger Woods says he expects to play golf again, just not very often, and he doesn’t see himself reaching the top of the sport again because “I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation of me.”
He says he can see himself picking certain tournaments to play, but not a full-time schedule.
His extensive video interview with Golf Digest, with whom he has a financial relationship, was published Monday ahead of his first press conference since his right leg was badly damaged in a Feb. 23 car crash in the Los Angeles suburbs.
Woods is the tournament host of the Hero World Challenge.
The 15-time major champion raised hopes of another comeback when Woods posted a three-second video hitting a short iron with the message, “Making progress.”
Lee Elder, who broke down racial barriers as the first Black golfer to play in the Masters and paved the way for Tiger Woods and others to follow, has died at the age of 87.
The PGA Tour announced Elder’s death, which was first reported Monday by Debert Cook of African American Golfers Digest. No cause was given, but the tour confirmed Elder’s death with his family.
He had been in poor health and wore an oxygen tube beneath his nose when he appeared at the opening of the Masters in April. The tour said he died early Sunday in Escondido, California.
A Texan who developed his game during segregated times while caddying, Elder made history in 1975 at Augusta National, which had held an all-white tournament until he received an invitation after winning the Monsanto Open the previous year.
Elder missed the cut at his first Masters but forever stamped himself as a groundbreaking figure in a sport that had never been known for racial tolerance.
BOSTON (AP) — The NHL on Monday suspended Bruins forward Brad Marchand for three games for slew-footing Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson during Boston’s 3-2 victory a day earlier.
It is the seventh suspension of Marchand’s career. He will lose about $92,000 in pay.
Late in the first period of Sunday night’s game, the two players were pursuing the puck when Marchand hit Ekman-Larsson high and at the same time kicked the Canucks defensemen’s legs out from under him. No penalty was called at the time.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Fenway Sports Group has reached an agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins that would give the conglomerate controlling interest in one of the NHL’s marquee franchises.
The Penguins announced Monday that the two sides have come to terms on a deal, which would need to be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors. A decision is expected by the end of the year.
Financial details were not released. Sportico valued the Penguins at $845 million last month.
As part of the deal, Penguins Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux and co-owner Ron Burkle will remain part of the franchise’s ownership group.
PARIS (AP) — Lionel Messi won the men’s Ballon d’Or for a record-extending seventh time on Monday, ending the year in style after a brilliant final season with Barcelona and earning his first major international trophy with Argentina.
Alexia Putellas became the third winner of the women’s award for an outstanding season with Barcelona and Spain.
The 34-year-old Messi led Argentina to the Copa America title in July after losing in four major international finals.
NEW YORK (AP) — Bruce Arena won a record fourth Major League Soccer Coach of the Year award on Monday after leading the New England Revolution to a league-record 73 points.
The 70-year-old, a member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, also won the award with D.C. United in 1997 and the LA Galaxy in 2009 and 2011. He tied Sigi Schmid’s record of 240 regular-season wins.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Revered German coach Ralf Rangnick was hired Monday to lead Manchester United until the end of the season, an appointment that will shake up the playing style and management structure of the Premier League team in its bid to return to the top of the English game.
The 63-year-old Rangnick has left his role as head of sports and development at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow to take charge of United, which has been managed by former player Michael Carrick since the firing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Nov. 21.
United is planning to hire a permanent manager in the offseason, at which time Rangnick will take up a “consultancy role for a further two years,” the club said.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Former Canadian national team player and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Rhian Wilkinson has been named coach of the Portland Thorns.
Wilkinson, 39, replaces Mark Parsons, who stepped down at the end of the National Women’s Soccer League season to take over as head coach of the Netherlands national team.
Wilkinson played for the Thorns in 2015, her last professional season. She also played for the Boston Breakers in 2013, the league’s first year.
She made 181 appearances with Canada and scored seven goals. She won bronze medals with the team at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics before retiring in 2017.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn sophomore guard Paige Bueckers is the first college athlete to represent Gatorade, announcing Monday a multiyear name, image and likeness deal.
Terms of the deal with PepsiCo Inc. were not released.
It is the second NIL deal announced for Bueckers, who also has a partnership with sneaker marketplace StockX.
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