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Thursday’s Sports in Brief

January 21, 2022 GMT

COLLEGE SPORTS

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NCAA member schools voted to ratify a new, streamlined constitution, paving the way for a decentralized approach to governing college sports that will hand more power to schools and conferences.

The vote was overwhelmingly in favor, 801-195, and was the main order of business at the NCAA’s annual convention. NCAA President Mark Emmert, in his state of college sports address — delivered via video conference to a convention ballroom because he is currently in COVID-19 protocols — called the new constitution more of a “declaration of independence.”

Now each of the association’s three divisions will be empowered to govern itself.

The new constitution is 18 1/2 pages, down from 43, and mostly lays out guiding principles and core values for the NCAA, the largest governing body for college sports in the United States with more than 1,200 member schools and nearly 500,000 athletes.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The University of Pennsylvania said it will work with the NCAA under its newly adopted standards for transgender athletes.

Swimmer Lia Thomas, who competed for the men’s team at Penn before transitioning, has qualified to compete in March at the 2022 NCAA swimming and diving championships. She is set to race in the women’s 200-yard, 500-yard and 1,650-yard freestyle.

“Penn Athletics is aware of the NCAA’s new transgender participation policy,” the Ivy League school said in a statement. “In support of our student-athlete, Lia Thomas, we will work with the NCAA regarding her participation under the newly adopted standards for the 2022 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship.”

Under the new guidelines, approved by the NCAA Board of Governors on Wednesday, transgender participation for each sport will be determined by the policy for the sport’s national governing body, subject to review and recommendation by an NCAA committee to the Board of Governors.

When there is no national governing body, that sport’s international federation policy would be in place. If there is no international federation policy, previously established IOC policy criteria would take over.

GOLF

Bob Goalby, who won the 1968 Masters without having to go to a playoff when Roberto De Vicenzo infamously signed for the wrong score, has died. He was 92.

Goalby’s death Wednesday in his hometown of Belleville, Illinois, was confirmed by the PGA Tour and by Bill Haas, his great nephew.

The Masters was among his 11 victories on the PGA Tour, and Goalby won twice on what is now the PGA Tour Champions. He is best remembered for how he was declared the Masters champion. Equally notable was the role he played in launching two tours.

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Goalby was among the players who boldly led the Tournament Players Division to break away from the PGA of America and become what now is the PGA Tour. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus delivered support that made it happen. Goalby was among those who initiated the move. Later, he joined Gardner Dickinson and Dan Sikes in 1980 to organize a tour for players 50 and older.

PRO FOOTBALL

The NFL fined Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott $25,000 for comments condoning fans throwing objects at officials after a wild-card loss to San Francisco.

The fine was issued a day after Prescott apologized in a series of tweets. Told after the game that fans were throwing objects at officials, Prescott said, “Credit to them then.” He initially called it “sad” because he was told the objects were being thrown at Dallas players.

When given another chance to answer a question about fans throwing objects at officials, Prescott said, “I guess it’s why the refs took off and got out of there so fast. I think everybody was upset about the way that this thing played out.”

BASEBALL

Locked out baseball players plan to make a counteroffer to management on Monday, 11 days after clubs gave the union a proposal when the snail-paced negotiations resumed following a 42-day break.

The players’ association asked Major League Baseball to schedule the negotiating session, which is to take place in-person.

There is dwindling time to reach an agreement in time for spring training to start as scheduled on Feb. 16.

The scheduled March 31 opening day is also increasingly threatened, given the need for players to report, go through COVID-19 protocols and have at least three weeks of workouts that include a minimal number of exhibition games.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays’ proposed plan to split the season between Florida and Montreal has been rejected by Major League Baseball.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg announced the news on Thursday, calling it “flat-out deflating.”

The idea of playing in both the Tampa Bay area and Montreal has been discussed over the past several years after attempts to build a new full-time ballpark locally failed.

The Rays’ lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the team has played since its inaugural season in 1998, expires after the 2027 season.

When asked if he felt somewhat betrayed by his fellow owners, Sternberg replied “that’s a word.”