Wednesday Sports in Brief
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has made it official — he’s heading to the NFL.
Lawrence, the 6-foot-6 QB with the power arm and flowing hair, released a video on social media Wednesday announcing he was leaving school and declaring for the NFL draft.
Lawrence had said in September he planned to play his junior season, graduate in December and move on to the NFL. However, in October, Lawrence discussed keeping his options open, which included possibly returning for another year of college as discussions of the No. 1 pick intensified between the then winless New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has resigned one season after coming out of retirement.
The announcement was made Wednesday, one day after Gailey’s 69th birthday and one day after coach Brian Flores said he expected all of his assistant coaches would return in 2021.
With Gailey calling plays, the Dolphins scored 404 points, their highest total since 1986. He had a major role in the development of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who struggled at times but went 6-3 as a starter.
The Dolphins finished 10-6 with one of the NFL’s youngest teams. A blowout loss Sunday at Buffalo kept them out of the playoffs.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Former top overall draft pick Markelle Fultz suffered a season-ending tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the first quarter of the Orlando Magic’s 105-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Fultz, who was off to the best start of his career, was driving to the basket less than five minutes into the game when he was cut off by Isaac Okoro and his left knee buckled without contact. The Orlando point guard writhed in pain on the floor for several minutes before he was helped into a wheelchair. The team confirmed after the game that Fultz tore his ACL.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA is urging teams to make increased commitments toward providing mental health resources to players and staff, releasing updated guidelines Wednesday to reflect the challenge of playing amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The league told teams they should establish “education and awareness materials focused on managing mental health during times of uncertainty and coping strategies for addressing the emotional toll of the pandemic.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tommy John has been battling COVID-19 for at least three weeks, but the former pitching great disputes reports that he is a coronavirus denier.
“I’m not a denier. I’ve had it, baby,” John said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The 77-year-old John remains hospitalized near his home in Indio, California. He said he started to feel ill following a trip to Nashville before he was hospitalized on Dec. 13.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to a five-year contract extension worth $27 million.
The deal announced Wednesday will keep one of the team’s best young players in Columbus through the 2025-26 season. He had one season remaining on his current contract.
The 25-year-old Bjorkstrand led the team in goals (21), game-winning goals (five) and multi-point outings (11), and finished third in shots (162) despite missing 21 games due to injury in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season.
Mike Whan is leaving the LPGA Tour after 11 years as commissioner, a surprise announcement Wednesday that comes just three weeks after he guided the tour through a season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whan did not set a date for when he would leave. The announcement was described as the start of a succession plan.
Even though the pandemic shut down the LPGA Tour for five months and took a chunk out of a decade of savings, Whan says the tour came out of the year even more financially secure.
He did not offer a clear reason for stepping away or saying what he would do next.
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