AP Sports Digest

January 15, 2020 GMT

The highlights of the AP Sports report. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan . You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, http://newsroom.ap.org

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BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora, a day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred implicated him in the sport’s sign-stealing scandal. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 950 words, photos.


PHOENIX — If Major League Baseball really wants to stop its teams from electronically stealing signs, it might consider fighting technology with more technology. One model is the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference, which uses an earpiece for coaches and catchers to communicate. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 a.m.


CLEMSON, S.C. — What a wild ride the past four days have been for Clemson fans. The Tigers beat No. 3 Duke 79-72 to sandwich wins over the Atlantic Coast Conference’s basketball blue bloods around Monday’s loss in the College Football Playoff title game. Tuesday night’s win over the Blue Devils was the highest-profile upset for the Tigers since they beat No. 1 North Carolina on their home court in February 2001. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 850 words, photos.


NEW ORLEANS — LSU coach Ed Orgeron knows how special his national champion Tigers are. He knows how difficult it will be to move forward without so many players who were essential to their 15-0 season. He says the goal remains to compete for championships each season. Top-ranked LSU completed a perfect season with a 42-25 victory over No. 3 Clemson. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow threw five touchdowns in the rout. The senior star is among several players who won’t be back next season. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 600 words, photos.


HOUSTON — The Houston Astros suddenly have a couple more holes to fill. Less than a month before the start of spring training, the American League champions are without a manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were suspended by Major League Baseball and subsequently fired by team owner Jim Crane for the club’s sign-stealing scheme. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 800 words, photos.



SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Few franchises have been as intertwined over the last quarter-century as the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, with seven previous playoff meetings heading into this year’s NFC championship game. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 970 words, photos.



Alastair Johnston took 30 books that been collecting dust and turned that into the largest golf library in the world. For years, Johnston has kept his collection on the second floor of his home in the Cleveland suburbs. Johnston is vice chairman at IMG who was Arnold Palmer’s longtime business manager. The library is so large it takes two volumes and 944 pages of a bibliography to catalog each book. Johnston has decided to gift the library to the R&A to display near headquarters at St. Andrews. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 810 words, photos. With Golf Glance and Golf Notes (sent).



The top of the final AP college football poll of the 2019 season looked a good deal like the first AP college football poll of the 2019 season. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1,580 words, photos.


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 lawsuit was filed Monday in Pennsylvania federal court against the university, head coach James Franklin and one former teammate. By Mark Scolforo. SENT: 540 words, photos.


Firing coaches has been the norm in the NHL for decades. It’s just gone to another level this season in our instant-gratification society. Halfway through the season, six coaches have been either fired or forced out, and in all likelihood there will be more disappearing from some struggling teams. By Tom Canavan. UPCOMING: 1,200 words, photos by 3 a.m. With NHL—Coaches Tenure.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is retiring from the NFL after eight seasons. The 28-year-old Kuechly made the surprising announcement in a video posted on the team’s website. By Steve Reed. SENT: 650 words, photos.


Team Israel’s improbable run to the Tokyo Olympic Games is spurring hope that it will provide the overlooked sport of baseball in Israel its long-awaited boost. By Aron Heller. SENT: 950 words, photos.


AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn Tigers have skipped the growing pains and gone straight to an extended hot streak. The fourth-ranked Tigers remain unbeaten after replacing the three stars of their first Final Four team. By John Zenor. SENT: 710 words, photos.


WACO, Texas — Baylor coach Kim Mulkey points out that the No. 2 Lady Bears’ only loss — to now-No. 1 South Carolina — came in a mid-November game they played without standout post Lauren Cox. The preseason AP All-American is healthy now, and so are the defending national champions with another graduate transfer point guard. The focus now is on 10th consecutive Big 12 title. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT. 760 words, photos.


NEW YORK -- The WNBA and its players reach a tentative deal on a collective bargaining agreement. The eight-year contract begins this season and runs through 2027. The league says it will pay players an average of $130,000 and increase marketing opportunities and revenue sharing. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 940 words, photos.


Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)


Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Boston, 7 p.m.

San Antonio at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Indiana at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Toronto at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

Washington at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Charlotte at Denver, 9 p.m.

Portland at Houston, 9:30 p.m.

Dallas at Sacramento, 10 p.m.

Orlando at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.


Chicago at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Philadelphia at St. Louis, 8 p.m.


Men’s Top 25

No. 2 Baylor vs. Iowa State, 8 p.m.

No. 4 Auburn at Alabama, 9 p.m.

No. 5 Butler vs. No. 18 Seton Hall, 6:30 p.m.

No. 9 Florida State vs. Virginia, 7 p.m.

No. 10 Kentucky at South Carolina, 6:30 p.m.

No. 16 Wichita State at Temple, 9 p.m.

No. 25 Creighton at Georgetown, 7 p.m.

Women’s Top 25

No. 2 Baylor at Kansas, 8 p.m.

No. 17 West Virginia vs. Oklahoma, 7 p.m.