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Mid-majors shakeup...NFL news...Soccer racism

December 28, 2018

UNDATED (AP) — Frustrated mid-major conference officials are taking drastic action they hope will nudge the selection pendulum in their direction when it comes to NCAA Tournament at-large invitations and seeding. Mid-major officials have long said it’s difficult to schedule nonconference matchups against Power Five schools, so improving their conference schedules is an attractive option to help improve their NCAA Tournament profile. Leading the way is Conference USA, which has dumped a conventional league schedule in favor of a more radical one based on results.

UNDATED (AP) — New York Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been ruled out for the fourth straight game. Coach Pat Shurmur announced Friday that Beckham will miss Sunday’s regular-season finale against Dallas with a quad injury. The New York Jets have signed wide receiver Quincy Enunwa to a contract extension, keeping one of their key offensive players. Buffalo Bills Defensive tackle Kyle Williams is retiring at age 35 after 13 seasons. And the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t expect running back Leonard Fournette to play in the season finale at Houston.

UNDATED (AP) — FIFPro and UEFA have criticized referee Paolo Mazzoleni for “failing to respect anti-racism protocol” after monkey noises were directed at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly throughout his team’s 1-0 Serie A loss at Inter Milan. FIFPro, the world players’ union, and European soccer’s ruling body UEFA also said the racial abuse aimed at the player, who was born in France to Senegalese parents, on Wednesday was “unacceptable” and had “no place in football.” The Italian league judge has decided Inter’s next two home matches should be played behind closed doors.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The court battle continues between the University of Connecticut and fired basketball coach Kevin Ollie. The school asked a judge Friday to dismiss a complaint filed by Ollie, who contends his firing was in part racially motivated. The school argues that the federal court doesn’t have jurisdiction and Ollie doesn’t make a specific claim under federal law in his complaint, which was filed this month. Both sides made oral arguments Friday and U.S. District Court Judge Kari Dooley set another hearing for Jan. 25.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A matchup between Hawaii Pacific and TCU has been cancelled following the death of a Hawaii Pacific player who collapsed during a game. The basketball teams were scheduled to play Friday in Honolulu but chose to cancel the contest after 21-year-old Emil Isovic died at a hospital Wednesday. The 6-foot-4 guard from Sweden collapsed on the bench during a first-half timeout on Dec. 18 as the Sharks played Southern Nazarene. He was taken to a hospital but never regained consciousness. Authorities have not released a cause of death.

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