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Monday Sports in Brief

November 27, 2018

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has reached an agreement in principle with Mack Brown on a deal for him to return to Chapel Hill as its next football coach, a person involved in the negotiations told The Associated Press late Monday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school hasn’t publicly commented on its coaching search. The final step comes Tuesday morning when the agreement goes before the university board of trustees for approval, the person said.

Earlier in the day two people with knowledge of the situation told the AP the school was negotiating with Brown. One of the people said the deal was being finalized.

North Carolina moved quickly to replace Larry Fedora, who was fired on Sunday after seven seasons.

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona State receiver N’Keal Harry will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

Harry made the announcement Monday with coach Herm Edwards at his side.

Harry is third in Arizona State history with 213 career receptions and 2,889 yards, needing 50 yards in the Sun Devils’ bowl game to take over second. He averages 5.76 receptions per game, third among the NCAA active career leaders.

Despite facing double teams most of the time, Harry leads the Sun Devils with 73 receptions, 1,088 yards receiving and nine touchdowns.

The 6-foot-4, 213-pound receiver is projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick, possibly the first receiver to come off the board.

PRO FOOTBALL

ABC is joining the NFL draft broadcast business and will televise all three days of picks next April.

The network will join ESPN, also part of Walt Disney Company’s TV properties, for prime-time coverage on Thursday and Friday nights, April 25 and 26, from Nashville. NFL Network also will televise those two nights, which include the opening three rounds of the draft.

ABC will have a separate broadcast crew from ESPN and NFLN. On Day 3, April 27, ABC and ESPN will simulcast the final four rounds, while NFL Network does its own broadcast.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The NFL has suspended Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette one game without pay for leaving the sideline, running across the field and throwing punches at Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson.

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan handed down the punishment Monday, saying “sportsmanship is the cornerstone of the game and the league will not tolerate game-related misconduct that conveys a lack of respect for the game itself and those involved in it.”

Fournette and Lawson were ejected in the third quarter of Buffalo’s 24-21 victory and continued jawing at each other as they exited the field and entered the tunnel to the locker rooms.

Fournette has three days to appeal the suspension.

CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton is out for the season with a thumb injury suffered in the Bengals’ latest loss.

Dalton hurt the thumb on his passing hand when he tried to recover a fumble in the second half of a 35-20 rout by the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. He was placed on injured reserve after more tests on Monday.

Jeff Driskel will start for the Bengals the rest of the way, getting his first chance to lead the team in his third NFL season. The Bengals claimed quarterback Tom Savage off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers as a backup.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett after the team’s seventh consecutive loss.

Coach Doug Marrone made the decision Monday, one day after a 24-21 loss at Buffalo in which Blake Bortles finished with 127 yards passing. The Jaguars (3-8) had a season-low 107 yards through the air the previous week against Pittsburgh.

Hackett has failed to get Bortles and the offense to play anywhere close to the way they did early in the season. Injuries have been a major issue, but not enough to save Hackett’s job.

CHICAGO (AP) — Hall of Fame tight end and former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka has been released from a hospital after being treated for a mild heart attack last week.

Steve Mandell, Ditka’s agent, confirmed a report by the Chicago Sun-Times that the former coach was sent home. He tells The Associated Press Ditka “is doing better.”

The 79-year-old Ditka coached the Bears and the New Orleans Saints, finishing with a 121-95 record in 14 years, and he led Chicago to the Super Bowl title after the 1985 season.

Ditka also played 12 seasons in the NFL and made the Pro Bowl five times.

HOCKEY

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers fired general manager Ron Hextall on Monday, with the team struggling and coming off a 6-0 loss to Toronto.

Hextall was dismissed after 4 ½ seasons on the job. The Flyers have a 10-11-2 record under coach Dave Hakstol and already have used five goalies this season.

Flyers President Paul Holmgren thanked Hextall for his “many significant contributions, but it has become clear that we no longer share the same philosophical approach concerning the direction of the team.”

He added that an immediate change was in the team’s best interests and he hopes to have a new GM “as soon as possible.”

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — The Atlanta Braves added a pair of free agents following their first division title in five years, agreeing to one-year contracts with third baseman Josh Donaldson and catcher Brian McCann.

Donaldson agreed to a $23 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press on Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.

McCann’s deal was announced by Atlanta, where he became a seven-time All-Star from 2005-13. He got a $2 million, one-year contract to play near his home.

Donaldson was the AL MVP with Toronto in 2015 but has struggled since.

CINCINNATI (AP) — Reds closer Raisel Iglesias will get $6 million in the first year of his three-year contract with Cincinnati that guarantees $24,125,000.

Iglesias will receive $9 million in 2020 and $9,125,000 in 2021 under the contract announced last week.

His new deal replaces a $27 million, seven-year agreement reached in 2014 that allowed him to void the remainder of the deal once he was eligible for salary arbitration. That agreement called for $5 million salaries in each of the next two seasons.

Iglesias made $4.5 million this year, when he had a career-high 30 saves in 34 chances and a 2.38 ERA.

NEW YORK (AP) — Right-hander Parker Bridwell was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels by the New York Yankees, who opened a roster spot by designating infielder Ronald Torreyes for assignment.

Bridwell, 27, was 10-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 20 starts and one relief appearance for the Angels in 2017, then missed much of this year because of right elbow inflammation. He was 1-0 with a 17.55 ERA in one start and four relief appearances over 6 2/3 innings for the Angels and 1-1 with an 8.68 ERA at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Bridwell is 11-3 with a 4.60 ERA for Baltimore and the Angels in 28 games over three seasons. He was designated for assignment last week by the Angels.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have claimed first baseman C.J. Cron off waivers from Tampa Bay, adding an accomplished replacement for the retired Joe Mauer.

Cron batted .253 with 28 doubles, 30 home runs, 74 RBIs and an .816 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in a career-best 2018 season for the Rays, who designated the 28-year-old for assignment last week. Cron made $2.3 million last season and is in his second year of eligibility for salary arbitration.

Cron played his first four major league seasons for the Los Angeles Angels, who selected him with the 17th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft.

NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Riggleman, a 66-year-old veteran of 13 seasons as a major league manager, has been hired by the New York Mets as bench coach for Mickey Callaway.

Riggleman was Cincinnati’s bench coach from 2016 until he became interim manager for 5½ months last season, and he led the Reds to a 64-80 record after the team’s 3-15 start under Bryan Price. David Bell was hired by the Reds on Oct. 21.

Riggleman, a native of Fort Dix, New Jersey, also managed the Chicago Cubs (1995-99), Seattle (2008) and Washington (2009-11). He has a 726-904 (.445) record as a big league manager.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

WINDHAM, Conn. (AP) — Former University of Connecticut basketball star Tony Hanson, who led the Huskies to the Sweet 16 in 1976, has died. He was 63 years old.

Hanson died Sunday at his home in Windham. His death was confirmed Monday by the Potter Funeral home in Windham, which is handling funeral arrangements.

The 6-foot-5 guard from Waterbury starred for UConn from 1973-1977, scoring 1,990 points, which ranks third in program history. He averaged 17.9 points per game and 26 points as a senior.

In 2007 his name and No. 42 were placed on the wall of Gampel Pavilion as part of the inaugural “Huskies of Honor” class.

Hanson was drafted by New Orleans in 1977, but never played in the NBA.

GYMNASTICS

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — The former president of Michigan State University on Monday made her first court appearance since being charged with lying to investigators about what she knew during the investigation into sexual assault allegations against former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Lou Anna Simon, 71, is accused of lying during an interview in May. She is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors.

The arraignment in an Eaton County court lasted roughly 10 minutes, during which Simon acknowledged that the felonies carry a maximum punishment of four years in prison but made no further remarks. She has not entered a plea yet and is due back in court on Dec. 18.

SOCCER

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The most anticipated Copa Libertadores final in years might not be decided on the pitch.

The disciplinary committee of South American soccer body CONMEBOL will decide on Tuesday whether to disqualify River Plate, force the second leg with archrival Boca Juniors to be played behind closed doors, or transfer the match to a neutral stadium. The first leg was drawn 2-2.

River fans attacked the Boca team bus near River’s stadium on Saturday, pelting it with rocks, bottles and wood, and shattering windows. Several players were injured, and had trouble breathing because of tear gas and pepper spray used by police to quell the fan violence.

CONMEBOL postponed the final from Saturday to Sunday, then postponed it on Sunday indefinitely when it was obvious the Boca team was in no fit state to play what Argentines have been hyping as “the final of the century.”

The fate of the South American club title now rests with administrators.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Ex-South Korea international Jang Hak-yong has received a lifetime ban from the Korea Football Association (KFA) after an attempt to fix a domestic league game.

Jang, a left-back who played five times for South Korea and more than 300 domestic games before he retired in 2017, was arrested in September and sentenced to 10 months in jail. After Jang’s release he will be barred from participating in any soccer-related activities.

The 37-year-old Jang met Lee Han-saem, a player with Asan Mugunghwa in the second division of the K-League, in September. He was found guilty of offering Lee 50 million won ($44,300) to receive a red card within the first 20 minutes of a game against Busan I’Park on Sept.22.

Lee refused, informed the authorities and Jang was subsequently arrested. Lee received a reward of 70 million won ($62,000) from the KFA, which announced the sanction for Jang on Monday.

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