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February 7, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS —Josh McDaniels has backed out of a deal to become the Indianapolis’ Colts new coach, a decision that shocked the franchise hours after it announced his hiring. The Colts confirmed McDaniels’ decision in a statement after reports emerged that the Patriots’ offensive coordinator had opted to stay in New England with coach Bill Belichick. McDaniels had agreed to contract terms with the Colts to replace the fired Chuck Pagano.

BOSTON (AP) — Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler says he didn’t miss a curfew or do anything off the field that would have hurt New England’s chances of winning the Super Bowl before he was benched for the game. In a statement released Tuesday on Twitter and Instagram, Butler says reports of misconduct off the field are “ridiculous.” He says he visited with family every night while in Minneapolis. Butler didn’t play a snap on defense in the Patriots’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden scored 36 points, surpassing 15,000 for his career, and the Houston Rockets beat the Brooklyn Nets 123-113 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory. Chris Paul added 25 points for the Rockets. Both teams made 16 3-pointers in an entertaining shootout in New York. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had an unpleasant Florida experience. The reeling Cavs were stunned 116-98 at Orlando. The Magic overcame a 21-point deficit.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 200 Michigan State University faculty members, staff and students have marched on campus to demand the resignation of newly appointed interim President John Engler. They are also demanding that the school take steps to address shortcomings in the handling of sexual assault cases amid the scandal involving former university sports doctor Larry Nassar. He faces the rest of his life in prison for sexually abusing young athletes.

UNDATED (AP) — The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will choose last, following the New England Patriots in this spring’s NFL draft. Cleveland had the worst record in the league at 0-16 and will pick first in the opening round April 26 in Arlington, Texas. The Browns, New York Giants (3-13), Indianapolis (4-12), and Houston (4-12) hold the first four choices. Cleveland owns Houston’s top pick. Denver will pick fifth and the New York Jets sixth after finishing with 5-11 records.

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