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Update on the latest sports

January 30, 2019

NFL-COACHING DIVERSITY

NFL’s scoring boom contributes to drop in minority coaches

UNDATED (AP) — With NFL trends clearly favoring offense over defense, advancement opportunity for minority coaches has been at least temporarily slowed.

An Associated Press study of coaching staffs around the league found only four minorities at the start of the 2018 season in the stepping-stone positions of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. That’s just 7.1 percent of 56 jobs.

The lack of minorities in the pipeline contributed to the NFL’s sharpest-ever one-year drop in minority head coaches, from eight in 2018 to an expected four in 2019. This development has caused concern among diversity advocates declaring unsatisfactory progress 16 years after the Rooney Rule was implemented.

The rule named after late Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for each head coach or general manager vacancy.

SUPER BOWL-ADS-PREVIEW

Super Bowl ads offer simple escapism with star power

NEW YORK (AP) — Star power abounds in this year’s Super Bowl ads.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, for instance, is making a horror movie parody for Olay, while Jeff Bridges revives his “The Dude” character from “The Big Lebowski” in a pitch for Stella Artois.

Advertisers are hoping to provide some welcome distraction as economic fears persist and the nation’s political climate remains sharply divided.

As much as Sunday’s Super Bowl will be a battle between players on the field, it will be a battle between advertisers over who gets the buzz — and who gets forgotten.

The stakes are high. A 30-second Super Bowl ad can cost more than $5 million. More than 100 million people in the U.S. are expected to tune in to Sunday’s game on CBS.

NFL STAR-MORTGAGE SCHEME

New Jersey’s top court won’t hear ex-NFL star’s appeal

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Supreme Court won’t hear a request from former NFL star Irving Fryar to overturn his conviction for his role in a mortgage scam.

The court announced its decision Tuesday but did not elaborate.

Fryar and his mother were convicted in August 2015 of applying for mortgage loans in quick succession while using the same property as collateral. They eventually were found guilty of conspiracy and theft by deception.

Fryar’s defense argued at trial he was the victim of a “con artist” who told him to carry out the scheme.

Fryar was a star wide receiver at the University of Nebraska and played in the NFL in the 1980s and 1990s for the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins.

INDYCAR-DALY-500

Conor Daly part of all-American Andretti lineup for Indy 500

UNDATED (AP) — Andretti Autosport will field a five-car all-American lineup for the Indianapolis 500.

Conor Daly snagged the fifth seat, with the Air Force as his sponsor.

Team owner Michael Andretti consistently puts together competitive Indy 500 lineups and this year his roster is exclusively American drivers. Daly completes the lineup with former Indy 500 winners Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay, along with Marco Andretti and Zach Veach.

The Air Force additionally signed as an associate partner for all four of the Andretti cars during the full IndyCar season.

Daly does not have a ride yet for the upcoming IndyCar season. The Indianapolis 500 is May 26.

The Indiana native worked with the Air Force during last year’s 500 and delivered such a significant return on investment that the Air Force wanted to sponsor Daly again this year.

SOCCER-POLSTER

United States defender Polster joins Scottish club Rangers

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — United States defender Matt Polster has joined Scottish club Rangers from the Chicago Fire.

The 25-year-old Polster has signed a 2½-year deal with the Glasgow club, which is managed by former England captain Steven Gerrard.

Rangers is second in the league, three points behind Glasgow rival Celtic, which has U.S. forward Timothy Weah on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.

Polster made his debut for the United States in a 0-0 draw against Bosnia-Herzegovina in January 2018. It is his only appearance so far for the national team.

Polster is the latest American to play for Rangers after DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Claudio Reyna.

MISSING PLANE-SALA

Cushions found likely to have come from Sala’s missing plane

LONDON (AP) — Air accident investigators say two seat cushions have been found which are likely to have come from the plane carrying Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala.

They are the first traces of the plane to be found since it disappeared over the English Channel on Jan. 21 as it flew from France to Wales. Sala had just been signed by Premier League club Cardiff.

British authorities say their French counterparts found parts of two seat cushions on a beach near Surtainville in northwest France.

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch says “from a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft.”

After an official rescue operation for the light aircraft was called off on Thursday after three days, Sala’s family raised money for a private search.

Now the AAIB says it has commissioned a vessel to conduct a search of the seabed starting this weekend.

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