Tuesday’s Sports in Brief
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The 21-year-old Hilinski was discovered in his apartment after he didn’t show up for practice. A rifle “was recovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found,” according to the Pullman Police Department.
Hilinski was the presumptive starting quarterback going into next season. He started Washington State’s Holiday Bowl loss to Michigan State after Luke Falk was unable to play due to a wrist injury.
Hilinski appeared in eight games during his sophomore season, throwing for 1,176 yards and seven touchdowns. His most memorable outing came in the second week of the season when he led Washington State from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Boise State 47-44 in triple overtime. Hilinski threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns coming off the bench, and was carried off the field after the victory.
His only start came in the bowl game against Michigan State, although he played extensively in a loss to Arizona.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea plans to send a 230-member cheering squad to South Korea as part of its delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics, Seoul officials said, the latest in a series of conciliatory gestures the North has abruptly taken recently following a year of heightened nuclear tension.
North Korea informed South Korea of the size of its Olympic cheering squad when officials from the rivals met at the border for the third time in less than 10 days to discuss how to cooperate in the Olympics.
A flurry of Olympics-related meetings has provided a tentative thaw in long-strained ties between the Koreas. But the North’s reluctance to discuss its nuclear weapons program is raising skepticism over how long this mood of reconciliation will last.
During Wednesday’s talks, the North also told South Korea that it has a plan to send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Paralympics set for March 9-18, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said in a statement.
The Koreas also discussed fielding a joint women’s hockey team and having their athletes march under a “unification flag” depicting the Korean Peninsula, instead of their respective national flags, during the opening ceremony for the Feb. 9-25 Games in Pyeongchang, the ministry statement said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NBA has spoken to Clippers star Blake Griffin as well as other players from the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles as part of its investigation into late-game and postgame incidents involving the teams.
Griffin confirmed that he had been contacted by league officials.
“I’ve spoken to them,” he said after attending a L.A. Clippers Foundation event at an elementary school. “I’m sure they’ve talked to everybody by now. We’ll see what they come up with.”
Tempers boiled over Monday night late in the Clippers’ 113-102 victory , to the point where several security guards were needed outside the Houston locker room afterward.
Citing anonymous NBA sources, ESPN reported several Rockets players headed toward the Clippers’ locker room afterward, seeking a confrontation, but were escorted away by security before anything got physical.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette escaped injury after he was involved in what authorities say was a minor three-car crash.
The team says the rookie’s car was rear-ended about 11:30 a.m., and that he was not hurt. He was able to drive home after the crash.
The Jaguars also say Fournette signed the rear bumper of his 2017 Mercedes-Benz Maybach — it was knocked off in the wreck — and gave it to one of the first responders on the scene.
The Florida Highway Patrol says Fournette was not at fault in the crash.
Fournette and the Jaguars play at New England on Sunday in the AFC championship game.
Fournette ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns in Jacksonville’s 45-42 victory at Pittsburgh last Sunday.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Todd Haley’s contract as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers is up.
And coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t sound as if he’s in a rush to decide whether Haley will be back next season.
Tomlin sidestepped several attempts to endorse Haley’s return on Tuesday as the AFC North champions continued to dissect what went wrong in an upset home playoff loss to Jacksonville . Asked if he anticipated any changes to his staff, Tomlin demurred.
“I don’t know where these roads are going to lead,” Tomlin said. “Some contracts are up. Some aren’t. I’m not ready to discuss that.”
Haley just finished his sixth season with the Steelers and has helped design one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses.