BC-AP Sports Digest,2254

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On a bonus edition of the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic joins College Football Writer Ralph Russo to discuss the aftermath of the Urban Meyer investigation at Ohio State. The Buckeyes coach was given a three-game suspension, but the report seemed to lay out a reasonable case for Meyer to have been fired. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

ESPN's Rece Davis is a voter in the AP college football poll that was released Monday. He tells the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast that he tries to blend his preseason assessments with how a team might develop. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

John Smoltz says baseball must change — and fast. The Hall of Fame pitcher speaks about the need to make the game more appealing to fans young and old on PodcastOne Sports Now with co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast



CLEVELAND — The Super Bowl MVP has lost his magic touch. Nick Foles isn't playing like himself. Foles threw two interceptions in the first half and Philadelphia's starting offense — missing some key players — struggled again while waiting for quarterback Carson Wentz to return as the Eagles were beaten 5-0 by the Cleveland Browns. By Tom Withers. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

— With:

— FBN--BROWNS-TAYLOR INJURED — Browns QB injures left hand, set for more tests. By Tom Withers. SENT: 600 words, photos.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer may have weathered scandal at Ohio State, but not without a lasting stain as an exhaustive report detailed behavior that could easily have taken down a coach of lesser stature. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.



COLLEGE STATION, Texas — New Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said his program will be "very open" to any inquiry into allegations of possible NCAA violations, but he is confident in how things have been handled since he arrived from Florida State. Fisher was responding to allegations former Aggies linebacker Santino Marchiol made to USA Today this week about improper cash payments for hosting recruits, practices that went beyond allowable time limits and mishandling of his ankle injury. SENT: 345 words, photo.


LINCOLN, Neb. — When UCF's new coaching staff relegated safety Tre Neal to the second team in spring practice, Neal got the nudge he needed to look for a place he could make the most of his final season. Neal landed at Nebraska as a graduate transfer, and he feels right at home. By College Football Writer Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 650 words, photo.

— Also:

— FBC--T25-OKLAHOMA-HOLLYWOOD BROWN — Oklahoma WR Marquise "Hollywood" Brown more than a speedster this year. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 635 words, photos.

— FBC--T25-MICHIGAN-PATTERSON — QB Shea Patterson says Michigan's offense will have a little bit of everything. By Larry Lage. SENT: 315 words, photos.

— FBC--LSU-FULTON REINSTATED — LSU defensive back reinstated from long suspension. SENT: 160 words.

— FBC--RUTGERS-PLAYERS CHARGED — Rutgers coach addresses players charged with fraud. By Matt Sugam. SENT: 585 words.

— FBC--ALBANY (NY)-TESTAVERDE — Son of longtime NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner is starting QB at Albany. SENT: 185 words.



PARAMUS, N.J. — Tiger Woods failed to carry any momentum he had from his last tournament into the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Neither did Sean O'Hair. That was only good news for O'Hair, who needs to play well at The Northern Trust to keep his season going. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 950 words, photos.


REGINA, Saskatchewan — Ariya Jutanugarn birdied five of her last eight holes for an 8-under 64 and a share of the CP Women's Open lead at rain-softened Wascana Country Club. Nasa Hataoka and Mariajo Uribe joined the second-ranked Jutanugarn atop the leaderboard, with Canadian star Brooke Henderson and three-time champion Lydia Ko two strokes back. SENT: 700 words, photos.


VYSOKY UJEZD, Czech Republic — John Daly matched the course record with an 8-under 64 for a share of the first-round lead in the Czech Masters. The 52-year-old Daly was tied with European Ryder Cup hopeful Thomas Pieters of Belgium, Callum Tarren of England and Gavin Green of Malaysia. SENT: 220 words.

— Also:

— GLF--WEBCOM TOUR FINALS — Henrik Norlander leads Web.com Tour Finals opener. SENT: 445 words.



LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University's former head gymnastics coach is the latest person to be charged in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal surrounding ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar. Kathie Klages is accused of lying to an investigator in June, when she denied that witnesses told her years ago about being sexually assaulted by Nassar. SENT: 950 words, photo.

— With:

— GYM--DOCTOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT-COACH — By David Eggert. SENT: 850 words, photo.



TEMPE, Ariz. — If his 15th NFL season is to be his last, don't expect Larry Fitzgerald to tell anyone. Not until long after the season is over. Fitzgerald is adamant about avoiding a farewell tour. That said, one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history is showing no signs of easing up. By Bob Baum. SENT: 770 words, photo.


FRISCO, Texas — Travis Frederick's revelation that he has a rare neurological disorder will reverberate on and off the field. The Cowboys likely will begin the season without their stalwart center, not knowing what will happen to him. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 930 words, photos.


COSTA MESA, Calif. — The history between Philip Rivers and Drew Brees has the ingredients of a major sports rivalry. Except these two quarterbacks still genuinely like and respect each other 14 years after they were thrown together with the San Diego Chargers. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 885 words, photos.


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley hopes there will be a time when the NFL does away with preseason games entirely, saying that "everyone's dream is not to play in the preseason." In the meantime, Gurley will have to settle for Rams coach Sean McVay making his dream come true. McVay said he could hold quarterback Jared Goff out of the team's third preseason game against Houston on Saturday, while also confirming Gurley, center John Sullivan and left tackle Andrew Whitworth will not play as a precaution. By Dan Greenspan. SENT: 635 words.


LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith could be the exception to an unwritten NFL preseason rule. The team's first-round draft pick could become one of the few key players who actually appear in Chicago's fifth and final preseason game against Buffalo. By Gene Chamberlain. SENT: 550 words.

— Also:

— FBN--HALL OF FAME-CONTRIBUTORS — Gil Brandt and Pat Bowlen nominated for Hall of Fame. SENT: 385 words.

— FBN--STEELERS-WASHINGTON — Quiet rookie fine letting his play do the talking. By Will Graves. SENT: 975 words, photos.

— FBN--NFL RDP — SENT: 1,345 words, photos.




MIAMI — The Marlins hit Ronald Acuna Jr., again. They couldn't hit Sean Newcomb, again. Acuna, the dazzling Atlanta rookie, connected on a 432-foot drive for his 21st home run and got hit by another Miami pitch, though tempers stayed in check this time and the Braves went on to a 5-0 win over the Marlins. It was the first meeting between the teams since the Aug. 15 game in which Miami starter Jose Urena earned a six-game suspension by plunking Acuna with his only pitch, sparking a melee. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 875 words, photos.


CHICAGO — White Sox rookie pitcher Michael Kopech apologized for racist and homophobic tweets he posted as 17-year-old and has since deleted. The tweets from 2013 surfaced Tuesday as Kopech made his major league debut. SENT: 250 words, photo.


LOS ANGELES — The Cardinals are baseball's hottest team in the dog days of summer. They're 17-4 in August and have won eight straight on the road while gaining ground in the division and wild-card races. The results have come since last month's firing of manager Mike Matheny. By Beth Harris. SENT: 740 words, photos.


A look at what's happening around the majors. UPCOMING: 415 words, photos.

— Also:

— BBN--CUBS-DARVISH — Yu Darvish relieved cause of elbow pain finally discovered. By John Jackson. SENT: 450 words.



NEW YORK — Serena and Venus Williams could be headed toward their earliest Grand Slam meeting in 20 years, facing a potential third-round matchup at the U.S. Open. If the sisters do play each other, the winner might face No. 1-ranked Simona Halep in the fourth round. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 700 words, photos.



What has transpired over the last three weeks at Ohio State should be a lesson to all coaches. Your football program is not a family. Urban Meyer treated Zach Smith like family, and it almost cost one of the most accomplished coaches in college football his job. A case can be made that it should have. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 750 words, photos.



IndyCar drivers, unsettled and with heavy hearts, return to racing this weekend with their minds on Robert Wickens, the Canadian driver who remains hospitalized after a frightening wreck last weekend. Once they get in their cars, they will have no choice but to push the Pocono Raceway crash away and focus on their jobs. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 900 words, photo.

— With:

— CAR--INDYCAR-HUNTER-REAY-SAFETY — Ryan Hunter-Reay speaks with the AP about the crash that left Robert Wickens with a spinal cord injury. Hunter-Reay, an IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, was not injured. But he knows it could have been far different. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 700 words, photos.



UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Diana Taurasi has made a career of playing her best on the biggest stage. The Phoenix star improved to 13-0 in playoff deciding games, scoring 27 points in the Mercury's 96-86 victory over the Connecticut Sun in the second round of the WNBA playoffs. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 385 words, photos.

— Also:

— BKL--SPARKS-MYSTICS — Elena Delle Donne and Mystics ease past Sparks 96-64 to reach semifinals. SENT: 240 words, photos.



PHOENIX — When the Arizona Coyotes moved to the desert in 1996, youth hockey in the area barely existed. With the help of the Coyotes and a big boost from Auston Matthews' popularity, Arizona has become one of the fastest-growing areas for grassroots hockey. By John Marshall. SENT: 850 words, photo.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Jack Eichel now understands he can't transform the Buffalo Sabres into contenders on emotion alone. After three frustrating seasons, the center and face of the franchise tells the AP he plans on taking a steadier approach. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 830 words, photos.



DENVER — After cutting about $1 billion worth of deals and reimagining the U.S. Olympic team's brand, longtime U.S. Olympic Committee marketing chief Lisa Baird is leaving to take a similar position at New York Public Radio. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 600 words, photo.



LONDON — Liverpool maintains it is not for sale but the American owners remain open to minority investment. The Premier League club was responding to the Daily Mail newspaper reporting that a relative of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour was exploring a takeover in the last year that valued Liverpool at $2.6 billion. SENT: 250 words, photo.

— Also:

— SOC--COLUMBUS CREW-AUSTIN — Austin doesn't have a Major League Soccer team just yet, but the club-to-come-later already has a name, a logo and team colors. SENT: 135 words.



SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The 16 umpires working the Little League World Series have more than 350 years of experience combined. They play a big role in making the games run smoothly. They also faced a tough road to get this far, and they're not getting paid for their labors. By Sara Perlowitz. SENT: 635 words, photos.






Friday's Time Schedule (EDT)


Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Philadelphia at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.

Boston at Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m.

Chicago White Sox at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.

Atlanta at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

Washington at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m.

Oakland at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m.

St. Louis at Colorado, 8:40 p.m.

Seattle at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.

Houston at L.A. Angels, 10:07 p.m.

San Diego at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.

Texas at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.


New England at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.

N.Y. Giants at N.Y. Jets, 7:30 p.m.

Denver at Washington, 7:30 p.m.

Seattle at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Detroit at Tampa Bay, 8 p.m.

Green Bay at Oakland, 10:30 p.m.


Atlanta United FC at Orlando City, 8 p.m.

Los Angeles FC at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.