COLLEGE FOOTBALL

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State suspended coach Urban Meyer for three games for mishandling repeated professional and behavioral problems of an assistant coach, with investigators finding Meyer protected his protege for years through domestic violence allegations, a drug problem and poor job performance.

The superstar coach's treatment of his now-fired assistant was also clouded by his abiding devotion to the legacy of former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce, the grandfather of former wide receivers coach Zach Smith and an early coaching mentor for Meyer.

"I gave Zach Smith the benefit of the doubt," Meyer said.

The investigation turned up "a pattern of troubling behavior by Zach Smith: promiscuous and embarrassing sexual behavior, drug abuse, truancy, dishonesty, financial irresponsibility, a possible NCAA violation, and a lengthy police investigation into allegations of criminal domestic violence and cybercrimes," according to summary investigative findings released by the university.

Meyer knew about at least some of the issues.

The report and punishment culminated a two-week investigation of how Meyer reacted to allegations that Smith abused his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. Zach Smith was fired last month after she asked a judge for a protective order.

PRO FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An off-the-air racial slur prompted the immediate retirement of longtime Indianapolis Colts radio voice Bob Lamey last weekend, team officials and Lamey's attorney confirmed.

Local attorney James Voyles issued a statement acknowledging the 80-year-old Lamey used "inappropriate" language during a conversation with a friend at a local radio station and apologized immediately.

A report on a local television's station website, WTHR.com, claimed an employee at Emmis Communications heard the comment and reported it to the radio station's human resources department, which then contacted the Colts.

It's not the first time Lamey's words have caused controversy. But what happened last week the Colts found intolerable. The announcement of Lamey's retirement after 31 years with the Colts came Sunday.

He was replaced on Monday night's radio broadcast by Matt Taylor.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick said he has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder that causes weakness in various parts of the body, and the four-time Pro Bowl player isn't sure on a timetable for a return.

Frederick said he has received two treatments for Guillain-Barre Syndrome over the past 48 hours and that the treatments will continue for several days.

"I am very optimistic about my condition and the immediate future, as I have been told that the illness was detected at a fairly early stage," Frederick said. "My doctors have told me that it is not possible to determine a timetable for a return to the field right now, but I am hopeful that I will be able to play as soon as possible."

The 27-year-old Frederick has started all 83 games, including three playoff games, since the Cowboys drafted him late in the first round in 2013. That streak is likely in jeopardy with the opener 2 1/2 weeks away, Sept. 9 at Carolina.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL Competition Committee has recommended not making any changes to the helmet rule approved by owners in the offseason, which means instant replay use for officials will not be instituted for such calls.

After members of the powerful committee held a conference call, football operations chief Troy Vincent noted there would be no alterations. Vincent said the feedback after two weeks of preseason games was reviewed and "the committee resolved that there will be no changes ... "

"The committee also determined that inadvertent or incidental contact with the helmet and/or facemask is not a foul," Vincent said.

Vincent added that as players, coaches and officials adjust to the rule, the league will provide more feedback and examples of incorrect calls.

Players on both sides of the ball have expressed confusion about the rule that prohibits lowering the helmet to make contact anywhere on an opponent, and also are concerned that officials can't be consistent whistling such penalties.

GOLF

NEW YORK (AP) — The winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson is on.

WarnerMedia says it has secured the rights for a pay-per-view event it is promoting as "The Match." It will be 18 holes between Woods and Mickelson held Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. The winner will receive $9 million.

The pay-per-view cost is to be announced later.

Woods announced that the match was on in a tweet, setting off Twitter banter with Mickelson , who only signed up for a Twitter account Wednesday.

WarnerMedia says pay-per-view coverage will be distributed through Turner's B/R Live, AT&T DirecTV and U-verse, and other on-demand platforms. HBO Sports and Bleacher Report will take part in the promotion.

Woods and Mickelson will make side bets during the match on such things as longest drive or closest to the pin.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The NCAA is ditching the RPI for its own evaluation tool to select teams for the NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA Evaluation Tool will rely on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency and quality of wins and losses. NET will be used for the 2018-19 season by the committee that selects schools and seeds the tournament.

NET rankings will be released in late November or early December and updated through Selection Sunday, with a final ranking following the tournament.

The NCAA has used the RPI since 1981 to help the NCAA Tournament selection committee pick at-large teams, seeding and bracketing teams each March.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Major league baseball says all 30 teams will play on March 28, the earliest opening day in history, excluding international openers.

The previous earliest opening day was March 29 of this year.

MLB released the 2019 schedule Wednesday. It will begin with the Japan opening series between the Seattle Mariners and host Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome on March 20-21.

The 2019 season will be the second under the scheduling format agreed to as part of the 2017-2021 basic agreement. That format adds an additional weekend at the beginning of the season and gives each team three to four additional off days throughout the season to provide added rest and opportunities for rescheduling.

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will play the first-ever MLB games in Europe, June 29-30 in London.