Wednesday Sports in Brief – The San Diego Union-Tribune

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway was suspended by Major League Baseball on Wednesday through at least the end of the 2022 season following an investigation of sexual harassment allegations.

Shortly after MLB’s announcement of the suspension, the Los Angeles Angels said they had fired Callaway, the team’s pitching coach since October 2019. The Angels suspended him on Feb. 2 at the start of MLB’s investigation.

Commissioner Rob Manfred did not release details of what MLB’s probe determined, but said in a statement “I have concluded that Mr. Callaway violated MLB’s policies, and that placement on the ineligible list is warranted.”

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league expects full stadiums this season and players and staff are being encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

So far, 30 of 32 teams have approval to safely open at 100% capacity before the preseason schedule begins. The Colts and Broncos do not but are on a path to get approval before August.

Goodell said 30 of 32 teams also have above 90 percent vaccination among Tier 1 and 2 staff and the other two clubs are over 85 percent.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NFL career scoring leader Adam Vinatieri is planning to retire.

Vinatieri made the announcement on former teammate Pat McAfee’s SiriusXM radio show.

The 48-year-old kicker last played in 2019. He had surgery on his left knee and his recovery process was complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vinatieri scored 2,673 points and made 599 field goals, breaking both records previously held by Morten Andersen.

Vinatieri also played in 365 regular-season games, second behind Andersen, and is the only player in league history to top the 1,000-point mark with two different franchises — the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The Senior Bowl and the NFL will hold a pre-draft combine for top prospects from Historically Black College and Universities next January.

The inaugural HBCU combine, scheduled for Jan. 28-29 in 2022, will be similar to the NFL combine with interviews and on-field and medical evaluations.

It will be held at the University of South Alabama and feature select players from four HBCU conferences — the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference — and other HBCU institutions.

AUTO RACING

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The spotter for defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott has been suspended by NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports after his domestic violence arrest.

Edward James D’Hondt, 62, was arrested earlier this month in Catawba County and charged with battery of unborn child and assaulting a women, according to online North Carolina judicial records. He faces two court dates in June.

Hendrick Motorsports issued a statement saying it had learned of D’Hondt’s arrest Wednesday and suspended him indefinitely “from his role with our company.”

GOLF

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The next edition of The Match will feature PGA stars Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau along with NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

The celebrity fundraising competition will be held at the Reserve golf course at Moonlight Basin in Montana on July 6 and will be televised on TNT starting at 5 p.m. EDT, Turner Sports announced Wednesday.

SOCCER

GDANSK, Poland (AP) — Villarreal goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli decided a marathon shootout by converting his own spot kick and then saving one from counterpart David de Gea as the Spanish team beat Manchester United 11-10 on penalties Wednesday to win the Europa League final.

After a 1-1 draw following extra time, all 10 outfield players from both teams made their penalties in the shootout — leaving it up to the two goalkeepers to take the 11th.

MILAN (AP) — Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte left the newly-crowned Serie A champion by “mutual consent” Wednesday, just weeks after leading the Nerazzurri to their first league title in more than a decade.

Conte was reportedly unhappy about the club’s decision to sell players in this coming transfer window because of financial constraints.

TENNIS

PARIS (AP) — Tennis star Naomi Osaka says she is not going to speak to the media during the upcoming French Open.

The world’s highest-earning female athlete wrote in a Twitter post Wednesday that she hopes the “considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity.”

The French Open is scheduled to begin Sunday in Paris. Osaka heads into the clay-court tournament ranked No. 2 in the world.

SPORTS BROADCASTING

Turner Sports has reached a multi-year agreement with Wayne Gretzky to be a studio analyst when its coverage of the National Hockey League begins in October. He will appear during key moments in the regular season — including opening week and the Winter Classic — and then throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Turner’s seven-year agreement begins next season. Besides regular-season and playoff games, it also includes the 2023, ’25 and ’27 Stanley Cup Finals on the TNT cable network.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — Robert Morris University is cutting its men’s and women’s hockey programs, effective immediately.

The school made the announcement Wednesday, saying the decision was part of a strategic initiative “intended to position the university to be amongst the most agile and professionally focused schools in the nation as it prepares for its upcoming 100th anniversary.”

The move affects 55 athletes and seven staff members. The school said it will honor the scholarships of those athletes wishing to remain on campus and will assist others who wish to transfer.

SPORTS GAMBLING

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first full-service sportsbook at a major sports arena or stadium in the United States opened its doors Wednesday at the home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Capitals.

Capital One Arena is directly accessible from the William Hill sportsbook during Wizards playoff games without fans needing to leave the building. That possibility exists when the Capitals return to the ice this fall if the NHL adjusts its policies.

COURTS

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The former Penn State president who was forced out as the school’s top administrator when Jerry Sandusky was arrested a decade ago will soon have to report to jail after a judge on Wednesday upheld a sentence issued four years ago.

The judge ordered Graham Spanier to begin serving at least two months at the county jail several miles from the Penn State campus on July 9 — followed by two months of house arrest on electronic monitoring — for a single misdemeanor conviction of endangering the welfare of children.

Spanier was charged in 2012 and convicted by a jury in March 2017 but appeals had allowed him to stay out of jail.

OBITUARY

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Saints coach J.D. Roberts has died.

The 88-year-old was the Saints’ second coach. He took over on an interim basis from Tom Fears in November 1970 and played a part in selecting Archie Manning with the second pick in the 1971 NFL draft.

His first game as coach was memorable. Tom Dempsey kicked a then-record 63-yard field goal to beat Detroit.

Roberts was a college assistant at Denver, Houston, Navy, Auburn and Oklahoma before joining the Saints in 1967 as a scout and linebackers coach. His Saints coaching record was 7-25-3.

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