Monday, January 30, 2023
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Wednesday’s Sports In Brief


FOOTBALL

Jalen Hurts, Justin Jefferson and Patrick Mahomes are finalists for The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year awards.

The winners will be announced at NFL Honors on Feb. 9. A nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league voted before the playoffs.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Bengals QB Joe Burrow also are finalists for MVP.

Hurts led Philadelphia to a 14-3 record in the regular season and the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Eagles are in the NFC championship game.

Jefferson led the NFL with 128 catches and 1,809 yards receiving for Minnesota. Jefferson was one of two unanimous choices for AP All-Pro along with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, helped Kansas City go 14-3 to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Chiefs are in the AFC title game for the fifth straight season. They’ll host the Bengals. Mahomes received 49 of 50 votes for AP first-team All-Pro.

San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa, Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons are the finalists for AP Defensive Player of the Year.

Brian Daboll, Doug Pederson and Kyle Shanahan are the finalists for AP Coach of the Year award. Daboll led the New York Giants to a 9-7-1 record in his first season as head coach. Pederson guided the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 9-8 record and an AFC South title in his first year with the team. Shanahan led the San Francisco 49ers to a 13-4 mark, including 5-0 down the stretch with third-string rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.

Purdy, Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III and New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson are the finalists for AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. Jets cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen are the finalists for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge delayed a long-awaited hearing to determine whether former Las Vegas Raiders player Henry Ruggs will stand trial in a fatal 2021 crash, saying it can’t proceed until the case is properly assigned to a judge in the lower court.

The decision came in response to a request filed Monday by attorneys for Ruggs asking the state judge to block Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman from presiding over the case.

Until recently, Zimmerman had been overseeing all DUI cases in Las Vegas, including the case against Ruggs, as part of a specialty court program. But those cases were transferred earlier this month to a different judge appointed to take over the specialty court.

Ruggs, who is out of custody on bail, is charged with driving under the influence on Nov. 2, 2021, and slamming his Chevrolet Corvette into the SUV of Tina Tintor, causing the vehicle to go up in flames. Trapped inside the SUV, both Tintor, 23, and her dog, Max, died.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco defensive lineman Charles Omenihu will be available to play in the NFC title game despite his arrest on a misdemeanor domestic violence allegation.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said the team will wait for the legal process to resolve after Omenihu was accused of pushing his girlfriend to the ground during an argument on Monday. The NFL will review the matter under the league’s personal conduct policy, but Omenihu is available until that is completed.

San Jose police said they were called to Omenihu’s home on Monday afternoon to investigate a domestic violence incident. According to the police report, a woman who said she was Omenihu’s girlfriend said he pushed her to the ground during an argument.

SKIING

SAN VIGILIO DI MAREBBE, Italy (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin didn’t wait long to add to her record total of World Cup wins.

A day after securing record victory No. 83, Shiffrin added her 84th in another giant slalom on the same course.

And like how she did it a day earlier, Shiffrin led from start to finish, dominating the first run down the steep Erta course and then adding to her advantage in the second run.

Shiffrin finished a massive 0.82 seconds ahead of two-time Olympic silver medalist Ragnhild Mowinckel and 1.19 ahead of Olympic champion Sara Hector.

SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) — Loïc Meillard edged Swiss teammate Gino Caviezel in a floodlit World Cup giant slalom.

Austria’s Marco Schwarz was third. Swiss star Marco Odermatt, the winner of four giant slaloms this season, sat out o rest a sore knee.

TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Tommy Paul reached his first Grand Slam semifinal and ended the surprising run of Ben Shelton by winning their all-American matchup at the Australian Open 7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Paul, a 25-year-old from New Jersey, is the first man from his country to make it to the final four at Melbourne Park since Andy Roddick in 2009. Roddick also WAS the last man from the U.S. to win a Grand Slam singles championship, at the U.S. Open 20 years ago.

The 35th-ranked Paul’s semifinal opponent will be 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic or No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev. Djokovic entered their match Wednesday night with a 43-10 career record in major quarterfinals; Rublev’s mark at that stage was 0-6.

The other men’s semifinal Friday is No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas against No. 18 Karen Khachanov.

GOLF

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jon Rahm struggled to a 1-over 73 at Torrey Pines South, which has become one of his favorite courses, while Sam Ryder, Aaron Rai and Brent Grant all shot 8-under 64 on the more forgiving North Course to tie for the first-round lead at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rahm, ranked No. 3 in the world and trying for his third win in three starts, made a double bogey on the par-4 seventh hole and was continually left frustrated on the South Course. He claimed his first PGA Tour victory in 2017 at the municipal courses on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean and then won the U.S. Open on the South Course in 2021.

Rahm won The American Express at PGA West in the Coachella Valley last weekend and the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua two weeks earlier.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Spectators will not be allowed to attend the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday because of what organizers have described as “severe weather conditions” forecast at Emirates Golf Club.

The European tour said the decision had been made “with the safety of all in mind.” Top-ranked Rory McIlroy headlines the field this year.

TRACK AND FIELD

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Track and field’s governing body is facing renewed criticism for a proposal to allow transgender athletes to continue competing in top female events, although with stricter rules.

World Athletics has sent a proposal for new regulations governing transgender athletes — and the separate issue of athletes with differences in sex development like two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya — to national track federations for their feedback.

The governing body’s “preferred option,” it said in a statement this week, is for transgender athletes and those with sex development differences to still be allowed to compete in female events if they reduce their testosterone levels further, to below 2.5 nanomoles per liter of blood. They would have to keep their testosterone below that level for at least two years before being allowed to compete, according to World Athletics’ proposal.

OLYMPICS

GENEVA (AP) — The IOC made clear it wants Russians to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics as neutral athletes, in defiance of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call to exclude them entirely.

Citing a “unifying mission” during a time of war, the International Olympic Committee said no athlete should face discrimination based only on the passport they held. Russia was not directly condemned in the statement though athletes who have been “actively supporting the war in Ukraine” face being excluded from the Paris Olympics that open in 18 months’ time, the IOC said.

BASEBALL

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Left-hander Jeffrey Springs became the first of the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration salaries with their teams to reach a deal, agreeing o a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old was among seven Rays who swapped arbitration figures with the team on Jan. 13. He began last season in the bullpen, transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts. He is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings — 51 of them in relief — since he was acquired from Boston in February 2021.

COLLEGE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Chancellor Donde Plowman announced a contract extension for athletic director Danny White, a day after the Volunteers disclosed a big pay raise for football coach Josh Heupel.

Plowman said White agreed to an extension that starts at $2.2 million a year with an annual pay increase of 5%, up from his original $1.8 million salary. Plowman signed the updated contract Dec. 1.

SOCCER

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA stripped Russia of hosting rights for the season-opening Super Cup game in August because of the country’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

The city of Kazan, which was a 2018 World Cup host, was due to stage the curtain-raising game between the winners of this season’s Champions League and Europa League. It will now be played in Athens at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium home of Olympiakos on Aug. 16.

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