Friday’s Sports in Brief
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Chicken noodle or tomato? J.R. Smith didn’t serve up any explanation.
Cleveland’s mercurial shooting guard declined an interview request Friday, a day after the Cavaliers suspended him one game for throwing a bowl of soup at assistant coach Damon Jones.
The soup toss came following Thursday’s shootaround at the team’s training facility, hours before the Cavs played the Philadelphia 76ers, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not disclosed details.
Smith was with his teammates Friday – the Cavs didn’t practice, but watched film – and after getting in some extra shots, he told a team spokesman he will address the media at Saturday’s shootaround before the Cavs play Denver.
Until then, what triggered his brothy outburst remains a mystery.
ESPN.com first reported the reason for Smith’s suspension.
NEW YORK (AP) – NCAA President Mark Emmert is hopeful the scandal roiling college basketball will lead to major rule changes, but schools paying players is likely a nonstarter.
In a 45-minute phone interview with The Associated Press, Emmert said he expects a commission to reform college basketball to put forth proposals to modernize NCAA rules on player-agent relationships, devise new ways to handle high-profile enforcement cases and address the NBAs one-and-done rule. The commission, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is on track to give its recommendations to NCAA leadership when the Division I Board of Directors meets April 24-25.
Emmert says he does not think the NCAA is in crisis and that the ”vast majority of what’s going on inside” the associations is working ”incredibly well.”
A federal investigation has alleged hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks being funneled to influence recruits, an FBI probe that many fans believe reveals just a tiny slice of potential corruption in college sports.
NEW YORK (AP) – Penn State had a ”welcome to New York” moment before the Big Ten quarterfinals.
The team bus was involved in a minor accident near Madison Square Garden on its way to the 69-68 victory over Ohio State.
”Unbelievable,” Penn State coach Pat Chambers said when asked about the incident. ”We had a bit of a fender bender. We’re 1-0 with fender benders. We’re in New York. What do you expect?”
The team arrived to the arena 10 minutes later than expected for its game against No. 13 Ohio State due to traffic en route to the arena and the fender bender, a Penn State spokesman told the AP. The team is staying at a hotel in Manhattan about 15 minutes from the arena.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Baseball union head Tony Clark says it is possible some free agents may not agree to contracts until after the start of the regular season.
More than four dozen players remain without deals from among the 166 who exercised free agent rights last November, and the total seeking jobs is much greater when released players, non-tender free agents and minor league free agents are included.
”We know in the past there have been players that have signed deals later, so we’ll have to see how the rest of the offseason works out,” Clark said Friday after meeting with the New York Yankees during his tour of spring training camps.
Top free agents include pitchers Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Greg Holland, and third baseman Mike Moustakas.
LARRY NASSAR ABUSE
A University of Michigan freshman gymnast is believed to be the first man to file a lawsuit alleging he was sexually abused by disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Jacob Moore was named as a plaintiff Wednesday in a federal suit filed by hundreds of women and girls against Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and others. Nassar is in prison for molesting gymnasts and others under the guise of treatment and for possessing child pornography.
Moore says he trained at Twistars, an elite Lansing-area gymnastics gym, from 2001 through 2015. He says Nassar treated him multiple times.
Moore says Nassar treated him in April 2016 for shoulder pain by administering acupuncture in and around his genitalia after pulling down Moore’s pants in front of a female gymnast who was a minor. Moore describes Nassar’s conduct as an assault performed for Nassar’s sexual pleasure.