Friday’s Sports in Brief
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Tara VanDerveer became just the second NCAA women’s coach to reach 1,000 career victories, when No. 8 Stanford beat USC 58-42 to give the Hall of Famer a major milestone to share with the home crowd at Maples Pavilion.
VanDerveer joined the late Pat Summitt, a dear friend who died last summer from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease with 1,098 wins to her name, as the only other women’s coach in the elite club. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is the only Division I men’s coach with 1,000.
In her 38th season as a head coach and 31st on The Farm after previous stops at Idaho and Ohio State, VanDerveer had former stars such as Jennifer Azzi, one of her first marquee recruits, among the 4,490 fans in attendance and perhaps the biggest of all in 89-year-old mother, Rita.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Tiger Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic with back spasms after shooting an opening-round 77 a day earlier, marking another frustrating start to his return to golf from a lengthy injury layoff.
Woods’ manager, Mark Steinberg, said Woods had back spasms on Thursday night after dinner.
”Tiger Woods went into a spasm in his lower back fairly late last night … got treatment done early this morning for 3 1-2 hours, but can’t get it out,” Steinberg said. ”He says it’s not the nerve, but back spasm, and he can’t get the spasms to calm down. He can move around, but he can’t make a full rotation in his swing.”
Woods made a comeback after multiple back surgeries after a 16-month layoff, and was expected to play four times in five weeks, starting from last week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he missed the cut.
The European Tour, without giving a reason, announced his withdrawal on Friday before Woods began his second round in Dubai.
The NCAA and 11 major athletic conferences announced they have agreed to pay $208.7 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit filed by former college athletes who claimed the value of their scholarships was illegally capped.
The settlement still must be approved by a judge and it does not close the antitrust case. The NCAA said in a statement the association and conferences ”will continue to vigorously oppose the remaining portion of the lawsuit seeking pay for play.”
The settlement will be fully funded by NCAA reserves, the association said. No school or conference will be required to contribute.
The original antitrust lawsuit was filed in 2014 by former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston. The case was later combined with other lawsuits and covers Division I men’s and women’s basketball players and FBS football players who competed from 2009-10 through 2016-17 and did not receive a cost-of-attendance stipend.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran banned U.S. wrestlers from an important international tournament this month in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order forbidding visas for Iranians, the official IRNA news agency reported.
A senior Iranian cleric vowed, meanwhile, that his country would continue its missile program despite threats from the Trump administration that it was preparing to levy new sanctions.
IRNA quoted Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying a special committee reviewed the case of the U.S. team for the freestyle World Cup, and ”eventually the visit … was opposed.” The competition, one of the sport’s most prestigious events, is set for Feb. 16-17 in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah.
The decision marks the first action taken by Iran in response to Trump’s executive order banning visas for seven Muslim countries. Earlier this week, Iran said it would take retaliatory action. Ghasemi said the policy of the new U.S. administration left Iran no other choice but to ban the wrestlers.
USA Wrestling, the sport’s domestic governing body, said in a statement it hasn’t officially been told it won’t be allowed to compete. The group added that if that is the case, USA Wrestling is ”extremely disappointed” in what it calls an ”unacceptable situation.”
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Jordan Morris ended the U.S. scoring drought, gave Bruce Arena his first national team win in more than a decade and put himself in a position to make the roster for games that count.
Morris scored in the 59th minute, and the United States beat Jamaica 1-0 in an exhibition to give Arena the first win of his second stint as national team coach.
”Jordan Morris has made a statement,” said Arena, who earned his first victory as the U.S. coach since an exhibition triumph over Latvia in May 2006.
Benny Feilhaber took a 20-yard pass from Dax McCarty and played the ball to Morris with a back-heel pass. Morris returned the ball to Feilhaber, who was making his first start in five years. Feilhaber dribbled into the penalty area and pushed the ball back to Morris. The 22-year-old forward, last season’s Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year, took a touch and beat goalkeeper Ryan Thompson inside the near post with a right-footed shot from 8 yards. It was the second international goal for Morris, who also scored against Mexico in an April 2015 exhibition, and ended a 280-minute U.S. scoreless streak.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Stewart-Haas Racing filed a $31 million breach of contract lawsuit against Nature’s Bakery, accusing the company of refusing to pay millions of dollars it owes the team to sponsor driver Danica Patrick this season.
Nature’s Bakery was scheduled to sponsor at least 20 races this NASCAR season, the second year of a three-year deal to be the primary sponsor for Patrick.
The lawsuit filed in state superior court says Stewart-Haas Racing had ”significant concern” Nature’s Bakery could afford a primary sponsorship, but founder David Marson ”provided repeated assurances that Nature’s Bakery had the cash flow and funds to meet all the financial requirements.”
However, the suit claims after executing the agreement, Marson and Nature’s Bakery chief financial officer contacted SHR about ”cash flow issues, and asked if payment amounts and deadlines” could be modified on the more than $15 million the company owes the team each season. SHR also accused the company of eventually concocting ”a scheme to avoid further payments” by claiming Patrick had been endorsing competing products and was not using her social media presence enough to promote Nature’s Bakery.
The four top stakeholders in the discussion over whether NHL players will participate in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next year met without resolution, with one warning that time is running short to make a decision.
Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, for the first time joined International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Don Fehr at a meeting in New York. With league owners reluctant to put next season on hiatus for nearly three weeks against the wishes of their own players, it’s clear that hurdles remain with 12 months to go.
Fasel said the group may need to get back together soon and set a deadline. Bettman and NHL team owners appear willing to skip the Pyeongchang Games in 2018 and possibly resume Olympic participation in China four years later, assuming the IOC would allow that to happen.
GRETNA, La. (AP) – The man accused of fatally shooting former NFL player Joe McKnight acted in self-defense because McKnight was threatening him and trying to climb into his car, his lawyers say.
Ronald Gasser, 55, of Terrytown, had initially been arrested on a manslaughter charge but was indicted Wednesday on a charge of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence if he’s convicted. He’s being held on $750,000 bond.
”Information provided from our sources indicates that McKnight exited his vehicle and attempted to enter through the passenger window of Mr. Gasser’s vehicle while threatening him with serious bodily harm,” attorneys Matthew Goetz and Gerard Archer said in an email sent after-hours Thursday to The Associated Press.
”Mr. Gasser gave several statements to the police explaining that,” Goetz said. He would not elaborate on other sources during a brief interview.
HOUSTON (AP) – Michael Vick, who rose to stardom with the Atlanta Falcons before he was sent to prison for running a dogfighting operation, told ESPN he is retiring from playing in the NFL.
The 36-year-old Vick, a dynamic dual threat with his speedy legs and powerful left arm, passed for 22,464 yards and 133 touchdowns during his 13 seasons with the Falcons, Eagles, Jets and Steelers. His 6,109 career yards rushing are an NFL record for a quarterback.
He did not play this season.