Monday’s Sports In Brief


NEW YORK (AP) Alabama's Derrick Henry and Stanford's Christian McCaffrey are hoping to return to the Heisman Trophy to the running backs. Clemson's Deshaun Watson can keep it with the QBs.

The two star running backs with very different styles and the dual-threat quarterback of the No. 1 team in the country are headed for New York after being named Heisman finalists.

Henry and McCaffrey will be looking to break a five-year streak of quarterbacks winning college football's top honor when the trophy is presented Saturday night in Midtown Manhattan.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Steve Sarkisian sued the University of Southern California, alleging the school breached the football coach's contract and discriminated against him on the basis of a disability – namely alcoholism – when it fired him this fall.

Sarkisian's attorneys also alleged wrongful termination and invasion of privacy in the complaint filed in Los Angeles County Court. Sarkisian contends he is owed at least $12.6 million left on his USC contract, along with other damages for ''extreme mental anguish.''

The school responded sharply to Sarkisian's lawsuit. USC general counsel Carol Mauch Amir said the school is ''profoundly disappointed'' by Sarkisian's characterization of the circumstances around his termination.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) – Rutgers officially hired Chris Ash as its new coach, giving the Ohio State defensive coordinator a five-year contract at $2 million annually.

Rutgers' board of governors approved Ash's contract to replace Kyle Flood, who was fired following a 4-8 season defined by troubles on and off the field.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – As baseball's annual winter meetings began, the proposed trade sending Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman to the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to be on hold after Yahoo Sports reported that police investigated an accusation of domestic violence involving the pitcher.

Yahoo reported more than a dozen police officers responded to Chapman's home in Florida on Oct. 30. No arrests were made due to conflicting stories and a lack of cooperation, according to the report by the website.

Police in Davie, Florida, said they could not provide a copy of the police report on Monday night. Jay Reisinger, Chapman's lawyer, denied the allegations in the Yahoo report.

In the first completed trade of the annual swap session, Boston bolstered a suddenly imposing bullpen, acquiring right-hander Carson Smith and lefty Roenis Elias from Seattle for left-hander Wade Miley and reliever Jonathan Aro.


ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher says wide receiver Stedman Bailey was improving from two gunshot wounds to the head, but wasn't sure if the 2013 third-round pick would be able to return to the NFL.

Fisher said the injuries are career-threatening. But the coach wasn't ruling out a return based on Bailey's progress thus far from the shooting in Miami Gardens, Florida, near his home, on Nov. 24.

Petula Burks, a spokeswoman for the Miami Gardens police department, said Bailey was in stable condition at an area hospital. Burks had no update on Antwan Reeves, the second victim, who was shot multiple times.

The 25-year-old Bailey came off the suspended list Monday from a four-game ban for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Fisher said the team probably would place him on the non-football injury list.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Home in Arizona, Jerry Colangelo served as a willing mentor to NBA owners who called for advice.

Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris wanted more than an opinion on what was wrong with his failing franchise. Harris asked Colangelo to fix – and save – the Sixers as part of the front office.

In a surprising move designed to shake up a franchise sunk in a grueling rebuilding process, the 76-year-old Colangelo accepted Philadelphia's SOS and was named chairman of basketball operations on Monday.

Colangelo, the chairman of USA Basketball, also will serve as an adviser to team ownership.

Colangelo had a long career with the Phoenix Suns, serving as coach, CEO and general manager, among other roles. He was also on the NBA's board of governors. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004 as a contributor, considered one of the most influential owners in NBA history.


NEW YORK (AP) – Michigan State is No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for the first time since early in the 2013-14 season.

The Spartans (9-0) jumped from third to a runaway first following losses last week by then-Nos. 1 and 2 Kentucky and Maryland. The Spartans received 62 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel.

Kansas (6-1) moved from No. 4 to No. 2 and received a first-place vote even though it lost to Michigan State by six points last month in Chicago.

North Carolina, the preseason No. 1, jumped from ninth to third and received a pair of No. 1 votes.

Iowa State moved up one spot to fourth and was followed by Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Duke, Villanova and Virginia.

NEW YORK (AP) – After giving top-ranked UConn a tough game last Wednesday before falling by 16 points, DePaul up five spots in The Associated Press Top 25 women's basketball poll to No. 18.

DePaul was one of a dozen ranked teams to lose this week in the Top 25. Six of those came to unranked opponents, including Tennessee, which fell eight spots to No. 16 after losing at home to Virginia Tech.

It's the lowest ranking for the Lady Vols since 2012 when they fell as low as 24.

This was the first time that many Top 25 teams lost to unranked opponents in non-conference play since 2013, according to STATS.

The Huskies were followed by South Carolina, Notre Dame and Baylor. Maryland and Texas were tied for fifth.


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said there is no timetable for the league to decide on pending expansion applications from Las Vegas and Quebec City.

Bettman spoke after the league's executive committee reviewed presentations from the two cities in a three-hour meeting, and then presented that information to the Board of Governors at the annual December meeting.

Bettman said no decisions have been made on whether to add one, two or no teams at all.