Monday’s Sports In Brief


NEW YORK (AP) Veterans Joe Thomas, Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis are among eight finalists for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

Luke Kuechly, Haloti Ngata, Joe Staley, Josh McCown and Alex Smith round out the list of candidates.

The award, recognizes those who best demonstrate the qualities of on-field sportsmanship: fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. The award was created in 2014 in honor of the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr.

Staley (2015 and 2016), Smith (2014) and Kuechly (2015) have been finalists in the past. Past recipients of the award are Frank Gore, Charles Woodson and Larry Fitzgerald.

A panel of former players selected the eight finalists from the 32 team nominees. The panel is comprised of Hall of Famer Curtis Martin, Warrick Dunn, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

The winner is determined by a vote of current NFL players. The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday. From the eight finalists, each team’s players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

The Art Rooney Sportsmanship award will be presented during NFL Honors, when The Associated Press hands out its individual awards, Feb. 3, the night before the Super Bowl. The winner receives a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.


Mississippi quarterback Shea Patterson says he will transfer to Michigan, where coach Jim Harbaugh has gone through three starting QBs this season.

Patterson made his commitment in a tweet on Monday after visiting the Ann Arbor, Michigan, campus last weekend. Patterson is recovering from a right knee injury that cost him the final month of last season, but he should be ready to compete in 2018.

In seven games, Patterson passed for 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns, with nine interceptions. The sophomore was one of the top recruits in the 2016 class.

Ole Miss was hit with NCAA sanctions two weeks ago that included a bowl ban next season. The NCAA said Mississippi’s seniors could transfer without sitting out next season, as is usually required. Patterson does not qualify for that but could petition the NCAA to be immediately eligible.

Ole Miss said it had granted Patterson, a native of Toledo, Ohio, permission to contact Michigan. Michigan did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation, and Patterson could change his mind before signing a scholarship agreement, but the official Michigan football Twitter account did re-tweet Patterson’s announcement.


FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Jeremiah Donati was named TCU’s athletic director just two days after his former boss, Chris Del Conte, took the same job with the Texas Longhorns.

As Donati was introduced on Monday, he saved Del Conte for last on the list of people he thanked, and he left no doubt about his respect for his predecessor.

”Chris brought me here to TCU and made me a Horned Frog,” Donati said on the same day Del Conte was introduced in Austin. ”He believed in me, he challenged me, he trusted me, he made me better. He was and is an unbelievable friend to me. I personally look forward to seeing him down the road.”

That shouldn’t be a problem, since they’re both still in the Big 12 – the Power Five league the Horned Frogs joined during Del Conte’s tenure. Del Conte hired Donati to run the fundraising TCU Frog Club in 2011 before Donati was promoted twice, most recently to deputy athletic director last year.

The 40-year-old Donati inherits a program that has been a Big 12 championship contender under longtime football coach Gary Patterson and is coming off an NIT title in the first season under men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon, Del Conte’s most significant hire.


NEW YORK (AP) – Dan Halem and Tony Petitti have been promoted to deputy commissioner by baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Halem becomes deputy commissioner for baseball administration and remains chief legal officer, Manfred said Monday. He will oversee labor relations, investigations, baseball operations, human resources and diversity efforts. He joined MLB in 2007 as senior vice president and general counsel for labor, was promoted to executive vice president of labor relations in December 2013 and to chief legal officer in December 2014.

Petitti becomes deputy commissioner of business and media and is in charge of marketing, broadcasting and media rights, the MLB Network, digital content, youth programming and special events. Petitti was president of the MLB Network from its inception in 2008 until December 2014, when he became MLB’s chief operating officer.

The changes follow last month’s announcement that Bob Bowman, the president of business and media, is leaving the commissioner’s office.

Manfred elevated three people to executive vice president. Chris Marinak becomes EVP of strategy, technology and innovation; Chris Park becomes EVP of product and marketing; and Noah Garden EVP of commerce.


BOSTON (AP) – Reigning New York City Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan will run in Boston next year in a fourth attempt to win her hometown race.

The four-time Olympian and reigning Chicago Marathon champion will be joined on the men’s side by Galen Rupp in a field of elite Americans announced Monday by race sponsor John Hancock. Olympians Desiree Linden, Dathan Ritzenhein, Abdi Abdirahman, Deena Kastor and Molly Huddle also are signed up for the 122nd edition of the world’s oldest annual marathon, which is being held April 16.

Last month, Flanagan became the first American woman to win New York since 1977. No U.S. woman has won Boston since 1985. But last April, the Americans had their best finishes since then, grabbing two of the top four women’s spots and six of the top 10 for men.