Monday’s Sports in Brief
MIAMI (AP) Joe Philbin was fired four games into his fourth season as coach of the Miami Dolphins, and one day after a flop on an international stage that helped to seal his fate.
Tight ends coach Dan Campbell, who has been with the Dolphins since 2010, was promoted to interim coach. He has no previous head coaching experience.
”I’m not here just to finish the season up,” Campbell said. ”That’s not my plan. We’re coming here to win games. It’s still early. We have time to turn everything around. But we can’t wait.”
The Dolphins (1-3) lost their third game in a row and turned in their fourth consecutive lackluster performance when they were beaten Sunday in London by the archrival New York Jets, 27-14.
Midseason head coaching changes are unusual in the NFL, but few will accuse owner Stephen Ross of impatience. He ignored calls to fire Philbin in December after the Dolphins faded to finish 8-8 for a second successive season.
But doubts only grew this season regarding Philbin’s inability to motivate players with his bland demeanor. Campbell said he respected Philbin but plans to make practices more intense.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Manager Matt Williams was fired by the Washington Nationals after a season in which the team went from World Series favorite to failing to make the playoffs.
The club announced the move a day after finishing the regular season barely above .500 at 83-79, second to the New York Mets in the NL East.
Williams is gone after only two seasons in his first job as a skipper in the majors. Last year, he was voted NL Manager of the Year after the Nationals finished with the best record in the league. In February, the Nationals exercised his 2016 contract option.
But he presided over a 2015 season filled with defeats, discord and the embarrassing spectacle of a dugout dustup between NL MVP front-runner Bryce Harper and teammate Jonathan Papelbon during a game the day after the team was eliminated from playoff contention.
NEW YORK (AP) – CC Sabathia is checking into an alcohol rehab center and will miss the postseason, a setback to the Yankees pitching staff the day before the team’s opening playoff game.
The team issued a statement from the pitcher, with New York awaiting the Houston Astros on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium in the AL wild-card game. Sabathia, the 2007 AL Young Award winner, said he took the step to receive the care he needs and become the kind of person ”I can be proud of.”
”I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series,” the 35-year-old left-hander said. ”It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.”
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Ramogi Huma and Kain Colter refuse to allow one decision to derail their mission to unionize college athletics.
The two former college football players who now represent the College Athletes Players Association walked into the NCAA’s own backyard and stated their case at Indiana’s AFL-CIO state convention.
Huma said a decision from the National Labor Relations Board against a football players’ union at Northwestern is a hurdle for his organization, which has been backed by the United Steelworkers for 15 years. But he said it’s not an outright loss.
Huma and Colter have renewed their fight to get NCAA, school and conference officials to abide by stronger concussion protocols, provide long-term health care and make sure recent changes involving stipends and multi-year scholarships become legally binding.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Auburn has dismissed senior wide receiver D’haquille Williams from the team.
Coach Gus Malzahn announced the decision, saying he gave Williams ”the chance to prove himself.” But he added there must be consequences ”when individuals fail to meet the expectations of our program.”
Malzahn didn’t elaborate.
Williams was having a disappointing season after coming in rated by NFL draft analysts as one of the nation’s top receiver prospects. He had 12 catches for 147 yards and one touchdown.
Williams returned for his senior season after the junior college transfer made 45 catches for 730 yards.
He was suspended for the Outback Bowl and again for nearly a week early in preseason camp.
Auburn opened the season ranked sixth nationally but has already lost twice.
NEW YORK (AP) – Opening statements are set to begin in the trial of a professional basketball player charged with resisting arrest and other crimes following a confrontation with police officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub in April.
The Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha, who suffered a season-ending leg fracture in the struggle, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also include misdemeanor obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct. He has rejected a plea offer from prosecutors and his attorney, Alex Spiro, has said his client is going to trial to clear his name.
A jury of four women and two men was picked Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court. Opening statements start Tuesday.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the city of San Jose in its bid to lure baseball’s Athletics from Oakland to the South Bay.
The justices left in place lower court rulings that dismissed the city’s antitrust claims against Major League Baseball, which blocked the Athletics’ contemplated move to San Jose.
San Jose sued MLB in June 2013 for conspiring to block the relocation. San Jose is in Santa Clara County, part of the San Francisco Giants’ territory under MLB’s constitution. The city said the territory rules violated federal antitrust laws. Baseball has been exempt from antitrust laws since a 1922 Supreme Court decision.
”The court’s decision, while significant, has no impact on our intense and unwavering focus on solving our ballpark issue and providing A’s fans the first-class experience they deserve,” A’s owner Lew Wolff said in a statement.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Stock market traders and chess players – that’s who’s playing DraftKings, according to CEO Jason Robins, who told a crowd of casino executives last week in Las Vegas that fewer than 15 percent of the players on his site make wagers in traditional sports books.
What he didn’t mention was growing online criticism at the time that his site may have allowed activity being likened to insider trading.
Daily fantasy players appear concerned a DraftKings employee who said he accidentally posted data online showing which NFL players were being picked the most for draft lineups for a day’s contest, may have also benefited from the information when he won second place and $350,000 on competing daily fantasy site, FanDuel, the same day.
There’s no evidence that the information led to the employee’s win and a FanDuel spokeswoman told The Associated Press that she did not believe there was an attempt to manipulate the contest.
Both sites posted identical joint statements on their websites Monday saying, ”nothing is more important to DraftKings and FanDuel than the integrity of the games we offer to our customers. Both companies have strong policies in place to ensure that employees do not misuse any information at their disposal and strictly limit access to company data to only those employees who require it to do their jobs.”