Thursday’s Sports In Brief

NFL

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) A former Florida State University student on Thursday filed a lawsuit against top NFL prospect Jameis Winston, saying he assaulted and raped her at an off-campus apartment in 2012.

The lawsuit by Erica Kinsman, which seeks damages from the former Seminoles quarterback, was filed two weeks before the April 30 NFL draft. Winston could be selected as the first overall pick.

Winston has denied the allegations and prosecutors declined to file charges against him in late 2013. He also was cleared by the university following a two-day student conduct hearing last year. The hearing was held to determine whether Winston violated four sections of the code of conduct – two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment.

But John Clune, a lawyer for Kinsman, said in a statement there are consequences for Winston’s behavior ”and since others have refused to hold him accountable, our client will.”

The AP generally does not routinely identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault. However, Kinsman has told her story publicly in a documentary.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Adrian Peterson has been cleared to return to the NFL. Now all that remains to be settled is where he will play next season.

Commissioner Roger Goodell sent the Minnesota Vikings star a letter on Thursday advising him of his reinstatement. Peterson missed most of last season while facing child abuse charges in Texas.

Goodell wrote that Peterson will have to fulfill all the obligations of his plea deal that reduced a felony charge to a misdemeanor.

Goodell also told Peterson he would have to continue attending counseling while adhering to the league’s new personal conduct policy to avoid further discipline.

Peterson’s agent has said the star running back wants to play elsewhere next season. But the Vikings say they have no plans to trade him.

NBA

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Golden State Warriors know all about playoff upsets. After all, the franchise pulled off one of the biggest stunners in NBA history just eight years ago.

This time, they’ll be trying to avoid suffering the same fate they once handed out.

The Warriors enter the playoffs as the NBA’s top seed after winning a franchise-record 67 games. Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that Golden State downed Dirk Nowitzki and the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks – another 67-win team – in the opening round of the 2007 playoffs.

Now Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans will try to upend the Warriors when their first-round series starts Saturday. Atlanta (60-22), the top seed in the East, begins with Brooklyn.

SWIMMING

MESA, Ariz. (AP) – Michael Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly at his first meet in eight months Thursday night, beginning his push to compete at a fifth Olympics next year.

The 18-time Olympic gold medalist led at the halfway mark and went on to touch first in 52.38 seconds in front of a big crowd at the outdoor Arena Pro Swim Series meet.

His time was slower than a year ago, when he finished second to longtime rival Ryan Lochte in 52.13 at the same meet after ending an abbreviated retirement. Lochte was second this time in 53.11.

Phelps is back competing after serving a six-month suspension handed down by USA Swimming after his second drunken driving arrest. He said Wednesday that he’s aiming for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

It’s his first meet since the Pan Pacific Championships in August.

BASEBALL

TORONTO (AP) – Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria left Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays in the eighth inning after he was hit on the left hip by a pitch.

Mikie Mahtook pinch ran for Longoria, who was drilled by Blue Jays reliever Marco Estrada.

That came one inning after Rays right-hander Chris Archer hit Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion on the right elbow. Archer also hit Toronto catcher Russell Martin in the second.

After Longoria left, an animated Archer leaned against the top railing of the Rays’ first base dugout, yelling and gesturing at Toronto’s dugout. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz eventually removed his mask and walked toward Archer, telling him to calm down.

NEW YORK (AP) – Giancarlo Stanton has become the Marlins’ career home run leader, connecting for his first drive since a season-ending beaning last September.

Stanton hit his 155th home run on Thursday night, tagging Dillon Gee of the Mets for a long, two-run shot in the first inning. He began the day tied with Dan Uggla for the most homers in team history.

Stanton led the National League with 37 homers last year, with his last one coming on Sept. 8. Three days later, he sustained multiple facial fractures when he was hit by a fastball from Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers.

The 25-year-old Miami slugger is one of three active players in the majors to hold his team’s franchise lead in home runs, along with Evan Longoria of Tampa Bay and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals.

COLLEGE SPORTS

Mississippi State athletics director Scott Stricklin has apologized for an obscene phrase on one of the baseball team’s practice jerseys.

The Bulldogs have new Adidas baseball practice jerseys that read ”Viva Starkvegas” across the front. There are also small dots across the rest of the jerseys that spell different phrases, including one that was an obscene phrase referencing rival Mississippi.

Stricklin sent a statement on Twitter on Thursday saying the phrase was ”completely unacceptable and does not reflect the standards and values of Mississippi State University.”

Mississippi State spokesman Bill Martin said the school did not approve the design prior to its release. A representative at Adidas did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Mississippi State is located in Starkville, which is sometimes jokingly referred to as Starkvegas.

WNBA

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) – Jewell Loyd is the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft.

Loyd, who was chosen by the Seattle Storm on Thursday night, decided to skip her final season at Notre Dame and enter this year’s draft. She’s the first Irish player to be taken with the top pick.

Fellow underclassmen Amanda Zahui B. was taken by Tulsa with the second pick. Minnesota’s red-shirt sophomore and Loyd were eligible to be drafted because they turn 22 during this calendar year.

Seattle took UConn forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis third, Connecticut Sun selected 6-foot-3 center Elizabeth Williams of Duke fourth, and Chicago took 6-foot-4 forward Cheyenne Parker of Middle Tennessee State fifth.

The ceremony was held at the Mohegan Sun for the second straight year. Training camps open May 17, and the WNBA’s 19th season tips off on June 5.