Wednesday’s Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) The deadline for the San Diego Chargers to exercise their option to relocate to Los Angeles was extended for two days, although a media report surfaced that the team plans to move.
The Chargers called a staff meeting for 8 a.m. PST Thursday, a team employee said Wednesday night. The employee spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The employee said the topic of the meeting hadn’t been divulged.
Team chairman Dean Spanos didn’t immediately return a message left at his home.
Citing league sources, ESPN.com reported Wednesday night that the Chargers plan to announce as early as Thursday that they are moving to Los Angeles. According to the report, the Chargers have notified NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the owners of other teams, of their intent to move to Los Angeles for the 2017 season.
ESPN.com reported that nothing was final.
The original deadline was Jan. 15. Because that is a Sunday and Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday, the NFL moved back the deadline until Tuesday. The league initiated the move.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – The Buffalo Bills are putting their faith in Sean McDermott to fix their under-performing defense and restore relevance to a franchise that hasn’t reached the playoffs since the Music City Miracle loss in January 2000.
The Bills hired the Carolina defensive coordinator as head coach. The deal was reached shortly after McDermott conducted his second interview with the team in eight days. The 42-year-old has no head-coaching experience and spent the past six seasons overseeing the Panthers’ defense.
McDermott replaces Rex Ryan, who was fired two weeks ago for failing to deliver on his bold promises to build the Bills into a bully.
McDermott is the team’s ninth head coach since the 1999 season, when Buffalo last made the playoffs under Wade Phillips.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – A runner-up two years ago, Vance Joseph is John Elway’s pick this time around.
”It’s official. Excited to announce Vance Joseph as head coach of the Denver Broncos!” Elway tweeted.
The 44-year-old ex-Colorado quarterback built a reputation as one of the league’s best secondary coaches as he worked his way through the ranks in San Francisco, Houston and Cincinnati before serving as Dolphins defensive coordinator last season and helping Miami end an eight-year playoff drought.
Joseph, who will be formally introduced as the team’s 16th head coach on Thursday, impressed Elway in 2015 when Gary Kubiak got the job and the Broncos even tried to hire him as their defensive coordinator, a move the Bengals blocked. So, he stayed in Cincinnati for another year as secondary coach before joining Adam Gase’s staff in Miami.
FRISCO, Texas (AP) – Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was involved in a minor vehicle accident not far from the team’s practice facility. The rookie didn’t miss practice and said he wasn’t injured.
Frisco police said there were no injuries in the accident at an intersection about a mile from Cowboys headquarters in the suburb about 30 miles north of Dallas. Police responded, but an accident report wasn’t immediately available.
Elliott wouldn’t discuss details of the crash, saying ”I’m fine, I’m healthy, I’m good, it’s like nothing happened. My car is messed. That’s about it.”
WASHINGTON (AP) – Alex Ovechkin scored 35 seconds into the Washington Capitals’ 5-2 victory over Sidney Crosby and the rival Pittsburgh Penguins to become the 84th player in NHL history to record 1,000 career points.
Skating down the right wing, Ovechkin toe-dragged and fired a shot past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Ovechkin became the fourth Russian-born player to reach 1,000 and the 37th to do it all with one franchise.
Reaching the milestone in his 880th game, Ovechkin is the second-fastest active player to reach 1,000 after Jaromir Jagr, who did it in 763 games. Crosby, who has 983 points in 741 games, could pass them soon.
Ovechkin joined countrymen Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny and Alexei Kovalev in the 1,000-point club that he called small but ”very legendary.”
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Carl Edwards confirmed that he is walking away from NASCAR this season.
At a news conference, Edwards listed three reasons for his decision to not race in 2017, most importantly that he’s satisfied with what he’s accomplished in his NASCAR career.
Edwards deliberately did not use the word ”retirement” in explaining his decision to leave Joe Gibbs Racing with one year remaining on his contract. He came 10 laps away from winning the championship in November, and made his decision to sit out the season about a month later.
The 37-year-old Edwards said he wants to use the extra time away from racing to focus on other interests in his life. He added that it is a risky sport and he wants to leave NASCAR with his health intact.
NEW YORK (AP) – Ice Cube and Allen Iverson are putting their star power behind a new 3-on-3 professional basketball league.
The entertainment mogul and NBA Hall of Famer announced the launch of Big3 at a news conference.
Teams comprised of former NBA stars will play its eight-game season in the summer starting June 24 with each week’s contests taking place in a different city with all eight teams playing each Saturday. It will finish with a two-week playoffs.
Chauncey Billups, Rashard Lewis and Kenyon Martin are some of the former NBA players who are committed to play in the league include. Gary Payton and George Gervin will serve as two of the coaches.
HOUSTON (AP) – Dabo Swinney won his second straight Paul ”Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year award, two days after leading Clemson to its first national championship in 35 years.
Swinney is only the second coach to win the award twice, joining Chris Petersen – the winner in 2006 and 2009 at Boise State – and the first to win it in back-to-back seasons.
Swinney led Clemson to back-to-back appearances in the national championship game, avenging last year’s loss to Alabama on Monday night with a 35-31 victory over the Crimson Tide. The Tigers are 89-28 in eight seasons under Swinney, going 28-2 the last two seasons.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Coaches unanimously support creating an early signing period for college football in December, but the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association says none of them want a third signing day in June.
Todd Berry said that coaches are worried the model proposed by the NCAA’s football oversight committee that would create two early signing periods in June and December for high school prospects to sign binding national letters of intent changes too much too fast.
The committee’s recruiting changes could be approved in April by the NCAA council and could take effect as early as later this year.
SEATTLE (AP) – The Mariners made a pair of trades, landing left-handed starter Drew Smyly from the Tampa Bay Rays and right-hander reliever Shae Simmons from the Atlanta Braves.
Seattle acquired outfielder Mallex Smith from Atlanta, but then sent him to Tampa Bay along with infielder Carlos Vargas and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough.
Seattle also sent left-handed pitching prospects Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows to Atlanta and designated right-hander Cody Martin for assignment to make room on its 40-man roster.
CHICAGO (AP) – President Barack Obama will welcome the World Series champion Chicago Cubs at the White House on Monday, just five days before he leaves office.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama is ”really looking forward to it,” as were a number of West Wing colleagues who are Cubs fans.
The president invited the Cubs shortly after they beat the Cleveland Indians in an extra-inning, Game 7 thriller to end a title drought that dated to 1908. Obama has a home in Chicago and is a fan of the White Sox, but he rooted for the North Siders since his favorite team didn’t make the playoffs.
Lindsey Vonn struggled with nerve damage so severe she couldn’t even move her fingers soon after surgery to fix her broken right arm.
On her Facebook page, the four-time overall World Cup champion revealed in a more than 5-minute video her journey back to the slopes after breaking her right arm during a fall while training in November.
The 32-yar-old Vonn plans to compete in the downhill this weekend in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria. It will be her first World Cup race since fracturing her left knee in a super-G crash in Andorra last February.
USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus is retiring after leading a federation that brought home 156 Olympic medals during his 20 years at the helm.
Wielgus, who turns 67 next month, has been battling colorectal cancer for more than 10 years and undergoes regular chemotherapy.
He will leave his job Aug. 31. He is the longest-tenured leader among U.S. Olympic organizations, and the 156 medals represent about one-third of America’s overall total from the last five Olympics.