Wednesday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) The New York Jets hired Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as head coach Wednesday, the San Francisco 49ers promoted longtime defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, and the Oakland Raiders turned to Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
Denver, Atlanta and Chicago still have openings. John Fox interviewed with Chicago, two days after parting ways with Denver.
Tomsula replaces Jim Harbaugh, who parted ways with the 49ers on Dec. 28 in what the team called a ”mutual decision.” Harbaugh was introduced as Michigan’s coach two days later following a successful four-year stint during which the 49ers reached three straight NFC championship games and a Super Bowl.
San Francisco went 8-8 this season and missed the playoffs.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Prosecutors have filed charges of rape, criminal confinement with bodily injury and battery resulting in bodily injury against Indianapolis Colts backup linebacker Josh McNary.
Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman in the city prosecutor’s office, confirmed that the charges were filed.
According to the probable cause affidavit, two Indianapolis police officers said a 29-year-old woman accused an unknown man they later determined to be McNary of attacking her in the early morning hours of Dec. 1. Police, according to the report, determined the man was McNary after investigating a cellphone the woman claimed she took from the man’s apartment.
McNary’s attorney Ed Schrager said in a statement that the charges are one side’s story and that the linebacker has faith in the system. The Colts issued a statement saying they’re aware of the allegations.
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, whose bold moves and leadership on the field brought the Ducks to the brink of a national championship before falling short, is leaving Oregon early for the NFL.
Mariota announced his long-awaited decision to forgo his senior season on Oregon’s website. The team said he filed paperwork before the NFL deadline.
”I will miss being with my teammates,” he said in a statement.
Mariota has been the humble leader of Oregon’s high-flying offense for three seasons. This season, the Ducks (13-2) defeated Florida State at the Rose Bowl in college football’s first playoffs, but fell 42-20 to Ohio State in the national championship game.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Quarterback Dak Prescott says he’s returning to Mississippi State for his senior season with the goal of making sure the program isn’t a ”one-hit wonder.”
The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder from Haughton, Louisiana, had a breakout season for the Bulldogs in 2014, throwing for 3,449 yards, 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also ran for 986 yards and 14 touchdowns.
BOSTON (AP) – The Atlanta Hawks have the best record in the Eastern Conference and have won 10 straight for the first time in 17 years.
Life is so good for the Hawks, they even have the depth to platoon starters during a busy stretch.
DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague responded from a night off with 22 points apiece, helping the Hawks to a 105-91 victory over the Boston Celtics.
The Hawks have their first double-digit winning streak since winning 11 in a row early in the 1997-98 season. They also have won 10 straight on the road, the longest streak in club history.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – The New Orleans Pelicans brought the hot Detroit Pistons back to earth.
The Pistons came in having won of nine of 10, but were never competitive with New Orleans. Anthony Davis had 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Pelicans beat the Pistons 105-94.
Brandon Jennings had 19 for the Pistons (14-25).
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) – A pair of Americans completed what had long been considered the world’s most difficult rock climb, using only their hands and feet to scale a 3,000-foot vertical wall on El Capitan, the forbidding granite pedestal in Yosemite National Park that has beckoned adventurers for more than half a century.
Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson became the first to free-climb the rock formation’s Dawn Wall, a feat that many had considered impossible. They used ropes and safety harnesses to catch themselves in case of a fall, but relied entirely on their own strength and dexterity to ascend by grasping cracks as thin as razor blades and as small as dimes.
The effort took 19 days as the two dealt with constant falls and injuries.
PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) – Major League Baseball owners gathered for their annual January meeting in the desert with one big item on the agenda – honoring Bud Selig in his final gathering with them as commissioner.
About 250 people were at a dinner in his honor, held in a huge tent set up on the grounds of The Sanctuary resort on the south slopes of Camelback Mountain. Selig, age 80, will end his 22-plus years in charge of the game when he is succeeded by Rob Manfred on Jan. 25.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Infielder Yunel Escobar is heading to the Nationals, and All-Star reliever Tyler Clippard is going to the Athletics, thanks to the ninth deal between those clubs in a little more than four years.
The swap gives Washington a player who could solve its search for a starting second baseman.
Escobar could play shortstop for the Nationals if they wind up trading Ian Desmond, who can become a free agent after next season.