Friday’s Sports in Brief

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Amid withering criticism of his failing to more directly address domestic abuse issues at a news conference earlier this week, suspended Ohio State coach Urban Meyer issued an apology to the ex-wife of a former assistant coach who was suspected of abusing her.

Meyer, who is serving a three-game suspension for his handling of abuse allegations and other misdeeds from former receivers coach Zach Smith, was criticized because he declined to address Courtney Smith during a question-and-answer session with reporters on Wednesday night.

“Let me say here and now what I should have said on Wednesday: I sincerely apologize to Courtney Smith and her children for what they have gone through,” Meyer said in a statement he tweeted and university officials emailed.

“My words and demeanor on Wednesday did not show how seriously I take relationship violence,” the statement said. “This has been a real learning experience for me. I fully intend to use my voice more effectively to be a part of the solution.”

Attorneys for Courtney Smith and Zach Smith did not respond to messages Friday night.

PRO FOOTBALL

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — President Donald Trump again criticized the NFL and its broadcast partners concerning the national anthem.

In a speech Friday, Trump specifically went after the league, CBS and ESPN. The president told a Republican party dinner crowd: “Can you imagine? They’re not going to broadcast the national (anthem) … CBS and ESPN. How do we like that? Is that good?”

Networks televising NFL games typically have not shown the anthem, except at the Super Bowl and other special events. But once players began demonstrating during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to bring light to social injustice issues, interest in behavior during the anthem took on added interest.

Trump has been a frequent critic of the NFL for not requiring players to stand at attention during the anthem. League owners unilaterally created a policy in May calling for players to do just that or else stay in the locker room during the anthem. The policy is in limbo as the NFL and the players’ union discuss alternatives.

SOCCER

FIFA has banned the head of Palestinian soccer from attending matches for a year for inciting hatred and violence toward Lionel Messi as part of a campaign to stop Argentina’s national team playing in Israel.

The FIFA disciplinary case against Palestinian soccer federation head Jibril Rajoub centered on statements he made to the media before Argentina abruptly abandoned the trip to Jerusalem for a game against Israel in June.

Rajoub “incited hatred and violence” by calling on “football fans to target the Argentinian Football Association and burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi,” soccer’s governing body said.

Justifying canceling the game, Argentina Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said the players felt “totally attacked, violated” after images emerged of the team’s white and sky-blue striped jerseys stained with red paint that resembled blood following Rajoub’s comments.

AUTO RACING

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — IndyCar said Friday that Canadian driver Robert Wickens underwent surgery this week on his right arm and lower extremities and tests found no additional injuries from his crash at Pocono last weekend.

Wickens has had titanium rods and screws placed in his spine to stabilize a fracture associated with a spinal cord injury. IndyCar said the severity of the spinal cord injury is still unknown and Wickens will require additional corrective surgery and rehabilitation. He remains hospitalized in Pennsylvania.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will not field his car in Saturday night’s race at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.

Wickens’ car sailed into the fence at Pocono when he and Ryan Hunter-Reay made slight contact on Sunday. Hunter-Reay’s car spun and Wickens’ car launched over it and into the fence. A large hole was torn into the fence, causing a two-hour delay for repairs.

The 29-year-old Wickens is a rookie in IndyCar but a championship driver in touring cars in Europe. He left that series this year to try IndyCar alongside James Hinchcliffe. The two Canadians became friends racing against each other in the junior ranks and Hinchcliffe lured Wickens back to North America.

TENNIS

PARIS (AP) — Serena Williams will no longer be allowed to wear her skin-tight black catsuit at the French Open.

The French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, says the tournament that Williams has won three times is introducing a dress code to regulate players’ uniforms because “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far.”

In an interview in Tennis Magazine’s 500th edition, Giudicelli singled out the figure-hugging black suit that Williams wore this year at Roland Garros and said made her feel like a superhero.

Giudicelli said: “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”

He said Roland Garros’ new rules won’t be as strict as Wimbledon’s, which require that players wear white, but will “impose certain limits.”

Many player uniforms for 2019 have already been designed but Giudicelli said the FFT will be asking manufacturers for an advance look at them.