Friday Sports in Brief
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says second-year manager Dave Martinez’s job is safe for now despite Washington’s sluggish start to the season.
The Nationals have lost five straight and entered Friday at 19-31, better than only the Miami Marlins, Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles.
Rizzo says there is blame to go around. Asked specifically about his confidence in Martinez, he says “we’re not making any decisions with a third of the season gone.”
Washington has the highest bullpen ERA in the majors at 7.02 and leads the NL with 10 blown saves.
Clemson athletic spokesman Jeff Kallin said Friday that the school learned of the NCAA decision on Wednesday. The school issued a statement that it is disappointed in the ruling and continues “to believe our student-athletes did not knowingly ingest any banned substances.”
However, Kallin said the school doesn’t plan further action.
The positive drug tests for Galloway, Giella and ex-Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence were announced in December while the Tigers were preparing to play Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. They were suspended and missed the College Football Playoff games, including the national championship game when the Tigers beat Alabama 44-16.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa will be eligible to play next season after the NCAA’s reinstatement committee agreed Friday with an appeal filed by the school.
The NCAA had declared De Sousa ineligible this past season and next season in early February.
The punishment came after De Sousa’s named surfaced last summer in an FBI probe into corruption in college basketball. The NCAA found that De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne, had received a $2,500 payment from a “university booster and agent” and agreed to an additional $20,000 payment from the same individual and an Adidas employee for securing his commitment to Kansas.
The school appealed the decision, and the NCAA said it had “determined additional relief was appropriate.”
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Michelle Wie has withdrawn from next week’s U.S. Women’s Open to continue her recovery from a hand injury.
Wie announced her decision Friday on social media , saying that while she’s making progress, she needs to take more time off. The 29-year-old Wie says it is a difficult decision, but she noted that her “recovery and health is the priority.” She won the 2014 U.S Women’s Open at Pinehurst.
Wie played in the Honda LPGA Thailand in February, then withdrew from a tournament a week later with pain in her hand. She missed the cut at two events in April.
PARIS (AP) — After a tantrum in Italy last week, the 36th-ranked Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the French Open on Friday.
The ATP said the Australian player cited illness as the reason.
Kyrgios was defaulted at the Italian Open after a raging outburst. Trailing against Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud in round two, he slammed his racket into the clay and kicked a water bottle. Then he picked up a chair and flung it onto the court.
He was fined and lost ATP points but escaped a suspension.
NEW YORK (AP) — Breanna Stewart will be a paid ambassador for the WNBA this season.
The reigning MVP tore her right Achilles tendon while playing overseas this winter and because the league has no injury list for teams, the Seattle Storm suspended Stewart without pay to free up a roster spot.
The WNBA will pay Stewart in excess of the roughly $65,000 base salary she would have made with the Storm, agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas confirmed to the AP on Friday.
Colas said that the deal was done Thursday in discussion with deputy NBA commissioner Mark Tatum, who has been serving as the interim WNBA President. This was after Seattle and Stewart mutually agreed on the suspension. Seattle offered to keep Stewart on the roster and pay her full salary, but the 24-year-old said she wanted to help the team be the best it could be by not taking up an active roster spot.
Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer is leaving the competitive video game circuit to oversee esports competition for Fortnite publisher Epic Games.
Nanzer tweeted Friday night he was moving on from Activision Blizzard, the company behind the Overwatch game and league, for a “new opportunity.” He didn’t provide further details or a firm timeline except to say he’ll be leaving “soon.” Epic Games tells ESPN they will hire Nanzer to help turn the world’s most popular video game into a viable esport.
Activision Blizzard says Nanzer will be replaced by Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Art Briles, the former Baylor football coach fired three years ago after an investigation found the school had mishandled allegations of sexual misconduct and violence, has been hired to lead an East Texas high school program.
Mount Vernon Superintendent says its board of trustees approved a two-year contract with Briles, who was 65-37 in eight seasons with Baylor. Before coaching in college, Briles had a successful 20-year career as a high school coach in Texas.
Briles was hired by Hamilton in the Canadian Football League in 2017, but after public backlash the Tiger-Cats quickly rescinded the move.
Briles was hired in 2018 to coach a professional team in Florence, Italy.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The federal judge overseeing the $1 billion NFL concussion settlement has terminated three of four lawyers serving as class counsel.
The surprise order Friday comes weeks after a hearing to air complaints about new rules that limit the doctors who can evaluate retired players for dementia and other brain injuries linked to concussions.
Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody says the rules were needed to thwart fraud alleged by the NFL as the more than $1 billion settlement is disbursed.
She has named New York lawyer Christopher Seeger as the only attorney left who can litigate on behalf of the 20,000-member class.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee is about to become the first state in the nation to offer an online-only sportsbook as the governor says he has reluctantly allowed a sports betting proposal to become law without his signature.
However Gov. Bill Lee on Friday warned that any future attempt to expand gambling throughout the state would result in a veto.
Lee announced he was allowing the bill to become enacted because it did not “pursue casinos,” which he said encourages criminal activity.
The legislation, which has a July 1 effective date, would allow regulated statewide mobile and interactive sports gambling for people 21 and older.
The proposal is projected to bring in more than $50 million annually.