Friday Sports in Brief
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Phil Dawson spent his first 14 seasons with the Browns and is the only kicker in franchise history to be named to the Pro Bowl.
In announcing his retirement Friday, the 20-year veteran will forever be a member of the team.
General manager John Dorsey signed Dawson to an actual NFL player contract — not a ceremonial one-day pact — by clearing a spot on the 90-man roster for him, then placed him on the reserve/retired list.
Thanks to the extremely rare gesture, Cleveland will retain the 44-year-old’s rights in perpetuity.
Dawson ranks seventh in league history with 305 games played, eighth with 441 field goals and 11th with 1,847 points.
CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Pro Football Hall of Fame will expand the number of potential inductees to 20 in 2020 as part of the NFL’s celebration of its 100th season.
Calling it a centennial class, hall president David Baker said Friday five modern-day players, 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches could be elected next year. The modern-day group would be decided by the 48 selection committee voters, as always, on the day before the Super Bowl in February.
The other 15 would be voted on as one bloc, not individually, by the selection committee. They would be chosen by a 25-member committee that will include Hall of Famers, historians and current voters.
Part of the 2020 class would be inducted in early August. The others would be enshrined about Sept. 17, 2020, the date that marks 100 years from the original NFL game.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State says an assistant women’s basketball coach has resigned amid an investigation into NCAA rules violations.
In his resignation letter dated Friday, associate head coach Patrick Klein said, “I’ve been made aware that in some instances, my communications with some student-athletes may have been too informal or in some cases even inappropriate.”
Neither Klein nor the university disclosed the specifics. He apologized in the letter, saying he “should have used better judgment.”
LONDON (AP) — Manchester United is set to break the world transfer record for a defender after agreeing to pay 80 million pounds ($97 million) to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester, a person with knowledge of the deal said Friday.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the transfer for the 26-year-old Maguire has yet to be finalized.
United has been pursuing the center back for more than a year since his standout performances at the 2018 World Cup for England and finally agreed to Leicester’s asking price with just a week remaining in this summer transfer window ahead of the Premier League season opening.
The fee eclipses the deals for Matthijs de Ligt to leave Ajax for Juventus last month for 75 million euros (then $85 million), and for Virgil van Dijk to join Liverpool from Southampton for up to 75 million pounds in January 2018.
—By AP Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris.
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Stéphanie Frappart has been appointed as the referee for the European Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea, making her the first woman to officiate a major UEFA men’s showpiece event.
UEFA announced Frappart’s appointment on Friday, adding that the Frenchwoman will lead a team of predominantly female officials, with Manuela Nicolosi of France and Michelle O’Neal from the Republic of Ireland serving as assistant referees. The 35-year-old Frappart was also in charge at the Women’s World Cup Final between the United States and the Netherlands.
ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Soccer body CONMEBOL suspended Lionel Messi from international matches with Argentina for three months because of accusations of corruption he made at the latest Copa América.
The South American body also said Friday that it fined the superstar in $50,000 for his comments after Argentina’s 2-1 win against Chile in the third-place playoff of the tournament in July.
Messi and Argentina can still appeal the decision, which stops the striker from playing in four friendlies this year.
The 32-year-old will not play for Argentina matches in September against Chile and Mexico, plus another two in October versus Germany and another adversary to be picked.
NEW YORK (AP) — Seattle Sounders defender Roman Torres has been suspended 10 games by Major League Soccer after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
The league handed down the suspension Friday, two days before Seattle hosts Sporting Kansas City. The Sounders currently sit in second place in the Western Conference standings.
Along with the suspension, Torres has been fined 20% of his annual salary. According to the MLS Players Association database, Torres is scheduled to make a base salary of $670,000 and guaranteed compensation of $740,000 for this season.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo lost a bid for dismissal or complete secrecy in a federal lawsuit by a woman who accuses him of raping her at a Las Vegas resort in 2009.
Larissa Drohobyczer, attorney for Ronaldo’s accuser, Kathryn Mayorga, said Friday she’s satisfied with U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey’s ruling.
Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter Christiansen, declined to comment.
Mayorga’s lawsuit seeks monetary damages. It alleges that Ronaldo or people working for him allowed word to become public last year of his $375,000 hush-money settlement with Mayorga 10 years ago.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A jury has acquitted former Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Quintez Cephus on charges alleging he sexually assaulted two female students.
Jurors delivered their verdict on Friday after deliberating for just 30 minutes. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Cephus testified just before the jury got the case that the women wanted to have sex with him. The women testified they were too drunk to give consent.
Cephus was suspended from the football team last August and was expelled from the university earlier this year for violating its non-academic misconduct code.
The 21-year-old faced second- and third-degree sexual assault for the alleged attacks.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Frommer, a prolific author who wrote mostly about sports, sometimes collaborating with his subjects on their autobiographies, has died.
Frommer, 83, had lung cancer. He died Thursday at his home in Lyme, New Hampshire, according to one of his sons, Frederic, who worked with his father on a number of books.
The elder Frommer wrote about the 1927 Yankees, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, and Shoeless Joe Jackson, and others. He collaborated on books with Nolan Ryan, Red Holzman and Tony Dorsett.