Monday Sports in Brief

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Defying the NCAA, California opened the way Monday for college athletes to hire agents and make money from endorsement deals with sneaker companies, soft drink makers, car dealerships and other sponsors, just like the pros.

The first-in-the-nation law, signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and set to take effect in 2023, could upend amateur sports in the U.S. and trigger a legal challenge.

Newsom and others cast it as an attempt to bring more fairness to big-money college athletics and let players share in the wealth they create for their schools. Critics have long complained that universities are getting rich off the backs of athletes — often, black athletes struggling to get by financially.

“Other college students with a talent, whether it be literature, music, or technological innovation, can monetize their skill and hard work,” the governor said. “Student athletes, however, are prohibited from being compensated while their respective colleges and universities make millions, often at great risk to athletes’ health, academics and professional careers.”

Newsom predicted other states will introduce similar legislation.

The NCAA — which had called on him to veto the bill, arguing that it would destroy the distinction between amateurs and pros and give California an unfair recruiting advantage — said it is considering its next steps. It did not elaborate.

California’s law applies to students at both public and private institutions — but not community colleges — in the nation’s most populous state. While the measure covers all sports, the big money is in football and basketball.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended for the rest of the season for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle.

NFL Vice President of football operations Jon Runyan announced the suspension Monday. The league says Burfict is suspended without pay for the remaining 13 weeks of the season and any playoff games for “repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules.”

Burfict was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected from the Raiders’ game against the Colts on Sunday after a blow to Doyle’s head early in the second quarter. Runyan in a letter to Burfict called the contact “unnecessary and flagrant” and added that his “extensive history of rules violations is factored into this decision regarding accountability measures.”

Burfict during his time in Cincinnati was repeatedly suspended by the NFL for egregious hits and violating its policy on performance-enhancers. He was fined regularly for hits that crossed the line, most notably the one to Antonio Brown’s head that helped the Steelers rally for an 18-16 playoff win in the 2015 season.

Under the CBA, Burfict can appeal in the next three days.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mason Rudolph threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns to pick up his first victory while filling in for Ben Roethlisberger as the Pittsburgh Steelers easily handled the Cincinnati Bengals 27-3 on Monday night.

Rudolph completed 24 of 28 passes, most of them quick hitters that allowed the Steelers to control the clock. He connected with James Conner on a delayed screen for a 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter, then broke the game open with a 43-yard heave to rookie Diontae Johnson midway through the third as the Steelers (1-3) won their ninth straight over the Bengals (0-4).

Jaylen Samuels ran for 26 yards and a touchdown, caught eight passes for 57 yards and was even credited with three completions — in reality “pop” passes to teammates in motion that traveled all of three feet — while working out of the Wildcat formation as Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner opened up his playbook to help the Steelers avoid just their second 0-4 start in 51 years.

BASEBALL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels fired manager Brad Ausmus after they went 72-90 in his only season after replacing Mike Scioscia.

The Angels made the announcement Monday, a day after the regular season ended.

There are six teams now that have managerial openings — San Francisco, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and the Chicago Cubs.

The Angels, who have made the playoffs only once since 2009, were beset by injuries to star Mike Trout, two-way player Shohei Ohtani and others.

Scioscia managed for 19 seasons. Ausmus had previously managed in Detroit.

The dismissal of Ausmus has sparked speculation that former bench coach Joe Maddon — who was let by the Cubs this weekend — will take over as the Angels’ manager.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California will be without starting quarterback Chase Garbers indefinitely because of an apparent shoulder injury he suffered in Friday’s loss to Arizona State.

Garbers was scrambling when he fell on his throwing arm late in the second quarter against the Sun Devils. After being taken to the locker room for examination, Garbers emerged in the second half wearing a splint.

Coach Justin Wilcox declined on Monday to say what the nature or severity of Garbers injury is, saying only that it is an upper body injury.

Devon Modster, who struggled in the second half after replacing Garbers, will start Saturday against at No. 13 Oregon.

The loss to the Sun Devils knocked the Golden Bears out of the Top 25.

TRACK AND FIELD

Track coach Alberto Salazar, who trained four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah and a number of other top runners, has been given a four-year ban by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA said in a news release Monday that Salazar and Jeffrey Brown were receiving four-year bans for, among other violations, possessing and trafficking testosterone while working at the Nike Oregon Project (NOP), where they trained top runners.

Brown was a paid consultant for the NOP and a physician for many of the runners.

A four-year USADA investigation began after a BBC report detailing some of Salazar’s practices, which included infusions of a legal supplement called L-carnitine that is supposed to enhance athletic performance.

Marathoner Kara Goucher and a former NOP coach, Steve Magness, were among the dozens of witnesses who provided evidence for the case.

In a statement, Salazar said he would appeal.