Thursday Sports in Brief

COURTS

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — NFL free agent Antonio Brown turned himself in at a Florida jail on Thursday night following accusations that he and his trainer attacked another man.

Brown arrived at Broward County Jail around 10 p.m., as first reported by TMZ. The wide receiver, clad in turquoise pants and a matching blazer buttoned over a green jacket, initially walked out of the jail a few minutes after arriving, but then returned after conferring with his lawyer, WFOR-TV reported.

In a Wednesday news release, Hollywood police said Brown’s arrest warrant included charges of burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief. Officials responded Tuesday afternoon to a disturbance call where the alleged victim said Brown and his trainer, Glenn Holt, hit him near Brown’s Hollywood home.

Holt was arrested and charged with one count of burglary with battery, but officials couldn’t make contact with Brown at the time.

TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams lost to China’s Wang Qiang in the third round of the Australian Open.

The seven-time Australian Open champion was down a set and a break and Wang was serving for victory in the second set before Williams broke back and leveled the match after dominating the tiebreaker.

Williams was serving to stay in the match when Wang broke her to clinch a 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5 victory.

In their only previous meeting, Williams beat Wang 6-1, 6-0 in 44 minutes at last year’s U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Williams’s bid for a her 24th Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record will have to wait. She has lost the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals in 2018 and ‘19 and hasn’t added to her collection of majors since her title at Melbourne Park in 2017.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL said on Thursday that the number of concussions players suffered increased slightly this season over 2018.

The league said there were 224 reported concussions, 10 more than in 2018. But those totals are way down from the 281 in 2017.

“We want to see head contact reduced,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer.

The total includes concussions from practices and games in both the preseason and regular season. The league said that it did 485 concussion evaluations in preseason and regular-season games this season.

The league said about one-third of concussion evaluations “have some element of self-report.”

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — New England cornerback Joejuan Williams faces charges after being stopped by a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper for speeding on Interstate 40 on Jan. 17.

The trooper stopped Williams, the 45th pick overall in the 2019 NFL draft, at 9:37 p.m near mile marker 333 in Cumberland County. Williams, 22, was arrested for speeding along with possession of a controlled substance, possession of legend drugs without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to information from the THP.

Williams reportedly posted a $37,500 bond and was released Jan. 18 from the Cumberland County Jail with a hearing set for Feb. 21.

NBA

MIAMI (AP) — It’ll be an All-Star rematch: Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will be the captains for the NBA All-Star Game, just as they were last season. They earned the captaincies by being the top overall votegetters from the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively.

The other starters for the Feb. 16 game in Chicago: Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.

James, as the leading overall vote-getter, will have the top pick when he and Antetokounmpo pick their teams; Antetokounmpo will pick first in the second round, when the reserves are chosen.

WNBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alana Beard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year who won a WNBA championship with the Los Angeles Sparks, is retiring after 15 years.

In 2016, she helped the Sparks win a third WNBA title. She is third in all-time steals in the league with 710. Beard won Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2017 and ’18.

She also played for the Washington Mystics.

The Sparks announced her decision Thursday. Team managing partner and governor Eric Holoman thanked Beard for what he called her “historic contributions” to the franchise and the league.

The guard-forward from Shreveport, Louisiana, was a four-time All-Star.

COLLEGE BASKTBALL

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — The Big Ten suspended Illinois guard Alan Griffin two games Thursday for stepping on Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic.

Griffin was called for a flagrant foul 2 and ejected with 12:21 left in the first half Tuesday at Purdue when he stomped on Stefanovic’s midsection after the guard drove for a layup and drew a crescendo of boos. No. 21 Illinois went on to win 79-62.

Griffin, averaging 8.4 points, will miss games against Michigan on Saturday and Minnesota on Jan. 30. He apologized Wednesday to Stefanovic and Purdue as well as Illinois and its fans on social media.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Jarren Williams informed Miami on Thursday that he is entering the transfer portal, a move that comes three days after former Houston quarterback D’Eriq King decided to join the Hurricanes.

Williams started 10 of Miami’s 13 games this past season, after beating out N’Kosi Perry and Tate Martell for the first-string job. But with King — the presumed starter for 2020 — arriving this week, it was presumed that some of Miami’s incumbent quarterbacks would look elsewhere.

Atlanta-based attorney Thomas Mars, who represents Williams, said the quarterback was going to fill out his paperwork to make the entry into the portal official on Thursday before he was delayed by his class schedule. Mars said Williams will finish the paperwork Friday.

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — The Mets made it official, hiring Luis Rojas as their manager to replace Carlos Beltrán.

New York announced the move Thursday, a week after Beltrán departed without managing a game. Rojas, who had been the Mets quality control coach, was given a multiyear contract.

“I will work tirelessly to help this team win,” Rojas said in a statement. “I believe this team and coaching staff can do special things, and I look forward to working together with everyone to reach our goals.”

Rojas became New York’s fourth manager in the past 2 1/2 years — and third in four months. He is to be introduced Friday at a Citi Field news conference.

NCAA

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke for 20 minutes Thursday in a crowded ballroom at the Anaheim Convention Center, two huge video boards on either side of the stage showing his image so the folks way in the back could see.

He said many outside that room view college sports as fundamentally unfair to the athletes. He said the public and political pressure the NCAA is facing as its leaders try to find a way to allow athletes to make money off their fame is a symptom of that larger problem. As big-time college sports has become a multibillion dollar business, the public’s trust in the NCAA to do the right thing for athletes has waned, Emmert said.

“Yes, in some cases, we need help from Congress and from some others,” Emmert said. “But this is our job and we got to be clear about it. This is ours to improve and make better.”

Regarding the immediate issue of permitting athletes to be compensated for their names, images and likenesses, this convention was more about talking through solutions than producing one.

HORSE RACING

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Best horse. Best trainer. Best owner. Best jockey. Best breeder.

Bricks and Mortar had a perfect year, and the Eclipse Award voters gave his team a historic night.

After going 6 for 6 — all on the turf — at six tracks last year, Bricks and Mortar and his connections swept all the top honors at horse racing’s year-end awards for 2019 on Thursday night, winning horse of the year, seeing Irad Ortiz Jr. take home the jockey Eclipse, and trainer Chad Brown recognized as the sport’s best for the fourth consecutive year.

Bricks and Mortar also was the unanimous pick as the best male turf horse, no surprise after winning five Grade 1’s and a Grade 2 race last year — including the Pegasus World Cup turf race at Gulfstream Park, where the Eclipse Awards were handed out.

Klarman’s Klaravich Stables Inc., and William H. Lawrence also won the Eclipse as top owner. The top breeder went to George Strawbridge, Jr., another part of Bricks and Mortar’s connections.

Covfefe won two Eclipse Awards, one for being the top 3-year-old filly and another for being the top female sprinter.

The other awards went to Storm the Court (2-year-old male), British Idiom (2-year-old filly), Vino Rosso (older dirt male), Midnight Bisou (older dirt female), Uni (female turf horse), Winston C (steeplechase horse) and Kazushi Kimura (apprentice jockey).