Thursday Sports in Brief
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has resigned after an external review found she had made “racially insensitive” comments and applied “undue influence” regarding players’ ability to compete through medical issues.
The school issued a release late Thursday announcing the Hall of Famer’s resignation and findings from the review by a Charlotte-based law firm. The review also reported “a breakdown of connectivity between the players and Hatchell” after 28 interviews of current players and program personnel.
Hatchell and her coaching staff had been on paid administrative leave since April 1, with UNC announcing the review amid player concerns to “assess the culture” of the program.
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Big 12 player of the year Jarrett Culver declared for the NBA draft Thursday after helping lead his hometown Texas Tech Red Raiders on the two deepest NCAA Tournament runs in school history.
Culver’s on-campus announcement came 10 days after the Red Raiders finished their season with an overtime loss to Virginia in the national championship game. Texas Tech went to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time last season when Culver was a freshman.
The 6-foot-6 guard was the first recruit that Chris Beard reached out to after he became Texas Tech’s head coach three years ago.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Athletics slugger Khris Davis has gotten the long-term deal he wanted.
The Athletics said Thursday they had agreed to terms with Davis on a contract the will keep him with the team through the 2021 season. The new deal covering 2020-21 adds $33.75 million, which brings him to $50.25 million over three years, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the deal had not been announced.
Davis hit a majors-best 48 home runs last season while setting a career high with 123 RBIs. He is leading the majors again with 10 home runs so far this season. He is batting .260 with 20 RBIs.
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day injured list with left knee irritation.
The 35-year-old Pedroia started the season on the injured list with inflammation in his left knee. He was reinstated April 9 and appeared in four games with Boston, making four starts at second base and two as a designated hitter and going 2 for 20 (.100) with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees have suspended the use of Kate Smith’s recording of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch while they investigate an allegation of racism against the singer.
The New York Daily News reported Thursday there are conflicting claims about Smith’s 1939 song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.” The song originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals,” and was considered satire. It was recorded by Smith and also by Paul Robeson, who was black.
The team said in a statement: “The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information.” The team said it took social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously.
Smith died in 1986.
SEATTLE (AP) — Reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart has undergone surgery to repair her ruptured right Achilles tendon.
The Seattle Storm said Stewart had surgery Thursday morning in Los Angeles and is expected to be fully recovered for the start of the 2020 WNBA season.
Stewart suffered the injury while playing for Russian club Dynamo Kursk on Sunday in the EuroLeague Women championship game in Hungary.
She appeared to land awkwardly on the foot of fellow WNBA star Brittney Griner after attempting a jumper late in the first half against UMMC Ekaterinburg. She immediately grabbed her lower right leg while grimacing in pain.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Matthew Baldwin, the Ohio State quarterback who was expected to back up the highly touted Justin Fields this fall, said he intends to transfer.
The redshirt freshman released a statement on Twitter on Thursday saying he feels it would be better for him to move on after his first productive spring practice since rehabbing from a knee injury.
Baldwin competed in spring practice with Fields, who transferred to Ohio State after Ryan Day was named successor to the retiring Urban Meyer and it became clear that star quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. would leave early for the NFL.
St. Louis and Sacramento, California, have been invited to submit formal bids for franchises as Major League Soccer’s Board of Governors formally unveiled plans Thursday to expand to 30 teams.
Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement at the board’s meeting in Los Angeles, pointing to expansion as one of the key drivers of the league’s growth in North America in recent years.
The league is currently at 24 teams, with FC Cincinnati joining this season. Miami and Nashville, Tennessee, are teed up to start next year and Austin, Texas, will come aboard in 2021.
The board did not identify markets that would receive teams but groups in Sacramento and St. Louis were allowed to make formal presentations to the league’s expansion committee. Garber said he hopes to have an announcement by the MLS All-Star Game in late July.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — All three hosts of the Triple Crown were among several major tracks that agreed Thursday to phase out the use of a common anti-bleeding medication starting next year, sparked by the deaths of 23 horses in three months at Santa Anita.
Starting in 2020, 2-year-old horses won’t be allowed to be treated with the drug Lasix within 24 hours of racing. Lasix, formally known as furosemide, is a diuretic given to horses on race days to prevent pulmonary bleeding.
In 2021, the ban would extend to all horses running in any stakes races at tracks in the newly announced coalition. That’s the year the Triple Crown would be run for the first time under the new medication rules. Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont are host to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
CHICAGO (AP) — Longtime Chicago sportscaster Chet Coppock has died at age 70 after a car accident a week ago.
His daughter, Lyndsey, says on her Facebook page her father died Wednesday. He was a passenger in an accident April 11 near Hilton Head, South Carolina
Coppock was a fixture on local sports television for years and a pioneer of sports talk radio with his “Coppock on Sports” show on WMAQ-AM in Chicago. The bombastic Coppock came to be known as the “Godfather of Sports Talk Radio,” greeting callers by saying “Your dime, your dance floor.”