Wednesday Sports in Brief

NFL

MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is defending his support of longtime friend Donald Trump after being criticized about it by one of his players.

Receiver Kenny Stills‘ comments Wednesday followed a report by the Washington Post that Ross plans to host a fundraiser for the president.

Stills tweeted a screen capture from Ross’ anti-racism RISE initiative’s website and wrote, “You can’t have a nonprofit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump.”

The mission statement says RISE “educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.”

Ross’ fundraiser is scheduled for Friday at his home on Long Island, the Post said.

“I always have been an active participant in the democratic process,” Ross said in a statement.

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are donating $50,000 to a fund for victims of the mass shooting that killed 22 people and left about two dozen others injured in El Paso, Texas.

The team said Wednesday the NFL Foundation was planning a matching donation to the El Paso Community Foundation Victims’ Fund. Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson is chairwoman of the NFL Foundation.

The Cowboys have had community outreach programs for years in El Paso, the far West Texas city with a large contingent of Dallas fans. Owner Jerry Jones said earlier in the week the team is “so appreciative of the support we have in El Paso.”

NEW YORK (AP) — Colin Kaepernick says he’s “still ready” to return to the NFL, even though he is set to enter his third season out of the league.

In a video posted Wednesday on social media, the 31-year-old Kaepernick is shown working out in a gym. He says in the video: “5 a.m. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready.”

Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers, helped start a wave of protests about social and racial injustice in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem at games.

The protests slowed down last season as the NFL made contributions to organizations chosen by players and promised more attention to social justice issues.

While he has been away from the playing field, the former quarterback has become an advocate for social and racial justice.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando for the fourth straight year and be held one week before the Super Bowl.

The NFL’s all-star game will be an afternoon match at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26. A week later, the league’s championship game will be played a few hours south in the Miami area.

Fans, players and coaches will vote for the 88 Pro Bowlers, and the game will match the AFC against the NFC.

A weeklong celebration in conjunction with the NFL’s 100th season initiatives also will take place across the Orlando area. Those will include a skills showdown and the league’s flag football championships.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Clemson’s national championship football program was flagged for eight secondary NCAA violations during a yearlong period from July 2018 through this past June.

The school’s athletic department released a summary of the infractions Wednesday.

None of the violations were considered major and all issues about the penalties have been resolved, according to the school. In all, Clemson self-reported 14 violations in the year ending on June 30.

The football violations reported by the school included a homeowner paying a player above the going rate for work around the home on three separate occasions. Two violations involved players on social media in a promotional capacity.

The other five infractions were committed by football staffers and included reimbursing an athlete for ground transportation expenses above the school’s mileage rate.

NEW YORK (AP) — Standardized injury reports will not be implemented across college football this season after the NCAA explored the possibility in response to the rise of legalized sports betting.

The NCAA’s Board of Governors announced Wednesday that it still supports the association’s rules prohibiting athletes and school administrators from wagering on sports or providing information to people associated with gambling. But the board concluded an injury or availability report across college football is not viable. An ad hoc committee on sports wagering studied the possibility of teams publicly disclosing whether players would be available for games.

The NFL uses a standardized injury report, but even calling it an injury report was problematic for the NCAA because of federal laws that safeguard student and patient privacy.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Two players in the Detroit Tigers system and two other minor leaguers have been suspended after testing positive for banned substances.

The commissioner’s office made the announcement Wednesday.

Washington Nationals pitcher Steven Fuentes, with Double-A Harrisburg, was suspended 50 games after testing positive for Heptaminol, a stimulant.

Detroit shortstop Pavin Parks, with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Tigers, was suspended 52 games for a positive test for Trenbolone, a performance-enhancing substance.

Tigers first baseman Reynaldo Rivera, with Class A West Michigan, was penalized 80 games after a positive test for Trenbolone.

Cincinnati outfielder Nate Scantlin, with rookie-level Billings of the Pioneer League, was banned 100 games after his third positive test for a drug of abuse.

BOSTON (AP) — Kansas City Royals speedster Billy Hamilton is so fast even the first base umpire couldn’t seem to believe it.

Hamilton was called out at first by umpire Mark Carlson twice in the first four innings of Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Both times the plays were overturned on instant replay.

Hamilton is one of the fastest players in the game. He has stolen almost 300 bases in his career.

When he came up in the second inning with a runner on first, he hit a comebacker to the mound to start what could have been a double play. But after he was called out, the Royals challenged and the replay showed Hamilton just beat the throw.

In the fourth, he narrowly legged out an infield single to the shortstop. He then stole second but was thrown out trying to take third on a fly ball to center.

COURTS

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan State University dean with oversight of now-imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar was ordered Wednesday to serve up to a year in jail after being convicted of neglect of duty and misconduct in office that stemmed from a charge he sexually harassed students.

William Strampel learned his fate during a hearing in a Lansing courtroom, nearly two months after the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s ex-dean was convicted of those charges . He was acquitted of the more serious criminal sexual conduct charge.

Strampel, 71, faced up to five years in prison on the felony misconduct conviction, resulting from accusations he used his public office to sexually harass, demean and proposition students who met with him to discuss academic issues. He also was convicted of willfully neglecting a duty to monitor Nassar after protocols were put in place requiring that a third person be present in the exam room for sensitive procedures and limiting skin-to-skin contact — misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in prison.

OBITUARY

DENVER (AP) — Jack Dolbin Jr., a wide receiver who was on the Denver Broncos‘ first Super Bowl team in 1977, had died at age 70.

Dolbin, who became a chiropractor, educator and lecturer after football, died Thursday at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pennsylvania, according to his obituary posted on legacy.com.

Born Dec. 12, 1948, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Dolbin took a circuitous route to the NFL, playing in three smaller leagues in the early 1970s before catching on with the Broncos five years after leaving Wake Forest, where he starred in football and track.

He played for the Pottstown Firebirds of the Atlantic Coast Football League and the Schuylkill County Coal Crackers of the Seaboard Football League before playing a season with the Chicago Fire of the World Football League in 1974.

Between 1975 and 1979, Dolbin played in 62 games and caught 94 passes for 1,576 yards and seven touchdowns for the Broncos. His best season was in 1977 when he caught 27 passes for 443 yards and three touchdowns and added a TD catch in the playoffs for the AFC champions.