BC-AP Sports Digest

December 07, 2017 - 2:58 pm

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TOP STORIES

OLY--US TEAM-KOREA TENSION

The White House casts doubt on whether the U.S. will go to the Winter Olympics because of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley says in a Fox interview it's an "open question." The U.S. Olympic Committee says its plans are unchanged. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— With:

— OLY--US TEAM-KOREA TENSION-THE LATEST — Real-time developments throughout day.

FBC--T25-AP PLAYER OF THE YEAR

NEW YORK — Baker Mayfield is college football's AP player of the year, the fourth Oklahoma quarterback to win the award since it was established in 1998. Mayfield easily outpoints Stanford running back Bryce Love. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 400 words, photos. Will be updated at night with other award winners.

HKN--SCORING UP

Scoring in the NHL is up 12 percent from the same point last season. Why the big jump? Players and coaches cite a crackdown on slashing, more power plays and the league's infusion of youth. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 p.m.

FBN--SAINTS-FALCONS

ATLANTA — The first-place New Orleans Saints look to strengthen their hold on the NFC South when they face the Falcons. Atlanta desperately needs a win to bolster its playoff hopes and make another run at the Super Bowl. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 8:25 p.m.

FBC--CFP-VIEWERSHIP WORRIES

Interest in the College Football Playoff could be tempered with no Pac-12 or Big Ten teams in the mix. TV ratings, however, could be helped with the semifinals now on New Year's Day instead of New Year's Eve. By College Football Writer Eric Olson. SENT: 800 words, photos.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

FBN--MR. INDISPENSABLE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Each team has that one player who makes everything click, the guy with so much ability and leadership that everyone else plays better. Take Mr. Indispensable off the field, and nothing is quite the same. By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 800 words, photos. With list.

COMMENTARY

OLY--JIM LITKE-RUSSIAN DOPING

Russia has been banned from Pyeongchang Olympics in name only despite the most audacious state-sponsored doping scheme since the heyday of the former East Germany. President Vladimir Putin, like the rest of his compatriots, knows a sweet deal when he sees one. By Sports Columnist Jim Litke. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 p.m.

SOC--ON SOCCER-CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

LONDON — England is a force in Europe again, and it is Germany in decline. There will be a record five English clubs in the knockout phase of the Champions League, which has not been won by a Premier League team since 2012. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 950 words, photos.

NFL

FBN--BROWNS-BROWN FIRED

CLEVELAND — The winless Cleveland Browns fire top executive Sashi Brown with four games left in season. Brown got the job during an overhaul following the 2015 season and the team has gone 1-27 on his watch. By Tom Withers. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.

FBN--BILLS-WHITE-GRONKOWSKI HIT

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Bills rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White is calling the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski a dirty player for blindsiding him in the back of the head, a hit that could have broken his neck. Gronkowski was suspended for a game, a punishment White says is a "joke." By John Wawrow. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— With:

— FBN--BILLS-TAYLOR — By John Wawrow. SENT: 150 words.

FBN--STEELERS-REPLACING SHAZIER

PITTSBURGH — Tyler Matakevich? Arthur Moats? Sean Spence? The Steelers are spending this week trying to settle on their inside linebacker in place of Ryan Shazier, who remains in the hospital recovering from a spinal injury from the game against Cincinnati. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

FBN--PANTHERS-OLSEN

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Greg Olsen hopes a return to a grass field will allow him to play against the Vikings, who at 10-2 share the league's best record. The Panthers star tight end missed last week's game on the turf at New Orleans after sitting out most of the season with a broken foot. By Steve Reed. UPCOMNING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— Also:

— FBN--TITANS-HENRY — By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— FBN--CHIEFS-CALLING PLAYS — By Dave Skretta. SENT: 650 words, photos.

— FBN--REDSKINS-REED — By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— FBN--COWBOYS-YOUNG DBS — By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.

— FBN--NFL MAN OF YEAR — By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. Announcement of team nominees at 8:15 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--HEISMAN-JACKSON

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lamar Jackson's stats are similar to those from last year when he became the youngest Heisman Trophy winner. The Louisville quarterback now has a chance to become the award's second repeat winner, following Ohio State's Archie Griffin in 1974 and '75. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 800 words, photos. With glance.

FBC--TENNESSEE-PRUITT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee hires Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to cap a tumultuous coaching search that cost John Currie his job as athletic director. Pruitt's job? Revive a Volunteers team coming off of its most disappointing seasons. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. News conference at 6 p.m.

— Also:

— FBC--AP ALL-PAC-12 — Stanford running back Bryce Love leads AP All-Pac-12 team. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 200 words, photos. With lists.

— FBC--ARKANSAS-MORRIS' PLAN — Chad Morris introduced as Arkansas Coach. By Kurt Voigt. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.

___

AP Sports Extra: College Football Bowl Preview: A paginated look at the College Football Playoff and all the bowl games is available in AP Newsroom. The pages can be used between now and the first bowl games on Dec. 16. Contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan@ap.org for any questions.

NBA

BKN--THUNDER-NETS

MEXICO CITY — The Brooklyn Nets play the first of two games in Mexico's capital, facing the Thunder in a game in which both teams will have to contend with the high altitude. The elevation could take a toll on Oklahoma City, which has won three straight but is playing its fifth game in eight days. By Carlos Rodriguez. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 10 p.m.

— With:

— BKN--SILVER-MEXICO CITY — Commissioner Adam Silver holds news conference before game. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 8 p.m.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

BKC--T25-VALPARAISO-PURDUE

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — In the lone men's game involving a ranked team, No. 21 Purdue tries to extend its winning streak to five when it hosts unbeaten Valparaiso. Boilermakers coach Matt Painter needs two wins to get No. 300. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 6:30 p.m.

BKC--T25-FLORIDA'S FREEFALL

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — No. 5 Florida has been in a tailspin since leading top-ranked Duke by 17 points with 10 minutes during the Thanksgiving weekend. They now have lost three in a row, including twice to unranked teams at home. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

LAW

GYM--DOCTOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A former elite sports doctor whose sexual assault cases have rocked Michigan State and the group that trains U.S. Olympic gymnasts is sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for possessing thousands of images of child pornography. SENT: 400 words, photos.

— With:

— FBN--MOON-HARASSMENT SUIT — Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon sued for sex harassment. SENT: 450 words, photos.

— NBA PLAYER KILLED — Mother of late NBA player Lorenzen Wright shouts at accused killer in court. By Adrian Sainz. SENT: 350 words, photos.

— SEXUAL ASSAULT-SOUTH DAKOTA FOOTBALL PLAYERS — Two South Dakota players plead not guilty to sexual assault. SENT: 150 words.

SOCCER

SOC--BALLON D'OR-RONALDO

Cristiano Ronaldo is honored as the world's best soccer player, winning the Ballon d'Or for the fifth time. The Real Madrid great equals the mark set by Lionel Messi. Ronaldo finishes ahead of Messi and Neymar. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 550 words, photos.

SOC--MLS--SOUNDERS-REPEAT CHANCE

TUKWILA, Wash. — Repeating in Major League Soccer isn't easy. Maybe it's because of parity or the long season or the playoff structure. The Seattle Sounders seem to understand their opportunity to repeat heading into Saturday's final against Toronto. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— Also:

— SOC--EUROPEAN SOCCER WEEKEND — Two Premier League games — Manchester City vs. Manchester United, Liverpool vs. Everton — highlight weekend play in Europe. Steve Douglas. SENT: 800 words, photos.

— SOC--SINGAPORE-MATCH-FIXING — Singapore revokes citizenship of suspected match-fixer. By Annabelle Liang. SENT: 300 words.

GAMBLING

NJ INTERNET GAMBLING-RACETRACKS

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey wants to give the state's horse racing tracks a piece of the action on internet gambling. One lawmaker says it's a way to help the struggling racing industry with new revenue. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 350 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words. Voting started 1 p.m.

DOPING

— OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING — Russia's prime minister denies IOC accusations of state-sponsored doping. SENT: 150 words, photos.

— OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING-ZUBKOV — Olympic panel details Sochi bobsled champion's doping case. SENT: 130 words.

GOLF

— GLF--JOBURG OPEN — Keenan Davidse comes off hospital bed for one-stroke lead after first round of Johannesburg Open. SENT: 150 words.

— GLF--EUROPEAN TOUR-GARCIA — Masters winner Sergio Garcia voted European Tour's golfer of year. SENT: 100 words, photos.

OTHER

— HKN--LOVEJOY-BRAIN RESEARCH — Devils' Ben Lovejoy to donate brain for concussion research; first active NHL player to make pledge. SENT: 150 words, photos.

— OLY--SOC-LEADERSHIP FAILINGS — European lawmakers slam FIFA, IOC for "unprecedented loss of trust." By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— FIG--GRAND PRIX FINAL — U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen leads short program at Grand Prix Final in Japan. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 350 words, photos.

— CAR--F1-2018 CALENDAR — Next year's Formula One Calendar approved; security issues raised for Brazil Grand Prix. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 450 words, photos. With list.

CAPSULES

— BKN--NBA CAPSULES

— HKN--NHL CAPSULES

— BKW--T25-TOP 25 CAPSULES

___

Thursday's Time Schedule (EST)

NFL

New Orleans at Atlanta, 8:25 p.m.

NBA

L.A. Lakers at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.

Washington at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

Oklahoma City vs. Brooklyn at Mexico City, 10 p.m.

Houston at Utah, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

N.Y. Islanders at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Arizona at Boston, 7 p.m.

Colorado at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Winnipeg at Florida, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Dallas at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

Ottawa at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

Carolina at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

College Basketball (Top 25)

Men

No. 21 Purdue vs. Valparaiso, 6:30 p.m.

Women

No. 4 Louisville vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.

No. 10 West Virginia vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

No. 13 Florida State vs. Stetson, 7 p.m.

No. 14 Duke vs. UNC Greensboro, 7 p.m.

No. 24 Michigan vs. Marquette, 7 p.m.

No. 25 California vs. San Diego, 10 p.m.

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