Update on the latest sports
GYMNASTICS COACH-SEXUAL ASSAULT
Official: Former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach John Geddert dies by suicide after being charged with human trafficking
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar has died by apparent suicide after being charged with two dozen crimes, including forms of human trafficking.
Michigan’s attorney general announced John Geddert’s death on Thursday afternoon. It came about three hours after a news conference where Nessel announced that Geddert was charged with crimes, including sexual assault, human trafficking and running a criminal enterprise. The charges in Eaton County, Michigan, include sexual assault, human trafficking and turning his Lansing-area gym into a criminal enterprise. Geddert has insisted he had no knowledge of Nassar’s sexual assaults, but he’s charged with lying to investigators. Nassar is serving decades in prison.
Ex-Washington employees ask NFL to release report findings
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twenty former Washington Football Team employees are calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to release the final report of an independent investigation into the organization’s conduct.
The employees and their lawyers sent letters to Goodell on Thursday making the request. Washington owner Dan Snyder hired Beth Wilkinson to investigate in July after former employees made allegations of workplace sexual harassment. The NFL took over oversight of the investigation in August. The employees wrote in the letter to Goodell “there cannot be accountability without transparency.” A spokesman says the league has not received the final report from the investigation.
And in other NFL news:
—The Tennessee Titans have waived wide receiver Adam Humphries after he played only 19 games over the past two seasons. The Titans announced Thursday they also waived defensive backs Chris Milton and Breon Borders. They signed defensive lineman Jullian Taylor to a contract. Humphries signed a four-year contract worth up to $36 million with Tennessee in 2019. Humphries missed four games this past season before clearing concussion protocol, then was put on injured reserve two days after playing his first game in a month. Coach Mike Vrabel said in January that Humphries remained in the concussion protocol.
NCAA hands South Carolina 2-year probation for ex-assistant
UNDATED (AP) — South Carolina’s men’s basketball program has been placed on probation for two years for former assistant coach Lamont Evans accepting between $3,300 and $5,800 in bribes from a sports agent.
The case was part of the college basketball corruption trial in which Evans pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy. The NCAA accepted South Carolina’s self-imposed penalties, which include a reduction in unofficial visits from prospects and a six-week ban in telephone recruiting.
Gamecocks coach Frank Martin was not named in the original NCAA investigation.
Evans spent four seasons at South Carolina before leaving for Oklahoma State after the 2015-2016 season.
In other college basketball news:
— The NCAA has come up with a contingency plan in case teams can’t play in the March Madness tournaments because of COVID-19. The first four at-large teams that don’t make the original field will be placed in order and serve as replacement teams. If the tournament begins without any withdrawals, the four would still be eligible to compete in the NIT. The plan only applies to the short period between the announcement of the bracket and the start of games. Once the tournaments begin, a team whose opponent is forced to withdraw would automatically advance to the next round.
— Marquette will allow up to 1,800 to attend its men’s basketball regular-season finale March 6 against Xavier. This will be the first time this season that Marquette has played a home game in front of that many spectators. The Golden Eagles had no spectators for most of their home games. They allowed family members of players to attend a 71-68 loss to Creighton on Feb. 6. Those 1,800 fans represent about 10% of the capacity at Fiserv Forum, which also serves as the home arena for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.
— Pittsburgh junior forward Au’Diese Toney is transferring, the second high-profile departure for the Panthers in as many days. The decision came a day after teammate Xavier Johnson announced he was entering the transfer portal. Toney averaged 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists and is considered among the better defenders in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He missed Pitt’s last game, a loss to Florida State last Saturday, while recovering from a concussion.
Texas regents approve $34.2 million contract for Sarkisian
UNDATED (AP) — The University of Texas System Board of Regents has approved a six-year, $34.2 million guaranteed contract for new football coach Steve Sarkisian (sahr-KEE’-zee-en). The board also approved more than $21 million in guaranteed contracts for Sarkisian’s staff.
Texas still owed Tom Herman more than $15 million when he was fired after four seasons without winning a Big 12 title.
Sarkisian was the offensive coordinator at Alabama the last two seasons and helped guide the Crimson Tide to the 2020 national championship.
New defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski will be the highest-paid Texas assistant at $1.7 million per year.
In other college football news:
— The Big Ten is getting a 16th trophy game in football. This one will honor the first Black man to play in the conference. Northwestern and Michigan will meet for the George Jewett Trophy beginning in October. Jewett played football at both schools in the 1890s. Jewett was a standout high school athlete in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and went on to play for the Wolverines in the 1890 and 1892 seasons. He starred as a fullback and halfback and also was the team’s main kicker. He left Michigan for Northwestern in 1893 to finish his medical degree.
Red Sox sign utilityman Marwin González to 1-year deal
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox finalized their $3 million, one-year contract with switch-hitting utilityman Marwin González on Wednesday, two weeks after reaching an agreement subject to a physical.
To make room for him on the roster, the team designated right-hander Marcus Walden for assignment. González spent the last two seasons with the Minnesota Twins, hitting .248 with 20 homers and 77 RBIs over 167 games. He has played every position other than catcher in a nine-year career that started in Houston. He is a lifetime .261 batter with 96 homers and 369 RBIs.
In other MLB news:
The Cleveland Indians plan to have 10,000 fans inside Progressive Field for home games in April. The team announced Thursday they’re hosting 30% percent of capacity at their downtown ballpark, which was off-limits to fans last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indians said ticket availability will be determined monthly until the ballpark can be at capacity — roughly 35,000 fans.